Category Archives: Uncategorized

I choose activism for Black liberation

This week I met with Andrew Philips, the Toronto Star’s editorial page editor, who has essentially served as my boss at the newspaper. Phillips called me in regarding my political disruption of the April 20 meeting of the Toronto Police Services Board. Phillips said this action had violated the Star’s rules on journalism and activism. He didn’t discipline me or cite any consequence for my actions—Phillips said he just wanted me to know what the Star’s rules are.

I have no formal employment with the Star. I’ve never signed any contract or agreement, and no one ever directed me to any of the policies Phillips cited. However, I knew my police protest was activism, and I could have guessed the Star wouldn’t appreciate it.

At no time during this week’s meeting did Phillips try to tell me how I must conduct myself in the future. He did say he hopes I will continue my bi-monthly column. I appreciate the offer but I’m not going to accept it. If I must choose between a newspaper column and the actions I must take to liberate myself and my community, I choose activism in the service of Black liberation.

There’s so much I feel and could say about this decision, but for now I will limit my commentary to my experience as a freelancer with the Star. For the last year I have been contributing to the Star once every two weeks. I started as a weekly columnist in September of 2015 but my space was cut in half after eight months with almost no explanation (at the time Phillips cited budget struggles and told me “times are tough”).

I doubt any freelance columnist in the recent (or even not so recent) history of the Star has consistently generated more interest and readership, and consequently more revenue, than I have. Few of the Star’s full time columnists cannot claim the following I have built as a freelancer and, with the very notable exception of Washington correspondent Daniel Dale, no regular Star columnist or reporter can match my success in aggressively marketing my work on social media.

My contributions to the Star are in sharp contrast with the lack of tenure, exposure, support, and compensation I have received in return. I believe I have been good for business during a time when our industry is desperate for new voices and new readers. Although I was recently warned about my actions, the Star’s leadership has previously warned me about its limited appetite for my very political and unapologetically Black voice.

In April of 2016, John Honderich, the chair of Torstar Corp., who was also serving as the Star’s acting publisher at that time, asked to meet with me. Honderich suggested I was writing about race too often, and advised me to diversify my topics. The next day I published a piece in support of Yusra Khogali, a Black Lives Matter Toronto co-founder who was the subject of a racist, Islamophobic campaign to distract from her activism. It was the most popular piece I wrote all year—my editor contacted me to congratulate me on its reach.

The Star invests heavily in reporters whose excellent work inspires much of my commentary on anti-Black racism and white supremacy in Canada. Yet it seems the Star is reluctant to invest in columnists who relentlessly name these racial power imbalances, who call out the political and institutional forces responsible for white supremacy and Black suffering.

This is bad news for emerging local Black journalists and journalism students, most of whom are Black women and many of whom tell me they are also being shunned, not for their actions but for their radical and emancipatory content. My profile will allow me to find other work, but what about all the brilliant Black people who share my conviction and sense of urgency? Will they ever find steady work in Canadian media?

The struggle continues. I hope my candour here, and my growing reputation as an unapologetic Black activist, is compatible with a continued relationship with the Star. I wish my colleagues there—especially Nicholas Keung, Wendy Gillis, Evelyn Kwong, Jim Rankin, Patty Winsa, San Grewal, Azeezah Kanji, Jennifer Pagliaro, Jayme Poisson, Betsy Powell, Jacques Gallant, Sara Mojtehedzadeh, Morgan Campbell, Ed Keenan, and Daniel Dale—continued success in their respective works, all of which have shaped my writing. 

See y’all in the streets, on Newstalk 1010 radio (every Sunday at 4 p.m.) and, hopefully sometime early next year, in the pages of my first book with Doubleday Canada.

In love, rage, and Black power

~Desmond Cole


New Police Carding Regulations Fall Short of Ending the Practice


DATE:    Monday, December 7, 2015

PLACE:  Toronto City Hall, 2nd floor, ‘A’ Street Entrance

TIME: 11:00 a.m.

