This is the first time the management of Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery has spoken out against the plan to close the mountain to through traffic. Allen McInnis / Montreal Gazette
A look at the day’s events in and around Montreal:Cemetery owner speaks out against pilot project on Mount Royal
Notre-Dame parish, which owns Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery, spoke out Wednesday against the plan to shut down through traffic on Mount Royal, asking the city to consider the additional burden it will place on bereaved families.
“Our concern is the hardship faced by bereaved families,” said Miguel Castellanos, the pastor of Notre-Dame Basilica in Old Montreal.
“You know, when you are going through that situation, you are very fragile and very vulnerable, and I don’t think we should be punishing those people,” he said.
The pilot project will close Camillien-Houde Way and Remembrance Rd. to through traffic from June 2 to Oct. 31.
While cars will still use those roads to visit the mountain, a 550-metre section between the parking lot at Smith House and the one at Beaver Lake will be closed. Emergency vehicles, city buses, school buses, tourist coaches and funeral cortèges will still be able to get through, but not private vehicles.
Castellanos said the closure would cause additional stress for people mourning a loved one because it will be more difficult to make graveside visits, particularly for people coming from east of the mountain.
He did not know how many cemetery visitors come from the east side, but said “it’s a lot of people.”
“Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery gets the most visitors of any cemetery in Canada. More than one million people are buried here,” he noted.
“There are always many people coming to visit a loved one here in the cemetery,” he added.
Castellanos said he hoped the city would revisit the plan, taking into account the needs of mourners.
It was the first time the cemetery’s management had spoken out on the controversial pilot project, which has spurred an online petition of more than 28,000 signatures opposing it.Montreal-area taxi companies call for greater subsidies for electric cars
A group of Montreal-area taxi company owners is calling on the Quebec government to increase the subsidies for taxi drivers to buy electric vehicles.
The group, which claims to represent 80 per cent of taxi drivers in the region, is calling on the province to add a $5,000 subsidy for taxi drivers. In addition to the $8,000 already available to the general population, that would bring the total subsidy to $13,000.
In a news conference held in Outremont Wednesday, the owners of taxi companies that included Co-op de l’Est, Co-op de l’Ouest and Allo Taxi supported the initiative of E-Taxi Montreal — a prospective provider of electric taxi cars to drivers.
E-Taxi father and son co-founders Yung and Fabien Cuong say they are working to bring a new type of electric car to Montreal manufactured by the Chinese automaker BYD. The car is not authorized to be sold in this country by Transport Canada, but the co-founders say once it has gone through the regulatory hurdles, they intend to promote it to taxi drivers.
The E6 model of the car has a range of 300 kilometres, which the Cuongs say is sufficient to cover a day’s worth of taxi driving in the Montreal region. The car will probably retail at about $60,000.
The Cuongs say that while the BYD is still far pricier than an equivalent gas-powered or hybrid car, a $13,000 subsidy combined with an estimated $7,000 annual savings on gas would make it financially worthwhile for taxi drivers to switch to electric.Trial of man accused of bomb threats at Concordia University delayed again
A Concordia University student charged with making bomb threats that caused the school to evacuate three of its downtown buildings last year saw his trial delayed for a third time since he was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation in February.
Hisham Saadi, 48, made a brief appearance at the Montreal courthouse before Quebec Court Judge Melanie Hebert on Wednesday only to see his trial carried over to a date in June. On March 1, 2017, Saadi sent a letter, claiming to be from a group called the Council of conservative citizens of Canada, to several media outlets. The letter also claimed homemade bombs had been placed in the university and were intended to injure Muslims. Saadi, who is a Muslim, admitted during his trial that he penned the letter. It was sent hours before Saadi was scheduled to have a microeconomics exam.
On Feb. 8, with the trial in its third day, defence lawyer Caroline Braun asked that Saadi undergo a psychiatric evaluation at the Philippe Pinel Institute. Since then, the case has returned to court on three dates, including Wednesday, with nothing of substance being said.
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