Sunday, August 30, 2009

Toronto Police Service Police Officer Charged

The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has reasonable grounds to believe that a Toronto Police Service (TPS) officer is criminally responsible for a firearms discharge at a Toronto man and has caused criminal charges to be laid against the officer.

On August 20, 2007 at approximately 5:00 a.m. 21 year old Phabien Rhodius was driving a vehicle on Eglinton Avenue East. TPS officers stopped him. An interaction occurred between Mr. Rhodius and one of the officers. During this interaction the officer twice discharged his police firearm at Mr. Rhodius. Mr. Rhodius was injured as a result of the firearm discharge. He fled the scene in the vehicle. The incident was not reported to the SIU by the TPS.

On August 28, 2007 Mr. Rhodius turned himself in to the TPS. He faced a number of criminal charges, which led to a term of pretrial detention. When Mr. Rhodius was released from custody in March 2009 he contacted the SIU. A five-month SIU investigation followed.

Constable Boris Petkovic of the TPS is facing one charge of Aggravated Assault, contrary to s. 268 of the Criminal Code of Canada, and one charge of Discharge Firearm with Intent, contrary to s. 244 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

A summons was served on the officer today compelling his appearance before the Ontario Court of Justice, 60 Queen Street West, Toronto, on September 22, 2009, to answer to the charges. Justice Prosecutions of the Ministry of the Attorney General will have carriage of the prosecution.

As this matter is now before the courts, and in consideration of fair trial interests, the SIU will make no further comment pertaining to this investigation.

The SIU is a civilian agency that investigates cases of serious injuries (including allegations of sexual assault) and deaths involving the police. Pursuant to section 113 of the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU is mandated to consider whether a criminal offence has been committed by an officer(s) in connection with the incident under investigation and, where warranted by the evidence, to cause a criminal charge or charges to be laid against the officer(s). The Director reports the results of investigations to the Attorney General.

SOURCE: Special Investigations Unit Frank Phillips, SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES, Telephone/No de
telephone: (416) 622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ontario moves to seize bike-theft suspect's property

Sounds like a Police State, where no conviction is needed, when the THUGS in Government Seize your property, sell it and cut up the proceeds for vote grabbing propaganda.

Anthony Reinhart

Last updated on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009 02:56AM EDT

.Accused bicycle thief Igor Kenk is still a long way from justice on dozens of criminal charges, but that isn't stopping the Ontario government from moving to take ownership of his bike repair shop, pickup trucks and 2,292 bicycles seized in police raids across west-end Toronto last summer.

On Monday, Mr. Kenk will be hauled into court in handcuffs to face a forfeiture hearing under the Civil Remedies Act, a controversial law that allows the province to seize and sell property deemed to be connected to crime, regardless of whether its owner has been criminally convicted or even charged. If government lawyers can link Mr. Kenk's property to the “large-scale organized bicycle theft ring and drug distribution network” police have accused him of operating, the province stands to rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars, court documents suggest, based on the $700,000 value Mr. Kenk placed on his shop site, on a trendy stretch of Queen Street West, last year.

Globe and Mail

Friday, August 28, 2009

Retired OPP officer faces sexual assault charges

Two in one week.......................see post below.

Updated: Thu Aug. 27 2009 12:58:44 PM

The Canadian Press

KAWARTHA LAKES, Ont. — A 62-year-old retired provincial police officer has been arrested and charged with two alleged sexual assaults.

Police say Robert George Lewis was on duty at the time of the alleged assaults between 1981 and 1987 in Kawartha Lakes, Ont.

Lewis, of Fenelon Falls, Ont., is charged with two counts of sexual assault, indecent assault and gross indecency.

He was released from custody after a bail hearing in Lindsay, Ont., on Wednesday and is scheduled to reappear in court on Sept. 10.

Lewis became a constable in 1967 and worked at the Downsview, Snelgrove (now Caledon), Minaki, Islington and Coboconk detachments.

He was posted at Coboconk, near Kawartha Lakes, from 1978 until his retirement in 1997.


OPP Police Officer Charged............

