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Order in Council

Archived Backgrounder

Order in Council

Ministry of the Attorney General

WHEREAS the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) was established in 1990 and its legislative authority is set out in Part VII, Section 113 of the Police Services Act, with a mandate to cause investigations to be conducted into the circumstances of serious injuries and deaths that may have resulted from criminal offences, including sexual assaults committed by police officers;

AND WHEREAS the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) was established in 2007, and its legislative authority is set out in Part II.I and Part V of the Police Services Act, with a mandate to receive, manage and oversee all public complaints about police in Ontario; complaints can be in relation to the conduct of a police officer, or the policies and services of a police force;

AND WHEREAS the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) was established in 2007 and its  legislative authority is set out in Part II of the Police Services Act, with a mandate to, among other things, conduct hearings and adjudicate disputes related to police disciplinary decisions; budget disputes between municipal councils and police service boards; and disputes related to the provision of police services;

AND WHEREAS the Attorney General for Ontario has legislative authority for the three aforementioned police oversight bodies and the Solicitor General of Ontario also has legislative authority with respect to OCPC;

AND WHEREAS the oversight bodies perform a vital role in the administration of justice in the Province;

AND WHEREAS it was determined that it would be desirable to authorize under the common law pursuant to the prerogative of her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario, and in the discharge of the government's executive functions, an individual to conduct an independent review of the matters referred to herein;

THEREFORE, it is ordered that the Honorable Michael Tulloch, a Justice of the Ontario Court of Appeal, be appointed as Independent Reviewer, in accordance with the following terms of reference:


  1. The Independent Reviewer shall conduct a review and make recommendations on how to:
    1. enhance the transparency and accountability of the police oversight bodies, while preserving fundamental rights;
    2. ensure the police oversight bodies are effective and have clear mandates; and
    3. reduce overlap and inefficiencies between these bodies.
  2. The Independent Reviewer shall address as a priority ways in which the transparency of the SIU can be enhanced while preserving fundamental rights, including:
    1. whether more information than is currently released to the public about an investigation, including the SIU Director's reports, should be released and, if so, the form this should take;
    2. whether subject/witness officer names and other witness names should be released; and
    3. whether past reports of the SIU Director should be released and, if so, the form this should take.
  3. The Independent Reviewer shall, if feasible and in his discretion, make interim recommendations on the priority matters referred to in paragraphs 2 (a) to (c) or, alternatively, include such recommendations in his final report.
  4. The Independent Reviewer also shall consider and provide recommendations with respect to the following:
    1. whether former police officers should be employed by the police oversight bodies to conduct investigations;
    2. whether the mandates of the three oversight bodies should be set out in legislation separate and apart from the Police Services Act;
    3. whether any information collected by each police oversight body in relation to investigations, or otherwise, can be shared between them, and if so, how it best can be accomplished;
    4. whether the three police oversight bodies should collect demographic statistics such as race, gender, age and community membership, whether mental health information ought to be collected as part of this statistical process, and what, if any, parameters ought to guide the collection and use of such data; and
    5. any other matter which, in his discretion he deems advisable in light of the objectives set out in paragraphs 1 (a) to (c) hereof.
  5. In conducting the review, the Independent Reviewer shall:
    1. review the existing legislation, processes and practices of each oversight body;
    2. review and consider any existing records or reports relevant to this mandate;
    3. conduct inter-jurisdictional analysis, including any relevant legislation, and identify best practices;
    4. consult with the Minister of Community and Safety and Correctional Services in relation to the Minister's authority with respect to OCPC and the relevant legislative provisions of the Police Services Act;
    5. engage in public consultations;
    6. undertake such further inquiries as the Independent Reviewer, in his discretion, deems appropriate; and
    7. prepare a report on his findings and recommendations.
  6. The Independent Reviewer will determine the method, content and extent of consultations required to fulfill his mandate.
  7. The Independent Reviewer shall deliver his final report and recommendations to the Attorney General no later than March 31, 2017.
  8. In conducting the review, the Independent Reviewer may request any person to provide information or records to him.
  9. In fulfilling his mandate, the Independent Reviewer shall not report on any individual cases that are being investigated, or have been investigated by any of the three police oversight bodies.
  10. The Independent Reviewer shall perform his duties without expressing any conclusion or recommendation regarding professional discipline matters involving any person or the civil or criminal liability of any person or organization.
  11. Any notes, records, recollections, statements made to, and documents produced by the Independent Reviewer or provided to him in the course of the review, will be confidential. The disclosure of such information to Ontario or any other person shall be within the sole and exclusive discretion of the Independent Reviewer, except as required or restricted by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or any other applicable law.


  1. Within a budget approved by the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Independent Reviewer may retain such counsel, staff, or expertise he considers necessary in the performance of his duties at reasonable remuneration approved by the Ministry of the Attorney General. The Independent Reviewer and his staff shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in connection with their duties in accordance with Management Board of Cabinet Directives and Guidelines.
  2. The Independent Reviewer shall follow Management Board of Cabinet Directives and Guidelines and other applicable government policies in obtaining other services and goods he considers necessary in the performance of his duties unless, in his view, it is not possible to follow them.

The Ontario Government

  1. The Attorney General shall, in consultation with the Independent Reviewer, set a budget for the fulfillment of his mandate.
  2. All ministries and all agencies, boards and commissions of the Government of Ontario shall, subject to any privilege or other legal restrictions, assist the Independent Reviewer to the fullest extent possible so that the Independent Reviewer may carry out his duties and they shall respect the independence of the review.
  3. The Attorney General shall make the final report of the Independent Reviewer available to the public as soon as practicable after receiving it. In delivering his report to the Attorney General, the Independent Reviewer shall ensure that the report is in a form appropriate for public release, consistent with the requirements of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and other applicable legislation. The Independent Reviewer shall also ensure that the report is delivered in English and French at the same time, in electronic and printed versions.