Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday, December 9, 2010
McGuinty admits security law kept Ontarians in the dark
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says his government acted too quickly and kept the public in the dark when it handed police special powers that violated people’s civil liberties during last summer’s G20 summit.
He made the admission a day after the province’s Ombudsman said the now infamous secret measure, made at the direct request of Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, was “likely illegal” and never should have been enacted.
“This was an extraordinary regulation and it deserved more transparency and more debate,” Mr. McGuinty conceded to reporters on Wednesday.
But his comments did little to end the controversy at the provincial legislature, where opposition members called for the resignation of Community Safety Minister Jim Bradley. It was Mr. Bradley’s predecessor, Rick Bartolucci, who was harshly criticized in the Ombudsman’s report for plotting to keep the measure under wraps last June. But Mr. Bartolucci was moved to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing two months later as part of a cabinet shuffle.
Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak accused the Premier of exercising “extraordinary poor judgment” in enacting powers normally reserved for times of war and for “conspiring” to keep them secret.
“This was not a simple error,” Mr. Hudak said during Question Period on Wednesday. “It was not a simple mistake. The Ombudsman said this was a premeditated plan to keep the general public in the dark.” (Globe & Mail)