News round-up: Magnotta and the price of gas

In today’s news round-up, we’ve got Luka Magnotta’s preliminary hearing, the federal budget, the Liberal leadership race and a small-town cartel.

Creepy shit, photo via Flickr 

Luka Magnotta’s preliminary hearing has adjourned until next month, but this week was an eventful one. For one thing, the accused fainted in court while a video (we think we can guess which one) was shown. Magnotta’s senior lawyer Luc Leclair told the judge that “He really doesn’t feel well and he’s not able to continue.” No shit, huh? Leclair last week also had the enviable task of telling the judge that another member of the defence team, Raphael Feldstein, was stepping down from the team, due, apparently, to a conflict of interest. To no one’s surprise, people are still showing up hours in advance each day to snag a seat for the trial.

Even the faithful are apathetic: per the Canadian Press, under half of the something like 300,000 people who signed up to vote in the national Liberal leadership race (the winner of which is totally anyone’s guess, bro) have actually registered to do so. Expect a ballot the week of April 6, unless party brass successfully pushes for extra time to rally the seemingly indifferent troops.

At last, Ottawa has dropped tariffs on hockey equipment and baby gear. So let’s all hit the ice and get knocked up, because now we can afford it.

Shockingly enough, in the wake of the federal budget announcement, Quebec feels attacked. Finance minister Nicolas Marceau called the whole thing “economic sabotage,” citing, among other things, the fact that the province’s skills-training program is first-rate, an argument that anyone who a) has actually been to, say, a government-mandated job-hunt club and b) still doesn’t have a job would likely dispute. But, as always, we digress.

And, finally, score one for the people who live in a place where they have no choice but to drive: three people, including a gas company exec, were found guilty in a price-fixing scheme, otherwise known by the more dramatic term cartel, in Sherbrooke and Magog. Excitement rides high for local automobilists, who have no doubt been waiting with bated breath for a verdict since 2006 or whatever, when this whole thing began. ■

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