By Barb McKay
South Bruce OPP Const. Kevin Martin confirmed Monday that the OPP’s provincial liaison team had reached out to everyone who is presenting at the public hearings no matter what side of the issue they are on. He said the police team is a neutral body formed in 2009 with a goal of maintaining the peace.
“If we think there is something contentious we will be involved,” he said. “We don’t care what your position is. We welcome your opinion and respect your right to your opinion. We just want you to express it peacefully.”
Last week, police phoned and paid personal visits to dozens of people slated to appear before the panel. Martin said he was sorry to hear that some people had said they were uncomfortable with the unannounced police visits.
“If people are receiving this in a threatening way, that is not our intention,” he said.
OPG and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) have denied requesting the police involvement. During the hearings on Saturday, Dr. Patsy Thompson, of the CNSC, criticized the police contact with interveners.
“The CNSC informed the Ontario Provincial Police that we disagreed and also we actively discouraged the OPP from proceeding in this manner,” she said. “The CNSC considered that such actions by the OPP would be perceived as harassment and intimidation.”
Sgt. Dave Rektor, of the OPP provincial liaison team, said the team is often deployed to events where there is the potential for conflict. The team is also involved during dignitary visits to