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    CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.—After a morning of violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protesters, police ordered hundreds of people out of a downtown park — putting an end to a noon rally that hadn’t even begun.

    Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency shortly before 11 a.m.

    Using megaphones, police declared an unlawful assembly at about 11:40 a.m., and gave a five-minute warning to leave Emancipation Park, where hundreds of neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klans members and other white nationalists had gathered to protest the removal of a Confederate statue. They were met by equal numbers of counterprotesters, including clergy, Black Lives Matter activists and Princeton professor Cornel West.

    Read more: Chanting ‘blood and soil’ and ‘white lives matter,’ white nationalists march in Charlottesville

    But fighting broke out way before the noon rally, starting Friday night and then again Saturday morning.

    Men in combat gear, some wearing bicycle and motorcycle helmets and carrying clubs and sticks and makeshift shields fought each other in the downtown streets, with little apparent police interference. Both sides sprayed each other with chemical irritants and plastic bottles were hurled through the air. Colleen Cook, 26, stood on a curb shouting at the rally attendees to go home.

    A large contingent of Charlottesville and Virginia state police in riot gear were stationed on side streets and at nearby barricades but did nothing to break up the melee.

    A group of three dozen self-described “militia” — men who were wearing full camouflage and were armed with long guns — said they were there to help keep the peace, but they also did not break up the fights.

    There were vicious clashes on Market Street in front of Emancipation Park, where the rally was to begin at noon. A large contingent of white nationalist rallygoers holding shields and swinging wooden clubs rushed through a line of counterprotesters.

    By 11 a.m., several fully armed militias and hundreds of right wing rally goers had poured into the small downtown park that is the site of the planned rally.

    At about 11:40 a.m., police appeared and ordered everyone to vacate the park. Columns of white nationalists marched out of the park, carrying Confederate flags and Nazi symbols, and headed down Market Street in an odd parade, as counterprotesters lined the sidewalks and shouted epithets and mocked them. At various points along the route, skirmishes broke out and shouting matches ensued.

    Charlottesville officials, concerned about crowds and safety issues, had tried to move the rally to a larger park away from the city’s downtown.

    But Jason Kessler, the rally’s organizer, filed a successful lawsuit against the city that was supported by the Virginia ACLU, saying that his First Amendment rights would be violated by moving the rally.

    Tensions began Friday night, as several hundred white supremacists chanted “White lives matter!” “You will not replace us!” and “Jews will not replace us!” as they carried torches marched in a parade through the University of Virginia campus.

    The fast-paced march was made up almost exclusively of men in their 20s and 30s, though there were some who looked to be in their mid-teens.

    Meanwhile, hundreds of counterprotesters packed a church to pray and organize. A small group of counterprotesters clashed with the marchers shortly before 10 p.m. at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson, the university’s founder.

    One counterprotester apparently deployed a chemical spray, which affected the eyes of a dozen or so marchers. It left them floundering and seeking medical assistance.

    Police officers who had been keeping a wary eye on the march jumped in and broke up the fights. The marchers then disbanded, though several remained and were treated by police and medical personnel for the effects of the mace attack. It was not clear if any one was arrested.

    The march came on the eve of the Unite the Right rally, a gathering of groups from around the country whose members have said they are being persecuted for being white and that white history in America is being erased.

    The Saturday rally was scheduled for noon at Emancipation Park, formerly Lee Park, home to a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that the city of Charlottesville voted to remove earlier this year. The statue remains in the park pending a judge’s ruling expected later this month.

    Many city leaders and residents have expressed concern about the prospect of violence at Saturday’s event.

    Saturday marked the second time in six weeks that Charlottesville has faced a protest from white supremacist groups for its decision to remove the statue. On July 8, about three dozen members of a regional Ku Klux Klan group protested in the city.

    The torchlight parade drew sharp condemnations from Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer and U-Va. President Teresa Sullivan.

    Sullivan described herself as “deeply saddened and disturbed by the hateful behaviour”shown by the marchers.

    Signer said he was “beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus.” He called the chanting procession a “cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance.”

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    Tenants of Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood say they have won several significant concessions from their landlord, MetCap Living Management Inc., concluding a rent strike that began May 1.

    Tenants had claimed their units in 12 Parkdale buildings were badly in need of repairs and they were facing repeated and unfair rent hikes intended to force out low-income tenants. Many tenets had withheld their rent payments in response. The final agreement will see lower rent increases at the buildings, according to a Saturday press release from a tenant group.

    MetCap president and chief executive officer Brent Merrill, has maintained throughout that many efforts were made to address tenant concerns at all the buildings, including setting up special hotlines for tenants to report repair issues. He also, he says, reached out personally to tenants who complained about unfulfilled work orders.

    Withholding rent was just one of several actions taken by tenants. There were several rallies and marches through Parkdale, the brief occupation of a lobby and stairwell, outside a MetCap office and the short-term shutdown of a hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

    “We won this strike because we refused to play by the rules,” said Bryan Daley, who lives at a seven-story building at 90 Jameson Ave., in the press release. “Parkdale came together as a community and organized to defend our homes and we came out on top.”

    The number of people who participated in the actual strike was never entirely clear. Parkdale Community Services said as many as 200 tenants withheld rent in May and up to 300 in June, across the 12 buildings. The headcount was an estimate, based on public meetings and information from tenant representatives.

    “The organizing of hundreds of working class people in Parkdale, including us and our neighbours, has shifted the balance of power between landlords and tenants in Parkdale in our favour,” said a statement on the Parkdale Organize website from the Rent Strikers’ Negotiating Committee.

    In early February, MetCap applied to the Landlord and Tenant Board to raise rent 3 per cent above provincial guidelines, each year for three years, due to renovation costs.

    This is legal, though an above guideline rent increase must be approved by the Landlord and Tenant Board.

    A 1.5 per cent rent increase has already been approved for 2017.

    The dispute took a frightening turn at the end of May, when a supporter stepped in front of Merrill’s moving truck and was forced to back-peddle, then jump to the side. Merrill told the Star he did a rolling stop to pick up a badly frightened building manager who had been chased by tenant supporters.

    Merrill confirmed that in June, several hundred tenants in buildings across Parkdale were sent notices warning them to pay rent, or potentially face a hearing before the Landlord Tenant Board. But, said Merrill, there was no way to know how many were participating in the strike and that volume of notices was not unusual for Parkdale.

    Vic Natola, a community legal worker, with Parkdale Community Legal Services said MetCap staff reached out at the end of June “to talk about tenant demands and what needs to happen to end the rent strike,” and negotiations began shortly after.

    “The demands have been constant and consistent through the entire negotiations and the strike. No more Above Guideline Increases and fix our buildings,” said Natola. “It was pretty much all hands on deck to help support the tenants through that,” said Natola. “We continued to provide legal support because tenants don’t know the law inside and out and we do.”

    The meetings included tenant representatives from several buildings taking part in the rent strike, MetCap staff and Brent Merrill and staff from AIMCO, and Parkdale Community Legal Services. All sides agreed to not talk about the details, until a resolution was reached.

    “Nobody had any interest of putting the negotiations at risk,” said Natola.

    With files from Emily Mathieu

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    It was Bryan Murray’s faux gruffness that always made you laugh.

    “Don’t know why you’re calling me,” he’d say drily over the phone. “Those people in Toronto have all the answers, don’t they?”

    By the end of the conversation, of course, he always would have told a funny story, given you some good information, and made it clear you could call anytime. When you call a fellow several times a season over the course of more than a quarter-century of hockey seasons, you get used to the rhythm, the necessary back-and-forth. Can’t remember too many chats with Murray that weren’t well worth the time. Or any.

    In a perfect hockey world, Murray would have ended up in Toronto with the Leafs in some position or another during his sterling 35-year NHL career. Damn, that would have been fun. It would have been a terrific fit in many ways.

    In that perfect shinny world, of course, a quality man like Murray would also have, at some point along the road, received a Stanley Cup ring for being part of a championship team. The closest he came was coaching the Ottawa Senators to the Cup final in 2007 where, in one of those shake-your-head peculiarities of the sport, he was beaten by an Anaheim team he had a major hand in building.

    Murray, who died of colon cancer at his Ottawa home on Saturday morning at the age of 74, was a hockey man through and through, with a super-sensitive b.s. meter for all the nonsense in the game and a willingness to speak his mind. He was one of 10 kids and put his hometown of Shawville, Que., on the hockey map despite the fact he didn’t play the game to a particularly high level himself. No, he started out as a teacher, the point in his life from which many of the endless number of stories he could share often began.

    The accolades began pouring in for Murray on Saturday, and that will continue for some time because of all the people he touched in the game, and the careers he helped start, all the players he coached, all the friends he made, all the media people for whom he always had five minutes and a clever quip or two.

    “I don’t think it really bothered him that he didn’t win a ring,” said his longtime colleague and friend Doug MacLean. “Sure, he would have loved to win one. But he thought bigger than that.”

    MacLean, who worked alongside Murray in Washington, Detroit and Florida, first met Murray in the late 1970s at a junior all-star game. MacLean was playing for Brockville, and Murray was the head coach in Pembroke.

    “I remember listening to him, thinking: Man, does this guy know his hockey,” said MacLean. “We stayed in touch, and if not for Bryan Murray I wouldn't have been in the NHL. He mentored me, gave me opportunities. He taught me you can treat your players with respect and still be a really good coach. He had a knack for coaching like he had played in the NHL, and he never played a game.”

    Murray, whose 620 coaching wins put him 12th on the all-time list, had been waging a very public battle with colon cancer since 2014, and had decided to become a spokesman for cancer awareness. He finished off with the Senators as general manager at the conclusion of the 2015-16 season, soon after making one of his riskier and more controversial trades, acquiring Dion Phaneuf from the Maple Leafs in a nine-player deal.

    Whether it was as a head coach or as a GM, Murray specialized in turning losers into winners. He did that in his first NHL coaching job in Washington, winning NHL coach-of-the-year honours in 1984. When he was fired by GM David Poile partway through the 1989-90 season, Murray was replaced in rather controversial fashion by his brother Terry.

    Detroit, another perennial loser, hired him immediately, and he immediately got that team into the post-season. He was behind the bench when the Wings were stunned in the first round of the 1993 playoffs by the Leafs in a seven-game series ended by Nikolai Borschevsky’s overtime winner.

    Scotty Bowman was hired by owner Mike Ilitch the next year, and the fit just wasn’t there between Murray and Bowman. Murray left to become GM of the expansion Florida Panthers with MacLean as his coach, and three seasons later the Panthers made it to the Cup final, losing in four games to Colorado.

    He later moved on to Anaheim, and was GM of the Ducks when they made it to the 2003 Cup final against New Jersey. Murray left the Ducks to return to the Ottawa Valley as head coach of the Senators, a surprising move at the time. As Ottawa GM starting in the 2007-08 season, his biggest challenge was trying to find somebody who could coach the team the way he felt it should be coached. He went through five coaches in nine years.

    “I’m leaving after a disappointing year. That’s the hardest part,” he said after the Senators missed the 2016 playoffs by eight points. “You always want to leave on the up, and that wasn’t to be this year, but I feel really good about the talent level that is on the ice for the future.”

    The hockey gods, it seems, chose to make Murray beloved and widely respected rather than a Cup winner. If it had been his choice to make, you always understood he wouldn’t have changed a thing.

    Damien Cox is the co-host of Prime Time Sports on Sportsnet 590 The FAN. He spent nearly 30 years covering a variety of sports for The Star. Follow him @DamoSpin. His column normally appears Tuesday and Saturday.

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    A teen who allegedly tried to steal an outfit because he said he needed it for a job interview earlier this week is officially employed — thanks to the help of a Toronto police officer.

    Const. Niran Jeyanesan was called to a Walmart store on Sunday, Aug. 6, for a routine shoplifting call: an 18-year-old had reportedly tried to steal a dress shirt, a tie and a pair of socks.

    The teenager told Jeyanesan he wanted to work to help his family because his father had fallen ill and lost his job, but didn’t have the proper clothes for an interview.

    Rather than charging him with theft, Jeyanesan decided to buy the outfit for him instead.

