24 August 2010 — The G8/G20 Summits in Huntsville and Toronto, Ontario, respectively, resulted in the largest peace-time security deployment Canadian history. The federal government spent C$930-million on security and deployed 5000 RCMP officers and thousands of provincial and municipal police into the streets of Toronto. The provincial government awarded police sweeping powers under the Public Works Protection Act to stop, search and arrest individuals by declaring a large area of downtown Toronto to be a public works for the summit. The impact on civil liberties was immediate and was devastating. 1105 individuals were arrested within 48 hours in Toronto — the largest mass arrest in Canadian history. Of these, only 278 would eventually be charged with a crime (although further post-G20 arrests would raise the number of G20-accused to 301). Countless numbers of protesters, pedestrians and TTC passengers were subjected to arbitrary detentions and forced to submit to police searches. Many individuals spent nights in the Eastern Avenue Detention Centre without access to counsel, in overcrowded conditions and without proper food and water. These violations cannot be forgotten now that the G20 is over. They demand accountability.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has been demanding this accountability before, during, and most importantly, in the aftermath of the Summit. In the interests of transparency to our members and the public, below is a selection of the most important correspondence and submissions we have made to elected officials regarding G8/G20 governance and policing. Where a written reply was received, it has also been included.
The CCLA would eventually file an application for an injunction against the Toronto Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police to prevent them from using the LRAD during the G20 Summit: CCLA and CLC et al. v. Toronto Police Service and Ontario Provincial Police.
Read the decisions of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in this case: 2010 ONSC 3525 – first decision on interlocutory injunction; 2010 ONSC 3698 – second decision on interlocutory injunction.
June 4, 2010 - Letter to William Elliott, RCMP Commissioner and William Blair, Chief of Toronto Police Service, regarding the issues arising from the G20 Security Fence being constructed in downtown Toronto. [Reply from Chief Blair, TPS, received on June 13, 2010].
June 25, 2010 - Letter Hon. Rick Bartolucci, Solicitor General on Ontario, regarding the adoption of Regulation 233-10 under the Public Works Protection Act. [Reply from Hon. Rick Bartolucci, received July 29, 2010].
June 29, 2010 – Canadian Civil Liberties Association releases A Breach of the Peace – Preliminary Report of Observations at the G20 Summit.
French summary of the report is released: Troubler la paix – Rapport preliminaire d’observations – Sommet du G20 – Résumé français
Copies of the report are sent to leading elected decision-makers including, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Attorney General of Canada Robert Nicholson, Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews, Premier Dalton McGuinty, Attorney General of Ontario Chris Bentley, Solicitor General of Ontario Rick Bartolucci, Commissioner of the OPP Julian Fantino, Toronto Police Service Board Chair Alok Mukherjee and Chief of the Toronto Police Service William Blair.
July 15, 2010 - Letter to Gerry McNeilly, Independent Police Review Director for Ontario, submitting 5 institutional G20 police complaints on behalf of the CCLA and calling for a systemic review of G20 policing.
July 22, 2010 – Letter to Gerry McNeilly, Independent Police Review Director for Ontario, submitting 85 individual G20 police complaints on behalf of the public and calling for a systemic review of G20 policing.
July 23, 2010 – Letter to William Blair, Chief of Toronto Police Service, regarding non-destruction and retention of video surveillance from the Eastern Avenue Detention Centre, and request for details of police force deployments throughout Toronto during the G20. [Reply received via email that video surveillance was being retained in light of pending litigation].
August 4, 2010 - Letter to the Hon. Annemarie Bonkalo, Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice, regarding transparency and public access to G20 bail hearings. [Reply from Hon. Annemarie Bonkalo, C.J.O.C.J., received August 12, 2010].
October 1, 2010 – Letter to Sheila Fraser, Auditor General of Canada, re: G20 cost review. [Reply from Sheila Fraser received October 20, 2010].
October 15, 2010 – Letter to William Blair, Toronto Police Chief – further correspondence regarding CCLA’s request that G20 arrestee police records be expunged. [Letter to William Blair, requesting a reply to the inital communication, sent November 11, 2010; Reply received November 18, 2010].
October 21, 2010 – Sample Invitation to CCLA and NUPGE November 2011 public hearings into police activity during the G20; [Replies received from hon. R. Roy McMurtry on October 22, 2010, from TPS Chief William Blair on November 2, 2010, from OIPRD on November 3, 2010, and from the OPP on November 5, 2010].