"It is imperative that there be a full public inquiry into what happened
during the G20 in order to get at the truth and ensure it doesn't
happen again. The maintenance of public confidence in law enforcement
demands nothing less."
OTTAWA, Feb. 28 /CNW/ - The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA)
and the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) today
released a final report on G20 security issues based on public hearings
held last year.
In November 2010, the CCLA and NUPGE organized three days of public
hearings in Toronto and Montreal to examine police activity during the
G20 Summit. The hearings were called: Breach of the Peace - G20 Summit: Accountability in Policing and
Governance. More than 60 speakers attended. Peaceful protestors, journalists,
innocent bystanders and others told horrific stories of police
violence, threats, mistreatment and unlawful detainment.
"The aftermath of the G20 presents a unique historical moment for
Canadian governments to improve the legal and policy frameworks
governing public order policing," said Nathalie Des Rosiers, CCLA
General Counsel. "It is imperative that there be a full public inquiry
into what happened during the G20 to ensure that it does not happen
again. The maintenance of public confidence in law enforcement demands
Based on the issues identified over the course of the public hearings,
the report offers a comprehensive overview of the major civil liberties
violations that took place during the G20 Summit, and puts forward a
series of recommendations aimed at protecting constitutional rights in
future public order policing operations.
"During the hearings we heard shocking stories of police excesses at the
G20 Summit," said James Clancy, NUPGE National President. "In many
cases, it seems as if these excesses, which included widespread
violations of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, were committed with complete impunity. It is completely unacceptable
that the constitutional rights of Canadians were treated with such
utter disregard. We can and must do better."
While the widespread property damage that occurred during the Summit was
deplorable, it neither justified nor warranted the extent of the police
response that occurred. More than 1,105 people were arrested by police
- the largest mass-arrest in Canadian peace time history. Canadians are
entitled to policing that does not undermine constitutional values.
Unfortunately, the security operations and police conduct chronicled in
this report fell well short of this standard, resulting in a
significant diminution of public faith in policing.
Members of Parliament Don Davies (NDP Public Safety Critic) and Mark
Holland (Liberal Public Safety Critic) joined the CCLA and NUPGE at the
news conference to echo the concerns and recommendations outlined in
the report. They were also joined by Natalie Gray, an individual who
shared her story of being fired at with rubber bullets during the
"New Democrats believe that we need nothing short of a full public
inquiry with the powers to subpoena persons and documents and hear
testimony under oath," says NDP MP Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway).
"This is the only way to get to the truth of what happened at the G20
"Parliament probed for answers from the government but all we got was
stonewalling," says Liberal MP Mark Holland (Ajax-Pickering). "It is
now clear that only a full public inquiry will be able to get to the
bottom of the Harper government's G20 billion dollar boondoggle and
provide Canadians with the answers they deserve."
The report is available on the CCLA (www.ccla.org) and NUPGE (www.nupge.ca) websites as of 11am on Monday February 28.
About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association:
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) is a national
organization dedicated to promoting respect for and observance of
fundamental human rights and civil liberties. Its work, which includes
research, public education and advocacy, aims to defend and ensure the
protection and full exercise of those rights and liberties.
About the National Union of Public and General Employees:
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is a family
of 11 Component unions. Taken together they are one of the largest
unions in Canada. Most of their 340,000 members work to deliver public
services of every kind to the citizens of their home provinces. NUPGE
also has a large and growing number of members who work for private
SOURCE NATIONAL UNION OF PUBLIC AND GENERAL EMPLOYEES
For further information:
- Penelope Chester (CCLA): Office phone (416) 363-0321 ex. 225 or cell phone (647) 822-8764 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Derek Fudge (NUPGE): Office phone (613) 228-9800 or cell phone (613) 797-3914 or by email email@example.com