    “I had spoken to my investigating team and all the investigators were on board with it, our staff sergeant was,” Jeyanesan said. “I think they all believed that this was the right thing to do for this person.”

    Read more:

    Teen lands job after cop buys him the clothes he allegedly tried to steal for a job interview

    Toronto cop buys clothes for alleged shoplifter who needed an outfit for job interview

    Jeyanesan gave his cell phone number to the teenager, telling him he wanted to know how the interview went.

    On Friday night, he got a call from the teenager who had good news.

    “He confirmed that he had got the job. I’m just happy,” Jeyanesan said. “Happy that this person actually went and did what he said he was going to do and followed through with it and that he was determined to get that position, and he did. That’s all him. So the second chance truly works.”

    Jeyanesan said he believes cases like this are a sign of policing changing for the better in Toronto.

    “Certainly, in terms of taking care (with) every investigation and finding a best case scenario, especially talking to people and hearing their part of the story and so forth, that has for sure improved, at least in the three years I’ve been policing.”

    Paraphrasing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s often referenced quote from 2015, Const. Niran Jeyanesan said “It’s 2017.”

    “If you look at it financially, we spend a lot of money incarcerating people and putting them through the court system and so forth, so as police officers, if we can actually divert that process into something positive, why not?”

    He said the teenager was “very excited” on the phone, and was looking forward to starting his new job.

    “We don’t usually see the results right off the bat in policing and for this, it (was) different,” Jeyanesan said. “When . . . he said he got the job, I asked him, ‘Hey, did you wear that shirt and tie?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I did. And thank you.’ ”

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    This is it, then.

    We can officially drop the pretence of equality after violent protests by white supremacists, “heritage” groups, neo-Nazis, KKK members and armed white terrorists slammed that charade this weekend.

    Their deadly brand of racism was effectively endorsed by the United States president when he failed to call out supremacists, anti-Semites, xenophobes and homophobes and instead rebuked the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”

    On many sides. Which sides would those be, Mr. President, when there were just two: white supremacy — and equality.

    Donald Trump wants to “study it,” he said, “to see how such things can happen.” He might want to start with studying the “many sides” of injustice at play.

    Read more:

    Trump breaks silence on Charlottesville: ‘No place for this kind of violence in America’

    Chanting ‘blood and soil’ and ‘white lives matter,’ white supremecists march in Charlottesville

    Take a moment to think about what these people were protesting as they marched through the University of Virginia campus Friday night carrying torches and breaking into fisticuffs. And again, whey they showed up Saturday morning, waving Confederate and Nazi flags, carrying semi-automatic weapons, helmets, spears and shields, throwing punches, water bottles and spraying chemicals. A car plowed through counter-protesters flinging bodies in the air, killing one person and injuring dozens.

    These savage people were not protesting white lives lost to police brutality. They were not protesting disproportionate incarceration of white people, or stricter sentencing than people of other races, or being denied housing or education for the colour of their skin. They were not protesting any of that because it is not their reality.

    They were not protesting. Period.

    They were rioting.

    Their tempers were inflamed by the possibility of the removal of a statue of Civil War-era Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The city council voted for the removal in April, but it is pending litigation.

    Not only was Lee the general who led a war to defend the ownership of Black people as property, he was also one of its more cruel enforcers — breaking up families and hiring them to other plantations, ordering the enslaved to be whipped and brine poured on their backs, as detailed in an eye-opening profile in the Atlantic in June.

    The Saturday protesters had gathered at Emancipation Park, the new name of what was once Lee Park, where the statue stands.

    Jason Kessler, a right-wing blogger, told media the protests were also about free speech and “advocating for white people.”

    This, they believed, entitled them to chant things such as “White power,” “White Lives Matter,” “You will not replace us” and “Jew will not replace us.”

    It was a mind-boggling show of white fragility, by people threatened not because their rights are being trampled by any measurable means but because a few voices of those they historically oppressed are starting to be heard again.

    Where were the police ominously beating back protesters in the numbers they did in Ferguson, in Chicago, in Charlotte, in Baltimore, in Cleveland among other places when Black people protested deaths at the hands of police? Where are the calls for white people to denounce this disgusting display of hate in their name? Why is the driver of the car that plowed into people not being called a terrorist? Will we now ask that white people be the eyes and ears on the front lines of white hatred?

    Remember Mark Hughes, the armed Black man called a suspect by Dallas police during protests in July last year? They called him a suspect even as he was helping them evacuate people and they did not take down their tweet with his photo even after it was established he was innocent.

    In this gathering, white men armed to the teeth roam freely, with the privilege of knowing their rights will be protected.

    The flags they were waving signify death and devastation to significant groups of Americans. Yet, they were allowed because, democracy. Would these democratic rights be granted to anyone wanting to wave the equally reprehensible Daesh (ISIS) flags?

    Trump, a normally avid tweeter who releases foreign policy details in 140 characters, was silent until later in the day when he tweeted out a vague denunciation of the events and gave his insipid speech.

    In all fairness, his blandness was not a surprise. Why would he disavow his friends?

    Former KKK “imperial wizard” David Duke said, “This (protest) represents a turning point. We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfil the promises of Donald Trump. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump.”

    Over at the Daily Stormer, the white supremacist website, there was jubilation. “Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us.... No condemnation at all. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.”

    Not all Trump’s buddies were pleased with his speech, though. Richard Spencer, the founder of the “Alt-Right” hate group, who was not shot at, not beaten, not punched, but maced by police, was miffed.

    “Trump should not have praised the state and local police,’ he tweeted. “They did the opposite of their job. Total disaster.”

    Total disaster. Never thought I’d agree with anything that revolting man said.

    Shree Paradkar writes about discrimination and identity. You can follow her @shreeparadkar

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    A man in his 50s is in life-threatening condition after being shot in a robbery near the Eglinton GO station Saturday night.

    Police from 43 division said the man was shot in the head and was taken to hospital in life-threatening condition after he was robbed just after 11 p.m.

    Const. David Hopkinson said police are looking for three suspects who fled on foot. He said they should be considered “armed, violent and dangerous.”

    Police said they were investigating reports that the incident happened near the parking lot of the station, near Eglinton Ave. E and McCowan Rd.

    Paramedics said the victim was rushed to Sunnybrooke Hospital.

    Hopkinson said police had previously arrested three people, but they were later determined not to be the suspects.

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    TORONTO—Weather and reduced staffing of air traffic controllers at Toronto Pearson International Airport is causing delays and dozens of flight cancellations.

    NAV Canada, which owns and operates Canada’s civil air navigation service, says weather has affected flights to Montreal and Newark, N.J., from Toronto.

    In an email Saturday, spokesperson Jonathan Bagg says flights scheduled to land in Toronto are also affected by weather and reduced staffing levels at Pearson’s control tower.

    He says a ground delay program has been implemented, which is a traffic management procedure where flights are delayed at their departure airport to manage demand and capacity at their arrival airport.

    Read more:Pearson airport tackles threat of runway collisions

    NAV Canada did not explain the reason for the reduced staffing levels, but says it is working to get aircraft “on their way as quickly as possible.”

    About 80 flights scheduled to arrive at Pearson had been cancelled as of Saturday evening.

    In a tweet Saturday afternoon, the airport was warning passengers that lightning could affect their flight schedules.

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    Barrie teacher Cheryl O’Keefe doesn’t know how she would have survived the stress-induced sleepless nights of July had school not been out for the summer.

    O’Keefe is among Toronto region home buyers and sellers who got caught in the spring real estate downturn.

    When the sale on her house finally closed a month past the originally agreed-upon date, it was the end of an expensive nightmare for O’Keefe.

    Others who sold their homes in this year’s once frenzied real estate market, are still struggling to complete their transactions.

    Lawyers, realtors and mortgage brokers report a surge in calls from distressed sellers whose buyers purchased in the heat of the market, only to find that the subsequent drop in the home’s value is more than the cost of walking away from a deposit.

    Others, who bought unconditionally, have discovered they can’t get the financing to meet their purchase obligation. In some cases, the bank appraisal has come in at a value below what a purchaser agreed to pay, leaving the buyer scrambling to make up the difference.

    O’Keefe’s real estate agent, Peggy Hill of Keller Williams, says closings have been stalling since the end of June. Barrie home prices may not be as high as some closer to the city, but the drop has been precipitous.

    “Our average price for a home in Barrie is $471,822 for July. In March it was $570,199. We’re talking about a $100,000 difference,” she said.

    That is still $40,000 above the average price of July 2016. But back then, 208 of the 260 homes listed sold. “This July we have 201 sales so the sales are still there but with 683 active (listings),” said Hill. “That’s the real picture.”

    The GTA-wide picture is similar. When the regional market peaked in April, the average home price — including every category from condos to detached houses — was $919,449. By July, it had fallen to $746,216, although prices were still up 5 per cent year over year.

    There were 9,989 sales among 11,346 active listings in July of 2016, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board. This July, listings soared to 18,751 listings, with only 5,921 sales.

    O’Keefe had lived in her bungalow for only about two years when she decided to sell it in February, about the time property prices were peaking. Her basement apartment was standing empty and she wanted to downsize.

    The real estate frenzy in Barrie mimicked Toronto’s and most of the 43 showings of O’Keefe’s house were, in fact, people from Toronto.

    Like many homes at the time, O’Keefe’s sold in about a week for more than the listed price. The buyer put down a $25,000 deposit and requested a longer-than-usual four-month closing date of June 28.

    “That was fine. It just gave me more time to do what I had to do,” said O’Keefe.

    What she had to do was find a new home for herself in the same fiercely competitive market. She lost a couple of bidding wars and turned her back on a century home she loved because she knew it would go at a price she could never justify.

    When she happened on an open house that fit her needs, O’Keefe bought it with a May 28 closing — a month ahead of when her own home sale was to be finalized. She arranged bridge financing to cover both mortgages for that month.

    It all looked good on paper. But as the spring wore on, O’Keefe grew uneasy. The buyers of her house had not requested the usual pre-closing visit. Usually, excited new owners want a look around.

    O’Keefe got her realtor to call. No response.

    A week from closing, she had still heard nothing. At 4:50 p.m. on closing day, her lawyer talked to the purchaser, who admitted he was having difficulty with the closing.

    By then, O’Keefe had been living in her new place a month and was paying two mortgages.

    She agreed to extend the closing to July 14. When that didn’t happen, O’Keefe agreed to a second extension to July 31. The date came and went. Finally on Aug. 2, her lawyer called to say the buyer closed.

    “Every step of the way everything that could be a headache has been a headache,” she said.

    O’Keefe’s realtor says that so far, in her office, even problematic closings have been finalized. But some have been disappointing.

    “There have been deals where we’ve had to take less commission. The seller had to take less money to make it close because at that point they’re euchred.

    “It’s usually $40,000 to $50,000 because of our price point. In other areas I know it’s in hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Hill, referring to areas such as Richmond Hill, Newmarket and Aurora, also hard hit by the market’s downward slope.

    Some buyers have requested extensions on new home purchases because their old places didn’t sell, said Hill.

    “That’s understandable,” she said. “In March, you wouldn’t dare go in with an offer conditional on the sale of a home. The problem is, in April, when all hell broke loose, everybody started putting their houses on the market fearing they had missed the top.”

    Many have arranged bridge financing and moved on. But others haven’t been as fortunate, said Toronto lawyer Neal Roth.

    He has been getting about five calls a week since mid-May from home sellers struggling to close on transactions.

    “There is this horrendous domino effect going on where people in the spring were rushing into the market for a variety of reasons, committing to prices that in some instances were well beyond their means,” he said.

    Most of his callers represent one of two scenarios.

    First, there’s someone paid $1.5 million for a house that has since become worth $1.4 million, so they want to get out of the purchase.

    “The other type of person says, ‘The bank promised me 60 per cent financing. Now that I’m at $1.5 million I should still get the same 60 per cent, not realizing that you have to come up with the 40 per cent of your own cash, or that the bank said 60 per cent when you were at $1.2 million, not $1.5 million,” said Roth.

    While he thinks some sellers got greedy and some buyers should have been more careful, he hasn’t encountered anyone who got caught playing the property market.

    “They’re all average people. None of them have been speculators as far as I know,” he said.

