SCARBOROUGH, ON – In response to the rising crime rates and growing concerns over public safety, the Ontario government has announced a $112 million investment to enhance the province’s bail system. The funds will be used to implement new technology, create violent crime bail teams, expand the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement Squad, and provide resources for prosecutors to conduct complex bail hearings.
“We can’t have a justice system where violent criminals are arrested one day and back out on the streets the next,” said Premier Doug Ford. “This funding will help ensure anyone out on bail is following the rules and high-risk, repeat offenders are kept in jail.”
The investment will include the creation of a Bail Compliance and Warrant Apprehension Grant, expansion of the OPP Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement Squad, establishment of Intensive Serious Violent Crime Bail Teams, and the rollout of the Bail Compliance Dashboard. The funding will also be used to acquire bail compliance technology and support the sharing of bail offender information among police services.
“This funding will help police and justice sector partners address issues of bail compliance by expanding the resources needed to monitor and apprehend high-risk repeat offenders violating bail conditions,” said Solicitor General Michael Kerzner. “It will also help to ensure that both sentencing and bail processes work to reduce violent acts and keep our communities safe.”
The announcement follows the advocacy efforts of Canada’s premiers for the federal government to amend the Criminal Code and implement meaningful bail reform. Ontario will continue to work with the federal government to reform the bail system and make Ontario’s bail process stronger.
“These investments will immediately help to address serious, violent, and repeat offenders by providing more resources to police to investigate and apprehend these accused persons and to prosecutors and courts to conduct complex, time-consuming bail hearings with the best evidence possible,” said Attorney General Doug Downey.
Recent statistics show a 57% increase in serious violence and weapons cases before the courts in Ontario between 2018 and 2021. The Toronto Police Service also reported that 17% of accused charged with shooting-related homicides in Toronto over the past two years were already out on firearms bail at the time of the alleged fatal shooting. The Ontario government’s investment in the bail system aims to address these issues and keep communities safe.