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Former OPP deputy commissioner Brad Blair, who was fired on March 5, 2019.

Ontario Provincial Police

The lawyer for a former high-ranking provincial police officer alleges the Ontario government engaged in an abuse of power when it fired his client earlier this week.

Julian Falconer says the province could have demoted Brad Blair from his role of deputy commissioner at the Ontario Provincial Police instead of firing him outright and says his client had no opportunity to defend himself.

Blair alleges he was targeted by the government for waging a legal battle over the hiring of a long-time friend of Premier Doug Ford as head of the force.

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The government has said Blair was fired by a group of managers in the civil service who allege he broke an oath of confidentiality when he made internal OPP documents public.

Falconer says a discipline process must be initiated under the Police Services Act – legislation that governs the conduct of officers – in order to fire a police officer, and he says that didn’t take place in Blair’s case.

The government did not immediately respond to Falconer’s claims.

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