In a twist, the police union has now switched sides and is supporting the Police Services Board over Chief Fantino. Here are the details from The Star:
The news came in an extraordinary press release on the eve of a battle at Toronto city hall over the Toronto Police Services Board decision to not extend Fantino's contract. In the release, the union says it supports the board's move as "the best way to restore public confidence in our police service."
"We're convinced the vast majority of the people of Toronto agree with the decision made by the police services board to close the book on the Fantino era and move forward," Al Olsen, acting president of the Toronto Police Association, said in a written statement yesterday.
"We also believe they are sick and tired of those who choose to `play politics' with the lives of the men and women of the Toronto Police Service by trying to manufacture a `power struggle' between the mayor and the chief of police when none exists."
..."The previous four chiefs got five-year terms and then they moved on," [Olsen said last night]. "I don't see this as a firing. The police services board has the right to make this decision."
That's almost exactly what I said. It's a bit scary to hear it coming from the police union, however, and makes me wonder if I ought to change my mind.
There have been a lot of changes at the police union, with people coming and going as a result of retirements and corruption investigations. I don't know enough about the people there now to know what this means. But In the past, if the police union was against something it was frequently a signal that you ought to be in favour of it.
Anyway, this last-minute reversal, combined with the already-shaky alliance supporting Fantino, would suggest that this story is almost over.