Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security Tuesday, November 5, 2013 Chair

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security Tuesday, November 5, 2013 Chair
Standing Committee on Public Safety and
National Security
SECU
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NUMBER 003
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2nd SESSION
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EVIDENCE
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Chair
Mr. Daryl Kramp
41st PARLIAMENT
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Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
● (1100)
[English]
The Chair (Mr. Daryl Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings,
CPC)): Colleagues, welcome to this third meeting of the second
session of the 41st Parliament of the Standing Committee on Public
Safety and National Security.
Before we start today, let me first welcome our clerk, Evelyn
Lukyniuk, who's just back from maternity leave. Certainly I think it's
in order that we offer her congratulations on her new daughter,
Elizabeth.
Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
The Chair: Prior to hearing from our witnesses, colleagues, I
have one small change to the agenda that I would like to bring to
your attention.
Under item two, committee business, we had a motion that was
presented by Mr. Easter and that was in order. Mr. Easter has asked
that we postpone that. He has a serious personal matter that he has to
leave the committee early for today. So we will not be proceeding
with that motion. He's asked that we defer it until after the
Remembrance Day break. I will be bringing that back to committee
for your consideration at that point.
We now have before us a familiar face for a number of people
here. I understand that our guest, Mark Potter, has been here before. I
think this will be the fourth time.
As a new member, I'm eager to hear his summation and his
thoughts on the past studies and where we need to go forward from
his perspective. I know that colleagues who have obviously had that
opportunity to deal with Mr. Potter before are certainly looking
forward to catching up on his thoughts.
I understand that back in June Mr. Potter presented a summit
report that was issued. I'm hoping that most colleagues have had an
opportunity to peruse that. If not, of course they'll have the
opportunity on the floor today for questions.
Mark Potter, you now have the floor, sir.
Mr. Mark Potter (Director General, Policing Policy Directorate, Law Enforcement and Policing Branch, Department of
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness): Thank you very
much, Mr. Chair.
Good morning, everyone. It's great to be back here again.
This is an important topic. It has been tremendously helpful that
this committee has been engaged in this and has been calling the
witnesses that it has to discuss this issue. We very much look
forward to your report.
Since we last met in the spring, there have been a number of
developments that I would like to update you on, as well as outline
the way forward. Before doing so, and particularly for the benefit of
the new members, I would like to provide some brief background
information on the issue of the economics of policing.
First, what is it? What is the issue of the economics of policing?
The economics of policing is a wide-ranging issue related to the
efficiency and effectiveness of policing and of public safety more
broadly. It is both a challenge and an opportunity for Canada and
many other countries. The economics of policing have become
increasingly relevant as all governments grapple with demonstrating
the value of increasingly costly public services at a time of fiscal
constraints.
The Canadian public is aware of and engaged·on the issue. There
is an active public commentary on the steady and significant growth
in policing costs during a time of declining reported crime. However,
within this public debate, there is only a limited understanding of the
increasingly diverse and complex nature of police work and crime.
Police are increasingly called upon to deal with a high volume of
non-criminal public order incidents, including a growing number of
mental health and addiction issues. Police are also addressing
significant and time-consuming new crimes and challenges, such as
terrorism, cybercrime, financial crime, child sexual exploitation, and
dealing with large-scale gatherings and protests.
For example, we heard at the Canadian Association of Chiefs of
Police conference in August that arrests under the Mental Health Act
have quadrupled in Vancouver in the last 10 years. Further, it was
noted that on any given night at Sudbury's main hospital, there can
be up to a dozen police officers dealing with mental health and
addiction incidents.
Put simply, although reported crime has declined overall, police
are still very busy.
Faced with these challenges, some governments and parts of the
policing community are actively pursuing opportunities to strengthen
policing through dialogue and engagement with citizens, taking
actions to increase operational and structural efficiency and
effectiveness, and investing in proactive, integrated community
safety approaches to get at the roots of crime.
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This momentum of change and innovation can benefit in many
areas from collaboration through a common strategy and actions.
The Minister of Public Safety has been providing leadership and
coordination on the economics of policing. Provincial and territorial
ministers, police leaders, mayors, and many others are also focused
on this issue, and we have all come together to try to address it.
The work under way on the economics of policing is driven by
three key commitments agreed to by all federal, provincial, and
territorial Ministers of Justice and Public Safety in January and
October 2012.
November 5, 2013
Policing reform and innovation must be founded upon a solid base
of evidence and research if it is to be successful over the longer term.
Currently in Canada there is minimal policing-related research
capacity; there is no central repository of accessible research
information; and there is limited agreement within the policing
community on research priorities. The strategy is expected to begin
addressing these gaps. Building on the index of innovative policing
initiatives, it is proposed that Public Safety Canada will continue to
advance information sharing through its economics of policing
website portal.
The first was to convene a summit on the economics of policing.
The summit was successfully held in January 2013 and has
contributed to the dialogue and momentum of reform.
Second, ministers agreed to share information across jurisdictions
on policies and practices that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of policing. A key deliverable in this regard was the launch of
the index of police initiatives in August on Public Safety Canada's
website. The index is a searchable database of best practices that
facilitates learning from one another so that innovations can be
pursued without reinventing the wheel. For example, it can provide
helpful information with respect to the adoption of best practices for
dealing with individuals with mental health and addiction issues. The
index currently contains 140 initiatives. It will continue to expand
and grow. A link to the website index has been provided to each of
you in the documents that have been circulated.
Third, ministers tasked officials to develop a shared forward
agenda or strategy for policing and public safety in Canada.
Approval of that strategy will be sought when FPT ministers meet
later this month in Whitehorse. The shared forward agenda is being
developed through collaboration among all governments, most
notably Ontario, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia as champions,
as well as the active and constructive contributions of Canada's three
main police associations and many others.
The main principles behind the evolving strategy are to cooperate
collectively in those areas where it makes sense to do so, while
respecting jurisdictional responsibilities for policing, and to adopt a
comprehensive and holistic approach to public safety; that is to say,
it involves reaching out to and working with all elements that
contribute to public safety, from police to courts, to schools, and to
social service agencies.
● (1105)
The expected goals of the strategy are: one, increase the efficiency
and effectiveness of policing in Canada; two, encourage learning,
innovation, and the application of best practices; and three,
contribute to improved public safety outcomes and social wellbeing through partnership and integrated approaches.
