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Who’s down with OPP?

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North Bay City Council is about halfway down with the OPP, but not quite enough to have the CAO request a cost analysis.

It was a whirlwind end to a fairly standard regular meeting of North Bay City Council. Councillor Mark King’s motion to have the cost of OPP services quoted was defeated. The vote was a 3-3 tie but a deadlock means the motion is lost.

King knew the motion was lost before the recorded vote as Councillor Jeff Serran expressed that he would not vote in favour of the motion. That left King and Councillors Mike Anthony and Chris Mayne in favour and Councillors Daryl Vaillancourt, Serran and Mayor Al McDonald – who cast the tying vote – against. Councillors Vrebosch and Bain were absent and Deputy Mayor Forgette and Councillors Shogren and Maroosis declared conflicts of interest.

In his preamble before the vote, King made a vague mention of “an incident of intimidation,” that he says occurred at his business office, a statement he said he preferred not to elaborate on following the meeting.

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Those in favour expressed a desire to at least explore the policing option while those opposed were unsure about the unknown consequences of such a move. A loss of local jobs was mentioned following the meeting by McDonald as one of his main objections.

For his part, King has not thrown in the towel on the issue. He gave notice of reconsideration of the motion, meaning it will be revisited in two weeks. With Vrebosch on leave and Bain having gone public in support of the local police model, the reprieve will be short-lived.

King says that the police question and all of the associated issues that go along with it, including the city’s drug problem, will obviously become election topics. In fact, King says he plans to pursue making the issue into a plebiscite in the fall. King said cryptically after the meeting that those without a backbone can quickly get chewed up and left behind at election time.

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