This morning, three years after the arrest of Bruce McArthur, Justice Gloria Epstein released her independent review finding into how Toronto Police Service conduct missing persons investigations.
Today I learned of another hate crime on the Ryerson University campus. It pains me to see the rise of Anti-Asian racism across Toronto. We are one of the most diverse cities in the world yet we are not immune to this hate and far from it.
I have spoken to the Superintendent of 51 Division at the Toronto Police Service, who informs me that this new racist graffiti reported at Church Street and Gould Street contains racial slurs directed against the Asian community. This is the second act of racist vandalism reported within four days after a similar one previously reported in the Gerrard Street East and Ontario Street area on Tuesday.
I am angered and disheartened to learn about a recent hate crime against an Asian-Canadian owned business at Gerrard Street East and Ontario Street.
I have spoken to the Superintendent of 51 Division at the Toronto Police Service, who informs me that graffiti vandalism was reported on the side of the building and that it contained racial slurs directed against the Asian community.
March 21 is annually observed as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, a day to remember the state-sanctioned police violence in Sharpeville, South Africa that killed 69 people and injured many more peacefully demonstrating against racist apartheid laws.
Today, the City of Toronto is launching a prioritized program to provide safe indoor accommodation and support for people experiencing homelessness, staying in encampments at Moss Park, Lamport Stadium, Alexandra Park, and Trinity-Bellwoods.
I want to thank everyone who has reached out to my office speaking up for those who are unhoused and living outside in encampments through this pandemic, and most recently in response to the injunction application last Friday. I share your outrage that a year into the pandemic we still have people sleeping outdoors.
On February 17, the Federal Government introduced new legislation that would permit cities to ban handguns — with bylaws that restrict their possession, storage and transportation. While I strongly support actions to reduce the opportunity for dangerous and vulnerable people to access handguns, it has not been demonstrated that a municipal handgun ban would meaningfully address the problem of gun violence.
This morning, Toronto Fire Services were called to Orphan’s Green Park, near Adelaide Street E and Power Street in Corktown, responding to a fire at an encampment in the park. Unfortunately, one person was found deceased on site. When I spoke to Toronto Fire’s Acting Chief Jessop, he advised that the fire burned so quickly that there wasn’t much the firefighters could do. The Fire Marshall has been called to investigate this tragedy.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Toronto has been working hard to protect individuals in the shelter system by creating physical distance to meet the public health protocols.
Despite the substantial effort by the City and residents, the threat of COVID-19 continues, with new strains and outbreaks occurring. It remains essential that we provide physical distancing and supports for the City’s most vulnerable residents. The City of Toronto continues to implement its three-tiered approach to strengthening prevention against COVID-19 in the City’s emergency shelter system.