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Saskatchewan government says RCMP declining to participate in Clare’s Law


June 22, 2020
By The Canadian Press

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government says it’s disappointed the RCMP has declined to participate in a new measure aimed at preventing people from becoming victims of domestic violence.

The province said legislation will come into effect next week allowing police services to warn someone about a partner’s abusive past. Partners will be able to request this information from police and officers will also be permitted to share it with someone they deem to be at risk.

But the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice said the RCMP, which handles policing in most of rural Saskatchewan, won’t be participating.

“We are extremely disappointed,” Justice Minister Don Morgan said in a letter to the federal minister of public safety.

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He said representatives from the RCMP have been involved in developing the legislation since at least last June and it wasn’t until last week government officials were informed of the national force’s position.

The RCMP could not immediately be reached for comment.

In his letter, Morgan said the RCMP is citing an undisclosed legal opinion, but the government is still unclear as to why the force made the decision, and wants it reviewed by Ottawa.

“To now be advised that the RCMP, in its capacity as the Saskatchewan provincial police service, is refusing to comply with this process is beyond disappointing,” he wrote.

“We cannot accept that the RCMP cannot find a possible solution to their concerns, whatever they may be.”

Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador have also introduced similar legislation.

The legislation is modelled after Clare’s Law in the United Kingdom, which was developed after Clare Wood was murdered by a partner who police knew had a violent record.

– Stephanie Taylor

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2020

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2020