Non-criminal Activity in Criminal Background Checks: Khorsand v. Toronto Police Services Board et a., 2023 ONSC 1270

  • June 15, 2023
  • Nancy Bediako


Mr. Khorsand applied for judicial review of the Toronto Police Service Board’s (the “Board”) background check after multiple failures as he sought employment as a Special Constable with the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (Toronto Housing). The Board refused to give Mr. Khorsand the reasons for the failed checks even though he has no prior criminal convictions or charges.  After accessing police records that confirmed this, he challenged the Board’s decision by seeking Judicial Review of the Divisional Court (the “Court”).

This case brings up the issue of the intersection of race and law enforcement.  Mr. Khorsand immigrated to Canada from Iran in July 2008, and later became a Canadian citizen in 2013.[1]  His passion was a career in law enforcement, which led to him graduating from the Police Foundations Diploma with honors from Trios College in 2016. In 2018 he graduated from Basic Constable Training Program from Control Institute.

After graduation he was appointed as a Special Constable with Toronto Housing by the Board in May 2018 pursuant to s.53 Police Services Act The appointment was later approved by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (what is now called the Ministry of the Solicitor General).[2] The appointment was for a five-year term. A special constable holds the same powers as a police officer (s.53 Police Services Act), though they are not first responders.[3] The powers and limitations are dependent on the position, which is normally in the community, such as in the public or private institutions and community policing.