Overall, it is about working collaboratively and contributing
positively to the evolution and sustainability of policing and public
safety in Canada. The shared forward agenda is emerging based on
the framework that was introduced at the summit in January 2013. It
is being oriented around three pillars: efficiencies within police
services; new models of community safety; and efficiencies within
the justice system. These three pillars will be supported by the
foundational elements of research and information sharing.
Another information-sharing proposal that has emerged through
consultations is the organization of focused learning events in areas
such as civilianization, tiered policing, and the use of technology in
order to advance reform efforts based on evidence, best practices,
and sharing of experiences. At the core of the proposed strategy is
helping police services to become more efficient and effective;
however, one of the challenges in strengthening efficiency and
effectiveness is measuring results and using that data as the basis for
continuous improvement and public reporting. Ontario is a leader in
this area and is developing a framework of key police performance
metrics linked to efficiency and effectiveness and public safety
outcomes.
Other potential actions that have been raised include: striving to
reduce police equipment costs through common networks for
procurement and shared services; linking police recruitment and
training programs to qualifications standards; and helping police
reform their organizations to be more effective.
In terms of new models of community safety, as you have heard
from several witnesses, police services increasingly are exploring
and adopting proactive integrated community safety strategies that
get at the roots of crime through targeted support to at-risk youth and
families. There are many examples of such programs, and some
communities are advanced in their efforts, including the HUB model
that has been successfully applied in Saskatchewan and elsewhere.
The need to strengthen data collection, assessment, and evaluation
around such new approaches to allow for the validation and
refinement of crime prevention models of the future is an important
element of any strategy.
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With respect to the third pillar of the strategy, efficiencies within
the justice system, nationally and provincially, efforts are under way
to improve efficiencies. Such changes can have a direct and
significant impact on police operations and costs. Potential actions
under consideration are for governments to share information on
reforms that improve justice efficiency and also that they work with
police associations and others to identify policing priorities for
justice reform and incorporate this information into current and
future justice reform initiatives.
legislators put on police forces in saying that they must have specific
individuals to do specific jobs? Also, we as legislators give them
additional work to do every now and then, and we tend to not
increase the size of their human resource complement.
The development of the shared forward agenda is a unique
opportunity for governments to continue to demonstrate collective
leadership and accelerate the momentum of change. We also have an
opportunity over time to build a more integrated and proactive public
safety system that results in even less crime and greater social wellbeing and quality of life.
● (1115)
However, for the strategy to be successful, it will need to respect
jurisdictional responsibilities for policing and be inclusive of the
entire policing community and other key stakeholders. It is only
through such a collective, focused, and well-considered approach
that we can meet the high expectations of Canadians for
continuously improving public safety and policing.
That concludes my opening remarks. Your questions and
comments would be welcomed.
Thank you very much.
● (1110)
The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr. Potter. We certainly
appreciate your continued work on this file.
If we may, now we will go to the questioning.
With seven minutes from the government side, Mr. Norlock.
Mr. Rick Norlock (Northumberland—Quinte West, CPC):
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Mr. Potter, for your testimony.
To you through the chair, one of the first things, of course, when
we deal with the economics of policing—I've talked to police
officers out in the field, as I did over the break—is that I assure
police officers that the purpose of this study is not to look for ways
to lay off police officers. It's not necessarily to do that and not
necessarily to change the parameters, but to look specifically at how
we can perform the function of policing across this country. The
federal government is just entering this study to look at a panCanadian experience in an attempt to identify models that work.
My specific question will be as follows. It is my observation that
one of the reasons—and you mentioned it in the body of your
presentation—is issues surrounding mental illness and how we treat
mental illness, along with issues surrounding young offenders and
how we handle young offenders. Would you not agree with me that
one of the reasons...? In Ontario specifically, and I suspect in other
provinces, there's a regulatory regime that requires police forces to
have specially trained investigators for things like sexual assaults, to
have special domestic assault squads. Would you not agree with me
that one of the causes of the increased costs of policing has to do
with the increased demands that we as the public and we as
Would you agree with some of those statements? Do you have
some specifics you can relate in order to better assist the folks at
home who may be interested in this subject and are looking at the
work of this committee?
Mr. Mark Potter: Thank you for that question. You've touched
on a number of important elements, and I'll just cover a few of them,
if I may.
With regard to the issue of police officers' salaries, I'm well aware
that's extremely sensitive. I think it's definitely not the role of the
federal government to tell provincial governments and municipal
authorities what they should be paying their police officers. I think
police officers do tremendously challenging work and need to have
very comprehensive training to deal with a wide range of possible
scenarios whenever they go out to a call. It's that unique capability,
which police in Canada fulfill tremendously well in almost all
instances, that makes them, I think.... In order to attract and retain
those types of individuals with the wide range of skills they need to
have, you need to pay them well. I think if you want to have goodquality police officers, you need to pay them a good, reasonable
salary.
I don't think the debate is about layoffs or necessarily about
reducing officers' salaries; it's far from it. I think it's about
recognizing that 80% of a police budget is typically for labour
costs, so how can you most efficiently use that spending envelope?
How can you deploy those officers most efficiently to achieve the
objectives you're trying to achieve in terms of public safety
outcomes?
I don't think the debate is about whether officers' salaries should
necessarily be higher or lower. However, there is a reality in certain
jurisdictions that police officers' salaries have been rising well above
inflation due to the ratcheting up of those salaries through collective
bargaining and arbitration processes. We are seeing a little bit more
of a flatlining of those salaries happening across the country as a
result of the recession and as a result of the fiscal situation in many
parts of the country. I think that issue of salaries rising relative to the
average Canadian salary is being brought under control just as a
result of the economic and fiscal situation.
Regarding the broader point you raised about the demands on
police, when we look at the number of calls for service, which is
often a better measure of how active police are in our communities,
it's been rising steadily over the years, and when you look at the
nature of those calls, as was mentioned, the majority of them are
non-criminal. We as a society are asking police to take on more tasks
and more responsibilities, particularly with respect to individuals
with mental health and addiction issues. Increasingly, they are
dealing with quality-of-life issues, ensuring that the communities are
safe, that residents feel safe in their communities, and that there is a
visible police presence in certain types of communities that are
experiencing challenges with disorder or with mischief.
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November 5, 2013
As a number of you know from your direct experience in policing
and from talking to police officers, they are often, as Chief Chu said,
the call of first resort. They're available 24/7/365, and they're really
the only agency out there that is. So often whenever there's a
problem in a community, it's the police who are called.
