Public Interest Investigation into RCMP Member Conduct Related to the 2010 G8 and G20 Summits
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act
File No.: PC-2010-3677
- Terms of Reference – Public interest investigation
- News Release – Update
June 24, 2011
- News Release – CPC Releases G20 Report
May 14, 2012
Table of Contents
- The Complaint and Public Interest Investigation
- Other Reviews Related to the Summits
- Methodology of the Commission's Investigation
- Commission's Review of the Facts Surrounding the Events
- First Issue: G8 and G20 Summits Security Planning
- Second Issue: Intelligence
- Third Issue: Use of Force, Detentions and Arrests
- Fourth Issue: Eastern Avenue Detention Facilities
On June 26 and 27, 2010, people around the world turned on their televisions, smartphones and computers to be greeted by chaotic scenes of the events occurring in the environs of the G20 Summit in Toronto, Ontario. Minute by minute, the news coverage depicted crowds filling the streets, buildings being vandalized, police cars being set afire, protesters clashing with police. There were also stories of hundreds of arrests and detentions in a temporary holding facility, which attracted considerable scrutiny. In the face of what appeared to be rampant disorder, perceived inaction and subsequent overreaction by police fueled public concerns, making security the predominant storyline of the Summit. Many media articles, political speeches and demands for public inquiries followed.
"The RCMP's role in the security of the G8 and G20 Summits was largely limited to activities falling within the sphere of planning and protection of summit participants..."
Major international events will always present significant security challenges. The 2010 G8 and G20 Summits, however, involved a unique confluence of factors: the Summits were held back-to-back at sites some 200 kilometres apart; security planning and policing involved several police agencies with overlapping jurisdiction as well as the Canadian Forces; and, the G20 was held in the downtown core of Canada's largest city. While the G8 Summit was uneventful from a policing perspective, this could not be said of the subsequent G20 Summit.
In response to widespread expressions of concern summarized in a complaint from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (Commission) launched a public interest investigation.
Commission Mission Statement
To provide civilian oversight of RCMP members' conduct in performing their policing duties so as to hold the RCMP accountable to the public.
In the course of its investigation, initiated on November 5, 2010, the Commission specifically examined:
- the planning process for the Summits;
- intelligence activities surrounding the Summits;
- specific incidents of use of force, if any;
- the so-called "kettling" incident; and
- events occurring at the Eastern Avenue Detention Centre.
The RCMP's role in the security of the G8 and G20 Summits was focused on activities falling within the sphere of planning and protection of summit participants, as opposed to front-line policing and interactions with members of the public. The integrated nature of that planning and the subsequent policing resulted in a complex command structure which presented many challenges in the determination of the role of each of the involved police agencies.
The Commission's jurisdiction extends only to the conduct of RCMP members. While the RCMP, generally speaking, has legislated authority over and responsibility for the protection of international events and their attendees, the police force of jurisdiction, namely the Toronto Police Service in the case of the G20 Summit, retains its primary responsibility and authority for policing the City of Toronto. The Office of the Independent Police Review Director has jurisdiction over complaints surrounding the conduct of members of the Ontario police agencies other than the RCMP involved in policing the Summits. The Office of the Independent Police Review Director has undertaken its own review.
In summary, the Commission concludes that the RCMP's security planning process for the Summits was robust and thorough and that appropriate policies and procedures were in place. The Commission also concludes that no RCMP members used unreasonable force, and that the RCMP's involvement in the kettling incident was reasonable in the circumstances. Finally, the Commission concludes that the RCMP had no involvement in respect of the Eastern Avenue Detention Centre, another source of much public criticism, from either a planning or a policing perspective, nor did they with arrests carried out at Queen's Park, the University of Toronto or The Esplanade. The Commission recommends that record-keeping and note-taking be more comprehensive, that consistent post-event integrated debriefing take place to identify areas of concern or best practices, and that, in advance of an integrated policing event, relevant policies be clarified to the extent they are inconsistent with the policies of the police agency of primary jurisdiction.
Finally, it should be noted that the Commission's investigation was delayed by many factors. Chief among them was the sheer volume of RCMP documentation and relevant material which required review and analysis by the Commission. The Commission recommends that, in the future, the potential of an independent ex post facto review be contemplated throughout the planning process for major events such that records are effectively kept and relevant documents suitably organized for later disclosure. The Commission was also challenged by the need to coordinate the disclosure process with that of the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, given the integrated nature of the policing effort involved. Nonetheless, the Commission is satisfied that its examination of the extensive documentation, including video footage, was complete.
The Complaint and Public Interest Investigation
On October 22, 2010, the Commission received a complaint from Ms. Nathalie Des Rosiers, General Counsel for the CCLA, regarding RCMP conduct during the G8 and G20 Summits (Appendix A). The Commission had previously received several individual complaints stemming from the Summits, many of which had been determined not to involve RCMP members, who were not, in general terms, a visible presence outside the fenced zones of the Summits. In that light, the Commission had been conducting a low-key and measured review of specific complaints regarding the Summits. However, as a result of continuing public concerns as set out in the CCLA complaint, on November 5, 2010, the Commission notified the RCMP Commissioner that it considered it advisable in the public interest for the Commission to investigate the complaint pursuant to subsection 45.43(1) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act (RCMP Act).
The Commission defined the scope of its public interest investigation to include the conduct of unidentified RCMP members to the extent they were involved in the following matters:
- G8 and G20 Summits security 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 in particular with respect to the following:
- the dispersal of protesters at Queen's Park on June 26, 2010;
- detentions and arrests at The Esplanade on June 26, 2010;
- detentions and arrests at Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue on June 27, 2010;
- arrests and police conduct outside of the Eastern Avenue Detention Centre on June 27, 2010;
- arrests at the University of Toronto's Graduate Students' Union building on June 27, 2010.
- Conditions of Eastern Avenue detention facilities in Toronto.
In the Terms of Reference of its public interest investigation (Appendix B), the Commission specified that RCMP member conduct would be assessed according to the following criteria:
- Whether in carrying out any of the activities listed above the involved RCMP members complied with appropriate statutory requirements, policies, practices and procedures relevant to such events.
- Whether the conduct of these same RCMP members adhered to the standards set out in section 37 of the RCMP Act and respected the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter).
- Whether existing RCMP policies, practices and procedures related to major events such as the Summits are adequate, accord with established police practices and respect the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Charter.
Pursuant to subsection 45.43(3) of the RCMP Act, the Commission is required to prepare a written report setting out its findings and recommendations with respect to the complaint. This report constitutes the Commission's investigation into the issues raised in the complaint and the associated findings and recommendations. A summary of the findings and recommendations can be found in Appendix C.
Apart from the CCLA's complaint, a total of 28 public complaints relating to the G8 and G20 Summits were made. Of the 28, 14 were terminatedFootnote 1 by the RCMP, 2 were found to be outside the Commission's jurisdiction, and 12 were investigated and deemed unsupported. Five of the latter pertained to the detention and treatment of persons detained in the area of Queen Street and Spadina Avenue on June 27, 2010, and will be discussed below.
Other Reviews Related to the Summits
Following the Summits, various aspects of the events became the subject of review by various bodies, agencies and levels of government, as follows:
- The Ontario Ombudsman examined the propriety of a provincial regulation passed pursuant to the Ontario Public Works Protection Act, regarding the G20 security perimeter. This report was issued in December 2010.
- The Office of the Independent Police Review Director has undertaken an investigation of the security planning and policing of the G8 and G20 Summits (as they pertain to the actions of provincial and municipal police officers in Ontario) as well as into nearly 300 individual complaints. Because the nature of the investigations undertaken by the Commission and the Office of the Independent Police Review Director are closely related, the two bodies have cooperated to the extent possible throughout their respective investigations.
- The Toronto Police Services Board called an independent civilian review of the policing of the G20, headed by the Honourable John W. Morden. The Toronto Police Services Board review is ongoing.
- The Ontario Special Investigations Unit opened investigations into allegations of inappropriate conduct by Toronto police during the G20 causing injury to a person. Two Toronto Police Service officers were charged.
- The Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates released a report in March 2011, regarding expenses incurred for the G8 and G20 Summits.
- The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security released a report in March 2011, regarding issues surrounding security at the G8 and G20 Summits.
- The Auditor General commented on spending for and funding of the G8 and G20 Summits in her Spring 2011 report.
- The Ontario Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services engaged the former Chief Justice of Ontario, the Honourable Roy McMurtry, to review the Ontario Public Works Protection Act. His report was released in April 2011.
- The CCLA released its own report into the security issues arising from the G20 in June 2010, with an updated report released in February 2011, following public hearings held by the CCLA. The CCLA subsequently issued a follow-up report in August 2011.
Methodology of the Commission's Investigation
On December 13, 2010, RCMP Commissioner William Elliott wrote to the Interim Chair of the Commission to express his commitment to cooperate with the Commission's investigation. It should be noted that the Commission's current enabling legislation, the RCMP Act, does not require the RCMP to cooperate with a Commission public interest investigation; subsection 45.43(2) of the RCMP Act states that in such circumstances, the RCMP "is not required to investigate, report on or otherwise deal with the complaint."
Given the necessity for the Commission's review of the relevant documentation in the context of its public interest investigation, Commissioner Elliott wrote to the Interim Chair on February 25, 2011, three months after the investigation was called, setting out the conditions under which the Commission would be permitted to view RCMP documentation. The RCMP also crafted a protocol for the viewing of Event Management SystemFootnote 2 documents.
Between December 2010 and March 2011, RCMP officials met with Commission staff on four occasions to give general overviews, and provided a minimal amount of documentation. The Commission investigator met with the appropriate RCMP members to review the documents in the Event Management System on two occasions, in March and June 2011. The Commission also made numerous requests for follow-up documentation, and continued to receive relevant documents from the RCMP as late as October 14, 2011.
While RCMP officials have been cooperative in providing documents to the Commission upon request, the production process has highlighted the need for the RCMP to effectively manage the volume of documentation generated in the course of a large-scale operation, and to easily identify all documentation relating to a specific event or query from the Commission in order that it may be provided quickly, consistently and completely. While the Commission recognizes the challenge posed by the integrated nature of this particular event, it nonetheless emphasizes that delays occasioned by the lack of timely disclosure are of concern. As such, the Commission recommends that the RCMP more effectively integrate into its planning function for major events an awareness of the potential of ex post facto review and adopt commensurate document organization practices and guidelines for appropriate disclosure.
Recommendation No. 1: That the RCMP more effectively integrate into its planning function for major events an awareness of the possibility of ex post facto review and adopt commensurate document organization practices and guidelines for appropriate disclosure.
Despite the foregoing, the Commission is satisfied that it has had the opportunity to examine the RCMP records that the Commission considered relevant to its investigation. In addition to documents, the Commission received RCMP video of certain demonstrations and events. Furthermore, the RCMP sought and acquired permission for the Commission to view specific documents belonging to the Toronto Police Service. These documents were obtained.
In respect of documents belonging to the Toronto Police Service, the Commission notes that such documents included the notes of RCMP members who were part of "high visibility teams" (discussed further in the Police Presence section), as well as sections of integrated plans relating to the Toronto Police Service. In the Commission's view, while it acknowledges that the memorandum of understanding between the two services contemplated that notes of RCMP high visibility team members would be remitted to the Toronto Police Service, it is clear that such documentation would be relevant to any review of member conduct. Accordingly, the Commission recommends that the RCMP reflect in its agreements with other police agencies, to the extent possible, that RCMP note-taking guidelines require members to retain notes for, among other things, subsequent review of their conduct.
Recommendation No. 2: That the RCMP reflect in its agreements with other police agencies, to the extent possible, that RCMP note-taking guidelines require members to retain notes for, among other things, subsequent review of their conduct.
"[T]he production process has highlighted the need for the RCMP to effectively manage the volume of documentation generated in the course of a large-scale operation."
To supplement the documentation and materials received, the Commission conducted interviews with 38 persons. This included appropriate RCMP members, members of the Toronto Police Service and Government of Canada personnel. The General Counsel for the CCLA also cooperated with the Commission's investigation and made herself available for an interview by the Commission's investigator. In addition, the CCLA made available to the Commission some of its monitors who were among the public during the G20 to observe the actions of the police. The Commission also conducted interviews with some individuals who lodged complaints concerning the G20. The Commission found that, in an overwhelming majority of cases, police services as well as individual officers were cooperative, agreed to interviews and shared the information requested. Only one RCMP member declined to be interviewed, as was the member's right under the current legislation governing the public complaint process. All other interviews or meetings requested were facilitated.
