Ontario To Restore Respect for Police Officers in Nipissing and Across the ProvinceFebruary 19, 2019
NORTH BAY – Ontario police officers and the families in Nipissing who depend on them will finally be able to count on a fair and transparent police oversight process that will always put public safety first. Today, Ontario’s Government for the People will introduce new legislation, the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019. If passed, this legislation will finally fix the previous government’s Bill 175, which treated police with suspicion while making it increasingly difficult for them to do their jobs.
“Every day our police in Nipissing come to work with a simple goal: to keep our families safe,” said MPP Vic Fedeli. “While we don’t always hear their success celebrated on the news, we take great comfort knowing the police are responding to emergencies and preventing crime. Some times this work entails risk, and it certainly involves difficult decisions. But we rely on the police to keep us safe. Now they can rely on their government to have their back.”
The Act would streamline the SIU investigation process, which would have persisted under the previous Bill 175 and forced many police officers to labour under months- or years-long investigations even in cases where they had no contact with an individual.
“Bill 175 was the most anti-police piece of legislation in Canadian history,” said Sylvia Jones, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. “It was a disaster. It actively undermined policing efforts. And it undermined public confidence and trust in the work police do.”
If passed, the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act will enhance police oversight in Ontario by creating one window for public complaints, reducing delays in the investigation process, and ensuring more accountability.
“When we were elected one of our first orders of business was to pause implementation of Bill 175, so that we could fix it in a way that continues to ensure oversight – but does so in a way that is balanced, respectful and fair,” said Attorney General Caroline Mulroney. “Our legislation, if passed, will focus investigative resources where they are needed, on criminal activity, within a police oversight system that will ultimately help build safer communities on a shared foundation of restored trust and accountability.”
By treating police fairly, the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act will ensure the police, the government, and the people of Ontario remain partners in creating a more secure province.
“Not every example of police courage and service is as high profile as the response to the North York van attack or the Danforth shooting. What those officers have in common with the everyday heroes who serve and protect us is that they deserve our gratitude and respect – not our suspicion and scorn,” said Jones. “That’s why our government for the people is providing police with the tools, resources and support they need to keep our communities safe, stand up for victims and hold offenders accountable for their crimes.”