Bill C-2, instead of going to the health committee, is going to be
referred to this committee, and legislation takes precedence, so we'll
be set back even further.
They are tremendously busy responding to a whole range of calls.
How efficiently can they do that? In most cases police have made a
lot of gains in deploying those resources. Often the first challenge
when you look at how to improve the efficiency is demand
management. How are you responding to the demands of your
community? How are you scheduling your officers? How are you
deploying them—in crews of one or two—and so on? These are key
questions they look at when they delve into how efficiently they're
responding to these growing demands.
I'm concerned about how the work we've invested in this study
can be most effectively communicated to you at Public Safety to be
considered as part of the strategy that's being developed.
Perhaps I'll pause there and allow for further questions.
Mr. Rick Norlock: Thank you very much.
I have observed, although I've been out of the business for quite
some time, that more and more demands are placed not only on
proper training.... I recall having four to six obligatory days per year
for training. There's roughly a week when the officer isn't on the road
doing his or her job.
I'd like to ask you a specific question. I know you are aware of
some of the places this committee has gone and some of the things
we've observed. You talked particularly about Saskatchewan and the
hub. Have you observed in your studies and your communications
with other entities that police forces today are sharing more and more
best practices?
Could you also comment on how what works in one police
department does not necessarily work in another because of socioeconomic realities and workload and the realities of geography?
● (1120)
The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Norlock.
Could we have a very brief response, Mr. Potter?
Mr. Mark Potter: I think in terms of information sharing there's a
considerable gap in Canada. When you look at what exists in the U.
K., in the United States, in Australia, and in New Zealand, in terms
of their capacity through databases, through research forums, and
through learning events to share information and exchange best
practices, we are well behind other countries in those regards.
The Chair: Thank you.
Mr. Garrison, please.
Mr. Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, NDP):
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Mr. Potter, for being with us again.
My first question is about how the work we're doing in this study
potentially relates to the strategy. As I think all members are aware,
because of prorogation we were set back by a month, so we have not
actually completed our report and were unable to have it fit in before
your recommendations go to the ministers' meeting.
At this point, I guess, here's my question. When we do get the
report...? Again, we're probably going to have another delay, because
Mr. Mark Potter: Thank you.
I think there are a couple of dimensions. We've been following
your deliberations very closely. It's been very helpful for us to hear
what you've had to say, what the witnesses have had to say, and the
sorts of questions that have been raised. We've taken careful note of a
lot of the information that's been conveyed to this committee, and
that's been factored into what we're bringing forward to the ministers
next week in Whitehorse.
The second answer I'll give is that we think your study and its
recommendations will be tremendously helpful in providing further
guidance, another key ingredient in moving this issue forward, so
what we will look to is those recommendations. We'll look at them in
contrast to what's going to be brought forward to ministers next
week.
What's being brought forward to ministers is at a pretty high level,
as these strategies typically are. There's research, there's information
sharing, and then there are the three pillars: efficiencies within police
services, new models of community safety, and justice efficiencies.
Under each of those categories, there are three, four, or five
directions that are identified. Some of those areas we foresee,
because we know there's already a pretty strong consensus in the
policing community, particularly on the research and informationsharing side, for what we need to do. We've looked at other models
and we've done a lot of research, so we have a pretty good plan. It's
more a question now that once ministers approve it, we can begin
moving it forward. There will still be a lot of details to work through,
and there will be active consultations to do that.
Then there's another phase to the strategy: those areas where it's
going deeper. I mentioned, for example, common procurement of
equipment, which is something that we're seeing in other jurisdictions. That's a pretty big step for a number of police services and
jurisdictions. We have, based on the consultations to date, a
considerable level of support for that, but it's something where you
need to continue to do your research and further engagement and get
more input. There's a number of recommendations in that second
phase where particularly the views of this committee could be
tremendously helpful.
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Then there's the stuff that we haven't necessarily thought about, or
that anyone has thought about, as thoroughly as we should have.
Hopefully, the committee may have a few insights in that regard. I
don't see the strategy as being set at one point and that's it. The
strategy will be presented to ministers. It's at a pretty high level. It
contains a number of directions, but that strategy is going to continue
to evolve.
As I think a number of people have said, this period of
transformation and reform in policing is not a single point where
you decide what you're going to do and you move forward. There's a
lot of learning by doing and there's a lot of experimentation
happening, both in Canada and elsewhere, so the reactions of
governments and police services to this challenge are going to
continue to evolve.
I guess the short answer is that we're very much looking forward
to your study. I think it will be very helpful input, certainly for the
federal government, as well as all governments, and for police
services going forward.
Mr. Randall Garrison: Thank you for that reassurance. I know
that all members of the committee will be doing our best, within our
constraints, to get your input as soon as we can.
I have a concern about a phrase that appears a few times in your
presentation. It is “while respecting jurisdictional responsibilities”. It
seems to me that in emphasizing that phrase there's a danger that a
couple of things will be neglected. One of those is first nations
policing, which we've included as part of our study and which quite
often gets shuffled about, as many first nations issues do. Instead of
people actually tackling the issue, they point at each other and say,
“That's really your responsibility.” I have that concern about first
nations.
Secondly, it seems to me that the RCMP is not mentioned here.
While the RCMP does a lot of its policing under provincial
jurisdiction, it is a federal police force. While the strategy is not
aimed at any of the particular problems we have in the RCMP right
now, such as sexual harassment or the missing and murdered women
controversy—and I don't expect those to appear here—it seems
peculiar to me that the emphasis is always on municipal and
provincial policing and that we have no mention of the RCMP in
your document. I'm presuming that there may be some gaps, from
my point of view, in the strategy because of that.
● (1125)
Mr. Mark Potter: I think it's a fair question. What we've tried to
stress, and if I had more time I'd elaborate, is that the strategy is for
all policing—first nations, provincial, municipal, and RCMP. As to
the jurisdictional split, I think as you well know, the Minister of
Public Safety has a mandate to provide leadership for public safety
in Canada. That's the mandate upon which he is trying to show
initiative and advance the strategy. But clearly the Constitution Act
says the administration of justice is a provincial responsibility, and
we have to be extremely respectful of that.
It's about working through the FPT processes to build consensus
on a way forward. When we've been doing our consultations through
the associations with police services, we've been very cognizant of
ensuring that first nations are engaged in that process. That happens
in a number of ways through their involvement in the various
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associations for policing of which they are active members. They
have their own police association and we've been talking to them.