Commission's Review of the Facts Surrounding the Events
It is important to note that the Commission is an agency of the federal government, distinct and independent from the RCMP. When conducting a public interest investigation, the Commission does not act as an advocate either for the complainant or for RCMP members. It is the role of the Chair of the Commission to reach conclusions after an objective examination of the evidence and, where judged appropriate, to make recommendations that focus on steps that the RCMP can take to improve or correct conduct by RCMP members.
First Issue: G8 and G20 Summits Security Planning
Figure 1: ISU Integrated Planning Process Bubble Chart
The ISU Integrated Planning Process Bubble Chart is a pictorial Venn diagram that presents the integration and interaction between the integration of partners, key stakeholders and planning groups and their activities associated with the integrated planning process.
The large red circle represents the integrated planning process that encapsulates all activities needed to ensure an integrated and coordinated effort for Summits 2010. The activities listed within the red circle are representative, but not all encompassing activities. Key activities like Command and Control, Project Management, Risk Management and Knowledge Transfer have their own specific processes and are explained in the AAR.
The smaller circles represent the integration of Operations, Operations Support and ISU partners into a single entity called the ISU. Activities within these circles are samples of activities that occurred as part of the preparation and execution of Summits 2010. The intersection of the concentric circles highlights the integrated processes where joint, integrated and coordinated activity occurred. For example, the Joint Operational Planning Groups (JOPGs) provided a forum for planning teams from partner groups to work together to develop integrated or coordinated plans.
The enormity of the task of providing security for each of the Summits cannot be overstated. Hosting of both the G8 and G20 Summits, one immediately after the other, by the same country had never taken place previously. Further compounding matters was that in the months leading up to the Summits, the RCMP was heavily involved in security for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which took place in February and March 2010.
Canada's security obligations during events such as the G8 and G20 Summits, in addition to the general protection of property and the public, include the protection of Internationally Protected Persons,Footnote 3 such as heads of State and government and foreign diplomats, while in Canada. Initial planning assumptions indicated that:
- an estimated 52 Internationally Protected Persons and their delegations would attend the Summits;
- 3,000 accredited and 500 non-accredited media personnel were expected to be in attendance;
- 17,500 security personnel would be required; and
- large-scale protests were anticipated.
However, the Commission noted that these numbers were in constant flux until days before the Summits began. In an intelligence brief dated 11 days before the start of the G8 Summit, the Integrated Security Unit (ISU) Joint Intelligence Group (JIG) estimated that nearly 20,000 people would participate in G20 protests in Toronto. While the total number of protesters who actually participated has not been estimated, 2,500 people, including Internationally Protected Persons and their delegates, attended the G8 in Huntsville, while 7,600 Internationally Protected Persons, delegates and accredited media attended the G20 in Toronto.
Both protest and security tactics at large multinational events have evolved over time. In November 1997, Canada hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia: "In all, 23,000 people were accredited to the [Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference] in Vancouver. This figure included 8,600 delegates and media representatives; more than 3,000 police officers; 1,000 volunteers... ."Footnote 4 Policing was the joint responsibility of the RCMP and the Vancouver Police Department.Footnote 5
Over the course of the conference, protests had been relatively peaceful. However, on the final day of the conference, the perimeter fence was breached due to a lack of police presence, and protesters also managed to block one of the exit roads. Police used pepper spray to move the protesters, a tactic later deemed unnecessary by the Commission following its public hearing into the matter, conducted by the Honourable Ted Hughes, Q.C. The Commission's Final Report,Footnote 6 issued in March 2002, largely attributed the outcome of the events to the poor quality of planning.
Seattle was host to the 1999 World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference, which saw street protests involving an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 people.Footnote 7 On the opening day of the meetings, thousands of protesters surrounded the streets around the convention centre where the conference was being held. Traffic was brought to a standstill and most delegates were unable to reach the meeting site. The police resorted to pepper spray, tear gas, concussion grenades and rubber bullets. The following day, the police declared the downtown area a "no-protest zone" and a curfew was imposed. Ultimately, 500 protesters were arrested, and there was extensive property damage.Footnote 8 According to a report by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, which examined the anti-globalization movement, "[s]ecurity agencies at Seattle . . . were caught off-guard by the large number of demonstrators and scope of representation, combined with the use of sophisticated methods and technology that effectively shut down the Conference."Footnote 9 It was in Seattle that the "black bloc" tactic first gained prominence in North America.Footnote 10
In April 2000, a joint meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank was held in Washington, DC. Due to the challenge of clearing the streets of protesters around the meeting venue during the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle, the DC Metropolitan Police Department announced "oversized no-protest zones" well in advance,Footnote 11 in an effort to restrict demonstrations to an area far from the meeting site. Nonetheless, more than 20,000 protesters unsuccessfully attempted to create blockades around the World Bank building in an attempt to prevent delegates from arriving at the facilities five days into the conference; consequently, delegates arrived before dawn on the advice of the local police. Some 1,300 people were arrested by police over the course of the weekend.Footnote 12
"It was in Seattle that the 'black bloc' tactic first gained prominence in North America. "
– Katherine Blaze Carlson, National Post
After the large-scale demonstrations at the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle and the 2000 International Monetary Fund/World Bank meetings in Washington, DC, it was decided that the 2000 Organization of American States Ministerial Meeting in Windsor, Ontario, would include the construction of a perimeter fence which secured the six-block area of the Summit site.Footnote 13 The Organization of American States meeting was secured by approximately 3,700 police officers from the RCMP, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Peel Regional Police Service, the Toronto Police Service, the Chatham Police Service and the Windsor Police. There were an estimated 2,000 to 6,000 protesters.Footnote 14 While the event was largely heralded as a success, there were three instances of protesters clashing with police. The police deployed tactical troops and pepper spray in each of the three confrontations, and a total of 78 arrests were made. The decision to hold the Organization of American States meeting in an area that could easily be secured by a perimeter fence, the close partnership of the police forces involved in securing the Summit and the utilization of intelligence-led policing have been noted as the key reasons that the Organization of American States meeting was considered by the police to be successful.Footnote 15
In April 2001, the City of Québec hosted the third Summit of the Americas. In preparation for this event, a 6.1-kilometre security perimeter was constructed to keep protesters from the conference site. An estimated 6,000 police officers from four different agencies were deployed to police the event. Footnote 16 A number of clashes between police and protesters took place on the first day of the Summit, with minor perimeter breaches that resulted in the police using water cannons, stun guns and rubber bullets, and firing tear gas canisters into the crowd.Footnote 17 The following day, protests involved an estimated 25,000 to 60,000 people. A total of 463 arrests were made over the course of the Summit.Footnote 18
The 2001 European Union Summit, held in Gothenburg, Sweden, began with a demonstration of approximately 25,000 people.Footnote 19 Protesters threw stones and various other projectiles at police,Footnote 20 with the violence lasting 12 hours.Footnote 21 Approximately 560 people were detainedFootnote 22 and 90 people injured in the riots, 3 by live ammunition.Footnote 23 Approximately 4,000 police officers were present during the event, with riot squads, canine and horseback units. At least 19 police officers were reportedly injured.Footnote 24 Damage was estimated at $4.1M USD.Footnote 25 Swedish prosecutors found that the four police officers who used their firearms during the protests acted in self-defence and therefore would not be charged.Footnote 26
Firearms were also used by the police during the G8 Summit held in Genoa, Italy, the same year. An estimated 100,000 protesters took to the streets, resulting in millions of dollars in property damage and a significant number of serious injuries. Over 500 people were injured and one protester was fatally shot by police.Footnote 27 Thirteen officersFootnote 28 were convicted of offences for their actions, including abuse of authority, abuse of office and uniform as well as negligence. The officer charged in relation to the fatal shooting was acquitted by reason of self-defence.Footnote 29
Subsequent to the violent protests in Sweden and Italy, Canada played host to the 2002 G8 Summit. The Canadian government opted to hold the Summit in Kananaskis, Alberta. As part of the security measures, the RCMP established exclusionary zones (areas that protesters are prohibited from entering) in Kananaskis. These zones were patrolled by more than 5,000 military personnel and 1,500 RCMP officers. Protests took place in Calgary, 90 kilometres east of Kananaskis. Those protests were largely peaceful, with no more than 2,500 protesters present at any given time.Footnote 30
The 2004 G8 Summit was also held in a secluded area—Sea Island, Georgia: "In order to ensure the island's security, a 'ring of steel' involving units of the United States armed forces surrounded the island." The limited access led to limited protest activity and minimal disruption to the event.Footnote 31
The subsequent G8 Summit took place in Gleneagles, Scotland. Its first day saw a violent protest near the Summit site. Approximately 10,000 police officers from various forces throughout the United Kingdom (UK) were called upon to contribute officers to the public order policing effort.Footnote 32 Three hundred and fifty-eight peopleFootnote 33 were arrested as a direct result of demonstrations, and an additional 700 people were detained and later released without charges.Footnote 34
In 2009, the G20 Summit was held in London, England. On the first day of the Summit, ten separate protests over seven sites resulted in violent confrontations between protesters and police.Footnote 35 It is estimated that approximately 35,000 protesters demonstrated in the centre of London during the Summit.Footnote 36 The scale of the policing operation was considerable; in excess of 5,500 Metropolitan Police Service officers were deployed on the first day, and 2,800 on the second day.Footnote 37 One individual was killed while on his way home from work when he collapsed shortly after he was struck by a baton and pushed to the ground by a police officer. This, in addition to other individual complaints of excessive police use of force,Footnote 38 led to an investigation by the UK's Independent Police Complaints Commission, and an official inquiry into the events by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.Footnote 39
It was against the backdrop of these previous international meetings and large-scale events that security planning for the 2010 G8 and G20 Summits took place. The RCMP assumed the role of security lead by authority of the G8 Summit Privileges and Immunities Order, 2010-2,Footnote 40 and the G20 Summit Privileges and Immunities Order, 2010.Footnote 41 These orders created the legal basis for Canada to host the Summits and, accordingly, provided the RCMP with authority pursuant to the Foreign Missions and International Organizations ActFootnote 42 to take the lead role for security of the events. This Act provides the following:
10.1 (1) The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has the primary responsibility to ensure the security for the proper functioning of any intergovernmental conference in which two or more states participate, that is attended by persons granted privileges and immunities under this Act and to which an order made or continued under this Act applies.
(2) For the purpose of carrying out its responsibility under subsection (1), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police may take appropriate measures, including controlling, limiting or prohibiting access to any area to the extent and in a manner that is reasonable in the circumstances.
(3) The powers referred to in subsection (2) are set out for greater certainty and shall not be read as affecting the powers that peace officers possess at common law or by virtue of any other federal or provincial Act or regulation.
(4) Subject to subsection (1), to facilitate consultation and cooperation between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and provincial and municipal police forces, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, enter into arrangements with the government of a province concerning the responsibilities of members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and members of provincial and municipal police forces with respect to ensuring the security for the proper functioning of a conference referred to in that subsection.
No arrangement under subsection 10.1(4) of the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act was entered into for the purpose of the Summits.
Other than the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act and the common law, certain statutory provisions outline the duties of RCMP members and confer on them specific powers when ensuring the security of Internationally Protected Persons. These include the Criminal Code, section 18 of the RCMP Act, section 17 of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Regulations, 1988, section 6 of the Security Offences Act, and the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents.
Another applicable statute with potential application during the G20 Summit and which has been widely examined in its wake is the Ontario Public Works Protection Act, originally passed in 1939. This statute gives peace officers the power to search, request identification from and deny entry to persons wishing to enter an area designated a public work. A regulation pursuant to this statute was made June 2, 2010 and in force June 21, 2010, just prior to the time of the Summits. The regulation designated the area of or highways within the intended G20 Summit security perimeter a "public work" for the purposes of the Public Works Protection Act between June 21 and June 27, 2010.
Documentation provided to the Commission indicates that the Public Works Protection Act regulation was enacted in response to concerns expressed by the Toronto Police Service that officers would not be able to demand identification from those wishing to enter the area in which the Summit was taking place. A legal opinionFootnote 43 sought by the Commission in the course of its investigation in order to clarify the impact of the Public Works Protection Act on RCMP members and the statute's interaction with the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act concluded that the Public Works Protection Act did not impact upon or conflict with the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act or any other legislation providing adequate police powers to RCMP members in the context of the Summits.
There is no indication that any RCMP member took any action under the authority of the Public Works Protection Act during the Summits. According to the Federal Security Coordinator (and Unified Command Centre [UCC] Commander):
[W]e never communicated to the RCMP members that they had any authority to enforce the Public Works Protection Act. We didn't talk to them about it. It wasn't in their handbook. It wasn't part of our authority. We were satisfied with the authorities already in place.
