Ford Government to Make Changes to Police Oversight in Halton
The Ontario government is looking to completely change the way police oversight works, by essentially overriding the previous, legislative changes enacted by the former Wynne government.
We're fixing the Liberals' disastrous Bill 175, the most anti-police piece of legislation in Canadian history. Under this legislation, police officers were being treated with suspicion, making it increasingly difficult for them to do their jobs. #onpoli— Doug Ford (@fordnation) February 19, 2019
Dubbed the “Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019,” Attorney General of Ontario Caroline Mulroney and the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Sylvia Jones announced today that the the bill will repeal and replace the previous Wynne government’s Safer Ontario Act, policing legislation known as Bill 175.
“The Liberal’s policing legislation known as Bill 175 stacked the deck against police officers,” PC MPP of Hastings-Lennox and Addington and former OPP officer Daryl Kramp said. “Bill 175 did not even list fairness to police officers as one of the principles underlying the Police Misconduct section of the act.”
The new Police Services Act will attempt to streamline the SIU investigation process through investigating police use-of-force, arrests or motor-vehicle pursuits resulting in serious injury or death, when an officer discharges a firearm or if there is an allegation of sexual assault.
It would also allow for investigations to be wrapped up within 120 days.
There will also be one platform for public complaints, reducing delays in the investigation process, and ensuring more accountability.
“We listened to our front-line officers when they raised serious concern about the Liberal’s Bill 175,” said Mulroney.
“That is why when we were elected, one of first orders of business was to pause implementation of this reckless, unbalanced legislation so that we could fix it it in a way that continues to ensure oversight but does so in a way that is balanced, respectful, and fair,” she said.
Mulroney says the new bill, if passed, would provide transparency and clairty to front-line officers, who could be investigated if someone dies from a medical problem or by suicide.
“If a police officer tries to stop a suicide attempt but is unsuccessful, he or she is treated like a suspect,” Mulroney said. “If a police officer responds to a violent crime, tries to perform CPR but is unable to save the life, he or she is treated like a suspect,” she said.
Some of Ontario’s policing community shared optimism towards the announcement of the legislative changes.
Ontario’s front-line police personnel welcome today's announcement by @SylviaJonesMPP and @C_Mulroney that the @ONgov is introducing a new Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act. https://t.co/MyPBPzAYIw— PAO (@PoliceAssocON) February 19, 2019
Fair treatment for doing a job that most would not do, is all we hope for. We look towards legislation that matches up with the proposals spoken to, here today. Thanks to both Ministers. @HRPApresident @SylviaJonesMPP @C_Mulroney https://t.co/UyzBo60aA1— Halton Regional Police Association (@HRPAssoc) February 19, 2019
However, Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath expressed concern last summer about the lack of progress in police oversight and what may become of future policing legislation, when changes to the previous Police Services Act were paused by Premier Ford.
We want the police to be able to do their jobs protecting Ontarians—and protecting Ontarians means transparency & an oversight process the ppl of Ontario can trust.— Andrea Horwath (@AndreaHorwath) July 17, 2018
In his first week in office, Mr. Ford made a backroom decision to slam the brakes on new police oversight rules…
For more information on the announcement, click here.