The Chair (Mr. Daryl Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings, CPC)):
Colleagues, welcome to this third meeting of the second session of the 41st Parliament of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.
Before we start today, let me first welcome our clerk, Evelyn Lukyniuk, who's just back from maternity leave. Certainly I think it's in order that we offer her congratulations on her new daughter, Elizabeth.
Some hon. members: Hear, hear!
The Chair: Prior to hearing from our witnesses, colleagues, I have one small change to the agenda that I would like to bring to your attention.
Under item two, committee business, we had a motion that was presented by Mr. Easter and that was in order. Mr. Easter has asked that we postpone that. He has a serious personal matter that he has to leave the committee early for today. So we will not be proceeding with that motion. He's asked that we defer it until after the Remembrance Day break. I will be bringing that back to committee for your consideration at that point.
We now have before us a familiar face for a number of people here. I understand that our guest, Mark Potter, has been here before. I think this will be the fourth time.
As a new member, I'm eager to hear his summation and his thoughts on the past studies and where we need to go forward from his perspective. I know that colleagues who have obviously had that opportunity to deal with Mr. Potter before are certainly looking forward to catching up on his thoughts.
I understand that back in June Mr. Potter presented a summit report that was issued. I'm hoping that most colleagues have had an opportunity to peruse that. If not, of course they'll have the opportunity on the floor today for questions.
Mark Potter, you now have the floor, sir.
Mr. Mark Potter (Director General, Policing Policy Directorate, Law Enforcement and Policing Branch, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness):
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Good morning, everyone. It's great to be back here again.
This is an important topic. It has been tremendously helpful that this committee has been engaged in this and has been calling the witnesses that it has to discuss this issue. We very much look forward to your report.
Since we last met in the spring, there have been a number of developments that I would like to update you on, as well as outline the way forward. Before doing so, and particularly for the benefit of the new members, I would like to provide some brief background information on the issue of the economics of policing.
First, what is it? What is the issue of the economics of policing?
The economics of policing is a wide-ranging issue related to the efficiency and effectiveness of policing and of public safety more broadly. It is both a challenge and an opportunity for Canada and many other countries. The economics of policing have become increasingly relevant as all governments grapple with demonstrating the value of increasingly costly public services at a time of fiscal constraints.
The Canadian public is aware of and engaged·on the issue. There is an active public commentary on the steady and significant growth in policing costs during a time of declining reported crime. However, within this public debate, there is only a limited understanding of the increasingly diverse and complex nature of police work and crime.
Police are increasingly called upon to deal with a high volume of non-criminal public order incidents, including a growing number of mental health and addiction issues. Police are also addressing significant and time-consuming new crimes and challenges, such as terrorism, cybercrime, financial crime, child sexual exploitation, and dealing with large-scale gatherings and protests.
For example, we heard at the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police conference in August that arrests under the Mental Health Act have quadrupled in Vancouver in the last 10 years. Further, it was noted that on any given night at Sudbury's main hospital, there can be up to a dozen police officers dealing with mental health and addiction incidents.
Put simply, although reported crime has declined overall, police are still very busy.
Faced with these challenges, some governments and parts of the policing community are actively pursuing opportunities to strengthen policing through dialogue and engagement with citizens, taking actions to increase operational and structural efficiency and effectiveness, and investing in proactive, integrated community safety approaches to get at the roots of crime.
This momentum of change and innovation can benefit in many areas from collaboration through a common strategy and actions. The Minister of Public Safety has been providing leadership and coordination on the economics of policing. Provincial and territorial ministers, police leaders, mayors, and many others are also focused on this issue, and we have all come together to try to address it.
The work under way on the economics of policing is driven by three key commitments agreed to by all federal, provincial, and territorial Ministers of Justice and Public Safety in January and October 2012.
The first was to convene a summit on the economics of policing. The summit was successfully held in January 2013 and has contributed to the dialogue and momentum of reform.
Second, ministers agreed to share information across jurisdictions on policies and practices that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of policing. A key deliverable in this regard was the launch of the index of police initiatives in August on Public Safety Canada's website. The index is a searchable database of best practices that facilitates learning from one another so that innovations can be pursued without reinventing the wheel. For example, it can provide helpful information with respect to the adoption of best practices for dealing with individuals with mental health and addiction issues. The index currently contains 140 initiatives. It will continue to expand and grow. A link to the website index has been provided to each of you in the documents that have been circulated.
