O.P.F.F.A. spending Tens of Thousands of Union money to fight against Atkinson / Grieve for what outcome?


According to the O.P.F.F.A., millions have been misappropriated by Colin Grieves and Paul Atkinson. Currently, they are in pretrial trying to assess if there is enough evidence to justify a trial.

Following the Plastimet fire, many firefighters started to fall ill from the toxic chemicals each were exposed to while they battled the blaze and smoke-filled air. With such an influx of cancer and other health-related issues, Grieves and Atkinson began another long battle to bring proper representation to all their ailing comrades with financial aid through WSIB.

According to the O.P.F.F.A., they received a complaint, which led them to conduct an investigation into all donations. Bev Bamlett, widow of deceased firefighter stated she had concerns of the conduct of Paul Atkinson who had handled her WSIB claim.  She was particularly upset that Atkinson seemed to consider a successful settlement to a lottery win.  This internal investigation led the O.P.F.F.A. to believe that several large donations were never received and misappropriated by Atkinson.  The O.P.F.F.A. state at least 3 million dollars is missing.  Past O.P.F.F.A. President Carmen Santoro has stated “our only intention through this is to make all our widows whole”.

Donations from the WSIB settlements were collected and disbursed for firefighters and retired firefighters alike but were all the fees collected properly? This is what has ultimately been called into question.

Prosecuting lawyers, the police, retired firefighter family members, and key executives within the fire union have all been called to stand.

The trial itself has been a costly endeavour.  The costs are climbing and the members may soon be asked for a hefty contribution. The sale of the member-owned OPFFA building was rumoured to have sold for 1.2 million and only weeks later resold for almost double around the time the charges were laid.


Firefighter Lawsuit

Catalyst for Change

Sale of OPFFA building.

Lawsuit costs climbing.

2 thoughts on “O.P.F.F.A. spending Tens of Thousands of Union money to fight against Atkinson / Grieve for what outcome?”

  1. Found this @ http://www.turnoutblog.com/2016/03/10/iaff-corruption-freddy-does-the-trick/

    Christopher Day says: May 12, 2016 at 6:00 am
    If hypocrisy was an art, Carmen Santoro would be Michelangelo. He talks about keeping debate in-house and maintaining confidentiality, yet he didn’t hesitate to take to the media to smear the names of two firefighters who have spent decades helping widows and sick firefighters to navigate their occupational disease claims. He has stolen thousands of dollars from his own local and was aware of his Board members (while he was president) stealing 10s of thousands more. He has bullied and harassed members in good standing off of boards and committees to fuel his own narcissism and build a corrupt empire that is now crumbling around our ears, all so he can pad his own paycheck while climbing the ladder to kiss the ass on the next rung up.

    So it’s no wonder he’s in favour of keeping matters confidential. Hiding behind confidentiality is what has allowed him to go as far as he has while hiding his dirty little secrets.
    Carmen, your secrets will catch up to you.

    Ellard Beaven says:May 17, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Yes Chris I agree. How did the OPFFA enter into a lawsuit against Paul and Colin without it being brought to the convention floor? The OPFFA executive under Carmen’s leadership voted to sue and announce it at seminar and now have been counter sued for12 million. So this June they will probably ask for more money for an unconstitutional lawsuit and if we lose the OPFFA will be bankrupt. I remember when the OPFFA was a proud and honest organization that never had their integrity in question… What happened???

    I know a Crook! says: May 18, 2016 at 2:03 am

    Ellard, I can answer your question…….Carmen is a CROOK, not only in Oakville when he was the president but in the OPFFA…..the problem is the OPFFA is full of wannabe leaders…….OPFFA locals are sheep……following the leaders off the cliff. If you ask me….in 5 years there will be no OPFFA…..more locals are looking to LEAVE…!!!

  2. Copied directly from the CanII website – Canadian Legal Information Institute.
    (when reading this, keep in mind all Witness statements produced by the OPFFA’s lawyers were written by the lawyers themselves and not by the witnesses. They were unsworn and some unsigned. OPFAA Executive Ann Bryant, Two lawyers representing the OPFFA Civil Lawyers Rahool Agrwal and Andrew McCoomb, and all Witnesses, testified to this in the Criminal Pretrial. Also, keep in mind that Detective Constable Taylor Meyers obtained his Arrest Warrant and Production Order Warrant based on these very same Witness statements. Detective Constable Taylor Meyers testified he did not question one single witness, his judgement was based solely on the pre-written witness statements handed to him by the OPFFA)

    COURT FILE NO.: CV-16-00550104
    DATE: 20180305
    Re: OPFFA Counsel’s Involvement:

    [68] A review of the criminal disclosure obtained by the Atkinson defendants confirms that the OPFFA counsel were rather involved in various investigatory steps and the contacting of Halton Police. OPFFA counsel did conduct an investigation into the defendants, and shared the results of that investigation with Halton Police.
    [69] That involvement does appear to have been somewhat aggressive on occasion, especially when Halton Police initially took the position in April 2016 that there was insufficient evidence to support a criminal investigation. Subsequent to Halton Police taking that position, OPFFA counsel provided factual summaries to Halton Police of the interviews and information that OPFFA counsel collected to “assist” in investigating Atkinson and Grieve.
    [70] OPFFA counsel conducted interviews with several witnesses, and forwarded those witness statements to the Halton Police. OPFFA counsel also had numerous discussions and meetings with Halton Police, all undertaken with a view to furthering the investigation and the potential laying of criminal charges against Atkinson and Grieve.
    [71] The Atkinson defendants take the position that OPFFA counsel may indeed be called as witnesses in the criminal proceeding, including at the preliminary inquiry, as it was OPFFA’s counsel who interviewed the witnesses and obtained the witness statements. As put by the Atkinson defendants, “given that OPFFA counsel appear to have largely conducted the investigation, it is difficult to imagine how they will not be witnesses in any criminal trial.”

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