06.29.2010 09:52 AM

G20 and the McGuinty government

I am an Ontario Liberal. I have also given comms advice to the Ontario Liberal caucus, for ages. You may have noticed.

As such, in recent days, I’ve received many emails and comments and calls from folks about what the McGuinty government did, or didn’t do, in respect of the G20. Specifically, the allegation that a law was passed secretly to trample on individual liberties, etc.

I got in touch with people I know in the government. Here is what I can report about the three main criticisms, which are:

1. That the McGuinty cabinet passed new, sweeping/extended/expanded powers for police.

2. That they did so in secret.

3. That these secret new sweeping/extended/expanded powers were what the police used to arrest people, arguably unconstitutionally.

None of the above, I can report, are true.

The Public Works Protection Act has been in place since 1939. It is what is used in courthouses, city halls, police stations and airports to protect citizens and promote security and so on. The relevant part of the Act, today, is the part where you may be asked to produce identification, and have your bags possibly searched, in order to gain admittance. Using the air travel example: you have to show ID, and your bags, prior to boarding the airplane. If you don’t want to get on the plane, you don’t have to do those things.

The same rules were in effect, my sources tell me, to gain entry to the security perimeter (the inner fenced-in portion). That is, you can choose not to show ID or allow your bags to be searched in an airport, but it means you’re not getting on the plane. The same requirement was in effect for the G20 – but, there, it meant you weren’t getting in, near or behind the security perimeter. As at an airport, if you were asked to show ID or to show what you were carrying in your bag – and you refused and still tried to hang out and (possibly) cause trouble – you ran the risk, but not the necessarily guarantee, of arrest.

Next, I asked about this “new” power. Was it needed? Who requested it? Why? Good questions.

I was told police already had this power – both in the above-noted public works legislation in court houses, etc., and through common law for just about anywhere. What Toronto Police asked was to codify the security perimeter fence in regulation for greater clarity. The McGuinty government did that.

Now, the “secrecy” allegation: I was told the notification about the rules were posted online on June 16, many days before the summit. On June 21, the City of Toronto and the joint police forces took out ads in the Toronto Sun and Toronto Star and quite a few community papers. Those ads ran throughout the week, and again on the G20 weekend. The ads specifically said that, if you come down to the security fence you will be asked to show ID and – at police discretion – could be subject to a search. That ad is below.

Finally, on the actual arrests and protests. As far as anyone in the McGuinty government knows, and according to what the Toronto Police Service has told them, nobody was arrested under this public works regulation. As one senior Liberal told me: “People may be upset that police were able to search their bags or ask for ID on the corner of Bay and College, or Queen and Spadina, or sitting in Queen’s Park. I understand that. But the police always had that authority as it is – it had nothing to do with any recent regulations we had passed.”

There you go. That’s what I have been able to find out. Comment away.

56 Comments

  1. J. Coates says:

    Surprised? Not!

    Everybody who can read a newspaper, watch TV, or listen to the radio HAD to know what the situation was.

    As for the “peaceful protesters” who let their demonstration get hijacked

  2. JStanton says:

    Agreed; this is the sticking point with respect to the provincial government’s culpability, so, thanks for clearing it up.

    I find it fascinating that the unfolding discourse appears to fall on two side of a divide.

    One sides believes that democracy is best served when authority is respected – ie. if the state tells you to do something, you should obey unquestioningly, and are solely responsible for the consequences should you fail to- and the other side believes that democracy is best served when authority is continually tested, to ensure that the response meets community standards.

    When trolling my “conservative” control group (canadiangunnutz.com) I find that, by and large, folks are perplexed that a) people protest at all, and b) people protest in the face of threats by riot police. Commonsense suggests that these people should have stayed home, right? So why are they complaining that they got stomped on? It’s their own fault! Curiously, there is no respect for the sheer courage it takes to stand up to the sharp end of the state security apparatus.

    In other words, conservatives (in general), don’t accept or perhaps understand the opposing view. Not, incidentally, that there is no questioning of whether police response was proportional to the requirements on the ground – there certainly is, but it’s a minority position.

