Thank you for asking that question.
This is what I believe. I was in Thunder Bay, literally by the park where the Floyd protests were happening, and I was struck by how many people came out. I am not trying to suggest that it's one solution, but what people have difficulty with, it's become more and more obvious, is the double standard that is applied to bad policing. What I see, whether it's the Thunder Bay police investigation or the Dafonte Miller case....
I have the honour of representing Dafonte and his family. He's the young black male beaten by an off-duty police officer and his brother—the Theriault brothers. In June, just last month, 19,000 people logged in to watch the judge's decision: 19,000 people. Now, why would so many people be engaged? I'm telling you that they're engaged because they're troubled by our double standards. The highest double standard is that when police mislead about an event—again, I'm talking about bad policing, not good policing—they don't face obstruction of justice charges, as a rule. They don't face perjury charges. When they gild the lily, when they kind of fudge the facts to get past what they've done to someone, they don't face serious repercussions. We have to change that. If I lie under oath, I am charged with perjury. If you lie under oath, you're charged with perjury. That doesn't happen to police officers. We have to change that.
Finally, on the Auditor General piece, I appreciate, Madam Michaud, your allowing me the opportunity to raise this. We could involve the Auditor General in auditing inquests and reports. Nishnawbe Aski Nation asked the Auditor General, in writing, to monitor the implementation of the seven youths inquest recommendations in Thunder Bay. The Auditor General refused.
It has to matter to people. Ms. Whitman gets it bang on. Indigenous lives are treated as less than worthy. It comes out—I see it in my work all the time—and it's disgusting. Truly, it's the part that troubles me. If the auditors general of this country, both provincial and federal, cared about indigenous lives the way they care about bean-counting, things would change. I say to you that you could use them to monitor report implementation and to monitor inquest recommendations.