The switchover to the OPP from the West Nipissing Police is on hold.

An Ontario Superior Court Judge has temporarily suspended the replacement process following a hearing on Thursday.

The ruling means the OPP have to stop the process to build a new building in the municipality.

The provincial force also can’t hire anyone during the suspension period.

West Nipissing council voted to switch to the OPP last December.

However the local police services board legally challenged the decision prompting Thursday’s hearing.

Among other things, the board claimed the municipality failed to adequately consult Indigenous people and Francophones about the impact of switching police forces.

It also says there was only one public consultation.

Judge Alexander David Kurke said council should not make a hasty decision which could have irreversible consequences.

Kurke says at the very least, the police board’s arguments should be heard at a judicial review hearing.

That review takes place in Divisional Court during October.