2023/24 – 2025/26 Special Investigations Unit Business Plan

Section 1: Key Achievements 2022-23

The following achievements in 2022-23 supported the Special Investigations Unit’s (SIU) strategic goals and priorities:

  • Expanded Director’s Resource Committee membership to include representatives of persons with disabilities, interval and transitional housing populations and persons with mental health issues to ensure feedback by the communities served by SIU;
  • Established Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) and Employee Experience Committee to steward SIU’s DEI and anti-racism efforts;
  • Continued building a more diverse workforce to better meet Ontarians’ needs;
  • Improved on year-over-year results from Employee Experience Survey;
  • Began modernizing Agency’s digital infrastructure: procured 3D scanners and utilized Digital Evidence Management System, an Ontario Government initiative.

Section 2: Mandate

SIU is an independent government agency that has jurisdiction over municipal, regional and provincial police officers, as well as special constables employed by the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service. Anyone the SIU is mandated to investigate is referred to as an ‘official’. The SIU Director may cause a criminal investigation to be conducted into any incident in which any of the following occurs, if the incident may have resulted from criminal conduct by an official:

  • The death of a person.
  • The serious injury of a person.
  • The discharge of a firearm at a person.
  • The sexual assault of a person, as reported by the person.
SIU was created in 1990 with a mission to nurture public confidence in policing by ensuring that the conduct of police officers, in cases falling under SIU jurisdiction, is subject to rigorous and independent investigations. Decades later, and with an expanded mandate, SIU remains steadfast in pursuing that same mission. The Unit is independent of any police service and operates at arm’s length from the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG).

During its investigations, SIU gathers and assesses evidence, and the Director ultimately decides whether the evidence leads to the reasonable belief that a criminal offence has been committed. If the Director forms such a belief, she or he shall lay a criminal charge against the official(s), and that charge will then be prosecuted by the Crown Attorney. If the Director does not form such a belief, she or he cannot lay a criminal charge against the official(s). Instead, the ‘Director’s Report’ is posted publicly and provided to the affected parties.
SIU’s Mission, Vision and Values align with MAG’s Vision of a responsive justice system that inspires public confidence, upholds the rule of law and reflects the OPS values.

Section 3: Overview of Programs and Activities

i) Investigations

The legislative framework for SIU is set out in the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019. The mandate of the SIU is to nurture confidence in Ontario’s police services and select special constables and peace officers by assuring the public that the actions of these officials resulting in serious injury, death, the discharge of a firearm or an allegation of sexual assault are subjected to rigorous, independent investigations. Incidents that fall within the mandate must be reported to SIU by the organization that employs the involved official and/ or may be reported by any other person or organization.

The objective of every SIU investigation is to determine whether there is evidence of criminal wrongdoing on the part of the involved official(s). It is not to determine whether the official(s) may have committed some lesser offence, such as a breach of a provincial law or professional misconduct.

Serious Injury

The Unit’s investigative jurisdiction is limited to those incidents involving officials where there is a serious injury, death, allegation of sexual assault or discharge of a firearm by an official at a person.

A person sustains a serious injury if the injury in question is likely to interfere with the person’s health or comfort and is not transient or trifling in nature. A serious injury includes:

  • An injury that results in admission to a hospital;
  • A fracture to the skull, or to a limb, rib, or vertebra;
  • Burns to a significant proportion of a person’s body;
  • The loss of any portion of a person’s body; or
  • A loss of vision or hearing.

Off-Duty Officials

SIU normally investigates incidents when the official was on-duty, but will investigate off-duty incidents if:

  1. The official was engaged in the investigation, pursuit, detention or arrest of a person or otherwise exercised the powers of a police officer, special constable or peace officer, as the case may be, whether or not the official intended to exercise such powers or identified him or herself as a person who may exercise such powers or;
  2. The incident involved equipment or other property issued to the official in relation to his or her duties.

What We Cannot Investigate

Complaints regarding lack of service, policy, or improper conduct by an official (e.g., allegations of racial profiling, harassment, corruption, or use of force without serious injury). Such complaints should be referred to the appropriate police service or to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director. While such complaints may require further investigation, they do not fall within the mandate of the SIU.

