Almost 10 months since Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner suffered a concussion that prevented him using the witness stand, the high-profile intimate harassment situation of their colleague happens to be planned to begin with shutting submissions next week — without ever hearing through the officer that is high-ranking.
Taverner, a detailed buddy of Premier Doug Ford, ended up being the witness that is final the much-delayed Ontario Human Rights Tribunal situation of Const. Heather McWilliam, whom alleges she ended up being for a long time the topic of intimate harassment and humiliation by supervising officers at 23 Division, the north Etobicoke detachment led by Taverner.
Taverner “was planning to be described as a witness that is key” said Kate Hughes, McWilliam’s attorney. Although he could be maybe maybe not known as in McWilliam’s 2014 problem, Hughes alleged inside her opening address that Taverner attempted to dissuade McWilliam from sounding the security about a manager whom made intimately suggestive remarks, pointing to a poster in their workplace having said that: “loose lips sink vessels. ”
The allegations haven’t been proven during the tribunal.
Nevertheless the case that is long-running been stalled since Taverner suffered just just just what their physician known as a “moderate to severe” concussion seven days before he had been due to testify final July.
After months of further delays — including tribunal-ordered updates that are medical a report from their physician in belated 2019 stating Taverner had been nevertheless perhaps maybe perhaps perhaps not effective at testifying — the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has opted to go straight towards shutting arguments, based on Hughes.
“We are disappointed that people will perhaps not hear from Supt. Taverner who had been straight included in the facts associated with the situation, ” Hughes stated in a message this week. “But we respect the tribunal’s ruling to finish this situation without further delay. ”
A spokesperson when it comes to Ontario Human Rights Tribunal didn’t directly respond to questions from the celebrity about why the scenario is now continuing to closing submissions without Taverner’s testimony.
But she supplied two penned choices from situation adjudicator Jo-Anne Pickel, provided for all events earlier in the day this present year, detailing tries to schedule Taverner’s testimony and accommodate any needs that are special.
In a Feb. 5 page, Pickel stated that if Taverner had been nevertheless unfit to testify after times was indeed set for their proof, “those times will likely be terminated therefore the tribunal will check out get written submissions also to hear shutting arguments through the parties. ”
Taverner was right right straight back at the job since at the least January, taking part in exactly exactly what Toronto police called “a gradual return-to-work plan. ” Spokesperson Allison Sparkes stated Wednesday that Taverner remains on a graduated back-to-work plan that happens to be recommended by Ontario’s Workplace protection and Insurance Board.
Amandi Esonwanne, an attorney for Toronto Police solutions Board, that are called in McWilliam’s situation and had been calling Taverner being a witness, stated he could not comment because their consumers never have authorized him to talk to the news. Taverner didn’t answer a message comment that is seeking.
It is perhaps maybe perhaps not clear what Taverner, that is in their 70s, ended up being doing straight away before he had been injured on July 9, though their physician testified that the event had not been activities related. He later visited Humber River Hospital, where he underwent a CT scan of their mind and was launched.
Taverner became the niche of extreme controversy in 2018 after he had been tapped to guide the Ontario Provincial Police before he bowed away from consideration in March 2019 over their ties to Ford. He’s nevertheless the system commander of Toronto’s 23 Division, the Etobicoke detachment where McWilliam worked.
McWilliam, 37, is off focus on a leave that is medical. Hughes has stated her customer had been once “a bright, promising officer” who has got placed her life on hold since filing her issue.
The claim alleges that the Toronto Police Service is a” that is“poisoned for feminine officers. Every single shift; one supervisor would ask her what she was wearing during phone calls, she told the tribunal during her seven years on the job, McWilliam alleges she heard sexual or sexist comments.