Legal groups, community advocates, academics and the Ontario Human Rights Commission call for tougher regulation on ”carding”

A broad network of community advocates, human rights and legal experts, academics and concerned and affected individuals is calling on the Province to ensure that its Draft Regulation on police street checks – or “carding” – achieves the Minister’s stated objective of ending arbitrary and discriminatory police street checks. They point to concerns with the Regulation’s limited application and scope.

Members of the network (see attached list) met with Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services on Monday November 30, 2015. They presented a Joint Statement to address the changes they say are needed if the Minister is to meet his goal to “standardize police street checks across the province, and establish rules to ensure that these encounters are without bias, consistent, and carried out in a manner that promotes public confidence.”

The group said it welcomed and endorsed the objectives laid out by Minister Naqvi, as well as the objectives reflected in a Motion passed unanimously in the Legislative Assembly on October 22, 2015. However, the Draft Regulation falls short of these important objectives.

A major concern is the Draft Regulation’s limited application. All of its prohibitions, protections and accountability mechanisms do not apply when police are investigating a specific offence. So much of racial profiling in street checks occurs when police are investigating a reported crime and inappropriately and disproportionately scrutinize African Canadians.

If a suspect is identified as “young and Black” the Draft Regulation will do nothing to stop police from questioning any young Black man they meet, and then putting the young person’s personal information into a database. As well, the Regulation lacks privacy protections, allowing for the continued collection and holding, for an indefinite period, of the information of people who have not committed a crime.

The group says public confidence in the police is vital and encourages the Minister to take this opportunity to rebuild trust that has been lost.

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) says the Draft Regulation poses “significant challenges for police leaders and our officers in their efforts to prevent crime and maintain public safety”. The network agrees that police have to be allowed to do their jobs. But they point to the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Human Rights Code, including the right to free from arbitrary detention and racial profiling and call on the government to create a framework to ensure police conduct is always consistent with the law.

Read the Joint Statement on the website of the Department of Criminology on the Ryerson University website.

Speakers include:

Desmond Cole, Chair of press conference

Renu Mandhane, Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC)

Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Director, Equality Program, Canadian Civil Liberties Association

Howard Morton, Law Union of Ontario (LUO)

Knia Singh, President, Osgoode Society Against Institutional Injustice (OSAII)

Gordon Cressy, Concerned Citizens Against Carding, (CCAC)


For more information:

Howard F. Morton, Law Union of Ontario (LUO), 416-418-6502,;

Knia Singh, President, Osgoode Society Against Institutional Injustice, 647-237-4267,

Reality Check: Toronto Police Association President on Anti-Black Racism

Demonstrators at a May 2015 Black Lives Matter rally in Toronto. Photo by Elizabeth Littlejohn.

Demonstrators at a May 2015 Black Lives Matter rally in Toronto. Photo by Elizabeth Littlejohn.

I wrote a piece for the Toronto Star last week saying our police force needs to acknowledge systemic anti-black racism, within its own ranks and in society at large. Toronto Police Association president Mike McCormack has published an apparent rebuttal, in which he names me and twists my words. I can’t let that stand.

You can read McCormack’s full piece here. Excepts appear below in bold italicsmy own commentary is in regular text.

Over the past few years, the Toronto Police Service has been the subject of accusations of racial profiling and biased policing. Most recently, on the anniversary of the Danzig shooting, an article on this page by journalist Desmond Cole stereotyped Toronto Police Service officers as anti-black racists.

I actually said Toronto police keep killing black people, particularly those who are in crisis or experiencing mental illness, and that at least half of all people killed by our police since 1988 have been black. These two facts are so solid that McCormack’s rebuttal doesn’t address or dispute them. Later in the piece, he does link disproportionate police encounters with black residents to “socio-economic factors such as poverty, unaffordable housing, lack of child-care, access to post-secondary education, unemployment and homelessness.”

Perhaps McCormack does not know that these social ills affect black people so unevenly because of systemic anti-black racism. It’s more likely, as I argued in my original piece, that he and many other police officials just don’t want to talk about it.

