Updates from March, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 13:16 on 2017/03/03 Permalink | Reply  

    Hisham Saadi has been charged with carrying out a hoax regarding terrorist activity, uttering threats and mischief.

    • rue david 13:32 on 2017/03/03 Permalink

      Wouldn’t be Quebec if they didn’t ladder it with a mischief charge.

    • Ephraim 17:02 on 2017/03/03 Permalink

      Were people terrorized? Yes. It wasn’t a hoax, it was terrorism. We have to teach people that this isn’t a game. You have no right to terrorize others, EVER.

    • Bill Binns 17:36 on 2017/03/03 Permalink

      @Ephraim – I agree but it doesn’t seem that Quebec courts feel that way. Remember, the 2012 Metro smoke bombers who caused an emergency evacuation of the Metro all walked away with absolutely zero consequences. Even banning them from the Metro system they terrorized was seen as too harsh.

      Sometime in 2020 we will hear that this guy walked away unscathed as well.

    • Kate 19:23 on 2017/03/03 Permalink

      Were people terrorized? People were inconvenienced and unsettled.

    • Chris 20:07 on 2017/03/03 Permalink

      Ephraim, stretching the definition of terrorism so much, I feel, takes away from “real” terrorism. The difference here is that there wasn’t any violence really, as in no one was hurt. It’s an important distinction. His actions were still criminal, of course, but still…

    • Ephraim 09:08 on 2017/03/04 Permalink

      Chris – And I see it the other way around. Terrorism isn’t about blowing something up, it’s about making people change their habits, think twice about what they normally do. The fact that we don’t take this so seriously makes people think it’s okay to do these hoaxes instead of making them unthinkable.

      And that’s the point, they should be unthinkable. It should never pop into your head to do something like this without the next thought being… but I’ll end up in jail.

      Kate – Just take the example of that one muslim girl who said she doesn’t want to go into that building. That is the consequence of terrorism.

    • denpanosekai 10:29 on 2017/03/04 Permalink

      I’m with Ephraim and Bill. These aren’t just pranks, bro. Offences such as this should be severely punished to set an example.

    • Robert J 13:07 on 2017/03/04 Permalink

      Don’t criminologists agree that the threat of punishment doesn’t work for most kinds of crime?

    • Ephraim 14:33 on 2017/03/04 Permalink

      The certainty of being caught is the most powerful deterrent. It’s not the severity of the punishment, per se, but the certainty of being caught.

      So, basically you need to know how important this will be to solve AND the punishment is severe to make it unthinkable.

    • Kate 14:48 on 2017/03/04 Permalink

      I still maintain a smoke bomb is not a reason to damage people’s lives by severely punishing them. Put a person who’s in minor legal trouble into jail with hardened crooks and either you turn them into a criminal or you break them. Either way, you don’t usually end up with a useful member of society.

      But then, I’m no fan of punishment in general.

    • Ephraim 19:44 on 2017/03/04 Permalink

      So Kate, what’s to stop someone else from thinking this is an appropriate way to get a few hours off work or deal with a situation?

    • Kate 02:25 on 2017/03/05 Permalink

      Ephraim, in a healthy society you don’t refrain from antisocial activities from fear of punishment, you refrain from them because you don’t want to live in the kind of society where antisocial activities happen.

      If I don’t throw trash on the ground or punch random people who annoy me, it isn’t because I’m afraid of getting a ticket or getting charged with assault. It’s because I don’t want to live in the kind of society where there’s trash all over the place and people get beat up all the time.

    • Ephraim 09:10 on 2017/03/05 Permalink

      If that worked Kate, the news wouldn’t have been filled this week with phones in fake terrorist threats against Muslims and Jews. Jewish community centres across the US got these threats this week. And I think we are up to maybe 4 or 5 cemetaries that were vandalized.

    • dwgs 10:36 on 2017/03/05 Permalink

      But by and large it does work Ephraim. I’m not saying that the lunatic fringe isn’t having their day in the sun at the moment but they are a vanishingly small minority.

    • ant6n 10:54 on 2017/03/05 Permalink

      Kate’s proposed model of society isn’t under threat because of a lack of severe punishment as a deterrent, but because of a lot of tension in society these days. I’d say one reason is the rise of the precariate (as a result of 20-30 years of neoliberalism); but there are a bunch more.

      I’d also say the anti-humanist and anti-intelectual attitudes that we’re constantly getting bombarded with these days (also by commenters on this blog) tries to deconstruct the consensus-based society, trying to construct an alternate one that’s based on some sort of balance of threats. This most recent attack actually fits very well with this view of society.

