Connect with us


Groups say Montreal cops should apologize to Black man suspected of stealing own car



Montreal police say they’ve opened an administrative investigation into an incident in which a Black man was handcuffed after officers suspected he was stealing his own car.

The force said the officers involved were unable to release the man immediately after determining the car was his because they did not have a handcuff key.

“We are sensitive to the distress and the emotion this citizen went through and the reactions caused by this event,” the police service wrote in a Saturday evening Twitter post.

Civil rights groups have called for police to apologize to the man and raised concerns the incident marks an instance of racial profiling.


A video of the incident circulating on social media shows the man, still in handcuffs, angrily asking the officers why they cuffed him before verifying the vehicle belonged to him and asking whether he was handcuffed because he is Black.

Quebec’s Public Safety Minister François Bonnardel said Saturday morning that he will look into what happened and Alain Vaillancourt, the member of the city’s executive committee responsible for public safety, said he has asked the police service to investigate the incident and ensure similar ones don’t happen again.

“A situation like the one experienced by this citizen affects the sense of trust between the police and our communities in Montreal,” he wrote on Twitter. “This bond of trust is essential, not only for police work, but also for the convivial character of our city.”

The video, which appears to have been filmed in the parking lot of the Marché Central shopping complex, shows six minutes of the interaction between the man and the police officers.

As it opens, the man is complaining about his treatment.

“Are you injured? You’re not injured,” one of the officers said in reply.

“It hurts,” the man said, slightly raising his arms handcuffed behind his back.

“I didn’t even hit you,” the officer responds.

“It’s my car, why did you brutalize me when I arrived, that’s my question,” the man said.

One of the officers tells the man he will explain the situation. The man then asks the officers to take the handcuffs off before he speaks to them, but the officers soon realize they don’t have a key for the cuffs.

As they wait for other officers to come to unlock the cuffs, the man asks whether he is being treated this way because he is Black.

“Not at all,” one of the officers said.

On Friday, Montreal police said two car theft investigators found an unoccupied Honda SUV in a mall parking lot that had damage around one of its locks consistent with an attempted theft.

The department said before officers determined whether it was stolen, a citizen came to take possession of the vehicle.

“It’s at that moment that he was temporarily detained for investigative purposes by the two police officers. The citizen was released unconditionally and without charge, once the verifications were completed. The investigation is finished,” the department said in a post on Twitter.

Alain Babineau, the racial profiling and public safety director at anti-racial profiling group Red Coalition and a 27-year veteran of the RCMP,  said that while police can handcuff someone who poses a threat, that escalates the interaction into an arrest.

“Investigative detention has to be very brief and the person should be allowed to leave. So once the person is in handcuffs, it’s no longer an investigative detention but an arrest. and then, as an arrest, it triggers the right to counsel and so on,” said Babineau, who became a jurist after retiring from the federal police force.

He said he worries the officers handcuffed the man because they perceived him as potentially violent.

One element of racial profiling, he said, is the notion that Black males are “perceived as being intrinsically violent and so that’s why the question of racial profiling has to be raised.”

Babineau said police need to apologize to the man and police managers need to sit down with the officers in the video to review their powers and obligations.

“There’s something within the culture of policing that says, ‘we’re never wrong,’ and that is what is wrong with our culture and that has to change,” Babineau said in an interview on Saturday.

Fo Niemi, executive director of the Montreal-based civil rights organization Center for Research-Action on Race Relations, said he hopes the man will file a complaint with the police ethics commissioner so an investigation can be conducted into what happened before the interactions captured on film.

And he said the police command should apologize to the man.

“This incident once again shows that Black drivers in Montreal cannot feel safe and be free to drive their own car without being subject to some kind of police control and profiling,” he said. “This is what all the people who have turned to us for help told us: it’s the violation of that sense of freedom and security that makes them lose trust in the police.”

The union representing Montreal police officers said the comments by politicians risk fueling “police disengagement.”

