Newsstand: March 23, 2016
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Newsstand: March 23, 2016

In the news: Police launch fentanyl awareness campaign, Bas Balkissoon resigns from his seat, and childcare worker charged in sexual assault of a six-year-old child.

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police launched a fentanyl awareness campaign to highlight the rising number of fentanyl overdose deaths in the province. Speaking at Humber College’s Lakeshore campus yesterday morning, Police Chief Mark Saunders detailed the lives of five Canadian youths—Tina Espey, Cole Lockie, Tyler Campbell, Jake Bodie, and Jessie Knob—who died from the drug. City Councillor Joe Cressy (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina), who also spoke at the event, pointed out the 22 per cent increase in fentanyl overdose deaths in Toronto between 2014 and 2015. He said, “Drug use is complex… There’s no one way—harm reduction, treatment, prevention and enforcement working together.”

Liberal MPP Bas Balkissoon (Ward 42, Scarborough-Rouge River) has unexpectedly resigned from his seat in the Ontario legislature. The announcement came yesterday from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne who said in a statement that there had been no explanation behind the decision and that the resignation was effective immediately.

A 23-year-old daycare worker who advertised his babysitting services on has been charged in the sexual assault of a six-year-old boy. Daniel Harker, who worked as a lunchroom monitor, recreation worker, and a pre-school daycare worker, is alleged to have assaulted the child at the child’s east end home approximately three weeks ago. Police believe there may be more victims as his job allows him access to other children. Harker is charged with sexual assault and sexual interference in the case.