How Political is the Karl Walsh RCMP Investigation? By Jamie Gilcig MARCH 16, 2015

kwalsh fb MARCH 16 2015CFN – Fascinating.   Looking at the search warrants laid against now former OPPA President Karl Walsh an alleged potential money trail leads to distant lands where banking is a bit friendlier than here in Canada.

OPP 1 march 15 2015

Theft, Criminal Breach of Trust, Fraud, Laundering the Proceeds of Crime, Fraudulent Concealment are usually not terms applied to high level OPP Officers or even elected officials.

OPP 2 march 15 2015


What spurred me on to run was the opposition leader.

Clearly while the charges against Mr. Walsh have not been proven in court his being terminated by OPPA is not a positive sign.   However what’s most intriguing to this case is the back story.

Mr. Walsh was no simple Union Prez.   He was a candidate for the Ontario Liberals against Mr. Hudak’s PC Party.

OPP 4 march 15 2015

He was directly coming after our way of living.


Clearly Mr. Walsh used his position this past election when OPPA clearly campaigned against Mr. Hudak.

kwalsh fb ff MARCH 16 2015

That was the previous provincial election.  In the election that just resulted in a Majority Wynne victory much of the credit was due to Mr. Hudak’s bizarre strategy of cutting public sector jobs and union’s stand against him.

In what it describes as an unprecedented move, the Ontario Provincial Police Association has launched an attack ad campaign against Tim Hudak, declaring that the Progressive Conservative leader has plucked his policies from the “Tea Party world” of the United States.

The union representing 6,000 uniformed officers and nearly 3,000 civilian members began airing two 15-second ads Monday. The ads end with the words “We’re here for you. Who’s Tim Hudak here for?”

That quote, from a CBC story during the election begs the question whether the OPP are the right force to investigate any issues related to Queen’s Park and the Liberals in particular after the actions of the OPPA.

“Our association is politically active 365 days a year,” Christie said, highlighting again the difference between the Ontario Provincial Police proper and the labour organization that he heads. The association has been donating money to all three major parties for years, advocates for legislation, and regularly meets with MPPs.

That was from an Ottawa Citizen story.

When looking at Conflict of Interest the optics of potential are considered as much as an actual conflict.

In 2011 Mr. Walsh lost a close race.  In 2014 the riding did go Liberal.

The reality is that partisan politics have no place in Policing.    The role of fire fighters and police in municipal and provincial elections can literally change the society we live in.  Clearly it had an impact on the outcome in 2014.   And could anyone blame a reasonable person for questioning any investigation into the government by the OPP when it’s President was radically partisan?

The bigger question is if this investigation, allegations which are being smeared all over the media, will have any impact on how “business is done” after it’s all over.

In the meanwhile the OPPA will have to lick its wounds and deal with repercussions.

Requests for comment were not responded to by OPPA as of press time.

Here is Mr. Walsh’s bio from his political  facebook page.

Committed to public service, Karl Walsh has spent a thirty-year career in policing and the military.

A 17-year member of the OPP, Karl was acclaimed to a second term as President of the Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA) in 2008. In this role he represented over 8,500 uniformed and civilian OPP members providing community-based policing and specialized police services to residents in over 300 municipalities across Ontario.

A strong voice for community safety, he is also a member of the Canadian Police Association Board of Directors, and a former Director with both the Canadian Police Association and Police Association of Ontario. Most recently, Karl has completed a three-year term as a member of the Federal Judicial Advisory Committee.

Prior to joining the OPP, Karl was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces for 14 years, including nine months served in post-war Kosovo. Military duties included Sonarman and Ships Diver, general duties with the Military Police, criminal investigations, high-level security background investigations, and criminal intelligence functions.

Karl has completed the Franklin Covey 7 Habits of a Highly Effective People as well as the Speed of Trust. He is a graduate of the Harvard Trade Union Program (2010). For his military service, he received the Canadian Forces Decoration, the Special Service Medal, the UN Peacekeeping Medal, and Kosovo Mission Medal. He is also a recipient of the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals.

What do you think CFN viewers?  You can post your comments below.

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  1. If it was just Karl being investigated I’d say the optics would be questionable. But it’s not just Karl being investigated,

  2. The RCMP have a history of influencing both federal and provincial elections. This is obviously wrong and unacceptable. That said, I see nothing wrong with individuals or unions being politically active.

  3. Huh? If the allegations (charges) are proven in court, they will be found guilty. I think that’s how it works.

  4. Furtz a lot of words to say nothing.

    The OPP union entering politically into the last Ontario election was okay but the RCMP (national police force)who also have the right to unionize should not be political because it is wrong and unacceptable to you.

    What do you think is the significant difference between these two policing bodies that would support your claim or did you simply experience a brain fart?

  5. Come on David. You don’t know the difference between a union and a police force? Unions always have and always will be politically active. Police forces should never be politically active. How simple is that?

