Monday, December 22, 2008

Brain Surgery at it's finest!

By The Canadian Press
Dec 22/08

TORONTO - The head of the Ontario Provincial Police says drivers who crash in bad weather because of their own negligence should have to pay the bill.

Commissioner Julian Fantino will propose absolute liability legislation today under the Highway Traffic Act to hold irresponsible drivers accountable. This essentially means making drivers pay for accidents in which they were driving aggressively in poor weather, not insurance companies

Fantino says at least 40 per cent of crashes are caused because people are going too fast in poor conditions and not paying attention.

He says his proposal targets people "who could care less" about how they are driving when the roads are bad.

Fantino says his proposal mirrors laws currently on the books in almost every state in the U.S.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Proposed legislation to ban children riding flies in face of proof that it's not a problem

Allan Johnson

Dec 12, 2008

On Dec. 4, the attention of Ontario motorcyclists was on the Legislature for the second reading debate of Bill 117.

Bill 117 was introduced by Liberal MPP Helena Jaczek (Oak Ridges-Markham) in October as a private member's bill to change the Highway Traffic Act to ban children 14 years of age and under from travelling as passengers on motorcycles. It's intended to "protect children from preventable injury."

Jaczek came armed with considerable support. Supporters in the gallery included representatives of the Ontario Safety League, the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, the Canadian Paraplegic Association and Katie Mellor and Nigel Finan, "representatives of concerned parents who support this bill."

Jaczek produced statistics to prove her claim that there is a serious problem with child passenger motorcycle safety. She quoted Ministry of Transportation road safety reports from 1995 through 2005 that showed there had been 199 cases of injury to motorcycle passengers 15 years old or younger over those 11 years. As perspective during these years, 76,052 children were injured in all types of road accidents.

And the Ministry of Transportation's 2005 Ontario Road Safety report indicates that – out of 5,155 on-road injuries suffered by children aged 15 years or younger in 2005 – only 21 were injured as on-road motorcycle passengers.

Jaczek asked for the Bill to be sent to committee for further consideration "on behalf of Katie Mellor and Nigel and all those concerned with an undeniably unnecessary risk to vulnerable children."

And then, after some debate between MPPs, Liberal MPP Bas Balkissoon ( Scarborough-Rouge River) stood up and addressed the origins of Bill 117.

"I just want to read parts of a letter by Katherine Mellor," he said. "Katherine is in the gallery today. She wrote this letter back in June 2008, to (Transport Minister Jim) Bradley as a parent.

"She says: `In my daily parenting plight, I have recently had a new situation cross my path, which has served to be both alarming and perplexing. To make a long story as concise as possible, my soon to be ex-husband has decided, to my chagrin, that my son Liam (8 years old) should be a regular passenger on his motorcycle.'

"To her dismay, she found that the `only two requirements the Ministry of Transportation in Ontario have are that any passengers need to wear a helmet with a chinstrap, and their feet must touch the footrests. I would like to add that depending on the motorcycle the footrests could be quite high, meaning; even a very small child of 3-to-5 years of age could potentially be a passenger! The bottom line is that children under the age of at least 12 do not truly grasp the ramifications of riding as a passenger on a motorcycle.'

"She goes on to say: `My request to you, Minister Bradley, is that changes to the MTO rules and regulations regarding children as passengers on motorcycles be looked into immediately. Not just the next time the issue is up for review, as it might be too late for my son at that time.'"

And so it seems that the root of this issue stems from a private animosity between divorcing parents. He takes their 8-year-old son for motorcycle rides while she fears for the child's safety.

Whether it's right or wrong for children to be passengers on motorcycles is not the issue. The fact that the vast majority of children who ride as passengers do so behind careful, responsible parents is not considered. The fact that most motorcycle accidents are caused by inexperienced riders is ignored.

The Ontario government is spending a great deal of time, effort and money to debate a proposed bill because two people could not agree on what's best for their child.

Bill 117 has been referred to the Justice Policy committee for discussion.

Toronto Star

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Is Fantino is above the Law?

Dec 08, 2008 06:11 PM

A three-judge panel has decided OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino does not have to continue testifying at a disciplinary hearing against two officers.

Fantino was due back on the cross-examination hot seat tomorrow morning.

Fantino's lawyers asked the Divisional Court panel to set aside an earlier ruling that the disciplinary proceedings should go ahead.

They wanted the stay until they can appeal to the courts next month that the adjudicator in the hearings is biased against Fantino and the panel agreed.

The officers' lawyer called the stay action an unprecedented attempt by Fantino to avoid further cross-examination about his handling of their situation.

The lawyer said there was no evidence the adjudicator was biased, and accused Fantino and his legal team of "cagey chess playing".

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Deaths of OPP officer's family ruled 'accidental'

This is a truly sad story about a Great police officer!

Thu, December 4, 2008

WOODSTOCK — Holding back tears, Oxford Police Chief Ron Fraser spoke yesterday about a tough investigation into the accidental death by carbon monoxide poisoning of three members of a local police officer’s family.
Fraser said Richard Hawkins, 41, Jordan Hawkins, 12 and Cassandra Hawkins, 14, died accidentally from carbon-monoxide poisoning. A blockage in a gas fireplace in their Woodstock home was determined to be the source.
“All three victims were overcome and died as a result of circumstances consistent with carbon-monoxide poisoning,” said Fraser during a press conference at OCPS headquarters.
Investigators believe the family was initially overcome sometime Thursday night into Friday morning.
Laurie Hawkins, a well-known Oxford OPP officer, remains in “severe critical condition” Fraser said with tears welling in his eyes.

“Our thoughts and prayers of all members of the police community and the community of Woodstock are with her and her family.”
Police say a pipe in the inner-workings of the basement fireplace had become plugged with carbon. Once ignited, the fireplace filled the home with lethal levels of carbon monoxide.
“There was incomplete combustion of the fuel system,” said Det. Sgt. Paul Hess.
He said the family had been complaining of flu-like symptoms, consistent with CO poisoning, over the last couple weeks.
The investigation, which has spanned over three days, is now winding down.
Hess said he doesn’t expect any unexpected twists.

Friday, November 28, 2008

How many nail's are needed for his own coffin?

