Hon. Doug Ford
Premier of Ontario
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Dear Premier Ford,
This past weekend, thousands of Ontarians took to the streets to peacefully protest against systemic racism and stand up for their fundamental human rights. This incredible outpouring of activism was primarily triggered by the tragic death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet.
I am aware of the fact that the Special Investigations Unit has invoked its mandate to investigate this matter, and I strongly urge you to ensure that they have all of the necessary resources to complete their investigation as thoroughly and as transparently as possible.
Ontarians, and in particular the family of the victim, deserve the truth no matter how difficult it may be to hear.
In addition, I ask that your government provide funding to any Ontario police force that is prepared to deploy body cameras. This funding should cover both implementation and maintenance of the relevant technology, and the Privacy Commissioner should be consulted so that the deployment adheres to appropriate privacy guidelines. Doing so will mean that police officers can continue to carry out their duty to serve and protect with transparency while maintaining the confidence of Ontarians.
The over 5,000 people who marched in Toronto this weekend and the more than 75,000 who have signed the petition seeking answers in the Korchinski-Paquet tragedy have stepped forward because they know how fundamentally important it is for everyone in a position of leadership, especially in government, to speak up loudly against racism. Further, they expect that their leaders will take the steps necessary to stop racist and hateful acts from continuing to occur. We cannot afford to be passive when dealing with racism and discrimination — we must all be activists who consistently condemn behaviour that is not consistent with the values of equality and fairness that we cherish.
This is not a partisan issue. Sadly, it still permeates every aspect of our society. I sincerely hope that you and your colleagues in government will choose to work with all Opposition MPPs on behalf of those who need our help. If we work together, I believe that we can make meaningful progress to stop the unfairness that too many indigenous, black and people of colour still face in our province.
I, along with the Members of the Ontario Liberal Caucus, stand ready to assist your government in helping to successfully tackle this challenging issue. The stakes are too high for all of us and we must take positive action now.
Steven Del Duca
Leader, Ontario Liberal Party