Montreal Immigration and Refugee Board forced to close down due to bed bug infestation
A major bed bug infestation has forced government offices in downtown Montreal to temporarily close down.
The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) has come out and said that, due to the infestation, all hearings have been canceled for Thursday.
“If you were scheduled to appear at a hearing, you will be contacted with a new date,” IRB wrote on its website.
According to CTV News, a firm has been hired to clean the effected buildings, but it may take several days before this IRB office can reopen and continue with hearings.
The Guy-Favreau Complex also houses Service Canada and Passport Canada, meaning that many Canadian citizens may be affected by the delay.
This government office is only one of many which has fallen prey to the pesky, ever resistant bed bug. As CTV Reports, only ten days ago, the Gatineau offices of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada also had to shut down due to the same problem.
Anti-Semitic depictions have been carved into the snow on several cars in the Plateau area of Montreal, Quebec. This incident took place on rue Jeanne Mance.
Photos of the markings appeared on Twitter, showing four cars that had the Nazi swastika marked onto the windshield and roofs of the cars alongside the Jewish Star of David.
Montreal has a thriving Jewish community with a recent census showing over 90,000 members of the community living in Quebec’s largest city. The Plateau area, in particular, was where the Jewish community first settled in the early 20th century.
Statistics by the Jewish advocacy group, B’nai Brith, have shown that anti-Semitism has been on the rise across Canada. In 2018, there were a reported 2,041 incidents of Anti-Semitism, which is a 16.5 percent increase from the previous year. Of these, 11 were deemed to have been violent.
A public art display in Montreal’s downtown core has drawn the ire of residents who believe the city’s spending is irresponsible.
According to Director Quebec of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Renaud Brossard, that $800,000 figure “is as much as the property taxes of 192 Montreal families.”
The bridge, which is used commonly in the summer months to sit on as it’s placed in a city square, has gotten harsh criticism from those in the Western provinces, as many feel it’s a wasteful way to spend $800,000.
This, though, isn’t confined to Montreal. Edmonton, Alberta recently coughed up a hefty $1 million towards a public art display.
Montreal native Erick Marciano was honored by the city in Montreal after using his SUV to shield pedestrians from a speeding car. Marciano acted with bravery in a split-second decision to use his SUV to shield pedestrians from a car fleeing from police that was heading directly towards a busy intersection.
Marciano, a 48-year-old father-of-three told CTV News that “I figured I had to act,” after he saw the vehicle speeding towards the defenseless pedestrians. His mind immediately went to the terrible stories in Europe of drivers running over pedestrians and he rushed to act to prevent the same thing from happening in Montreal.
Marciano proceeded to honk his horn and put his SUV in front of the speeding driver before managing to get out of his car moments before the collision. The 19-year-old suspect who Marciano managed to stop was arrested and is now facing charges for his role in the incident.
Marciano, a general contractor has been incredibly humble about the incident, telling CTV It was just a natural thing to do, and if I had to do it again, I would do it again.” His wife Michelle commented on his modesty and selflessness at the ceremony honouring her husbands deed “He’s always thinking about others and always puts himself before others, so it’s just something he does.”
Marciano was given a certificate of honor by mayor Valérie Plante, telling journalists, “To commit such a bold act, at the risk of his personal safety, to protect the life of pedestrians is among the most admirable acts of bravery.” He was also given the honour to sign his name in Montreal’s Golden Book, which he said was last signed by climate activist Greta Thunberg.
When Michelle was asked if she would lend her SUV to her husband she told CTV while laughing: “Never, ever.”
According to a new study by Statistics Canada this week, the number of immigrants who go all the way to becoming Canadian citizens has dropped significantly. But the bigger picture is more complicated than it seems.
“There are a number of factors that created the decline,” former director-general with Immigration Canada, Andrew Griffith, told CBC.
The decline is significant: from 75 percent in 1996 to only 60 percent in 2016. Factors such as processing fees, complicated language in the citizens’ guide and citizen test difficulty have contributed to the decline.
CBC reports that “the processing fee for citizenship used to be $200, but the amount was increased to $630 under the previous Conservative government, Griffith said.
“If you look at a family of four, you’re talking about $1,500 or so. That’s a significant burden.” Griffith added.