Tag Archives: Sûreté du Québec

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

Sindy Ruperthouse Homicide: Police Issue $40K Reward

Family members say Sindy Ruperthouse was last seen in April 2014. (Radio-Canada)

Family members say Sindy Ruperthouse was last seen in April 2014. (Radio-Canada)

CBC News

Family members say Ruperthouse last seen in April 2014

Quebec provincial police have issued a $40,000 reward for any information that can solve the case of Sindy Ruperthouse, the Algonquin woman whose disappearance heightened concern about the treatment of aboriginal women in Val-d’Or.

The Sûreté du Québec issued a release Wednesday describing Ruperthouse as five foot four inches tall and 131 lbs, with brown eyes and black hair.

Family members say Ruperthouse was last seen in April 2014.

However, the police statement says she went missing on April 24, 2015 and was 44 years old at the time.

Her parents, Johnny Wylde and Émilie Ruperthouse Wylde, have previously raised concerns about the SQ’s handling of the case.

Radio-Canada’s investigative program Enquête looked into the matter and, in the process, uncovered a larger story about allegations of assault by police against aboriginal women.

Johnny Wylde

Johnny Wylde raised questions about the SQ’s handling of Sindy Ruperthouse’s disappearance. (CBC)

After her case received widespread attention, the SQ announced this fall it was investigating her disappearance as a homicide, even though her body has not been found.

The Grand Council of the Cree has also offered a $50,000 reward to anyone with information on Ruperthouse’s whereabouts.

Anyone with information is asked to call the SQ at 1-800-659-4264.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/sindy-ruperthouse-surete-du-quebec-reward-1.3378322?cmp=abfb

New Abuse Allegation Against The SQ

Sureté du Québec says it is investigating the allegation of sexual assault levied against one of its officers in Schefferville on the Quebec-Labrador border. (Radio-Canada)

Sureté du Québec says it is investigating the allegation of sexual assault levied against one of its officers in Schefferville on the Quebec-Labrador border. (Radio-Canada)

by James Foster | CJAD News

While the investigation into alleged abuse of First Nations women in Val-d’Or at the hands of provincial police continues, another woman has come forward with a new allegation near Sept-Îles.

In an interview with 98.5FM, an unidentified woman said she was abused by a Sûreté du Québec officer in a Schefferville police station in the late 1990s.

She said the officer threatened her with his gun inside the station before sexually assaulting her.

The woman tried to file a complaint after the assault, but said when she was not taken seriously she gave up.

It was only after the recent revelations of abuse in Val-d’Or that she decided to tell her story.

She filed an official complaint with police Tuesday morning.

The officer in question was sentenced to three months in prison for sexually assaulting a minor in 2014.

Quebec’s Ministry of Public Security told the Journal de Montreal the investigation has been transferred to the Montreal police department.

Several other women told 98.5FM they had also been abused by SQ officers, but no other complaints have been made to police.

Source: CJAD 

Inquiry Into Abuse Of Aboriginal Women Can’t Come Soon Enough

A vigil was held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 5, 2014, for Loretta Saunders and to call for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. A full public inquiry should be among Justin Trudeau’s first acts as prime minister.

A vigil was held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 5, 2014, for Loretta Saunders and to call for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. A full public inquiry should be among Justin Trudeau’s first acts as prime minister.

Editorial in Toronto Star

A full public inquiry is needed to end the silence around abuse of aboriginal women. It should be among Justin Trudeau’s first acts as prime minister.

If any more proof was needed that this country has to come to grips with the systematic abuse of aboriginal women, it came out of northwestern Quebec late last week.

In the town of Val-d’Or, a group of women from the surrounding Algonquin native reserves came forward to accuse officers from Quebec’s provincial police force, the Sûreté du Québec, of sexual assault and other abuse of power.

Some say they were forced to have sex with policemen. Others say they were dumped far out of town on frigid nights, forcing them to walk kilometres in the snow. Eight officers have been suspended, and the province promises an independent inquiry.

The abuse of native women across Canada has been going on for far too long, mostly unreported. Finally, with the election of Justin Trudeau’s Liberals last week, the country is about to get a national government committed to an inquiry into the approximately 1,200 missing and murdered aboriginal women identified by the RCMP since 1980.

That can’t come soon enough, and the revelations in Val-d’Or underscore the need for action. The women making the charges of abuse there are neither murdered nor missing. But their sickening allegations speak directly to the way too many aboriginal people — especially women — have been treated.

Others had made similar claims for years, but they were simply ignored. Still others may never have come forward, given the deep distrust of institutions such as the police that First Nations people have quite understandably developed.

A full public inquiry is needed to end the silence and rebuild trust. It should be among Trudeau’s first acts as prime minister.

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2015/10/26/inquiry-into-abuse-of-aboriginal-women-cant-come-soon-enough-editorial.html

Cree Gov’t To Cancel Events In Val-d’Or After SQ Sex Abuse Allegations

(Radio-Canada)

(Radio-Canada)

CBC

Quebec provincial police officers in Val-d’Or accused of sexually assaulting aboriginal women

Reacting to allegations that police officers with the Sûreté du Québec abused and sexually assaulted aboriginal women in Val-d’Or, many Cree groups in Quebec are calling for a boycott of the community where they often shop, socialize and gather for major events such as hockey tournaments.

“It gave me a heavy heart,” said Linda L. Shecapio, president of the Cree Women of Eeyou Istchee Association.

