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The union representing Hamilton police officers has brought in a candidate to lead the local government.
It appears to be the first time the group has done so, according to the Integrity Commissioner’s Register of whistleblowers.
The filing states the goal of the Hamilton Police Association (HPA) is “to raise awareness with the community about monitoring and compliance with the Police Services Act by the Hamilton Police Service and the Hamilton Police Services Board.”
It is also categorized as lobbying about policy and or programming.
Topics of lobbying include pandemic response, justice and law enforcement, labor, civil affairs, pensions, rural issues, taxation and finance.
Lobbying targets include various government agencies and ministerial offices. He is also targeting two members of the local parliament (MPP) in Flamborough-Glanbrook’s Donna Skelly and Hamilton East-Stone Creek’s Neil Lumsden, two local MPPs with the governing party.
Counsel lobbying for the police union is Leith Coghlin, managing director of EnPointe Development Inc.
HPA president Jaimie Bannon told CBC Hamilton that lobbying “doesn’t apply to 2023-24 [police] budget” but won’t say anything else.
Coghlin also declined to explain the cause of the lobbying, referring back to the description in the filing.
Jackie Penman, a spokeswoman for the police service, said the request was for the police team.
Kirsten Stevenson, a spokeswoman for the police commission, told deputy chairman Pat Mandy that the commission had no comment because the union had not sent documents to the commission on the matter.
Move to lobby is ‘unique and strange’: police expert
“It’s definitely unique and strange,” said Scott Blandford, program manager of police and public safety programs at Wilfrid Laurier University who also spent 30 years as a police officer in London, Ontario.
He told CBC Hamilton that he didn’t say exactly what the issue behind the lobbying might be, but said it could be a sign the union has a “fundamental disagreement” with the policy direction or strategic direction the police service board has asked the police service to follow. pursue.
Blandford said it may also have to do with the city’s police budget — but the police commission supported a $196-million police service “maintenance” budget, which is a $12 million increase from last year.
Some city councilors, meanwhile, have debated whether to approve it.
Bryan Evans, a University of Toronto professor in the politics and public administration department, said while police unions don’t do much lobbying, he doesn’t think the HPA’s lobbying is unique.
He said that it is impossible to say why the group is lobbying, but think that it can have many goals, which is why the HPA is targeting all the host of ministerial offices from the minister of the attorney general to do Funding for mental health travel.
“It’s a very common process,” Evans said.
Evans said the HPA likely has local goals because it does its own lobbying, as opposed to leaving lobbying to a larger local police force.
Other police groups are lobbying the area
The Hamilton Police Department isn’t the only one to take over the area this year.
The Windsor Police Force has Coghlin lobby in the area between March 2022 and January 26, 2023 under the topic of policy or planning.
That also appears to be the first time the Windsor police unit has taken over the area.
The purpose is “to advise the community on operational management, conduct, discipline, health and safety, supervision, performance, and policy implications in the Windsor Police Service involving Windsor Police Members.”
Among their lobbying targets is the Ontario Citizens Police Commission, an independent, judicial agency that hears appeals, adjudicates applications, investigates and resolves disputes about the oversight and provision of police services.
The Toronto Police Department, meanwhile, has an investigator actively on the edge of the area.
The topic of lobbying falls under the category of “strategy” and includes “epidemic response” and “public affairs.”
The purpose is to offer “advocacy and support” to union members but to also “work with city officials to ensure the importance of the police to the City of Toronto is understood and resources are not depleted.”
The group’s targets include the office of Premier Doug Ford, the cabinet’s office and the Department of Special Investigations.
The Ontario Provincial Police Association has five active lobbyist registries, four of which are owned by Pathway Group Inc.
The Ontario Police Association has three active lobbyist registries, the Ontario Association of Police Service Commissions has two and the Ontario Police Service Commissions Association has one.
In total, 75 lobbyist registrations have come from police associations, police institutes or police councils since 1999, according to the lobbyists’ register of the Integrity Commissioner.
The Ontario Police Association and the union representing Ontario Provincial Police officers lobbied the most.
Municipal police services have arrested the terrorists 12 times.
In one case, a police services board lobbied, which is the Police Services Board for the city of Stratford, Ontario.