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Activist Communique: Ontario G20 inquiry public members bill failed to pass second reading and the Summit cost totals ‏

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Ontario's version of a parliamentary G20 inquiry, public members bill failed to pass its second reading on Nov. 4, 2010.  Bill 121 was put forward by the provincial NDP but both the Conservatives and the Liberals voted against it, so it will not move forward. 

Bill 121: An Act to require a public inquiry into government action and spending in connection with the G20 Summit.  This issue was first brought forth by Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath on October 5, 2010. Bill 121 was subsequently tabled by NDP member Peter Kormos.

You can find the debate here.

In Kormos' speech to the House, he stated, "John Pruyn is a constituent of mine; I know him. He's 57 years old. He works for Revenue Canada, for Pete's sake. He's an amputee; he lost his leg in a farming accident 17 years ago. John Pruyn is a peace activist. He was at the event with his wife, Susan, and his daughter.

He was sitting on the lawns of Queen's Park, which so many people had believed was sort of a safe zone-not safe to commit crimes but safe to be removed from any of the fray that was going on out there. He was attacked by police officers, arrested, handcuffed, had his prosthesis torn off his leg, was hauled off to spend a couple of days in the primitive, makeshift, oh-so-Guantanamo-reminiscent holding cells down on Eastern Avenue, and then was released without charges."

Kormos later continued, "Never before have we witnessed in this province such an outrageous and aggressive attack on fundamental freedoms and on basic and clear charter rights. We reverted to barbarism on June 26 and June 27. For the life of me, I can't understand why the people across would not want some light shone on this sordid moment in the province's history.

Regulation 233/10 was made in secret. For the life of me, I can't understand why government backbenchers wouldn't be as outraged that they were kept in the dark as well, because they've had to wear it in their ridings, weekend after weekend.

A public inquiry is the only way we're going to clear the air. A public inquiry is the only way we're going to build a system where this can never happen again.

I do encourage people to go to the website: http://www.torontog20exposed.ca/ "

The vote to pass Bill 121 was 8 ayes and 28 nays.

In other G8/G20 news, the watchdog agency for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) stated on Friday November 5, 2010, that it will launch a public-interest investigation into policing of the G8 and G20 meetings.

The probe was launched after a Canadian Civil Liberties Association complaint was made against the force. There have been 28 complaints about the RCMP's role in the Summits.

**

Meanwhile, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair stated Thursday that his force is likely to be under budget regarding the cost of policing for the G20 Summit. Blair said the force was working with a budget of $124.8 million for policing, most of it going to fly in, house and pay the 2,000 cops from across the country that came to Toronto for the weekend.

Please note that this tab does not cover policing costs for the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Overall Summit costs - both the G8 in Huntsville and the G20 in Toronto - are expected to reach $1.3 billion, this includes a fake lake and $100 each pens for the leaders, and over $86,000 worth of lapel pins and zipper pulls.

G20 Summit security costs alone are expected to be at least $676 million but final costs won't be released until year's end.

Merry Christmas! We all get LRAD sound cannons as gifts. Thanks Premier Dad!

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