Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

June 24, 2011 17:15 ET

OFL President Calls for Toronto Police Chief to Resign Over Handling of G20

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 24, 2011) - The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) President Sid Ryan is calling for the resignation of Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair in response to a report released yesterday by the Toronto Police Service about the handling of last year's controversial G20 Summit in Toronto. The report perpetuates the police denial of responsibility for mass-arrests of peaceful protesters and bystanders, the suspension of civil liberties and a fraud perpetuated by the police about the now infamous "five-metre rule."

"Chief Blair is allowing Toronto police officers who abused their power and assaulted innocent members of the public to hide behind a thin blue line," said OFL President Sid Ryan. "It was clear from the get-go that the Chief was coordinating with the highest levels of government and he was calling the shots. His role in perpetuating a fraud upon the public about police powers has forever damaged the reputation of Toronto police force and it has tarnished his badge."

According to the Criminal Code of Canada fraud is defined as follows: "Every one who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, whether or not it is a false pretense within the meaning of this Act, defrauds the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable security or any service is guilty of...an offence."

"The secret amendment to the Ontario Public Works Act became the fig leaf used to justify the mass violation of civil liberties during the G20," said Ryan. "However, the law never allowed the police to conduct extraordinary searches on lawful citizens outside of the perimeter of the fence, let alone all over the downtown core. Toronto became a police state."

According to the Criminal Code of Canada, the definition of conspiracy is as follows: "Every one who conspires with anyone to prosecute a person for an alleged offence, knowing that he did not commit that offence, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment..."

"Chief Blair, senior law enforcement officers, and members of the Ontario government met in secret to amend the act without public scrutiny and willfully chose not to correct the record when it was reported that law was being applied outside of its intended purpose," said Ryan. "This is nothing short of a conspiracy of silence on the part of the Chief and government officials. There is no question that Blair should be forced to resign and we need a full and independent inquiry to determine how this travesty of justice took place and who else should be held to account."

The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. The OFL played a central role in organizing the "People's First" Rally during the G20 last year. The rally was a "family friendly" event that transpired without incident. However, later in the day, the police force swept into the designated "peaceful protest zone" with truncheons swinging and embarked on a mass-arrest that set a new standard in peace-time detentions. The OFL and other organizations are holding a rally at 2:00 pm Saturday, June 25 at Queen's Park to celebrate fundamental freedoms and mark the anniversary of the arrests.

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