Sloly’s lawyer, OPP spar over Ottawa police request for reinforcements

“It seemed like a number pulled out of a hat,” OPP Superintendent Craig Abrams said

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OTTAWA – Former Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly, according to a former senior Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer, suspected that people in Doug Ford’s Ontario government “wanted him to fail” when they saw the Freedom Convoy in the capital of the country successfully ended.

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That startling revelation came on Friday from OPP chief Supt. Carson Pardy, who recently retired from the force but has been asked to head the Integrated Planning Group in Ottawa during the commission set to investigate the federal government’s use of the emergency law .

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Pardy told the commission that during a tense meeting with the OPP on February 9, Sloly mentioned that “there were people in the ministry who wanted him to fail,” and he came to this conclusion by speaking to sources. Pardy’s notes from the meeting corroborated this statement.

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The notes go on to say that Sloly was “very suspicious of the scope of commitments from police agencies” and that the “overall tone” of the meeting was “somewhat unprofessional and disrespectful,” but that the police chief was “clearly under tremendous pressure.”

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Pardy’s testimony appears to corroborate Ottawa Deputy Police Commissioner Patricia Ferguson, who mentioned during her testimony the previous day that Sloly was “talking about some kind of conspiracy” leading him to believe the OPP team was being run by his “political masters.” “ was conducted. .

Pardy said Friday he assured the police chief at the time of their meeting his team was there to “help” end the occupation and was not politically motivated.

Ferguson agreed. “I felt like they’re just cops who come to help cops,” she said.

However, OPP officials who have been closely involved in the Ottawa protests stressed the need for police to come up with an appropriate operational plan, which they can then implement. Without this, the provincial force found it difficult to justify sending reinforcements.

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The mission statement, which Sloly said he signed days earlier, was not “broad enough” for Pardy’s liking, he said, and “did not encompass the broader event.”

“Essentially, you need a plan to be able to communicate with police chiefs when requesting resources from across the province and in this case across the country. You have to be able to articulate what that need is and why that need exists,” Pardy said during his testimony.

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Earlier in the day, cross-examination by Sloly’s legal team was supposed to show that OPP had not only underestimated the occupation, which notes counted as a “traffic-related event” through Feb. 2, but also made it difficult for Sloly to obtain the resources he needed.

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Sloly’s attorney, Tom Curry, questioned Supt at length. Craig Abrams, who secured the role of strategic commander in Ottawa for the OPP, why he had emailed OPP Deputy Commissioner Chris Harkins on February 7, suggesting that Sloly was intentionally double the amount of Demanded police resources he needed during a meeting Abrams attended.

“Chief Sloly told them (his team) that if they need 100 (people) he will charge 200, if they need 200 he will charge 400. He seemed very comfortable charging twice what he really needed,” Abrams wrote in the email. “It was a very strange call to be a part of,” he added.

The next day, Feb. 8, Sloly requested 1,800 officers on the scene, a number Abrams doubted, he told the commission because he didn’t think OPS had a proper plan at the time that detailed it outlined how these officials would help on the ground.

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“It seemed like a number pulled out of a hat in that short amount of time,” Abrams said.

Curry questioned Abrams about the content of the email and asked him if he thought it would cause OPP to question the Ottawa Police Department’s requests for assistance. Abrams said he acted the way he did because he was “protecting the members of the OPP.”

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Abrams later added that in his private communications with senior OPP command he never implied that the OPS figures were inflated, but said he felt the need to let his team know how OPS was attempting to determine how many people it took.

Curry pressed him on the validity of the number and asked him if he now accepts that the number 1,800 “wasn’t a number pulled out of a hat” and that “his team worked very hard to actually get the number they needed.” “.

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“No, because there was no plan,” Abrams said.

Sloly’s attorney said Abrams’ communication ultimately had intended implications for the remainder of the operation. “It’s impacted what the RCMP felt was needed for the Ottawa Police Service, it’s impacted how the Ottawa public thought the OPS was handling the matter,” he said.

Abrams previously told the commission how he found the Ottawa police service disorganized and dysfunctional, to the point where it undermined some operations by the OPP’s negotiators in an attempt to de-escalate events.

Sloly eventually resigned as Ottawa Police Chief on February 15.

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