TORONTO — Toronto’s police chief is admitting there never was a five-metre rule that had people fearing arrest if they strayed too close to the G20 security perimeter.
Civil libertarians were fuming after hearing Friday that the Ontario cabinet gave police the power to stop and search anyone coming within five metres of the G20 fences in Toronto for a one week period.
However, the Ministry of Community Safety says all the cabinet did was update the law that governs entry to such things as court houses to include specific areas inside the G20 fences — not outside.
A ministry spokeswoman says the change was about property, not police powers, and did not include any mention of a zone five metres outside the G20 security perimeter.
When asked today if there actually was a five-metre rule given the ministry’s clarification, Blair smiled and said, “No, but I was trying to keep the criminals out.”
And now, let’s along sing along to Bing Crosby and The Andrew Sisters’ rendition of “Don’t Fence Me In”:
Perhaps next time, the Ontario provincial Liberal government will consult the Ministry of the Attorney General Office on the legality of legislation it passes and the propriety of informing the public beforehand.