    Perhaps John Stuart Mill said it best : “Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.” Which is to say that, in this case, conservatives tend to find the shortest, most direct line between two points, and then doggedly disregard all other possibilities thereafter. In their simple, easy world, there is no room for nuance or further question.

    And that’s why women shouldn’t wear halter tops and those tight little black skirts – because men will rape them, and its all their own fault, stupid girls!

    So, at the end of the day, Harperites will lose no sleep over this. It will probably impact liberal fence-sitters though, helping to ensure that they don’t bleed to the Conservatives in the next election. Mr. McGuinty gets to walk away, untouched, (except by the usual drive-bys from the Sun and the Post).

    Torontonians, however are going to have an uneasy relationship with their police for a while. Lets hope that the civil liberties guys and the courts can clear up some of the grey areas. Until that happens, the cops have to take the position that they were legitimately enforcing the law, which means that the contrition required for healing to take place in the community cannot really happen yet.

    • Blair S says:

      Did you just say that Conservatives blame rape on women?

      I’m speechless.

      • stanzela says:

        Well, Blair, I must say that your speechlessness is a fortunate occurrence as it provides the space for your question – whether or not it was intended to be rhetorical – to be answered.

        Simply speaking: No, JStanton did not say that at all. Perhaps a quick re-reading of an already short and sweet comment will help with your arrival at a more reasonable interpretation.

        JStanton *did* make some interesting, and important-if-provocative assessments of conservative (please be mindful of the letter casing used here) thinkers – of a facet of conservative thought as (perhaps unfairly) simplified. He/She (sorry JStanton) makes use of the case of an oft-used line of argument – that which pegs blame for sexual abuse on the victim – as an example of a *mode* of reasoning that he/she deems to be typical of conservative lines of thought.

        It is felt by some that the presence of this line of reasoning, as it turns out, helps to account for why certain people are taking from the g20 summit the notion that protestors/visitors-to-downtown are to blame for any ‘discomfort’ (risking a heinous under-characterization) they experienced, as they should have known better. They should have known and expected this to happen.

        By taking such offense to the notion that ANYBODY (let alone the card-toting Conservatives (again, being careful here to note the letter casing) that you cite) might blame a rape victim for the act itself simply goes to show how offensive, short-sighted and fallacious the above-cited line of logic is. Naturally, to use it in an account of this weekend’s events serves solely to insult the intelligence of the thousands who showed up this weekend to say something meaningful (via spoken word, via posters, signs and banners, via chants and slogans, and especially via the powerful act of their physical presence alone) and it is to lose sight of what freedom of expression means. It is to lose sight of the power of the human spirit. It is to willingly forfeit the right to vocalize a concern over the way in which we are governed, both directly and indirectly.

        In short – to take the position which blames protestors (read: protestors NOT vandals) is to BECOME the rape victim who actually *did* ask for what they had coming to them.

      • Jan says:

        Tom Flanagan echoed the ‘good women don’t get raped’ meme yesterday on CBC. He said that anybody who was in downtown over the weekend deserved whatever they got. He also said the rest of the country doesn’t care what happened in Toronto.

        • Riley says:

          The hilarious thing about Flanagan is he probably thinks Canadians care about what happens in Calgary. Or it’s part of a planned rhetorical campaign to position the Liberals as a Toronto only party and that “Canadians” don’t vote Liberal anymore because “Canadians” don’t live in Toronto, everyone knows real Canadians only live in Calgary — except for all the ex-pat Americans, like him (and all the Texas oil guys). Don’t believe ANYTHING Tom Flanagan says. Oh and did you notice the promo ad for Kory the Tory (not)’s newTV channel? Half the imagery was cowboys and rocky mountains. And that represents exactly HOW many people in this country? About 2,000 ranchers in Western Alberta and Eastern BC?

    • Namesake says:

      Spot-on, in your analysis of the cons’ mindset (cf. http://warrenkinsella.com/2010/06/g20-the-mornings-after/#comment-5600 )

      Ironically, this means that when push comes to shove, many of these self-professed democracy-lovin’, commie/socialist hatin’ rednecks would actually identify far more with the ones driving the tank in this iconic photo —

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tianasquare.jpg

      — than with the ‘trouble-making activist / student / criminal / thug’ having the temerity to stand up in protest against them.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_protests_of_1989

    • Sue Taylor says:

      Excellent response! Nice one. I couldn’t agree more.