  6. Unions have no business being politically active,it may well be what has been happening but that does not make it right.

  7. You are too funny, Mary.
    You must miss Hudak.

  8. When I worked for the federal government going back a long time now we were told that we could not get politically involved meaning to run for office nor to go campaigning for a certain party.

  9. So Furtz thank you for the enlightening remarks. You are now stating that the police unions are not really unions which are okay in your book. And that police are not people by your definition, because people also are okay. Yep that makes real sense and paints a crystal clear picture of what you mean. Simple Furtz, real simple.

  10. I’m glad you finally got it David.
    You’re welcome.

  11. Furtz said: Huh? If the allegations (charges) are proven in court, they will be found guilty. I think that’s how it works.

    You seemed to have missed the point. A “union” of police officers doing illegal things. Doesn’t that at least strike you as out of the normal? If the allegations are proved true it’ll take years for the OPPA to regain the trust of its members and even longer to regain the trust of the public.

  12. Mary Bay said: Unions have no business being politically active,it may well be what has been happening but that does not make it right.

    I believe that unions can be involved in the political process. But they must be careful as to not give the impression that they represent the voice of service that their members serve. Example….OPPA must not try to say they represent the views of the OPP.

  13. Jules said: When I worked for the federal government going back a long time now we were told that we could not get politically involved meaning to run for office nor to go campaigning for a certain party.

    Those rules were loosened up a few years ago. You can now be employed in the federal PS and get involved in the political process as long as you declare it ahead of time. In certain cases you have to take a leave of absence to run for political office.

  14. The OPPA is a fairly large organization with about ten thousand members. If a few of its leaders are found guilty of criminal activity it will be a black eye, but a temporary one. They’ll just clean house at the top and carry on.

  15. I agree Furtz the general public has proven itself time and again to have a very short memory and attention span. Unions by their very nature and structure are political that is their method of control and source of their power.

  16. Hugger1 the union exists for the membership of the OPP. If the union opens its mouth it represents the OPP there is no other representation possible. We either allow the practice of unions openly entering the fray or we don’t. Since the beginning of unions we have allowed it and it will be difficult if not almost impossible to change. Good luck to the political party that has the stomach to try. Personally I do not see that happening, it is really only a form of political suicide.

  17. Hugger times have sure changed. I remember signing a document stating that we could not run for office nor support a political candidate by campaigning for that person. I left to stay home with my kids since sitters were not reliable. My supervisor and her supervisor advised me to take a year’s leave of absence but I chose to leave because you cannot rely on strangers with your children and I enjoyed those years off even though I miss the government a great deal mostly in those days. I wish I could turn back the clock.

  18. Furtz….I disagree. I think it’ll take quite a while for the membership to trust any head of the OPPA union. Yes, they can rebuild. But will the membership and / or public trust the leadership. It’s not easy rebuilding trust once it is broken. And depending on exactly what happened will be a factor in regaining trust. Unions / organizations put people in charge. Then sometimes that trust is broken. Look at the CMHA, it’ll take years for them to rebuild where parents, etc can trust them fully again.

    David Oldham….again I disagree. When the OPPA speaks it represents the membership of the OPP, not the OPP. I’m sure the management of the OPP have very different views than the OPPA.

  19. David, the OPPA does not represent or speak for the OPP. It represents the non-commissioned (non management) employees of the OPP. The OPPA has nothing to do with the operation or command of the OPP. Why is that so difficult to understand?
    As an aside, the members of the RCMP are forbidden by law to unionize. Because they have no bargaining rights, they are the lowest payed police force in Canada.

  20. I was speaking of the union and its membership some ten thousand strong that you have been referring to. Which of course represents civilian and non commissioned uniformed employees.

    As an aside, the members of the RCMP won in the Supreme Court of Canada January 2015 the right to unionize.

    Every employee has the right to bargain with their employer, it is commonly referred to as asking for a raise. Bargaining rights simply reward everyone regardless of individual merit. Less conscientious employees shall we say are able to piggy back off the pack so to speak. Personally I always enjoyed a well deserved raise that spoke to my contribution. Riding on someones coattails never appealed to me but then I am not much of a follower in this adventure called life.

  21. I’m really impressed David. You are indeed a good person.
    But you already know that…

  22. Like MOST of these “heroes” we are told not to question their qualifications etc. WE are TOLD it is an association NOT a union. IS it a union OR an association. Walsh and his friends should have been stopped long ago,but were not. THEY used the opp crest-officers-equipment etc to shove their agenda down the throats of those who opposed them. TOO LITTLE – TOO LATE by the commissioner.

    The queens jubilee medal is another farce. Check and see how one is was able to GET one.

    Many people like walsh get degrees etc. on the backs of the tax paying public. I am sure he spent very little time doing police work or anything related to the duties of a Police Officer. Buying and selling with the use and approval,of superiors in regards to the opp crest

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