City in briefs: Oct. 12, 2010

Port stowaways speak out

The nine foreign nationals detained after being found in a ship at the Port of Montreal last week finally got a chance to spread their version of events over the weekend. Many of the people have already applied for refugee status and some told an Immigration and Refugee Board on Friday that they didn’t even know where they were going. According to reports, many of the stowaways snuck onto the boat while it was docked in Morocco on the assumption they would be transported somewhere in Europe, an assumption that became problematic when they were forced to spend nearly a week hidden in a shipping container. Customs officials raided the boat with police on arrival last Friday, but the group had already been found on the ship earlier in the week.

Boroughs may take control of parking meters

Come January it seems Montreal boroughs will likely be carrying a little extra change in their pockets: over $50 million combined thanks to you and your car. The city of Montreal is considering handing over control of parking meters to the boroughs starting in January, according to a La Presse report. The boroughs would apparently not actually collect that cash, but the amount would be considered in the endowment awarded to them by the city every year. Also starting in January, the boroughs will recoup the fees of all towing taking place during snow removal activities next year. The decision has already drawn criticism from Louise Harel’s opposition party, which voiced concerns about allowing boroughs to have a say in how much parking fees will be, noting that the prices could technically vary from corner to corner if a borough so chooses.

UQAM students, grilled cheese visit Charest’s office

A few dozen students parked themselves outside Quebec Premier Jean Charest’s office to protest the tuition de-freeze in 2012 which will likely see a large hike in tuition costs. The group of mostly UQAM students were adorned with signs, ponchos for the rain, and grilled cheese sandwiches, the latter a symbol of what the students receiving the $7-a-day food stipend while on financial aid can afford to eat, the McGill Daily reported.

Burglar sleeps in Pointe-Claire attic

Another burglar was caught napping on the job last weekend, this time in a Pointe-Claire home in the West Island of Montreal. A resident called police at around 6 a.m. when he heard noises, leading to a stand-off between armed police and the suspect, the Gazette reported. After blocking off the area, police entered the home only to find that the stand-off was sort of a one-sided affair. The suspect was found sleeping soundly in the attic. In response to this news and hearing about similar sleeping thieves in various parts of the world, we suggest that you secure your homes by placing bedding and warm milk near all valuables.


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