The Murder of Lindsay Buziak

Feb 20/2022 Is there corruption in the ranks of the Saanich Police? Corrupt cops don’t solve crimes.

…under bc.’s current Police Act, change is almost impossible.

The Police Act says police boards, not councils, oversee municipal police forces. There are 11 municipal departments in the province, with other communities policed by the even-less-accountable RCMP. The police boards can have up to nine members. The mayor is chair, and can only vote to break a tie. Council can name one member. And the rest are appointed by the province. The board have no public accountability. They hire and fire the police chief, sets priorities and the police budget. The board can consider council’s priorities or community concerns. But it makes the decisions.

And if there’s a conflict, the director of police services rules…

When it comes to the culture around sexualized violence, it is clear that the Saanich Police are way in over their heads and lack the training necessary to deal with sexual assault victims.

A perfect example of this is the way officers treated a young assault victim who came to them in 2016. Chelsea was made to feel like she was responsible for what happened to her, treated with disrespect and in the end the case was closed and the file labelled unfounded. This was clearly a case of police bias and police mishandling. But here is the most interesting part of the story that was never disclosed to the public.

the man who Chelsea made the accusations against was a local realtor who’s father just happened to be a retired Saanich Police officer.

After the findings of an investigation by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner in 2019 the Saanich Police were left with no choice but to make a public statement admitting that they had handled the investigation poorly and that Chelsea’s complaint was not “unfounded”. The Saanich Police Board has apologized for the department’s treatment of a sexual assault survivor’s report after she shared their missteps and her degrading experience with officers. The Saanich police made a statement saying, “Survivors must have confidence in going to the police knowing that we will respect their dignity and have their best interests at heart This is where we want to be.”

Police missteps leave Greater Victoria sexual assault survivor without justice – Saanich News

Cop tried to convince a sexual assault victim not to report, then was deceitful about it

A longtime Saanich police officer counselled a victim not to report their sexual assault to police, an investigation found. The cop, who had been with the force for 26 years at the time of the investigation, received a 20-day suspension for counselling the victim to not report their sexual assault to police. His actions sparked an internal probe, where he received a further 30 days after providing false or misleading statements to the investigating officer. The Saanich officer suspended for counselling an alleged sexual assault victim also faced a misconduct allegation for providing a false or misleading statement to the officer looking into the first allegation, for which he received a 30-day suspension.

Another Saanich police offer was disciplined for inappropriate touching of a special municipal constable during an off-site meeting on Oct. 17, 2017.At a pre-hearing conference, the officer took responsibility and fully agreed their conduct was highly inappropriate and they had placed the special municipal constable in an uncomfortable and awkward position. The officer had to complete an online respectful workplaces course offered by the Canadian Police Knowledge Network.

According to the Saanich Police Department, between 2011 & May 2020 it received 858 assault reports. Of those, charge consideration reports were sent to Crown on 173 instances, and 153 of those went to court. That means Saanich Police sent forward about 20% of sexual assault reports. Statistics show that 95% of sexual assaults are true, not accounting for the vast majority that go unreported.

Upon direction from the Board,

the Saanich Police Department requested the Vancouver Police Department conduct an independent review of Saanich policies related to the investigation of sexual assault offences. A number of recommendations resulted from the VPD review and changes were made to Saanich policy in this area. Changes include enhanced requirements for supervisors, such as ensuring awareness of sexual assault investigations, ensuring appropriate resources and expertise are utilized, and that appropriate rationale and evidence are documented in cases where charges are not recommended.

Saanich policy was amended to ensure that all investigations involving a sexual offence will be reviewed and monitored by a supervisor in the Detective Division. The department also created a separate policy regarding trauma-informed practices.

The reasons for which victims may delay in reporting a sexual assault to police is well documented in research which suggests that the emotional trauma endured may prevent victims from reporting the crime to police, and when they do, it may take time for victims to process the event and make the decision to inform law enforcement. The reluctance of victims to report to police immediately following a sexual assault can be explained by a number of psychological and emotional factors, including—but not limited to—denial, self-blame, shame, humiliation, fear, feeling threatened by the perpetrator, and a sense of helplessness.

Is it any wonder why women are afraid to go the the Saanich Police with their complaints?

Time and time again I hear, “I would never trust the Saanich Police,” and some even tell me the name of the police officers they actually fear in that department. And the why. If it was just one person I heard this from I could pass it off as “unfounded”, but when I hear the same thing over and over again from different sources then I know that these women are speaking the truth. And why is it that when officers are fired or reprimanded, their names are never made public. Isn’t it possible that if their names were disclosed it could open the door to other women coming forward with information against members of this police department?

That deep entrenched fear by women in the community may be the reason that Saanich has a 20% charge rate in sexual assault, less than half the national average of 43%.

Could this also be the reason why people who have information that could help in Lindsay Buziak’s murder are too afraid to come forward? We have a young woman who was murdered back in February 2008 and her murder remains unsolved. And we have people who have information who are too afraid to talk to the Saanich Police. Are they afraid that the Saanich Police won’t believe their story? Are they afraid that some of the police officers in that department have connections to the criminals that walk our streets? Are they afraid that their lives could be in danger if they share what they know with the wrong cop? Why are so many people saying they don’t trust the Saanich Police? Usually where there is smoke there is fire!

