Ombudsman Asked To Delay And Review Appointment Of New OPP Commissioner

Acting Commissioner worried about independence and integrity of OPP

The appointment of a new OPP Commissioner has been muddied by more controversy.

There was already talk of political interference over the appointment of Toronto Police Superintendent Ron Taverner to the post. The qualifications for the position were changed two days after it was posted. The government says it wanted to encourage more people to apply, some have suggested it opened the door for Taverner – a Ford family friend – to apply.

But it doesn’t end there.

Acting Commissioner Brad Blair, who had also applied for the position, says there have been recent interactions between the Premier’s office and the OPP that call into question the independence and integrity of the OPP, including a request from the Premier’s office to purchase a large camper-type vehicle for the Premier top travel in, have it modified and keep the costs off the books. Blair suggested in his letter to the Ombudsman this would constitute a violation of the government’s financial policies.

Blair has asked the Ombudsman to delay and review Taverner’s appointment, which is scheduled to take effect Monday.

Related: Questions Arise Over Hiring of Provincial Police Top Cop

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath echoes Blair’s comments today, pointing out her Community Safety Critic had last week written the Integrity Commissioner to request an inquiry.