The Toronto Police Union feud with Chair Alok Mukherjee harkens back to a 20-year old controversy

To many in Toronto’s racial minorities the attack on Mukherjee is an attack on them. Munir Pervaiz, of the Muslim Canadian Congress, told me, “This seems to be a carefully crafted plot to return to the good old days of Toronto when the Orange Order ruled the city and cops of a particular ethnicity patrolled our streets, while jobs in the police service came via family ties, not merit.”

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2014-12-12_19-59-29December 11, 2014

Tarek Fatah
The Toronto Sun

The latest twist in Toronto Police union leader Mike McCormack’s campaign to get rid of police board chair Alok Mukherjee is eerily similar to another feud in the early 1990s between McCormack’s father and the then board chair.

In the 1990s Bill McCormack, then police chief, took on his boss, then police board chair Susan Eng, in a fight that led to a police rebellion of sorts.

In fact, we had to wait 15 years to learn from a CBC News report in 2010 that Toronto Police were apparently so determined to dig up dirt on Eng, they improperly bugged the board chair’s phone conversations.

Twenty years later, one does not need phone taps. Just scouring through social media can dig up gems we can use against our adversaries.

On Tuesday, a source told me the Toronto Police Association (TPA) was dredging through Alok Mukherjee’s personal Facebook page, scrubbing it for anything that he may have posted which could be used to embarrass him and force him to resign.

I wrote to McCormack asking him if this was true. He gave a “no comment” response: “We have filed our formal letters of complaint and will not be commenting further.”

Interestingly, within 24 hours, the National Post re-produced a post by Alok Mukherjee from April 2013, where he had shared a picture postcard by someone else that said:

“Marriage is like a deck of cards. In the beginning all you need is two hearts and a diamond. By the end, you wish you had a club and a spade.”

The National Post headline passed judgment, saying Mukherjee was “seeming to make light of spousal abuse.”

Really? My Facebook page has a picture of an Islamic cleric saying “Muslims must kill non-believers wherever they are, unless they convert.” Does this mean I support the killing of non-Muslims?

Mayor John Tory issued a statement saying, “Violence against women is never a laughing matter … This is unacceptable — especially from someone who holds public office.”

This from a man who once advised young women to “learn how to play golf, it’s immensely advantageous to your career.”

According to Mukherjee, “The real purpose is to stop the changes in policing that I have championed and the Toronto Police Services Board has approved unanimously.”

He told me, “the police board had reviewed community concerns of racial profiling related to the practice of street checks and in April had unanimously adopted policies that would make racial profiling known as ‘carding’ very difficult.”

To many in Toronto’s racial minorities the attack on Mukherjee is an attack on them.

Munir Pervaiz, of the Muslim Canadian Congress, told me, “This seems to be a carefully crafted plot to return to the good old days of Toronto when the Orange Order ruled the city and cops of a particular ethnicity patrolled our streets, while jobs in the police service came via family ties, not merit.”

In a city where we have a 50% non-white population, we have an almost all-white city council. Soon, we may have an all-white police board, too.

Funny how this controversy all started with a reference to the shooting of Michael Brown, a black man, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.

2 comments for “The Toronto Police Union feud with Chair Alok Mukherjee harkens back to a 20-year old controversy

  1. Arjun Suri
    January 3, 2015 at 12:26 PM

    Oh my god Canada is becoming Delhi, job in Delhi is on family ties basis not on meir basis

  2. Sanjay
    January 13, 2015 at 3:21 AM

    Glad to see someone documenting racist behaviors. Does this website also publish submissions of incidents of racism that the visitors might have come across?

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