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Friday News Fodder - June 8th, 2007

Posted by Susan / June 8, 2007

20070608_fridaynews.jpgToday’s big news is…Americans don’t like racecars? Is that right?

No, actually it appears that more and more Americans don’t like Montreal. Or at least, they’re coming here in fewer numbers. Though the Grand Prix weekend has always been a big draw, filling Crescent street with a sea of out-of-towners, Tourism Montreal has said that the number of American faces in the crowd is in decline. Among the culprits for this change are hikes in gas prices and the Canadian dollar. Tourist-friendly pubs needn’t fret, however; the festival is sold out anyway.

Now, tourist season usually means one thing for the downtown core: filth. Okay, that and a booming industry that helps to fuel our cultural scene, but I digress.

If the new downtown garbage project works its intended magic, we’ll be seeing a bit less filth, all thanks to the new garbage policies coming in. This summer will see garbage police giving littering fines to tourists and Montrealers alike, so curb your butts. In addition, the city is installing new, big green cans that use solar power to compact their own waste! And not only that, they’re cute as freaking buttons! Look for them this summer around Ste-Catherine and in Old Montreal.

The news is full – or not as full as it should be, depending on whom you ask – of stories of immigration cases where parents have been denied permission to stay in Canada, even though their children are citizens. What would you do? Do you take your child back to your home country, exposing them to the life that you left, and denying them the opportunities you had hoped to give them, or do you split your family apart? Then again, can our government hand out refugee status and citizenship to everyone who has given birth on Canadian soil? These questions are once again coming to light as Montreal resident Oumou Toure fights to stay here with her young daughter. Toure is originally from Guinea, where at the age of 19 she was forcibly circumcised. Toure has told immigration officials that she does not want her child in foster care, but she fears that if she takes her family back to Guinea, her 2-½ year old daughter will face the same fate. A decision will be made next week.

This morning, students at Champlain College were quickly evacuated from the school and a SWAT team brought in, because of a vague threat overheard on a public bus. Police say there is no longer any call for alarm; no word on whether that means they’ve caught someone, or perhaps it was a false alarm. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t generally call the police because of mutterings I hear on public transit, but then again perhaps we could all profit from this extra vigilance on the part of our citizens. So I put it to you, the public: was this an overblown case of media-fuelled hysteria about school shootings, or a laudable example of preparedness in the face of danger? I’m opting out of settling this question on my own – I’m just one woman, after all.

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