New Brunswick

Police commission to investigate language complaint against Fredericton police

The New Brunswick Police Commission has been asked to investigate a complaint made against the Fredericton Police Force by a driver who wanted to deal with a French-speaking officer.

Basic French qualification to be added to criteria for new recruits, city says

A driver pulled over by Fredericton police complained after service couldn't be provided in French. (Daniel McHardie/CBC)

The New Brunswick Police Commission has been asked to investigate a complaint made against the Fredericton Police Force by a driver who wanted to deal with a French-speaking officer.

Wayne Knorr, the city's communication manager, says the complaint was made June 13 after the driver was pulled over by two Fredericton police officers on June 11.

Knorr said the driver asked to be served in French, but neither officer spoke French. A third officer, who was bilingual, was called to deal with the traffic stop.

Chris MacPherson, the City of Fredericton's chief administrative officer, said in a statement that he and Chief Leanne Fitch asked the police commission to look into the complaint.

The complaint will be investigated as a service complaint and a conduct complaint under two sections of the New Brunswick Police Act,  MacPherson said in a statement. 

"The Fredericton Police Force and the City of Fredericton strive to comply fully with the obligation to actively offer service to the client in the language of their choice under the Official Languages Act of New Brunswick," the statement said. 

The city said it will continue to improve basic communication training in French for police officers already working for the force.

The city has also said that when selecting future recruits, a "preference" for a basic qualification in French will be added to the criteria.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story incorporated incorrect information from the City of Fredericton. The story said only two officers were involved in the traffic stop. In fact, two officers stopped the driver and a third officer, who was bilingual, was called in to assist. The complaint was made June 13.
    Jul 10, 2017 7:55 PM AT

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