The Coalition for Gun Control/Pour le Controle des Armes

Archive for January, 2010

From: The Windsor Star, January 26, 2010, Privacy commissioner shoots down gun registry complaint.

Posted by cgccanada on January 27, 2010

By Janice Tibbetts

OTTAWA — The RCMP did not violate the privacy rights of gun owners by giving their names, phones numbers and firearms information to a private pollster to conduct a survey about feelings on the controversial gun registry, says the federal privacy commissioner. Jennifer Stoddart dismissed a complaint from former public safety minister Peter Van Loan, who last September, asked the commissioner to investigate what he described as an “offensive and inappropriate” sharing of personal information. “The complaint is not well-founded,” the commissioner said in a report posted Tuesday on the agency’s website. The privacy commissioner said EKOS acted properly as a government contractor when it called 10,000 of Canada’s 1.9 million gun owners, that the pollsters were security screened and that they deleted their raw data after turning over their findings to the Mounties. “The investigation confirmed that EKOS properly safeguarded the information under its control,” said the report. “Furthermore, it is not unusual for a federal government department to engage experts from external organizations, under contract, to carry out a variety of services.” Van Loan, in filing his complaint, seized on the RCMP information sharing as evidence that the fears of gun owners — that their personal information would be abused — had come to fruition. The Harper Conservatives have pledged for years to abolish the contentious registry for rifles and shotguns, created by the former Liberal government as part of a 1995 gun-control package passed in the wake of the 1989 Montreal massacre, in which 14 women were shot dead. In November, MPs voted by a clear margin to give their “support in principle”_to repealing the registry, signalling for the first time since the program was adopted, that it is headed for the scrap heap. The private member’s bill, sponsored by Conservative backbencher Candice Hoeppner, had the support of enough Liberals and New Democrats to survive the first vote in the House of Commons and it will now head to an all-party committee for study after Parliament resumes in March. EKOS conducted the poll last September and the privacy commissioner noted that the RCMP instructed the firm to halt the survey after talking to about 2,000 firearms owners, short of its goal of 2,500. “The survey was conducted by an independent third party to ensure that respondents felt in no way obligated to participate as they might, were they to be contacted by the RCMP directly,” said the privacy commissioner’s report. Chris McCluskey, a spokesman for Vic Toews, the new public safety minister, said the government “expressly disapproves” of the use of the poll. “Our government maintains that the use of long-gun owners’ personal information was intrusive and inappropriate,” McCluskey said in an e-mail.

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From CBC.ca: Shot fired in rent dispute

Posted by cgccanada on January 26, 2010

A Winnipeg woman is in custody after firing a rifle in a dispute over money at a home in the North End on Saturday night, police said.

The shooting happened just after 8:40 p.m. CT Saturday, at a home in the 100 block of Parr Street.

A 22-year-old man and a woman, 24, were arguing over rent money with a woman believed to be their landlady when their dispute turned into an armed confrontation, police said.

A woman, 35, pulled out a rifle, pointed it and fired, Const. Jason Michalyshen said.

“Obviously [she] wasn’t happy with the direction the conversation was going and took it to another level,” Michalyshen said on Sunday.

No one was injured in the shooting, police said. Police seized a firearm at the home.

The woman remains in custody and has been charged with a number of weapons offences, Michalyshen said.

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From City News: Gun Found On TTC Bus

Posted by cgccanada on January 22, 2010

Authorities are reviewing surveillance video to find out how a semi-automatic weapon wound up on a TTC bus in the city’s east end.

A rider apparently spotted the gun on the TTC vehicle at Kingston Road near Eglinton just after midnight Friday.

The TTC driver contacted officers at 43 Division about the discovery of the Hi-point semi-automatic 3-80, which wasn’t loaded. Police picked up the weapon and noted this type of gun is popping up regularly across Toronto.

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From: Laval News Online, January 13, 2010, 2009 not a great year for women’s rights, says women’s critic. Tory minister’s gun registry vote was low point: Bloc’s Demers