Fantino will have to resume testifying at OPP hearing

Ontario's Divisional Court has rejected a move by the head of the OPP to stop a disciplinary hearing involving two high-ranking officers.
OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino was halfway through a tough cross-examination last month, facing accusations of abuse of power, when he tried to shut down the hearing, accusing the adjudicator of bias.
The hearing in Orillia was investigating whether Supt. Ken MacDonald and Insp. Alison Jevons — who were charged with neglect of duty over their handling of an internal investigation in Eastern Ontario — are victims of a political witch hunt by Fantino and the OPP union.
On Thursday, Superior Court Judge Janet Wilson of Ontario's Divisional Court ruled against Fantino.
"Most importantly ... [the court] found that it was inappropriate to have stopped the proceedings midway into Commissioner Fantino's cross-examination for the purposes of going to the higher courts," said Julian Falconer, the lawyer for the two accused officers.
Falconer went on to say that he was relieved by the decision.
"I think these interruptions do nothing but create longer, larger proceedings and expenses that are simply crushing for these officers. They are anxious — from a reputation point of view and their ability to do their jobs as police officers — to bring this to an end," he said.
Fantino has said suggestions he is abusing his power are "hysterical nonsense."
MacDonald and Jevons were ordered to look into why OPP supervisors in Eastern Ontario looked the other way when a local officer allegedly took a baseball bat to his wife's car.
When MacDonald and Jevons concluded there was misconduct, the police union filed a complaint claiming major problems with the whole investigation. Fantino, then fresh to the commissioner's job, ordered a review of the findings. He later agreed with the union and charged the two senior officers with neglect of duty and deceit for their handling of the investigation.
In turn, the two officers have charged Fantino with abuse of power.
No date has been set for the resumption of the hearing. When it gets going again, Fantino is expected to return to the witness box to face more questions about his involvement in the case.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

McGuinty may be wearing out welcome as dad-in-chief

McGuinty may be wearing out welcome as dad-in-chief

November 26, 2008 Jim Coyle

David Ortiz might have to start sharing his nickname.
The Boston Red Sox slugger is known to fans as Big Papi -- the "big" self-evident, "papi" a term apparently used in his native Dominican Republic for "dude" or "buddy."
In Ontario, Premier Dalton McGuinty may soon come to be known as Big Pappy -- in this case owing to a rather large streak of "father-knows-best-ism" in his Liberal government.
If the premier has developed a signature image, it's as a ban-happy control freak. The list of things that have fallen under his censorious eye is long and growing. Pit-bulls. Trans-fats. Lawn pesticides. Cigarette displays in convenience stores. Smoking in cars carrying children. Cellphones in cars.
Individually, many of these were uncontroversial, some even popular. Taken together, they reveal a mindset likely to make the province chafe just a bit.
Last week, as his government introduced proposed new restrictions on young drivers, McGuinty made a comment that probably revealed more than he intended.
The legislation would ban G2 drivers from carrying more than one teenage passenger during the first year; allow zero blood-alcohol in drivers 21 and younger; and increase sanctions against young drivers for any infraction.
"If that means a modest restriction on their freedoms until the reach the age of 22, then, as a dad, I am more than prepared to do that."
The premier has apparently appointed himself Ontario's dad-in-chief.
But judging by the firestorm of opposition to his legislation, McGuinty might have worn out his welcome as the province's Ward Cleaver.
There comes a point, as New Democrat Gilles Bisson noted in reaction to the introduction of the young driver bill, when politicians have to admit "we can't legislate everything."
In the end, McGuinty may be done in more by his fetish for risk-management and tidy-up time -- the incessant super-Dad --than anything he does or doesn't do on large matters of the economy.
Yesterday, Premier Dad was at it again when he was asked to comment on the huge opposition to the bill that's grown up among young people on Facebook.
The first part of his answer was bizarre. He applauded the participation of young people in the discussion about road safety. But he wanted to know "what responsibilities are they prepared to undertake to provide us with some assurances that they will do what they need to do to keep our roads safe?"
Talk about reverse onus. What's next? Having LCBO clerks demand assurances before making a sale that purchasers will not get tipsy?
The second part of the premier's answer was even odder.
He said he wasn't sure that young people would come to committees to make presentations at public hearings on the bill.
"I think we need to find a way to get onto Facebook. . . . I talk to my kids about this, they say: 'You're not going to make me go to a committee hearing, are you? When did you invent those, in the 1700s?' "
Let's leave aside the fact the premier has already banned civil servants from using Facebook and seems to have had a conversion experience on the merits of social networking.
Since when were premiers in the business of dissing a form of government that is a model for the world? Or a century in which a lot of really cool stuff was invented?
What next? Will the premier be mocking Confederation as an outdated concept because it happened, like, back in 1867, or whatever?
Not only is McGuinty subject to recurring doubts of Dad-ism. He's becoming that worst kind of middle-aged Dad --the Dad trying to be hip.

Jim Coyle writes on provincial affairs for Mercury news services.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Love the plugs from a greiving Father

Sure I'm sympathetic for the death of anyone especially young adults who's parents lack parenting skillls, and just throw cash at adolesence.
We have Mr. Mulcahy, who buys his son a car with more horsepower then anyone would ever need on any road in the GTA, I can only dream of having a such car, a car that I would never be able to afford for that matter.

So his son sits in a bar up north, gets pissed up with a few friends, drinking booze like prohibition was about to be enacted!

Hops into the car pissed up, that Daddy bought him,smashed into a guarddrail, down the embankment and dies a horrific death with his two friends, luckily his girlfriend escaped with minor injuries.
I wonder if Mr. Mulcahy paid his son's insurance or bar tab, where was the server's head when serving these young ADULTS, so many questions and all we get is yellow journalism at it's finest!