OPP Police Officer Charged
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 27 /CNW/ - The Director of the Special
Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has reasonable grounds to believe that
an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer committed criminal offences in
relation to a young female and has caused charges to be laid against the
The OPP - Kapuskasing Detachment contacted the SIU on August 13, 2009
regarding allegations of a sexual nature against one of their police officers.
The SIU assigned two investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the
circumstances of the occurrence.
As a result of the SIU investigation 31 year old Constable Jean-Guy
Beaudet of the OPP - Kapuskasing Detachment is facing one charge of Sexual
Assault, contrary to s. 271 of the Criminal Code of Canada and two charges of
Sexual Exploitation, contrary to s. 153 of the Criminal Code of Canada.
Constable Beaudet was arrested today and subsequently released on a
Promise to Appear along with an Undertaking compelling his appearance before
the Ontario Court of Justice in Kapuskasing on Tuesday September 29, 2009 at
10:00 a.m. to answer to the charges. Justice Prosecutions of the Ministry of
the Attorney General will have carriage of the prosecution.
As this matter is now before the courts, and in consideration of fair
trial interests, the SIU will make no further comment pertaining to this

The SIU is a civilian agency that investigates cases of serious injuries
(including allegations of sexual assault) and deaths involving the police.
Pursuant to section 113 of the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU is
mandated to consider whether a criminal offence has been committed by an
officer(s) in connection with the incident under investigation and, where
warranted by the evidence, to cause a criminal charge or charges to be laid
against the officer(s). The Director reports the results of investigations to
the Attorney General.


Piglets left outside premier's office

Seven pink piglets in a makeshift pigpen were left outside Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's constituency office on Kilborn Avenue in Ottawa Tuesday morning.

The plywood pen, which contained some bedding, was found with a note saying they were a gift to the premier, as there is no market for small pigs and animals are consequently being euthanized.

McGuinty chuckled when asked about the incident Tuesday.

"I've never raised piglets before, so it wouldn't be fair to them for me to take on that responsibility," he said.

But he added that he sympathized with pork producers.

It's up to consumers to "wise up to reality," McGuinty said, and keep in mind that the H1N1 swine flu virus is transmitted to humans by other humans, not pigs.

"So, let's cut the pigs some slack," he said. "Let's go out there as Ontario consumers, and let's continue to buy good, quality, healthful Ontario pork."

City of Ottawa bylaw officers arrived at McGuinty's office Tuesday morning, examined the animals and found them in good health. They turned them over to the Ottawa Humane Society.

Whatever the motivations for leaving these pigs in the middle of the city, it's disturbing that someone would make a choice to abandon helpless animals like this," said Bruce Roney, executive director of the society, in a statement. "Now, we're left to care for these piglets on top of the hundreds of abandoned and homeless domestic animals we care for on a daily basis."

Christine Hodgins, who works for McGuinty's brother Dylan and found the animals when she showed up for work, said she didn't think much of the apparent protest either.

"All they're doing is endangering the public and endangering the pigs — the poor little baby pigs," she said. "They're not proving anything."

The piglets were expected to be moved to a foster farm later on Tuesday. The Ottawa Humane Society is investigating and said charges could be laid in the case.

Ontario hog farmers appealed to the Ontario and federal governments for help earlier this year, saying increasing costs for essentials like feed and fears around swine flu have made it difficult for them to earn a living.

The federal government has been working with pork farmers to develop a long-term loan program as well as an initiative to help pork producers get out of the hog industry.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Number four!

For cop in racing case, things move slowly

Clocked at 160 in April, not charged until August

Aug 20, 2009 04:30 AM
Robert Benzie
Queen's Park Bureau Chief
A senior OPP officer has been charged with street racing after a police cruiser was clocked at 160 km/h in a 90 km/h zone, the Star has learned.

While acting Staff Sgt. Mike Pilon was pulled over on April 14, charges were not filed until Aug. 6 – and he still has not been served with a court summons, said Ontario Provincial Police Supt. Jeff Dupuis.

Dupuis said yesterday there appears to be a procedural snag in Cochrane, where the incident took place, which has led to the unusual delay.

"It's never happened before," the superintendent said from North Bay.

"I'm not sure what the battle here is. If our guy is at fault, then he's at fault and let the chips fall where they may."

Pilon's Chevrolet Impala was pulled over four months ago on Highway 11 outside Cochrane, a remote community near Timmins that is about 700 kilometres north of Toronto.