Third, ministers tasked officials to develop a shared forward agenda or strategy for policing and public safety in Canada. Approval of that strategy will be sought when FPT ministers meet later this month in Whitehorse. The shared forward agenda is being developed through collaboration among all governments, most notably Ontario, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia as champions, as well as the active and constructive contributions of Canada's three main police associations and many others.
The main principles behind the evolving strategy are to cooperate collectively in those areas where it makes sense to do so, while respecting jurisdictional responsibilities for policing, and to adopt a comprehensive and holistic approach to public safety; that is to say, it involves reaching out to and working with all elements that contribute to public safety, from police to courts, to schools, and to social service agencies.
The expected goals of the strategy are: one, increase the efficiency and effectiveness of policing in Canada; two, encourage learning, innovation, and the application of best practices; and three, contribute to improved public safety outcomes and social well-being through partnership and integrated approaches.
Overall, it is about working collaboratively and contributing positively to the evolution and sustainability of policing and public safety in Canada. The shared forward agenda is emerging based on the framework that was introduced at the summit in January 2013. It is being oriented around three pillars: efficiencies within police services; new models of community safety; and efficiencies within the justice system. These three pillars will be supported by the foundational elements of research and information sharing.
Policing reform and innovation must be founded upon a solid base of evidence and research if it is to be successful over the longer term. Currently in Canada there is minimal policing-related research capacity; there is no central repository of accessible research information; and there is limited agreement within the policing community on research priorities. The strategy is expected to begin addressing these gaps. Building on the index of innovative policing initiatives, it is proposed that Public Safety Canada will continue to advance information sharing through its economics of policing website portal.
Another information-sharing proposal that has emerged through consultations is the organization of focused learning events in areas such as civilianization, tiered policing, and the use of technology in order to advance reform efforts based on evidence, best practices, and sharing of experiences. At the core of the proposed strategy is helping police services to become more efficient and effective; however, one of the challenges in strengthening efficiency and effectiveness is measuring results and using that data as the basis for continuous improvement and public reporting. Ontario is a leader in this area and is developing a framework of key police performance metrics linked to efficiency and effectiveness and public safety outcomes.
Other potential actions that have been raised include: striving to reduce police equipment costs through common networks for procurement and shared services; linking police recruitment and training programs to qualifications standards; and helping police reform their organizations to be more effective.
In terms of new models of community safety, as you have heard from several witnesses, police services increasingly are exploring and adopting proactive integrated community safety strategies that get at the roots of crime through targeted support to at-risk youth and families. There are many examples of such programs, and some communities are advanced in their efforts, including the HUB model that has been successfully applied in Saskatchewan and elsewhere.
The need to strengthen data collection, assessment, and evaluation around such new approaches to allow for the validation and refinement of crime prevention models of the future is an important element of any strategy.
With respect to the third pillar of the strategy, efficiencies within the justice system, nationally and provincially, efforts are under way to improve efficiencies. Such changes can have a direct and significant impact on police operations and costs. Potential actions under consideration are for governments to share information on reforms that improve justice efficiency and also that they work with police associations and others to identify policing priorities for justice reform and incorporate this information into current and future justice reform initiatives.
The development of the shared forward agenda is a unique opportunity for governments to continue to demonstrate collective leadership and accelerate the momentum of change. We also have an opportunity over time to build a more integrated and proactive public safety system that results in even less crime and greater social well-being and quality of life.
However, for the strategy to be successful, it will need to respect jurisdictional responsibilities for policing and be inclusive of the entire policing community and other key stakeholders. It is only through such a collective, focused, and well-considered approach that we can meet the high expectations of Canadians for continuously improving public safety and policing.
That concludes my opening remarks. Your questions and comments would be welcomed.
Thank you very much.
Mr. Mark Potter:
Thank you for that question. You've touched on a number of important elements, and I'll just cover a few of them, if I may.
With regard to the issue of police officers' salaries, I'm well aware that's extremely sensitive. I think it's definitely not the role of the federal government to tell provincial governments and municipal authorities what they should be paying their police officers. I think police officers do tremendously challenging work and need to have very comprehensive training to deal with a wide range of possible scenarios whenever they go out to a call. It's that unique capability, which police in Canada fulfill tremendously well in almost all instances, that makes them, I think.... In order to attract and retain those types of individuals with the wide range of skills they need to have, you need to pay them well. I think if you want to have good-quality police officers, you need to pay them a good, reasonable salary.
