Jacques Duchesneau has spoken out as the head of Quebec’s anti-corruption squad in the wake of a leaked anti-collusion report which confirms long-suspected links between Quebec’s construction industry and organized crime. On Friday morning, Duchesneau held a press conference at the Transport Ministry and met in private with Transportation Minister Pierre Moreau to discuss possible solutions to these allegations. Duchesneau also appeared on Sunday’s season opener of Tout le monde en parle, Radio-Canada’s French-language talk show. He said that there should be an inquiry into the allegations, but that it should be closed to the public. Duchesneau also admitted to being a victim of intimidation since becoming head of the unit.
Paola Ortiz was deported back to Mexico last Friday after Immigration Canada denied the 31-year old woman’s claims of spousal abuse as grounds for granting refugee status. Ortiz, who is mother to two Canadian-born children and is married to a Canadian citizen, came to Canada in 2006 to escape an abusive partner in Mexico. Originally scheduled to leave the country last Tuesday, Ortiz’s departure was delayed until Friday after she suffered a panic attack at Trudeau International Airport. A demonstration was held on her behalf outside Immigration Canada offices in downtown Montreal the day before her deportation.
McGill University professor Michelle Hartmann got into trouble last week after university administration learned that she was holding her undergraduate classes off-campus to avoid crossing picket lines at McGill’s main entrance on Sherbrooke. The university threatened to stop paying Hartmann, stating that students had been complaining about the extra travel required to attend the off-campus classes. The professor had begun teaching her Arabic women’s literature class from both her home and at local coffee shops. McGill’s support staff has been on strike since classes began at the university on Sept. 1, affecting laboratories and residences.
No Cars Go
Pedestrians ruled the streets last Thursday as Montreal held its ninth annual In Town Without My Car/En Ville Sans Ma Voiture week in accordance with International Car-Free Day. Ste-Catherine St. between McGill College Ave. and de Bleury St. and part of City Councillors St. were closed from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., while side streets remained open to accommodate the extra traffic. The day culminated with Arcade Fire performing an outdoor concert at Place des Festivals to an estimated crowd of 100,000 people.