Kenora Rainy – River MPP and Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Energy, and Northern Development and Mines, Greg Rickford, is supporting the province’s legislation to reform the Police Services Act. He says that the new bill will make it easier for police to protect the public.

“Every day Ontario’s police servicemen and women come to work with a simple goal: to keep our families safe,” said Rickford. “We take great comfort knowing that our police service works diligently to respond to emergencies and prevent crime. This work entails risk, and it certainly involves difficult decisions. But we rely on the police to keep us safe, and now they can rely on their government to have their back.”

The act, if passed, would enhance police oversight in Ontario by creating one window for public complaints, reducing delays in the investigation process, and ensuring more police accountability. It would also streamline Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit process, which can currently lead to overly-lengthy investigations.

“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.”

First Nations policing procedures would be adopted from the previous Police Services Act, which offered First Nation Communities more choice in how their policing services are delivered. As well, all local police services in Ontario would be required to be involved in the development of community safety and well-being plans.

In April of 2016, Ontario Justice Michael Tulloch was tasked to develop a report of the province’s policing strategy, following public demonstrations of dissatisfaction with policing and police oversight .

The PC party says that their new Police Services Act would respond to Tulloch’s recommendations in the report. The report looked closely at the Special Investigations Unit, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.

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