Connect with us


Amid spike in GTA domestic homicides, experts call for action to address ‘crisis’




At midnight on her birthday Natalie Lewandowski stared at her phone, waiting for a call that would never come.

Her 25-year-old sister, Alicia Lewandowski, had been killed two days earlier, on March 5, 2018 — one of fourteen women and children killed last year in the Greater Toronto Area in cases considered by police to be domestic homicides. Alicia’s boyfriend Joseph Chang has been charged with first-degree murder.

Natalie Lewandowski — sitting in front of photos of her sister Alicia who was killed last year, allegedly by her boyfriend — would like to see more education for young men and women about what healthy and abusive relationships look like.
Natalie Lewandowski — sitting in front of photos of her sister Alicia who was killed last year, allegedly by her boyfriend — would like to see more education for young men and women about what healthy and abusive relationships look like.  (J.P. MOCZULSKI for The Toronto Star)

“We were best, best friends. We had a divine and unique bond. Everyone knew us as the ‘Lewandowski sisters,’” said Natalie Lewandowski, 32, on a December evening before her first Christmas since her sister’s death. “We would always say that when mom and dad go, we’d have each other.”

Photographs of her sister at various milestones are placed around her apartment. Alicia surrounded by friends on her birthday. Alicia at the surprise baby shower she threw when Lewandowski was pregnant with her son Adrian. Alicia holding Adrian on the night he was born.

It’s the photographs of Alicia that will never be added to the framed collages that haunt Lewandowski. Not from her college graduation — Alicia was training to become an esthetician because she loved making people feel beautiful. Not from her wedding or the birth of her first child.

When someone is murdered their killer is “not just taking away a person’s life,” she said. “They are affecting everybody that loved the person and even generations later. My son is robbed of having an aunt and first cousins. I am robbed of ever being an aunt.”

Read more:

The 96 victims of Toronto’s record year in homicide

Opinion | Edward Keenan: We owe it to Toronto’s homicide victims to look beyond law enforcement

Canada’s firearm homicide rate climbs to highest since 1992

There is little Lewandowski wants to say now about her sister’s case because she may be a witness in Chang’s as-yet unscheduled criminal trial.

“(Alicia) gave people benefit of the doubt,” she said. “She loved spreading joy and bringing happiness to others.”

Lewandowski said her sister also went through abuse similar to what many women have gone through or are currently going through in their relationships.

“You don’t think it will ever happen,” she said of her sister’s murder.

The Greater Toronto Area saw more than twice as many domestic homicides in 2018 than in 2017 and three more than in each of 2014 and 2013.

Alicia Lewandowski, 25, was killed March 5, 2018. Joseph Chang has been charged with first-degree murder in the case.
Alicia Lewandowski, 25, was killed March 5, 2018. Joseph Chang has been charged with first-degree murder in the case.  (Natalie Lewandowski)

Fourteen women and children were killed in the GTA last year in 11 cases where a current or former intimate partner was charged, according to a Star analysis.

The victims range in age from 13 to 76. But there are some commonalities — most of the victims were found in their homes. In four cases the apparent killer died by suicide after killing their current or former partner. In at least two cases there was a known or documented history of abuse. In two cases, the victim was reportedly ending or had ended the relationship — a time known to be especially dangerous for women leaving abusive relationships.

It’s unclear why there was an increase in domestic homicides in the GTA in 2018, experts say. Both femicides — a term specifically referring to the killing of women and girls — and domestic homicides have, overall, been decreasing in Canada. Between 1975 and 2015, intimate partner homicide rates decreased 37 per cent for females and decreased by more than 69 per cent for males, according to the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability, which was launched in 2017.

However, homicide rates for Indigenous women have remained stable or increased over the same time period. Indigenous women constituted a quarter of femicide victims in 2015 and the homicide rate for Indigenous women between 2001 and 2015 was nearly six times higher than that for non-Indigenous women, according to Statistics Canada.

Women remain most at risk of being killed by a husband or boyfriend — 48 per cent of all solved femicides in Canada in 2015 were committed by a current or former intimate partner, according to the Femicide Observatory.