    • J. Coates says:

      You don’t fire bomb police cars, you don’t break store windows, and guess what? You don’t get swatted with a baton, or pepper sprayed or arrested.

      Have your fun with civil disobedience, by all means. Someone has to do it.

      I’m more concerned that I lost a $100 contact lens and can’t find it on my middle class shag rug.

  3. Tarek Fatah says:

    Warren,

    Have you sent this Steve Paikin and the number of otherwise brilliant and wise TV hosts who have gone on and on and on about McGuinty and Blair turning Toronto into some sort of Chile under Pinochet.

    Please send this to the hysterical radio hosts on AM radio who whipped up a frenzy about the “secret law” and the “fake lake”

    Tarek Fatah

    • Cath says:

      I agree with Tarek Warren. I find it passing strange that the papers in which these ads ran today critics of the police and procedures.

      Terrific post by the way too! How is it that our media, as talented a bunch as they may be from all sides of the spectrum couldn’t clear things up in the way you did?
      Instead we get treated to pundits of all sorts tripping over their tongues in an effort to sound disgusted.

      Um…yep even some bloggers are guilty of this too. A little knowledge and understanding goes a long, long way I guess.

      Thanks.

  4. JH says:

    Anybody read this?
    http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/call+that+riot/3214402/story.html
    I’ve lived in Montreal and it’s spot on, not to mention funny!

    • JStanton says:

      ah, now we get to the nub of it. The truth of the two solitudes is fully exposed – one imbued by passion and fully expectant of it, and the other shocked by it and rejecting it completely.

  5. I’m not one who believed “secret” powers were necessary or even an issue. The police have plenty of powers and avenues they can use to block a street protest. It is how they wield those powers that matters and there they have failed.

    This just in: Globe and Mail Police admit deliberately misleading public on expanded security fence law‘I was trying to keep the criminals out,’ police chief says there never was a five-metre arrest rule

    Maybe the broader context will fully exonerate police conduct upon fuller review, maybe not. I tend to think not, based on what has been observed and is known at this point in time, but I’m not willing to condemn them all. I’m more concerned with wanting to know who ordered what and when.

  6. ben burd says:

    So there’s the nub, “The police have always had the right to open bags and ask for Id” – since when? This procedure is what those of us who wish to keep ourselves to ourselves and have the right ot assemble and say what we want when we want dislike – the formalising of “Show me your papers” immortalised by you know who (name omitted for fear of offending segments of society by using a moral equivalent)

    • Riley says:

      Since the public works protection act of 1939 and common law before that. Canadians are often surprised to find that we don’t live in the United States. Our police have more authoritarian tools at their disposal. Peace, order and good government is not the same as Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness in style or substance. I personally have some problems with that but when you live in a country that allows arrest under charge of something as blatantly vague as “mischief” you live in a country that still has “issues” with regards to individual liberties. That’s why I can’t understand why many Libertarians support the conservatives. What part of “Conservative government is all about pushing people around” don’t they understand? And that pretty much sums up Harper… he’s all about pushing around you and me and anyone else who gets in his way. The anarchists were not helpful, but let’s also remember in all the hysteria, this riot was far tamer than the ones Habs fans unleashed in the recent past. Two police cars burnt and the sky is falling — how about 13 police cars trashed in downtown Montreal — over a hockey game!

  7. Sandra says:

    I didn’t want to pass judgment before both sides were heard (listening there Layton?). A very dear old veteran was walking with his grandaughter and daughter-in-law (neighbours) last night. He seem to be getting a little weary so my husband (who checked with daughter-in-law first) asked if he’d like to rest a little and have a nice cold beer. The guy’s face lit up.

    Anyway, the conversation on the deck was about the G20 situation. This old veteran said that if the biggest worry these protesters had was not being allowed to go near a security fence and that the premier (not his favourite person) had to take measures, chances are there was very good reason and perhaps had to be kept confidential and not debated for security sake, we have some pretty sheltered people. He said damn it several times in his conversation – it was only for a few hours.

