WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, January 16, 2015

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.
  • After a week in which 4 homeless people died, the city has acquired 20 hotel rooms to be used as extra shelter space if usual shelters reach over 90% capacity.
  • 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.
  • The TDSB has one month to respond to a critical report released this week detailing its need to review its governance practices.
  • 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.
  • After reviewing the misogynist Facebook posts by Dalhousie Dentistry students, Halifax police will not pursue criminal charges.
  • 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.
  • Torontonian Laura Reid is pushing to build a database where users can anonymously self-report their sexual assault experiences. Reid also started the website Whenyoureready.org , an online community where survivors can anonymously share their stories.
  • 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.
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WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, October 10

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.
  • In response to tragic shootings that claimed the lives of three young men this week, six council candidates co-released a statement on how move forward from these events and prevent future violence.
  • A parent has officially complained to the TDSB regarding transphobic comments made by Trustee Sam Sotiropoulus back in August. The letter has garnered 90 additional signatures in support thus far.
  • On Monday, Canada’s new sex work bill passed in the House of Commons by a 156-124 vote. While Justice Minister Peter MacKay believes the bill represents a “paradigm shift” in Canada’s approach to regulating sex work, activist Terri-Jean Bedford believes the law will be found unconstitutional and isurging all opponents to express this to their premiers.
  • The Toronto Foundation released its 13th annual Vital Signs Report shedding light on various facts and figures that could inform city policies. For example, the report found an increasing gap between the city’s rich and poor, as well an increasing gender pay gap.
  • Abortion service providers in Maine have been welcoming an increasing number of clients from New Brunswick since the Morgentaler clinic in Fredricton was closed in July. The clinic was the only private abortion clinic in all of the Maritimes. New Brunswick activists are planning to put pressure on premier-designate Brian Gallant to address the region’s limited access to reproductive services.
  • Check out the Ethnic Aisle’s brand new Election Issue, including an interview with Toronto’s first black female mayoral candidate, Carolann Wright-Parks.

WiTOpoli Weekly: Friday, August 8

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.

  • The Metro’s Matt Elliot has updated his colour-coded scorecard on Toronto city councillors’ voting records. Though the gist of the scorecard is to to illustrate which councillors vote more or less consistently with the mayor, it’s also a helpful overview of recent council issues.
  • Following a court hearing this week, two class-action lawsuits will move forward concerning the mistreatment of detainees during the Toronto G20.
  • A new pilot program aims to deliver health care services to Torontonians in multiple languages.
  • Brampton residents were appalled to find anti-immigration flyers in their mailboxes this week targeting the town’s Sikh community. The police are investigating but the flyers likely do not qualify as hate speech.
  • The Conservatives have been criticized for for appointing Dennis Savoie as the Canadian envoy to Vatican City, because of Savoie’s controversial comments about abortion, in which he compared abortion to the 9/11 tragedy. Despite the NDP’s request to withdraw the appointment, the Conservatives maintain that Savoie is entitled to his personal beliefs and promise not to open the abortion debate.