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.
With a disciplinary tribunal currently underway regarding police actions during the G20, a judge ruled this week that Police Chief Bill Blair cannot be compelled to testify. The tribunal is reviewing charges against Supt. Mark Fenton for unlawful arrest and discreditable conduct for ordering mass protestor arrests.
A CBC report revealed that a Mimico condo developer failed to deliver on donations promised to the community, prompting John Tory to question the level of oversight for contributions made under Section 37. When new construction is approved, developers can make donations under Section 37 and it is often left up to the local councillor to decide where the money goes, but there is very little accountability in place to track these donations.
This week, one of the two young men who plead guilty in the Retaeh Parsons case was only sentenced to one year probation. The other young man was previously sentenced in November with a conditional discharge. Both cannot be named because they were minors at the time crime was committed.
On Monday, a report was released by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, outlining Canada’s obligation to address the socio-economic factors which perpetuate violence against indigenous women. The report emphasizes the importance of working with indigenous women leaders to address these problems, and also supports the call for a national inquiry into the murdered and missing indigenous women.
Health Canada has pushed back its decision on whether to approve an abortion drug called mifepristone. The drug has been used in 57 countries for decades and could provide women with easier access to abortions in remote parts of Canada, or provinces like P.E.I. where no surgical facilities exist.
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair ordered his officers to put a halt to the practice of carding, which has been heavily criticized by many as a form of racial profiling, However, the surprising move came with no public explanation and no effort to address the the public’s concern about the practice. Police Association president Mike McCormack believes the announcement will not change how officers interact with the public, but simply how the information previously retrieved from carding will be recorded.
Dalhousie suspended thirteen Dentistry students from all clinical activities in response to the hateful, misogynist Facebook group they created, though the move proved to be of little consolation to many critics. A group of fourth year female Dentistry students penned an open saying they felt pressured to participate in the restorative justice process suggested by the administration and that a full investigation should take place, while provincial licensing bodies have demanded Dalhousie release the names the 13 offenders.
Toronto illustrator Evan Munday pledged to send Harper drawings of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women to raise awareness of the issue. Harper previously stated in an interview that the call for a nationally inquiry on the topic was “not on his radar”.
Toronto Council has failed to meet their planned December deadline to open a 24 hour shelter for homeless women. The project was proposed to address the danger women are often vulnerable to late at night when shelters are closed, but a budget has yet to be allocated for the project.
An RCMP officer was only docked a week’s pay after having a female Aboriginal prisoner released into his personal custody without her consent. Researched Meghan Rhoad has studied similar instances of misconduct among RCMP officers in B.C. and is perplexed why there was no independent investigation of the matter.