The Integrated Security Unit
On June 19, 2008,Footnote 44 two years before the event, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada would host the 2010 G8 meeting in Huntsville, Ontario. The RCMP Commissioner tasked the Commanding Officer of the RCMP's "O" Division (Ontario), to establish an Integrated Security Unit (ISU)Footnote 45 to manage planning with policing partners and to coordinate logistics. As noted in the RCMP's After Action Report:
The G8 ISU, a composite task-tailored RCMP-led planning and operations headquarters, was tasked with all aspects of Summit security including the safe arrival, stay and departure of [Internationally Protected Persons] and delegations, and the protection of designated Summit sites. It ensured that the Summit proceeded without interruption as well as the protection of the general public and [its] own security forces. After the careful consideration of diverse factors, the ISU was established up in Barrie, Ontario ... .
Under the overall direction of a senior RCMP member and composed of members of the RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police, North Bay Police Service and the Canadian Forces, the G8 ISU began the task of planning security for the G8.
The mission statement for the G8 ISU was to ensure the safety and security of the general public and heads of State attending the G8 Summit in Canada, in June of 2010.
Its strategic objectives were to:
- Determine all Summit security requirements.
- Develop the business plan, concept of operations, and operational plans for Summit security.
- Incorporate Summit security partners in an ISU.
- Coordinate and focus intelligence to support Summit security.
- Develop a network to facilitate liaison between local, provincial and
- Develop the information technology systems required for an integrated planning/operations group.
- Provide training for all Summit security personnel.
- Ensure the safety and well-being of [its] employees.
- Develop and implement a comprehensive transfer of knowledge strategy for future major events.
Although the RCMP took the lead in certain areas, the Commission was informed that the security planning process for the G8 was integrated: members of the involved agencies were co-located and worked in an interoperative fashion.
"[The] G8-G20 2010-ISU is responsible for all aspects of security planning. . . "
– ISU website
Planning for the G8 continued from June 2008 until December 2009. On December 7, 2009, the Prime Minister announced that the G20 Summit would be held in Toronto on June 26 and 27, 2010Footnote 46. At that time, the ISU was expanded to include the G20 planning. The Commission was told by the ISU Lead, the most senior RCMP member involved in the planning process, that after the assessment of a number of possible sites, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre was chosen by the Government of Canada in late January 2010. Although the RCMP was consulted and provided analysis on the various location options from a security perspective, the final decision rested with the Government.
While initial planning discussions for a possible G20 Summit were underway as early as September 2009, the later announcement allowed six months to plan and test a security strategy that afforded sufficient protection to Internationally Protected Persons and to the international delegations that would be present during the G20. This included not only operational considerations, such as threat assessments, site security, intelligence and public outreach, but also logistical requirements, such as lodging and meals for thousands of security personnel and the placement of the fences to designate security zones.
Planning for the G20 was further complicated because resources (human and equipment) in place for the G8 Summit in Huntsville could not be immediately redeployed to the G20 in Toronto, as security had to be maintained in Huntsville until the delegates departed, leaving little time between the end of the G8 on the morning of June 26, 2010, and the beginning of the G20 in the afternoon of the same day. According to a senior RCMP member, this, in part, contributed to the large number of required police personnel.
The RCMP assigned, in total, 176 of its members to the planning process.
The provision of security for the Summits was intelligence-led, a concept which required the development of flexible and adaptable plans. The approach to security planning was also predicated on the use of joint risk management. According to the RCMP's After Action Report, the aim of a joint risk management plan was to:
... provide a framework for the members of the ISU team to identify, analyze, plan, monitor, control and communicate potential negative threats and positive opportunities from events to enhance the achievement of the ISU Mission and Objectives... .
Concept of Operations
The RCMP approached planning for the G8 (and subsequently the G20) by creating a G8 Strategic Concept of Operations document, which served as the basis for planning and operational management of the Summit. It provided the assumptions under which the ISU partners agreed to proceed for the purposes of planning and providing security during the Summit. These included that the RCMP was the lead agency for security, and that intelligence would dictate the applicable threat level for the Summit at any given time. It also discussed processes including the protection of critical infrastructure, design and conduct of operations, corporate management and finance issues, logistics and business continuity and information technology processes.
Unlike the G8 process, no Concept of Operations document was agreed to by the partners for the G20. While a Strategic Concept of Operations document was drafted, there was insufficient time to complete the document due to the pressing need to continue the security planning process. The RCMP lead planner for the Summits told the Commission that the need to create detailed tactical plans and to outline a structure for command and control amongst the policing partners was more pressing than the formalization of a Concept of Operations document for the G20.
Governance and management structures were also created as part of the planning process, including:
- Executive Steering Committee – an executive level management body which provided strategic direction and championed solutions to issues outside of the ISU's authority.
- Joint Operations Planning Group Muskoka – comprised of a multi-disciplinary team of security partners that created the operational plans and standard operating procedures for the G8, as well as plans for the transition of resources to the G20 in Toronto.
- Joint Operations Planning Group Greater Toronto Area – same as above but with responsibilities for the G20.
For both Summits, the ISU opted to use a series of operational plans. The plans addressed a specific aspect of the overall security envelope for each of the G8 and G20. For the G8, plans were developed by an integrated team of security partners. For the G20, police partners crafted their own operational and logistical plans with the intent that they would complement each other. According to the RCMP lead planner, the decision to have the security partners develop their own plans was made because of time constraints and jurisdictional issues. Although the G20 planning process was not integratedFootnote 47 to the degree it was for the G8, in an interview with the Commission, a Toronto Police Service deputy chief explained that the Toronto Police Service and RCMP G20 planners met regularly to ensure proper coordination.
The Commission reviewed the RCMP's operational plans for both Summits, as well as the Toronto Police Service operational plan for the Public Order Units (POUs).
Summits Command Structure
Unified Command Centre – Greater Toronto Area
Unified Command Centre – Greater Toronto Area
The G20 command structure included key Command and Control Centres: the Unified Command Centre (UCC) was the highest level of command, followed by the Toronto Area Command Centre (TACC) at the tactical level, and the Major Incident Command Centre at the jurisdictional level. The various site commanders reported to their respective Command Centres.
The approach taken to the command structure for both Summits was predicated on the Incident Command System, as outlined in Appendix F, which essentially contemplates three levels of command: tactical, operational, and strategic. The Command and Control document set out the unified command structure for the Summits:
... Unified command provides all agencies ... with geographic or functional jurisdiction for an incident, the opportunity to manage the incident by establishing a common set of objectives and strategies. Agencies ... will not relinquish their authority, responsibility, or accountability but will contribute to the command process by determining overall objectives, planning jointly for operational activities while conducting integrated operations and maximizing the use of all assigned resources.
Accordingly, security during the events was managed and coordinated through a series of command centres. When the Summits began, most of the members of the ISU transitioned from their planning roles into operational roles. For example, the RCMP member who had served as the Federal Security Coordinator in the planning phase became the UCC Commander during the operational phase.
The UCC was identified in the Command and Control document as:
... the highest level of command and control for the G8 and G20 Summits. It will be comprised of Commanders from all participating agencies/departments/services/forces. The RCMP Incident Commander will assume the role of the overall Commander.
According to the Concept of Operations, the role of the UCC was to coordinate all major security requirements during the Summits. It included representatives from all security partners and other essential supporting agencies. The security partners did not relinquish authority, responsibility or accountability.
The UCC was specifically responsible for:
- strategic communication;
- coordination and requests for additional police resources;
- air incursion/incidents;
- deployment of air and aviation assets;
- Internationally Protected Persons air transport coordination;
- Internationally Protected Persons motorcade coordination; and
- Internationally Protected Persons evacuation.
The UCC had three RCMP incident commanders, two on the day shift and one on the night shift. These members were experienced incident commanders, most recently having worked at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.
The Commission reviewed the scribes'Footnote 48 notes for all three UCC incident commanders and interviewed the senior day Commander, who had also assumed the role of Federal Security Coordinator during the planning phase. The scribes' notes in particular confirmed that the UCC was aware of ongoing events; received regular intelligence from the JIG; was in direct contact with the Muskoka Area Command Centre (MACC) and the Toronto Area Command Centre (TACC); and provided direction to the MACC and TACC commanders where necessary and appropriate. The UCC did not have direct contact with the Toronto Police Service's Major Incident Command Centre (MICC), in keeping with the Summit Command and Control document.
"The security partners did not relinquish authority, responsibility or accountability."
The MACC, which reported to the UCC, was located in Huntsville and was the Command and Control Centre for the G8. The RCMP was in command and the relevant security partners were represented. The MACC's role was to coordinate security issues pertaining to the G8, such as motorcades, with the police partners located in the UCC (depending on the seriousness of the issues involved). Given that the focus of the Commission's investigation was primarily the G20 Summit, MACC commanders were not interviewed.
The TACC, which served as the Command and Control Centre for the G20 operation, was located at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. The TACC, which was also commanded by the RCMP, was tasked with coordinating security issues pertaining to the G20, such as motorcades, with the UCC and local police partners. As stated in the ISU G20 operational plan: "It [the TACC] supports local operations to coordinate and provide leadership under the direction from the Unified Command Centre . . . ." The TACC included representatives of the RCMP, the Peel Regional Police, the Toronto Police Service, the Ontario Provincial Police, and the Canadian Forces.
In particular, the MACC and the TACC were responsible, within the established inner controlled zones (the Controlled Access Zone and Restricted Access Zone) for, among other things:
- marine operations;
- consequence management;
- chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and enhanced explosives management;
- deployment of POUs; and
- Emergency Response Team / Tactical Team deployment.
In addition to the UCC, the MACC and the TACC, security coordination for the G20 included the MICC at Toronto Police Service Headquarters in Toronto. Under the Toronto Police Service's command, the MICC coordinated the response to policing issues within the City of Toronto. The MICC was responsible for the same items as the TACC and the MACC, but within the outer fenced area (the Interdiction Zone) and the larger City of Toronto. As noted in the Toronto Police Service After Action Review:
The MICC was the central point of command, control, communication and information for the [Toronto Police Service]. The MICC Incident Commander had a full perspective of all resources under the command of the [Toronto Police Service] and tactical control of those resources in his function of ensuring the safety and security of the public in all areas of Toronto outside of the RCMP protected zones.Footnote 49
The RCMP had two senior members (superintendents) assigned to the MICC as liaison officers (one on day shift and one on night shift). Their role was to support the Toronto Police Service and to communicate relevant information between the MICC and the TACC. Both members stated during their interviews with the Commission that they were not part of any command decisions made by the Toronto Police Service Incident Commander in the MICC, nor were they consulted on operational matters. However, the RCMP liaison officers were part of the regular briefings in the MICC. This was confirmed by a review of the members' scribe notes and in interviews. The RCMP also had a public order liaison officer in the MICC to assist with the coordination of tactical troops.
The Commission was informed that the MICC was not initially part of the RCMP's G20 plans, but the Toronto Police Service opted to have their own command centre to control operations in the city. Some RCMP planning officers interviewed by the Commission expressed their belief that the MICC was not necessary and that the extra layer of command created confusion among the police officers on the ground. This was echoed by a small number of individuals who responded to a questionnaire provided to security partners after the Summits, including tactical troop commanders. When asked by the Commission about the MICC, the ISU Lead commented:
I would have preferred to have one command centre. That would have been my preference, you know, as we had in Huntsville. One command centre is an easier animal to control. The Toronto Police felt strongly about having their own command centre... .That was an operational decision on their [Toronto Police Service] part. Being the police service of jurisdiction, they decided that the way to do it would be to have their own command centre ... It really wasn't for us [the RCMP] to say otherwise ... .
It is not within the jurisdiction of the Commission to review Toronto Police Service plans, including the role of the MICC. As previously noted, such issues fall within the jurisdiction of the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.
"Some RCMP planning officers ... expressed ... that ... the extra layer of command created confusion among the police officers on the ground."
Each police partner maintained representatives and/or liaison officers in the command centres and there were regular briefings throughout the operations. In addition, connecting each of the centres was an electronic situation board (sitboard) on which occurrences and information were posted to allow persons in each of the other centres to see at a glance the issues arising. The postings were entered as soon as possible; while information was not posted in real time, it was kept current.
To facilitate decision-making and to ensure that all partner agencies knew which agency held primary responsibility and that appropriate notifications of decisions were made in a timely manner, the ISU planning group created a responsibility assignment matrix as well as a decision-making matrix. The RCMP's After Action Report described the responsibility assignment matrix as follows:
A fundamental document to any project is the [responsibility assignment matrix]. This document at the high level shows project function for which organizations are Responsible, Accountable, Consulted or Informed and at the lowest level individual names can be assigned to tasks to indicate a working [Responsible, Accountable, Consulted or Informed].
