Behold, the quotable Julian Fantino. He is humble, but he claims the right road; he is tough, but he is a victim; he is unafraid, but he laments anyone who would question his moral authority. He is a folksy, tough-talking, passive-aggressive self-described underdog team player who refers to himself in the third person. And he offends Liberal sensibilities.
The Prime Minister knows who I am. He knows about my long and distinguished public service. He knows what my strengths and weaknesses might be and he knows where I can best be utilized to provide support as a team player in the Harper government. So whatever happens, happens. I have to put it in perspective, coming to this country as a young boy and not being able to speak the language and having served the apprenticeship of becoming a Canadian citizen and evolving into leading police organizations and now as a member of parliament in this great country of ours, it’s pretty daunting and very rewarding. It’s also very humbling.
I think they [the Liberals] intended to hurt my campaign. The things they said … a lot of them were absolute lies. They keep repeating [them]. I call it the Hitler Theory. You tell a lie often enough you hope that some people will believe it. I’ve been as many as 21 days in the witness box in court, being cross-examined by the best lawyers in town. There is no peek-a-boo. … It was a character assassination.
Obviously there’s a lot of labelling going on. I’ve been labelled controversial. Well, you tell me how you can do a police chief’s job, or be the commissioner of the OPP with a huge, huge organization and multiple different levels of relationships with local councils, provincial political people, internal unions and personnel issues and the crime and the courts and not be controversial to some people. I detest this quick-fix labelling stuff that goes on when people just don’t understand the complexities of the job. Why should I be trying to please everyone? I just set out everyday to fulfill my oath of office, to do the right things for the right reasons. It was never meant to be a popularity contest, nor was I ever in a position where I co-opted myself, my duties and responsibility, just to be pleasing to everybody. You tell me how anybody in leadership today can not be controversial? How can you be a man-for-all-seasons with the issues that we’ve had to deal with, that I’ve had to deal with?
(Sorbara) can be all the negative person he wants. I’m going to be very positive.
I mean these are serious, serious issues and I found it quite distressing really that Justin Trudeau would be trotted out to misrepresent what I said and take it out of context. It was an Academy Award performance. You know what, here’s me with 42 years of working night shifts and facing people with loaded guns and dealing with murderers and rapists … and I get a lecture from a newbie. C’mon.
It was undoubtedly a very tough campaign and, I must tell the truth, many things disturbed me. I also know, however, that these things happen – they have to be dealt with and overcome — this is a democracy. I have no regrets about this campaign and the verdict of the people repays the odd delusion and attack that I felt was unjustified. But, as I said, in the heat of the campaign, that should be expected – it’s part of the game and one must always look ahead.
As for toeing the line, I’m a team player. I always have been. Again, that’s an other one of those things. The labelling, I guess for some people, is a way to describe honour, duty, responsibility, 42 years of committed, loyal, dedicated public service. And then you get a label. People have never been exposed to what I’ve done to the extent that I’ve experienced it: night shifts, complex cases, complex issues, victims issues, the rawness of crime and what it does to people. So I make no apologies for who I am and what I’ve stood for and what I stand for.
I’m going to be very committed to representing the people of Vaughan — and the beauty of this election is that the people of Vaughan elected someone who can actually sit at the table as opposed to warming up the benches on the side opposite.
I’m a getting-it-done kind of guy. I’m not a graduate of the school of it-can’t-be-done.
I’m always the same person, I’m always the Julian Fantino who continues in his activity at the service of the community, even if from a different position.
I am driven by three things: I know who I am; I know what I’m here to do and I know who I’m here to serve. All this other stuff is just noise, distraction and I am not going to be distracted by what I have to do and what the people of Vaughan have entrusted me to do. They can play their silly games all they want but, you know, sticks and stones …