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Ravers get cold shower
Ravers get cold shower
By Wes Brown
The bottled water has been dumped and the glow sticks have been dimmed in the city of Toronto, as rave parties have been banned from all city owned property.
Sergeant Nigel Fontaine, media relations officer for the Toronto Police services board, said the city was disallowing the activity at the current time and not until August, when police Chief Julian Fantino gives his report, that council will act on this situation.
"The police, as they always do, will be working with City Council to inform this is the reason Chief Fantino has been asked to give this report," he said. "Until then, City run raves will remain banned and we will have to wait until August when that information is released."
Toronto councillor Olivia Chow, head of the Safe Rave Protocol, has acted as the main opposition to bann rave parties on City property. Chow's executive assistant, Bob Gallagher, said this protocol has helped try and clean up the scene.
"A lot of these underground raves were and still are extremely dangerous," he said. "This task force pulled together promoters, police, ravers, building code people, medical and fire experts in order to provide a safe environment for the youth of this city."
Gallagher said legislation passed last December, allowed for a number of safe raves on City property, a motion has since been passed to suspend renting out any City owned property to raves.
"We had the Mayor onside until the new chief of police came in. Chief Fantino really dislikes raves and will be presenting a report on August. 1 showing how the City will be handling them in the future," Gallagher said.
City of London Police Chief Al Gramolini fully understands the problem Toronto is having, but explained people have to understand there is no way they are going to do away with raves.
"If we don't provide the youth of today with an outlet, they will go underground, so we may as well deal with it the best way we can," he said.
Gramolini said it was unfair to compare the two cities directly, but did comment on the problem of popular rave drugs like ecstasy.
"There has been increasing amounts of ecstasy surfacing at these parties and that worries me, not only as an officer, but also as a parent," he said. "Our children are out there being exposed to these things and we have to take more of an interest in what is really going on."
London Mayor Dianne Haskett said London has never had a rave held at a city facility and it has never been an issue. "It has not been brought to our attention that something is going on [in the city]," she said.
Haskett said London is a university and college town with a high student based population that has always had plenty of entertainment venues around.
"If they were to be held on civic grounds, they wouldn't come through the City level, but through places like the Western Fair and the Convention Centre. If there was anything illegal going on, the [London] police would have more knowledge on that subject," she said.