November 13, 2020
Peel Regional Council approved a motion on the need to immediately address police Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and mental health reform. The Regional Chair will request from the Premier of Ontario and the Solicitor General the following:
- Immediate enactment of the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019 along with several additional reforms to ensure greater transparency and accountability, including:
- timely sharing of information and investigations with the public;
- enabling local police officers to comment on details and timelines of an investigation within their jurisdiction,
- ensuring that former police officers make up no more than 50 per cent of any SIU team, and
- enforcing police officers under investigation to testify and hand over their notes if being investigated.
- Immediate enactment of the Community Safety and Policing Act and Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, the latter of which received all-party support, and was passed by the Ontario Legislature over a year ago but has yet to be put into force.
- Implementation of all recommendations from Justice Michael Tulloch’s two reviews — his 2017 Independent Police Oversight Review and his 2017 Independent Street Checks Review.
- Make changes to the Mental Health Act to permit first responders other than police officers to respond to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.
The Regional Chair will also request in-person meetings with the Solicitor General and the Premier of Ontario, on behalf of Regional Council, along with interested Council members to outline the need to implement changes stemming from the Tulloch Reports, including those of the SIU.
“These actions support a safe and healthy Community for Life in Peel, where everyone enjoys a sense of belonging and has access to the services and opportunities they need to thrive throughout each stage of their lives,” said Regional Chair Nando Iannicca. “I thank my Regional Council colleagues for their collective work to bring this motion forward today. The actions outlined in the motion today link to our important work of coordinating mental health efforts across systems. I look forward to continuing this important discussion with my colleagues in an effort to prioritize and address safety and well-being in Peel, and across our Province.”
“We’ve known for a long time that we need more transparency accountability in policing, in particular when it comes to SIU investigations,” said Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “I’m very proud of my fellow Peel Regional Councillors who took a bold step by unanimously passing this motion. I am confident that the Premier and the Solicitor General will do the right thing and take action to immediately address needed police reform at the provincial level.”
“The work of Justice Michael Tulloch and advocates in our community has provided a path to much needed SIU reform. This motion reflects the changes our Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah has been working towards which fosters transparency and accountability within our policing institutions. The cloak of secrecy around SIU and its operations needs to be finally ripped off. Hopefully this motion will help build momentum for this integral reform,” said Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown.
- Link to full Motion as seen at Council November 12, 2020: https://pub-peelregion.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=5572