Ot­tawa Po­lice and Chief do bat­tle

Seaway News - - Opinion -

The ugly on-go­ing bat­tle be­tween the Ot­tawa Po­lice Ser­vice and its chief, Charles Borde­leau, now in­cludes a messy hu­man rights com­plaint, that al­leges racism, filed by a Corn­wall na­tive and OPS vet­eran with a stel­lar ser­vice record.

Samir Bhat­na­gar (he of Corn­wall’s prom­i­nent ten­nis fam­ily and a mem­ber of Corn­wall Sports Hall of Fame) claims the movers and shak­ers have de­lib­er­ately, on three oc­ca­sions over the past five years, over­looked him for a pro­mo­tion to su­per­in­ten­dent from in­spec­tor (spe­cial op­er­a­tions).

He joined the Ot­tawa force 27 years ago af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Trent Univer­sity with a bach­e­lor of sci­ence de­gree.

Over the years eval­u­a­tions have praised Bhat­na­gar’s work.

His com­plaint claims racism is at the cen­tre of the over­sight. Ac­cord­ing to an Ot­tawa Cit­i­zen story he aced as­sess­ments to qual­ify for the pro­mo­tion but three times a can­di­date with a lesser score and less ex­pe­ri­ence was cho­sen over him.

To no sur­prise, the board and chief scoff at the racism al­le­ga­tion. The board claims that Bhat­na­gar is be­ing held back be­cause of his re­fusal to fall in line with the direc­tions of the chief, and that he is part of a small group of se­nior of­fi­cers who are un­der­min­ing the chief. The board ques­tioned his loy­alty to the chief (some­times called butt-kiss­ing).

The dis­en­chanted in­spec­tor is seek­ing $140,000 in dam­ages.

As for that hu­man rights com­plaint, it is not the first time a ju­nior of­fi­cer of a po­lice force has filed a hu­man rights com­plaint against a su­pe­rior. And some­times, as with one Eastern On­tario force, the com­plainant wins.

************* On the morn­ing of April 18, 1934 a man who told the court he had no choice but to steal to sur­vive was given two years in Kingston Pen­i­ten­tiary for break­ing into Hol­lis­ter’s Store on First Street West and steal­ing nu­mer­ous gro­cery items.

“I was des­per­ate. I had no work. No money and had to beg or steal,” the man told the judge in po­lice court the morn­ing af­ter he sur­ren­dered to po­lice who were look­ing for him. He said he had been im­bib­ing too gen­er­ously in vin­tage wine on the evening of the break-in and theft and couldn’t re­call much of what he did. If he sought sym­pa­thy from the judge he didn’t get it. “You had money to buy wine. I don’t be­lieve any le­niency should be shown,” said Mag­is­trate Mc­donell be­fore pass­ing his stiff sen­tence. A few hours later the con­victed man was on his way to the fed­eral prison to serve his full two years in the slam­mer.

