Ontario Human Rights Commission Working with Peel Regional Police and Peel Police Services Board on Systemic Racism

Human Rights

TORONTO – Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reached in 2020, Chief Commissioner Patricia DeGuire and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) continue to work collaboratively with the Peel Regional Police (PRP) and the Peel Police Services Board (PPSB) to address systemic racism and discrimination in policing. As one of the steps in this process, PRP, PPSB and the OHRC have developed a survey seeking community feedback on experiences with and perceptions of PRP.

Data in the 2020 PRP Corporate Risk Management Report underscores the urgency of the OHRC’s work with PRP and PPSB in advancing the systemic changes needed to eradicate racism and discrimination in policing. The numbers in the PRP’s report are deeply disturbing and show that Black people were grossly over-represented in police use of force incidents in the Region of Peel in 2020. The OHRC has long raised concerns about police use of force and its impact on Black communities, including most recently in its provincial Framework for change to address systemic racism in policing.

“Peel Regional Police is at a critical juncture in the work to improve relationships and restore trust with the community,” said DeGuire. “The OHRC remains committed to collaborating with PRP and its Board to pursue transformational changes that will improve outcomes for members of Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities across Ontario.”

Under the terms of the MOU, the PRP and PPSB are committed to work with the OHRC to develop and implement legally binding remedies that will address structural changes, the role of policing, policy and procedural changes, accountability and monitoring. The remedies will be guided by the seven key principles in the OHRC’s Policy on eliminating racial profiling in law enforcement including active and regular engagement with diverse Indigenous and racialized communities to obtain frank and open feedback on the lived experience of racial profiling and effective approaches to combatting it.

The parties recognize that it is essential to hear from and work with Black, racialized and Indigenous communities on appropriate ways to address systemic racism in policing in Peel Region. The OHRC encourages people who live or work in Peel Region to take the survey, which is confidential and anonymous. The survey was open from September 15 to September 30, 2021. Learn more about the OHRC’s work with PRP and PPSB.

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