Manitoba proposing changes to disclosure act to keep police officers safe

Proposed amendments introduced to the Public Sector Compensation Disclosure Act in Manitoba would better protect the personal safety of police officers by allowing them to be identified by number instead of name as part of public sector compensation disclosure reporting, said Finance Minister Jennifer Howard.
"We have heard from police officers that public disclosure lists have been used to target officers at their homes and off-duty," said Howard. "These amendments would protect police officers while still ensuring Manitobans have a full picture of public sector salaries."

The proposed amendments would exempt police officers from having their names disclosed and use individual numeric identifiers instead, the minister said, adding salaries would continue to be reported under the act to ensure transparency and accountability to Manitobans.

"We are grateful to both the government and opposition in moving this important measure through the legislature," said Mike Sutherland, president of the Winnipeg Police Association. "It is an unfortunate phenomenon of police work that certain segments of the criminal element are emboldened to the point of seeking to endanger, threaten or intimidate officers and their families during their off-duty hours or at their personal residences. While upholding the principle of salary disclosure, this measure reduces the vulnerability of officers and their families."

The act currently requires all public sector employees who earn more than $50,000 to have their name, salary and position disclosed publicly on an annual basis. These requirements apply to the provincial government, Crown corporations, regional health authorities, municipalities, universities and school boards.