While the actual G20 Summit is not actually until June 26 and 27th, Torontonians are already getting frustrated by the traffic inconveniences caused by the security fences for the restricted driving zones of the downtown core and around some of the hotels like the Westin Harbour Castle . The parking lot used by many Toronto office space clients at 1 Yonge street is accessed by Freeland Street, which is one block east of Yonge and is outside of the restricted zone. The traffic congestion in front of the Westin Harbour Castle along Queens Quay may cause a slowdown getting to it.
Not all the traffic woes around the perimeter of the restricted zone will be caused by security checks, but by the people the security zone is intending to keep out… the protesters. Some condo owners inside the restricted zone are up in arms that they will have limited access to their homes, where other condo owners are are raking in thousands of dollars renting their condos out to foreign journalists and support staff for summit delegates.
Then today comes word that people should expect cell phone interference in certain areas and at different locations and times. The cell phone interference will not be that of their local cell phone provider, but is likely to be caused by the use of cell phone jammers. The purpose for the jamming of cell phone signals around motorcades is that most remote explosive devices are detonated by cell phones. People should not only expect to experience this loss of signal downtown, but anywhere in the city where the motorcades may travel the streets or highways around the city.
Due to the secrecy behind the security plans, it is not clear if the RCMP on behalf of the Integrated Security Unit (ISU), have applied for and received an exemption from the Radiocommunications Act to Jam cell phone signals. The Government body responsible for Radiocommunications generally forbids interfering with the airwaves, but has been known to make exemptions under special circumstances.
The exemption to the Act was most recently used to jam cell phone signals back in February of this year during the Vancouver Olympic Games to help protect foreign dignitaries (such as the US Vice President Joe Bidden) when their motorcades were traveling to and from the opening ceremonies.
The RCMP first used the exemption to be able to use radio signal jammers back in 2002 for the G8 Summit in Kananaskis, Alberta .
The important part is that these security measures will have only a limited effect on Toronto downtown office space clients. By being outside the security zone, those with office space Toronto outside the security zone will not have to pass through a checkpoint to get to their offices.