Attorney General David Eby introduces Ron MacDonald (left) as B.C.’s chief civilian director of the Independent Investigation Office. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C.’s new police watchdog comes from Nova Scotia

Lawyer takes over from Richard Rosenthal at Independent Investigations Office

Nova Scotia lawyer Ron MacDonald has arrived in B.C. to head up the Independent Investigation Office, overseeing incidents of serious injury or death involving police.

MacDonald held a similar role as director of the Serious Incident Response Team in Nova Scotia. He was introduced Thursday by Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.

MacDonald said his goal is to investigate incidents as quickly as possible, but public interest investigations can take several months or even a year before a report can be released.

“Sometimes that means seeking out much more information than you would in a typical police investigation,” MacDonald said.

MacDonald declined to comment on B.C.’s mix of civilian and police investigators in the IIO, and the goal to make it all-civilian, which is still in progress. He worked with investigators who were former police officers in Nova Scotia, after serving as criminal law policy advisor at the Nova Scotia Department of Justice.

The B.C. IIO started up in the fall of 2012 with 36 investigators, about half and half civilians and former police officers. Its mandate was to move to all-civilian investigations, and the first director was former Los Angeles deputy district attorney Richard Rosenthal.

Rosenthal came to public notice in the 1999 Rampart investigation, dealing with cases of violence and drug dealing within the Los Angeles Police Department. He went on to establish independent police oversight offices in Portland and Denver before coming to B.C.

By 2014, Rosenthal said progress has been made, with two thirds of staff in the two investigative teams being people who have never worked as police officers. In that year, four former officers were fired from the IIO and five more resigned, following several other departures in the first two years.

Just Posted

Check out what’s happening in Greater Victoria this weekend

From swimming championships to Oak Bay Light Up, there’s plenty to keep you busy this weekend

VicPD chief rescues lost $10 bill in downtown Victoria

The note was promptly returned to its owner unharmed

Port Renfrew gets $89,000 grant to build staircase, trail

Rural Dividend grant awarded by province

Island champion volleyball team heads for provincials Wednesday

What Oak Bay High lacks in volleyball experience the make up for in athleticism and competitiveness

Victoria Royals giving a boost to fund inspired by Tragically Hip singer

Downie Wenjack Fund recipient of funds raised starting at tonight’s WHL game vs. Seattle

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Stay safe on B.C. roads this holiday season

RCMP warn drivers to plan a safe ride home or suffer the consequences this holiday season

Trudeau apologizes to excluded residential school students

PM makes statement to former students in Nfld who were left out of previous compensation, apology

Most Read