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Archived - September 2016 Mandate letter: Community Safety and Correctional Services
Premier’s instructions to the Minister on priorities.
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September 23, 2016
The Honourable David Orazietti
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
25 Grosvenor Street
18th Floor, George Drew Building
Dear Minister Orazietti:
Welcome to your role as Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. As we mark the mid-point of our mandate, we have a strong and new Cabinet, and are poised to redouble our efforts to deliver on our top priority — creating jobs and growth. Guided by our balanced plan to build Ontario up for everyone, we will continue to work together to deliver real benefits and more inclusive growth that will help people in their everyday lives.
We embark on this important part of our mandate knowing that our four-part economic plan is working — we are making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, making postsecondary education more affordable and accessible, leading the transition to a low-carbon economy and the fight against climate change, and building retirement security for workers.
Building on our ambitious and activist agenda, and with a focus on implementing our economic plan, we will continue to forge partnerships with businesses, educators, labour, communities, the not-for-profit sector and with all Ontarians to foster economic growth and to make a genuine, positive difference in people’s lives. Collaboration and active listening remain at the heart of the work we undertake on behalf of the people of Ontario — these are values that ensure a common purpose, stimulate positive change and help achieve desired outcomes. With this in mind, I ask that you work closely with your Cabinet colleagues to deliver positive results on initiatives that cut across several ministries, such as our Climate Change Action Plan, Business Growth Initiative, and the Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy. I also ask you to collaborate with the Minister Responsible for Digital Government to drive digital transformation across government and modernize public service delivery.
We have made tangible progress and we have achieved the following key results:
- Implemented a new, fairer and more transparent OPP billing model for the communities the OPP serves.
- The Police Record Checks Reform Act was passed on December 1, 2015. The new legislation sets the province’s first-ever clear, consistent and comprehensive set of standards to govern police record checks. Once proclaimed, the act’s new standards for police record checks will ensure an appropriate balance between maintaining public safety while also protecting the privacy rights of individuals.
- Filed two regulations under the Police Services Act (PSA) that ban the arbitrary and race-based collection of identifying information by police, often referred to as “carding” or “street checks”, and amends the current Code of Conduct under the PSA to make violating these rules a misconduct. This regulation sets out clear and consistent rules for a range of voluntary police-public interactions where police are seeking to collect identifying information.
- Passed legislation that prohibits the possession and breeding of orcas in Ontario and have set specific standards of care for marine mammals.
- Undertook public consultations across Ontario to support the development of the Strategy for a Safer Ontario.
Your mandate is to work on ensuring that Ontario’s communities are supported and protected by law enforcement and public safety systems that are safe, secure, effective, efficient and accountable. Your specific priorities include:
Leading Correctional Transformation
- Working with stakeholders and relevant ministries to support the long-term transformation of the correctional system. First steps will include operational updates to the ministry’s policies on the use of segregation in correctional facilities in fall 2016.
- Working with the Attorney General to develop and initiate implementation of a targeted strategy to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Ontario’s criminal justice system in the area of bail and remand while maintaining public safety.
Modernizing Public Safety
- Building on the consultations to date to support the development of the Strategy for a Safer Ontario. Introduce legislation in spring 2017 to modernize the Police Services Act to build safer, stronger communities across the province. Develop options to prioritize de-escalation in police interactions with the public.
- Engaging Indigenous partners on the Strategy for a Safer Ontario, including First Nations communities on developing options for a provincial framework for First Nations policing.
- Supporting the Attorney General following the independent review of police oversight in the province.
- In partnership with the Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues, the Minister of Community and Social Services and the Attorney General, supporting the delivery of Ontario’s multi-year survivor-focused Strategy to End Human Trafficking. This includes implementing initiatives under the strategy to enhance the capacity of law enforcement to identify, co-ordinate and investigate human trafficking activities.
- As committed to in spring 2016, in consultation with the Anti-Racism Directorate, selecting an independent reviewer to complete a review of the regulation prohibiting the arbitrary collection of identifying information by police within two years of full regulatory implementation. Launch a multi-year academic study to better understand the impact on community safety of collecting identifying information through police interactions.
- Introducing legislation in 2017 to support the investigation of missing persons.
- Establishing a Fire Safety Technical Table to provide recommendations to modernize fire service delivery in Ontario in fall 2017.
- Reviewing the current animal welfare framework and consider options for regulating exotic animals in the province.
In addition to the priority activities above, I ask that you also deliver results for Ontarians by driving progress in the following areas:
- Continue to work with stakeholders on regulations required to support the proclamation of the Police Record Checks Reform Act so that people’s privacy is respected while protecting public safety.
- Support the Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues, the Minister of Community and Social Services and the Attorney General to review existing programs and services and create an updated domestic violence action plan.
As you know, taking action on the recommendations contained in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report is a priority for our government. That is why we released The Journey Together, a document that serves as a blueprint for making our government’s commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples a reality. As we move forward with the implementation of the report, I ask you and your fellow Cabinet members to work together, in co-operation with our Indigenous partners, to help achieve real and measurable change for Indigenous communities.
Having made significant progress over the past year in implementing our community hubs strategy, I encourage you and your Cabinet colleagues to ensure that the Premier’s Special Advisor on Community Hubs and the Community Hubs Secretariat, at the Ministry of Infrastructure, are given the support they need to continue their vital cross-government work aimed at making better use of public properties, encouraging multi-use spaces and helping communities create financially sustainable hub models.
Responsible fiscal management remains an overarching priority for our government — a priority echoed strongly in our 2016 Budget. Thanks to our disciplined approach to the province’s finances over the past two years, we are on track to balance the budget next year, in 2017–18, which will also lower the province’s debt-to-GDP ratio. Yet this is not the moment to rest on our past accomplishments: it is essential that we work collaboratively across every sector of government to support evidence-based decision-making to ensure programs and services are effective, efficient and sustainable, in order to balance the budget by 2017–18, maintain balance in 2018–19, and position the province for longer-term fiscal sustainability.
Marathon runners will tell you that an event’s halfway mark is an opportunity to reflect on progress made — but they will also tell you that it is the ideal moment to concentrate more intently and to move decisively forward. At this halfway mark of this government’s mandate, I encourage you to build on the momentum that we have successfully achieved over the past two years, to work in tandem with your fellow ministers to advance our economic plan and to ensure that Ontario remains a great place to live, work and raise a family.
I look forward to working together with you to build opportunity and prosperity for all Ontarians.