In addition to conducting independent investigations, SIU realizes the importance of providing other programs and services, as described below.

ii) Affected Persons Program

The Affected Persons Program (APP) is a crucial component of the SIU, providing support services, information and guidance to those negatively impacted by incidents investigated by the Unit.

The program is staffed with a manager and four Affected Persons Coordinators (APC) to provide support services from the outset of investigations, throughout the investigative process, and at their conclusion, as well as during criminal justice and inquest proceedings. APCs are strategically located throughout the province (west, central/ GTA, east and north) to respond to affected persons in their respective regions in a timely manner.

When applicable, an APC will liaise with investigators regarding the needs of affected persons in any given case. The APC will contact the affected person(s), either in person or by telephone. Depending on the circumstances of the investigation and needs of the affected person, the APC may provide:

  • In-person death notification;
  • Crisis response and intervention;
  • Psychological first aid, emotional support;
  • Practical support including information and guidance pertaining to the mandate of SIU and the investigative process, accessing emergency financial supports, safety planning and funeral funding;
  • Referrals and advocacy: assistance with navigating social and justice systems, accessing relevant community resources, legal and medical support, victim financial assistance programs and;
  • Court support: enhance victim/ witness understanding of, and participation in, the criminal court process by providing case specific information, court preparation and orientation, accompaniment, assistance with Victim Impact Statements.
The APP can help mitigate the traumatic effects of an incident the SIU is investigating while improving the affected person’s ability to participate in the investigation. The program’s involvement also allows investigators to focus their efforts on gathering evidence and information and analyzing the case.

APP staff also participate in public education and outreach activities to various service providers and stakeholders. Establishing and maintaining connections within the community is crucial to ensuring affected persons receive support services in a coordinated and fluid manner.

APCs travel throughout Ontario to meet with individuals at their homes or other places of convenience. Given the restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, much of this work has been occurring over the telephone or video streaming platforms. As pandemic restrictions have lifted, APCs have been returning to in-person client visits when appropriate. APP services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

iii) Business Operations

SIU’s Business Operations Unit provides strategic and operational financial, human resources, controllership and business planning activities. The Business Operations Unit also performs the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Responsible for knowledge management, records management and retention, asset management and administrative services;
  • Provides information technology (IT) management required to support investigations and the IT-based case management solution, along with systems to manage incoming information from external sources and infrastructure to support office productivity, including network services, voice/ telecom and desk-side support;
  • Manages facilities, emergency management and security-related matters;
  • Leads initiatives targeted towards process efficiencies and continuous improvement to enhance service delivery;
  • Develops strategic framework, policies and processes; reports on performance measures, risk management and strategic initiatives and;
  • Leads the coordination of training and development, employee engagement, diversity, equity and inclusion, accessibility, anti-racism and anti-bias initiatives, internal communications and change management.

iv) Communications Program

Communication with the media is important to ensure SIU remains responsive, transparent and accountable to the public. SIU strives to provide timely and appropriate responses to all media inquiries and has developed a comprehensive communications program that aims to foster effective communications while also respecting the integrity of SIU investigations, witness confidentiality and the privacy interests of those involved.

To keep the public informed of the progress of SIU investigations, up-to-date information related to cases is shared on the Unit’s website and Twitter:

  • Status of SIU Cases chart: The Unit provides updates on each investigation.
  • News releases: Issued in the beginning stages of a case when a firearm has been discharged, someone dies, there has been a major collision, a case has garnered a great deal of media interest, or there is an appeal for witnesses to an incident. News releases are issued during investigations when there is a newsworthy update and also at the conclusion of all SIU cases.
  • Director's Reports: In cases where the Director finds no evidence to proceed with criminal charges against the police official(s) involved, a Director’s Report and accompanying news release are published on the SIU website. The Director’s Report provides a summary of the investigation, evidence gathered and the findings of fact by the Director that led to the decision.
  • Social Media - The SIU Twitter account.
It is critical SIU balance its commitment to transparency when releasing information about an investigation with the need to ensure the information released is fair, does not prejudice the investigation and does not violate the privacy rights of those involved. The following policy and legislative restraints are considered when releasing information about a case:

See Section 9: Communications and Outreach Plan for associated strategies/ tactics.

v) Outreach Program

SIU’s Outreach Program aims to engage with Ontario’s diverse communities to increase public awareness and understanding of the SIU, and to nurture relationships between SIU and the communities it serves.

