Premier Stephen McNeil delivered an apology for the systemic racism that is found in our justice system, including policing and the courts.
The premier acknowledged that justice institutions have not been just for many Nova Scotians and apologized for the harms, trauma and pain that many Nova Scotians have endured over generations.
“Our system of justice has failed members of our Black and Indigenous communities. This system is supposed to keep all Nova Scotians safe, but because of the colour of your skin, many of you live in fear. Today, I say: enough,” said Premier McNeil.
“I see you, I hear you, I believe you and I am sorry. On behalf of my ministers, my caucus, our government, we are sorry racist institutions have failed you, your families and your ancestors. I can’t take away your pain or bring back the opportunities and lives lost. But I am showing up today to try to work with all of you to find a new approach to public safety.”
The Province announced it will set a course for fundamental change in public safety, including the role and approach to policing and law enforcement.
Nova Scotia has committed to a restorative process that will transform the approach to public safety in the province and announced a design team to begin this process.
The team includes members from community, government and policing. It will work collaboratively, seek out and listen to voices, and perspectives from across Nova Scotia over the next 12-18 months.
They will determine what’s required to support the fundamental changes needed across systems and structures to secure safety and justice for all Nova Scotians.