Does anyone have any pictures of Father Mulcahy without him plugging his company?
And anyone can get a private members BILL passed with a pocket full of cash just ask the Dalton Gang and view BILL126!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

OPP officer cleared of stunt-driving charge

OPP officer cleared of stunt-driving charge
Racism behind allegation, constable says
Posted 2 days ago
Peterborough County OPP Const. Lloyd Tapp was found not guilty yesterday on charges of stunt driving and careless driving.
The 43-year-old officer had strong words for the fellow officer who made the allegations against him and those that investigated the case.
"Like I have been saying all along, the whole charge was a crock of lies," Tapp said. "The evidence you have heard today in court is a clear indication of the shoddy investigations of the Ontario Provincial Police."
Questioning why charges were laid against him, Tapp said he is a visible minority who has made four claims to the Ontario Human Rights Commission against the OPP since 2005.
"One might ask then, why were charges laid when such a strong prima facie case existed with a lack of evidence to even substantiate a charge?" he said. "What the public has heard today in court, the public should take heed to the type of so-called professional investigations and integrity of investigations by OPP."
Tapp was charged April 8 with driving at least 50 km/h over the speed limit and careless driving on Highway 115 in Cavan Monaghan Township on March 25.
Tapp was one of several Peterborough County OPP officers who agreed to provide security detail at Queen's Park during the release of the provincial budget March 25, court heard.
OPP Const. Brenda Donnelly travelled with Tapp to Toronto in a marked cruiser, she testified. The two left the Peterborough detachment at about 3:37 a. m. and arrived in Toronto for briefing at about 4:45 a. m., she said.
En route to Toronto, Donnelly said Tapp was driving 180 km/h along Highway 115, between 140 to 160 km/h on the 401 and was obeying the speed limit on the Don Valley Parkway.
"We started going fast, excessive speeds," she told court. "The speedometer was pointing in my direction ... it was at the 180 km/h mark. We travelled that speed for quite a ways, most of the 115."
Donnelly said she didn't say anything to Tapp because she had to work with him for the rest of the day. She made a formal police statement six days later, court heard.
Continued After Advertisement Below

Defence lawyer William MacKenzie questioned why Donnelly didn't stop Tapp if he was driving at such speeds.
"On your evidence, you sat there quietly while a member of the police service broke the law. You failed to uphold your duties as a sworn officer, correct," MacKenzie asked.
"Yes, yes I did," Donnelly replied.
Tapp testified he wasn't paying attention to the speedometer but was going with the flow of traffic. He said he would never drive at such "ridiculous" speeds.
"Personally, it's against my code of ethics to travel at that speed," Tapp testified.
MacKenzie argued Donnelly was a poor witness who didn't take any notes of the incident. Her testimony also diverged from her police statement, court heard. She told police Tapp travelled 180 km/h the entire way to Toronto, MacKenzie noted.
Given the 134 kilometres between the detachment and Queen's Park and the timeline Donnelly provided, MacKenzie said Tapp couldn't have driven more than 50 km/h over the speed limit.
"The mathematics don't lie here," MacKenzie said.
Justice of the peace Douglas Clark ruled the Crown did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Article ID# 1290712

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ontario judge won't budge from OPP discipline case

An Ontario judge has accused Julian Fantino's legal team of political interference and intimidation, and refused to step down from a police disciplinary case, in a surprising development that will likely delay the OPP commissioner's testimony for months.
As the police disciplinary hearing for two officers resumed Monday in Orillia, provincial Judge Leonard Montgomery responded to accusations of bias brought against him by the OPP commissioner's legal counsel last week.
Supt. Ken MacDonald and Insp. Allison Jevons are accused of neglect of duty and deceit in a case that has pitted Fantino against the the two former officers assigned to internal OPP investigations.
Montgomery told the hearing he has no intention of stepping aside in the disciplinary case, despite OPP lawyer Brian Gover's allegation he is prejudging Fantino's credibility as a witness.
The judge also accused Gover of political interference for suggesting Ontario's Attorney General's Office was ready to step in and appeal for Montgomery's removal from the case.
"It all adds up to an attempt to interfere and undermine," ruled Montgomery, who threw out Gover's motion to have him removed, and ordered Fantino's testimony to continue.
Fantino's lawyer vowed to appeal the ruling in efforts to remove Montgomery from the case, a strategy that will delay the commissioner's testimony for several months.
While working for the force's internal investigations unit, MacDonald and Jevons were ordered to look into why OPP supervisors in Eastern Ontario overlooked a case involving a local officer who allegedly attacked his wife's car with a baseball bat.
MacDonald and Jevons concluded there was misconduct in the case, prompting the police union to file a complaint alleging major problems with the investigation.
Fantino ordered a review of the investigation's findings, eventually agreed with the union, and charged both officers with neglecting their duties, and being deceitful in how they handled the investigation.
MacDonald and Jevons claim they're victims of a witch hunt inside the OPP, orchestrated by Fantino and the head of OPP's union, and claim the commissioner bowed to union pressure.
Fantino has testified allegations brought against him by the officers are "hysterical nonsense" and denied bending to the union's will.
He also insists he has no personal vendetta against the two officers

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another joke from the Liberals

It was announced Monday, November 3, that Bill 117 (Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Child Passengers on Motorcycles), 2008) passed first reading. It would ban all kids under 14 from being passengers on motorcycles. As a father, and as a very proud parent, who loves cruising on my motorcycle, it saddens me, that I may now have to tell my 5 year old son, that he will no longer be allowed to join Daddy for any more rides until he's 14 years of age. For a year now, my son, has had the privilege of little jaunts on Daddy's ride around the neighbourhood, FULLY AND PROPERLY CLOTHED, WITH A DOT APPROVED PROPERLY FITTED HELMET, so that he could become accustomed to the proper riding and safety techniques of riding a motorcycle on the road. This is a privilege that I have allowed him, and even at 5, he has shown the maturity and respect that it takes to be a passenger on a motorcycle. This is now no longer going to be available to him!...or to anyone else out there with children, and the love to ride. I'm not stupid either, as I write this petition. I know that I am possibly considered negligent towards my son, but I know where and when I can take him. But...if I am negligent than so is our school bus systems and our city transit commissions. Should we stop putting our children on buses too?! Should we stop them from climbing the jungle gyms at our local parks?! What's next??!! If this is the case we should take them off their pedal bikes too!! I never ever wish any harm on my son, or any other child out there, but seriously, what IS next. The Ontario government persistently continues to work against the motorcyclist and motorcycling community. They continue to stereotype us as criminal outlaws and deem us irresponsible and negligent. This has to stop! The politicians who produce these laws, by simple statistics, which are just that...statistics, should further their research and not jump so hastily into law making rubbish!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

NDP alleges Liberal government interfering in OPP disciplinary hearing

Ontario's New Democrats are accusing the Liberal government of interfering in an OPP disciplinary hearing to protect commissioner Julian Fantino.Fantino's lawyer at the Police Services Act hearing for two senior OPP officers wants the adjudicator to recuse himself from the case.NDP Leader Howard Hampton told the legislature that Fantino's lawyer even boasted that he had support from senior counsel in the Ministry of the Attorney General.On Wednesday, the lawyer told the hearing that the ministry would support an appeal if the adjudicator decided against stepping down.Hampton told the legislature that sounds like the attorney general's ministry is interfering in the OPP hearing, and questioned how there could be a fair hearing.Attorney General Chris Bentley told Hampton he was wrong, and chastised the NDP leader — a former attorney general — for making comments about an ongoing hearing.On Wednesday, a ministry spokesman denied that any decision had been made to support an appeal, and a spokesman for Bentley said the minister had no part in any of the proceedings.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The man still has a Job?

