Michael Ford

Outdated law from G20 must be replaced: ombudsman

TORONTO – Ontario’s ombudsman says the governing Liberals have failed to live up to their promise to replace a law that resulted in a “massive” violation of civil rights during the G20 summit in Toronto three years ago.

Watchdog Andre Marin also says they’ve done nothing to give the Special Investigations Unit some teeth in investigating police involved in cases of serious injury or death.

And, he says the Liberals have yet to regulate non-emergency medical transfers to protect patients, despite their promise to do so two years ago.

In an interview with AdvocateDaily.com, Toronto criminal lawyer David Rose says the law’s weakness is significant, and must be addressed.

“Prosecutions arising from the G8/G20 showed a number of demonstrable failings on the part of various levels of policing,” says Rose.

“As the ombudsman said, those failings were not technical or trifling, but rather quite serious. This message has been repeated by trial judges and various independent inquiries. We know that inadequate training, supervision, coordination, and scrutiny over riot police cast a pall over Toronto in June 2010 for all the world to see.”

Rose, who was counsel in the G20 case of protestor Eva Botten, where police conduct was called into question, says swift action should be taken.

“The G8 will be hold another summit in Canada in five years,” he tells AdvocateDaily.com. “There is no reason that history need repeat itself.”

Marin says progress has been made on other fronts, such as dealing with operational stress injuries and suicide among Ontario Provincial Police officers.

In his annual report, the ombudsman says he received more than 19,000 complaints and inquiries in the past year, up slightly from the year before.

As in past years, Marin is urging the government to give him oversight of hospitals, nursing homes, municipalities, universities and school boards, saying he’s had to turn away more than 2,500 complaints about them.

The annual report reviewed what his office has done in the past year and updated recent and ongoing investigations by his office.

He’s launched a new investigation into whether the government is doing enough to protect children in unlicensed daycares.

The move comes after a toddler died at a home daycare in Vaughan, north of Toronto, last week.

Education officials have admitted that they failed to follow up on two of three complaints lodged against the daycare.

Marin said Monday that he’ll probe how the government responds to complaints and concerns related to unlicensed daycares.

-With files from AdvocateDaily

© 2013 The Canadian Press

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