    He remembered marching when he was young like that – at 19 – through Europe, fighting against Hitler.

    He also said, damn it, we have 19 year olds fighting in Afghanistan – and ridiculously immature so-called university students for people obtaining higher learning.

    The grandaughter (17yrs old) was down there – she said most of the so-called peaceful group were itching to taunt police (so mature isn’t it?). What bothered her a lot was crap the female officers had to take from guys in the crowd. Mom was upset the daughter was down there without her knowing.

    • CQ says:

      Throughout my life here, Toronto & area is far more proud of university students than of any 19 year olds fighting in Afghanistan or elsewhere. And with today’s centennial Navy review over in Halifax, perhaps thank god we unloaded the HMCS Haida from our oh so elite shoreline as well.

  8. Jeff Paul says:

    But has everyone seen this? This is a game changer for me. For the police to admit that they lied to Canadians is unacceptable. It’s one thing to go undercover and lie to someone who is under suspicion of having committed an indicable offence. It’s quite another to order police officers to lie to Canadians about their rights.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/police-admit-deliberately-misleading-public-on-expanded-security-fence-law/article1622864/?cmpid=rss1

  9. Steve T says:

    Toronto police chief Bill Blair is being quoted today as calling the Black Bloc “terrorists”. I couldn’t agree more. Perhaps, when viewed through that lens, the actions by police during the G20 were appropriate after all.

    • Namesake says:

      Perhaps not — b/c as someone (OMG, am I about to quote W?) said at the time (I paraphrase): “If we stay at home in fear, we let the terrorists win; the most patriotic thing people could do would be to go out shopping.”

      Whereas Chief Blair said this morning, essentially, if you didn’t stay at home on Sat/Sun until their outraged force (How _DARE_ you break shop windows!) were done rounding up anyone suspected of wearing black, we’re gonna consider _you_ as aiding & abetting the terrorists by letting them hide among you, so we’re right to arrest _you_ for breaching the peace, as well. (Even if you just went out for lunch, or to take pictures, or your dog for a walk, or to demonstrate for more bike lanes, etc., or, god forbid, to try to go shopping in d/t Toronto.)

    • Abe says:

      So now we’re calling a bunch of hooligans “terrorists”. Come on. Give me a break.

  10. Kevin says:

    Warren, you wonder why people don’t take Toronto seriously and is the butt of jokes. Come on, you had hundreds of thugs he’ll bent on burning up law abiding businesses and god knows what. Man, this greatly reminds me of when you guys called in the army for a dusting of snow. LOL!

    • smelter rat says:

      So why did the cops allow these thugs to break away from the main protest march, taking no action to stop their vandalism for over 30 minutes? Why were there no cops on Younge Street?

  11. Michael Behiels says:

    This story will become more surreal as time goes by! Thanks Warren for facilitating this debate.

    Clearly, the McGuinty government is feeling the heat so it is relying on Warren Kinsella to get its spin out. This is fine. Hats off to Warren for being such a loyal soldier!

    Regulation 233/10 was not needed. The Police Force has all the legislative support that it needed for its task of securing the G8 and G20 from a myriad of threats, mostly the self-anointed anarchists and the violence prone hooligans.

    Regulation 233/10 needs to be contested in Court so that the McGuinty government and the Police Force can be brought to account for their actions in this very crucial event. When citizens’ civil and political liberties are constrained severely without their full knowledge and consent it is doubly important for the government and the Police Forces to be very transparent and completely accountable. And this before rather than after the event!

    The 20,000 strong Police Brigade had a tough job to carry out but this is precisely what they are trained for and why they get paid hefty salaries. The rank and file police officers are not to blame. They simply carried out the detailed instructions given to them by the Head of the Security War Room.

    Now the Police Chief admits that there was never a five yard rule. He lied to the public! He should be disciplined for doing so!!

    PM Harper’s ‘tough on crime’ and fear-mongering campaigns regarding potential terrorists provide an important backdrop – they legitimized the tough on protesters attitude that far too many Canadians are now expressing — to understanding the behaviour, strategy and tactics of Toronto’s Police Chief and the Head of the Security War Room. In short, the end always justifies the means! Security trumps everything – damn the torpedoes full speed ahead.

