Former SQ Officer Alain Juneau, Accused of Abuse of Aboriginals, Found Dead at Home

alain-juneau

Alain Juneau was facing charges dating back to the 1990s, when he was a Sûreté du Québec officer in the northern village of Schefferville, Que. (Radio-Canada)

Red Power Media | January 4, 2017

MONTREAL — The coroner’s office in Quebec confirmed Wednesday it is investigating the death of a retired officer recently charged with sexual assault in connection with an investigation into claims of abuse against indigenous women.

Alain Juneau, 56, died in his home Sunday in Rimouski, 300 kilometres northeast of Quebec City, coroner’s office spokeswoman Genevieve Guilbault said by email.

“His death is currently under investigation by a coroner and any information related to the probable cause and circumstances surrounding his death will be included in the coroner’s report, which will be made public in the coming months,” she said.

Juneau, a retired provincial police officer, was charged in November with sexual assault and assault, allegedly committed between 1992 and 1994 in Schefferville, a town on the Lower North Shore.

He was one of two retired officers charged after Montreal police concluded a high-profile investigation into claims that indigenous women in northern Quebec were abused by police.

Originally six provincial police officers in the northern town of Val-d’Or were accused of physically and sexually abusing indigenous women following an investigative report by Radio-Canada in 2015.

Quebec’s Public Security Department mandated the Montreal police force to investigate the allegations.

By April 2016, Montreal police had 38 cases of complaints of police abuse, including rape, sexual assault, harassment and so-called “starlight tours,” where police would allegedly take people against their will and drive them far outside town and abandon them.

In November, Crown prosecutors concluded there wasn’t enough evidence to charge any of the six provincial police officers originally accused, but brought charges against Juneau and another officer for alleged assault committed in a separate northern town.

Premier Philippe Couillard announced in December the creation of a provincial inquiry into relations between First Nations peoples and various government-run bodies, including the police.

Source: The Canadian Press

Obedjiwan Strikes Deal To Take Back Local Policing From SQ

Obedjiwan police have faced chronic funding issues for the past several years. (Obedjiwan)

Obedjiwan police have faced chronic funding issues for the past several years. (Obedjiwan)

But long-term solution to funding issues remains elusive

CBC News Posted: Apr 27, 2016

An Atikamekw First Nation in the Mauricie region will reinstate the community police force it dissolved earlier this month due to a funding shortage.

The Sûreté du Québec has been policing Obedjiwan — 200 kilometres west of Roberval, Que. — since the band council decided to disband its police force of 22 officers.

Obedjiwan’s leaders said the move was necessary because the Quebec government failed to provide $600,000 in additional funding promised to the community to keep its police force afloat.

The band council said Wednesday that it had reached a temporary deal with the federal and provincial governments that will allow it take over policing from the SQ beginning May 1.

They described the negotiations as “not easy” and stressed that a permanent solution to the funding issue still needs to be found.

“We were not completely satisfied, and the discussions are still ongoing to resolve certain financial aspects,” Chief Christian Awashish said in a news release.

The band has been seeking more money since 2012.

A 2015 study conducted by the SQ concluded the Obedjiwan police force required between $2.6 million and $3.2 million to operate. But it currently only receives about $2.2 million in annual financing – which works out to about $42,000 a week.

The cost of having provincial police take over local police duties was estimated at $100,000 per week.

Awashish said even though a long-term solution still needs to be found, he welcomed the return of the local force.

“The public security of the community is much better served by our own Aboriginal police force than it could be by the Sûreté du Québec,” Awashish said in the statement.

“The community breathes easier now and is happy at the return of its police.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/opticiwan-first-nations-quebec-police-force-sq-takes-back-1.3556101