Friday, June 25, 2010

CBC Coverage of G8/G20 - Day Four

Friday, June 25th.

Police Powers Expanded for G20
"Police forces in charge of security at the G20 summit in Toronto have been granted special powers for the duration of the summit.

The new powers took effect Monday and apply along the border of the G20 security fence that encircles a portion of the downtown core. This area — the so-called red zone — includes the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, where delegates will meet. The new regulations effectively expand the jurisdiction of the existing Public Works Act to apply to high-security areas of the summit site.
" (Emphasis mine)

Under the new regulations, anyone who comes within five metres of the security area is obliged to give police their name and state the purpose of their visit on request. Anyone who fails to provide identification or explain why they are near the security zone can be searched and arrested."
"Ontario's cabinet quietly passed the new rules on June 2 without legislature debate.

Civil liberties groups are concerned about the new regulations, but Toronto police Chief Bill Blair defended the move to add the new powers and denied there was any attempt to deceive the public about how or when they were enacted.

"It was not a secret," Blair told CBC News on Friday. "It was passed in exactly the procedure as described in our legislation in Ontario.

"It was published by the province ... if you go and Google 'Public Works Act Ontario' it's the second thing that comes up. The first will be the act itself
First of all, good on the CBC for including these details, as there is inevitably a lot of hysteria about police states, charter rights, etc., etc., etc. Not much about responsibilities, though. So, hat's off to CBC for this one. As usual, CBC's loyal readers dish up the hysteria in the comments, though.

There was one major rally and march, the coverage of which was, in my opinion, very evenly handed.

In other posts, CBC actually gets into coverage of what may be the important issues, according to foreign journalists, who may or may not have their respective country's top priorities correctly pegged. The issues are wide ranging, with very little overlap from one region to another. Since there has yet to be an agenda released to the press, the approach taken by the CBC staffers seems fairly creative, to say the least. They must know that the viewing/reading/listening public is getting tired of 24/7 protester propaganda. So, once again, CBC gets a good mark from me for examining an angle that doesn't focus on rabble-rousers and security measures.

Stay tuned to see what the fifth day brings.

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