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Thunder Bay Police Board expert panel set to issue an interim report

Recommendations will relate to board appointments, selection of a new police chief, and labour relations.
Alok Mukherjee cropped (2)
Alok Mukherjee chairs the Thunder Bay Police Services Board's independent expert panel (TBnewswatch file)

THUNDER BAY — The Thunder Bay Police Services Board's independent expert panel is set to release some interim recommendations, including suggestions regarding board appointments.

The panel is scheduled to issue a report to the board and to the community on Sept. 20.

It will focus on three areas:

  • the selection of a police chief
  • board appointments
  • labour relations

According to a statement from the expert panel, its members felt there was "an immediate need to present actionable measures... given feedback from consultations and the reality of an ongoing chief selection process, and board appointment process."

"This falls within our commitment to deliver timely actionable solutions," said panel chair Alok Mukherjee. "Given the various timelines at play, the panel felt a need to present an Interim Report to address these issues."

Last week, the provincially-appointed administrator of the Thunder Bay Police Services Board said the board's governance structure may need to be overhauled.

In a report to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission, Malcolm Mercer cited “failures of governance, significant distractions, and a very concerning failure to advance the recommendations that were made” by Senator Murray Sinclair in a 2018 report for the OCPC into local police governance.

The expert panel, which was appointed by the police board last March, has to date consulted with over 80 stakeholders and organizations in person or virtually.

It returns to Thunder Bay this week for three days of additional consultations.

Mukherjee, the former chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, will be joined by three other members – Candice Metallic, founder of Metallic Law, former in-house counsel to the Assembly of First Nations, and former legal counsel to Sen. Sinclair during his investigation into the Thunder Bay Police Board; Keith Forde, former Deputy Chief of the Toronto Police Service; Laura Kloosterman, executive director of Badge of Life Canada.

"Consultations have been the cornerstone of the work we're doing, and we've been humbled by the trust so many in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario have placed in our work at finding concxrete solutions for the issues facing policing at large," Mukherjee stated. 


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