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Toronto shooting: The victims, the shooter, the reaction, the stats

A 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman are dead after a shooting along Toronto’s Danforth Avenue on Sunday night. Thirteen others are injured, and the suspected shooter is dead. Here’s what we know so far:

The victims: 18-year-old Reese Fallon, who just finished high school, was attending a birthday celebration with friends at a Danforth restaurant. She was set to begin studying nursing at McMaster University in the fall. No details have been released of the 10-year-old girl.

The suspect: Faisal Hussain, 29, has been identified by police as the suspected shooter. He was found dead after an exchange of gunfire with police; it’s not yet clear whether he died by suicide. Hussain’s family released a statement saying their son struggled with “severe mental health challenges” throughout his life. Law-enforcement investigations into Hussain aren’t being treated as a matter of national security.

The reaction: Toronto Mayor John Tory said the city has a “gun problem,” but declined to elaborate on whether he was considering an outright ban. Toronto has seen 228 shootings in 2018, with 29 resulting in a homicide. That’s up from 84 shootings and 17 homicides from gunshots at this time last year.

The statistics: While Toronto led the country in homicides last year, the murder rates there were below the national average, according to fresh Statistics Canada data. Toronto ranked 17th of the 33 cities on the violent crime index, which measures the volume and severity of crimes such as murder, robbery and sexual assault.

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Canadian police are dismissing fewer sexual-assault cases

In 2017, police discarded 14 per cent of sexual-assault accusations as unfounded, a designation that means investigators don’t believe a crime occurred. That’s down from 19 per cent for the years 2010-14, compiled as part of a 20-month Globe investigation. (Monday marked the first time since 1994 that Statistics Canada included unfounded numbers in its annual crime-data release.) The new Statscan numbers also show a 13-per-cent increase in the total number of “founded” sexual assaults reported to police. That’s partly due to the drop in cases being dismissed as invalid; experts say the #MeToo movement likely played a significant role as well.

Hedley singer Jacob Hoggard has been charged with three sexual offences

Toronto police charged the 34-year-old with one count of sexual interference and two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm. Police allege the offences happened over three dates in 2016, with two women on separate occasions. Hoggard has previously denied engaging in non-consensual sexual behaviour, but did apologize for how he has treated women. Hedley went on an “indefinite hiatus” in March after allegations against Hoggard first surfaced.

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Barrick Gold’s president is leaving amid the company’s struggles

Kelvin Dushnisky is departing the Toronto-based mining firm after 16 years for a job as chief executive of South African gold major AngloGold Ashanti. Barrick appeared blindsided by his departure and didn’t immediately announce a successor. His exit comes as Barrick struggles to address a major problem: It is running out of gold. Over the past five years, its reserves have fallen 54 per cent. With the price of gold flat, it is locked in a battle over gold exports with the government in Tanzania.


Stocks climb

Global shares climbed for a third day running on Tuesday, as China promised fiscal action to support the world’s second-largest economy and stellar results from internet giant Alphabet underpinned the tech stocks. Tokyo’s Nikkei rose 0.5 per cent, the Hong Kong Hang Seng 1.44 per cent and the Shanghai Composite 1.61 per cent at 6:15 a.m. ET. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.84 per cent and Germany’s DAX 1.52 per cent while the Paris CAC 40 was up 0.99 per cent. New York futures were also up. The Canadian dollar was at 76.03 US cents. Oil prices were also higher.


Let Winnipeg portage across Portage again

“In the 1970s, plowing cars through Portage and Main was supposed to revitalize Winnipeg’s ailing downtown, but the scheme has had the opposite effect. As a general rule, putting cars first in central areas has proven to be a recipe for grim, unsafe, hollowed-out cities. This October, Winnipeg voters should write a new chapter in the history of their famous intersection and allow foot traffic at Portage and Main again. The first pedestrian to make the crossing might consider carrying a symbolic canoe over her head.” – Globe editorial

Fifty years ago, an unholy mess shook the Catholic church

“...the ‘Pope of the Council,’ Paul VI, issued on July 25, 1968 Humanae vitae, his long awaited encyclical on artificial means of birth regulation. … The encyclical reinforced the traditional ban against birth control, a position that startled as many inside the Roman Catholic Church as it did outside. For some time, a growing expectation of change in the teaching had created a momentum that came to a grinding halt with the Pope’s document. The shock waves unleashed by Humanae vitae were strong and long-lasting. A massive diminishment of the credibility of papal teaching on sexual matters created an ecclesial nightmare the authorities are still struggling to emerge from.” – Michael W. Higgins, professor of Catholic thought at Sacred Heart University

Toronto can transform into a bike-friendly metropolis. Yes, really

“Copenhagen is, by almost any measure, the most bike-friendly city in the world. There are almost 400 kilometres of designated bike lanes – and that doesn’t include paths and side streets that are used extensively. Moreover, the network is coherent and cohesive so you can ride the whole city without leaving the comfort of the cycle track. Making cycle easy and safe is an integral part of road design, not an afterthought. Copenhagen’s legendary cycling culture is economically beneficial, healthy for residents and good for the environment. Canadian cities such as Toronto are diametrically different – a hostile, and often dangerous, environment for cyclists (and pedestrians) that is costly, unhealthy and polluted by excess vehicular traffic. So what can Toronto (and other cities) learn from the Danish capital? How can they Copenhagenize? If there’s one overarching lesson it is that you have to invest in infrastructure: Build it and they will come.” – André Picard


Gluten-free foods aimed at kids don’t appear to be healthier than regular products

A Canadian study has found that gluten-free foods marketed to children are often high in sugar and aren’t more nutritious than regular products. Eighty per cent of the gluten-free products studied have high sugar levels, while 88 per cent could be classified as having poor nutritional quality.


Jacques Cartier claims Canada for France in Gaspé

July 24, 1534: Jacques Cartier’s first North American mission was a bust. He didn’t find gold or a passage to India, and failed to penetrate the continent past the Gaspé Peninsula. But by planting a nine-metre cross and taking the Huron-Iroquois name for village – Kanata – he did claim Canada for France. The following year, the explorer returned. He mapped the St. Lawrence River and the island that would become Montreal, barely survived winter and made deeper contacts with Indigenous people. His final act of the expedition was to kidnap Chief Donnacona and nine of his people and haul them to Europe. The chief had extended welcome and lent his sons as interpreters. One shared the recipe for white cedar elixir, allowing most of Cartier’s crew to survive winter scurvy. But Donnacona was never happy about that cross. Cartier betrayed and removed him, setting up a centuries-long pattern of deleterious settler-Indigenous relations. – Les Perreaux

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Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Statscan began collecting unfounded data for the first time since 1994. In fact, they stopped publishing those stats in 1994 as part of its annual crime-data release.


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