In case you missed it, here’s what happened in Montreal on July 17

Lawyers Marc-André Séguin, left, and Michael Simkin speak during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, July 17, 2017, about their effoerts on behalf of ‘Snowden’s Guardian Angels.’
Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press

A look at the day’s events in and around Montreal:

Montreal lawyers asks court to expedite refugee status for ‘Snowden’s Guardian Angels’

A group of lawyers are hoping the courts will force the federal government to speed up refugee applications for three families who helped hide NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong.

The lawyers have asked a Federal Court judge to order Ottawa to live up to its obligations to protect refugees and process the families’ claims immediately.

Lawyer Michael Simkin says there are fears the families could be arrested any day, making it more difficult to have them resettled in Canada.

The families, originally from Sri Lanka and the Philippines, have so far been denied asylum in Hong Kong, and launched appeals Monday to have deportation orders against them lifted.

B.C. fires: 40 Quebec firefighters to join fight

As wildfires force tens of thousands from their homes across British Columbia, Quebec firefighters are getting ready to join the fight in Kamloops.

Tuesday morning, 40 firefighters from Quebec’s Société de protection de forêts contre le feu will fly from Quebec City to B.C., arriving around 6:30 p.m., according to SOPFEU representative Catherine Morency.

Montreal Mafia: Project Clemenza screeches to a halt as cases stayed

A lengthy investigation into drug-trafficking networks alleged to be related to the Montreal Mafia came to a screeching halt on Monday as the last 11 men charged in Project Clemenza saw a stay of proceedings placed on the drug-smuggling charges filed against them only last year. 

Included among the men who essentially saw their cases tossed out at the Montreal courthouse was Marco Pizzi, 47, a Montreal resident alleged to be an influential figure in the Montreal Mafia who was the target of an attempted murder last year. Another man who walked away free and clear of drug-smuggling and conspiracy charges was Antonio Ciavaglia 58, a Kirkland businessman who used to own a cargo company based in LaSalle. Franco Albanese, 50, another resident of Kirkland, saw a stay of proceedings placed on the four charges he faced. 

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) arrested 13 people in the greater Montreal area, on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 including Marco Pizzi, seen here at RCMP Headquarters in Westmount. Two others were later arrested.

Dave Sidaway /

Montreal Gazette

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