The decision-making matrix took the form of a chart that indicated the level(s) at which decisions could be made and which other levels were to be informed of those decisions. For situations in which operational decisions needed to be made quickly, the authority to decide was provided to the operational commanders at the relevant sites, who would have the closest perspective on what was occurring. The more serious the decision, the more authority would be required. The determination of the level of seriousness was left to the operational commanders.
The decision makers for the G8, in descending order, were the Executive Steering Committee, the UCC Commander, the Area Commander and the Site Commander. POU commanders, if deployed, were given authority to make decisions with respect to the tactics and equipment to be used during time-sensitive operational situations. A similar matrix was created for the G20, but an added level of Jurisdictional Commander, e.g. the MICC Commander, appeared below Site Commander to reflect the addition of the MICC.
The Commission also explored the possibility of inappropriate interference in the security planning. A senior government official in the Privy Council Office told the Commission that while security concerns may have impacted substantive preparations for the Summits, the RCMP was never directed to organize its security plan in a specific way. The Commission found no information which would indicate that anything other than legitimate security concerns influenced the planning.
Finding No. 1: The RCMP planning process was robust and thorough. The Commission found no indication that planning was influenced by anything other than legitimate security concerns.
Specific Aspects of Planning
In preparation for the Summits, three training exercises were also carried out. As noted in the RCMP's After Action Report:
[For Summit 2010, a] planned and progressive exercise program was created that relied on a layered and developed approach. Each partner organization had responsibility for their specific individual or collective training. At the ISU level, with the assistance of various external agencies and partners, the exercise regime included the Pinnacle series of workup exercises that culminated in an all level of government exercise Trillium Guardian. The exercise program was fundamental to the success [of Summits 2010] and is a critical requirement for preparation and validation of plans and personnel.
In an interview with the Commission, a senior RCMP member commented that exercise Trillium Guardian was very realistic, testing the capacity and response to various scenarios.
According to the RCMP's lead planner, the decision-making matrix (noted above) was adjusted following the exercises. This demonstrates how the exercises helped inform the planning process.
Orientation and Training
Police officers attending the Summits were expected to arrive already trained in the general tasks they were to accomplish, at which point the ISU intended that they be given orientation to apply their skills to the particular environment of the Summits.
Upon their arrival at the Summits, a one-day orientation session was provided to RCMP members and support staff (there were separate sessions for the G8 and G20). At this session, members and support staff were given a handbook, developed by the ISU. The handbook included forewords from the heads of all partner agencies, which set the tone for the security operation and provided an overview of the G8 and G20 Summits. It set out information of use to all police officers during the Summits, including details regarding the command structure, media and communications, legal authorities, Internationally Protected Persons, protests, arrest procedure and first aid.
In addition to the exercises and orientation, efforts were made to provide some specific training as required. For instance, "E" (British Columbia) and "O" (Ontario) Division RCMP members were specifically trained in hand searches in order that they could conduct venue searches prior to the Summits. Some RCMP members who worked with the Toronto Police Service in advance of the G20 Summit also received on-line training offered by the Toronto Police Service to provide some information in respect of provincial statutesFootnote 50 and other aspects of security for the G20, such as crowd management, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and enhanced explosives management, incident management system, crowd use of force,Footnote 51 search authorities, arrest procedures, and gate management. In addition, RCMP, Toronto Police Service and other members received training from the Calgary Police Service in respect of event monitoring (discussed on in the Event Monitoring Units section).
"'E' and 'O' Division RCMP members were specifically trained in hand searches in order that they could conduct venue searches prior to the Summits."
The Commission was informed that RCMP POUs assigned to the G20 Summit did receive training together with Toronto Police Service POUs to better understand the use of water cannons and the Toronto Police Service's various public order tactics, such as the use of horses. POU commanders also participated in a briefing in Toronto prior to the start of the Summits, as it was expected that they would be re-deployed from Huntsville to Toronto.
Controlled Access to Summit Venues
An issue raised by the CCLA in its complaint was the placement of the security fences during the G20.
As a general rule, security fencing and barriers designed to keep individuals away from a specific location help police manage crowds by defining the areas that the public, including protesters, are not allowed to access, and by channelling or guiding protesters along a particular route. Similarly, security fencing designed to keep individuals safe within a given area, such as a designated protest zone, help police manage a reasonably large crowd with fewer resources, while allowing as much freedom of movement to event participants as possible.Footnote 52 This may result in a much smaller police presence around designated protest areas than would normally be needed in the absence of a fence.
"... consideration must be given to securing the event while continuing to allow protestors to exercise their rights."
While barriers and fencing are regularly used to secure large events, consideration must be given to securing the event while continuing to allow protesters to exercise their rights. Security measures that result in a limitation of fundamental rights and freedoms must be necessary and proportional. As stated in the Commission's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference Interim Report, the police should ensure that "... generous opportunity will be afforded for peaceful protesters to see and be seen in their protest activities by guests to the event ... ."
The inner perimeter security fence surrounding the 1997 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The outer perimeter security fence surrounding the 1997 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.
No security fencing was used at the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle. According to a report submitted to the Seattle City Council, it was "one of the most disruptive events in Seattle's history."Footnote 53 Having witnessed the disruption of policing efforts at the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle compared to the relative calm during other similar events, it appeared that the lack of security fencing may have contributed to the increased level of violence. As such, police planners responsible for the 2000 International Monetary Fund/World Bank meeting in Washington, DC, and the subsequent Organization of American States meeting in Windsor opted to construct an exclusionary perimeter fence.Footnote 54
For the 2000 Organization of American States meeting in Windsor, the planners' decision was based, in part, on intelligence indicating the potential likelihood of more than 20,000 to 30,000 protesters attending the event.Footnote 55 Accordingly, a six-block area around the Summit site was cordoned off by an eight-foot-high continuous metal fence.Footnote 56
The security fence surrounding the 2000 Organization of American States meeting in Windsor, Ontario.
Compared to the Seattle meeting, the Windsor and Washington, DC, meetings resulted in relatively peaceful demonstrations, which may in part be attributed to the installation of fences. These lessons were subsequently used in planning the 2001 Summit of the Americas meeting in the City of Québec, where a 6.1-kilometre, three-metre-high fence was erected to cordon off the entire conference site. The fence itself became the focus of protests and anger, whereby protesters sought to challenge the legitimacy of the fence by bringing it down.Footnote 57 It has been argued that the wall was too extensive for police to secure, and that its size alone may have made it a target for protesters.Footnote 58
The security fence surrounding the 2011 Summit of the Americas in the City of Québec, Quebec.
Based on the unexpected breach of the perimeter in Québec, and the fact that the fence itself became the centre of protest attention, the tactic of using security fences was altered in several ways. Barriers and fencing were built higher, stronger and made more rigid, and they were deployed in a layered defensive system (i.e. with inner and outer fences as backups).Footnote 59
The principles outlined above appear to have been reflected in the decisions relating to the security fences installed for the G8 and G20 Summits. Through interviews and a review of documents, the Commission confirmed that the security fences were considered necessary by the RCMP and ISU planners in order to provide a safe venue for the Summits, both in terms of the physical security of the Internationally Protected Persons and their delegates, and making the most efficient use of limited resources in securing the areas around the various venues.
As determined through a vulnerability risk assessment conducted by the ISU in December 2009, Internationally Protected Persons were protected by a series of concentric rings delineated by fences. For the G20, the "Controlled Access Zone" referred to the areas of downtown Toronto in which the G20 Summit took place and in which most Internationally Protected Persons were housed. The Controlled Access Zone, encircled by a fence, would have the highest level of security and would be accessible only to those with Controlled Access Zone accreditation. A second fenced area, the "Restricted Access Zone" encompassed the Controlled Access Zone and two of the hotels housing Internationally Protected Persons. These two zones were to be the responsibility of the RCMP. Finally, a third fenced area, the "Interdiction Zone," would encompass the Restricted Access Zone, and would be the responsibility of the Toronto Police Service.
The inner perimeter security fence surrounding the 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto.
SOURCE: Gary J Wood/Flickr
The outer perimeter security fence surrounding the 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto.
Interviews with RCMP and security personnel representing the Government of Canada confirmed that the security fences for both the G8 and G20 Summits were erected for the purpose of providing security as required for the Internationally Protected Persons and delegations. Fences were not erected or moved, nor was the footprint of the secure zones made larger than was necessary, to ensure security. The Commission saw no indication that security zones were created or sized to ensure that protesters were kept farther away from Internationally Protected Persons than was necessary. RCMP decisions respecting the security fences were consistent with general practice and the Commission found no indication that these decisions were based on inappropriate considerations.
Finding No. 2: The Commission saw no indication that security zones were created or sized to ensure that protesters were kept farther away from Internationally Protected Persons than was necessary, or that RCMP decisions in their respect were based on any inappropriate considerations.
The ISU identified the number of police needed to provide an adequate level of security based in part on an examination of past summits, as well as completed threat risk assessments and the development of operational plans. Ultimately, the total number of police and security personnel mobilized for the Summits was approximately 21,000.
In addition to the police officers staffing the command centres and those tasked to the Joint Intelligence Group (JIG), numerous specialized units were also required to be in place. These included:
- rapid response assessment teams,
- quick response teams,
- critical incident response teams,
- explosive disposal units,
- chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and enhanced explosives response teams,
- police dog units,
- marine and dive units, and
- air operations.
To achieve its operational goals, the RCMP temporarily moved several thousand of its members from other areas of the country into the Toronto and Huntsville areas. To maintain security for Summit venues, it was necessary to clear and hold these venues to ensure that no infiltration could take place prior to or during the Summits.
The RCMP in its planning also provided for the possibility of violence in the week leading up to the G20 (which included the time prior to and during the G8 Summit). The ISU planned to allow the downtown streets to remain open to those requiring access for as long as possible before closing them off prior to the G20, but recognized that in the event of violence, it may have been necessary to close the access points sooner. As a result, the RCMP needed to have in place the resources to close these access points and keep them secure pending the arrival of the Internationally Protected Persons and delegates.
In this regard, RCMP members from British Columbia were tasked with conducting site searches in both Summit locations. These members arrived nearly a week in advance of the Summits. Once the searches were complete and the sites secured, these members would not have been engaged until the G8 began. As such, in June 2010, the RCMP and the Toronto Police Services Board entered into a memorandum of understanding allowing these members to work alongside Toronto Police Service members in the latter's jurisdiction, as what the RCMP came to call "high visibility team" members during the period of June 20 to 23, 2010. The memorandum of understanding allowed the RCMP members, all of whom were posted in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and who were experienced in policing urban areas, to assist ". . . the [Toronto Police Service] with the provision of specific security for the G20 Summit." In particular, the memorandum of understanding stated that the RCMP would make available uniformed members to assist the Toronto Police Service in carrying out its traffic control duties and in responding to public incidents related to the G20 Summit.Footnote 60 As a result, Toronto Police Service members were freed from the area of the Summit for use in other areas of the city. The RCMP members were sworn in as provincial constables, pursuant to the Ontario Police Services Act, which provided the necessary authority to enforce provincial statutes. These members were under the direct command and control of the Toronto Police Service during the stipulated time.
The RCMP believed having its members in working uniform—a less common sight in Ontario—would raise the RCMP's public profile.
According to the RCMP, the intangible benefit in this agreement was that the public would be able to see RCMP members in working uniform—a sight less common on Ontario streets because the RCMP carries out mostly federal statute duties in the province and its members generally work in plain clothes. It was expressed to the Commission that the RCMP felt this presence would raise the profile of the RCMP. The unintended consequence is that it may have led to the perception that the RCMP was in overall charge of security not only for the G20, but also within the City of Toronto in the area of the Summit.
With the cooperation of the Toronto Police Service, the Commission was provided with and reviewed the notes of the 300 RCMP members, along with other relevant documentation. The Commission confirmed that no arrests were made by these members between June 20 and 23, 2010.
The G8/G20 Public Affairs Communications Team was an integrated unit which included media relations personnel from the primary partner agencies. Its role was to provide information relating to security issues to the media and the public to mitigate the effects of closures and inconveniences and to provide background information.
According to the G20 Concept of Operations, the Public Affairs Communications Team was responsible for external and internal communications, including proactive and reactive media relations to external and internal parties and the provision of public affairs advice to commanders on security incident responses. The Public Affairs Communications Team was also charged with ensuring that all federal, provincial and municipal partners were informed of operational matters relevant to their respective mandates. The Public Affairs Communications Team was equally responsible for maintaining the content of the ISU website and managing social media and media relations. In an interview with the Commission, the RCMP's Director of Communications for the Summits explained that the Public Affairs Communications Team's chief role was to provide information on a variety of platforms to ensure that the community could access pertinent information in the format that best suited their needs.