I don't think the debate is about layoffs or necessarily about reducing officers' salaries; it's far from it. I think it's about recognizing that 80% of a police budget is typically for labour costs, so how can you most efficiently use that spending envelope? How can you deploy those officers most efficiently to achieve the objectives you're trying to achieve in terms of public safety outcomes?
I don't think the debate is about whether officers' salaries should necessarily be higher or lower. However, there is a reality in certain jurisdictions that police officers' salaries have been rising well above inflation due to the ratcheting up of those salaries through collective bargaining and arbitration processes. We are seeing a little bit more of a flatlining of those salaries happening across the country as a result of the recession and as a result of the fiscal situation in many parts of the country. I think that issue of salaries rising relative to the average Canadian salary is being brought under control just as a result of the economic and fiscal situation.
Regarding the broader point you raised about the demands on police, when we look at the number of calls for service, which is often a better measure of how active police are in our communities, it's been rising steadily over the years, and when you look at the nature of those calls, as was mentioned, the majority of them are non-criminal. We as a society are asking police to take on more tasks and more responsibilities, particularly with respect to individuals with mental health and addiction issues. Increasingly, they are dealing with quality-of-life issues, ensuring that the communities are safe, that residents feel safe in their communities, and that there is a visible police presence in certain types of communities that are experiencing challenges with disorder or with mischief.
As a number of you know from your direct experience in policing and from talking to police officers, they are often, as Chief Chu said, the call of first resort. They're available 24/7/365, and they're really the only agency out there that is. So often whenever there's a problem in a community, it's the police who are called.
They are tremendously busy responding to a whole range of calls. How efficiently can they do that? In most cases police have made a lot of gains in deploying those resources. Often the first challenge when you look at how to improve the efficiency is demand management. How are you responding to the demands of your community? How are you scheduling your officers? How are you deploying them—in crews of one or two—and so on? These are key questions they look at when they delve into how efficiently they're responding to these growing demands.
Perhaps I'll pause there and allow for further questions.
Mr. Mark Potter:
I think there are a couple of dimensions. We've been following your deliberations very closely. It's been very helpful for us to hear what you've had to say, what the witnesses have had to say, and the sorts of questions that have been raised. We've taken careful note of a lot of the information that's been conveyed to this committee, and that's been factored into what we're bringing forward to the ministers next week in Whitehorse.
The second answer I'll give is that we think your study and its recommendations will be tremendously helpful in providing further guidance, another key ingredient in moving this issue forward, so what we will look to is those recommendations. We'll look at them in contrast to what's going to be brought forward to ministers next week.
What's being brought forward to ministers is at a pretty high level, as these strategies typically are. There's research, there's information sharing, and then there are the three pillars: efficiencies within police services, new models of community safety, and justice efficiencies.
Under each of those categories, there are three, four, or five directions that are identified. Some of those areas we foresee, because we know there's already a pretty strong consensus in the policing community, particularly on the research and information-sharing side, for what we need to do. We've looked at other models and we've done a lot of research, so we have a pretty good plan. It's more a question now that once ministers approve it, we can begin moving it forward. There will still be a lot of details to work through, and there will be active consultations to do that.
Then there's another phase to the strategy: those areas where it's going deeper. I mentioned, for example, common procurement of equipment, which is something that we're seeing in other jurisdictions. That's a pretty big step for a number of police services and jurisdictions. We have, based on the consultations to date, a considerable level of support for that, but it's something where you need to continue to do your research and further engagement and get more input. There's a number of recommendations in that second phase where particularly the views of this committee could be tremendously helpful.
Then there's the stuff that we haven't necessarily thought about, or that anyone has thought about, as thoroughly as we should have. Hopefully, the committee may have a few insights in that regard. I don't see the strategy as being set at one point and that's it. The strategy will be presented to ministers. It's at a pretty high level. It contains a number of directions, but that strategy is going to continue to evolve.
As I think a number of people have said, this period of transformation and reform in policing is not a single point where you decide what you're going to do and you move forward. There's a lot of learning by doing and there's a lot of experimentation happening, both in Canada and elsewhere, so the reactions of governments and police services to this challenge are going to continue to evolve.
I guess the short answer is that we're very much looking forward to your study. I think it will be very helpful input, certainly for the federal government, as well as all governments, and for police services going forward.
Mr. Larry Miller:
Right, and I'm glad to hear that you recognize it's probably part of the problem.
What I was asking you for was not about the legalities of whether you can comment or not. I think from a personal standpoint you could have, but I'm not going to dwell on that.
