Ontario Ombudsman’s report comes down hard on G20 summit security law

Finally, some progress in the investigation regarding the illegality of the security laws enacted prior to the G20 summit:

In their haste to bump up G20 security, Ontario authorities kept silent on a convoluted amendment to 71-year-old legislation that was “illegal” and “likely unconstitutional,” abrogating the Charter rights of thousands of people in the process, says Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin.

Authorities deliberately kept the public in the dark on the law, Mr. Marin told reporters, in what he called “the most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history” which “amounted to martial law in Toronto.”

“The ministry at one point said, ‘We could’ve done better.’ You’re darn right they could have done better,” he said. “There was a premeditated, planned, conscious decision not to announce the existence of the legislation or the reviving of this act.”

In his report, he said: “By creating security zones to bar entry and by authorizing arrest, it imposed definite limits on freedom of expression.”

The report also found widespread misapplication of the law, with police stopping, searching and arresting people passing well outside the area to which it applied.

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