OPP leadership must be free of politicial suspicion

If the drift of Canada towards a police state has not yet affected you directly, you would do well to recall the words of Pastor Martin Niemoller, writing in Germany before his arrest in the 1930s: "The Nazis came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I was a Protestant, so I didn't speak up....by that time there was nobody left to speak up for anyone."

Ford government, in a hole on OPP, just keeps digging

Postby Thomas » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:30 pm

The Ford government has dug itself into a hole in the matter of appointing a new leader for the Ontario Provincial Police. And true to form, it just keeps on digging.

It was glaringly obvious all along that Ron Taverner, Premier Doug Ford’s old chum from Etobicoke, must never be appointed commissioner of the OPP.

Installing a close crony of the premier at the top of the province’s most important police force, the very force that’s expected to investigate political wrong-doing at Queen’s Park, is a complete non-starter.

Regardless of Taverner’s qualifications or the purity of his intentions, making him boss of the OPP would politicize the force in the worst way. Just the suspicion that he could be acting as a political tool of the premier should be enough to bury his chances.

But trust the Ford team to find a way to make this bad situation even worse. It did just that on Monday with the abrupt firing of the senior OPP commander who had the temerity to publicly challenge the premier’s decision to appoint Taverner.

For the record, the government insists it had nothing, nothing at all, to do with the firing of Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, the man who blew the whistle on this terrible decision in December, warning it would cause “irreparable damage to police independence.”

No, says the government, it was all done by the book. For an hour or so on Monday, the minister in charge publicly maintained that she didn’t even know why Blair got the boot.

That’s what Community Safety Minister Sylvia Jones asserted with a straight face when she met the news media. An hour later, she was up in the legislature laying out detailed reasons for the firing. How much she learned in 60 minutes!

According to Jones, the key decider in this matter was her deputy minister, Mario Di Tommaso, who recommended to the Ontario Public Service Commission that Blair be fired. She was just a bystander, she says.

But we know that Di Tommaso is a former top Toronto police officer who was previously Taverner’s boss. That he was on the hiring committee that massaged the job requirements for OPP commissioner to favour Taverner and then recommended his appointment. And that he’s palled around with both Taverner and Ford.

In other words, up to his ears in this whole affair.

As a cover story, it’s a remarkably bad one. If someone’s out to hoodwink you, you’d hope they’d at least pay you the compliment of concocting a convincing tale.

In this case, the government doesn’t seem to think we’re worthy of even that kind of back-handed respect. They appear to believe we’re all gullible enough to swallow this remarkably threadbare story.

Blair has indeed been treated shabbily. On the face of it, he’s right that his firing amounts to a political reprisal by the government and “an attempt to muzzle me.”

But in the wider scheme of things, Blair’s fate is a sideshow. The real stakes here haven’t changed: the independence and integrity of Ontario’s provincial police force must be protected. It must not be subverted by having a personal friend of the premier installed as its boss.

This is glaringly obvious, but apparently it needs to be repeated for the benefit of a premier who seems determined to get his way regardless of any damage done to the reputation of the OPP.

This is no theoretical risk. If the force had been headed by a Liberal crony back in 2015, would it have charged a former Liberal premier’s chief of staff with tampering with computer data? Or would it have backed off?

Ontario needs to have full confidence that crime will be investigated fairly and fearlessly wherever it occurs. For that simple reason, Ron Taverner must not become commissioner of the OPP.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editori ... gging.html
Thomas, Administrator

User avatar
Thomas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1833
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Canada

Lawyer for former OPP deputy says Doug Ford orchestrated

Postby Thomas » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:36 pm

Lawyer for former OPP deputy says Doug Ford orchestrated his client's firing

The lawyer representing former Ontario Provincial Police deputy commissioner Brad Blair has accused Premier Doug Ford of orchestrating the firing of his client.

Blair was dismissed Monday for allegedly revealing confidential OPP information, which the Ford government has called a breach of his oath as an officer.

During a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Blair's lawyer Julian Falconer said the process that led to his client's termination was rife with conflict of interest. He called the outcome "legally embarrassing."

"The conflicts of interest that abound in this case are mind-boggling," Falconer said. "This is what abuse of power looks like in 2019."

Blair has been an outspoken critic of the decision to appoint Ford's longtime friend Ron Taverner as the next OPP chief, and he is asking an Ontario court to force the province's ombudsman to investigate the appointment.

Taverner officially withdrew his name from consideration Wednesday in a letter to Community Safety Minister Sylvia Jones.

Blair also made headlines in recent weeks as the whistleblower who revealed Ford's plans to spend $50,000 customizing a van through the OPP.

"It is patently clear to me that this is reprisal and an attempt to muzzle me, and that this reprisal is directly connected to my good faith efforts to seek redress before the Divisional Court and the provincial ombudsman," Blair wrote in a statement Tuesday.

Blair is 'angry,' cabinet minister says

The Progressive Conservatives have said the firing was directed by Mario Di Tommaso, the deputy minister of Community Safety, who consulted with interim OPP Commissioner Gary Couture.

Jones, the minister, has repeatedly insisted that Blair's firing was not politically motivated. She points out the decision was ultimately approved by the independent Public Service Commission.

"This individual didn't get the job he applied for," Jones said to her fellow legislators Wednesday morning. "He is angry."

However, Falconer argues that Di Tommaso should not have had a role in the firing since he is a primary target of Blair's accusations. Di Tommaso was also Taverner's former boss at Toronto police and part of the hiring board that recommended Taverner for the OPP's top job.

"A high school student would understand the blatant personal and professional conflicts of interest the deputy minister has found himself in," Falconer said.

He said Di Tommaso "is actually the tool that has been used by the premier to fire Brad Blair," he added.

Was Blair fired illegally?

Falconer is also arguing that Blair's firing did not follow the procedures mandated under Ontario law, and that his client had no opportunity to defend himself.

Falconer said Blair was never told to stop or modify his behaviour in any way prior to his firing, and the process was not initiated through the Police Services Act.

"This is what happens when you make it up as you go," he said.

Falconer said he and Blair are considering steps to challenge the firing, though he did not say what that strategy would look like.

