Saturday, June 26, 2010

Harper on the G20 arrest regulation

As Dalton McGuinty and Toronto police chief Bill Blair feel the heat over that new Ontario regulation which gives police those unprecedented powers to arrest in the G20 security zone, Boris at Galloping Beaver has reminded us of the Privy Council Office's role in security planning for the G20. The PCO "Coordinates security planning with relevant federal, provincial and municipal players."

This is why Harper's response on the issue of the new regulation and arrest powers at his news conference yesterday is of some interest. He basically put it at the feet of the provincial government, stating it was not his habit to comment on provincial legislation. Watch here at the 5:10 mark.
"Well, I generally don't comment on provincial legislation and I certainly don't comment on police operational matters, those are in the hands of the authorities and we have confidence in the work they're doing. It's provincial legislation."
No statement about Canadians' basic rights being important, no comment really at all about the law. Just buck-passing. Which, based on his department's role in security planning for the G20, seems questionable.

Note as well that Police Chief Bill Blair's office says that the larger body of the Integrated Security Unit decided to make the request for the arrest powers. That is this body, made up of the Toronto police, Ontario police, and federal actors that include the RCMP and Canadian Forces.