Ontario launches public consultations into police carding
Toronto Mayor John Tory had pledged in June to reform “carding” in the city, but then decided to delay any action until the province reviewed the controversial police practice.

With the Black Lives Matter protest that blocked traffic on the Allen Expressway earlier this week still fresh in the minds of many, the provincial government has announced plans to begin public consultations on street checks or carding.

The consultations – which will be held with community organizations, policing partners, academics, civil liberty organizations as well as asking the general public for online participation – are to begin in August.

Toronto Mayor John Tory (open John Tory’s policard) had pledged in June to reform “carding” in the city, but then decided to delay any action until the province reviewed the controversial police practice and set up province wide regulations.

Community Safety Minister Yasir Naqvi announced in June that the provincial government planned to review the practice often called “street checks” outside Toronto.

“Our government takes the protection of human rights very seriously and has been clear that we have zero tolerance for racism or marginalization, including any form of discrimination based on skin colour, background, religion or gender,” said Naqvi in a news release. “We stand opposed to any practice where police stop individuals without reason, cause or for clear policing purposes.”

The consultations will develop new rules so the practice of street checks is “right-based and properly carried out, protecting individual Charter and human rights, strengthening public accountability and allowing for a consistent and clearly defined approach for police,” the Ontario government’s release said.

The practice of carding in the GTA has been an extremely controversial one with many activists criticizing it as a form of “racial profiling.”

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Reevely: Vote anybody but Conservative, Ontario finance minister urges
“He is slapping the face of Ontarians by taking the action he’s doing today, and that is uncalled-for,” Sousa said. “The Harper government will not work with us in fighting the underground economy or ensuring that benefits are channeled to those in need. And now the Harper government won’t work with us to see that the ORPP is carried out as efficiently as possible.”

Ontarians should seek to turf the federal Conservatives over their refusal to co-operate with the province’s plan for its own public pension plan, two provincial Liberal ministers said from a government podium Thursday morning.

“This is a cynical, partisan stunt, executed on the eve of a federal election campaign,” Finance Minister Charles Sousa said.

It is certainly a low point in relations between the federal and provincial governments, and that’s saying something. Usually, political opponents at different levels snipe at each other a bit in public and then go into meeting rooms and work, because everybody likes cutting ribbons.

But at this point, the provincial Liberals really need a change in the federal government, so poisonous is their relationship with the Conservatives. So Sousa is going all-in.

The minister urged Ontarians to go out on voting day — probably Oct. 19, though no formal election has been called yet — and vote for any candidate but a Conservative. He didn’t mention his fellow Liberal Justin Trudeau; very likely the New Democrats under Tom Mulcair would be at least as friendly to Sousa’s plans.

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Black Lives Matter protesters shut down Allen Rd  (Toronto, Canada)

A protest by coalition Black Lives Matter Toronto has shut down the off-ramp from Allen Rd. to Eglinton Ave.

A line of protestors have shackled their arms together to block the highway and about 150 more people are also present, said Desmond Cole, an activist and writer who was invited to speak at a rally before the blockade happened.

Protesters are chanting “Black lives matter!” and “Shut it down!” as well as singing and dancing.

Before the blockade, several hundred protestors gathered at Eglinton Gilbert Parkette for a “Day of Action” rally. The parkette is steps from the building where Andrew Loku, a 45-year-old man from South Sudan, was fatally shot by police in early July. The rally was held in honour of Loku as well as Jermaine Carby, who was shot dead by Peel police during a traffic stop in 2014, and demanded accountability for their deaths. Protesters are also calling for police to address carding practices and police brutality which they say unfairly targets black citizens.

Some cars on Allen Rd. are driving against the normal flow of traffic in an effort to get around the blockade.


TORONTO: Group of Mercy’s 3rd Annual TTC campaign “Islam Taught me…”

The campaign highlights what Islam teaches Muslims in regards to their work, family and community. Ads were placed in the busy Toronto station at different platforms to help show people what Islam really means. There were 10 different posters of men and women in different fields with a quote about what Islam has taught them; each poster was potentially read by thousands of transit passengers, helping to spread the positivity of Islam Insha'Allah
First of its kind: Six Nations celebrates aboriginal Pride
Event believed to be the first official First Nations Pride event in Canada

Canada’s first on-reserve aboriginal Pride event started with a question from a nine-year-old girl.

Six Nations resident Myka Burning was chatting with her daughter, Meryk, about what it means to be a member of the LGBTQ community and this summer’s Pride celebrations. Meryk then asked a question that startled her mother: are there gay aboriginal people?

That prompted Burning to help organize the inaugural Six Nations pride event, believed to be the first of its kind in aboriginal communities across Canada.

The event drew roughly 150 people to Veteran’s Park in Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation on Saturday — well beyond what Burning and her fellow organizers first expected.

“At first I thought it would just be me and Meryk at the corner with a sign,” Burning said with a laugh. “For me, this is about the community aspect to show them that we support them.”

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Ontario woman reunited with man who saved her from drowning in 1977

Edith “Deedee” Beliwicz was only 3 years old when a trip to Toronto’s Cherry Beach took a near-deadly turn.

It was April 1977 and the toddler somehow escaped from her family picnic without anyone noticing, only to end up in the water, desperately trying to stay afloat.

Terrence Perry, then 14, was fishing at the beach with a neighbour when he spotted what looked like a doll, clad in a pink dress with white frills, floating on the surface.

He wasted no time diving in to save the unconscious girl who was blue and had “blown up like a blowfish,” but as the two surfaced, they were separated by medical crews, never to see each other again.

That was until last week, 38 years after the harrowing day, when the pair reunited over dinner in Brampton.

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