FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 27, 2019
QUEEN’S PARK— Toby Barrett, MPP, Haldimand-Norfolk rose in the legislature to speak in favour of Bill 68, the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019. Bill 68 — also known as COPS — will repeal the previous government’s problematic Bill 175.
If passed, this legislation will finally fix Bill 175, which treated police with suspicion while making it increasingly difficult for them to do their jobs. Ontario police officers and the families 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.
“Much of what we heard is that the climate that was created by Bill 175 made it increasingly difficult for officers to do their job,” MPP Barrett said in the Ontario Legislature.
The Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act (COPS) will enhance police oversight in Ontario by creating one window for public complaints, reducing delays in the investigation process, and ensuring more accountability. It would streamline the SIU investigation process, which would have persisted under the previous Bill 175 and forced many police officers to labour under months- or years-long investigations even in cases where they had no contact with an individual.
“We saw a process emanating from the previous legislation that generated confusion. It was a process that also was very, very slow,” said MPP Barrett. “So, in our view, it really wasn’t working for police, and most importantly and by extension, it’s not working for the public.”
By treating police fairly, the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act will ensure the police, the government, and the people of Ontario remain partners in creating a more secure province.