“In a society governed by the rule of law, elected officials should refrain from sharing their impressions on the character of a police operation until all the facts are known,” the Fraternité des policiers et policières de Montréal said in a post on Twitter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2022.


Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press


Canada’s banks are guarding against bad loans. What this means for your money – Global News



Nestled in the balance sheets of Canada’s biggest banks are fears that the economy is set for a rough patch that could see more Canadians defaulting on their loans.

While some experts say the country’s banks are just “being prudent,” they say that move signals choppy waters ahead for Canadians with outstanding loans as interest rates continue to put pressure on household budgets.


Canada’s five biggest banks — RBC, Scotiabank, CIBC, BMO and TD Bank — moved in lockstep this past week to increase their loan loss provisions as they reported second-quarter earnings. All except for CIBC missed earnings expectations in the period.

Loan loss provisions, or provisions for credit losses, are essentially money that banks set aside in case the loans they’ve given out to clients go sour.

Laurence Booth, finance professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, says banks always try to put aside more money to cover these losses if they think their clients — be they everyday consumers, commercial customers or homeowners with a mortgage — are more likely to default on their loans.

With fears of a recession rumbling for much of the past year, Canada’s banks are building up their reserves in case the economy takes a hit and Canadians or businesses aren’t able to pay down their loans.

Click to play video: 'Is Canada headed toward recession? Experts have ‘no consensus’ on future of inflation'

Is Canada headed toward recession? Experts have ‘no consensus’ on future of inflation

“This is (as) regular as clockwork. Whenever we get a slowdown in the economy, or a forecast of a slowdown …(the banks) increase their provisions,” Booth tells Global News.

Booth notes, as well, that just because banks are raising their provisions doesn’t mean they’ll need them if a pronounced recession doesn’t come to pass.

The last time Canadian banks raised their loan loss provisions by significant magnitudes was at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when they feared consumers would be out of work and without steady income for an uncertain period of time.

Gregory Taylor, chief investment officer at Purpose Investments, says banks quickly lowered those provisions again once the federal government stepped in with COVID support programs in the early months of the pandemic.

“Now we’re seeing them reverse that, put them back on and try to be a little bit cautious heading into what could be a volatile period,” Taylor says.

“The banks are being a little prudent, from this point of view.”

Canadian banks not immune to U.S. turmoil

Canadian bank loan provisions also extend to lenders’ activities in the U.S. market, Booth notes, where the financial system has faced turmoil in recent months over the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and other regional players.

While Canada’s large and well-capitalized banks have been well-insulated from the specific vulnerabilities that spurred uncertainty south of the border, Booth says banks such as TD have been pushing more into the U.S. market in recent years and have to adjust their risk profiles accordingly.

“The strength of the Canadian banks has allowed them to move into the U.S. with acquisitions, but that then exposes them to the risks of the U.S. market, which generally has higher provisions for credit losses,” he says.

Click to play video: 'First Republic seizure: What does the latest U.S. bank failure mean for Canadians?'

First Republic seizure: What does the latest U.S. bank failure mean for Canadians?

TD Bank’s planned $13.4-billion acquisition of U.S. regional bank First Horizon was scuttled earlier this month after regulators denied the necessary approvals for the deal.

While the acquisition’s collapse was a factor in TD’s earnings miss last quarter, the extra capital the bank now has on hand because of the failed deal is helpful given the dour economic outlook, said CEO Bharat Masrani on an earnings call.

“We are going through an uncertain period here from an economic perspective … so to have the level of capital we have, that is a good thing,” he said.

Taylor agrees that it was probably good for TD overall that it didn’t have to pay the original price it offered for First Horizon as regional banks in the U.S. go through a revaluation.

Some analysts have said TD should take the opportunity to pause and rethink its U.S. expansion strategy.

“TD should revisit the idea of whether or not they should be pursuing aggressive growth in United States banking through acquisitions,” Veritas analyst Nigel D’Souza told Reuters this week.

What do higher loan loss provisions mean for consumers?

