Updates from December, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:53 on 2019-12-09 Permalink | Reply  

    Some years back a community centre opened on Clark Street in Chinatown, but it lapsed. The city has now given some money to renovate the building so that community can try again.

    • thomas 11:38 on 2019-12-10 Permalink

      if you ever wondered about the odd windows of that building the facade dates to about 120 years back when it was a multi level horse stable.

    • Kate 13:17 on 2019-12-10 Permalink

      I’ve heard that too, but look at the view of the building on this version of the story. It’s quite a classy Art Deco façade, doesn’t look like a horse palace to me. I wonder what it was originally built for.

  • Kate 21:51 on 2019-12-09 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada says Charles Dutoit has handed back his Order of Montreal because he’s facing charges of sexual impropriety, but CTV points out that Dutoit, once named a Grand Montréalais, was invited to exchange that for the replacement honour of the order, but he never did.

    • Kate 21:48 on 2019-12-09 Permalink | Reply  

      A second man this week has been arrested for threatening violence against women. The previous one was 70, while this one is only 20, and showed video of a gun along with a threat to reprise the Polytechnique massacre.

      • Kate 21:27 on 2019-12-09 Permalink | Reply  

        A Pierrefonds assistance organization had a serious fire Monday afternoon, destroying toys but not, as initially reported, a food bank.

        • Kate 13:33 on 2019-12-09 Permalink | Reply  

          The small driverless buses being tested out around the Olympic park have been given a C, more or less: nobody’s been hurt, but they’re prone to breakdowns and the batteries don’t hold up well to cold weather. Nonetheless, Michel Labrecque says here that they will continue to circulate.

          The vehicles were also circulating in the summer between Maisonneuve market and the Olympic park, in real traffic, but there’s no report in on that yet.

          • Kate 09:05 on 2019-12-09 Permalink | Reply  

            The CBC’s Leah Hendry has a moderately long read Monday about how Catholic church leaders ignored warnings about pedophile priest Brian Boucher, now doing time for molesting boys. It’s a version of the story that’s been told over and over again in so many places, and some people cited here are given aliases because they still don’t want to be on record as criticizing their church.

            Reported here without comment is that the archdiocese has asked a retired judge to examine how it responded to the Boucher affair. Should this kind of thing be investigated from within by someone chosen by the organization itself? Are the civil authorities here still unwilling to bring the full might of justice to bear on the Catholic church?

            • walkerp 10:15 on 2019-12-09 Permalink

              Great reporting, but it is just infuriating to read. The archdiocese needs to be raided and everyone working there investigated, especially the scumbags at the top. I bet you will also find a lot of financial shenanigans as well. It is rotten at every level. It’s crazy how powerful the Catholic Church still is after all the revelations have come out about its behaviour.

            • Uatu 11:43 on 2019-12-09 Permalink

              Yes. Financial shenanigans probably happened since abusive behavior is an indicator of fraud as this article suggests https://qz.com/1043588/the-al-capone-theory-of-sexual-harassment-can-help-silicon-valley-stop-hiring-horrible-people/

            • Jack 12:19 on 2019-12-09 Permalink

              This story has been written a thousand times. The Roman Catholic Church has been complicit in covering up physical and sexual abuse forever. Like most Montrealers I was born into this institution , was an alter boy, attended a clerical boys school, had many Priests and Nuns in the family. etc.etc.
              But at what point do you look into the mirror and say I can not be a part of this. If you are a member of that institution do you condone this behaviour by attending and tossing money in the basket ? If you are, check out this documentary.

          • Kate 08:56 on 2019-12-09 Permalink | Reply  

            QMI has a vigorous piece about how the Rizzuto clan is back in charge and how the Sicilians, the Calabrians and the Hells Angels may be united under a strong leader again.

            • david100 02:32 on 2019-12-10 Permalink


              Two pretty important additional details are that (1) the Calabrians (based in Ontario) are the gang that made the play against the Rizzutos that resulted in the deaths and disappearances of so many mafia men (including three members of the Rizzuto family – the head, the heir apparent, and the consiglieri), it also resulted in the end of several of the Calabrians’ Haitian toadies/hired guns, plus a spate of arsons; and (2) this follows a major (and ongoing) international operation in Ontario and Italy this summer that many say greatly decreased the Calabrians’ power, and included a couple dozen arrests.

