January 11, 2016

The Honourable Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
Room 281, Main Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1A1

Dear Premier:

I am pleased to report on the progress my ministry has achieved on our mandate letter commitments. The letter outlined three key priorities for my ministry: policing and public safety, transforming correctional services and moving ahead on a mental health strategy.

Policing and Public Safety

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Billing Model

  • We have implemented a new, fairer and more transparent OPP billing model for the communities the OPP serves.

Strategy for a Safer Ontario

  • We are developing the Strategy for a Safer Ontario to modernize policing and public safety. This represents the largest policing transformation in Ontario in 25 years. The strategy:
    • Will be a blueprint for effective, sustainable, community-based policing, including with respect to First Nations.
    • Will build on our work with the Future of Policing Advisory Committee and extensive engagement with municipal and policing partners.
    • Will focus on collaboration — in which police will work with partners in education, health care and social services to make communities safer and improve the well-being of people who live in them.
  • This winter, we will consult with Ontarians and community partners to help inform this new legislative policing framework.

Police Record Check Reform and Street Checks/Carding

  • Bill 113, the Police Record Checks Reform Act, was passed on December 1, 2015. It sets clear standards by establishing specific types of checks, strictly limiting the release of non-conviction information and prohibiting disclosure of non-criminal information, preventing unnecessary barriers to employment, education and volunteer opportunities.
  • Following extensive consultations, we posted draft regulations on October 28, 2015, to prohibit the arbitrary collection of identifying information by police and establish new rights-based rules for voluntary police-public interactions where identifying information is collected. Once in force, they will be mandatory for every police service in Ontario.

Transforming Ontario’s Correctional System

  • We have started work to:
    • Hire more correctional officers.
    • Address capacity pressures.
    • Improve release planning.
    • Reform the bail and remand system.
    • Review offender rehabilitative programming, including training and education.
    • Review our segregation policy.
  • Our goal is to develop a collaborative, cross-government approach to the services and supports our inmates and clients need to reintegrate into society. This builds on recent achievements, including an improved transgender inmate policy and a new Regional Intermittent Centre in London.

Mental Health Strategy

  • We have made progress in several areas:
    • I hosted a Mental Health Roundtable of police, fire, correctional workers and community organizations to discuss the unique mental health challenges faced by first responders.
    • The ministry introduced an early mental health screening tool for use in correctional facilities.
    • We have been working closely with the Ministry of Labour on their comprehensive strategy on post-traumatic stress disorder and mental health.
    • Part of the Strategy for a Safer Ontario will be improving interactions between police and vulnerable Ontarians.
    • The Ontario Provincial Police released its Mental Health Strategy, a blueprint to better respond to the mental health needs of OPP staff and the people they serve.

While much has been accomplished, more remains to be done. I am dedicated to working with partners, moving forward on the mandate priorities and implementing initiatives that will make our public safety and correctional systems more efficient and accountable.

