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CHATTER (April 2016): Annex Residents’ Association app tracks developments

April 7th, 2016 · No Comments

The Annex Residents’ Association (ARA) has unveiled a new web application to track all the building developments in the areas on and north of Bloor Street.

Residents can use the program to help keep up to date on how many new building projects are in place, as well as add information about them. The web portal was developed due to the unprecedented number of new building projects facing the Annex. David Harrison, chair of the ARA, cites an increased pressure on the area from developers and a need to keep residents informed as the key inspiration for the new app.

He said he hopes that other associations across the city will adapt the program in order to give a bigger picture of the developments coming to different areas of Toronto. Members of the community can access the map, as well as get an update on the trees of the Annex through the association’s TreesPlease project, at

—Geremy Bordonaro/Gleaner News


MPPs promote benefits of post-secondary education at Central Tech

“I ended up going to Carlton and it changed my whole life”—Michael Coteau (MPP, Don Valley East)

Han Dong (MPP, Trinity-Spadina) and Michael Coteau (MPP, Don Valley East), the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, recently spoke to senior students at Central Technical School about the proposed new Ontario Student Grant (OSG).

The MPPs emphasized the importance of attending university or college and how the new plan would help those from lower-income families access a post-secondary education.

Coteau told a story about how the smallest inspiration when he was growing up in Flemington Park changed the course of his life.

“There was this guy in my apartment building who kept bugging me and eventually he told me that he’d give me $50 if I applied to university,” he said ($50 was the cost of applying to university at the time). “I ended up going to Carlton and it changed my whole life…. It’s how I got into politics.”

Though times have changed since Coteau went to university, the provincial government has promoted the OSG as the “single largest modernization” of previous provincial education plans like the Ontario Student Assistance Program, because it gives a broader amount of coverage for low-income students.

If the 2016 budget is passed, the plan would do away with provincial debts for students from families with annual incomes under $50,000, and give grants of up to 50 per cent to students from families with incomes of $83,000 or less.

These grants will only cover what is considered the average tuition among students. The OSG will also provide help for full-time mature and married students no longer based on how long they’ve been out of high school. Students can expect to see the effects of the OSG starting in the 2017-18 school year.

—Geremy Bordonaro/Gleaner News


SIU clears officer of wrongdoing in police shooting

A Toronto police officer has been cleared of wrongdoing in last February’s shooting death of 49-year-old David Doucette on Spadina Road just south of Dupont Street. After a lengthy inquiry involving several investigators, two witness officers, and 17 civilian witnesses, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge the police officer with a criminal offence.

Police were called to the scene of a rooming house on 140 Spadina Rd. where residents had reported that a man had been stabbed. The stabbing victim was on the front steps bleeding profusely when police arrived and they immediately administered first aid. The officers noticed another man (Doucette) on the sidewalk, holding a knife and walking towards them. The subject officer pulled the injured man behind him, drew his firearm, and told Doucette to stop and drop the knife. The officer warned that he would shoot Doucette if he continued to advance. Doucette neared to within three to five metres, and the subject officer fired once, felling him. A second officer then approached Doucette, kicked the knife away, and handcuffed him.

A pathologist confirmed that a gunshot wound to the neck was the cause of Doucette’s death.

According to the SIU, the officer called for another officer with a conducted energy weapon (taser), but there was not enough time for that option to arrive; the officer had briefly retreated but Doucette continued his advance. Given the violence that Doucette had apparently already perpetrated, the SIU viewed the subject officer’s actions as reasonable to protect himself, his partner, and the injured civilian under their care.

“Pursuant to section 34 of the Criminal Code, a person who uses force that would constitute an offence is shielded from criminal liability if the force was intended to repel a reasonably apprehended assault on one’s person or a third party, and was itself reasonable in the circumstances,” said Acting SIU Director Joseph Martino about the incident.

—Brian Burchell, Gleaner News

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