Stories of Police State Toronto

Graeme Bacque (
Sat, 31 Jul 1999 11:11:57 -0400

----------forwarded message----------
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 1999 10:43:37 -0500
From: Gary Morton <>
To: "" <>
Subject: Stories of Police State Toronto

Toronto - Scorching Out the Poor - Council hopes the heat will work its
End of July/99
>From Stories of Police State Toronto
* Page now updated with a number of articles on one page.
People can submit news of cop harassment.

   Good old auto pollution has now succeeded in raising Earth'
temperature and making for hotter summers on average in Toronto. We
usually get only 12 days over 30C, yet this year we have already got 18
and likely many more to come.

   I visit a disabled woman regularly. Her medication combined with poor
circulation and asthma makes it nearly impossible to function in this
heat. She can barely breathe, she can't go out and she can't sleep.

   Many of homeless people on the street aren't much healthier than her,
and with tenant laws being what they are 100,000 people are under
constant threat of homelessness. In an environment where it is often
either too hot or freezing cold this is not desirable.

   Government could easily ease these problems. Homeless people develop
the idea of the street as home once they start living out doors. So the
best way to make it decline in the long run is to have supports so
people don't end up on the street. For the Weather Council has dealt
with the concept of warming centres and cooling centres.

   The US lesson is that if don't deal with this problem hundreds of
people can suddenly die in a heat wave. And it looks like people here
have to die in large numbers before media attention forces council to do

    Mayor Mel Lastman is now saying it will be the year 2,000 before
they open up air-conditioned city buildings to the public if the heat
becomes unbearable. And that's only when it gets an incredibly hot 45C.
Even with the high standard several days this July qualified.

 The money for the project has been approved, So why can't the mayor and
council open cooling centres right now?

   The answer is easy. This is the summer of the Toronto Police State
for the poor. The Mayor and council want the homeless swept out. They
are being harassed by teams of goons on the hot streets, and our
politicians hope that the hot, hot weather without relief will give them
idea of moving on to Vancouver.

   If they do open cooling centres next year, they'll have police
waiting inside to harass or grab people for unpaid tickets, making sure
that only local residents and not homeless people use them.