Before reading this article:
What do Dalton McGuinty and Pierre Trudeau have in common?
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July 09, 2010
Spurred by complaints from the public, Ombudsman Andre Marin will investigate controversial security regulations secretly changed by Premier Dalton McGuinty’s government before the G20 summit.
As first disclosed by the Star on June 25, McGuinty’s cabinet quietly designated some areas within the security zone around the Metro Toronto Convention Centre a “public work” under the 1939 Public Works Protection Act.
The temporary change was done on June 2 and designed to clear up any confusion for police if they had to stop someone inside the restricted area where world leaders were meeting June 26-27.
But that left the erroneous impression officers had been given the power to arrest people who refused to provide identification or submit to a search within five metres of the zone’s outer perimeter.
Marin said Friday he has had 22 complaints relating to the G20, several of which alleged the government caused confusion among the public by not being transparent when communicating the policy change.
“The complaints we’ve received so far raise serious concerns about this regulation and the way it was communicated, and I think there is a very strong public interest in finding out exactly what happened and how that affected the rest of the events of the G20 weekend,” said Marin.
His investigation is expected to be done within 90 days.
Laura Blondeau, an aide to Community Safety Minister Rick Bartolucci, said the government “will co-operative fully and quickly.”
“We welcome the investigation … and look forward to a full airing of the Ombudsman’s findings,” said Blondeau.