Objectivity, explanations required in Fantino case

For Immediate Release:
February 4, 2010

Simcoe – In the wake of a court ruling to drop charges against OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett continues to stress that the case surrounding illegal influence of elected officials in Caledonia should have been referred to an outside Crown Attorney.

“We need objectivity,” Barrett intoned. “Given the background and the interests involved an outside crown attorney should have been called in – as we saw in the Michael Bryant case – to avoid any perception of conflict of interest.”

The charges in the case stem from a private complaint over reported e-mail correspondence from Fantino to Haldimand Council.

Opposition Leader Tim Hudak pointed out that the province’s Crown first argued that the charge should not be laid, taking over the prosecution only when contradicted by a judge.

Without an independent prosecutor Hudak stated, “otherwise, quite frankly, we’re going to wonder why he’s had Crown attorneys arguing both sides of this case.”

“In my view, the Attorney General’s failure to assign an independent Crown Attorney has diminished the public’s trust in our justice system.” Barrett stated. “The people of Ontario deserve an explanation.”

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For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at
(519) 428-0446 or (905)-765-8413, 1-800-903-8629