While I respect the right of any individual or group to express their opinions, the assumption that police-involved shootings are motivated by systemic racism, to the exclusion of any other possibility, is inaccurate and inflammatory.

Most powerful white people do not like it when black people talk about racism without blaming ourselves for it, or without insisting that “not all white people” are racist. If black people expose racism without qualification or apology, we are told we highlight race “to the exclusion of any other possibility.”

The truth is that white elites recoil at any mention of systemic racism, and refuse to take responsibility for racist outcomes in the societies they dominate. Instead they suggest, as McCormack does, that people like me use allegations of racism simply to garner sympathy and “stir public emotion.” When you are used to dominating people, you can even become jealous of their cries for justice.

I refuse to ignore the role of systemic racism, within policing and Canadian society. I refuse to allow police, who are in denial about their historical and modern propensity to kill innocent black people, to tell us when and how we should talk about racism in policing. McCormack is only comfortable using the term “systemic racism” to downplay or deny its existence in local policing. From that perspective, even one mention of systemic racism must feel like the whole, dreaded conversation.

Some have misrepresented police data to support their irresponsible accusations of racial discrimination. The use of census-based data to identify biased-policing, in the absence of other variables, is outright wrong. Their findings are not proof of a culture of biased policing. Assessing for bias is complicated. While the data may show some disparity, it is not sufficient to substantiate these allegations. This position is supported by the opinions of respected academics.

This is the main thrust of McCormack’s defence of police carding, the practice of stopping and documenting people who are not suspected of any crime. The Toronto Police Service has never voluntarily published data on carding or the impacts of racial profiling, and has refused repeated demands to do so. Police have not offered any data to explain why innocent black people have been so disproportionately carded. McCormack does not cite a single academic whom he claims shares his analysis. We’re still waiting.

These unsubstantiated allegations of racial discrimination are an attempt to stir public emotion and to justify knee-jerk policy changes to police practices.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms says our police cannot detain us arbitrarily, as they have been doing through carding. It’s not knee-jerk to demand that this right be upheld. It’s not radical to say police must tell us why they are stopping and documenting us. Nor is it revolutionary to expect that if police take our personal info, they should provide a receipt of the interaction, as they currently do for traffic tickets.

Despite declining overall crime rates, shooting incidents in Toronto have increased by 48 per cent compared to last year and the number of victims killed or injured is up by 66 per cent.

These stats are accurate, but they don’t explain why police killed Andrew Loku, who never shot anyone but rather got shot and killed by his own police. The numbers don’t tell us why black people who don’t shoot anyone are treated like they might shoot someone, or are about to, or must have info about someone who did. McCormack cites general trends in crime to justify the specific mistreatment of black individuals. This explanation is extremely popular (see systemic racism) but it is irrelevant.

While many American police services have had police reform imposed upon them, we have been ahead of the curve by addressing the issue of bias through mandatory and non-mandatory training standards, policies and procedures, diversity hiring and community-based policing initiatives that are the envy of police services worldwide.

In an attempt to stop the Toronto Star from accessing and reporting on carding data, our police fought the newspaper for seven years. The public didn’t even know the practice existed and when we found out, the police tried to dismiss it and move on. McCormack and former chief Bill Blair then tried to discredit a 2014 study in which community members described how carding has affected them.

The Black Action Defense Committee was formed in 1989 after police shot three black people in a 15 month span — two of them, Lester Donaldson and Wade Lawson, died from their injuries. Police still refuse to confirm the number and proportion of black people they have wounded and killed since 1988, even though that information is part of the public record.

Unfounded allegations of discrimination based on statistical disparities and the postulation that an entire police service is racist, however, are false, inflammatory and counterproductive to meaningful debate.

This type of irresponsible rhetoric simply undermines the good community relations our members have worked to establish and thus harms all Torontonians.

