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Legislative Assembly Committee (Including Valley MLA) Appoints Next BC Police Complaint Commissioner

Victoria – The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia has appointed Prabhu Rajan as Police Complaint Commissioner for a five-year term, effective Feb. 21, 2024.

The appointment follows the unanimous recommendation of Rajan by a parliamentary committee comprised of government and Opposition members. The committee conducted a comprehensive search for British Columbia’s next Police Complaint Commissioner.

“The committee was impressed by Prabhu Rajan’s extensive legal background, as well as his experience with inquests, investigations and systemic reviews that are in the public interest,” said committee chair Garry Begg. “Members also appreciated his experience building and leading diverse teams and his ability to form strong relationships with external partners.”

Deputy chair Renee Merrifield added: “Prabhu Rajan holds a deep commitment to equity, fairness, and anti-discrimination, as well as to serving diverse and marginalized communities. We are confident in his ability to provide effective leadership as Police Complaint Commissioner and ensure public confidence in the work of the office and the accessibility of the police complaint process.”

Committee members expressed their appreciation to Clayton Pecknold for his dedication and service to British Columbians as Police Complaint Commissioner over the past five years.

The Police Complaint Commissioner is an independent officer of the legislature responsible for the impartial civilian oversight of complaints about the conduct of municipal police officers in British Columbia, as provided by the Police Act.

To read the committee’s report, visit: https://www.leg.bc.ca/parliamentary-business/committees/42ndParliament-4thSession-pcc

A biography follows.

The members of the committee are:
Garry Begg, MLA, Surrey-Guildford (chair)
Renee Merrifield, MLA, Kelowna-Mission (deputy chair)
Trevor Halford, MLA, Surrey-White Rock
Adam Olsen, MLA, Saanich North and the Islands
Kelli Paddon, MLA, Chilliwack-Kent
Aman Singh, MLA, Richmond-Queensborough

Biographical information – Prabhu Rajan

Prabhu Rajan is a seasoned lawyer and executive leader with more than 25 years of experience in the Ontario public service. Throughout his career he has demonstrated a strong commitment to fairness, accountability and human rights.

Most recently, Rajan was chief counsel to Ontario’s Chief Coroner and Chief Forensic Pathologist, and co-led the province’s inquest system, which provides statutory oversight for police-involved and in-custody deaths. He was responsible for reviewing and transforming the inquest system with the objectives of enhancing the focus on systemic factors, streamlining inquest investigation and hearing processes, and strengthening engagement with inquest participants.

As part of this role, Rajan was lead counsel on several high-profile and contentious inquests, which included cases centred on use of force, domestic violence and mental health in the justice system. In addition, he served as chair of Ontario’s Domestic Violence Death Review Committee.

Rajan developed a broad spectrum of legal and executive expertise through senior legal management roles with the Ministry of Education; the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities; and the Ministry of Labour. As deputy legal director at the Ministry of the Solicitor General, he provided legal and strategic advice to senior police service members in the Ontario Provincial Police on sensitive matters, including large-scale inquiries and the prosecution of police misconduct.

Earlier in his tenure in government, Rajan was counsel for the Ontario Human Rights Commission, litigating cases at all levels, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He holds a bachelor of arts in criminology from the University of Manitoba and a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University.

Born in Winnipeg, Rajan’s values and ethics were greatly influenced by his late parents who came from humble beginnings in south India and immigrated to Canada where they achieved their goals to become university professors. Rajan is the proud father of two young men and a goldendoodle.

Prabhu Rajan – BC Police Complaint Commissioner 2024 – Linked In

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