MPP lauds new Po­lice Ser­vices Act

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

The govern­ment “has the back” of po­lice of­fi­cers, says Stor­mont-Dun­das-South Glen­garry Con­ser­va­tive MPP Jim McDonell.

How­ever, some fear that the prov­ince’s re­duced scru­tiny will lead to less con­fi­dence in au­thor­i­ties.

“On­tario po­lice of­fi­cers and the fam­i­lies in Stor­mont-Dun­das-South Glen­garry (SDSG) 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,” says Mr. McDonell.

The Com­pre­hen­sive On­tario Po­lice Ser­vices Act “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,” states Mr. McDonell.

“Every day our po­lice in SDSG come to work with a sim­ple goal: to keep our fam­i­lies safe,” says the MPP. “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 cer- tainly 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 will stream­line the Spe­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tions Unit in­ves­ti­ga­tion process.

But the Cana­dian Civil Lib­er­ties As­so­ci­a­tion has charged that the prov­ince has ca­pit­u­lated to po­lice unions.

The as­so­ci­a­tion’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Michael Bryant, a for­mer Lib­eral at­tor­ney gen­eral, claims the “govern­ment has gut­ted po­lice over­sight, scrapped the po­lice com­plaints com­mis­sion, and re­ally set the clock back on ac­count­abil­ity and trans­parency of polic­ing right now, at a time when the pen­du­lum had been swing­ing in the other di­rec­tion.”

With less over­sight, the pub­lic will lose con­fi­dence in the sys­tem, he has cau­tioned.

The govern­ment main­tains it is right­ing a wrong.

“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 ac- tively 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.”

The new leg­is­la­tion has been ap­plauded by po­lice of­fi­cers, chiefs and po­lice ser­vices boards.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.