The largest protest march yet of summit weekend is expected to begin at 1 p.m. Saturday in Toronto under cloudy skies and the threat of rain. Friday's Toronto protests and marches had some tense moments with police donning riot gear, but they were, for the most part, peaceful affairs that went through the night http://tgam.ca/79s.
The planned route for Saturday's march forms a square along major streets, leading from and back to Queen's Park. Police will be watching closely to see if any marchers divert from the route and head south to the security zone fence around the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Police powers and civil liberties
What happens when protesters get to the fence is anyone's guess, but police have quietly been given new powers under an old 1939 law that allow them to search and ask for ID from anyone within five metres of the fence. If a civilian refuses, the police are empowered to make an arrest.
The tweak to the regulation, which was made by the provincial cabinet without any public notice or announcement, has raised the ire of civil libertarians, who are scrambling to set up emergency legal help for a deluge of G20 protesters expected to be arrested over the weekend http://tgam.ca/7WJ. The Globe's Marcus Gee says the new rule and the way it was enacted "creates the regrettable impression that authorities are resorting to secretive, draconian measures to control the protesters" http://tgam.ca/7LM. The Globe's editorial board accused the Ontario government of being heavy-handed, oppressive and sneaky in this editorial http://tgam.ca/7Ts.
Maternal health vs. global economy
The Toronto march begins at about the same time the G8 summit in Huntsville winds down.
Canada mustered $5-billion in pledges from the world's largest economies to tackle maternal and child health, with the host country offering up $1.1-billion in new funds over five years, far more on a per-capita basis than its partners. Some aid groups applauded Prime Minister Stephen Harper for getting the issue on the agenda, but they stressed the financial commitment falls far short of need http://tgam.ca/7XH. A Globe editorial says the announcement will make a real impact and is big enough to save many lives http://tgam.ca/7VS.
The Globe's John Ibbitson says the maternal health initiative succeeded because the G8 leaders share a common world view. He notes that much of Friday's announcement had been telegraphed well in advance of yesterday's summit. However, the proposal for a global tax on bank transactions and the global financial recovery, which will be central to the G20 deliberations, will be a "messier, though far more important affair," he writes http://tgam.ca/7Ve.
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne told The Globe's Doug Saunders that spiralling debt poses a much greater threat to the global economy than a return to recession. He wants immediate budget cuts rather than continued stimulus spending, or even the more modest phased-out approach advocated for by Mr. Harper http://tgam.ca/7eP.
Pity the spouses
In other news, spouses of the G20 leaders were cheated out of two of the summit's most-hyped sights Friday: the Muskoka landscape and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama. However, they did get to sign a canoe and learn how to bead baby moccasins inside the Royal York Hotel http://tgam.ca/7W2.
Where carrots require security clearance
The Globe's Siri Agrell takes you into the kitchen of the Royal York, where the staff are engaged in madcap culinary diplomacy. The hotel's 1,365 rooms are filled with international delegates, all of whom seem to be eating on different time zones http://tgam.ca/7Vj.
Art: Forget the G7
William Huffman, a 39-year-old independent curator and the associate director of the Toronto Arts Council, is the mastermind behind the 100-piece collection of fine art adorning the halls of the G8 and G20 meeting sites, where leaders have gathered for the weekend. But he took the job on one condition: no Group of Seven. In the end, the federal government's Summit Management Office gave him a virtual carte blanche to choose what he liked http://tgam.ca/7XC.
A roundup of our summit coverage yesterday
- Video: Take a spin through ghost town T.O. http://tgam.ca/7Qd
- Video: Who rules the roost? http://tgam.ca/7Nd
- Video: G20 leaders descend on Toronto http://tgam.ca/7Fb
- First major protest of summit weekend starts http://tgam.ca/7QC
- Canada adds $1.1-billion in maternal health funding http://tgam.ca/7LX
- Marcus Gee on how new police powers still look bad http://tgam.ca/7LM
- Toronto gears up for weekend of protests http://tgam.ca/7KA
- Around the fortress, life slows http://tgam.ca/7NG
- Survival guide on staying in Toronto http://tgam.ca/7P0
- Reader photos of G20 http://tgam.ca/7Np
- Our reporters' photos from the field http://tgam.ca/7KM
- In Pictures: The Leaders http://tgam.ca/7LN
- Drizzly weather, tight security greet leaders at G8 http://tgam.ca/6yw
- With security tight, visitors find downtown Toronto all but vacant http://tgam.ca/7Jx
- John Ibbitson on The education of Stephen Harper http://tgam.ca/6ty
- Police can use sound cannons, but with limits: judge http://tgam.ca/7FT
- Canada may have lost Japan on bank tax http://tgam.ca/7Ib
- Obama claims victory in financial overhaul http://tgam.ca/7Di
- Police using Twitter, Facebook to patrol summits http://tgam.ca/6pN
Complete coverage on our main G8/G20 site here: http://tgam.ca/NHB
Blog - G8/G20 Local View: http://tgam.ca/NP5
Blog - G8/G20 Global View: http://tgam.ca/XPxReport Typo/Error