Attorney General David Eby introduces Ron MacDonald (left) as B.C.’s chief civilian director of the Independent Investigation Office. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C.’s new police watchdog comes from Nova Scotia

Lawyer takes over from Richard Rosenthal at Independent Investigations Office

Nova Scotia lawyer Ron MacDonald has arrived in B.C. to head up the Independent Investigation Office, overseeing incidents of serious injury or death involving police.

MacDonald held a similar role as director of the Serious Incident Response Team in Nova Scotia. He was introduced Thursday by Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.

MacDonald said his goal is to investigate incidents as quickly as possible, but public interest investigations can take several months or even a year before a report can be released.

“Sometimes that means seeking out much more information than you would in a typical police investigation,” MacDonald said.

MacDonald declined to comment on B.C.’s mix of civilian and police investigators in the IIO, and the goal to make it all-civilian, which is still in progress. He worked with investigators who were former police officers in Nova Scotia, after serving as criminal law policy advisor at the Nova Scotia Department of Justice.

The B.C. IIO started up in the fall of 2012 with 36 investigators, about half and half civilians and former police officers. Its mandate was to move to all-civilian investigations, and the first director was former Los Angeles deputy district attorney Richard Rosenthal.

Rosenthal came to public notice in the 1999 Rampart investigation, dealing with cases of violence and drug dealing within the Los Angeles Police Department. He went on to establish independent police oversight offices in Portland and Denver before coming to B.C.

By 2014, Rosenthal said progress has been made, with two thirds of staff in the two investigative teams being people who have never worked as police officers. In that year, four former officers were fired from the IIO and five more resigned, following several other departures in the first two years.

Just Posted

Penticton Vees erase two-goal deficit to defeat Trail

The Vees take Game 1 of the second round of the BCHL playoffs

2.5 years in Penticton courthouse over neighbour assault ends

Man pleaded guilty, withdrew, stood trial, pleaded guilty to assault described by Crown as ‘vicious’

UBCO civil engineer touts cohousing option

Gord Lovegrove says cohousing is sustainable social and economic lifestyle

Country star takes a dip for charity

Brett Kissel went for a dip in Okanagan Lake while in Penticton to raise money for Her International

Pursuit of Excellence defeats OHA in female prep hockey final

Okanagan Hockey Academy lost to Pursuit of Excellence 6-3 at the CSSHL final in Penticton

Sharing the voices of the mountains with Spirit North

Celebrating the first season of the Spirit North ski program for Indigenous youth at Nickel Plate

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild goaltenders a cause for concern

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Canadian survivors, supporters rally against proposed ’60s Scoop settlement

Some have accused the government of underestimating the number of survivors

Nordic athlete Arendz to be Canada’s flagbearer at Paralympic closing ceremony

The biathlete and cross-country skier from Hartsville has raced to five medals in Pyeongchang

Salmon Arm community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Most Read