    It’s not uncommon for mortgage brokers to hear from home buyers struggling with financing, said Nick L’Ecuyer of The Mortgage Wellness Group in Barrie

    “But what we’re getting now is people who are in sheer turmoil. They don’t know what to do at all,” he said.

    Some sellers, who planned to use their equity to put down 20 per cent or more on another home, don’t realize they can’t get bridge financing from a bank if they don’t have a firm purchase agreement on their old house.

    Then there’s the hard truth that the house they’re selling isn’t likely to go for as much as they expected earlier in the year.

    They can put down just 5 per cent and apply for a government-insured mortgage, but that’s more complicated and costly, said L’Ecuyer.

    The Appraisal Institute of Canada doesn’t have statistics on the number of lender-commissioned appraisals that come in short of the agreed-upon price of a home.

    But based on anecdotal accounts, it’s happening more now in the GTA, said institute CEO Keith Lancastle.

    “Any time you go into a situation where you make an abrupt change from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market — where you see a slowdown for whatever reason — you can encounter this situation,” he said.

    The role of an appraiser is to provide an unbiased opinion of a property’s value at a given point of time.

    “A heated market does not automatically translate into a true market value. When you take away the heat, all of a sudden it settles down into something that is perhaps more reflective of what true market value is,” said Lancastle.

    He says he’s still surprised by how emotional what is routinely now a million-dollar home buying experience can be.

    “It’s arguable that mortgage lending should not be underwriting that emotion and that notion of a sober second thought is really important, not only for the purchaser, but also for the lender,” he said.

    Buyers tempted to walk away from a deposit need to realize that they may still face a lawsuit, says L’Ecuyer. If you bought a house for $500,000 and decided to forfeit the deposit, and the seller gets only $450,000 from another buyer, you can be sued for the difference, he said. There is also the possibility of being sued by a realtor who isn’t getting a commission, and for additional legal and carrying costs.

    Roth said there are people who don’t even realize that when they back out of a sale, their deposit is automatically lost.

    O’Keefe believes that because she priced her home on the low side, it hasn’t lost any value. “You start talking to people and this is happening to so many,” she said. “I’m lucky that my house closed.”

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    He owned a four-bedroom house with a pool in a ritzy York Mills neighbourhood and enjoyed all the perks of the affluent: winters luxuriating at his family’s two-storey beachfront condo in Palm Beach, idyllic summers at an island cottage in Parry Sound, a ski chalet, a golf club membership and so many trips to Las Vegas, he was on a first-name basis with casino executives.

    Cash wasn’t just his nickname, it defined him; he came from money and his own annual earnings topped $400,000.

    Michael (Cash) Pomer even had some prominence in Toronto, certainly within the city’s gambling community, due to his frequent appearances on television and radio as an NFL handicapper. In the ’90s and early 2000s, he could be seen trading quips with Jim Tatti on Sportsline or heard on The Fan on Sunday mornings, hosting his own two-hour gambling show.

    Now the money, and some $6 million in assets, is gone. All of it.

    Cash Pomer is penniless.

    Even if you don’t recall Pomer as a quirky on-air personality, his is a remarkable story of loss; a tale of how the grip of drug addiction can cause a man who seemingly had everything to squander it all.

    But it is also a story for which Pomer — with the help of some loyal but exasperated friends — is trying to write a final, redemptive chapter.

    At 60, after a lifetime of careening from one dependency to another, Pomer is trying to rebuild his life and be an inspiration to other addicts.

    The Star met Pomer several times through the spring and summer, interviews framed around a rehab stint at a Toronto treatment centre. It was his fourth try at becoming clean and sober but, this time, he believes he might be giving himself a chance.

    “I haven’t gone this long without drugs or booze in my life, since I was 17,” he said, six weeks out of rehab and emanating a hopefulness that was once as absent as his wealth.

    “I feel great. I’m getting my swagger back. I learned the tools (to stay sober). I didn’t care before. You’ve got to want it, plain and simple. I want it.”

    Pomer once lived the high life as the charming, fun-loving epicentre of every party. And if there wasn’t a party, he’d make his own. Opioid painkillers and a few rocks of crack cocaine always took him where he wanted to be.

    But when he first sat down with a Star reporter in May to share his story, it was a gambit by a desperate man flailing for a quick remedy to a complicated situation. Pomer was living on welfare and his application and subsequent appeal for disability support had both been rejected. He’d also been cut off by a private social service that had been helping.

    Five months behind in his rent and just days before eviction from his North York apartment, he hoped exposing his dependencies to the world might elicit sympathy and that could, in turn, lead to public support. Friends, though skeptical of this latest Pomer scheme, offered to establish a GoFundMe web page.

    At that first meeting, the former broadcaster seemed distracted. He would drift to the next story before the first was completed; the details often muddled. Over lunch at a North York diner — a meal Pomer said was, other than some fruit, his first in three days — he outlined how he had gone from gadabout to down and out. He then asked if he could order a bacon burger to go. That way he’d have something to eat the next day.

    When Pomer walked there was a shuffle in his stride because of an arthritic left ankle. Even sitting, he frequently shifted uncomfortably due to chronic back pain. Anger roiled just below the surface.

    After rehab, however, Pomer seemed a different person. His grey pallor was gone. He was more focused, remembering details of his life quickly and clearly. Pomer was less agitated, less beaten down, less bitter. He said he was no longer interested in applying for disability. He wanted to find work. He said he is getting control of his life. He joked often.

    The primary motivation for sharing his story now, he said, was in hopes it might encourage other addicts to seek treatment or talk to their family doctor.

    It was a remarkable transformation especially when you consider the heights from which Pomer had fallen.

    “How many people have everything and lose everything?” wondered his childhood friend Steve Simmons.

    Indeed, how does a smart, affable rich kid — the kind of free spirit who would fly his mother to Hawaii on a whim — become a broken man surviving off welfare and handouts from friends, their kindness really all that’s keeping him from living on the streets?

    The high life

    “I was a functioning addict,” said Pomer. “I never thought I’d end up this way but I point fingers at nobody except myself. I’m not proud of it.”

    Pomer said he started using drugs the way a lot of kids did in the early ’70s, experimenting at middle school and then at York Mills Collegiate Institute, where he was on the varsity wrestling and track teams.

    “Some kids smoked pot, I loved black hash,” he recalled. “I was into sports but I still liked to smoke my hash late at night. When my parents went to bed, I’d crawl out the front window, have a couple of puffs and crawl back in and go to bed.”

    But while the other kids grew up to have jobs, families and mortgages, Pomer, who had girlfriends but never married, was unfettered by those day-to-day demands. He had no responsibilities and no need for self-control. His hard-driving father, who died in 1994, built a fortune through fashion retail, owning John Pomer Menswear stores and Bi-Rite outlets. At one point he had 34 stores.

    Pomer’s casual drug use escalated to a dependency at some point in his 20s. Then, until he was 50, he was high virtually every day — even when he was on air.

    Pomer figures he spent $3 million on recreational drugs. That number, he concedes, may be low. For years, the dependency cost him between $500 and $800 daily.

    In his heyday, Pomer spent his winters in Florida golfing or hanging out with his mother. He’d fly to Tampa for his TV hits and do his radio show remotely from Palm Beach. He didn’t need a regular job, though he did work at times both for his dad and for a computer company in those early days. His engaging personality made him an excellent salesman.

    So glib and charismatic was Pomer that, as a 15-year-old, he once showed up unannounced at the hotel suite of Muhammad Ali — in Toronto to do TV commentary — carrying a reel-to-reel tape recorder, and talked his way in to interview the champ.

    Pomer shared his wealth and good nature and collected friends easily. Some of them — even those that disapproved of his habits — stuck with him.

    Twice the Simmons family took Pomer into their home after he’d been booted out of other lodging.

    “All along people have supported him,” said Sheila Simmons, Steve’s wife. “People didn’t give up on him because he was charming and fun and they remember him as this kid; this 19-year-old who was just full of piss and vinegar … there is something in him that these people feel the need to look after him.”

    With those pals, in those younger years, Pomer revelled in being the fun-loving smart-ass at the centre of things.

    “Then it became the late ’70s and early ’80s and all hell broke loose — that’s when cocaine really hit its peak — if you brought coke to a party and dumped it on the table, you were the coolest guy at the party,” he said.

    “It was so popular, so loved, so status.”

    And Pomer couldn’t resist the high it gave him.

    “I enjoyed drugs. I loved drugs. I found my equilibrium in drugs,” he said. “I never blacked out. I never woke up and said, ‘Gee, I don’t remember what I did last night.’ Ever. I never had shaky hands. I never missed a show.”

    Pomer’s cravings went from hash and marijuana to cocaine to painkillers to crack, with plenty of overlap and mixing and matching. It was crack cocaine, though, with its quick hit of euphoria that became his go-to.

    “I enjoyed it better. It took the edge off,” he recalled. “I took a piece and crunched it up, mixed it with tobacco and rolled it in an Export paper. Put a filter in, lit it up and it was … yowser.”

    Along with the crack, Pomer said there were days when he would take as many as 20 Percocets — which contain an opioid pain medication — sometimes kickstarting his morning by washing down three of them with orange juice.

    So dependent was Pomer, he said his dealer would hide five days’ worth of purchases in five spots around his house. That way he could just phone his supplier to find out where that day’s stash was cached. Eventually, Pomer was making the call before breakfast. Once, when he unexpectedly decided to extend a stay at the Parry Sound cottage, his dealer made the drive north with a $2,000 supply of painkillers.

    “I had a drug dealer I trusted; he never did me wrong,” said Pomer. “He bought himself a cottage and a motorcycle off me.”

    A high school friend, Sheldon Jafine, believes that because Pomer came from money, there was never any motivation for him to be serious about education or career building. He did graduate from York University but his passion for sports and a knack for sports wagering put him in a position where he only had to work, Jafine figures, about 10 hours a week doing his broadcasting hits and phone line recordings. That downtime mixed with large amounts of disposal income and a lack of obligations allowed Pomer to live behind a veil of drugs.

    But even as his drug use continued unabated, he managed to function in the real world. He made frequent appearances on Global-TV’s Sportsline. His football prognostications (“he was very good,” said Simmons) were a weekly fixture. He operated a popular 1-900 tout line for which punters paid $5 a minute for his football insights; some years he said that line earned him $400,000. He also had private clients to whom he’d provide gambling advice. He hosted a local charity golf tournament to raise money for an electric wheelchair sports association. The likes of former Blue Jay Buck Martinez or radio personality John Derringer stepped in to MC.

    “I guess I had control of an out-of-control situation, if that makes any sense,” he said.

    But while Pomer said he “loved every minute of it,” his life began to unravel. Even though he was bringing in big money, he never paid taxes. Eventually, he said, Revenue Canada came after him for $1.7 million, and he settled with a $540,000 payment. That still meant he had to sell assets, including his home, during a down market.

    He got fired by The Fan in 2001 — the Globe and Mail reported he was canned for complaining on the air about the disappearance of intro music, a rights issue he’d been told not to mention — and then Sportsline was cancelled in 2006. That eroded his public profile, which dramatically hurt the popularity of his 1-900 phone line as did the growth of internet gambling websites and online wagering information.

    “As I try to weave through this maze of drugging, everything came down,” he said. “I didn’t pay my taxes. I didn’t care. I didn’t give a s---. I was an idiot. I was an addict. I was irresponsible and that’s that.”

    Even his mother, Camilla, who now lives in a nursing home, sold family assets to help her son.

    Jafine said another friend put it perfectly: “Every time you think Mike’s hit bottom, he finds a way to get lower.”

    Pomer tried rehab three times but twice found an excuse to bail. After completing one session — paid for by a friend when he was 50 —Pomer was clean for a while and took up marathon running. A broken ankle put him back on painkillers, to which he again became addicted.

    Pomer’s income eroded to a monthly welfare cheque for about $700. His rent was $1,150 a month. The math wasn’t working. Friends chipped in with some cash now and again. Or they gave him grocery store vouchers or TTC tickets, to help control how the money was being spent; sometimes, though, he’d use those vouchers to gamble on Pro-Line. A friend once gave Pomer his wife’s car but he sold it to pay rent.