Posted by cgccanada on January 18, 2010

Of all the proceedings that took place in the House of Commons last year, Nicole Demers, the Bloc Québécois’s MP for Laval, remains most bitter over the fact that Conservative Status of Women Minister Helena Guergis voted in favour of doing away with Canada’s long gun registry. According to Demers, it was “unheard of” until then that a government Status of Women minister would vote for abolishing the registry, which came about largely as a result of the Dec. 6, 1989 Polytechnique Massacre, in which 14 female students were murdered by a crazed male gunman. ‘For all women’ “When you’re a minister you have to realize that you’re the minister for all the women in Canada, and not just the women who are Conservative,” says Demers, who is her party’s critic for women’s issues. “You are also the minister for those who believe that the gun registry should remain as it is right now. “And as more than 50 per cent of Canadians believe that the gun registry should remain as it is, then she should have either stepped down and not vote on that, or vote against it. But she didn’t. She got up and voted for it. That’s very disturbing. And her parliamentary secretary, Sylvie Boucher, she also got up and voted for that bill and that’s also unheard of.” A moment of unity In early December, in a relatively rare moment of solidarity, the three opposition parties united to make a statement denouncing the Conservative government’s policies on women’s issues. Demers and the others had refused to take part in a ceremony organized by Guergis’s department on the occasion of a day commemorating actions taken to deal with violence committed against women. Demers and the others maintained that the ceremony was nothing but “hypocrisy” since the government had shown itself “hostile” since it was in power to virtually all efforts to further the rights of women. A 50-year setback Demers maintains that since the Conservatives have been the minority government since 2005, they’ve “been trying to set women’s rights back 50 years.” She says that the Conservatives have cut virtually all funding to women’s groups across Canada, effectively preventing them from promoting their cause. Since 2005, the cuts have resulted in the closing of nearly all Status of Women offices across Canada. A court challenges program for women was also terminated. Demers says the Conservatives remain determined to bring the abortion debate back to the floor of the House of Commons. Regarding her parliamentary last year, she had about 10 motions before House of Commons committees when the Conservative government decided in December to prorogue the Commons until March. The suspension means that work to bring the motions forward must now restart.

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From Torontosun.com: He stood against guns

Posted by cgccanada on January 14, 2010

‘Gentle giant’ testified in shooting: Pal
By TAMARA CHERRY AND CHRIS DOUCETTE, TORONTO SUN
Last Updated: 11th January 2010, 5:22am

The sole remaining witness to a shooting that many believe led to the murder of “gentle giant” Kenneth Mark said yesterday she’s certain the Toronto man was killed because he took the stand against gun violence.

It was the concern over whether or not to “snitch” that kept Mark from pointing a finger until about a month after he was shot in September 2008, Robyn, who didn’t want her last name published, said yesterday, a day after Mark’s funeral.

Robyn and her then-year-old son, Malakai, were outside their St. Clair Ave. W. and Runnymede Rd. housing complex with Mark when a gunman wearing a disguise snuck up behind and fired a shotgun, spraying Mark’s face and shoulder with pellets, Robyn said.

“(Mark) pushed us backwards to get in my door,” she recalled, adding she or Malakai would have been shot had they not been blocked by Mark.

The shooting came mere days after Mark confronted a teen in their housing complex about brandishing a gun.

The Walmart manager didn’t threaten to go to police, but rather told the teen something along the lines of, “This is not a ghetto,” Robyn said.

“He didn’t want guns shown to the children.”

Mark was certain the shooting was connected to the confrontation and that he knew who the triggerman was, but he didn’t point fingers right away, Robyn said.

“There’s a big thing in our community about snitching, right? You’re not supposed to be a snitch. Things happen to you, you stay quiet and take it into your own hands,” she said. “That’s how we have so many good people dying, so many youth dying, so many black men dying.”

Two teens were charged with attempted murder and held in custody until last month, when charges were dropped against one teen and the other stood trial.

Mark gave crucial testimony, but the second teen was acquitted on Dec. 17 because of weak eyewitness identification of the masked shooter.

On Dec. 29, less than two weeks after the acquittal, Mark was shot in the back of the head while walking to work.

Grief rippled through the community. Read more

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From The Toronto Sun: Crime Stoppers offers $500 for gun tips

Posted by cgccanada on January 6, 2010

By SUN STAFF

Last Updated: 6th January 2010, 4:45am

Crime Stoppers hopes money continues to talk.

Crime Stoppers rolls out a new ad campaign next week, offering up to $500 for tips about illegal guns.

The Cash for Guns program started in October 2005 in the midst of gang warfare that led to 52 people dying of gun wounds. Guns accounted for two-thirds of the murders that year.

The first two months of the program brought in 22 guns from 164 tips. Along with the firearms seizures, 30 people were arrested and more than $25,000 worth of narcotics were seized.

More up-to-date statistics weren’t available yesterday.

A new ad incorporates a firearm with the barrel pointing backward, warning that the use of guns in crime will often lead to the death of the shooter.

