New Canadian Media

By Gerald V. Paul This year’s $400-million Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival is on track to be bigger and better than ever with more than one million visitors expected, Ontario Minister…

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The Caribbean Camera

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Published in Caribbean

When Cantor Bernard Wladowsky was lured to Toronto from Chicago in March 1912 to begin singing in Goel Tzedec Congregation’s monumental new...

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The Canadian Jewish News

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Published in History

Bollywood actress Celina Jailtey (in red shoes) was the international grand marshal at the Toronto Pride 2015 parade on June 28. Thousands of people, including Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Toronto Mayor

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News East West

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Published in Arts & Culture

By Gerald V. Paul Dr. Akua Benjamin, a social justice activist and Ryerson University professor who “woke up in tears” over the racial and terrorist killing of nine Blacks in…

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The Caribbean Camera

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Published in National

After its sold-out 2014 run of Eugene Onegin last June in Toronto, the esteemed Vakhtangov Academic Theatre of Russia returns with a new theatrical spectacle, Smile at Us, Oh Lord, an inspiring universal parable about the basic good in every human being. It runs Tuesday June 16 and Wednesday June 17 for two shows only at the historic Elgin Theatre, presented by Show One […]

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Canadian Immigrant

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Published in Arts & Culture

Highlights: Full coverage of Toronto's decision to end its discriminatory "carding" practice + Naked tourists blamed for an earthquake + Celebrating black achievement + Selfies, more than just narcissism + A voice for Jamaica's diaspora + much more 


 

NCM NewsFeed

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Here and Now

 

Did you hear the big news? Toronto Mayor John Tory announced the end of "carding" this past weekend, but community activists like Knia Singh still worry their hopes for racial equality aren't reaching the city's leaders.
 

"If we stop carding, it gives a signal that racial profiling is not accepted. What’s next is police accountability."

“Does racial profiling actually exist?” NCM production editor Priya Ramanujam has seen the effects of racial profiling firsthand, and she writes how Toronto needs to do more than just end discriminatory "carding" practices to solve the city's racial woes.

 

Has Toronto's police chief spoiled his relationship with the black community? With police leadership reaffirming their support for "carding," NCM contributor Patrick Hunter anticipates continued friction with Toronto's black residents
A testament to resiliency. That's how writer Michael Baxter describes the Black Canadian Awards, held this past weekend in Toronto. As the "carding" controversy and police brutality continue to grab headlines, Baxter argues for the need to celebrate black excellence.  

Avert your eyes! Two Canadian climbers are among the tourists accused of climbing a sacred Malaysian mountain-- and stripping naked for a photo shoot. Indigenous leaders and Malaysian officials are blaming the tourists' actions for causing a deadly earthquake a week later. NCM correspondent Lin Abdul Rahman breaks down the cultural implications.

 

In Ontario, there are 15,000 doctors who earned medical degrees abroad before immigrating to Canada. But rather than finding a land of opportunity, they face the "near impossibility" of ever practicing medicine. Find out how one doctor tackled the odds. 
Now comes the reckoning, warns Policy editor L. Ian MacDonald. A $21 million campaign to investigate Senate expenses only surfaced $975,600 in misspent funds. The auditor-general in charge of the investigation now faces scrutiny of his own-- as well as a pack of angry senators. 
 

"The disproportionate targeting, the racial profiling, will persist. The only difference is that it won’t be documented."

Ripples


Pit stop! As part of his European tour, Prime Minister Stephen Harper dropped by Poland on Tuesday to discuss regional security, in light of Russia's "persistent aggression in Ukraine."

He also paid his respects to Canadian soldiers, past and present, who served in Poland. This included an overnight visit aboard a Canadian frigate, the HMCS Fredericton.
        
Violence has ravaged Burundi ever since its current president announced that he would seek a third term in this year's elections. How has Canada reacted? By issuing deportation notices to over 650 would-be refugees, according to La Presse. 