    While he still smoked the occasional joint, his latest dependency was alcohol. It’s what he could more readily afford. Some mornings he’d have a $2.99 breakfast at Wendy’s and then wait for the LCBO to open.

    Pomer said the alcohol abuse started last year when, while working the last job he had as a clothing salesman, he got into the habit of buying a bottle after work. He soon left the job but not the booze.

    “Within five minutes of getting home, the shots were being poured — vodka or Southern (Comfort). One ounce shots; I’d have four of them. Then another and another …”

    Pomer said he drank almost every day for nine months — a 750-millilitre bottle would typically last two days — and on the rare day he didn’t have any booze, he’d think about how much he wanted a drink.

    Jafine said Pomer was always hitting friends up for money and they started to abandon him.

    “I was ready to walk from him,” said Jafine, a veterinarian who owns five animal hospitals in the Toronto area. “I told him if he didn’t go to rehab and straighten his act up and try to rebuild his life, I’m done.”

    Though he pushed back, saying he didn’t need it, Pomer began a four-week rehab stint paid for by OHIP in May.

    Pomer asked his landlord to delay his eviction for a few days so he could go directly to the treatment centre. He had no idea where he’d live once he got out.

    Clawing back

    Pomer said the counsellors viewed him as a long shot for rehab success and someone who was a master manipulator with his friends.

    “As an addict, we all lie, we connive, we cheat,” said Pomer. “I don’t want to say steal but I lied a little and embellished a lot. ‘I need this for groceries.’ Well, I’ll be damned if I spent it all on groceries. I’d make sure there was a bottle, then the groceries.”

    Some of his friends resent that Pomer, with his fortune gone, still maintains a sense of entitlement and an expectation that his pals will look after him.

    Simmons, a newspaper sports columnist and broadcaster in Toronto, said at one point, several of Pomer’s friends put together a pool of money to cover his expenses and one of them administered it.

    “What happens is, after a while, you get tired of paying because you’re not really accomplishing anything,” Simmons said. “All we were doing really was enabling.”

    Once at the treatment centre, Pomer said his attitude was different from previous stints. He wanted to earn back the respect of people he cared about.

    Before morning and afternoon classes — where addicts learn the 12-step program to overcome their dependencies — Pomer said he would complete the assigned reading, typically an inspirational story about someone working through trying circumstances to beat alcohol or drugs. Previously, he’d just as likely sit and read the newspaper sports section.

    In the evenings, when patients go off site to attend Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or Cocaine Anonymous meetings, he said he found those gatherings captivating.

    So at night, when he would normally be partying, he was now getting “a spiritual high” from guest speakers. Pomer continues to vigilantly attend meetings, often going seven nights a week and occasionally doubling up at lunchtime. He’s been asked to become a speaker at those gatherings.

    Pomer is now walking 10 to13 kilometres a day and sleeping better because of it. He said he “got his skinny little legs in shape again” and he is ready to work. Pomer said his priority is to stay active. He said he did little, other than drink and watch TV, in the months leading up to rehab.

    “I was just a stupid loser, isolated and feeling sorry for myself.”

    Jewish Family and Child is helping, too, he said. It gave him 20 $10 gift cards for groceries and a TTC Metropass for August, which is helpful for job hunting. Pomer also reconnected with his older brother, Henry — a relationship he described as wavering between strained and estranged — and said he has been “incredibly supportive.”

    Pomer hopes to eventually find an affordable basement apartment in the Bloor and Spadina area, walking distance to most of his meetings. For now he has no home and is staying with friends.

    Jafine said Pomer, who rarely thought beyond his immediate desires, is finally acknowledging he needs an aftercare program. That would give him accommodation, two meals a day, counselling and drug testing for the next two or three months.

    While Pomer said he didn’t go through physical withdrawal in rehab or afterwards, he did have one slip-up. One afternoon, 23 days after graduating, he bought a bottle of Southern Comfort. He took a couple of sips, and said he cursed himself and then dumped the rest down the drain. Pomer said he went back to the treatment centre, explained what had happened and received encouragement for his response.

    Pomer has been looking at getting work as a waiter but as his self-confidence returns, he’s thinking about how he can use his handicapping skills again. He said he had an interview and believes he has a chance to land a job with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., working as a sports wagering adviser. He’s also going to look at trying to get back into broadcasting in some capacity.

    “I don’t envy his situation, at age 60 trying to start from square one again,” said Jafine.

    “But think of the alternative. If he didn’t do what he did in terms of getting help, going to rehab and trying to turn his life around, he wasn’t going to make it another five years. He was going to be homeless, in the street with nobody to help him. He would have probably died between 60 and 65.”

    Pomer recently spent a day with his old friend, Steve Simmons.

    “I thought it was the best I’d seen him in years, the most realistic,” said Simmons. “I just thought he was mature about what he was dealing with, which he hasn’t always been.”

    “I think this probably was rock bottom for him, losing his home and going into rehab. I think it’s a pretty stunning change of life. You either deal with it and accept it or you continue on your path. It looks to me that he’s in a better place than I’ve seen in for a very long time.”

    Despite being keenly aware of everything he’s lost, Pomer said he — and he knows many won’t understand this — looks back with no regrets. He remembers his “fun in the sun” with fondness.

    “Most people would say, ‘C’mon, you’d take back all that money.’ No, I wouldn’t change a thing. That’s who I am. That’s who I was,” he said.

    “I’m still Pomer. The only difference is, I don’t live in a big home with a pool or a tennis court or anything like that. I don’t have my Palm Beach place. I’m generous psychologically now. I listen better. I don’t have my wealth but I don’t care. I’ve been there, done that. I had my time.”

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    A little known fact about the Palmerston branch of the Toronto Public Library: This is where Jason Lee’s aunt learned how to say “I love you” in English.

    It was 1988 and she was new to Toronto, learning conversational English so she could talk to her nephews, who were losing their Korean. She wanted it to sound perfect, so she went to the classes offered by the Korean YMCA at this cosy square of concrete, bricks and books.

    She even tried out the words on people she didn’t love.

    “I never realized how courageous that was,” 36-year-old Lee says to the crowd of 60 people wearing sensible hats and footwear for Heritage Toronto’s walking tour of Koreatown this Saturday.

    Every year, Heritage Toronto offers a slate of walking tours that explore the city’s people, its diversity and little known stories. The tours are led by local historians and people who have experience in the community. What’s on offer is not unlike a theatre season — some popular tours return, there are always new ones in the mix, others return after long absences.

    On Saturday, as tensions continued to escalate between North Korea and the U.S., a crowd of tourists and curious Torontonians came to learn about Toronto’s Korean history.

    Lee begins at the Alpha Korean United Church, at the corner of Bloor and Huron Sts., with a microphone bag slung across his shoulder.

    He explains that in the unrest of the first half of the 20th century, the presence of Canadian Christian missionaries in Korea led to the first Korean student attending the University of Toronto. More students and others connected to the missions followed.

    By 1966, there were 100 Koreans in Toronto. By the 1970s, with a population of roughly 10,000 Koreans in the city, Koreatown had emerged near the University of Toronto, westward on Bloor St.

    To this day, the church has played a central role as a gathering place for this community.

    Lee weaves his own family’s story into the tour as the group makes its way west. His parents moved to Toronto in the late 1970s — his father was a gym teacher, his mother an actress. Their skills didn’t translate, so their only option was to start a business — not unlike many of the other Koreans who came to the city. He talks about the weight that many second generation children feel when it comes to that legacy.

    “After the tour I will be working in my parents’ restaurant with my wife,” he says. “I’m expected. I’m voluntold.”

    (Lee is the chairman of the Koreatown BIA, and runs his own uniform business in addition to working at his parents’ restaurant.)

    Walking along Bloor St., he points out the bank where many went for loans when other banks turned them down, the newspaper that gave the latest news about groups such as the Korean Canadian Woman’s Association and the grocery store that provided a taste of home.

    “To this day, my mother has never walked into a Loblaws,” he says.

    He talks about kimchi — “sauerkraut on steroids,” and tells the group that for a Korean woman her kimchi is her business card — each with a distinctive taste.

    The group stops to sample treats — walnut cake from Hodo Kwaja, tea at his parents’ Korean Village Restaurant and roasted rice candy from Korean grocery store PAT Central.

    The rain begins to fall and the crowd huddles under an awning before Lee closes the tour in front of a senior’s centre where his grandmother spent many happy hours. He talks about how she always taught him to save money. Now an avid coin collector, he loops back to that message as he presents a set of 2017 Canadian coins to the youngest person on the tour.

    “It took me a long time to find the dimes,” he says. “The dimes are the hardest.”

    As the crowd leaves, people thank Lee, who like all of the guides, is a volunteer.

    “You really put your heart into it,” one man says.

    Then, a woman approaches Lee to ask about the situation in North Korea.

    “Loco,” he says, having earlier learned this woman speaks Spanish. He loves learning other languages.

    For more than 50 years, people in South Korea have been used to threats from North Korea, he says, but this is different, with the escalating rhetoric from both North Korea and the United States, and the speculation of a mid-August date for a potential North Korean missile strike against Guam. So yes, there is more fear than usual.

    “In South Korea they’re used to it,” he says. “For the U.S. and North America, that is not something you’re used to when you wake up and look forward to work and whatever your day holds.”

    2017’s most popular Heritage Toronto tours:

    1. Yonge Street Architecture

    2. Guild Park

    3. Uncovering Riverside

    Price: Suggested $10 donation

    What’s next: On Sunday, tour North York’s Little Manila, with a look at migration, food & identity. Meeting point Bathurst-Wilson parkette, 3749 Bathurst Street. Starts at 1:30 p.m.

    Visit: for more information

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    CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.—Chaos and violence turned to tragedy Saturday as hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members — planning to stage what they described as their largest rally in decades to “take America back” — clashed with counterprotesters in the streets and a car plowed into crowds, leaving one person dead and 19 others injured.

    Hours later, two state police officers died when their helicopter crashed at the outskirts of town. Officials identified them as Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, Virginia, who was the pilot, and H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian, Virginia, who was a passenger. State police said their Bell 407 helicopter was assisting with the unrest in Charlottesville. Bates died one day before his 41st birthday; Cullen was 48.

    Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who had declared a state of emergency in the morning, said at an evening news conference that he had a message for “all the white supremacists and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today: Go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth.”

    Maurice Jones, Charlottesville’s African-American city manager, looked stricken as he spoke. “Hate came to our town today in a way that we had feared but we had never really let ourselves imagine would,” he said.

    State and local officials declined to take reporters’ questions and abruptly left after making statements.

    In an emergency meeting Saturday evening, the Charlottesville City Council voted unanimously to give police the power to enact a curfew or otherwise restrict assembly as necessary to protect public safety.

    Read more:

    The ‘many sides’ of injustice in Charlottesville riot: Paradkar

    Trump slow to respond to Charlottesville violence

    Chanting ‘blood and soil’ and ‘white lives matter,’ white nationalists march in Charlottesville

    Video recorded at the scene of the car crash shows a 2010 gray Dodge Challenger accelerating into crowds on a pedestrian mall, sending bodies flying — and then reversing at high speed, hitting yet more people. Witnesses said the street was filled with people opposed to the white nationalists who had come to town bearing Confederate flags and anti- Semitic epithets.

    A 32-year-old woman was killed, according to police, who said they were investigating the crash as a criminal homicide.

    The driver of the Challenger, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit-and-run attended failure to stop with injury, police said. He is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday, Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail Superintendent Martin Kumer said. Police made three other arrests in connection with violence earlier in the day, on charges of assault and battery, disorderly conduct and carrying a concealed weapon.

    Records show Fields last lived in Maumee, Ohio, about 24 kilometres southwest of Toledo.

    Fields’s father was killed by a drunk driver a few months before the boy’s birth, according to an uncle who spoke on the condition of anonymity. His father left him money that the uncle kept in a trust until Fields reached adulthood.

    “When he turned 18, he demanded his money, and that was the last I had any contact with him,” the uncle said.

    Fields, he said, grew up mostly in Northern Kentucky, where he’d been raised by a single mother who was a paraplegic. The uncle, who saw Fields mostly at family gatherings, described his nephew as “not really friendly, more subdued.”