Canadian society exhibits and promotes anti-black racism. Our police and all other institutions keep producing outcomes that disproportionately hurt and disadvantage black people. This is what systemic racism means. If police say “we are not racist,” but they keep inflicting excessive damage to black people, their claims of intolerance to racism are meaningless.

During the G20 protests in 2010, Toronto police officers who themselves might never assault or arbitrarily arrest peaceful civilians watched as many of their colleagues did so. These bystander officers were partially responsible for the beatings and arrests because they saw abuse and remained silent. So it is with racism in policing. We don’t have to label all cops as racists to see that, as an institution, they justify systemic racism instead of looking in the mirror.

Toronto Residents Set Expectations for the Elimination of Police Carding


TORONTO – In advance of tomorrow’s Toronto Police Services Board meeting, residents are hosting a press conference today to set expectations for the elimination of police carding. They will also ask why the issue of carding is nowhere to be found on tomorrow’s TPSB agenda.

“The absence of an agenda item on carding is mind-boggling,” says activist Desmond Cole, who will host today’s press conference. “Mayor John Tory said he would seek an end to carding at tomorrow’s meeting—where is his plan?” Residents will not tolerate more delays on this issue. The steps to eliminate carding are clear, and will be outlined at the gathering.

Date:               Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Time:               1:30 p.m. EST

Location:         Toronto City Hall, outside Committee Room #1

Participants include:

Desmond Cole, activist and freelance journalist; Akio Maroon, Occupational Health and Safety Worker; Knia Singh, founder of Osgoode Students Against Institutional Injustice; Howard Morton, Law Union of Ontario.


For more information and to arrange interviews, contact:

Desmond Cole, 647-222-5289,

Concerned Citizens Demand An End to Police Carding in Toronto


TORONTO – At a press conference at City Hall, a group of prominent Toronto community leaders will speak out against the practice of police carding. At the time of the press conference the group will also release a joint statement co-signed by more than 35 prominent Torontonians in opposition to carding.

Date:               Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Time:               10 a.m. EST

Location:         Toronto City Hall, outside Committee Room #1

Participants include:

Roy McMurtry, former Chief Justice of Ontario; Gordon Cressy, former President, United Way; Barbara Hall, former Mayor, City of Toronto;

Mary Anne Chambers, former senior VP Scotiabank and former Ontario Cabinet Minister; Anne Golden, Distinguished Professor Ryerson University


 For more information and to arrange interviews, contact:

Gordon Cressy, 647-500-9236,

Joanne Campbell 647-961-9236

Stop Carding Now

A growing group of prominent citizens is speaking out against the police practice of carding.  We are committed to a Toronto that is inclusive, diverse, welcoming, and respectful, and carding does not fit that vision.

Carding has led many in our city to distrust and disrespect our police.  Anger, hurt and unrest have replaced any benefits police may derive from this practice.

We all need to oppose carding vehemently.  We resent having to witness its debilitating impact on our neighbours.  It sends a message of hopelessness to young people with black or brown skin.  We cannot and will not accept this for any group or community in our city.  We do not need a new generation of Torontonians growing up to believe our police are their adversaries.

We are offended by the notion of casually and routinely stopping citizens, outside of police investigations of actual criminal acts that have occurred, to question and record, and then store personal data in police files. We are deeply distressed that Toronto residents of colour are subjected to this invasion of their privacy when the overwhelming majority of white-skinned citizens are not.

We believe that carding violates the human rights of citizens. It goes against the principles of our Charter Rights.  It paints a disturbing picture and repeats a narrative that is reminiscent of ugly practices that were historically endured by racialized residents, particularly those of African Canadian backgrounds.

We cannot allow an environment of anger and distrust of our police to exist and fester in our city, particularly among the African Canadian and other racial minority communities.  We cannot sit back and allow this to undermine everything we teach our children about Canada being a fair and equal society.

We urge Mayor John Tory, Alok Mukherjee, Chair of the Police Services Board and Mark Saunders, Chief of Police to immediately cease the practice of carding.  And we call on all citizens of this city to step forward and make known their distaste of this fear-mongering practice.

