G20 redux: Liberals secretly boost Pan Am Games private security powers, say NDP

Following a report revealing new regulations that will give private security the same powers as police at the Pan Am Games, London West MPP and Community Safety and Correctional Services critic Peggy Sattler called on the government to explain why these changes were made in secret.

“Has this government learned nothing from the G20 about the consequences of enacting secret regulations?” asked Sattler. “Minister, will you explain to Ontarians why this regulation to give security guards the same duties as police officers was passed in secret and without appropriate public input and debate?”

In August, the Liberal government made a regulation under the Private Security and Investigative Services Act that effectively allows security guards to act as police officers until March 31, 2016.

The regulation change was not publicly announced, but was instead quietly filed in the Ontario Gazette, much like the laws enacted during the G20 fiasco in Toronto in 2010.

“After what happened during the G20, Ontarians are rightfully concerned about the potential for serious civil liberty abuses when those responsible for security are not fully briefed on the limits of their powers.” explained Sattler.  

Community Safety and Correctional Services Minster Madeleine Meilleur responded that the program is, “part of our youth strategy, you know, to find jobs for our youths.”

Sattler also noted the changes proposed to prevent the abuses that happened during the G20 in Toronto are still being debated in this House.

“In the absence of new legislative protections, how will the minister ensure that the appropriate training and safeguards are in place to prevent security guards from misinterpreting their new-found powers during the Pan Am Games so we can prevent the kind of civil liberty violations we saw during the G20?” asked Sattler.

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