Metro Snapshot: April 17, 2009 – Metro US

Metro Snapshot: April 17, 2009

THIS IS THE WORST TRIP I’VE EVER BEEN ON: Canadians left stranded in Mexico by the collapse of Conquest Vacations have watched their sunny getaways devolve into ugly ordeals. Canadians have been confronted by Mexican hotel managers — with at least one group clashing with security guards — demanding they pay for room and board, even though the tourists paid their bills in full through Conquest.

JUST TRY US: A day after a major police crackdown resulted in the arrest of what police claimed was the near entirety of Quebec’s Hells Angels membership, law enforcement officials insisted they were prepared for any organized crime outfits that may attempt to fill the vacuum.

WE’RE HURTING, TOO: Claiming that his province “can’t carry the country during this recession,” Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach claimed his government would have to raise taxes or make deep cuts unless it received more cash from Ottawa. Once the primary engine of the Canadian economy, Alberta has endured a painful slowdown because of the recession and the government is fuming over being left out of an increase in federal health care funding given to other provinces.

TAXING ISSUE: British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell, campaigning for re-election, defended his government’s carbon tax in the wake of a national report that claimed such a scheme was ineffective. The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy concluded that a cap and trade system was a far more practical plan to fight emissions, to which Campbell replied that his government was aiming for a more dramatic cut in emissions than a cap and trade plan would encourage.

GANG BUSTERS: Bolivian police smashed an alleged plot to assassinate President Evo Morales, killing three men in a 30-minute shootout with a mysterious gang that included from Hungary, Ireland and possibly Croatia. A police raid on a storage facility turned up high-calibre weapons, explosives and what appeared to be travel plans for the president’s motorcade.