Cameras To Monitor Drug-Ridden Montreal District

Cameras To Monitor Drug-Ridden Montreal District
Posted by CN Staff on April 07, 2004 at 17:34:35 PT
By Brian Daly
Source: Canadian Press 
Montreal -- A bank of surveillance cameras will begin monitoring activity in a drug-ridden downtown district next month, raising concerns about privacy implications for ordinary citizens. Politicians, business leaders and police told a news conference the pilot project would see cameras set up along busy St-Denis Street from May 1 to Aug. 30 - high season for drug transactions. The city's Latin Quarter is known for its theatres, bistros and boutiques, but it's also known as a place to buy marijuana at all hours near a subway station.
Local borough councillor Robert Laramee said the drug dealers are driving away business and threatening merchants. "Let's not deny it - these (dealers) aren't always peaceful and aren't always polite," he told reporters as a local police commander and the head of a merchants' association sat nearby. "For the last few years, people have avoided the Latin Quarter. In the past, the Latin Quarter was a place where everyone loved to come have a coffee or enjoy a meal, but not anymore." Other Canadian cities have turned to video surveillance to thwart crime, prompting inquiries from federal and provincial privacy commissioners. Former federal privacy commissioner George Radwanski unsuccessfully fought RCMP in Kelowna, B.C., when they installed a camera in a downtown park. A second camera is now in operation on a temporary basis in the city's nightclub zone. It's scheduled to be deactivated in September. In 2002, Quebec's Access to Information Commission ordered the eastern Quebec town of Baie-Comeau to remove cameras that had been set up in a section of the community. Montreal lawyer Julius Grey, a leading constitutional expert, said Wednesday he has reservations about the cameras if they're used too often. "I'm very concerned about this," he said in an interview. "I don't think surveillance is always illegal, just like telephone wiretapping is not always illegal. But I think what is essential is that it not become routine." Montreal police Cmdr. Johanne Paquin, whose precinct will oversee the pilot project, said the plan has been approved by the provincial privacy watchdog. She said police would not monitor the cameras while they were rolling and would use the footage only if someone filed a criminal complaint. Paquin added the footage would be erased after seven days. "We are not sitting in front of a monitor, watching what's happening and sending in the police," she said. "The (information commission's) rules are very strict." Paquin refused to say exactly how many cameras would be set up or where they would be installed so as not to tip off drug dealers. Two local merchants were split Wednesday when asked whether the cameras raised privacy concerns. Boutique owner Ahmad Shah said innocent passersby have nothing to worry about - as long as they aren't criminals. "I don't think it affects privacy because if you see somebody doing something wrong, it's preventing that," he said. "If people are doing nothing wrong, they shouldn't be concerned." But Sebastian Jacques, who owns a travel agency, said the cameras could be bad for business. "It could discourage dealers, but it could also chase away people who want to protect their privacy." Complete Title: Cameras To Monitor Drug-Ridden Montreal District; Privacy Concerns RaisedSource: Canadian PressAuthor: Brian DalyPublished: April 7, 2004Copyright: 2004 The Canadian PressRelated Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Crime Rate at a 20-Year High Drug Users Going To Jail, Statscan Finds
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on April 07, 2004 at 20:08:22 PT
Thanks for finding the article. It sure does say 53% and that is a majority.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 07, 2004 at 19:56:22 PT
Why Do They Even Allow Us To Live?
The government says we don't like a type or culture of people so they torment the culture and drive it away from where they can see it. They scare and push and hate those who say hey wait a minute I think differently then you. I'm ok and you're ok so why is this happening? Why can't people who don't think the same live peacefully with each other? Judging people as we know from history hurts and destroys and cripples everyone who gets caught up in it. I am not better then anyone on this earth but no one is better then me either. Don't they remember that all men are created equal?
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on April 07, 2004 at 19:52:16 PT
found it
Yes, it was 53%! just found this:
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on April 07, 2004 at 19:48:42 PT
bad news
If I recall correctly, the province of Quebec polled highest for MJ legalization - I think something like 53% were in favor. So the government is installing these cameras against the will of the majority.We can only hope things change course if Bush loses. Hate to see Canada turning into 1984 right before our eyes.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 07, 2004 at 19:11:54 PT
Just Another Note
I assume people know that the words I posted were words to one of Neil Young's song and they seemed right to use. It does seem that something is going on in Canada. I wish they wouldn't take advice from our leaders down here. Life is hard for many of us and fear is a part of most of our lives. It's not a good way to have to live.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 07, 2004 at 17:38:27 PT
And We'll Be Watching You
In everything you do and you can do your part by watching others too.
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