About the IIU

Our History

In 2007, Manitoba’s Attorney General commissioned the Taman Inquiry — a review of investigation, prosecution and justice services provided to the families in relation to the death of Crystal Taman. The Report of the Taman Inquiry released on October 6, 2008 included 14 recommendations. The province announced its intention to implement all recommendations, including:

“That the Minister of Justice give consideration to creating a provincial special investigative unit independent of all police enforcement agencies in Manitoba for the purpose of investigating any alleged criminal activity of a member of a police service”.

Following the recommendations of the Taman and Aboriginal Justice Inquiries, reviews of best practises in other jurisdictions and extensive consultations with key stakeholders, Manitoba introduced The Police Services Act in 2009 to replace the aged and antiquated Provincial Police Act. The new act brought about important legislated changes and modernizations for policing in the province.

Among the major changes in the new legislation was the establishment of Manitoba’s first civilian-led Independent Investigation Unit (IIU), mandated to conduct transparent and independent investigations of all serious incidents involving police.

The IIU has the authority to investigate and provide oversight on all matters concerning the conduct of police in the province including, First Nations, RCMP and municipal police forces. This independent agency is intended to provide stronger oversight and more transparent investigations into major incidents and criminal allegations involving police officers.

In March 2013 Zane Tessler was appointed as the province’s inaugural civilian director of the IIU. His initial task was to make the IIU operational by establishing necessary policies and regulations, and hiring investigators.

The civilian director of the IIU is responsible for:

  • the management, administration and operation of the IIU
  • overseeing investigations conducted by the IIU
  • performing any other duties imposed by The Police Services Act