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Power to the Police at G-20

Canada’s Ontario province, possibly inspired by the decade-long assault on civil liberties in the U.S., has secretly passed a regulation allowing Toronto police to arrest anyone near the security zone for the upcoming G-20 financial summit who declines to identify himself or herself or submit to a search.

One lawyer said of the new regulation, “It reminds me a little bit of the War Measures Act.” –JCL

The Star:

The province has secretly passed an unprecedented regulation that empowers police to arrest anyone near the G20 security zone who refuses to identify themselves or agree to a police search.

However, Toronto’s police chief says concerns about the new powers – which he requested – are overblown.

A 31-year-old man has already been arrested under the new regulation, which was quietly passed by the provincial cabinet on June 2.

The regulation was made under Ontario’s Public Works Protection Act and was not debated in the Legislature. According to a provincial spokesperson, the cabinet action came in response to an “extraordinary request” by Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, wanted additional policing powers shortly after learning the G20 was coming to Toronto.

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