OTTAWA POLICE SERVICES BOARD
COMMISSION DE SERVICES POLICIERS D’OTTAWA
Working together for a safer community
La sécurité de notre communauté, un travail d’équipe
DATE 30 July 2012
TO/DEST. Chair and Members of the Ottawa Police Services Board
FROM/EXP. Policy & Governance Committee
SUBJECT/OBJET INDEPENDENT CIVILIAN REVIEW INTO
MATTERS RELATING TO THE G20 SUMMIT IN TORONTO
That the Ottawa Police Services Board:
1. Receive for review the report on the Independent Civilian Review into Matters Relating to the G20 Summit prepared by the Honourable John W. Morden for the Toronto Police Services Board.
2. Approve that the Board Chair write to the Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services requesting clarification on interpretation of the Police Services Act provisions pertaining to the role of the Board in police operations.
3. Approve that the Board Chair write to the Ontario Association of Police Services Boards requesting that they take the lead on behalf of police services boards in seeking clarification from the Province.
The G20 Summit of world leaders was held in Toronto from June 25 to 27, 2010. The Summit was planned with just four months’ notice, and attracted thousands of protesters. The events that unfolded during that weekend are now well known and have lead to several reviews, including a review of police operations by the Toronto Police Service, and a systemic review conducted by Mr. G. McNeilly, Independent Police Review Director for Ontario into G20 security operations, entitled “Policing the Right to Protest”.
In addition to the reviews of police operations, on July 6, 2010 the Toronto Police Services Board commissioned the Honourable John W. Morden to carry out an Independent Civilian Review (ICR) of the policing of the G20 Summit. The purpose of the ICR was to identify issues and concerns raised by the public and the Board, regarding oversight, governance, accountability, and transparency as they relate to the multi-jurisdictional model of policing applied at the Summit. The ICR was to review these issues in the context of the governance role, legislated mandate and policies of the Board.
On June 29, 2012 Mr. Morden released his report, which contains thirty-eight recommendations he has made designed to strengthen the effectiveness of the Toronto Police Services Board’s performance of its civilian oversight role in ensuring adequate and effective police services. The foundation for his recommendations is based on his interpretation of Ontario’s Police Services Act with regard to the role of police services boards in overseeing police operations, which is at odds with the interpretation that police services boards in Ontario have traditionally taken. Specifically, Mr. Morden’s view of the extent to which police services boards should be involved in planning and directing police operations differs significantly from the view taken by boards at the present time. If adopted, Mr. Morden’s recommendations would fundamentally change the current relationship between boards and Chiefs of Police and would have significant resource implications including the need for increased training, funding and staffing of police boards.
The Board’s Policy & Governance Committee reviewed the Executive Summary and recommendations contained in Mr. Morden’s report (attached as Annex A) at a meeting on July 12, 2012. The complete 409 page report is available online at: http://www.tpsb.ca/. The Committee also reviewed a letter from the Durham Police Services Board dated July 11, 2012 to the President of the Ontario Association of Police Services Boards (OAPSB) asking that the OAPSB adopt a formal position in respect of Mr. Morden’s report, and inquiring whether the Association plans to raise this matter with the Government of Ontario (attached as Annex B). Also reviewed was a July 12, 2012 letter from the OAPSB President, Mr. Henry Jensen (attached as Annex C) responding to Durham’s letter, advising that the OAPSB is currently analyzing the Morden report.
In light of the significant ramifications the Morden report recommendations could have on all police services boards in the Province, it is the position of the Policy & Governance Committee that the Board write to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services requesting clarification on how the Police Services Act is to be interpreted with regard to Board involvement in police operations, and that it also write to the OAPSB requesting that it take the lead in representing the interests of police services boards by seeking clarification from the Province on this matter.
There is no immediate financial impact associated with this report.
Mr. Morden notes in his Executive Summary (page 31) that, “The Board and its staff in the past have increasingly shouldered a heavy burden in carrying out their responsibilities. If my recommendations are implemented, this burden will be increased. Likely, this will necessitate the devotion of further resources to support Board work.” Board members would need to become considerably more knowledgeable about police operations, and contribute a much greater level of time and commitment to the job of ensuring adequate and effective police services in the City of Ottawa.
As Mr. Morden’s recommendations hinge upon an interpretation of the Police Services Act that is at variance with the way in which boards, police services, and the Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services have traditionally interpreted the Act, it is the Policy & Governance Committee’s recommendation that before taking any action with regard to the recommendations, clarification be sought from the Ministry, and that the OAPSB’s assistance be requested in doing so.
Submitted by the Policy & Governance Committee:
Carl Nicholson, Chair