Federal government failed to assess privacy implications of security law, watchdog says

Federal government failed to assess privacy implications of security law, watchdog says
Twelve charges of sexual assault against the former spokesperson of one of Ontario’s largest public sector unions were withdrawn earlier this year after the man agreed to a 12-month peace bond.

Donald Ford, 52, was “terminated” by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union in November 2015, according to the union president, after being accused of sexually assaulting three women between March 2011 and March 2015. The sexual assaults allegedly took place at the union’s head office in North York.

Nine of the charges spanning September 2014 to March 2015 involved one complainant, according to court records. Two from March 2015 involved a second complainant. The final charge involving a third complainant dates back to March 2011.

The identities of all three women are covered by a court-ordered publication ban available to sexual assault complainants.

According to the terms of the peace bond, it was issued out of concern that “Ford will cause personal injury to or will damage of property of (the complainants) on account of threatening” between September 2014 and March 2015.

Ford’s lawyer Calvin Barry said in court that his client disputes those allegations but will consent to the peace bond.

“It is not an admission of guilt in any way, shape or form,” Barry told the court, adding that if the case had gone to trial his client would have pleaded not guilty.

Barry said Ford agreed to the peace bond to put an end to the proceedings so he could move on with his life.

The $500 peace bond lasts a year and requires Ford to keep the peace, and not to contact any of the complainants directly or indirectly or be within 500 metres of them.

Ford was “terminated” after an internal investigation, OPSEU president Warren “Smokey” Thomas said at the time .

A bitter conflict about the way sexual assault and harassment in the head office workplace has been dealt with by the OPSEU has erupted between top executives and local OPSEU leaders, the Star’s Martin Regg Cohn has reported .
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