Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Canadiens Shade Red Wings In Shootout

From The CBC:

Rookie forward Max Pacioretty seized the moment Tuesday night, scoring in regulation and in the shootout as the Montreal Canadiens beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings 2-1.

Pacioretty offset Ville Leino's shootout goal with one of his own, beating Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard on a backhand deke to the glove side.

Robert Lang then scored on a backhand deke to Howard's stick side, and Carey Price foiled Valtteri Filppula to clinch the win for the Canadiens (5-2-0).

Price finished with 28 saves, including a spectacular stop on Brian Rafalski's slapshot from the point in the third period.

Price made the initial pad save, but the puck bounced behind him and he swung his stick backward to swat it away, prompting cheers of "Carey, Carey" from the capacity crowd of 21,273 at the Bell Centre.

Pacioretty scored in regulation for the Canadiens, making the most of a rare opportunity to line up with Alex Kovalev and Lang.

Read more ....

Charest 'Preoccupied' By U.S. Crisis But Insists Quebec Situation Solid


Jean Charest admits he's following the financial crisis in the United States closely but the Quebec premier insists Canada is in better shape financially than its southern neighbour.

"I don't have to tell you to what point we are all preoccupied by the events which are happening south of us," he said in a speech Tuesday to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations.

"We're following that almost hour by hour."

But Charest said he wanted to reiterate that the situation in Canada is very different than in the United States.

"Our financial institutions are solid. We haven't had the period of inflation, the bubble in the residential sector which the Americans experienced, which created this environment," he added.

Charest noted there are also political differences when it comes to dealing with a crisis.

"Our political system in Quebec and Canada is better adapted to deal with an emergency when we have to do something short term which is tough and unpopular," he said.

Read more ....

Off The Montreal Island Is Strong Bloc Country

Tory Breakthrough A Hard Sell In Environs Of Montreal -- Globe And Mail

JOILETTE, QUE. — Renaud Asselin should be Stephen Harper's kind of voter. The 50-year-old farmer is about as conservative as it gets in Quebec's heartland.

He likes Mr. Harper's proposed crackdown on youth crime, saying 14-year-old murderers should be prepared to do hard time.

Mr. Asselin also has no problem with cutting cultural subsidies.

“The only kind of cultural subsidy I care about is in agriculture,” Mr. Asselin said as he moved green peppers from a greenhouse to a nearby barn.

But when asked how he will vote on Oct. 14, Mr. Asselin's allegiance is clear.

“Why, the Bloc,” he says, without a moment's hesitation. “I am one of those indépendantistes.”

It's here, on the northeastern end of the 450 area code, that Stephen Harper's long-awaited Tory blue wave dissipates into the lighter shade of Bloc.

A spate of recent Quebec polls are confirming that Mr. Harper's Tories are trailing in the vast swath of the province south and west of Joliette, an area with more than half of the province's 75 seats.

Read more .....

Janet Jackson Released From Montreal Hospital

From MTV:

Singer's Rock Witchu Tour scheduled to resume Wednesday in Boston.

Janet Jackson has been released from the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, a hospital spokesperson told People.com on Tuesday (September 30). She was discharged after spending two hours at the hospital on Monday night for a still-undisclosed ailment.

"Yesterday evening she was checked into the Royal Victoria Hospital and left a couple of hours later," Rebecca Burns, the spokeswoman for the McGill University Health Centre, which operates the hospital, told People.com.

The singer, currently on her Rock Witchu Tour, "got suddenly ill during the sound check" in Montreal and had to be rushed to the hospital, a rep for W&W Public Relations told TMZ.com. E! Online reported that Jackson hopes to reschedule the tour stop.

Read more ....

More News On Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson hospitalised before Montreal show -- Reuters
Janet Jackson in Montreal hospital -- The Montreal Gazette
Janet Jackson briefly hospitalized, cancels Montreal concert -- CBC
Janet Jackson out of Hospital, Scraps More Shows -- E Online

Monday, September 29, 2008

Kovalev Lifts Canadiens Over Panthers In SO

Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Kovalev, right, scored the winning in the shootout on Sunday night against Florida goaltender Thomas Vokoun. (Peter McCable/Canadian Press)

From The CBC:

The Canadiens rebounded from an exhibition loss a night earlier to defeat the Florida Panthers 3-2 in a shootout on Sunday night in Montreal.

Forward Alex Kovalev scored the only shootout goal and goaltender Carey Price denied Florida shooters Nathan Horton, Michael Frolik and Ville Peltonen.

After Tomas Vokoun stopped Montreal's first two attempts by David Desharnais and Andrei Kostitsyn, Kovalev slipped a backhand shot over the Panthers netminder.

On Saturday, the Ottawa Senators skated to a 3-1 victory over the Canadiens.

Montreal will be making its first cuts Monday morning with about 20 players expected to be sent back to either their junior clubs or the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs. Regardless, some players heading to the minors have played well in the pre-season.

"I don't think they changed my mind, I was pretty set on what I wanted to do before training camp, but it definitely gives a lot of hope for the future," said coach Guy Carbonneau.

"Last year, the fact that we had no injuries was unbelievable and we hope it repeats itself this year. But we know now that we have depth at every position and we can move forward."

Both goaltenders had solid games for their respective teams Sunday.

Read more ....

Bloc Quebecois Regain Poll Lead

Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe laughs as he speaks to media during a campaign stop in Montreal, September 22, 2008. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

From Reuters:

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The separatist Bloc Quebecois has regained a lead in support among Quebec voters in the election campaign, a Leger poll showed on Monday.

The pollster previously had the Conservatives two points ahead of the Bloc in the French-speaking province. But the separatists now are ahead, by 33 percent to 26 percent.

The Bloc seeks independence for Quebec but cannot achieve it in the federal Parliament.

The Conservatives still have a strong lead in national polls. but this latest poll suggests their scope for strong gains in Canada's second-most populous province will be limited, if this poll holds true on the October 14 election day.

The Liberals are polling at 23 percent in Quebec, the left-wing New Democrats at 12 percent and the Greens at 5 percent.

Pollsters say Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been hurt by perceptions that he does not support subsidies for arts and culture, particularly important in Montreal.

Read more ....

