BILL 78, EXTENDING QUEEN'S COMMISSION TO MUNICIPAL POLICE AND FIRST NATIONS CONSTABLES, PASSES SECOND READINGPublished on February 25, 2022
Queen's Park Parliamentarians Debate Legislation Seeking to Expand Eligibility Criteria for Queen's Commission.
QUEEN'S PARK – Members of the Ontario Legislature debated Second Reading of Bill 78, An Act to Amend the Police Services Act, 2021. Tabled last December by MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga Mike Harris, Bill 78 seeks to amend the Police Services Act to allow officers serving in municipal and First Nations jurisdictions across the province to be eligible for the Queen's Commission which is currently only attainable by the Ontario Provincial Police.
"I want to thank the members who spoke on Bill 78 for their thoughtful comments throughout the debate on Second Reading," said Mike Harris, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga. "This legislation makes sense and will not only raise the morale of deserving officers but foster better relationships with local communities by uplifting and underscoring the good work our Police are doing out there across Ontario every single day."
Ontario's municipal officers face innumerable challenges and risk their lives in the daily performance of their duties. Whether serving in First Nations, rural or northern communities or large urban centres, Ontario's police officers are doing the hard work of enforcing laws and seeking justice, so all Ontarians may live with safety and peace of mind.
"I applaud these changes, which will honour the incredible work and leadership of officers who work each and every day to uphold the law and public safety, who work to foster trust and confidence between their organizations and the communities they serve, and who commit themselves to achieving justice for all," said Bryan Larkin, Chief of Police for the Waterloo Regional Police Service and the President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. "Extending the Queen's Commission to exceptional municipal police officers and First Nations Constables is an honour that is deserving and is one that I support fully."
"The PAO is pleased to support this effort to ensure that all officers across Ontario can be recognized for their vital service to the province," said PAO President Mark Baxter. "Police officers in this province are incredibly hardworking and dedicated to their local communities and I'm glad to see that MPP Harris' bill allows for all of them to be eligible for a Queen's Commission."
"I have read over MPP Harris' letter proposing the Queen's Commission be made available to First Nations and Municipal police officers. We all do the same job for the communities we serve and we should be on the same page as far as recognition of exemplary performance," said Chief of Police of Six Nations, Darren Montour.
"As a retired Commissioned Officer with the Ontario Provincial Police, I fully support this amendment to the Police Services Act, which extends the eligibility criteria of the Queen's Commission to officers in municipal and First Nations jurisdictions," said Chief Scott Tod, of the North Bay Police Service. "In my current role as municipal Police Chief, I can attest to the deserving qualities of municipal and Indigenous police leaders specific to the trust and confidence to their loyalty, integrity and ability."
Kasia Kaminska | Executive Assistant