Perhaps coincidentally, the charges were filed two weeks after OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino issued a July 20 edict imploring officers to drive safely because "the OPP's image and reputation are adversely affected by the unacceptable actions of a few."

Fantino, who successfully pushed the provincial government to increase penalties for reckless driving, has clamped down on speeders. The commissioner's crusade is credited with cutting speed-related deaths on Ontario highways by 42 per cent last year.

"He is not going to be happy about this," confided one source, noting Fantino has not been shy about reprimanding his own.

Even the elite OPP officers who guard Premier Dalton McGuinty are careful to obey the speed limit when ferrying him to and from events, which is one reason why he often runs late.

Under the new anti-racing laws, if Pilon is convicted he faces a fine of up to $10,000 or six months in jail, plus a licence suspension.

Last week, an undercover Durham Region police officer was charged with racing and had his unmarked car impounded after being accused by the OPP of driving 150 km/h on Highway 115 in Peterborough County.

The Toronto Star

Friday, August 21, 2009

I guess this poor police officer is relieved to a certain extent!

Ten plaintiffs drop suit against police chief.
Police women will focus on human rights case against Dhinsa for alleged sexual harassment

August 21, 2009
Paul Morse
The Hamilton Spectator
(Aug 21, 2009)
Ten of 12 Hamilton police women have abandoned a $2-million lawsuit they filed against their police chief and police board over the force's handling of their sexual harassment allegations against Sergeant Kevin Dhinsa.

The 10 police officers "have decided to focus their efforts ... and, in doing so, they are putting their efforts into the human rights proceedings that personally involve Sergeant Dhinsa, and a (union) grievance procedure," said their lawyer Julian Falconer yesterday.

Hamilton police are trying to quash the $2-million lawsuit against Chief Brian Mullan, in-house police lawyer Marco Visentini and the police services board.

The 12 women -- 11 officers and one civilian employee -- first filed sexual harassment charges against Dhinsa three years ago, but have suffered a string of legal setbacks. They filed the negligence suit in December.

Dhinsa was charged with sexual harassment in June 2006 under the Police Services Act. But a police tribunal threw the charges out when it ruled Mullan had missed the deadline to charge him by eight days.

The women went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada in failed efforts to get the case heard.

In the lawsuit, women allege Mullan, the police board and Visentini negligently breached their duty of care to them by failing to provide a harassment-free workplace and failing to lay Dhinsa's charges in time.

Allegations contained in the women's statement of claim have not yet been tested in court.

Helen Pelton, lawyer for the two remaining Hamilton police plaintiffs, said yesterday: "Groups tend to have different ideas and, as time goes on, the differences seem to get magnified. Some of them wanted to seek another opinion and they did that."

Pelton said she has been told by her clients that Dhinsa recently returned to work. The Spectator was not able to confirm Dhinsa's return with police officials yesterday.

Falconer, a high-profile human rights lawyer who represented Maher Arar, a Canadian falsely suspected of terrorism, said the Hamilton police women have found themselves in a legal quagmire.

"This case is a classic example of how difficult it is for women police officers who literally face a whole host of legal impediments in getting justice on allegations of sexual harassment," he said.

"Our hope is, by focusing the proceedings and perhaps taking a narrower approach, that we can get them some justice."


The Spec

Friday, August 14, 2009

Another "Damn Street Racer" Busted!

Durham officer faces racing charge

Aug 14, 2009 02:20 PM
Jasmeet Sidhu
Staff Reporter

The Ontario Provincial Police have charged a Durham police officer after an unmarked police car was found going at least 50 km/h over the speed limit near Peterborough Tuesday evening.

Police say that they were monitoring by air the speed of motor vehicles travelling on Hwy. 115 in Cavan Monaghan Township in Peterborough County when, at around 5:30 p.m., they noticed a car speeding northbound on the highway.

The car was going at least 50 km/h over the speed limit.

"We can't say the exact speed; that forms part of the evidence which is now before the court," said Const. Peter Leon.

Once stopped, police say they determined the car was an unmarked police vehicle registered to Durham police.

A 34-year-old man, an officer with Durham police for 10 years, has been charged with racing a motor vehicle, and has had his driver's license suspended.

