G20 reviews just keep on coming

G20 reviews just keep on coming

A police officer stands in front of a flaming car during the G20 (Image: jen takes pictures from the torontolife.com Flickr pool)

Speaking on CBC’s Metro Morning earlier today, Councillor Adam Vaughan announced that the Toronto Police Services Board would conduct its own investigation into police tactics during the G20 summit—which, on top of the cops’ own internal investigation, makes two. But police tactics have been so heavily criticized in the two weeks since the summit that quite a few different inquiries have been suggested. There are more than enough questions that need answering—like why ISU cops tackled and arrested a 57-year-old amputee. So, with two different inquiries happening in the city alone, who else can be expected to turn over some rocks and look at the ugly side of what happened that weekend?

When the OPP shot and killed Dudley George in Ipperwash Provincial Park, there was an inquiry—although the province had to wait until a different party was in power for it to get going. Given the heavy provincial bootprint in the days and weeks leading up to the summit—whether it was dishonestly promoting non-existent police powers, speeding up licensing for out-of-province security or simply having Julian Fantino as head of the OPP—Queen’s Park was up to its neck in the G20, so leaving inquiries at the city level leaves a bit of a stink.
Likely result:
Between Dalton McGuinty washing his hands and the Tories’ tough-on-crime stance, nothing is likely to happen unless somehow the NDP takes over after next year’s election.  So, it’s pretty safe to say this one is a non-starter. There’s always Quebec.

For obvious reasons, much of the G20 fallout has been landing on the doorstep of Stephen Harper. Given the minority parliament in Ottawa, there’s a chance the opposition parties could force an independent investigation of some kind. Since the protestors that were detained included many lefties and francophones, pretty much every opposition party has a reason to buy in. At the very least, we’re likely to see committee hearings.
Likely result:
An inquiry, should it happen, could be stunning. The Conservatives could suffer a rebuke of a severity rarely seen in Canadian history. And then the opposition will knuckle under, and things will stay the same.

Hey, if you can’t get any justice in Ottawa, go even higher. A handful of Québécois protestors who were rounded up during the G20 are preparing to submit a record of their abuses to the UN Human Rights Council. At the UNHRC, the abuses will be analyzed by such human rights luminaries as Egypt, China and Kyrgyzstan, who will either howl about Canada’s flirt with autocracy or wonder why there were no tanks in the streets. (Answer: it was summertime, and there was no snow to plow.)
Likely result:
Please. It’s the UN.

‘Independent’ G20 policing review ordered  [CBC News]
Independent review of Toronto cops’ G20 actions approved [Toronto Sun]
• G20 protesters reportedly launching complaint with UN [Globe and Mail]