Election Buzz Building Among Provincial Liberals

Quebec Liberal Premier Jean Charest

From The Montreal Gazette:

After a weekend spent pumping up his party's nationalist credentials, Premier Jean Charest yesterday turned his eyes northward, announcing his government's intention to massively develop Quebec's great untapped north for future generations.

Taking his cue from former premier Robert Bourassa, who made James Bay hydro development his political "vision thing," Charest announced "Plan North," the government's framework for the social, mineral and energy development of one million square kilometres of land - that is twice the size of France - north of the 49th parallel.

Lavishly announced in a spectacular multimedia image mill of maps, movies and photos before 400 excited Liberals at a party general council here, it was impossible to not see a potential re-election platform theme in the plan.

Read more ....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bilingualism Burdens Young Anglos: Report

From The Montreal Gazette:

The burden of bilingualism chafes on young anglos in Quebec. Many feel that even speaking both languages still leaves them second-class citizens.

A consultation with 300 young anglophones from all parts of the province conducted by the Quebec Community Groups Network found most are eager to integrate with the francophone milieu, but encounter obstacles, either because their school-taught French isn't good enough, or because francophones are unwelcoming.

A perverse finding was that for young anglos, bilingualism is a greater asset outside Quebec than at home. Most shared the view that outside Quebec any ability to speak French gives job applicants a competitive advantage, whereas less than total French fluency puts you at a disadvantage if you're anglo in Quebec.

Read more ....

'Antiquing' In Montreal

From Canada.com:

If you remember avocado appliances, you'll want to head for Amherst Street for those retro reminders

Daniel Drolet , The Ottawa Citizen

What did you do? I went antiquing in Montreal.

What's so special about that? Well, um, most of the antiques I was looking at weren't very old. They're from the 1960s and 1970s, in large part. If you grew up in a house with avocado-coloured kitchen appliances, burnt orange shag rugs and teak furniture, you'll know what I'm talking about.

And there's a place where you can find this kind of stuff? A whole district actually, in one section of Amherst Street, several blocks long, where a series of shops sell such items as chrome lamps, vintage beanbag chairs, eye-popping fabrics from the psychedelic era and "electronics," mostly a lot of old phones, hi-fi sets and televisions that look like astronauts' helmets. Things that people used to think looked futuristic.

Read more ....

Montreal Police Working Under Protest

Montreal police continuing to take part in a uniform protest Sept. 27, 2008 as a pressure tactic on the city for better pay and working conditions.

Wearing Their Protest In Public -- Toronto Star

With no right to strike, Montreal police attire themselves in anything but regulation uniforms

MONTREAL–To the unknowing eye, like that of a tourist, the reaction is basically, "Huh?"

"We saw them, all in a group, all wearing something different. One had white pants on, with handcuffs painted across his butt," said Elizabeth Reeb, 62, a tourist from Alberta. "I was shocked, but also a bit amused. You don't see police look like that everyday."

"We thought it was weird," echoed her friend Pearl Forsyth, 57, as they prepared to visit Notre Dame Cathedral in old Montreal, "because our police would never do that."

To see a police officer in Montreal these days is to see a strange sight. Officers are wearing just about anything below the belt, except uniform pants, that is. Jeans, track pants, pyjamas, parachute pants, and lots of camouflage, in grey, green, purple, even hot pink.

Read more ....

Update: Race-relations expert worried about image of Mtl cops wearing military-style pants -- Canadian Press

Calvillo Fires Three TD Passes As Alouettes Down Slumping Riders 37-12

Montreal Alouettes' Ben Cahoon flies in the air as he is tripped up by Saskatchewan Roughriders player James Johnson. Christinne Muschi. Reuters

Calvillo, Alouettes Stomp Roughriders -- The Sports Network

Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Anthony Calvillo threw three touchdowns to lead the Montreal Alouettes to a 37-12 thrashing of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Calvillo completed 27-of-39 passes for 287 yards and one interception for the Alouettes (9-4), who have won two straight and seven of their last eight games overall. Avon Cobourne rushed for 125 yards and one score, while Ben Cahoon caught eight balls for 91 yards. Jamel Richardson had eight grabs for 88 yards and one touchdown.

Michael Bishop went 23-of-42 passing for 364 yards with two interceptions for the Roughriders (8-5), who have lost three games in a row. Rob Bagg had six receptions for 146 yards. Luca Congi supplied all the offense, kicking four field goals.

Read more ....

More News On Today's Football Game

Loss knocks Riders out of first -- Star Phoenix
Calvillo fires three TD passes as Alouettes down slumping Riders 37-12 -- Canadian Press
Alouettes trounce reeling Roughriders -- CBC
Als dominate -- The Montreal Gazette

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Montreal Offers Taste Of Europe

Montreal Chinese Botanical Gardens

From Leader-Post/Canada.com:

As dusk falls over the Montreal Botanical Garden, a serpentine string of lanterns leads to an enchanting realm of beautiful maidens, warriors, gods and dragons. Temples with flaring rooflines outlined in small white lights are reflected in a pond that merges reality and dream. From inside one of the temples, the sweet, mournful sound of an ancient stringed instrument evokes longing for beautiful, lost things.

For the past 16 years, during September and October, the Botanical Garden's Chinese Garden has been transformed by hundreds of traditional lanterns and dozens of huge, illuminated figures. The stories depicted by the lanterns originated in Chinese performance arts such as juggling, acrobatics, opera and music.

This year's Magic of Lanterns show, on the theme A Thousand and One Stars, runs through Oct. 31. Not just a travelling show, this is Montreal's own and has been around long enough to take root and flourish.

Read more ....

Habs Put On A Show For Rabid Fans

P.K. Subban fights with Ottawa Senators Zack Smith during 3rd period NHL exhibition action at the Bell Centre in Montreal, on Friday, September 26, 2008. Photograph by : Montreal Gazette

From Canada.com

Mom and Dad were the first people P.K. Subban saw as he skated into the penalty box last night at the Bell Centre.

The Canadiens' promising blue-line prospect had just had his first fight in maybe four years, in his first game on Montreal ice, and there were the folks as he was sent to his room.

"I'm not sure my mom was happy about that, but my dad didn't seem to mind it too much," Subban said, having duked it out with Ottawa's Zack Smith in the third period of a 5-0 preseason whitewash of the Senators.

