Thursday, July 8, 2010

McGuinty, closer to Nixon than Trudeau

Dalton, I hate to break it to you but you are not Trudeau. Not even close. And the G20 Summit protests are nothing like the situation in which Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act. In case your memory needs refreshing, the October Crisis involved the actual kidnapping of a British trade envoy James Cross and the kidnapping and murder of Quebec cabinet minister Pierre Laporte by the FLQ. It was not invoked because a few windows were smashed. If so, the Montreal Canadiens would have to move somewhere else, lest the whole city end up in jail. And yet the Star reports, McGuinty defended his refusal to call a public inquiry into police conduct during the G20 by making that very comparison.



Members of his caucus are unhappy with police heavy-handedness, as well as the lack of clarity from the Ontario Liberal government on the special "fake law" that was used to illegally search people all over the city. According to one incredulous MP, McGuinty “told us, ‘Just remember, the same guy who gave us the Charter also gave us the War Measures Act.’”

Good, it sounds like pressure from the public is at least getting through to MPPs if not to the pointy-headed one. We need to keep it up.

However, our boy Dalton wasn't finished. In an even more bizarre comparison, McGuinty referred to Nixon's "silent majority". Nixon. Really? He actually went there? Presumably he meant most Canadians don't mind illegal searches, illegal detentions and police brutality as long as it doesn't happen to them, or as long as you have Conservative-friendly polling companies asking the questions.

It may even be true but it's completely beside the point. The point is we have a Charter of Rights, we have laws protecting citizens from such KGB style police tactics, and those laws were repeatedly broken during that nightmare weekend.

Here's one, from the Criminal Code of Canada:
C.C.C. - Neglect by peace officer
69. A peace officer who receives notice that there is a riot within his jurisdiction and, without reasonable excuse, fails to take all reasonable steps to suppress the riot is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 70.

How about this one?
C.C.C. - Spreading false news
181. Every one who wilfully publishes a statement, tale or news that he knows is false and that causes or is likely to cause injury or mischief to a public interest is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 177.
Yes, Bill Blair, we're looking at you here, as well as every single cop who knew the Public Works Act only applied inside the security fence, not outside.

Take a look at more indictable offences committed by police and security forces over at G20 Justice, as well as a growing archive of victim statements. Will someone please tell me, what fucking country do we live in again?

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