The Outreach Coordinator is responsible for creating meaningful dialogue with community stakeholders by proactively participating in community events and public education initiatives.

The goals and desired outcomes of SIU’s outreach program are as follows:

  1. Increase awareness of the SIU, the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019SIU’s mandate, and the investigative process;
  2. Improve transparency and correct misperceptions;
  3. Enhance relationships with diverse community groups in Ontario and;
  4. Strengthen public engagement and expand opportunities for information sessions.
With more awareness by the public and law enforcement officials of SIU’s mandate, the following benefits may be realized:

  • More incidents that fall within SIU’s jurisdiction will be reported in a timely fashion;
  • More witnesses will be willing to come forward and cooperate with investigations and;
  • Those impacted by SIU investigations and the broader public will have confidence in the work of the Unit.
See Section 9: Communications and Outreach Plan for associated strategies/ tactics.

vi) First Nations, Inuit and Métis Liaison Program

The First Nations, Inuit and Métis Liaison Program (FNIMLP) was created in early 2006, following consultations with the Provincial Territorial Organizations (PTOs), the bodies representing First Nations in the province, to address the unique needs and concerns of Indigenous peoples and communities relating to police oversight. It does so principally by relationship-building between SIU and Indigenous communities with the aim of facilitating SIU investigations involving and/ or impacting Indigenous persons or interests.

Although SIU does not have inherent jurisdiction over First Nations police, the Unit has in place a protocol for incidents that may involve Indigenous communities in one way or another. Whenever possible, a member of the program leads or participates in investigations involving or having an impact upon Indigenous peoples or communities to ensure that investigations are conducted with respect and sensitivity.

The FNIMLP is presently staffed by two Investigative Managers, seven Investigators, and a member of the Affected Persons Program stationed in Northern Ontario. On a biannual basis, SIU reports to the PTOs with respect to the work of the FNIMLP.

See Section 9: Communications and Outreach Plan for associated strategies/ tactics.

vii) The Director’s Resource Committee

In 2002, the SIU established the Director’s Resource Committee (DRC) to give voice to Ontario’s communities about the work of the Unit. Through the DRC, the SIU Director gains input and feedback on various matters of concern to the SIU and is apprised of trends and issues as experienced by community members.

Comprised of representatives of various community groups, the Committee meets with the SIU Director and staff formally during the year, and more frequently, between meetings via e-mail and telecommunications on issues as they arise.

The DRC is a key instrument for the SIU in seeking community consultation and support. It has regularly provided valuable advice on all manner of SIU operations. For example, the committee was consulted and provided feedback that informed the SIU’s current framework for the collection and analysis of race-based data.

In addition to the SIU Director being able to provide updates on the work of the Agency throughout the year, the meetings have been an opportunity to raise issues identified by the members’ communities regarding the work of the SIU and/or the police.

viii) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Employee Experience Committee

The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Employee Experience Committee stewards the Agency’s work in the fields of diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism.

The deliverables are set within a three-tiered approach that seeks to:
  1. Build SIU’s Anti-Racism Competency and Capacity;
  2. Diversify SIU’s Talent Pipeline and;
  3. Foster, and be accountable for, an anti-racist and inclusive workplace.
See Section 10: Diversity and Inclusion Plan for more information about how SIU will prioritize the advancement of DEI and foster a culture of anti-racism.

ix) Data Collection Under the Anti-Racism Act, 2017

As of October 1, 2020, SIU began collecting personal information from affected persons and subject officials about their age, ethnicity, race, religion and gender. Participation is voluntary. This collection of personal information is part of the Ontario Government’s initiative to address systemic racism within the justice sector. Other agencies, such as those involved in bail and policing, will be collecting similar data.

Race-based data collection, analysis and reporting are authorized under the Anti-Racism Act, 2017, the goals of which are to eliminate systemic racism and advance racial equity.