Keep-the-chief forces rallied at City Hall to bring back ousted top cop Julian Fantino Wednesday (July 21). Although the sentiments expressed in honour of the soon-to-be-departed Julie were sweet, a little perspective is in order. A closer look at Fantino's five years reveals a nightmarish record.

Running roughshod over race relations

• Fantino set the tone for bad relations with the black community shortly after he became chief, when he called criticism of the force "useless rhetoric" – at a conference on alternatives to lethal use of force, no less.

• Fantino sent all the wrong signals when he moved the force's highest-ranking black officer, Keith Forde, out of public complaints, a section he was assigned to clean up, and into community policing, a low priority for the chief.

• At the height of the uproar over the shooting of several young black men, Fantino repeatedly blamed "certain elements" in the black community, not his own force, for failing to rein in the violence.
• Oh yeah, and the racial profiling thing.

War on protestors

Under Fantino, the cavalry, aka the force's mounted unit, went from spot duty in parks to regular fixture at protests and on city streets.

• So deep runs Fantino's detestation for the anti-Iraq-war crowd that he tried to strong-arm the police services board into requiring groups to seek permission from police for rallies – and had the audacity to offer, in one report, that "a problem is now arising where portions of the public believe that Dundas Square is a public space.
• Also anxious early in his tenure to make his mark by cracking down on raves, he went so far as to try to pass off weapons seized in nightclubs as having been seized at raves.

The shameful opportunist

• In perhaps the lowest of a series of low moves, the chief used the murder of Holly Jones to bolster his calls for closed-circuit cameras on street corners and to fuel a crime-wave panic to influence budget deliberations with city council.

Two-faced on community relations

• For all his overtures to the gay community, it was under his watch that coppers from downtown's 51 Division were permitted to run wild at lesbian hangout the Pussy Palace with questionable liquor licence charges. A court found the coppers violated privacy rights when they barged in on naked patrons. The chief was conspicuously silent when Councillor Kyle Rae was successfully sued for libel for calling the aforementioned cops "cowboys."

Police accountability gap

• Despite his talk about honesty and integrity, Fantino expressed "disappointment" when manslaughter charges were laid against four police officers in the beating death of mental health patient Otto Vass.

• A veil of secrecy has shrouded internal police discipline process under Fantino, as evidenced by Councillor Bas Balkissoon's very public resignation from the police services board when public complaints about police conduct that he brought personally to the force were dismissed or not handled at all.

A law unto himself

• Fantino's disdain for civilian oversight is well documented. While at the helm, he tried to slip changes through the police services board that would have seen him unilaterally decide when and under what circumstances the police watchdog special investigation unit (SIU) is called in to probe incidents involving police. Now, that would have kept coppers on the straight and narrow.

Misplaced priorities

• Community policing? It's under Fantino's watch that most community police liaison committees were axed. It's no coincidence either that his appointment, courtesy of Tory friends at Queen's Park, coincided with tougher laws against panhandlers and squeegee kids.

• In concrete terms, Fantino axed foot patrols in troubled areas like Regent Park from 25 officers to 10 – even while residents were pleading for a more pronounced police presence.

• The chief has eagerly pursued child-porn charges, but gave the runaround to a working group of women concerned about the operations of the force's sexual assault unit, despite 57 recommendations in a city auditor's report.

Two-tier policing

• Were Fantino to continue at the helm, the force might soon be taking direction from the corporations with the fattest wallets. He floated a plan for a "charitable foundation" made up of corporations to bankroll his sought-after helicopter and other pet projects.

Thin-skinned and vindictive

• The chief called for an advertiser boycott of NOW for running a photo of his Woodbridge home and asking, Should the chief of police be required to live in the city he polices?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fantino saving the World!


Local activists are delighted that a group of city councillors moved quickly to kill a controversial proposal by Police Chief Julian Fantino that some felt would seriously curtail the actions of protesters on Toronto streets. On April 28, a standing-room-only crowd looked on as council's planning and transportation committee unceremoniously quashed the chief's bylaw plan without even debating its merits. The committee, at the urging of Councillor Kyle Rae (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale), voted to "receive" the proposal, which is City Hall-speak for tossing a document into the abyss.
"I'm very happy," said Rich Wyman, a member of the Coalition to Stop the War, after the vote. "This is a victory for us. What the chief's proposals actually are is an encroachment of democratic rights, in essence saying you have to have permission to protest."
"This is a very responsible decision," said Bill Freeman, a writer who is active with Community AIR (Airport Impact Review) and the Writer's Union of Canada, who attended the meeting. "This whole proposal smacks of a level of control that this city -- that no city in Canada -- should give to the police."
Fantino, with the support of the Toronto Police Services Board, had asked council to consider enacting a bylaw that would have required anyone planning a protest to apply first to the Toronto Police Service for a permit. The proposal also asked that demonstrators post a bond to cover potential damage to public property, and that anyone who had previously been arrested at a demonstration be barred from organizing or participating in a protest for a period of two years. It was a plan that did receive support in some quarters, because of reports of vandalism and violence at certain local protests.
Norm Gardner, chair of the services board, expressed disappointment at the committee's hasty handling of the request. "I think they should have discussed it, anyway," he says. "To totally dismiss it was, I think, really inappropriate."
Gardner says some sort of bylaw governing protests is needed to avoid cost overruns caused by overtime pay and to keep ambulance routes clear. He hopes council will resurrect the issue, but concedes that it is unlikely to do so.
Fantino has also asked the federal justice minister, Martin Cauchon, to amend the Criminal Code to allow for harsher punishments for protesters. While that matter doesn't appear to have been decisively closed, Cauchon did indicate in a letter to the police services board that he is wary of unduly restricting the rights of protesters.
"I'm delighted that [the bylaw proposal] seems to be over for now," says Josh Matlow of Earthroots, "but I wouldn't be surprised if it was repackaged and tried to be sold again."
May 1, 2003

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Another nail in the coffin!

Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino testified against two of his top officers at a disciplinary inquiry on Friday, saying their allegations against him are "hysterical nonsense."
The hearing against Supt. Ken MacDonald and Insp. Allison Jevons is being held at OPP headquarters in Orillia. MacDonald used to head the unit that probes internal corruption and Jevons was a senior investigator in the unit. Both now face charges of neglect of duty and deceit.
They claim they are victims of a witch hunt inside the OPP being orchestrated by Fantino and the head of the OPP union, the Ontario Provincial Police Association.
MacDonald and Jevons were ordered to look into why OPP supervisors in eastern Ontario looked the other way when a local officer allegedly took a baseball bat to his wife's car.
When MacDonald and Jevons concluded there was misconduct, the police union filed a complaint claiming major problems with the whole investigation.
Fantino, who was fresh to the job as commissioner, ordered a review of the findings.
He later agreed with the union and charged the two senior officers with neglect of duty and deceit for their handling of the investigation.
MacDonald and Jevons, however, are fighting back and in the process have made their own allegations.
Part of the evidence is an e-mail in which the union said it wanted to "Take down MacDonald."
MacDonald and Jevons also claim Fantino bowed to union pressure.
Days before charging MacDonald, Fantino asked another senior officer, "Are you going to execute the disloyal one, or am I?"
Fantino learned the senior officer made notes of the comments. The defence claims that when Fantino learned those notes were about to become evidence, the officer was told he was being transferred to North Bay.
Lawyers for the two accused say that amounts to witness tampering.
During Friday's hearing, Fantino called the allegations "hysterical nonsense."
The OPP commissioner denied he was bowing to pressure from the OPP union.
Fantino also denied any personal vendetta against MacDonald and Jevons.
Why then, Fantino was asked, did he ask senior commanders, "Are you going to execute the disloyal one, or am I?"
Fantino explained: "I tend to use police-appropriate language. I often use the word 'execute' [meaning] forceful.... It just brings humour to the situation."
Fantino was then asked why he transferred one of the commanders to North Bay almost immediately after learning the officer made notes about the comments about executing disloyal officers.
At that point, Fantino became angry, calling the notes "cheat notes."
"People who know me wouldn't hold onto those notes," he said.
Fantino denied it was a reprisal and said the transfer was part of a regular OPP restructuring.
MacDonald and Jevons have filed a motion claiming they are victims of abuse of process and are asking the charges be thrown out.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fireman Busted under HTA 172

OPP NEWS RELEASE************************POITRAS TOWNSHIP, ON – (October 17) - An officer from the Highway Safety Division, North Bay, seized a fire truck yesterday afternoon on Highway 63 as a result of the Street Racing Legislation.On October 16th, 2008, at approximately 6:30 pm, the officer was travelling on Highway 63 when he observed a vehicle overtake another vehicle near the crest of a hill. The vehicle was travelling in excess of 70 km/h of the posted speed limit. The driver, a fireman, was operating a Fire Department Emergency/Rescue Response vehicle, GMC Yukon. He was not responding to an emergency call at the time. As a result of his actions, John P. DANDY, 31 years old of Kipawa, Quebec, was charged under the Street Racing Legislation, s.172 and with Drive left of center – approaching crest of grade, s. 149 of the Highway Traffic Act. His driver's licence was seized and suspended for seven days as well as the Fire Department Emergency/Rescue Response vehicle was towed and also seized for seven days.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A look into the Future?

McGuinty Should be concerned
and the Province of Ontario should
be elated!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

HTA 172 an Ilegal act itself?