Sincerely,

Yasir Naqvi signature

Yasir Naqvi
Minister

Results achieved

Mandate Letter Commitment Progress to Date
Ensure that all of Ontario’s diverse communities are supported and protected by law enforcement — and that public safety and correctional systems are safe, secure, effective, efficient and accountable.
  • Developing a new Strategy for a Safer Ontario, a blueprint for more effective, sustainable and community-based policing that would build safer, stronger communities across Ontario. Building on current modernization initiatives, developing a strategy for the transformation of the correctional system.
Leading the implementation of a new, fairer, more transparent Ontario Provincial Police billing model. You will work with municipalities to support the implementation of the new model and monitor its impact on small, rural and northern municipalities with challenging fiscal circumstances.
  • On January 1, 2015, implemented the new OPP billing model, which reallocates costs among municipalities in a way that is equitable, fair and transparent. The model is being phased in over five years to limit the annual changes and provide stability and predictability for taxpayers and municipalities.
Continuing to develop a new strategic vision and plan for community safety and policing by working with municipalities, ministers and the Future of Policing Advisory Committee (FPAC). You will continue to consult with stakeholders and work with FPAC to accelerate the development of a package of reforms to policing service delivery.
  • Developing a new Strategy for a Safer Ontario to build safer, stronger communities across Ontario. Expanding on the work of the Future of Policing Advisory Committee to launch a broad consultation on key aspects of the strategy, including accountability and civilian governance, police core duties and alternative service delivery options, interactions with people in crisis, and a provincial framework for First Nations policing.
Working with stakeholders, municipalities and other ministers to control the rising cost of policing.
  • Working with stakeholders to explore methods of delivering services that would help improve the effectiveness of policing by making the best use of public safety resources. This includes clarifying police core duties and exploring the delivery of services by a range of public service personnel.
  • Working with our policing stakeholders to explore the use of existing and emerging technologies.
Working with the federal government and First Nation communities to address the sustainability of First Nation policing.
  • Planning is underway to develop an engagement strategy. The ministry will work with First Nations to ensure the sustainability of First Nations policing in the province. As part of the Strategy for a Safer Ontario, we will engage on a provincial framework for First Nations policing to ensure equitable and culturally responsive policing for First Nation communities.
Maintaining a strategic focus on community safety through a made-in-Ontario Community Safety and Well-Being Planning Strategy that builds on the Crime Prevention in Ontario - Framework for Action and complements other key government initiatives — such as the Youth Action Plan and Mental Health Strategy.
  • Worked with federal, provincial and municipal partners and local community stakeholders to develop the Community Safety and Well-Being Planning Framework and toolkit, to be publicly released in the near future. Reviewing current policing grants that will better support local solutions to local community safety and well-being priorities and help build safer and healthier communities.
Continuing to develop measures to keep guns out of Ontario and handguns off our streets. This issue requires engagement at all levels of government.
  • Reviewing current policing grants that will better support local solutions to local community safety and well-being priorities and help build safer and healthier communities, including keeping handguns off our streets.
Engaging with stakeholders and ministry partners to review issues that intersect between policing and civil liberties to bring forward change. You will consider issues that include undertaking a review of police record checks, the current bail and remand system, officer suspension without pay and the use of body-worn police cameras.
  • The Police Record Checks Reform Act was passed on December 1, 2015. Draft regulations were posted on October 28, 2015 to prohibit arbitrary collection of identifying information by police and establish clear rules for voluntary police-public interactions. The ministry is working with policing partners regarding officer suspension with pay. It is also undertaking a review of research and analyzing the results of pilot projects regarding police body cameras.
Working with ministry partners and stakeholders to undertake a comprehensive review of the province’s emergency management systems. This will build on lessons learned from recent experiences, such as the 2013 ice storm. Your goals are ongoing improvement, protecting public safety and adapting to the growing impacts of climate change. You will also work with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to ensure alignment between this review and the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program review.
  • Planning the review of our emergency management systems. Working with ministries in reviewing and implementing recommendations from the Ice Storm — After Action Report and the Elliot Lake Commission of Inquiry, which will also help inform the review of emergency management systems. Working with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to ensure alignment between our reviews.
Moving forward with plans for longer-term transformation of the correctional system. This will include: developing and implementing an intermittent offender strategy to help relieve capacity pressures, improving release planning efforts, addressing programmatic and service requirements for female inmates, enhancing inmate training and education programs — and expanding educational offerings in provincial institutions to further enhance rehabilitation and correctional services for clients.
  • Building on current modernization initiatives and developing a strategy for the transformation of the correctional system. Moving forward on a new regional intermittent centre to help address capacity issues, reduce contraband and improve safety for correctional staff and inmates. Collaborating with other ministries to provide more consistent educational services that better serve adult inmates.
Continuing to transform correctional services by working to improve strategies for the assessment, care and community reintegration of offenders. These efforts will include collaborating with other ministers to enhance skills training — and techniques for probation and parole staff to better address client risk factors and reduce recidivism. You will look for opportunities to pilot these transformation efforts prior to full implementation.
  • Building on current modernization initiatives, developing a strategy for the transformation of the correctional system. Piloted the Strategic Training Initiative in Community Supervision in Ottawa by having probation and parole officers apply evidence-based principles of offender rehabilitation in all aspects of client supervision and help reduce recidivism rates in probationers.
Engaging in a co-ordinated approach and working with community partners, stakeholders and other ministers, consider mental health and substance abuse issues when delivering frontline services — such as emergency response, police services and correctional services. When considering mental health strategies, you will draw upon the recommendations of the Iacobucci report, Police Encounters with People in Crisis.
  • Collaborating with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care on the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy. Addressing interactions between police and vulnerable Ontarians, as part of the Strategy for a Safer Ontario. Launched a review of the use of segregation in correctional facilities. Established services at the Toronto South Detention Centre to provide early assessment of remanded inmates with mental health issues.
Considering the mental health of first responders and correctional services staff by continuing to address systemic challenges related to issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Convened a Mental Health Roundtable comprised of key police, fire and correctional stakeholders. On December 2, 2015, the OPP launched its Mental Health Strategy. Piloted Road to Mental Readiness course for police personnel. Encouraged sharing of best practices among first responders and correctional services staff to help address Operational Stress Injuries.
Updated: June 01, 2021
Published: January 07, 2016