Province of Ontario to Review Police Oversight Agencies

Andrew Loku

Ontario has appointed the Honourable Michael H. Tulloch, a judge of the Ontario Court of Appeal, to lead an independent review of the three agencies that oversee police conduct in the province: the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.

Our government is committed to a fair and effective police oversight system in Ontario,  Attorney-General Madeleine Meileur Justice Tulloch has been asked to provide the government with recommendations on ways to enhance the transparency and accountability of the province’s three police oversight bodies, while at the same time ensuring that these agencies are carrying out their work as effectively and efficiently as possible. As part of his review, he will engage in public consultations.

Andrew Loku
Andrew Loku

Ontario has also asked Justice Tulloch to prioritize making recommendations as to how information in SIU reports could be made public in the future, as well as whether past SIU reports should be made public, and the form this information would take. The government expects to receive these prioritized recommendations in the coming months.

The final report containing all recommendations will be delivered to the Attorney General no later than March 31, 2017 and will be made available to the public.

In addition, the Ministry of the Attorney General is releasing the SIU Director’s decision and analysis, a part of the SIU report prepared in relation to the Andrew Loku investigation.  Loku was an immigrant from South Sudan living in Toronto.  He was shot following a confrontation with police in July, 2015.

Other parts of the report, which are not being released as a result of privacy and safety constraints as well as legal requirements, include information gathered from witness interviews, and forensic and physical evidence. Witnesses who participate in SIU investigations are assured by the SIU that their identities and the information they provide are confidential and would only be released with consent or as required by law, such as in a criminal proceeding or a coroner’s inquest. The practices related to the release of identities of officers and witnesses in Ontario is consistent with other Canadian jurisdictions.