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Top court won't hear ex-OPP deputy commissioner's appeal over lawsuit against Ford

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear an appeal from a former high-ranking Ontario Provincial Police officer over his bid to sue Premier Doug Ford for defamation.
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Ontario Premier Doug Ford makes a campaign stop at the Finishing Trades Institute of Ontario, in North York, Ont., on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear an appeal from a former high-ranking Ontario Provincial Police officer over his bid to sue Premier Doug Ford for defamation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear an appeal from a former high-ranking Ontario Provincial Police officer over his bid to sue Premier Doug Ford for defamation.

Former OPP deputy commissioner Brad Blair launched a $5-million suit in 2019, alleging the premier smeared his reputation for political gain by suggesting the officer had violated the Police Services Act. 

Blair had asked the courts to force the provincial ombudsman to investigate the appointment of Ron Taverner, a longtime friend of the premier, as OPP commissioner, raising concerns about political interference. 

At the time, Blair served as interim commissioner and had been in the running for the permanent position. 

Ford's lawyers argued the premier's statements on the matter were fair comment, and an Ontario Superior Court judge dismissed the claim — a decision upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Ultimately, Thomas Carrique, then the deputy chief for York Regional Police, was appointed OPP commissioner.

As usual, the Supreme Court gave no reasons for declining to hear Blair's appeal.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 19, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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