"He'd been edging at me the whole game so I said: 'You know what? The crowd's great, I could barely make a pass sometimes, so I might as well show them something I can do. I might as well chuck him.' "

Subban's scrap was only one crowd-rousing moment in the Canadiens' entertaining victory over the Senators, who they'll see again tonight in Ottawa (7 p.m., TSN2, CJAD Radio-800).

Montreal improved to 3-1 in this preseason, following an opening 8-3 loss to the Bruins in Halifax. Ottawa is 2-2.

Last night's win featured three power-play goals on six chances, the preseason debut of Alex Kovalev, a goal and two assists from both Andrei Kostitsyn and Andrei Markov, 21-save shutout goaltending by Jaroslav Halak, two spirited fights by hulking Alex Henry - including a classic against fellow heavyweight Chris Neil - and single bouts involving Tom Kostopoulos and crowd- favourite Subban.

Read more ....

Montreal's Nightlife No Distraction For Riders

From The Vancouver Sun:

REGINA - Ken Miller downplayed the significance of Saskatchewan Roughriders making a road trip to Montreal to play the Alouettes.

The Roughriders rookie head coach said the players are aware of the distractions Canada's most diverse city may pose for all CFL teams. Miller stressed that the Riders, who are to play the Alouettes on Sunday, have never had any difficulties with adhering to team rules when playing in other centres and Montreal isn't likely to be an exception.

"We talked about the extra temptations and distractions which are available in Montreal but we're going there with a job to do," Miller said.

That message wasn't wasted on middle linebacker Maurice Lloyd.

"We know that we're going there for one thing and that's to play football," Lloyd told reporters. "The nightlife doesn't happen to us at all. We go there, go get something to eat, go to the hotel, get off our feet, stay focused, and just be ready to play."

Read more .....

Concordia Murderer Denied Early Parole

From The CBC:

A former Montreal professor who murdered four of his colleagues 16 years ago has been barred from applying for early parole again.

Valery Fabrikant, 68, was in court Friday for his early parole hearing, granted this year under Canada's faint hope clause.

Fabrikant told the court he's old and gravely ill and poses no threat to anyone now and should be let free.

Quebec Justice James Brunton disagreed, saying Fabrikant still believes he was provoked and justified when he ambushed his Concordia University department in 1992, killing four fellow mechanical engineering professors.

Brunton said he believes Fabrikant doesn't think he did anything wrong, and still doesn't think he has any problems.

Fabrikant asked Brunton to reject his faint hope claim without hearing it so that he could appeal the request.

He will remain behind bars for at least nine more years, unless he wins his appeal. Fabrikant was sentenced to life in prison in 1993.

Humane Society Busts Puppy Mill North Of Montreal

From CTV News:

RAWDON, Que. -- Humane Society busts puppy mill and finds 109 dogs, seven cats and a rabbit

The Humane Society busted a puppy mill north of Montreal on Friday and seized 109 live dogs, seven cats and a rabbit.

Other dogs were found dead.

"This is one of, if not the largest, puppy mill raids conducted in Quebec in more than 10 years," said Alanna Devine, acting executive director at the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"I hope that this will open the eyes of Canadians to the cruelty of the puppy mill industry and the gravity of this problem in Quebec. This demonstrates why we are known as the 'puppy mill capital of North America'."

The dogs were living in piles of their own feces, and many had open sores and severe skin conditions.

Read more ....

Laurentian Bank Loan Blacklist Targets Aboriginal Reserves

From CBC:

People who live on aboriginal reserves are automatically refused loans from Laurentian Bank to buy a recreational vehicle due to a company policy, Radio-Canada has learned.

An investigation by CBC's French-language service found that staff have been told to refuse such loans to people living at 3,000 postal codes that are, without exception, located on First Nation reserves across Canada.

An internal e-mail told employees what to do if they encounter a case from one of those postal codes.

"Refuse the file for any reason, and in addition mention that we don't serve that area or postal code anymore," the e-mail said in French. It added that the employee should never mention that the file is being refused because it's on a reserve, nor should the employee use the words "Indian reserve," "Indian" or "Native."

As part of the investigation by the Radio-Canada program Enquête, Michael Descontie, an Algonquin from the Kitigan Zibi reserve near Maniwaki, Que., sought a loan from to buy an all-terrain vehicle. As he had an excellent credit record, his application was initially accepted.

Read more ....

Friday, September 26, 2008

Montreal Officers Can Keep Pants On, Ruling Says

From The Globe And Mail:

MONTREAL -- A labour conflict between Montreal and its police officers has boiled down to pants - specifically, guerrilla-style combat pants.

The city's restive police officers this week resorted to commando chic in their contract dispute with the city. Because the police don't have a legal right to strike, they opted for sartorial pressure tactics.

The move sparked a dispute over whether trousers carry their own innate message. To Montreal and its police chief, the pants are a fashion statement that says "too aggressive."

The city turned to Quebec's essential services council in a bid to get the officers to take the pants off, in their current incarnation.

Read more ....

Montreal Petro Can workers reject deal

From CJAD:

Employees locked out at the Petro-Canada refinery in Montreal are calling on motorists to boycott the company's gas stations.

This after workers voted 96 per cent in favour of rejecting management's final offer.

The 260 workers have been locked-out for the past ten months.

Their contract expired in February 2007.

Petro-Canada had agreed to a 14 per cent salary increase over three years, but the two sides apparently can't agree on the length of the job contract. Workers currently earn an average of $32 per hour.

The union is accusing management of showing unjustified arrogance and contempt towards its employees, saying they are not treated as well as those in Ontario and Alberta.

The union says Petro Canada isn't respecting the deal negotiated in the industry in the rest of the country.

Montreal Canadiens Season Preview

The Habs need Alex Kovalev to put up big numbers if they're to remain atop the Eastern Conference. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

From The CBC:

Key arrivals: G Marc Denis, D Alex Henry, F Robert Lang,F Georges Laraque, F Alex Tanguay

Key departures: D Mark Streit, F Michael Ryder, F Bryan Smolinski

Offence: The key to Montreal's high-powered attack is no secret. A lethal power play that converted an astounding 24.1 per cent of its chances (best in the NHL last season) fuelled an offence that ranked behind only Ottawa's with 3.13 goals per game. And staying out of the box is easier said than done for opponents: only four teams drew more than Montreal's 374 power-play chances.

