It's the Easter holidays as of tomorrow, so consider today March's official send-off. In the news: 2011's snowplow cop killer is found not criminally responsible, cops come under fire for lying in court, the City ombudsman goes after City staff on property rates, and shark fins won't be banned in Canada.
Opinions are almost certainly going to be flowing at the water cooler (or espresso machine or whatever) today about the not criminally responsible verdict in the trial of Richard Kachkar for the murder of police officer Ryan Russell. Some will say Kachkar didn’t realize what he was doing, others will maintain he knew what he was doing the whole time, while still others will cynically predict how long until the man is released from the hospital where he will eventually be treated. And amid all the back and forth, there’s a quite forward-thinking column from the Sun‘s Joe Warmington pleading for a better system for police to handle people with mental illnesses.
Speaking of police, the Toronto Police Services Board is ordering Chief Bill Blair to keep track in an annual public document of incidents where cops have lied on the witness stand. The motion comes just a few days after Blair sent out a strongly worded message to officers about misconduct, which means it was probably on the police board’s agenda for a while before that message went out.
The latest investigation from ombudsman (and Torontoist superhero of last year) Fiona Crean is, well, not all that sexy. But probably still important. Crean’s office examined problems where City staff made non-profit agencies pay more than they were supposed to for rent in City-owned buildings. The likelihood of this starting the kind of political shitstorm some of her previous forays have brought on is minimal.
Toronto and the rest of the GTA might not be getting a casino, or they probably kinda maybe might, according to Rod Phillips, CEO of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. However, Phillips admits none of the municipalities in the region have officially expressed an interest in a casino, which means OLG might have to start tapping some fourth-stringers pretty soon. Because once Vaughan says no, there aren’t a lot of places left to go.
After a ban on shark fin imports in Toronto was overturned, a nationwide ban at the parliamentary level looked like the only recourse for ban supporters. Well, some you win, and dim sum you lose (we totally stole that joke from Anthony Anderson in the otherwise forgettable film Romeo Must Die, and we’re not sorry). What any politician would have had to lose by voting in favour of the ban is beyond us, but that’s how it went.