              We all know that over the past decade or so, much law enforcement work has gone toward cleaning up the unions and the construction industry. The government has also, of course, outfitted the ports with extra security and technology, and the workers there are more scrutinized than ever before. Technology, new market entrants, and changing attitudes have decimated other older line mafia scams such as taxi medallions, materials scams, extortion/”protection” of shops or businesses, stealing off transportation trucks for black market sale, pimping, and more. Basically, the result is that the field of operation of your sophisticated criminal gang is narrowing.

              As we saw with the Calabrian busts in Ontario, the big ones now are drug importation and sale, illegal gambling, scam websites, counterfeit goods, and – especially – money laundering from mafia activities (mostly drug related) abroad.

              My sense is that the Hells still have people at ports of entry and they move stuff around, and that the Rizzutos, as ever, are international drug traffickers. So, maybe there’s some sort of division of labor and expertise going on here, with the Calabrians sharing their contacts and vice versa, rather than a division of territory.

              Or maybe it’s all just a holding play by two weakened sides until one side can raise an army to take out the other. The Hells here are a red herring – they’re weak too, and they’ll never get to the heights to which they once aspired, but they do move product around the province.

              Another thought: some of those treacherous street gang members are known to the Rizzutos, and known by name to have betrayed them to the Calabrians (Ducarme Joseph, remember, was once a body guard to Tony Magi, and the same crew that the Rizzutos used flipped and had a hand in the deaths of all three of the construction guys, including the son). If it’s true that the Rizzutos have brokered a peace with the Calabrians, some of the arsons and shootings we’ve seen over the past month or so could well be reprisals by the Rizzutos against their disloyal street gang former chums. In the next few months, I’ll be watching the news for guys dying by shooting or fire, or disappearing, who have Haitian names – settling family scores is a great way for up-and-coming soldiers to make their bones.

            • david100 03:21 on 2019-12-10 Permalink

              Also worth underlining that the “gang of five” is basically the Rizzutos teaming up with the Hells, which was already the arrangement. I wonder if Hells had pulled back over the past few years so that this is a big deal, or if the big deal is that it’s a more formalized arrangement?

            • Kate 11:06 on 2019-12-10 Permalink

              david100, good analysis. My impression is that even the journalists who’ve made a particular study of organized crime – police too – can receive mistaken notions, either because an informant is deliberately misleading them, or because they’re getting a one‑sided view from someone with old news or pretending to know more than he does.

            • david100 12:57 on 2019-12-10 Permalink

              Yeah, like, you have three events that brought the Calabrians low: (1) the death of their head in Montreal, Andrea Scoppa; (2) the arrests of Jonathan Massari and Dominico Scarfo (and two hitmen) who are responsible for several murders of Rizzuto people, including the father of current underboss Stephano Sollecito; and (3) the raids by the OPP, RCMP and Carabinieri that led to millions in seizures and something like 35 arrests. Additionally, you’ve had several Calabrian members/associates die recently, most notably the recentish shooting in Toronto of the guy thought to have been the rifleman on boss Rizzuto.

              It seems to me that there’s a good chance that the Calabrians were simply removed from the table, and some faction of what remains sent out signals to the Rizzutos that they weren’t going to continue Scoppa’s moves.

              The real action is that the depleted Rizzutos may have resumed or deepened their relationship with the Hells. If the relationship was strained, it’s likely that the Hells didn’t want to get involved in the battle between Mafia groups. If this represents a deepening, it’s probably because the Calabrians did so much to thin the Rizzuto ranks.

              No matter what happens, it’s hard to believe that guys like Sollecito and Rizzuto won’t be retaliating against anyone who did them wrong. These are guys who lost multiple family members and friends. So, I’m skeptical of any report that the bloodletting will end any time soon.

            • david100 13:03 on 2019-12-10 Permalink

              Well, actually, the most notable recent death of a Calabrian aside from the murder of Andrea Scoppa, who was shot in the face, was probably the death of his brother, whose name I think was Salvatore, who they got back in April or May. If there really is a truce, I wonder if the Scoppas were cut loose by their Ontario bosses.

          • Kate 08:50 on 2019-12-09 Permalink | Reply  

            A man was stabbed in a downtown apartment overnight, and two arrests have been made.

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