Even as evidence has emerged about the Covid vaccine’s dangerous side-effects, particularly for expectant and nursing mothers and their babies, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) are going ahead with prosecuting their own detective for investigating links between the vaccine and nine sudden infant deaths (SIDS) in the region.

On Monday, detective Helen Grus of OPS’ child abuse unit will attempt to defend herself against the July 2022 discreditable conduct charge without several key pieces of evidence, namely related autopsy reports and internal investigation particulars against her, which have been denied by retired superintendent Chris Renwick, acting tribunal trials officer.

This past April, Grus’ lawyer Bath-shéba van den Berg unsuccessfully argued at the Police Services Act tribunal for access to this evidence and to subpoena a local CBC News reporter to determine the source of an internal OPS leak that fueled reportage that van den Berg maintains precipitated formal charges against her client.

Grus’ official charge reads that she “acted in a disorderly manner prejudicial to discipline or likely to bring discredit upon the reputation of OPS (in a) self-initiated, unauthorized project” by accessing the infant death cases and attempting to determine the Covid vaccine status of a mother. At the April hearing, van den Berg disputed that this behaviour amounted to a breach of the Police Services Act.

“Ultimately the allegations in the discreditable conduct charge must answer the question precisely: what is it that Detective Grus is supposed to have done that was unlawful? Pursuant to what section of the OPS policy?” asked van den Berg at the April 28, 2023 motion hearing.

“It needs to be very specific. And if this question is not answered, with clarity, then the particulars are required and that’s what we’re asking. We’re asking for what is it exactly that she has done that’s unlawful. What, what policies has she breached?”

But OPS are only providing few specifics to Grus’ and her lawyer, the handful of journalists covering the case and for the wider public. Additionally, after a September 2022 hearing held in downtown Ottawa, without explanation OPS ceased its online simulcast of ongoing proceedings and since moved the tribunal to a police station located on the outskirts of the city in Kanata.

Further, in response to a request for Renwick’s decisions on van den Berg’s motions for evidentiary disclosure and to subpoena CBC Ottawa reporter Shaamini Yogaretnam, OPS claimed, “There are no written materials to share with the community at this time, except for the Notice of Hearing from last year.”

But that doesn’t seem to be the case, according to former Toronto Police sergeant and detective Donald Best who has been following the Grus’ case since she was suspended in February of 2022 for insubordination while an internal investigation of her SIDS detective work was already underway. Best has wrote an ongoing series of scathing articles about the case beginning in August that same year.

Best told True North that he was able to extract a batch of five documents from the OPS, which he shared for this story–including Renwick’s motion decisions–after writing directly to Renwick in July.

Both Best and van den Berg allege that the internal police leaks to Yogaretnam were illegal.

“Because police officers criminally gave (Yogaretnam) the information, which resulted in the public outrage, which resulted in Grus being charged,” said Best. “It’s as simple as that.”

The former police detective is also baffled that Grus was charged at all, given the investigative discretion bestowed to all police officers.

“Police can operate independently within the law and within the rules and politicians are not allowed to direct them. A fourth-class constable on his or her first day on the job has all the authority to initiate any investigation they want to from parking tickets to homicide,” Best explained.

“They may not have the experience. But they have the authority independently. So if anyone says to a police officer ‘don’t investigate this, or stop investigating that’ they better have a damn good, justifiable reason.”

Renwick’s motion decisions also dismissed van den Berg’s application that OPS investigate the source of the leaks and dismissed related applications for disclosure of internal investigation notes, including “details of meetings/ communications between personnel from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and OPS personnel.”

While van den Berg and her client have declined multiple media requests for comment throughout Grus’ trial-by-media and formal tribunal proceedings that followed discreditable conduct charge, CBC Ottawa has also gone silent on its coverage of Grus.

The last of three stories the Yogaretnam published for CBC Ottawa about Grus appeared on March 31, 2022. CBC did not respond to True North’s questions about the failed attempt by Grus’ lawyer to subpoena its reporter; the network’s radio silence on the story it originally broke or whether it or its journalists were aware of serious side effects that the Covid vaccine has already caused.  

PHAC has already admitted that the Covid vaccines are responsible for nearly 11,000 “serious adverse events” of which include five cases of “fetal growth restriction” and 88 “spontaneous abortions”, or miscarriages. 

In January 2022, a US court-ordered release of confidential Pfizer documents regarding its BNT162b2 Covid vaccine revealed that both the drug company and US Food and Drug Administration were aware of serious side effects for pregnant and nursing mothers. According to the documents, of 458 expectant mothers who received the shots, more than half experienced adverse events and 53 mothers (or 11.6%) suffered from miscarriages.

Of the 215 nursing mothers monitored by Pfizer after taking the shots for the company’s “Pregnancy and Lactation Cumulative Review,” 20% of the lactating women experienced adverse events, some as serious as lymphadenopathy (lymph node swelling), blurred vision and facial paralysis while six infants experienced swollen skin and rashes, suggesting the shots can transfer from mother to child via breast milk.

When True North reached out to OPS for comment, they provided the same batch of documents that it earlier provided Best; documents it claimed were not available for public consumption.

True North will be covering the case and will be providing updates in the coming days.


  • Jason Unrau

    Jason is based in Ottawa. He is a former Parliamentary Press Gallery reporter. He enjoys public interest journalism.