Dear Superintendent Taverner,
As someone in his 51st year in the Toronto Police Service, you know how vital the independence of police forces is to the health of our communities and our democracy. In practice, this means that police forces must be completely free from political influence – real or perceived.
In appointing you – a close personal friend – to the position of Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner, as well as in the hiring process generally, Premier Ford has demonstrated poor judgement and a lack of transparency that has led to a cloud of suspicion over the process.
Now, as you know, OPP leadership, officers, staff, and police officers from other forces have expressed deep concern over potential political interference in the police, specifically Mr. Ford’s clear unwillingness to maintain the appropriate distance from policing matters.
As I’m sure you know very well, the officers and leadership of the OPP, as well as the people of Ontario must have absolute confidence there has been no political interference in your appointment, and that there will be no political interference in policing matters going forward.
As a person taking on a position that requires the utmost integrity, I expect that you must want to do the right thing. That is why I am asking you to delay your installation and assuming command of the OPP until a full investigation into this appointment has been completed.
I’m sure you will agree that a lack of trust and confidence in the OPP would be deeply problematic to the safety of our communities and the health of our democracy.
Ontarians deserve an OPP that is above reproach and free from political interference — real or perceived. I appealed to you earlier this week to delay taking command of the OPP until such a time that it’s clear you have the total confidence of OPP leadership, staff and the people of this province.
Leader of the Official Opposition