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article imageToronto officials to issue ID cards to residents during G20 visit

By KJ Mullins     May 10, 2010 in World
Toronto - Toronto is preparing to host the G20 at the end of June. Those living in the downtown area could be facing severe restrictions, tear gas and protesters if they venture outside their doors.
The city of Toronto is fast-paced. Along the waterfront, tourists roam freely without affecting those who live there.
This June, however, those tourists may have a different agenda; they could be protesting global issues at the G20 when it comes to town. Will those who live in the many condos, co-ops and apartment buildings be facing danger?
News about what residents can expect is coming in slowly from the city. City Councilor Adam Vaughn has come under fire for voicing his concerns in a newsletter to those in the area. The newsletter reads:
There will be several zones of security established to protect the meeting. Summits such as this in Quebec City and Seattle have presented serious challenges to host cities. Anti-terrorism precautions, crowd control and the reality that these meetings usually draw large numbers of protestors, will mean that much of the ward will be severely impacted by security initiatives.
The city has tried to convince Ottawa to move this event to Exhibition Place, but the Federal government insists on staging it near Front Street, between Yonge and Spadina.
There will be fences, security checks and a significant number of street closures. The event may only last for two days, but preparations and clean-up will extend the period of disruption. Transit and the PATH system could also be impacted.
With a little more than a month to prepare, the Toronto Police and Integrated Security Unit have yet to finalize what steps local residents will have to take in order to go to work, head to the store or take kids into child-care facilities.
At this time, members of the Integrated Security Unit will be visiting residences and businesses located in the security zones for the summit. The objective is to identify people who have needs to be in the area so they can obtain accreditation. This includes the children who live in the zone. On its website, the Integrated Security Unit says information will be completed and accreditation passes will be distributed in late spring, a few weeks prior to the summit.
Toronto Police Services are hoping to allow the public to move freely in the area until the evening of June 25.
People living in the exact area will be allowed to register to get a registration card that will list their name and address. They will be allowed to access the security perimeter with the card and additional photo identification. Without this, an individual can expect a delay when crossing the perimeter.
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