T’other guy

York Region Police chief Julian Fantino is rumoured to have the inside track on the Toronto job.

In his last apparition, in London, he led the force to arrest dozens of gay men on sex and kiddie porn allegations – the vast majority of which collapsed in court. Before that, as a Toronto police officer, he released race-based crime statistics to the media, winning the ire of many ethnic community groups.

In what many are calling a blatant effort to be nicey-nice to respectable folk, Fantino sent a stand-in to the big third anniversary event of York Region’s Parents, Families And Friends Of Lesbians And Gays, held Sep 28.

Here’s the complete text of that speech.

“On behalf of chief Julian Fantino, whom [sic] regrets being unable to attend tonight’s anniversary, he brings this message to all that are present.

“The chief is a strong believer that education and support are the key tools in providing all citizens of York Region an environment that ensures a sense of security, respect and quality of life which is our right to all of us.

“We here at York Regional Police also support any initiatives that show commitment to ensure that all persons feel a sense of community… free from discrimination and fear.

“We also support the efforts of Parents, Families And Friends Of Lesbians And Gays – PFLAG – and their contribution to York Region in ensure [sic] that all citizens are treated with dignity and respect.”


Toronto will get a new police chief next month. Who’s up for the job?

“All of this is just speculation,” says Downtown City Councillor Olivia Chow, who also sits on the Police Services Board. “I know as much as you know.”

Chow will be in the loop later this month, following some top secret meetings.

“In terms of speculation, this Fantino person is in the news a lot,” she notes dryly.

Julian Fantino is the York Region police chief rumoured to be gunning for the job.

Toronto police board chair Norm Gardner is a fan of Fantino, Chow says. And Mayor Mel Lastman, who now sits on the board, is considered a supporter, too.

This week, the police board will hold public hearings into what the public wants in a chief. Citizens can detail exactly what qualities, experience and beliefs they want their chief to have.

“Then that should be a part of the criteria for shortlisting,” says Chow. “You could weight it.”

Different things will be assigned points – points for a certain kind of experience, for example.

“If you look at hiring new recruits, they get ‘x’ points for living in the city. If we really believe in diversity, in community policing, then we need to assign specific points so that person could be shortlisted.”


The actual shortlist will be compiled by a consulting firm hired for that task.

If all goes according to plan, this is the hiring schedule:

public consultations: Oct 21 and 22

application deadline: Oct 25

candidate assessment: Nov 1

shortlist: Nov 8

interviews (by full board complement): Nov 17

announcement of new chief: Nov 22

To make a five-minute presentation at the downtown public consultations, call Christine Bortkiewicz at (416) 808-8080. The forum is at 7pm on Thu, Oct 21, on the second floor of police headquarters, at 40 College St.

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