March 13, 2018
Ontario’s Bill 175, known colloquially as the Safer Ontario Act, 2018 (the “Safer Ontario Act”), has received Royal Assent .
As previously reported in our November 3, 2017 In A Flash article, Ontario Announces Sweeping Changes to Policing Laws , Bill 175 extensively amends and replaces the Police Services Act, and introduces new police oversight legislation including the Policing Oversight Act, 2018, the Ontario Policing Discipline Tribunal Act, 2018, and the Ontario Special Investigations Unit Act, 2018.
Since our last In A Flash article, some important amendments relevant to labour relations in policing were made to Bill 175.
Most notably, the Police Services Act, 2018 now codifies the duty of fair representation owed by police associations to their members that has been recognized at common law. The duty requires that police associations not act in a manner that is arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith in the representation of any of the members of the police service.
The investigative powers of the Ontario Special Investigations Unit (“SIU”) set out in the new Policing Oversight Act, 2018 were also further expanded to include the ability to initiate investigations into reported sexual assaults if the incident may have resulted from the conduct of a police service member.
Bill 175 came into force on March 8, 2018 upon receiving Royal Assent, but the majority of the substantive amendments to the Police Services Act, as well as the newly created police oversight statutes will come into force in the coming months. Further updates and information will be provided as these significant changes to policing in Ontario are implemented.
If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer directly for more assistance.