SIU has partnered with Wilfrid Laurier University to analyze the data. The outcome of this analysis, to be posted publicly at the end of March 2023, will assist SIU in its efforts to build anti-racism competency and inform program changes.

Section 4: Risks and Risk Factors

SIU has identified both specific and enterprise-wide risks and risk factors that could potentially impact the Agency’s ability to deliver on its legislative responsibilities. SIU will continue to monitor risk and implement controls to reduce risk.

The risk described in Table 1 (below) is tied to the implementation of SIU’s new case management solution and is anticipated to be resolved during FY 2023-24.

Risk: Business operations slowdown due to delayed implementation of new case management solution.
JTS I&IT Potential Implications: Impacts to program delivery, leading to failed mandate, an inability to fulfill legislative requirements and strategic/ reputational damage to the field of policing, MAG and Government of Ontario, due to a decrease in the public's confidence in policing.
Residual risk: medium-high MAG risk tolerance: medium-high Risk trend: steady
  • Resources: JTS I&IT project manager supporting project; SIU Senior Program Consultant leading project;
  • MAG Policy Division providing FTE offset & position number; 
  • Approved governance model, terms of reference and charter;
  • Project exempted from several gating requirements, reducing delays and focusing resources on meeting project requirements;
  • SIU has developed an option for mitigating risk of short-term manual case management.

External risk factors

Under the new legislative framework, SIU must meet various new requirements, any of which could entail moving SIU resources away from its core mandate, thereby creating a potential resource issue. For example:
  • Where possible, SIU investigations must now be completed within 120 days while continuing to ensure thorough and quality investigations;
  • Requirements to publish more reports and/ or reports in both official languages;
  • Expansion of SIU jurisdiction to include investigations into the conduct of over 150 additional officials;
  • Assignment of a new category of cases (police firearm discharges at persons).
Other external risk factors include:
  • Volume of incoming electronic data (including evidence) increased by 72% between 2020 and 2021;
  • An apparent global trend of decrease in public trust in and/ or an increasing public scrutiny of policing and policing oversight following the 2020 death of George Floyd in the U.S. could result in an increased workload for SIU.

Internal risk factors

  • SIU has not kept current with changing digital and/ or information technologies and the required expertise and;
  • The Organization’s structure and workforce model have not kept pace with legislative changes and new reporting requirements.
Note: SIU anticipates the internal and external risk factors, above, will be effectively controlled through the strategy and capacity-building actions outlined in Section 5.

Section 5: Strategic Directions and Implementation Plan

SIU is classified as a regulatory non-board governed provincial agency under the Agencies and Appointments Directive. The Agency is accountable to the government through MAG and subject to all statutory requirements and applicable directives set out by Treasury Board/ Management Board of Cabinet. SIU will continue to promote compliance with relevant legislation and regulations and protect the public interest by ensuring its priorities and goals are aligned with those of the government and ministry.

Already, SIU is recognized as a leader in police oversight in Canada and North America. During the next three years, the agency will effectively fulfill its mandate under the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019 and become a Centre of Excellence by focusing on the following organizational goals and priorities.

  1. Deliver Thorough and Timely Investigations
    SIU will develop a robust, virtual new investigator training program and work with other organizations to realize new training opportunities; build a data and statistics inventory to track trends and support evidence-based decision-making; build capacity among investigators to produce standardized reports of the highest quality; position individual Investigative Units to work together as a larger cross-functional team by removing silos and sharing best practices and expertise to resolve complex investigations and; use secure, digital platforms to facilitate information sharing.

  2. Improve public confidence
    SIU will expand consultations, partnerships and awareness initiatives with key stakeholders and target demographics through strategic communications and targeted outreach. Additionally, the Agency will focus on strengthening relationships with communities and police services as well as publishing statistical reports to promote organizational transparency.

  3. Deliver Quality Client and Public Service
    This will involve: implementing commitments from SIU’s Anti-racism Roadmap; undertaking new initiatives through the Diversity, Equity Inclusion and Employee Experience Committee; providing the necessary support to ensure the resilience of key programs; reviewing the current workforce model and; creating high performing work-teams by fostering employee engagement and communication, and a culture of teamwork and excellence in recruitment and succession planning.

