Sick of the violence and chaos of policing, Fantino wants to relax in Parliament

Sick of the violence and chaos of policing, Fantino wants to relax in Parliament

After weeks of teasing, Julian Fantino finally made it official this morning and announced that he will run in the next federal election as the Conservative candidate in the riding of Vaughan. One wrinkle here is that the riding is being vacated by Liberal Maurizio Bevilacqua, who is running for mayor of Vaughan. (Is the former mayor of Vaughan running to be police chief? Because that would finish off the circle nicely.) The National Post reports:

“This formal announcement is probably not the best-kept secret,” Mr. Fantino acknowledged. “I feel truly humbled to be here at this stage of my life to pursue this nomination.”…

At his announcement this morning, Mr. Fantino quoted John F. Kennedy and spoke about the contributions of immigrants to Canada, particularly those who share his Italian heritage.

“This is another journey. It’s a journey in pursuit of what I consider the Canadian dream,” Mr. Fantino said. He praised Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s commitment to security and justice.

Despite his celebrity, winning won’t be a cakewalk for Fantino: the riding has voted overwhelmingly Liberal for decades—Bevilacqua himself hadn’t faced a truly close election since the Free Trade election of 1988.

Fantino’s first big press conference came with what might have been an uncomfortable question: does he support the long-gun registry like the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police? According to the Toronto Star, Fantino is learning quickly: in the tones we’ve come to know and love from our robot overlord prime minister Stephen Harper, Fantino decried the registry as a waste of money.

We’ve been dealing with Fantino either as chief of Toronto or Ontario police since 2000. His swan song may very well have been the OPP’s share of the G20 mess this summer. Given the fiasco that was, is it too early to hope that Fantino has a long career in Conservative politics—and stays away from Toronto for a while?

Julian Fantino running for federal Tories in Vaughan [National Post]
Fantino confirms he’ll seek Tory nomination [Toronto Star]
Fantino hints at federal run in Vaughan [Globe and Mail]
Fantino to run as Tory in byelection: reports [CBC News]