The government did not immediately respond to Falconer's claims.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ ... -1.5045332
Thomas, Administrator

User avatar
Thomas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1833
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Canada

Firing of Brad Blair an 'abuse of power': lawyer

Postby Thomas » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:37 pm

Premier Doug Ford’s government engaged in an “abuse of power” when it fired a former high-ranking provincial police officer without giving him a chance to defend himself, the man’s lawyer alleged Wednesday.

Julian Falconer claimed his client, former OPP deputy commissioner Brad Blair, was dismissed because he spoke out against the hiring of a long-time friend of Ford’s as head of the force.

Falconer said Blair’s firing on Monday is “legally suspect” and did not follow the disciplinary process set out by the province’s Police Services Act, the law that governs the conduct of every officer.

“This is what abuse of power looks like in 2019,” the lawyer said.

Falconer’s claims are the latest development in the ongoing controversy surrounding the Ford government’s hiring of Ron Taverner as OPP commissioner late last year.

Taverner, 72, initially did not meet the criteria listed for the commissioner position and the government has admitted it lowered the requirements to attract a wider range of candidates. His appointment has been put on hold while the province’s integrity commissioner probes the hiring process.

Blair, who was also a candidate for that job, voiced concerns about Taverner’s hiring and launched a legal challenge to force Ontario’s ombudsman to investigate it. Blair alleged this week that his dismissal was an attempt to muzzle him.

The government has denied any political interference in Blair’s firing as deputy commissioner, and said the decision came from the public service because Blair released confidential OPP information through his court filings.

It did not respond Wednesday to Falconer’s claims.

Falconer said the province had the power to demote Blair from his role of deputy commissioner but did not have the authority to fire him the way it did. By avoiding use of the Police Services Act, the government has dodged any potential tribunal hearing that would have given Blair an opportunity to defend himself, the lawyer said.

“Imagine firing somebody without them even having an opportunity to respond to the allegations,” Falconer said. “This stinks to high heaven.”

Falconer could not say what steps his client will take next, but added that Blair is “undeterred” by his termination and won’t be silenced.

“Brad Blair … was summarily fired in an outrageous fashion and he and his family are devastated,” he said. “He understands and knew that when you are trying to speak truth to power, when you are trying to shed light on abuse of power, you will become a target.”

NDP legislator Taras Natyshak said Falconer’s comments lend further credence to the New Democrats’ call for a public inquiry into the affair. He also chided Ford, who has not been at the legislature since Blair’s firing, for not addressing the issue publicly.

“Show some guts, show some integrity, show your face in this house and answer some questions,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Government House Leader Todd Smith defended Ford’s absence by saying the premier has a busy schedule and many demands on his time.

“The premier makes himself available when he sees fit,” he said.

Green party Leader Mike Schreiner said Falconer’s statement raises concerns about that a breach of public trust has occurred and also called for a public inquiry.

“The separation of political interference from the police is a fundamental tenet of our democracy,” Schreiner said in a statement. “It separates us from countries where corrupt leaders use the police to do their dirty work.”

https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/03/06/ ... er-lawyer/
Thomas, Administrator

User avatar
Thomas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1833
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Canada

Former OPP deputy commissioner Brad Blair threatens wrongful

Postby Thomas » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:38 pm

Former OPP deputy commissioner Brad Blair threatens wrongful dismissal suit against Ford government

The deputy OPP commissioner fired after going public with concerns about the hiring of Premier Doug Ford's friend as head of the provincial police is threatening to sue the government for wrongful dismissal.

Brad Blair, sacked by the Progressive Conservative government on Monday, "will seek full accountability and compensation for the actions leading to his termination."

Blair's lawyer, Julian Falconer, said the surprise decision late Wednesday by Ford pal, Ron Taverner, to withdraw his name from consideration to be OPP commissioner, bolsters the former deputy's case.

"Last night's news vindicates Brad Blair's unwavering resolve to protect the OPP from political interference," said Falconer.

"Brad Blair was right in insisting on transparency and accountability in defence of the Ontario Provincial Police," he said.

"It is sad in the extreme that the destruction of a good man's career is the price to be paid for exposing political cronyism and abuse of power."

Ford's bid to install his friend, a 72-year-old Toronto police superintendent, as OPP head ended after more than three months of controversy.

Taverner, whose appointment had been in limbo while an ethics probe was ongoing, bowed out Wednesday night amid concerns of political interference in his hiring.

"Both Ron Taverner and Premier Ford shared the same concerns that the appointment was being overly politicized and it's in the best interests of front-line officers for Taverner to withdraw," a senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations, told the Star.

Community Safety Minister Sylvia Jones — who, like Ford, insisted Taverner was the best person for the job and denied any role in his unexpected Nov. 29 appointment — said "we will have more to say about the role of the commissioner in the near future."

In a statement released by Ford's office, Taverner said "this decision is not an easy one for me to make."

"I believe the OPP requires new leadership and a change in culture at its most senior levels," he said.

Stung by the rebuke, Ford said "it is very unfortunate that the opposition has chosen to politicize this process rather than focusing on how we can support our front-line officers."

The premier emphasized he is "concerned about the countless negative stories I have heard directly from front-line officers."

In December, Ford said "there has never been a more popular police officer in this province than Ron Taverner."

"We look forward to having Ron Taverner as the commissioner of the OPP. You look at his credentials, speaks for itself, 50 years of policing around the province," he said at the time.

But the debacle has taken a toll on the premier and his government.

Blair's lawsuit to force the Ontario ombudsman to probe the Taverner appointment revealed Ford's desire the for a customized OPP van with a powered reclining leather sofa, 32-inch TV with Blu-ray DVD player, and a minifridge.

The suit also exposed private — and profane — conversations the premier had complaining about the rotation of his OPP security detail.

"I've asked for my own detail of officers who I trust already," said Ford, according to documents filed with the Ontario Superior Court.

"It feels like I'm not being heard, like I'm getting f—ed around by the OPP and I'm getting more pissed off," he added, according to dialogue reported in a July 18, 2018 email from Sgt. Terrance Murphy to a superior.

"I'm going to call the commissioner and sort this out. This is the last straw," the premier continued.

