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Newsstand: July 4, 2014

Let's take a little break from the Brothers Ford and see what else is happening in the city this morning, shall we? Police broke up a fight in Mississauga between Israeli and Palestinian sympathizers, Woodbridge residents love donating to Toronto council candidates, and laneway homes might be one way to ameliorate our housing crisis.

matt newsstand wateringlawn

A demonstration on Thursday turned violent when Israeli sympathizers arrived at the Palestine House community centre to protest the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers who were taken in the West Bank near a Jewish settlement in June and found dead this week. The abduction, as well as the mass arrests and violence the Israeli government marshalled against Palestinians in an effort to find the boys, has heightened tensions in the area. Shortly after the boys’ bodies were found a Palestinian teen was also abducted and found murdered, and many fear it was a revenge killing. When the Israeli protesters appeared at Palestine House, Palestinians and sympathizers were already gathered there. Police shut down Erindale Station Road in order to contain the fighting that broke out, and one person suffered minor injuries. There were no arrests.

In 2010, nearly one-third of the total amount both Rob Ford and George Smitherman fundraised for their mayoral campaigns came from donors who live outside Toronto. Woodbridge is an especially hot spot for donors, though there are significant donations coming from other nearby communities as well. Councillor Joe Mihevc (Ward 21, St. Paul’s) believes these donations are encouraged by the City’s generous rebate program, which allows any Ontario resident to recoup up to 75 per cent of their donation (between $25 and $2,500) to a Toronto municipal candidate. Mihevc, who recently put forward a motion to end the rebate for anyone who doesn’t live or own property in the city, explained his reasoning to the Globe and Mail: “If we, as Canadians, donate to an election in another country without being citizens, I think most of us would say that’s not fair.” If Mihevc’s resolution is passed, it will go into effect for the 2018 election. Current mayoral candidate David Soknacki supports the measure.

As Toronto politicians try to figure out how to deal with the city’s skyrocketing rental rates and ongoing housing crisis, developers (whom we can thank for the proliferation of condo skyscrapers most residents can’t afford to live in) and some residents think they may have found a solution: laneway houses. Small homes between existing homes and the laneways that cut behind them might be an option for potential homeowners who have been priced out of the market, but unless the idea is implemented on a mass scale, it likely won’t have much impact on renters. And for this possible trend to become a real solution, City bylaws prohibiting two residential buildings on the same property will have to be rethought.


  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    Someone suggests laneway houses for Toronto every couple of years, to no effect.

  • rich1299

    Whenever there’s a news article about any sort of violence between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian protestors you just know the JDL (Jewish Defence league) was involved. JDL Canada is based on JDL the terrorist organization banned in the USA and Israel. They’re a hate mongering, racist, and homophobic group of thugs, unsurprisingly they advocate for the genocide of all Palestinians and Arab Israelis. They’re too far right for even far right wing pro-Israel groups like B’nai Brith.

    While JDL Canada has not yet carried out any terrorist actions in Canada that can be definitively attributed to them they do actively support terrorists in Israel and the USA. Most organizations that support terrorist groups are illegal in Canada but not the JDL for some reason despite the numerous complaints made about them.

    Their membership practices fighting skills allegedly for self defence yet there has never been an incident where any JDL member or group has been assaulted though many people have been assaulted by JDL members. When the JDL is involved in fighting like the news article describes what it means is that Palestinian supporters defended themselves from an attack initiated by the JDL. Even when there is a police presence like when they protested Pride Toronto’s HQ they’re absolutely bristling with barely controlled rage ready to become violent at a moment’s notice. At that protest thanks to the police presence the JDL could do no more than make death threats against members of Pride TO and a reporter for Xtra covering their protest, and of course shout anti-LGBTQ slogans.

    I find it rather disturbing whenever a news article about JDL violence doesn’t give any background about the JDL, most people wouldn’t know about them unless they’ve had a run in with the JDL previously. The CBC’s article just states the two sides were fighting implying they were both responsible for the violence, despite the fact I wasn’t there I have no doubt whatsoever the JDL physically attacked the Palestinian supporters who then defended themselves. The JDL is the Jewish equivalent of the KKK, if it had been KKK members fighting with a group of black people there would’ve been no implication both sides were equally responsible for the violence like in this article. Any reporter who bothered to interview witnesses or do a background check on the groups involved would’ve known the JDL started the violence, its how they work and their reason for being to attack Palestinians in Canada and anyone who defends them.

  • Marcomagic

    Interesting how the article states that the three Israeli boys were “found dead” which sounds benign, whereas the Palestinian boy was “found murdered”. No bias here, right?

    • dsmithhfx

      “abduction and killing of”

      Does that maybe sound less benign?