Mr. Biggles, ‘utter bastard of a cat,’ up for adoption in Melbourne

A cat adoption agency in Melbourne had some fun with the cat bio for one of their latest wards, Mr. Biggles, describing him in a hilariously honest manner.

“Mr. Biggles (also known as Lord Bigglesworth) is an utter, utter, utter bastard,” it begins.

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According to Gina Brett, the author of the description and a volunteer with the rescue group Cat People of Melbourne, the feline is quite feisty.

READ MORE:
Maine Coon in Australia may be world’s longest cat

“Mr. Biggles is a despot and a dictator. He will let you know he is not happy, which is often, because things are often just not up to his high standards,” his bio reads.

The dark humour and straightforward description has seemed to charm several cat lovers.

“This is by far the best description of a cat I have ever read! So raw and honest, I love it!” wrote Facebook user Joanne Keith.

People from around the world have since expressed their admiration of Mr. Biggles.

The rescue group has even launched a blog for the kitty, where they promise he will be updating with articles on “how to play with a dog and not kill it” and “getting what you want from human slaves.”

Although Cat People of Melbourne is accepting applications for people who want to be Mr. Biggles’ “human slave,” no suitable candidate has been found yet.

“Mr. Biggles is not a cat for the inexperienced or faint-hearted. He is a full-blooded tomcat with very firm boundaries,” Brett said. “Mr. Biggles needs an owner that won’t take his nipping personally but won’t let him get away with bad behaviour, either.”

Follow @jennynotjen

‘Big Brother Canada’ finale: Season 5 winner crowned

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read on unless you’ve watched the Big Brother Canada Season 5 finale.

Big Brother Canada (BBCAN) crowned Kevin Martin as the Season 5 winner during Thursday night’s finale on Global.

Kevin Martin, a 24-year-old professional poker player and content creator from Calgary, Alberta, beat out 16 houseguests to be named champion.

WATCH BELOW: Big Brother Canada: Kevin raises the stakes in Season 5 return

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READ MORE: ‘Big Brother Canada’ host Arisa Cox analyzes returning ‘BBCAN’ vets

The contest came down to fellow finalist Karen Singbeil, 53, and Kevin, who received a second chance at playing the game after appearing in Season 3.

Kevin and Karen both fielded questions from the jury about why they deserved to win the $100,000 grand prize, a $30,000 home furnishing makeover from The Brick and a new 2017 Toyota 76.

Kevin received all nine of the jury votes to secure his victory.

Demetres Giannitsos had previously won the first round of the final head of household competition but Kevin won the second and third rounds and sent Demetres to jury, choosing to take Karen to the final two with him.

“This time I want to get to know people deeper on a personal level,” Kevin said before entering the competition for a second time.

READ MORE: ‘Big Brother Canada’ Season 5: Final group of houseguests revealed

Kevin was one of the first houseguests to be evicted as a result of a triple eviction in Season 3 and he’s also the first houseguest in BBCAN history to be kicked out of the house without receiving any eviction votes against him.

By the end of this season, Kevin felt like he was completely alone in the house and announced that many times to the BBCAN cameras.

In one of his final pleas to the jury members, Kevin said, “Since you all have left, I’ve been by myself in this game. The only reason I am here is because I won the power of veto during the triple eviction. I am alone, isolated and targeted.”

This season, Kevin won head of household twice, the power of veto four times and was put on the block three times.

Before entering the BBCAN house, Kevin was asked, “What element of Big Brother Canada did you not have a chance to try before, that you’d like to experience this time around?”

Kevin’s answer was simple: “The end of the game!”

He continued: “I went home ninth out from the end. The game changes so drastically in those final weeks, the decisions get so much more intense. I want to stick around all the way through to the end.”

Some fans of BBCAN were ecstatic about Kevin’s win.

Others wished that the finale had played out differently.

Were you surprised that Kevin won Big Brother Canada 5?

Take Our PollFollow @KatieScottNews

Calgary police adopt committee to review sexual assault cases dismissed as unfounded

Calgary police are taking steps to review sexual assault cases that investigators dismiss as unfounded — meaning they have evidence to suggest the offence didn’t occur.

