December 7, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(416) 363-0321 ex. 225
CCLA Reacts to Ontario Ombudsman Special “Caught in the Act” Report on the G20
CCLA has long-objected to the lack of public involvement in the passing of the Regulation that designated the G20 site a “public work” as well as the inadequate and, in some cases, incorrect communication of this important development to Ontarians. In CCLA’s view, the Regulation gave more power to police in relation to the G20 site than was necessary for security purposes, resulting in excessive and unwarranted intrusions into civil liberties. This was made possible, in large part, by the overly broad nature of the Public Works Protection Act, which, in CCLA’s view should be significantly amended or repealed.
CCLA feels vindicated by the report which recognizes the dubious legality of using the Public Works Protection Act in the circumstances of the G20. On Thursday June 24, CCLA had denounced the secrecy surrounding the unprecedented adoption of the Regulation under the Act, and today it is relieved that the Ombudsman agrees that the secretive process was inappropriate and undermined the principle of the rule of law by preventing people from knowing that extraordinary powers had been granted to the police.
“The time has come for the government to act to amend both the process for adopting Regulations in Ontario and the Public Works Protection Act itself,” said CCLA General Counsel, Nathalie Des Rosiers. “That is why we are calling upon the government to act swiftly to implement the Ombudsman’s recommendations.”
A copy of A Breach of the Peace, the CCLA’s post-G20 report that addresses the Public Works Protection Act can be downloaded here.