Liberals squandering cash on outside investigations: Marin

The Canadian Press - Posted Hamilton Spectator
TORONTO (Jun 21, 2007)

Ontario ombudsman Andre Marin, right, says the Liberal government is circumventing his office and squandering tax dollars by hiring outsiders to investigate public complaints because it wants to maintain control over the investigations.

He said the government is "queasy" about referring public complaints to his office -- even when the province finds itself in a conflict of interest as it does with a current set of complaints against Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino.

Community Safety Minister Monte Kwinter, left, has hired an outside lawyer to investigate whether Fantino breached the province's Police Services Act when he wrote an e-mail to politicians in Caledonia, suggesting they were encouraging divisive rallies against the policing of the ongoing aboriginal occupation there.

In the e-mail -- copied to senior bureaucrats and staff in Kwinter's office -- Fantino suggested he would back any lawsuit brought against the town and would not recommend that OPP renew their contract to police the town if any of his officers were injured.

The e-mail was interpreted as a "threat" by Haldimand County Mayor Marie Trainer.