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Day 1 of $2k: Security attempts to stop media
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On day one of the new travel measures ordered by the federal government, Montreal Airport looks like a ghost town with a testing center set up boldly in the arrival section just a few meters from the entrance doors. The arrival section is protected by heavy security with nearly two dozen officers standing in or around the front of the testing center structure.

Several media representatives were refused access to the airport entirely upon arrival. After insisting for over 30 minutes, returning as a group banding together, they were granted access with strict limitations. “We have strict orders not to allow any filming or photographs in or around this area (arrival).” One of the security guards on duty said. “I was told that I cannot let you in.” another told The Suburban when we first arrived.

The Suburban also attempted to interview the hotel managers of Aloft Montreal Airport, Crowne Plaza Montreal Airport, Holiday Inn Express and Suites and Montreal Airport Marriott In-Terminal — all of which said to us “We are not able to offer any comment.” It seemed evident that both airport staff and hotel staff were instructed not to share any information with the media.

An announcement heard over loud speakers every 15 minutes or so inside the airport repeats “Federal authorities require returning travelers to quarantine upon arrival. Failure to comply will result in fines, penalties or imprisonment.”

The departure section is scarce, the majority of check-in booths are closed and baggage check is operating at minimal capacity. In a 30 minute period, less than a half dozen people were seen registering at the departure booths.

Incoming travelers are required to be tested at their own cost before leaving the airport in shuttle busses to quarantine in one of four government approved local hotels also at their own cost.

They must test negative before boarding a plane to Canada and they must test negative a second time upon arrival before being transported to a government approved quarantine hotel.

Victim reported death threats less than 48 hours before her death
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A woman who was killed in Chomedey last Sunday was so in fear for her life that she mentioned the name of the man who had allegedly threatened her when she called 911 two days before she was found dead in the parking lot of her Laval condo.

Marly Édouard’s body was found early Sunday morning by neighbors in the lot on rue des Châteaux.

Less than 48 hours earlier, the 32-year-old talent manager for foreign artists who immigrated to Canada in 2016, called 911 to report the death threats. Laval police interviewed her to take her complaint which reportedly included her fear that a hitman was being hired to kill her.

It is unclear as to what happened next in terms of the investigation because Laval police handed over the investigation to the Sûreté du Québec, and the province’s Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI) is looking at how Laval police handled the matter.

But what everybody does know is that Édouard was found dead from a gunshot wound to her head early Sunday morning. A firearm was found near her body. No arrests have been made.

It has been reported in various media that the man who allegedly threatened Édouard was the ex-partner of her ex-girlfriend, but police have made no comments in this regard.

The SQ set up a mobile command post on the scene Monday and asked anybody with information about the case to call their Centrale de l’information criminelle at 1 800-659-4264. The BEI is also asking anyone with information to report it by visiting their website at www.bei.gouv.qc.ca

Dramatic Hydro revenue fall due to COVID and weather

Hydro-Québec’s income fell $620 million in 2020 compared to 2019 as a result of COVID-19 and milder temperatures that year, the utility announced.

The net income in 2020 was $2.3 billion.

“Not surprisingly, our results were affected by the public health crisis and economic slowdown,” stated Hydro-Québec President and Chief Executive Officer Sophie Brochu. “In these trying times, we fully assumed our role within Quebec society by implementing exceptional measures totaling $90 million to help customers facing financial difficulties get through the situation. We also launched several initiatives that will contribute to Quebec’s economic development and the acceleration of the energy transition in northeastern North America.”

Hydro released more details of the factors leading to the income decline.

• “A four percent decrease in electricity consumption in Quebec due to the public health measures.”

• “A seven percent decline in baseload demand from the commercial, institutional and small industrial sector and the large industrial sector.”

• “A four percent increase in demand from the residential sector.”

• “Milder temperatures in the winter and fall (3˚C and 2˚C higher, respectively, than in 2019).”

• Outside Quebec, “a $537-million contribution to net income.”

• “Net export volume: 31.3 TWh, down 2.4 TWh from 2019.”

• “A price decline of some 25% on the company’s main export markets.”

• “A decrease mitigated by positive impact of sales and risk management strategies.”

More specifically, in Quebec, “net electricity sales decreased by $146 million essentially because of the impact of temperatures, which were milder in 2020 than in 2019 during most of the months when heating requirements affect customers’ energy consumption.

“On markets outside Québec, net electricity exports declined by $116 million on account of first-quarter temperature variances, which resulted in lower demand and prices on export markets, and the repercussions of the pandemic, which also led to lower prices and market requirements, especially in the second quarter. Operational expenditure was $328 million higher than the previous year, partly because of the effect of the pandemic—in particular the rise in the allowance related to the collectibility risk for certain accounts receivable—and an increase in the Pension Plan’s current service cost, mainly due to a decrease in the discount rates.”

“Although we faced strong headwinds in 2020, we’ll be able to pay a dividend of over $1.7 billion to our shareholder, the Quebec government,” stated Jean-Hugues Lafleur, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “This amount, combined with the economic spinoffs of our operations throughout the province, confirms Hydro-Québec’s role as a major contributor to the Quebec economy.”