A Case Review Committee is being formed to “take a second look” at cases the Calgary Police Service (CPS) dismiss as unfounded. The approach was first adopted in Philadelphia 17 years ago.

CPS investigators will meet with the independent members of the committee three times a year, according to a release, to review all new cases of reported sexual assault that have been deemed unfounded.

The committee members will be able to look over all details of the cases, except identities and private information about those involved.

WATCH: Wed, May 3: CPS Staff Sergeant Melanie Oncescu from the Child Abuse Unit, believes the confidence and stigma of reporting sexual assaults are being reduces

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Committee members include Alberta’s Minister of Status of Women, as well as representatives from the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre and Communities against Sexual Abuse (CCASA).

“We know that sexual violence is a gendered crime. The vast majority of survivors of sexual violence are women, and I hope this helps them feel safe to come forward to tell their story,” status of women minister Stephanie MacLean said in a release.

“I want every survivor to know we believe them, and they deserve to be treated fairly and with respect.”

Sarah MacDonald, a forensic psychologist with the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, said she was looking forward to examining and providing insight on how police conduct their investigations into sexual assault reports.

“As a forensic psychologist on the committee, I am excited to provide scientific-based knowledge on memory and forensic interviewing best practices that can be incorporated into the sexual offence strategies,” she said.

Calgary police dismiss about 10 per cent of cases as unfounded

Calgary police said the initiative was undertaken as a result of a Globe and Mail investigation, which revealed police in Canada dismiss one of every five reported sexual assaults as unfounded.

At the time, CPS said, Calgary police dismissed about 10 per cent of sexual assault cases, 62 per year, as unfounded. The national average, according to the Globe and Mail, is 19 per cent.

Studies show the unfounded reporting rate for sexual assaults is between two and eight per cent.

“Calgary’s unfounded rate was lower than average, both nationally and provincially,” Staff Sergeant Bruce Walker said in a release.

“But there are still other police agencies that are doing better than us. We felt it was important to learn from their successes and see what we can do even better here.”

CPS said sexual assaults should only be dismissed as unfounded if investigators have determined the assault didn’t happen or wasn’t attempted, and that no other other offence happened at the reported time and place.

“At CCASA we know that the rate of unfounded cases has needed to be addressed across the country for a long time, and we are very hopeful that this committee will be able to effectively address it in our city,” CCASA CEO Danielle Aubry said in a release.

“We are pleased that the Calgary Police Service has taken a leadership role in recognizing the importance of this issue and is willing to open up their processes to a committee of external community partners.”

Comparatively, Edmonton’s unfounded rate is 10 per cent, Toronto rate is at seven per cent, Ottawa 28 per cent and Halifax 13 per cent.

La Loche school shooting: teen told police he had regrets about the shooting

A teen gunman who killed four people at a home and in a school in northern Saskatchewan told police he had regrets about the shooting.

Dayne and Drayden Fontaine were killed at their house in La Loche in January 2016 before the shooter went to the high school, where he killed a teacher and a teacher’s aide.

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    READ MORE: Students had a look of ‘horror on their faces’: La Loche shooting victim

    The teen was asked in a videotaped police interview, which was played at his sentencing hearing Thursday, how he felt when he thought about killing the two brothers.

    “I didn’t plan to shoot them, man. I already told you. They weren’t part of the plan,” he said, crying, in the video.

    The officer asked him what the plan was.

    “Go to the school and shoot the f—;ing kids,” said the teen.

    The teen was also asked what he would say to Dayne and Drayden now.

    “Tell them that I’m sorry, man.”

    The teen has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder.

    The sentencing hearing is to determine if the teen, who can’t be named because he was just shy of his 18th birthday at the time, should be sentenced as a youth or an adult.

    Court has heard that Dayne Fontaine was shot 11 times, twice in the head, and Drayden was shot twice, including in the back of the head.

    The boys’ mother, Alicia Fontaine, told court in Meadow Lake, Sask., that the teen gunman called her two days after the shooting to apologize.

    “I may be angry, but I’m not angry at him,” Fontaine said.

    “I talked to him. He was crying. I forgave him. You can forgive, but you’ll never forget.”

    If it were up to her, Fontaine said, she would not press charges in the deaths of her sons.

    “It is true, my whole world is gone, but I know my babies are in a place where there is no pain,” she said.

