Changes to come in wake of review into provincial police wor

Suicides among OPP officers are higher than on-duty deaths. Moreover, OPP does not formally keep track of the number of officers that have taken their own lives.

Changes to come in wake of review into provincial police wor

Postby Thomas » Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:23 am

Changes to come in wake of review into provincial police workplace culture

RILLIA, Ont. — A government-appointed panel said it has heard from frontline officers about widespread bullying and harassment within the Ontario Provincial Police, delivering a report Monday that offers dozens of recommendations aimed at bolstering those workers’ mental health.

Those findings come in a long-anticipated report commissioned last May by the province, after persistent complaints about the OPP’s workplace culture and the death by suicide of 17 members of the service since 2012.

The three-member panel said it surveyed and met with thousands of current and former OPP members and more than half said they had experienced bullying, harassment, or discrimination.

“The panel heard repeatedly and accepts the views of members that there is a negative workplace culture with the OPP that, in some locations, tolerates bullying, and harassment, and that overall the OPP does not have the necessary tools to respond appropriately to conflict,” the report said.

The group — made up of former associate chief justice of Ontario Douglas Cunningham, former deputy attorney general Murray Segal and former cabinet minister David Cooke — was put together in May 2019.

It spent months gathering more than 5,100 submissions from active and former OPP members, conducting roundtables, and meeting with the family members of officers who have died by suicide.

Its findings — and 66 recommendations — suggest the force’s leadership must do more to provide access to mental health supports, re-introduce accountability and transparency to its promotions process, and address workplace culture.

“It is clear to us that OPP leadership faces an immediate and significant challenge with respect to the workplace culture and health of the organization,” the panel writes in its report. “In particular, the lack of credible, accessible and meaningful support for members with mental health issues is approaching crisis.”

The panel also said the OPP must move to restore frontline officers’ faith in leadership, and their selection.

“The panel heard about common incidents of nepotism and cronyism in management hiring that sustained the ‘old boys’ network,”‘ the report said. “The panel heard about both real and perceived bias in the process.”

Ontario’s solicitor general said Monday the government and provincial police are making changes that will allow for an improved workplace culture and mental health supports for officers.

Sylvia Jones said the government and OPP are taking action to implement more than 40 of the recommendations, while exploring an additional 24.

“No one should be apprehensive about going to work because they don’t feel adequately supported,” Jones said. “This is simply unacceptable. I’m confident the changes put in place and those currently underway will improve the workplace culture at the OPP, resulting in a healthier, more supportive work environment for everyone.”

https://thestarphoenix.com/pmn/news-pmn ... 63093a2e0/
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Province aims to better OPP's workplace culture, mental heal

Postby Thomas » Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:27 am

Province aims to better OPP's workplace culture, mental health supports

TORONTO -- Ontario's solicitor general says the government and provincial police are making changes that will allow for an improved workplace culture and mental health supports for officers.

Sylvia Jones says the changes respond to recommendations in a report by an independent review panel launched after a spate of suicides among Ontario Provincial Police members.

The OPP has created a healthy workplace team to focus on its members, and leadership training will now focus on promoting a healthy and inclusive workplace.

The police service is also establishing new strategies to support members when they return to work after a leave of absence, and supporting families and colleagues after member suicides.

OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique says together with the government and the police union, the force can make changes to work toward a healthy and inclusive workplace.

The Ontario Provincial Police Association last year created a mental health support program to help OPP personnel and their families deal with work-related stress and post-traumatic stress disorder.

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/province-aim ... -1.4844887
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Independent review of the Ontario Provincial Police workplac

Postby Thomas » Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:30 am

Independent review of the Ontario Provincial Police workplace culture

About the review

We are undertaking a full and independent review of the workplace culture of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in light of recent suicide deaths and mental health concerns of OPP members, as well as complaints about the workplace culture by current and former OPP staff.

The Solicitor General has selected a three-person panel, who will work in conjunction with newly appointed OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique, to improve the working lives of the uniform and civilian members of the OPP.