What ever happened to the sexual assault allegations made against another realtor in 2021?

The sexual assault happened in Oak Bay but as Saanich handles all of Oak Bay’s major crimes, the case was taken over by Saanich. The victim of this crime went to the hospital after the assault, then directly to the police to report. Has anyone heard what is going on in her case? Has this case been put up on a shelf, and labelled unfounded just like Chelsea’s was? Yes, another realtor, and could it be that this young man’s father is a high-profile lawyer who has friends in the Saanich Police Department? Just sayin……

In 2021 two other local very successful realtors who worked for Engel & Volkers Real Estate were accused of drug raping a young woman in their office in 2018.

When they were done with her, they said, “you are a nobody in Victoria and nobody would believe you.” This young woman filed a civil action last year, and of course we all await the outcome. This happened in Victoria, not Saanich but it is still an example of what is going on in our communities. I do not want to believe that there is this “stereotype” within the Saanich Police Department but it sure is looking that way. I am starting to question why allegations of sexual assault are not being taken more seriously.

When you have a realtor who is being protected because his father was a retired Saanich police officer, you have to ask the important question. What the heck is going on here? Is this all about one cop covering for another, or covering for a member of his family. Shouldn’t the focus be on the victim who has just suffered a terribly traumatic experience and needs someone to believe in her?

Is it possible that officers in this department have a lack of respect for women? Do they believe that if a woman is raped – that she asked for, deserved it? If there are Saanich cops being found guilty of having sexual relations with sex workers, or asking sex workers for favors, how many have not been caught for doing the same thing? Not just with sex workers, but with other woman too. These sex workers are someone’s children, someone’s daughter, and they are human beings just like the rest of us and deserve to be treated as such. Police officers that partake in this activity are misusing their position of power. Power-over is a dangerous game and very unacceptable. Saanich has a seriously entrenched problem and an abuse of power that needs to be dealt with.

These are not isolated incidents. This is not a few bad apples. This is an entrenched culture of harassment and exploitation, intimidation, and abuse at every level in police departments across Canada. This will not be solved by giving police more money for “better training” and seminars on better behaviour.  

Again, is this the reason that Saanich has a 20% charge rate in sexual assault, less than half the national average of 43%? Because if this is the case we have a serious problem.

Victimization of sex workers by police ‘not irregular,’ B.C. advocacy group says

Maybe Saanich in particular should consider getting liaison officers of their own.”

Peers Victoria Resource Society said less than five per cent of workers will report abuse to police. Power control issues between sex workers and police officers are not uncommon according to Peers Victoria Resource Society, a sex worker advocacy group. “When we’re talking about sex workers reporting sexual violence to police, sometimes sex workers, not irregularly, face power control issues with police,” said Rachel Phillips, executive director of Peers. “Sometimes that means they are further sexually victimized by police.” Phillips said this is a general trend for sex workers and not just a local occurrence.

In the same report, two Oak Bay officers faced discipline, with one being dismissed, after allegations of using services of sex trade workers, possibly while on duty. “To me it’s not a problem that an officer might have a relationship with someone in the industry,” Phillips said. “The problem is if there’s a conflict of interest with their role or abusing their power.” Phillips said that because of power struggle issues, as well a legality issues around sex work, most workers will not go to police if they are facing problems.

“Of all the bad date and aggressor reports, probably less than five per cent of workers are willing to meet with police,” Phillips said. “People in the sex industry are structurally at odds with police because of criminal codes which say that sex work is wrong, so there’s a distrust amongst police services.” Phillips said there’s also the problem of stigma against sex workers, as well as societal prejudice and racism. “Some of our more marginalized people experience criminalization and poor treatment from police on multiple angles,” Phillips said, adding it was particularly bad with Indigenous workers. “Within certain sub populations, it’s a cultural problem.”

Phillips did note, however, that Peers and the Victoria Police Department are trying to foster a healthier relationship between officers and sex workers by utilizing two liaison officers who are women. While sex workers are still hesitant to speak with the officers, Phillips said there’s room for education and growth with that outreach.

“I think liaison relationships have to be grounded in a philosophy of support,” Phillips said.

Victimization of sex workers by police ‘not irregular,’ B.C. advocacy group says – Nelson Star

OPPC Report for the fiscal year 2019/2020

The OPPC report includes details from a January 2019 complaint that arose from a year-long sexual assault investigation.

The complainant said that the investigating officer had made comments and asked questions that made her feel “devalued” and “disrespected”. The officer asked her about alcohol and medication consumption she said, and asked whether she had stayed in a park to avoid “a walk of shame”. The victim’s complaint was eventually closed and filed “UNFOUNDED”

The 2019 complaint is not the Saanich Department’s first when it comes to officer conduct during a sexual assault investigation.

Saanich police apologize for inadequate handling of sexual assault survivor’s report

Officers’ 2016 choices left survivor without justice.