A new voice for Jamaica's diaspora? Jamaicans living abroad, in Canada and elsewhere, will return home next week tofight for their own seat in Jamaica's parliament. They argue they have a right to participate in the country's democratic process, just like any other citizen.

 

The Lebanese foreign minister praised the Lebanese-Canadian community on Sunday, calling it a "model" for other Lebanese groups worldwide. But he did have harsh words about the "shortage" of resources available to the Lebanese diaspora in North America. 
 

"When Irish people go away, they bring their issues with them as baggage."

Loneliness, isolation and even depression are increasing problems for the Irish diaspora, according to speakers at the Global Irish Civic Forum. One Irish immigration expert from Toronto warned that "serious financial problems" awaited Irish immigrants who arrived abroad unprepared.
Approximately one million Canadians belong to the Polish diaspora, which includes 20 million people worldwide. A first-of-its-kind museum opened last month in Poland to commemorate that mass migration and its impact on the world.

Harmony Jazz

Fewer immigrants for Canada? There was a record-high number of new Canadian citizens in 2014, but strangely, the number of citizenship applications took a dive during that very same year. 

More women in the military means less sexual assault, according to one report. But the Canadian Armed Forces may reduce the number of women targeted for recruitment. Currently, the military must work towards filling a quarter of its ranks with women, but Chief of Defence Tom Lawson calls the target demographics "unrealistic."  
 

"The under-representation of women in the armed forces... should remain a source of concern for the CAF."

Back Pocket

The selfie... as art?! Thirteen Iranian-born artists are attempting to redefine the selfie, in a new exhibition at Montreal's Galerie Mekic. With camera and brush, pencil and collage, they're hoping to push the selfie past the realm of narcissism, into deeper, more introspective territory. 

Wanna catch a documentary? If you're in Toronto, you're in luck! Head over to the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema on June 21 to catch a series of films that explore the changing role of Armenians in Turkish society. Four diverse filmmakers tackle "group identity, collective memory, and the unshakeable weight of history." 
 

Just in time for the Philippines' Independence Day, the Consulate General of the Philippines in Toronto is holding a special art exhibition. Entitled "In Our Hometown," the exhibit will feature work by the renowned artist Manuel Baldemor, whose clients include the United Nations. Check it out between June 15-19.


With that, have a great weekend and don’t forget to look up the next edition of NCM NewsFeed every Friday!

Publisher’s Note: This NewsFeed was compiled with input from our Newsroom Editors and regular columnist, Andrew Griffith. We welcome your feedback.

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Published in Top Stories

TORONTO — Holocaust remembrance wouldn’t have been the proper focus for the celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between...

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The Canadian Jewish News

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Published in Israel
Thursday, 11 June 2015 06:02

Caribbean Offers Extra Flights to Jamaica

Caribbean Airline’s summer schedule is offering more options to travel from Toronto to Jamaica. George Reeleder, vice-president commercial operations & customer service said, “This summer we have increased our flights between Jamaica and Toronto,…

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The Caribbean Camera

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Published in Caribbean
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 15:00

B'nai Brith Canada to Sell its National HQ

TORONTO — B’nai Brith Canada is planning to sell  its signature property on Hove Street in Toronto, which houses its national...

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The Canadian Jewish News

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Published in National

by Patrick Hunter (@pghntr) in Toronto

A huge wave, represented by about 50 high-profile Canadians, rocked Mayor John Tory’s proverbial boat this week. The “wave” consisted of a former chief justice of Ontario, three former mayors (one of whom is a former chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission), several former politicians and business leaders.

Identifying themselves as Concerned Citizens to End Carding, they held a news conference steps away from Mayor Tory’s office at City Hall to denounce the controversial police practice.

The result is that the mayor has changed his tune, reversing his position on “carding,” the controversial practice by the Toronto Police Service (TPS) of collecting and retaining information about individuals with whom they engage, but who are not being detained or under suspicion of committing a crime.

