#G20 security: 5 metre rule never existed, police admit. Wait…come again?
Jun 30, 2010
June 30, 2010
If the streets of Toronto aren’t public property, then I don’t know what is. But, over the weekend, it seemed as though we were strangers in our own city, being forced to provide police with identification if we came within 5 metres of the security fence surrounding the G20 designated zone.
Turns out that the temporary regulation, passed in a very dubious manner to begin with, didn’t include the stipulation that you had to identify yourself if you were within 5 metres of the fence.
The temporary regulation, which was passed in secret June 2, did decree that all streets and sidewalks inside the fence were a public work until 11:59 p.m. Monday. Under the Ontario Public Works Protection Act, that allowed police to search people trying to enter that area…The phrase five metres does appear, but it references land well within the fence that is neither a sidewalk nor street…
That’s messed UP man. Furthermore, neither the police nor the province made any attempt to set the record straight and, in fact, made comments about how necessary the temporary regulation was.
Even more disturbing was the response from Police Chief, Bill Blair. When asked whether the 5 metre rule ever actually existed, according to the Globe and Mail:
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair smiled and said, “No, but I was trying to keep the criminals out.”
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association demanded an apology from the Province of Ontario. Damn STRAIGHT! I mean, even if you were to ignore how complacent the police were with regard to the transparency of the law, there were arbitrary searches going on far outside the G20 security zone as well.
Point is, Ontario residents probably would have understood and complied with the regulation if it had been explained in a reasonable manner. I think everyone understands the security threat posed by putting the 20 most powerful people on the planet in one room. But the whole process was so shady. And when you’re dealing with civil liberties and public property in a country like Canada, you CAN’T do stuff like that. It’s simply unacceptable.