    • Ephraim 11:15 on 2017/03/05 Permalink

      @dwgs – The lunatic fringe isn’t vanishing, they are actually increasing. But then Faith Popcorn said that we would continue to segment on interests back in 1991. ISIS is a damn good example of it. And the last few months have brought more and more of the fringe element to the forefront. How many fake terrorist threats have we heard in the last few months? They are increasing, not subsiding.

      The two elements, not just the punishment, but the chance of being caught. We can show this EASILY working… we see hundreds of petty crimes each day because the chance of being caught, or their wanting to be solved is minimal. Vehicles going through stop signs, red lights, turns on red, vehicles in cross walks, parking in a meter spot and not paying as you run in to a store, etc.

      For the most part we hardly bother to report crimes because we think that they won’t be solved (and they won’t) because they are unimportant. Bike theft is so rampant that everyone seems to be building a better bike alarm and tracking system because we know the police won’t do anything about it. And what is the punishment for taking a bike? Under 5K is up to 6 months in jail. Chance of actually getting caught is ε (Infinitesimal). And so it’s rampant because the payout of ε * 185 days is still ε.

      And the stupidity of most of it is that some of this can be solved easily. For example, car theft could be almost impossible if the key was a 256 bit encryption algorithm and encrypted everything electronic (the radio, the car computer, everything.) Of course, you lose the key and it’s garbage. But then with the invention of forensics, most thieves will torch a car to hide the forensics anyway.

  • Kate 11:54 on 2017/03/03 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec has just announced more than a billion dollars for the city’s road network. The feds and the city itself will kick in a few million each.

    • Bill Binns 14:47 on 2017/03/03 Permalink

      Quebec drivers have been paying over 3 billion a year in fuel taxes every year, including the years where the roads and bridges were left to rot. This is no gift.

    • ant6n 00:01 on 2017/03/04 Permalink


    • Brenda 13:23 on 2017/03/04 Permalink

      Quebec drivers are the uncelebrated heroes of our urban infrastructure. They pay so much and ask for so little in return.

    • Chris 14:01 on 2017/03/04 Permalink

      Brenda, in fact, the fees motorists pay do not even pay for road infrastructure, it’s subsidized by taxpayers.

    • jeather 16:44 on 2017/03/04 Permalink

      Even non-drivers make use of road infrastructure.

    • Chris 17:33 on 2017/03/04 Permalink

      jeather, quite right, and that’s an argument for subsidizing it. But there are lots of cons too, especially all the negative externalities (pollution, health care, space usage, etc.) that aren’t even factored in.

    • jeather 20:06 on 2017/03/04 Permalink

      Yes, there is a good debate to have about how much of the road network should be paid by drivers — via gas, mostly, though perhaps also car registration — and how much by everyone. And it’s probably too subsidised right now. But a lot of non-drivers want to think that if they don’t drive, it isn’t on them to pay. A road network is needed by everyone.

  • Kate 11:46 on 2017/03/03 Permalink | Reply  

    SPVM honchos are being investigated for links to organized crime and Martin Coiteux says calm down, everybody.

    Update: Assistant police chief Bernard Lamothe has been relieved of his duties.

  • Kate 11:13 on 2017/03/03 Permalink | Reply  

    The fire department has had no chief since the last one quit in September, and nobody wants the job. Linda Gyulai looks into it.

    • dominic 15:33 on 2017/03/03 Permalink

      An excellent opportunity to hire a person of colour with experience running a large organization.

    • Max 19:31 on 2017/03/03 Permalink

      For the fire department? You’re funny, dominic.

  • Kate 10:57 on 2017/03/03 Permalink | Reply  

    Le Devoir previews the Nuit Blanche, which is meant to look back at Expo 67; Cult MTL gives their picks; notes on what McGill offers; bars that are open all night; the metro will be running all night.

    It’s going to be a chilly one this year, with a low of –19° forecast overnight Saturday.

    • EmilyG 15:42 on 2017/03/03 Permalink

      Interesting that Frite Alors is called a bar in that article. I think of it mainly as a restaurant, though it does also serve beer.
      As for Nuit Blanche, I think I may go to one or two indoor activities earlier on, and then call it a night.

  • Kate 10:52 on 2017/03/03 Permalink | Reply  

    Nice profile of Santropol Roulant and its operations on a U.S. food policy blog.

  • Kate 10:47 on 2017/03/03 Permalink | Reply  

    The federal government has quietly settled the case of Montrealer Abousfian Abdelrazik, who was hung out to dry by the feds for years. It’s a complicated story and the motivation for messing with this man’s life has never been made clear.

  • Kate 10:34 on 2017/03/03 Permalink | Reply  

    Notes on bridge closures for the weekend.

  • Kate 10:33 on 2017/03/03 Permalink | Reply  

    A Roman Catholic priest has been charged with sex crimes and police are looking for more victims. CBC has a few details of parishes and areas where Brian Boucher worked.

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