But can the star of the show match his production from last season? Alex Kovalev netted 17 goals with the man advantage en route to reaching 35 overall, easily his best tally since arriving in Montreal in 2004. The good news for the Habs is that the mercurial Russian has something to play for: he's an unrestricted free agent at season's end.

Ditto for captain Saku Koivu and new acquistions Lang and Tanguay. General manager Bob Gainey imported the latter from Calgary on the heels of a disappointing 18-goal, 58-point campaign, Tamguay's least productive since 2001-02 with Calgary. Lang averaged 53 points over the last two seasons with Detroit and Chicago.

Read more ....

Quebec Is A Long Way From Recession: Premier

From The CBC:

Quebecers don't have to worry about a recession, Premier Jean Charest assured Thursday.

The province may be suffering indirectly from the financial crisis rocking the United States, but there is no recession in sight, he said. The instability in the U.S. is probably curbing Quebec's exports there, but real estate values are still strong in the province and Canadian banks aren't locked in to high-risk investments.

Charest reminded reporters gathered in Quebec City on Thursday that the province's Liberal minority government has cut taxes and committed to investing in infrastructure, two moves that will temper any economic slowdown.

Nationalism Card Isn't The Ace It Once Was

From The Toronto Star:

MONTREAL—With Gilles Duceppe in attendance, with members of the most articulate sovereignist constituency in Quebec on stage, the artists participating in a concert held in Montreal earlier this week to protest the recent Conservative cuts to culture pointedly abstained from issuing a collective call to support the Bloc Québécois.

Since then, two large Quebec federations, representing women and nurses respectively, have called on their members to vote against the Conservatives on Oct. 14. Like the artists, both refrained from throwing their support to a specific party.

That is not to say that the Bloc will not be the main beneficiary of rising anti-Conservative sentiment in Quebec.

Over the past week, overnight polls have picked up a steady increase in its support.

But the party is benefiting from being the default opposition option in most of the province's ridings rather than from renewed enthusiasm over its existence and its sovereignist message.

It is a message that is increasingly voiced as an afterthought and a central position that is increasingly being challenged, from the right and the left.

Read more ....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Canadiens Unveil 100th Anniversary Plans

The sweater retirement ceremony for Patrick Roy, left, with coach Guy Carbonneau, centre, and GM Bob Gainey, will be one of several events marking the 100th anniversary of the Montreal Canadiens. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

From The CBC:

The Montreal Canadiens unveiled a full schedule of events Wednesday for a two-year celebration of the team's 100th season.

Owner George Gillett Jr. and president Pierre Boivin were on hand at the Bell Centre to announce plans for the next two NHL seasons leading up to the 100th anniversary of the team's founding on Dec. 4, 2009.

Among the features this season will be a Ring of Honour section, which will open prior to the Canadiens' home-opener against the Boston Bruins on Oct. 15. The team will also set up a wing for a Hall of Fame exhibit at the Bell Centre next April.

"It's a great privilege," Gillett said. "There's so much history.

"We get recognition from people, but the real people who deserve the pats on the back are our fans for being behind us for 100 years. There's a lot of clubs that haven't made it yet and may not make it past whatever, so it's great to have fans of this quality."

The Canadiens used their sparkling new scoreboard, the largest in the NHL, to show fans and media members at the Bell Centre what they can expect through a video montage.

The scoreboard measures 7.6 metres by 12.2 metres and has 47.4 square metres of video viewing area, which is five times larger than the one the Bell Centre had last season.

Read more ....

Camouflage A Bad Look For Montreal Police: Chief

From CBC:

The city of Montreal has called on the Essential Services Council to intervene in its contract dispute with police officers who started wearing camouflage pants this week as a pressure tactic.

Unionized Montreal police officers have been wearing blue jeans and red baseball hats since July as a symbol of their frustration with contract negotiations.

On Monday many officers showed up to work in camouflage pants, a tactic that affects their ability to carry out their jobs, according to police Chief Yvan Delorme.

Wearing camo gear sends the wrong message, given the fragile relations between police and certain communities in the wake of a riot in August, Delorme said.

Officers should not be walking around in camouflage in neighbourhoods with substantial immigrant populations who often “come from totalitarian regimes and military dictators,” he said.

“Authority and respect is reflected in what they wear, and how they look when they show up,” Delorme said in French.

The gesture is provocative and risky because “it puts police officers’ security in peril,” he said.

Montreal police officers have been without a contract for two years.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Justin Trudeau Campaigns In Montreal With Mom

From CBC:

MONTREAL - Justin Trudeau, the Liberals' star candidate in the Montreal riding of Papineau, got some sound campaign advice on Tuesday from someone with a bit of know-how on the subject - his mom.

Trudeau hit the streets of the ethnically diverse, working-class neighbourhood with his mother Margaret as he tries to follow in the footsteps of his charismatic father and win a seat in Parliament.

Margaret Trudeau, the vivacious former wife of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, calls election campaigns exciting, although she said her last foray into the political world in the mid-1970s was more than enough.

"I hoped not (to endure another campaign), but you have to let your children follow their dreams," she told The Canadian Press between knocking on doors with her son.

"Justin's dream has always been to be in politics. He loves politics, he breathes politics."

Margaret Trudeau, who now lives in Montreal to be closer to her sons and her growing troop of grandchildren, is now an outspoken mental health advocate since going public with her own battles with bipolar disorder in 2006.

Read more ....

Raw Sewage Dumped Into St. Lawrence Near Montreal

From The CBC:

A major airplane engine manufacturer dumped raw sewage in the St. Lawrence River off Montreal's south shore for several years with the government's knowledge, according to a CBC/Radio-Canada investigation.

Local municipalities were kept in the dark about the practice, despite health risks associated with high levels of fecal coliform in the sewage.

The dumping, which persisted for five years, was caused by a cracked sanitary pipe leaking into the storm sewer system at Pratt & Whitney's Longueuil plant.

The CBC News investigation also found a toilet at the plant was hooked up directly to the storm sewer system, which is only supposed to carry rainwater.

An anonymous e-mail sent by a Pratt & Whitney employee to CBC prompted the investigation.

Read more ....

Riot Erupts In Montreal North

From Montreal Gazette:

The mother of an 18-year-old shot and killed by a police officer in broad daylight is demanding explanations from the Montreal police force.