Our call is not intended to interfere with the common police practice of conducting criminal investigations in order to apprehend criminals in the interest of public safety.  Rather, it seeks to correct an injustice that harms police/community relations, and damages the reputation of our police service and the city it serves.

If this demeaning practice of selected carding is not terminated quickly, it will irreversibly divide and separate our various communities and cultures. We must be a city where every citizen is treated equally and justly.

Stop carding now


Concerned Citizens to End Carding

Senior Advisors:

Zanana Akande

Former School Principal; Former Minister of Community & Social Services, Government of Ontario

Jean Augustine

Retired School Principal; Former Minister of State for Multiculturalism and Parliamentary Assistant to the Prime Minister, Government of Canada

Mary Anne Chambers

Retired Senior Vice President, Scotiabank; Former Minister of Training Colleges & Universities and Former Minister of Children & Youth Services, Government of Ontario

Alvin Curling

Former Minister of Housing and Former Minister of Skills Development and Former Speaker of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, Government of Ontario; Co-Author, Roots of Youth Violence Report for the Ontario Government, 2008

Councillor Michael Thompson

City Councillor, Ward 37, Scarborough Centre, City of Toronto

Founding Members:

Max Beck

Retired CEO, Easter Seals; Former CEO, Ontario Place

Harold Brathwaite

Executive Director, Retired Teachers of Ontario; Former Director, Peel Board of Education

Joanne Campbell

Former General Manager, Shelter & Housing, City of Toronto; Retired Vice President, Communications & Community Relations, CAMH

Gordon Chong

Former Toronto City Councillor; Former Member of the Toronto Police Services Board; Former Chair of the YMCA of Greater Toronto; Former Chair of the Metro Toronto Housing Authority; Current Member of the Board of Governors of the Mon Sheong Foundation

Gordon Cressy

Former President & CEO, United Way of Greater Toronto; Former Vice President, Universities of Toronto and Ryerson; Former Chair, Toronto Board of Education

David Crombie

Former Mayor, City of Toronto; Toronto icon

Joy Fielding

New York Times bestselling author of 25 novels

Paul Garfinkel

Retired President & CEO, CAMH; Professor, University of Toronto

Anne Golden

Former President & CEO, United Way of Greater Toronto; Former President, Conference Board of Canada; Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University

Kamala Jean Gopie

Retired Teacher, TDSB; Past President, Jamaican Canadian Association; Former Member, Ontario Race Relations and Policing Task Force

Joan Green

Former Director, Toronto Board of Education; Founding CEO, Ontario Education Quality & Accountability Office

Barbara Hall

Former Mayor, City of Toronto; Retired Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission

Denham Jolly

President, Jolly Corporation Inc.; President and CEO of Milestone Radio Inc.; Principal Share Holder of Tyndall Nursing Home Limited

Cheuk Kwan

Executive Director, The Harmony Movement

Michele Landsberg

Journalist and Author

Frances Lankin

Former President & CEO, United Way of Greater Toronto; Former Minister of Government Services, Chair of Management Board of Cabinet and Minister of Health, Government of Ontario

Sheldon Levy

President and Vice Chancellor, Ryerson University

Stephen Lewis

Former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations and Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa;  Author of “Racism in Ontario” a report to the Premier of Ontario 1992

David McCamus

Retired President & CEO, Xerox Canada Ltd.; Former Board Member and Campaign Chair, United Way of Greater Toronto

Lloyd McKell

Retired Executive Officer for Equity, Toronto District School Board

Roy McMurtry

Retired Chief Justice of Ontario; Former Attorney General, Government of Ontario; Co-Author, Roots of Youth Violence Report for the Ontario Government, 2008

Penny Milton (Moss)
Former Chair, Toronto Board of Education; Retired CEO, Canadian Education Association

Peter Oliver

Founding Partner, Oliver and Bonacini; Founding President, The Leacock Foundation

Walter Pitman

Former President, University Ryerson and OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education); Author “Now Is Not Too Late”, report on Race Relations in Toronto, 1978