    He wouldn’t comment on his reaction to the charges against Fields.

    “I really don’t want to get into that,” he said. “I’m not going to slam my nephew or anybody in my family without knowing what the hell happened.”

    Angela Taylor, a spokesperson for the University of Virginia Medical Center, said 19 others were brought to the hospital in the early afternoon after the car barreled through the pedestrian mall. Five were in critical condition as of Saturday evening. Another 14 people were hurt in street brawls, city officials said.

    Earlier, police evacuated a downtown park as rallygoers and counterprotesters traded blows and hurled bottles and chemical irritants at one another, putting an end to the noon rally before it officially began.

    Despite the decision to quash the rally, clashes continued on side streets and throughout downtown, including the pedestrian mall at Water and Fourth streets where the Challenger slammed into counterprotesters and two other cars in the early afternoon, sending bystanders running and screaming.

    “I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here,” Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer (D) said in a tweet. “I urge all people of good will — go home.”

    Elected leaders in Virginia and elsewhere urged peace, blasting the white supremacist views on display in Charlottesville as ugly. U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., called the display “repugnant.”

    But U.S. President Donald Trump, known for his rapid-fire tweets, remained silent throughout the morning. It was after 1 p.m. when he weighed in, writing on Twitter: “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!”

    In brief remarks at a late afternoon news conference in New Jersey to discuss veterans’ health care, Trump said he was following the events in Charlottesville closely. “The hate and the division must stop and must stop right now,” Trump said, without specifically mentioning white nationalists or their views. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides.”

    Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, a Trump supporter who was in Charlottesville on Saturday, quickly replied. “I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists,” he wrote.

    Dozens of the white nationalists in Charlottesville were wearing red Make America Great Again hats. Asked by a reporter in New Jersey whether he wanted the support of white nationalists, Trump did not respond.

    Even as crowds began to thin Saturday afternoon, the town remained unsettled and on edge. Onlookers were deeply shaken at the pedestrian mall, where ambulances had arrived to treat those injured by the car.

    Chan Williams, 22, was among the counterprotesters at the pedestrian mall, chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “Whose streets? Our streets!” The marchers blocked traffic, but Williams said drivers weren’t annoyed. Instead, she said, they waved or honked in support.

    So when she heard a car engine rev up and saw the people in front of her dodging a moving car, she didn’t know what to think.

    “I saw the car hit bodies, legs in the air,” she said. “You try to grab the people closest to you and take shelter.”

    Williams and friend George Halliday ducked into a shop with an open door and called their mothers immediately. An hour later, the two were still visibly upset.

    “I just saw shoes on the road,” Halliday, 20, said. “It all happened in two seconds.”

    Saturday’s Unite the Right rally was meant to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The city of Charlottesville voted to remove the statue earlier this year, but it remains in Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park, pending a judge’s ruling expected later this month.

    Tensions began to escalate Friday night as hundreds of white nationalists marched through the U-Va.’s campus, chanting “White lives matter,” “You will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us.”

    They were met by counterprotesters at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson, who founded the university. One counterprotester apparently deployed a chemical spray, which sent about a dozen rallygoers seeking medical assistance.

    On Saturday morning, people in combat gear — some wearing bicycle and motorcycle helmets and carrying clubs, sticks and makeshift shields — fought one another on downtown streets, with little apparent police interference. Both sides sprayed chemical irritants and hurled plastic bottles through the air.

    A large contingent of Charlottesville police officers and Virginia State Police troopers in riot gear were stationed on side streets and at nearby barricades but did nothing to break up the melee until about 11:40 a.m. Using megaphones, police then declared an unlawful assembly and gave a five-minute warning to leave Emancipation Park.

    “The worst part is that people got hurt and the police stood by and didn’t do a g------ thing,” said David Copper, 70, of Staunton, Va.

    State Del. David Toscano, D-Charlottesville, minority leader of Virginia’s House, praised the response by Charlottesville and state police.

    Asked why police did not act sooner to intervene as violence unfolded, Toscano said he could not comment. “But they trained very hard for this, and it might have been that they were waiting for a more effective time to get people out” of Emancipation Park, he said.

    By early afternoon, hundreds of rallygoers had made their way to a larger park two miles to the north. Duke, speaking to the crowd, said that European Americans are “being ethnically cleansed within our own nation” and called Saturday’s events “the first step toward taking America back.”

    White nationalist leader Richard Spencer also addressed the group, urging people to disperse. But he promised they would return for a future demonstration, blaming Saturday’s violence on counterprotesters.

    In an interview, Spencer said he was “beyond outraged” the police had declared the planned rally an “unlawful assembly.”

    “I never before thought that I would have my country cracking down on me and on free speech,” he said. “We were lawfully and peacefully assembled. We came in peace, and the state cracked down.”

    He said that counterprotesters attacked rallygoers but also acknowledged that “maybe someone threw a first punch on our side. Maybe that happened. I obviously didn’t see everything.”

    By 11 a.m., several fully armed militias and hundreds of right-wing rallygoers had poured into the small downtown park that was to be the site of the rally.

    Counterprotesters held “Black Lives Matter” signs and placards expressing support for equality and love as they faced rallygoers who waved Confederate flags and posters that said “the Goyim know,” referring to non-Jewish people, and “the Jewish media is going down.”

    “No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!” the counterprotesters chanted.

    “Too late, f-----s!” a man yelled back at them.

    Michael Von Kotch, a Pennsylvania resident who called himself a Nazi, said the rally made him “proud to be white.”

    He said that he’s long held white supremacist views and that Trump’s election has “emboldened” him and the members of his own Nazi group.

    “We are assembled to defend our history, our heritage and to protect our race to the last man,” Von Kotch said, wearing a protective helmet and sporting a wooden shield and a broken pool cue. “We came here to stand up for the white race.”

    Naundi Cook, 23, who is black, said that she came to Saturday’s counterprotests to “support my people” but that she’s never seen something like this before.

    When violence broke out, she started shaking and got goose bumps.

    “I’ve seen people walking around with tear gas all over their face, all over their clothes. People getting Maced, fighting,” she said. “I didn’t want to be next.”

    Cook said she couldn’t sit back and watch white nationalists descend on her town. She has a 3-year-old daughter to stand up for, she said.

    “Right now, I’m not sad,” she said once the protests dispersed. “I’m a little more empowered. All these people and support, I feel like we’re on top right now because of all the support that we have.”

    0 0

    The remnants of all four of my grandparents’ early lives are scattered across the eastern Indian state of Bihar. Growing up in the home they rebuilt in Karachi, Pakistan, a home they named after the village they left behind, we’d sometimes hear the echoes of their past lives, from a time when Pakistan didn’t exist.

    Within the walls of their new two-storey home, they’d remember the seven-storey building in the village where they all lived in Bihar. The garden in front of their new home couldn’t compare to the courtyard they gathered in every evening for big communal dinners in India. The long walk or bike ride they took every day was forgone for a shorter walk to the neighbourhood mosque or the nearby market.

    Monday, Aug. 14 marks 70 years since they migrated westwards to Pakistan. The future leaders of the Muslim-majority country demanded independence in 1947 just as colonialism was leaving India and a deep-seated conflict between Hindus and Muslims was taking root, violently.

    Seventy years on, their children and grandchildren would move westwards again, leaving everything behind once more, to suburban Canada — this time for reasons relating to social security and economic prosperity. We carry a legacy with us of a country the generation before struggled to live in, a legacy we’re just starting to understand.

    After my paternal grandfather, S.G.M. Badruddin, died, my father found some unpublished essays of his — the personal experience of a journalist who had to flee from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in the early 1970s, where he worked as a news editor, to West Pakistan (now just Pakistan). Therein was a story of a man I didn’t know — someone who had conversations with leaders, who escaped through secret paths and covert car rides with Christian missionaries across the subcontinent.

    In a memorable essay, my grandfather describes the six-week journey he took from Dhaka in Bangladesh, to Calcutta and Patna in India, to Kathmandu in Nepal, and then to Bangkok in Thailand, all the way to Karachi. While reading it, I mapped out my own journey from Karachi to Riyadh, Al Khobar and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, to Dubai, to Mississauga.

    His was a harrowing tale of struggle. Mine is less so. But we both lost homes. We both made new homes. We both changed our identities.

    No one spoke of Partition when I was younger. My grandparents were quiet about the experience, and no one asked. Yet it was always a part of us. Every Aug. 14, the televisions would be turned to the parade at Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s tomb — the burial place of the father of the Pakistani state.

    We commemorated their migration by wearing green and draping flags on our cars, across our balconies, across our chests. Back then it was tradition, a fun thing to do that connected me and my sisters to my cousins in Pakistan.

    It stayed a tradition until we immigrated to Canada more than seven years ago. The fact that we would start celebrating with red and white and not the familiar green and white suddenly made us hyper-aware of the evolving fabric of my identity.

    I wasn’t alone. Sarah Qidwai, a PhD student at the University of Toronto, has been hearing stories of Partition from her grandmother, Kamni Siddiqui, for as long as she can remember. But it took an undergraduate history course for her to sit down and record, in detail, her grandmother’s experience of it.

    Siddiqui, a retired professor of chemistry, was 9 in 1947. Her father told her they were “going to a land where (you) will be free to practise your own culture and religion, but there will be hardships and surprises.”

    Like me, Qidwai found parallels in this. “As a family, we moved to Canada in 2004 and it was a lot more peaceful than what Grandma experienced in 1947,” said Qidwai. And now that Siddiqui has applied for Canadian citizenship, the history seems more poignant — this time her choice had fewer hardships and surprises.

    If the history of Partition is complicated, its legacy is even more so. Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi children grow up knowing the names of the leaders of Partition and their roles in the creation of the three countries. First came the British man who arbitrarily drew a border that separated India into East and West Pakistan. Second came independence, the constitutions, the death of a founder. And then, almost 15 years later, East Pakistan had another independence movement to become Bangladesh.

    The fluctuating borders led to new identities that continue to be defined by the memories of their creation. To this day, the violent history is romanticized, the idea of a new state for Muslims to just be Muslims is lauded, the fact of independence is idealized.

    The reality for our grandparents, however, was very different — and it took me 25 years and a journey to Canada to figure that out. As I became more comfortable in my hyphenated identity, I started asking more questions and reading more about the country we, metaphorically, left behind.

    It was the same for Seemal Saif, an employee at the Ontario ministry of infrastructure, who was 19 years old, and studying in Canada, when she finally understood the weight of her grandmother’s history.

    Before Partition, Saif’s grandmother lived in Jalalabad, India — a state right at the border with newly formed Pakistan. At 7 years old, Saif’s grandmother wasn’t aware of the severity of the riots between Hindus and Muslims — reports of rapes and murders of Muslim women were increasing rapidly.

    All the women and children in the village, including Saif’s grandmother, were locked up as they awaited an opportune moment to escape. In the event that theycouldn’t, if the riots reached their home first, the family would burn down these rooms, women and children inside. It was deemed to be more honourable for them to be killed by their family members than raped by a Hindu mob.

    By 1948, more than 15 million people had been uprooted, and estimates suggest between one and two million died, with death and suffering on all sides. The 1951 census of Pakistan alone identified the number of displaced persons in Pakistan at more than seven million.

    “These were communities that lived together for centuries, they had been neigbours for generations,” said Saif. “Being in Canada, there’s a lot of talk about diversity but it’s also a fragile concept … I value it a lot more knowing this history than I would’ve just living in Pakistan.”

    There is a generation of new immigrants that is just starting to draw these parallels, myself included — a process complicated both by the deaths of our grandparents who experienced it and the fading memories of our uncles and aunts who moved with them, just children at the time.

    Partition’s ghosts continue to affect us; our grandparents’ past continues to follow us. The legacy of their migration continues to influence the reasons we immigrate: the right to freely and safely be the way we want to be.

    The one constant in both our journeys, though, as even my grandfather notes in his essay, is our personal identification with the places left behind. For him it was Dhaka and Patna. And while, I may be building a life in the streets of the 6ix, I’m pulled to the lives that used to be in the streets of Karachi, the roads through India, and the journeys across new borders.

    My experience of Partition is just starting.