This independent panel will conduct a review and report in two phases on the overall workplace culture of the OPP, including all applicable human resource policies and practices. They will make recommendations on:

the root causes and potential remedial actions to address the concerning rate of suicides, bullying and workplace harassment
concerns identified by frontline officers and other OPP staff that contribute to a negative workplace culture, and how those concerns have been or are being addressed
how to improve the way complaints and concerns by frontline officers, civilians and the bargaining agent of the OPP are addressed by all levels of the organization


About the panel

Douglas Cunningham - Former Associate Chief Justice of Ontario

The Honourable J. Douglas Cunningham, Q.C. was appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in 1991. During his more than two decades on the bench, Mr. Cunningham presided over hundreds of complex, high-stakes trials, first as Regional Senior Judge for the East Region (2000-2002) and then as Associate Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Justice (2002-2012). He also regularly sat on civil appeals as a Judge of the Ontario Divisional Court.

Mr. Cunningham was also a member of the executive committee of the Canadian Judicial Council, chaired the Administration of Justice Committee and served as a member of the Court of Martial Appeals and the Pension Appeals Board.

Retiring from the court in 2012, Mr. Cunningham founded Cunningham Dispute Resolution Services. Since then he has been a highly successful commercial arbitrator and mediator based in Toronto and Ottawa, serving clients across Canada and internationally. He has conducted independent reviews for both the federal and provincial governments, and served as a consultant to counsel in trial strategy, appeals and neutral evaluation.

Mr. Cunningham’s broad experience gained during his years on the bench and in private practice includes corporate and commercial matters, professional liability, construction, critical injury and insurance, securities, employment, product liability, entertainment and sports, class actions and estates.

A graduate of Huron College at Western University and Queen’s University Law School, he was called to the bar in 1969, appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1980 and designated a specialist in civil litigation in 1990. In 2013, he received an honourary Doctor of Laws degree from the Law Society of Upper Canada.


Murray Segal - Former Deputy Attorney General of Ontario

Following a distinguished career with the Ontario government, including eight years as Deputy Attorney General of Ontario and former Deputy Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, Murray Segal now practices as independent legal counsel, consultant and mediator practicing as Murray D. Segal Professional Corporation.

Mr. Segal was the chief legal advisor to the Government of Ontario and advisor to Cabinet, the Attorney General, other ministers and deputy ministers. He oversaw all government litigation and is experienced in developing legislation. With a deep commitment to access to justice, he guided the modernization of Ontario’s justice architecture, with a keen eye to updating technology. Mr. Segal oversaw and implemented transformation of the human rights system, administrative law tribunals, police oversight, civil law reform and criminal justice improvements.

Prior to his time as the Deputy Attorney General, Mr. Segal was the Chief Prosecutor for the Province of Ontario, leading the largest prosecution service in Canada.

Today, drawing on his extensive legal and executive experience, he advises and represents clients in both the public and private sectors. He has been asked by governments across Canada to look into challenging issues including reviewing the Nova Scotia justice response in relation to the late Rehtaeh Parsons. He sits on the Board of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)-Greater Toronto.


David Cooke - Former Ontario MPP and Cabinet Minister

Born in Windsor and graduated with Bachelor of Social Work in 1975, David Cooke was elected to the Windsor Board of Education in 1974. In 1977, Mr. Cooke was elected as a New Democrat MPP and served in the legislature until February 1997.

During his tenure in the legislature, Mr. Cooke was appointed Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs, served as Government House leader, Chair of Management Board and was appointed Minister of Education and Training.

Mr. Cooke is the former chair of the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network and the Seneca College board, and a former member of the Windsor-Essex Development Commission board. He also served as the chair of the board of governors of the University of Windsor. Mr. Cooke served 10 years on the Provincial Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) Board of Directors—the last three as chair. During his tenure, he made important contributions to the agency’s growth and development, and helped set the vision for the organization’s modernization efforts.

Awarded an Honorary Diploma from St. Clair College in 1998, Mr. Cooke also received the Clark Award for outstanding service to the University of Windsor. In 2002, he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and in 2012 the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Mr. Cooke holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Windsor in 2014 and currently co-chairs the Steering Committee in Windsor Essex planning for a new hospital.


Contact us

Please email inquiries@opp-irp.ca for any questions about this review.

Your personal information (such as your name and email address) will only be used to respond to your inquiry. Your information will not be placed on mailing lists or released to any third party, except as may be authorized by law. For more information on how we manage personal information, please see our privacy statement .

Please note, this mailbox is not operated by, or subject to, the Ontario Provincial Police. This email and all written submissions are the property of the Independent Review Panel solely. No information received will be shared explicitly with the Ministry of Solicitor General or Ontario Provincial Police. All identities will be kept private.

https://www.ontario.ca/page/independent ... ce-culture
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