  4. Provide a Modern, Accessible and Effective program
    This initiative will entail evaluating organizational business processes, resources, services and structure; making a commitment to introduce and keep current with new digital technologies, equipment and methods of working and; providing ongoing employee training on the use of all technologies and best practices.

Section 6: Staffing, Human Resources, and Compensation Strategy

SIU will identify and address workforce gaps to ensure appropriate levels of resourcing are in place to deliver on new legislative requirements, address emerging issues early and maintain day-to-day operations. The agency will:

  • Pursue targeted recruitment to ensure SIU reflects the communities it serves;
  • Continue hiring more diverse talent, such as women, younger age ranges, non-police and Black and Indigenous employees;
  • Utilize succession planning to strengthen the talent pool and address retirements;
  • Provide training opportunities to support employee learning and career development;
  • Analyze employee engagement survey results to identify and action priorities;
  • Consider investing in employee candidates outside SIU’s traditional talent pool and;
  • Redouble efforts to foster a culture of interdisciplinary teamwork and employee collaboration.
All SIU staff are considered public servants and are compensated according to the Compensation and Pay Directives issued by Treasury Board, Government of Ontario. SIU currently has a total of 83 full time equivalents. See Figure 1 for more information.

SIU Org Chart

Figure 1: SIU Organizational Chart, December 2022.

Section 7: Information Technology/ Electronic Service Delivery Plan

SIU has prioritized the modernization of its digital and IT solutions to provide better support to investigations. Improving systems functionality and optimizing information collection and use will help strengthen the Agency’s reliability, performance and ability to meet business-critical needs, such as responding to new legislative requirements.

During FY 2022-23, SIU proceeded with two key IT initiatives: utilizing the nascent Digital Evidence Management System and; rolling out a newly procured Leica 3D scanning technology to rapidly document investigation scenes with utmost accuracy.

During FY 2023-24, SIU will optimize information collection and use by rolling out a replacement for an outdated case management solution (CMS). The objective is to better support managers and employees by: providing efficient methods of documenting and accessing data, evidence and information and; supporting evidence-based decision-making in the areas of workload assignment, planning, workflow, resourcing, and reporting on performance measures.

Going forward, SIU will continue to invest in the area of information security and confidentiality by virtualizing its servers and moving to cloud-based storage.

Section 8: Initiatives Involving Third Parties

Section 10 of the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019 states, “The SIU Director may, subject to any prescribed conditions or restrictions, enter into agreements with a First Nation in Ontario, the Government of Canada, the government of another province or territory of Canada, a Canadian municipality outside Ontario or any other entity outside Ontario, for the purpose of conducting or assisting with investigations.”

The Director will use discretion when entering into agreements of this nature and will consider any resourcing issues associated with this initiative.

The first and only such agreement made pursuant to this provision occurred in FY 2022-23. It involved the SIU agreeing to investigate an incident for Nova Scotia’s Serious-incident Response Team.

As always, SIU will enter into research collaborations/ opportunities with respect to its investigative data as long as agreements are in place concerning privacy and confidentiality.

Section 9: Communications and Outreach Plan

Communications Program

Maintaining and enhancing the community’s confidence in law enforcement bodies in Ontario is an important part of SIU’s mission. This is facilitated through effective communications and outreach. The goal of SIU’s Communications and Outreach program is to maintain and enhance confidence in the SIU by the public and to increase awareness of the agency across Ontario.

A comprehensive strategic communications and outreach plan is in development to assist the SIU in achieving its goal of transparency through public reporting, build positive relationships with the media and communities it serves and keep the public informed of SIU investigations. The plan will forecast communication and outreach projects and activities to be implemented.

Across Ontario, the media is keenly interested in being kept current with SIU’s investigations. In general, once SIU has invoked its mandate, it informs the media and public on the status of a case through news releases, tweets, interviews, regularly updated website content and outreach to the public. To that end, SIU is planning a media day open house at its Mississauga headquarters in spring 2023. Reporters from multicultural and mainstream outlets will be invited to attend and learn more about SIU.

Within the Ontario Public Service (OPS), as part of efforts to increase awareness of SIU and its mandate, certain SIU Employees were featured in 2022, in OPS internal communications, including the OPS At Work series and MAG’s FAME series. Externally, a feature story focusing on SIU’s forensics team and its new 3D scanning technology will be published in Blue Line Magazine in 2023.

