UPFRONT

THE WEEK

October 3 2005
UPFRONT

THE WEEK

October 3 2005

THE WEEK

UPFRONT

GOMERY A Quebec Superior Court judge called on Ottawa to delay the release of Justice John Gomery’s first report into the sponsorship affair, scheduled for Nov. 1. That would be during the fraud trial of Jean Brault and Chuck Guité, two of the main figures in the scandal, and Justice Fraser Martin said publication of the report might compromise their right to a fair trial.

BUDGET Last year’s federal budget came in with a surplus of only $1.6 billion, compared to some projections of as much as $7 billion. The government said that was the result of last-minute spending, but the opposition claimed the Liberals were playing with the books.

FOUND The remains of 18-year-old Jennifer Teague were discovered in a southwest Ottawa conservation area near her home, by an off-duty police officer on a Sunday walk with his family. Teague left her part-time job at a neighbourhood Wendy’s after midnight on Sept. 8. She was last seen about an hour later walking home from a nearby convenience store.

HAZING Montreal’s McGill University found itself in the middle of a hazing scandal after an 18-year-old football player left the institution claiming he had been degraded by his teammates. At issue was a ritual that

involved being anally prodded by “Dr. Broom”—a broom handle. The university is investigating, even as the McGill Tribune reported that the football team rite is an annual event.

RELEASED William Mullins-Johnson, who spent 12 years in prison for the rape and murder of his four-year-old niece, was released on bail. A recent report contradicted evidence against him compiled by professionals including Toronto pediatric forensic pathologist Dr. Charles Smith, much of whose work is now under scrutiny.

SURRENDER Thirty-five days after 25-year-old Alicia Ross of Markham, Ont., went missing from her family’s home, her neighbour, Daniel Sylvester, 31, turned hhnself in to police. “His conscience

got the better of him,” Sylvester’s lawyer said. Ross’s remains were later found at two sites in the Kawartha Lakes area. One source said the crime had been a result of ill will between the two families over the boundary between their houses.

SUICIDE Former Quebec MNA Richard Holden, who was suffering from back pain, took his own life in Montreal. The controversial politician, who entered the National

Assembly as a member of the anglophonerights Equality party but subsequently went over to the Parti Québécois, jumped from the balcony of his eighth-floor apartment.

RITA At week’s end, efforts to evacuate residents of the coastal area of Texas from the projected path of hurricane Rita resulted in 160-km-long traffic jams as more than 2.5 million people filled up evacuation routes. Gas prices skyrocketed—Stratford, Ont., posted $2.24 a litre last Thursday—amid fears that the storm would further damage the U.S. oil industry.

APPROVED The U.S. Senate judiciary committee approved the nomination of Judge John Roberts as chief justice of the Supreme Court. The vote was 13-5, with three of the committee’s eight Democrats voting in favour along with the 10 Republicans. Roberts’s nomination is now virtually assured in a full Senate vote scheduled to be held this week. President George W. Bush has one more Supreme Court vacancy to fill.

SAFE LANDING A JetBlue A-320 airliner with twisted and jammed front landing gear spent three hours circling over the southern California coast before attempting an emergency landing at the Los Angeles airport. The 140 frightened passengers watched on the plane’s live in-flight newscast as the pilot made a textbook emergency landing.

ELECTIONS Germany remained in political limbo, with neither Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union or Chancellor Gerhard Schroder’s Social Democrats able to form a government after the Sept. 18 election. At week’s end, both sides were looking at potential strategies, including the possibility of a “grand coalition” with each other.

As Poland prepared for a general election on the weekend, Law and Justice party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski stoked Polish-Russian hostility by saying Russia was using methods even the Nazis would not have considered in inciting hatred against Poles. His comments stemmed from attacks against two Polish diplomatic personnel and a journalist in Moscow after three Russian children were mugged in Warsaw. Many Poles say Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strong condemnation of the latter incident resulted in the Moscow revenge attacks.