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TSP, TPSB and Ontario Human Rights Commission celebrate new milestone

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May 17, 2010

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For immediate publication

Toronto Police Service (TPS) Media Advisory

Toronto - A major joint initiative between the Toronto Police Service (TPS), the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB), and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) to bring about institutional change in combating racism and discrimination celebrates a new milestone. An event celebrating the project’s completion is being held today at 11:50 a.m, at St. Lawrence Hall.

Toronto Mayor David Miller will be the keynote speaker.

The Human Rights Project Charter, launched in 2007, arose out of a need to address human rights concerns about police that were being brought before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The three−year project involved a working group of staff from each of the three organizations. Their task was to look at human rights issues in the employment policies and the delivery of police services. In particular, the working group examined recruitment, selection, promotion & retention, police learning, accountability and public education. A series of strategies to deal with each area was developed. The partners agree that, through research, analysis, dialogue and the exchange of new ideas, real progress has been achieved in all these areas.

"This unique project has enabled the Toronto Police Service to learn a great deal about how it can deliver its services in a fair, equitable and bias−free manner and respond better to, and reflect, the communities it serves," Chief Bill Blair said. "I am confident that the relationships we have established through this partnership will be long−lasting as we continue to work together to provide quality policing services to all Torontonians."

Toronto Police Services Board Chair Alok Mukherjee said: "We are proud of this Project Charter and the cooperative way in which we have all established productive working relationships with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Our efforts through this joint venture will ensure that the Toronto Police Service continues to provide effective policing that is accountable and sensitive to community needs," Mukherjee said. "The benefits of this project will no doubt continue to be felt for years to come."

Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall said: "I am delighted with the many positive results that have come out of this unique partnership project and the constructive steps that the Toronto Police Service and the Toronto Police Services Board have taken to address human rights concerns. While there is still work to do, this project serves as an ideal example of how such partnerships can help others also create a culture of human rights within their organizations."

Participants will be available for interviews after the event.

For more information, please contact:

Sandy Adelson − Senior Advisor for Policy and Communications
Toronto Police Services Board
Tel: 416−808−8090

Afroze Edwards − Senior Communications Officer
Ontario Human Rights Commission
Tel: 416−314−4528

Inspector Anil Anand
Public Information
Tel: 416−808−7100

George Christopoulos, Public Information Unit, for the Ontario Human Rights Commission

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