Province Seeking Public Feedback on its Strategy for a Safer Ontario
Ontario to Modernize the Delivery of Community Safety
Ontario is launching public consultations across the province on the development of its Strategy for a Safer Ontario - a new blueprint for effective, sustainable, and community-based policing.
The nature of policing and the role of police officers have changed since the Police Services Act was written in 1990. Policing has evolved as a result of advancements in technology, the increasing frequency of police interactions with vulnerable individuals, such as those suffering with mental health or addiction issues, and Ontarians' enhanced expectations about oversight and accountability of law enforcement.
The new Strategy for a Safer Ontario will include updating the Police Services Act. Consultations will seek input on how to:
- Promote collaborative partnerships between police, the public and other sectors such as education, health care and social services, to ensure that those in need of help receive the right response, at the right time, and by the right service provider
- Improve interactions between police and vulnerable Ontarians, including enhancing frontline responses to those in crisis
- Clarify police duties, modernize training programs and deliver services using a range of public safety personnel
- Enhance accountability and strengthen civilian governance of police services boards as well as ensure police oversight bodies are effective and have clear mandates
In addition, Ontario will also be developing a framework for First Nations policing to ensure equitable and culturally responsive policing for the province's First Nations communities.
The province encourages all Ontarians to help transform policing by participating in public consultations beginning on February 18, 2016 or by providing feedback through an online survey.
Supporting safe, healthy communities is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- Public meetings will be held in Cobourg, London, Newmarket, Hamilton, Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, and Toronto.
- Police services in the province are governed by the Police Services Act, which has not been substantially updated since 1990.
- Read Minister Naqvi’s August 2015 speech to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) on the strategy.
“Our new Strategy for a Safer Ontario is about finding smarter, better ways to build even safer communities. It will build a policing model for the 21st century by rewriting the Police Services Act – representing the biggest transformation of policing in Ontario in 25 years. We look forward to hearing directly from local communities as we move forward on our new framework to build an even stronger, safer Ontario.”