The Commission notes that the Public Affairs Communications Team employed appropriate strategies to provide information on as close to a real-time basis as possible by making use of social media. Via this method, Public Affairs Communications Team members could potentially counter electronic feeds that were incorrect or misinformed much faster than traditional media processes would have allowed.
Finding No. 3: The Public Affairs Communications Team employed appropriate strategies to provide information to the public leading up to and during the Summits.
During the Summits, the Public Affairs Communications Team was responsible for the development of media lines. Media lines were created prior to the Summits, but if an incident commander in the UCC, TACC, MACC or MICC required additional media lines, they were often written and approved for use by senior officials within half an hour. This contributed to the Public Affairs Communications Team's mission to provide ". . . accurate and timely communications leading up to and during the summits."
The G8/G20 ISU websites contained media lines and frequently asked questions, including timely information on road closures and information for demonstrators. While the Information for Demonstrators section of the G20 Summit website laid out specific pieces of legislation which give police the authority to limit the activities of demonstrators, it failed to mention the Public Works Protection Act. When questioned about this during an interview with the Commission, the RCMP's Director of Communications for the Summits stated that the statute had no impact on the ISU or the RCMP and was the responsibility of the Toronto Police Service's Communications Team. Despite this opinion, the Commission is of the view that the G20 ISU website was intended to be a primary source of information for the public, explicitly listing statutes that could affect demonstrators. The website therefore should have been updated to contain information about the Public Works Protection Act and the expanded powers it gave to peace officers during the G20 Summit.
Finding No. 4: The official G20 Summit security website should have contained information regarding the Public Works Protection Act inasmuch as it would potentially affect the public.
Outreach (Community Relations Group)
The UK's 2010 Association of Chief Police Officers policy manual and most other open source literature examining policing best practices relating to large-scale events all place strong emphasis on pre- and in-event communication initiatives.
"[E]stablishing a dialogue well in advance and leaving the lines of communication open throughout an event are critical to decreasing the likelihood of violence."
– The UK Association of Chief Police Officers policy manual, 2010
They explain that establishing a dialogue well in advance and leaving the lines of communication open throughout an event are critical to decreasing the likelihood of violence.
In its Interim Report concerning the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference, the Commission also recommended the following:
- The RCMP should continue to follow, and enhance where appropriate, its existing open door policy of meeting and working with the leadership of protest groups, well in advance of a planned public order event, with a view to both police and protestors achieving their objectives in an environment that avoids unnecessary confrontation.Footnote 61
- Before taking action that could result in physical confrontation, police should make all reasonable efforts to warn protestors of the duty then resting with the police (such as to clear a roadway), the steps they intend to take to fulfil that duty, and what actions the protestors should take to allow the police to fulfil that duty and to allow the protestors to avoid arrest. Once the warning has been given, the protestors should be given a reasonable opportunity to comply before the police take further steps.Footnote 62
Dialogue allows police and demonstration organizers alike to explain their aims, requirements and responsibilities, while helping the organizers understand their liabilities in terms of health and safety. It also gives police an opportunity to express the thresholds of acceptable behaviour throughout the event. Pre-event dialogue allows for a joint agreement on the type and duration of protest activity, while attempting to minimize the element of surprise during the event on both sides.Footnote 63
One of the key tasks of the ISU was to:
Establish robust community outreach programs to ensure that the mission, aim and goals of the ISU were well understood by diverse stakeholders.
To provide outreach to both protest groups and to residents and business people affected by the Summits, the ISU created the Community Relations Group, which reported through the Public Affairs Communications Team and was composed of members of the different involved police agencies.
As noted in the RCMP After Action Report:
The [Community Relations Group G8 and subsequently, separate G8 and G20 groups] was designed and implemented to establish and maintain effective lines of communication between the ISU and stakeholders affected both directly and indirectly by G8 and G20 Summits. The [Community Relations Group]'s mandate included the development of constructive community relationships that would reinforce the timely bi-lateral exchange of critical information in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. The [Community Relations Group] acted as a bridge between the security teams, and those affected by, or involved in the event. The information gleaned from [Community Relations Group] outreach efforts was included in the preparation of communication strategies and operational plans.
The G8 Community Relations Group was led by the RCMP and included members of the Ontario Provincial Police, the Canadian Forces and other law enforcement partners. The G20 Community Relations Group was led by the Toronto Police Service and included members of the RCMP and the Peel Regional Police.
The G20 Community Relations Group was divided into two stakeholder groups: Protester/Activist and Business/Resident. The groups acted independently but shared information regularly.
The Business/Resident Group focused its initial outreach efforts on Toronto's financial district, as this was the area expected to be most affected by the G20 Summit. Once the specific venue was announced, outreach expanded to all businesses and residents in the surrounding area, particularly those who worked or resided inside the controlled access zones.
The Protester/Activist Group was tasked with establishing bilateral communication with the various protest and activist groups expected to attend the G20, which ranged from Aboriginal rights activists to organized labour and anti-globalization groups:
The team's primary objective was the facilitation of peaceful, lawful protest, and the identification of key contact people within the protest/activist groups. Another of the team's objectives was to ensure that the protest groups understood the role of the police, and what could be expected if protest was in fact, not peaceful and lawful.Footnote 64
The Community Relations Group used a toll-free line, the ISU website and in-person meetings to answer questions and relay information, and also produced YouTube videos.
Criticism was levelled by some activists/protesters through the media that Community Relations Group members were merely intelligence officers who were interested in obtaining whatever information they could, primarily from protest groups, and feeding that into the intelligence process.
In its review of documentation, and after conducting interviews with some RCMP Community Relations Group members, the Commission noted neither intent nor any action on the part of the Community Relations Group to target any particular group to obtain intelligence to thwart the right of a group to have its issues heard. The Commission specifically sought to identify any instance in which the Community Relations Group was tasked to target a particular protest group or to provide intelligence on a particular group or person of interest to the JIG. The Commission found none. The Commission was told by Community Relations Group members that they, at no time, targeted any particular individuals or groups in this manner. Community Relations Group members said that their aim was to assist protesters by providing information and by attempting to facilitate groups being heard and seen.
Finding No. 5: The Commission found neither intent nor action on the part of the Community Relations Group to obtain intelligence aimed at preventing groups from having their issues heard.
The information reviewed indicated that the Community Relations Group provided what assistance it could to those inconvenienced by the Summits. For example, the Commission was made aware of assistance provided by the Community Relations Group to facilitate the transport of a child awaiting surgery to the Hospital for Sick Children in downtown Toronto during the G20. In another instance during the G20, the Community Relations Group was involved in assisting a wedding party through crowds and road closures to reach their hotel in downtown Toronto.
Members of the Community Relations Group did attend meetings of protest groups in advance of the Summits, and identified themselves as police officers. The Commission was told by an RCMP member of the Community Relations Group that these meetings were usually identified by reviewing postings on open Internet sites. The Commission was informed that the Community Relations Group members were often not welcome at such meetings and that some individuals, who had attended several different meetings, publicly accused Community Relations Group members of harassing them. Despite the accusations, the Commission did not receive any public complaints in this regard.
During the G20 Summit, members of the Community Relations Group's Protester/Activist Group also attended the various demonstrations. They were visible and identifiable by their bright green jackets. The purpose of attending the protests was to continue outreach efforts. In interviews with some CCLA monitors who were also on the ground, the Commission was informed that Community Relations Group members were visible at locations such as Queen's Park and Allan Gardens. One CCLA monitor commented that he was pleased that the police were engaging in such outreach.
SOURCE: Jason Hargrove/Flickr
Members of the Community Relations Group were visible and identifiable throughout the G20 Summit.
On the issue of record-keeping, the standard operating procedures for the Community Relations Group stated: "[Community Relations Group] members are tasked with completing both a daily and weekly ... report which includes all meetings with stakeholders and contacts." The members of the G20 Community Relations Group who dealt with residential and business contacts reported regularly to the RCMP member who was heading up that part of the Community Relations Group. All of these reports were available in the Event Management System. The Protestor/Activist Group, led by a member of the Toronto Police Service, did not keep precise records of their contacts, contrary to standard operation procedures. Commission staff was told that the Protester/Activist Group contacts were inputted to a chart which was maintained by the Toronto Police Service member in charge of that group. The Commission found none of this information in the Event Management System, nor was it provided to the Commission as part of the investigation documentation.
Finding No. 6: Community Relations Group members' records were not consistently stored in the Event Management System database.
Recommendation No. 3: That all contacts be recorded and reported in a comprehensive and consistent manner to ensure proper and adequate recording of actions taken.
The RCMP prepared an After Action Report in the wake of the Summits, which it provided to the Commission in July 2011. This report canvassed numerous issues and identified many areas in which plans worked as intended as well as issues and areas requiring improvement.
The Commission believes that in order to provide a more comprehensive view of the operation, participants, including external security partners, should have had the opportunity to provide such input in order to identify issues, deficiencies or best practices. While both the RCMP and the Toronto Police Service produced after action reports, the Commission sees a clear need for a combined review in light of the integrated nature of the security operation.
Recommendation No. 4: That the RCMP ensure that a formal, integrated post-incident process is established for all major events to ensure that deficiencies as well as best practices are identified.
Second Issue: Intelligence
"Intelligence provides a means for the police to adequately deploy and use resources as and where they are most needed ... "
– New challenges in public order policing, 2002
Intelligence and the organizational mechanisms aimed at producing and sharing intelligence have become key components of securing major events, as policing has become increasingly intelligence-led. In recent years, the establishment of a Joint Intelligence Group (JIG) has been a cornerstone of the intelligence function in policing most large-scale events, particularly those of a multinational nature where several levels of jurisdiction are involved and where Internationally Protected Persons may be present.Footnote 65
The G8 Concept of Operations document listed as one of its critical objectives, the development of a ". . . coordinated and focused intelligence fusion architecture to support Summit security." It went on to note that one of the pre-conditions for success was accurate and timely all-source intelligence sharing among partners. This translated into the creation of the JIG in January 2009:
The JIG was created with a mandate to collect, collate, analyze, and disseminate accurate information and intelligence in a timely manner to facilitate the decision-making process in both the planning and executing phases of securing G8 and G20 Summits.
Initially, prior to the announcement of the G20, the JIG was co-led by the RCMP and the Ontario Provincial Police. Together, they established the structure and developed the framework for the JIG. With the announcement of the G20, the JIG was broadened to include the Toronto Police Service and the Peel Regional Police, and the RCMP became the sole lead. The JIG Commander (an RCMP superintendent) reported directly to the ISU Lead (an RCMP Chief Superintendent).
On January 20, 2011, the Commission was provided with a general briefing on the Summits, which included the JIG structure and function. In the months following, the Commission received and reviewed documentation which included the JIG operational plan, standard operating procedures, protocols, relevant policies, intelligence reports, and JIG members' notes. The Commission also interviewed the JIG Commander and Deputy Commander, both of whom are RCMP members.
Finding No. 7: The JIG fulfilled its mandate by conducting intelligence investigations and preparing and/or contributing to analytical reports.
Intelligence in the Planning Process
Intelligence provides a means for the police to adequately deploy and use resources as and where they are most needed, as well as pursue other intelligence-led policing activities,Footnote 66 such as targeted arrests of individuals suspected of instigating violence.
As noted in the operational resource rationale prepared by the ISU in December 2009:
During the lead up to the commencement of the [G20] Summit, intelligence led threat assessments will be prepared by the Joint Intelligence Group (JIG). These reports will document threat levels relating to terrorism threats and planned protest threats.
The ongoing intelligence from these reports will have an impact on the deployment of human and material resources, where the potential for confrontation between protestors and police personnel are likely to occur. G20 Operations personnel conducted Vulnerability Risk Assessments in Toronto in December 2009 of the proposed venue, airport and hotels.
Current intelligence indicates there is a significant threat of large protests and demonstrations that may commence several days before the Summit. This has influenced the approach to security at this site.
Throughout the planning process, the JIG produced regular reports and briefs to inform decision-makers. This continued during the operational phase.
In reviewing the documentation, the Commission learned that the JIG developed an intelligence collection plan for the purpose of identifying and assessing possible threats to the Summits. In relation to the identified threats, the JIG mandated that:
All "targeting" will be based upon criminal predicate: Suspects will be determined based upon their proven willingness, capacity and intention to commit criminal acts and/or create situations that pose public safety concerns.
