OTTAWA, May 2, 2017 – The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, issued the following statement:
“The Government of Canada expresses its condolences to the family and friends of Matthew Hines, and supports the recommendations brought forward by the Office of the Correctional Investigator of Canada (OCI) regarding the death of Matthew Hines in May 2015, while in federal custody.
Mr. Hines’ family, along with all Canadians, deserved to know how Matthew Hines died, and why. The OCI’s report, Fatal Response: An Investigation into the Preventable Death of Matthew Ryan Hines is the result of a thorough investigation. It provides insights into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Hines’ tragic death.
We can do more to prevent deaths in custody. These recommendations will help guide the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC).
I am pleased that CSC has responded quickly and collaborated actively with the OCI throughout the investigation. CSC has acknowledged that errors were made and it agrees with all recommendations put forward in the report. The OCI’s recommendations will help make immediate improvements, such as creating a dedicated team for disciplinary investigations after use-of-force incidents leading to serious bodily injury or death, and continuing to improve its policy, training and oversight on the use of OC spray (also known as pepper spray).
As the Minister, I am committed to ensuring that our federal correctional system provides a safe and secure environment that supports offender rehabilitation, staff safety and the protection of the public.
Moving forward, I am confident that implementing the recommendations, along with the changes CSC has already undertaken, will mean greater accountability, transparency, and most importantly, safety for all Canadians.
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Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Public Safety Canada