[Ontario ombudsman Andre Marin has been called “a feisty, fearless champion of the underdog — and a constant thorn in the side of the government.” He’s probably Canada’s strongest advocate of police accountability.

Marin formerly led Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, which investigates police misconduct in that province. But he’s also the SIU’s most outspoken critic. In his 2008 report Oversight Unseen, he castigated the SIU’s staff of ex-cops for their bias in favour of police.

Despite the SIU’s faults, Marin says B.C.’s system of investigating police misconduct is even worse.

Marin addressed a Vancouver forum just one day after Vancouver cops beat up an innocent man, Yao Wei Wu. This brief CKNW report seems to be the only media coverage of Marin’s speech.]

Forum: In custody deaths

CKNW (AM980), Jan. 22, 2010

The former head of Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit says BC could adopt a similar system so police don’t investigate police.

At a forum on in-custody deaths in Vancouver, Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin says while his province’s system isn’t perfect, it is more accountable.

“There are a lot of weasel words going around. We’re talking about civilians riding shotgun in an investigation. We’re talking about empowering civilians to conduct an investigation from beginning to end, and decide whether or not to charge the police officers. If you start from that basic premise, then that organization should have control of the investigation, not in the hands of the police.”

The Forum touched on the controversial in-custody deaths of Frank Paul, Ian Bush and Robert Dziekanski, among others.

The event was sponsored by the BC Civil Liberties Association.

Back to News and Comment page