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Ontario Launching New Justice Model in Toronto

Creating Community Justice Centres in Toronto, London and Kenora

Ontario is launching a new and innovative initiative to respond to the overrepresentation of marginalized, racialized and Indigenous people in the criminal justice system.

Community Justice Centres move justice out of the traditional courtroom and into a community setting to help connect individuals with holistic supports that address the root causes of crime. They are justice hubs that bring together services - for example justice, health, mental health and addictions, housing, and social services - to respond to the unique needs of the communities they serve.  

In Toronto's Moss Park neighbourhood, the new Community Justice Centre will respond to the needs of marginalized people including those facing homelessness, addiction, mental health and poverty issues in order to improve community safety and well-being.

Once established, Toronto's new Urban Community Health and Justice Centre will:

  • Address social factors, like income, homelessness, education, and employment, that can negatively impact an individual's health and well-being
  • Increase access to harm reduction strategies and alternatives to incarceration
  • Improve information sharing and coordination of services between local agencies, justice sector partners and service providers

The Toronto initiative is one of three launching in Ontario, with the other centres located in London and Kenora. Each centre will be designed by and for the individual community, with support from local and provincial partners. Continuous evaluation of the centres will ensure evidence-based decisions are made to improve outcomes and refine the services they provide.

Ontario's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario worked with community leaders, Indigenous service providers, health and social service agencies, and justice partners to explore whether a Community Justice Centre model could improve the integration and delivery of justice, health and social services in Moss Park.
  • Local design and planning will begin in fall of 2018. Implementation is forecasted to begin in 2020.
  • Harm reduction intervention is designed to reduce drug-related harm without requiring abstinence from drug use. Harm reduction programs and policies target all harm caused by drug-use, including to users, families, communities, and society.
  • As part of Ontario’s plan to create a faster and fairer justice system, the province has hired more prosecutors and expanded bail programs.
  • The CJC model in other jurisdictions has led to healthier and safer communities with improved outcomes for recidivism rates, public safety, community well-being, rates of incarceration, trust in the justice system, and cost savings.

Quotes

“For vulnerable people with a history of poverty, homelessness, and mental health or addictions issues, the justice system is often the first point of contact to access programs and services. The Community Justice Centre in Moss Park will provide comprehensive supports and services for vulnerable people to make long-term positive changes in their lives. By providing this holistic approach, it is my hope that we can break the cycle of re-offending by addressing the root causes of the criminal behaviour.” -Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General

“We are committed to working collaboratively to enhance timely and meaningful justice services for the public. These kinds of innovative initiatives can have a real and positive impact on people’s lives.” -Lise Maisonneuve, Chief Justice, Ontario Court of Justice

“After much consultation the establishment of a Community Justice Centre in Toronto’s Moss Park and Downtown East neighbourhoods is intended to bring a new approach to the criminal justice system, one that is more collaborative and measured for vulnerable communities. The City of Toronto has utilized similar approaches in response to complex needs, which have proven to be very effective. I welcome this initiative and look forward to having the City of Toronto work with the Province to implement this innovative program.” -Kristyn Wong-Tam, Toronto City Councillor, Ward 27

“A Community Justice Centre will be of immense value to the Moss Park community. It will help many individuals, including Fred Victor clients, to access more off-ramps from the justice system, such as supportive housing, safe beds, and treatment-related supports. By taking a therapeutic and harm-reduction approach, the Community Justice Centre will be able to meaningfully meet people where they are at, and focus on individual and community wellbeing.” -Mark Aston, Executive Director, Fred Victor

Additional Resources

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Transit Notice: Essential Concrete Repairs on Carlton Street

Transit Notice

Carlton Street west of Church Street
Essential concrete repairs

Start date: Week of April 23, 2018
Content/timeline accurate at time of printing*

Work description and purpose
Starting April 23, TTC will be conducting concrete repairs to a section of streetcar track allowance on Carlton Street, west of Church Street. The work is required to return the area to a state of good repair for all road users.
Work will require concrete breaking/chipping and placing new concrete.
*Spring weather conditions can delay the start of planned local rail/concrete repairs. In such instances, the work is rescheduled for the next best available date.

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Important Information Regarding Winter Storm and Rainfall

Following the build-up of snow and ice this week and with significant rainfall expected today, to help protect you and your home today:

  • Ensure there is a channel for the melting snow and rain to make its way to the catch basin.
  • Ensure downspouts are not blocked with snow or ice and are draining properly.
  • Shovel melting snow away from your foundation and onto a lawn, not the road please.
  • Clear catch basins, if it safe to do so.
  • Prepare your basement by moving valuables to shelves or upper floors. Cleaners, paint or chemicals should also be taken off the floor so that they do not contaminate any floodwater that may get into your home.

If your basement has flooded:

  • Call 311 immediately to report basement flooding. During extreme weather conditions residents should expect high call volumes and some delays. Calls will be answered by the first available agent.
  • Call Toronto Hydro to disconnect power if there is flood water in your basement and your power is on.
  • Call your insurance company as soon as possible to report property damage caused by flooding.
  • Be mindful of your health and safety when cleaning up a flooded basement – do not stand in flood water, call a professional for assistance.

Start planning now:

  • Take this opportunity now to plan for future rainstorms that tend to be more prevalent in the spring and summer. More information about basement flooding prevention is available on the City of Toronto’s website at http://www.toronto.ca/basementflooding.
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Important Information about Expected Ice Storm this Weekend

Environment Canada has issued a special weather warning for this weekend, predicting an ice storm to hit most of southern Ontario on Saturday and Sunday.

The storm is expected to begin early Saturday morning, potentially turning into ice pellets. The rain will slow down before picking back up again early Sunday morning. Up to 20 mm of freezing rain is expected. Winds are expected to reach up to 60 km/h. This combination could lead to fallen trees and power lines.

During extreme weather events, it's important that we take care of one another. The freezing conditions will make travel hazardous, and power outages could lead to elevators being taken offline. If you have a loved one living in one of the many tall buildings in the city, or who may require assistance, please check in with them before and after the storm to make sure they are safe and have everything they need.

Toronto Hydro has prepared a list of resources about what to do in the event of a power outage, tips for preparing an emergency kit, and many more resources you can review by clicking here

Below, please read the news release from the City.

 

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TTC Notice - Carlton Street west of Church Street Essential concrete repairs

Start date: Week of April 16, 2018

Work description and purpose
Starting April 17, TTC will be conducting concrete repairs to a section of streetcar track allowance on Carlton Street, west of Church Street. The work is required to return the area to a state of good repair for all road users. Work will require concrete breaking/chipping and placing new concrete.

Read more →
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