- Ottawa Lookout
- Police board chair resigns after son arrested in major cocaine bust
Police board chair resigns after son arrested in major cocaine bust
More details on the resignation of the police board chair, plus a youth was charged with terrorism offences in an alleged anti-Jewish plot.
Hard to believe, but this is the last week of the Lookout for the year. For the holidays we’ll be off all next week, and will return Jan 3 next year. Time has truly flown by these last 12 months. Thank you all for being with us for another year.
Will we get a White Christmas? Hard to say. Rolf Campbell, who runs the Ottawa Weather Records account, has put together a chart of historical snow cover over the holiday.
Anyhow, we’ve got plenty of news and events today, so let’s get to it!
— Robert Hiltz, managing editor
Monday: +8 🌡️ -3 | 🌧
Tuesday: -3 🌡️ -10 | ❄️
Wednesday: 0 🌡️ -8 | ☀️
Police board chair’s son arrested in massive drug ring bust
What happened: The son of the now-former chair of the police board had the same address as his mother at the time of his arrest in a major drug bust by the Ottawa police, CBC reported. Timon Beck, a 37-year-old man arrested last week, is listed on court documents as living at Dr. Gail Beck’s home.
The elder Beck abruptly resigned last Thursday as chair of the police board citing “personal reasons.” The same day, police announced the arrest of Timon. Neither the board nor police said anything about the relationship between the two. The connection between the board chair and the arrest was first reported by the Lookout on Friday morning.
Awaiting court: Timon Beck stayed in jail through at least Friday night, the Ottawa Citizen reported, awaiting a bail hearing. He’s charged with participating in a criminal organization and conspiracy to traffic crack and cocaine.
Mayoral silence: Mayor Mark Stutcliffe has stayed mum about Beck’s resignation. Sutcliffe sits on the police board, and he spearheaded the search for a civilian, non-councillor head of the board. The process settled on Beck, who was also the interim psychiatrist-in-chief at The Royal Ottawa. (Previous chairs were typically also city councillors.) Sutcliffe’s office did not respond to requests to comment from the Lookout.
Transparency: Under Beck, the board has been accused of stifling public participation. A number of rules have been passed that require speakers from the public to submit their full speaking notes in advance to have them approved, along with other measures.
That lack of communication continued. When reached for comment by the Lookout, the board’s executive director Krista Ferraro said, “Pursuant to the board’s media release issued yesterday, the board will not be providing any further comment on this matter.”
Lookout’s view: Before the younger Beck’s arrest, the police touted the investigation as the biggest cocaine seizure in the city’s history. Days later, the head of the civilian oversight board resigned with no explanation, at the same time it was announced more people were arrested.
At no point did the board, the police, or the mayor feel it necessary to inform the public that one of the men arrested in one of the biggest drug investigations in the city also happened to be the son of the just-resigned board chair.
It raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the board as an oversight body of the police force. There are open questions about how the police have handled an investigation and arrest of a family member of the head of the board that oversees the police. It is possible there is nothing to worry about, that no ethical lines were crossed, and that the police handled the investigation in an unbiased and straightforward manner.
Looking ahead: But until the public institutions and their leaders, starting with the mayor, are straight with the public, there will remain the question of whether this was all done on the up and up. Silence should never have been an option, but now that the early facts of the case are out in the open, and we know the chair of the police board resigned at the same time her son was arrested in a major investigation, the silence is untenable.
The Ottawa Police Board is scheduled to meet at 4 pm today. You can watch the meeting live on the city’s YouTube channel.
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Our most vulnerable clients are having a harder time this year. Demand for our services keeps growing and we have more clients with more, and more, complex needs.
We're trying to raise $10,000 by January 10th.
Nos clients les plus vulnérables traversent une période plus difficile cette année. La demande de nos services ne cesse d'augmenter et nous avons de plus en plus de clients avec des besoins de plus en plus complexes.
Nous essayons de collecter 10 000 dollars d'ici le 10 janvier.
OTTAWA BY THE NUMBERS
🍗 500: The number of turkeys the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa will provide to families in need this holiday season. It’s one of many charities lending a hand after a difficult and expensive year. [CTV]
NEW LOCAL JOBS
Check out the new open positions in Ottawa.
Publications coordinator and English language editor at the Canadian Museum of History
Senior systems administrator at Kyndryl
System test engineer at Syntronic
Learning specialist at St. John Ambulance
Phoenix grievance and adjudication officer at the Public Service Alliance of Canada
Local jobs are selected by the Lookout team and are not paid ads, unless specifically noted.
Youth charged with terrorism offences in alleged anti-Jewish bomb plot
What happened: The RCMP arrested a youth in Ottawa for two terrorism-related charges in an apparent foiled bomb plot, according to the Mounties. Details of the plot and accused are scarce, in part because the law prevents the release of identifying details of minors in the justice system.
