This is an expose of Revelation chapter 13 where the beast out of the sea and the beast out of the earth become friends, culminating in a new system of worship which honors the first beast. Clear evidence is provided as to the nature of these political powers, their aims, and objectives. Since the issue is a matter of life and death with eternal consequences, it is vital that we understand who these powers are.
A Jewish student at the University of Toronto wrote to the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (GSU), as part of an ongoing campaign by Hillel to bring Kosher food to campus, only to get the response that GSU “[doubts] the Executive Committee will be comfortable recommending this motion given that the organization hosting it (Hillel) is openly pro-Israel.”
The email added that any efforts to bring Kosher food to campus may be against “the will of the membership,” in reference to the GSU’s adopted motion of supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), which campaigns for various cultural, economic and political boycotts of the Jewish state.
The GSU responded on Facebook, saying that any board member can submit a motion on the status of Kosher food on campus, without an indication that the Executive Committee is willing to change their stance on the issue.
There are some useful findings in the Toronto Board of Health report last week on taking a public health approach to community violence.
First, that while police-reported crime was decreasing in Toronto prior to 2014, it went up 14% between 2014 and 2017, disproportionately impacting young black males, particularly young Somali-Canadians.
Second, the rate for firearm-related crime more than doubled for youths and adults between 2013 and 2017.
Third, that as the result of violent crime there were 102,000 visits to the emergency departments of Toronto hospitals between 2004 and 2017 for assault-related injuries, 1,133 of them caused by firearms.
Fourth, a Toronto study estimated a staggering $1.74 million cost per offender over a 15-year period in criminal justice expenditures involving both victims and offenders.
Fifth, that in what are traditionally referred to as vulnerable communities, one in three people have witnessed violent crime and three in four knew at least one victim of community violence.
So we can all agree there’s a growing violent crime problem in Toronto and a growing public cost because of it.
The health board report, as one would expect, links the rising incidence of violent crime to growing economic disparity.
This includes high unemployment rates among blacks (at 12%, nearly double the provincial rate), and that blacks are over-represented in the child welfare system, academic streaming, school suspensions and leaving high school before graduation.
The same pattern, the study says, occurs with regard to police street checks and cases involving shootings and police use of force.
That. said among its nine recommendations are things we all know aren’t going to happen.
For example, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made it clear the federal government isn’t going to ban the sale of handguns nationally, substituting a plan to give municipalities the power to ban or restrict handguns.
How gun-toting criminals who aren’t deterred by the Criminal Code will be cowed by a municipal bylaw hasn’t been explained and in any event, a municipal ban would have to be approved by the provincial government, a measure Ontario Premier Doug Ford opposes.
In our view, one of the key reasons for rising gun crime — as the Sun’s Chris Doucette has documented — is the banning of police street checks, aka carding.
It seems to us a necessary first step in effectively combatting growing violent urban street crime in Toronto would be for the municipal, provincial and federal governments to come up with a viable way for police to do their crucial job of information-gathering by reviving street checks.
This while protecting the rights of individuals and groups not to be unfairly targeted by police.
The bottom line is if we can’t come up with that, then we’re not going to be able to combat violent crime effectively, either in the short term or the long term.