Canada’s banks are battening down the hatches on the loan side of their businesses at the same time as Canadians’ debt levels, particularly mortgage debt, continue to climb.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) said this past week that the country has the highest household debt in the G7, with the bulk of that held in mortgage loans.

Total residential debt surpassed $2 trillion in January, CMHC said on Thursday, up six per cent year-over-year.

Canada’s economy is heavily reliant on the health of the housing market, which Taylor says means any signs of stress in banks’ mortgage books are “something to monitor” if they start to appear.

“It’s probably too soon to say whether it’s going to be a really big issue or not, but it’s definitely one of the reasons the banks were increasing their provisions going into the quarter,” he says.

Click to play video: 'Why mortgage and rent costs drove inflation up in Canada'

Why mortgage and rent costs drove inflation up in Canada

Booth notes that mortgages are one of the last things Canadians’ tend to default on as they’re willing to make most sacrifices before losing their home and the equity they’ve built up in it, which helps keep rates of mortgage delinquency relatively low in Canada.

From a macro perspective, both Booth and Taylor say there’s not much cause for concern for the banks themselves as they’ve put aside more money for loans going bad.

But on an individual level, Canadians should take the higher loan loss provisions as a sign that they might need to tighten their belts in the months to come.

“While Canadians don’t have to worry about their banks, they do have to worry about whether they can afford higher interest costs and that means that they have to cut back other spending,” Booth says.

More on Money

Messaging from the Bank of Canada and U.S. Federal Reserve in recent weeks that interest rates might need to remain higher for longer — or even rise further — means that Canadians should plan for an elevated interest rate environment, Taylor says.

One way to do that, he says, is by keeping less money in chequing accounts and putting it in investment vehicles that are showing higher rates of return. Taylor says that’s a solid approach for anyone worried about their finances through an expected period of “turbulence.”

“For Canadian consumers, it’s something that everybody should be looking at to make sure you’re getting the most for your money with higher interest earned on your cash.”

— with files from The Canadian Press, Reuters

Adblock test (Why?)


Source link

Continue Reading


Evacuation orders mount as fire rages in Upper Tantallon, Hammonds Plains area –



Nova Scotia RCMP have ordered residents of subdivisions in the Upper Tantallon/Hammonds Plains area to leave their homes in the face of a fast-moving wildfire.

The Westwood Hills subdivision in Upper Tantallon, N.S., was the first to begin an evacuation as the fire consumed at least 10 homes.

Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency District Chief Rob Hebb said dozens of crews were at the site attempting to control the fire. One helicopter was at the scene and another was on the way.


CBC Radio in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will carry a live call-in special on the fire starting at 8 p.m. AT, which can be listened to on CBC Radio.

Nova Scotia RCMP sent a tweet prior to an emergency alert being issued telling residents of the area to evacuate their homes immediately via Winslow Drive to Hammonds Plains Road. 

Fast-moving wildfire burning in Nova Scotia

1 hour ago

Duration 0:41

Crews in Nova Scotia are working to contain a wildfire that has forced the evacuations of two subdivisions and sent thick plumes of smoke into the sky, leading to an air quality alert for the Halifax area.

RCMP corrected an earlier tweet that indicated evacuation was via Windsor Drive.

Subsequent emergency alerts at 6:11 p.m. and 7:41 p.m. said the evacuation order was extended to residents of the Highland Park subdivision in nearby Yankeetown, Haliburton Hills, Glen Arbour, Pockwock Road, White Hills subdivision and Lucasville Road to Sackville Drive.

Residents were told to take their pets with them.

Photo of smoke over a wooded area with a Hammonds Plains and Bedford road sign in the foreground.
Fire officials said the fire had already consumed at least 10 homes and was spreading rapidly. (Katy Parsons/CBC)

People are being asked to stay away from the area to allow the evacuations to take place.

An emergency alert sent earlier said a comfort centre was open at the Black Point community centre.

