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MP Atamanenko supports investigation into alleged police violations at G-20


Alex Atamanenko, MP for BC Southern Interior, has voiced his support for a parliamentary committee to look into allegations of police use of force and human rights abuses during the G-20 summit in Toronto in June.

Vancouver–Kingsway New Democrat MP Don Davies has collected signatures from Liberal and Bloc Québécois MPs to force the recall of the House of Commons public safety committee for a debate and vote on a motion to hold formal hearings into the police actions.

Davies said in an interview that some officials must be held accountable. “For one billion dollars, we were promised that there wouldn’t be violence, but there was,” Davies said. “We were told that civil liberties would be respected, and they weren’t.”

There have been persistent allegations of police misconduct during the summit weekend, when more than 1,000 people were arrested, but only 263 charged with anything more serious than breach of peace. There has also been criticism of the methods police used to disperse and detain protestors.

Amnesty International Canada and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association are two of the many bodies that have called for an independent inquiry into police conduct during the summit.

Among the witnesses Davies wants to call on to testify are the officials in charge of the Integrated Security Unit that coordinated municipal, provincial and federal security police forces at the summit.

Atamanenko feels that although the federal government may not be legally bound to compensate business owners and employees for their damages and loss of income and wages, they are morally responsible.

“I personally don’t understand why an event of such magnitude was forced on the city of Toronto,” said the New Democrat MP. “The lives of residents and merchants, their livelihoods and their basic civil liberties were all undermined by the decision to hold the G-20 in Canada’s largest city. Who is going to compensate them for their losses?”

This article is a press release from Mr. Atamanenko's office.