News Releases

Keeping the public informed about its investigations is a key part of SIU’s commitment to transparency.

News releases may be issued when SIU initially invokes its mandate or provides an update on an ongoing investigation. A news release is always issued at the conclusion of an investigation, regardless of whether it was concluded via a criminal charge, Director’s Report, or a case closure by memo. News releases are posted on the SIU website, e-mailed to subscribers and posted as a tweet.

News Release Types

  • Initial: At the beginning of an investigation, an initial news release will be issued for cases involving a death, a firearm discharge at a person, major collision, or other high-profile matter.
  • Case Update: During an investigation, an update to the status of the investigation may be provided via a news release.
  • Director’s Report: In cases where the Director finds no evidence to proceed with criminal charges against the police official(s) involved, a Director’s Report is published on the SIU website as well as an accompanying news release.
  • Case Closed by Memo: In cases found to fall outside SIU jurisdiction, the Director will terminate the investigation and issue a memo that outlines the reasons for the decision. A news release is issued for every case closed by memo.
  • Charge Laid: If the Director finds evidence to lay criminal charges against a police official, charges will be laid and a news release issued with the official’s name, charge(s) and court date.
  • Other: Non-case related news releases may be issued for various reasons, such as legislative updates or other news.

Reporting on Allegations of Sexual Assault

In cases involving allegations of sexual assault, SIU generally will not release details to the public that could potentially identify the individual alleging a sexual assault occurred or the official who is the subject of the allegation. The release of information related to investigations of sexual assault allegations is always associated with a risk of further deterring what is an under-reported crime and undermining the heightened privacy interests of the involved parties, most emphatically, the complainants.


Twitter is an important communications tool for SIU. To date, the Agency has over 17,000 followers and has posted over 3,575 tweets. Tweets are sent to inform the public about news releases and Director’s Reports, to appeal for witnesses, direct individuals to documents such as annual reports, and promote outreach activities. Where appropriate, SIU will provide responses to questions or comments on Twitter.

Media Interviews

Communications Coordinators regularly conduct media interviews as soon as possible. The information shared with the media is consistent with what would normally be included in a news release (regardless of whether a news release has been issued).

To improve the quality and quantity of information shared with the media, news releases are done for high profile cases. However, it is also important for SIU to make it easy for the public/ media to find information about non-high-profile cases. To that end, on the SIU website, a case status list is updated daily.

When attending a scene to do a media interview is not feasible or required (e.g., due to distance, timing, or case type), an on-camera appearance may be necessary.

  • Video news release recordings, as was done in the Manitoulin case (20-PFD-314), provide the presence of a Communications Coordinator without their having to go to the scene. Video clips can be embedded in news releases and/ or posted on Twitter, allowing media to use them for their television or radio broadcasts.
  • Another option is to do interviews via Zoom, a practice that became increasingly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • When reporters request interviews and on-scene interviews are not feasible, interviews can be done at SIU’s Mississauga headquarters.

Website Content

The SIU website is another valuable communication tool to assist in achieving the Agency’s goal of transparency through public reporting. The website provides information to the public about SIU programs, outcomes of investigations, publications such as the Annual Report and media releases. Members of the public wishing to contact SIU to provide tips or make a complaint about a police official have the ability to electronically submit photos, videos or audio files via the website.

An important element of the communication strategy is to ensure website content is accurate and reflects the most current actions of the SIU. For content that changes frequently (e.g., status of cases page and breakdown of occurrences), the backend of the website should be updated daily. To ensure website content is current and accurate, SIU will seek feedback from staff and review feedback provided by the public. The website pages should be reviewed monthly to ensure links are working accurately and images are not outdated.

Sharing Best Practices with Other Stakeholders

Currently, eight civilian police oversight agencies operate in Canada:

  • British Columbia Independent Investigations Office
  • Alberta Serious Incident Response Team
  • Saskatchewan Serious Incident Response Team
  • Independent Investigations Unit of Manitoba
  • Special Investigations Unit (Ontario)
  • Québec Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes
  • Newfoundland Serious Incident Response Team
  • Nova Scotia Serious Incident Response Team
In May 2018, SIU created the Police Oversight Communications Advisors Network, consisting of communications professionals from each of those oversight agencies. An SIU Communications Coordinator chairs the group, which meets quarterly to discuss issues pertaining to best practices in media relations.