The OPP also impounded the vehicle for seven days.

Toronto Star

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

OPP officer charged with discreditable conduct!

August 12, 2009

The Canadian Press

ORILLIA – A veteran Ontario Provincial Police officer at the centre of a criminal corruption scandal has been charged with discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act.

The charge relates to an alleged 2002 meeting in Montreal that OPP Sgt. Mike Rutigliano is accused of having "arranged and attended with members and associates of the Rizzuto traditional crime group, regarding a jewellery store in Woodbridge, Ontario.”

"When questioned on or about February 19, 2004 as to your relationship with Vito Rizzuto, you provided false and misleading answers stating, 'I do not know the man, I have never met the man, I have never spoken to the man, I have never communicated with the man either in writing or electronically, nor have I ever had any association with him, directly, or indirectly.’"

Rizzuto is considered Canada's top mob boss and is currently serving a prison sentence in the United States in connection with gangland killings.

In October 2002, when the Montreal meeting is alleged to have occurred, Rutigliano was working out of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission, where he had been since 1996.

The 50-year-old sergeant, who is suspended from the force, made his first appearance this morning at the OPP's general headquarters.

He declined to comment.

Insp. Charles Young asked the matter be put over until Sept. 28 at which time an "external prosecutor" will have been appointed and prepared to proceed.

Outside headquarters, Toronto defence lawyer Owen Wigderson said his client is not guilty of the charges though no plea was entered today.

"The timing of these allegations is certainly thought-provoking," Wigderson said.

"But until all of these cases are over, everything that I have to say in my client's defence is going to be said in a courtroom."

Earlier this year, Rutigliano was released on bail after he was charged with corruption and obstruction of justice offences in connection with three separate investigations.

Rutigliano, who joined the provincial service in 1981, was working as the OPP's court case manager within the Toronto court system when the offences allegedly occurred.

In one set of charges, Rutigliano is alleged to have interfered in the sexual assault prosecution of former Steelback Brewery CEO Frank D'Angelo.

D'Angelo was acquitted of assaulting a business associate's 22-year-old daughter. He has been charged with obstruction of justice and attempting to obstruct justice.

In 2004, Rutigliano was found guilty under the PSA of discreditable conduct for making a threat to a former business associate.

Two years earlier, York Regional Police charged Rutigliano with "threat to property," though the charge was withdrawn and the file relating to the matter destroyed.

The OPP officer is also charged with an alleged $15 million fraud targeting Bombardier Inc.

In a third set of charges, Rutigliano is charged with helping Peter Mavroudis — a con artist who has thrice been convicted of taking money in return for non-existent tickets to Maple Leafs games — "avoid prosecution in Ontario."

The Spec

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Promised eHealth outside review a sham: NDP

The government has some explaining to do amid revelations that a promised, and then cancelled, independent review of scandal-plagued eHealth Ontario never got underway, the opposition parties said Monday.

Documents obtained by the New Democrats under Freedom of Information laws show no contract was ever signed for PricewaterhouseCoopers to begin a third-party review of the agency — a fact verified by both eHealth and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"There was no contract in place, the board never reached the point where it signed a contract with [PricewaterhouseCoopers] for the specific audit," said Dianna Allen, a senior vice-president with eHealth, adding that preliminary discussions with the agency suggested there would be too much duplication with an upcoming report by Ontario's auditor general.

"When looking at value for money, it was not the best course of action."

A PricewaterhouseCoopers spokeswoman said the company "wasn't engaged with them [eHealth] whatsoever."

The Liberal government has said it cancelled the review because it would have duplicated efforts by Ontario's auditor general, who is also probing the agency.

But NDP critic France Gelinas said the newly released documents show the government never planned to go ahead with the independent report, and added that Health Minister David Caplan and Premier Dalton McGuinty have some explaining to do after suggesting in the legislature that the review was underway and that results could be expected by the end of the summer.

"Their line of defence was always: 'We will go to the bottom of this, we have retained the best third-party, PricewaterhouseCoopers,'" Gelinas said.

Promised review 'empty rhetoric'
"Then, in the middle of the summer, we learn that basically, it was all empty — they haven't done anything, they were not going to expect anything out of them, it was all empty rhetoric."