"If I have to, I will drive up there to see him face-to-face so he can see how serious I am about this. If he can't sort this out then maybe a new commissioner can make it happen."

Taverner applied for the OPP job last fall when qualifications were lowered two days after the initial posting.

Despite their close friendship Ford has always denied any political interference in the appointment.

Integrity commissioner J. David Wake has been investigating whether there was political interference following a complaint from the NDP.

Wake interviewed Ford late last week and has also questioned his chief of staff, Dean French.

Interim OPP commissioner Gary Couture will remain at the helm until a permanent replacement is found.

https://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/news- ... overnment/
Thomas, Administrator

User avatar
Thomas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1833
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Canada

Ron Taverner, Ford’s longtime friend, abandons controversial

Postby Thomas » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:40 pm

Ron Taverner, Ford’s longtime friend, abandons controversial appointment as OPP commissioner

Premier Doug Ford’s controversial push to install his friend, Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner, as Ontario Provincial Police commissioner has been scrapped.

Taverner’s surprise decision to bow out Wednesday night comes amid a growing furor over accusations of political interference and fears that the hiring jeopardized the independence of the country’s second largest police force.

“Both Ron Taverner and Premier Ford shared the same concerns that the appointment was being overly politicized and it’s in the best interests of front-line officers for Taverner to withdraw,” a senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations, told the Star.

Community Safety Minister Sylvia Jones — who, along with Ford, repeatedly defended Taverner as the best person for the job and denied any hand in his Nov. 29 appointment — confirmed the 72-year-old dropped his name from consideration.

“It is very unfortunate that the opposition has chosen to politicize this process rather than focusing on how we can support our front-line officers,” Ford said in a statement.

The premier, who remained unrepentant about the Taverner hiring, added he is “concerned about the countless negative stories I have heard directly from front-line officers.”

Taverner, who did not return messages from the Star, said in a statement released by the premier’s office “this decision is not an easy one for me to make.”

“I believe the OPP requires new leadership and a change in culture at its most senior levels,” the Toronto superintendent said.

In her brief statement, Jones said “we will have more to say about the role of the commissioner in the near future.”

The imbroglio has taken its toll on Ford’s Progressive Conservatives, with the premier ducking the legislature all week and avoiding questions from the opposition and calls for a public inquiry.

Indeed, the retreat is a personal setback for the premier, who had championed his friend as “a cop’s cop,” and a victory for rivals, with Green party Leader Mike Schreiner saying the Taverner bid made Ontario look like a banana republic.

“The separation of political interference from the police is a fundamental tenet of our democracy,” said Schreiner. “It separates us from countries where corrupt leaders use the police to do their dirty work.”

NDP Deputy Leader Sara Singh praised Taverner for making the “right decision” but said she hopes Ford has learned his lesson on the dangers of hiring a friend to head the OPP, given that he did not acknowledge those concerns in his statement.

“The premier really needs to answer questions with respect to why he would even think that’s the right thing to be doing,” Singh added in an interview.

“This mess could have been avoided. It took so long because Mr. Ford thought he was going to be able to get away with this.”

In December, Ford insisted “there has never been a more popular police officer in this province than Ron Taverner.”

“We look forward to having Ron Taverner as the commissioner of the OPP. You look at his credentials, speaks for itself, 50 years of policing around the province,” the premier added at the time, saying it’s “too bad we couldn’t have a straight-up vote because Ron Taverner would win with 95 per cent of the front-line OPP officers that I’ve heard from crossing the province.”

That month, Taverner rescinded his resignation as superintendent of three Toronto police divisions in Etobicoke, and returned to his role as unit commander.

Taverner’s exit — on a day when media attention was fixated on the SNC-Lavalin scandal on Parliament Hill — follows the Ford government’s firing on Monday of deputy OPP commissioner Brad Blair, who was passed over for the top job and took legal action.

Blair’s lawsuit to force the Ontario ombudsman to investigate Taverner’s appointment exposed the premier’s efforts to get a customized van with a powered reclining leather sofa, 32-inch TV with Blu-ray DVD player and a minifridge — dubbed a “souped-up man cave on wheels” by the NDP.

Earlier Wednesday, Blair’s lawyer called the dismissal “outrageous” and said it’s “bizarre” he was ousted without any official warnings or proceedings under the Police Services Act despite protestations from Ford that he violated the law by releasing information about the hiring and the $50,000 van conversion.

“God help you if you cross the premier. That’s the message,” Julian Falconer added in a 42-minute conference call with reporters.

“While they throw around references to the Police Act, they’re not using it. This is exactly what abuse of power looks like.”

The collateral damage of the flawed decision to appoint Taverner is “an absolute shame,” said Singh.

Taverner is a veteran Toronto police superintendent who applied for the OPP job last fall when qualifications were lowered two days after the initial posting, allowing someone of his mid-level rank into the running.

Ford has always denied any political interference in the appointment, which has been under investigation by provincial integrity commissioner J. David Wake following a complaint from the NDP.

Wake interviewed the premier late last week and previously questioned his chief of staff, Dean French, for more than two hours as part of the probe.

Taverner has been in limbo since requesting in December that his appointment be put on hold until the ethics investigation is completed. Jones said interim OPP commissioner Gary Couture will remain at the helm for now. The last full-time commissioner, Vince Hawkes, retired in the fall.

Policing experts, including former RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson, had repeatedly warned concerns about potential conflicts of interest would always linger if Taverner were to head the force, which can be called in to investigate any wrongdoing by government — as occurred under a previous Liberal government.

In that case, the OPP’s anti-rackets squad laid charges over deleted documents in the wake of the scandal over gas plants cancelled before the 2011 election. Former premier Dalton McGuinty’s chief of staff, David Livingston, was criminally charged, convicted at trial and served five weeks in jail.

https://www.toronto.com/news-story/9211 ... missioner/

https://www.thestar.com/politics/provin ... -says.html
Thomas, Administrator

User avatar
Thomas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1833
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Canada

Is there something rotten in the OPP?

Postby Thomas » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:49 pm

Alok Mukherjee was the chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, 2005-2015. He is a distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson University, and co-author of Excessive Force: Toronto’s Fight to Reform City Policing

The manner of Brad Blair’s firing as deputy commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) brings to mind the reaction of Marcellus in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” It’s difficult to recall a single precedent in which a top-ranking OPP officer has been turfed out in the manner that Mr. Blair has been.