  12. Northern PoV says:

    Judging from the comments here, your spin will work with many of the somnolent public.
    To those readers who can still fog a mirror:
    The police ignored what was the equivalent of a Vancouver or Montreal hockey riot (perpetrated by much the same type of angry-airheads – and based on past situations, possibly aided by undercover provocateurs). The disturbing video scenes were then used as cover for the largest mass arrest of people in Canadian history. The War Measures Act and the round up of 400+ innocent Quebecois fueled a couple of decades of separatism and almost broke the country up.
    Will the arrest of 900 peaceful demonstrators back fire the same way?
    Duelin’ Dalton is not the main miscreant here, but he certainly is a dupe. Look out for the backfire Dalton.

  13. Michael Behiels says:

    Readers should check out this G&M column by Adam Radwanski, a thinking person’s Liberal. It exudes the appropriate tone and is well argued.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/adam-radwanski/premier-dad-image-sullied-by-decision-to-curtail-civil-liberties/article1622241/

  14. Christian says:

    Warren the ad you posted contains no mention (that I could see) of the Reg in question. Regardless, the way this thing was passed stinks. If the police already had powers than why was this “clarification” necessary? Furthermore, a public utility such as a courthouse, airport, water works etc. is different than a wide geographical swath of the City. Although it may not have been approved “secretly” it was done quietly in such a way that it appears they were hoping it would go unnoticed. Whatever the intentions, this situation was badly handled and communicated. McGuinty and his crew should have known better. In my book the greatest of care needs to be taken when it comes to undertaking any action that may impact civil rights either real or perceived. Due to this any such action needs to be fully and loudly communicated. In my view none of this was done and that is why this card carrying Liberal will be voting for another Party (NOT Tory) in the next provincial election.

    • Warren says:

      Should such an ad quote legislation? Haven’t seen that before.

      • Christian says:

        Under normal circumstances probably not. Bu the G20 is not a normal circumstance nor was the act of approving the reg in question. So I think it would have only been fair to note the legislative change not only for the sake of transparancy but more importantly to ensure that all citizens know what the rules are.

  15. Robert McMaster says:

    Sorry Warren but you’re blowing it out your ass on this one. McGuinty and the cops meant and intended to smoke this maneuver under the radar screen. They did this deliberately, with intent and malice aforethought. They planned to circumvent scrutiny. It stinks. When did you lose your sense of smell?

    Plus, the cops plainly let the direct action contingent break off from the main OFL demo. I was right on the scene. There were thousands of police in the area. They could have stopped this move at the first street. They let this go on for pr purposes. Either that or they were bloody incompetent.

    Like Montebello, the first videos of cop agent provocateurs has emerged. A female dressed in black with one of those collapsible police batons smashing stuff and then disappearing behind police lines. There’ll be a lot more of this to come out.

    Wait for the Pride parade. A million people with a great many determined to express their contempt for Toronto cops.

  16. Robert McMaster says:

    I was a ‘blaster’ in a Noranda gold mine. That means, I knew how to blow things up. It was just part of the job. It’s not easy to incinerate a cop car. Give me some 40 strength forcite and access to an accelerator like a gas tank and it will be done. But this didn’t happen this weekend and I saw it didn’t happen. These cars went up like magic. How’d that happen? People smarter than me are going to observe this.

    Why did the police abandon their vehicles when they were not under any duress? They fucked off on purpose.

    My name is on a lot of parade permits for marches in the 1980’s and ’90’s. As a straight, I was a parade marshal for the early Pride parades when they weren’t tolerated. I’ve been beaten up by experts! But, I never thought I’d live to see what happened this weekend. Warren, you need to get in the street and smell the cordite. “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold”(Yeats). The big institutions are brittle. The Right has the Teabaggers. This is the Toronto Gaza Flotilla incident for the Left. It will not go away.

    At least we both lived so long to see this happen. I think you are a very smart man along with James Carville. I put you in the top box alone.

  17. Former Liberal says:

    What a crock. The Police never had the right to search you without probable cause on City streets. Read the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
    8.” Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.”
    9. “Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.”

