In case you missed it, here's what happened in Montreal on Sept. 19

In case you missed it, here's what happened in Montreal on Sept. 19
In case you missed it, here's what happened in Montreal on Sept. 19

A screengrab from the city of Montreal's new website and mobile app.

A look at the day’s events in and around Montreal:

City of Montreal unveils new website, app and online services

If you want to let the city of Montreal know about a pothole or a broken street light, there’s now an app for that.

On Tuesday, city officials unveiled a new digital platform that will serve as the foundation of the city’s continued transformation into a digital city, Mayor Denis Coderre said. 

It includes an app and a revamped city website that is currently in the beta testing phase, beta.montreal.ca. The website and app will allow citizens to create accounts and set up alerts for up to five addresses for such things as snow removal, boil water advisories and emergencies. 

And through the website or application, citizens will be able to report problems like potholes, graffiti, broken street furniture, burnt-out street lights and cleanliness issues as well as request tree branch collection. The new online and mobile services will be complementary to those available by calling 311, which handles one million requests a year. 

“This is a beta version to test because we really want to test the new online services in real life to then improve them based on the feedback from citizens,” Coderre said. “The process of turning Montreal into a smart digital city has been and remains evolutionary.”

Montrealers collecting supplies and food for hurricane victims

As hurricanes continue to wreak havoc across the Caribbean, Montrealers with deep roots on the islands are collecting supplies and food to help with the rebuilding effort.

Several people who come from Antigua have begun collecting toiletries and clothing for their fellow countrymen from Barbuda, who were forced to flee the island after it was pummelled by Hurricane Irma this month.

“We had to remove every single person from Barbuda because all the homes are destroyed,” said Juleen Barrington, president of the Antigua and Barbuda Association of Montreal.

“There are no houses, no hospital, no police station and no school. It (Barbuda) is completely destroyed.”

More than 1,600 residents of the devastated island were sent by plane or boat to Antigua after Barbuda became uninhabitable.26a5cdc8bc.jpg

Keith Brown, left, contributes to relief effort set up in LaSalle by the Antigua and Barbuda Association, overseen by Kathleen James, right, Juleen Barrington, second from right, and Kendell Gore.

UPAC arrests Frank Zampino, 7 others, in Montreal water-meter probe

Former city of Montreal executive committee chairman Frank Zampino was among eight people arrested by Quebec’s anti-corruption unit (UPAC) early Tuesday as part of an investigation into the city’s since-rescinded water meter contract.

Investigators contend the suspects were part of a network of engineering firms and city officials that created a system of awarding contracts in exchange for political financing, kickbacks and other benefits. The eight face charges of fraud, conspiracy and breach of trust.

The investigation is focusing on 30 contracts — most of them for engineering services — worth about $160 million and awarded between 2001 and 2009. Union Montreal fundraiser Bernard Trépanier, described during the Charbonneau inquiry into corruption in the construction industry as “Mr. Three Per Cent,” was also among those arrested Tuesday, as was former city of Montreal public works director Robert Marcil, and Kazimierz Olechnowicz, Yves Théberge, Dany Moreau and Normand Brousseau. Bernard Poulin, the head of an engineering firm and whose home was the target of a UPAC raid in 2015, was also arrested.

Maxi store killing: Accused pleaded for a lift afterward, trial told

Randy Tshilumba could not get a lift from friends after he allegedly killed Clémence Beaulieu-Patry and hid from police in a restaurant washroom. 

The evidence that Tshilumba, 21, tried desperately to get a lift from people he knew while he hid inside the washroom of a Tim Hortons — located a few blocks away from the Maxi supermarket where Beaulieu-Patry was stabbed on April 10, 2016 — came in the form of text messages found on a Samsung phone seized from his bedroom shortly after he was arrested a couple of days after the homicide. 

“It’s possible we’ll never see each other again,” Tshilumba texted to a friend while asking for a lift. His text messages did not mention what happened to Beaulieu-Patry, but Tshilumba wrote at one point: “What is going on (now) I need support and not stress.” In a vague way he asked his friend not to judge him in the future.

As that text message was read aloud in the courtroom, Beaulieu-Patry’s father turned toward his wife, rolled his eyes and let out an exasperated gasp.0412-city-maxi.jpg?quality=55&strip=all

Clémence Beaulieu-Patry was killed on April 10, 2016.

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