    “I have forgiven you.”

    READ MORE: ‘Don’t shoot me’: sentencing hearing underway in La Loche shooting

    The shooter’s mother said the family has also forgiven her son for “this horrible crime.”

    “I was in shock like everyone else,” she told court. “I never knew this was going to happen.”

    The teen’s mother said she feels guilty, although she knows the shooting wasn’t her fault.

    “I am not a bad mother or person. If I knew and seen the signs that he was struggling in life, I could have stopped all of this from happening,” she said.

    “Sometimes, as parents, we are unaware of the struggles that our children have.”

    Video surveillance from the school shows the teen walking and running through hallways firing a shotgun. Teacher Adam Wood and teacher’s aide Marie Janvier were killed and seven others were hurt.

    In the police interview, the teen is asked who he was targeting when he went into the school.

    “Nobody,” he replied.

    FULL COVERAGE: La Loche school shooting

    The officer asked the teen who he was looking for when he was trying to open doors.

    “Teachers and students,” he said.

    The defence has said there is no simple reason behind the shooting and little about the motive has been made clear so far.

    Earlier in the interview, the shooter said he never felt bullied. The officer also asked the teen if he felt the school had “wronged” him.

    “Not really,” he said. “I don’t think so, no.”

Crime Stoppers: Appeal for information about missing Abbotsford couple

In a mysterious disappearance, an Abbotsford couple vanishes without a trace.

Rosalie Jean Allan known as Rose was reported missing by a friend in December of 2013. Investigators soon realized that Rose’s  boyfriend Jonathan Wood was also missing.

It’s been a particularly difficult case for investigators in Abbotsford who say they’ve had very little information and few leads.

Police and Crime Stoppers need your help. Do you have any information that could help crack the case?

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The couple, described as being in an “on again, off again relationship” had been living together on Glenmore Rd in North Abbotsford in late October 2013.

Previously the couple were known to frequent an area of downtown Abbotsford known as Five Corners as well as the Salvation Army on Gladys Ave.

Rose, known by many as a vibrant person,  loved animals and made friends easily. Her family says they love and miss her. Despite her transient lifestyle she managed to keep in touch with her parents.  Her father says his daughter was in good spirits when she went missing. Her parents and Jonathan’s parents are pleading for anyone with information to come forward.

At the time of her disappearance Rose was 46 years old. She is 5′ 4″ and weighs 130 pounds. She has brown hair and blue eyes.

Jonathan’s 6’2”, 180 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.  He has an outstanding theft warrant but police say it’s not a serious matter.

Police say it’s highly unlikely for them to simply disappear. Can you help solve this mystery?

If you know anything call police…or if you’d like to remain anonymous visit bccrimestoppers杭州桑拿 or call 1 888 222- 8477.

Japanese princess giving up royal status in order to marry commoner

Princess Mako, the granddaughter of Japan’s emperor, will marry an ocean-loving legal assistant who can ski, play the violin and cook.

Japanese nuptials tend to be highly ritualized, especially for a royal family member, and the buildup to the wedding is likely to take time. A public announcement would come first, then a wedding date would be set and then the couple will make a formal report to the emperor and empress.

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Quasi-public NHK TV reported the news late Tuesday and the Imperial Household Agency confirmed the report to Japanese media who belong to an exclusive “press club” system. But the agency declined comment to The Associated Press.

The man who won the princess’ heart spoke to reporters Wednesday, and his comments dominated national TV coverage though he gave few details.

READ MORE: Princess Charlotte’s brand is worth $3.8 billion and she’s only 2 years old

Kei Komuro said he works as a legal assistant and had just spoken over the phone with Mako, who had been a fellow student at International Christian University in Tokyo.

“When the right time comes, I’d like to talk about it,” he told reporters, bowing repeatedly, wearing a suit and tie.

The couple, who are both 25, met at a restaurant in Tokyo’s Shibuya about five years ago at a party to talk about studying abroad, and they have been dating several times a month recently, NHK said.

Komuro was once tapped as “Prince of the Sea” to promote tourism to the beaches of Shonan in Kanagawa prefecture, a facet of his profile highlighted by local media.

