Police prosecutor Vanessa Stewart called on Helen Grus’ disciplinary tribunal to reject all expert witnesses for the Ottawa detective’s case, including physicians who testified at the National Citizens Inquiry about Covid-19 vaccine safety, and an American doctor who says he witnessed firsthand harms associated with the shots.  

Grus stands accused of bringing “discredit upon the reputation of Ottawa Police Service” for probing a link between the Covid shots and sudden infant deaths in a “self-initiated unauthorized project.” As a former senior member of the sex assault and child abuse unit (SACA) and 20-year-veteran of the force, investigating child deaths was part of her job, she maintains.

The decision of Grus’ guilt or innocence rests with retired OPS superintendent Chris Renwick, tapped to adjudicate the Police Services Act matter which has stretched on through 10 hearing days. But before he can weigh all the evidence and reach a verdict, Renwick must decide which expert witnesses, if any, can appear when proceedings resume in January of next year.

In addition, Grus also plans to testify in her defence.

While the disciplinary tribunal resembles a court, it’s a quasi-judicial hearing where Renwick can set his own agenda. This has resulted in difficulty for interested reporters to obtain documents normally available in trials, and what Grus’ lawyers argue are several unconstitutional decisions, including withholding a duty book (police notebook) from Grus that could contain exculpatory evidence.

Grus’ lawyers, Bath-Shéba van den Berg and Blair Ector, have since filed for judicial review of Renwick’s duty book decision in Ontario superior court but lost their bid to stay Grus’ disciplinary matter in the interim. Another element of the charge against their client is that Grus’ notes during her alleged “unauthorized project” were incomplete, as Police Standards Unit investigator Sgt. Jason Arbuthnot testified in August.

But the heart of the matter also remains the elephant in the room: Grus believed Covid-19 vaccines could be responsible for a perceived uptick in Ottawa-area infant deaths.

While Grus’ SACA colleagues and superiors who testified for the prosecution agreed that Grus is an excellent investigator who garnered exemplary performance reviews, they also indicated a general disinterest in Grus’ concerns about the fast-tracked vaccines, including PSU investigator Arbuthnot. 

Even Grus’ overarching supervisor, Staff Sgt. Shelley Rossetti – who testified about asking for Grus help with a now-shelved project to examine hundreds of unsolved SACA cases – banned her from speaking about Covid-19 in the office. 

Witnesses such as Sgt. Marc-Andre Guy previously testified that if there were a link between the Covid shots and sudden infant deaths it would not be a criminal matter, while Grus’ lawyers have said there is a criminal negligence element, given that public health officials and other authorities were promoting the drugs as “safe and effective.”

SACA unit members’ testimony also revealed that Grus was singled out by her colleagues, including senior leadership, for questioning Covid-19 public health edicts and refusing to take the vaccine as mandated by OPS. Testimony also indicated that Grus was subject of unfounded rumours at the SACA unit, including that she believed Covid-19 did not exist and that the shots contained nanobots to track people.

Though Renwick and the police prosecutor Stewart have tried to steer the tribunal away from discussing vaccine harms – Renwick declaring earlier in the week that the tribunal would not “be a venue for opinions and theories linking the vaccine to child deaths” – Stewart’s own arguments for disallowing expert medical witnesses brought the issue back to the fore.

Stewart went so far as to categorize the experts’ “conclusions” made at the National Citizens Inquiry about harms associated with the Covid-19 vaccines, which included a stillbirth, as “not relevant to this proceeding.”

In addition to lawyer and regulatory health policy expert Shawn Buckley and former OPS Staff Sgt. Peter Danyluk, Grus’ lawyers want to call family physician Dr. Gregory Chan, pediatric neurology specialist Dr. Eric Payne and American OBGYN Dr. James Thorp to testify – all of whom Stewart maintains the tribunal should deny.

“These individuals support Grus’ perpetuation of the offence,” Stewart argued. “(The defence) is trying to use this proceeding to justify detective Grus’ misconduct.”

Then in a bizarre twist over Dr. Peter McCullough’s admissibility as an expert witness, Stewart described the most-published cardiologist in America and his vaccine injury research as legitimate, because he got the information legitimately unlike Grus, who allegedly made unauthorized database queries about sudden infant deaths.

Even though the defence previously retracted its request that Dr. McCullough appear, Stewart nevertheless included him in her oral submissions: that all expert witnesses be denied because, “This tribunal is not an inquiry into adverse events of the Covid-19 vaccine,” and Grus’ actions “have already caused enough harm to families.”

Van den Berg responded that it was internal leaks of confidential police information to CBC Ottawa reporter Shaamini Yogaretnam that caused the harm – what her co-counsel Ector previously referred to as “The Shaamini shakedown,” whereby OPS scrambled to call affected families to get ahead of a story Yogaretnum was about to publish.

To this day, Grus only contacted one family in the course of her alleged “unauthorized project” – the father of a recently deceased child to inquire about the mother’s vaccine status.

“For Shaamini Yogaretnam to publish the details… in those two CBC articles, just a few days after those parents were called by police, has caused harm and most likely retraumatized those parents,” said van den Berg.

“None of that has anything to do with detective Grus. What she was doing was confidential and related to police work.”


  • Jason Unrau

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