City in Brief
by Matthew Guité
→ À qui la job?
Former Quebec Premier Jean Charest found a new job at Montreal law firm McCarthy Tétrault LLP, four months after he was voted out of office. In a public statement made Thursday, Charest said that he was enthusiastic to join the firm that also employs former Premier Daniel Johnson and former leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, Marc-André Blanchard, who serves as the firm’s chief executive. Blanchard, who serves as the firm’s chief executive officer, told CBC “With Mr. Charest and our legal excellence, McCarthy Tétrault will deliver analysis, solutions and results to our clients that are unmatched in the legal market.”
→ Another mayor, another allegation
Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum denied allegations made earlier this week in a Le Devoir article that claimed that he was under investigation by the Charbonneau Commission for questionable real estate transactions. The article, published Friday, claimed that the Commission was investigating transactions made by Applebaum which required zoning changes in his borough. Applebaum said at a press conference Friday that the story was false, but that he would be meeting with the Commission later that day. Despite not knowing the reason for the meeting, Applebaum pledged to co-operate with the investigation and said he was open to all discussions.
→ Ruling delayed in Richard Henry Bain trial
The court proceedings to determine whether or not the accused election-night shooter Richard Henry Bain is fit to stand trial are halted temporarily until a psychiatric report is made available in English. Bain has repeatedly demanded that all questioning and court proceedings be done in English. As in past court appearances, Bain chose to speak to the judge and prosecutors himself despite having his lawyer present and said that the report declared him 75 per cent fit to stand trial. His lawyer, Elfriede Duclervil, has been requesting since October to stop representing him, saying that Bain does not qualify for legal aid.
→ In hot water
Borough residents in Montreal North have been warned by city officials to avoid water filtration company Aquavie following complaints that the company was misleading residents and using the city’s name to attempt to sell equipment that isn’t necessary. According to city officials, residents in the area received calls from Aquavie claiming that the city was offering them a free water quality test, followed by trying to sell them purification equipment when the tests supposedly showed poor water quality. Aquavie has denied the allegations, and says that they were unaware of complaints.
– – – – –
Nation in Brief
by Kalina Laframboise
→ A train come true
Jason Shron spent $10,000 over four and a half years to reconstruct a model of a VIA rail coach for his basement. The resident of Vaughan, Ont. is obsessed with trains and everything related to VIA which is why he chose to build it over 2,500 hours. When Shron learned a coach was to be scrapped, he bought it and rebuilt it in his basement with his friends. Shron, who has been collecting VIA items for years, said it is because it is where he feels “most comfortable.” The replica of the 1980s train carriage has carpeting, seats and coat hooks.
→ Up in flames
A health-care inquiry into queue jumping in Alberta heard testimony about individuals who received flu shots for H1N1 during the outbreak in 2009. Calgary Flames’ players and their families were told to lie in order to receive the shot before individuals who were actually ill. The players attended private vaccination sessions in the teams doctor’s office while the rest of the province suffered a shortage. Those who testified claimed that paperwork was adjusted so that the players and their loved ones could skip the long wait.
→ One in a million
Walter Zawada’s truck rolled over to one million kilometres this week after 12 years of driving it everywhere. The Niagara Falls residents had a series of trips nationwide including six trips from Ontario to Alberta. When Zawada bought the Ford F-150, it only had 97,000 kilometres but reached 0 on the odometer last Wednesday. According to Zawada, he got his money’s worth since the truck still has its original engine and transmission. Since Zawada owned the truck he has bought six sets of tires, four brake jobs and 180 oil changes.The 68-year-old purchased the truck for $19,900 in 1999.
→ Nortel execs acquitted
Three former executives of the now defunct Nortel Networks Corporation were acquitted of charges against them of co-ordinating a multi-million dollar fraud that gave themselves $12.8 million when the company was failing. An Ontario judge ruled that the three men, who were fired by Nortel in 2004, did not meet the burden of proof necessary to convict them and that there was reasonable doubt. Former senior employees Frank A. Dunn, Douglas C. Beatty and Michael J. Gollogly were initially charged with two counts of fraud for defrauding the public and defrauding the entire corporation.
– – – – –
World in Brief
by Cynthia Dupuis
→ Joy ride
A 13-year-old boy decided to run away from his adoptive family in Italy last Thursday after they got into a fight about the teenager’s expensive phone bill. He chose to travel in style when he stole his family’s Mercedes which he drove 1,000 kilometres from Italy across Europe, successfully crossing two border crossings and numerous tolls. The boy only brought along his passport and 20 Euros when he left his adoptive family’s house. His wild adventure to return to Poland, his homeland, first took him through Austria. He was then arrested two days later in Germany, 200 kilometres from his final destination.
→ Tusk laundering
Two American men pleaded not guilty last Friday to charges of conspiracy, conspiracy to launder money, smuggling goods into the United States and money laundering. The Bangor Daily News reported that Andrew Zarauskas and Jay Conrad are accused of smuggling narwhal tusks from Canada into Maine. They allegedly brought the tusks from Canada to the U.S. inside a trailer with a secret compartment. Some individuals believe narwhal tusks to have supernatural powers. Some will even pay up to $30,000 but most narwhal tusk usually go for between $1,000 and $7,000. Several countries including the U.S., the United Kingdom and Australia have laws against importing narwhal tusks.
→ Escape from White Castle
An American woman was sentenced to 15 years in prison last Friday for robbing a White Castle in St. Louis, Miss. Michelle White handed the employees of the restaurant a threatening note while she pointed at them with a plastic water gun. The 33-year-old woman escaped through the drive-thru window with more than $600 from the fast food chain. A customer wrote down White’s license plate and then alerted the police before they arrived at White’s home. Following their arrival, she climbed on her roof and jumped, fracturing an arm, a leg and her pelvis as a result of her fall. The type of water gun used in the robbery remains unknown.
→ Bieber brainwave
The Riverside Police in Illinois took 49-year-old Lawrence E. Adamczyk into custody and charged him with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. The suspect was arrested Saturday morning at a swim meet at Brookfield High School where he was found wandering the hallways by a security staff member. After his arrest, Adamczyk told Riverside Police he was on his way to Brookfield Zoo to “look for young boys” when he received a “brainwave message” from Justin Bieber telling him to go to the neighbouring high school to see the young boys at the swimming event. Adamczyk allegedly told the police officers that he was there to watch his own children swim but could not provide names. Adamczyk was charged in 2011 with a sexual act at a fitness centre.