    In order to change legislation, you need to pass legislation which means McGuinty did pass a law curtailing our civil rights. He did this without debate by all parties and a vote at Queen’s Park, those actions were dictatorial. Notifying the public days before the G20 is not proper notice. This law should have been debated on and voted on in Queens Park months ago. We have known the G20 summit was going to be in Toronto for a long time now.

    This is just another example, along with the extended HST why McGuinty has to go. He is one of the worst Premiers this province has ever seen.

    • Namesake says:

      Got you one of them mail-order law degrees, didja now? Don’t wanna let little things like some facts get in the way of your little question-begging tirade, like how ON’s Minister of Community and Social Services clarified (again) today that:
      a) this w/in 5 ft. of the fence thing was a regulation, not legislation; and
      b) that Public Works law was already subjected to constiitutional / Charter challenge at the ON Supreme Court a few years back and it survived.
      But by all means, hyper-bolize- & -ventilate away.

      • Namesake says:

        sorry – cut & pasted too soon: that’s the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Rick Bartolucci; who was on on the CBC News Network; & is also cited here:

        http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/06/29/police-given-no-special-powers-during-g20-province/

        • Jan says:

          But isn’t the problem that they were using the search all over the city and not just in close proximity of the fence which was all the law provided for? The CCLU is arguing this.

          • Namesake says:

            yes – there are lots of problems w. the security forces’ response; I’m just q’ng whether any of it should be laid at McGuinty’s door, apart from not being quicker to address the ‘secret new law’ story that broke just before the summit, which probably admittedly did cause more angry people to be out on the street than would otherwise be the case, so some probably got caught up in the dragnet that wouldn’t have been. But that reg. didn’t have anything to do w. the BlackRot vandalism which was going to proceed regardless of any new developments, _or_ with the police actions, as it turns out, since they never actually arrested anybody for being too close to the fence.

  18. Scott M. says:

    Quick question Warren…

    If the Liberal government passed the OiC on June 2 and did *not* intend it to be kept secret…

    WHY DID THEY NOT PUBLISH IT IN THE ONTARIO GAZETTE UNTIL THE JULY 3RD EDITION?

    You know as well as I do that they could have published it in the three editions before that and still maintain the restrictions of the dates it took effect.

    • Warren says:

      Beats me. I’m just a web site, not a government.

      Go easy on the caps, K?

      • Scott M. says:

        My apologies, I’m more than a smidge angry about that.

        The official way the Government lets the public know about Orders-in-Council and new regulations is through the Ontario Gazette. To pass an OiC on June 2 and NOT publish it until after the event clearly goes against a main tenant of law — that the law must be accessible to the public.

        Ya, the Gazette sucks as a communications mechanism, but it’s all we have for now. To assert that it wasn’t done in secret, when in fact it hasn’t even been officially published at all, is simply to ignore the truth.

        This Order-in-Council was done in secret and withheld from public knowledge intentionally.

        And that is fundamentally undemocratic. I implore you, Warren, and everyone else to talk to your MPP and show your disgust for withholding information from the public and extending laws (which is what this OiC did) without even following the most basic tenant of democracy.

        Just because they can, doesn’t make it right.

  19. Robert McMaster says:

    The cops and their apologists are going to get thumped on July 1st and at the pride rally. There’s no way getting around this. Testimony from inside the ‘detention’ center and on the street will pile up.

    I used to be supportive of gun control, Not now. People need to have the right to have guns to protect themselves against arbitrary power. We can no longer trust the government after McGuinty’s cop=out.

    • Namesake says:

      Yeah, stand down, mad-bomber-in-waiting: this is no time for a call to arms or to paint a target on the G&L community by saying they’re going to become Minutemen packing heat at the upcoming Pride Parade over this.

      Did the province mess up in not being more transparent & getting in front of that story about the need for people in the area to be prepared to show ID & submit to searches to prevent violence? In retrospect, yes: lesson learned.

      Did the security forces mess up in a major way?

