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Newsstand: June 4, 2012

Another week begins, and with it, the weekend ends. In a poem this article begins, so can't we all be friends? Fine, we'll get back to the news and leave the poetry to the pros: Toronto Police arrest Eaton Centre suspect, the mayor stays focused on the case, and members of the city hold a vigil to pay respect to the victims; Ride for Heart breaks a record; and the plastic-bag fee will have its day in council.

According to Toronto Police, an arrest has been made in the Eaton Centre shooting. CP24 reports that a male suspect turned himself in to officers at 52 Division early Monday morning at about 2:30 a.m., though the police released no further details about the person who was arrested or the charges the person is facing. A news conference is scheduled to take place this afternoon, and we’ll bring you more as this story unfolds.

As news related to the shooting continued to unfold, Mayor Rob Ford used his weekly radio show appearance on Sunday to make a statement about the events of the previous evening. Later, during a news conference, Mayor Ford commented further about the incident, saying, “I assure people that this is the safest city in the world,” a statement that was surely meant to be comforting, but may be a slight exaggeration.

A group of about 50 people, including Parkdale-High Park MPP Cheri DiNovo, gathered Sunday evening for a vigil at Yonge-Dundas Square to honour the victims of the shooting, and to reinforce the message that Toronto is a safe place. Gatherers lit candles in plastic cups and observed a moment of silence for those injured or killed in the shooting. At the entrance of the Eaton Centre, flowers, teddy bears, and written condolences were left, serving as a reminder that the big city of Toronto can feel remarkably tight-knit following moments of crisis.

Though it may have felt like Toronto stood still after the shooting, the world, and the bike wheels, kept on turning. Sunday’s Ride for Heart, which went down the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway, raised $5 million, the highest amount ever raised during the charity event and a $1.1 million increase from 2011. This was the ride’s 25th anniversary.

While they might not always see eye to eye, it seems that Mayor Ford has an ally in TTC Chair Karen Stintz when it comes to his fight to scrap Toronto’s five-cent bag-fee bylaw. Stintz, who originally voted against the fee, said she’ll vote with Ford at Wednesday’s city council meeting. If the majority of councillors end up voting the same way as Mayor Ford and Councillor Stintz, the fee will be gone, effective July 1. However, Mayor Ford doesn’t have it in the bag yet (see what we did there?), as a number of councillors—including Sarah Doucette (Ward 13, Parkdale-High Park), who benefited from the fee when rebuilding the Jamie Bell Playground in High Park—have expressed support for the fee.

CORRECTION: June 4, 11:08AM In an earlier version of this story, the subheading suggested that the Eaton Centre shooter had been arrested. The Toronto Police have arrested a suspect in the Eaton Centre shooting; it has not yet been determined whether this suspect is responsible for the crime.


  • Anonymous

    No surprise Stintz will vote against the bag fee. Only in Ford supporter Bizzaro world is she considered anything but centre-right.

    Here’s hoping the left and centre in this city doesn’t expect perfection from which ever person it coalesces around to defeat Ford (and yes we NEED to have only 1 non-Ford candidate).

    • Anonymous

      The ‘Civilized Rob Ford’ approach failed spectacularly for Smitherman. Whoever is going to be the Chosen One had better put some serious air between their policies, and not squander the campaign chasing the tail of ford nation.

  • David

    Please don’t say “police arrest Eaton Centre shooter” when what has happened is a suspect has turned himself in. Your second reference is correct; the first is not.

    • Anonymous

      We have been mulling this over since you raised it! Not sure it’s so clear though: a person can turn themselves into police and the police could decline to arrest him/her – let’s say if they are covering for someone else who is actually guilty and the police realize the person confessing isn’t the true perpetrator. Two separate, ordered events: you turn yourself in and then the police decide to charge you. Or am I missing something?

      • Anonymous

        The person has been arrested and charged; that doesn’t mean they did it. You shouldn’t say someone has committed a crime unless they have been tried and found guilty in court.

        • Anonymous

          Ah – that’s for the dek (was looking at the body post before). Right you are, and we shall correct.

  • Brian Price

    Looking at your Mast Head I would think the Eaton Centre shootings could easily slide under any one of the categories such as ‘News’, ‘Events’, Politics’, “Cityscape’ or even ‘Culture’. As I see it this is a crime of major magnitude going to who we were, are and thought we might be as a metropolis. It’s a strike at our reputation that has been decades in the making and in one fell swoop has the potential to level our tourist numbers going into summer, the one time of year we are most vulnerable.

    On Sunday Dani Ellwell (former jock at CFNY now JazzFM thingy) tweeted a comment to the effect that the senseless loss of life brought tears to her eyes and rocked the foundations of the city she loves. It was a nice touch and I understood where she was coming from however what I was not prepared for were the vitriolic comments her post elicited from some of her followers. Sentiments to the effect of a crime element from Scarborough and/or Jane & Finch bringing their shit downtown to our sandbox. Leave it at home or kill yourself out in the burbs where we don’t have to see it. It gave me something to think about.

    This is a big deal that we all need to reflect on. Clearly this train has been something we’ve all seen coming for sometime and I don’t see any evidence that the Big Think is happening at City Hall where forward planning needs to take place. It might not be the right answer but for the near term by which I mean the rest of the summer months, perhaps a visibly strong presence by our Police Force in the Downtown and Tourist Spots would not be a bad idea much in the same way the O.P.P. patrolling the highways discourage unsafe driving habits. Wait that might be a bad example.

    • Anonymous

      “I don’t see any evidence that the Big Think is happening at City Hall”

      You don’t say. I would have thought that Rob Ford and his throng of genius advisors could have figured this one out by now.

      • Brian Price

        It disappoints me on so many levels. Safety of course but if the economic threat is being over looked than this is ‘eyes wide shut’ by the entire administration on all fronts.

        • Anonymous

          You’re clearly a concern troll.

        • Anonymous

          Brian, this is a unique and unusual incident. The only way to prevent such events is to move to totalitarianism and G20 like powers… thanks.

          This incident has NOTHING to do with the people from all over the city who will come downtown over the summer. Please do not tar people with the stupidity of 1 sad twrp.

          BTW, economically, the downtown is more likely to be hit by a run on Spanish banks then this event.

    • Anonymous

      What….the relatively rich downtowner Twitterati actually are not as liberal as they are proclaimed to be? Some of them actually resent people not like them and from away?

      Not surprised. Many of the condo 20 somethings are 15 years from voting for Harper Mark III. I’m only vaguely surprised nobody blamed this shooting on amalgamation.