We talk to individual representatives of first nations police services.
We are very aware of the testimony that has been provided here.
There was in fact a conference last year in Whitehorse on remote
and northern policing that looked at the particular challenges. It's an
extremely challenging environment, as you know, to provide police
services in remote and northern communities. That element is one
that is very well considered. But the strategy itself you'll only see as
we begin to roll out various elements of it. Once it is approved, as we
hope it will be, we will see how we are going to make sure it
responds to first nations concerns.
The Minister of Public Safety is accountable for the RCMP to
Parliament. He has taken certain actions, and I've mentioned those
during previous times that I've been here.
The Chair: I believe Mr. Garrison has one more quick question.
He has about 15 seconds or so to get to you. Thank you very kindly.
Mr. Garrison, do you have a question?
Mr. Randall Garrison: Well, I appreciate the things mentioned
here. One of the things we'll need to grapple with is that
governments are awfully good at doing studies and compiling
information and then not actually doing anything. I look forward to
our committee considering what the federal government could do in
some of these areas instead of just thinking about it. I'm a former
academic and I believe in evidence-based policy. But at some point,
you have to take action. I'm a little concerned that we're lacking
action in all of this.
The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Garrison and Mr. Potter.
Mr. Miller.
Mr. Larry Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, CPC): Yes,
thank you, Mr. Chairman. It's good to be sitting in on this committee.
Mr. Potter, I appreciated your presentation and your answers.
I'm going to turn the channel a little bit here. I was in municipal
government for 12 and a half years, and I still follow my local
government. The big issue out there today, and it was a concern
when I was on local council, is rising policing costs. In every
municipality in my riding, that seems to be in the papers almost
weekly.
One thing has come to my attention over the last couple of years,
and I'd like you to comment on it. We all know about the seat belt
blitzes and RIDE programs. Now the big one seems to be distracted
driver blitzes, because of texting and what have you. I understand
that they are all part of policing and educating the public. But one
thing does concern me, and personally I think it's wrong. It has come
to my attention that police don't do it on their regular policing shifts.
They bring in officers, all on overtime, to do them. This seems to
occur in all police forces, although I'm not sure about the RCMP.
Anyway, I'd just like your comments on that, whether you think
that's right. There's no doubt in my mind that this has a huge effect
on driving up local policing costs.
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● (1130)
Mr. Mark Potter: First, with the utmost respect, I would have to
say that it's not the role of the federal government to comment on the
operations of particular police services in this country, including the
RCMP. That is a clear delineation in law and there are good reasons
for it. So I'm reluctant to comment.
I can comment on studies and analyses that have been done. Let's
take the Vancouver Police Department. They had an overtime
problem in the mid-2000s. Overtime was an increasingly growing
share of their budget and it just wasn't sustainable. Edmonton has
had similar challenges, as have many police forces. They've looked
at what is causing that overtime and how they can contain it.
Whether it's court appearances, which often involve officers wasting
a lot of their time sitting around courtrooms, as you've heard in this
committee, or whether it's some of the other examples you gave. I
know that's an area of focus for them. When they look at demand
management and the best use of their resources, often overtime is a
key starting point.
Mr. Larry Miller: Right, and I'm glad to hear that you recognize
it's probably part of the problem.
What I was asking you for was not about the legalities of whether
you can comment or not. I think from a personal standpoint you
could have, but I'm not going to dwell on that.
I have the utmost respect for policing. I put the police on the same
pedestal as nurses, doctors, and paramedics. I'm not going to get into
the wages. I don't think they're underpaid, but I'm certainly not going
to sit here and say they're overpaid. That's a discussion people will
always have. I think overtime is an issue.
One other thing I've noticed, which you could comment on, is that
when it comes to accidents—both major and minor accidents, in my
opinion—the police almost appear to be working for the insurance
companies. They seem to be there. The roads are now closed for
hours, where they didn't used to be. Roads might have been reduced
to one lane, but at least that would keep the traffic moving. But most
police tell me, and I have family members in it, that it's basically
there to CYA, meaning cover your butt, when it comes to insurance
investigations.
While I'd like to think that policing has always been done
thoroughly, I wonder what the reason for the change is, because the
appearance is that they're working for the insurance companies, as
much as anything.
November 5, 2013
Mr. Larry Miller: I'm glad to hear they are recovering that cost. I
think a lot of people, including me, weren't aware of that.
To go back to overtime, one thing I've always sympathized with
police over is all the work and paperwork they have to do. Then,
whether or not it's their day off, they have to attend court cases
whenever they occur. Quite often I think, and I'd like you to
comment on it, whether it's due to our judicial system or just
lawyers, a lot of cases end up getting remanded and are basically a
waste of policing time.
Could you comment on that, and how the federal government
could possibly make some changes that might help that situation?
You're never going to eliminate it, I realize that.
Mr. Mark Potter: When the Canadian Police Association came
here, they talked about a number of concerns in that regard. They
talked in particular about disclosure and the disclosure of all
documents, evidence, and information to the judiciary in moving
forward with a case. They highlighted the incredible burden that's
often placed on police to prepare that information. I think the
solution is not only things like processes but also things like
technology. How are we using information technology to streamline
and make that process as efficient as possible, so that the officers are
able to minimize the time they're spending on administrative
paperwork but still ensure, for due process, that the information
the courts require is conveyed?
When we say we want to engage under that third pillar of justice
efficiencies with the justice community, we're respectful of the
independence of courts, but we would like to ensure that as they
reform themselves, whether through procedural change or use of
technology, they're aware of policing priorities and the policing
implications of everything they do. Document discovery is one very
good example, highlighted by other witnesses to this committee,
where there needs to be some streamlining, possibly through the use
of technology, to make that a lot more efficient. What we can do is
convey those concerns.
We can also look at what the best practices are, for example,
through learning events on the use of technology more broadly in
policing. What's happening in the U.K., Australia, and the U.S. to
streamline those and many other processes through the use of
technology?
● (1135)
The Chair: That's the end, Mr. Potter.
Mr. Mark Potter: I think one of the benefits of this issue of the
economics of policing is that it has started a public debate. Police
services, police boards, and their residents are talking about what it is
the police do and how they do it, and about issues such as cost
recovery.
Hon. Wayne Easter (Malpeque, Lib.): Thank you, Mr. Chair.
That's fine.