The ads will appear on the TTC, billboards and transit shelters, Toronto Crime Stoppers chairman Lorne Simon said.

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From Toronto Sun: 28 murder victims – 28 killers at large

Posted by cgccanada on January 4, 2010

Toronto Police are still on the hunt after a bloody year left 62 people slain in the city

By IAN ROBERTSON, TORONTO SUN

Last Updated: 3rd January 2010, 4:48am

Of Toronto’s 62 murders of 2009, there are 28 slayings left unsolved. The victims are:

Jan. 4: Evelyn Alfaro Mendez, 34

Mendez was shot in the head in an SUV on Talwood Dr. after driving three cousins home to Toronto and visiting her boyfriend, before heading to a nightclub she never reached.

Detectives, who hoped her partying with girlfriends and dancing at Latino clubs might provide clues, said the Malton mother of three had no ties to the Leslie St. and Lawrence Ave. E. residential area where she died. The second victim of 2009 was found in the still-running vehicle that was registered to another person.

Jan. 16: Kevin Boateng, 18

With no witnesses, motive or crime scene, the ex-Bishop Marrocco-Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School student’s stabbing remains a mystery.

“Kasa,” who had brushes with police but no criminal record, died in hospital two days after flagging down a passerby just before midnight, then collapsing on Davenport Rd., east of Old Weston Rd. Detectives believe he was attacked nearby.

Jan. 20: Basil ‘Bizzy’ Bryan, 23

The second 2009 victim of deadly violence in 12 Division was shot twice in the back at Keele St. and Avon Dr., south of Eglinton Ave. W.

A father for eight months, he and a pal went for a meal around 10 p.m. and were filmed walking by a business security camera as a lone gunman opened fire. Det.-Sgt. Savas Kyriacou said the “ambush” left the quiet young man dead and his friend luckily ducking then running before the killer strolled away.

Feb. 1: Jahmelle Grant, 26

Silent witnesses who saw Grant shot in an alleged Weston Rd.-Lawrence Ave. W. area booze can packed with patrons have frustrated homicide officers and left relatives angry.

A father of one who had brushes with the law but whose family denied he had gang ties, Grant was driven to a hospital by friends. They refused to talk to investigators.

Feb. 22: Peter Joel ‘Bugz’ Bowen, 20

The award-winning city track-and-field and cross-country competitor was shot by two gunmen in the lobby of the Driftwood Ave. apartment building where he lived with his family.

Police said Bowen was with two friends when bullets riddled a hallway and steel doors as he ran for his life, collapsing just outside the Jane-Finch area building. Rough remarks suggested he and the shooter had clashed before.

Feb. 28: Kaser Kerry St. Louis, 24

St. Louis was shot dead, then run over outside the Little Ochie Bar and Restaurant on Kennedy Rd. north of Lawrence Ave. E.

Police released two video surveillance segments related to a wild melee inside that spilled outdoors and ended with two other men wounded. Detectives say witnesses remain silent.

April 22: Omar Leyson Waite, 29

The Gators member in Toronto’s gang-plagued northwest died one day after being shot several times near rush-hour traffic at a Jane St. and Eglinton Ave. W. bus stop.

Waite had a lengthy record for assault, weapons and violence, and died two days after a rival Generals gang member was gunned down in an alley.

May 1: Jarvis St. Remy, 18

The high school student and aspiring engineer was heading home for his midnight curfew when a gunman left him dying in a Dundas St. W. bus stop west of Scarlett Rd.

Described by relatives and friends as reserved, studious and devoted to family, he died in hospital. Since her first-born’s death, his mom Clemee Joseph has made repeated appeals for youths to avoid violence.

May 11: Adrian Johnston, 14

The youngest of this year’s unresolved murder victims was gunned down on a Scarlett Rd.-St. Clair Ave. area hydro field one day after Mother’s Day.

In August, his mom was joined in a vigil by 30 people on the field for what should have been her son’s 15th birthday, saying “the sick individual who took Adrian from us is still walking the streets — Adrian is not able to do that.” Stephanie Johnston also lamented the lack of calls to police by people she was certain know who killed the Runnymede Collegiate Institute student.

June 7: Ayoob Abdulgadir Aden, 16

Well-known and liked in a Dixon Rd.-Kipling Ave. neighbourhood complex, the teen was visiting an aunt there when he was stabbed — the last male in the shattered world of his grieving mom and three sisters.

Responding to a neighbour’s call, police found him in the lobby of the building where he was with two friends in an apartment when an argument erupted with a fourth person. His two wounded friends survived, but the young teen — whose father vanished and brother died during strife 17 years ago in Africa — died a day later.