Sylvia Jones, the minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, has denied any political interference by her or Premier Doug Ford, insisting the decision to terminate Mr. Blair was made by the Ontario Public Service (OPS) based on an investigation by deputy minister of Community Safety Mario Di Tommaso.

In court documents released Tuesday, Mr. Blair did not mince words about why he believes he was terminated after 32 years: “It is patently clear to me that this is reprisal and an attempt to muzzle me.”

Many questions remain about the process followed and the roles played by acting OPP commissioner Gary Couture, Mr. Di Tommaso, interim cabinet secretary and head of the OPS Steven Davidson, president of the OPP police association Rob Jamieson and – not least of all – Mr. Ford himself.

This unprecedented action also raises important concerns about the integrity of the public service, the freedom of the OPP from political interference and the willingness of experienced senior members of the OPP to seek leadership positions within the force.

Ms. Jones has said Mr. Blair’s appointment was terminated because he “contravened his legal and ethical responsibilities as a deputy commissioner and senior public servant.” This statement relates to the disclosure of a confidential e-mail – which casts Mr. Ford in a negative light – in his continuing legal battle over his failed bid for the OPP commissioner job. The Ontario Ombudsman has refused to investigate the hiring process, and Mr. Blair is seeking a court order to force the Ombudsman’s hand.

Mr. Jamieson, a close friend of Mr. Ford, apparently took issue with this use of an e-mail from one of his members. Did the relationship between the association president and the Premier play any role in this complaint?

Other legal and procedural questions arise from the handling of this complaint. Even before it was made, Mr. Ford had already accused Mr. Blair of violating the Police Service Act (PSA).

Curiously, Mr. Blair was dealt with not under the PSA, but under the Ontario Public Service Act (OPSA). While it is now known that Mr. Di Tommaso conducted the investigation, it is not clear who turned the association’s complaint into a misconduct charge, who initiated the formal complaint and who decided to treat Mr. Blair under the OPSA.

What part did acting OPP Commissioner Couture play in this? Or did Mr. Di Tommaso act on his own?

There is already an ongoing questioning of Mr. Di Tommaso’s relationship with Mr. Ford and his involvement in the choice of his former colleague, Toronto Police Superintendent Ron Taverner, as the new OPP commissioner. At the time, I asked publicly whether Mr. Di Tommaso should have recused himself. That question is bound to arise again. Should he have involved himself in Mr. Blair’s firing?

There is also a legal issue that needs addressing. Mr. Blair was, first of all, a police officer and thus held an appointment under the PSA from the day he became a constable.That appointment never ended, even after he became a deputy commissioner under the OPSA. A strong case could potentially be made that the revocation of his Order-in-Council appointment as deputy commissioner under the OPSA did not affect his appointment under the PSA, even if it was the easier and less cumbersome route for getting rid of him.

If he had been charged under the PSA, a complaint would have had to be initiated by either Mr. Couture or Ms. Jones. After a full investigation, there would have had to be a hearing in which the merits of the charges would have been tested. The process would have been open and transparent.

None of this happened with Mr. Di Tommaso’s investigation. He was the investigator, the judge and the jury. Mr. Davidson, the acting cabinet secretary, appears to have simply gone along with Mr. Di Tommaso’s recommendation, just as his predecessor Steve Orsini did in the selection of Mr. Taverner.

Unless satisfactory answers to these questions are provided,we have a situation that threatens to compromise the integrity of the public service as well as the independence of the provincial police force.

Civilian governance and oversight of policing are important for a democratic society. In the case of the OPP, the provincial government performs these functions. However, that does not justify partisan interference. A strong inference has to be drawn that this may well have happened.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion ... n-the-opp/
Thomas, Administrator

User avatar
Thomas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1833
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Canada

Ron Taverner ends controversial bid to be OPP commissioner

Postby Thomas » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:51 pm

Ron Taverner ends controversial bid to be OPP commissioner; Brad Blair to legally challenge his firing from the force

An ousted Ontario Provincial Police commander has responded to Wednesday’s sudden withdrawal of Ford family friend Ron Taverner as the OPP’s incoming chief by saying he will be legally challenging the circumstances of his firing.

In a statement circulated Thursday morning, a lawyer acting for former OPP deputy commissioner Brad Blair said his client considers the withdrawal by the Toronto Police Superintendent as a vindication, adding that the Progressive Conservative government must now pick a new police chief in an untainted process.

“Mr. Blair’s efforts to protect the OPP from political interference have not come without significant personal costs,” Julian Falconer wrote.

The statement, circulated overnight, said his client “contests the legal validity of the termination of his employment … and he will seek full accountability and compensation for the actions leading to his termination.”

The statement did not say whether any kind of reinstatement into the OPP would be sought by Mr. Blair, who went on record weeks ago saying he is resigned to realizing he will never run the police force within which he spent his 32-year policing career.

But “looking forward, the hiring process for the next OPP Commissioner must be conducted appropriately and not mired by the political interference and cronyism that sadly characterized the November 2018 hiring process,” Mr. Falconer’s statement said.

On Nov. 29, the Progressive Conservative government announced it had picked Supt. Taverner over then-acting OPP commissioner Blair for the provincial force’s top job.

Because Premier Doug Ford is friends with Supt. Taverner, the hiring decision prompted a public outcry, and has been delayed pending an ongoing ethics review by the province’s Integrity Commissioner.

Mr. Blair responded by independently waging his own legal battle alleging inappropriate interference in the OPP by the Ford government corrupted the hiring process. He still served as a deputy commissioner until he was abruptly fired Monday and escorted out of OPP headquarters as the government accused him of violating his oaths as a public servant for releasing sensitive OPP e-mails into his court filings.

Supt. Taverner, who has known the Ford family for years, said he has decided to pull out of leading the OPP “to protect the integrity of rank and file police officers given the controversy surrounding my appointment.”

“This decision is not an easy one for me to make,” Supt. Taverner said in a letter to Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Sylvia Jones, which was released by the government late Wednesday.