I have the utmost respect for policing. I put the police on the same pedestal as nurses, doctors, and paramedics. I'm not going to get into the wages. I don't think they're underpaid, but I'm certainly not going to sit here and say they're overpaid. That's a discussion people will always have. I think overtime is an issue.
One other thing I've noticed, which you could comment on, is that when it comes to accidents—both major and minor accidents, in my opinion—the police almost appear to be working for the insurance companies. They seem to be there. The roads are now closed for hours, where they didn't used to be. Roads might have been reduced to one lane, but at least that would keep the traffic moving. But most police tell me, and I have family members in it, that it's basically there to CYA, meaning cover your butt, when it comes to insurance investigations.
While I'd like to think that policing has always been done thoroughly, I wonder what the reason for the change is, because the appearance is that they're working for the insurance companies, as much as anything.
Mr. Mark Potter:
I think you've raised an issue that's pretty complex in many respects. It gets at the issues of technology, of how you're deploying your police officers, of tiered policing, and the use of civilians to provide support to police.
I know a number of jurisdictions have looked at models whereby the police, who, as mentioned, are highly trained to deal with a wide range of outcomes and scenarios whenever they are called to an incident...that's their main value added. They can deal with everything from trying to talk down a person to using lethal force, and no one else can do that, so that's a tremendously important skill set. You want to ensure that those individuals are deployed to the right sorts of tasks.
Having that sort of individual with those complex skill sets writing reports and spending six or seven hours on a “driving under the influence” charge is not necessarily always the best use of that officer's time. So how can you adjust the processes by streamlining them, how can you use technology more effectively to convey the information throughout the process, and how can you engage other individuals—civilian support staff—who can take on some of those functions? There are examples when the police might be called to deal with a particular incident. They will contain the situation, they will get it under control, and then you might have a community safety officer, an auxiliary police officer, or a civilian take over the process and wrap it up by preparing paperwork and so on.
I think police are experimenting with different approaches, and the U.K. is a good example of this, to ensure those highly trained resources are deployed in the circumstances and the amount of time they are required to be deployed, and then you have others who can back them up and support them to deal with the more routine paperwork, administrative tasks associated with providing the sort of support the court system and citizens expect them to be able to convey.
Mr. Mark Potter:
I think, as you heard from Professor Curt Griffiths from Simon Fraser University, who's actually on our steering committee and a very prominent academic in the field of policing in Canada, we are well behind all of the G-8 countries in terms of our research capacity, the infrastructure to support it, and the existence in many countries of repositories.
As mentioned to this committee previously, there is a website in the U.S. run by the Department of Justice called crimesolutions.gov, and it's a tremendously useful and user-friendly site. Basically, if you want to look at crime prevention models, for example, it will give you a long list of all the crime prevention models that exist, both in the United States and elsewhere around the world. Most importantly—and this is where we want to get to ultimately with our index—it will give you information on independent evaluations of those programs. You can look at a program such as the broken windows program in New York, which has been around for quite a while now, and see how effective it is. It has had a lot of attention in terms of some of the very positive outcomes that it's contributed to in the New York area, and it's been applied in many other jurisdictions now. But what is the independent evaluation saying about that and many other programs?
It's got a nice user-friendly format, where if there have been a number of positive evaluations, it will get multiple tick marks and it will be a green sort of emblem, so you know if you're looking to implement a program like that to get at the roots of crime and crime prevention, particularly in crime hot spots, what the tested and true methods are out there. Many police services, particularly the medium and smaller ones, don't know where to turn to find that kind of information. By having a database of information, with contacts, with actual people, they can call up and say, “Look, I read about your program. It's got a lot of positive evaluations, and I'd like to talk to you more about it, so perhaps we could meet.”
Mr. Mark Potter:
I think that's a good question, and one that I'm not really in the best position to answer. I can refer to the testimony from Dale McFee, who is now the deputy minister in Saskatchewan for public safety and was the head of the Prince Albert Police Service, the service in Canada that brought that model over from Scotland.
I know from talking to Mr. McFee and reading about the hub and the community mobilization initiative that certainly to start it's not a tremendously expensive undertaking. Really, it requires a police service to commit one or two of your police officers on a regular basis to participate in ongoing meetings with all community and social services agencies. They will meet once, twice a week to review cases, to review situations of at-risk youth, at-risk families, and the kinds of interventions that might be most helpful to those individuals. So it's a couple of individuals from your police service, the time they're spending in these meetings, and some administration or clerical support around that to organize the meetings.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. More fundamentally, these models are about working with communities more directly and more proactively. That ultimately requires considerable resources from the police.
