This National Post article was published in the Vancouver Province recently. If the police will do it to its own why is it that it is not conceivable that such behavior is not happening within Vancouver Coastal Health.. These past weeks I have had three visits from the VPD. Concerns that could have been cleared up with a telephone conversation. All it did was distance me from my neighbours in my complex. The complaints to the police involved Vancouver Coastal Health who I suspect are doing this deliberately to unsettle me and cause embarrassment. The Vancouver Police Department is being used by Vancouver Coastal Health.
Court orders reinstatement of police chief harassed by his own officers
Ledoux was chief of police in the Laurentians resort town of Mont-Tremblant, Que., but the intimidation tactics were not coming from local gangsters. His own officers were targeting him.
A Court of Quebec decision this week concludes that Ledoux was the victim of a "vicious and degrading" harassment campaign and that he was justified in resorting to secret video and audio surveillance to identify his tormentors.
Calling the facts of the case unprecedented, the three-judge panel has ordered that Ledoux be reinstated as police chief with back pay after the town fired him in 2011 for spying on his subordinates. A jury had earlier acquitted him of criminal charges related to the surveillance.
"A smear campaign like that constituted a 'particular circumstance' in labour relations at the police station justifying the surveillance measures used," the Court of Quebec wrote. "It is hard to imagine that they were members of 'law enforcement' who did that."
Ledoux, a 30-year veteran of the Montreal police, was an outsider when he took over as chief in Mont-Tremblant in 2007.
He made it his mission to ensure officers were better prepared in court and in general to tighten discipline among the roughly 30 officers. Some of the officers, led by the president of the police brotherhood, were not amused.
After Ledoux suspended two officers early in 2011 and amid contentious contract negotiations, Ledoux and his assistant responsible for investigations became the targets of personal attacks at the police station.
Crude photo montages appeared in the station depicting Ledoux with a penis in his face, as a baboon having anal sex and as a Klansman. Insult-laden tracts, associating the police chief with sexually transmitted diseases and mental illness, were also posted inside the station.
Fed up, Ledoux bought a camera hidden in an alarm clock and a microphone hidden in a key chain, purchases that were reimbursed by the town. It did not take long to establish that Sgt. Serge-Alexandre Bouchard, president of the police brotherhood, was behind the campaign, according to the judgment. Video captured him posting posters on Ledoux's office door.
Audio recordings revealed the underlings wanted to drive Ledoux out. "I hope he is smart enough to leave," one officer was heard saying. "A boss can't live with harassment like that," said another. "All organizations run by guys from Montreal are crap," said another.
In one recorded conversation, officers laugh over Bouchard's treatment of Ledoux before a charity hockey game at the local arena. Ledoux had come to give the officers a locker-room speech. "Serge-Alexandre told him to get the hell out of the room. ... He slammed the door on him."
The court concluded that Ledoux was the victim of a form of psychological harassment known as mobbing, to the point where he took his service revolver home and considered suicide.
But instead of dealing with the offending officers, the town administration fired Ledoux, saying he had broken the law with his surveillance. The town manager claimed she had been unaware of the extent of Ledoux's spying, but the court cast doubt on her testimony. A lawyer for the town concluded the harassment was part of normal union pressure tactics.
"These were not legitimate pressure tactics used in the context of the negotiation of a collective agreement," the court ruled. "They were sneaky personal attacks directed at chief Ledoux, aimed at harassing him to ultimately have his head."
Under the circumstances, the court concluded, the officers' right to privacy did not protect them from surveillance aimed at exposing their abusive behaviour.
A town spokeswoman said the municipality needs more time to study the decision, which cannot be appealed.
A message to the police brotherhood was not returned.