Saturday, August 1, 2009

Weekly Anglo Quebec News July 25- July 31

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Every Saturday read a short, subjective weekly review of Quebec news with a Anglophone perspective.

Earl Jones arrested. The crook who bilked his friends out of $30-$50 million was finally arrested after crown prosecutors finally put together a case. It appears that he never really was on the lam and had been impatiently waiting for the arrest, holed up in Montreal. He was charged and then given bail, in a court appearance that lasted minutes.

Another idiotic honour crime in Montreal. This one not as serious as the one where four women died as of a result of an honour killing in Kingston. Not one day after Mohammad Shafia and his clan were arraigned in relation to the murder of their three daughters and the ex-wife, another honour crime took place in the LaSalle neighborhood of Montreal, where a couple has been charged with assaulting and threatening their teenage girls. The girls, aged 14 and 15 had snuck a boy, aged 11 into the family home when the parents were out. They were discovered and a beating was administered to all three. The father called 911 and told the operator that the boy broke into their home. Police arrived and figured out what had really happened. Arrested was Zahid Hussain, his wife and her mother, all charged with various crimes including assault, uttering death threats, using violence to force their children to give a false statement to police and obstructing justice. Yikes! Link

Ponzi anyone? A Montreal lawyer alleges that investment counsellor Lance Townend sold phony investments in Progressive Management Ltd, a company that was nothing more than an empty shell, according to him. In a previous life, Mr. Townend worked for Triglobal Capital, a company which illegally invested several millions in the Cayman Islands and then went bankrupt. It's owner, is currently on the lam.

Comedian Lewis Black did a bang up job when he was pressed into service to host a comedy gala after John Cleese suddenly took ill. The audience was treated to a wonderful performance by one of comedy's giants. For comedians, bringing local content to an audience is always a challenge, but apparently not for Mr. Black.
Commenting on his ride into the city from the airport which took him across Montreal's infamously crumbling Turcot Exchange highway, he quipped that; "There are aqueducts in Rome in better shape than (Montreal's) infrastructure."
His words were sadly prophetic. On Monday morning, a construction worker was seriously injured when a piece of concrete, the size of a football fell off that highway and onto his head.

High school graduation rates continue to be dismal for Quebec students, especially males. 65% of boys haven't graduated five years after starting high school. Now a more shocking statistic has been released. As bad as that situation is, nothing compares to what is going on in the high north of Quebec in schools that teach natives. Only 4,2% students in schools run by the Commission scolaire Crie graduated, five years after entering high school and the situation is only slightly better at the Commission scolaire Kativik, where 9,8% graduated within five years.

Arturo Gatti's murder has turned into a suicide according to Brazil authorities. His wife, who up to now has been in prison in Brazil as the prime murder suspect was released. The boxer's family is skeptical and demanded a second autopsy.

Montrealers salute Michael Jackson with a flash mob rendition of the classic video 'Beat It'. Click here to view the video, I guarantee you'll enjoy it! The event was inspired by the original which took place in Stockholm, Sweden which was even more impressive.

Montreal Airport suffers a huge drop in business this last quarter, as flights drop by 8%.

Quebec City suffers extreme weather including a tornado and a storm that dumped 23 mm of rain on the city in less than an hour. In Montreal another rainstorm on Sunday caused the L'Acadie Circle underpass to flood once again. It happened last year under the same circumstances. The province blamed the city for the flood, the city blamed God. “I can’t control the heavens!” said Sammy Forcillo, vice-chairman of the city of Montreal’s executive committee.
Once again nearby homes were flooded. The class action suit filed against the city, in relation to last year's flood has yet to be heard.

(Weekly review of interesting crime stories and court room antics)

Another 'Car Surfing' accident. A 17-year-old girl was in critical condition with head injuries in hospital this week after a car-surfing incident in Drummondville, a town about 100 kilometres east of Montreal. The teen driver was arrested. This follows an earlier incident where a man died in Montreal when he fell off an SUV. What exactly is car surfing? Here's a video.

Drunk driving champion RĂ©al Quinn, of Pintendre was convicted for the 17th time in the Quebec City courthouse. He was arrested after a women called police after she noticed him getting behind the wheel, clearly drunk. What made her suspect that he was drunk? He had just staggered out of a depanneur after attempting to pay for beer with a CAA map. During his trial, in which he maintained his innocence, his friend, who was in the passenger seat at the time told the court that Quinn offered him money to lie in court and say that it was he who was driving. He'll be sentenced in the fall.

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