Ottawa’s Police Union President launches $500,000 lawsuit against the Chief and Police Services Board

News source from CTV News

There is another dramatic turn in the already tumultuous relationship between Ottawa’s Police Chief and the Police Union President.

Ottawa Police Association President, Matt Skof, is suing Chief Charles Bordeleau and the Ottawa Police Services Board for $500,000.

The statement of claim, served to the Chief at Monday’s Police Services Board meeting, says Bordeleau’s “Notice of Suspension” to Skof on January 23, 2109, “prohibited him (Skof) from accessing OPS buildings and facilities to conduct Association business.”

It goes on to say Bordeleau also withdrew Skof’s access to OPS computer systems.

The suspension came on the same day the Ontario Provincial Police charged Skof with breach of trust and obstruction of justice after leaked audio recordings that allegedly included Skof’s voice.

In a statement to CTV, Skof’s lawyer Paul Champ says, “This claim alleges that Chief Bordeleau infringed the Charter rights of Mr. Skof as well as the Association and its membership by attempting to neutralize and undermine Skof as the freely elected representative of a labour organization. In recent years, the Supreme Court of Canada has affirmed that labour rights are protected by freedom of association, as guaranteed by section 2(d) of the Charter. Interfering with a labour organization’s choice of representative violates that freedom.”

The claim states, “Bordeleau acted in a bad faith and arbitrary manner by subsequently suspending Skof and issuing a new directive that would have the same result as before, this time interfering with Skof’s ability to represent OPA members by barring him from all OPS buildings and facilities.” 

Neither Chief Bordeleau or the Board has had an opportunity to respond to the statement of claim.

Champ says Skof will not comment on the case.

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