Former police board chairman hits ‘double standard’ on hiring new chief

The hiring of Eric Stubbs, Assistant Commissioner of the RCMP, as the new Chief of the Ottawa Police Service was announced Friday.

Content of the article

The irony of the Ottawa Police Services Board’s decision to hire a new chief amid a storm of controversy days before a municipal election is not lost on Diane Deans, the board’s former chair.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

City Council ousted Deans from her role as president after hiring an outsider, Matt Torigian, former chief of the Waterloo Regional Police Service, to take over as head of the Ottawa Police Service after Peter Sloly resigned during the protests. of the « Freedom Convoy » in February.

Content of the article

Deans were criticized for making the hiring at a time when the police department was in turmoil, even though the police board is solely responsible for hiring the chief.

On Friday, Eli El-Chantiry, who was named chairman of the board as Deans’ successor, announced the hiring of Eric Stubbs, assistant commissioner of the RCMP in British Columbia, as chief selector. , ignoring pleas from some city councillors, candidate mayors and even a member of the police commission to wait until after Monday’s municipal election.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

« I don’t think the irony of what happened here has been lost on the public, » Deans said in an interview on Saturday, « the double standards that they’ve exhibited throughout this process and in overthrowing me as president of this police council, destabilizing the police council, then piling it on with a different set of rules that apply to them.

Com. Diane Deans, former chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board, said the new board to be formed after Monday's municipal election
Com. Diane Deans, former chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board, said the new board to be formed after Monday’s municipal election « will establish from the earliest days a strategic direction it wishes to give to policing. in Ottawa ». Photo by Sean Kilpatrick /The Canadian Press

Deans said she had hoped Torigian could serve as chief until the municipal elections, after which a new police board, which would include three city councillors, could choose a new chief consistent with their values.

« I really believe the new board will chart its own course, » Deans said. “They will establish from day one a strategic direction that they want to give to policing in Ottawa, a high-level plan of where they want to go and where their priorities are, and, really, you should match the chief to the kind of the direction you want to go.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

Jeff Leiper, a police services board member seeking re-election as alderman in the Kitchissippi ward, also said he disagreed with the board’s decision to announce the hiring. of a new leader 72 hours before the municipal elections. He said in a statement that he would have preferred the hiring to be completed after the election.

Leiper acknowledged that hiring the chief was the responsibility of the council, independent of the city council.

“But, the council appoints four PSB members (three councilors and one citizen representative) and the province appoints three,” he noted. “The mayor has a guaranteed seat at the table by virtue of his position among the four elected municipal officials. The current mayor declined to take that seat.

Advertisement 5

Content of the article

« My view is that we are on the eve of an election. With policing issues at the forefront of this election, voters will have the opportunity to send candidates to City Hall who reflect their policing priorities A new council and a new mayor will bring their perspective, fresh out of the gates, to the task of appointing new or former municipal members to the police services board, which may or may not have had implications for this hiring process, had the commission waited.

Police Services Board member Jeff Leiper says he would have voted against the current board by hiring a new chief, but was absent for that vote in July.
Police Services Board member Jeff Leiper says he would have voted against the current board by hiring a new chief, but was absent for that vote in July. Photo by Errol McGihon /Postmedia

Leiper was on vacation in July, he wrote, when the police services board voted to continue the hiring process.

“This vote was unanimous in my absence. I would have expressed dissent as the only vote against and continued to express my preference for the board to suspend a decision, but I respect majority rule,” he wrote.

Advertising 6

Content of the article

« From the beginning of the process, I have been involved in the hiring process, regardless of my disagreement on the timeline. My goal throughout the process has been to hire a leader who I believe will serve the best. public interest.

Leiper said Stubbs has his support and looks forward to working with the future chief to improve policing in Ottawa.

The timing of the nomination also continued to divide mayoral candidates.

“I have always maintained that the selection of a new police chief is an independent process. It is not up to the mayor and council to decide who that person is,” Mark Sutcliffe said in a press release on Friday. “This is the Independent Police Services Board, which includes representatives from several levels of government as well as citizen representatives.

Advertising 7

Content of the article

Catherine McKenney had urged the police services board not to hire a new chief before the election, but was willing to work with Stubbs.

“The concern with this process has never been who gets hired,” McKenney said in a statement. “This is the process that takes place days before an election and in the midst of a national inquiry. The wave of criticism from the general public further illustrated how inappropriate this process was.

As Assistant Commissioner of the RCMP in British Columbia, Stubbs spent five years as that force’s criminal operations officer, overseeing 125 detachments across the province. His tenure included overseeing efforts to address rising gang violence in the Lower Mainland region and controversial RCMP responses to protests.

Advertising 8

Content of the article

Horizon Ottawa, a progressive advocacy group and registered third-party advertiser for the Ottawa municipal election, criticized Stubbs’ selection.

It is meant to renew trust in the community, said a news release from Horizon Ottawa.

Horizon Ottawa board member Sam Hersh says that while the hiring of Eric Stubbs as chief is
Horizon Ottawa board member Sam Hersh says that while the hiring of Eric Stubbs as chief is « the Ottawa Police Services Board’s attempt to ‘regain our trust’, it has failed « . Photo by ERROL MCGIHON /Postmedia

“While he was in charge of basic criminal operations for the BC RCMP, Stubbs apparently played a central role in the multiple raids on Wet’suwet’en lands since 2019 and defended the arrest of journalists during the raids, » the group wrote.

“If this is an attempt by the board to ‘regain our trust’, they have failed,” said Horizon Ottawa board member Sam Hersh. « We don’t know how a police chief who played a significant role in the raids on Indigenous territory is supposed to make BIPOC and other equity-seeking communities in Ottawa feel safe…quite the contrary .”

Advertisement 1


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Back to top button