Nunavik police using master keys to enter private residences: Inukjuak mayor

Police chief details agreement with Kativik housing board, says keys only to be used to intervene in life-threatening situations

During this week’s Kativik Regional Government council meeting, Inukjuak Mayor Pauloosie Kasudluak spoke of community members’ concerns that police have been entering people’s homes without a search warrant. (Photo by Jeff Pelletier)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Kativik Regional Government councillors want to know why Nunavik police are using Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau master keys to enter people’s homes.

Nunavik police Chief Jean-Francois Morin, pictured in this April 2023 file photo, responded directly to concerns about warrantless entries shared by Kativik Regional Government council members this week in Kuujjuaq. (File photo by Jeff Pelletier)

Nunavik’s police leadership took questions on the issue Tuesday during the regional government’s meeting in Kuujuaq.

Inukjuak Mayor Pauloosie Kasudluak said some of his community members have expressed concerns about an officer entering homes with the master key at night while police were searching for someone.

“Those police did not have a search warrant,” Kasudluak said in Inuktitut through an interpreter.

“I think they went to four or five houses where the tenants were asleep and they had no clue what was going on. I think that was something that was done wrong.”

Nunavik Police Services Chief Jean-Pierre Larose said he was aware of the specific incident Kasudluak referred to.

He said officers are only allowed to enter homes without a warrant in situations where someone’s life is in danger. In this case, they were trying to find somebody who police believed was suicidal.

“We were trying to find out where was the person, and each door we were going at [there was] no answer, so we used the key,” Larose said.

He said Nunavik Police Service has an agreement with the housing bureau that allows police to use master keys to enter residences. It only allows entry without a search warrant in instances where police believe someone’s life is in danger.

“It’s not that we want to go into houses without warrants: it’s the nature of the job.… Sometimes it’s not clear, and we fear for life,” Larose told councillors.

He added he wants people to report any misuse of the master keys to management.

Vous avez le droit à l'égalité de traitement, Nunavut Human Rights Tribunal

Deputy Chief Jean-Francois Morin said officers have been told not to use master keys unless they truly believe there is a life in danger.

“A reminder was sent to all officers: there’s a very clear protocol about the use of those master keys,” he said.

Larose and Morin also said that use of the master keys is an alternative to the way police used to enter homes owned by the Kativik housing board.

“It avoids, of course, breaking doors and having them repaired months later,” Larose said.

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(16) Comments:

  1. Posted by Nothing But The Facts on

    “It’s not that we want to go into houses without warrants: it’s the nature of the job.… Sometimes it’s not clear, and we fear for life,” Larose told councillors. —That’s an excuse, you cannot enter a private dwelling without a warrent.

    The Police have the constitutional obligation to do their due diligence to figure out if the private dwelling is the one in question. They cannot just start going into random private dwellings on the assumption, they must do their due diligence, or else it’s a constitutional infringement, and the only way to stop this infringement on rights is to sue, not “A reminder was sent to all officers: there’s a very clear protocol about the use of those master keys,” by the Deputy Chief.

    Just like the illegal searching of mail by RCMP in Arctic Bay, the only way to change this and to seek results is to sue.

    • Posted by Me on

      Nope, the police have a common law duty to protect life and may enter feelings without a warrant in order to do so. These are referred to an exigent circumstances.

      Police also have statutory powers to enter dwellings without a warrant to ensure the safety and development of children are not jeopardized. This is under the YP act in PQ.

      Too many people in Nunavik think they know so much, but refuse to recognize it consider the chaos that surrounds them. The problem here isn’t that the police did their job wrong. They had no support and thus had to take the measures. Where were this person’s family? Why weren’t they looking.

      Sometimes the impulse in Nunavik is to quickly to institutional stakeholders. The police and YP et Al aren’t babysitters, but they’re certainly treated that way.

      • Posted by Andy on

        Actually no . They can only enter a home if they have consent, a warrant or someone in the home needs help. Other than that are are not allowed to just open the door and walk in. That violates the rights of the private individual that all officers took an oath to uphold

        • Posted by Nope on

          Umm, let’s see, trust me, who went to school, passed the exams and did the job, or Johnny Keyboard.

          I’ve heard parents apologize for the poor job that the police and the dyp did for their children.

          Too many people have forgotten that self responsibility and accountability for one behaviour are still things.

