Province Seeking Feedback in Sault Ste. Marie on its Strategy for a Safer Ontario

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David Orazietti, MPP would like to inform residents of SSM and area of a public consultation that is part of the province’s efforts to develop its Strategy for a Safer Ontario – a blueprint for effective, sustainable, and community based policing.

“We know that bringing the community together is the cornerstone of building safer neighbourhoods in Sault Ste. Marie, and right across Ontario, and that is exactly what the Strategy for a Safer Ontario aims to achieve,” said Orazietti. “Hearing the experiences, feedback, and advice of Ontarians is a crucial part of building this new framework. I encourage all residents to voice any concerns as our government moves forward on building a safer Sault Ste. Marie, and a stronger Ontario.”

The nature of policing and the role of police officers has changed since the Police Services Act was written in 1990. Policing has evolved as a result of advancements in technology, the increasing frequency of police interactions with vulnerable individuals, such as those suffering from mental health or addiction issues, and Ontarians’ expectations regarding oversight and accountability of law enforcement.

The new Strategy for a Safer Ontario, from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, will include updating the Police Services Act. Consultations will seek input on how to:

Promote collaborative partnerships between police, the public and other sectors such as education, health care and social services, to ensure that those in need of help receive the right response, at the right time, and by the right service provider

Improve interactions between police and vulnerable Ontarians, including strengthening frontline responses to those in crisis

Clarify police duties, modernize training programs, and deliver services using a range of public safety personnel

Enhance accountability and strengthen civilian governance of police services boards as well as ensure police oversight bodies are effective and have clear mandates.

“Our new Strategy for a Safer Ontario is about finding smarter, better ways to build even safer communities. It will build a policing model for the 21st century by rewriting the Police Services Act – representing the biggest transformation of policing in Ontario in 25 years,” said Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. “We look forward to hearing directly from local communities as we move forward on our new framework to build an even stronger, safer Ontario.”

The province encourages residents in Sault Ste. Marie to help transform policing by participating in the public consultation. The consultation will be held on Monday, March 7 at the John Rhodes Community Centre from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Members of the public can RSVP for the session online or by calling 1-866-517-0571 to confirm their attendance. MPP Orazietti also encourages residents to complete the online survey, found at this link, by April 8, 2016 and read the province’s discussion document.