WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, December 4

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.

  • Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau nominally rejected the Toronto island airport expansion in November. The Liberal government, Minister Garneau included, remains firmly against the expansion of the Toronto island airport.
  • A Toronto doctor is making the financial case for opening five supervised injection sites in Ontario – two in Ottawa and three in Toronto. Dr. Ahmed Bayoumi claims that these sites will save money and decrease the number of cases of HIV and hepatitis C. Ontario’s Health Minister Eric Hoskins says that requests for such sites must come from municipalities.
  • Municipal Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin confirms that Toronto is the only city in Ontario that is allowed to charge a land transfer tax and there is no planned legislation that would allow other cities and towns to bring in their own tax.
  • Many Syrian refugees who have been offered the opportunity to come to Canada are not prepared to move by the end of the year, but the government is still committed to their goal to resettle a total 25,000 refugees. It has been confirmed that, of the 3318 privately-sponsored refugees to settle in Ontario, 80 percent of them will reside in Toronto.
  • According to a Toronto Star Investigation, drivers seeking their A licence, which is required to drive a truck, have a better chance of passing the road test at rural DriveTest Centres. Following the publication of this information, Transportation Minister Steven DelDuca expressed his commitment to ensuring that all DriveTest Centres are held to the same testing standards.
  • The 2015 Ontario Association of Food Banks Report found that nearly 360,000 adults and children are using food banks across Ontario monthly. Precarious employment, low wages and lack of affordable housing are some of the identified factors that contribute to food insecurity.
  • The Quebec government is proposing a legislation that would require that all firearms in Quebec be registered. Bill 64, the Firearms Registration Act, would impose a fine ranging from $500 to $5000 for failing to register a gun.
  • Three Toronto taxi drivers began a hunger strike at city hall in protest against Uber, which will be covered under city by-laws.
  • As the criminal trial against Constable James Forcillo continues, Desmond Cole argues we need to disarm the police.

Honouring the lives of women – observing December 6th

Nearly twenty-five years have passed since a man with a legally owned assault rifle killed 14 young women and injured 13 others at École Polytechnique on December 6, 1989. The families of the victims of this tragic event have said repeatedly that they consider our gun laws a memorial to the young women who lost their lives that day.

However, in recent years our gun control laws have been steadily eroded – last year the government ended the registration of rifles and shotguns, including the powerful Ruger Mini 14 used in the Montreal Massacre and destroyed the records of more than 5 million registered guns. Now the Government has tabled legislation that will further relax controls on handguns and assault weapons.

The Coalition for Gun Control, founded in the wake of the Polytechnique tragedy, has worked closely with the families as well as women’s organizations, public health professionals, police, labor, community organizations and others to strengthen our gun control laws. They need our help to send a message to Prime Minister Harper, Leader of the Opposition Thomas Mulcair, and Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau that Canadians want strong gun laws and expect them to make public safety a priority in spite of the loud voices of the well-resourced gun lobby.

You can use the image below to send a postcard to Prime Minister Harper, to the Leader of the Opposition Thomas Mulcair, and to Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau. It tells them that we want to see them prioritize public safety and focus on prevention, as well as implement measures to reduce the risk that dangerous individuals gain access to guns. To order postcards, you can also email coalitionforguncontrol@gmail.com – a donation of $25 per 100 postcards would be appreciated to help defray the production costs, but is not required.

Screen shot 2014-11-30 at 6.19.26 PMScreen shot 2014-11-30 at 6.27.59 PM

 Supporters of gun control in Canada have also founded Generation Action to engage young people and to #DemandControl (you can use this hashtag). Please invite those in your network to follow the campaign on (TwitterInstagramFacebook) and spread the word about this postcard campaign. Make your voice heard.


The following is a partial list of observances taking place in the Toronto area surrounding December 6th.

 Women Won’t Forget – Partnered with University of Toronto Philosopher’s Walk

Saturday December 6th, 6:00pm

416-762-8798, womenwontforget@gmail.com

 University of Toronto

Mississauga campus – Tuesday December 2, 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Scarborough campus – Wednesday December 3, 2:00 – 1:00 pm

 Women’s College Hospital

Friday, December 5, 2014. Noon – 1 p.m.

416-323-6400, info@wchospital.ca


 Lanark County Interval House – Hosted by D.A.R.E

December 6, 2014 from 2-3pm

613-257-3469, info@lcih.com


 Centre for Human Rights, York University

Thursday, December 4, 2014, 11:30am – 12:30pm

Outside the Vari Hall Building, York University Keele campus

416-736-5682, rights@yorku.ca

 Ryerson Dec. 6 Memorial

Friday, December 5, 2014 12:00pm-1:30pm

Contact: Ann Whiteside



WiTOpoli Weekly: Friday, July 18

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.

  • Over 1,000 people took to the streets last Saturday for SlutWalk Toronto. The now-annual parade began as a protest in response to comments made by Toronto police Constable Michael Sanguinetti, who suggested that “…women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” After just three years, SlutWalks are now being organized in over 200 cities around the world.
  • Toronto mayoral candidate Olivia Chow has promised to lobby the federal government to ban handguns in the GTA. This sparked discussion in the #TOpoli Twittersphere about the implicit and explicit racism often afoot when we talk about (and build public policy around) gun control – including this response from Ward 2 Council candidate Andray Domise.
  • The provincial Liberals are resubmitting the budget that triggered last month’s election, which includes ambitious new initiatives such a province-wide pension plan and a pledge of $15-billion for GTA transit.
  • The last Morgentaler Clinic in the Maritimes shuts its doors this week, but the fight to save it continues. Over $100,000 has been raised to support Fredericton’s sole private abortion clinic, which has been forced to close due to the provincial government’s refusal to fund its services.
  • Bitch magazine’s profile of Lucy Flores —who’s running to be the first Latina Lieutenant Governor of Nevada —showcases this “new kind of role model for Latina women” and reveals how “her own lived experience becomes the basis of her progressive agenda for social change.”
  • Britain’s PM David Cameron is expected to promote as many as 12 women to his cabinet and the lower ministerial ranks as part of a major reshuffle. Cameron has frequently been criticized by the lack of female representation in his Conservative party