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RCMP call in OPP, watchdog to probe alleged assaults linked to hydro projects – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Sep 14, 2018 

WINNIPEG _ Manitoba RCMP have called in outside investigators to probe alleged assaults linked to hydro projects in the province’s north during the 1960s.

RCMP say any historical criminal investigations involving Manitoba Hydro employees or contractors will be handled by the Ontario Provincial Police.

The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba, the province’s police watchdog, will investigate any allegations involving RCMP officers.

A report released last month by an arm’s-length review agency outlined racism, discrimination and sexual abuse at the Crown-owned utility’s work sites dating back decades.

Much of the development at that time was centered around the community of Gillam and the nearby Fox Lake Cree Nation.

The report said the presence of a largely male construction workforce led to the sexual abuse of Indigenous women, some of whom said their complaints were ignored by the RCMP.

“Determining the scope of the investigation will be the responsibility of the respective investigative agencies,” Manitoba RCMP said in a release Friday.

Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires has called the allegations disturbing and referred the report to the RCMP.

Some Indigenous leaders have called for a provincial inquiry into racism, discrimination and violence linked to hydroelectric development.

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