On April 25, 2022, the IIO appointed Thomas George as an Indigenous Civilian Monitor to review the IIO investigation into the death of a man in Opitsaht on Meares Island. The full report submitted by Mr. George is below, as is a response from Chief Civilian Director Ronald J. MacDonald, KC.
I am pleased to publish the IIO’s first report from an Indigenous Civilian Monitor, Thomas George. Mr. George submitted his report to my office on June 30, 2022, and release of both this report and the IIO’s public report was delayed by concurrent court proceedings that have since concluded.
I extend my sincere gratitude to Mr. George for his dedicated efforts in reviewing and offering his opinion of the IIO investigation, and I thank the Tla-o-qui-at First Nation for their support of this endeavor.
Mr. George’s report has been published as it was submitted to my office. I offer the following clarifications:
- The acronym AP used throughout Mr. George’s report is an abbreviation for ‘affected person’, a neutral term used to describe the person impacted by the incident, who in this case is deceased.
- The report refers to breakfast and lunch events held at the IIO. I note that Mr. George was at the IIO office completing his review during the week of June 13, 2022, which is when BC celebrates Public Service Week. These events were held to celebrate the hard work and dedicated service of public servants, including IIO employees, and Mr. George was invited to partake.
Upon the completion of all investigative work and receipt of Mr. George’s report, I determined that there were no reasonable grounds to believe that any officer had committed an offence. Accordingly, the matter was not referred to Crown Counsel for consideration of charges, and the IIO investigation was concluded.
Ronald J. MacDonald, KC
Chief Civilian Director
Independent Investigations Office of BC
July 14, 2023