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Ontario Ombudsman wrapping up probe into G20 'secret law'

Ontario Ombudsman André Marin announced he is putting the finishing touches on his probe into the controversial law the province amended before the Group of 20 summit - an unpublicized change the public was led to believe gave police extra powers to enforce security around the summit's perimeter in downtown Toronto.

Mr. Marin sent out a tweet early Wednesday morning announcing that he will release his report next Tuesday. "Announced 1rst on Twitter: our #G20 investigation report to be released Dec 7 @1pm. More deets to follow...," he said.

His office later issued a formal statement, confirming that Mr. Marin will release his report into the "origin and subsequent communication by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services of Regulation 233/10," passed by the province prior to the G20 summit last June.

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His report comes as the McGuinty government comes under renewed pressure to call a full public inquiry into what happened in the days leading up to the G20. On the Friday before the summit, Toronto police chief Bill Blair said the law passed by the province gave police the ability to search, arrest and question without warrant anyone within five metres of the security fence around the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. However, it did not: the legislation in question only applied to the perimeter itself.

In Question Period on Wednesday, New Democrat Justice Critic called for a broad public inquiry into the "fake regulation" passed by the government.

The government has appointed former judge Roy McMurtry to lead an independent review of the Public Works Protection Act, a Second World War-era piece of legislation the McGuinty government amended in the weeks prior to the G20, reportedly at the request of the Integrated Security Unit in charge of maintaining safety during the summit.

However, the scope of the review by Mr. McMurtry, a former attorney-general of Ontario, will be very narrow. He will not make an assessment of what happened in the days leading up to the summit.

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About the Author

Karen Howlett is a national reporter based in Toronto. She returned to the newsroom in 2013 after covering Ontario politics at The Globe’s Queen’s Park bureau for seven years. Prior to that, she worked in the paper’s Vancouver bureau and in The Report on Business, where she covered a variety of beats, including financial services and securities regulation. More

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