But people in the neighbourhood where Fredy Villenueva was fatally wounded weren't waiting for explanations last night. Their fury erupted into a riot in Montreal North, with knots of protesters roaming the streets and setting fire to cars and garbage barricades.

The Montreal riot police squad was called out, and hundreds of officers formed a perimeter four or five blocks away from the Ground Zero at Rolland Blvd. and Pascal St.

Rioters vandalized the local fire station and set several cars outside ablaze. The firefighters were evacuated. A building kitty-corner to the fire station and community centre burst into flames shortly after 11.

Onlookers cheered as a van went up in flames.

There was an unconfirmed report that one police officer was injured, but no immediate word of arrests.

Read more ....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The High Cost Of Montreal's Last Riot

Riot's High Cost -- Global Quebec

The price tag of an August riot in Montreal North nears $1-million mark

The preliminary price tag from police alone in the Aug. 10 riot in Montreal North and its aftermath has almost hit the $1-million mark.

Montreal police racked up 13,841 overtime hours in that troubled district during the month after a constable fatally shot Fredy Villaneuva, 18.

That tab totalled $839,854, according to a report from Radio-Canada, the French-language service of the CBC, after it received the results of an access-to-information request.

A further $100,000 of costs were incurred in goods and services not specified by Montreal police, Radio-Canada said, along with $24,000 of damages to ambulances, fire-fighting vehicles and municipal fixtures.

The report pegged the total cost tabulated thus far at $963,854.

Constable Yannick Ouimet of Montreal police said at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday that the force would have no immediate comment.

Nor would he confirm any of the details.

He suggested the force might be able to respond later, but said he couldn't specify whether that could be today.

Cities Need More Power To Thrive: Mayors

Toronto Mayor David Miller speaks at a news conference in Montreal on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008.

From The CBC:

Cities need better "fiscal tools" to continue their role as Canada's economic engines or the country will suffer, big-city mayors told campaigning party leaders Tuesday.

Montreal and Toronto mayors Gérald Tremblay and David Miller laid out their demands for urban municipalities, describing cities' current financial problems as a national issue.

"The fiscal imbalance may be a memory on Parliament Hill, but it's still a reality on our city streets," Miller said at a news conference in Montreal organized by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

"Homelessness, traffic gridlock, crowded buses and overstretched police departments are just some of the symptoms.

"These problems are too big and too important to be solved on the backs of property taxpayers," he said.

With more than 80 per cent of Canadians living in major urban centres, cities have become the country's economic, social and cultural development engines and need appropriate support, Montreal's Tremblay said.

"In order to remain competitive, transport goods efficiently and attract new talent, our cities require quality infrastructure, affordable housing and first-rate recreational and cultural facilities," he said.

"Canadian cities do not have the fiscal tools required to make these new investments," Tremblay said.

The Federal Gas Tax Fund was an important federal commitment but more is needed to tackle cities' overwhelming infrastructure needs, said Jean Perrault, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and mayor of Sherbrooke, Que.

NDP, Bloc Set To Protest Harper Arts Cuts

Montreal Museum Of Fine Arts

From the CBC:

Two opposition leaders are set to take aim at Conservative Leader Stephen Harper over his government's move to cut funding to the arts by $45 million, as they campaign on Tuesday for the Oct. 14 election.

NDP Leader Jack Layton will be in Quebec City to make an announcement on arts funding. After a stop at a cultural centre in Drummondville, Que., he will attend an evening concert featuring artists in Montreal protesting Harper's arts cuts.

The cuts have "certainly raised the ire of artists everywhere, but specifically in Quebec," said the CBC's Julie Van Dusen.

"So tonight we are expecting that many politicians and certainly hundreds of artists will be converging in Montreal … to urge Stephen Harper to reverse the cuts."

The NDP leader's appearance comes a day after Layton appeared to backtrack after hinting in a television interview early Monday that he would be willing to form a coalition with the Liberals to prevent Harper from forming a government.

Peppered by reporters following the interview on CTV's Canada AM, Layton said he has a proven history of working with other parties and would be happy to continue that tradition as prime minister. But he added he would work with the Parliament Canadians elected.

Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe will also attend the concert and protest in Montreal.

Read more ....

Mayors Meet In Montreal To Ask For Additional Funding

Montreal City Hall

Tremblay, Mayors Press Parties For Funding
-- Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL - Mayor Gérald Tremblay is to hold a press conference this morning at Montreal city hall with Toronto mayor David Miller, Carl Zehr, the mayor of Kitchener, Ontario, and Sherbrooke mayor Jean Perrault, who is also
president of the Canadian Federation of Municipalities, to press the campaigning federal political parties for infrastructure funding, more sweeping gun control legislation and other demands that are important to Canadian cities.

As The Gazette reported last week, Tremblay wrote to the leaders of the five main federal parties to call on them to make commitments on three key issues: the need to realign the responsibilities of the three levels of government and adjust financing accordingly; the need for a national transportation program; and the need to provide cities with permanent and predictable financing that grows with the economy.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ragweed Linked To Illness In Children

From The Montreal Gazette:

Children living in neighbourhoods with high concentrations of ragweed get sick more often than kids living in areas where the plant is not as common, Montreal's Public Health Agency said Monday.

The study found that more than 38,000 children age 6 months to 12 years - 16 per cent of the age group - suffer allergic symptoms related to ragweed. In areas with the highest concentrations of pollen, 25 per cent of children developed allergic symptoms.

Children living in the eastern and western areas of Montreal Island are most susceptible to ragweed-related health problems. The areas most affected include Point-aux-Trembles, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Ahuntsic, the West Island and LaSalle - areas with a lot of vacant land.

Read more ....

Commuter Train Prices To Go Up

MTA Mulls 4% Fare Hike
-- The Montreal Gazette

A four-per-cent fare hike being contemplated for users of Montreal-area commuter trains isn't that big an increase when measured against other incentives and improvements commuters can expect in 2009, the head of the provincial agency that oversees off-island public transit said yesterday.

"What the (Metropolitan Transportation Agency) will propose to its board ... on Oct. 3 is a 15-per-cent reduction in the cost of commuter train tickets," said MTA chairperson Joel Gauthier. "We'll be offering free transport to children under 12 when they're accompanied by a parent and we'll be extending the student fare, which stops at students who are 21 years old, to those (students) who are 25-years-old.

