Gülşen – Önsöz

Montreal upgrades to online petitions, but too late for Mount Royal opposition

Montrealers will no longer need to gather signatures on paper to submit a petition to call for public consultations, but the change in policy is too late for those against a plan to block cars from driving across Mount Royal.

Until now, petitions submitted to the city have required 15,000 signatures on paper, rather than online.

An internet petition against the Plante administration’s pilot projet set for this spring has accumulated more than 25,000 signatures.

François Croteau, borough mayor for Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie and the executive committee member responsible for innovation, blames the extra delay this year on how the technology was developed.

The city’s soon-to-be-implemented new website cannot accommodate it, he said.

“We have to completely change the architecture of what was developed,” he told Radio-Canada’s Gravel le matin.

The motion for online petitions will be submitted by the opposition, Ensemble Montreal, will be tabled at a municipal council meeting later this month.

Projet Montréal will support it, Croteau said.

Delayed intentionally?

The technology required to accept electronic petitions was developed by the city’s last administration, under Denis Coderre, but couldn’t be implemented in 2017 because it was an election year, according to his old party’s current leader, Lionel Perez.

Perez said the city can’t launch public consultations during election years, and such a change would have required a consultation.

He suspects the delay may also have something to do with the petition against blocking cars from crossing the mountain, a pilot project championed by Plateau-Mont-Royal Borough Mayor Luc Ferrandez.

The pilot project has received pushback from Montrealers who say blocking cars from crossing Mount Royal will reduce access to the mountain and create a barrier between the city’s east and west ends.

A counter-petition online in favour of the plan has more than 7,000 signatures


TransLink warns of ‘card clashing’ ahead of new payment system

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Upcoming changes will make it easier for transit users around Metro Vancouver to pay for service if they don’t have –or want– a Compass Card.

People will soon be able to use their tap-enabled credit card or mobile wallet to pay for fares, by tapping them on the card readers the same way you would a Compass Card.

But with this new technology comes a warning about “card clashing”. TransLink is launching a new educational campaign aimed at reminding transit users to tap a single card and not your entire wallet or purse.


“No multiple cards will be charged at the same time during a tap,” says TransLink’s Aliya Mohamed. “It’s essentially one card, but what you want to do is tap in and out of the system with the card you’d like to use –not the unintended card, so Visa, Mastercard… Google Pay, Apple Pay in the system.”

The new Tap to Pay system is mostly designed for tourist and infrequent users.

“Improving the customer experience is one of our top priorities and Tap to Pay is going to make taking transit even easier,” explains TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “Giving people more payment options will greatly increase convenience, especially for people who aren’t regular riders.”

While no specific start date has been confirmed, TransLink says it’ll be sometime later this spring in time for tourism season.

“It’s important for them to be able to access our system quickly,” Mohamen adds. “I mean, look at the YVR example. You have people landing by aircraft, grabbing their luggage, waiting to collect their Compass Card or tickets and then, get on the system. They’ll be able to avoid the line-ups, not dig for change, not have to currency convert and just get right on the system.”

The Compass Card system was implemented in January 2016 to replace paper monthly passes.

TransLink warns of ‘card clashing’ ahead of new payment system

Christian refugee returns to Syria because Europe is flooded with ISIS supporters

“Christian refugee returns to Syria because Europe is flooded with ISIS supporters,” Voice of Europe, March 9, 2018:

Spiro Haddad is a Christian refugee who returned to Syria from Austria. In an interviewwith a German TV broadcaster in Syria, he tells how his life was in danger in Austria and why he made the decision to return….

At first he wanted to stay there, but he changed his mind after he saw how many refugees pledged to terrorist groups like Al-Nusra and ISIS.

As a Christian he didn’t feel safe among them in Austria and he had to keep his faith a secret or it could cost him his life. Haddad says extremists wanted to change churches into mosques and he had to talk like them to survive.

After he contacted the Austrian authorities about it, they didn’t take him seriously. That was the moment he decided to leave and now he lives in Syria again.

Haddad warns Europe and says “it’s not good that Europe is open to all”. “ISIS and Al-Nusra want to destroy everything, even with you. If you do not understand that, I’m pessimistic for the future of Europe,” he says.

Video: Christian refugee returns to Syria because Europe is flooded with ISIS supporters