In Ottawa, for example, the Ottawa Police Service has brought
forward a program of cost recovery for exactly what you're talking
about. When they prepare an accident report, often it is primarily, but
not exclusively, for the benefit of an insurance company. They have
adapted their policies and their related cost-recovery fees to fully
cost recover the preparation of those reports and to charge the
insurance companies for that. I think there are movements afoot to
do that.
First, is any research being done on the economics? Maybe it has
come from a previous witness. To be quite honest, I'm just getting up
to speed on this particular study. In terms of the amount of time—
Larry mentioned it. That seems to be one of the complaints I hear,
the amount of time spent on paperwork, what police officers figure is
useless paperwork, but in terms of the cost of policing, how does the
human component, if I could put it that way, compare with the
equipment infrastructure costs?
I appreciate your just snipping off on that, but I think we should
give Mr. Easter an opportunity now.
November 5, 2013
SECU-03
Chair, I look at the Hill, and one day I counted 14 RCMP cars
sitting idle on the Hill.
How much money is spent on basic equipment infrastructure
technology versus people who are out on the street policing? Is there
any way we can get that information, or do you have it?
Mr. Mark Potter: I think you've raised an issue that's pretty
complex in many respects. It gets at the issues of technology, of how
you're deploying your police officers, of tiered policing, and the use
of civilians to provide support to police.
I know a number of jurisdictions have looked at models whereby
the police, who, as mentioned, are highly trained to deal with a wide
range of outcomes and scenarios whenever they are called to an
incident...that's their main value added. They can deal with
everything from trying to talk down a person to using lethal force,
and no one else can do that, so that's a tremendously important skill
set. You want to ensure that those individuals are deployed to the
right sorts of tasks.
Having that sort of individual with those complex skill sets
writing reports and spending six or seven hours on a “driving under
the influence” charge is not necessarily always the best use of that
officer's time. So how can you adjust the processes by streamlining
them, how can you use technology more effectively to convey the
information throughout the process, and how can you engage other
individuals—civilian support staff—who can take on some of those
functions? There are examples when the police might be called to
deal with a particular incident. They will contain the situation, they
will get it under control, and then you might have a community
safety officer, an auxiliary police officer, or a civilian take over the
process and wrap it up by preparing paperwork and so on.
I think police are experimenting with different approaches, and the
U.K. is a good example of this, to ensure those highly trained
resources are deployed in the circumstances and the amount of time
they are required to be deployed, and then you have others who can
back them up and support them to deal with the more routine
paperwork, administrative tasks associated with providing the sort of
support the court system and citizens expect them to be able to
convey.
Hon. Wayne Easter: Is any work being done on the number of
inefficiencies created for police officers themselves by the court
system? I think Larry outlined it.
I have talked to police officers who have gone back and forth to
court when they should have been on the road. Yes, sometimes it's
on their day off, but it ties up a phenomenal amount of time with
what I would say are a lot of inefficiencies within the court system
itself.
Is there any data, or is there something we can be recommending
in that regard to make the two work together more efficiently?
● (1140)
Mr. Mark Potter: I'd refer to what's happening in British
Columbia. They have taken a pretty careful look at their justice
system. There have been a number of reports, including those of Mr.
Cowper, and the government has developed an action plan on that
basis.
7
One of the things they are looking at is the integrated management
of the entire court system and how that links to the police interface to
ensure that all the processes and all the technologies are as efficient
and streamlined as possible. Often when you have these silos, you
create procedures that are not efficient.
One of the very simple things they look at is things like
scheduling of officers to make court appearances, and ensuring those
schedules are done in such a way that they meet court needs while
also meeting the officers' needs, in particular scheduling them, not
through overtime but when he or she is on a regular shift, and asking
them to come in when they know they are not likely to be as busy.
Perhaps more fundamentally, particularly for minor matters, use
technology, use video conferences, have them potentially in their car
or in the station providing testimony. This can't always be done in
more serious cases, but a lot of the matters they deal with are fairly
minor, and having them sit in a courtroom is not a good use of their
time in many cases.
Hon. Wayne Easter: On page nine you mention that in Canada
there is minimal related research capacity, no central repository of
accessible research information, etc. Are there other countries that
we can look at where that kind of system is working well and that we
can use as a model in that area?
Mr. Mark Potter: I think, as you heard from Professor Curt
Griffiths from Simon Fraser University, who's actually on our
steering committee and a very prominent academic in the field of
policing in Canada, we are well behind all of the G-8 countries in
terms of our research capacity, the infrastructure to support it, and
the existence in many countries of repositories.
As mentioned to this committee previously, there is a website in
the U.S. run by the Department of Justice called crimesolutions.gov,
and it's a tremendously useful and user-friendly site. Basically, if you
want to look at crime prevention models, for example, it will give
you a long list of all the crime prevention models that exist, both in
the United States and elsewhere around the world. Most importantly
—and this is where we want to get to ultimately with our index—it
will give you information on independent evaluations of those
programs. You can look at a program such as the broken windows
program in New York, which has been around for quite a while now,
and see how effective it is. It has had a lot of attention in terms of
some of the very positive outcomes that it's contributed to in the
New York area, and it's been applied in many other jurisdictions
now. But what is the independent evaluation saying about that and
many other programs?
It's got a nice user-friendly format, where if there have been a
number of positive evaluations, it will get multiple tick marks and it
will be a green sort of emblem, so you know if you're looking to
implement a program like that to get at the roots of crime and crime
prevention, particularly in crime hot spots, what the tested and true
methods are out there. Many police services, particularly the medium
and smaller ones, don't know where to turn to find that kind of
information. By having a database of information, with contacts,
with actual people, they can call up and say, “Look, I read about your
program. It's got a lot of positive evaluations, and I'd like to talk to
you more about it, so perhaps we could meet.”
The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Potter. I appreciate that very much.
8
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November 5, 2013
We ran a little over on that, so we will now go to Madame Doré
Lefebvre, s'il vous plaît.
[Translation]
Ms. Rosane Doré Lefebvre (Alfred-Pellan, NDP): Thank you
very much, Mr. Chair.
review cases, to review situations of at-risk youth, at-risk families,
and the kinds of interventions that might be most helpful to those
individuals. So it's a couple of individuals from your police service,
the time they're spending in these meetings, and some administration
or clerical support around that to organize the meetings.