The law is unconstitutional for several reasons. Section 172(5) requires an officer to have reasonable and probable grounds. This proves a hearing is required before punishment can be imposed. Reasonable and probable grounds bear a standard of proof and onus of proof. Thus, when an accused is charged, it is neither proven nor presumed that the accused has committed an offence, but there are reasonable grounds for believing that this has occurred. The laying of charges in the legal process does not involve a determination of guilt, thus, the presumption of innocence under s. 11(d) as a principle of fundamental justice under s. 7 of the Charter still applies and sanctions cannot be imposed until a determination of guilt has been entered. The burden is on the government and the standard of proof is beyond reasonable doubt. The governments burden can only be discharged by a trier of fact in a court proceeding. But no proceeding is provided violating ss. 7 and 11(d) of the charter. The principles of fundamental justice under s. 7 incorporate due process and natural justice. S. 172 violate both of them as no hearing is provided. As no hearing is provided s. 172 also violates s. 11(d), the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to the law. The charter is part of the constitution and the constitution is the supreme law of Canada. Section 172 is not justified or saved by s. 1 of the Charter.Moreover, s. 128(14)(d) directly conflicts with s. 172. Section 128 provides for a fine of $9.75 per kms over the speed limit when the driver is doing more than 50 kms over the speed limit. There is no licence suspension, vehicle impoundment, prison term etc. Section 172 provides for a minimum $2000 fine, maximum $10,000 fine, seven day licence suspension, up to two year suspension upon conviction, seven day vehicle impoundment, and six month prison term. It is a universal principle that when two provisions conflict the one that is most favourable to the accused must be adopted.Most critically, offences in Canada were classified 30 years ago. Offences are either mens rea, absolute or strict liability offences. R. v. City of Sault Ste. Marie, [1978] 2 S.C.R. 1299S. 172 is an absolute liability offence. Twenty-three years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada determined that absolute liability offences that contain terms of imprisonment are unconstitutional as they violate s. 7 of the charter. The term of imprisonment does not have to be mandatory, it may be optional, as s. 172 provides. B.C. Motor Vehicle Act, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 486Thus, in accordance with s. 52 of the Constitution Act 1982 s. 172 is of no force and effect. In other words, it's not a valid law. Critically, the Province might wish to claim it was unaware of B.C. Motor Vehicle Act, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 486 until now but that is simple untrue. The Attorney General of Ontario intervened in R. v. Kanda, 2008 ONCA 22 and is well aware of the offence classifications and that a term of imprisonment is not permissible when attached to an absolute offence, which s. 172 is. More than 8,000 people to date have be charged under s. 172 and up to 8,000 vehicles impounded, thus up to 24,000 criminal offences of thefts, mischeif and fraud have been committed by agents of the Province. More importantly, the Attorney General argued in the case that the triggering words “no person shall,” evince a clear intention to create an absolute liability offence. The court determined otherwise stating it is a strict liability offence. The court also cited the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act case. Therefore, the Attorney General has been aware since January, 2008 that s. 172 is unconstitutional and of no force or effect yet the Province continues to illegally charge citizens and impound vehicles. In order to be reasonable, seizures and impoundments must be authorized by law. Here, impoundment is not reasonable or authorized by a valid law. The reason for this requirement is clear: under both the Charter and the common law, agents of the state can only enter onto or confiscate someone’s property when the law specifically permits them to do so. Otherwise, they are constrained by the same rules regarding theft as everyone else. R. v. Caslake, [1998] 1 S.C.R. 51Therefore, the police are not operating under any valid law when they impound a vehicle and are not are not operating in the execution of any valid power or duty. What they are doing is stealing cars under s. 322 of the Criminal Code, committing mischief under s. 430, and fraud under s. 380. A person is having their vehicle stolen and the police are allowing a third party to place a lien on your property. You cannot get your stolen property back unless you pay money, which is fraud. If you are subject to an impoundment you are empowered under s. 494 of the Criminal Code to arrest the police office on the spot the second he acts to impound your vehicle. Section 19 of the Criminal Code articulates that Ignorance of the law is no excuse and the police cannot blame the government for any wrong doing an officer commits. A police officers duty and powers are articulated under s. 42 of the Police Service Act. Section 42(3) of the Police Service Act states;Powers and duties of common law constable(3) A police officer has the powers and duties ascribed to a constable at common law.At common law, these duties include “the preservation of the peace, the prevention of crime, and the protection of life and property.” Dedman v. The Queen, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 2.The common law is no more immune from Charter scrutiny than is statute law, as the Supreme Court has repeatedly held, see RWDSU v. Dolphin Delivery Ltd., [1986] 2 S.C.R. 573; B.C.G.E.U. v. British Columbia (Attorney General), [1988] 2 S.C.R. 214; R. v. Swain, [1991] 1 S.C.R. 933; R. v. Daviault, [1994] 3 S.C.R. 63, and R. v. Stone, [1999] 2 S.C.R. 290.Common law is made up of decisions of the court. The police officer are required to be aware of all decisons, as they are governed by them. Thus, as the court determined 23 years ago that absolute liability offences that contain terms of imprisonment are unconstitutional, the police officer who steals a car commits 3 criminal offence per incident. You can also sue the officer for breach of duty of care for are damages you incur. Hill v. Hamilton Wentworth Regional Police Services Board, 2007 SCC 41 Moreover, Section 50(1) of the Police Service Act expressly states; Liability for torts50(1) The board or the Crown in right of Ontario, as the case may be, is liable in respect of torts committed by members of the police force in the course of their employment.The failure of a public officer to perform a statutory duty also constitutes misfeasance in a public office. Police Services Act s. 41(1) imposes on all Chiefs and Commissioners a freestanding statutory obligation to ensure that the members of the force carry out their duties in accordance with the provisions of the Police Services Act and the needs of the community. This includes an obligation to ensure that members of the police force do not injure members of the public through misconduct in the exercise of police functions.The public complaints process allows the public to complain in respect of the conduct of a police officer. What an accused seeks, though, is not the opportunity to file a complaint that might result in the imposition of disciplinary sanctions, but, rather, compensation for the damage they have suffered as a consequence of the Chief and/or Commissioners inadequate supervision and misfeasance in office. The public complaint process is no alternative to liability in negligence. A plaintiff cannot sue government for a policy decision; however, enforcement of that policy is an operational decision which gives rise to a duty of care. Odhauji Estate v. Yoodhouse 120031 3 S.C.R ,263.Section 1 of the Police Service Act articulates the principles Police are to respect and follow. The drivers whose vehicles are stolen by the police are victims of crime. They are being dumped at the side of the road when their vehicle is stolen and they are being smeared in the media when the police release their names and/or allow video of their car or the person themselves to be aired. Section 1 states;Declaration of principles1. Police services shall be provided throughout Ontario in accordance with the following principles:1. The need to ensure the safety and security of all persons and property in Ontario.2. The importance of safeguarding the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Human Rights Code....4. The importance of respect for victims of crime and understanding of their needs.The Police core services are articulated under s. 4 and indicate they are to prevent crime, not commit it, and they are to assist victims of crime, yet in stead, they dump them off at the side of the road after stealing their vehicles. Core police services4(2) Adequate and effective police services must include, at a minimum, all of the following police services:1. Crime prevention.2. Law enforcement.3. Assistance to victims of crime.4. Public order maintenance.5. Emergency response. The Province and the police operate under colour of law, but the law is not colour blind and no one is exempt from the law. R. v. Mann, [2004] 3 S.C.R.59, 2004 SCC 52. One of the most fundamental responsibilities of a government is to ensure the security of its citizens. In a constitutional democracy, governments must act accountably and in conformity with the Constitution and the rights and liberties it guarantees. It is one of the proud accomplishments of the common law that everybody is subject to the ordinary law of the land regardless of public prominence or governmental status. As was explained in Reference re Secession of Quebec, [1998] 2 S.C.R. 217, at p. 240, the rule of law is one of the “fundamental and organizing principles of the Constitution”, and at p. 258, it was further emphasized that a crucial element of the rule of law is that “[t]here is ... one law for all.” Thus, a provincial Premier is held to have no immunity against a claim in damages when he caused injury to a private citizen.The following sections of the Highway Traffic Act are also unconstitutional.Section 107(1), (2), (3), (4), (11) and (13). Section 107(15) states;…”or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.”Section 112 (3).…“or to imprisonment for a term of not more than three months, or to both”Section 171(4).…”or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.”Section 172.1(3).…”or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.”Section 175(17).…”or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.”Section 177(4).…”or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.”Section 190(8).…”or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.”Section 200(2).…”or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Say it aint so!