In a statement, Mr. Ford said that “since the beginning of this process, our objective has been to bring new leadership in order to address many long-standing and systemic issues that have existed for some time within the OPP.”

He thanked Supt. Taverner, 72, for putting his name forward and said his leadership after 50 years in policing would have been an asset for the service.

“It is very unfortunate that the opposition has chosen to politicize this process rather than focusing on how we can support our front-line officers,” Mr. Ford said.

The province’s Integrity Commissioner is investigating allegations of conflict of interest after the opposition raised concerns Mr. Ford interfered in the hiring. The Premier has denied guiding the decision, saying Supt. Taverner was selected by an independent committee. The job qualifications were changed shortly after they were first posted to allow officers with lower ranks, such as Supt. Taverner, to apply.

Supt. Taverner had delayed taking over the OPP position until the Integrity Commissioner investigation was complete.

Rob Jamieson, president of the union representing more than 6,000 officers with the provincial police, said he respects Supt. Taverner’s decision.

“I would agree with the comments of Ron Taverner that it’s about the front line,” he said.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Wednesday that Supt. Taverner “did what Doug Ford has continuously refused to do, and preserved the OPP’s integrity with his withdrawal.” She reiterated her call for a public inquiry.

The government has denied any political interference in the hiring process, which began last fall. Mr. Blair, however, has alleged in court documents that there is a pattern of interference by the Premier’s Office in police operations. Submitting internal e-mails, Mr. Blair alleged that Mr. Ford’s staff directed a sole-sourced “off-the-books” request for the OPP to refit an executive van for the Premier’s use.

In court filings made Feb. 15, Mr. Blair also included an internal e-mail suggesting that Mr. Ford was upset about his rotating security detail and vowed to speak with the commissioner if his concerns were not addressed.

Community Safety deputy minister Mario Di Tommaso, who was formerly Supt. Taverner’s boss with Toronto Police Service and part of the provincial hiring committee, fired Mr. Blair in person on Monday after warning him about releasing confidential police communications.

Mr. Blair has said that his firing was a reprisal for the lawsuit and an attempt to “muzzle” him.

The Ford government said the decision wasn’t politically motivated, but Ms. Jones defended the firing, which she said was recommended by Mr. Di Tommaso and approved by the public service commission.

In the legislature this week, she accused Mr. Blair of breaching both his oath of office and potentially the Police Services Act by communicating with the media without permission and releasing a letter to the province’s Ombudsman that contained confidential information.

In a statement Wednesday night, Ms. Jones said she accepted Supt. Taverner’s request to withdraw.

“We thank him for his continued service as a decorated police officer,” she said. “Interim commissioner Gary Couture remains in his post. We will have more to say about the role of the commissioner in the near future.”

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/ ... ntroversy/
Thomas, Administrator

User avatar
Thomas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1833
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Canada

Ford, Horwath clash over OPP commissioner appointment

Postby Thomas » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:02 am

Premier Doug Ford called the Ontario NDP caucus anti-police, as Leader Andrea Horwath continued to demand a public inquiry into the now abandoned appointment of Ron Taverner as head of OPP.

“I want to thank the leader of the police-hating party for the question,” Ford said to Horwath in the Ontario Legislature Thursday, when asked about Taverner.

“I can tell you, after 50 years of an impeccable record, I found it disgusting (how Taverner) was berated. He was attacked by the opposition — personally attacked — a person who served 50 years of protecting families, communities.”

“Apparently the Premier wasn’t paying attention,” Horwath shot back.

“It was him we were attacking, not Ron Taverner or anybody else.”

The fiery exchange occurred as Ford appeared in the Ontario Legislature to answer questions about his government’s involvement in the search for a new OPP Commissioner.

Taverner, a Toronto Police Superintendent and Ford family friend, asked Community Safety Minister Sylvia Jones Wednesday to withdraw his name for the position, given the controversy around his appointment.

The NDP led the charge in challenging what it argued was a politically-motivated appointment, but red flags were also raised by recently-fired candidate Brad Blair, a 32-year OPP officer who had been serving at interim commissioner.

“The people of Ontario have a right to know how a friend of the Premier became the front-runner for the top job when he didn’t even qualify for the initial posting,” Horwath said.

“And they want to know why a veteran officer — with over three decades on the force — lost his job about speaking out about his concerns.”

Ford said his government is determined to bring new leadership to the OPP, and he accused the NDP of trying to score cheap political points off the front-line officers of the OPP and Taverner.

“What the NDP did was completely inappropriate,” Jones said.

“They continually suggested that he was in some way unqualified for a job that frankly everyone who was involved in the hiring process believed he was 100% qualified for.”

An individual as active and engaged with the public as the Premier, and an officer with 50 years service in Toronto — it would have been amazing if Ford and Taverner didn’t know each other, Jones said — who reiterated her belief in the appropriateness of the appointment process.

Taverner’s withdrawal from the appointment hasn’t reduced the need for a public inquiry, because Ontarians deserve to know that the hiring process of the OPP Commissioner is above reproach, Horwath said.

https://www.thewhig.com/news/provincial ... 35dea3ebf1
Thomas, Administrator

User avatar
Thomas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1833
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Canada

Fired OPP official vindicated by Taverner withdrawing for to

Postby Thomas » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:03 am

Fired OPP official vindicated by Taverner withdrawing for top job: lawyer

A high-ranking provincial police official who was fired after speaking out about a friend of the premier’s being appointed commissioner is vindicated now that Ron Taverner has withdrawn from the position, his lawyer said Thursday.

Taverner, a Toronto police superintendent and long-time friend of Premier Doug Ford, announced Wednesday evening that he will not take on the role given the controversy surrounding his appointment.

Former Ontario Provincial Police deputy commissioner Brad Blair, who was also a candidate for the top job, has asked the courts to force the provincial ombudsman to investigate the hiring, saying it raises concerns of political interference.

He was fired this week, but the government denies there was any political involvement, saying the public service made the decision because Blair released confidential OPP information through his court filings.

Blair has alleged his termination was an attempt to muzzle him. His lawyer, Julian Falconer, says the firing was “legally suspect.”

“Mr. Blair contests the legal validity of the termination of his employment as a sworn police officer of the OPP and he will seek full accountability and compensation for the actions leading to this termination,” Falconer said in a statement Thursday.

