A roundup of some of the latest news in women, Toronto, and/or politics this week. What stories did you read this week? Tell us in the comments.
- Premier Kathleen Wynne has asked the Ontario Attorney General to review the constitutionality of the new prostitution law, but the law will still be enforced for the time being. Wynne joins a chorus of voices who have questioned the Act’s ability to protect sex workers. The new law presents a unique set of challenges for trans sex workers who are overrepresented in street-level sex work.
- After surviving an assault last month, sixteen year-old Rinelle Harper addressed the Assembly of First Nations this week, calling for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. Demands for a national inquiry have been repeatedly ignored by the Conservative government, though both the Liberal and NDP parties have promised to launch one if elected in 2015.
- This week, the Senate human rights committee held hearings on the Bill S-7 a.k.a. the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act. Both The Schlifer Clinic and The South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario have expressed serious concern over how the Act may be used to target racialized and immigrant communities for deportation, leaving women in these groups more vulnerable to violence. Check out this fact sheet for a breakdown of the bill’s components.
- Black Lives Toronto is organizing a march this Saturday in solidarity with the events around Eric Garner’s death. Discussions around Garner’s death, in addition to the incidents in Ferguson, have prompted Canadians to speak out about police brutality against Black communities here in Canada.
- Council approved a motion to study Tory’s SmartTrack plan, which will include an environmental assessment and planning schedules for the proposal. Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam’s motion to add a gender equity lens to the SmartTrack study also passed.
- Councillor Gord Perks has expressed concern over the fact that TTC fare inspectors will be armed with batons and handcuffs when the proof-of-payment system is added to the Kind streetcar on January 1st.
- In other Toronto transit news this week, details were announced on the Union-Pearson express train, and TD has agreed to sponsor the Toronto Bike Share program.