Statement from the Honourable Dennis O'Connor, Q.C.

TORONTO, Aug. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - It is with regret that I announce that I have decided to withdraw from the review that Chief Blair announced on August 12, 2013.

The basis for the decision is my position as counsel with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), which also acts for the insurers of the Toronto Police Service in civil suits, some of which include allegations of the wrongful use of lethal force.

As set out in Chief Blair's August 14 press release, we are both satisfied that my association with BLG would not in fact impair my ability to provide the Toronto Police Service with sound advice on the matters involved in the review.

However, after the announcement, we were surprised by the objections raised by lawyers for some of the victims' families to my conducting the review. We had thought that I could structure and conduct the review to satisfy any concern but apparently not.

Upon careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that my association with BLG may raise a public discussion about this issue that would be distracting and unfortunate.  I regret that this issue has arisen but I am of the view that if there is any possibility of concern in a matter such as this, it is best to address it at the outset.

I understand Chief Blair will be making an announcement about a replacement this Friday.

SOURCE Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

For further information:

Contact: 
Amanda McWhirter
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
amcwhirter@blg.com
416-350-2676