Conservatives demote parole board appointee they named to senior position

OTTAWA – The Harper government has mysteriously demoted a parole board member it once named to a senior position.

Cabinet orders-in-council show the government recently bumped Fred Tufnell from his position as vice-chairman of the Ontario regional division of the Parole Board of Canada.

The Conservatives named Tufnell, a former police officer, to the board in 2009 and elevated him to the vice-chairman’s job two years later.

The cabinet order reveals that last November, then-public safety minister Vic Toews asked Tufnell to explain why he should not lose the posting.

Tufnell’s response apparently did not satisfy the government, prompting his demotion to the rank of board member.

Both the parole board and the office of current Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney declined to comment on the circumstances — citing federal privacy legislation — and Tufnell could not immediately be reached.

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