2021 Conference Program

DAY 1 - Monday May 10, 2021

Session 1

Following a serious incident involving police, there is often public outcry that "nothing has happened or changed". This sentiment serves neither the police officers implicated nor the independent agencies charged with investigating and reporting on their findings.

This session will examine the roles of the various agencies charged with examining the same incident and discuss the challenges each faces in educating their stakeholders, the individuals impacted and the public at large. It will include a discussion of the legislative and practical challenges agencies must navigate to work collaboratively to improve police conduct and maintain the public's confidence in police.

Session 2

Oversight agencies and police services face a number of challenges related to public disclosure of their findings and recommendations including the duty to protect the privacy of individuals. In addition, while some police services disclose disciplinary decisions others are legally prohibited from releasing any information.

This session will examine the challenges media outlets and the public face when trying to learn about police conduct and propose solutions that meet the public demand for enhanced transparency of police oversight in Canada.

Session 3

Policing and police oversight in Canada is under intense scrutiny and the public pressure for reform is at an all-time high. The social movements of 2020 have highlighted the demand for greater accountability from both the police and their watchdogs as there remains real and perceived barriers that prevent individuals from engaging with the oversight regime in Canada. 

This session will examine how police oversight is experienced by individuals from Indigenous and racialized communities and will include a discussion on what real steps can be taken to encourage participation by more Canadians.

DAY 2 - Tuesday May 11, 2021

Session 1

All of the individuals involved in a negative police-public encounter, including serious incidents, are impacted differently by the interaction. Police officers, the affected person as well as witnesses each have a unique experience of the resulting oversight mechanisms that are engaged. 

This session includes first hand accounts and offers personal perspectives on what oversight brings, what it doesn't and what improvements need to be made.

Session 2

The social movements of 2020 have also heightened the need for police oversight agencies to examine long-standing investigative techniques and incorporate more effective strategies and tools into their approach. It is imperative that organizations assess their current practices to ensure that they are not inadvertently causing additional trauma – to impacted individuals, witnesses, and subject officers.  

This session will inform the audience about the nature and impacts of trauma on all involved in an oversight investigative process. It will include discussions on the benefits of implementing Trauma Informed investigative techniques to help alleviate some of these issues. 

Session 3

At a time when a number of provincial & territorial governments are actively engaged in modernizing the legislation that governs the delivery of police services in their provinces and territories, independent investigations agencies and review agencies have the opportunity to both share their experience and propose legislative changes that would bolster the existing oversight regime.

This session will provide a national comparison of oversight regimes, the proposed legislative changes currently before federal, provincial and territorial government committees charged with reviewing police acts and outline tactics that the oversight community could employ to work collaboratively to further the shared goal of providing all Canadians with robust civilian oversight of law enforcement.