Bev Salmon

Former Metropolitan Toronto and North York Councillor; Former Commissioner Ontario Human Rights Commission; Past Chair, Race Relations Committee Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Warren Seyffert

Deputy Chair and Lead Director of Teck Resources; Vice Chair of the Kensington Health Centre

Joseph Wong

Family Physician; Chair, Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation; Former Chair, United Way of Greater Toronto; Founding Chair of the Board, ALPHA Education

Robert J. Wright

Retired Partner, Lang Michener LLP; Former Chair, Ontario Securities Commission; Founding Board Member, Pathways to Education

John Tory supports carding, but doesn’t seem to know what it is

Photo taken from the City of Toronto website.,

Photo taken from the City of Toronto website.,

Mayor John Tory was one of five police board members who voted in favour of new police carding procedures at last night’s meeting. If you’ve been following my work, you know that carding is the extremely controversial police practice of stopping civilians who are not suspected of a crime, and documenting their personal information.

Tory, who appointed himself to the board late last year, should understand this basic definition of the carding practice. Yet mere moments after he had voted to continue carding, Tory described the same non-criminal police interaction he had just endorsed as “corrosive”. He noted the disproportionate impact carding has on black and brown residents, insisted police would never document his white children.

“I have no doubt that that is going on, and as I said, one time is too many,” said Tory of needless interactions between police and young black and brown residents. He said this as if it was news to the room full of advocates who have been making the same argument for over three years, and whose repeated requests for reform Tory had just ignored.

Does the mayor actually undersand the policy he just approved, and the context of the larger debate on biased interactions between police and racialized people? Other comments he made yesterday suggest he does not.

Tory also suggested that forcing the police to reform carding might actually be more dangerous for communities than keeping the practice, because police might resent the changes and would retaliate by harassing residents. In other words, the mayor suggested that board attempts to reform or curb carding would lead to more carding.

Below are transcribed excerpts from Tory’s speech. You can also view the tape of his remarks by clicking here (Tory’s remarks start at 3:09:11). Tory’s full remarks reveal he is more likely to placate police power than challenge it, more likely to describe police intransigence as an “impasse” for which both parties are to blame.

I’m not sure why John Tory wanted to be on the police board, but he seems an unlikely candidate to hold police to account on carding, particularly because he seems to misunderstand the issue, and his role in addressing it as a member of the police board.

“Well thank you  mister Chair, and I would just…we’ve voted but I would like to put into context, certainly, my vote, and I think it’s important to do that in the context of a full and open discussion of this. First of all, I don’t doubt for a second—in fact I had a roundtable at Downsview Park about a month and a half ago, with kids from Neighbourhood Improvement Areas, and most of them are not kids [interrupted by hecklers] most of them were not, they were kids who had…they weren’t white kids, they were kids that had black or brown skin.

We spent the evening talking about a lot of different things, including jobs and so on. But when we did talk about their encounters with the police they did say that, certainly far more often than should be the case—because once is one time too many—that the nature of their encounters, and I’m sort of paraphrasing what they said, is that the windows roll down, of a police car, and a police officer says to them, “hey you, get your sorry backside over here and answer some questions.” And I have no doubt that that is going on, and as I said, one time is too many, And I have no doubt as well, that my kids, if they were stopped in the street, wouldn’t be treated that way.

I also accept the fact, as I’ve said before, that this kind of thing going on, on a continuous basis in any number of places, is corrosive—I use that word. And I mentioned this at the outset, I wanna say, and I took the care to put together some notes last night because I thought I was likely to vote in favour of the policy with the changes, that we’ve seen today. And I say this first part because I think there have been suggestions to the fact that some of us are in denial as to the existence of a problem, or are somehow unsympathetic about the problem, and I just want to say, first of all, that`s patently false.

Now, moving beyond that, I wanna put into context— and I think context has been lacking in this discussion in a lot of the commentary that we’ve all sort of seen and heard— I can only speak for myself and what was going on at the time I arrived at the police service board four months ago, and that was that there was an obvious impasse on this issue at that time.

