Nova Scotia premier apologizes for systemic racism in province’s justice system

Premier Stephen McNeil

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil has apologized to Black and Indigenous Nova Scotians for systemic racism in the province’s justice system.

McNeil said  on Tuesday that institutions such as the police and the courts hav  e failed Black and Indigenous people.

The premier apologized for the harm, trauma and pain he says many Nova Scotians have endured over generations.

McNeil says the Black Lives Matter movement in Nova Scotia and around the world has highlighted the systemic failures that have resulted from relying on policing and law enforcement for public safety.

He says the approach has privileged some and marginalized others, and that the province must do better.

Jacob (Jake) MacIsaac

The premier committed to fundamentally changing the way the province approaches public safety.

He told a gathering in Halifax on Tuesday: “I see you, I hear you, I believe you and I am sorry.”

McNeil says he is putting together a team composed of members of Black and Indigenous communities, as well as members of government and the police, to work on ways to reform the justice system.

The team is to carry out its work over the next 12-18 months.