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Morning Brew: February 25, 2008

Posted by Sisi / February 25, 2008

Photo: "Pink boots," by Midnight Poutine Flickr pooler Coreyu.

Your morning news roundup for Monday, February 25th, 2008:

Welcome back to the university crowd finishing up their spring break (more euphemistically known as "Reading Week," if by reading you mean praying to the toilet gods in sleazy bar). We kick off this week with a story about the Montreal SPCA. Estimates vary, but every year thousands of dogs and cats are killed because supply far outstrips demand. Limited space at the SPCA's two locations means that dumped animals have five days to find a new owner before being put down to make place for the next batch. And yet, creating more places won't help, says the year-old Companion Animal Adoption Centres of Quebec. Instead, the solution is "more education and better laws" concerning the way animals are managed in the province. The alliance's goal is to promote the sterilization of pets. In Quebec, price is a deterrent; sterilizations usually cost $150, whereas low-cost services in other provinces can go for $50. The CAACQ also rescues animals on the brink of euthanasia and have no time limit on the length of stays.

In the wake of the shooting spree at Virginia Tech last spring, North American universities and colleges have been buying up text message technology as prep for future crises. Other security measures include outdoor speakers and electronic billboards. At Concordia University, all students are asked to hand over their cell phone numbers during registration so they can be alerted during an emergency. Text messaging technology is relatively cheap to install, with the least expensive varieties weighing in at $2,500. However, a nationwide problem is the lack of students signing up for the voluntary programs. Another concern is how effective the text messages would actually be in a dangerous situation. No Canadian universities have tested the system, so no one really knows what would happen. During the Dawson shooting, the cell phone network crashed as students frantically phoned and texted each other.

Angry homeowners are heading to City Hall this evening to tell Mayor Gérald Tremblay to "take his [property] tax bill and shove it." 25 east-end residents will march there with invoice in hand to confront our "leader" about tax bills ranging from $31,000 to $37,000 per household. The homeowners were billed for $625,000 worth of infrastructure work done by the city in 2006. Property-tax activist groups are calling the situation crazy. Homeowners are calling on Tremblay and Rivière des Prairies-Pointe aux Trembles borough Mayor Cosmo Maciocia to cancel the bills and absorb the cost into the city budget - like roadwork normally would be.



jt / February 25, 2008 at 09:53 am
pets are gross. as evidenced by the photo. in our world of diminishing resources, why do we spend too much money and products on shitty dogs + cats.
Kate M. / February 25, 2008 at 02:39 pm
jt, your comment shows a lack of imagination. We share this planet with animals, and there's no shame in looking after those who have, over the millennia, chosen to ally themselves with us.
Sisi / February 25, 2008 at 11:33 pm
JT, I'm not sure if you're just baiting us but all right, I'll bite.

I guess it's totally lame that animals provide companionship to people everywhere and are a vital part of our lives, whether it's for food, clothes, transport, or entertainment. I guess we should just eliminate them all cause they're so shitty and keep Tamagotchis instead.
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