Wednesday, June 2, 1999

Gay Abbate

p. A9.

Lastman intervenes as uproar grows over police election poster

Mayor Mel Lastman has stepped in to try to calm tensions between the Toronto police union and the city's Hispanic community.

In a strongly worded letter to the Canadian Hispanic Congress yesterday, Mr. Lastman said he shared community concerns about a poster paid for by the Toronto Police Association, saying it was "inappropriate" in a culturally diverse city. And he promised he would "go to any lengths to assure something like this never happens again."

The normally quiet Hispanic community is now roaring over a poster on the platform of the Yonge and Bloor subway station that depicted five Latin men as drug pushers, pimps and rapists. The message by the police union urges voters to support candidates who stand for law and order in tomorrow's provincial election. The poster came down Monday when the advertising contract expired.

Mr. Lastman has asked for a report from the city's access and equity division.

The Toronto Transit Commission decided yesterday to investigate why the sign was not noticed.

TTC commissioner Joe Mihevc said it clearly did not meet the commission's advertising standards. Advertising on TTC property is contracted to a private company, but the company is aware of the standards, Mr. Mihevc said.

Consuelo Rubio of the Centre for Spanish-Speaking Peoples said several groups met with the Ontario Human Rights Commission yesterday and were told the commission may take the unusual step of initiating its own complaint without waiting for one from the public. The commission will make a decision this week.

Toronto Police clippings… [Fiona Stewart]

Created: October 8, 2000
Last modified: October 8, 2000
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