News in brief

Your recap of the week’s news in the city, across the country, around the world – ending April 14th, 2015.

CityThe Concordian

A little more time for the children
Moisson Montreal, a non-profit organization acting as the most important food bank not only in the city but also, according to their website, in the country, is expanding for one last week a special fund-raising campaign. The organization is still looking to gather $80,000 so to achieve their $250,000 goal. The campaign was launched in 2012 and is looking to provide food supplies for children of five years old or under. This would provide to those children a well-balanced nutrition during this critical developmental moment in the life of a child. Children composed 28 per cent of their 140,706 monthly beneficiaries.

Vigilantes in the street of Montreal
La Presse reported this week about a collective called the Garde citoyenne du Québec which started patrolling in the Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension borough allegedly in response to requests of some of the residents for a more secured neighborhood. A long series of theft took place last year in the same area. The group is composed of about 20 individuals that describe themselves as “survivalists”. Adepts of “survivalism” focus on being ready for any eventualities and emergencies of any sort, like a natural disasters, and tends to encourage people to not count on public institutions in such events. The Garde citoyenne du Québec also organize self-defense workshops and consider themselves as civil rescuers. For example, they recently went into the small municipality of Sainte-Julienne to distribute bottle water to residents who didn’t have access to fresh water because of piping problems. The SPVM reportedly warned of possible problems that could emerge from such citizen initiatives. Let’s just hope none of them start dressing up in costumes.

With warm weather also comes…
It’s this time of the year again. No, not spring or the end of the semester. Montreal famous fifth season is here: construction time! This period of the year when most ambitious construction public projects and road works take place will be a bit more special, and busy, this year. Work on the new Champlain bridge will be starting this summer according to La Presse. In addition to that, the Turcot interchange reconstruction will finally start as well. So be prepared to see a lot of those lovely orange traffic cones, because it’s just starting. It may also be the right year to trade in your car for a bike.



Mike Duffy’s trial starts
The former Senator Mike Duffy’s trial started on April 6. Duffy stands accused of 31 counts of fraud, corruption and abuse of power accusations following the scandal that arose last year. It was then revealed, among other irregularities, that Duffy was declaring he lived in Prince Edward Island, thus receiving some compensation when he was actually living in Ottawa. Since then, many fraud and abuse of public funding allegations were reported by the media. The former Conservative Senator’s expenses were criticized as an abuse of tax payer money.

Governments pointing fingers over environmental issues
Federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq fears provinces won’t achieve their greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2020. Data in hands, Aglukkaq said she sent a letter to the provinces to outline that they are not on the right path in order to succeed. This symbolic gesture came a few days before the provincial/territorial environmental meeting that will take place in Quebec this week. The Ontario government announced that they will join a cap-and-trade deal with Quebec to help with their reduction targets, and at the same time urged the federal government to take a leading role in the reduction of greenhouse gas.

Ryan Reynolds’ run-in with paparazzo
Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds was hit by a car this week while walking in a Vancouver parking lot. Reynolds is reportedly “okay” following the incident where a member of the paparazzi hit the star with his car in an underground parking lot outside a local hotel. The driver fled the scene afterwards, and police were able to confirm that Reynolds sustained no injuries. The Vancouver-born actor has been in the city filming a new comic book movie adaptation for which he plays the titular character—Deadpool. The police have not released any additional information about the incident but are conducting an investigation.



Revolutionizing rocket science
If you’re at all interested in space, technology or even simply buying stuff on the internet, you probably already heard of Elon Musk. Nicknamed by some as the real-life Ironman, he first gained fame by creating Paypal. Musk is now the CEO of rockets and spacecraft manufacturing company SpaceX, electric car pioneer company Tesla Motors and the chairman of solar energy focused company SolarCity. Musk made the news this week for its upcoming attempt to launch a rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX that could change the future of space travelling. The rocket, Falcon 9, is considered so special because it could the world first recycled rocket if it returns safely to earth after being in orbit as expected. This test launch could significantly change the cost of space travelling, thus allowing institutions like NASA to put their money elsewhere. Musk is also known for his ambitious project to send people on Mars, and this type of rocket would be one of the many necessary innovations to achieve that goal.The rocket is scheduled to launch on Tuesday, at 4:10 p.m. EDT.

Cuban and American leaders’ historical handshake
On Saturday, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro, brother of the famous revolutionary figure, shook hands for the first time. The meeting took place during the seventh Summit of the Americas taking place in Panama this year. It was a first for Cuba, which was excluded from the past summits. According to the media, the two nation leaders had a discussion which basically ended by both of them stating they cordially agreed to disagree. It may not look like much, but this short meeting is considered historic since it has been half a century since the last time the leaders of the two countries met. Still, this meeting does not mean that the two countries became best friends overnight. Tension still exists between two countries on an array of subjects. However, it’s safe to say that the remnants of the Cold War are now things of the past for the two countries.

Let’s present the next contestant
Runner-ups for the 2016 upcoming American presidential election have been falling from the sky lately. The same trend continued this week with long-expected announcement of Democratic Party favorite Hillary Clinton’s candidature and the addition of Marco Rubio to the Republican roster. Rubio, the 43-years-old Florida Senator, is seen as an interesting candidate because of two characteristic: his Hispanic origins—he’s the son of Cuban immigrant—would make him the first Hispanic president in U.S. history if elected; he’s also counting on his relative youth compared to other candidates—Clinton is 67—to claim he’s the only one truly able to represent the younger generations. On her side, Clinton is already the favorite on the Democrat’s side. The wife of the 42nd President of the United States lost to current president Barack Obama in 2008 and has been serving as Obama’s Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013.

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