Several years ago, KZA began to address serious incidents of anti-Indigenous racism and related failures in O.P.P. services to its community with O.P.P. Commissioner Carrique and other senior O.P.P. officers from the O.P.P. Armstrong and Thunder Bay detachments.
The Backgrounder attached to this Release provides details of three (3) of those incidents which have gone wholly unaddressed by the local O.P.P. leaders and Commissioner Carrique, who together undertook to investigate and respond to KZA who filed formal complaints on behalf of the victims.
Despite assertions of the O.P.P. to the contrary, the complainants and witnesses have not been interviewed and no resolution through accountability has been provided to KZA or the victims themselves.
More recently, there have been continuing failures in O.P.P. service to KZA, in which O.P.P. officers refused to attend the community at all or to address endangerment of KZA members and property when in attendance. Just last week, two (2) O.P.P. officers simply drove away from a heavily impaired driver who was terrorizing KZA leadership, endangering other community members and damaging property. During this same time period, they also refused to attend and enforce a KZA BCR regarding the return of a violent offender who was banished from KZA to protect an elderly relative from continuing abuse.
Pursuant to s.19 of the Police Services Act, the O.P.P. are required to provide policing services to KZA, subject only to the policing jurisdiction of KZA and its Constables.
Due to the perpetual, gross underfunding of KZA policing services by Canada and Ontario, pursuant to the Ontario First Nation Policing Agreement, KZA is often left without its own policing coverage. There are too few officers, facing inequitable pay, benefits, pensions, equipment, training and infrastructure, to address all incidents. When one (1) or more of the three (3) KZA Constables are ill or on vacation, training or leave, often due to the inequitable funding conditions, it is the responsibility of O.P.P. to provide all necessary services for protection of KZA.
KZA is calling upon O.P.P. Commissioner Carrique to immediately engage with it in nation-to-nation level discussions regarding the provision of O.P.P. policing services to KZA and its community members as required for community safety and by law.
KZA is also calling upon O.P.P. Commissioner Carrique to immediately engage with it in nation-to nation level discussions to demonstrate transparency and accountability of the O.P.P. in response to the three (3) existing formal complaints filed by KZA on behalf of the victims.