Manitoba Government Implements Collaborative, Multi-Sector Steering Committee to Create Public Safety Training Strategy

Press Release

April 5, 2023

Wide Spectrum of Community Input, Culturally Relevant Content to Form Strategy: Goertzen

The Manitoba government is creating a public safety training strategy to ensure equitable, consistent, culturally relevant public safety training options across the province, Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.

“Accountability, supported by consistent standards, oversight and training, is central to ensuring Manitobans have confidence in their law enforcement officers,” said Goertzen. “Having a common, provincially approved curriculum and training facility allows us to include a wider spectrum of community input and culturally relevant content to form part of all core training for our public safety officers at all levels.”

Currently, there is no consistent training option for police and peace officers in Manitoba, the minister noted, adding that this leads to many potential officers seeking training elsewhere in the country.

In November 2022, the Department of Justice contracted Clunis Consulting to facilitate the creation of a steering committee, and provide the research and expertise the committee requires to develop a road map for the establishment of a public safety training strategy, including things like a common curriculum, cultural components, training delivery options and facilities.

“I am honoured to work with this incredibly talented, experienced, caring and compassionate group of individuals in delivering public safety training for the future of all Manitobans,” said Devon Clunis, founder, Clunis Consulting. “I’ve long believed that our province could be an example for others. This initiative is poised to be world class in delivering community-centric public safety personnel training for the 21st century. During a time of immense, often chaotic social and cultural change in our communities, we are optimistic that our work will help navigate these challenging times.”

The Public Safety Training Strategy Steering Committee is co-chaired by Clunis and Ron Evans, former grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and former chief of Norway House Cree Nation. The committee is comprised of 15 additional individuals from municipal, First Nations and provincial police agencies, provincial employees and educators.

Members of the committee include:

  • Abdikheir Ahmed, co-chair, Police Accountability Coalition;
  • Chief Wayne Balcaen, Brandon Police Service;
  • Duane Brothers, former school division superintendent, Louis Riel School Division;
  • Chief Dan Defer, Altona Police Service;
  • Sandra DeLaronde, Indigenous studies lecturer, University of Winnipeg and founder of Northern Sage Consulting;
  • Jack Ewatski, public safety chairperson, Assiniboine Community College and former chief of Winnipeg Police Service;
  • Owen Fergusson, executive director, public safety, Manitoba Justice;
  • Connie Johannson, former deputy warden, Correctional Service of Canada;
  • Jean-Rene Dominique Kwilu, lawyer and community advocate;
  • Insp. Catherine Light, RCMP “D” Division;
  • Rick Linden, criminology professor, University of Manitoba;
  • Kevin Mantie, chief inspector, Manitoba Motor Carrier Enforcement;
  • Anthony McInnis, city manager, City of Thompson;
  • Chief Doug Palson, Manitoba First Nations Police Service; and
  • Insp. Nick Paulet, Winnipeg Police Service.

“Our government is grateful to the individuals who are committing their time and knowledge to this initiative, and to Devon Clunis and his team for supporting the work,” said Goertzen.

Over the next several months, committee members will be working in smaller groups in development of the Manitoba Public Safety Training Strategy, the minister added.

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For more information:

  • Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
  • Media requests for general information, contact Communications and Engagement: [email protected].
  • Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-451-7109.


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