Protesters opposing a right wing group clash with Quebec City police

first_imgMONTREAL – Tensions boiled over in Quebec City on Sunday, as police were pelted by beer bottles and smoke bombs set off in garbage cans in an ugly end to a weekend of pro and anti-immigrant rallies.The Quebec group La Meute, which is associated with the far right, called for a rally Sunday to protest the federal and provincial government’s handling of the border crossers, but ended up having its members pinned inside a garage while counter-protesters demonstrated outside.Once the counter-protesters turned violent, the Quebec City police declared the protest illegal. Clashes ensued and at least one protester was arrested as officers tried to block access to the building where some of the La Meute protesters had taken refuge.By 6 p.m. the counter-protesters had dispersed and the members of La Meute, many of them carrying flags featuring the group’s wolf-paw logo, emerged from the building to begin their protest.Television footage showed them marching in silence near Quebec City’s legislature.The protests in the Quebec capital were far more tense than a demonstration a day earlier in Vancouver where thousands of people peacefully demonstrated in an anti-racism rally in response to reports earlier in the week that an anti-Muslim protest was planned. That latter rally didn’t materialize.The rallies sprung up in the wake of last week’s deadly events in Charlottesville, Va. in which one person was killed and others injured when a vehicle plowed through a crowd of anti-racism protesters.The Quebec events were largely spurred by the unprecedented number of people walking across the border to seek asylum.Almost 6,800 people showed up at an unofficial crossing from the U.S. into Quebec since Canada Day to claim asylum. By comparison, only 2,920 claims were filed in Quebec in all of 2015.When asked Sunday if the unprecedented number of border crossers was stoking anti-immigrant sentiments in the country, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned “intolerant, racist demonstrations.” He said he stood with millions of Canadians “who reject the hateful, harmful, heinous ideologies” that have sprouted across the country.“The small minority, angry, frustrated group of racists don’t get to define who we are as a country, don’t get to tell others who we are and don’t get to change the nature of the open, accepting values that make us who we are,” Trudeau said in Montreal hours before the Quebec City demonstration.Federal authorities have said more than 3,800 people walked over the border into Quebec through the first two weeks of August, compared to the 2,996 who similarly crossed the border throughout all of July. Many are being housed in temporary shelters, including tents along the Quebec-New York border and inside Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, while officials handle the sudden surge in asylum claims.Haitian nationals form the bulk of recent arrivals, believed to be driven by a change in U.S. policy that many fear would result in mass deportations. Canada lifted the temporary restriction on deporting Haitians last year, set up in the wake of the 2010 earthquake, and many were sent back to the island nation, Trudeau said.Trudeau urged Canadians to maintain trust in the immigration system and the officials who he believed were managing the situation. He said none of those walking across the U.S. border would receive any special advantages in their quest to come to Canada, stressing to Canadians and would-be refugees alike that border hoppers must go through the usual security checks and immigration evaluations.Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard tweeted about the violence in the provincial capital Sunday, saying that people have the right to demonstrate peacefully with zero tolerance for violence.“We condemn violence and intimidation. We live in a democracy where respect must be the norm and not the exception.”last_img read more

Richard Oland seemed happy to see his son Dennis hours before murder

first_imgSAINT JOHN, N.B. — On the day he was savagely beaten to death, multi-millionaire businessman Richard Oland was catching up on work in his Saint John office and appeared pleased when his only son, Dennis, popped in to discuss genealogy and the Oland family tree.Over seven years later, Dennis Oland is on trial for a second time for the bludgeoning death of his dad on that day in 2011, and prosecutors have told the court money was the motive.Maureen Adamson, Richard Oland’s executive assistant at the time of his death, was on the stand for day two of the Oland murder retrial on Thursday, recounting the daily routine of the office in uptown Saint John which included keeping track of money Dennis owed his father.She was the first to discover the body on the morning of July 7, 2011. Oland, 69, had been struck 45 times, mostly on the head, with a weapon that was never found.Adamson said Dennis was making interest-only payments of $1,666.67 per month on a loan of more than half a million dollars Richard Oland had extended when Dennis was in a tight financial spot due to divorce several years earlier.Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Michael Lacy, a new member of the Oland defence team, Adamson described what she knew about the relationship between father and son, saying she did not see signs of the strained and troubled relationship referred to by prosecutors.Adamson said Dennis Oland was not a frequent visitor to his father’s uptown Saint John office, but when he showed up late in the day of July 6, 2011 — the day of the murder — Richard Oland seemed happy to see him.“It was an animated hello, a ‘Hey Dennis’,” she said of Richard Oland’s greeting to the man subsequently accused of his murder.“He seemed happy to see him.”Adamson said both Olands were engrossed in research Dennis was spearheading into the family tree, stretching back to its roots in Great Britain. The Olands are one of the best known business families in the Maritimes, where they have been involved in brewing beer since the 19th century.Richard Oland was a former executive with Moosehead Breweries in Saint John, although he left the company in the early 1980s. Adamson said he was worth about $37 million.On the day of the murder, she left shortly after Dennis Oland’s arrival at around 5:30 p.m. From that point on, father and son were alone in the office.Dennis said he left a little after 6:30 p.m. and headed back to his home in Rothesay, on the outskirts of the city. He told police his father was fine when he left and he has steadfastly maintained he is innocent of the crime.Adamson said she thought the father and son got along well.“Aside from the normal grumblings most people have with family members … I thought they got along well,” Adamson said. “I did not see that stress I heard about later (during the first trial).”Dennis Oland, 50, was convicted in 2015 of the second-degree murder of his father after a lengthy jury trial. That conviction was set aside on appeal in 2016 and a new trial ordered.The second jury trial was declared a mistrial before it got started earlier this week. Justice Terrence Morrison of the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench cited “improprieties” in the jury selection process. It turned out a Saint John police officer coordinating files for Crown prosecutors was accessing an internal police database to research jurors in violation of a directive from the Supreme Court of Canada.The Crown was not involved in the improper searches and immediately informed the defence and the judge. The trial is now being heard by Morrison alone.Chris Morris, The Canadian Presslast_img read more