Some days just reign supreme over the rest. Saturday is back, ladies and gentlemen, so practice those thankful bows and curtsies. Or just hit snooze again. In the news: messages of peace overshadowed by even more gunfire in Toronto overnight; the mayor is not the only one who wishes to exile trigger-happy criminals; Premier McGuinty and Mayor Ford have different ideas about the merits of hugging thugs/helping at-risk youth; a new potential location for a Toronto casino; and raising funds for a bullied bus monitor.
In one part of the city people walked together, sang songs of peace, and held a vigil for shooting victim Daniel Davis on Friday night, echoing a message of community empowerment. On Danzig Street, an Angels Walk was held to honour Shyanne Charles and Joshua Yasay. In other parts of the city, on Driftwood Court at Jane and Finch, at Jane and Bloor, and at Kennedy and Ellesmere, these messages of peace were ignored. Four people, in three separate incidents, were shot and hospitalized in Toronto last night and early this morning, bringing the number of shootings in Toronto to six within six days.
It seems that Mayor Rob Ford is not alone in his desire to expel those convicted of a gun crime. On side with this general idea is Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, although Kenney does seem to understand that Canadian citizens are in fact entitled to live wherever they want under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Foreign criminals, on the other hand, do not share this right, and Kenney and Ford share a view that they should be swiftly removed.
While Mayor Ford may have political allies at a federal level when it comes to getting tough on gun crime, it seems that he and the premier may not see eye-to-eye. Though Dalton McGuinty is on board with the suggestion to add more police, he is critical of Mayor Ford’s quick dismissal of social programs that reach out to young people, or, as Mayor Ford might call them, hug-a-thug programs, calling this rejection simplistic and wrong. McGuinty, while speaking with community leaders at the East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club, said that programs of this kind can cut down violence, especially when paired with better police enforcement.
It’s now time for everyone’s favourite game: Find a Spot for Toronto’s Casino! The latest area contender? Why that would be right smack in the downtown core! (Are you using your best game show announcer voice to read this? Please do.) According to the Toronto Star, corporate real estate behemoth Oxford Properties Group is incorporating a possible casino-entertainment complex into discussions of a major redevelopment of its part of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and surrounding Front Street properties. Because what could possibly make that strip of Front Street even more appealing? Nothing we can think of—a casino seems quite fitting, actually. Hurray for even more (potential) congestion!
It’s been a tough news week, so we’ll end on a positive note. The online fundraiser for bullied bus monitor Karen Klein is nearing the $700,000 mark. Started by Toronto man Max Sidorov, tens of thousands of people worldwide donated to the cause, started to help Klein, a grandmother of eight, retire early. Okay, now let’s all sing “Kumbaya” and get this summer weekend started.