Statement from the Haldimand County Police Services Board RE: Caledonia protests

On Wednesday, August 26, the Haldimand County Police Services Board (PSB) met to discuss the ongoing issue of illegal protests in Caledonia, related policing concerns and the significant impacts these incidents are having on the broader community.

The PSB recognizes that legally, its role is not to direct police operations. Rather, the PSB’s role is to serve as a conduit to the wider community and provide an avenue for communication between community members and the OPP. It is also the PSB’s responsibility to establish priorities, objectives and policies regarding policing in Haldimand County, in consultation with the Detachment Commander and Haldimand County Council.

At the August 26 meeting, PSB members expressed concerns to OPP Detachment staff regarding the adequacy and effectiveness of the OPP’s response to the illegal occupation at McKenzie Meadows and related occupations of municipal roadways, provincial highways and CN railway corridor. It is imperative that policing concerns related to illegal protests are addressed in a timely manner and even more critical that the OPP uphold the rule of law and maintain peace, order and stability within Haldimand County.

The PSB also recognizes that actions taken by the OPP in response to the McKenzie Meadows occupation and related blockades are the result of decisions made not at the local detachment level, but higher up in the OPP’s chain of command. As such, the PSB has forwarded its concerns to the Ministry of the Solicitor General and senior OPP officials. Further, the PSB has requested that individuals involved in the decision-making attend an upcoming PSB meeting to discuss the community’s significant safety concerns.

The PSB remains committed to acting as the ‘voice’ of Haldimand County residents on matters of policing and will continue to advocate for the community with OPP decision-makers and senior levels of government.

The PSB will keep the community apprised of any developments related to policing services in Haldimand County, as well as the outcome of the requested meeting with senior OPP officials and representatives from the Ministry of the Solicitor General.

Haldimand County Police Services Board

Bernie Corbett (Board Chair) – Haldimand County Council Member

Dan Lawrence – Haldimand County Council Council Member

Brian Haggith (Vice Chair) – Community Member

Kerry Boon – Provincial Member