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.
- Mark Saunders has been named Toronto’s next police chief, making him the first black man to hold the position. One of the major issues Saunders will have to address is the consistent criticism of “carding” and many are skeptical as to whether Saunders will be willing to reform the practice. The Urban Alliance on Race Relations congratulated the new chief, emphasizing that he must address “the systemic barriers racialized communities continue to face and…uphold equitable policing in Toronto”.
- This week marked Equal Pay Day in Ontario. The Equal Pay Coalition is calling on MPPs to follow suit on Premier Wynne’s campaign promise to address the gender pay gap, including the higher pay gaps experienced by Aboriginal, racialized and disabled women. Discussions of the gender pay gap should also hone in on the high rates of unemployment among trans people.
- The federal budget revealed this week does little to address affordable childcare, opting to increase the Universal Child Care benefit which has been criticized as being inefficient and for failing to address families enormous childcare costs. This is one of the reasons Toronto MP Peggy Nash described the budget as failing low-income and middle class families.
- Though John Tory expressed optimism this week in light of the dedicated transit funds announced as a part of the federal budget, it’s unclear how much of that money Toronto would actually receive. The provincial budget also mentions SmartTrack but notes that the majority of the project would need to be funded by municipal and federal governments.
Toronto Life published a searing memoir on being black in Toronto by Desmond Cole this week. In it, Cole tells candidly of his experiences being stopped police over 50 times, and the effect this has had on his sense of security, and his sense of self: “My eyes follow every police car that passes me. It has become a matter of survival in a city where, despite all the talk of harmonious multi-culturalism, I continue to stand out.” Cole also spoke to Metro Morning’s Matt Galloway about carding, and about the new Chief of Police.