The Toronto Police have asked the Ontario Provincial Police to conduct a criminal breach of trust investigation into the leak of official police notes cited in a Sun Media report about NDP leader Jack Layton, CBC News has learned.
It comes after Layton and his wife, NDP candidate Olivia Chow, denied any wrongdoing following the report Friday that Layton was interviewed by police in 1996 at a Toronto massage parlour.The report cited an unnamed Toronto police vice-squad officer's notes. Police notebooks are supposed to be closely guarded internal police property, as they contain sensitive investigative notes, officers' impressions and often unproven and untested suspicions.
In a brief statement Friday, Layton called the report a "smear campaign."
"It's unfortunate to see the smear campaign starting in these last few days of the campaign," Layton told reporters before a rally in Courtenay, B.C., as recent polls suggest support for his party is surpassing the Liberals.
"Absolutely nothing wrong was done but yet the smears start."
Layton said he would press ahead for real change in Ottawa, adding that "this is the kind of thing that people say is wrong with politics today."
Layton didn’t take reporters’ questions after the remarks, but referred to a statement released earlier by Chow.
"Sixteen years ago my husband went for a massage at a massage clinic that is registered with the city of Toronto. He exercises regularly; he was and remains in great shape and he needed a massage," Chow said.
"I knew about this appointment, as I always do. No one was more surprised than my husband when the police informed him of allegations of potential wrong doing at this establishment.
"He told me about the incident after it happened. Any insinuation of wrongdoing on the part of my husband is completely and utterly false."
A letter from Layton's lawyer also denied any wrongdoing from their client.
"The facts are that Mr. Layton had obtained a massage from a massage therapist, but had no knowledge whatsoever that the therapist’s location may have been used for illicit purposes," Brian Iler wrote in a statement.
"He does recall being advised by the police at the time that he did nothing wrong, but that the location was questionable, and to be stayed away from. Mr. Layton gave the officer his name and address, and nothing further happened."
Both the Liberal and Conservative campaigns declined comment on the report.