Monday, July 12, 2010

This letter sent to all MPs, Ontario MPPs and Toronto City Councillors

Sent via

My great uncle Charles McGrath served in parliament, a backer of Sir Wilfred Laurier.  My father retired as a Superior Court Judge - was a member of the Canadian Judicial Council for many years.   I grew up believing in Canada, and in Canadian Justice and Law Enforcement.

I am shocked and dismayed by the news stories, and accounts I have heard from people who were there, about policing at the G20 .  Protesters were in Toronto to bring their points of view, on matters important to them, to the attention of G20 leaders and through the media to other Canadians and citizens of the world.  According to the information I have been able to gather, it appears that essential legal freedoms were denied them and that police used excessive force and very often behaved in a manner beneath Canadian community standards of behaviour.

I support the Canadian Civil Liberties Association's (CCLA) call for:

(1.) An independent inquiry into the actions of the police during the G20, including:
- The dispersal of protestors at the designated demonstration site in Queen’s Park late afternoon, Saturday June 26, 2010;
- The detention and mass arrest on the Esplanade on the night of Saturday, June 26, 2010;
- The arrests and police actions outside the Eastern Ave. detention centre on the morning of Sunday, June 27, 2010;
- The prolonged detention and mass arrest of individuals at Queen St. W. and Spadina Ave. on the evening of Sunday, June 27, 2010;
- The conditions of detention at the Eastern Ave. detention centre.

(2.) Repeal or amendment of the Public Works Protection Act to meet basic constitutional standards; and

(3.) Law reform to ensure that the Criminal Code provisions relating to "breach of the peace", "unlawful assemblies" and "riots" are brought in line with constitutional standards.

Please take appropriate action.  To let the behaviour of police at the G20 summit go without  reproval leaves the impression that their conduct *meets the standard* of Canada law enforcement.  If so, this would a very sad day for Canada, and you will be complicit in supporting the erosion of public confidence in our legal system.

If there is no properly constituted full public inquiry as described above, one which is given the resources, time and support it needs to be effective, I will publicly return my Solicitor General's Award for Crime Prevention, and encourage other past recipients of this award to do so along with me.

David de Weerdt
67 Mill Street
Kitchener, Ontario
N2G 2Y2
Tel: 519-590-3830

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