Women can’t succeed to the Chrysanthemum Throne. Mako’s father and her younger brother are in line to succeed Emperor Akihito, but after her uncle Crown Prince Naruhito, who is first in line.

Once she marries, Mako will no longer be a princess and will become a commoner.

NHK said Mako has already introduced Komuro to her parents, and they approve. A formal announcement could come as soon as next month, Japanese media said.

READ MORE: Facebook could face legal action if it doesn’t remove posts about Thai King

Unlike royalty in Great Britain and other European countries, the emperor and his family tend to be cloistered, although they travel abroad and appear at cultural events.

Akihito, 83, is the son of Hirohito, Japan’s emperor during World War II.

Akihito expressed his desire to abdicate last year, and Japan has been preparing legislation especially for him so he can.

Until Japan’s defeat at the end of World War II, Hirohito was viewed as divine, and no one had even heard his voice. But the times are changing, and the Japanese public harbours a feeling of openness and familiarity toward the emperor and his family. People are likely to see Mako’s marriage as a celebration, although the rituals will continue to be tightly orchestrated.

WATCH: Highlights from Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s Canadian visit

Princess Charlotte and Prince George have some fun with balloons and animals

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Princess Charlotte and Prince George have some fun with balloons and animals

00:17

Princess Charlotte and Prince George watch balloon maker at children’s party

00:35

Princess Charlotte dances with her mom, Kate, at children’s party in Victoria

00:13

Boy gives flowers to Princess Charlotte, but gets denied on high five from Prince George

00:53

Governor General says goodbye to Prince George and Princess Charlotte



COMMENTARY: Is cultural appropriation an act of theft or artistic literary exploration?

Two Canadian magazine editors have resigned and a television producer has been reassigned after defending the right of authors and other artists to take inspiration from cultures different than their own.

The phenomenon in question is called cultural appropriation: Inherent in the name is the implication that the act is theft, rather than a literary exploration of a world beyond the writer’s own.

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Toronto painter Amanda PL was quite open about her work taking inspiration in both style and subject matter from an Anishnaabe artist. She was honouring that artist, not plagiarizing. But that didn’t stop the Visions Gallery from cancelling the event, capitulating to the mob of people accusing the artist of racism and colonialism.

READ MORE: Let’s start with what cultural appropriation is not

And then came Hal Niedzviecki, the editor of Write — the magazine of the Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) — who contended that authors should be not only be allowed, but encouraged, to craft characters across the spectrum of cultures.

“In my opinion, anyone, anywhere, should be encouraged to imagine other peoples, other cultures, other identities,” he said in the editor’s note, for which TWUC has since apologized.

The union apologized for the hurt caused by the piece, and rather ironically said the magazine aims to be “sincerely encouraging to all voices.” Except in apologizing for Niedzviecki’s piece, the union is in effect saying not all voices are welcome.

READ MORE: Walrus editor Jonathan Kay resigns amid cultural appropriation controversy

The union’s “equity task force” (the in-house legislator for the aggrieved) called for sensitivity training, “affirmative action hiring” practices, turning over the magazine to editors from indigenous communities for the next three issues, and a paid equity officer who must be “active and respected in anti-oppression cultural movements for at least three years.” Of course, this role has priority for “indigenous writers, racialized writers, writers with disabilities and trans writers.”

Any sensible person would see this response — and the myriad accusations of racism directed towards Niedzviecki — as excessive. Especially since Niedzviecki himself wrote his now-maligned column in the spirit of bridging understanding across cultures.

And then came former Walrus editor-in-chief Jonathan Kay, who critiqued the “mobbing” of Niedzviecki in a tweet, on a CBC panel discussion, and again in a National Post column — the latter of which culminated in his abrupt resignation from the magazine, citing a trend of “self-censorship” that put his Walrus role at odds with his scrappy columnist instincts.

Managing editor Steve Ladurantaye of CBC’s The National was part of a 杭州桑拿会所 exchange suggesting an “appropriation prize” — even offering to chip in some money for it — for the best example of appropriation each year. Despite posting a heartfelt series of apology tweets vowing to do better in the future, he was reassigned to another role at CBC.

Days after his resignation, Niedzviecki went on a pandering apology tour, saying the situation “breaks my heart.”