The Saanich Police Board has apologized for the department’s treatment of a sexual assault survivor’s report after she shared their missteps and her degrading experience with officers in a Black Press Media article last month. The July 28 article, Police missteps leave Greater Victoria sexual assault survivor without justice, details how officers mis-recorded part of a 2016 interview with the survivor – identified as Chelsea – and took steps that made incriminating aspects of the accused’s interview inadmissible in court.

Officers ultimately chose not to recommend charges against the accused and incorrectly classified Chelsea’s report as “unfounded,”

a label exposed by a 20-month Globe and Mail investigation as proof of police bias and mishandling of sexual assault reports in Canada. Chelsea also said the officers investigating her file made multiple degrading comments about her experience. When Chelsea returned to the police in 2020 to complain about their handling of her report, the officer she spoke with acknowledged their mistakes and agreed she was in fact a survivor of sexual assault. Her file was changed to “founded, but not charged.”

A statement last week is the first time the police board and department have formally acknowledged mistakes, though. Signed by Chief Const. Scott Green and Mayor Fred Haynes, the statement thanks Chelsea for having the courage to speak up and advocate for change. “We have heard the concerns of the survivor, affirm that her experience was real, and acknowledge that our investigation of her case should have been better,” the statement reads. “We sincerely regret that the survivor did not receive the quality of service that the Saanich Police is known for and is committed to providing to all members of the community we serve, and we sincerely apologize to her.”

The statement goes on to detail changes the department has made since 2016, including introducing mandatory trauma-informed practice training for all officers and mandatory internal audits of all sexual assault investigations. The department requested a review of its sexual assault policies by the Vancouver Police Department in 2020, after a 2019 complainant said a Saanich police officer asked her whether she had stayed in a park after being sexually assaulted to avoid a “walk of shame” and questioned her about alcohol consumption. The statement concludes by emphasizing that change in the criminal justice system is necessary and that the department aims to be a place where survivors can be comfortable reporting their experience.

“Confidence in Canada’s criminal justice system among victims of sexual assault is demonstrably at an all-time low. Just five percent of sexual assaults are reported to the police and, in contrast to other violent crimes, sexual assault rates have not declined. It stands to reason that sexually violent men who are not held to account are free to target other women. 

“According to the Human Rights Commission, the failure to properly investigate and prosecute sexual offences is a form of systemic discrimination and a human rights violation. The first step toward transformative change is to acknowledge that sexism among police is systemic, and not simply a problem of a few “bad apples.” Police agencies must dig deep to find the level of self-criticism needed for truly revolutionary change within their ranks and power structures that will ensure justice and safety for all women. 

OPPC Report for the fiscal year 2017/2018

A 2018 report by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner shows a Saanich police officer retroactively fired over corruption, deceit, and a relationship with a sex worker. This same officers is said to have threatened to reveal a confidential informant’s status to their criminal associates and knowingly provided false or misleading evidence to the Police Act investigator. The officer resigned during the police investigation. Saanich Police had six of eight substantiated allegations against officers in Greater Victoria. The misconduct allegations include corrupt practice, deceit, dis-credible conduct, improper disclosure, neglect of duty and improper use or care of a firearm.


Another investigation requested in 2018 by the Saanich Police Department involved misconduct allegations which happened between 2014 – 2016, according to the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner. 16 allegations against the officer were all substantiated. The investigation concluded that the officer had committed a “neglect of duty” by “recertifying a number of police officers, including himself, which was in contravention of the International Association of Police Chiefs (IAP) DRE policy. The officer retired before the investigation into his misconduct had been completed, and the OPCC report indicated he did not attend the discipline proceeding in the case. Though the officer was retired at the time the investigation concluded, his record now reflects that he was dismissed from the Saanich Police Department, according to the OPPC report.

As quoted in the report, the discipline authority in the case wrote that:

DECEIT “undermines and has a significant and adverse impact on public trust and confidence in the police to do their jobs with honor and integrity.”

There is systemic sexism from police, lawyers, the medical system and the justice system and this mindset/attitude must stop before we will ever see positive changes in the way sexual assault victims are treated.

Victoria police, former Esquimalt officers hit with sexual abuse lawsuit

The Victoria Police Department and four former Esquimalt police officers are being sued for $5.3 million over sexual abuse allegations dating back to the 1980s and 1990s. Scott Connors, Robert Cowick, Samuel Devana and Kenneth Cockle are named as defendants in the notice of civil claim, filed with the B.C. Supreme Court on Nov. 12. VicPD is named because it merged with the Esquimalt Police Department in 2003.

Victoria police, former Esquimalt officers hit with sexual abuse lawsuit | CTV News




I applaud the initiative of the BC Civil Liberties organization. The current situation is entirely unacceptable and real changes must happen as soon as possible. Until then, holding the police accountable under the threat of smaller legal challenges is the best we can hope for. A government report has concluded police are simply not investigated in a thorough way and receive vastly different treatment from fellow officers.

That one in five cases that were improperly investigated indicates not only that police corruption is very real, but also incredibly widespread. Officers in BC simply do not face justice on the same level as ordinary citizens. A two-tiered justice system in incompatible with our modern society.


%d bloggers like this: