Sue's Blog

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Darin King - shed the Political cloak

Since the death of Mr. Don Dunphy - many people in the public have been asking for an inquiry.

Today - our Justice Minister Darin King had a response to that. CBC Story

I have no issue with Minister King waiting for the investigation to be over before an inquiry is called.
I have a real issue with the Minister saying, "I think it will be much too early to predetermine whether in fact there will be another inquiry called," and "I will want to see the current, ongoing investigation unfold and see what the results are,".

The investigation into the event is a justice issue. It seeks to determine what took place and if any charges should be laid in connection with the event.

There is no doubt that for the family this process is very important and they will - according to their lawyer - make decisions regarding any potential civil legal action after the investigation has concluded.

The Inquiry though is a different matter altogether. The public confidence has already been shaken to the core and there is evidence that people may have lost faith in public institutions or bodies. Further as the protocols for protection of elected officials forms one component of the event - it already meets the need for an inquiry to be called.

I can imagine no outcome of the investigation that would cause me to lose interest in holding an inquiry.

Minister King should know that as important as insuring the family of the deceased and the officer  have the benefit of justice - society as a whole must move forward progressively to achieve better policies, protocols, and outcomes.

One of the best summations of what a judicial inquiry or inquest is may be found on the website of Toronto law firm - Paliare and Roland,

It states:

Public or judicial inquiries are called by the municipal, provincial or federal government to review events that cause public concern or outcry. Unlike a trial, the inquiry process is investigative, rather than adversarial – its purpose is to review those events, in order to determine what happened and why, and most importantly, how to prevent them from ever happening again.

If one is looking for a more in depth look at inquiries - I recommend "Some Observations on Public Inquiries" written by the Honourable Dennis O'Connor, former Chief Justice - Ontario Court of Appeal. 

Despite the judgement cast upon those of us in the public who are vocal in our concerns - by some traditional media and politicians - most of us are genuinely concerned about all the events leading to the death of Don Dunphy and want to ensure this type of tragedy never happens again.

Minister King should remove his usual partisan political cloak and don instead the cloak of duty - his office demands. Right now the Minister needs to eliminate any hint of politics and instead forge ahead to find answers and solutions. If the Minister is fearful that such an inquiry may intrude into the Premier's office - he must rid himself of those concerns and understand he is a representative of  the people not the Premier. Is the problem that he cannot convince his Cabinet colleagues?

Now is a really good time to announce that the government of which you are a part will call a judicial inquiry after the investigation is completed. Now is a really good time to make the necessary preparations for this to occur.

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