July 10: Kristian ‘Kristy’ Thanapalan, 22

Six men and a woman drinking and passing a volleyball in Glamorgan Park on Antrim Cres. in Scarborough got into an argument when one of the victim’s friends threw the ball at a car after cricket players began speeding from a parking lot.

An hour later, up to 35 men with bottles and bats swarmed Thanapalan and his pals, whose female friend was sleeping in a car. The aspiring York University student died from a blow to the back of his head and several friends suffered bruises and cuts. Police have narrowed their search for the killer after interviewing his friends, but are still trying to crack their “group mentality.”

July 19: Tevon Mitchell, 18

The year’s first fatal victim of a drive-by shooting died outside a packed upscale Scarborough mansion while attending a birthday party.

Known as “T-Pain” or “Tevo,” he was found on the driveway of the Rouge Hills Dr. home near Port Union Rd. and Lawrence Ave. E. just before 2 a.m. A West Hill Collegiate Institute student, Mitchell was among more than 80 guests inside and outside before the shots were fired and two cars drove off.

Aug. 1: Wesler ‘Tyson’ Fabien, 25

The Ottawa resident and a Montreal pal were shot around 4:30 a.m. outside the Howard Johnson on Avenue Rd. after a night of partying with friends in the Entertainment District.

The lone gunman waited in their hotel parking lot as they parked their silver Range Rover, then ran off after triggering his gun several times. Fabien died in hospital, his friend survived.

Aug. 10: Tevane Sean Anthony Lennon, 34

The furniture store worker was cycling home with groceries when he was confronted near Melody Park by a gunman outside a car occupied by at least two people on Sultan Pool Dr., near Martin Grove Rd. and Finch Ave. W., just before 11 p.m.

Lennon begged for mercy before the shooter fired more than a dozen bullets. The father of a three-year-old was gunned down near where another man survived being shot July 31 in crime-plagued Jamestown.

Sept. 2: Jamie ‘J’ Hull, 30

The drifter was reportedly shot close-up in the back in the courtyard of an eastside housing complex.

Investigators said they did not know why he was in the Blake St. complex, near Danforth and Pape Aves., where he once lived, but confirmed Hull was being sought for threatening to shoot a woman and her family. A man was seen running away.

Sept. 5: Kamal ‘Tall-up’ Hercules, 21

After spending the evening with friends, the first of two Labour Day weekend murder victims was shot outside a Rabba Fine Foods store at Sherbourne and Front Sts.

A month later, following “great co-operation” from area residents, police released surveillance photos of a potential witness to the 3:45 a.m. shooting. Hercules had no criminal history and no apparent beefs with anyone, a detective said.

Sept. 7: Sheldon Henry, 23

Hit by multiple slugs in a North York housing complex, the well-known drug dealer had a lengthy criminal record for sexual assaults, weapons and drug offences, and boasted on Facebook of his profitable exploits.

The father of two was left slumped in a doorway outside a lowrise Field Sparrow Way building northwest of Leslie St. and Finch Ave. E. Witnesses reported hearing an argument and people running from the complex, where he lived until June but regularly returned to do business.

Oct. 10: Bernard Christian Derro, 19

The teenager was one of seven people shot over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Derro, the only one killed, was found in the lobby of his Parkdale building on Jameson Ave., south of King St. W., around 11:30 p.m. Police suspect a shooter got into a first-floor apartment by a balcony, argued, then opened fire, leaving a second man wounded.

Oct. 18: Christopher Skinner, 27

Newmarket lawyer Warren Skinner and his wife, Ellen, last month offered a $25,000 reward raised by relatives, friends and colleagues, and made a desperate bid for help to find the driver who deliberately ran down their son.

Toronto Police are still seeking occupants of an SUV who confronted him at Adelaide and Victoria Sts., perhaps for touching the vehicle as it passed. He was walking home from sister Taryn’s birthday party in the Entertainment District around 3 a.m. when at least two men knocked him down, then drove over him.

Nov. 2: Theodoros Tiku, 27

Known as “Freshie” on the streets and to police who watched his exploits as a youth in Regent Park, Tiku was shot repeatedly in the head by a suspected rival gang member on Gough Ave., near Pape and Danforth Aves.

The Silent Soldiers gang leader’s bodyguard was on the wrong side of the Don River, on turf occupied by the breakaway Point Blank Souljahs. Det. Mike Carbone said Tiku appeared to have been targeted by his killer.

