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Federal Liberals courting Chief Bill Blair: report

Toronto Chief of Police Bill Blair attends the 110th Annual Toronto Santa Claus Parade, Toronto, Ont., November 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Dominic Chan

TORONTO – Bill Blair is a wanted man and rumours are circulating that the Liberal Party of Canada could be the right fit.

According to unconfirmed media reports, the Liberals have been courting Toronto’s current police chief to run as a candidate in the upcoming federal election once his contract ends this spring.

However, sources say the Conservatives are also keen on having Blair run for them.

In a year-end interview with Global News, Blair said he intends to finish his term in office “right up until that last day” on April 25.

The Toronto Police Services Board, the civilian organization that oversees the force, voted last summer not to renew Blair’s contract.

The chief sidestepped questions on whether he’d consider running in the upcoming federal election, only to say that he has been a public servant his entire life and that he’ll “find another way to serve.”

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Meanwhile, a judge is expected to rule today if the chief and his former deputy must testify at a senior officer’s disciplinary hearing on the G20 summit in 2010.

Lawyers for complainants at Superintendent David Fenton’s hearing argued Monday that it’s vital Chief Bill Blair explain his involvement in Fenton’s decision to order mass arrests during the world leaders event.

But counsel for Blair and former deputy Tony Warr say their evidence would be irrelevant and that the police chief could not be compelled to appear.

With a file from The Canadian Press

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