In a surprise announcement, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders says he will step down at the end of July, several months early and in the midst of mounting public pressure to scale back the service’s $1-billion budget and transform its approach to policing.
Chief Saunders denies that mounting pressure and the threat of a budget showdown prompted his decision to retire.
Meanwhile, the RCMP plans to equip its officers with body cameras, saying the technology will increase transparency and public trust by providing a first-person view of what police officers encounter in often-tense situations.
The move came on the same day that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he supports Canadian police forces outfitting officers with body cameras and would discuss doing so with premiers later this week.
The Toronto Police Service has also announced plans to expedite its roll-out of body cameras. Since last year, all front-line Calgary Police Service officers have been wearing them and several other police services across Canada – including Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton and Thunder Bay – have conducted pilot projects.
In the U.S., Democrats proposed a sweeping overhaul of police oversight and procedures, an ambitious legislative response to the mass protests denouncing the deaths of black Americans at the hands of law enforcement.
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The latest on the Coronavirus
- Premier Doug Ford is taking a regional approach with the next stage of Ontario’s reopening plan. As of this Friday, the whole province will allow social gatherings of 10 people, and churches and places of worship can open at 30-per-cent capacity. However, only certain areas outside greater Toronto will be allowed to open restaurant and bar patios, hair salons and other services on Friday. Toronto and its surrounding areas will have to wait until the number of COVID-19 cases goes down.
- The federal government is planning to legislate fines and jail time for people who submit fraudulent claims under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, a $60-billion program that provides income support to workers affected by the pandemic.
- Family members who have been separated for months by the closing of the Canada-U.S. border will finally be able to reunite with loved ones in Canada, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The federal government is bringing in a “limited exemption” to allow immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to come to Canada.
- And two separate scientific studies have put hard numbers to the assertion that lockdowns were instrumental in slowing the transmission of the disease in many countries. Researchers behind both studies say their findings should be top of mind for decision-makers charting a path forward through the next stages of the pandemic.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Ontario to ban commercial evictions for some small businesses
The Ontario ban will apply to small businesses that are eligible for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program. They must have experienced at least a 70-per-cent decline in revenue because of the pandemic, pay less than $50,000 in monthly rent and have less than $20-million in gross annual revenue. The new policy would also reverse any evictions that happened on or after June 3, and make it illegal to evict a CECRA-qualifying tenant in Ontario until Aug. 31.
North Korea to sever hotlines with South Korea, report says
As the first step toward shutting down all means of contact with Seoul, North Korea will close lines of communication at an inter-Korean liaison office, and hotlines between the two militaries and presidential offices. This marks a setback in relations amid efforts to try and persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program in exchange for relief on tough international sanctions.
U.S. plans to withdraw troops from Germany
Donald Trump has ordered the U.S. military to remove 9,500 troops from Germany, a move that would reduce the U.S. contingent in the country to 25,000. The troop move is the latest twist in relations between Berlin and Washington that have often been strained during Trump’s presidency.
European markets turn red: Stock market bulls were forced to a halt on Tuesday and high-flying currencies like the euro and Australian dollar lost altitude, as a weeks-long risk rally ran into some turbulence. Just ahead of 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 1.42 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 fell 1.64 per cent and 1.53 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended down 0.38 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.13 per cent. New York futures were lower. The Canadian dollar was trading at 74.19 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
How should we thank our guardian angels? Certainly not with deportation
André Picard: “Let’s not forget that most of the asylum seekers have been working while waiting for their cases to be processed. Many have been working in long-term care for two or three years, invisible until the pandemic hit.”
Fixing the coronavirus crisis doesn’t mean sacrificing climate goals
Eric Reguly: “There is a way to accelerate the green agenda without triggering spasms of fear among politicians, at least in the Western world: Ease off the subsidies for fossil fuels and put new taxes on their consumption.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Understanding this: Three programs about race and policing in the U.S.
As people take to the streets for a third week to protest anti-Black racism and police violence, John Doyle gives us three must-see productions to enlighten us:
- 16 Shots, a documentary about police brutality against Black people and the systemic support for their actions.
- When They See Us, a drama miniseries about what happened after the rape and attempted murder of a young woman who was jogging in Central Park in New York one April night in 1989. The focus is on the Central Park Five – the five boys charged with the attacks.
- 13th, a full-length documentary made by Ava DuVernay, who also made When They See Us. It is a visceral, indignant look at American history through one issue: the prison system.
MOMENT IN TIME: JUNE 9, 2011
Until about five years ago, Italian surgeon Paolo Macchiarini was a superstar doctor. He even told his girlfriend that they would be married by Pope Francis. What thrust him into the global limelight was his pioneering work in Sweden on trachea transplants, using donated windpipes colonized with the stem cells of the recipient. A stunning breakthrough was made on June 9, 2011, when Macchiarini replaced the diseased trachea of an Eritrean man with an entirely synthetic trachea, whose engineered scaffold was “seeded” with the bone marrow cells of the patient. The breakthrough procedure – the world’s first synthetic organ transplant – was reported on page one of The New York Times. The problems began in 2012, when two of his synthetic trachea patients died. Over the next few years, five more would die, triggering investigations into his research and procedures. In essence, the doctor was accused of fraud in Sweden for persisting with an operation that had little chance of working, inadequate research and exaggerating the progress initially made by the patients. His final disgrace came last year, when an Italian court sentenced him to 16 months in prison for forging documents and abuse of power. – Eric Reguly