Mr. Potter, it is a pleasure to welcome you to our committee once
more. Thank you for coming to answer our questions. I enjoyed
listening to your opening remarks.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. More fundamentally, these
models are about working with communities more directly and more
proactively. That ultimately requires considerable resources from the
police.
A number of my questions have to do with those remarks and with
what my colleague Mr. Garrison said about First Nations. Let me
start there.
Could you tell me if, at the end of the month, First Nations' police
associations will be invited to meet with the provincial ministers at
their meeting in Whitehorse?
● (1145)
Mr. Mark Potter: Thank you for the question.
[English]
I don't believe they will be there because this is a ministerial
meeting of federal-provincial-territorial ministers of public safety
and justice. To be completely honest with you, I'm presenting on this
topic. I'm not involved in organizing the whole event, and I think
there are 30 to 40 agenda items the ministers will be discussing.
I don't believe first nations representatives are actually direct
participants in the meeting. However, having said that, I know that
particularly in my area and in many others, ministers do look to
officials and have the high expectation that they will have engaged
with a whole range of communities, including first nations
communities when they bring forward proposals. That's often an
issue that is raised. I know from previous discussions among
ministers that first nations policing is a top-of-mind concern.
[Translation]
Ms. Rosane Doré Lefebvre: Thank you very much.
A lot of your opening statement was based on three pillars. For the
second one, I noticed, you mentioned new models of community
safety. My question is about the funding of that initiative.
Do you have an idea about the type of funding that will be
required, given that our police service funding is under specific
attack? What do you have in mind when you mention that pillar?
[English]
Mr. Mark Potter: I think that's a good question, and one that I'm
not really in the best position to answer. I can refer to the testimony
from Dale McFee, who is now the deputy minister in Saskatchewan
for public safety and was the head of the Prince Albert Police
Service, the service in Canada that brought that model over from
Scotland.
I know from talking to Mr. McFee and reading about the hub and
the community mobilization initiative that certainly to start it's not a
tremendously expensive undertaking. Really, it requires a police
service to commit one or two of your police officers on a regular
basis to participate in ongoing meetings with all community and
social services agencies. They will meet once, twice a week to
There are the hubs themselves, but then there's the whole
philosophy of community and neighbourhood policing and proactive
and integrated policing, which requires for many police services
quite a shift in their orientation to devote a considerable portion—
and I've heard figures of 30% to 40%—of police officers' time to
engaging with community members, not to respond to incidents, but
just to spend time in the communities talking to members of the
community, understanding the challenges they're facing, gathering
information on what's happening in the communities and helping
them to adapt to some of the challenges they're facing, providing
information on social service supports that are available to them and
directing them to those agencies. There are various steps, shall we
say, in terms of taking a model like the hub model in Saskatchewan
and effectively applying it.
[Translation]
Ms. Rosane Doré Lefebvre: Thank you very much.
How much time do I have left, Mr. Chair?
[English]
The Chair: You have about 30 seconds maximum.
[Translation]
Ms. Rosane Doré Lefebvre: This will not be easy to do in
30 seconds.
You said some extremely interesting things about this, Mr. Potter
[English]
I'm looking forward to that meeting to see what's going to happen
in Whitehorse.
[Translation]
Are the provincial public safety ministers at all open to this?
[English]
Mr. Mark Potter: Absolutely. This will be the third time I've
presented to ministers, and they've been tremendously supportive.
This is a pretty interesting issue on which ministers and yourselves
are, frankly, getting ahead of an important public policy challenge. I
think that shows a lot of leadership from all governments and
parliamentarians.
● (1150)
The Chair: Thank you very much.
Mr. Payne, please.
Mr. LaVar Payne (Medicine Hat, CPC): Thank you, Chair. My
question is through you to Mr. Potter.
November 5, 2013
SECU-03
It's nice to see you back here again, Mr. Potter. It's a really
interesting study that we've had here, and we've seen a lot of
interesting things from various communities right across the country,
and also down south, where we attended as part of our committee.
One of the things I've noticed in my local community that has
been reported many times is that the Medicine Hat city police are the
second-highest paid in the country, which I find quite outstanding,
actually. That obviously relates to a number of questions that we've
seen. You've talked a bit about those, that when you talk to these
officers they say they get really frustrated at having to go to court
and then it's remanded for whatever reason, and they're going back
two or three times. And a lot of times this is on overtime. So you're
not just talking about regular salary; you're talking whatever it is—
time and a half or double time, depending on their circumstances. So
certainly some improvements from the court side....
You also talked about getting rid of the silos and working together.
I think that's a really important aspect.
However, I want to touch on some of your comments in your
opening presentation. You were talking about shared information on
policies, practices, the efficiencies, and you did talk about the launch
of the index in August. I'm wondering if you have any further
thoughts that you wanted to express to us on those particular ideas.
Mr. Mark Potter: Thank you.
I'll start with your first comment. It echoes a number of your
colleagues' comments about court time and the efficiency of using
officers in that way.
I don't want to sound like a broken record, but the index, the
sharing of best practices, can be a tremendously helpful way for all
police services to deal with that issue. If there are police services in
Canada or elsewhere that have found the right approach to engage
with the court system and use their officers' time as efficiently as
possible, it's very helpful to share that information so that you don't
have every jurisdiction and every police service trying to figure this
all out for themselves. We have seen examples...simple matters of
establishing liaison with prosecutors and the administration to ensure
the scheduling is done in a way that works for both parties. At the
national level, there are justice reform initiatives under way to ensure
that technology can be more widely used in cases and to allow
officers to appear through video conference where that makes sense
to do so.
Really, what we're looking at in Canada is recognizing that there
are different jurisdictional responsibilities. It's not for the federal
government to dictate the operations of particular police services, but
I think where it makes sense to share information, to collaborate, and
to talk about what's working well in one place or another, it can be
tremendously helpful to the policing community.
Frankly, we haven't had the infrastructure to do that in this
country. We haven't had the willingness to engage in that kind of
sharing. But that's changing. That's one of the big outcomes of the
last few years of the summit, this committee's work, the greater
public profile around policing costs, and improving efficiency and
effectiveness of already very strong police services in this country.
How we can continue to meet the high expectations of Canadians
9
and to make policing ever more efficient is ultimately the goal of the
strategy.
Mr. LaVar Payne: I understand that through some of these
processes, the technology and information sharing, we can save
upwards of $1 billion. I'm not sure if that's an appropriate cost, but
maybe you could comment on that.
