OPP commish case to get hearing
TORONTO — An Ontario Provincial Police deputy commissioner is asking a court to urgently consider ordering the provincial ombudsman to investigate the appointment of a friend of the premier’s to the job of top cop.
Brad Blair has applied to Ontario’s Divisional Court in an attempt to force an investigation into the hiring of Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner as the new OPP commissioner, raising concerns about potential political interference.
Premier Doug Ford has indicated that Taverner’s appointment will go ahead whenever the integrity review is finished, and Blair’s lawyer argues in documents filed to the court that could be complete in a matter of weeks.
That leave san arrow window for the court case, argues Julian Falconer.
“The underlying matters require an expedited resolution in order to address the perceived political interference in the OPP and to enable a timely return to the normal administration of the OPP,” he writes.
The court is set to hear Falconer’s motion for an expedited hearing on Monday.
Falconer argues that the integrity commissioner’s mandate is to review whether Ford used his office to further his own or someone else’s personal interest, while an ombudsman probe could be broader, looking at potential political interference in the hiring process, any negative impact on the independence of the OPP and any effects on public confidence in the OPP’s integrity.