Settlement relating to Toronto Police Service Memorial Wall
(Ontario Human Rights Commission v. Mark Saunders and Toronto Police Services Board)
On November 11, 2015, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) filed an Application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) alleging discrimination in employment based on disability because of the Toronto Police Service’s (TPS) failure to include on its Memorial Wall officers who end their lives as a result of a mental health disability incurred in the line of duty.
On April 18, 2017 a settlement was reached with the following terms:
Developing the Procedure
1.The Chief of Police commits to developing an application and assessment process for the inclusion of names on the Memorial Wall. The process will be outlined in a Procedure which shall be issued by the Chief of Police no later than October 31, 2017.
2.More specifically, the Procedure will:
a)Set out the process for requesting that a deceased Toronto Police Service member’s ("deceased member") name be included on the Memorial Wall, including who may submit an application, what information and materials must be provided in support of the application, and a timeframe within which a response to an application will typically be delivered.
b)Ensure that the names of members who die from mental health injuries will have an equal opportunity for inclusion on the Memorial Wall as the names of members who die from physical injuries.
c)Set out the process and criteria to be applied in assessing applications as well as who will be involved in gathering information and making assessments.
d)State explicitly that the names of members who die from mental health injuries will have an equal opportunity for inclusion on the Memorial Wall as the names of members who die from physical injuries.
3.No names that currently appear on the Memorial Wall will be removed on the basis that the circumstances of the deceased member's death do not meet the criteria outlined in the adopted Procedure.
4.The Chief of Police or his designate will receive and consider all applications to include a deceased member’s name on the Memorial Wall regardless of whether the member’s death occurred before or after the Procedure is issued. The Chief of Police or his designate may consult with the expert referred to in paragraph 5 below on how to best assess applications proposing inclusion of names of deceased members whose deaths predate the Procedure.
5.The Procedure will be developed in consultation with a Commission approved expert on first responders with mental health disabilities.
6.By October 31, 2017 the Chief of Police or his designate will provide the Commission with a copy of the final Procedure, along with written confirmation that, in the expert’s opinion, the Procedure provides an equal opportunity for the inclusion of names of deceased members who die from mental health injuries as it does deceased members who die from physical injuries.
7.Three (3) years after the date the Procedure is issued, the Chief of Police or his designate will begin working with the expert referred to in paragraph 5 (or another Commission approved expert if the expert retained pursuant to paragraph 5 is not available) to review the effectiveness of the implementation of the Procedure as it relates to the inclusion of Toronto Police Service members who die from mental health injuries on the Memorial Wall.
a)Within six months of commencing the review, the expert will draft a report outlining the results of the review. The expert's report shall be provided to the Chief of Police and the Commission upon completion.
b)Following receipt of the expert's review report, the Chief of Police or his designate will submit a report to the TPSB summarising the conclusions in the expert's report. For clarity, the Parties acknowledge that the report to the TPSB will be a summary report and shall not include any information which may allow for the identification of any individuals.
c)In the event that the report provided to the TPSB will be discussed at a public meeting, the Chief of Police or his designate will advise the Commission of the date of the meeting at least two weeks in advance of the meeting.