Blair’s efforts have come with significant personal costs, Falconer said.

“Last night’s news vindicates Brad Blair’s unwavering resolve to protect the OPP from political interference,” he wrote. “It is sad in the extreme that the destruction of a good man’s career is the price to be paid for exposing political cronyism and abuse of power.”

Ontario’s Integrity Commissioner is looking at the circumstances around Taverner’s hiring, and Taverner had asked for his appointment to be delayed until that investigation was complete. The integrity office did not immediately respond to a question Thursday about the status of its probe.

Taverner, 72, rescinded his resignation from Toronto police and returned to his old job as unit commander of three divisions in the city’s northwest end.

He initially did not meet the criteria listed for the commissioner position and the government has admitted it lowered the requirements to attract a wider range of candidates.

Ford has previously described the job of OPP commissioner as a “political appointment,” but told the integrity commissioner in a December letter that he is not aware of any consultation with his office on the rank requirement change.

The premier told the integrity commissioner that his office was part of the initial recruitment planning process, and retained an external executive search firm to assist.

Blair has also threatened to sue Ford, alleging the premier damaged his reputation when he said Blair violated the Police Services Act by speaking out against Taverner’s hiring.

https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/03/07/ ... erner-opp/
Thomas, Administrator

User avatar
Thomas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1833
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Canada

Premier Ford says new leadership needed for OPP

Postby Thomas » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:05 am

Premier Ford says new leadership needed for provincial police service

Ontario’s provincial police need new leadership to fix systemic problems within their ranks and the province is committed to bringing about that change, Premier Doug Ford said Thursday after a close friend of his announced he’d no longer take the top job at the force.

Ford thanked Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner for putting his name forward for role of the OPP commissioner, and chided the Opposition for what he said were personal attacks on the veteran officer since his appointment was announced in November.

“Our objective has been new leadership up at the OPP to fix the systemic problems that we’re hearing non-stop from the front-line OPP officers,” Ford said, without detailing what those issues were.

“We need a new vision for the OPP. One that puts the front-line officers and the safety of the people of Ontario above everything else. Bringing about this change at OPP will require new leadership.”

Taverner said late Wednesday that he would no longer take the commissioner job given the controversy surrounding his appointment, which has included accusations of political interference.

The 72-year-old initially did not meet the criteria listed for the commissioner position and the government has admitted it lowered the requirements to attract a wider range of candidates. His installation into the post had been hold as the province’s integrity commissioner probed his hiring.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the selection process for the next OPP commissioner needs to be beyond reproach given the circumstances that surrounded Taverner’s hiring.

“It needs to be a completely independent process,” she said. “It can’t have Doug Ford’s fingerprints all over it. It can’t be a friend of the family. It can’t be somebody who has to have the qualifications reduced just so that they can qualify. It has to be completely separate from the government.”

Horwath also denied that the NDP did anything to hurt Taverner’s reputation as it raised questions about his appointment.

“All we’ve done is said he has bad choice in friends,” she said.

Community Safety Minister Sylvia Jones defended the process by which Taverner was selected and said the government did nothing wrong. She would not comment on the process to select the next commissioner or what that person’s qualifications would have to be.

“I’m not going to presuppose who the next commissioner is,” she said.

Interim Liberal leader John Fraser praised Taverner for withdrawing from consideration for the commissioner’s job. He said the government should acknowledge that the process that led to Taverner’s selection “eroded trust” in the premier’s office and the OPP.

“We must have a separation between police and the premier’s office and our politicians,” he said.

https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/03/07/ ... eadership/
Thomas, Administrator

User avatar
Thomas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1833
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Canada

Process to hire next OPP commissioner needs to be independen

Postby Thomas » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:06 am

Process to hire next OPP commissioner needs to be independent: Opposition

TORONTO — The process to appoint the next provincial police commissioner should be independent and free of Premier Doug Ford’s “fingerprints,” Ontario’s Opposition leader said Thursday, after the winning candidate — a friend of the Ford family — pulled out of the running.

Ron Taverner, a longtime Toronto police superintendent, announced late Wednesday that he would no longer take the top job given the controversy surrounding his appointment, which included lowering requirements for the job after it was posted.

A deputy commissioner was among those who challenged Taverner’s appointment and was fired earlier this week. Brad Blair asked the courts to force the provincial ombudsman to investigate Taverner’s appointment. The government has denied political involvement in Blair’s dismissal.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the selection process for the job of top cop needs to be beyond reproach.

“It needs to be a completely independent process,” she said. “It can’t have Doug Ford’s fingerprints all over it. It can’t be a friend of the family. It can’t be somebody who has to have the qualifications reduced just so that they can qualify.”

Interim Liberal leader John Fraser praised Taverner for withdrawing and said the Progressive Conservative government should acknowledge that his hiring “eroded trust” in the premier’s office and the OPP.

“We must have a separation between police and the premier’s office and our politicians,” he said.

Green party Leader Mike Schreiner echoed that call.

“The premier needs to commit that nobody who’s part of his personal circle is going to even consider applying for the job as OPP commissioner,” he said.

Community Safety Minister Sylvia Jones defended the process by which Taverner was selected and said the government did nothing wrong. She would not comment on the process to select the next commissioner or what that person’s qualifications would have to be.

“I’m not going to presuppose who the next commissioner is,” she said.

Ford, for his part, thanked Taverner for putting his name forward for role of the OPP commissioner, and chided the Opposition for what he said were personal attacks on the veteran officer since his appointment was announced in November.

“Our objective has been new leadership up at the OPP to fix the systemic problems that we’re hearing non-stop from the front-line OPP officers,” Ford said, without detailing what those issues were.

“We need a new vision for the OPP. One that puts the front-line officers and the safety of the people of Ontario above everything else. Bringing about this change at OPP will require new leadership.”

Ford’s spokesman Simon Jefferies said later that the premier has spoken with OPP officers who have expressed concerns about low morale among front-line cops and said their voices are not being heard.

Meanwhile, Blair’s lawyer said his client felt vindicated in light of Taverner’s withdrawal.