    0 0

    MONTREAL—Both floppy-haired boy-band blonds.

    Both sons of Russian émigré parents.

    Both the youngest players ever into a semifinal of a Masters 1000 ATP event, in their debut seasons.

    Both free-swinging millennials, fearless and freewheeling and flamboyant.

    Send in the clones.

    Looks like the start of a beautiful rivalry for Denis Shapovalov and Alexander Zverev, the 18-year-old Canadian and the 20-year-old German.

    Zverev the man in black, a headband holding back his thick tresses; Shapovalov in his signature white ball cap, spun around backwards.

    But only one would get to square off against Roger Federer on Sunday in the men’s final of the Rogers Cup.

    To the chagrin of a nation — this one, which has suddenly quickened to tennis again — it won’t be sensational Shapo.

    Under a starless sky, and with the sellout crowd lustily encouraging but ultimately helpless, as spectators always are, the magic ran out for the teenager from Richmond Hill, falling in straight sets: 6-4, 7-5.

    Well, straight but zigzag sets, as momentum swung back and forth, with Shapovalov hanging in tough — that’s one thing we’ve learned this past week, this kid has got sand — through a final game that went to deuce five times, the homeboy fighting off two of three match points but unable to convert three break chances of his own, before a wide forehand and long return settled the matter.

    “It’s an unbelievable week for me, a completely life-changing week for me,” Shapovalov said on court immediately afterwards, even as the audience at Uniprix Stadium — nee Jarry Park — embraced him in a standing ovation. “I just hope to take this confidence and keep going forward.”

    The kid did not quit, which certainly was a hallmark of his tennis gumption throughout the past week in Montreal.

    The other kid, a bit less of a kid, was just that smidgen better.

    Graciously, Zverev paid tribute immediately to his vanquished opponent.

    “Today is not about me. It’s about Denis.

    “He will probably win this tournament one day. We will play a lot more times and probably some really great matches.”

    It’s the message — promise — he conveyed to Shapovalov as they met at the net to shake hands at the end of their one-hour, 43-minute encounter. “I’m looking forward to this rivalry,” said Zverev.

    Not as dramatic a tilt, perhaps, as some of the Canadian’s earlier matches, most especially his stunning upset of top-seeded Rafael Nadal. But it had its moments, some of which Shapovalov will likely be seeing in his dreams, or nightmares, for a while to come.

    There were evident nerves on both sides, too, with an affliction of double-fault yips. More damaging to Shapovalov, however, as he dropped the first set after Zverev backhanded a return from a lofty height, smashing a winner, then benefitting from a Shapovalov DF in the fifth game. Zverev served out for the set efficiently, despite a whiff swipe at one ball.

    The crowd did its best to lift Shapovalov back up, especially after he was broken in the first game of the second frame, again on double faults. And he did break right back, utilizing a series of nervy volleys that passed and froze and even drew racquet-tapping applause from Zverev.

    Shapovalov had said, earlier in the week, that he was learning new things about himself through this dizzying experience. Learning new things about the game too, and how the matches can go longer, unsettled, compared to juniors. Because stuff keeps happening.

    On this night, though, too much of that stuff was breaking against the teenager, even as he battled hard to hold service, even as he let Zverev off the break hook after some remarkably long rally points. Recovered from 0-30 in game 11 of the second set, as Zverev put increasing pressure on his serve, then had Zverev’s back to the wall in game 12 before it went down as most experts had predicted it would.

    Shapovalov had taken out No. 1. He couldn’t take out No. 4.

    “It was a dream week for me,” the drained teenager said afterwards. “Obviously I didn’t expect it. Saved four match points the first round. Just played loose after that, just went with it. I mean, beat one of my idols.”

    Yeah, still awestruck over that Nadal match.

    What’s the difference, what was the tipping point this past week, he was asked. Except Shapovalov couldn’t put a finger on it.

    “I’ve kind of seen that I’m capable to push these guys,’’ he said, harking back to grass-court season. “Maybe the serve is getting bigger.’’ New racquet, bigger pop. “But also, I just think I’m improving every week. I’m playing a lot but I’m also working a lot (with his coach). This is still a transition year for me. I’m really trying to improve my game so that I can anchor myself in the top 50, top 20, top 10.”

    Some nine hours he’s spent on the court over four days. Maybe a bit of the energy had seeped out by Saturday night.

    But the kid’s name seemed to be on everyone’s lips across the city, his memorable moments replayed on TV screens in the subway.

    “I wasn’t expecting, like, to hear my name every two minutes,” he laughed. “It’s like, all right guys, enough, enough.’’

    And here’s a rarity: The Fed Express was shunted into the afternoon slot with centre court given over to the duelling young guns for the night spectacle.

    Which maybe indicates a generational shift in tennis, the eve of a new era dawning, now that vintage tennis is starting to get a tad old as a compelling narrative.

    Can’t remember the last time a Federer semi got short-shrifted on the live broadcast. Though he too seemed a bit bemused by his gentle nudging away from the prime-time spotlight. Endlessly chivalrous, of course, because that’s the Federer brand, and apparently genuinely delighted by young’uns seizing the public’s imagination. He can take the avuncular view — 1,113 match wins. Shapovalov? Um, seven, on the big boys circuit.

    “To have a player at 18 or 20 years old in the finals of a Masters 1000 is not something we’ve seen very often, very rarely, except when Andy, Novak and Rafa were coming up.” Murray, Djokovic and Nadal.

    “They were such great teenagers that maybe we saw it more often. Not even I probably achieved finals of Masters 1000 at that age.”

    Federer set aside his overmatched semi opponent, Dutchman Robin Haase, in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6(5).

    “It’s the biggest stage we have in the game on the ATP Tour,’’ noted Federer, who quietly celebrated his 36th birthday in Montreal. “To have young guys like this be there, it’s a good opportunity for them.”

    Shapovalov and Zverev will doubtless be going mano-a-mano on the big courts for years to come. Maybe even at the U.S. Open, ’round the corner. Hasn’t yet been invited to Flushing Meadows. Surely there’s a wild card in the offing though for a guy who began the year ranked No. 1,132, began the week ranked No. 143 and will skyrocket to the mid-60s in the next wheel-spin.

    His head’s spinning too.

    “My whole life has changed in the past five days,” marvelled Shapovalov. “It’s crazy. I mean, I go from being not known to being so known in the tennis world, in Canada in general. It’s going to be a little bit of a change to me. I’m going to have to adapt.”

    Disappointed by the outcome but hardly crushed, after all.

    “Sascha played too good in the big moments. I don’t think I played that well in those moments.’’

    Head to head now: 1-0 for Zverev.

    Just the beginning.

    0 0

    This summer, when it rains, it pours — and the wet conditions have left many Ontario farmers struggling.

    Beginning with a rainy spring that in some areas delayed planting and then flooded crops, the full extent of the damage won’t be fully known until the fall harvest — but the Ontario Federation of Agriculture estimates it will easily be in the “hundreds of millions” across the province, especially in eastern Ontario and the Holland Marsh area.

    “This is the second year in a row” of volatile weather, said president Keith Currie. “The areas most hit with drought last year are getting hardest hit with rain this year.”

    The back-to-back bad conditions have prompted PC MPP Jim Wilson to call on the government to provide additional aid to farmers. He toured affected properties in his Simcoe-Grey riding with staff from the agriculture minister’s office, but said he was “very, very disappointed” to hear that no new funds are forthcoming, especially when about one-third of farmers have no crop insurance.

    Years ago, after a tornado, the then-agriculture minister started a special program to help apple growers replant all their uprooted trees, Wilson said, and he wonders why something similar is not now in the works.

    “There is great uncertainty and it is far too early for the Wynne government to be turning its backs on farmers,” Wilson said. “There are billions available when there’s trouble or there’s a Liberal scandal, and they have nothing for what, in the big picture, is (one of) the backbones of our economy.”

    This year eastern Ontario in particular has suffered, with the region on its way to record precipitation after 705 millimetres of rain from April 1 to the end of July. Last year, during the same time period, it was 193 millimetres, and the normal amount is 340 millimetres. Toronto has seen 388 millimetres of rain, compared to 160 millimetres last year during that same four-month period, and an average of 291.

    “I don’t know what’s happening in Ottawa,” said David Phillips of Environment Canada. “We think it’s wet here, but it’s nothing compared to Ottawa. It’s almost as if it’s become a monsoonal climate.”

    North of Toronto, Beeton farmers Barry and Bonnie Dorsey lost hundreds of acres after a torrential storm in late June, estimating $2.5 million in damages to crops including potatoes, onions and carrots.

    “That morning, we had 20 to 30 acres under water,” said Barry Dorsey. Hours later, “we had 500 acres two feet under water” as overloaded local rivers and drainage ditches flowed onto their property.

    There was so much, his nephew went kayaking across the fields. When the water was finally drained, workers found a number of fish. A farmer nearby lost 100 of 175 acres.

    “I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Barry Dorsey, who has farmed for decades. “I’ve never had this ever happen to me.”

    The government says it is “too soon to determine the full impact this year’s unpredictable weather will have on crops across the province” and Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal plans to continue to keep a close eye on the situation.

    “Farmers have a tough job but they do it well, even during difficult times,” he said via email to the Star. “This season, several parts of the province have been hit with unseasonable weather which has impacted planting and growing conditions for some Ontario farmers. I have been monitoring this situation and recognize the stress that severe weather events cause for our farm families.”

    He said the government has programs available, including insurance, spending “more than $230 million every year … to help producers cover loss and damage due to risks that are beyond their control, like extreme weather.”

    There are provincial and federal programs that can help some farmers, and while they may take time to pay out, “there are opportunities that they can take advantage of, and every little bit helps,” said Currie of the agriculture federation.

    But extra measures wouldn’t have to mean “a cheque in the mail,” he added, but maybe letting financial institutions give farmers a break on interest payments “to help them get back on their feet.”

    Currie also said farmers should be included in the government’s climate change action plans, given the impact of the weather changes on their livelihood.

    When crops are harvested this fall, the impact of the rain could show up in the quality and quantity of the yield, said Professor Dave Hooker of the University of Guelph, a field crop agronomist who is in continual contact with farmers across the province.

    In April and May, too-moist soil in the east half of the province meant corn and soy bean crops could not be planted — though areas west of Toronto continue to be “exceptionally dry,” he said. That delay pushes the season later, as does replanting fields after rain damage, “and results in a number of different consequences,” he said. Later planting can make crops more susceptible to flooding, and root rot can set in affecting growth or even killing them.

    Too much water can also lead to a loss of nutrients, in particular nitrogen, considered crucial for high crop production, Hooker added.

    “It’s clearly been night and day compared to last year … last year, it was all about ‘where is the rain?,’ this year it’s all about too much rain,” said Phillips of Environment Canada.

    “ … That is the thing, this is what just upsets farmers, dismays them, how do we deal with this back to back?”

    And it’s not just rain, but a lack of warmth this summer. In terms of days above 30 degrees, Ottawa has had six this year, compared to 26 in 2016; Toronto just eight, and 29 last year.

    Phillips said while the focus is typically the extremes of climate change, “but another mark is variation” in weather. While weather forecasts have become more accurate, he said, farmers rely on typical seasons with few outliers, and now, “you can’t count on it being a normal season or a normal year.”

    0 0

    Demand for mental health services at Ontario universities and colleges has reached an all-time high.

    With another wave of students about to begin a new academic year, the pressure on campus health providers shows no signs of diminishing. And schools are struggling to keep up.

    More than ever before, students are being referred by campus health staff to services off-campus.

    School and government officials say it’s a necessary step to handle the volume and complexity of student needs. But mental health advocates and students themselves say transitioning from on-campus to off-campus mental health services can leave major gaps in care, forcing students to navigate a confusing system in a sometimes strange city, often with the added barriers of long wait times and high financial costs.

    For many of those involved, the solution is for university staff to provide strong support and guidance to students as they access off-campus resources. But that kind help is often missing during the transition process, critics say.

    “We will fill in the gaps where we can, but we’re not a treatment facility,” said Casey Phillips, assistant vice-president of students at Nipissing University in North Bay. “We’re meant for that brief therapy, we’re meant to handle some of that lower level. (For) more complex cases we are reliant upon the community.”

