WEST Says Award for Windsor Police Was a Distraction

More than 500 people made their way to the St. Clair Centre for the Arts for the Women's Enterprise Skills Training Group of Windsor's International Women's Day Gala Friday night.

The event recognizes local women and community organizations, but an award for the Windsor Police Service was eliminated.

Windsor police is currently dealing with a Human Rights Tribunal complaint launched by Staff Sergeant Christine Bissonnette — who alleges she was overlooked for the deputy chief position in 2018 because of her age, disability and as an alleged reprisal for her previous human rights case against the service.

Chief Al Frederick is also facing public scrutiny over a 911 call to his home in November of last year, despite being cleared of all wrong doing by OPP and the Police Service Board.

President and Board Chair Gemma Grey-Hall calls the situation an "unfortunate mistake."

"It was never our intention to hurt or cause any organization or individual any offence, we apologize for our role in that particularly," she says.

She says the gala is about recognizing women.

"International Women's Day is an opportunity to recognize women and their accomplishments, and we didn't want anything to distract from that."

Grey-Hall says it was a miscommunication.

"That was a mistake, it was our error, we have apologized for that and do hope and expect that this conversation will conclude this particular matter," she says.

The gala raised close to $60,000 to help fund WEST's community programs.

The organization has been celebrating International Women's Day for more than 20-years.