The Commission is satisfied that the JIG appropriately identified and assessed criminal threats to the Summits, and that its process was linked to criminality as explained above.
Finding No. 8: The JIG appropriately identified and assessed criminal threats to the Summits.
In reviewing JIG documentation, the Commission also concluded that human rights were appropriately considered by JIG management. In an August 2009 memo regarding JIG protocols, the JIG Commander declared: ". . . the RCMP's commitment to ensuring that all intelligence related functions are conducted in a professional, responsible and lawful manner while fully respecting the rights granted to Canadians under the Charter of Rights."
Furthermore, the Commission noted that the JIG Commander asked the Deputy Commander to facilitate a one-day session for JIG personnel to address national security-related matters, including recommendations from the Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in relation to Maher Arar, intelligence sharing, working with intelligence agencies, human rights, and ministerial directives.
Finding No. 9: Human rights were appropriately considered by JIG management.
It is of note that the JIG also established an enhanced reporting structure for its criminal intelligence investigations after considering whether to apply an element of the national security framework that mandates that investigations involving sensitive sectorsFootnote 67 be approved at a higher level than would generally be required and that reporting be centralized. Although in this instance no such approval requirement was instituted, an enhanced reporting structure was being used by the JIG.
The RCMP may wish to consider an enhanced approval and reporting structure as a best practice for future major events where criminal intelligence investigations involving sensitive sectors are contemplated.
Recommendation No. 5: That the RCMP consider the establishment of an enhanced approval and reporting structure for sensitive sector criminal intelligence investigations as a best practice for future major events where such investigations are contemplated.
To identify and investigate potential threats, the JIG employed a number of operational measures, including but not limited to, undercover operations. These operations were intended to provide timely and accurate information for decision-makers. According to RCMP policy:
An undercover operation is an investigative technique used by a peace officer or agent to seek or acquire criminal evidence or intelligence through misrepresentation, pretext or guise.
In an interview with the Commission, the JIG Commander confirmed that all RCMP members participating in undercover operations were trained. This is consistent with RCMP policy on undercover operations. He also confirmed that all undercover activities were legally authorized, but would not go into further detail because a number of criminal matters remained before the courts at the time of the interview.
"The RCMP had a robust system governing undercover operations, which included high-level internal oversight."
The JIG Commander further reported that RCMP undercover operations were run by the RCMP and not by another police service, although RCMP operations were coordinated with other policing partners also conducting undercover operations to ensure that resources and assets were properly aligned. Further, the RCMP Deputy Commissioner responsible for Federal Policing reported that he was regularly briefed on all undercover operations, including the justification for such operations.
The Commission received and reviewed redacted copies of the RCMP undercover operational plans for JIG projects, as well as relevant undercover policies. Despite the redactions, the plans clearly articulated the objectives of the operations, how the objectives were to be achieved and who was to be involved. One of the operational plans noted that the undercover operator and the cover team membersFootnote 68 received a designation pursuant to section 25.1 of the Criminal Code, which provides a limited justification at law for acts and omissions that would otherwise constitute an offence. The RCMP subsequently confirmed to the Commission that all undercover operators and cover team members were required to have the designation.Footnote 69
The Commission also received and reviewed the redacted notes of some RCMP undercover operators. In reviewing these notes, the Commission confirmed that the operators were clearly aware of the operational objectives and were being monitored by their cover teams.
The question of whether the intelligence collection was carried out in a manner consistent with legal authorities is a matter for the criminal courts. The mandate of the Commission, on the other hand, is limited to an examination of RCMP intelligence collection to ensure compliance with relevant policies and procedures. In the case of the G8/ G20, the Commission's ability to examine the operations in depth was circumscribed by the necessity of avoiding any effect on the ongoing litigation and criminal trials. Despite this restriction, the Commission was able to review the RCMP's policies and procedures for the collection of intelligence, including undercover operations. The Commission was able to determine that the RCMP had a robust system governing these sensitive operations, which included high-level internal oversight. The Commission notes that subsequent to its investigation, criminal matters were resolved. Given that the resolution did not include any judicial scrutiny of whether the operations were carried out in an appropriate manner, the Commission is considering whether further review of these operations is required.
Event Monitoring Units
Incident commanders and decision-makers need to have access to intelligence assessments of crowd behaviour and developing situations, as well as maintaining a near-real-time level of situational awareness of events. After several planning meetings, it was determined that "event monitors" were required for the "live event"—that is to say, the Summits. Accordingly, in addition to undercover operations, the JIG employed Event Monitoring Units, which consisted of police officers working in plain clothes among the crowds at the Summits.
According to the 2010 G8/G20 Summits ISU-JIG operational plan:
JIG investigators will be assigned as Event Monitors and report on demonstrations in real time as to its direction, temperament and tempo ... . The primary role of the "Event Monitors" will be to provide ongoing and real time intelligence by closely surveilling any large gatherings with pre-existing potential for criminality... . They will attempt to identify suspects and provide guidance and information to Public Order Teams assigned to conduct any follow-up actions.
JIG personnel assigned to Event Monitoring Units, including RCMP members, received "Crowd Observation and Extraction Team" training by the Calgary Police Service Public Safety Unit in advance of the Summits. The training emphasized that event monitors were not to be part of any enforcement actions or Public Order Unit actions unless exigent circumstances existed (e.g. to prevent grievous bodily harm) and they were not to participate in demonstrations (observation only). Event monitors were employed in both Huntsville and Toronto.
[The event monitors] were strictly used as observation, overhearing, recording ... and passing that information on."
When interviewed by the Commission, the JIG Commander stated in relation to the role of the monitors: "They were strictly used as observation, overhearing, recording those observations and passing that information on." The JIG Commander went on to state: "The crowd observation and overhearing and live time feeds of intelligence was very worthwhile. It was very rewarding as far as getting that out directly to our site and area commanders ... ." This is echoed in the RCMP's After Action Report, which lists Event Monitoring Units as a best practice to be transferred to other events.
Some concern has been expressed in the media that agents provocateurs may have been employed during the Summits. In an interview with the Commission, the JIG Commander stated that:
Prior to the Summits I met for a presentation with Chief Blair [of the Toronto Police Service], Deputy Souccar [RCMP], Assistant Commissioner McDonell [RCMP], and a number of other police leaders, and in which ... that [agent provocateur] was discussed. Shortly thereafter ... I issued an email regarding agent provocateur that it would not be tolerated and [to] ensure that the people, their people underneath them were aware of that, unless explicitly authorized by the Criminal Code, which it never did happen.
The Commission reviewed the referenced email from the JIG Commander sent to JIG supervisors, asking them to remind JIG personnel, "... involved in such duties as covert operations, field intelligence and event monitoring to use good judgement and refrain from provocateur type activity ... ."
When asked if he had any knowledge of any incidents where this reminder was not heeded, the JIG Commander responded emphatically, "Absolutely not."
Having reviewed relevant documentation relating to both event monitors and undercover operations, the Commission saw no indication that the RCMP employed agents provocateurs during the Summits.
Finding No. 10: The Commission saw no indication that RCMP undercover operators or event monitors acted inappropriately or as agents provocateurs.
Third Issue: Use of Force, Detentions and Arrests
There were no security incidents or arrests by the RCMP (or any other police service) during the G8 Summit in Huntsville.
Regarding the G20, the actions of RCMP members, as they related to interactions with protesters and demonstrations, all occurred in or around the outer area of the Summit, outside the fenced Controlled Access, Restricted Access and Interdiction zones. Within those zones, no arrests were made, nor were any demonstrations possible given the controlled access. However, seven arrests were made by RCMP POUs in the outer area.Footnote 70
The public perception concerning the G8 and G20 Summits appears to have been that the RCMP was in charge of all security arrangements and operational decisions. However, based on several interviews with senior RCMP officials, the RCMP believed that it was responsible for the protection of the Summits and the Internationally Protected Persons within the perimeter of the first two fenced areas (the Controlled and Restricted Access zones) of the G20 Summit; any police actions outside these fenced areas (in the Interdiction and Outer zones) were the responsibility and duty of the Toronto Police Service, as the police of local jurisdiction.
The question of which police agency had jurisdiction at any particular time during the Summits—and indeed, during any integrated event—is a pertinent one, and the subject of much discussion. Further, an understanding of the responsibilities of the RCMP members, and to what degree the members were subject to the direction of the police force of local jurisdiction, is integral to a proper assessment of any actions taken by RCMP members during the course of the Summits. To this end, and as previously referenced, the Commission sought an independent legal opinion regarding the specific authorities and responsibilities vested in participating police agencies and their members throughout the Summits.Footnote 71
The Commission's legal opinion reached several conclusions which served to guide the Commission's analysis of RCMP member conduct during the Summits. Specifically:
- RCMP members have the authority to exercise police powers with respect to federal responsibilities and offences throughout Canada at any time.
- RCMP members were only required to exercise police powers within the Controlled and Restricted Access zones, and/or in the event of security threats to the Summits or Internationally Protected Persons arising outside of those zones to the extent deemed necessary.
- Operationally, the RCMP was in charge of G20 Summit-related policing in the Controlled and Restricted Access zones. This contemplated directing members of other police agencies with respect to Summit-related matters within those zones.
- Operationally, the Toronto Police Service was in charge of policing outside the Controlled and Restricted Access zones unless the RCMP identified security threats to the G20 or Internationally Protected Persons falling within its federal mandate.
- The RCMP retained its regulatory Code of Conduct, policies and operational guidelines over its members irrespective of the area in which policing was being carried out.
Consistent with the foregoing, it should be recalled that pursuant to subsection 10.1(1) of the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act, the RCMP bears "primary responsibility to ensure the security for the proper functioning of any intergovernmental conference in which two or more states participate, that is attended by" Internationally Protected Persons.
Consideration has been given to the meaning of "primary responsibility." It is clear upon the application of principles of statutory interpretation that the expression is intended to give the RCMP final decision-making power in respect of security at intergovernmental conferences, in terms of its interactions with other police agencies. However, while the authority rests with the RCMP to make a final decision specifically in respect of such a matter, the police force of local jurisdiction will consequently be relieved of any responsibility relating to that matter. In such a situation, a police force of local jurisdiction has no obligation to participate in a matter where it disagrees with a final decision made by the RCMP pursuant to its authority as conferred by the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act, and the RCMP is not afforded the power to give binding orders to that police force.
Due to the uncertainty that may be created in such a situation, agreements such as memoranda of understanding between involved police forces are desirable. Given the difficulty of attributing policing powers and responsibility in an integrated, federal-provincial setting, an agreement establishing authorities and responsibilities of involved police agencies would clearly and transparently attribute primary policing jurisdiction. The Commission recommends that the RCMP develop and implement policy requiring best efforts to be made respecting entering into comprehensive agreements with other police agencies prior to beginning integrated operations. Such agreements should address such issues as command structure, strategic, tactical and operational levels, and the operation and application of policies and operational guidelines.
Recommendation No. 6: That the RCMP develop and implement policy requiring best efforts to be made respecting entering into comprehensive agreements with other police agencies prior to beginning integrated operations, addressing such issues as command structure, strategic, tactical and operational levels, and the operation and application of policies and operational guidelines.
Public Order Units
In its review of Public Order Units (POUs), the Commission examined documentation including the RCMP POU policy, RCMP and Toronto Police Service POU operational plans, standard operating procedures, officers' notes and training material. In addition, the Commission interviewed RCMP POU commanders and POU planners.
The RCMP Tactical Operations Manual states that:
Where the RCMP has jurisdiction or the responsibility for the protection of Internationally Protected Persons (IPPS)/VIPs, the RCMP is responsible for the preservation and restoration of peace in the case of a demonstration, an unlawful assembly or a riot.
When officially requested, the RCMP may assist other police agencies in the preservation and restoration of peace but any deployment will be in accordance with RCMP directives.
In this regard, the G8 and G20 operational plans called for multiple POUs to be made available for deployment during the Summits for the purpose of maintaining safety and security both within and outside the secure zones. The RCMP assigned 240 public order members to the G8 and 320 public order members to the G20.Footnote 72 This was in addition to the POUs from other police services, including those of the police forces of local jurisdiction (the Ontario Provincial Police for the G8 and the Toronto Police Service for the G20).
As with most specialized teams assigned to the Summits, members of the POUs arrived trained: all tactical troop members were required to have been certified with current validation in all tactical troop training.
The RCMP trains and equips its POUs according to the RCMP Tactical Operations Manual, which sets out the standards and training proficiencies required for members of the POUs. In addition to basic RCMP training, some specialized training was also required. For example, the RCMP POUs assigned to the G20 trained with the Toronto Police Service to familiarize RCMP members with the use of mounted units and Toronto Police Service water projection systems. RCMP POU commanders were also brought to Toronto in advance of the G20 Summit to be familiarized with the venue and location.
