Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair is being unfairly singled out by provincial Ombudsman Andre Marin, insisted Coun. Adam Vaughan.
“This notion that the chief was running the G20 security unit is just ridiculous,” said Vaughan, an outgoing member of the Toronto Police Services Board. “The ISU was the federal-provincial body which was mandated under a federal-provincial agreement to protect international protected persons. It was not a local police operation.”
Marin, in a stinging report, said Blair’s office was “ground zero” for the controversial five-metre rule, which led to indiscriminate arrests and searches.
But Vaughan said the provincial government — not Blair — was responsible for such regulations and telling people about them.
“It was never the police chief’s job to do communications for the provincial government,” he said. “If they’re going to pass laws, it’s for them to explain them.”
Councillor Michael Thompson — who is poised to sit on the Toronto Police Service Board — stressed that many
policing agencies were involved in the G20 and predicted there will be some “strong discussions” about what took place.
“(The Ombudsman) has come down quite concisely on the fact that rights were violated,” Thompson said. “I think that it is a matter of clarifying what that means and how that occurred in order to ensure as we move forward that these sort of things don’t happen again.
“Mistakes were made and obviously the Ombudsman is saying things were done that violated individual rights, as such we’re very concerned by that.”