Judge named to lead review of Toronto police handling of missing person cases

TORONTO — The Toronto Police Services Board says it has retained an Ontario Appeal Court judge to lead an external review into how the police force handles cases of missing persons.

The board says in a statement that Justice Gloria Epstein will be retiring Sept. 1 and will then “be devoting herself thereafter to the review.”

The announcement comes about three months after Mayor John Tory moved a motion to go ahead with the review, saying there were “troubling questions” in light of the killings for which landscaper Bruce McArthur has been charged.

While the review won’t look at the investigation into McArthur, who has been charged with eight counts of first-degree murder, it will examine how missing persons cases connected to the investigation were handled.

The review also follows the death in November 2017 of 22-year-old Tess Richey, whose body was found by her mother in an outdoor stairwell.

Police were sent to her last-known location the day after she was reported missing, but it wasn’t until her mother came to the city to search for her that her body was found.

“It is vitally important that we learn from the past to ensure every Toronto resident is kept safe in the future,” Tory, who sits on the police board, said in the statement.

Police have also come under fire from the LGBTQ community for failing to take the disappearances some of the men missing from Toronto’s gay village seriously for years — until January, when they arrested and charged the 66-year-old McArthur.

Tensions were further inflamed when police Chief Mark Saunders suggested no one in the LGBTQ community had come forward with information that might have led to an earlier arrest, but he later said it was not his intent to blame the community.

In April, the organizers behind the Toronto Pride Parade asked police to withdraw their application to take part in the annual event. For the second year in a row Sunday, uniformed Toronto police officers did not take part in the march.

In Monday’s statement, police board chair Andy Pringle said the review “is a necessary and vital step” to identify systemic issues and improve trust between the police and “Toronto’s vulnerable communities.”

Just Posted

Updated: SUV smashes through fences and deck in Anders

Driver taken to hospital after SUV veered off 30th Avenue into Anders

Art on Red Deer billboard a reminder of aboriginal women’s strength

Joane Cardinal-Schubert’s image is part of Resilience Project, shown from coast to coast

Red Deer’s new ‘equity co-ordinator’ will promote tolerance

Andrea Lacoursiere was hired by city with Alberta Human Rights funding

More bridge work this summer in Red Deer’s Coronation Park

The park’s north bridge is being rebuilt to ensure safety

Man badly injured in off-road vehicle collision on Saturday

Incident happened in Mountain View County about 10:50 p.m.

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber falls to Bryce Harper in Home Run Derby final

WASHINGTON — Nationals Park was eerily quiet late Monday when Kyle Schwarber… Continue reading

Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

HONOLULU — An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent… Continue reading

Banff holds blessing ceremony with Indigenous elders before letting bison roam

BANFF, Alta. — Several Indigenous elders were flown by helicopter into the… Continue reading

Research expedition looks at unseen depths of Labrador Sea ecosystem

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Last summer, a team of scientists returned from… Continue reading

Protesters camped outside Saskatchewan legislature taking province to court

REGINA — Protesters camped outside the Saskatchewan legislature say they are taking… Continue reading

British PM accepts key amendments from hardline Brexiteers

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accepted amendments to… Continue reading

‘City of icebergs:’ Study says 100s of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

The statistics in her recently published paper say it all: hundreds of… Continue reading

U.S. hits back with WTO challenge against Canada’s retaliatory tariffs

OTTAWA — The United States fired back Monday at the Canadian government’s… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month