G20 aftermath: court allows class action lawsuit to proceed

G20 aftermath: court allows class action lawsuit to proceed

Police at the G20 Summit in Toronto (Image: andrewarchy)

Without any kind of serious, thorough and official reckoning in the wake of the G20 summit in Toronto last summer, we were finally starting to get used to the idea that what Ontario ombudsman André Marin called the most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history was going to be brushed off with nothing more than a pat on the head from the feds, a province desperate to pass the buck and an SIU that couldn’t get Toronto police to identify more than a handful of officers. But it looks like we got used to the idea a little too soon. News broke yesterday that a class action lawsuit on behalf of the people rounded up during the G20 will, in fact, go forward.

The Toronto Star reports:

A judge has given one G20 class action lawsuit the green light to seek certification, while calling a halt to another.

The $45 million suit launched by office administrator Sherry Good on behalf of people subject to mass arrests during the June 2010 Toronto meeting of world leaders can now ask a judge for certification.

But the $115 million G20 suit launched by activists Miranda McQuade and Mike Barber is stayed, Justice Carolyn Horkins ruled in a judgment released Tuesday in Ontario Superior Court.

Because the two lawsuits are so similar, the court could only let one proceed and ruled in favour of Sherry Good. Of course, the wonderful thing about these kinds of lawsuits isn’t that they’re guaranteed to succeed; it’s that even when they fail at a legal level they still get all sorts of information out on the public record (see McLibel)—something that’s desperately needed when it comes to the G20. So huzzah for lawsuits, we say! Here’s hoping the case clears the hurdles it needs to see the inside of a courtroom.

Judge allows one G20 class action lawsuit to seek certification [Toronto Star]