Monday, 28 June 2010

Simon Borer's letter to Toronto's Mayor

To my Mayor David Miller and my Member of Parliament Olivia Chow,

Hello. I am writing to you today because I believe you are decent and principled people who feel as strongly towards our city, country, and democracy as I do. I wish to communicate to you my hope that you will call for a transparent review of the G20's finances and any possible human rights violations that occurred over this past weekend.

I believe that our nation is only as strong as the rights and freedoms that we as citizens demand be upheld. When a small minority of violent individuals were allowed to run amok without police intervention, every taxpayer in Canada thought the same thing - where has our money gone? The costs to us eclipsed both recent summits and the Vancouver Olympics by orders of magnitude, only for small business owners to be targeted by hooligans without recourse? I hope that you can help protect the rights of the taxpayers and our free & open society by calling for a full audit of the G20 security expenditures.

The following day, we saw the situation reversed. Innocent people were arrested, or worse - trapped in a punishing thunderstorm for three hours, surrounded by a wall of riot police, many unaware of the situation they had stumbled into. There are reports of violence against journalists, always a chilling moment for those of us who believe in democracy. We also have the shameful Ontario Regulation 233/10, the so called "Fence Law", to demand answers for - a law rushed through at the last minute before it could crumble before a constitutional challenge. The list continues, at great length, so it is my hope that you will join with Amnesty International and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, along with so many ordinary citizens, in calling for a full review of any possible human rights violations that may have happened this past weekend.

It is clear to me that mistakes were made. This is understandable - there is a pervasive climate of fear among our leaders today. We have for the last decade allowed them to govern us in a state of exception, sidestepping democratic principles and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our responsibility now is to demand transparency and accountability from those in power.

I have great faith in both of you. I have followed your careers closely, and truly believe that you are good people, and I believe that both of you, without my encouragement, will be calling for a full independent audit and human rights review of the G20 security. I just wanted to say, preemptively, I knew you'd do the right thing.


Simon Borer
150 Bellwoods Ave
Toronto, ON

1 comment:

Mary Pearson said...

Excellent post. My column this week will draw on the lessons of the G20 as it relates to trust in leadership.