Gas Busters Part 69: What is the OPP Thinking?

The OPP have become a factor in the current Ontario election debate, with the OPPA campaigning against Tim Hudak’s PCs and a new search warrant dropped on Queen’s Park in recent days seeking yet more gas scandal documents.

Apart from its significance for energy concerns, partisan political involvement by the OPPA appears to me to violate S.13a of the Ontario Police Services Act.

Authorized activities
13. If authorized to do so by the police services board or chief of police, a municipal police officer may, on behalf of the police force,
(a) express views on any issue, as long as the police officer does NOT, during an election campaign, express views supporting or opposing,
(i) a candidate in the election or a political party that has nominated a candidate in the election, or
(ii) a position taken by a candidate in the election or by a political party that has nominated a candidate in the election; and

Liberal commentator Warren Kinsella asks “Has the OPP become a criminal organization?” His tweet on that subject is:

‏@kinsellawarren
OPP get heat for anti-#OPC ad. So they leak anti-#OLP shit to media, mid-race, to make up for it. They’re out of fucking control. #Onpoli (June 6, 8:31am)

My perspective, admittedly speculative, on the controversial timing of the release of the search warrant is a little different.

There are probably lots of folks inside the OPP appalled by the actions of the OPPA and intent on doing their jobs in compliance with the law.

After the release of the first search warrant in March 2014 and the subsequent testimony before the Justice Policy Committee by OPP Commissioner Lewis and the investigating officer Detective Constable Duval of the Anti-Rackets Branch, the OPP would have realized that their investigation was attracting intense public attention.

We now know that in April, the OPP interviewed former Premier McGuinty and obtained information on the existence of documents that they believe might be material to their investigation of document destruction in his office. It seems possible that, having obtained this information, the OPP would have been concerned that seeking an order to obtain those documents could bring down the minority Wynne government.

Perhaps while the OPP was preparing to obtain a court order, the government did fall on the eve of the budget vote.

The OPP may now be concerned that the documents they are seeking might get deleted, particularly if the vote goes against Wynne on Thursday. With Hudak promising a judicial inquiry into the gas scandal, there will be many Liberal insiders who must be very twitchy.

If Hudak does have an opportunity to move ahead with a judicial inquiry, he will have to be careful to do so mindful of the need to protect the right to a fair trial of potentially accused individuals.

6 Comments

  1. Perhaps it’s time to consider adopting the sheriff system where each county has an elected non-partisan sheriff who will be accountable to the citizens of each county say every four years? And each county would have deputy -sheriffs to serve as constables.
    De-centralise policing but could still retain some OPP for province wide special services.
    Transfer OPP constables to be deputy-sheriffs under county governments.

  2. I think the fact that the OPP have done things to upset the PCs and Liberals is a good indication that it’s acting impartially. This is a tight spot for them. I’d cut them some slack on this file.

    • My point is that there is now too much centralised power in Ontario with the OPP and that there are other ways to police Ontario than using a centralised police force which just happens to be under whichever government is in power.

  3. Ha! Warren Kinsella accuses the OPP “are out of [!@#$%^&*] control”!

    And what about Mr. Mike Crawley, of AIM PowerGen/International Power Canada Inc/GDF Suez, past president of the Ontario wing of the federal Liberal Party, and later, former president of the Liberal Party of Canada

    dividing 29.7-megawatts of wind turbine generation capacity, which was originally described as “Phase 2” of the “Erie Shores Wind Farm,” into three separate “9.9-megawatt” projects, naming them “Clear Creek,” “Cultus,” and “Frogmore,” in Norfolk County, Ontario, in order to get contracts from the Ontario Power Authority?

    Isn’t this racketeering too?

  4. IMO, Wynne does not have the scientific educational background necessary to understand Ontario energy issues except in a superficial manner/way.

  5. Nothwithstanding Premier Kathleen Wynne’s lack of scientific training, I suspect that even she has the capacity to feel pain and, I hope, suffer.

    If she wanted to understand how industrial wind turbines and associated infrastructure damage human health, all she needs to do is camp-out at a home in one of the many toxic electricity wastelands that’ve been created by the conversion of formerly residential areas into industrial wind energy facilities. After 72 hours of continuous exposure in an IWT electricity zone, I bet she would better understand the scientific veracity of the harm that is widely-reported in the environs of industrial wind turbines in Ontario and around the world.

    It would be nice if more Torontonians cared about the harm being inflicted by industrial wind turbines on friends and family in rural Ontario. At the same time, perhaps many people won’t care when IWT financiers get stuck with toxic wind turbine assets and huge damages to be remedied.

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