Christmas tree kerfuffle, backpacks for the homeless, and an inquest into a child's death.
City hall’s Christmas tree has been delivered and erected, drawing the ire of concerned citizens who feel it’s in poor taste to put up a tree before Remembrance Day has passed. However, while it has been decorated already, the tree’s light won’t go on until Nov. 28.
Hundreds of backpacks were handed out to homeless residents of Toronto on Sunday as part of the Citypak Project. The project aims to equip homeless people with bags that allow for safe storage of their belongings and security thereof—there is an anti-theft strap to allow people to sleep without worrying about losing their clothing and personal effects. About 750 backpacks were handed out yesterday in the city, which was also the first time the Citypak Project has distributed bags in Canada. The project was started in 2012 by a Chicagoan and has since delivered more than 22,500 backpacks to homeless people in more than 50 cities. Homeless Connect Toronto helped hand out the bags as part of a larger event at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, where checkups, eye care, legal advice, and other services were offered in a sort of one-stop shop.
A coroner’s inquest begins today into the death of Katelynn Sampson, who was just seven years old when she died in the custody of guardians, Donna Irving and Warren Johnson. Sampson’s mother had made arrangements to enter treatment after relapsing into addiction; Irving had more than one criminal conviction, but the custody arrangement was finalized in June 2008 regardless. At issue are Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Native Child and Family Services, and the Toronto District School Board, all of which were involved in Katelynn’s life and failed to protect her.