Weekend Newsstand: April 2, 2016

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Weekend Newsstand: April 2, 2016

The news this morning: OSAP is overpaying students and the repayments are taking some of them out of their programs, having Rob Ford lie in repose at City Hall cost the City nearly $20,000, Black Lives Matter held a protest outside the premier's house, and it calls for the release of the name of the officer who killed Andrew Loku.

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The Ontario Student Assistance Program has overpaid students more than $700 million in financial aid over the last five years. Students are expected to estimate their and their parents’ income long before it’s earned, which can lead to over or underestimates, and to receiving too much money. On a first warning, students are informed they will need to repay the extra amount with their regular loans, but a second infraction must be repaid before that person can borrow any more money. Recent graduate Josh Tate ended up taking a semester off school to work full-time to repay an extra several hundred dollars he says he received because he’d underestimated how much he would earn at a summer retail job. A ministry spokesperson told the Star that there are “hardship reviews” that might help in a case like Tate’s, but Tate says he wasn’t told of that option. He also wasn’t informed of the accidental overpayment until months after it was received and spent.

Former mayor Rob Ford spent two days lying in repose in City Hall last week after dying of cancer in late March. That two-day event, which had never before been done for a former mayor, cost the City $18,676. Most of that goes to overtime for unionized staff, as Easter Monday, when City Hall is typically closed, was the first of the two days.

After 11 days of protest outside Toronto police headquarters, some members of Black Lives Matter Toronto (BLMTO) staged a protest outside Premier Kathleen Wynne’s house. The sight of flowers and a small tent left on the front yard “unnerved” Wynne’s partner, according to Wynne. Protesters said they are upset that Wynne has yet to make a statement on the protest.

Elsewhere in the city, BLMTO continues to call for the release of information about the officer who shot and killed Andrew Loku’s name. The Special Investigations Unit has cleared the officer of all charges, but protesters have not been mollified by a short report, no name, and the lack of availability of a “partial video of the scene” they say exists. The SIU wouldn’t comment on its policy of not releasing the names of officers cleared of charges, except to say that it follows the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Criminologist Akwasi Owusu-Bempah says that disclosing officers names in investigated incidents could increase public trust, and Nova Scotia Serious Incident Response Team director Ron MacDonald, speaking in general terms about the oversight process, told the Star that more transparency in general could help the public better “understand the decisions so they can see for themselves.”


CLARIFICATION: 6:29 PM We have clarified language in the last item to focus on “more transparency in the process.”


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