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Former Police Services Board chair files human rights complaint against board, service reports Globe and Mail

Georjann Morriseau alleges systemic discrimination by senior leaders in the police service and police services board.
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Georjann Morriseau (FILE)

THUNDER BAY - Georjann Morriseau, the former chair of the Thunder Bay Police Services Board, has filed a human rights complaint against senior members of the police service and board according to a report by Willow Fiddler of the Globe and Mail.

The Globe and Mail story states the complaint was filed with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario late last week where Morriseau alleges systemic discrimination by Thunder Bay Police Services chief Sylvie Hauth, deputy chief Ryan Hughes, police lawyer Holly Walbourne, board chair Kristen Oliver, board secretary John Hannam, and the board itself.

Morriseau first joined the Thunder Bay Police Services Board in January 2019 and was later named chair in February of that year.

Oliver was named the new chair in December 2020 after Morriseau chose not to let her name stand according to Hannam at the time.

According to the Globe and Mail story, Morriseau alleges the harassment began in August 2020 after she was approached by someone who identified himself as a police officer, but did not provide his name. He said he had complaints about the police service’s leadership and raised issues involving a rumour that a police officer using a newly reissued phone received a text from a man believed to run a notorious local Facebook page asking for ‘good intel.’

The Globe and Mail story says Morriseau reported the encounter to Hughes who confirmed later that the communication between the officer who previously had the cell phone and the person involved in the Facebook page was part of an ongoing undercover investigation.

The Globe and Mail story goes on to say that Morriseau claims that since that incident, there have been attempts by the senior leadership at the police service to cover up the leak by investigating who told her about the rumour, rather than the text itself.

A memo was presented to the police services board that Morriseau was the subject of a possible investigation into criminal conduct, the Globe and Mail story states, but the OPP said there were no criminal findings.

Morriseau also alleges racist remarks were made by board members regarding her Indigenous heritage, the Globe and Mail story states. Morriseau adds she has experienced mental health distress and unjustified attacks on her personal reputation.

The Thunder Bay Police Service and the Police Services Board said they have not received a copy of the complaint yet and could not provide comment.  

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