Vlad-Nicolae Precup sentenced to four years in prison for fatal hit-and-run

Ottawa hit-and-run killer gets four years in prison, expresses no remorse

Published on: March 13, 2015
Last Updated: March 13, 2015 6:41 AM EDT

Vlad-Nicolae Precup has been sentenced to four years in prison for dangerous driving causing death and leaving the scene of a fatal crash in the hit and run death of Mitchell Anderson, 38, in 2008.Jean Levac / Ottawa Citizen

Branded in court on Thursday as a killer who lied to cover his tracks, Vlad Precup is going to prison for four years after a judge sentenced him in the 2008 hit-and-run that killed defenceless pedestrian Mitchell Anderson, 38.

Precup not only knew he had struck a pedestrian at the intersection of Rideau Street and Colonel By Drive but he got rid of his sports car days later, then lied to police about it all.

In delivering his sentence on Thursday afternoon, Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Lalonde said he was stunned by Precup’s testimony, notably when Precup gave a new, wildly unbelievable account on the stand, blaming the deadly crash on another motorist, who unlike Precup, stuck around and went to help Anderson as he lay dying in the street.

Anderson’s daughter read a victim-impact statement saying, “My whole life has been nothing but pain, sorrow, and despair, and a long life of trauma.” She noted that Precup killed not just a father, but a brother and grandfather.

GTA: Marek Albinowski, Wladyslaw Pipient and Robert Fitzsimmons charged with human smuggling

Charges laid after Polish nationals smuggled into U.S. through Ontario

The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, December 2, 2014 5:08PM EST

CORNWALL, Ont. — Three Ontario residents have been charged with human smuggling after RCMP say Polish nationals were illicitly transported into the United States through a First Nation near Cornwall.

The Mounties say their probe began eight months ago, after U.S. authorities discovered three people from Poland there illegally.

It’s alleged the three accused would meet Polish nationals at Toronto’s Pearson airport or Trudeau International Airport in Montreal and then drive them to Akwesasne Mohawk Territory.

RCMP say they would then enter the U.S.

Sixty-five-year-old Marek Albinowski of Toronto, 69-year-old Wladyslaw Pipient of Markham, and 58-year-old Robert Fitzsimmons of Cornwall are charged with smuggling-related offences, while Albinowski also faces one count of possession of property obtained by crime

They were due in court on Tuesday.

Read more: http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/charges-laid-after-polish-nationals-smuggled-into-u-s-through-ontario-1.2129660#ixzz3KnbiKT00

Richmond’s Newcomers Guide now available in Russian as well

Alexandra Megynskaya and her daughter are having fun settling into life in Richmond

It’s perhaps a year too late for Alexandra Megynskaya, who moved her life to Richmond from Magadan in eastern Russia a little more than 12 months ago.

But finally getting her hands on the Russian version of Richmond’s Newcomers Guide will come in very useful nonetheless.

Now available along with its English, Chinese, Filipino and Punjabi counterparts, the Russian guide was officially launched at city hall last week.

Having browsed through the new Russian guide, Megynskaya said the content is exactly what all new immigrants  need to know when they arrive to start a new life in Canada.

BROSSARD, QC.: Nikolas Stefanatos pleads guilty in acid attack case

Brossard man pleaded guilty in Longueuil court Thursday morning

CBC News Posted: Nov 13, 2014 12:19 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 13, 2014 7:49 PM ET

Nikolas Stefanatos, the Brossard man who sprayed acid on his ex-girlfriend, Tanya St-Arnauld, has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.

The plea at the Longueuil courthouse came today — three weeks before Stefanatos’ trial was set to start.

The attack, which happened in August 2012, caused second and third degree burns to St-Arnauld’s face, back, neck and arms.

Stefanatos sprayed St-Arnauld with a household cleaning product containing acid, apparently in a bout of jealous anger.

Stefanatos addressed the court to say he was sorry for what he did.  He apologized to St-Arnauld in front of the judge, adding that he would hug her if he were allowed to.

St-Arnauld reminded the judge of the devastating effect her ex-boyfriend’s actions have had on her life, including suffering from second and third degree burns, being in a medically induced coma and undergoing skin grafts. She said that she now has the skin of a 70-year-old.

Stefanatos is due back in court on Dec. 3 for his sentencing hearing.

Crown prosecutor Erin Kavanagh told CBC that he has already reached an agreement with the defence on a suggested sentence, calling it “significant.”

Stefanatos has been held since the night of his arrest two and a half years ago, and that time served prior to his conviction will count as time-and-a-half once he’s sentenced.

TORONTO: Landlord Andriy Budnyy evicts tenants saying his mother will move in and apparently pay rent

REAL ESTATE

When the landlord asks for your apartment back

DENISE BALKISSOON

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published 

Last updated 

Ginette Lapalme had been living in her apartment at Dufferin and Dundas streets for almost five years when her landlord asked her to leave. He and his wife were expecting a baby, he said, and his mother-in-law would be moving into the space.

Lapalme and her boyfriend, Patrick Kyle, hadn’t done anything wrong, but the eviction was his right under the “landlord’s own use” provision of Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act.

“It seemed reasonable,” 27-year-old Lapalme says of the eviction, which happened last January. Still, Lapalme and Kyle, both artists, were a little suspicious. They were paying just $1,150 a month for a huge, five-room apartment with loads of sunlight in a neighbourhood that had gone from dreary to trendy in the time they had been there.