Also this week in 1934 - Corn­wall was pre­par­ing to cel­e­brate its 100th an­niver­sary as an in­cor­po­rated mu­nic­i­pal­ity. The first vil­lage board meet­ing with four mem­bers rep­re­sent­ing two wards was held on April 21, 1834. The first of­fi­cial act was the elec­tion of a pres­i­dent and the pass­ing of the first by­laws. .... Corn­wall Street Rail­way asked coun­cil to ex­tend the rail line from Wa­ter and Au­gus­tus streets to Cum­ber­land to pro­vide bet­ter freight and pas­sen­ger ser­vice to the new C-I-L plant just west of the city. Cost of the ex­ten­sion was put at $15,000. ... Thieves broke into the A. J. Mcphail Gen­eral Store in St. An­drew’s and made off with cloth­ing, shoes, foun­tain pens, cig­a­rettes and candy with a to­tal value of $150. ... Lo­cal busi­nesses were warned by the On­tario Pro­vin­cial Po­lice that while slot ma­chines were le­gal in Que­bec they were il­le­gal in On­tario. ... The first pa­tient cured of arthri­tis by Dr. Locke of Wil­liams­burg died of a heart at­tack. Pe­ter A. Beck­stead, the vil­lage black­smith, re­ceived a four-hour treat­ment form the young doc­tor in 1909 and was able to re­turn to work. He was 67. .... A del­e­ga­tion from the Corn­wall vol­un­teer fire brigade told city coun­cil the present pumper was un­re­li­able and new one was needed. ... Corn­wall Po­lice Board hired Hugh Omar to re­place re­tir­ing con­sta­ble Ge­orge Crites who had been with the force for 32 years. Start­ing salary was $1,000 a year. The board also ap­proved the pur­chase of a new sedan for the de­part­ment. ... The Stan­dard-free­holder pur­chased prop­erty on Pitt Street from the P.E. Adams Es­tate for con­struc­tion of a new pub­lish­ing and print­ing plant. The build­ing oc­cu­pied by the Gil­let Fur­ni­ture store was to be de­mol­ished. Cir­cu­la­tion of the pa­per was 7,000. ... Fox’s Beauty Par­lor was mov­ing to 314 Pitt St. ... Bark’s Mar­ket, 111 Pitt St., had prime rib roast for 17 cents a pound, rib stew for seven cents a pound and veal chops for 15 cents a pound.

HERE AND THERE Corn­wall na­tive and St. Joseph’s Sec­ondary School grad An­thony (Tony) John­son who spent three years serv­ing along­side United States mil­i­tary per­son­nel at South­ern Com­mand head­quar­ters in Mi­ami will be re­turn­ing to the U.S. The Royal Cana­dian Air Force vet­eran, cur­rently sec­ond-in-com­mand at Camp Bor­den, has been pro­moted to lieu­tenant-colonel and will be off to St. Louis. ... Here is a scary statis­tic: there is a drug over­dose death ev­ery 12.5 min­utes in the United States. .... Less than two months be­fore Stor­mon­tDun­das-south Glen­garry vot­ers go to the polls in the pro­vin­cial elec­tion and still the only can­di­date in the race is in­cum­bent Con­ser­va­tive MPP Jim Mc­donell. The Lib­er­als have one per­son seek­ing the nod at a yet-to-be-called nom­i­na­tion meet­ing and still no can­di­dates for the NDP and Green Party. Can’t re­call this so late in the game.

SPORTS STUFF Gilles Viau capped the Corn­wall Curl­ing Cen­tre se­nior men’s sea­son with a first-place fin­ish in the 29-team Bray Con­struc­tion clos­ing bon­spiel then cap­tured the 12-team cham­pi­onship round, edg­ing out Mur­ray Halkett by one point. Pe­ter Van Loon, fill­ing in for De­nis Doutre, took sec­ond place, three points back of the win­ner. Mem­bers of the Viau rink were third De­nis Mar­ion, sec­ond Ron Macmil­lian and lead Jim Secord. The Halkett rink in­cluded third Don Marsh, sec­ond Bert Zyl­sra and lead RJ Lau­zon. The Van Loon four­some in­cluded third Ian Nurse, sec­ond Frank Ricci and lead Bob Cameron. The Nick Kaneb Spirit of Curl­ing Award was pre­sented to Roger Com­tois. Kevin Cooper was voted top new player.

TRIVIA This in­ter­na­tional com­pany with its head of­fice based in San Fran­cisco first set up shop in the cot­ton mills in 1972 be­fore build­ing a plant in the In­dus­trial Park two years later. It em­ployed 400 peo­ple.

TRIVIA AN­SWER A made-for-tele­vi­sion (CBS) ver­sion of Tom Sawyer was shot at Up­per Canada Vil­lage in Oc­to­ber 1972, af­ter the at­trac­tion closed for the sea­son. It starred Jane Wy­att and Buddy Eb­sen.

ONE LAST THING Money can’t buy friends, but you get a bet­ter class of enemy.

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