A map shows areas of Tantallon and Hammonds Plains area where power has been cut
Power is out in much of the evacuated areas due to fire, according to Nova Scotia Power’s outage map. As of 8 p.m. AT on Sunday, more than 3,000 people had lost their power due to fire in the areas of Upper Tantallon, Stillwater Lake and Yankeetown. A further 1,372 people in the areas of Upper Hammonds Plains and Glen Arbour had lost their power because the outage was requested by authorities, according to the utility. (Nova Scotia Power)

Area resident Cynthia McKenzie said she left her home with her family and pets. She said they are safe and sheltering in a pet store in the area.

She said she was cooking dinner when her husband said they had to leave immediately.

“It just happened so fast,” she said. “I grabbed my animals as quick as I could and my photos and albums as best I could and got in the truck and headed out.” 

She said the smoke and flames were so bad that they had to turn around and take another route to get out of the subdivision. 

“You couldn’t see your hand in front of you,” she said.

Smoke from a wildfire is shown in the background of a photo of a  strip mall.
A photo taken Sunday shows smoke from fire in the area. (Dave Irish/CBC)

Shawn Beaulieu, another resident of the area, said he and his son were out shopping and were told to turn around when they tried to return to the subdivision where his wife was.

He said he and his son are taking temporary shelter at a restaurant in Upper Tantallon that opened its doors to evacuees.

“It’s frustrating, but it’s better to be alive,” he said. The three were reunited later in the day.

A long distance shot of smoke seen from Citadel Hill over downtown buildings in Halifax.
Smoke from the fire could be seen from Citadel Hill in Halifax on Sunday. (Celina Aalders/CBC)

Taylor Martin, who lives about a seven-minute drive from the fire said she and her partner, Kirk Jessome, were preparing for a possible evacuation order.

“We’re getting things together,” she said. “Packing up necessities, getting the crate for our cat ready, getting all our important documents ready. Making sure everything is set to go if we have to leave.”

She said she is lucky that she has family who will make room for them.

A view of flames over a forested areas with a lake in the foreground.
Residents of Westwood Hills and Yankeetown subdivisions were ordered to evacuate Sunday. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC)

He said that with the fire spreading, people are outside the subdivision and waiting for what is next. The area is packed with people and he said roads are jammed. 

Environment Canada issued an air quality alert for Halifax Metro and Halifax County West shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday. It said smoke from the fire in Upper Tantallon has reduced visibility and air quality in the area downwind of the fire. 

It said people respond differently to smoke and mild irritation and discomfort are common.

The alert said people should take a break from the smoke at a community location with cool, clean air.

A line of cars with a sign that says Westwood Boulevard at the side of the road.
Residents are seen leaving the area on Sunday afternoon. Evacuatation orders were issued for two subdivisions. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC)

CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon said firefighters have a number of challenges.

“Halifax firefighters are not only battling the fire, they are also battling the wind,” he said. “Gusty west/southwest winds are fanning the flames right now.

“Winds shift to northerly this evening, but unfortunately, will remain breezy through the day on Monday. Winds look set to become lighter Monday night and Tuesday.”

Snoddon said there was a chance of isolated showers later Sunday, but they wouldn’t be of much help to the firefighters. He said there isn’t another significant chance of rain until Friday.


Adblock test (Why?)


Source link

Continue Reading


Man dead after Scarborough collision involving vehicle and motorcycle –




A man has died after a vehicle and a motorcycle collided in Scarborough on Sunday, Toronto police and paramedics say.

Officers called to Greenholm Crescent and Lawrence Avenue East just after 1:30 p.m.

A closeup of the doors on a Toronto police cruiser.
Officers were called to Greenholm Crescent and Lawrence Avenue East just after 1:30 p.m. (Robert Krbavac/CBC)

A man has died after a vehicle and a motorcycle collided in Scarborough on Sunday, Toronto police and paramedics say.


Officers were called to Greenholm Crescent and Lawrence Avenue East just after 1:30 p.m.

Paramedics say they transported a man with life-threatening injuries to a trauma centre where he was pronounced dead.

The intersection has been closed and police say motorists should use alternate routes.

Adblock test (Why?)


Source link

Continue Reading