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Recommendations Of The Coroner's Inquest Into The Death Of Robert Gentles

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9. It is recommended that CSC only authorize for use those chemical agents, inflammatory sprays and their constituents, which meet Health Canada and Environment Canada standards. All chemical agents and inflammatory sprays in use by CSC must be re-authorized annually.

CSC'S RESPONSE:

CSC has established a national working committee to address this matter. Representatives on this committee include a Correctional Supervisor, IERT leader, a regional chemical agent instructor, a Coordinator Correctional Operations, a Security Maintenance Officer, as well as representatives from Security and Technical Services from National Headquarters. These members represent the primary users of chemical agents and inflammatory sprays.

A Toxicologist, Dr.Joseph Ruddick, from Health Canada, has been assigned to assist in assessing the chemical agents and spray irritants that CSC will include on the Scale of Issue to ensure that their standards are met. In addition, Environment Canada will be contacted to determine if the propellants are safe and in accordance with their standards.

The role of the Committee is to fully review all existing chemical agents and inflammatory sprays on the Scale of Issue to assess their appropriateness and continued use. It is anticipated that through the work of this committee, the existing Scale of Issue for these chemical agents will be reduced from the current 18 agents to approximately 8 agents.

Annual re-authorization of chemical agents and spray irritants has been provided for in an amendment to the Standard Operating Practice (SOP) on chemical agents. This amendment states that "based upon recommendations from the National Security Equipment Committee, the ADC's shall re-authorize the use of chemical agents and inflammatory sprays on an annual basis." In addition, the SOP will also include the requirement that:

"On an annual basis CSC will submit to Health Canada and Environment Canada a complete listing of chemical agents and inflammatory sprays that are in use. Chemical agents and inflammatory sprays that do not meet Health Canada and Environment Canada standards shall be immediately removed from use and disposed of."

The National Committee has requested that all regions provide an inventory listing of all chemical agents in use within their regions. The Committee will review and evaluate the inventories and recommend a list of approximately 8 approved agents. Regional meetings will be conducted in December 1999 to review this revised Scale of Issue.

The final proposed inventory of agents will be presented to the Assistant Deputy Commissioners for review and approval by the end of February 2000.