Women and girls are also far more likely than men and boys to be killed by someone they know well, including parents and other family members — only six per cent of female victims in 2015 were killed by a stranger and 14 per cent by a casual acquaintance. Meanwhile 45 per cent of male victims were killed by a casual acquaintance, 16 per cent by a criminal acquaintance and 16 per cent by a stranger.

These patterns appear to be reflected in the femicide statistics in Peel Region, which saw nine femicides last year out of a total of 26 homicides. All but three allegedly involve an intimate partner.

In Toronto, which saw 96 homicides in Toronto in 2018, 21 victims were women and girls. Including two exceptional “mass casualty” incidents, the April van attack and the July Danforth mass shooting, more than half were allegedly murdered by strangers — a much higher number than is typical.

Eight women were killed in the April 23 van attack that left 10 people dead. It remains unclear if women were specifically targeted. Alek Minassian, who now faces 10 charges of first-degree murder, has alleged links to the misogynist “incel” online community that espouses hatred of women stemming from their “involuntary celibacy.”

Reese Fallon, 18, who would have started university in the fall, and Julianna Kozis, 10, were killed by Faisal Hussain in the Danforth mass shooting in July.

Ruma Amar, 29, and Jenas Nyarko, 31, were shot and killed — neither the intended target of the bullets, according to police.

Abbegail Elliott, 21, was stabbed in her home — a man and a woman are charged with first-degree murder.

Rhoderie Estrada, 44, was killed in her home. Two men are charged with first-degree murder.

Victoria Selby-Readman, 28, was killed, allegedly, by her flatmate, a man with a history of domestic violence.

Three women and girls were killed by relatives — an infant allegedly killed by her father, Elena Marucci, 84, allegedly killed by her grandson, and Colleen Maxwell, 73, allegedly killed by her son.

Three women were killed by their intimate partners — one in a murder-suicide.

Examining all femicides is necessary to discover and prevent patterns of violence beyond intimate partner homicides, such as when women are killed by other family members including sons or grandsons, says Farrah Khan, the manager of the Ryerson University Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education.

The 2018 Femicide Census in the United Kingdom explores several femicides patterns, including terror attacks where women are killed or targeted, citing the attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester last year. The report also notes a link between terrorists or mass shooters and a history of domestic violence and stresses the importance of examining factors that may make certain women more vulnerable including race and immigration status.

This year the Liberal government proposed several new Criminal Code reforms targeting domestic violence, including increasing penalties for repeat offenders, making it more difficult for accused persons with previous domestic violence-related convictions to get bail on similar offences and explicitly allowing restitution to be ordered for a victim’s moving expenses, temporary housing, food, child care and transportation. The bill is currently before the Senate.

The reforms also make strangulation a more serious offence, reflecting research that shows strangulation is not just extremely dangerous but a risk factor for escalating violence — though University of Ottawa law professor Elizabeth Sheehy said this move may end up ineffective if accused persons can argue strangulation was consensual.

Sheehy said there remains a need for a federal strategy to tackle violence against women, which would allow for a more coherent approach across the country. “I think it’s very hard to imagine improvement that comes from haphazard law reform or fortunate decisions by one official in one jurisdiction or another,” she said.

Femicides — and violence against women — are not “women’s issues,” said Laura Hartley, the co-ordinator of Peel Committee Against Woman Abuse. “It’s a public issue, it’s a crisis and it requires a public response. It’s everyone in our communities’ responsibility to be working together to create a safe and just society for all women.”

Every year the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses compiles a list of the women killed in the province and vigils are held on Dec. 6, the anniversary of the killing of 14 women at the l’École Polytechnique de Montréal.

Khan says the significance of the list is made even more stark because so many could have been prevented.

“What will be the legacy of so many women murdered?” Khan said.

Natalie Lewandowski wants to see more education for both young men and women about what healthy and abusive relationships look like — and what to do if they are in abusive relationships and what resources, like free counselling or safe places to stay, they can access.

“If you see red flags run as fast as you can because you may think things will change and get better but they don’t,” she said.

She and her family remain devastated from Alicia’s death.