“These women are mothers, aunties, sisters, nieces. Everybody is touched by this.”

Val-d'Or

Today the Cree Nation Government released a statement reacting with “anger, shame and pain” to the abuse described by several First Nations women in an investigative report by the Radio-Canada program Enquête.

“The lack of a strong and real response from the leadership of the town of Val-d’Or is a very disturbing example of where it would appear that municipal, provincial and even federal leaders would often rather wait out a media cycle than address the victimization of First Nations women in their jurisdictions,” the release says.

“If we cannot guarantee the safety of our people from certain communities, as leaders we will do what we can to direct them elsewhere or find safe alternatives.”

The Cree government says it is “mobilizing resources to ensure that we stand with these brave women and that any women from our own communities feel safe and know that they will not be shamed but protected if they wish to come forward.”

For people living in the nearby Cree communities such as Waswanipi, and coastal Cree communities such as Waskaganish, Chisasibi, Wemindji, Nemaska and Eastmain, Val-d’Or is a popular stopping place on the long road south. It’s where many people shop for groceries, buy trucks or other large items, fuel up their vehicles, and participate in large gatherings.

Jamie Moses of Eastmain says in light of the allegations, Crees should take their business elsewhere.

“In Val-d’Or we feel that we are not welcome,” Moses said.

Moses and others have suggested the annual hockey and broomball tournament be relocated to another town. The tournament sees hundreds of young Crees and their families travel to Val-d’Or for several days in December.

“We should look elsewhere, where it would be better to send our kids to play,” Moses said.

“We should look elsewhere where we are welcomed as visitors.”

Organizers of the tournament are meeting to look at this question on the weekend. The Cree government’s release says it will “take immediate action to cancel public events scheduled to be held in Val-d’Or,” although it does not specify whether it intends to cancel or relocate the tournament.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/cree-gov-t-to-cancel-events-in-val-d-or-after-sq-sex-abuse-allegations-1.3286726

Aboriginal Women’s Claims Of Police Sex Abuse Under Investigation

Bianca Moushoun says Quebec provincial police officers stationed in Val d'Or gave her beer and traded sex acts for money and cocaine. (Radio-Canada)

Bianca Moushoun says Quebec provincial police officers stationed in Val d’Or gave her beer and traded sex acts for money and cocaine. (Radio-Canada)

CBC News

8 provincial police officers in Val-d’Or, Que., questioned

Allegations of abuse of power and assault by Quebec provincial police officers in Val-d’Or, Que., have led to an internal investigation, a spokeswoman for the Sûreté du Québec has confirmed.

It comes after Radio-Canada’s investigative program, Enquête, uncovered stories of sexual violence toward aboriginal women in the Quebec town of 32,000. Val d’Or, about 500 kilometres northwest of Montreal, is located close to several Algonquin communities.

Wounded aboriginal woman

This woman, who asked not to be identified, shows a head wound she said was sustained in an altercation with a police officer who threw her out of his car after she refused to perform a sex act. (Radio-Canada)

Speaking publicly for the first time, alleged victims told Enquête about a pattern involving the provincial police over a period of at least two decades.

They say officers routinely picked up women who appeared to be intoxicated, drove them out of town and left them to walk home in the cold. Some allege they were physically assaulted or made to perform sex acts.

Allegation of drugs for sex

Bianca Moushoun recounted how male officers would give her beer they kept stored in the trunk of their vehicles. She said the men would later take her to a remote area.

“We went to a road in the woods, and that’s where they would ask me to perform fellatio,” said Moushoun. They would pay her “$100 for the service” and “$100 to keep quiet,” she added.

“Sometimes they paid me in coke. Sometimes they paid me in cash, sometimes both.”

She said the incidents occurred about two years ago.

Another woman, who spoke on condition her name not be used, said she was assaulted by an officer in his car on the road between Val-d’Or and Waswanipi, a Cree community about 275 kilometres northeast of the town.

“He wanted a blow job. I said no,” she wrote. “He threw me out and grabbed my hair. He left me alone on the highway.”

Photos of the woman, which she says were taken after that incident, show a cut above her right eye and a wound on the top of her head. Both were sustained in the altercation with the police officer, she said.

Not all ‘bad apples’

Carole Marcil, a bartender at Le Manoir in Val-d’Or, has heard such stories from aboriginal women countless times. She estimates as many as 30 women in the area have had similar encounters.

“If they don’t perform fellatio … they get massacred,” Marcil said. The women “show up with bumps, bruises, punches and burns.”

Marcil stresses “not all” provincial police officers in Val-d’Or act that way.

“There are two or three or four bad apples [among them],” Marcil said.

Officers questioned, but still on the job

Since the women spoke to Enquête, some have filed formal complaints, and an internal police investigation has begun.

“Fourteen files have been opened for allegations related to the behaviour of our officers,” said police spokeswoman Martine Asselin. “These are allegations, not charges for now,” she added.

“All the files will be transferred to [the Crown prosecutor’s office], and we’ll see what happens after that,” Asselin said.

About 50 officers are based at the Val-d’OrSûreté du Québec detachment. Eight among them have been questioned by investigators, Asselin said. They remain on the job.

The investigation is being led by the force’s professional standards directorate.

The investigators involved are not based in Val-d’Or, Asselin said.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/aboriginal-women-s-claims-of-police-sex-abuse-under-investigation-1.3282845