Municipal police forces throughout Saskatchewan will soon be able to disclose information that could help protect potential victims of interpersonal violence.
However, the RCMP have said they will not participate when Clare’s Law comes into effect on June 29.
The Saskatchewan government said the Interpersonal Violence Disclosure Protocol Act (Clare’s Law) gives people in the province an opportunity to receive information regarding an intimate partner’s past violent or abusive behaviour.
Residents will be able to make an application to their local municipal police department.
“The government of Saskatchewan is committed to addressing issues of domestic and interpersonal violence,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan said.
“We hope that by implementing ‘Clare’s Law,’ we can inform those at risk and help protect them from potential violence and abuse.”
Clare’s Law works as a “right to ask, right to know” system, meaning it’s in place to protect anyone who believes they may be at risk from an intimate partner.
The province said it’s consulted with municipal police services throughout Saskatchewan along with the Provincial Association of Transition Houses to provide proper training on how to process Clare’s Law applications, in accordance with legislation.
“We have been part of figuring out the protocol and the steps that will be taken when someone does make that disclosure request,” said Crystal Giesbrecht, PATH’s director of research and communications.
“We are just really glad that this is going to be another tool that’s going to help some people who are at risk. I think Clare’s Law will have a real significant impact for people who may be concerned, who may be experiencing some risk factors, or have seen some warning signs.”
In a press release, the province said there will be a “stringent review process to ensure that the disclosure of information does not violate privacy legislation.”
All municipal police departments in Saskatchewan will be following Clare’s Law.
On Monday, RCMP responded to Global News with a statement on why it won’t be participating.
“We have been, and continue to be, supportive of this initiative. Early on in the discussions and planning for the implementation of Clare’s Law, we identified to our partners that there may be some challenges with our participation because unlike municipal police services, the RCMP is subject to federal privacy legislation,” RCMP’s statement read.
“The RCMP is continuing to look into the matter, and considering how best it can support Clare’s Law objectives within its obligations under the federal Privacy Act. This hasn’t impacted our commitment to keeping families and communities safe and we will continue to work in a cooperative manner with our partner agencies and government departments to seek solutions to the serious problem of domestic violence.”
The province said it is attempting to reach federal ministers to ask them to review RCMP’s decision.
Morgan wrote a letter to Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair regarding the situation.
Retrieved from: https://globalnews.ca/news/7092435/clares-law-saskatchewan/
Published on: June 22, 2020