Outreach Program

Nurturing the public’s confidence in the law enforcement services of Ontario is an important part of SIU’s mission. This is accomplished in some measure by the extent to which the community understands and has trust in the work of the SIU as a civilian oversight body. Outreach is essential to building confidence in civilian oversight and law enforcement accountability with both law enforcement services and community members.

SIU’s outreach efforts aim to:
  • Increase awareness of SIU and its mandate;
  • Enhance confidence in the integrity of SIU in conducting independent investigations;
  • Develop and strengthen stakeholder networks;
  • Encourage the public to report incidents and support the investigation process;
  • Encourage constructive scrutiny of its operations and;
  • Increase opportunities for corporate learning and improvement.
SIU will align its outreach efforts with the communication plan (currently under development) to increase awareness of SIU and its mandate among the people of Ontario. Short-term goals include:

  1. Develop and deliver outreach initiatives specific to each target group;
  2. Create information materials such as brochures translated into different languages for easy understanding by newcomers to Ontario and;
  3. Proactively participate in various community events and tradeshows and engage with an audience that is representative of Ontario’s population diversity, to deliver education/ information sessions.
The outreach program will focus on fostering engagement with the following groups:

  • Community/ advocacy groups
  • Indigenous communities
  • Youth groups, high school and college students
  • New immigrants
  • Disadvantaged/ marginalized communities
  • Universities and colleges delivering police foundations programs, other justice related courses and community and social services programs
  • Law schools and legal clinics
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Hospital personnel

First Nations, Inuit and Métis Liaison Program

The First Nations, Inuit and Métis Liaison Program (FNIMLP) will be enhanced to increase awareness and continue building relationships with Indigenous communities by:
  • Proactively engaging the Indigenous leaders in dialogue to establish relationships;
  • Developing an outreach program specific to the needs of Indigenous communities;
  • Participate in Indigenous activities and events to increase acceptance within Indigenous communities (e.g., Pow Wow celebrations, National Indigenous Peoples Day, art festivals and conferences) and;
  • SIU employees attending training and workshops to learn about Indigenous practices and protocols.
Members of the FNIMLP will continue to fulfill their responsibilities as follows:

  • Attend First Nations training at least once per year;
  • Assist SIU’s Training Coordinator with the development and implementation of Indigenous-based cultural competency training for all SIU staff and;
  • Assist SIU’s Outreach Coordinator with the development and delivery of outreach initiatives to Indigenous persons, organizations and communities, and developing and maintaining a positive professional relationship with leaders and representatives of Indigenous organizations and communities.

Section 10: Diversity and Inclusion Plan

As the communities SIU serves continue to grow and change, the Agency must continue to endeavour to reflect the Ontario public. Additionally, as SIU strives to become an employer of choice, management is aware of the importance of establishing an open, equitable and respectful workplace where all staff members participate fully and take part in the development of programs and services.

It is important for SIU to create an atmosphere where employees feel valued and their ideas are heard and respected. Employees are more engaged in an environment that is inclusive, resulting in a better performing organization.

To advance diversity and inclusion, SIU will take the following approach:

  • Continue reviewing and updating policies, processes, practices, services and programs to create a positive, respectful and inclusive workplace;
  • Continuously improve talent acquisition and retention processes to build a workforce that reflects the communities served by the Unit;
  • Build employees’ knowledge and capacity to help foster positive, respectful and inclusive work experiences;
  • Apply an anti-racism lens to organizational, operational and modernization initiatives;
  • Report on the collection of race-based data via the SIU website;
  • Further explore ways to remove barriers from the work of the organization; for example: ensure participants from equity seeking groups or DRC community groups are included if/ when consultations are held and;
  • Managers will champion change (a priority to be included in their Performance Plans).