He said on CBC’s The Current that his goal was to “push some buttons within the writing community and make sure we didn’t err so much on the side of caution that we’re no longer able to, say, put a person of colour in a piece of writing.”

If that truly was the intention, he should be declaring victory rather than apologizing. He certainly pushed buttons, and proved that the writers’ community is willing to stomp on the value of literary freedom.

Whether a white author should craft a black or aboriginal character is secondary to the far more important point, which is that a writer can create whatever work he or she wants to, for whatever reason. That’s what art is. That’s what freedom of speech is.

There is a fundamental difference, I admit, between censorship imposed by the state — the most egregious kind — and censorship that is self-imposed because of a political or ideological climate, but the result is the same. In both cases, ideas and speech are stifled, meaning thought itself is subverted.

Speaking at an academic freedom conference at Western University in London, Ont. last weekend, academic firebrand Jordan Peterson labelled free speech “the process through which ideas are generated.”

We often view speech as the way ideas are shared, but that process — the dialogue of exchanging ideas — is how new ideas, and by extension new truths, emerge. In the fiction world, it’s how new perspectives and stories emerge.

When bestselling author Lionel Shriver took aim at cultural appropriation during a literary conference last September, she faced many of the same accusations of racism and privilege directed towards the players in the TWUC kerfuffle.

One of the most important points she raised was how much great work simply wouldn’t exist if not for the creators taking influence from people unlike them.

She cited Graham Greene, Malcolm Lowry, Matthew Kneale, and Maria McCann — all writers whose work involved using voices of people of different races, background, and sexual orientations.

To dogmatically impose the cliche “write what you know” on writers would make literature very boring. Whether you’re reading a book about wizardry, spies or bank robbers, there’s a high likelihood that the author wrote it from a place outside of their own identity.

We need to restart viewing that as art, not theft.

Andrew Lawton is host of The Andrew Lawton Show on AM980 London and a commentator for Global News.

Jail time handed down to 3 men caught abusing dairy cows on Chilliwack farm

Jail time has been handed down to three men today who were caught on video abusing dairy cows at a Chilliwack farm in 2014.

They were seen in an undercover video that showed cows being beaten at Chilliwack Cattle Sales Ltd.

The footage was collected using secret cameras as part of an undercover operation conducted by the animal-rights activist group Mercy For Animals.

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Former employee Travis Keefer was given seven days in jail and cannot be in care or control of any animals for one year. The two other defendants, Chris Vandyke and Jamie Visser, both received 60 days in jail and cannot be in care or control of any animals for three years.

The judge said the sentences will be served on weekends so they will still be able to maintain their jobs.

Twenty counts of animal cruelty were laid against Chilliwack Cattle Sales Ltd., with 16 falling under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

The BC SPCA said it received the undercover video in June 2014 showing dairy cows being beaten with chains, canes and rakes. The footage also showed cows being kicked and punched after they were trapped and could not escape the abuse.

The B.C. SPCA said the case marks the first time a B.C. company has been held accountable for acts of animal cruelty on a farm.

“The judge didn’t have any prior cases to give him a lot of guidance for something like this,” said criminal defence lawyer Craig Sicotte. “So he put a lot of thought into it and gave a sentence that obviously my three clients aren’t thrilled with, they have to go to jail, but I think, at the end of the day, this will set the tone for a lot of sentences like this.”

When the sentences were handed out there was a lot of emotion from the suspects’ family members.

“I don’t think any of the family members are thrilled to see these three young men go off to custody,” said Sicotte. “These are young men from good families, they have jobs, they have a lot of support.”

The judge did agree the three men were not properly trained or supervised.

Last December, president of Chilliwack Cattle Sales, Kenneth Kooyman, pleaded guilty to three charges of animal cruelty. His brother, who is a director at the facility, pleaded guilty to one charge. They were fined $300,000 total along with another $45,000 to help fund victim services.

Ryan Meili running for leadership of Sask. NDP

Ryan Meili hopes to become the next leader of the Saskatchewan NDP.

Meili announced on Thursday his intention to enter the race.

READ MORE: Ryan Meili’s byelection victory could change face of Saskatchewan NDP

“This leadership contest is our chance to develop the kind of healthy politics that works for Saskatchewan people,” Meili said in a statement.