"There is an indexation of the monthly passes at 4.3 per cent to cover the hike in fuel costs."

Read more ....

Tanguay Nervous But Ready For Fresh Start With Canadiens

From Slam Canoe:

MONTREAL - Alex Tanguay admits to being "a little nervous" about playing for the Montreal Canadiens.

The veteran winger who was acquired in June from the Calgary Flames knows there will be high expectations on himself and the team as the Canadiens, fresh from a first place finish in the NHL Eastern Conference, enter their 100th anniversary season.

"I'm a little nervous, being French Canadian and coming here and knowing about the expectations and stuff like that," Tanguay said Monday before leaving for Halifax to play in the team's pre-season opener against the Boston Bruins.

Read more ....

Montreal -- A Passion For Professional Soccer

From The Montreal Gazette:

After a slow start in their first season at new Saputo Stadium in the United Soccer Leagues First Division, the Montreal Impact has turned things around.

After last night's regular-season 0-0 finale against the Puerto Rico Islanders, the Impact have a 12-12-6 record, good for third place in the 11-team league, and have clinched a playoff spot.

The Impact has also advanced to group play in the inaugural CONCACAF Champions League tournament after knocking off Toronto FC of Major League Soccer to earn the right to represent Canada.

This is all great news to Joey Saputo, who was the founding president of the Impact in 1993, still holds that title and spearheaded the construction of Saputo Stadium, which opened in May.

Saputo is the son of Lino and Maria Saputo, who in 1952 immigrated to Canada and laid the foundation for Saputo Inc., the largest dairy processor in Canada and one of the largest in the world.

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Downtown Montreal Goes Car-Free For A Day

From The CBC:

MONTREAL (CBC) - Commuters in Montreal are being encouraged to leave their cars at home for the day and use public transit to mark the city's annual car-free day.

Several downtown streets were closed to traffic on Monday within a perimeter delimited by McGill College and St-Urbain streets, and René-Lévesque Boulevard and Maisonneuve Street.

Streets within the perimeter are off-limits to cars between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Parking lots inside the sector are accessible by cars before 9:30 a.m. and after 3:30 p.m.

Place des Arts is shut to vehicular traffic between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., as is St-Catherine Street between Jeanne-Mance and St-Urbain streets until midnight.

The city is hosting activities throughout the day to encourage public transit use.

Cars generate about half of Montreal's annual greenhouse gas emissions, according to city figures.

Montreal Mayor Tremblay Supports Duceppe

Chance Meeting Of Minds
-- The Montreal Gazette

Role of cities. Tremblay, Duceppe take aim at Fortier

Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay praised Gilles Duceppe yesterday, saying the Bloc Québécois leader shares his vision of the city.

"Gilles Duceppe agrees that our cities are our future," Tremblay said when the two politicians met at the annual Fondation Farha march to raise funds and awareness to fight AIDS.

"Cities are becoming more and more important for the economic, social and cultural development of Quebec, but also of Canada," Tremblay said. "And Gilles Duceppe has always understood the important role of cities, and that's why when we say we have to realign the three levels of government, he says, yes. We have to do that."

Read more ....

Montreal's New Self-Serve Rental Bicycles Rolled Out

Members of the Bixi team demonstrate the service and ride the bicycles around Montreal
on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008.

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL - The first prototypes for Montreal's new self-serve rental bicycles were rolled out for a public debut Sunday afternoon.

Weighing in at 20 kilograms, with three gears, they have an aluminum frame and a distinctive design. Each so-called Bixi features enclosed cabling and chains and dynamo-powered front and rear lights. These bikes have been designed to be able to tough it out for between 75,000 and 100,000 kilometres of use on the city's streets and hills, officials said.

By next spring, the city expects to have 2,400 of the custom-built Bixis available from a total of 300 solar-powered docking stations in six boroughs: Plateau Mont Royal, Rosemont-La Petite Patrie, Ville Marie, Outremont, Villeray-St. Michel and the South-West.

A seasonal pass allowing users to cycle for up to half an hour between docking stations - on an unlimited number of occasions between mid-April and mid-November - will cost $78. The second half-hour of each trip will cost $1.50.

Details: www.bixi.ca

More News On Montreal's Bike Plan

Montreal rolls out bike-sharing plan -- Globe And Mail
Montreal unveils pedal-powered public transit -- CTV
Montreal launches European-style self-service bicycle system -- Canadian Press

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Eskimos Embarassed By 40-4 Loss To Montreal -- Full Coverage

Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo throws under pressure against the Edmonton Eskimos during first half CFL football action in Montreal on Sunday.

From The Edmonton Journal:

MONTREAL - Quarterback Anthony Calvillo picked apart the Edmonton defence with lightning-quck precision passes to direct the Montreal Alouettes to a 40-4 embarrassment of the Eskimos this afternoon in Montreal.

The Alouettes, first in the CFL east division, scored every time they had the ball in the first half to build up a 30-4 lead. By the time Calvillo left the game with three and a half minutes left he had completed 31 of 38 passes for 414 yards.

Surprisingly, he threw only two touchdown passes -- 58 yards to Jamel Richardson in the first half and 10 yards to Kerry Watkins in the second. Mike Imoh ran for two short touchdowns and Damon Duval kicked the remaining 16 points.

Edmonton's anemic offence managed only a 55-yard single and a 23-yard field goal,both by Noel Prefontaine in the first half. The Eskimos fall to 7-5 and slide into a tie with the B.C. Lions for last place in the west.

More News on The Eskimo/Montreal Football Game

Calvillo throws two touchdown passes to lead Alouettes past Eskimos 40-4 -- Canadian Press
Calvillo has big day as Alouettes destroy Eskimos -- National Post
Alouettes embarrass Eskimos at home -- CBC
Calvillo leads Alouettes in romp over Eskimos -- The Sports Network
Als crush Esks -- Globe And Mail

Dry-Run For City Polls

Montreal City Hall

From The Montreal Gazette:

By-Elections. Results will serve as barometer of parties

Today's by-elections in two Montreal boroughs are shaping up as a dry run for next year's city-wide vote.

The results will also serve as a barometer to gauge the strength of Mayor Gérald Tremblay's Union Montréal and the opposition Vision Montreal and Projet Montréal parties.

