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Toronto Mayor David Miller (Della Rollins/Della Rollins For The Globe and Mail)
Toronto Mayor David Miller (Della Rollins/Della Rollins For The Globe and Mail)

Mayor backs up police chief Add to ...

Mayor David Miller is standing by his police chief, despite the violence and mass arrests that marred G20 weekend in Toronto.

"I think our police officers did a remarkable job in acting with professionalism and not responding to provocation. I've got every confidence in Chief [Bill]Blair," he said.

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"Step back for a moment and think about the impossible job those police officers had: When people are literally hiding in demonstrations, seeking to use innocent people as a cover for their criminal activities, [it's]a very, very difficult job. I felt the police distinguished themselves in handling that job as best as anyone could expect."

While Mr. Miller gave a lot of interviews Monday morning, his counterpart at Queen's Park stayed mum.

Premier Dalton McGuinty's office said he would not be available to respond to questions about the need to pass a law that gave police special powers of arrest near the security fence during G20 week.

Mr. Miller reiterated his criticism of Ottawa for plunking the summit in the heart of downtown.

"Let's remember, from the beginning, the city said that it would be appropriate to host this event at Exhibition Place and that's for a simple reason: It's self-contained. I think that certainly would have lessened the impact on Toronto."

The Mayor repeated his call for the federal government to compensate both business owners for property damage and workers for lost wages.

At least two mayoral candidates called for an independent review of the events that unfolded on Toronto's streets.

George Smitherman, the former deputy premier, and Rocco Rossi, the former national director of the federal Liberal party, both support the idea of a third-party review.

Mr. Miller told them to butt out.

"I actually think it's a time that people [who]are running for elected office should not be speaking up," he said. "These are matters they have absolutely no knowledge of whatsoever. They're comments are ill-informed and inappropriate."

With a report from Canadian Press

Follow on Twitter: @kellygrant1

 

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