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Police presence in Jewish communities across Canada to be increased following Pittsburgh shooting – National

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Toronto police will increase its visibility at synagogues, while Jewish advocacy groups say law enforcement will increase its presence across the country in Jewish communities after a gunman killed at least 11 at a synagogue in Pittsburgh Saturday.


READ MORE:
11 dead, 6 injured in shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh

A spokesperson for York Regional Police said that it will be “increasing visibility at synagogues in the region.”

“Officers will be attending and will be inside as well,” the official said. “Officers are attending with the goal of trying to give everyone a sense of calm. They’re asking anyone who sees anything suspicious to contact them.”

Toronto police said in a statement that they will “continuously monitor issues and make appropriate adjustments in our plans in order to mitigate potential risks to public safety.”

WATCH: At least 11 dead, 6 injured after Pittsburgh synagogue shooting






“We do not disclose the specifics of our security plans,” the statement read.

Toronto police chief Mark Saunders said his officers have “made adjustments to local security” in a tweet.

In addition, a statement from Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC), a Canadian Jewish human rights foundation, said Vancouver police chief Adam Palmer reported that his department has instituted patrols around Jewish facilities “right away,” and that the Edmonton police department will do the same.


READ MORE:
What we know about Robert Bowers, suspect in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

Martin Sampson, a spokesperson for the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), a Jewish advocacy group, said “law enforcement across Canada have, as a precaution, directed front line resources to increase presence around Jewish neighbourhoods and Jewish institutions.”

“We are in touch with all major law enforcement agencies, at all levels,” he said. “They have signaled directly to us [that they have increased their presence.]  Local presence has increased — more visible presence of front line police resources in and around Jewish community institutions and neighbourhoods.”

The presence will “certainly” be extended through the weekend, Sampson said.

WATCH: President Donald Trump reacts synagogue shooting


“Canadian law enforcement has reacted quickly and decisively to this situation, and for that we are grateful,” Sampson said. “Though there is no information to suggest an increased security threat in Canada, we have reminded our community right across the country that it is important to remain vigilant.”

Robert Bowers, 46, has been arrested as a suspect in connection with the shooting in Pittsburgh, Pa. that killed at least 11 at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue. CNN has reported that the gunman made anti-Semitic remarks during the shooting and he shot at police who arrive on the scene.

Anti-Semitism has increased in Canada in the last couple years, according to reports.


READ MORE:
Trump condemns Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, says ‘vile’ anti-Semitism must end

According to a 2016 report from Statistics Canada, hate crimes against Jewish people saw the largest spike from the year before among religious groups, from 178 incidents reported to police in 2015 to 221 reported in 2016. These increases were recorded mainly in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba.

Jewish people were also the targets of the most hate crimes out of any religious group in 2016, according to the report.

According to an audit done by B’nai Brith Canada, a Jewish advocacy group, 2017 was a record-breaking year for anti-Semitism in Canada. The audit found that there were 1,752 recorded incidents of anti-Semitism, and anti-Semitic vandalism more than doubled across the country, breaking the record for number of incidents at 327.

WATCH: Toronto Jewish official reacts to synagogue shooting


The audit ranked Ontario as the number one region in Canada for anti-Semitic incidents, with a total of 808 reported incidents in 2017. Quebec came in second with 474 incidents of harassment and vandalism — the highest number ever recorded in the 36 year history of the audit, according to B’nai Brith’s Quebec regional director, Harvey Levine.

— With files from Rahul Kalvapalle, Monique Scotti and Anne Leclair

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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