McGuinty ignores calls for inquiry into G20 abuses

A scathing Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) report on police conduct during the G20 has sparked new calls for a joint federal-provincial public inquiry to determine who was
responsible for “serious violations of fundamental rights and freedoms.” The report was released days after the broadcast of a Fifth Estate documentary that featured shocking videotaped evidence of abuse by uniformed officers.

Premier McGuinty, busy tweeting about canoe trips, has rejected calls for an inquiry. According to the Toronto Star, McGuinty is staying mum on the arrests that took place at Queen’s Park, where he had personally invited people to protest during the G20 in a so-called free-speech zone (add victims of G20 abuse to an angry list that includes queer youth in publicly funded Catholic schools and students demanding queer-positive sex education curriculum).

March 1 editorials in the National Post and the Toronto Star both called for an inquiry.

A CBC post on the CCLA report has received a whopping 1,453 comments. The most popular, with 1,130 “agrees,” reads:

A
dark day in Canadian civil liberties and free speech, 1,100 Canadians
arrested and few charged. A comprehensive public inquiry is the only way
to go.

Days after the brutal events of the G20 weekend, the Toronto Police Service’s lesbian, gay, bi and trans liaison officer, Thomas Decker, was quoted in Xtra dismissing calls for answers: “The Pride weekend has shown that an overwhelming majority of the community appreciate and support [the] police.”

Decker’s comments followed a protest at the 519 Church Street Community Centre against Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair’s Pride reception, which was held at the community centre days after the G20.

The executive director of The 519, Maura Lawless, has since expressed regret for allowing police to host their event at the centre:

“In retrospect, the event should never have gone ahead and that’s clear. We were trying to find a balance.”

 

You can watch the Fifth Estate documentary on the CBC site here or via the embedded video below.

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