Blatant as blatant can be at the Toronto G20 Summit in June 2010. Police abuse and brutality, much caught on video or photos. Police use of the crowd control technique called “kettling”, which is not approved nor part of the training of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Abuse of the legal system to create a law that was not disclosed to the public and then abused by the police. Numerous cases of abuse of our rights to free speech, as documented by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. Frivolous spending of over $1 billion Canadian taxpayer dollars. Yet at Canada’s federal and Ontario provincial governments, refusal to call a public inquiry. We Canadians deserve much better. These politicians should be removed from office immediately. What more is physical abuse, political manipulation and financial bungling is needed to prompt a public inquiry here in Canada?
I used to joke that after living in China and Japan for a couple of years, returning to my home city of Toronto was a non event. It was literally a non event because nothing really changes in Toronto. Sleepy and a tad boring, Toronto seemed to always be the same stable environment. I have come to change my viewpoint now because of the startling and sudden infringement of human rights and the rule of law that has occurred due to the G20 summits that are now being held in Toronto. With law enforcement ballooning to 14,000, imported from all police departments throughout Canada, police decked out in full riot gear, secretly enacted laws of search and arrest (Ontario’s Public Works Protection Act, specifics for the G20), without public debate nor following the proper procedures of the courts, Toronto has degraded from a sleepy democracy to a communist country or a police state. Startling is how fast my city degraded to a police state, catching all of us by surprise. I expect this while living in China but I did not realize that democracy can be so easily overturned by so few.
Queer comes to mind when talking about the case of grocer David Chen. A known thief, Anthony Bennett, steals flowers from Chen’s store. This is caught on video. The thief returns less than an hour later. Chen and two workers hold the thief for police. Mr. Chen is charged with assault and forcible confinement. All charges for the thief are dropped. This is morally wrong and a perversion of the law. Thieves should not be able to steal and get away with it. How simple can this get? Explain this to a 4 year old and s/he would easily understand, yet Toronto police struggle with this issue. It is no wonder when people refuse to cooperate with police.