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

Incumbent mayors in Victoria, Esquimalt retain their roles

A high voter turnout saw the mayors unchanged, but new faces on both councils

What to pack in an emergency-preparedness kit for earthquakes

Several earthquakes of Vancouver Island’s West Coast have people wondering how to be ready

Business is booming as Black Press gears up for Victoria career fair

One stop shop for questions about entering the workforce, finding work experience

Multiple earthquakes off Vancouver Island recorded around the world

Five earthquakes overnight on Oct. 21 were measured as ‘strong’

Rotating Canada Post strikes begin in Victoria

Monday’s mail will be delayed one day due to strike

UPDATE: Lisa Helps re-elected as mayor of Victoria

Nine people were seeking the mayor’s seat for the City of Victoria and 29 candidates hoped to be chosen for council

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

More court before Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case is extradited here

Appeals must be dealt with in Europe, before charges faced in B.C.

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

BCHL alumni has NHL jersey retired by Anaheim Ducks

Paul Kariya played with the Penticton Vees from 1990-1992

Most Read