Ontario Passes New Legislation That Will Restore Respect for Police Officers and Streamline Police Oversight
TORONTO - Today, Ontario passed the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019, new legislation that fixed the previous government's Bill 175. Bill 175 treated police with suspicion while making it more difficult for them to do their jobs.
"Each and every day our police officers put their lives on the line to protect us," said Sylvia Jones, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. "Police have our back. And now their government has theirs."
The Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019 will streamline the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigation process, as well as enhance police oversight in Ontario by reducing delays in the investigation process, and ensure more accountability.
"We are taking strong, balanced and fair action to restore accountability and trust in a police oversight system that has left the people of Ontario and the police in the dark for far too long," said Attorney General Caroline Mulroney. "These changes will provide police with the tools they need to keep our communities safe and focus the SIU's investigative resources where they are needed most, on criminal activity."
By treating police fairly, the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019 will ensure the police, the government, and the people of Ontario remain partners in creating a more secure province.
"The security of the people will always be a priority for this government, and we believe that our police forces are the cornerstone of our community safety. These everyday heroes should not be treated with suspicion and scorn. Instead, they deserve our gratitude and respect," said Jones. "By treating police with respect, we're creating a foundation for a strengthened relationship between officers and the communities they serve."
- The Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019 will create the Community Safety and Policing Act, 2019 and the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019 and repeal and replace the Police Services Act (1990), the Police Services Act, 2018 and the Ontario Special Investigations Unit Act, 2018. It will also repeal the Policing Oversight Act, 2018 and the Ontario Policing Discipline Tribunal Act, 2018.
- Options for First Nations to opt into the provincial legislation that were laid out in the Police Services Act, 2018 have been adopted in the new act, providing First Nations communities with greater choice in how their policing services are delivered.
- Amendments to the Police Services Act (1990) the current legislation that added new community safety and well-being planning provisions and came into force on Jan. 1, 2019, will continue to be in force with a new provision requiring the participation of the local police service in the development of the plan.
- The Missing Persons Act, 2018, the Forensic Laboratories Act, 2018, and the majority of the previous amendments to the Coroners Act will carry forward unchanged in the new legislation.
- The new police oversight legislation responds to Justice Tulloch’s recommendations in the Report of the Independent Police Oversight Review.