Complaints Commission Releases Report on Actions of the RCMP at the 2010 G8/G20 Summits

Ottawa - 2012-05-14

Mr. Ian McPhail, the Interim Chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (Commission), today released the Commission's report on its public interest investigation into the actions of the RCMP at the 2010 G8/G20 Summits.

"The Commission found that, while there was room for improvement in some areas, the actions of the RCMP and its members in the context of the G8 and G20 Summits were reasonable and appropriate," said Mr. McPhail.

The Commission's investigation, launched November 5, 2010, responded to a complaint lodged by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association about the conduct of the RCMP and its members in relation to:

  • G8/G20 planning (including the location of the security fences);
  • Infiltration and surveillance (if any) of individuals or groups before and during the summits;
  • Use of force, detentions and arrests during the summits; and
  • Conditions at the Eastern Avenue detention facilities in Toronto.

The Commission's investigation included conducting 38 interviews, along with the collection and review of some 40,000 pages of documentation and hours of RCMP surveillance video.

The RCMP had the primary responsibility for the security of both summits and the protection of visiting dignitaries. In carrying out its responsibilities, the RCMP conducted itself in a reasonable and appropriate manner. Planning for both events was found to be thorough. The investigation did not reveal any instances of unreasonable use of force by RCMP members and found that although the RCMP's involvement in the "kettling" incident was not consistent with its policies and practices, it was reasonable in the circumstances. The Commission also found that the RCMP played no role in the planning, management and operation of the Eastern Avenue Detention Centre or any of the arrests carried out at Queen's Park, the University of Toronto or The Esplanade.

The Commission has, however, recommended a number of improvements to RCMP policy and practice in the areas of:

  • record keeping;
  • integrated post-event debriefings;
  • the clarification of operational policies with policing partners; and
  • procedures for intelligence investigations in the context of major events.

The Commission also emphasizes that the RCMP should expect after-the-fact review by oversight agencies and incorporate this into their security planning for major events.

Mr. McPhail concludes: "The RCMP ably fulfilled its planning and operational responsibilities relating to security for this large scale international event. It is hoped that the issues identified throughout the planning process, during the Summits and in the context of the Commission's public interest investigation, will serve to enhance security for such events in the future."

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Tim Cogan

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