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Ontario police to get new tools to search for missing people

Police could receive new tools to help in missing persons cases under policing laws introduced on Thursday. File / Global News

TORONTO – Police in Ontario are on track to being given more tools when searching for missing people, such as the ability to track cellphones and enter homes in connection with the cases.

Those are steps they are currently limited in taking unless there is evidence a crime has been committed.

The new Missing Persons Act is part of sweeping changes to policing laws that Ontario introduced today.

READ MORE: Ontario strengthening police oversight, redefining core police duties

Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Marie-France Lalonde says the new act would allow police to respond more quickly and effectively when people go missing, including elderly citizens.

The proposed new powers were recommended as part of an inquest into the deaths of seven Indigenous youth in Thunder Bay, Ont.

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Lawyer Julian Falconer, who represented the Nishnawbe Aski Nation at the inquest, says the new rules will bring needed clarity for police around what they can do in missing persons cases.

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