“I am not the same person that I was,” she said.

Lewandowski used to be a funeral director. She spent her days helping families endure the loss of loved ones with compassion and dignity. When it came time for her sister’s funeral, she did Alicia’s makeup herself, so that her winged eyeliner would be just right.

“I wanted her to look like Alicia,” she said.

She can no longer work in the funeral industry — it’s too hard, even though she understands the pain of losing a loved one more acutely than ever before.

It would have been Alicia’s 26th birthday on Dec. 8. Lewandowski stared at the clock until it struck midnight.

“I had my phone in my hands and I wanted so badly to call her and sing happy birthday to her. And I couldn’t make that call. And I will never be able to make that call.”

Alyshah Hasham is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and court. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter: @alysanmati


Source link

قالب وردپرس


Nostalgia and much more with Starburst XXXtreme




Get a taste of adventure with Starburst XXXtreme based on the legendary NetEnt Game. The nostalgic themes are sure to capture fans of the classic version as they get treated to higher intensity, better visuals, and features. The most significant element of the game is its volatility. Patience will not be an essential virtue considering the insane gameplay, and there is a lot of win potential involved. It retains the original makeup of the previous game while adding a healthy dose of adrenaline. 

Starburst Visuals and Symbols

The game is definitely more conspicuous than before. The setting happens over a 5-reel, 3-row game grid with nine fixed win lines, which function if a succession from the left to the right reel is present. Only those players that that attain the highest win per bet line are paid. From a visual standpoint, the Starburst XXXtreme slots illustrates lightning effects behind the reels, which is not surprising as it is inherited from the original version. Available themes include Classic, Jewels, and Space. The game is also available in both desktop and mobile versions, which is advantageous for players considering the global pandemic. According to Techguide, American gamers are increasingly having more engaging gaming experiences to socialize to fill the gap of in-person interaction. Starburst XXXtreme allows them to fill the social void at a time when there is so much time to be had indoors. 

Starburst XXXTreme Features

Players get to alternate on three features which are Starburst Wilds, XXXtreme Spins, and Random Wilds. The first appears on reels 2,3, or 4. When these land, they expand to cover all positions while also calculating the wins. They are also locked for a respin. If a new one hits, it also becomes locked while awarding another respin. Starburst XXXtreme offers a choice between two scenarios for a higher stake. In one scenario with a ten times stake, the Starburst Wild is set on random on reels 2,3, or 4, and a multiplier starts the respin. The second scenario, which has a 95 times stake, starts with two guaranteed starburst wilds on reels 2,3, or 4. it also plays out using respin game sequence and features. The game also increases the potential with the Random Wilds feature to add Starburst Wilds to a vacant reel at the end of a spin. Every Starburst Wild gives a random multiplier with potential wins of x2, x3, x5, x10, x25, x50, x100, or even x150.

The new feature is sure to be a big hit with the gaming market as online gambling has shown significant growth during the lockdown. AdAge indicates the current casino customer base is an estimated one in five Americans, so Starburst XXXtreme’s additional features will achieve considerable popularity. 

What We Think About The Game

The gambling market has continued to diversify post-pandemic, so it is one of the most opportune times to release an online casino-based game. Thankfully Starburst XXXtreme features eye-catching visuals, including the jewels and space themes. These attract audience participation and make the gameplay inviting. The game also has a nostalgic edge. The previous NetEnt iteration featured similar visuals and gameplay, so the audience has some familiarity with it. The producers have revamped this version by tweaking the features to improve the volatility and engagement. 

That is characterized by the potential win cap of 200,000 times the bet. Starburst XXXtreme does not just give betting alternatives for players that want to go big. The increase of multipliers also provides a great experience. If the respins in the previous version were great, knowing that multipliers can go hundreds of times overtakes the game to a new level. 

Players should get excited about this offering. All of the features can be triggered within a single spin. Whether one plays the standard game or takes the XXXtreme spin route, it is possible to activate all of the features. Of course, the potential 200,000 times potential is a huge carrot. However, the bet size is probably going to be restricted and vary depending on the casino. It is also worth pointing out that a malfunction during the gameplay will void all of the payouts and progress. Overall, the game itself has been designed to provide a capped win of 200,000 times the original bet. 

