Police Services Board puts in a 12 hour meeting; recesses and retursn today to debate fate of Police Chief

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 16th, 2021



The Police Services Board met for 12 hours on Friday, adjourned to resume today (Saturday) at 11:00 am.


Halton Regional Police Services Chief Steve Tanner

The Police Services Board was to meet on Friday – scheduled to begin at 9:30 am, to virtually discuss what they wanted to do about the time the Chief of Police spent time out of the country while the province was under a lock down.

He did so with the permission of the Chair of the Police Services Board.

The in camera meeting recessed yesterday (Friday) just after 10pm and was to resume today (Saturday) at 11 am.

That is a lot of talking time.

And rightly so – there are very serious issues on the table.

The Board had legal counsel taking part in the meeting along with members who have deep policing experience.

There is fault all over the place on this one.

Should the Police Chief have known that it might have been inappropriate to ask for permission with a lock down scheduled to start the day he left the country ?

Burton Rob - glancingf left

Oakville Mayor and Chair of the Police Services Board Rob Burton

Should the Chair have sounded out his fellow Board members on the advisability of the Chief being out of the country? Most certainly.

Should the Chairman have given the Chief permission to leave the country?  The answer to that one is an obvious – No.

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton who was the chair at the time should have explained to Chief Tanner that he could not give permission to leave the jurisdiction.

Burton’s Chairmanship of the Board should come to an end; leaving the Board would be advisable.

Those on the Board who feel the Chief should be dismissed face some tough issues.

The Chief did ask.

Rick Bonnette -Halton Hills

Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bnonette

Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette said in a statement published on the Town web site that “ The refrain, “we are all in this together’ is only as meaningful as exemplified through the actions of those who deservedly are held to a higher standard — particularly those in public office and highly ranked officials serving the community.”

Mayor Bonnette, looking to provide residents with a full and transparent account about having any prior knowledge of Halton Regional Police Chief Tanner’s recent travel plans, issued the following statement:

“We have all had to make sacrifices during COVID-19; not seeing loved ones, not socializing the way we wish and staying home as much as possible. I want residents to know, that no members of Halton Hills Town Council have traveled outside of Canada during this unprecedented time.

Further, let me say that recent events involving the Halton Police Chief’s travel are disappointing. Please know that none of us – including Regional Councillors Clark Somerville and Jane Fogal and me, had any knowledge of the Chief’s travel plans. I did learn that he had received approval from the Chair of the Halton Police Board.”

Clark Somerville is a member of the Police Services Board.

The police officers are reported to be very upset that the Chief left the jurisdiction.

What stoked the anger was that while the Chief was away a Detective Constable suffered a cardiac arrest while on an assignment. Detective Constable Mike Tidball, a 14 year member of the Halton Regional Police service died while on duty.

Tidball funeral

Detective Constable Mike Tidball, a 14 year member of the Halton Regional Police service laid to rest last Thursday.

His funeral took place on Thursday in Milton where his wife said: “The most unimaginable has happened and I stand here in utter disbelief that my husband isn’t here with me, Kenzley and Colton,” said Tidball’s wife Kim as she choked back tears at the service.

Tidball was 39.

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7 comments to Police Services Board puts in a 12 hour meeting; recesses and retursn today to debate fate of Police Chief

  • Don Lomas

    Another overreaction. Did the police chief use poor judgement? He did. Did the CEO’s of hospitals in Hamilton and London do likewise? They did. The issue I have is that none of these people broke a law. Many people I know were also out of the country during the holidays and have not suffered the rebuke these have received. The very serious repercussion of the actions being taken is the void of qualified people left to fill these positions. These three people were hired because they were the best qualified people available at the time. I don’t believe a vacation at an inopportune time has changed their expertise in their field, nor do I believe their removal will be beneficial to us going forward.

  • Penny Hersh

    Why is it that the Mayor of Oakville who granted permission for Chief Tanner to go on this trip seems to have escaped accountability for his actions. He simply resigned as Chair of the Police Services Board.

    Why has it taken all this time for a decision to be made regarding Chief Tanner’s position? Perhaps because the members of the board could be sued for firing someone without cause.

    Doesn’t something seem off to anyone but me?

  • g.fraser

    You can’t fix stupid and now it appears that you can’t punish stupid either. Common sense is not very common for those who feel they are entitled.

    Just saying.


  • Terence

    If I am to be as pragmatic about all of this I would conclude that Tanner has lost the support of the PSB by putting them in such a awkward position; has lost the respect of the ‘rank and file’ who look up to their commander for moral leadership, and has lost the support of the public!

    This being said then the honorable thing for Tanner to do is obviously resign but I assume this won’t happen so fire him and pay the price – short term pain long term gain!

  • Alan Harrington

    The old… “given permission to do something wrong” excuse.

    Only reason anyone knew Tanner (the choice of word used required editing) edited out of the country, was his being a no-show for one of Tanner’s fallen member’s funeral.

    Tanner’s apology letter posted January 8 2021 on Halton Regional Police Service letterhead clearly states on the banner header:

    > One Vision
    > One Mission
    > One Team

    So either it is, or it is not – and Tanner is the Chief.

    Question – what has Tanner done since?

    Has Tanner quarantined? (like 100%)
    Has Tanner set up a local third party to take care of his Florida residence?
    Has Tanner donated a month’s pay to a charity?
    Has Tanner conveniently found a way to drag his hearing out another week?

    Stay tuned!

  • Penny Hersh

    We need to remember that while Chief Tanner was wrong to even consider travelling he asked and got permission from Mayor Burton who was chair of the Police Services Board at the time.

    Should Chief Tanner be asked to resign or fired, because he was given permission, he would be fired without cause. As in the case of the London CEO who was fired under similar conditions he too could probably sue the board.

  • Bob

    it appears that the chief is setting up the David Dingwall defense. I am entitled to my entitlements.