We do know the youth was charged with:
Facilitation of a terrorist activity by communicating instructional material related to an explosive substance;
Knowingly instructing, directly or indirectly, a person to carry out a terrorist activity against Jewish persons.
Broad effort: The RCMP said the arrest and investigation was a joint effort that included CSIS, the OPP, the Ottawa Police Service, and the Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre. The Mounties gave special credit to CSIS, the country’s spy agency, whose intelligence was “critical to the arrest.”
The bomb squad was called along with arresting officers, Global News reported.
Going forward: Mayor Mark Sutcliffe said city police would continue to patrol community centres, synagogues, and other Jewish institutions in the wake of increased reports of anti-semitic incidents in recent months since the attacks of Oct. 7.
🏗️ Two housing projects, one on Heron and another on Somerset, are delayed because of changes made, then reversed, by the province to the city’s official plan. The two developments require the reinstatement of nine-storey building heights along minor corridors, something the city has formally asked the province to do. It’s not clear when the province will respond. [CTV]
🚍 OC Transpo’s live GPS bus tracking often doesn’t work because it uses an outdated standard to transfer data to apps like Transit. The agency is working to upgrade its systems, but won’t be using the industry standard until later next year. [CBC]
🧂 Road salt pollutes the Ottawa River and its many feeder waterways throughout the city long into the summer. Researchers are tracking the salinity of many local creeks and rivers to track the damage, and hopefully institute change in salting habits. [CBC]
🌛 Stella Luna laid off its entire staff ahead of the holidays. The family that owns the local chain of gelato cafes said they would staff locations through the season, in hopes of rehiring staff in the future. The founder of the chain angered many locals when she donated to convoy protestors. The chain also came under fire when it triggered a clause in a lease that forced the popular Sharple Waffle to close and reopen elsewhere. [CTV/Capital Eats]
🚨 A police officer fired his weapon at the driver of an alleged stolen car, after the driver struck another officer with the door of the vehicle. The officer was uninjured, the driver escaped and his condition is unknown. The provincial Special Investigations Unit is investigating the use of the firearm. [CTV]
What to do this week
🦁 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Dec. 19-23: The 9th Hour Theatre Company brings the classic C.S. Lewis novel to the stage. Tickets going fast! At Meridian Theatres, 101 Centrepointe Dr. Tickets start at $29.
🎻 Handel’s Messiah, Dec 20-21: The NAC Orchestra puts on their annual concert of the entirety of Handel’s Messiah. At the NAC. Tickets start at $31.
🎸 Miracle on Bank Street 5, Dec. 21 7 pm: The Mortimer-Lind-Tansley-Deek Family Band plays the fifth benefit concert for Motionball for the Special Olympics Canada Foundation. A night of music drinks and theatre snacks. At the Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank St. Tickets $30.
🍽️ A Festive Four-Course Gourmet Experience, Dec. 20-22: The executive chef of Signatures Restaurant, along with the instructors at Le Cordon Bleu are putting on a four-course meal for the holidays. At 453 Laurier Ave. E. Tickets $149.
🎄 Hungry Eyes - It’s A Wonderful Life, Dec. 21: A three course dinner with drink pairings paired with what you’re seeing on screen in the film It’s a Wonderful Life. Includes popcorn! A unique experience from the chefs at Norca Restaurant and Bar and the Ottawa Art Gallery. At the Ottawa Art Gallery, 50 King Edward Bridge. Tickets $156.
🦃 Christmas dinner and brunch at the Château Laurier, Dec. 25: A Christmas buffet for either brunch or dinner at the ballroom of the Château Laurier on Christmas Day, various times available. Prices include gratuity. Brunch is $136 and dinner is $150.
🗝️ Outerbridge Magic - Mysteries of the Keyhole House, Dec. 26-31: A magic and illusion show from Ted and Marion Outerbridge for the whole family. At the Ottawa Little Theatre, 400 King Edward Ave. Tickets start at $26.
A house in Stittsville has once again gone all out with an incredible Christmas Vacation-themed holiday display. [Ottawa Citizen]
The corner of Rideau and Sussex was much different in the mid-70s before the Rideau Centre was built. [Reddit]
The St. Laurent mall food court has a holiday drinks menu. [Reddit]
Ottawa’s Professional Women’s Hockey League team’s home opener is a sellout, a North American attendance record for pro women’s hockey. [CTV]
Do you have a small CRT TV you’d like to get rid of? This artist is looking to take them off your hands for a project. [Reddit]
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Congrats to everyone who got last week’s Ottawa Wordle, the answer was FIXED, as in the LRT (sorta...someday).
For today’s Ottawa Quiz, we want to know…
A photo in the Community Highlights showed downtown before the Rideau Centre. What year did they break ground on the shopping centre?
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