Coalition backs call for Manners inquest

From cbc.ca

Community groups and individuals have joined forces with the family of a Toronto teen fatally shot inside his high school to ramp up pressure on the province to call a coroner's inquest into the boy's death.

Jordan Manners, 15, died last month after he was shot in a hallway of C.W. Jefferys C.I. Two 17-year-olds have been charged with first-degree murder.

Denouncing Ontario's failure to heed calls for a coroner's inquest, leaders from the black, Jewish, Italian and Portuguese communities who are part of a coalition involving several community groups, said they would hold their own "citizens' inquest" on June 12.

"Today, collectively, we are saying we are doing something," said Rev. Don Meredith of the GTA Faith Alliance, one of the groups in the coalition.

The coalition extended an invitation to Premier Dalton McGuinty, Toronto's police chief and all members of provincial parliament to attend next week's event. The group did not specify what issues will be discussed at their inquest.

The event is part of the group's effort to push Ontario to call a coroner's inquest into the circumstances surrounding Manners' death and reinstate the position of youth commissioner to look at violence among young people.

An announcement earlier in the day by the province of $4 million to keep some schools in troubled Toronto neighbourhoods open during the summer was called a Band-Aid solution by the group.

The family's lawyer, Courtney Betty, praised the Toronto District School Board for calling its own inquiry into student safety.

"We salute that as a starting point," said Betty.

But he added that only a coroner's inquest has the power to compel witnesses and get to the bottom of the problem.

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