Repealed laws, unreleased reports and plea bargains? Thursday is apparently G8/G20 news dump day

Repealed laws, unreleased reports and plea bargains? Thursday is apparently G8/G20 news dump day

The infamous fence (Image: Yeshwant from the Flickr pool) 

We’re only a few months away from the one-year anniversary of the G8/G20 summits that were ever so much fun for this city. In case anyone needs a hand remembering what kind of festivities we put up with last year, the provincial government and the news media have conspired to remind us all with a trio of stories that involve that magical weekend last summer.

1. The G20 fence law is on the way out
First, this morning, there was the news from the Toronto Star that the Ontario government is going to repeal the law that was used to confuse the public about pesky little matters like their Charter rights—a.k.a. the “G20 fence law.” If this goes ahead, Torontonians will not have to fear a repeat of the security fence, and the rules that saw people threatened with searches and arrest all over the city. Queen’s Park is planning on replacing the act with some different, more limited statutes—which we hope will be used with a little more discretion.

2. The auditor general’s G8 spending report is staying put
Then came the news that Avaaz—they of the Sun TV petition that turned out to be stuffed with fake names—will not be able to have their day in court. Avaaz wanted the court to force the auditor general to release her report on G8 spending in and around Tony Clement’s riding last summer. The lefty activist group had hoped to get the report out in full before election day, but the judge said no dice.

3. Score one for the cops
Finally, perma-activist Jaggi Singh has pleaded guilty to reduced charges based on the events of the G20, which makes the score for the police something like a small handful of successful prosecutions against more than a thousand arrests. This sounds like a win for the police, although the plea bargain reportedly bars the crown from using Singh’s decision as evidence against any other G20 protesters who were arrested. So it’s a pretty shallow win.

Outdated laws, deferred court cases and legal shenanigans that leave us wondering just what the powers that be are up to—it really is like the G20 all over again.

Exclusive: Province to scrap secret G20 law [Toronto Star]
Judge won’t hear G8 report release case before election [CTV News]
G20 activist Jaggi Singh pleads guilty [CBC]