RCMP Public Order Unit members in Toronto's Financial District.
The Commission saw no indication that the RCMP POU members assigned to the Summits did not meet the required training standards.
The Commission's investigation revealed that no RCMP (or other) POUs were deployed during the G8 Summit. Although the units were in Huntsville, events at the Summit did not necessitate the engagement of tactical troops. The same cannot be said for the G20 Summit.
On June 26 and 27, 2010, several RCMP POUs were deployed in the Outer Zone (beyond the Interdiction Zone) under the command of the Toronto Police Service MICC following a request from the Toronto Police Service for RCMP assistance. The request was made via the MICC Commander to the RCMP Liaison Officer in the MICC. The request was then forwarded to the TACC Commander, an RCMP member, who made the decision to allow RCMP POUs to work under the control of the Toronto Police Service on both days. The expectation of the TACC Commander was that the POUs would take direction from the Toronto Police Service Commander, but that they would operate within the established practices and policies of the RCMP.
There was no contact between the TACC Commander and the MICC Commander to communicate what the RCMP POUs were being tasked to do, but the TACC Commander told the Commission he had confidence that the RCMP POU commanders knew the extent of their legal authority and would not exceed it. It must be recalled, as outlined in the legal opinion previously referenced, that the fact that the RCMP POUs assisted the Toronto Police Service beyond the Controlled and Restricted Access zones did not subordinate the RCMP's Code of Conduct or policies to those of the Toronto Police Service.
Specific Incidents of Arrest, Detention and Use of Force
Dispersal of Protesters at Queen's Park on June 26, 2010
In the late afternoon of June 26, 2010, individuals returned to the grounds of Queen's Park, which had been designated a protest zone. An earlier march had degenerated into property damage and violence. Police, in the wake of the events that had occurred that afternoon, began attempting to clear the zone, and a number of physical altercations ensued. A number of individuals were arrested.
The RCMP did not make or assist in any arrests at Queen's Park. The Commission was informed that an RCMP POU was directed to Queen's Park just prior to the arrests; however, that POU was re-deployed by the MICC Commander prior to arriving at the location.
Finding No. 11: The RCMP did not make or assist in any arrests at Queen's Park.
Although the RCMP was not directly involved in the arrests, RCMP-led JIG information did play a role in the events of June 26, 2010. An undated briefing note to an RCMP Deputy Commissioner stated:
The June 26 protests resulted in many broken windows at downtown businesses and the burning of four police vehicles. The JIG investigations provided timely information on the location of protests and movement of protest groups enabling commanders to plan effectively.
This is confirmed by the sitboard entries reviewed by the Commission, which reveal that both the JIG Event Monitoring Units and the MICC were providing near real-time updates on the protest events as they unfolded, leading up to the arrests. While the arrests were occurring, the primary source for information, according to the sitboard entries, was the Toronto Police Service video feeds.
Detentions and Arrests at The Esplanade on June 26, 2010
The Commission determined that an RCMP POU was briefly at Yonge Street and The Esplanade at approximately 8:30 p.m. on June 26, 2010. However, within 30 minutes of arrival, the MICC redeployed this troop to another location. The RCMP POU Commander confirmed that his troop did not make any arrests, nor was it involved in detaining the crowd.
Finding No. 12: The RCMP did not make any arrests, nor was it involved in detaining the crowd at The Esplanade on June 26, 2010.
Kettling at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue on June 27, 2010
"[Kettling] should ... be used in moderation and only if and when deemed necessary."
– 2009 report by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary following the 2009 G20 Summit in London
According to the Toronto Police Service After Action Review, in the late afternoon of June 27, 2010 the MICC responded to a protest moving along Queen Street West. At Spadina Avenue, that group was blocked on all sides at the direction of the MICC Commander. Video of the event indicates that the group was first blocked by Toronto Police Service bicycle police officers, and later by POUs. At approximately 5:25 p.m., an RCMP POU, under the direction of the MICC, was ordered to the intersection of Queen Street and Spadina Avenue to "box in" and arrest the protesters for conspiracy to commit mischief. Although the crowd was already boxed in or kettled, the RCMP POU can be seen on RCMP aerial surveillance moving through the middle of the crowd, thus creating two kettles.
The Commission's jurisdiction does not extend to an examination of the MICC and its decisions to employ this particular crowd control tactic. However, to the extent that an RCMP POU was involved in the containment or kettling of individuals, the Commission reviewed the conduct of the RCMP members who took action as part of that POU, notwithstanding that it was under the control of the Toronto Police Service at the time, as well as the conduct of RCMP commanders on duty at the time.
Kettling is a crowd control tactic whereby the police surround protesters to keep them in a particular area and to control any exit or entrance to the area. Its intended use is to prevent disorder or protect public safety. It is believed that kettling was first used by police in Germany in the 1980s,Footnote 73 and subsequently in the UK sometime after 1990. The tactic is based on the idea that police officers would be in physical contact with the outermost circle of contained protesters, while those closer to the centre would be surrounded by protesters and therefore become effectively self-policed (assuming protesters do not turn on one another). Kettling is now also used by western police services. Kettling gained notoriety after its use during the 2009 G20 Summit in London, England.
Policing policy in the UK, as set out by the Association of Chief Police Officers, originally endorsed the unconditional use of kettling.Footnote 74 However, a 2009 report by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary following the 2009 G20 Summit in London recommended that the tactic should instead be used in moderation and only if and when deemed necessary.Footnote 75 While the practice of kettling has not yet been evaluated by the Canadian courts, a 2011 case from the UK High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division in response to the use of kettling during the G20 protests in 2009 summarized the general principles with respect to the legality of kettling in that country as follows:
- Kettling may be permissible in order to prevent a breach of the peace occurring in the presence of the police, or if they reasonably believe that a breach of the peace is imminent.
- What is imminent depends on the circumstances and is not an inflexible concept; a breach of the peace is imminent if it is likely to happen.
- The action taken must be necessary, reasonable and proportionate.
- Action may lawfully be taken even if it affects people who are not themselves going to be actively involved in the breach of the peace.Footnote 76
The UK courts have condoned some uses of the tactic, and deemed others unlawful. In the above noted case, the use of kettling was considered to be premature, as a breach of the peace was not "imminent," but the court recognized that the tactic may have become justifiable at a later time.
An aerial shot from the RCMP's Stetson aircraft of the kettling at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue on June 27, 2010.
Regarding the events of June 27, 2010, the Commission learned that the RCMP Lower Mainland District POU was deployed to the corner of Queen Street and Spadina Avenue in full riot gear, arriving at the east side of the intersection at 5:52 p.m. According to the scribe notes of the Lower Mainland District POU, the kettle had already been formed, with POUs positioned to cover the entire intersection. The RCMP POU Commander stated during his interview with the Commission that he was ordered to box in the protesters, as they were all under arrest for conspiracy to commit mischief.
Once on the scene, the RCMP POU Commander had his Toronto Police Service liaison officer (who was embedded with the unit)Footnote 77 confirm these orders with the MICC. The RCMP POU Commander was attempting to understand whether the decision to make the mass arrests was based on articulable grounds. He was also concerned with the order to box in, as neither he nor the troop Non-Commissioned Officer (who was a seasoned tactical troop member) had previously employed this technique. According to RCMP POU policy and training, crowds should be provided an egress route.
"In the absence of somebody telling me what to do, we just worked it out amongst ourselves."
- Commander, Lower
Mainland District Integrated Tactical Troop
While the orders were being confirmed, the RCMP POU Commander attempted to locate the on-site tactical commander, an Ontario Provincial Police officer. The Ontario Provincial Police Commander was to be in charge of the scene (i.e. Incident Commander) and direct the assembled POUs (believed to include the Toronto Police Service, the RCMP, the Ontario Provincial Police and the London Police Service). Because he could not initially locate the tactical commander, the RCMP POU Commander, along with the other POU commanders, came to an agreement on how to proceed, including having a Toronto Police Service POU commander serve as the Incident Commander (as he had direct contact with the MICC) until such time as the Ontario Provincial Police Commander could be located. The concern of the RCMP POU Commander was that absent a clear chain of command, one POU could receive different orders than another, which would lead to greater confusion.
Following the discussion with other POU commanders, the RCMP POU positioned itself on the northeast side of the intersection, boxing the crowd in. Although the RCMP POU Commander had some concerns about the order, as a practical matter, where one police service is supporting another in situations that require quick and decisive action, it is difficult for the supporting agency to act contrary to the instructing agency or to refuse to follow through with the provision of support. While there may be legitimate questions surrounding the approach taken by the instructing agency, to act contrary to their instructions could jeopardize the safety of all involved. In light of the foregoing, the Commission is satisfied that the RCMP POU Commander took reasonable steps to ensure that his orders were legitimate in the circumstances. Accordingly, the Commission also finds that the POU members acted reasonably in executing the orders from the Toronto Police Service MICC to surround the protesters.
Finding No. 13: The RCMP POU Commander involved in the kettling of individuals at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue on June 27, 2010, took reasonable steps to ensure that his orders were legitimate in the circumstances.
Finding No. 14: The RCMP POU members involved in the kettling of individuals at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue on June 27, 2010, acted reasonably in executing the orders from the Toronto Police Service Major Incident Command Centre.
As the troop held the line, the RCMP POU Commander continued to look for the Ontario Provincial Police Incident Commander. Meanwhile, the RCMP Arrest Rank Team had begun to arrest people and turned them over to the Toronto Police Service, reasonably believing that those were their orders. The RCMP POU Commander also related to the Commission that his unit had removed a number of people from the kettle because of medical issues, in addition to escorting some media personnel out of the kettle.
Sometime before 8:00 p.m., nearly two hours after arriving, the RCMP POU Commander located the Ontario Provincial Police Incident Commander. When the RCMP POU Commander told the Ontario Provincial Police Commander that they had made arrests, the latter confirmed that it was the Toronto Police Service who was to go through the line and make arrests. The RCMP Commander then ordered his team to stop making arrests. In total, the RCMP arrested five individuals before being told to stop.
In his interview with the Commission, the RCMP POU Commander stated that some of his members had expressed concern about whether those being detained in the intersection had been told that they were under arrest. When the RCMP Commander raised this with the Incident Commander, the Ontario Provincial Police officer told him that the crowd had been warned three times to leave the location or they would be under arrest. The Commission interviewed a number of persons in the kettle; some indicated that they did not hear such warnings, while others said they did but that the warning came after the kettle was already formed, leaving the crowd no way out. The Commission was unable to confirm whether the warning had been provided and at what time, as the RCMP did not give the warning, nor were any RCMP members present when the warning was reportedly issued.
In his ongoing discussion with the Ontario Provincial Police Commander, the RCMP POU Commander also questioned why individuals continued to be held, as the G20 Summit was nearly over. He was told that Toronto Police Service Command (MICC) wanted everyone arrested. At this point, the RCMP POU Commander asked for his troop to be relieved, as they were wet and needed to let their equipment dry before taking an early flight back to Vancouver the next morning. The Ontario Provincial Police Commander relieved the RCMP POU at approximately 8:00 p.m. At that time, the crowd was still confined in the kettle.
In interviews with the UCC and TACC commanders, it was confirmed that neither the UCC nor the TACC were involved in the decision-making process related to this event. This was further confirmed by the Commission in interviews with a Toronto Police Service officer assigned to the UCC that night as well as a Toronto Police Service Deputy Chief. Since these interviews, the Toronto Police Service After Action Review of the G20, dated June 2011, confirmed that the MICC ordered the boxing in.
Through the course of its investigation, the Commission learned that of the five individuals arrested by the RCMP team, two of them were plain-clothes police officers with the Toronto Police Service. According to the RCMP POU Commander, the RCMP arresting officers were not aware, at the time, that these two individuals were plain-clothes officers with the JIG Event Monitoring Unit (described earlier on in the Event Monitoring Unit Section).
"[T]he five arrested individuals were singled out because it was felt that they may pose a risk to the tactical troop."
- POU Commander
The notes of the arresting officers were not detailed, there were no names provided, and no indication that two of the individuals were police officers. In the past, the Commission has commented on the need for better note-taking by RCMP members. In March 2011, the Senior Deputy Commissioner of the RCMP issued a broadcast in advance of a formalized, updated policy regarding members' notebooks. The broadcast highlights the importance of notes in documenting relevant details, refreshing members' memories after a period of time has passed, and articulating actions that have been taken. A formal policy in this regard was implemented in January 2012. In light of the broadcast and policy, neither of which were in place at the time of the Summits, it is not necessary to make a recommendation in this regard.