Mr. Mark Potter: I'm not sure anyone has broken down the $12.9
billion that we spend annually on policing, for example, how much
of that is officers attending court on overtime or what have you. I
haven't seen a study that does that. I think it would be tremendously
difficult to break the data down to that level of information. It may
exist, and perhaps some police services do track it. Certainly
anecdotally we hear, as you've all heard, many examples of police
officers spending a lot of time waiting around in courtrooms and
nothing happens.
Mr. LaVar Payne: Mr. Potter, could you make a quick comment
on the funding for youth gang prevention? I believe the funding we
put into it was $37.5 million and an ongoing amount of about $7.5
million. How do you see that as being part of this solution that we're
looking at?
● (1155)
Mr. Mark Potter: I think the federal government—and, frankly,
all governments—has tried to take a balanced approach, whether it's
strengthening laws on the one hand or focusing on crime prevention
and support to communities on the other.
We have the National Crime Prevention Centre in Canada; I think
that's what you were referring to. They have a number of programs.
I'm not directly involved in that, so I can't comment on the specific
numbers. My colleagues in the Department of Public Safety run that
work with a number of NGOs and other community organizations to
ensure these programs are available to help at-risk youth and families
and put them on the right trajectory, get at the roots of crime, which
is ultimately where I think we all want to go.
The Chair: Thank you very much.
Mr. Rousseau, s'il vous plaît.
[Translation]
Mr. Jean Rousseau (Compton—Stanstead, NDP): Thank you
very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you for joining us today, Mr. Potter.
I have two concerns on which I would like your comments. You
mentioned the collaboration, the cooperation between all police
forces. In my riding, the Border Services Agency, the RCMP, the
municipal police force and the Sûreté du Québec often have to
cooperate on various activities and when joint action is called for.
The people I talk to tell me that they lack the resources to accomplish
the tasks that the various police forces should be sharing. They do
not have the human resources, or the financial resources to be
involved in some situations and to respond to the requests.
Could you comment on that?
10
SECU-03
November 5, 2013
[English]
● (1200)
Mr. Mark Potter: I think once again I'd make the caveat...and I
don't mean to sound unhelpful, but for a federal government official
like myself to comment on the operations of particular agencies,
whether they're federal or provincial, is not entirely appropriate.
The Chair: We've just lost translation for a second. Please give us
a moment.
I do know, in talking to many different police services and
agencies and provincial and municipal governments, that there's a
sense, with the $12.9 billion we're spending annually, that there's a
lot of money spent on policing, as well as on border services and
elsewhere. The question is more how are we using those resources
and ensuring...before you begin asking for additional resources?
We see this particularly in the case of municipalities, where they're
regularly going to their police boards and their city councils and
saying, we need more resources for this, and increasingly city
councils are saying, okay, but we'd like to hear how you're achieving
your results with what you have and what you are doing to employ
those resources more efficiently and effectively. If you can then
demonstrate to them...and Vancouver is another good example of
this. When they ran into a fiscal crisis their municipal council pushed
back on their increasing requests for resources and more officers, and
said, hold on, you need to show us how you are achieving the results
with what you already have.
It's about gathering data on results, presenting that to your city
council, and ultimately allowing them to make the decision. I know
in the case of Vancouver they basically went to their city council and
said, look, with the front-line policing resources we have right now
we can give you response times to priority one calls of 15 minutes. If
you want that response time to be 10 minutes, then you're going to
need x number of resources. That's a public policy strategic direction
decision that a council, a police board, is able to make.
The police can lay out the implications of particular funding
situations. The groups you've talked about, for example, I think have
a responsibility to go to their funders and say, here's what we're
doing, here are the results we're achieving, and here are the things
we've done to improve efficiency and effectiveness. If you want us to
do more and if you want us to focus on these particular areas, these
are the implications and these are the resources we're going to
require.
[Translation]
Mr. Jean Rousseau: Thank you very much.
Here is my other concern. You said that police officers and police
forces are increasingly dealing with unconventional crimes committed by the homeless or by the mentally ill, as well as more and
more sophisticated crimes like human trafficking, youth prostitution
and cyberbullying. So it is clear that updating the training given to
police officers and police forces is all the more important in our
modern world.
How can we square that with a new approach to the economics of
policing?
[English]
Mr. Mark Potter: I think you're right. The police are dealing with
a tremendous range of crimes and new crimes that are emerging.
[Translation]
It is fine; you can continue.
[English]
Mr. Mark Potter: You don't have to look too far. I think in the
Globe and Mail today there's a report from Europe where a nongovernmental organization there was essentially using a technique of
putting information about child sexual exploitation on line and
seeing how many individuals from around the world were accessing
that information. They were absolutely startling numbers, the
number of people who were going on to that website for the
purpose of child sexual exploitation. They were able to link that to
individuals in many places, including Canada.
The resources not only...and this is just an NGO, but the police
themselves have units that are tracking this sort of behaviour, and it's
very complex, very time consuming, requiring technical skills that
are often tremendously difficult to develop and then maintain. These
are emerging areas that are very important to Canadians.
The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr. Potter and Mr. Rousseau.
Mr. Weston, please.
Mr. Rodney Weston (Saint John, CPC): Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Potter, welcome. I'm one of the new members on the
committee, and I certainly look forward to playing an active role in
the committee. This study is very interesting.
I have a question around the shared forward agenda that you
mentioned in your comments today. My question is with respect to
what's involved in the agenda. You talk about how it's being
developed through collaboration with governments and police
associations and whatnot. I guess where I'm going with this is that
we all understand that police are being asked to do much more than
they were 30 years ago. There are new dimensions in society now
that they didn't have to deal with back in those days, 25 to 30 years
ago—whether it's Internet crimes or some of the mental health issues
you talked about. The police can be spending many hours at
hospitals dealing with individuals who have mental health issues.
I hear a lot of people talking about the time police are spending on
administrative duties and the time they are spending in courts. Those
are issues police had in the past as well. Courtroom time was always
an issue for police, to ensure prosecutions were completed.
Administrative issues were always there because you want to make
sure every detail is recorded for the prosecution.
However, with the shared forward agenda and the talk of
collaboration, my mind went to the collaborative care model of
health care. When health care providers are dealing with something
that is outside of their normal areas of expertise, it's triaged and
moved to another area.
November 5, 2013
SECU-03
Is there any thought given under the shared forward agenda to...I
don't want to use the collaborative health care model or a triage
model, but to some sort of model like that? If police are dealing with
a mental health issue that's outside of the policing realm per se...there
are not criminal charges that would be followed up on in that nature.