Nov. 11: Robert Flagiello, 18

Family and friends will have no trouble remembering last Remembrance Day, when the teenager was hit by a stray bullet fired by a man in the middle of a west-end street.

Gunfire erupted after Flagiello left an Oakwood Ave.-Vaughan Rd. area recording studio around 8:30 p.m. and an uncle said the rapper –who had just moved back into the area to help his single mom raise his two brothers — collapsed after getting friends safely inside. Five men arrested in a nearby barbershop were later released.

Nov. 17: Alexander Rodney Rundle, 28

Known as Alex, the 7th homicide victim of November was shot several times in the chest during a violent Etobicoke home invasion in the Kipling Ave.-Dixon Rd. area.

Around 7:30 p.m., three masked gunmen burst into the 129 Wincott Dr. bungalow, where four people lived, including Rundle and his father Bill, owner of Rundle’s Contracting where his son worked. Another tenant, whose name wasn’t released, escaped with a minor wound, wearing only his underwear.

Nov. 22: Shane Kelter, 32

Assassinated by a gunman near an upscale Toronto condo, the Independent Soldiers gangster from Vancouver was sought by police in California, where he was indicted in 2008 as a kingpin on conspiracy, money-laundering and drug charges along with two other Toronto men and three other Canadians.

Kelter and Vancouver friends spent the night at an Exhibition Place club and had just left their limousine to visit a friend’s condo when a gunman approached, opened fire, dropped his handgun and ran off. The motive for his shooting on St. Joseph St. remains unknown, but abandoning such a weapon is a gangland hitman-style trademark.

Nov. 22: Alton Reid, 35

The Malvern Crew member formerly with the Versace Crew died one day after being shot in the head in a gang-related attack during a birthday party at the Atlanta Banquet Hall.

About 200 people were in the Ellesmere Rd. hall when bullets from at least two guns fired by men who bought tickets to the party felled him and left four “innocent bystanders” with lesser injuries, Det. Paul Worden said. The Pickering father of one was acquitted after his arrest during a 2004 police sweep of the Malvern Crew, but had a 2003 record for possessing a gun.

Dec. 3: Aeon ‘Gates’ Grant, 19

An apparent ambush left the teen with a fatal head wound and three “friends” injured after being targeted by a gunman in a stairwell of a North York public housing highrise where Toronto Police later focused on a crackhouse for possible clues.

Det.-Sgt. Gary Giroux called the shooting just before midnight on the 15th floor of 30 Falstaff Ave., near Jane St. and Hwy. 401, a “very focused attack on these individuals,” who were left with nowhere to escape. Of the three survivors who ran off, two 17-year-olds were found in a nearby plaza and a 25-year-old walked into a hospital.

Dec. 7: Laura Rios-Gleggro, 45

The shooting of the Colombia-born businesswoman and mother of three, who for 20 years ran a shipping business between Canada, Ecuador and her homeland, was all-the-more chilling since she was slain while tending to her little daughter.

Emma, 2, was unhurt in the backseat of her mom’s truck when the owner of Rios Envios was ambushed around 8:45 p.m. by a waiting gunman outside her Weston apartment building north of Lawrence Ave. In a letter on colombiaenlondon.com, she said two Colombians in November 2008 offered to develop a computer program for her firm but she lost $10,000 in the venture and customers were ripped off after her client and business database was stolen.

Dec. 9: Tafari ‘Tuff’ Spear, 30

A gangster arrested in 2003 during a police sweep of the Tretheway Gangsta Killers died in a hail of bullets that left a suspected rival street gang member wounded, police say.

The shooter and 50 patrons in the Classic Cocktails bar on Wilson Ave. fled after the shooting, and Det.-Sgt. Wayne Banks said only a handful of people bothered to contact police later. Uncertain if Spear was targeted for his gang links, Banks was particularly keen to talk to three women who were with the victim when he was shot.

Dec. 29: Kenneth Mark, 29

Captured on surveillance videos, a gunman and his lookout are sought after Toronto’s last murder victim of the year was shot in the back of the head around 10 p.m. while heading home in the Gilmour Ave.-Dundas St. W. area with a pizza slice after his Wal-Mart shift.

The 6-foot-5 “gentle giant” was an activist who worked with police to protect the Junction area from violence. Shot with a pellet gun in 2008 after asking two men not to bring firearms near a playground, friends believe he was targeted for standing up to thugs and Det. Hank Idsinga said police believe the killers mapped out Mark’s nightly routine.

IAN.ROBERTSON@SUNMEDIA.CA

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