Ministry of the Attorney General
720 Bay Street, 11th Floor
To the Attorney General of Ontario,
I am writing to express my support for the recommendations made by the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario in the December, 2011 report, “Oversight Undermined”. I have very deep concerns about the broken relationship that presently exists between police associations in Ontario and Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit. I strongly believe that police officers must be held to account for their actions and should comply with Special Investigations Unit investigations in the event of severe injury or death of a member of the public caused by police action. My confidence in the administration of justice is dependent on a belief that civilian oversight bodies will be capable of adequately and transparently doing their jobs. I believe that Ontario’s watchdog- the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario- provides a level of questioning and scrutiny that is crucial and that it is imperative that their findings be acknowledged, honored and implemented if I am to maintain a high level of confidence in the administration of justice.
Please adopt the recommendations made to your office by the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario and work to ensure that police officers must comply with the Special Investigations Unit. Please support the Director of the Special Investigations Unit in his efforts to confront police non compliance with the S.I.U.. As the S.I.U. is administered- at an arm’s length- from the Office of the Attorney General of Ontario, I believe that it is the role of your office to ensure that the S.I.U. has the governmental support necessary to empower its mandate to be met. I was dismayed to learn that your office has been complicit in attempting to silence the Director of the S.I.U. and has ‘actively undermined’ the healing of the fractured relationship between police and Ontario’s police oversight body. The Office of the Attorney General of Ontario must balance its working relationship and allegiance to police interests with its duty to ensure that the S.I.U. and the public’s need are also met. It is this same public, after all, that has the power to decide who will be elected and, as such, who will hold term in the Office of the Attorney General of Ontario.
Please take action immediately. Please inform me, and the greater public, as to the progress made by your office in the implementation of the recommendations laid out in the report, “Oversight Undermined’.