There are the hubs themselves, but then there's the whole philosophy of community and neighbourhood policing and proactive and integrated policing, which requires for many police services quite a shift in their orientation to devote a considerable portion—and I've heard figures of 30% to 40%—of police officers' time to engaging with community members, not to respond to incidents, but just to spend time in the communities talking to members of the community, understanding the challenges they're facing, gathering information on what's happening in the communities and helping them to adapt to some of the challenges they're facing, providing information on social service supports that are available to them and directing them to those agencies. There are various steps, shall we say, in terms of taking a model like the hub model in Saskatchewan and effectively applying it.
Mr. LaVar Payne (Medicine Hat, CPC):
Thank you, Chair. My question is through you to Mr. Potter.
It's nice to see you back here again, Mr. Potter. It's a really interesting study that we've had here, and we've seen a lot of interesting things from various communities right across the country, and also down south, where we attended as part of our committee.
One of the things I've noticed in my local community that has been reported many times is that the Medicine Hat city police are the second-highest paid in the country, which I find quite outstanding, actually. That obviously relates to a number of questions that we've seen. You've talked a bit about those, that when you talk to these officers they say they get really frustrated at having to go to court and then it's remanded for whatever reason, and they're going back two or three times. And a lot of times this is on overtime. So you're not just talking about regular salary; you're talking whatever it is—time and a half or double time, depending on their circumstances. So certainly some improvements from the court side....
You also talked about getting rid of the silos and working together. I think that's a really important aspect.
However, I want to touch on some of your comments in your opening presentation. You were talking about shared information on policies, practices, the efficiencies, and you did talk about the launch of the index in August. I'm wondering if you have any further thoughts that you wanted to express to us on those particular ideas.
Mr. Mark Potter:
I'll start with your first comment. It echoes a number of your colleagues' comments about court time and the efficiency of using officers in that way.
I don't want to sound like a broken record, but the index, the sharing of best practices, can be a tremendously helpful way for all police services to deal with that issue. If there are police services in Canada or elsewhere that have found the right approach to engage with the court system and use their officers' time as efficiently as possible, it's very helpful to share that information so that you don't have every jurisdiction and every police service trying to figure this all out for themselves. We have seen examples...simple matters of establishing liaison with prosecutors and the administration to ensure the scheduling is done in a way that works for both parties. At the national level, there are justice reform initiatives under way to ensure that technology can be more widely used in cases and to allow officers to appear through video conference where that makes sense to do so.
Really, what we're looking at in Canada is recognizing that there are different jurisdictional responsibilities. It's not for the federal government to dictate the operations of particular police services, but I think where it makes sense to share information, to collaborate, and to talk about what's working well in one place or another, it can be tremendously helpful to the policing community.
Frankly, we haven't had the infrastructure to do that in this country. We haven't had the willingness to engage in that kind of sharing. But that's changing. That's one of the big outcomes of the last few years of the summit, this committee's work, the greater public profile around policing costs, and improving efficiency and effectiveness of already very strong police services in this country. How we can continue to meet the high expectations of Canadians and to make policing ever more efficient is ultimately the goal of the strategy.
Mr. Mark Potter:
I think once again I'd make the caveat...and I don't mean to sound unhelpful, but for a federal government official like myself to comment on the operations of particular agencies, whether they're federal or provincial, is not entirely appropriate.
I do know, in talking to many different police services and agencies and provincial and municipal governments, that there's a sense, with the $12.9 billion we're spending annually, that there's a lot of money spent on policing, as well as on border services and elsewhere. The question is more how are we using those resources and ensuring...before you begin asking for additional resources?
We see this particularly in the case of municipalities, where they're regularly going to their police boards and their city councils and saying, we need more resources for this, and increasingly city councils are saying, okay, but we'd like to hear how you're achieving your results with what you have and what you are doing to employ those resources more efficiently and effectively. If you can then demonstrate to them...and Vancouver is another good example of this. When they ran into a fiscal crisis their municipal council pushed back on their increasing requests for resources and more officers, and said, hold on, you need to show us how you are achieving the results with what you already have.