          For the record, police have the common law power for warrantless entry to protect lives from imminent harm; prevent the imminent destruction of evidence; or in the case of fresh pursuit.

          They also have various statutory powers under the penal code and various acts such and LIMBA and the YP act. There are many opportunities through KRG and KI to get the education. NPS is always recruiting. Put your name forward. I did

  2. Posted by Canadian on

    The RCMP are abusing their authority by ignoring our Charter of Rights.
    We’re protected from unreasonable searches and seizure.
    Once someone has a video when they’re doing so, the whole nation will be outraged.

    • Posted by You mean like… on

      Do you mean like the news report that just came out yesterday of a man who was showering in his home, who came out naked to an RCMP officer sitting on his bed?

      It’s a CBC article so I won’t link it here, but very interesting timing, don’t you think?

  3. Posted by Old timer on

    I have a question to the rcmp u doing this to only Inuit?or are u doing this to all Canadians?

    • Posted by Andrew on

      Its not even RCMP. Its knock off fake cops, walmart security rejects. Hot shot adrenaline junkies who are not accepted in other forces due to their tendencies to escalate to violence. I know this, some of them are my friends. You should hear the jokes these guys make. And the comments they make about the nurses too. Yikes.

      • Posted by Andrew on

        not all of them are adrenaline junkies. Some have their heart in the right place. But these officer have a crappy de-briefing protocal for the messed up crap they see. And the adrenaline junkies

  4. Posted by Andrew on

    … and the adrenaline junkies who don’t know how to deal with what they see, boost their tough guy persona and make them even more dangerous. NUNAVIK POLICE, support your staff. thats why all the former Inuit officers are all messed up and your local numbers are low.

  5. Posted by Hunter on

    So many Federal and Provincial laws were violated.

    Take the Police and the Housing Bureau to court.

    Charter of Rights Violations, Quebec Tenancy Act violations, land lords must give legal notice if the land lord gives another agency permission to enter the residence.

    So many laws broken. Sue the crap out of both the Police and Housing Bureau so they stop this illegal practise

    • Posted by Hey hunter on

      Hey hunter, have you ever thought about the behaviours in your home town? The drunken behaviours? The police are a gift to your town, don’t you think.? If there were no police from south, it was be one of the biggest mass destruction in the country that you would see about you. It’s already hell for your town, people using alcohol, and turning into savage drunks. Use your energy to help your community, join the police or encourage people to join,nand encourage your family and friends to start living, you have but one life, learn to appreciate.

  6. Posted by John WP Murphy on

    For those keyboard warriors who think they know everything. Do your research.

    Authority to enter dwelling without warrant
    529.3 (1) Without limiting or restricting any power a peace officer may have to enter a dwelling-house under this or any other Act or law, the peace officer may enter the dwelling-house for the purpose of arresting or apprehending a person, without a warrant referred to in section 529 [entry into residence to arrest] or 529.1 [entry into residence to arrest] authorizing the entry, if the peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is present in the dwelling-house, and the conditions for obtaining a warrant under section 529.1 [entry into residence to arrest] exist but by reason of exigent circumstances it would be impracticable to obtain a warrant.
    Exigent circumstances
    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1) [authority to enter dwelling without warrant], exigent circumstances include circumstances in which the peace officer

    (a) has reasonable grounds to suspect that entry into the dwelling-house is necessary to prevent imminent bodily harm or death to any person; or
    (b) has reasonable grounds to believe that evidence relating to the commission of an indictable offence is present in the dwelling-house and that entry into the dwelling-house is necessary to prevent the imminent loss or imminent destruction of the evidence.
    1997, c. 39, s. 2.

  7. Posted by Have to agree with police on

    People make their own misery most times. Nunavik is a mess. It’s homegrown mess too. Police are overwhelmed with the behaviours in Nunavik. All the resources and laws and regulations are needed to do a almost impossible job. The drunken, drugged people roaming about and hurting their fellow man( pray people that there no Hell). You bad ones, yes pray. All Hell aside, even the devil would get nauseated at Nunavik behaviour.

  8. Posted by Mayor looks helpless on

    People are so helpless when it comes to solutions. No incentive to do anything about the drinking and drug use. But when police do their job , even the mayor becomes helpless, just look at the photo. A photo, and it’s a municipal icon for Nunavik municipality, useless.


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