Fri, August 6, 2004

Chief's job is news to B.C.'s top Mountie


THE HIGH-RANKING female RCMP officer rumoured to be replacing Julian Fantino as Toronto Police Chief says it's all news to her. RCMP Deputy Commissioner Bev Busson, 53, told the Toronto Sun from RCMP headquarters in Vancouver yesterday that she has never met or talked to Toronto Mayor David Miller and has not heard from anyone in Toronto.

"I have had absolutely no contact whatever from anyone representing Toronto, or from anyone else for that matter," said Busson, who has headed the 7,000-member RCMP division in British Columbia for almost four years.

"Other than being flattered that my name has come up, I know nothing about it ... I have no idea where the rumour came from," said Busson.

While Busson would not comment when asked if she would take the Toronto job, she said Toronto is "a great service," but she is "pretty happy" in Vancouver.

Busson's name came up after councillor Giorgio Mammoliti said "reliable sources" told him Miller has already chosen Fantino's replacement and it was a woman from Vancouver.

Mammoliti has accused Miller of hiring Fantino's replacement and bypassing the Toronto Police Services Board.

Local police sources say Busson is the only "realistic" female candidate from British Columbia.

Miller spokesman Andrea Adario said she was "not surprised" at Busson's response. "We have no idea what councillor Mammolitti is talking about ... (he) knows the selection process did not commence," Adario said.