Sask. government has no plans to release full report on Prince Albert police

Members of the Prince Albert Police Service watch during the opening of the new downtown station in 2019. -- Herald file photo

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Corrections and Policing says it has no plans to publicly release a report into Prince Albert Police Service operations.

Earlier this week, the provincial government released 45 recommendations stemming from an independent inquiry.

Indigenous leaders from the Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC) and Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) said the full report – not just the recommendations – should be made public.

“Transparency and accountability are critical to the work police do to keep Saskatchewan communities safe. At the same time, this work is inherently sensitive and often requires a certain degree of discretion and confidentiality,” said the ministry in an emailed statement.

“Maintaining public confidence and trust in policing is integral as the Prince Albert Police Service moves forward with implementing the recommendations and works to ensure an effective level of policing in the community.”

The FSIN and PAGC said publicly releasing reports in a timely manner would also help families in their healing journeys.

They said they haven’t seen autopsy results for Saul Laliberte, who died in Prince Albert police custody in November of 2021. The FSIN has been supporting Laliberte’s mother, Amelia Bloomfield.

“We recognize that there is confidentiality in certain areas, but to ensure that the family doesn’t have to wait months and years for reports on their loved ones as it relates to autopsies and so on,” said the FSIN’s Second Vice-Chief Dutch Lerat.

Interim police Chief Patrick Nogier said in an interview last week that he intends to be as transparent as possible, but that he can’t release everything due to confidentiality and due process.

The province ordered the inquiry after three in-custody deaths and the death of a toddler. Rod Knecht, former chief of the Edmonton Police Service, handed the report to the government in the spring.