Continue Reading


‘We’re back’: Montreal festival promoters happy to return but looking to next year




In downtown Montreal, it’s festival season.

In the city’s entertainment district, a musical act was conducting a sound check on stage Friday evening — the second day of the French-language version of the renowned Just For Laughs comedy festival. Tickets for many of the festival’s free outdoor shows — limited by COVID-19 regulations — were sold out.

Two blocks away, more than 100 people were watching an acoustic performance by the Isaac Neto Trio — part of the last weekend of the Festival International Nuits d’Afrique, a celebration of music from the African continent and the African diaspora.

With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to limit capacity, festival organizers say they’re glad to be back but looking forward to next year when they hope border restrictions and capacity limits won’t affect their plans.

Charles Décarie, Just For Laughs’ CEO and president, said this is a “transition year.”

“Even though we have major constraints from the public health group in Montreal, we’ve managed to design a festival that can navigate through those constraints,” Décarie said.

The French-language Juste pour rire festival began on July 15 and is followed by the English-language festival until July 31.

When planning began in February and March, Décarie said, organizers came up with a variety of scenarios for different crowd sizes, ranging from no spectators to 50 per cent of usual capacity.

“You’ve got to build scenarios,” he said. “You do have to plan a little bit more than usual because you have to have alternatives.”

Continue Reading


MELS new major movie studio to be built in Montreal




MONTREAL — MELS Studios will build a new film studio in Montreal, filling some of the gap in supply to meet the demand of Hollywood productions.

MELS president Martin Carrier said on Friday that MELS 4 studio construction will begin « as soon as possible », either in the fall or winter of next year. The studio could host productions as early as spring 2023.

The total investment for the project is $76 million, with the Quebec government contributing a $25 million loan. The project will create 110 jobs, according to the company.

The TVA Group subsidiary’s project will enable it to stand out « even more » internationally, according to Quebecor president and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau. In the past, MELS Studios has hosted several major productions, including chapters of the X-Men franchise. The next Transformers movie is shooting this summer in Montreal.

Péladeau insisted that local cultural productions would also benefit from the new facility, adding that the studio ensures foreign revenues and to showcase talent and maintain an industry of Quebec producers.


The film industry is cramped in Montreal.

According to a report published last May by the Bureau du cinéma et de la télévision du Québec (BCTQ), there is a shortage of nearly 400,000 square feet of studio space.

With the addition of MELS 4, which will be 160,000 square feet, the company is filling part of the gap.

Carrier admitted that he has had to turn down contracts because of the lack of space, representing missed opportunities of « tens of millions of dollars, not only for MELS, but also for the Quebec economy. »

« Montreal’s expertise is in high demand, » said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, who was present at the announcement.

She said she received great testimonials from « Netflix, Disney, HBO and company » during an economic mission to Los Angeles in 2019.

« What stands out is that they love Montreal because of its expertise, knowledge and beauty. We need more space, like MELS 4, » she said.

There is still not enough capacity in Quebec, acknowledged Minister of Finance, the Economy and Innovation Eric Girard.

« It is certain that the government is concerned about fairness and balance, so if other requests come in, we will study them with the same seriousness as we have studied this one, » he said.

Grandé Studios is the second-largest player in the industry. Last May, the company said it had expansion plans that should begin in 2022. Investissement Québec and Bell are minority shareholders in the company.

For its part, MELS will have 400,000 square feet of production space once MELS 4 is completed. The company employs 450 people in Quebec and offers a range of services including studio and equipment rentals, image and sound postproduction, visual effects and a virtual production platform.

Continue Reading
Actualités10 mois ago

Ces légendes du baccara vous dévoilent leurs secrets

Affaires1 année ago

Retard de vol : le devoir de la compagnie envers ses passagers

Anglais2 années ago

Nostalgia and much more with Starburst XXXtreme

Opinions2 années ago

Même les jeunes RÉPUBLIQUES se lassent du capitalisme, selon les sondeurs américains — RT USA News

Opinions2 années ago

« Aucune crise climatique ne causera la fin du capitalisme ! »

Opinions2 années ago

Innovation : le capitalisme « responsable », faux problème et vraie diversion

Opinions2 années ago

Vers la fin du Capitalocène ?

