Ford and Taverner’s Relationship Raises Concerns About OPP Independence

On Monday, on behalf of Brad Blair, Falconers LLP lawyer, Julian Falconer requested that the court expedite a hearing to determine the jurisdiction of the Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé to review the OPP Commissioner hiring process. The court rejected the request to expedite the hearing but acknowledged the importance of the issues and the public concern around the hiring process.  

Christie Blatchford writes, “Reviewing Fishy Taverner Hire for OPP Chief Won’t Change Ford’s Mind, No Matter the Outcome.” -The National Post

Something sure is fishy about the hiring process. Christie Blatchford, of the National Post writes that the job advertisement was only up for two days before it was pulled, with the qualifications for applying suspiciously lowered to allow someone of Taverner’s rank to become the next OPP Commissioner.

Weeks and months before Taverner’s appointment, the Globe and Mail ran featured stories, with pictures of Taverner and Ford socializing and one also featured former staff superintendent, and now Ford’s deputy community safety minister, Mario Di Tommaso, who was part of the allegedly independent committee that interviewed candidates for the job.

Pictured left to right: Mario Di Tommaso, Doug Ford and Ron Taverner at the Markland Woods Golf Club. Source: The Globe and Mail

In the Star article, the Ontario Integrity Commissioner David Wake has agreed to look at the hiring upon receiving a formal complaint from NDP MPP Kevin Yarde, who alleges that Ford contravened the Integrity Act by participating in the cabinet decision to appoint Taverner. Yarde said, “Ford has claimed that he had ‘zero influence’ on the choice to appoint Ron Taverner the OPP commissioner, but that story is crumbling.”

Can You Shame the Shameless?

The National Post write that even if Dubé were to suddenly acquiesce or be ordered to inquire into the hiring process; even if he issued a report saying that yes, the process was tainted by political interference; even if Wake were to determine that Ford should have recused himself from any discussion about Taverner’s appointment, none of it would change a thing.

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