Fantino was one of the "good old boys" during the Mike Harris years in Toronto, a "whack 'em and stack 'em" cowboy, who was your man if you were a wealthy and well connected Conservative and needed a ticket fixed, but everyone else just kept out of his way.
Former mayor Mel Lastman's wife was caught shoplifting. Not problem. Call "Julie". Everyone knew he'd take care of it.
No criminal charges were laid. And word has it Fantino was happy to oblige when the mayor called about reprimanding the individual or individuals responsible for the embarrassing leak. Fantino announced an internal probe the day after the story hit the papers.I'll stop short of calling him a crooked cop, but few would dispute the claim.
He'd huff an puff and throw his weight around, singing his own praises to anyone who'd listen, but on the QT, a usual response would be just a lot of head shaking. When he was being considered as Toronto's police chief:
While some may view Fantino's arrival as a huge step backward for policing, the prospect of his return does resonate on several levels. For the mayor, Fantino makes immense sense politically."He would want Fantino in there," says the city hall insider. "The first Italian police chief, Fantino's Conservative ties to (Mike) Harris and the law-and-order platform. It would be a natural choice."And when he was selected as Toronto's police chief there was a lot of controversy and the belief that Mike Harris may have had a hand in it:
... The kind of policing Fantino embodies is the scary part. The steroid boys will get a free hand. It'll be road-boss country again." It's moving the policing discussion a huge step backward," says another councillor, recalling the "kiddie porn" busts Fantino presided over in London that, when all was said and done, amounted mostly to an anti-gay witch hunt.
...there have been firm signals from the Progressive Conservative government at Queen's Park that Mr. Fantino is the man Mike Harris and his people have wanted for the job."Law and Order agenda" in 2000 where you try to convince people that the city is rampant with violence. Sound familiar? It's pretty clear why Harper chose Fantino. He headed up the police brutality against protesters of Mike Harris's policy. And he was right in the thick of the Ipperwash scandal, when unarmed natives were beaten and one shot.
When you make, as the Tories have made, "law and order" a part of political ideology — when you paint a portrait of Toronto and other Ontario cities as places of rampant criminal violence and unchecked sociopathic behaviour — the result, not surprisingly, is politicization of both the Toronto police and the process for appointing a new chief.
Yes he's quite a peach. And he's going to be in charge of Canada's seniors? Says Heather Mallick:
If Stephen Harper really wants to “promote positive images of aging,” as a dire government website called Seniors Canada claims, why did he just make Julian Fantino minister of state for seniors? I can’t think of a worse figurehead.Even Christie Blatchford in her new book criticizes Fantino who actually blamed a protester's beating on the victim, like blaming a woman for her own rape.
... Fantino is not a distinguished politician with a background in medicine, social services, pension management or even promoting startling ideas for helping a huge greying generation. He has always been a cop, the kind who likes his cars black and white as in days of yore. Wherever he has been a police chief or political candidate — London, York, Toronto, the OPP — he has left behind bitterness among colleagues, lawsuits, allegations of impropriety, an alleged taste for revenge and a long list of carefully blurted slurs. From his musings on Liberal tactics resembling Hitler’s to his rejoinder to Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, who he said was “promoting the hug-a-thug philosophy” as the two duelled over the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Fantino has always been his essential self, a blowhard.
His new job is political. It is to urge old men (less so women), who are more likely to be on the hard right, to vote for Harper. Fantino fans are the voters Harper is after (and has already got, surely.)
Most in the media have joined the hallelujah chorus, like Fantino is some kind of conquering hero. He won a by-election by 1,000 votes with a 30% voter turnout. Get over yourselves.
He's a horrible man. Absolutely horrible. The best we can do for our seniors now is to buy them protective headgear.