lllustration by Clayton Hanmer/Torontoist.
The day of updates…
Cyclists and couriers flocked to the white bike on Bloor Street for a quiet vigil last night, following the news that charges against Michael Bryant in the death of Darcy Allan Sheppard were dropped. Bryant gave a press conference, and as earlier yesterday, the reaction was mixed. Some cyclists shared their anger at the decision [pdf], while lawyers deem the outcome justified, also citing a precedent in the case. There is debate over whether Bryant got special treatment or if he simply ended up as the target of Sheppard’s demons. The next question will be if he’ll return to politics, as all sides try to come to terms with what happened that night.
The guessing game in another case has come to an end. It turns out that the body in the barrel did not hail from Montreal, as some had speculated, but rather from right here at home. GTA mobster Quang Lu went missing in 2007, after returning from a business trip to China. Police used fingerprints to identify Lu, a.k.a. “The Black Ghost” and “The Bad Luck Guy”—the latter alias possibly referring to his lacklustre gambling streaks, which may have gotten him into hot water with loan sharks.
Anyone who’s not a foreign VIP is advised against getting sick around the time of the G20—one, because it’ll be a bitch trying to get to the hospital, and two, because if you do get there, tear gas and trampling victims will be jamming the waiting rooms. The city’s hospitals and paramedics are preparing for the worst during the G20. Drills, new communication systems, and schedule changes to free up beds are in the works. The University Health Network has stopped taking appointments the day before the summit and is looking to get patients out post-haste. Essentials such as chronic care and cancer treatments will go ahead as usual.
And speaking of advice, here’s some more: avoid the bright yellow thing. The heat alert, which began earlier this week, has been upgraded to an extreme one. Loitering, which has heretofore been frowned upon, is now encouraged in libraries and malls. Cooling Centres have opened around the city and everyone has an excuse to skip their lunchtime jog. Also be kind and check in on grandma.
Finally, protesters opposed to Israel’s West Bank policy, who were banned from the Pride parade last week, are vowing to march anyway. Members of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid gathered and booed outside the Pride Toronto offices on Dundonald Street yesterday. They say the ban is an attack on free speech, while some in the gay community now want the group out because it’s posing a risk to the event.
This article originally referred to the Queers Against Israeli Apartheid group as “anti-Israeli protesters” (a label the Sun also used): more precisely, though, they’re opposed to Israel’s policies in the West Bank, towards Palestinians.