In his announcement, the Mayor said: “The issue of community engagements, or carding as it has become known, has eroded public trust to a level that is clearly unacceptable.As mayor, it is up to me to do whatever I can do to restore that trust . . . And so I am announcing today my intention, at the next meeting of the police services board on June 18, to seek the permanent cancellation of carding once and for all.”

"We believe carding violates the human rights of citizens, it goes against the principles of our Charter Rights ..." - Concerned Citizens to End Carding

It is not often that political leaders reverse their positions so openly. Early reaction has been mostly positive. The damage, however, may have already been done. That will become clearer when Tory faces the electorate in another three years.  

The Use of Carding

The carding practice was revealed in a Toronto Star investigative report in 2012 under the banner headline “Known to police.” It uncovered the fact the majority of persons stopped by the police whose information was taken were young black males, and their information was being kept in a database, apparently for future reference when a crime is committed.

Earlier this year, the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) had approved a policy on community engagement, which required police officers to inform individuals who are not under suspicion of any criminal activity that they have the right to end the engagement. If officers took a person’s information, they would also be required to provide a “receipt” indicating why the person was stopped.

William (Bill) Blair, then the outgoing chief of police, had a problem with the requirement and managed to get a watered-down version – without the above requirements of the policy – approved. The reaction and subsequent heat from the black community increased.

Desmond Cole: A Catalyst

In May, Toronto Life published a cover story by Desmond Cole, “The Skin I’m In.” It catalogues his experiences with the police, and outlines the emotional impact that they had and have on him – an impact that is shared by many black men, young or old.

The article became a sensation and was, indeed, a catalyst for the Concerned Citizens group to declare its opposition to carding.

[Saunders'] stance, if continued, will certainly erode any goodwill he may have earned from the black community, and the wider community, as demonstrated by the Concerned Citizens group.

In its statement, the group notes: “We all need to oppose carding vehemently … We are offended by the notion of casually and routinely stopping citizens, outside of police investigations of actual criminal acts that have occurred, to question and record, and then store personal data in police files … We believe carding violates the human rights of citizens, it goes against the principles of our Charter Rights ..."

Last Friday, the chair of the TPSB, Dr. Alok Mukherjee wrote an op-ed piece in the Toronto Star: “We are at risk of turning into a surveillance society” in which he also declared a change of heart.

“I believe the Toronto Police Services Board must now declare unequivocally that information generated from informal contacts with members of the public, which are not related to any criminal investigation or likelihood of a criminal investigation, must not be recorded in any police database,” he wrote.

Where the Police Chief Stands

Mark Saunders, who is black, is the recently appointed chief of police, succeeding Bill Blair. He has picked up the ball, voicing support for carding as a legitimate investigative tool. He has tried to cushion this support by suggesting that there would be changes in implementing the policy by eliminating random stops.

The community is not buying it.

His stance, if continued, will certainly erode any goodwill he may have earned from the black community, and the wider community, as demonstrated by the Concerned Citizens group.

Adding to the community’s concern about Chief Saunders’ position, a recent report in the Toronto Star that revealed an internal memo prepared by Saunders while he was a staff superintendent.

In the memo, he essentially tried to debunk the notion of racial profiling and carding, suggesting that analyses did not support “notions or activities of racially biased policing practices.” According to the Star, his then-superior officer, Deputy Chief Peter Sloly, also black, took issue with Saunders’ analysis and conclusion.

Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association, in the wake of Mayor Tory’s conversion, has also reaffirmed the association’s position, and that of the chief’s: getting rid of carding would have a negative impact on “community safety.” Exactly how is unclear.

It would appear that both Chief Saunders and the police association fail to make the connection that their defence of carding’s use and the fact that the majority of the carded residents are black imply that they believe that members of the black community are responsible for most of the crimes and criminal activities in the city.

If the black chief of police believes that, what chance do we have to change relations between the police and the black community?


Patrick Hunter is a communications consultant and a columnist for Share Newspaper. He is a former communications director at the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and has worked in government and the news media.

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

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