Blair, who was also a candidate for the top job, has alleged his termination was an attempt to muzzle him. His lawyer, Julian Falconer, says the firing was “legally suspect.”

“Mr. Blair contests the legal validity of the termination of his employment as a sworn police officer of the OPP and he will seek full accountability and compensation for the actions leading to this termination,” Falconer said in a statement Thursday.

“Last night’s news vindicates Brad Blair’s unwavering resolve to protect the OPP from political interference.”

Blair has also threatened to sue Ford, alleging the premier damaged his reputation when he said Blair violated the Police Services Act by speaking out against Taverner’s hiring. A Ford spokesman has denied that the premier’s statements were a reprisal against Blair.

https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/c ... job-lawyer

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ndp-says-the ... -1.4326097
Thomas, Administrator

User avatar
Thomas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1833
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Canada

Re: OPP leadership must be free of politicial suspicion

Postby Thomas » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:07 am

Ford blames ‘police-hating’ NDP for Taverner quitting as next OPP commissioner

TORONTO—Premier Doug Ford and his government are admitting no mistake in appointing Ford-friend Ron Taverner to the OPP and are instead blaming the “police-hating” NDP for forcing Taverner to quit.

Taverner asked the government to pull his name from contention for OPP commissioner on Wednesday. He was appointed to the job in November, but his installation was postponed pending a conflict of interest review into the appointment.

On Thursday, the premier appeared in the legislature for the first time this week and immediately went on the offensive.

“I want to thank the leader of the police-hating party for the question,” Ford said at the beginning of his answer to the NDP’s call for a public inquiry.

Taverner’s appointment has been gripped by an ever-growing controversy since it was first announced. In quick succession, iPolitics reported that: Taverner was only able to apply for the job after the qualifications were lowered, Ford admitted he didn’t recuse himself from the final decision, and then deputy OPP commissioner Brad Blair filed a complaint about the hiring process, launched a lawsuit, and then was fired.

The Monday firing of Blair — who the government says improperly released confidential information — propelled the issue into the spotlight again this week.

Ford was mum on it all until Thursday’s question period and he has yet to take reporter questions on the issue.

“On behalf of our government, I want to thank Ron Taverner for putting his name forward,” Ford told the legislature.

“I can tell you, after 50 years of an impeccable record, I found it disgusting, Mr. Speaker, how he was berated. He was attacked by the Opposition — personally attacked.”

“Apparently the premier wasn’t paying attention,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said in response. “It was him we were attacking, not Ron Taverner or anybody else.”

Similarly, outside of the legislature, Community Safety Minister Sylvia Jones told reporters that Taverner’s withdrawal had nothing to do with anything her government did or how the appointment was made but rather because of “completely inappropriate” comments from the NDP.

“They continuously suggested that he was in some way unqualified for a job that frankly everyone who’s involved in the hiring process believed he was,” she said.

“He was 100 per cent qualified.”

Jones also didn’t rule out the possibility that the next OPP commissioner also wont be a Ford friend.

“I’m not going to presuppose who the next commissioner is,” she said.

“I believe that the process was absolutely appropriate and when the integrity commissioner releases his report, we’ll have more details on that.”

The NDP and Green Party again repeated their calls for a public inquiry into the matter.

The government hasn’t yet said what process will be used to hire the next OPP commissioner.

Asked what is should look like, Horwath said “it needs to be a completely independent process, it can’t have Doug Ford’s finger prints all over it, it can’t be a friend of the family, it can’t be somebody who has to have the qualifications reduced just so that they can qualify and it has to be completely separate from the government.”

https://ipolitics.ca/2019/03/07/ford-bl ... missioner/
Thomas, Administrator

User avatar
Thomas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1833
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Canada

All senior OPP officers should stand up to Ford

Postby Thomas » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:33 am

Taverner drops his bid to lead OPP, March 7

What would happen if all of the OPP’s senior officers were to tell Doug Ford they will not apply to be the next OPP commissioner until the premier invites recently-fired deputy OPP commissioner Brad Blair to apply for this important position?

Here are three predictions:

The Premier would skip question period for at least a week.

A member of Ford’s staff would berate those who choose “to politicize this process rather than focusing on how we can support our front-line officers.”

The people of Ontario would applaud the OPP’s willingness to take a principled stand against political corruption.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters ... -ford.html
Thomas, Administrator

User avatar
Thomas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1833
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Canada

The Doug Ford-Ron Taverner affair isn’t over

Postby Thomas » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:35 am

Ron Taverner fell on his sword. The Toronto cop said this week he would no longer seek to lead the Ontario Provincial Police. Good. The well-justified uproar over his appointment by the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Doug Ford, who happens to be his friend, made it impossible for him to carry on.

It is astonishing that he was chosen in the first place, considering the obvious problems that came with putting a pal of the premier in charge of a force that might one day find itself investigating the Premier, his ministers or his party. It is even more astonishing that Mr. Ford tried to brazen it out for so long, insisting that there was nothing at all wrong with putting his friend in charge and swearing up and down that he had nothing to do with selecting him. Even now, neither Mr. Ford nor Supt. Taverner is conceding there was an issue.

A huffy statement from the Premier instead blamed his opponents for making something out of nothing. “It is very unfortunate that the opposition has chosen to politicize this process rather than focusing on how we can support our front-line officers,” Mr. Ford said. In other words, anyone who questions this decision must be against the cop on the beat. Vintage Ford: Those who oppose us are enemies of the people.

Mr. Ford may imagine that, now his friend is out of the running, the dust will settle and everyone will forget out about the Taverner affair. If so, he is dreaming. Ontario’s Integrity Commissioner is investigating the matter. A whole host of questions need answering.

How did Supt. Taverner get chosen in the first place? He is a 72-year-old, 50-year veteran well past the usual retirement date for police commanders. His rank of superintendent is below that required to lead the OPP – or at least it was until the government lowered the qualifications and made him suddenly eligible. Does Mr. Ford expect the public to believe he really had no say, no influence, no input whatever and that his friend rose to the front of the pack of applicants purely on his own merit?