Gelinas said Caplan and McGuinty "needed to defend themselves so they used those lines, but those lines misled us in the house, they misled Ontarians, and they misled all of the taxpayers."

Caplan had called the PricewaterhouseCoopers review "an additional layer of oversight," and said in the legislature he looked "forward to the recommendations and insights they might have on ways in which we can strengthen the financial controls and the management practices at eHealth."

McGuinty had also fended off questions in the legislature, saying in June: "I think we need to wait for the report coming from PricewaterhouseCoopers. We need to wait for the information and the advice to come from the auditor."

Progressive Conservative Lisa MacLeod, who wants to bring eHealth in front of a sub-committee for all-party questioning, said the lack of any contract showed the whole process was "a smokescreen to save the minister's job."

"It's going to be important, when they return, to fully explain themselves," she said.

"What better way to do that than by acknowledging there is rot at eHealth and that all members of this legislature should have an opportunity, as well as their constituents, to find out how deep that rot is."

The government had said PricewaterhouseCoopers would look into procurement practices at the provincial agency, which is working to create electronic health records for Ontario residents, and would report back this summer.

The plan was quietly cancelled by Caplan last month, after eHealth's board suggested dropping the outside review.

The Health Ministry has said the government has already introduced new procurement rules for all agencies and ministries, the same practices the review would have looked into.

Review dropped at auditor's request
A spokesman for the ministry wouldn't comment on the specifics of any contract Monday, but noted the government was acting on the advice of the auditor and the board of directors.

The additional review was dropped, he said, "mostly because the auditor said it would be a duplication of services," said spokesman Greg Dennis.

"Looking back at it, it obviously was a wise and prudent decision and it didn't cost any money."

Provincial Auditor General James McCarter will report on his investigation of eHealth in September.

In a June 29 letter to the eHealth board, the auditor pointed out that his efforts would duplicate the work of PricewaterhouseCoopers, but added: "Clearly, the decision to engage [PricewaterhouseCoopers] is the board's and the minister's to make."

The latest details are just the latest of a series facts about the scandal that led to the resignation of former eHealth CEO Sarah Kramer and former board chair Dr. Alan Hudson in June, after the Conservatives and New Democrats complained the agency gave out $5 million in untendered contracts to consulting companies.

Documents released by the government since then showed the value of those untendered contracts was closer to $16 million, with the biggest ones going to companies the opposition parties say have ties to the Liberal government.

EHealth was set up last year to create electronic health records after the first provincial agency given that task, Smart Systems for Health, spent $650 million but failed to produce anything of lasting value before it was quietly shut down last September.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Barrie officer charged!

Posted 8 days ago

A Barrie police officer is facing criminal charges after an investigation by the OPP.

Const. Bruce Gardiner has been charged with one count of criminal harassment and one count of voyeurism, both Criminal Code offences.

The four-year member of the service has been suspended from duty with pay as a result of the charges.

Barrie police released news of the charges yesterday morning.

Chief Wayne Frechette said Gardiner has been charged and released on bail.

"I assume with conditions probably to stay away from whoever the victim is. I don't know who that is," he said.

"Anytime any of our people are charged, it is not a happy event. He is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law."

Frechette said Gardiner is a familiar face in the downtown area.

"He was doing downtown foot patrol on dayshifts and he's probably known by a good many downtown residents and business owners. He's a personable and outgoing guy," the chief said.

OPP Const. Peter Leon said he could not comment on the case.

"The OPP is not in a position to speak directly to the media release as the matter is before the courts at this time," he said.

Under Section 162 of the Criminal Code, voyeurism is described as anyone who commits an offence who surreptitiously observes -- by mechanical or electronic means and makes a visual recording -- a person who is in circumstances where they have an expectation of privacy.

Anyone who commits voyeurism is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction

Under Section 264 of the Criminal Code, harassment is described as engaging in activity that causes other people to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them or repeatedly following the other person from place to place or repeatedly communicating with, either directly or indirectly, the other person.

Under the Criminal Code, anyone who commits harassment is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or an offence punishable on summary conviction.

