Do British Columbians trust the justice system? A recent Angus Reid Institute poll says no.
Only 35% of BC residents who participated in the survey believe every person is treated fairly within the justice system. Even less, 28%, say they have confidence in the provincial court system, meaning two-thirds of polled British Columbians do have confidence.
BC Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Terry Teegee says he thinks there are a few reasons for this.
“Quite simply there is a number of cases in the court system that haven’t been dealt with properly and I think just in general the court system is dealing with a lot of cases that it doesn’t have the ability to deal with.”
Another stat shows more British Columbians think the justice system is too soft compared to the national average.
It’s not surprising though, says Teegee, who has been critical of the system in recent times following the trial of Gerald Stanley in the death of Colten Boushie.
“Whether it’s policing, the judicial system, and also incarceration rates which are quite high, I think there needs to be alternatives,” he explains.
“Also rehabilitation services that is much needed in the jail system which has been called for for a number of years.”
A First Nations court is set to open in Prince George, opening ceremonies are March 23rd, which Teegee says should help with confidence especially among First Nations.