Opinions2 années ago

Le “capitalisme viral” peut-il sauver la planète ?

Opinions2 années ago

Livre : comment le capitalisme a colonisé les esprits

Opinions2 années ago

Patrick Artus : « Le capitalisme d’aujourd’hui est économiquement inefficace »

Opinions2 années ago

Zemmour candidat “sous-marin” pro-Macron, ce complotisme autorisé…

Opinions2 années ago

La durée des vols bientôt divisée par deux. Merci le capitalisme !

Opinions2 années ago

Economie politique. «Brevets et capitalisme»

Opinions2 années ago

Le Parti communiste d’Afrique du Sud a cent ans

Opinions2 années ago

Le wokisme est un anti-libéralisme

Opinions2 années ago

Au moment où la critique du capitalisme ultralibéral et financiarisé obtient un plus large consensus, il devient crucial de ne plus se limiter à elle : aujourd’hui, l’enjeu cardinal est celui de l’alternative à un modèle discrédit.

Opinions2 années ago

Ce que le capitalisme fait aux femmes

Mode2 années ago

Louis Vuitton crée Charlie, sa première basket unisexe et écoresponsable

Mode2 années ago

L’Événement Evening Dresses Show Retourne À Salerno Du 1 Au 3 Septembre 2021 Inaugurant La Saison Internationale Du Prêt-À-Porter

Mode2 années ago

LVMH continue son ascension, tiré par son activité Mode et Maroquinerie

Anglais4 années ago

Body found after downtown Lethbridge apartment building fire, police investigating – Lethbridge

Santé Et Nutrition3 années ago

Comment aider un bébé à développer son goût

Anglais4 années ago

Head of Toronto Community Housing placed on paid leave

Styles De Vie4 années ago

Salon du chocolat 2018: les 5 temps forts

Anglais4 années ago

This B.C. woman’s recipe is one of the most popular of all time — and the story behind it is bananas

Santé Et Nutrition4 années ago

Gluten-Free Muffins

Anglais4 années ago

27 CP Rail cars derail near Lake Louise, Alta.

Anglais4 années ago

Man facing eviction from family home on Toronto Islands gets reprieve — for now

Santé Et Nutrition4 années ago

We Try Kin Euphorics and How to REALLY Get the Glow | Healthyish

Anglais5 années ago

Condo developer Thomas Liu — who collected millions but hasn’t built anything — loses court fight with Town of Ajax

Anglais4 années ago

Ontario’s Tories hope Ryan Gosling video will keep supporters from breaking up with the party

Styles De Vie4 années ago

Renaud Capuçon, rédacteur en chef du Figaroscope

Anglais4 années ago

Ontario Tories argue Trudeau’s carbon plan is ‘unconstitutional’

Mode4 années ago

Paris : chez Cécile Roederer co-fondatrice de Smallable

Anglais4 années ago

Trudeau government would reject Jason Kenney, taxpayers group in carbon tax court fight

Anglais4 années ago

100 years later, Montreal’s Black Watch regiment returns to Wallers, France

Styles De Vie4 années ago

Ford Ranger Raptor, le pick-up roule des mécaniques

Affaires4 années ago

Le Forex devient de plus en plus accessible aux débutants

Anglais3 années ago

The Bill Gates globalist vaccine depopulation agenda… as revealed by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Anglais4 années ago

Province’s push for private funding, additional stops puts Scarborough subway at risk of delays


Situs sbobet resmi terpercaya. Daftar situs slot online gacor resmi terbaik. Agen situs judi bola resmi terpercaya. Situs idn poker online resmi. Agen situs idn poker online resmi terpercaya. Situs idn poker terpercaya.

situs idn poker terbesar di Indonesia.

List website idn poker terbaik.

Permainan judi slot online terbaik

slot hoki gacor

daftar slot online
judi slot pulsa