This coming long weekend in Canada, thousands will take to the roads to take advantage of the first warm holiday of the year. Victoria Day (Patriots' Day in Quebec) comes just as the country finally makes its turn from raw spring weather to the gentle embrace of early summer.
As a result, highways are sure to be congested. Thus, to ensure road safety, Sûreté du Québec is alerting motorists to increased security measures this weekend. As part of these efforts, there will be more police officers monitoring highways in the province.
According to Narcity Québec and a statement released to the media, officers will be on the lookout for drivers who are speeding, using cellphones, not wearing a seatbelt, and engaging in reckless activity.
The fine for not wearing a seatbelt, alone, is between $200 and $300, in addition to three demerit points, according to the Société de l'assurance automobile (SAAQ). Fines for speeding, meanwhile, can be anywhere between $15 and $155 in most circumstances.
According to le Journal de Montréal, Sûreté du Québec has not disclosed the roads, municipalities, or regions where surveillance efforts will be most focused. Though a similar operation occurred near Québec City this week.
The provincial police force has not posted any updates about its traffic operations to its official Twitter page.
In recent years, according to the SAAQ, "there was a significant drop in the number of people killed or injured in traffic accidents on Québec roads." "While it is becoming increasingly difficult to improve the road safety record, it is still possible to make progress," the agency website states.
Be sure to always follow signage and traffic laws and obey the direction of authorities.
No right turn on red on the Island of Montreal. It's a message everyone who's ever crossed into the metropolis knows. But why is this the case? It's a discussion that dates back a generation, so the reasoning behind it may have fallen out of collective memory.
The process of legalizing of right turns on red in Quebec dates back to 2000, when public consultation on the subject began. The Ministry of Transports began right turn on red pilot projects across the province in 2001.
Despite a report on the results of the pilot projects that recommended against legalization, Quebec officially adopted rights on red on April 13, 2003 — everywhere except Montreal, which was left to decide for itself whether to institute the measure.
The city put together a commission to study the possibility, but contributing groups rejected the measure, citing pedestrian and bike safety.
In its submission to the commission, the regional public health authority claimed rights on red would increase vehicular traffic in Montreal as well as the risk of pedestrian injury. It also said adverse effects on public safety "would be experienced primarily by residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods, children, the elderly and the disabled."
Public health encouraged the city council to maintain the ban and focus on improving road safety, not make it worse.
Cycling advocacy group Vélo Québec, meanwhile, argued not only that right turns on red would endanger pedestrians and cyclists, but also that it would undermine the character and international standing of Montreal, which, the group said, has an urban culture that emphasizes pedestrian access.
"Montreal is a city known for its restaurants, its festivals, its friendliness and the safety of its streets (this is what makes the Jazz Festival such a success, especially for Americans who can't believe that they can walk safely downtown in a festive atmosphere)," Vélo Québec wrote.
"Unfortunately, this unique character that makes Montrealers appreciate their city and that we are so good at selling to foreign visitors is directly challenged by the possible authorization of the [right turn on red]."
The special commission submitted its final report to the Montreal City Council on October 27, 2003 and the city, of course, never implemented the measure.
Montreal public health revisited the issue as part of public consultation on road safety in 2017, but reaffirmed its findings from 15 years earlier, stating that "it is unthinkable to support a measure that creates road insecurity and injuries."
Gun violence in our city has been on the rise for the past few months now. Recently, Montreal police received 911 calls for two separate shootings in the city. The first happened during the afternoon around 3:50 p.m., where multiple civilians reported hearing gunshots fired at the corner of Émile-Journault and 9th Avenue in Saint-Michel.
SPVM spokesperson Caroline Chèvrefils told MTL Blog that when police arrived on the scene, they found a 23-year-old man who had been shot in the upper body. He was then transported to the hospital and we're told that his life is not in danger.
J'ÉTAIS LÀ, à moins de 50 mètres, #LIVE, en porte-à-porte avec @DenisCoderre quand c'est arrivé.
Il y a une garde… https://t.co/ZKT4XOeHQl
City council candidate Guillaume Lavoie from Ensemble Montréal tweeted that he and Denis Coderre were campaigning door-to-door right next to where the shooting happened. There is a daycare nearby. Some citizens told us that it was the 3rd time in a short time," Lavoie wrote.
The second shooting happened just after 12 a.m. on Thursday, September 16, only eight hours after the other shooting, in an apartment on rue Despréaux, which left a 29-year-old man wounded in the upper body. He was brought to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
"There was an altercation that happened in the apartment between several people and that's when gunshots were fired," Chèvrefils explained. "One or several suspects fled the scene before the arrival of the police."
The investigations for both incidents are ongoing and no arrests have been made in connection to the two shootings as of yet.
Groupe CH, the parent company of the Montreal Canadiens, just unveiled its new action plan to bring awareness and education to the community and its employees about sexual cyberviolence.
Titled the "Respect and Consent Action Plan," the plan will tackle "the internal environment of Groupe CH as well as the external and community environment."
In a press release, Montreal Canadiens owner, president, and CEO Geoff Molson said, "we want to ensure that our actions will be part of a concerted approach that will bring about positive changes within our company and in the hockey community."
All employees and hockey operations staff will benefit from training "on respect and consent and sexual cyberviolence in line with our policy of equity, diversity, and inclusion and with the values of our organization," the release said.
The company will also hire women in "key positions" within the hockey operations department.
As for its community initiatives, the Montreal Canadiens will collaborate with aid organizations and the Quebec hockey community at large to develop a "prevention program aimed at young hockey players, as well as the interveners who support them in their practice of the sport."
Financial support will also be given to registered organizations that are committed to preventing and raising awareness about sexual cyberviolence. Groupe CH has also given financial support to an organization that supports victims of sexual violence.
The release of the Respect and Consent Action Plan follows uproar surrounding the Canadiens' draft pick of defenceman Logan Mailloux, who admitted to distributing a pornographic photo of an 18-year-old woman without consent.
At the time of the draft pick, the team said it was "committed to raising awareness among [its] players about the repercussions of their actions on the lives of others."
If you require resources or assistance surrounding sexual assault in Quebec, the CAVAC helpline is available 24/7. Those who may need support can call 1-866-532-2822. Other crisis lines and 24/7 options can be found at The Lifeline Canada.