The polls open at 10 a.m. in north-end Ahuntsic-Cartierville and St. Léonard, to the east, and close at 8 p.m.

n what may be a first in Quebec municipal politics, Michel Bissonnet, the former Liberal speaker of the National Assembly, is vying to succeed his wife, Yvette Bissonnet, as borough mayor of St. Léonard.

As deputy mayor, she stepped in to temporarily replace Frank Zampino when he retired from city politics this year. She retains her city council seat.

Other candidates in St. Léonard, where 71,130 people live, are Livio Di Celmo of Projet Montréal, Vision Montreal's Mélina Maiorano and David Mallozzi, running as an independent.

Zampino, a chartered accountant who headed Montreal's executive committee and was considered No. 2 in civic politics, resigned to return to private practice.

Read more ....

Youths Rampage After Arrest

From The Montreal Gazette:

North End Curb violence with community involvement, leaders say

Teenagers in the north end of Montreal went on a binge of bottle-throwing and vandalism early yesterday after watching police arrest one of their friends outside a dance club.

But after yet another night of violent protest against police, many leaders in the area are hoping community involvement is the key to settling the tension between youth and law enforcement.

At 2 a.m., about 60 young people lashed out against police as they arrested a man for parole violation on Jean Talon St. near Pie IX Blvd. in St. Léonard, near the boundary of St. Michel.

The man, known to police as a gang member, had been refused entry into the Q2 youth night club on Jean Talon, where about 200 youths between the ages of 14 and 18 were dancing, socializing and, as the owner put it, "keeping out of trouble." The trouble erupted outside at closing time, when police recognized the gang member and arrested him in front of a large group of people. Within minutes, police said, dozens of youths became violent, throwing glass bottles, damaging two police cars, a store window and a nearby bus shelter.

Read more ....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

League's Top Offences Collide In Montreal

From The Globe And Mail:

MONTREAL — One of the CFL's hottest rivalries will be rekindled tomorrow, when the league's two most potent passing teams meet to rain footballs down on each other at Percival Molson Stadium.

In virtually every offensive category, the Montreal Alouettes and Edmonton Eskimos rank either first or second in the league.

The points of comparison are uncanny.

The teams have identical 7-4 records, and are a close one-two in points scored and yards gained through the air.

And the quarterbacks, Ricky Ray and Alouettes counterpart Anthony Calvillo, are nip-and-tuck for the CFL lead in completion percentage and passing yards.

Add that both men are the only true, old-school pocket passers in the league, and all the ingredients are on hand for a pulsating encounter.

Montreal will have something to prove after dropping a 41-30 decision to the Calgary Stampeders last week.

Read more ....

Esks Urged To Resist Charming Montreal

From Canada.com:

MONTREAL - When the Edmonton Eskimos touched down in Montreal on Friday afternoon they were greeted by a warm, sunny day and a vibrant city full of temptations that have derailed many visiting sports teams.

Staying focused on the job ahead is the first challenge the Eskimos faced, two nights before they stride into Molson Stadium to tangle with Anthony Calvillo and the Montreal Alouettes. While the stadium presents its own set of challenges, it is the city itself that can be a temptation.

"The distraction is the city," head coach Danny Maciocia said earlier this week, "The distraction is not the stadium, the distraction is not the 20,000 fans." Many of the Eskimos have played in college bowl games, some in the NFL, many of them before 70,000 or 80,000 fans, so the noise of the Montreal crowd pales in comparison.

"That's not what's going to get you," Maciocia said of the stadium. "My speech when we go to Montreal is similar to the speech being given to some teams when they go to New Orleans: Be careful, because the city will get you.

"That's why (the Alouettes) have the record they have since they came back into the league in '97, because the city has a tendency to get you." Running back Mathieu Bertrand is a Chambly, Que., native who has played often in Montreal, both in college and the CFL, and said Montreal doesn't offer any more temptations than some other CFL stops.

Read more ....

What To See, Where To Stay, Shop And Eat In Montreal

From The Vancouver Sun:


Montreal Botanical Garden: 4101 Sherbrooke St. East, Montreal, Quebec H1X 2B2; Phone: (514) 872-1400; www.museumsnature.ca More than 73 hectares with 22,000 species of plants arrayed in 10 exhibition greenhouses and 30 outdoor gardens. Chinese, Japanese and First Nations Gardens are highlights.

Montreal Museum Pass, admission to 32 museums during any three days in a three-week period, $45; admission for threeconsecutive days, including public transportation, $50. Available at any participating museum, including the Montreal Botanical Garden.

Stop at one of the city's markets -- Jean-Talon and Atwater are the largest -- to feast your eyes on an abundance of wonderful things to eat, beautifully displayed, and to pick up cheese, bread, fruit, pastries, wine and more for an inexpensive meal.

Sweet Deal Montreal: Under the aegis of Montreal Tourism, some three- and four-star hotels are offering a winter/spring special where the first night's accommodations start from $127 to $215 and the second night is half price. The package comes with discount coupons. For more information, phone (877) 234-5269.


Opus, 10 Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, Quebec, H2X 4C9;

Phone: (514) 843 6000 or (866) 744 6346; E-mail: info@opusmontreal.com; www.opushotel.com/montreal/english. The first Opus hotel was in Vancouver. The Montreal outpost, just a little more than a year old, brings a whiff of the West Coast to the buttoned-up East. Bright colours and lean, uncluttered rooms welcome business travellers as well as the courting couples who frolic in Opus' ads. Rain showers and deep soaking tubs should appeal to both. Dogs and cats can stay, too, for a nominal fee. 136 guestrooms. Doubles from $196.

Hôtel Le Crystal, 1100 rue de la Montagne, Montreal, Quebec; Phone: (514) 861-5550; www.hotellecrystal.com. All-suite hotel in downtown Montreal. Doubles from $210.

Hotel Nelligan, 106, rue St-Paul Ouest, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2Y 1Z3; Phone: (514) 788-2040; (877) 7688-2040; www.hotelnelligan.com. A charming hotel in Old Montreal that opened in 2004 and has expanded in the last year. Doubles from $235.


Schwartz's Hebrew Delicatessen, 3895 St. Laurent Blvd.; Phone; (514) 842-4813; www.schwartzsdeli.com. Famous for smoked meat. Huge sandwiches, around $5.

