Bureau des enquêtes indépendates
“The three fundamental values guiding our actions are impartiality, integrity, and rigor.”


Until Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI) was set up, no specific requirements were prescribed in the Criminal Code or the Police Act as to how independent police investigations on serious incidents involving other police officers were to be conducted. However, the mechanisms for monitoring and supervising police activity included provisions on how to conduct independent investigations.

When someone was seriously injured or died as a result of police action or while being detained by the police, an independent investigation was launched by the minister of public security and entrusted to one of three police forces:  Sûreté du Québec, Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal, or Service de Police de la Ville de Québec.  .

More transparent independent investigations

The practice of allowing police officers to investigate serious incidents calling into question the actions of other police officers was often criticized by the public, who pointed out the appearance of conflict of interest, the lack of transparency regarding the investigations, and the lack of impartiality and objectivity of the police forces conducting the investigations. These issues were a big point of public debate at the time.

In response to public concern, the Québec government decided to change how independent investigations were conducted. An amendment to the Police Act was passed on May 9, 2013, creating a fully independent body called Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes and establishing its mission and investigative powers across Québec.

Furthermore, Bill 107 was adopted on February 14, 2018, and amended the Police Act by broadening BEI's mandate and strenghtening its autonomy.  Police force directors must now notify the director of Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes, rather than the Minister of Public Security, of events that could lead to an independent investigation.  They must also notify the BEI director of any allegations against a police officer concerning a criminal offense of a sexual nature commited in the performance of duties so BEI can conduct an investigation.

Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes began operations in 2016.

  • November 29, 2012

    Bill 12, an Act to amend the Police Act as concerns independent investigations, is tabled

  • March 20, 2013

    Special consultations and public hearings on Bill 12 are held

  • May 9 and 15 2013

    The Act to amend the Police Act as concerns independent investigations is passed and receives assent

  • June 18, 2014

    The Regulation respecting the selection procedure and the training of investigators of the BEI is passed

  • January 12, 2015

    Madeleine Giauque takes up her duties as director of BEI

  • April 8‒24, 2015

    Calls for applications are launched for the positions of BEI investigators

  • July 15, 2015

    Draft Regulation respecting the conduct of investigations the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes is charged with is published

  • September 2, 2015

    BEI director recommends appointments to the minister of public security

  • October 13, 2015

    Two supervisors are appointed to BEI’s investigative unit

  • November 16, 2015

    Seven investigators are appointed to BEI’s investigative unit

  • December 17, 2015

    Five investigators are appointed to BEI’s investigative unit

  • January 11 to late May, 2016

    Investigator training

  • February 10, 2016

    Four investigators are appointed to BEI’s investigative unit

  • June 27, 2016

    BEI starts operations

  • September 28, 2016

    4 investigators are appointed to BEI's investigative unit and a coordinator function is established

  • December 1 to january 6, 2017

    A call for application is launched for the position of assistant director

  • May 3, 2017

    Sylvain Ayotte is appointed assistant director of BEI

  • May 31, 2017

    4 investigators are appointed to the BEI's investigative unit

  • January 8, 2018

    8 investigators and 1 supervisor are appointed to the BEI's investigative unit

  • February 14, 2018

    The Act to increase the jurisdiction and independence of BEI and other organizations is adopted and passed