UQAM not as deep in the red
Finances at the Université de Quebec a Montreal are looking better, but still shaky, the university said after releasing its budget last Tuesday. UQAM is now predicting a year-end deficit of $10.4 million; the original budget forecasted a $75.4 million shortfall. Among other factors, the university attributed the change to government grants and a lower than expected interest rate.
A city councillor said the bylaw banning masks and hoods at protests is a violation of civil liberties. Warren Allmand said he hopes city hall will reconsider the proposed bylaw before it goes to a vote. The regulation proposes to disallow people at “a meeting, a parade or a gathering on public property” from covering their face “without reasonable cause, particularly with a scarf, a hood or a mask.” The regulation does not define what would constitute “reasonable cause.”
Stop the presses
The next time The Monitor rolls off the presses will be the last. From now on, the free, weekly English-language paper will only be available online. The paper, which was launched in 1926 has a circulation of 35,000 in N.D.G, Hampstead, Cote-St-Luc and Montreal West. A spokesperson for the company said the decision to end distribution of hard copies is said to be a “business decision,” based on failed attempts to improve the paper’s viability.
Homeless lose home
Montreal’s largest homeless shelter was evacuated Saturday evening after a water main break flooded Saint-Antoine street. About 200 homeless people were at the Old Brewery Mission at the time and were taken to other shelters.
Hells Angel convicted in slaying
Paul Fontaine was convicted, Sunday, for the 1997 killing of a prison guard and the attempted murder of another. It took the jury six days to decide that Fontaine was the gunman who climbed on the hood of a prison transport vehicle and opened fire, killing Pierre Rondeau and wounding Robert Corriveau. Fontaine, who was arrested in 2004, has been on trial since October.
Five UBC engineering students were arrested early Monday morning after trying to hang a car from a Vancouver bridge. But the cables they were using snapped and the Volkswagen Beetle fell into the water below. The hanging of a Beetle from bridges is an annual tradition for UBC engineering students. This is the first time that any have been arrested.
More Greyhound woes
At least there was a hero this time: a 46-year-old man tried to hijack a Greyhound bus shortly after it left Windsor, Ontario last Tuesday. The bus driver alleged he had to fight off the passenger after he tried to grab a hold of the steering wheel. Provincial police said the driver saved the day by quickly pulling the bus over to the shoulder then subduing the rowdy passenger. No one was injured during the incident. The passenger was taken to hospital to be examined.
This is hardly surprising
Sandwiches sold in Western Canada were recalled after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced they might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The Hygaard brand sandwiches are being recalled in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, B.C. and the Northwest Territories. Other Hygaard food products were recalled in January because of listeria fears; they were mini-pizzas and subs that were set to expire in September 2009 (yes, eight months from now).
Now, the problem is how to get this message out to the people who are obviously too drunk to read about it if they’re drunk enough to buy the sandwiches.
Transit strike over
Ottawa commuters will, once again, be able to ride public transit. Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union voted 95 per cent in favour of binding arbitration, ending the dispute. Mechanics, drivers and dispatchers in Ottawa have been on strike since Dec. 10. Trains started running again on Monday; buses will begin to run on Feb. 9. The transportation company said full-service is not likely to return for another few weeks.
Police chief hot cop
“Hotcop2006” was a real police officer, but so was the person he thought was a 14-year-old girl. The “hot cop,” Willie B. Fuller, police chief at Virginia Commonwealth University, was charged this week with attempting to solicit sex over the Internet after being caught in a sting by a neighbouring police department.
England: setting records
A British health survey found 23 per cent of its citizens are considered obese – earning the country top honours in Europe. England is also the country in which women die of alcohol-related liver disease more often than in almost any other European nation; Brits have almost the highest rates of heart attacks and smoking; their infant mortality rates were among the highest in Europe. The survey, published by the government, compared England’s health with the 15 western European countries that were part of the European Union before 2004 and the 12 Eastern European countries that joined that year.
Tampa cracks down on hookers
Everybody wants to be in Tampa for Super Bowl – even prostitutes. Police have been targeting areas around the stadium in an effort to clean it up before the big game. A police captain said some of the prostitutes arrested in the past week told police they came to town specifically for the game. Thirteen people were arrested last Monday after police ran a reverse prostitution sting, where female cops went undercover as prostitutes and arrested men who asked for sex.
A 24-year-old woman from Florida was arrested last week after teaching a group of children how to shoplift, then abandoning them when authorities stopped them. An investigator said the woman was showing four children how to shoplift clothing by hiding it. When an investigator confronted the little shoplifters, the woman booted it. She was found later and arrested on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, cruelty toward a child and petty theft.