So when we go back to the 2014 policy as was moved, that would would have taken us back to exactly the same situation we were in five or six months ago, when , yes, there was a policy, and people might have thought they liked it. As [board member] Ms. Moliner said, it became a lot more popular suddenly in the last little while. But the bottom line is that that policy could not, and was not operationalized. There was an impasse in that regard.

The policy had been approved eight months earlier, in April, a year ago from now, and nothing much had really happened. Communication, I would say—and I’ll speak only for myself—was diminishing, attitudes were hardening on all sides. Not, I don’t think, motivated by bad faith, or at all involving insubordination—I think there was no hint of that whatsoever, but I think driven by very honest and very sincere, but also very passionate difference of opinion about the law, about the practical aspects of implementing and operationalizing that policy.

And I will say, like most if not all other human beings, police leadership was probably moving more slowly in the face of this difference of opinion, than if there had of been wholehearted agreement. But I am satisfied this was not insubordination and I guess that’s just the point.

After I had been a month on the board it was obvious to me that notwithstanding all the time that was being put in, by the chief and by the members of the board and by our [legal] council, Mr. Addario, no progress was being made—none. No progress at all. We were at a complete stalemate and I think when that happens, you have two choices: you say, “that’s it”, and provoke some sort of a…I don’t know if you want to call it a confrontation, which I think would have reverberated all the way through the police service in a way that I think would have made relations worse on the street; or, do you make one more effort to see what you can achieve, and measure that result against the alternative, which was and is an impasse, and a policy vacuum, by the way?”

“…Many of the commentators have said the chief should have just been ordered to do what the board old him, and that he in turn would order the members of the police service to do what they’re told by him. And that can happen. But it’s my experience, in every single capacity that I’ve had,—as a father, as a colleague, in business and elsewhere (and I expect it’s true of police officers, I don’t know for sure)—you can order people to do things, and you will get a degree of compliance when you do that, but it will be insincere and incomplete because people are being ordered to do something.”

Authors of United Nations report on cities gather in Toronto

Image courtesy of UN-HABITAT.

Image courtesy of UN-HABITAT.

SEPTEMBER 25, 2014

United Nations officials, academics, and economists are gathered in Toronto this week as they prepare a report on the health and state of the world’s cities. The 2015 Global Cities report, which will inform the United Nations Habitat III conference in 2016, will define a new urban agenda in the face of rapid global urbanization, and challenges in housing and sustainable urban development.

CLICK HERE for the most recent global cities report (2012-13)

Media are invited to a press conference on Friday September 26, 2014 at 11 a.m. at St James Centre, 65 Church Street in Toronto. Speakers will include:

Eduardo Moreno Lopez, Director of Research and Capacity Development at UN-HABITAT in Nairobi, Kenya

Reza Pourvaziri, President of the International City Leaders Foundation (host organization)

Adam Vaughan, Liberal Member of Parliament for Trinity-Spadina

The gathering of experts is focused on cities’ role in improving the quality of life of urban swelers and protecting their environments. “By focusing on urban leadership capacity, we hope to reinforce the city prosperity agenda for all cities,” said Pourvaziri in a welcome message to participants.

The speakers and other meeting participants, who are international experts in urban sustainability, global finance, and the environment, will be available to meet with the media following the brief press conference.

About the International City Leaders Foundation:

The ICLF provides a broad range of dynamic, integrated and evidence based programs for officials looking to maximize their impact as city leaders. ICLF hopes to provide a host of customized solutions that focus on taking action to improve cities, with contributions from former mayors, members of the media, the private sector and all levels of government.

Through the mobilization and strengthening of local capacities that plan, co-ordinate and manage sustainable local city development, city leaders can help promote economic development with smart growth strategies to connect infrastructure investments with overarching efforts in poverty reduction.

 For more information or to RSVP:

Contact Desmond Cole
647 294 2994