NEWS

Tory to join police board amid calls for chair's resignation

12/15/2014 06:24 EST | Updated 02/14/2015 05:59 EST
Mayor John Tory will officially take his seat on the troubled Police Services Board this morning amid calls for the resignation of the board's chair, Alok Mukhurjee.

Mukhurjee will administer the oath of office and oath of secrecy to Tory at the board's first meeting, which is set to begin around 9 a.m., since the mayor was elected in October.

- LISTEN | Ian Scott on Metro Morning

Tory surprised many observers when he revealed late last month that he would remove two representatives of Toronto's city council on the civilian board — Michael Thompson, the board's previous vice-chair, and Frances Nunziata — and sit on the board himself.

Tory has been very vocal in his criticism of the strained relationship between the board, the force it is supposed to oversee and the police union. 

Those tensions have boiled over in recent weeks, after Mukherjee shared a controversial Facebook post that the union has since said was anti-police in nature. Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack has called for Mukherjee's resignation, saying the union doesn't feel comfortable moving forward with Mukherjee at the helm of the board.

Tory has not supported calls for Mukherjee's resignation, but did say last week that the post was inappropriate and that public officials need to be more discerning about what they put on social media. 

- LISTEN | Michael Del Grande on Tory's plan

Mukherjee has apologized for the post, but insists he is the victim of a "smear campaign" at the hands of the union designed to undermine his authority before upcoming budget negotiations and the search for a new police chief.

He has also previously said, along with former city councillor and police board member Michael Del Grande, that members are frequently the victims of intimidation tactics by the police union.

Tory said he hopes that by sitting on the board himself, he will demonstrate the seriousness with which he hopes to resolve the conflicts that continue to infringe on the effective of policing in the city. 

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