Toronto Sun

Friday, January 25, 2002

Keep ideas simple, inquest told

No funds for costly recommendations

By SARAH GREEN, Toronto Sun

The Ontario government is unlikely to implement "big-ticket" recommendations because the funds aren't there, a lawyer for Attorney General David Young told a coroner's inquest yesterday.

In his final submissions, Tom Marshall urged the five-member panel to think when drafting recommendations to help prevent tragedies such as the June 20, 2000 murder-suicide of Gillian and Ralph Hadley.

"There is not enough money for everybody. There will never be enough money for everybody," Marshall told the jury. "The bigger the ticket item, the easier for the government to say no."

The jury must use care in its recommendations for bail hearings in domestic violence cases, including suggestions to prevent family members from acting as sureties, he said.

Hadley's parents were sureties when he was released on bail on Feb. 28, 2000 after he was charged with stalking Gillian.

Not everyone charged with domestic violence needs to be detained, Marshall said, adding a thorough bail hearing can assess an offender's risk.

Other lawyers called on the federal and provincial governments to boost funding for subsidized housing.

There is a "dire" shortage of subsized housing in Ontario, where no new units have been built since 1995, said Peter Pliszka, lawyer for Durham's Housing Access Centre.

At the time of her death, Gillian was on a priority list for housing in the area where the wait is six- to 18-months.

"The situation is getting worse," Pliszka said.

Matthew Gaskell, lawyer for the Regional Municipality of Durham, called on the province to restore welfare to 1995 levels when benefits were cut 21.6%.

Copyright © 2002, Canoe, a division of Netgraphe Inc.