Home > News and politics > Protesters Demand Police Accountability

Protesters Demand Police Accountability

10-Jul-10 11:48 pm EST Leave a comment Go to comments
 http://www.cbc.ca/video/swf/UberPlayer.swf?clipid=1541620477&state=popup&PID=_DyE_l_gC9yXF9BvDQ4XNfcCVLS4PQij
CBC News / The  National: More than 1000 people marched in downtown Toronto on Saturday  (July 10, 2010) to protest the mishandlng of G20 security during the  summit and to demand a public inquiry to hold police accountable for  action during the event.
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rime Minister Steven Harper must be glad he’s got some time off now since the fall return of the House could be far more stressful than he expected when Parliament adjourned for its summer recess. It’s already clear fallout from the G20 Summit at the end of June isn’t going away anytime soon, and if voices grow too much louder, the Government may be forced into convening an inquiry before summer’s end.

Is it that bad? Well one after another, those who stood “firmly behind the police” have begun to distance themselves from the G20 entirely. Originally, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was towing the party line, which was that police did a great job, using only that force which was necessary. But now it seems that he agrees that the federal government tried to shove this down his government’s throat and they’re to blame for planning anomalies that left police overwhelmed. And, as I have commented at some length previously on Facebook, the appropriate steps are now being taken to bring the supposedly overwhelmed police to account for their action: that being dozens of lawsuits. In addition, the Toronto Police and the Toronto Civil Police Oversight Authority have both launched investigations of their own, though of course neither of these will recommend disciplinary action for any officers. (This begs the question what the point of these investigations might be, and also what kind of “oversight” the civilian oversight authority provides when it is unwilling to launch a toothless investigation that can’t recommend anything more menacing than a carefully worded report to Toronto City council.)

No, at the end of the day there will have to be a full Judicial Inquiry into the handling of G20 security — with terms of reference that enable it to hold people accountable for what happened. But expect Harper to resist vigorously. For he and the Conservatives, the uncomfortable questions asked at a Judicial Inquiry could prove poor timing indeed should a federal election need to be called. And, since his government is pretty much entirely to blame for bungled G20 security, an inquiry offers his government no benefit whatsoever.

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Terry Glavin

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