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Statement from the Thunder Bay Police Service
Independent Police Review Director’s (OIPRD) systemic review

Independent Police Review Director’s (OIPRD) systemic review Lake Superior News

THUNDER BAY, Ontario  —  December 12, 2018  (LSN)  Following the release of the Office of the Independent Police Review Director’s (OIPRD) systemic review, the Thunder Bay Police Service is formally acknowledging that it must address the systemic racism, barriers and biases that exist within its service.

This acknowledgement is an important step, as highlighted by the OIPRD report, in the service’s ongoing efforts to build trust with the Indigenous community. The report and its recommendations will be carefully and thoroughly reviewed in the coming days.

While the report was released today (Dec. 12, 2018), today’s acknowledgement is not the first step the TBPS has taken building trust with the community.

“I take this report very seriously,” said TBPS Chief Sylvie Hauth. “I have been very upfront in terms of my commitment and dedication about where we stand on the reconciliation process. Trust is very important and regaining that trust has been at the forefront of my new role.”

Chief Hauth added that the service has not been standing still while the OIPRD prepared its report. Over the past two years the service has introduced a number of initiatives.
“I think it’s important that we don’t lose sight of the work that’s been done and the progress that we have made and will continue to do.”

Some of these steps forward are formally acknowledged within the systemic review.

To Read the full report

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THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO -  December 2, 2018  (LSN)   Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler and First Nation leaders are calling for answers after a video surfaced this weekend that appears to show a member of the Thunder Bay Police Service (TBPS) striking a First Nation youth while receiving medical care.


“We are outraged by the actions of the officer depicted in this video. We do not know all of the details that led to this incident, but there is simply no justification for such violent and callous treatment of a youth in such a defenseless position,” said Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler. “Such actions by the police, whatever the cause, must be fully independent authority and the results made public by the Chief of Police.”

The brief video, posted to Facebook last night, appears to show an officer striking a youth restrained on stretcher next to an ambulance. The words “You’re going to the hospital” can be heard.


It is not clear why the youth, a 17-year-old from Nibinimik First Nation and student of the Matawa Learning Centre, required medical attention. Police officials have confirmed that an investigation has been launched but have not clarified if it will be independent of the TBPS.


The viral video has sparked outrage from First Nations across NAN territory, who have a long history of conflict with the city’s police force. 


First Nation leaders called for the resignation of former Thunder Bay Police Chief J.P. Levesque following a report from the Ontario Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) earlier this year that documented “substantial” deficiencies in the investigation into the death of Rainy River First Nations member Stacy DeBungee in 2015. Levesque also faced charges of breach of trust and obstruction of justice in an unrelated matter but the case was dismissed. He has since retired.


In November 2016, the OIPRD announced a systemic review of the Thunder Bay Police Service’s practices for policing Indigenous Peoples. Specifically, policies, practices and attitudes regarding missing person and death investigations.

The Thunder Bay Police Services Board is also under investigation by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC), the statutory governing body for police boards in Ontario. Program or Department Name Here



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