Weekend Newsstand: March 26, 2016

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Weekend Newsstand: March 26, 2016

In the news this weekend: protesters delivered a lawsuit to Toronto police, activists and police are upset with new carding regulations, and former TDSB chair Donna Quan took home nearly $600,000 last year.

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Protesters with Black Lives Matter announced a lawsuit filed by plaintiff Jean Montaque at Toronto Police Service headquarters Thursday evening. Montaque says her home was raided without her presence in October 2013 (she says she was taking her kids to school at the time of the reported 911 call from her apartment that led to the search). A group of about 40 protesters, including human rights lawyer Saron Gebresellassi, marched into police headquarters to deliver the lawsuit. Police raids of the homes of people of colour, without their permission and leading to the damage of their possessions, is an ongoing issue, according to protesters. The group later joined with people protesting Jian Ghomeshi’s Thursday-morning acquittal on sexual assault charges.

New regulations for the police practice of carding, released this week by the provincial government, have drawn swift criticism from both the activists working to abolish the practice and the police union that staunchly supports it. The African Canadian Legal Clinic called the new regulations a “band-aid” solution and reiterated its call for a total end to the practice, while police union leader Mike McCormack opined that apprising citizens of their right to walk away from an officer who is not arresting them will make officers’ jobs more difficult. Ari Goldkind, a defence lawyer who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2014, said it’s possible there will be no way to appease both sides of this debate. “There’s the fundamental question of what are the police for, what are they to do,” he said. “If they are, theoretically, doing their job, there’s always going to be feathers ruffled.”

Former Toronto District School Board director Donna Quan resigned her post in November 2015, 18 months before her contract ended, but still ended up being paid more than Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. Quan was paid $272,000 with $315,225 extra, adding up to $587,225 total last year, while the premier earned $208,974 (according to CBC). Quan was often cited in media as a divisive, controversial figure on a board said to be fraught with issues. The school board said the additional money paid to Quan was not severance but was, rather, for unused vacation days she’d accrued during her 14 years as a Supervisory Officer.


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