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Ontario Ombudsman says G20 conditions "amounted to Martial Law"

Report has harsh words for police and fence law

by Tim Groves

Ontario Ombudsman says G20 conditions "amounted to Martial Law"
Ontario Ombudsman says G20 conditions "amounted to Martial Law"
Ontario Ombudsman says G20 conditions "amounted to Martial Law"

In a report released today Ontario Ombudsman AndrĂ© Marin strongly criticised the regulations implemented ahead of the G20 which gave the police extraordinary powers, and said that it "amounted to martial law" being implemented during the G20. 

In his report, "Caught in the Act", Marin described the regulation to the Public Works Protection Act (PWPA), as being of " dubious legality". Regulation 233/10 under the 71-year-old law was sometimes referred to as the "5 meter law" but Marin said that the sweeping power is gave to suspend civil liberties were not limited to 5 meter and it would be better described as the "5 kilometer law". 

The regulation forced citizen to identify themselves and allowed the police to search anyone they chose to, suspending the normal civil rights granted to citizens. 

Passing the regulation "would trigger what amounted to martial law in the streets of Toronto."  Marin said

"The Most significant effect of Reg. 223 was that it revived a piece of wartime legislation that was passed in 1939 to protect infrastructure in Ontario from the enemies of war." He said in response to a question from the media, "Was it really required to enact a piece of war times legislation that gave phenomenal powers to the police, and was of questionable legality?"

"There was a premeditated conscious planned decision not to announce the existence of the regulation or the reviving of this wartime act " Marin told a press conference. "The government essentially poked a hibernating bear, woke it up and it didn't want the public to know." 


He also claimed that the "ground zero" for creating the regulation was in the office of Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, and that "It was sold to the province." He claimed the Toronto Police provided no support in his investigation.


To Read the Ombudsman's remarks on the content of his report or the report itself click on the links below:





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Tim Groves (Tim Groves)
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323 words


Awesome Tim! This sort of

Awesome Tim! This sort of thing is why this website is so fucking amazing. Thanks for getting this out to us so fast.

My comment above was about

My comment above was about how impressed I was that this story appeared on the site so quickly, while the ombudsman was still speaking in fact. It appeared first as a short stub which was later expanded. Allowing a story to physically develop on the page as it develops in the real world is a very powerful application of the medium, and definitely got the story to me much faster than any other.

There's a saying in the open source software community that is "Release early, release often". Get your work up, however incomplete, and let the collaborative process begin!

Great story Tim

Important stuff for the public to know!

G20 inquiry

As someone who was detained and was able to testify in front of parliament I think it is important to note that there was well over a thousand others who have not had a chance to voice their stories. Many are still left with the question as to why this happened. The public safety committee only had 9 hours to interview witnesses which is not enough time to discover why. This is why we need a public judicial inquiry into the matter. I am currently collecting signatures for a petition to have an inquiry anyone who is interested in signing please send an email to

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