Section 11: Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

SIU is committed to ensuring equal access to justice for all Ontarians. This includes providing services and programs people with disabilities can use and benefit from equally and free from discrimination. The Agency is committed to creating an accessible organization by removing barriers for people with disabilities, whether they work in, do business with, or are members of the public who use SIU services.

Statement of Commitment

SIU is committed to treating all people in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and equal opportunity. We are committed to meeting the needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner and will do so by preventing and removing barriers to accessibility and meeting accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and O. Reg. 191/11 Integrated Accessibility Standards (IASR), which reaffirms the government’s commitment to accessibility across the OPSSIU aims to provide its services in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the accessibility standards made under the AODA and IASR.

To support this, SIU has adopted the OPS and MAG established policies, procedures and processes including the OPS Accessible Customer Service Policy and integrated accessibility criteria into its procurement processes.

As an agency, SIU is a designated public sector organization and legally required to file an accessibility compliance report and develop its Multi-Year Accessibility Plan.

This is a key priority for the agency in 2023-24. The plan will incorporate existing best practices, processes, and systems currently in place to meet AODA requirements and standards including:

  • Customer Service
  • Information and Communications
  • Employment
  • Built Environment
  • Emergency Preparedness – Procedures, Plans & Information

Section 12: Three-year Financial Plan

Multi-Year Operating Budget

Expense Category 2022-23 Budget 2022-23 YE Forecast Variance 2023-24 Budget 2024-25 Budget 2025-26 Budget
Salaries and Wages 8.5201 7.7873 *0.7328 8.5615 8.5598 8.5598
Employee Benefits 1.1422 .9734 *0.1686 1.1469 1.1424 1.1424
ODOE .8897 2.4130 (1.5233) 0.8996 0.9008 0.9008
Transportation & Communications .2150 .3180 **(0.1030) 0.2150 0.2150 0.2150
Services .6130 1.720 ***(1.1070) 0.6229 0.6241 0.6241
Supplies & Equipment .0617 0.3750 ****(0.3133) 0.0617 0.0617 0.0617
TOTAL Operating $10.5520 $11.1738 (0.6217) $10.6080 $10.6030 $10.6030
Table 2: SIU Multi-Year Operating Budget
SIU manages all costs within its existing budget by using any savings to offset pressures. See explanation of variances below.

*Salaries & Wages/Benefits:
Savings from efficiencies realized in the deploying and assigning of work to investigative staff (i.e., call outs, use of technical resources for virtual meetings, investigative interviews, collection of investigative data/ work product). Expenditure freeze has led to additional savings. Reduction in work related travel time associated with in-person interviews, hospital visits, etc. due to COVID-19.

**Transportation & Communication:
Pressures relate to caseload travel expenditures (i.e., air, road, mileage, meals, lodging, vehicle rentals). Use of Microsoft Teams and audio-conference to conduct investigative business, meetings, training, etc. to mitigate pressures from travel related expenditures.

***Services – Structural Pressures for Operating costs:

Operationally Fixed Costs

  • Mandatory translation of Director's Reports into French
  • Fleet vehicle leases/ rentals and maintenance for investigators
  • Various information technology pressures related to WAN/LAN/RAS management fees, cluster and network services, server hosting, software licenses
  • Communications/ media, website maintenance
  • Storage (evidence, vehicles, records, SSB)
  • Other: Law Society fees, security system, copiers, job ads

Variable Costs

  • Development and implementation costs to replace existing case management solution
  • Legal services, private sector
  • Staff training and development/ conferences, memberships
  • Non-consulting service fee arrangements, forensics/ scene reviews

****Supplies & Equipment:

  • Forensic equipment: 3D scanners and accessories; scene lights for scene work management
  • IT equipment and supplies
  • Forensic lab supplies, safety apparel and accessories for forensic investigative staff when attending scenes and conducting fieldwork.

Section 13: Performance Measures and Targets

Performance Measure and Targets 2023-2024 2024-2025 2025-2026
Meeting the 120-day threshold in all non-death and non-charge cases 75% 75% 75%
Publish (a) media/ news release(s) for all cases 100% 100% 100%
All staff have taken cultural competency, anti-racism, and anti-bias training and courses. 100% 100% 100%
Table 3: Performance Measures and Targets from FY 2023-24 to FY 2025-26.