Back in late June, I sent the following email to the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper.
Dear Mr. Harper,
Toronto has long been proud of our women and men in uniform who protect our city, and provide an invaluable service to its people. The security of the G20, however, has soured the People’s view of the Toronto Police Service,
the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Ontario Provincial Police. With videos and photographic displays showing what appears to be excessive force and an abandon of the Charter, Torontonians cannot trust their Police or feel safe.
Obviously these videos and photos only show one side of the coin, and I do hope, along with all of my fellow Torontonians that the Police are honourable and were only acting within the boundaries of the law. And so, I
must request that the Canadian Government act swiftly and open an independent inquiry into the behaviour of the Integrated Security Unit. If no wrong doings occurred, then Torontonians will be able to once again show
pride in their Police; if, however, it is found that the Police overstepped then we’ll find a place to put blame, and I trust that the Government will take the appropriate action.
As the Prime Minister who led the Conservative Party of Canada to their first victory on a platform of honesty and accountability in the wake of the Sponsorship Scandal, I know that honour will dictate your decisions, and you
will do the right thing.
Thank you for your time,
Adam M. Anklewicz
Jack Layton, MP Toronto-Danforth
Michael Ignatieff, Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition
Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario
David Miller, Mayor of Toronto
William Blair, Chief of Police
I just received this reply on Aug. 6.
Dear Mr. Anklewicz:
On behalf of the Prime Minister, thank you for your recent correspondence regarding the conduct of the police forces providing security for the G8 and G20 Summits. Our office has noted your concerns. Our Government takes the allegations which have been raised seriously, and believes that they should be given all due consideration under existing mechanisms for handling complaints regarding police conduct.
Thank you for taking the time to write.
Susan I. Ross
Assistant to the Prime Minister
I’m not satisfied with this response, so I replied with:
Thank you kindly for your reply. In the five weeks that have passed since I wrote my original letter Canadians, and specifically Torontonians, have been wondering why the Harper Government refuses to open an independent inquiry. Ms. Ross, it seems to be only for the best of Canadians that we evaluate this.
If Mr. Day is correct that the census data shows Canadians are not reporting crimes, perhaps it’s because of a lack of trust between citizens and the police? This trust is gone. Before the G20, if I saw a uniformed police officer passing on the street, I’d give him or her a smile; now I get tense.
The existing mechanisms for investigation into these allegations are neither broad enough in scope, nor independent. We must examine the events from all levels, and clear the reputations of our would-be beloved defenders of the peace.
Ms. Ross, we have nothing to lose but time and money, and while money is not infinite, Canadians care enough about our integrity domestically and on the world stage that we can take the hit.