      Yes. It appears they were either:

      a) complicit in a grand, politicized scheme of entrapment: leaving the adjacent commercial streets unpatrolled & even leaving a couple cruisers out as sacrificial lambs, in order to
      all but guarantee the resultant vandalism, in order to bolster the PM’s law & order image &/or to justify their salaries & the cost of the summit, etc.; or,

      b) grossly incompetent, in a “Would get slaughtered in a real modern war or the Risk boardgame” sort of way, for putting all their ‘armies’ three deep around the one area even though all the intel said there wasn’t going to be any sort of credible attack there anyway, while leaving all the city’s other properties completely unguarded to guerilla attacks.

      But as the recent Air India & Dziekanski RCMP taser inquiries have shown, there are means of dealing with political interference and/or incompetence, even where the police are concerned.

      Let them run their course, but don’t play into the HarperCons by instigating more civil violence yourself.

      • Namesake says:

        oh, & further to b): And then they compounded that error by over-reacting, & regarding anyone on the streets from Sat. evening on as demonstrators, and all demonstrators as complicit in the preceding violence, and treating everyone like they were violating a curfew, without bothering to tell any & everyone that there _was_ now a de facto curfew & they ought to stay clear of the streets on pain of arrest.

      • Robert McMaster says:

        I deserved these Colbert-grade jibes. They were pretty good too. There isn’t going to be a public inquiry because McGuinty [meaning his policy advisors] know it would come up sour. So the shit will just leak out over the internet like the israeli gaza flotilla and fester. This is really inept pr management unless you are ‘double-down’ reformatories. Who live in an alternate universe. This is really bad management.

        I don’t want to hear about Gazetting, which I deal with on a daily basis. Enough to know that it is easily and routinely abused for political purposes and you critics evidently know it too, to your shame. Stop quoting scripture as if you have something to say or in other words, STFU. I’m sure Jesus said something like that because He wasn’t a prick last time I checked.

  20. Robert McMaster says:

    I hear you and it bothers me. It cuts across my grain to say what I wrote. But this weekend’s events push this way. I am a Christian activist and so know that I will never advocate or cordone harm to another. But I know how others see things, Warren. The Right has the guns; the Left needs guns too. I wish none to have guns. What are we to do? I simply observe that when they lose confidence, leftists should arm themselves. The Left has the numbers. The cops have the guns. But just for a while.

    This is the message to McGuinty – if you won’t stand up for the rule of law then the citizens will and piss on you. If this was the U.S, you would get left support. The trick is that determined people will bring the whole house down over your heads. We’re at that teabagger point. People are prepared to wreck the entire system because they are fed up with expecting service. It.s not logical but they will bring the whole house over their heads figuring that whatever harms to them is small against the damage to Big Assholes. Lenin said that you could always count on the last capitalist to sell you the rope by which they could be hung. Getting pretty close to this.

    Good luck!

  21. Edward says:

    Warren,

    The excuse that it was on a website seem eerily similar to was the Harperites do….

  22. michael hale says:

    The primary difference between the US and Canada is the measured approach taken in Canada. As a dual citizen who has lived in both countries, it is always amazing how much “freedom” is curtailed in Canada, whereas in the US the demonstration would be allowed to run free only to be trampled with force later (e.g. Seattle G20).

    (OK, I know this a huge generalization, but it’s a comment on a blog. And if others can say we should be able to carry guns to fight back against the police, I can go as far as I am going…)

    Anyway, the measured approach to freedoms in Canada allows for the kind of actions used by Toronto police – slight of hand, fences, expanded regulations – in an effort to avoid the worst case scenario that often emerges from total freedom – namely chaos. I’d rather be bitching about being lied to about a perimeter than doing a public inquiry into brutality after things turned into a full on riot with more than just property destroyed.

    Reading all these comments, I wonder if Canadians aren’t really just reading our own fears about the Harper government into the G20/police conduct over the weekend. If that’s so, it is very telling and should be noted by all non-Con message makers.

  23. Liz J says:

    Very good interview on the G20 use of the Public Works Protection Act.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheRealNews#p/u/8/1kZwps4CPwc

  24. God i love Bing. I personally have been watching too much television 😛 i bought Satalite Direct TV from http://tele.wokf.org which allows you to watch all your TV programs on your PC (Legally ofcourse)

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