News Release

No Charges Against OPP Officer in Death of Elderly Man in Georgian Bay, Midland

Case Number: 21-POD-365   

Mississauga, ON (25 February, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that an Ontario Provincial Police officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the death of an 81-year-old man last October.

On October 28, 2021, an officer with the Southern Georgian Bay Detachment stopped the man, who was driving a van, for Highway Traffic Act violations. The officer had a brief conversation with the man before he drove toward the Midland Bay Landing Park. The man then travelled down a boat launch and into the waters of Georgian Bay. Officers entered the water to attempt a rescue, to no avail. 

Director Martino was satisfied that the officer involved did not transgress the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law in connection with the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate death of the man. The file has been closed.  

Full Director’s Report (with Incident Narrative, Evidence, and Analysis & Director’s Decision): 

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
  • publicly report the results of its investigations

Lisez ce communiqué en français.

Kristy Denette,
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES