Which security experts were responsible for the G20?

Nearer the end of QP today, the NDP’s Andrew Cash rose to inquire about the latest revelations concerning the G20 summit in Toronto.

Andrew Cash: Mr. Speaker, a G20 planning document by the Canadian Forces listed a number of potential security threats. Among them, embarrassment to the Government of Canada. It is too bad it did not listen, because that is exactly what happened. It cannot plan the largest civil security undertaking in Canadian history on the back of an envelope in four short months. The results: smashed windows, illegal arrests, a city turned upside down. After so many G20 failures, will the government finally do something right and apologize to the people of Toronto?

Peter MacKay: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member would know that security decisions around the G8, G20 were made by security experts, not politicians. In fact, the members of the Canadian Forces that supported the RCMP that supported municipal and provincial police were there to provide security for Canadians and for our international guests. This was an unprecedented period in our country’s history with the G8 and G20 coming back to back. I am very proud of the work that was done by members of the Canadian Forces.

It was Elizabeth May’s turn to ask a question today and, a few moments after this, she took the opportunity to follow up.

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the honourable Minister of National Defence. I was surprised to hear him claim that decisions around the G20 were made by security experts. Since the G20 for 2010 had already been planned for November in South Korea, since the Prime Minister of Canada decided to offer up Canada for a second G20 in the same year at more or less the last minute and since the Prime Minister decided to put it in downtown Toronto over the objections of the Mayor of Toronto, what security expert dictated these decisions to the Prime Minister?

Peter MacKay: Mr. Speaker, I repeat that security issues, security matters and decisions around the G8 and G20 were made by experts, not by the Prime Minister and not by politicians. They were made in close consultation among a number of departments including Public Safety as well as Department of National Defence. There were preparations in place for acts of possible disruption, planned violence, civil disobedience and even for some sort of terrorist attack. Those decisions are best made by experts.