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Toronto, Mar 26 (Canadian-Media): A Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019 (COPSA2019) was passed by Ontario today by to fix the previous government's Bill 175 by which police were treated with suspicion making it more difficult for them to do their jobs, media reports said.
"Each and every day our police officers put their lives on the line to protect us," said Sylvia Jones, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. "Police have our back. And now their government has theirs."
"We are taking strong, balanced and fair action to restore accountability...that has left the people of Ontario and the police in the dark for far too long," said Attorney General Caroline Mulroney.
"These changes will provide police with the tools...and focus the SIU's investigative resources where they are needed most, on criminal activity."
Ontario Police Services. Image credit: Twitter Handle
Besides streamlining the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigation process, COPSA2019 will also reduce delays in the investigation process by increasing police oversight in Ontario to ensure more accountability.
COPSA2019 will ensure the police, the government, and the people of Ontario remain partners in creating a more secure province.
COPSA2019 will create the Community Safety and Policing Act, 2019 and the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019 and repeal and replace the Police Services Act (1990), the Police Services Act, 2018 and the Ontario Special Investigations Unit Act, 2018.
It will also repeal the Policing Oversight Act, 2018 and the Ontario Policing Discipline Tribunal Act, 2018.
COPSA2019 would also give First Nations communities greater choice in how their policing services are delivered.
"The security of the people will always be a priority for this government, and we believe that our police forces...everyday heroes should not be treated with suspicion and scorn. Instead, they deserve our gratitude and respect...for a strengthened relationship between officers and the communities they serve," said Jones.
The Missing Persons Act, 2018, the Forensic Laboratories Act, 2018, and the majority of the previous amendments to the Coroners Act will carry forward unchanged in the new legislation.
The new police oversight legislation responds to Justice Tulloch’s recommendations in the Report of the Independent Police Oversight Review.