TORONTO: The Toronto Police Services Board announces the appointment of Council Members to the Board, and thanks those Council Members who have departed.
At its meeting of August 10, 2023, Toronto City Council appointed Councillor Jon Burnside, Councillor Lily Cheng, and Deputy Mayor Amber Morley to the Toronto Police Services Board for a term of office until December 31, 2024, and until their successors are appointed.
Councillor Jon Burnside was elected in 2022 as City Councillor for Ward 16 (Don Valley East) where he has been a resident for nearly two decades. Previously, Councillor Burnside was the City Councillor for the previous Ward 26 (Don Valley West), from 2014 to 2018. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario, Councillor Burnside spent ten years as a police officer with the Toronto Police Service, working in diverse communities. Councillor Burnside has been a tireless community leader and builder since his early 20s, and he is especially passionate about helping underserved communities. His work in this area includes spearheading the creation of free house league hockey in Flemingdon Park, where, in addition to helping find sponsors, Councillor Burnside engaged the Toronto Police Service to operate the league, which is now in its 15th season.
Councillor Lily Cheng is the Councillor for Ward 18 (Willowdale), elected in 2022, where she has been a resident for over a dozen years. Her journey as a community organizer began 10 years ago with the founding of North York Moms Five years ago, Councillor Cheng co-founded We Love Willowdale (WLW), a movement created after the tragic van attack to help the community grieve and heal. Councillor Cheng’s other community initiatives include spearheading the Willowdale Covid Response Network, her successful advocacy leading to the establishment of a Yonge and Sheppard EarlyON Child and Family Centre, and her expansion of Willowdale Neighbours Connect. Councillor Cheng is committed to inspiring connectivity and participation in Willowdale for the greater good, and building the infrastructure necessary to make things happen. This is a re-appointment for Councillor Cheng, who was first appointed to the Board in November 2022.
Councillor Amber Morley represents Ward 3, Etobicoke-Lakeshore on Toronto City Council after being elected in 2022. In August 2023, Councillor Morley was named Deputy Mayor, representing Etobicoke. For over 20 years, Councillor Morley has been working on behalf of the residents of Etobicoke-Lakeshore, while pursuing advocacy at all levels of government. As the Director of the South Etobicoke Youth Assembly at LAMP CHC, Councillor Morley organized, advocated, and fought alongside local young people to advance the needs and aspirations of peers and neighbours in her community. She has effectively and consistently used her voice to bring attention to issues such as poverty reduction, youth equity, good governance and access to city spaces and services.
Chair Ann Morgan stated that “as a Board, we very much welcome the vast and diverse experience that these three Council Members bring. Their commitment to meaningfully working with communities across Toronto, so that we can engage the voices of Torontonians in the oversight of policing, is a critical part of our governance approach.”
The new Council Members, Councillor Morley and Councillor Burnside, will attend their first public Board meetings on September 14, 2023, and October 19, 2023, respectively, where they will be publicly sworn in ceremonially. It should be noted that both have been sworn in previously, on August 21, in order for them to be able to take on their duties, following their Council appointments.
As we welcome the recent Council Member appointments, we also thank the departing Council Members, who have made significant contributions to our work during their time with us.
Councillor Frances Nunziata has been appointed as a Board Member by Toronto City Council on five separate occasions, and, most recently, served from January 2021 to August 2023. As Vice Chair, and as a Board Member, she has consistently advocated for improvements to community safety, with a focus on issues of gun violence and bail reform. Appointed in November 2022, Councillor Vincent Crisanti is a long-serving Council Member, who, as a Board Member, demonstrated his dedication and commitment to the Board’s mandate.
Chair Morgan thanked our departing Board Members, saying “the Board owes a great debt of gratitude to both Councillor Nunziata and Councillor Crisanti for their professionalism, diligence and insight over their terms. We appreciate Councillor Nunziata’s tireless advocacy in pursuit of making life better and safer for Torontonians, and the important role she has played in police oversight as Vice Chair of the Board. Councillor Crisanti has been a committed Board Member, who has sought to provide effective governance, while ensuring that Service Members are recognized for the vital work they do every day. We thank them both for their excellent service.”
The Toronto Police Services Board is the civilian body responsible for governing the Toronto Police Service. The Board is responsible for ensuring the provision of adequate and effective police services in the City of Toronto, setting priorities and objectives for the Toronto Police Service, approving the annual police budget and selecting the Chief of Police.