Is there any thought to being able to move this to somebody who is...
I don't want to say better suited, but better trained to deal with those
issues?
Mr. Mark Potter: I think there has been a lot of progress in this
area, but it's mixed. So in dealing with individuals with mental health
issues, it's often a two-pronged approach. You've heard from certain
police chiefs in this regard. They will go on patrol with a public
health nurse. You'll have a police officer and a public health nurse in
the car responding to incidents, to allow for the proper engagement
with individuals with mental health issues. So there are particular
things like that, which frankly, in some police services, have been
around for 30 years. Other police services are only just starting to do
it. That's why I said there's a bit of a mixed bag.
There's the training that is given to police officers to make them
aware of the signs and symptoms of mental health issues, which has
grown pretty significantly, both in the basic training and in the
refresher training that police get. There are other things that have
been happening. For example, in the Yukon, as a result of a
particular incident there, they've done a review and made some
reforms to their policing system and how they engage with various
partners, including mental health. One of them is when you're
bringing in an individual who's displaying signs of mental health
issues, how do you get them quickly into the health care system?
What has often happened in most jurisdictions is the police will
take such an individual to the emergency ward, and because the
individual may have the potential for violence, the police are
required to remain in the emergency ward. That's the Sudbury
example. I was actually on a ride along with RCMP in Whitehorse
not too long ago where this exact situation happened, where an
individual had to go to the emergency department, and there were
five police officers standing around the bed for two hours. This was
because of other priorities, and the doctors didn't have a chance to
deal with this individual and give them the help they needed.
So what you have—and this is starting to emerge now in the
Yukon and elsewhere—are MOUs in place with the health care
system that say when we're bringing in certain types of individuals,
please let us go to a particular part of the hospital where there are
people trained to assess these individuals, determine what condition
they're in, and how they can best be helped. The police are then
better able to hand them off to a secure, helpful environment for the
individual without the police—
● (1205)
The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr. Potter. I appreciate that.
M. Pilon, s'il vous plaît.
[Translation]
Mr. François Pilon (Laval—Les Îles, NDP): Thank you,
Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Mr. Potter.
11
In your presentation, you say: “The main principles behind the
evolving strategy are to cooperate collectively in those areas where it
makes sense to do so…and to adopt a comprehensive and holistic
approach to public safety”.
In your opinion, where does it make sense to do so?
Here is the second part of my question. In my riding, I have
39 cultural communities. Given that each community is different, do
you think that there can be a comprehensive and global approach in
an environment like that?
[English]
Mr. Mark Potter: I think we're trying to be very sensitive in
developing the strategy to be respectful of the operational decisions
particular police services need to make. They need to make those
decisions in consultation with their residents. This isn't a matter
certainly for the federal government or even for provincial and
municipal governments to necessarily dictate. This is something the
police, who work very intimately with their communities and know
their communities and work with community residents, community
groups, community activists, understand and know how best to serve
that community. So through the strategy we're operating at a fairly
high level in terms of the kinds of actions and collaboration we
foresee. Many of these actions are facilitative. They're meant to
provide the tools, the information, and the knowledge that allows
police services to adapt them and apply them as they see fit.
This isn't a one-size-fits-all strategy. This is giving the tools, the
information, to allow particular governments, particular police
services, in response to their residents' needs, the right kind of
service as efficiently as possible. Through the strategy we are not
trying to dictate particular approaches. We're trying to keep this at a
fairly high level that will allow that essential operational
independence to continue to exist for police services. They can
draw on this information as they see fit.
[Translation]
Mr. François Pilon: I am new to the committee too. Could you
tell me if the province of Québec and the Sûreté du Québec are
taking part in the work that is going on?
Mr. Mark Potter: Absolutely.
[English]
The agreement and the direction that has been provided by FPT
ministers is all ministers, including the ministers of public safety and
justice from the Province of Quebec. They were part of that
consensus in asking us to hold the summit, develop the index of
policing initiatives, and ultimately to bring forward a shared forward
agenda or strategy for policing.
I don't want to prejudge what will ultimately be decided by
ministers, but I think there's been a tremendous level of collaboration
among all governments in dealing with this issue. I think part of that
success is the nature of the approach we're taking, which is to be
respectful of jurisdictional responsibilities and not develop this in a
way that could be perceived or construed as the federal government
imposing particular solutions on particular jurisdictions. We've had a
very good level of cooperation with all the provinces, including
Quebec.
12
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● (1210)
[Translation]
Mr. François Pilon: Some of the things you mentioned in your
presentation were websites and targeted learning activities. Do they
help to bring the crime rate down? In general, do these new
technologies give good results?
[English]
Mr. Mark Potter: I think that's a broad question, and you'd have
to look at particular initiatives, particular jurisdictions. Certainly,
overall, we're seeing a decline in the reported crime rate right across
Canada. That's not necessarily the case in every single jurisdiction
and for every single crime. You're seeing some crime spikes,
particularly in the west and in the north, in particular areas that are of
concern.
In terms of crime prevention models, part of the challenge is that
we don't necessarily know what's working and how effectively it's
working. This is the research challenge, and ultimately the
information-sharing challenge. When there are programs that appear
to be generating positive results, do we have the data, do we have the
independent evaluation of those to confirm that, yes, that's the right
kind of approach? Then, even if you do have the right kind of
approach, you don't necessarily simply transfer that directly to some
other jurisdiction. You have to take into account the different
November 5, 2013
communities you're dealing with and ensure that you align that
approach appropriately with wherever else you may want to apply it.
The Chair: That's it. Thank you.
Colleagues, we have now finished our round of questioning.
At this time, I would like to thank you, Mr. Potter, not just for
today but also for the substantive information you've provided to this
committee over the number of times you've been here. It's deeply
appreciated. On behalf of all the committee, thank you very much.
I'd like to thank my colleagues from all sides of the House for their
interventions and their comments today.
We will have a motion for adjournment very shortly, I would
expect, but before we do that, I might serve notice to the committee
that at our Thursday meeting, the chair has an intention to reserve the
last few minutes for future business. I just bring that to your attention
so that you can possibly come prepared for that, should the
committee decide that's equitable, at that time.
I'm open for a motion. It is moved by Mr. Norlock and seconded
by Mr. Garrison.
We are adjourned to the call of the chair.
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