The National Post's Mar.1, 2011 editorial stated that it's "Time for a G20 inquiry":
"Some of the allegations raised on Monday by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) and the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) border on wacky conspiracy theories. In their report on police handling of the G20 protests last June in Toronto, for instance, the two organizations imply that police and firefighters may have permitted vandalism to occur in order to give officers an excuse for a violent crackdown on protestors.
Nevertheless, enough real suspicion surrounds police behaviour to justify a joint, public federal-provincial inquiry into the incidents of alleged brutality during the international summit last June 26 and 27.
The CCLA and NUPGE are not alone in insisting that the arrest of 1,100 people at last summer’s protests amounted to — in their words — a “serious violation of fundamental rights and freedoms.” Last December, Ontario ombudsman André Marin concluded that police actions outside the G20 gathering constituted “the most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history.”
We might put forward Pierre Trudeau’s invocation of the War Measures Act during the October Crisis of 1970 as a much greater breach. Still, we take Mr. Marin’s point, and that of the CCLA and NUPGE. Police tactics at the G20 so demonstrably exceeded the threat posed by protestors that a comprehensive public investigation is warranted.
The new report from the CCLA and NUPGE, entitled Breach of the Peace, claims that rather than a few dozen officers removing their name bars to prevent being identified while using force to subdue protestors, the total was actually in the hundreds. Who told them to employ this trick? Was it senior officers on the ground or did the call come from higher up; Toronto’s chief of police, senior Mounties or perhaps even politicians in the Ontario or federal government?
The report argues, with justification, that overall police strategy could not have been devised by frontline officers. So who told them to round up protestors, some in advance of the protestors even committing any acts of violence or vandalism? Who ordered officers to hold protestors and journalists (including two working for this newspaper) for hours — occasionally in inhumane conditions and without medical treatment?
Not all protestors were innocent angels. As at previous G8/G20 and World Trade Organization summits, cadres of professional agitators intentionally smashed windows and spread mayhem. Torontonians were shocked by images of broken glass littering their downtown; and in the immediate aftermath of the fracas, they were grateful that police were on hand to prevent yet more violence. Still, the presence of several hundred hard-core “Black Bloc” troublemakers in Toronto did not give police license to start cracking the heads of any vocal anti-globalization youth with a placard and an attitude.
A public inquiry, of the sort that G20 activists have been demanding since 2010, are expensive. And they often provide far more in the way of spectacle than substance. In the case of what happened in Toronto last year, moreover, such an inquiry would overlap with various internal reviews already underway. Indeed, this was the reason that Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty offered on Monday when he affirmed that there would be no public inquiry into police actions at the G20.
But we believe Mr. McGuinty should reconsider: If nothing else, a public inquiry might — given the proper mandate — help police and security bureaucrats devise better methods to distinguish between real threats to public safety and garden-variety demonstrators at future summits. In an ideal world, police would be able to learn such lessons based on their own internal investigations. But so far, all signs from the Toronto police are that the organization is more concerned with circling the wagons and protecting its own than getting to the truth of what happened last June.
No doubt, many activists would use such an inquiry as a platform to criticize the police in scathing terms. But holding our police to account is an exercise in which all Canadians have an interest — especially those conservatives who embrace the principles of limited government and civil liberties. It is on this basis that we endorse the call for a G20 public inquiry."
As SunMedia's Bryn Weese reported on Mar.1, 2011, even federal Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay is asking for an inquiry into Dalton's secret law/police-state actions:
"Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay is suspicious of any government that rejects calls for a public inquiry into alleged abuses of power by police during the protests at the G20 summit in Toronto last summer.
So what does Dalton McGuinty have to hide?
On Monday, Ontario Liberal Premier McGuinty shrugged off calls for that public inquiry being made by Findlay herself and others in Ottawa on the same day.
McGuinty said there are others reviews looking into the matter.
"I'm going to let the reviews speak to that," he said.
Unaware that McGuinty had spoken on the matter, Hall Findlay accused any government of rejecting calls for a public inquiry as having something to hide.
"If you're unwilling to have a public inquiry on something that, to me, is so fundamental to our democracy and our ability to speak out and to protest peacefully, then my question is what is it that you don't want to come to light," Hall Findlay said. Later at Monday's press conference, she reiterated her concerns.
"If any government is unwilling to hold a public inquiry, I think our first question has to be, 'what is it that you don't want to be revealed?'" she said.
New Democrat Olivia Chow, who also wants a public inquiry into police actions around the G20, said the Liberal position on this is bizarre, but not surprising.
"I'm used to the Liberals flip-flopping every which way on any number of issues on the same day and at different levels of government," Chow said. "They can't be trusted."
In total, some 1,100 people were arrested during the weekend-long summit in June, some at gunpoint during a raid on sleeping students in a University of Toronto gymnasium.
One police officer is facing charges related to his actions during the protests, but critics argue the police were ordered to crack down on civil rights.
"The scale of civil rights violations goes beyond the actions of a few misbehaving police officers," said Nathalie Des Rosiers with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. On Monday, her group released a report of eyewitness accounts from the protests based of three days of public hearings the CCLA held last November.
A government official said the Conservatives are "proud" of how police handled the protesters and kept everyone safe.
"Our front line police officers were able to protect the safety of Canadians, delegates and visitors to the City of Toronto and the Town of Huntsville, working in what were exceptionally difficult circumstances," Chris McCluskey, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, wrote in an e-mail.
He reiterated the government will not call a public inquiry because there are other channels to lodge complaints against police forces.
"As the minister of public safety has always said, specific bodies exist to handle complaints regarding police conduct and it's appropriate for individuals to direct their concerns to those bodies. The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP is one such body and we look forward to reviewing the results." "
So: is Dalton McGuinty's brother, Liberal MP David McGuinty, onboard with his Liberal colleague Hall-Findlay's concerns?! Will David McGuinty ever ask what his Liberal brother Dalton has to hide?!
Why isn't ANYONE asking McGuinty's 'fixer', Liberal MPP Jim Bradley, about his Liberal government's actions before, during, and after the G20 riots? Why isn't ANYONE asking what this secretive Liberal greaseball Bradley 'has to hide'?!
Why isn't anyone asking Jim Bradley (who is now, horrifically, McGuinty's public-security chief!!) where he was when McGuinty's cabinet passed their secret G20 law? When did Good Ole Jimmy first know of his own government's secret law - and what did Jim Bradley do about it?!
Ever since the news of McGuinty's secret G20 law broke, just prior to the riots, the SunMedia newspaper in Bradley's own city, the St.Catharines Standard, has still not interviewed Bradley or looked into Bradley's role in his government's G20 fiasco! (Grant Lafleche's Dec.9, 2010 superficial "interview" with Bradley was a joke!)
The local Bradley Buttlicker Society just keeps on wiping Bradley's ass, disaster after FLICKING Liberal disaster. Somehow - miraculously ! - Jimmy never has anything to do with anything!! Can ya believe it?!?
Bradley and McGuinty have helped ruin the province of Ontario; their fascist G20 law being just one facet of their smug Liberal despotism.
More G20 posts:
Bradley: just one of McGuinty's scumbag liars
Jim Bradley, Mr. Smoke and Mirrors
McGuinty's secretive Liberals hide