public inquiry g20 police toronto

Morning Brew: calls for public inquiry into G20 security, CAMH smoking ban canned, HST sticker shock at gas pumps, Pride weekend and politics, report on York University security

Calls for a public inquiry into the actions and strategies of the G20 Integrated Security Unit are gaining steam, and the people of Toronto are finding themselves polarized on the issues. Citizens are saddened and dismayed by the lack of leadership during the temporary evaporation of our basic rights (remember our rights to free speech, our rights to peaceful assembly, and our rights to be free of persecution by police), while others have zero sympathy for protesters who ventured out into the streets following the violence (and essentially had it coming). For many Torontonians, the debates are plentiful and often heated, and are putting their professional and personal relationships at risk. It was unlike any other Canada Day for many.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is backing out on previously proposed plans to introduce a full-on smoking ban on its property. As nasty and unhealthy as cigarettes are, smoking tobacco is a common stress-reliever among both patients and staff. That, and an outcry from local business and home owners (who don't want patients to be forced out and smoking on their properties) are the reasons why designated smoking areas will be implemented at CAMH instead.

The HST is in full effect, and it's causing sticker shock at the gas pumps -- so much so that people who are griping about the cost of fuelling up their massive SUVs have lost their ability to do basic mathematics. Also, I've never understood the justification for lining up for gas, with your vehicle idling, for half an hour, to save five bucks. The new pricing is here to stay, folks. Get used to paying more.

It's Pride weekend, and given the ongoing controversies leading up to the festival, some are concerned that it's going to be marred by more political jousting than ever. Like every year, I'll be there to celebrate with friends and family. But this year I can't promise that I'll be able to contain myself (it'll be very difficult to not shout political messages about neglecting the people when David Miller passes by in the parade).

And a report on security at York University finds that there are great needs for refinement and improvement. A high number of people feeling unsafe, low morale amongst security staff, under-staffing, concern over non-intervention policy, and a need for more and better maintained emergency phones are all cited in much anticipated, 62-page report.

Photo: "Rally for a Public Inquiry Concerning the Actions at the G20, July 1, 2010" by Jackman Chiu, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.

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