Summit security still hot potato


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OTTAWA -- The G8 and G20 summits lasted only three days in total, but the political debate surrounding security for them is set to become a summer-long fling.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/07/2010 (4703 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

OTTAWA — The G8 and G20 summits lasted only three days in total, but the political debate surrounding security for them is set to become a summer-long fling.

The Ontario ombudsman has launched an investigation into the bogus "five-metre law" that saw Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Toronto police allow the public to believe a secretly passed law was in place giving cops the power to stop and search anyone who came within five metres of the summit’s security fence.

Although the law, passed in secret by the McGuinty cabinet, in fact only applied to the space within the barricades, neither the premier nor the police let the public know reports on the law were mistaken. Numerous people reported the cops acted on the law during the summits, and several lawyers say they have clients who were arrested and charged using the bogus law.

McGuinty’s office failed to clear up the confusion about the law until after the summits were over.

The House of Commons public safety committee has been summoned back to the nation’s capital today for a meeting about the summit security. The Liberals want Public Safety Minister Vic Toews to be the first witness.

His office, however, seems to think the committee hearing is unnecessary.

"Our security partners were able to protect the safety of Canadians, delegates, and visitors to the City of Toronto and the Town of Huntsville, working in what were exceptionally difficult circumstances," said Toews’ spokesman Chris McCluskey in an email. "Specific bodies exist to handle complaints regarding police conduct and it’s appropriate for individuals to direct their concerns to those bodies."

— — —

Stephen Harper! The Musical. Don’t adjust your glasses or try to rub the sleep from your eyes. You read that correctly.

Our prime minister may be more sweater-vest and minivan than neon lights and tap shoes, but still the Toronto comedy-writing brothers Daniel and Steven Shehori are putting the PM where most would hardly have imagined him — as the star of his own musical.

The brothers penned a comedy that began performances at Toronto’s Second City last week. The premise is simple: Harper needs to turn around the polls and his advisers decide the best way to woo back voters is to mount a musical for Broadway based on Harper’s life.

Why Broadway?

According to the official show description at, that’s because "Canadians get behind Canadians that Americans get behind. Just ask Nickelback."

The official website,, gives a sneak peek of the opening number (Me ‘n My Peeps).

Next stop? Road show. Stephen Harper! The Musical is available for touring starting in 2011.

— — —

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has his own road show kicking off this week. Ignatieff’s Liberal Express Summer 2010 tour hits the road in Ottawa tomorrow. From the looks of his Week 1 itinerary, one has to hope Ignatieff has not just been working on his speeches but working up an appetite.

In the course of six days, his tour of eastern Ontario, exurban areas east of Toronto, and Ontario cottage country will take him to a cheese factory, a bakery, a Tim Hortons, a hamburger joint, two farmer’s markets, three luncheons and four barbecues. At least one of the stops involves some sort of physical activity to burn it all off — helping build a Habitat for Humanity house in Cobourg.

The Liberal bus tour is seen by some as an attempt to repeat the successful bus tour by Jean Chrétien just before the 1993 federal election — which saw the Liberals win a majority government.

Iggy-mania will roll into Winnipeg sometime in August, where he is expected to take in Folklorama.


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