TORONTO, March 21 /CNW/ - The Toronto Police Service (TPS), the Toronto
Police Services Board (TPSB), and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC)
have reached a milestone agreement to bring about institutional change in
combating racism and discrimination.
Police Chief William Blair, Board Chair Alok Mukherjee, and Human Rights
Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall made the announcement together during
celebrations held today at Toronto Police Service headquarters marking
International Day for the Elimination of Racism.
"This agreement is the first of its kind and shows that Toronto Police
Service is serious about addressing racism and discrimination", commented
Chief Commissioner Hall.
The agreement, set out in a detailed Project Charter, establishes a joint
Working Group with representatives from the TPS, TPSB and OHRC who will
identify human rights issues, design response plans and direct initiatives, as
well as measure and report publicly on progress. Initiatives to eliminate
racism and other forms of discrimination are focusing on the employment
policies of the TPSB and the practices of the TPS in the provision of policing
services to the residents of the City of Toronto.
"The Toronto Police Service has been making real progress over the last
year in the areas of human rights and delivering fair, equitable and bias-free
policing," said Chief Blair. "By signing this Project Charter, we will learn
from our past experiences and get guidance for the future delivery of policing
Alok Mukherjee, the Chair of the civilian Board that oversees the TPS,
stated, "There is no place for bias or discrimination, such as racial
profiling, in the way we serve the community and hire, promote and treat those
who work for us. The unique partnership expressed through this Charter will
help us strengthen our ongoing effort to identify and eliminate any
discriminatory practices, enhance the skills and knowledge of our employees
and make our workforce truly reflective of the city."
Chief Commissioner Hall added, "This type of successful cooperation
benefits the broader community and is exactly what the Commission will focus
more on as we move forward under our new mandate. The agreement serves as a
model for other police services across the province to take up their
responsibility to address racism and discrimination with the same leadership
being demonstrated by Toronto Police Service."
Nothing in the agreement prevents the OHRC from continuing to enforce
Ontario's Human Rights Code and seek public interest remedies in resolving
complaints filed against the TPS or TPSB.
The agreement is being considered by the Toronto Police Services Board at
its monthly public meeting tomorrow March 22nd.
For further information see the attached Backgrounder or visit the
Commission's Web site www.ohrc.on.ca.
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For further information:
For further information: Jeff Poirier, Manager, Communications, Policy
and Education Branch, (416) 314-4539; Afroze Edwards, Sr. Communications
Officer, Policy and Education Branch, (416) 314-4528; Meaghan Gray, Public
Information, Toronto Police Service, (416) 808-7095, www.torontopolice.on.ca;
Sandy Adelson, Toronto Police Services Board, (416) 808-8090, www.tpsb.ca