Let’s take a look at the day’s events in and around Montreal:
A nurse was nearly strangled early Saturday morning by a psychiatric patient in the emergency room of the Montreal General Hospital — an attack that was made all the more horrific because of the absence of a security guard in the crowded downtown ER. It was the second such attack on a nurse in the Montreal General in less than a year and occurred following cuts in the number of ER staff and the elimination of the overnight security guard near the triage desk, a veteran employee told the Montreal Gazette. The nurse was assaulted at around 2 a.m. in the secure section of the ER that is reserved for psychiatric patients. The nurse tried in vain to scream while she was being choked, and out of desperation to save her life she poked him in the eyes. A female patient attendant who happened to be returning to the nursing station discovered the nurse on the floor struggling under the weight of the patient. She jumped on the patient’s back and hollered for help, alerting a male attendant nearby who succeeded in restraining the man. Police were alerted and arrested the patient.
A 29-year-old woman found dead in a northeast Edmonton residence Thursday was killed by strangulation, police say. Edmonton Police homicide detectives are investigating the death of Valerie Maurice from Montreal who was found dead Thursday inside a main floor apartment suite at 14404 88A Street. Police said in a news release Saturday afternoon that she did not reside in the home. Late Saturday afternoon, officers arrived on scene with carbines and were stationed in the apartment building and in the rear parking lot. About a half dozen cruisers were on the scene and at one point police ran across the street to secure the building. A police dog was also on the scene and inside the apartment complex. Police officers left the scene about an hour later without a suspect or anyone in custody.
The woman who would be mayor of Montreal has little trouble getting people to like her. It’s the getting to know her part, however, that may prove Valérie Plante’s biggest hill to climb to topple Mayor Denis Coderre. A Léger poll commissioned for Projet Montréal in mid-June, with a little over four months to go to the Nov. 5 municipal elections, showed that only 33 per cent of Montrealers recognized Plante at summer’s start. That compares with an 85-per-cent name recognition rate for Coderre, a staple on the local political scene who has proved himself adept at garnering attention and getting re-elected since he was first voted in as the Liberal member of Parliament of a Montreal riding 20 years ago. Plante and the Projet Montréal party she leads are determined to overcome her relative obscurity through a combination of grassroots meet-and-greet politicking, doling out of platform ideas on a near-daily basis and the launch of an aggressive and slightly cheeky advertising campaign.
Merger talks between sovereigntist parties Option nationale and Québec solidaire are ongoing and negotiations should be concluded by the end of September, Option Nationale leader Sol Zanetti said. Zanetti said he doesn’t want discussions to drag on for several months because it would create a climate of uncertainty. Talks on the possible merger began in June. If a merger proposal is reached, members of both parties would vote on the idea in December. Last March, Québec solidaire co-spokesperson, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, said the two parties “share a vision of values, of principles, the same social project.”