The Fountain Pen, Guelph's On-Line News

Province Make Changes To Police Transparency

Web posted on April 06, 2017

Ontario will immediately begin building a more transparent and accountable police oversight system to strengthen trust between police and the communities they serve. Throughout fall 2016, the Independent Police Oversight Review held 17 public meetings and 130 private stakeholder meetings in communities across the province.

The Police Services Act includes all of the laws establishing the police oversight bodies, and sets out the roles and responsibilities of police and policing services. There are three police oversight bodies in Ontario: the Special Investigations Unit, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.

Last year, the province appointed Justice Michael H. Tulloch to lead an independent review of Ontario's police oversight system to improve the transparency and accountability of the province's three police oversight bodies, while ensuring their mandates are delivered effectively and efficiently.

After extensive consultation with more than 1,500 people from across the province, Justice Tulloch's final report includes 129 recommendations to help Ontario transform police oversight so it is more transparent and accountable, and has the confidence of both the public and the police.

The province will immediately begin work on the following actions:

  • Releasing all past Special Investigations Unit (SIU) reports on more extensive police interactions resulting in death, while giving affected family members the opportunity to object

  • Establishing a process to make all future SIU reports publicly available, while adhering to Justice Tulloch's advice regarding privacy considerations

  • Enabling government with the authority to mandate the collection of race-based data, including for the police oversight bodies, by supporting the proposed Anti-Racism Act, and Ontario's strategic plan to combat systemic racism

  • Introducing legislation in the fall that would enhance the independence of Ontario's police oversight system by removing police oversight bodies from the Police Services Act to create stand-alone legislation, among other comprehensive reforms

  • Working with police oversight bodies to increase cultural competency through staff training and targeted recruitment, including Indigenous cultural competence.

"I would like to thank Justice Tulloch and his team for their thorough review of Ontario's police oversight bodies. The status quo needs to change to strengthen public confidence in policing, and a big part of that will be taking an open-by-default approach. Justice Tulloch's recommendations will be our government's guide as we immediately begin building a more open, transparent and accountable police oversight system in Ontario that has the full confidence of both the police and the public they serve." Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General.

Building a more transparent and accountable police oversight system is part of our plan to help people in their everyday lives.


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