Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why Won't Harper Release Costs of G-20/G-8? Is He Afraid it Could Hurt Fantino?

When Julian Fantino was running in the by-election in Vaughn, the opposition demanded that he release the costs of the G-20/G-8, since a portion would have been under his control, as head of the OPP.

We know that the entire weekend was an orgy of violence and lavish spending, that included $85,000 at a mini-bar, and:

$1.7 million for two food catering contracts
$22,403 on snacks from Pickle Barrel
$23,100 on thermal night-vision video cameras
$98,225 on sirens
$31,390 on flagpoles
$246,000 on a "living wall," such a row of bushes
$16,014 on plastic handcuffs
$13,061 on police notebooks
$107,748 on Nikon cameras
$55,432 on video cameras
$1,399 on memory sticks
$191,411 on antennas
$702,597 on two-way radio rentals
$232,036 on phone rentals
$207,900 on solar lighting
$138,446 on a digital-pen system

Now once again they are refusing to release this information to the public. Why?

That's our money and we have a right to know, even if it does mean that Fantino loses the election.


  1. According to ThreeHundredEight (, Fantino is polling 46.5% against 44.5% for Liberal Mario Ferri. that's 2%, which in an election like this is a dead heat. Go to Mario's site and show him some love - the donate button is up on the right. Even $20 is a huge help to a local campaign. If you're in a generous mood take a look at Swing33 - they list other close races and who the ABC (Anybody But Conservative) is:

  2. Political Polls out themselves as worthless

    OTTAWA - Canada's notoriously competitive pollsters have some surprisingly uniform advice about the parade of confusing and conflicting numbers they're about to toss at voters ahead of a possible spring election:

    Take political horse race polls with a small boulder of salt.

    "Pay attention if you want to but, frankly, they don't really mean anything," sums up Andre Turcotte, a pollster and communications professsor at Carleton University.

    He has even more pointed advice for news organizations that breathlessly report minor fluctuations in polling numbers: "You should really consider what is the basis for your addiction and maybe enter a ten-step program."

    And for fellow pollsters who provide the almost daily fix for media junkies: "I think pollsters should reflect on what this does to our industry. It cheapens it."

    Turcotte's blunt assessment is widely shared by fellow pollsters, including those who help feed the media addiction to political horse race numbers.

    Point 8:25 in the video:
    Peter Mansbridge on CBC discusses story of the year: worthless polls

    We invited Allan Gregg from Harris Decima (and the At Issue Panel on The National) and Paul Adams, assistant professor at the Carleton school of journalism. Adams covered Parliament Hill for the CBC and The Globe and Mail. He also worked for EKOS Research. Here's that conversation:


    toronto police have alienated a great many people on their conduct during the G-20 and the conflict in your management may be related to the boss learning that RCMP Chief Superintendent MacNiel took de facto control of policing in the City of Toronto outside of the IPP fenced and secured areas ...

    Chief Bill Blair of the TPS made a public statement that he was always in charge of TO but he also said that he could not get control of his cops for more then 2 hours on Sunday night when the cops were holding several hundred people in the rain (while Blair said he was arguing with someone he did not identify to let the people go) ... if his argument was with MacNiel and not the OPP and Peel Regional Police management, (although most shoulder flashes showed TPS) it would be another serious blow to RCMP reputation the rank and file members do not need.

    Lot's of speculation on who took control and ordered what on Saturday and Sunday and the OPP has very quietly pointed fingers at the RCMP's MacNiel but it may yet develop that OPP Chief Julian Fantino was calling the shots and interfering with Bill Blair (Fantino's contract was extended by the Ontario cabinet in 2009 until July 2010 after the G-20 so that he could exercise control of Ontario's policing interests at the G-8 and G-20 on the behalf of the Ontario Security Minister/Solicitor General).

  4. Consider the possibility that Blair may just be the fall guy in all this. He has insisted he was in charge of policing decisions outside the red zone where G20 leaders were meeting.

    But was he really?

    The Integrated Safety Unit (ISU) charged with summit security, created by the RCMP, was composed of forces – including the OPP and the Canadian military – with greater jurisdictional authority than Toronto police in matters of international security.

    The summit was a federal undertaking, but under treaty rules that govern the protection of international dignitaries, it’s the province that was called upon to fulfill security obligations.

    That means all roads lead back to one Julian Fantino, the OPP commish and former Toronto chief who, it is well known, has no love for his successor. (Fantino’s contract expired this month. Word came down Wednesday, July 7, that he will be replaced by Chris Lewis effective August 1.)

    No one but those inside the G20 command centre in Barrie can know what went on in the crucial moments during the protests Saturday and how plans evolved in response to changing conditions. But it’s clear there was some pushing and shoving between Blair and Fantino.

  5. A senior Mountie commander told the federal government that RCMP Commissioner William Elliott “disrupted” the federal government’s billion-dollar security operation for the G8 and G20 summits – simply by showing up for the events.

    “Despite being advised not to attend the summit command centres on June 25, 2010, the commissioner chose to attend, and in doing so, completely disrupted operations,” Mike McDonell, then an RCMP assistant commissioner, wrote in a letter to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.

  6. Liberal MP Scott Brison told a news conference on Wednesday the entire problem within the RCMP lays at the feet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

    Brison says Elliott should never have been named as commissioner of the RCMP, that it was wrong to appoint a civilian as the country's top cop.

    "It was Mr. Harper's decision to appoint Mr. Elliott," Brison said.

    "He should be accountable for the chaos caused by that appointment."


    Five years ago, the RCMP turned an election in Stephen Harper’s favour.

    This week, with his campaign under fire for booting young voters from his rallies, the Mounties fell on their batons.

    For a national police force already in turmoil, it was just another in a string of controversies.

    It was also just the latest example of a force that can’t keep itself out of election campaigns and another sign that it desperately needs some kind of hard-and-fast rules of conduct during a five-week period when Canadians are choosing a prime minister.

    Any appearance of the politicization of the RCMP should concern voters, but more worrisome should be the question of who is politicizing them.


    More recently, and more blatantly, former RCMP commissioner Giulano Zaccardelli helped destroy the Liberals’ chances in the 2006 election by deciding to name Ralph Goodale, then the finance minister, as the subject of a criminal investigation into the potential leak of information regarding the taxing of income trusts.

    That decision was never repudiated by Harper.

    Paul Martin, then the Liberal leader, later wrote that he had wondered whether Zaccardelli was inept or malicious.

    “My own view is that no one can be that inept,’’ he concluded.

  7. G20 Trials and the War on Activism
    It is no coincidence the people facing the most serious charges with the most restrictive bail conditions are among the most effective organizers in this country. They are precisely the people who build bridges across traditionally separate communities and constituencies, finding common ground where there was often antipathy before.


    Sign the Canadian Civil Liberties Petition

    RE: Public Inquiry into G20 Summit Security


    Calling for a Public Inquiry into the Toronto G20


    Join this Facebook group:

    Release the Auditor General's G20 Report Now