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    “I look forward to speaking with and working alongside longtime party members, recently mobilized voters, and community builders across the province to build the inspiring and effective movement we need.”

    Meili said he will formally launch his campaign in the coming months.

    He has run twice before for leader, losing to Dwain Lingenfelter in 2009 and Cam Broten in 2013.

    READ MORE: Ryan Meili wins Saskatoon-Meewasin byelection

    Meili was elected as MLA for Saskatoon-Meewasin in March.

    Broten stepped down after the 2016 provincial election after the party gained only one more seat.

    Regina MLA Trent Wotherspoon has been filling the role as interim leader, but Wotherspoon has said he won’t pursue permanent leadership because he doesn’t want to lose time with his family.

    The new leader will be elected at a convention in Regina on May 6, 2018.

    With files from

Embattled Victoria police chief steps down from his position

The embattled Victoria Police Chief Frank Elsner has stepped down from his position following a number of allegations of misconduct that happened in 2015.

The Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board made the announcement Thursday morning saying Elsner “will no longer receive payment of his salary, or other employment benefits as provided for under his employment contract.”

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Elsner, who has been Chief Constable for the VicPD since 2014, came under fire in December 2015 after coming forward to apologize for inappropriate private messages on 杭州桑拿会所 to the wife of a subordinate officer. He had his conduct reviewed by the Police Board in an internal investigation overseen by an outside lawyer. The probe into the matter concluded and the board determined they still had full confidence in the chief’s leadership and was given a formal reprimand.

Little more than a week later, Elsner voluntarily stepped aside as police chief after another investigation was launched by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPPC). The investigation was sparked by the chief’s admissions that he was “truly sorry and humiliated” for taking part in inappropriate social media exchanges with the wife of one of his officers.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: 

Victoria police chief faces new allegations of misconduct

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Victoria police chief faces new allegations of misconduct

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Victoria police chief trying to stop investigation into alleged inappropriate behaviour

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Victoria police chief taking paid leave amid new allegations

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External investigation ordered into conduct of Victoria’s police chief

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Police Board weighs Victoria police chief’s future

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Victoria Police Chief Scandal



A notice for investigation issued by complaint commissioner Stan Lowe alleged Elsner provided misleading information to an investigator and contacted a witness during an internal investigation, including the officer whose wife the chief had messaged over 杭州桑拿会所. Elsner allegedly provided the officer with information that convinced him no further investigation into the matter was required, said the report.

The member’s wife was reportedly a police officer in a neighbouring jurisdiction.

Lowe said in a statement at the time that he received more information from Victoria’s police union, including allegations by four employees of workplace harassment starting in early 2014.

The union had already called for Elsner to be removed from his job for the “betrayal” of trust of his officers.

Questioning the process

In March 2016, Elsner filed documents claiming Lowe had no authority to order the investigation, which was overseen by RCMP Chief Supt. Sean Bourrie, into his conduct. In his petition Elsner raised concerns over Bourrie heading the investigation saying, “with respect, his rank is not equivalent to or higher than mine.” He went on to say that, “Chief Superintendent Bourrie does not have the necessary understanding and experience with respect to the duties of a municipal chief.”

Elsner also claimed that he agreed to the internal investigation with the understanding that the matter would remain “private and confidential.” He said he was never told the police complaint commissioner had imposed any conditions on the internal investigation.

New Allegations

The petition was still in the courts when Elsner was suspended by the OPCC in April 2016. The suspension occurred after new information of further allegations involving Elnser was found by the OPCC, spurring two separate investigations.

“The new information arises from recent interviews with witnesses, as well as information obtained from the information technology systems at the Victoria Police Department,” reads the 2016 commissioner’s statement.

READ MORE: Investigation of Victoria police chief extended 

The allegations, if substantiated, would involve three separate disciplinary breaches of public trust: one allegation of deceit and two allegations of discreditable conduct.

The commissioner determined that it is in the public interest that the new allegations should be investigated by an external police force and chose the RCMP to look into the matter.

In March 2017, two retired judges determined there was enough evidence for allegations of misconduct against Victoria’s suspended police chief to hold disciplinary hearings.

Since Elsner has resigned his position, the VicPD Board will now be taking steps to find his replacement.