Chris Lacombe watches the sunset on the pier at 34th avenue in the Lachine borough of Montreal on Tuesday Feb. 26, 2019.
John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette
What a week!The Montreal International Jazz Festival warned that the Quartier des Spectacles may be a victim of its own success. The revitalization that turned the area around Place des Arts into a thriving cultural hub in recent decades has taken much-needed funds from events that helped it happen, according to festival CEO Jacques-André Dupont. He’s the driving force behind an open letter signed by him and eight other organizations laying out a situation that is creating a financial dilemma for events taking place around Quartier des Spectacles. The letter sounds the alarm about the loss of revenues from on-site concession stands caused by the growing number of restaurants in the area, as well as the lack of empty lots previously used by the jazz fest and other events. The situation has not yet reached emergency levels, Dupont said, but by making the problem known he is hoping to ward off the worst-case scenario.Montreal approved construction of a $175-million composting plant in St-Laurent.France-based waste-management giant Suez Canada Waste Services Inc. will build the city’s first composting facility under the contract approved Tuesday by city council. The contract is the largest awarded by the city since the ill-fated $356-million water-management contract the former Gérald Tremblay administration awarded in 2007 and later cancelled amid irregularities. In 2013, the city estimated the cost of building five waste-treatment plants on the island at $237.5 million. Since then, estimates have ballooned to almost $600 million. Originally budgeted at $46 million, the estimated cost of the St-Laurent plant has jumped to $175,445,919.26. Mayors of demerged suburbs, which would cover nearly $30 million of the facility’s cost, called on the city of Montreal to suspend the plan. But the contract was approved by the agglomeration council, where the city has a majority, without debate on Thursday night.The Ligue nord-americane de hockey apologized after Marquis de Jonquière defenceman Jonathan-Ismaël Diaby and his family were subject to racist taunts during a game. While Diaby was in the penalty box, team captain Alexandre Quesnel said a fan showed him a video of a monkey and mimicked the video. Diaby said racist epithets were directed at him and that fans in the stands harassed his father, sister, and girlfriend. He left the game early for their protection. Security spoke with the fan, but did not appear to have expelled or arrested him. The LNAH vowed to increase arena security and implement new measures to address racist behaviour. On Wednesday, Premier François Legault said he was appalled by the incident and said that he would have expected the game to be stopped so that those responsible could be ejected from the arena.Former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould said she received “veiled threats” from the senior government officials regarding SNC-Lavalin. She told the House of Commons justice committee that over a four-month period in late 2018 she was pressured by finance minister Bill Morneau and his staff, Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick, senior aides in the Prime Minister’s Office including former principal secretary Gerald Butts and chief of staff Katie Telford, and even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau himself. She said all of them were eager for her to direct federal prosecutors to defer the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin on corruption and fraud charges and negotiate a remediation agreement instead. Appearing in Montreal hours after Wilson-Raybould’s testimony, Trudeau insisted that he and his staff had “always acted appropriately” in the matter. Trudeau said that while he discussed the issue with Wilson-Raybould, he maintained that was not inappropriate.The families of Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron’s patients filed a legal action in Quebec that names McGill and the Royal Victoria Hospital. Cameron subjected hundreds of patients between 1948 and 1964 to massive amounts of mind-altering drugs, repeated bouts of electroconvulsive shock therapy and tapes of words or phrases repeated hundreds of thousands of times in an attempt to “de-pattern” them — wash their brain clean in order to rebuild them. Cameron’s experiments, which were funded by the Canadian government, were also paid for in part by the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency — the CIA — which was funnelling money to mind-control research around the continent. The families are demanding payment of $1 million per family — $850,000 for physical and emotional damages, and $150,000 in punitive damages — from the Royal Victoria Hospital, the McGill University Health Centre and the Federal Government of Canada. The legal action states that Cameron’s research was funded in part by four grants from the Canadian Department of National Health and Welfare between 1948 and 1964, totalling $162,206, which would be equivalent to $1,696,350 in today’s dollars.