Feds and Provs want "cultural realities" training for prosecutors and judges: Blair

Recent meetings with provincial ministers of justice and public safety focused on a need for more education of prosecutors and judges on the "cultural realities" of Indigenous and racialized people in Canada, says federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says a need for anti-racism training for all people working in the criminal justice system was a focus of conversation with his counterparts from across the country over the last two days.

Blair says there was recognition among public safety and justice ministers that police, prosecutors and judges could benefit from a better understanding of the cultural realities of Indigenous and racialized people in Canada.

At a news briefing today after the meeting, Blair noted the need to be respectful of judicial independence, but indicated that should not stand in the way of educational efforts.

The recent throne speech pledged federal legislation and money to address systemic inequities in all phases of the criminal justice system.

The commitments came amid mounting concerns about unfair treatment of Black and Indigenous people, who are overrepresented in courts and jails.

The government has promised action on issues ranging from sentencing and rehabilitation to improved civilian oversight of the RCMP and standards on police use of force.

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