In an effort to ensure City Council has all the information it needs as it deals with a rare appeal for further funding from the London Police Services Board, a Councillor has called for legal advice.
Councillor Josh Morgan tabled a motion at Tuesday’s Corporate Services Committee meeting asking for legal information.
“[I brought the motion forward] to direct the City Solicitor to bring forward legal advice pertaining to the London Police Service’s notice of application to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission, essentially the appeal of London City Council’s Police resources in the multi-year budget and ask them to bring that advice to the May 3rd Council meeting,” said Morgan.
The London Police Services Board is seeking an additional $7-million in municipal funding in an appeal to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.
That would raise police spending in London above $400-million over the next four years, while Councillors voted to spend $393-million.
The Ontario Civilian Police Commission hasn’t dealt with this kind of appeal since 1999.
Their decision would be binding for the City and the Police Services Board.
“Since we’ve been served with notice, there’s a different circumstance that we’re in now where we’re entering into a legal process and it’s exceptionally important in that process, especially one that hasn’t really happened in London in a number of decades, to know exactly what the rules are, how the process works from a legal standpoint, and any sort of advice that we need to have as we move toward a resolution,” said Morgan.
He remains cautiously optimistic that both sides can reach an agreement.
“Seeking legal advice in no way excludes us from engaging in a more informal process to bring any sort of conflict to resolution,” said Morgan. “It’s simply making sure that you understand the process that you’re in, your obligations and responsibilities under that process, so that as you move toward either a formal or informal resolution at least you know what your responsibilities and obligations are, and so it’s really just a due diligence thing, it doesn’t mean that anyone is moving away from trying to talk things out.”