Ontario street preachers under investigation after ‘inappropriate comments’
Two men wearing sandwich-board style signs are being investigated by Waterloo Regional Police. The signs had quotes from The Bible on them. One read, “the judgement of the great whore” (Revelation 17:1) and the other, “she that lives in pleasure is dead while she lives” (Timothy 5:6). The two men were also yelling “inappropriate comments” at women walking by them on Thursday afternoon.
Most of the confrontations the two men were engaging in were with young women crossing at the corner of King and University. Karen Nancarrow was stopped at the light when the two men began accosting her she told CBC.
“The first thing they asked me is: ‘Are you a Christian?’ And I just ignored them. And not having responded affirmatively, they started yelling at me. They started calling me all kinds of lovely names. They called me a whore, they called me a prostitute.”
The men also told Nancarrow she should “be home serving [her] husband’s needs.” She decided to pull her car over so she could calm down and gather her thoughts. She continued to watch the men do the same to other women as they passed by and decided to call WRPS.
As she waited for police to arrive, Nancarrow picked a spot down the sidewalk and warned approaching women to avoid the men. That is, she says, until she saw the men focus more intensely on a group of three young women who appeared to be in their early 20s—the same age as Nancarrow’s own daughters.
“The girls were kind of stuck there because they were waiting for their light. They couldn’t really go anywhere,” said Nancarrow. “I guess I felt my mama bear come out.”
“I saw them really berating them, and the women kept saying ‘No, leave us alone. Stop.’ And they weren’t really listening, they were saying all kinds of awful things to these young girls.” Nancarrow decided to exit the vehicle and went over to form a physical barrier between the men and the women until the police arrived.
Police constable Dietrich said they are investigating whether or not what the men said falls under criminal harassment charges. Steven Ravbar and Matthew Carapella have already earned a reputation for this kind of behaviour around London, Ont. They refer to themselves as street preachers.
The city of London received more than 75 complaints about the pair between January and March of this year. The city recently changed its public nuisance bylaw in order to charge Ravbar and Carapella.
London now prohibits “unnecessary interference with the use and enjoyment of public space” such as the use of insulting language. The fine for this new bylaw is $750. Nancarrow said she hopes Waterloo Regional Police will lay charges or use the local bylaw to fine. “It looks like these guys have been doing it a long time, so I really hope something’s done about it,” she said.
Toronto-area GO Trains have been halted after protestors were cleared from weeks-long rail blockades near Belleville, Ontario.
The group, known as the “Wet’suwet’en Strong: Hamilton Solidarity,” migrated to the tracks of the Bayview Junction in the Chicago-to-Toronto rail corridor that also serves Amtrak, VIA, and Go Transit, The Globe and Mail reports.
The group said in a Facebook post that they were served with an injunction by police, which they “happily burned.” The group then set up blockades on the GO tracks, which the group has said is in response to the OPP’s dismantling of blockades on Tyendaninaga Mohawk Territory near Belleville.
Those blockades were broken up Monday morning after police forced protestors to leave, eventually arresting 10 people on the scene. The blockades, which stayed up for three weeks, caused nationwide economic stagnation as both CN rail and VIA rail had to temporarily lay off employees, along with other massive inconveniences such as supply shortages.
But after the blockade was taken down, the protestors saw it fit that they continue their rallies, this time on commute tracks.
The group posted on Facebook Monday, saying that “the violence the state has perpetrated towards Indigenous land defenders and their supporters, the forced removal and criminalization of Indigenous people from their lands” was their reason for protesting. “This is a pattern that has existed since settlers came to Turtle Island and that continues to exist today.”
Another blockade has been set up on Highway 6 in Caledonia, Ontario as well, blocking traffic between Argyle and Greens Road.
A man in Regina has been charged after allegedly placing two cameras in the women’s bathroom of a Tim Hortons on Rochdale Boulevard according to the Regina Leader-Post.
The Regina Police Service issued a news release stating that Aaron Alwood Wheeler faces a double charge of voyeurism.
Some of the recorded victims have already been identified by police but not all of them. According to the police, the victims are youths to seniors.
The Regina police noted that their school resource section has become involved as the business is situated near multiple high schools.
Police received a report on Jan. 20 that the cameras were located in the women’s washroom and began an investigation. The cameras were placed so that they could record women as they used the toilet. According to police the cameras were hidden out of sight so they would not be easily found by staff when they were cleaning the bathroom.
The camera was seized by police along with a power pack and the tech crimes unit began their investigation. Another camera was reported at the same Tim Hortons on Feb. 3.
Restaurant footage was handed over to police by management and eventually led to Wheeler’s arrest.
According to police, Wheeler does not have any connection to the restaurant. He has a court date on March 18.
The RPS are still investigating the incident and anyone who has information can reach out to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or the RPS at 306-777-6500.
The leader of of the official opposition in Ontario is saying that singing God Save the Queen drags Canada closer to colonialism.
Andrea Horwath who leads the NDP in Canada’s largest province, has said in a tweet that she “fully supports the Indigenous NDP MPPs’ decision to abstain [from singing the anthem].”
What was perhaps more controversial was when Howarth suggested the singing of this song dragged Ontario closer to Canadians: “Dragging us closer to colonialism is not in the spirit of reconciliation,” she said indignantly.
Despite Howarth’s insistence on flamboyant displays of anti-colonial virtue signalling, her NDP party has recently been suffering in the polls—coming in a distant third behind both the leaderless Liberal Party of Ontario and the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario.
Ontario Provincial Police have moved in on blockaders on Mohawk territory after a deadline calling for them to clear the Belleville, Ontario railway expired.
Blockaders have stopped trains from running for three weeks in support of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and the construction of a natural gas pipeline.
OPP informed the protestors that they had to clear the tracks before midnight EST. The blockade has still not been cleared as of Monday morning.
One person told Global News that the blockaders would not be leaving the tracks, and that they were anticipating police arrival.
OPP vehicles arrived on the scene at roughly 8 a.m. Monday morning.
An unknown number of protestors have been arrested, as they continue to form a “human wall” on the tracks, partially to keep media away, as well as police.
The call for the end of the blockades came on Friday, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for their deconstruction.
“Every attempt at dialogue has been made but discussions have not been productive. We cannot have dialogue when only one party is coming to the table … The fact remains, the barricades must now come down. The injunctions must be obeyed and the law must be upheld.”
Sources in the Mohawk territory told Global News that there has been outreach from the government, also saying that protestors are growing tired of protesting after three weeks on the tracks.
The Mohawk community of Tyendinaga told media tht they would not be leaving the tracks unil:
• The RCMP leaves the Wetsuwet’en territory in British Columbia.
• A follow-up meeting between Indigenous Service Minister Marc Miller and Indigenous communities.
• A concern for the safety of families if police force were to be used.