In his interview with the Commission, the POU Commander indicated that the five arrested individuals were singled out because it was felt that they may pose a risk to the tactical troop: for example, one individual was intoxicated while another was believed to have a weapon. During the interview, as in the arresting officers' notes, the POU Commander did not indicate that two of those arrested were plain-clothes officers, later stating that he did not believe it to be significant. It was only through an inadvertent comment that the Commission was made aware of the incident. That being said, the RCMP was forthcoming in providing additional details upon request by the Commission. There was no indication in the information provided that the two plain-clothes officers were acting in a provocative manner, thus prompting the arrests.
There is insufficient information available to enable the Commission to assess the appropriateness of the arrests made by the RCMP POU.
Despite the Commission's finding that the actions of the RCMP members involved in the kettling at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue were reasonable, the Commission notes, as above, that RCMP POU policy and training maintains that crowds should be provided an egress route.
In this regard, the RCMP policy may have been inconsistent with the Toronto Police Service policy. In his interview with the Commission, a deputy chief of the Toronto Police Service stated that the use of containment as a tactic by the Toronto Police Service ". . . wasn't unknown, but it wasn't standard practice." However, nearly a year after the 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto, the Toronto Police Service reportedly terminated its use of this tactic.Footnote 78
The legal opinion sought by the Commission addressed the issue of inconsistencies in operational policy among police agencies conducting integrated operations. As previously outlined, RCMP policies continued to apply to members while exercising their policing duties. Given the inconsistencies in the policies of the two agencies, however:
To expect RCMP police officers deployed as POUs to take common briefing instructions together with other [Toronto Police Service] police officers from [Toronto Police Service] command and then conduct the very same police operations shoulder-to-shoulder in the field in support of [Toronto Police Service] responsibilities, but somehow identify conflicting procedures and conduct themselves differently, may not be a realistic expectation.Footnote 79
In light of the foregoing, and consistent with its earlier recommendation regarding entering into comprehensive agreements prior to the onset of integrated policing operations, the Commission recommends that the RCMP make best efforts to establish, together with its partners, clear operational guidelines prior to an event where integrated policing will occur to ensure consistency of application. In this manner, inconsistencies may be addressed by prior amendment or agreement. It is difficult to hold individual police officers to account if the policy and directions they are to follow are not clear and consistent.
The Commission spoke with a number of senior RCMP officers regarding the kettling incident. Some said they were not aware of the ongoing kettle because they were preoccupied with the movements of Internationally Protected Persons to the airport or with the movement of resources from Ottawa to Toronto. Others said they saw the video of the kettle, but did not ask questions because the incident occurred in the outer area of the Summit and was therefore the responsibility of the Toronto Police Service, not the RCMP. This was echoed by the ISU Lead. When asked what his expectations were of the UCC Commander and the TACC Commander in this situation, the ISU Lead stated that he would only expect the UCC Commander to get involved if there had been a strategic need to do so (e.g. need for additional resources). The ISU Lead was clear that the kettling was a tactical decision—that is to say, it was made by the Toronto Police Service. The ISU Lead went on to add:
The TACC is a different... Now, our expectation from them was that they would be very well in tune with what was happening on the streets in Toronto. And if they had a concern, they would be raising it to the UCC. Although the TACC wasn't directly responsible for the streets of Toronto, we did have liaison people from the TACC in that command centre [i.e. the MICC].
However, when the Commission interviewed the TACC Commander who worked the night shift on June 27, 2010, he stated categorically: "I wasn't aware. I never made a call to find out what was going on or to question it."
A similar response was received from the RCMP Liaison Officer in the MICC who indicated that although he was aware that there was an RCMP tactical troop at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue, he was preoccupied with the movement of resources from Ottawa to Toronto. However, an entry on the sitboard at 6:21 p.m. on June 27, 2010, states: "On June 27, 2010, at 1818 hrs, RCMP Supt... . (MICC) updated the crowd is still at Queen and Spadina where POU units, and [Toronto Police Service] Mounted Units are monitoring." A second entry eleven minutes later goes on to note: "On June 27, 2010, at 1829 hrs, RCMP Supt... . advises that the crowd is contained, ongoing extraction and arrests." This suggests that the senior RCMP officer in the MICC was aware of the situation at the time.
The Commission accepts that the decision to contain the crowd at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue was made by the Toronto Police Service and that neither the UCC nor the TACC were part of that decision-making process. However, there is an apparent disconnect between the RCMP POU Commander on the ground, who had concerns with the ordered tactic, and senior RCMP commanders, including the Liaison Officer in the MICC, who either were not aware of the ongoing situation, or were aware but did not have or did not express concern. In any event, their responsibility and authority did not extend to public order issues in the outer area which did not affect Summit security or internationally protected person protection.
Finding No. 15: The involvement of the RCMP Public Order Unit members in the kettling of individuals at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue on June 27, 2010, while inconsistent with RCMP POU policy and training, which maintains that crowds should be provided an egress route, was reasonable under the circumstances.
Recommendation No. 7: That the RCMP make best efforts to establish, together with its partners, clear operational guidelines prior to an event where integrated policing will occur to ensure consistency of application.
Police Conduct Outside the Eastern Avenue Detention Centre on
June 27, 2010
The RCMP was not present outside the Prisoner Processing Centre on Eastern Avenue on June 27, 2010.
Finding No. 16: The RCMP was not present outside the Prisoner Processing Centre on Eastern Avenue on June 27, 2010.
Arrests at the University of Toronto on June 27, 2010
In the morning hours of June 27, 2010, police entered the gymnasium of the University of Toronto Graduate Student Union, where a number of individuals who had traveled to Toronto for the G20 Summit, mainly for the purpose of attending demonstrations, had been sleeping. Police arrested approximately 70 persons.
According to documentation reviewed by the Commission and statements made in interviews, RCMP members did not participate in the June 27, 2010, arrests at the University.
Finding No. 17: RCMP members did not participate in the June 27, 2010, arrests at the University.
Use of Force by the RCMP
The Commission found no information to suggest that RCMP members were engaged in the unreasonable use of force.
Finding No. 18: The Commission found no information to suggest that RCMP members were engaged in the unreasonable use of force.
Individual Complaints Received by the Commission
As noted above, the Commission received five complaints relating to specific instances of RCMP member conduct during the incident at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue on June 27, 2010, all of which have been disposed of by the RCMP. The complainants generally alleged that on that date, unidentified police officers:
- Improperly detained a number of persons for five hours in the area of Queen Street and Spadina Avenue.
- Only told the detainees that they were being arrested for breach of the peace after the five hours had passed.Footnote 80
- Failed to provide adequate care to the people who were detained.
Essentially, all of the complainants indicated that they were among those "peacefully protesting" or passing through the area when they were suddenly boxed in by the police and not permitted to leave the area. They were held in that area for several hours and allegedly not told what was to happen to them.
One complainant, who was arrested and will be referred to as Complainant A, made the following additional allegations regarding his treatment and personal observations, stating that unidentified police officers:
- 4. Grabbed protesters in an unnecessarily forceful manner and arrested them.
- 5. Improperly arrested Complainant A.
- 6. Performed an improper search of the personal effects of Complainant A.
- 7. Damaged the personal effects of Complainant A.
- 8. Failed to provide proper care to Complainant A following his arrest.
- 9. Detained Complainant A for an unnecessarily long period of time following his arrest.
- 10. Failed to caution Complainant A when he was detained.
- 11. Failed to permit Complainant A to retain counsel without delay.
- 12. Assaulted another handcuffed prisoner who was being held in the same police van as Complainant A.
While none of the complainants have requested a review by the Commission to date, in the interests of providing a full accounting of RCMP involvement in the events surrounding the G20, the Commission assessed the RCMP's disposition of the public complaints cited above. The allegations were considered in two groups: a) the detention and treatment of those held in the kettle at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue; and b) the subsequent arrest, treatment and observations of Complainant A.
Detention and Treatment of Those Held at Queen Street and
The RCMP issued a similar Final Report to all of the complainants. The Final Report indicates that the first task was to determine whether any RCMP personnel were deployed to that area on the date and during the time in question, since there were a large number of officers from different police agencies working at the G20 Summit. They determined that there were twoFootnote 81 RCMP POUs present at different times in that area during the relevant time period. However, the report notes that their attendance was at the request of the Toronto Police Service and both units were under the command of the Toronto Police Service. To determine the issue of jurisdiction and command authority, the RCMP looked at the Toronto Police Service After Action Review in which the Toronto Police Service "took full responsibility for the command decision and action taken against protesters" at the location in question. On that basis, the RCMP did not support the allegation against the unidentified members in question.
In the Commission's view, the RCMP's Final Report is not fulsome in that it fails to address the complaint about "boxing in" and why this is contrary to RCMP policy, and also in its approach to the jurisdiction and command decision issue. As discussed above, there is at least some onus on the RCMP to ensure that any actions taken—even at the command of another police force—have a reasonable basis in law and some justification from a policing perspective.
Despite the limited analysis provided by the RCMP in response to these specific complaints, the Commission reiterates its general findings regarding the kettling incident, stated above.
Arrest, Treatment and Observations of Complainant A
Complainant A made a number of allegations about police conduct that included his arrest, search subsequent to arrest, detention in the prisoner transport vehicle, etc.
The RCMP's Final Report indicates that after consultation with the Toronto Police Service Professional Standards Unit, it was determined that no RCMP members were involved with the arrest of Complainant A. It was also determined that all aspects of prisoner transport, detention, and access to counsel were handled by the Toronto Police Service and that no RCMP personnel were involved. As such, the RCMP found that none of its members were responsible for any of the allegations numbered 4 to12, above.
During its investigation of the RCMP's conduct during the G8 and G20 Summits, the Commission interviewed Complainant A and received a number of documents that confirmed that Complainant A was arrested by an officer from a police force other than the RCMP. In addition, the record indicates that the RCMP was not involved in prisoner transport, detention, or access to counsel. As such, there is no indication that any RCMP member was involved in any of the alleged conduct, and therefore the RCMP's disposition of the complaint was reasonable, albeit not for the reason stated in the Final Report.
Fourth Issue: Eastern Avenue Detention Facilities
Through interviews with RCMP personnel and its review of documentation, the Commission has learned that the RCMP played no role in the planning for, or management of, incidents at or near the Eastern Avenue Detention Facility. Nothing in the documents examined by the Commission or the interviews carried out by its investigator indicated that the concept for the design, size, processing of prisoners and management of the detention facility involved the RCMP. Accordingly, this question falls under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.
Finding No. 19: The RCMP played no role in the planning for, or management of, incidents at or near the Eastern Avenue Detention Facility.
As has been outlined throughout the Commission's report, the actions of RCMP members in the context of the 2010 G8 and G20 Summits were, in a general sense, reasonable and appropriate. Planning was thorough, and the structure of intelligence operations and use made of gathered information were appropriate, with attention paid to ensuring the rights of demonstrators. No incidents of unreasonable force by RCMP members were identified. The involvement of RCMP POUs in the kettling of individuals downtown was found by the Commission to be reasonable; while kettling itself is inconsistent with RCMP policy, the POUs reasonably acted pursuant to the direction of another police agency.
In keeping with the Commission's stated goal of making recommendations for improvements in RCMP policy and practice in order to consequently inform member conduct, the Commission recommends an enhanced approval and reporting structure for intelligence investigations dealing with sensitive sectors. The Commission also makes recommendations emphasizing comprehensive record-keeping, consistent post-event integrated debriefing, and clarification of policies with policing partners. In addition, the Commission emphasizes the importance of appropriate document management and storage, so as to facilitate later review.
It is apparent that the planning and policing of major international events continues to evolve, and that significant challenges faced those charged with the tasks for the 2010 G8 and G20 Summits. The Commission's investigation was similarly challenged due to difficulties in obtaining relevant documentation in a timely manner. Critical to future such events and post-event review is the development of clear agreements between involved police agencies that have the effect of addressing inconsistencies in policy, including those involving the retention and organization of contemporaneous records such as police officers' notes.
Nonetheless, the Commission, pursuant to its mandate and jurisdiction, is charged with the examination of RCMP member conduct, and it is satisfied that its review in that respect, as outlined in this report, has been thorough. The RCMP, as the lead police agency, ably fulfilled its planning responsibilities relating to this large-scale international event, and it is hoped that the issues and practices identified throughout the planning process, during the Summits and in the context of the Commission's public interest investigation will serve to enhance such events in the future.
Pursuant to subsection 45.43(3) of the RCMP Act, I respectfully submit my Public Interest Investigation Report.
Ian McPhail, Q.C.
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