Elmo is here…
How are you ? This is the simple question that Elmo, the famous red puppet from Sesame Street, asked his half a million subscribers on X on Monday. It was literally overwhelmed: more than 13,000 responses which paint a not always rosy picture of the state of mind of Americans. So much so that President Biden’s account saw fit to intervene on X too to remind people of the importance of being present for others. And to tell Americans not to hesitate to ask for help when needed. When social networks are something other than a free-for-all, it must be emphasized.
Nathalie Collard, The Press
Fossils revealed by Fiona
In 2022, tropical storm Fiona hit the Atlantic provinces and the Magdalen Islands hard, causing considerable damage. But something bad is good, they say. We learned this week that by breaking cliffs on Prince Edward Island, the storm revealed fossils dating from before the appearance of dinosaurs. Tetrapod footprints, ferns, dragonfly wings: some discoveries are only found in a handful of other places in the world. There is now talk of creating a research center on the island. Let’s hope this proves true. Who knows: maybe knowing more about extinct species will make us realize how climate change poses the threat of a sixth extinction.
Philippe Mercury, The Press
A (real) investigation into interference
Let’s go ! The public commission of inquiry into foreign interference launched its work on Monday. It was high time that an independent commission headed by a respected judge looked into this fundamental issue. In Ottawa, interference had long rhymed with indifference. But the government – closely followed by the opposition parties – ended up realizing the obvious: our national security was at stake. Shedding light on the numerous allegations of interference on the part of China, Russia or even India during the two most recent federal elections had become urgent. Just as it will be crucial, subsequently, to learn lessons from it.
Alexandre Sirois, The Press
Me Vincent Ranger vs. Goliath
It’s a story of tenacity and social justice. For five years, lawyer Vincent Ranger represented, free of charge, 20 victims of a real estate co-owner, Maher Balabanian, who ran his 119-unit building in Montreal like an “autocrat.” Me Ranger devoted more than 1000 hours to the case. His home was vandalized three times. Without his determination, justice would not have been done for these 20 real estate co-owners, often recent immigrants, who were abused. In a devastating judgment, the Superior Court has just sentenced Maher Balabanian and his brother Jean to pay $7 million to the victims for having enriched themselves at their expense, having harassed, spied on, humiliated and legally exhausted them. Colleague Yves Boisvert awards him a hug from Themis, the goddess of Justice. A well-deserved hug.
Vincent Brousseau-Pouliot, The Press