Betsy Powell, Peter Small, Toronto StarAugust 2, 2008

Cases show double standard, critics sayA Toronto judge acquits two men of firearms charges, finding that police testimony was “unreliable, likely false.” In another courtroom, a judge convicts a prominent community activist of perjury, ruling that she deliberately misled the court.
These two recent court cases highlight the rarely prosecuted offence of perjury. For some in the legal community, they also raise questions about double standards, how often police lie on the stand and how infrequently they face charges.
This past week, supporters of activist Valarie Steele, found by a judge to have lied to get her son released from custody, wondered aloud if she should have been charged at all.
Also this week, the province’s Special Investigations Unit announced it is probing the case of Shayne Fisher, 24. Fisher and another man were acquitted after Superior Court Justice Brian Trafford ruled in June that the men were “physically abused” by Toronto police drug squad officers during a raid.
“Important parts of the evidence tendered against the defendants, at the preliminary hearing and at trial, have been found by the court to be unreliable, likely false,” Trafford wrote.
Defence lawyers point to other examples of judges acquitting people because of unreliable testimony from police. It even has a name: testilying.
A case often cited is that of Kevin Khan, acquitted on drug charges by Justice Anne Molloy in 2004. She found two Toronto police officers, including Det. Glenn Asselin, used racial profiling when they stopped Khan and later “fabricated” evidence.
“I quite simply do not believe the evidence of the officers,” she wrote in her judgment.
Asselin was investigated internally and cleared. He remains with the force as a detective.
Then there’s the high profile case of the three officers who testified at the 2005 assault trial of Toronto police officer Roy Preston.
Ontario Court Justice Peter Wilkie convicted Preston after finding him to be “neither credible nor reliable.”
Wilkie also found the evidence of the three officers who testified on Preston’s behalf to be “vague,” “contradictory” and “fundamentally unreliable.”
Preston went to jail after losing his appeal. He is suspended without pay and faces disciplinary charges and could be fired.The three officers were investigated and cleared by their superiors.
In the Steele case, police wiretaps caught the activist saying her son, a witness in the Jane Creba murder case, wasn’t adhering to his bail conditions on unrelated charges. In court, she had indicated the opposite and was subsequently convicted of perjury.
Supporters argued she was being punished for her son’s unwillingness to co-operate.
Academics throughout North America have found the police culture encourages lying.
“When officer self interest, and/or the bond of the `thin blue line is challenged,’ as in a disciplinary proceeding, overt lying is widely recognized as a common occurrence,” Dianne Martin, the late Osgoode Hall law professor, wrote in a 2001 paper.
Defence Lawyer Edward Sapiano says police knowingly commit perjury because of what he calls “noble-cause perjury.”
“Police knowingly give false testimony to facilitate the prosecution and to ensure the conviction of persons the police ‘know’ are guilty. Because police so easily get away with noble-cause perjury … police quite reasonably believe they are being encouraged to lie by the administration of justice itself.”
An assistant Crown attorney, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, didn’t disagree.
“You would expect … police witnesses to have a stronger regard for the oath but people lie in court all the time, police officers included.”
“There is an attitude that the legal system is just a bunch of bulls— invented by lawyers and … the oath doesn’t really bind anyone’s conscience, in some quarters. I’m not saying every cop is like that but I’ve certainly had the impression over the years that there are many that do feel that way.”
Gary Clewley, a defence lawyer who often represents police officers charged with crimes, says it’s “ridiculous” to suggest that judges and Crowns tolerate police perjury because officers perceive it to be a legitimate means to an end.
And just because a judge finds an officer “likely” gave false testimony, doesn’t mean he or she lied.
“There’s a world of difference between saying `I’m not satisfied sufficiently to deprive somebody of their liberty based on the evidence’ and the officers are outright liars.”Sapiano says it’s rare police are charged either internally or criminally, “even when sufficient evidence exists, and apparently only … when a defence lawyer catches them lying and it makes the front page of the newspapers.”
Christopher Downer, a former Toronto detective who used to investigate allegations of misconduct against court officers, remembers a case where two police “buddies” of a court officer charged with assault lied on the stand. “I sent a package off to internal affairs: nothing was ever done.
“No one’s aggressively going after anyone and at the end of the day nothing happens.”
“That’s not the case at all,” responds George Cowley, director of legal services for the Toronto Police Service. He points to the case of Amar Katoch, a veteran Toronto officer charged with assault, perjury and attempt to obstruct justice by his employer after a videotape of an anti-poverty protest in 2003 showed him punching a protester.
“There’s no apathy at all. We’re very concerned about comments made by judges,” Cowley said.
Katoch was acquitted by a jury last fall. The Crown is appealing.
In the Khan case, Molloy’s comments about Asselin were “troubling,” Cowley says. “We thoroughly looked into the entire matter and it was determined that there was no evidence to support either criminal or Police Services Act charges.”
While the Ministry of the Attorney General failed to respond to questions about the number of perjury charges laid against police, two Ontario police officers facing perjury charges will be in court this fall.
This month, OPP Det. Sgt. John Cavanaugh goes on trial in Toronto. In September, a preliminary hearing is scheduled in the case of Peel Region Const. Sean Osborne.
Despite these cases, the reason so few perjury charges are laid is because “it’s only in the most clearest of cases when the evidence is there” that it’s worth pursuing, says Avtar Bhangal, the lawyer who represented Sunny Bains, who Osborne is alleged to have assaulted.
“There are lots of cases where people are found to fudge the truth – it’s a different standard to actually prove that they intentionally did perjure themselves.”

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Flash, and give warning for Radar!