There are lots of reasons to be skeptical. We know that Supt. Taverner and Mr. Ford were photographed chumming around at a number of events last year, including a golf tournament and a charitable gathering at the Premier’s family cottage. We know that Mr. Ford had complaints about his OPP security detail, that he threatened to approach OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes about it and that the Premier said if the commissioner could not fix the problem, then “maybe a new commissioner can make it happen.” That, at least, is how one police officer tells it in an internal e-mail. Commissioner Hawkes retired not long after, and the job of heading the OPP became open.

We know that shortly after that Mr. Ford appointed veteran cop Mario Di Tommaso to the post of deputy minister in the Ministry of Community Safety, which is in charge of the police. He was a senior commander in the Toronto force and oversaw the divisions in the city’s northwest led by Supt. Taverner. A few weeks later, Mr. Di Tommaso sat on the panel that helped select Supt. Taverner.

Oh, and one more thing: We know that this week the Ford government fired the man who has complained the loudest about the whole sorry business. OPP deputy commissioner Brad Blair blew the whistle about, among other things, Mr. Ford’s demand that the OPP get him a tricked-out touring van with flat-screen TV and swivelling leather seats. Mr. Di Tommaso travelled to OPP headquarters to dismiss him face-to-face.

Mr. Ford’s people insist once again that there is nothing to see here. The decision came from the public service, not politicians. Deputy commissioner Blair got the boot for talking to the media without permission and breaking confidentiality rules, not just for speaking his mind and embarrassing the Premier. In fact, they would have us believe that the whole Taverner hubbub is the creation of a bitter opposition, the jackal media and a resentful cop passed over for promotion.

If you believe that, then I have a van to sell you. It’s a beaut. Leather seats – and they swivel.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion ... isnt-over/
Thomas, Administrator

User avatar
Thomas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1833
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Canada

Ford government names new OPP Commissioner after Taverner de

Postby Thomas » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:37 am

Ford government names new OPP Commissioner after Taverner declines post

The newly named commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police says he has “no relationship whatsoever” with Premier Doug Ford, as the government moved to accelerate the hiring process after months of criticism stemming from the appointment of a friend of Mr. Ford’s to the job.

The Ontario government on Monday announced that York Regional Police Deputy Chief Thomas Carrique, 51, will become OPP commissioner next month. His surprise three-year appointment came only days after Toronto Police Superintendent Ron Taverner, a long-time friend of Mr. Ford and his family, pulled out of leading the OPP “to protect the integrity of rank-and-file police officers given the controversy surrounding my appointment.”

The controversy was spurred by the fact that Supt. Taverner has known Mr. Ford for years, leading to questions of police independence, and following revelations that the qualifications for the OPP job posting were lowered, which made it possible for Supt. Taverner to apply.

Deputy Chief Carrique told reporters on Monday that he has never met Mr. Ford.

“I have no relationship whatsoever with the Premier or the Ford family,” he said.

“It is very important that the police work in partnership with government to ensure that we have the adequate resources and support to do our job. Operationally, there is no question that the police remain independent.”

The process for selecting Deputy Chief Carrique, a respected 29-year veteran of York police who has led the service’s organized crime bureau, was significantly sped up by Mr. Ford’s cabinet – with his appointment officially signed last Friday, only two days after Supt. Taverner vacated the post.

The government did away with the process it had used for choosing Supt. Taverner to lead the country’s second-largest police force, which it had long touted as proof that there was no political interference.

The previous process featured a selection panel comprised of then-cabinet secretary Steve Orsini, search firm Odgers Berndtson and deputy minister of community safety Mario Di Tommaso. The appointment was heavily criticized after it was revealed that the qualifications for the job posting were changed on Oct. 22, making Supt. Taverner eligible to apply. Mr. Di Tommaso was also Supt. Taverner’s boss at the Toronto Police Service before being appointed as deputy minister last fall by the Ford government. Mr. Ford and his government have denied any interference in the hiring, which is currently under review by the province’s integrity commissioner. The appointment had been on hold since December.

Brad Blair, a veteran OPP commander, was fired in-person by Mr. Di Tommaso last week after launching a lawsuit to compel the Ontario Ombudsman to review the hiring process. Mr. Blair, who was also a front-runner for the position, went public with his concerns in December, alleging that “inappropriate political interference or cronyism” could affect OPP operations.

Deputy Chief Carrique, who said he was “surprised" by his appointment, did not apply for the position. He said he was approached by Mr. Di Tommaso and the two had “very lengthy, deep and detailed discussions” about the expectations for the job.

He said he’s known Mr. Di Tommaso in a professional capacity since the mid-2000s when they sat on police-management teams together.

“I would not consider us friends. We are professional acquaintances,” Deputy Chief Carrique said.

When asked about the changes to the appointment process, a spokesman for the Premier’s Office said the choosing of the next OPP commissioner is “exclusively a cabinet decision.”

“Cabinet decided it was important to move decisively to bring a new vision and the renewed leadership the OPP front-line officers deserve,” spokesman Simon Jefferies said. Mr. Jefferies said the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, which includes Mr. Di Tommaso, considered some of the most senior experienced police officers in the province, and that Community Safety Minister Sylvia Jones brought Deputy Chief Carrique’s name forward to cabinet and cabinet approved the recommendation by signing an order-in-council.

The Official Opposition on Monday welcomed the new appointment, but called on the government to release a public report on the hiring process used for Deputy Chief Carrique. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said there are still questions surrounding Mr. Ford’s conduct in hiring Supt. Taverner and it “does not give the public confidence Doug Ford has learned his lesson about police independence.” She reiterated her call for a public inquiry.

The appointment of the incoming commissioner, who holds a master’s degree in leadership and training, was met with optimism from the police-union leader in charge of the OPP rank and file.

“From what I understand, he has a focus on the front line, and that’s where the focus needs to be,” said Rob Jamieson, president of the Ontario Provincial Police Association.

Deputy Chief Carrique said his priorities in the new role will be guns and gangs, human trafficking, illicit drugs and data-driven decision-making. “My vision is centered around the safety and well-being of officers,” he said.

Ms. Jones hailed the appointment as an “excellent choice.”

"We needed someone who could hit the ground running,” she said.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/ ... -declines/
Thomas, Administrator

User avatar
Thomas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1833
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Canada

PreviousNext

Return to Policing the Police

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron