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Morning Brew: February 14, 2008

Posted by Sisi / February 14, 2008

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Photo: "Cockroaches-live january 2007 sala rossa-ginga takeshima," (Whew!) by Midnight Poutine Flickr pooler jabber1977.

Your morning news roundup for Thursday, February 14th, 2008:

A city of contradictions: Marlene Jennings, Liberal MP for the riding of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce-Lachine, has tabled a bill to honor Mathieu Da Costa, the first black person to arrive in Canada. Under the legislation, Parliament would make the first Monday in February Mathieu Da Costa Day. Da Costa was a navigator from Africa who traveled with Samuel de Champlain and acted as an interpreter between the French and the Natives. Jennings said she wanted to introduce a little diversity in Canadian history. On the other hand, North Africans struggle to find jobs in Quebec. Their unemployment rate, at 27 percent, is 4 times than that of native Quebecers. People from the Maghreb, mostly Algerians, Moroccans, and Tunisians, make up almost 13 percent of the province's immigrant population of working age (25-54 years of age). Quebec's professional associations have been under pressure in the last year to validate foreign credentials so immigrants can hit the job market faster.

Once again fresh dumps of snow became the bane of Montreal public transit users, students, and drivers yesterday. More than 20 centimeters fell by noon, forcing the Montreal Transit Corp. to cancel wheelchair services. The MTC drivers' union says it is dealing with one of the city's hardest winters in recent history. It's inevitable for buses to be late when there's been so much snow accumulation, but it has nothing to do the union's labor dispute earlier this winter with its employer. And now, a different kind of story: On Monday, when I was walking down the street, I got jumped by a black Labrador, wiped out on the ice, and got a mild concussion. This is what happens when it rains dogs and cats.

La Presse, dripping with sarcasm, calls it "the case of a female sheep and a big bad wolf." Josie Cioffi, director of the Royal Bank, has been accused on 46 charges of fraud for a joint venture with ex-colleague Lorrain Théroux. Her lawyer defended her yesterday as someone who didn't go to "the school of life" and was completely vulnerable to Théroux taking advantage of her elevated position in the bank. Apparently she has a "dependent" personality that needs constant approval, so she gave in when he pressured her to make fake loans to 33 clients who didn't actually exist between 1997 and 2001. The Crown prosecutor was skeptical of the defense. Théroux and Cioffi were never romantically involved.

Discussion

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