Tories dismantle 'unfair' and most 'anti-police' bill ever

When police officers are involved in incidents where someone has been seriously injured, dies or alleges sexual assault, the Special Investigations Unit has the statutory mandate to conduct independent investigations to determine whether a criminal offence took place.

Tories dismantle 'unfair' and most 'anti-police' bill ever

Postby Thomas » Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:44 am

OAKVILLE — The provincial government ripped up police oversight legislation introduced by the Liberals, calling it “unfair” and the most “anti-police” bill ever introduced in Canada.

Now, the Progressive Conservative government are introducing a wide range of measures to streamline police oversight.

The PCs paused implementation of Bill 175 that doubled down on the power of the Special Investigations Unit, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.

“It’s unfortunate that the previous government looked at police officers and it saw them as potential offenders,” Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said, adding the bill “was, in fact, anti-police.”

The SIU investigates circumstances involving police and civilians that have resulted in serious injury, death or allegations of sexual assault.

That could include cases of suicide or situations in which a person dies after a medical incident.

But that often left subject police officers in limbo for months and sometimes years, including cases in which cops were investigating suicides and drug overdoses.

The new legislation would limit SIU investigation to situations where police use of force results in serious injury or death, when a cop shoots at someone or there is a reported sex assault.

And the SIU would need to wrap up investigations in 120 days.

In short, return the SIU to its roots: Investigate suspected criminal activity.

“That’s actually not the case today,” Mulroney told reporters.

“If a police officer tries to stop a suicide attempt but is unsuccessful, he or she is treated like a suspect … 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. This is not what the SIU should be doing.”

Community Safety Minister Sylvia Jones added that the Liberal changes to police oversight laws actively undermined policing efforts and public trust in officers.

“Police will no longer be treated like they’re guilty until proven innocent,” she said.

Also in the PC’s sights was a Liberal proposal to fine cops who didn’t comply with SIU investigations up to $50,000.

Now, the fines have been lowered to $5,000 for a first incident, $10,000 for the second.

In addition, the new legislation is taking on much of Justice Michael Tulloch’s proposals on policing, including mandating new cops receive training in human rights, systemic racism, diversity and the Indigenous community.

One aspect of the Liberals’ plan that the Tories are keeping is the First Nations policing provisions that give First Nations greater choice in how their police services are delivered.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association said the changes gut police oversight, calling it a capitulation to police associations. ... -bill-ever
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