The Barrie Examiner

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Canada's wrongful convictions

Here's something the vote grabbing politicians in Ontario should read instead of advocate groups and prohibitionist's annual reports filled with fluffed up stats!

They languished behind bars for years, wrongfully jailed for crimes they did not commit.

But the high-profile ordeals of Donald Marshall Jr., David Milgaard and others have put a spotlight on what has been called the fallibility of Canadian justice.

These cases are likely not unique and certainly not isolated to Canada, although estimates of the actual number of wrongful convictions vary widely. Each miscarriage of justice, however, deals a blow to a society's confidence in the legal system, experts say.

"Wrongful convictions undermine the two prongs of the criminal justice system’s legitimacy," states a 1992 report prepared by the Library of Parliament. "If someone is wrongfully convicted, that person is punished for an offence he or she did not commit and the actual perpetrator of the crime goes free."

To make it worse, advocates say many who were ultimately exonerated watched their applications stall for years in the federal review board process.

In 2000, federal Justice Minister Anne McLellan announced plans to try to prevent such cases from happening again. The changes, since enacted in the Criminal Code of Canada, enable the justice minister to use his or her discretion to respond to persons who believe they have been wrongfully convicted.

Groups such as the Association in Defence of the Wrongfully Convicted have also advocated on behalf of those they say have been jailed unfairly.


I'm sure it's all a BIG misunderstanding!

It's true the SIU did actually charge a police officer!
This is how you write an article LapDOG Lamberti!

Cop charged after car chase

Officer accused of assault, dangerous driving

Aug 08, 2009 04:30 AM
Robyn Doolittle
Crime Reporter

In a rare move, the province's Special Investigations Unit has charged a Toronto officer with assault causing bodily harm and dangerous driving in connection with a car chase earlier this year.

Const. Ricardo Gomez, who has worked mainly out of 12 Division since joining the force eight years ago, was serving a stint with the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy, TAVIS, earlier this year.

On March 4, at 9:40 p.m., he became involved in a pursuit along Danforth Ave. The vehicle Gomez was trailing was involved in a collision and a Toronto man was injured, said SIU spokesperson Jasbir Brar.

Lawyer David Butt, representing Gomez, said the reason his client was pursuing the car will come out in court. "We respect the importance of (the SIU's) mandate completely and we are confident that a full review of this situation will show that PC Gomez engaged in no wrongdoing whatsoever," said Butt.

The SIU is a civilian agency responsible for investigating all cases of death, serious injury or sexual assault involving police.

According to its 2007-08 annual report, during the SIU's last statistical year, the agency investigated 246 occurrences, laying charges against 10 officers in connection with seven incidents.

The last time the SIU charged an officer was in June. An Ottawa officer, Const. Shyldon Safruk, was charged with assault causing bodily harm for allegedly assaulting a cab driver.

The agency has been the subject of three government-ordered reviews, the most recent released last year. In September, the Ontario Ombudsman's office released a review in which the SIU was accused of "police bias" by Ombudsman André Marin, a former SIU director.

Staff Sgt. Gary Mulholland, who works with Gomez at 12 Division, refused to comment on the rarity of SIU charges, but said Gomez was a skilled officer. "I guess he's one of the better young officers I had on the shift," said Mulholland.

Gomez was investigated by internal officers in connection to a 2005 incident where he fired his gun. He was cleared.

He will appear in court on Sept. 14.

The Toronto Star

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Healthy fees for eHealth execs!

August 04, 2009
The Canadian Press
TORONTO (Aug 4, 2009)

More details are emerging about what critics have called shocking spending excesses by consultants and executives at eHealth Ontario.

* Consultants who were contracted by eHealth at up to $2,750 a day were also allowed to bill taxpayers for a $75 per diem to cover laundry and other incidentals, as well as car rentals, parking and furnished suites in downtown Toronto.

* One Alberta-based consultant, Allaudin Merali, was paid $57,750 for 21 days of work in December -- he billed seven days a week, but only half days ($1,375) for Sundays -- and was reimbursed another $10,000 for his expenses that month. His bills climbed to an average of $76,000 a month in January through March 2009.

The details sparked renewed calls by opposition leaders Tim Hudak of the Progressive Conservatives and Andrea Horwath of the NDP for Health Minister David Caplan to step down

The Spec