Christian Leblanc, pictured here, and Marie-Josée Barry-Gosselin will officially leave their positions Sept. 7. (Marc-Antoine Mageau/Radio-Canada) The two main prosecutors for the commission looking into the treatment of Indigenous people by Quebec public services have resigned from their posts.
Christian Leblanc and Marie-Josée Barry-Gosselin served as chief counsel and assistant chief counsel of the Viens Commission, respectively.
The inquiry was set up in 2016 in response to allegations that police were mistreating Indigenous women in Val-d’Or, about 500 kilometres northwest of Montreal.
It is travelling around the province and is currently holding hearings in Quebec City, gathering testimony from Indigenous people about how they are treated by police and other public servants.
Among their duties, Leblanc and Barry-Gosselin prepared witnesses to testify at the hearings before Justice Jacques Viens, which are taking place in various locations across Quebec.
Leblanc has also been the spokesperson for the commission since its launch.
The pair will officially leave their positions tomorrow, Sept. 7, according to a news release put out by the inquiry.
"I’m leaving for personal reasons that I won’t comment on," Barry-Gosselin told CBC News. New chief counsel named
Suzanne Arpin, who previously served as counsel for the commission, will assume chief counsel duties on Monday.
Arpin joined the commission in 2017 and "has worked primarily in the areas of youth protection, adoption, youth criminal justice, and health and social services law," the release states.
She will also serve as spokesperson for the inquiry. Marie-Josée Barry-Gosselin, right, told CBC News she is stepping down for personal reasons but didn’t comment further. (Viens Commission) Late last month, the Quebec Bar Association announced it was giving Leblanc the title of lawyer emeritus, which recognizes lawyers who "strengthen the image and influence" of the profession.
Having spent several years working with Indigenous communities, he was the first prosecutor to work out of Quebec’s Inuit territory of Nunavik when the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions opened an office there.
With files from CBC’s Catou MacKinnon
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