Festival for Jeffrey reset to later date

Community News & Features Sep 16, 2004 at 3:44 pm

TORONTO–Jeff-Fest, the family event organized by the Justice for Jeffrey Youth Committee scheduled for Sept. 4, has been re-scheduled to a later date, with the Scarborough Civic Centre still as the preferred venue.

This development followed negotiations between the City of Toronto and the event’s organizers, prompted by protest letters and phone calls from individuals and organizations to Toronto Mayor David Miller’s Office, and Councillor DeBaeremaker, who had allegedly turned down the permit to use Albert Campbell Square for the event.

The decision to re-schedule the event came as a result of negotations between the Justice for Jeffrey Coalitions representatives and City of Toronto staff, who provided suggestions for alternative venues where the event could be held. In the meeting called by the City, it was explained that the permit to hold the Sept. 4 event was denied due to some logistical concerns and other requirements required by an existing policy governing the use of Albert Campbell Square.

“The public reaction to the denial of the permit for the Jeff-Fest was overwhelming and completely surprised the organizers of the event,” says Jerry Villanueva in his update e-mailed to the Coalition members and supporters.

Support mostly in the form of e-mails and phone calls — came from various individuals and organizations, among them, The Philippine Heritage Band, the Community Alliance for Social Justice, the National Ethnic Press and Media Council, Metro Network for Social Justice, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, the Philippine Women’s Network, among others.

Meanwhile, the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) has yet to release its report. It had earlier told the Reodica family that its report would be completed and released at end of August.

Almost four months after they had started their investigation, the SIU is still calling for more witnesses to the shooting of Jeffrey Reodica. “At the last meeting we had, we were assured that the result was almost completed and forthcoming. To appeal for more witnesses at the end of the investigation is completely frustrating. You do this at the beginning and not the end. It’s clear that this is a delaying tactic on the part of the SIU,” Willie Reodica, father of the victim said.