Toronto’s Police Chief Will Not Be Called to Testify at G20 Hearing

January 14, 2015 Updated: January 14, 2015

Toronto police Chief Bill Blair will not be called to testify at a disciplinary hearing for the most senior officer charged in relation with mass arrests that took place during the city’s G20 summit.

The retired Ontario judge presiding over the hearing found that Blair was “not a compellable witness” because he was an employer and held an adjudicative role.

In delivering his decision on the matter, John Hamilton said “procedural fairness would be trampled upon” if he allowed Blair and former deputy chief Tony Warr to be summoned to testify at the hearing.

The proceeding is looking into the actions of Supt. David Fenton, who has pleaded not guilty to five Police Services Act charges stemming from two “kittling” incidents that occurred over the 2010 summit weekend.

Lawyers for complainants involved in the hearing had argued that it was vital that Blair explain his involvement in Fenton’s decision to order the mass arrests that took place in those two instances.

Counsel for Blair and Warr had argued that the two senior officers’ evidence would be irrelevant and that the police chief could not be compelled to appear.