Update re: BC Court of Appeal Decision in relation to the investigation of former Chief Elsner

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board takes this opportunity to advise of the decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal in connection with the investigation into the conduct of former Chief Constable Frank Elsner.

In reversing the decision in April of 2017 of Chief Justice Hinkson of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the Court of Appeal has ruled as follows:

  1. The provisions of the Police Act do provide the Police Complaint Commissioner with the jurisdiction to order an external investigation into matters that have already been the subject of an internal discipline proceeding that he previously authorized; and 
  2. That to order an external investigation into matters that have been the subject of an internal discipline proceeding that the Police Complaint Commissioner previously authorized does not constitute an abuse of process. 

The Board is aware that, with only the exception of the external investigation into matters that were previously the subject of an internal discipline proceeding overseen by the Mayors, numerous other discipline proceedings conducted from the outset externally by the Police Complaint Commissioner and in respect of Chief Constable Frank Elsner have previously been concluded.

In conclusion of the decision referred to above, Madam Justice Newbury of the British Columbia Court of Appeal stated as follows:

“I suggest with respect that the Police Complaint Commissioner might reconsider whether it is still necessary or in the public interest to spend public funds at this late date on investigating what appears to have been an entirely consensual and short-lived flirtation via Twitter involving a chief constable who is no longer employed by the Victoria Police Department.”