Wednesday, July 30th Commentary
Should Bill Blair be given a contract extension as Toronto's Police Chief or is it time for him to retire, move on, and make way for new leadership at the top of Canada's biggest municipal police service?
The Chief's current deal expires in April of next year. He had until last week to notify the board of his intentions and then the board would decide how to proceed.
The Police Services Board has an in-camera meeting this morning...a private session and while no board member would go on the record, the Globe and Mail has been told by sources familiar with the situation as saying the board will be considering Chief Blair's future.
What would you do? There's no doubt Bill Blair has not been perfect as our police chief. There have been mistakes, most notably the security for the G-20 summit a few years back and how police treated protestors and how Blair seemed to deliberately mislead the public. He goofed on the Rob Ford fiasco. It wasn't his place to state he was disappointed in the mayor while the chief was revealing police had the infamous crack-smoking video of Ford.
In my view those are not reasons to retire the guy. I am concerned about one thing: rank and file morale. Usually after 10 years at the top, friction develops between the chief and his officers. It's a virtual certainty that the boss cannot always side with the employee. If there is friction between Blair and his people, it has not bubbled to the surface which makes me wonder why?
From the moment Tim Hudak announced his resignation as leader of the Ontario PC party following the Liberals sweeping election victory, Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod's name has been on the speculation list as a possible contender.
The Ottawa-area MPP now admits she is "seriously considering" a run for the job.
However, in a conversation with the Ottawa Citizen, MacLeod left some wiggle room saying she would consider running as long as the leadership process agreed upon is free and fair, and takes its time. That's the key phrase. She doesn't think a leadership vote is needed until next year...maybe even not until early 2016. That decision rests with the Ontario PC Party executive.
My view? MacLeod is too strident. The party needs to find someone who can be both progressive and conservative. She has the conservative part down…progressive, not so much.