    Beginning post-secondary school often means moving away from home for the first time, and being far from family and friends.

    The majority of mental health issues begin to surface during a person’s teens or 20s. But age restrictions on youth programs force many young people to abandon the mental health services they have accessed for years around the age of 18 — leaving them on their own to find new sources of help in the adult health-care system.

    In May, the Ontario government pledged to boost annual funding for college and university mental health services by $6 million per year — bringing the total provincial investment in campus mental health services from $9 million to $15 million, to be split by approximately 45 institutions.

    A decision has not yet been made about how much each school will get of this new money. But, if the total $15-million budget were apportioned equally between all universities and colleges in Ontario, each would receive a little over $333,000, a paltry sum compared to overall university budgets.

    Despite the cash injection, campus services will not be able to meet everyone’s mental health needs, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development Deb Matthews said in a statement to the Star.

    “Mental illness is a spectrum,” Matthews said. “For some students, on-campus resources such as counselling and/or peer support may be the best and most helpful provision of care. For students with more complex mental health needs, the institution can serve as a point of referral or information in helping that student access the appropriate community supports and get the help that they need.”

    The growing demand for mental health services has sparked a debate about universities and colleges’ level of responsibility when it comes to caring for their students.

    Some argue schools should take an almost parental role, guiding and advising their students as much as possible. Others, however, argue that universities are educational institutions and should not be called upon to help students with personal or health-related problems, particularly once students leave campus.

    Markham native Alicia Raimundo began struggling with anxiety and depression in childhood, but it wasn’t until she went away to the University of Waterloo that she was able to really pursue face-to-face help on a consistent basis.

    Mental health staff at the university referred her off-campus, but did not help with the transition, she said.

    “They gave me a number and a pamphlet and said good luck.”

    It can be daunting for students in need of help to venture off-campus, Raimundo said.

    “Schools are their own communities, especially ones that have huge populations of students that move to that city or town for that school. When you refer somebody out . . . it’s basically like referring somebody to another town.”

    To ensure students follow through and get the help they need, mental health staff on-campus should have strong relationships with off-campus care providers, and take the step of booking students’ first appointments with off-campus services, said Raimundo, who graduated in 2012 and now works as a peer support provider at Stella’s Place, a mental health organization for people in their teens and 20s.

    Other students, however, say the logistics of leaving campus at all can be difficult for those balancing a full course load, a part-time job, or other commitments.

    “A long transit ride somewhere isn’t necessarily possible . . . and a student who is in crisis is probably unlikely to go to great lengths to reach these services if they are a 45-minute bus ride away,” said Alyssa Logan, a University of Guelph student who has looked for mental health services through the school.

    To make access easier for students, off-campus mental health professionals should make regular visits to campuses to supplement school resources, said Taryn MacDonald, a recent graduate of the University of Guelph who sought on-campus mental health services while a student.

    “Just like there are dental and medical outreach programs that will come to schools, we need mental outreach programs to come to schools,” MacDonald said. “Having psychologists, professional counsellors, or even social workers come in once a week to hold walk-in sessions for students who need the help — but aren’t getting it at school — would be beneficial.”

    University and college staff must understand what community services are out there so they can properly inform the students they refer, said Erik Labrosse, director of student life at Laurentian University in Sudbury.

    “(We must) be knowledgeable about the services, understand what the waiting times are and make sure that we’re giving good advice and making good referrals to the community,” he said.

    Universities in smaller, more remote parts of the province face their own challenges and benefits in the collaboration with community mental health services.

    Nipissing University, a school of about 5,000 students, has fewer options when referring students off-campus, as compared to schools in large cities, where multiple hospitals and community resources exist, said Phillips.

    The advantage of being a smaller school in a smaller town, though, is the ability to build relationships with the community resources that do exist, and really understand what services they provide, Phillips added.

    “We might do a really good job of being able to collaborate and make those referrals out but . . . we might not have as many community resources to refer them out to, and so sometimes you’re trying to fit that circle into the square to provide the service as best we can.”

    The fact that more students are coming forward and asking for help is a positive development said Ann Tierney, vice-provost and dean of student affairs at Queen’s University.

    But the increase in demand has forced universities and colleges to rethink the way they work with outside services to address students’ mental health needs.

    “I see it as a partnership role,” Tierney said. “Certainly we have resources on campus but there are times when the student needs some expertise that is best available off-campus. Those community services are really key.”

    0 0

    This is it, then.

    We can officially drop the pretence of equality after violent protests by white supremacists, “heritage” groups, neo-Nazis, KKK members and armed white terrorists slammed that charade this weekend.

    Their deadly brand of racism was effectively endorsed by the United States president when he failed to call out supremacists, anti-Semites, xenophobes and homophobes and instead rebuked the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”

    On many sides. Which sides would those be, Mr. President, when there were just two: white supremacy — and equality.

    Donald Trump wants to “study it,” he said, “to see how such things can happen.” He might want to start with studying the “many sides” of injustice at play.

    Read more:

    Trump breaks silence on Charlottesville: ‘No place for this kind of violence in America’

    Chanting ‘blood and soil’ and ‘white lives matter,’ white supremecists march in Charlottesville

    Take a moment to think about what these people were protesting as they marched through the University of Virginia campus Friday night carrying torches and breaking into fisticuffs. And again, whey they showed up Saturday morning, waving Confederate and Nazi flags, carrying semi-automatic weapons, helmets, spears and shields, throwing punches, water bottles and spraying chemicals. A car plowed through counter-protesters flinging bodies in the air, killing one person and injuring dozens.

    These savage people were not protesting white lives lost to police brutality. They were not protesting disproportionate incarceration of white people, or stricter sentencing than people of other races, or being denied housing or education for the colour of their skin. They were not protesting any of that because it is not their reality.

    They were not protesting. Period.

    They were rioting.

    Their tempers were inflamed by the possibility of the removal of a statue of Civil War-era Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The city council voted for the removal in April, but it is pending litigation.

    Not only was Lee the general who led a war to defend the ownership of Black people as property, he was also one of its more cruel enforcers — breaking up families and hiring them to other plantations, ordering the enslaved to be whipped and brine poured on their backs, as detailed in an eye-opening profile in the Atlantic in June.

    The Saturday protesters had gathered at Emancipation Park, the new name of what was once Lee Park, where the statue stands.

    Jason Kessler, a right-wing blogger, told media the protests were also about free speech and “advocating for white people.”

    This, they believed, entitled them to chant things such as “White power,” “White Lives Matter,” “You will not replace us” and “Jew will not replace us.”

    It was a mind-boggling show of white fragility, by people threatened not because their rights are being trampled by any measurable means but because a few voices of those they historically oppressed are starting to be heard again.

    Where were the police ominously beating back protesters in the numbers they did in Ferguson, in Chicago, in Charlotte, in Baltimore, in Cleveland among other places when Black people protested deaths at the hands of police? Where are the calls for white people to denounce this disgusting display of hate in their name? Why is the driver of the car that plowed into people not being called a terrorist? Will we now ask that white people be the eyes and ears on the front lines of white hatred?

    Remember Mark Hughes, the armed Black man called a suspect by Dallas police during protests in July last year? They called him a suspect even as he was helping them evacuate people and they did not take down their tweet with his photo even after it was established he was innocent.

    In this gathering, white men armed to the teeth roam freely, with the privilege of knowing their rights will be protected.

    The flags they were waving signify death and devastation to significant groups of Americans. Yet, they were allowed because, democracy. Would these democratic rights be granted to anyone wanting to wave the equally reprehensible Daesh (ISIS) flags?

    Trump, a normally avid tweeter who releases foreign policy details in 140 characters, was silent until later in the day when he tweeted out a vague denunciation of the events and gave his insipid speech.

    In all fairness, his blandness was not a surprise. Why would he disavow his friends?

    Former KKK “imperial wizard” David Duke said, “This (protest) represents a turning point. We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfil the promises of Donald Trump. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump.”

    Over at the Daily Stormer, the white supremacist website, there was jubilation. “Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us.... No condemnation at all. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.”

    Not all Trump’s buddies were pleased with his speech, though. Richard Spencer, the founder of the “Alt-Right” hate group, who was not shot at, not beaten, not punched, but maced by police, was miffed.

    “Trump should not have praised the state and local police,’ he tweeted. “They did the opposite of their job. Total disaster.”

    Total disaster. Never thought I’d agree with anything that revolting man said.

    Shree Paradkar writes about discrimination and identity. You can follow her @shreeparadkar

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    BRIDGEWATER, N.J.—U.S. President Donald Trump is rarely reluctant to express his opinion, but he is often seized by caution when addressing the violence and vitriol of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and far-right activists, some of whom are his supporters.

    After days of genially bombastic interactions with the news media on North Korea and the shortcomings of congressional Republicans, Trump on Saturday condemned the bloody protests in Charlottesville, Va., in what critics in both parties saw as muted, equivocal terms.

    During a brief and uncomfortable address to reporters at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, he called for an end to the violence. But he was the only national political figure to spread blame for the “hatred, bigotry and violence” that resulted in the death of one person to “many sides.”

    Read the latest news on U.S. President Donald Trump

    For the most part, Republican leaders and other allies have kept quiet over several months about Trump’s outbursts and angry Twitter posts. But recently they have stopped averting their gazes and on Saturday a handful criticized his reaction to Charlottesville as insufficient.

    “Mr. President — we must call evil by its name,” tweeted Sen. Cory Gardner who oversees the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign arm of the Senate Republicans.

    “These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism,” he added, a description several of his colleagues used.

    Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and the father of the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, did not dispute Trump’s comments directly, but he called the behaviour of white nationalists in Charlottesville “evil.”

    Democrats have suggested that Trump is simply unwilling to alienate the segment of his white electoral base that embraces bigotry. The president has forcefully rejected any suggestion he harbours any racial or ethnic animosities, and points to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, an observant Jew, and his daughter Ivanka, who converted to the faith, as proof of his inclusiveness.

    In one Twitter post Saturday, Trump nodded to that inclusiveness.

    “We must remember this truth: No matter our colour, creed, religion or political party, we are ALL AMERICANS FIRST,” the president wrote, a statement that had echoes of his campaign slogan, America First.

    But like several other statements Trump made Saturday, the tweet made no mention that the violence in Charlottesville was initiated by white supremacists brandishing anti-Semitic placards, Confederate battle flags, torches and a few Trump campaign signs.

    Read more:

    Trump slow to respond to Charlottesville violence

    Chaos in Virginia as white supremacist rally takes deadly turn

    Chanting ‘blood and soil’ and ‘white lives matter,’ white nationalists march in Charlottesville

    Trump, the product of a well-to-do, predominantly white Queens enclave who in 1989 paid for a full-page ad in The New York Times calling for the death penalty for five black teenagers convicted but later exonerated of raping a white woman in Central Park, flirted with racial controversy during the 2016 campaign. He repeatedly expressed outrage that anyone could suggest he was prejudiced.

    When he retweeted white supremacists’ accounts, he brushed aside questions about them. When he was asked about the support he had been given by David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, he chafed, insisting he didn’t know Duke.

    Finally, at a news conference in South Carolina, Trump said “I disavow” when pressed on Duke. He later described Duke as a “bad person.”

    When his social media director, Dan Scavino, posted an image on Trump’s Twitter feed with a Star of David near Hillary Clinton’s head, with money raining down, Trump rejected widespread criticism of the image as anti-Semitic. And after years of questioning President Barack Obama’s citizenship, he blamed others for raising the issue in the first place.

    In an interview that aired in September, Trump said “I am the least racist person that you have ever met,” a statement he repeated at a White House news conference in February.

    In Bedminster on Saturday, Trump said he and his team were “closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville,” then tried to portray the violence there as a chronic, bipartisan plague. “It’s been going on for a long time in our country,” he said. “It’s not Donald Trump. It’s not Barack Obama.”

    Trump did not single out the marchers, who included the white supremacist Richard Spencer and Duke, for their ideology.

    While Democrats and some Republicans faulted Trump for being too vague, Duke was among the few Trump critics who thought the president had gone too far.

    “I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists,” he wrote on Twitter, shortly after the president spoke.

