Canada Wynne blasts Doug Ford for not attending black debate, then soon earns jeers from crowd

18:27  12 april  2018
18:27  12 april  2018 Source:   nationalpost.com

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Wynne was quick to blast Ford for his absence, but soon drew jeers from the crowd as she defended her government’s decision to not do away with police carding. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne , left, with NDP Leader Andrea Horwath in February.Chris Young/The Canadian Press/File.

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Premier Kathleen Wynne came under pressure Wednesday to end for good the “carding” street checks by police of black Ontarians, creating the most raucous moments at a pre-election leaders debate that focused largely on racism.

As the debate organized by several black-community groups began, it seemed almost as much about who was absent as who was there. Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford – who enjoys a healthy lead in polls – decided to pass on the event as he toured northern Ontario.

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Wynne blasts Doug Ford for not attending black debate , then soon earns jeers from crowd . Wynne was quick to blast Ford for his absence, but soon drew jeers from the audience of about 250 as she defended her government’s decision to restrict carding – criticized as a form of racial profiling

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The formal campaign for the June 7 vote will not actually start until early May.

Wynne was quick to blast Ford for his absence, but soon drew jeers from the audience of about 250 as she defended her government’s decision to restrict carding –  criticized as a form of racial profiling – but not to do away with it altogether.

She admitted that random checks banned under provincial rules are still happening, but suggested the answer is to change police culture, not eliminate the tool entirely.

“We worked to find a balance between allowing police officers to do their job and ensuring they are not overreaching,” she said at the event in suburban Toronto.

Both NDP leader Andrea Horwath and Green leader Mike Schreiner said they would ban the police stops entirely, calling them unjust intrusions on the rights of mostly innocent Ontarians, and earning loud approval.

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Wynne blasts Doug Ford for not attending black debate , then soon earns jeers from crowd . Andrew Coyne: Tories cry foul as Maxime Bernier spills the beans, er, milk on leadership race. John Ivison: On Trans Mountain, Trudeau must do or do not.

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“It is not acceptable and should not be part of policing,” said Horwath. “Most of (the young black men stopped) are great kids. Let’s build them up instead of tearing them down.”

Ford said he could not attend the debate because of his events in the province’s north, while claiming that no politician except his brother, late Toronto mayor Rob Ford, has given the black community more support then him. “I love them, they love me.”

But he met resistance at a recent campaign event with Toronto Somali-Canadians when he advocated bringing back a controversial program aimed at curbing street crime. The program was ended amid complaints it heightened tensions between officers and black people.

Premier Kathleen Wynne got her digs in early, issuing a statement before the debate criticizing Ford’s failure to attend, or to commit to any other debates during the campaign.

“This equivocation triggers real doubt about your willingness to invite genuine scrutiny of your policies and leadership,” she said.

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Ford responded quickly by Twitter, throwing in a reference to the Liberal aide sentenced to six months behind bars Wednesday.

“I accept Kathleen Wynne’s challenge to three televised debates. Let’s do the first one outside the jail where the senior Liberal operative will be spending 4-months.”

The debate Wednesday seemed to move away from the usual partisan thrust and parry, raising questions that otherwise receive relatively little attention in Ontario politics. Those include treatment of black men by the justice system, poor results for black students in schools and what moderators and audience members called widespread systemic racism.

Their concerns are not insignificant electorally: one person who asked the leaders a question estimated that blacks make up five per cent of Ontario’s electorate.

Schreiner said the leaders, all of them caucasian, could not truly understand the discrimination faced by those in the crowd, saying he had to acknowledge his “white privilege.”

“I sincerely wish all four party leaders were here tonight,” the Green leader said. “This conversation is too important for anyone to skip.”

Asked about estimates that half of the students expelled from Toronto schools are black and only 10% white, and few make it to college or university, Horwath said she would favour ending streaming in schools seen as directing many black teens away from academic programs.

“We don’t see the change happening … I would suggest it’s getting worse, not better,” said the New Democrat. “When kids go to school, they should see some black teachers teaching them, too.”

Wynne said the government is very aware of the problems of African-Canadian kids in schools and insisted the government is trying to address them. Her government’s offer of free post-secondary tuition to many students will help the black community, she said.

• Email: tblackwell@postmedia.com | Twitter: tomblackwellNP

Liberal official apologizes for crude remark about Doug Ford .
A senior campaign official for the Ontario Liberals is apologizing for a crude comment he made on live television about Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford. David Herle, the campaign co-chair for Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, issued a statement this evening saying he regrets the comment and he apologizes "without qualification." "Doug Ford has a long history of using derogatory and insulting terms to refer to a wide range of people with whom he disagrees — including female journalists, parents of autistic children and many others," Herle said in the statement.

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