Home News In brief: Champlain bridge, carbon tax, Jamal Kashoggi

In brief: Champlain bridge, carbon tax, Jamal Kashoggi

by Ian Down April 9, 2019
In brief: Champlain bridge, carbon tax, Jamal Kashoggi

City in brief

The STM board of directors voted to grant its inspectors new powers to detain passengers and issue parking tickets on Wednesday, according to CTV. The vote needs to be approved by the SPVM and Quebec’s public security minister. If approved, inspectors will also have the ability to tow cars in bus lanes and to access police databases.

Signature sur le Saint-Laurent, the consortium responsible for building the new Champlain bridge, announced on Thursday the bridge will be opening in June, according to Radio-Canada. The bridge will be open inbound to Montreal on June 3, and outbound on June 17. The $4 billion project has been in the works for four years.

The number of foreign buyers in Montreal’s housing market increased by more than 20 per cent from 2017-18, according to La Presse. These buyers, about one third of whom are from China, bought more properties on the island than all Canadians outside of Quebec. The provincial government has refused to grant Mayor Valérie Plante the power to impose taxes on foreign property transactions.

Former Mayor Denis Coderre will fight in a charity boxing match for at-risk youth at the end of next month, according to The Montreal Gazette. Coderre, who has reportedly lost 100 pounds since his tenure as mayor, showed off his sparring skills to the media last Thursday. The same day, the veteran politician said in an interview with Tout le monde en parle he will not run in the next municipal election.

Nation in brief

Former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and former Secretary of the Treasury Board Jane Philpott were expelled from the Liberal caucus last Tuesday, according to Global News. In his announcement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cited disintegrating trust with the former cabinet members amid the fallout from the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Trudeau and members of his office are accused of pressuring Wilson-Raybould to reach a deferred settlement in a bribery case against the Quebec engineering firm.

The federal government imposed carbon taxes on four provinces last week, according to The Guardian. Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick now have a $20 per tonne tax on carbon pollution, which will rise by $10 per year until 2022. Every province was mandated to implement its own carbon tax by April 1 or be subject to the federal tax.

Nova Scotia will soon have implied consent for organ donation, making it the first such jurisdiction in North America, according to CBC. Premier Stephen McNeil tabled the legislation last Tuesday, which would compel those who do not wish to donate their organs to opt out. Belgium and Spain already have similar laws.

Whale and dolphin captivity may soon become illegal thanks to a bill passed by the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans studies on Wednesday, according to CBC. If it passes Parliament, the new law would impose fines of up to $200,000 on theme parks found to have the animals in captivity. Marineland in Niagara Falls is the only Canadian theme park that still holds whales and dolphins on a long-term basis.

World in brief

A Sikh climate activist is encouraging Sikhs around the world to plant one million trees in 2019, according to The Guardian. Rajwant Singh of EcoSikh planned the movement to coincide with the 550th birthday of the religion’s founder, Guru Nanak, on April 15. Sikhs across the world have taken up the challenge, including in India, Canada, the United States and Kenya.

A Chinese ambassador discouraged other countries from participating in a meeting on China’s alleged human rights violations, according to Hong Kong Free Press. China is allegedly holding over one million of the country’s predominantly-Muslim Uighur in detainment camps. In a letter made public by Human Rights Watch, Ambassador Yu Jianhua said the UN meeting on China’s treatment of its Uighur minority population was politically motivated.

The Saudi government is giving the children of journalist Jamal Khashoggi luxury homes and five-figure monthly payouts, according to The Washington Post. The gifts are reportedly compensation for the killing of their father last October, as well as enouragement to withhold criticism of his murder. Kashoggi’s alleged killers are still on trial in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman continues to deny involvement in the murder.

A Bruneian law making gay sex punishable by stoning to death came into effect on Wednesday, according to CNN. In response, businesses across the world have announced boycotts against businesses owned by the southeast Asian country. Among the companies are TV Choice magazine, which intended to host the TV Choice awards in Brunei, and the German bank Deutsche Bank.

Graphic by @sundaemorningcoffee

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