Statement from Victoria & Esquimalt Police Board

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Chief Constable Frank Elsner, through his lawyer, has filed a Petition in the Supreme Court seeking an Order quashing the Order for an External Investigation made by the Police Complaint Commissioner on December 18, 2015.

Mayor Barbara Desjardins and Mayor Lisa Helps have been named as Respondents in the Petition in their capacity as Internal Discipline Authority for the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board under the Police Act.

In effect, the lawyer for Chief Elsner is asking the Court to uphold a discipline decision rendered by Mayor Desjardins and Mayor Helps in their capacity as Internal Discipline Authority under the Police Act. The Petition also seeks other related remedies.

As Co-Chairs of the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board, the Act charges both Mayors with the responsibility of internal discipline matters involving the chief constable of VicPD. The Mayors are named in the Petition because they are the Internal Discipline Authority that made the discipline decision that is referred to in the Police Complaint Commissioner’s Order.

The Mayors, in their capacity as Internal Discipline Authority, will be seeking legal advice and they have twenty one days to prepare and file a Response to the Petition.

As this matter is now squarely before the Supreme Court, it would be highly inappropriate for them to comment further.

Any questions concerning the Petition may be directed to the Chief’s lawyer,

Ms. Janet Winteringham, QC of Winteringham MacKay Law Corp.

Chief Elsner remains on administrative leave. 

The Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board has requested that Kathi Springer provide interim communications assistance as needed. She can be contacted at 250.888.8767 or