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How Ron Taverner’s resumé compares with the last four OPP commissioners’

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Premier Doug Ford is facing criticism for the appointment of his friend, Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner, as the next commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police.

Ford has said he had “zero influence”in the appointment. But he admitted earlier this week he did not recuse himself from cabinet when Taverner, 72, was approved as commissioner.

The appointment of Ron Taverner, seen here in an Aug. 14, 2015, file photo, as commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police has raised questions due to his longtime relationship with Premier Doug Ford’s family.
The appointment of Ron Taverner, seen here in an Aug. 14, 2015, file photo, as commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police has raised questions due to his longtime relationship with Premier Doug Ford’s family.  (Bernard Weil / Toronto Star)

Questions have been raised about why the police superintendent was chosen for the position, given that he has never headed a police force nor held a high-ranking position with the OPP.

Earlier this week iPolitics revealed that the government quietly modified the posting for the position, a move that helped Taverner meet the criteria for the job, despite the fact his position — superintendent — fell two ranks below the initial threshold.

The posting had called for applicants to hold, at minimum, a rank of deputy chief or assistant commissioner.

Ron Taverner, the next commissioner

Taverner has been a police officer in the Toronto force since 1967. He has worked in various divisions and units, including intelligence, organized crime enforcement, outlaw motorcycle gangs and community policing.

His current rank of superintendent is three below that of chief (although one of those ranks — staff superintendent — is being phased out).

As unit commander of 12, 23 and 31 Divisions, he is responsible for more than 700 uniformed officers and civilian staff.

The official announcement of his appointment as incoming OPP commissioner from the Ontario Government does not say whether Taverner holds a university degree or any other certifications.

Vince Hawkes, commissioner from 2014 to 2018

Vince Hawkes, seen here in a Sept. 13 file photo.
Vince Hawkes, seen here in a Sept. 13 file photo.  (Frank Matys/Metroland)

Hawkes joined the OPP as a constable in 1984. He has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Ottawa and is a graduate of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

His roles within the OPP included general law enforcement, traffic, crime and the technical identification services unit. He spent 11 years as a forensic identification officer and was the first member of the OPP to be certified as a bloodstain pattern analyst.

Hawkes was appointed deputy commissioner in 2006, serving as provincial commander of investigations and organized crime. In 2010 he became deputy commissioner for field operations, making him responsible for five OPP regions, as well as what was then known as the Aboriginal Policing Bureau — in charge of about 4,500 personnel.

Chris Lewis, commissioner from 2010 to 2014

Chris Lewis at his change of command ceremony in Toronto in an Aug. 31, 2010 file photo.
Chris Lewis at his change of command ceremony in Toronto in an Aug. 31, 2010 file photo.  (ANDREW WALLACE/Toronto Star)

Lewis joined the OPP as a constable in 1978 and served as commander of the emergency management bureau, the Eastern region, information technologies bureau and investigation bureau.

He was seconded to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police from 1993 to 1994, studied Aboriginal government and law at Athabasca University, applied management at Northwood University and completed the FBI National Academy Program.

Before his appointment Lewis served as deputy commissioner of field operations, where he was responsible for thousands of personnel.

Julian Fantino, commissioner from 2006 to 2010

Julian Fantino at his outgoing change of command ceremony in Toronto in an Aug. 31, 2010, file photo.
Julian Fantino at his outgoing change of command ceremony in Toronto in an Aug. 31, 2010, file photo.  (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

Fantino joined Toronto police in 1964 and served in the drug, intelligence and homicide squads.

He left to serve as the chief of police in London, Ont., and, later, York Region before returning as chief of Toronto police from 2000 to 2005.

At time of Fantino’s appointment to head the OPP, he was serving as the province’s emergency management commissioner, a role created in 2004 to ensure a co-ordinated response to emergency situations.

Gwen Boniface, commissioner from 1998 to 2006

Then Premier Mike Harris, right, congratulates Gwen Boniface at her change of command ceremony in Orillia in a May 28, 1998, file photo.
Then Premier Mike Harris, right, congratulates Gwen Boniface at her change of command ceremony in Orillia in a May 28, 1998, file photo.  (FRANK GUNN/CP PHOTO)

Boniface joined the OPP as a constable in 1977. She held a number of positions, including superintendent in the First Nations and contract policing branch, and chief superintendent in the organizational development bureau.

Boniface had a bachelor of arts degree from York University and took a leave from the OPP to earn a bachelor of laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1988.

At the time of her appointment, she was a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and an adjunct law professor at the University of Western Ontario.

Her last post before being named commissioner was chief superintendent, and regional commander of the Western Ontario branches, a rank below deputy commissioner.

Sources: Toronto Star files, The Canadian Press, Government of Ontario, Ontario Provincial Police, iPolitics

May Warren is a breaking news reporter based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @maywarren11



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A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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