Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your long weekend reading.

- While some of us may recognize that there's little reason to lend much credence to the talking points spewed out by any Con spokespuppet, others have tried to give the benefit of the doubt as long as possible. But Lawrence Martin notes that even by those standards, John Baird is losing any pretense of credibility. And Susan Delacourt notes that the Cons - while never known for maturity or reasonableness - are getting more childish by the day.

- Doug Saunders offers a look at what a Canada of 100 million people might look like. But let's recognize as well that we're far less likely to reach that point following the Cons' path of preferring disposable temporary foreign labour to an immigration policy that actually allows families to settle in Canada.

- Bruce Johnstone laments the fact that he's being proven right as to the harmful effects of eliminating the single-desk Canadian Wheat Board on western agriculture. 

- David Climenhaga classifies Dutch disease alongside climate change as areas where the Cons and their oil-sector allies are trying to shout down inconvenient truths.

- Finally, Tabatha Southey comments on the G20 report from Ontario's Independent Police Review Director:
(T)he G20 was a weekend of excess in every way. It seemed as if too much money had been spent on the whole affair. I was reminded of parties I once attended in the mostly unfurnished, newly rented homes of freshly successful film directors. Sometimes I’d think, “What is it that does this to people? A man earns some decent money and all of a sudden there’s an ice swan on the table.” A 30-year-old guy starts making $2-million a year, and suddenly he’s throwing his 50th wedding anniversary party. He forgets himself. He forgets the demographic he will be serving that weekend.
Close to $1-billion was spent on security for the G20 gathering. It was as if the officials won policing a summit in a lottery. Ostentatious displays of policing were everywhere – hundreds of riot-gear-clad officers charging repeatedly through peaceful crowds, banging their massive riot shields like so many big-screen TVs ordered in bulk for the guest bathroom.
Like the ice swan, these expenditures bore almost no relation to the events at hand. 
The G20 was the result of an unparalleled level of co-operation between federal, provincial & municipal governments. This would be inspiring had it not been three levels of government working together to deprive Canadians of their rights.

Some senior Toronto police commanders are expected to be charged shortly for a variety of misconduct offences. Currently 28 front-line officers face disciplinary hearings on complaints including unlawful arrests and use of excessive or unnecessary force.

We owe it to the protesters who marched peacefully, holding up signs with which I frequently did not agree, to get answers. Those protesters are placeholders for the time when a cause moves me, or anyone else, to demonstrate. I am grateful to them.

We also owe those answers to the many decent police officers who realize that the role of the police is never, as one officer interpreted his directions from superiors that weekend, to “own the streets.”

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