cottage dock

Morning Brew: 'G20 weapons' display and 'logistics' at detention centre not quite right, Iran slams Canada for human rights violations, fire services problems, City back in the black, Vaughan rebrands, cigarillo ban

Was it dishonestly or incompetence rearing its head? Either way, the fact that many of the weapons that Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair showed off for the media were not confiscated items from G20 protesters/vandals is of concern. Is getting it conveniently wrong or making these kinds of blatant errors at this point acceptable?

The fact that police informed their own chose not to clarify the special security law with the public in advance of the summit is also a concern. Was the memo sent to all members of the Integrated Security Unit (RCMP, OPP, TPS, etc.)? Could it be that a memo clarifying the law was sent to the force but wasn't read and/or fully understood by all parties, resulting in lack of understanding on their part, and subsequent unnecessary or inappropriate mass detentions?

Although our arrest laws guarantee the reading of our rights and access to legal council, many of the hundreds detained in the Eastern Avenue Detention Centre insist that at no point were they offered either. According to the Toronto Police who conducted a tour of the facilities, logistics may have prevented everyone from having access to the phone booths in a timely manner (if at all).

At a time when the media, the public, and civil rights organizations are crying out for a public inquiry into police action during the summit, and official complaints about mistreatment are being filed, the TPS needs to get its ducks in a tight row. When Iran is slamming Canada for human rights abuses, (which admittedly is almost laughable), there may be something to this.

Want an inquiry? Sign this PETITION asking for one.

A report laden with censored details suggests that our fire services have serious problems that are affecting their ability to ensure our safety as well as they could. Lengthy response times, outdated equipment, and lack of information about sites being called to are some of the details the Toronto Star has been able to extract.

In rare, positive financial news, the City of Toronto has been rather successful in cutting back on expenses and also took in more revenues than expected in the first quarter of this year. We're in the black. Maybe some of this extra money can be used to fix windows broken by unruly vandals (ironically also "in black") along Queen West and Yonge Street (because that $1billion in G20 security costs doesn't include any damages caused by the failure to prevent said damages). Or maybe we can invest in an inquiry into the actions of security. Or maybe we can work on fixing the fire department's problems.

After 20 years of selling itself as "Vaughan: The city above Toronto," the thriving suburb has grown up and will officially drop the phrase and simply be known as "Vaughn." The change, however, does not imply that Toronto is no longer beneath Vaughan.

As of Canada Day, youngsters seeking to buy individually packaged, brightly coloured, candy flavoured cigarillos are going to have a harder time doing so (or at least will have to buy larger packs). New laws have officially gone into effect, which prevent the sale of these types of tobacco in single units, which some argue are marketed to, and are commonly being purchased by, teens with pocket change.

Non-G20 insanity photo: "Rosseau Dock" by mikehutch711, member of the blogTO Flickr pool. If you're lucky, you're not working tomorrow or Friday, and can enjoy the cottage this weekend.


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