So-called ‘catch and release justice’ will be the focus for a northern working group.
The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) group will then bring its concerns to the province during the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference in August.
In March, council in North Bay supported a motion from Sarnia which calls for improvements to the system, pointing out that police services across the province are exhausting time and resources having to manage the repeated arrests of the same offenders.
At last week’s FONOM board meeting in Elk Lake, Sault Ste. Marie’s Police Chief Hugh Stevenson delivered a presentation on current catch-and-release procedures.
“Several member municipalities have sent resolutions to FONOM on the issue of catch and release,” says Danny Whalen, FONOM President. “Chief Stevenson shared with the board the background information and several troubling examples of the practice.”
The working group will include three FONOM board members, two city police chiefs, an OPP service board member and possibly a former Crown Attorney.
FONOM says its multi-minister delegation at the AMO conference in August will be used to start working with the province to address the negative impact of catch and release.