THIS WEEK’S QUESTION:
Since 1974, police oversight in Ontario has been the subject of more than a dozen reviews, generating hundreds of recommendations for reform. However, finding the right balance between effective policing and public accountability has proven elusive.
Do you believe that Justice Michael Tulloch’s report, just released, will lead to greater transparency of the police oversight bodies in the province?
I think the issue of racial profiling does exist, but it’s just never addressed. And coming from a man of his stature, his credentials, and his lived experience, I think this may be able to make effective change. I think they should take heed, because it takes a lot more to create change. On his level, or on a smaller level, the issue does exist. I think it is a very good start.
Former Administrative Assistant
Ontario Municipal Board
I think he may possibly bring actual change given his experience, which gives him the ability to empathize with marginalized communities, especially the Caribbean community. People who do not live through those experiences may not understand, but he must have seen and experienced people being wrongfully profiled and would then know much better how to deal with the issues than someone else who didn’t.
It is possible. Once you can change the mindset of the people, how the people think, then people can reach different levels of thinking and understanding on the topic. So I think it is possible. People know the issue is there, but people tend to be passive about things. Until there is an incident, and then an uproar which causes a review to come up, it then dies down quickly afterward. There is not much done to train police personnel, but this could be a start.
Youth Outreach Worker
City of Toronto
I would think so because he is a representative of the minority group that’s affected. But it doesn’t mean others aren’t affected too, outside of his community, but it helps that he has experience in that way. Because he is part of the system, he’s also a person that is recognized, so many individuals are not. He’s someone that’s stable, got his education, and is still facing this- what about the rest of us without the education trying to get to something better?
Dental Office Manager
Just with what I see with relatives in general, sometimes it’s easier to integrate and truly achieve things if they come here younger and without a family to take care of. I have seen how hard the system can be for people who are older, especially men of colour, and how the system isn’t really set up to cater to some communities like the Black community. The report might work for some people, but it seems like we are always going through the same old struggle.
Canada Border Services Agency
I think it would, I guess. They would be forced to go by the protocol set out in the report, they will likely or ideally have a Board to answer to. This would foster a better relationship between the police and the Black community. Hopefully, because the facts are there and if they’re followed then they should be able to see improvements. And this would cause the police to be accountable, or more accountable.