It's about gathering data on results, presenting that to your city council, and ultimately allowing them to make the decision. I know in the case of Vancouver they basically went to their city council and said, look, with the front-line policing resources we have right now we can give you response times to priority one calls of 15 minutes. If you want that response time to be 10 minutes, then you're going to need x number of resources. That's a public policy strategic direction decision that a council, a police board, is able to make.
The police can lay out the implications of particular funding situations. The groups you've talked about, for example, I think have a responsibility to go to their funders and say, here's what we're doing, here are the results we're achieving, and here are the things we've done to improve efficiency and effectiveness. If you want us to do more and if you want us to focus on these particular areas, these are the implications and these are the resources we're going to require.
Mr. Rodney Weston (Saint John, CPC):
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Potter, welcome. I'm one of the new members on the committee, and I certainly look forward to playing an active role in the committee. This study is very interesting.
I have a question around the shared forward agenda that you mentioned in your comments today. My question is with respect to what's involved in the agenda. You talk about how it's being developed through collaboration with governments and police associations and whatnot. I guess where I'm going with this is that we all understand that police are being asked to do much more than they were 30 years ago. There are new dimensions in society now that they didn't have to deal with back in those days, 25 to 30 years ago—whether it's Internet crimes or some of the mental health issues you talked about. The police can be spending many hours at hospitals dealing with individuals who have mental health issues.
I hear a lot of people talking about the time police are spending on administrative duties and the time they are spending in courts. Those are issues police had in the past as well. Courtroom time was always an issue for police, to ensure prosecutions were completed. Administrative issues were always there because you want to make sure every detail is recorded for the prosecution.
However, with the shared forward agenda and the talk of collaboration, my mind went to the collaborative care model of health care. When health care providers are dealing with something that is outside of their normal areas of expertise, it's triaged and moved to another area.
Is there any thought given under the shared forward agenda to...I don't want to use the collaborative health care model or a triage model, but to some sort of model like that? If police are dealing with a mental health issue that's outside of the policing realm per se...there are not criminal charges that would be followed up on in that nature. Is there any thought to being able to move this to somebody who is...I don't want to say better suited, but better trained to deal with those issues?
Mr. Mark Potter:
I think there has been a lot of progress in this area, but it's mixed. So in dealing with individuals with mental health issues, it's often a two-pronged approach. You've heard from certain police chiefs in this regard. They will go on patrol with a public health nurse. You'll have a police officer and a public health nurse in the car responding to incidents, to allow for the proper engagement with individuals with mental health issues. So there are particular things like that, which frankly, in some police services, have been around for 30 years. Other police services are only just starting to do it. That's why I said there's a bit of a mixed bag.
There's the training that is given to police officers to make them aware of the signs and symptoms of mental health issues, which has grown pretty significantly, both in the basic training and in the refresher training that police get. There are other things that have been happening. For example, in the Yukon, as a result of a particular incident there, they've done a review and made some reforms to their policing system and how they engage with various partners, including mental health. One of them is when you're bringing in an individual who's displaying signs of mental health issues, how do you get them quickly into the health care system?
What has often happened in most jurisdictions is the police will take such an individual to the emergency ward, and because the individual may have the potential for violence, the police are required to remain in the emergency ward. That's the Sudbury example. I was actually on a ride along with RCMP in Whitehorse not too long ago where this exact situation happened, where an individual had to go to the emergency department, and there were five police officers standing around the bed for two hours. This was because of other priorities, and the doctors didn't have a chance to deal with this individual and give them the help they needed.
So what you have—and this is starting to emerge now in the Yukon and elsewhere—are MOUs in place with the health care system that say when we're bringing in certain types of individuals, please let us go to a particular part of the hospital where there are people trained to assess these individuals, determine what condition they're in, and how they can best be helped. The police are then better able to hand them off to a secure, helpful environment for the individual without the police—
That's it. Thank you.
Colleagues, we have now finished our round of questioning.
At this time, I would like to thank you, Mr. Potter, not just for today but also for the substantive information you've provided to this committee over the number of times you've been here. It's deeply appreciated. On behalf of all the committee, thank you very much.
I'd like to thank my colleagues from all sides of the House for their interventions and their comments today.
We will have a motion for adjournment very shortly, I would expect, but before we do that, I might serve notice to the committee that at our Thursday meeting, the chair has an intention to reserve the last few minutes for future business. I just bring that to your attention so that you can possibly come prepared for that, should the committee decide that's equitable, at that time.
I'm open for a motion. It is moved by Mr. Norlock and seconded by Mr. Garrison.
We are adjourned to the call of the chair.