‘An important beginning’: Toronto police to divert some 911 mental health calls to civilian crisis centre

Friday, June 25th, 2021

Amid growing public pressure to send social workers and health care professionals to mental health calls — not police — city council voted earlier this year to launch a separate pilot program to see civilian dispatched to mental health crisis calls where violence is not being threatened… The cost of the project, estimated to be $522,000, will be absorbed by the service’s operating budget, police said.

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Black people more likely to be arrested, charged, shot and killed by Toronto police, Ontario Human Rights Commission finds

Monday, August 10th, 2020

The results are “highly disturbing, and confirm what Black communities have said for decades — that Black people bear a disproportionate burden of law enforcement”… although Black people represent 8.8 per cent of Toronto’s population, Black people represented 32 per cent of the charges in the data set… The charges… involve a high degree of discretion on the part of the officer.

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These mental health advocates are working on an alternative to police intervention when someone is in crisis.

Monday, August 3rd, 2020

“When someone is in crisis, they are already feeling afraid, overwhelmed, out of control. They don’t need an officer with a gun and handcuffs showing up… “What they need instead is a mental health expert, who they can trust, who can help them calm down. Someone who can help them feel safer.”

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Ontario’s front-line workers getting pay hike of $4 an hour during pandemic

Sunday, April 26th, 2020

Effective immediately, employees who are providing front-line and support services, including cleaning and meal preparation at health-care facilities, are eligible for a raise of $4 per hour for the next 16 weeks… Staff who work more than 100 hours per month would receive an additional $250 per month for each of the next four months… The money is also intended to help “front-line providers attract and hire extra staff they need to continue taking care of patients and residents,” Ford said.

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