OTTAWA, Tuesday, June 18, 2019 -- The University of Ottawa has hired an external, independent investigator to examine an incident last week involving a student and a protection services officer. Allegations of racism, racial profiling and harassment arose as a result of the incident.
Under the terms of the mandate, the investigator will look into the June 12 incident and determine whether the relevant University policies were appropriately applied during the incident. She will also review the University’s Protection Services policies and procedures and their application more broadly, in light of the Trespass to Property Act, and advise about their impacts on racialized community members.
Esi Codjoe from the Toronto firm, Turnpenney Milne LLP, will lead the investigation. She has been asked to move as quickly as is compatible with the need to ensure a full and rigorous examination requires. This report will be made public, while respecting the appropriate privacy laws.
Ms. Codjoe is a former Vice chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and a highly-regarded expert in the field of human rights. In 2018 Canadian Lawyer magazine named her one of Canada’s Top 25 most influential legal minds.
The University of Ottawa wants to ensure a safe, inclusive and respectful environment for everyone.
Mandate of the external investigator :
- Investigate the incident that took place on Wednesday June 12, 2019 involving a University of Ottawa student and the University of Ottawa Protection Services.
- Make determinations of fact as to whether Policy 33 – Security and the Trespass to Property Act or any applicable other regulation were appropriately applied during this incident in accordance with the law, human rights and best practices in the sector.
- Review the University of Ottawa’s policies/procedures relating to Protection Services (notably Policy 33 - Security) and advise as to whether they are up to date and void of negative systemic impacts on any of our community members who belong to historically disadvantaged groups and specifically racialized community members.
- Review the application of these policies/procedures (notably Policy 33 – Security) and advise as to whether there are any specific and/or systemic negative impacts on any of our community members, who belong to historically disadvantaged groups and specifically racialized community members.
- Review the application of the Trespass to Property Act and advise as to whether there are any specific and/or systemic negative impacts on any of our community members, who belong to historically disadvantaged groups and specifically racialized community members.
- Issue any recommendations relevant to ensure that the campus fully respects the human rights of all members of the community and visitors to the campus.