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July 18, 2019

Hon. Sylvia Jones


Solicitor General
Office of the Solicitor General
25 Grosvenor Street
18th Floor
Toronto. ON
M7A 1Y6

Dear Solicitor General Jones,

Thank you for the time you took to speak with me this morning.

I write to you further to that conversation because I know both our governments are
committed to community safety and ensuring that the public has full confidence in all
aspects of our justice system.

The case of Zhebin Cong based on the facts reported publicly so far is very troubling. As I
have said, I believe everyone involved in this case should be as transparent as possible with
the public about this situation as they get answers.

While I welcome the fact that CAMH has undertaken an internal incident review and
announced some immediate changes to procedures, I am far from satisfied that this alone
will give us the answers we need and expect in this matter.

That is why I am writing you today to formally request that the provincial government
launch an independent review of the Zhebin Cong case.

I believe such a review could work with CAMH and the Ontario Review Board to address
issues related to Mr. Cong's disappearance from the facility and the city, but there are other
questions which go well beyond that and which require answers if the public is to be
confident that this kind of thing won't happen again.

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The Mayor believes the provincial review should address several questions related to the
process employed at both CAMH and the Ontario Review Board as well as:
• When were the police notified?
• What were the police told at that time?
• What actions did they undertake at that time?
• Did the patient have a passport in his position? How did the patient come to have a
passport?
• Why did the passport control or airport/airline security system not pick up the
status of this individual?
• Had any organization posted any information about his status and disappearance on
any of these databases?

By answering questions such as these and others, I hope all organizations involved and all
governments involved will be able to make changes to prevent a repetition.

While I understand there are privacy concerns and sensitivity required due to the mental
illness issues involved, there are also fundamental questions of community safety that
absolutely must be addressed.

Addressing these questions and providing the public with answers is the only way to
ensure we maintain public confidence in a system which generally works quite well but
which clearly fell short in this instance.

As I said, I am confident that the Government of Ontario shares with the City of Toronto
government a firm commitment to community safety and will recognize the benefits of
such an independent review.

While we have had positive discussions informally earlier today, I look forward to a
positive response in writing to this request very soon.

Sincerely,

Mayor John Tory


City of Toronto