This page is intended to provide general information and is specific to the time when it is first issued. Please keep in mind that the OCPC’s staff cannot provide you with legal advice.
If you wish to obtain legal advice, you should consult a person licensed by the Law Society of Ontario.
Does the OCPC receive public complaints?
Public complaints about police conduct generally fall within the jurisdiction of the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD). However, if the complaint is about the misconduct a police chief, police board members, auxiliary members of a police service, municipal law enforcement officers and/or special constables, the OCPC will consider the complaint and determine what actions, if any, are to be taken.The OIPRD is responsible for receiving, managing and overseeing all public complaints about the police in Ontario.
The OIPRD can be contacted at:
Office of the Independent Police Review Director.
655 Bay Street, 10th Floor, Toronto, ON M7A 2T4
Toll-free phone: 1-877-411-4773; TTY: 1-877-414-4773
Toll-free fax: 1-877-415-4773
What does the OCPC’s investigation process entail?
The OCPC has jurisdiction to investigate police chiefs, police boards and their members, auxiliary members of a police service, municipal law enforcement officers and special constables.
The investigation process is initiated either on the OCPC’s own motion (sometimes after having received a public complaint) or at the request of the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, the OIPRD, a municipal council or a police services board. When the OCPC receives a complaint or a request for an investigation, it reviews the complaint or request and determines whether an investigation is warranted.
How long does an investigation take?
This is typically determined on a case-by-case basis and depends on the nature of the matters related to the investigation. The OCPC proceeds as quickly as possible while ensuring a thorough investigation.
Does the OCPC provide details about ongoing investigations?
No. The OCPC does not provide details about ongoing investigations in order to ensure the integrity of the process.
What are the possible outcomes of an OCPC investigation?
This is typically determined on a case-by-case basis but generally, there are three possible outcomes:
- During an investigation, a resolution may be reached
- If an investigation concludes without having reached an early resolution, the OCPC may issue an investigative report with findings and recommendations for action
- The OCPC may hold a hearing to determine an appropriate outcome
Are investigative reports available to the public?
Publicly available reports can be accessed on our website. Section 25(3) of the Police Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.15 (“PSA”) governs the communication of the Ontario Civilian Police Commission’s (“Commission”) report of an investigation into police matters as prescribed under section 25(1) as follows:
The Commission shall communicate its report of an investigation under subsection (1) to the Solicitor General or the Independent Police Review Director at his or her request and to the board or council at its request, and may communicate the report to any other person as the Commission considers advisable.
Releasing investigation reports where charges under the PSA are not laid falls within the Commission’s discretion as provided in s. 25(3) of the PSA.
The Commission prepares and releases Executive Summaries of Investigation Reports to complainants and those subject to the complaint (respondents), where the complainants and witnesses can be anonymized. The Executive Summaries include the Commission’s decision, reasons for its decision and recommendations, where made.
Where it would be impossible to anonymize the complainants and witnesses, such that they remain identifiable, the Commission decides whether it will proceed with releasing an Executive Summary based on the circumstances of the particular case and in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31 (“FIPPA”), which protects personal information, including the Act’s exemptions for law enforcement and other provisions.
The Commission reserves to itself the discretion, on a case-by-case basis, to release its full Investigation Report or Executive Summary of its Investigation Report to any or all of the complainant(s), the respondent(s), or the public. As part of its mandate, the Commission further exercises its discretion to decide, on a case-by-case basis, whether it will publish its Investigation Report online on its webpage on Tribunals Ontario’s website, in accordance with the PSA and FIPPA as noted above.
The Commission directs requestors who request copies of Commission Investigation Reports to Tribunals Ontario’s process to make public enquiries to access records. Public enquiries to access records may be made through the process outlined on Tribunals Ontario’s website.
For enquiries about requesting access to Tribunals Ontario records, please contact Access.TO-TDO@ontario.ca. For enquiries regarding the Commission, please contact the Commission Registrar’s Office at mailto:OCPCRegistrar@ontario.ca.
Response updated and effective as of April 23, 2021