City in Brief
by Kalina Laframboise
→ Watch out, white collar criminals
Premier Pauline Marois will address corruption when the Quebec National Assembly opens a new session this Wednesday. As one of its top priorities, the provincial government plans to close loopholes in Bill 35 following the revelations of corruption and collusion with the construction industry during the ongoing Charbonneau Commission. A new bill could be presented as early as this week, in order to fight corruption and force contractors to be more honest by implementing stricter rules and mechanisms in order to win a contract from municipal authorities.
→ Time to invest in a train pass
Commuters, prepare for more traffic headaches. The Honoré-Mercier bridge, which connects Châteauguay and the Island of Montreal, will undergo more construction for an undetermined amount of time. The Gazette reported that while work continues on the federally owned side of the bridge and is slated for completion in 2014, the provincial side expects an additional five years of work and has no target date for completion. Construction started in 2008 to fix the decrepit bridge that is used by 80,000 commuters daily. Repeated lane closures often snarl traffic on the bridge, extending to the west and downtown.
→ …Or not
Public transit users will see their monthly passes rise from $75.50 to $77.75 in January 2012. The Societé de Transport de Montréal will increase the costs of a three-day pass to $18 from $16, and offer a new option for a weekend unlimited pass for $12 that will cover commuters from Friday evening until Monday morning. The express bus to Montreal’s Pierre-Elliot Trudeau airport will cost nine dollars as will the unlimited day pass. The STM has steadily increased monthly rates since 2002, when a pass was $50.
→ Say goodbye to your employee discount
Pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced it will cut 300 jobs nationwide, but mostly in Montreal. The company’s headquarters, located west of Montreal in Kirkland, will see a large number of employees dismissed due to restructuring process. The layoffs account for nearly 11 per cent of the company’s total number of employees. Pfizer has 2,700 employees in Canada and approximately 1,800 in Quebec. The company recently underwent a multimillion dollar renovation, with a $2.7-million contribution from the provincial government.
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Nation in Brief
by Robin Della Corte
→ Losers in Canada
After its fourth draw, no one has claimed the winning ticket for the $50-million Lotto Max jackpot in Canada. “Fifty MaxMillions prizes of $1-million each were up for grabs in Friday night’s draw, and there are winning tickets for 24 of them,” the Canadian Press reported. There were nine winning tickets sold in western Canada, six in Ontario, four in Quebec, and one in Atlantic Canada. The next jackpot for Lotto Max on Nov. 2 will remain at $50 million and, again, there will be 50 MaxMillions prizes for the taking.
→ Bar refuses to serve black customers
A group of individuals claim they were refused entrance at a bar in Gatineau, QC because they were black. According to a video posted online, the bouncer at Le Fou du Roi can be heard telling the group that black people who were not regulars could not be admitted inside. Brigit Vanhoutte, co-owner of the bar, apologized for the incident and told CBC that the bouncer has been suspended due to the situation that occurred and that the bar does not ban black customers from the premises.
→ I’m stealin’ it
Investigators in Moncton, N.B. said a man walked into a McDonald’s at around 3 a.m. last Saturday morning claiming he had a weapon and demanded money. Eyewitnesses claim no weapon was seen, but saw the accused leaving with food and an unknown amount of money. Police reported that the description of the suspect was vague and confirmed no one was hurt at the scene of the robbery.
→ Punch drunk love
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were called to the Halifax Stanfield International Airport last Friday night after a passenger punched a flight attendant. Police reported that a 24-year-old male passenger became aggressive during the plane’s descent. According to Sgt. Mike Lidstone, several passengers stepped in and subdued the individual until police were able to detain him allowing the plane to land without further incident. The accused will undergo a psychiatric assessment.
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World in Brief
by Matthew Guité
→ A different kind of Woodstock
A New Zealand woman has admitted to feeding her three-month-old baby cannabis through her breast milk. The mother, 29, plead guilty to giving a controlled substance to an individual under the age of 18. She was sentenced to six months supervision, and her partner was also sentenced for crimes related to the same police raid. The Whanganui District Court said her actions amounted to child abuse. “People often believe drug-related activities are victimless,” Acting Senior Sergeant Andrew McDonald said, “But it affects the people around them.”
→ Can I have some more, sir?
Undergraduate students of Magdalen College, a member of the Oxford University group, are boycotting their dining hall’s services over new plans that would see students paying more than £150, or $241, annually to eat there. Students would pay the fee to use the canteen and would be required to buy a food card for another £150 which, if not spent by the end of the year, would not be refunded. Students have set up food kitchens and organized home cooking sessions to help feed other students.
→ To serve and protect?
A New York city police officer has been charged with conspiring to kidnap, cook and eat women. Gilberto Valle III kept the names, locations and personal information of women he had been surveilling on his computer including pictures as well as the locations and personal details of some of them. The accused officer had begun surveillance of the homes and places of employment of some of the women, and compiled a document titled “Abduction and Cooking: A Blueprint”. In an online conversation, reported by Reuters, with an unknown conspirator, Valle described how he was “thinking of tying [his victim’s] body onto some kind of apparatus … cook her over a low heat, keep her alive as long as possible.” The maximum sentence could be life in prison.
→ Killer lit
An employee at the Porter County Public Library in Valparaiso, IL, opened a book to find an interesting story inside. The book, Outbridge Reach by Robert Stone, was hollowed out and a handgun was tucked neatly away inside. Valparaiso police said the old weapon was a gold, A.S.M. brand black powder gun with a wooden handle . As the the library receives several donations, employees were unable to identify who gave the handgun and book. However, police said the gun wasn’t reported as stolen.