G20 Ombudsman Report Ignored in Globe & Mail

I am sorry Madam, you have to show us some ID
I was reading my favorite television commentator John Doyle in the Globe & Mail this morning. Even if I seldom watch the tube I like his writing style and sense of humor.  Commenting on how badly the television industry deals with the Wikileaks stories Doyle said "A reason that TV news mishandles it is that the documents unleashed by Wikileaks undermines the blithe acceptance of official spin that emanates from governments which TV news specializes in regurgitating."

I thought, "Well said John" then moved on to sift the rest of the mornings offering. I was looking for the G&M's take on the Ontario ombudsman, Andre Marin's report on the conduct of the police during the G20. The story had been covered fairly widely and I wanted to read the Globe's take on it.

Some distance from keeping the peace  Marin said the Public Works Act “wound up contributing to massive violations of civil rights.”  

He came to the conclusion that the law  used to expand police powers to detain and search demonstrators was “unnecessary and probably illegal,” and “likely unconstitutional”.  It found it was  misused “to intimidate and arrest people who had done no harm” and resulted in a “mass violation of civil rights.” The political and security measures turned Toronto into an armed camp where excessive force was used to disperse peaceful protesters and wrongly arrest more than 900 people.
In my view any Canadian who watched the coverage of last summer's event should have been disturbed by the actions of police. What it showed us all is what a fragile hold we all have on the civil liberties we take for granted.
The mainstream media didn't take too long to fall into line in buying into the official line about keeping order and about the mobs of armed black block protesters. What disturbed me however was the high school kids, parents with kids and grandmothers out walking their dog who were chased by, out of control,  baton wielding thugs in uniform.
Even the Times of India picked the story up. They reported that “Canadian authorities have been slammed for using a secret regulation that "amounted to martial law" to detain protesters at the June G20 meeting. “ and that “The secret regulation to detain protesters at the June G20 meeting in Toronto had "dubious legality" and probably violated the Canadian Constitution by creating "extravagant police authority,"   

The Globe & Mail, I am disappointed to say, didn't carry the ombudsman's story at all, at least not in the edition I get delivered to my home each morning. So John, I am afraid it isn't only TV news that falls short. Have a chat with your buddies down the hall, will you John.

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