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Beau_D Adminstrator

In response to incidents involving public safety, Toronto's Mayor John Tory has used his authority to inject millions of tax-payer dollars in the hands of policing which has already seen major budget increases while medical and education budgets are slashed. During a public press event, Tory had admitted that he had intended to 'address the issue of violence on Toronto streets” before the recent incidents and it seems that the recent incidents are just a venue to further aggressive policing as a way to curb increased violence in Toronto dispute number actually being down.

The issue of violence on Toronto streets as seen through police, politicians and big media companies, unrealistically reflect the true nature of the violence in Toronto streets. Rarely are you made aware of the aggressive policing on Toronto streets that target the poor, homeless and marginalized peoples treated less than human by our authorities or the people and children kicked off public transit vehicles for being short money on their rider fares on cold days. Who will deal with that violence? Or how the police presence on the TTC will further exasperate how it already targets riders whom are minorities, low income and riders suffering mental health issues. There were no actions taken by the TTC to prevent riders assaulted by police any safer.

The TTC could have shown more concerns about public safety by having it's cameras placed in designated waiting areas and not solely on it's turnstiles. In fact, TTC's Special Constables were recommended to wear body cameras, mostly due to claims of racism and discrimination against riders from TTC officials and Special Constables. The proposal meet push back from the TTC union that represents them and refused to wear body cameras dispite TTC's claims of driver assault and recommendations from the City's Mayor(Tory).

The clear agenda of the TTC is to continue to protect it's reputation firstly and their employees secondly, TTC riders are just paying clients subject to TTC bylaws. I have filed complaints to both the TTC and Toronto Police and can tell you that their misdeeds and misconduct go unpunished through the bureaucracy of self investigations. Many public safety incidents are under reported unless it's and officer or public employee, like the October 2022 TTC assault of an 81yr old woman whom wished to have her safety concerns addressed by the TTC went addressed despite many calls and emails. And these claims are not uncommon, just under reported on by the media.

It was almost a year ago, where I had witnessed at least 3 police officers roaming Victoria Park subway station armed with what seemed to be automatic rifles. This was occurring during a time of day where school children would have normally been filling the station leaving school. Luckily, there were not any incidents reported on and that the schools had been just recently closed due to several CoVid outbreaks closing many schools at that time.

As provincial and municipal figures move to fund policing, many organizations are attempting to pick up the slack as mental health, senior services and health care services are being stretched to their limits.

Food banks are unable to meet needs, shelters are turning away some 160 people a day yet there is money for even more police. There's always more money for police. When the communities are asked, they have requested more community centres, public mental health workers and barriers on TTC platforms to prevent falls and patrons being pushed onto subway tracks. Despite this, Toronto's mayor and Rob Ford have strengthened the police budget that will further the cycle of violence, profiling and criminalization of the poor and unsheltered. It's clear Mayor John Tory takes his orders from the police and TTC rather than from the people of Toronto.

Many would argue that it's much of our city's poor efforts at addressing issues of mental health, poverty and discrimination in the system that is claiming to protect it's citizens are deeming citizens of Toronto that fall in the category of undesirables a threat is a solution to the city's growing problems. Yet the response to passengers being assaulted on TTC property is to subject it's riders to more violence under police and fare collectors. This is a recipe for disaster when the Police, TTC and the mayor believe that enforcement of bylaws under threat of authorities will lessen violence in the city.

It's clear enforcement does not work and that a rise in violence is a result of several factors related to how the recent CoVid-19 pandemic and it's effects on already existing poverty and lack of mental health care are directly tied to these issues and will not be erased by furthering to oppress marginalized city residences with an already violent police force. With the lack of safe housing, warming centres and the eviction of tent encampments to further fund the very institutions that are likely to have created their homelessness, poverty and ability for employment by enforcing law upon TTC riders and patrons rather than address the overall problems our city faces.


Toronto Star article “Disturbing video shows TTC assault on 81-year-old woman left with concussion and unease about riding the subway”

Disturbing video shows TTC attack on 81-year-old woman | The Star

Mayor John Tory backs body cameras for TTC officers

Monday June 22, 2022

Toronto Star - Mayor-john-tory-backs-body-cameras-for-ttc-officers

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