    The president remained silent on the violence for most of the morning even as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Trump’s wife, Melania, and dozens of other public figures condemned the march.

    Melania Trump, using her official Twitter account, wrote, “Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence. #Charlottesville.”

    Ryan was even more explicit. “The views fuelling the spectacle in Charlottesville are repugnant. Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry,” he wrote on Twitter at noon, around the time that Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia declared a state of emergency in the city.

    “As @POTUS Trump said, “We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation... & true affection for each other.” #Charlottesville” — Vice-President Mike Pence on Twitter.

    With files from the Associated Press

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    CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.—A car rammed into a crowd of protesters and a state police helicopter crashed into the woods Saturday as tension boiled over at a white supremacist rally. The violent day left three dead, dozens injured and this usually quiet college town a bloodied symbol of the nation’s roiling racial and political divisions.

    The chaos erupted around what is believed to be the largest group of white nationalists to come together in a decade — including neo-Nazis, skinheads, members of the Ku Klux Klan — who descended on the city to “take America back” by rallying against plans to remove a Confederate statue. Hundreds came to protest against the racism. There were street brawls and violent clashes; the governor declared a state of emergency, police in riot gear ordered people out and helicopters circled overhead.

    Peaceful protesters were marching downtown, carrying signs that read “black lives matter” and “love.” A silver Dodge Challenger suddenly came barrelling through “a sea of people” and smashed into another car, said Matt Korbon, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student.

    The impact hurled people into the air and blew off their shoes. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed as she crossed the street.

    “It was a wave of people flying at me,” said Sam Becker, 24, sitting in the emergency room to be treated for leg and hand injuries.

    Those left standing scattered, screaming and running for safety. Video caught the car reversing, hitting more people, its windshield splintered from the collision and bumper dragging on the pavement. Medics carried the injured, bloodied and crying, away as a police tank rolled down the street.

    The driver, James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old who recently moved to Ohio from where he grew up in Kentucky, was charged with second-degree murder and other counts. Field’s mother, Samantha Bloom, told The Associated Press on Saturday night that she knew her son was attending a rally in Virginia but didn’t know it was a white supremacist rally.

    “I thought it had something to do with Trump. Trump’s not a white supremacist,” said Bloom, who became visibly upset as she learned of the injuries and deaths at the rally.

    “He had an African-American friend so ...,” she said before her voice trailed off. She added that she’d be surprised if her son’s views were that far right.

    Read more:

    Chaos in Virginia as white supremacist rally takes deadly turn

    The ‘many sides’ of injustice in Charlottesville riot: Paradkar

    Critics slam Trump after he declines to call out Charlottesville white supremacists, some of whom are his supporters

    His arrest capped off hours of unrest. Hundreds of people threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays. Some came prepared for a fight, with body armour and helmets. Videos that ricocheted around the world on social media showed people beating each other with sticks and shields.

    Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer, both Democrats, lumped the blame squarely on the rancour that has seeped into American politics and the white supremacists who came from out of town into their city, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, home to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s plantation.

    “There is a very sad and regrettable coarseness in our politics that we’ve all seen too much of today,” Signer said at a press conference. “Our opponents have become our enemies, debate has become intimidation.”

    Some of the white nationalists at Saturday’s rally cited U.S. President Donald Trump’s victory after a campaign of racially-charged rhetoric as validation for their beliefs.

    Trump criticized the violence in a tweet Saturday, followed by a press conference and a call for “a swift restoration of law and order.”

    “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,” he said.

    The “on many sides” ending of his statement drew the ire of his critics, who said he failed to specifically denounce white supremacy and equated those who came to protest racism with the white supremacists. The Rev. Jesse Jackson noted that Trump for years questioned President Barack Obama’s citizenship and his legitimacy as the first black president, and has fanned the flames of white resentment.

    “We are in a very dangerous place right now,” Jackson said. McAuliffe said at Saturday’s press conference that he spoke to Trump on the phone, and insisted that the president must work to combat hate.

    Trump said he agreed with McAuliffe “that the hate and the division must stop and must stop right now.”

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced late Saturday that federal authorities will pursue a civil rights investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash.

    The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice,” Sessions wrote. “When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated.”

    Oren Segal, who directs the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said multiple white power groups gathered in Charlottesville, including members of neo-Nazi organizations, racist skinheads and KKK factions. The white nationalist organizations Vanguard America and Identity Evropa; the Southern nationalist League of the South; the National Socialist Movement; the Traditionalist Workers Party; and the Fraternal Order of Alt Knights also were on hand, he said.

    “We anticipated this event being the largest white supremacist gathering in over a decade,” Segal said. “Unfortunately, it appears to have become the most violent as well.”

    On the other side, anti-fascist demonstrators also gathered, but they generally aren’t organized like white nationalist factions, said Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    In addition to Fields, at least three more men were arrested in connection to the protests.

    The Virginia State Police announced late Saturday that Troy Dunigan, a 21-year-old from Chattanooga, Tennessee, was charged with disorderly conduct; Jacob L. Smith, a 21-year-old from Louisa, Virginia, was charged with assault and battery; and James M. O’Brien, 44, of Gainesville, Florida, was charged with carrying a concealed handgun.

    Just as the city seemed like to be quieting down, black smoke billowed out from the tree tops just outside of town as a Virginia State Police helicopter crashed into the woods.

    Robby E. Noll, who lives in the county just outside Charlottesville, heard the helicopter sputtering.

    “I turned my head to the sky. You could tell he was struggling to try to get control of it,” he said.

    He said pieces of the helicopter started to break off as it fell from the sky.

    Both troopers on-board, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, 48, and Berke M.M. Bates, one day shy of his 41st birthday, were killed. Police said the helicopter had been deployed to the violent protests in the city, which has been caught in the middle of the nation’s culture wars since it decided earlier this year to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, enshrined in bronze on horseback in the city’s Emancipation Park.

    In May, a torch-wielding group that included prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer gathered around the statue for a nighttime protest, and in July, about 50 members of a North Carolina-based KKK group travelled there for a rally. Spencer returned for Saturday’s protest, and denied all responsibility for the violence. He blamed the police.

    Signer said the white supremacist groups who came into his city to spread hate “are on the losing side of history.”

    “Tomorrow will come and we will emerge,” he said, “I can promise you, stronger than ever.”

    Six-hundred kilometres away, the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, hinted that the white supremacists might get the opposite of what they’d hoped for.

    Mayor Jim Gray announced on Twitter that he would work to remove the confederate monument at his county’s courthouse.

    “Today’s events in Virginia remind us that we must bring our country together by condemning violence, white supremacists and Nazi hate groups,” he wrote. “We cannot let them define our future.”

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    TTC subway service has resumed in all directions from Bloor-Yonge Station after it was briefly suspended Sunday afternoon due to a police investigation into reports of a man uttering threats.

    “The call was for a male person threatening to use explosives on the subway train,” wrote Toronto Police Sgt. Murray Barnes in an email.

    Just before 2:30 p.m. subway service was suspended on Line 2 from Broadview to St. George stations and on Line 1 from Union to Eglinton stations.

    Barnes said a TTC passenger alerted staff about the threats at Bloor-Yonge Station. The train was shut down and the station was evacuated. The suspect fled during the evacuation, Barnes wrote.

    Police said they are searching for a man wearing dark shorts, rolled up sleeves, a baseball hat, and a black backpack. Police urged people not to approach the suspect.

    “The threats were real, whether or not the suspect actually possessed the capability to detonate anything remains to be investigated,” Barnes wrote.

    Police said the entire Bloor-Yonge station was evacuated while the emergency task force conducted the investigation.

    With files from Victoria Gibson and Emily Fearon

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    Ontario Superior Court Justice Edward Morgan spent most of Thursday morning with a furrowed brow and an incredulous look on his face. But his demeanour was at first subdued as he heard the case of Ricardo Scotland, an immigration detainee with no criminal record who is arguing that his indefinite detention in a maximum security jail is a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    After the morning break, when the government’s lawyers stood to argue why the court should not release the native of Barbados, Morgan’s apparent confusion with the case became too much to contain.

    “Why is this man in prison?” he said bluntly, interrupting Bernard Assan, a lawyer representing the Department of Justice. Assan stammered. The judge continued.

    “Why is he incarcerated? He has no criminal record. He has no convictions of anything.”

    Read the Star’s Caged by Canada seriesRead the Star’s Caged by Canada series

    Assan mentioned the fact that Scotland — who is in the midst of a refugee claim — had faced criminal charges in 2013 that were later stayed.

    “That means he’s innocent,” Morgan interjected. “He’s innocent until proven guilty. That’s elementary.”

    Scotland’s case is just the latest to put Canada’s immigration detention system — by which the federal government jails non-citizens, often in maximum security institutions, for an indefinite length of time, typically while it tries to deport them — under increased scrutiny.

    Scotland, a single parent to his 13-year-old daughter, has been held in maximum security jail for a total of 18 months in two stints over the past two years. He has been detained at the Niagara Detention Centre in Thorold, Ont., since October.

    Scotland’s case is unusual for several reasons — including the fact the government is actually arguing for the man’s release in a separate court proceeding. The case highlights some of what more than a dozen immigration lawyers have previously told the Star are systemic problems with both the Canada Border Services Agency and the Immigration and Refugee Board. The CBSA has the power to arrest and detain non-citizens, while the board is the quasi-judicial tribunal that holds monthly detention reviews to determine whether someone should be released or have their detention continued for another 30 days.

    In May, Scotland’s lawyer, Subodh Bharati, and a representative of the government made a joint submission to the board that Scotland should be released. Board members almost always grant release in such circumstances. But in this case the presiding adjudicator rejected the joint submission and ordered Scotland’s continued detention.

    That’s when Bharati filed an application for habeas corpus — a legal principle that allows someone to argue their detention is unlawful — with Ontario Superior Court. Immigration detainees are turning more and more to habeas corpus to seek release, citing the inherent unfairness of the Immigration and Refugee Board, which lawyers argue is procedurally unfair and stacked against detainees.

    Previously the court has granted release only in cases where detention has been “unduly or exceptionally lengthy,” and the government argues that the length of Scotland’s detention falls below that standard so the court lacks jurisdiction.

    They would prefer to maintain the status quo where Federal Court provides what’s called “judicial review” — as opposed to a full-fledged appeal — of a decision by the Immigration and Refugee Board.

    So even though the same government lawyers are currently arguing in Federal Court that Scotland should be released, they don’t want the Ontario Superior Court to be the ones to do it, fearing it would set an unwanted precedent.

    Bharati, meanwhile, argued that even a single day of Scotland's detention is unlawful because it stems from a procedurally unfair process.

    Scotland, who is being held solely as a flight risk and is not considered a danger to the public, is under a conditional deportation order, which takes effect only if his and his daughter’s refugee claims are denied.

    “It’s absurd that a person with no criminal convictions, a father to a girl who doesn’t have a mom, is being held in a maximum-security prison, despite the fact that he has a refugee claim,” Bharati said.

    The girl’s mother is alive, but not involved as a parent in her upbringing.

    The basis for Scotland’s continued detention is also contentious. It stems from four alleged breaches of previous bail conditions, three of which were either withdrawn or found by a criminal court to be innocent mistakes. The fourth was a technical breach related to a miscommunication of a change in curfew. Immigration authorities view the alleged breaches differently than the court, however.

    Morgan could not believe that one of the breaches was the fact Scotland had not reported a change of address to immigration officials after he was arrested. His new address was jail.

    “It sounds absurd,” he said. “How could you possibly hide your change of address if you’ve been arrested? Who are you hiding it from?”

    Another alleged breach was quashed by a criminal bail court judge that found Scotland was “happily being a dad” when he mixed up his reporting dates.

    Morgan didn’t mince his words as he challenged the government’s position.

    “It seems like his one misdeed, as far as I can tell, is when he failed to report one time … and it was found to be an innocent failure. So why is he incarcerated? What has he done?”

    Assan began to explain the legal mechanisms by which Scotland is being detained.

    Morgan interrupted him again.

    “Without a technical explanation can you tell me … what has he done?”

    Morgan will decide Monday morning whether Scotland should be released.

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