City in Brief
by Matthew Guité
→ SQ officer benched
A provincial police officer has been suspended for 17 days for displaying what the Quebec police ethics committee called “gross incompetence and an obvious lack of judgement” in an incident where an elderly man was thrown to the ground and dragged out of a restaurant. After Yvon Trudel’s nursing home called to report him missing in 2009, Vincent Langlais found the man in a restaurant across the street. According to a waitress working at the time, Langlais grabbed Trudel and pushed him to the ground before forcibly dragging him from the building. Ten days after the incident Trudel suffered a heart attack before dying four months later. The ethics committee ruled that Langlais did not have justification for his actions.
→ Mammoth lobster donated to biodome
A seven-kilogram, one-and-a-half foot long lobster has found a new home at the Montreal Biodome after being donated by the staff of a grocery store east of Montreal. Staff at the IGA in Varennes nicknamed the mammoth crustacean ‘Goliath,’ and contacted the Society for Friends of the Montreal Biodome. According to the Biodome, Goliath, who is in good health, is estimated to be between 30 and 50 years old, and was caught off the coast of Nova Scotia.
→ Not the best idea
A Quebec judge has been reprimanded and may face sanctions after it was revealed that she intended to pay a contractor under the table. Justice Ellen Paré, who was unhappy with the work that was done on her kitchen counters by the company she hired, took the matter to small claims court and asked for $7,000 in damages. The judge presiding over the case awarded her $1,500 but scolded her for paying the company in cash in order to avoid paying taxes. Paré could be called before a council of judges to answer for her actions.
→ Bilingualism and public transit
While speaking on a Montreal radio show, the provincial minister responsible for the anglophone community, Jean-François Lisée, said that a simple phone call was the only thing needed to allow the Société de transport de Montréal to begin hiring bilingual employees. While on the Tommy Schnurmacher show on CJAD, Lisée was asked to push the STM to follow the Agence métropolitaine de transport’s lead and enforce bilingualism for some of its employees.
“STM, are you listening?” Lisée said. “It’s okay, when you make the case that you have employees in areas where part of the clientele will be anglophone, [where] they are in contact with anglophones.”
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Nation in Brief
by Robin Della Corte
→ D’oh and doe
The British Columbia environment minister has agreed to allow a Vancouver resident to keep living with the deer she has raised as a pet. Conservation officers wanted to at first seize the deer by moving it to a wildlife rehabilitation centre, but after experts evaluated the situation, they feared there might be risks by removing the animal from a place it is familiar with. Janet Schwartz and her deer named Bimbo will live together with the help from a veterinarian and conservation officers. According to Schwartz, Bimbo is newly pregnant and craving chocolate cookies.
→ A cry for help
There has been a demand for a mental health and addictions treatment centre for the youth in the Yukon. Advocate Andy Nieman believes there is a current concern with mental health and addiction problems and that there is a long wait for diagnosis and treatment thousands of kilometres away. Nieman’s role is to provide help to the families, but feels that they are giving up hope. In order to seek treatment, residents have to leave the Yukon due to a lack of local services. Nieman states that youth then turn to alcohol and drugs to stabilize themselves, a form of self-medicating, since there are no services available. Nieman is now working on getting the centre done.
→ All drugs are bad
According to Terence Young, a Conservative member of parliament, Canadians are unaware of the risks behind prescription drugs, which kill people “every day” through side effects. Even with the proper doses, “all drugs are poisons,” Young told an audience last week at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. He also believes that because of Health Canada’s approval of these drugs on the market, Big Pharma has “completely perverted” Canada’s drug safety, The National Post reported. Young reported that citizens turn a blind eye to the dangers of prescription medication.
→ Losing money
Machine owners are blaming the Bank of Canada for thousands of vending machines still not being able to accept the new polymer $20 bills. About half a million machines needed reprogramming to be able to accept the redesigned $20 bills. Kim Lockie, who has been converting his 1,200 machines in Fort McMurray, full-time for two months claims he is losing money due to frustrated customers who can’t use their new bills. He blames the Bank of Canada, for not having an advance three-year warning for owners that needed the time to recalibrate their vending machines for the release of the new bills.
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World in Brief
by Matthew Guité
→ Neck and neck
A portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, originally banned for looking nothing like her, has finally been put on display almost 60 years after it was painted. The painting, which shows the Queen with an extremely elongated neck, was originally painted in 1952 by John Napper, who called the painting “a beautiful painting of a queen, but not this Queen.” Napper, who died in 2001, later painted a second portrait of the Queen which hangs to this day. “It was due to be hung up high so that you would look at it from below,” Napper’s widow told the BBC. “If you looked at it from that angle it looked normal.”
→ Cyprus man brings bomb to police station by accident
A Cyprus man accidentally caused a major security incident when he brought an unexploded bomb into a police station to figure out what it was. According to police, the man found the makeshift explosive on his car’s rear window but was unsure what it was, and brought it to the police for investigation. Police shortly realized what the object was and evacuated the building. The device was defused at the station by explosive experts.
“He obviously didn’t know what it was,” a police source said, speaking to Reuters.
→ Sinfully beautiful
The Pope’s private secretary has become the subject of media attention in Italy after appearing on the cover of an issue of Vanity Fair which dubbed him “The George Clooney of St. Peter’s.”
Archbishop Georg Ganswein, who was recently appointed to the position, has served as Pope Benedict’s private secretary since 2005. He did not pose for the magazine’s cover, which features a close-up of a previous photo of him along with the headline “Father Georg – It’s not a sin to be beautiful.”
The magazine’s cover story, which it describes as a “close up profile of a particular monsignor,” relates to his recent promotion and his increasing power within the church.
→ Swedish cleaning lady accused of stealing a train
A Swedish cleaning woman was falsely accused of stealing a train and crashing it into a house on Tuesday, an incident which left the woman in hospital with serious injuries. As the only person on board the train at an early hour in the morning, the cleaning woman was originally suspected of starting the train on purpose. The train accelerated faster than it was meant to safely, and hit the end of the tracks before flying over a street and crashing through a house. Originally believed to be done by the woman on purpose, state prosecutors have since revealed that the incident is now believed to have been an accident. The woman remains in hospital and the detain has since been lifted.