Toronto police board to hear from Chief Bill Blair on his future

Bill Blair
City of Toronto police chief Bill Blair speaks to the media in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO – The Toronto Police Services Board is expected to hear today from Chief Bill Blair on whether he will continue as head of Canada’s largest municipal police force.

If he plans to stay, the seven-member board will have 30 days to vote on a decision to renew his appointment.

Rob Ford wouldn’t comment on whether Blair’s contract should be extended, saying it wasn’t his decision.

“That’s up to the police services board. I have no idea what he’s going to ask but that’s the police services board decision,” he told reporters Friday.

The mayor and Blair have had a tumultuous relationship since October 31 when the police chief said the police had retrieved a video of the mayor smoking what might be crack cocaine on a hard drive confiscated during the Project Traveller raids.

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The mayor’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, spent the weeks following Blair’s announcement denouncing him and calling for his resignation.

Blair was designated the chief of police on April 26, 2005 and had his term extended unanimously in 2009. His term ends in April 2015.

Chief Blair was heavily criticized during the 2010 G-20 Summit in Toronto when he gave orders to detain nearly 1000 demonstrators and many called for his resignation.

Blair began policing as a beat officer in downtown Toronto 38 years ago, and continued to take on different assignments such as drug enforcement, organized crime units, and major criminal investigations.


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