Ontario Ombudsman statement on G20 arrests and detentions
December 7, 2010
TORONTO (December 9, 2010) – Ontario Ombudsman André Marin today issued a brief additional statement about his special report Caught in the Act. The statement addresses issues and questions surrounding the use of police powers granted by the province’s enactment of Regulation 233/10 under the Public Works Protection Act.
“Efforts have been made to downplay the questionable use of Regulation 233/10 during the days surrounding the G20 summit in Toronto, on the basis that only two persons were arrested under its authority,” Mr. Marin says in the statement. “It is important when considering this information to understand that while there may have been only two arrests using Regulation 233/10, many people were detained, searched, questioned, and redirected under its authority. That regulation played a huge role in the violations of civil liberties that occurred. Arrests were only a small part of it.”
Mr. Marin goes on to explain the legal definitions of “arrest” and “detention.” In Caught in the Act, the report on his investigation into the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services’ conduct in relation to the regulation, the Ombudsman found the little-known legal measure was likely unconstitutional and that it contributed to a massive breach of civil liberties in Toronto during the days surrounding the summit last June.
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