Jan 26, 2008
I'm a huge supporter of the police, but you wonder who counsels them on public relations.
They wonder why the driving public often does not co-operate with them, when they pull stunts like they did March 24 last year.
Brad Diamond, producer of TSN's Motoring 2008 (full disclosure: I appear on this show) lives near Broadview and Danforth Aves. Every Saturday morning he goes out for his usual four-buck coffee.
On this day he was driving westbound on the Prince Edward Viaduct, which connects Danforth Avenue and Bloor Street across the Don Valley. He spotted a radar trap nailing eastbound drivers, and passed it at approximately 49.999 km/h. It's there all the time so it was no surprise to him.
Of course, like most concerned citizens, he has often wondered: if radar is supposed to be a traffic safety measure, why would they run it on a bright sunny Saturday morning, on a three-lanes-each-way bridge, with excellent visibility in all directions, without a single intersection, store, home, school or in fact much human activity at all?
Surely, there are more dangerous places they could be trying to slow people down?
Let alone more important public safety initiatives the police could be doing?
Can you say "fishing hole," boys and girls?
Okay, so speeding is speeding, and speeding is against the law everywhere. But seriously.
As any concerned citizen would do if he knew someone was possibly going to break a law – especially if he knew the cops were lying in wait at the potential scene of the crime – Diamond flicked his headlights at oncoming traffic.
As you would. And as you would, most of the oncoming traffic did slow down.
Now, still assuming, perhaps naively, that slowing traffic down to make the roads safer is the objective of radar (it never works, but that's a story for another day), you'd think the cops would be happy that Diamond was assisting in their cause.
You'd think they'd want everybody flashing their headlights, all the time. Who'd take a chance at speeding then?
But no, stationed at the west end of the bridge were a couple more cruisers, pulling people like Diamond over for warning people about the radar trap.
$110 and no points.
I checked the Highway Traffic Act (HTA). I could find no reference to radar speed traps at all, let alone anything about it being illegal to warn other drivers about them. After all, traffic reporters and some websites even announce their locations.
The ticket said the offence was "flashing head beams" in contravention of the HTA, section 169.
Never mind that I have been in the car game for more than 30 years and have never heard the term "head beams."
I checked section 169 and nowhere does it mention radar traps in there.
Sgt. Cam Woolley of the Ontario Provincial Police told me that this law was put in place a few years ago to prevent "civilian" vehicles from impersonating emergency vehicles, notably tow trucks trying to bully their way through traffic to be first on the scene of a wreck.
Nothing at all about radar.
What's more, Diamond's Chevy Tahoe was not producing "alternating"' flashes of light. "Alternating" means one, then the other (just like police cars and other emergency vehicles can do), not both on/both off.
Not only was there no harm, there was no foul.
In our legal system, the legislature passes the laws, the police enforce them. It is not up to the police to make up their own laws – that's what they call a police state.
If the legislature decided in its collective wisdom to make warning of radar speed traps illegal, how hard would it be to pass an unambiguous law to that effect?
I can even help: "It is unlawful to warn other drivers about upcoming radar speed traps; never mind that they don't improve traffic safety."
Okay, the legislature might choose different wording.
The fact is, the legislature has not chosen to pass a law like this, or anything remotely like it.
If Diamond had been standing on the sidewalk holding a neon sign reading, WARNING! RADAR AHEAD!', there would have been nothing the cops could have done.
Needless to say, he decided to fight the ticket.
He contacted the prosecutor, saying the law in question had nothing at all to do with what he allegedly had done, but she said they were going to proceed with the court case.
Okay then, Jan. 10 it would be.
I had a 30-page script ready to go as Diamond's representative. (My dad, who was a lawyer, would have been proud of me. I hope.)
At traffic court, you first present yourself to the prosecutor, who asks how you're going to plead. You'd think anyone who didn't just pay the ticket in the first place and who had shown up at 9 a.m. to fight it would plead not guilty, but some didn't.
You also may have the option of pleading guilty to a lesser charge, which the first case of the morning did.
We were about fourth on the docket.
The prosecutor called Diamond to the bench, asked his name, read the charge, and asked how he pleaded.
"Not guilty, your worship,"' he responded.
Then the prosecutor said, "The police officer has no evidence in this case, your worship."'
"Case dismissed,"' said the justice of the peace.
WHAT? The police officer has "no evidence"? If he had no evidence, why the heck did he lay the charge in the first place?
The fact is, he had no law upon which to base the charge, because Diamond had not done anything illegal.
They assume that you will assume you had in fact done something illegal, fork over your cash, and they smile all the way to the bank.
Now, dad always said that in court, you take a win any way you can. But we were disappointed not to take it to trial so as to set a precedent against this little Buford T. Justice scam by the Toronto Police.
Someone more paranoid than me might suspect they did not want it to go to trial for that very reason, so as not to put their scurrilous behaviour on the trailer for all time.
Now, maybe the "no evidence"' gambit is traffic court shorthand for "the cop didn't show up." But usually with fishing holes, they expect a certain number of people to fight the tickets and schedule the cop for court duty.
I guess we'll never know.
I don't blame the individual cop here, although some of them are clearly overzealous in their pursuit of tickets, quotas, or whatever other pressures they face from their superiors.
But I think it is disgusting that police management sends cops out there to lie in wait to ticket unsuspecting law-abiding citizens when they have to know that what they're ticketing them for is not against the law.
And if they didn't know that before, they sure do now.
Toronto Star

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Blair distancing himself?

Michele Henry Crime Reporter for The Toronto Star

A personality clash between Ontario's two top cops has nothing to do with the Toronto force's decision to pull 28 officers out of a province-wide unit aimed at combating organized crime, officials said yesterday.
Aides for both vehemently deny any head-butting and infighting between Toronto police Chief Bill Blair and OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino led to Blair's recent decision to pull his officers out of certain joint operations.
"I want to put to rest once and for all that there are no personality conflicts," OPP Insp. Dave Ross said. "It has nothing to do with what's transpired."
An internal memo circulated within the Toronto Police Service earlier this week said that starting Dec. 1, officers assigned to five provincial investigative units will report to their superiors in the Toronto force, rather than to the OPP.
The units involve more than dozen police forces across Ontario, include biker and weapons enforcement, illegal gambling, proceeds of crime and auto theft.
This restructuring, the memo says, comes on the heels of OPP proposals to create two joint-force units in Toronto in which local officers would answer to OPP bosses.
A "lack of control," the memo says, over the Toronto force's resources reduces its ability to respond to its own needs.
The memo said both police forces recognize the limitations of the current system, which has often proved ineffective at fighting organized crime.
"How do we get the best results with our resources that are limited?" deputy chief Tony Warr asked yesterday. "We focus them on Toronto priorities. By having our own group, we don't have to do anything that's not Toronto-centric."
That doesn't mean Toronto police are "getting out of the joint forces business," he said. He insisted not much will change beyond whom the officers report to, saying the Toronto force will evaluate when and how to get involved in joint investigations on a case-by-case basis.
Toronto Mayor David Miller praised Blair as an extraordinary chief and said he respects his judgment. Miller waved off any suggestion the move away from joint force operations will diminish the police effort against organized crime.
Since joint operations are provincially funded, Blair's move could prove costly for Toronto police.
Regardless of motive, the restructuring doesn't sit well with Ottawa Police Chief Vernon White, a spokesperson said. "He's pretty disappointed that borders are being created when police organizations should be working together," Const. Alain Boucher said.
"When one (police organization) pulls out, it pulls a string away from us and we have to work differently. When we all work together it becomes a strong unit."
The OPP's Ross said his force remains committed to working with Toronto police to combat organized crime. He said it was premature to speculate how the withdrawal will affect daily operations.
With files from John Spears