Their landlord, Andriy Budnyy, owned a set of units over adjacent storefronts, some of which were empty. He had just let them move back into the apartment after shuffling them into a smaller unit while he renovated, but had never mentioned his mother-in-law during the process.

“We wrote him a letter asking to stay, because we didn’t really understand,” says Kyle. “But there was no budging.” Instead, Budnyy offered the couple one month’s rent to cover their moving expenses. They reluctantly accepted and left on March 1, 2014. Other long-term tenants were also moving out that day, but neither Kyle nor Lapalme asked them why.

“We were trying not to be paranoid,” says Lapalme, but the two kept an eye on the rental listings. In May, two months after moving, they saw what they had been expecting: an ad for their old apartment on the classifieds site Kijiji. The rent was listed at $2,000, almost twice what they had been paying. “It was infuriating,” says Kyle, 26. They took screenshots of the ad and photos, including a shot of the kitchen with a keyholder nailed to the wall that they had forgotten.

Budnyy, whose first language is Ukrainian, says that it’s his mother, not his mother-in-law, who is planning to move into the unit. “My mother is coming soon. This is life. Everything is a little bit delayed,” he says. He also says that he needed to raise the rent after spending $10,000 on renovating the apartment, and that a lawyer told him he could only do that for a new tenant. “He said: ‘This is your choice, this is your property,’” Budnyy says. “I spent money, I have to return it.

In fact, landlords can apply to the province for permission for a rent increase after renovations; individual landlords may not be aware of this.

In Ontario, “landlord’s own use” is the only no-fault eviction method, the sole way to kick out a tenant without having to collect proof of late payments or excessive noise.

Karen Andrews, a lawyer with the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, says that the provision wasn’t used very much in the past, but that a growing number of long-term tenants have recently been told that their landlord plans to move in a spouse, child or caregiver. “Certain neighbourhoods are plagued with this – Little Italy, the Beach, Trinity Bellwoods,” she says.

In many cases the requests are legitimate, and are a trickle-down effect of the runaway housing market. Many homeowners are choosing to maximize the space they already have rather than face bidding wars and the cost of moving. This can mean putting an office or playroom in a former basement apartment.

In other cases, landlords may use this manoeuvre to make false claims and induce tenants to leave.

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Right now, the only way for landlords of older buildings to charge as much as they’d like is to get an entirely new tenant – a prospect that doesn’t seem daunting when rental vacancy in the city is 1.7 per cent.

Claiming the apartment is needed for their own use and issuing tenants the relevant form, number N12, allows them to do this. In 2013, tenants contested N12 forms to Ontario’s Landlord Tenant Board in 1,555 cases. “The statistics do not tell you about the N12s that are given to tenants who do not put up a fight,” Andrews points out.

Most of her clients who win such cases receive token monetary awards, she says. “Even if you win, you’ve lost housing forever.”

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MONTREAL: Immigrants from France invading the city

Montreal’s French invasion: Why immigrants from France are moving in en masse

BENJAMIN SHINGLER

MONTREAL — The Canadian Press

Published 

Last updated 

When Christian Faure moved to Montreal last summer, the renowned chef saw a chance to start fresh in a new city, freed from the constraints of his native France.

Faure opened a pastry shop and cooking school in a renovated 300-year-old greystone on a busy street in Old Montreal.

“It would be totally impossible to open a similar patisserie in a historic quarter in Paris and Lyon,” said Faure, who had a stint as director of the Cordon Bleu chef school in Ottawa before moving to the city. “In Montreal, it’s still possible. It’s a city of arts and theatre, and it encourages young people.”

Faure isn’t alone. Faced with a slumping economy and high unemployment rate back home, the number of French citizens in Montreal has soared in recent years, particularly among the 25-40 age demographic.

These days, the unmistakable accent of the Old Country echoes through the bars and cafés of the city’s trendy Plateau district. Specialty stores offering made-in-France delicacies and pubs that televise French rugby and soccer matches have also recently popped up.

By 2013, nearly 55,000 French citizens were registered at the French consulate in Montreal, up by about 45 per cent from 2005, according to the consulate.

In reality, that number is likely much higher.

A consulate spokesman estimates only about half of the French in Canada register, putting the estimated number of French citizens in Montreal at about 110,000. Toronto and Quebec City are the next most popular destinations, each home to about 10,000 registered French citizens.

The growing French presence in Montreal has even stirred up hints of resentment.

A satirical song called Y’a trop de Français sur le Plateau, which takes jabs at the perceived snobbiness of the French and their love of cigarettes, has been viewed 143,000 times on YouTube. The tune was written by Fred Fresh, a musician who himself hails from France.

Still, many view Montreal as a place of opportunity.

Laure Juilliard moved from Paris seven years ago. Only 22 at the time, she completed a one-year technical program, found a job three weeks later and has lived here ever since.

“There was a sense of freedom – from family, and from France, which is much more traditional and hierarchical,” said Juilliard, now a freelance writer who runs the popular lifestyle blog Une Parisienne à Montréal.

“I felt you could be much more yourself here than in France, and not feel the judgment of others, and even if there is judgment, it’s not necessarily negative.”

It’s unclear how many of these new arrivals will stay for the long haul.

Over the past decade, 30,000 immigrants from France have gained permanent resident status in Quebec, according to the consulate, far below the total number here on temporary student and work-travel visas. But it’s still among the top immigrant countries of origin in Quebec, alongside Algeria, Morocco, China and Haiti.

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