Fairmount Bagels, 74 Fairmount West; Phone: (514) 272-0067; www.fairmountbagel.com/. Bagels baked in a wood-fired oven, since 1919. Open daily, 24 hours a day.

Koko, Opus Hotel (see above). A fusion of Asian and Western cooking techniques and dishes in a mod setting. Starters, for instance, include beef tataki, with wakame salad and garlic chips and chicken karaage. Mains include perfectly rare lamb chops with tikka masala and imam byaldi. Three-course dinner, around $60.

La Coupole, 1175, rue de la Montagne; Phone: (514) 373-2300; www.restaurantlacoupole.ca. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

There are several restaurants in Chinatown that serve good, inexpensive food. Among them is Restaurant Cristal No. 1, which is Vietnamese. Address: 1068 Blvd. St-Laurent; Phone: (514) 875-4275. Open daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Known for Fried Sliced Pork and Imperial Roll with Vermicelli and Fried Sliced Chicken, both $7.75.


Marche Bonsecours, 350 rue St-Paul est, Montreal; Phone: (514) 872-7730; www2.ville.montreal.qc.ca/marchebonsecours/english/inda_fla.htm. Open daily. Among the boutiques in Bonsecours is the Boutique des métiers d'art du Quebec representing around 3,000 artisans from throughout the province. www.metiers-d-art.qc.ca/ Other shops of interest include GoGo-Glass, where visitors can watch glassblowers at work and buy a range of useful and decorative objects and Diffusion Griffe 3000, featuring men's and women's clothing created by Quebec designers (www.diffusiongriff3000.com).

L'Empreinte, 272, rue St-Paul est, Montreal; Phone: (514) 861-4427; www.lempreintecoop.com. A craft cooperative selling clothing, jewelry and gifts handmade by Quebec artisans.

Royer Objets et Trouvailles, 207 Ave Laurier O., Montreal; Phone: (514) 273-8111; www.royerboutique.com. Colorful, lovingly selected home furnishings, art work, pottery, crafts and jewelry, mostly made by Quebec artisans.


My Cup of Tea, www.my-cup-of-tea.com. Three shops in Montreal: 73 de la Gauchetière Ouest, Montreal, QC H2Z 1C2; 057A Saint-Laurent, Montreal,Quebec H2Z 1J6; 44A Victoria Ave, Westmount, Quebec, Canada H3Z 2M8. Consult the Web site for phone numbers and hours.

Camellia Sinensis, 351, Emery; Phone: (514) 286-4002; https://camellia-sinensis.com/tea/. Also has shops in the Jean-Talon Market and in St-Roch. Open daily.

Ming Tao Xuan, 451, St-Suplice, Old Montreal, Quebec H2Y 2V8; Phone: (514) 845-9448; www.mingtaoxuan.com. Teashop in Old Montreal near Notre Dame selling loose-leaf tea and a large collection of teapots and statuary. Tea is served along with cookies and vegetarian snacks. Open daily, 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.


Montreal: Phone: (877) 266-5687; www.tourisme-montreal.org/
Quebec Province: www.bonjourquebec.com

Quebec Liberals Won't Curb Criticism Of Tories

From The Montreal Gazette:

VICTORIAVILLE - Senior Quebec Liberals this morning denied they have been ordered to stifle their criticism of the Conservative government in the wake of a war of words between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Quebec Premier Jean Charest that the Conservatives fear will hurt their campaign in Quebec.

One day after Charest said nobody in Ottawa is going to tell him how to run Quebec, after Harper took a shot at Charest's tax cuts before the last provincial election and other Quebec ministers criticized the Conservative government's budget cuts to cultural spending, provincial ministers were standing their ground.

One media report, quoting unnamed sources out of Ottawa, reported this morning that Quebec ministers had been told to keep a lid on further criticism because it was helping the Bloc Québécois in the campaign.

Read more ....

Duceppe Admits Bloc In Close Fight With Tories For Quebec Seats

From The CBC:

Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe acknowledged Friday that his party is in a heated contest with the Conservatives to win the province's seats in the federal election campaign.

Duceppe made the admission while campaigning in the eastern Quebec city of Rimouski amid opinion polls suggesting the two parties are locked in a virtual tie in terms of popular support.

Duceppe's party faces a familiar opponent in Rimouski, where Louise Thibault, the former Bloc-turned-Independent incumbent MP, is running against the Bloc because she says Duceppe is not firm enough on the issue of Quebec sovereignty.

Speaking in Montmagny later in the day, Duceppe didn't appear worried about his candidate, Claude Guimond, losing to the former Bloc MP.

"It has happened in the past that somebody who had been with the Bloc ran with another party or ran as an independent. Every time, we won," Duceppe said.

Read more ....

Harper Completes His Quebec Tour

From The Montreal Gazette:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper closed out three days of campaigning in Quebec yesterday by promising income-splitting for families where one spouse is staying at home to care for a family member with a disability.

In a restaurant in the Eastern Townships town of Farnham, Harper also said he would improve the Registered Disability Savings Program to make it easier for persons with disabilities to be able to receive the unused retirement savings of a deceased family member.

The Conservatives said that, according to Health Canada, there are more than one million Canadians who are providing care for relatives who have mental or physical disabilities. Three-quarters of those caregivers are women.

Read more ....

Friday, September 19, 2008

Roy Returns To Montreal On Friendly, Not Fractious, Terms

Quebec Remparts coach Patrick Roy waves to the crowd as he his warmly welcomed before the game against the Montreal Junior in QMJHL action at the Colisee Pepsi in Quebec city September 12, 2008. Photograph by : Francis Vachon for Montreal Gazette

From The Ottawa Citizen:

MONTREAL - The homecoming would have been a whole lot more dramatic had the Montreal Canadiens not announced a week ago they would hoist his jersey up to the immortal Bell Centre rafters.

But former Canadiens star Patrick Roy officially returns to Montreal Saturday in a professional capacity as head coach of the Quebec Remparts.

It's an extra added attraction to what already should be an exciting night for the Montreal Juniors, the city's new Quebec Major Junior Hockey League franchise, which plays its inaugural home game at the refurbished Verdun Auditorium.

Right now, rightly or wrongly, Roy is the star of the league. He'll be the biggest deal in the arena, hands down, the man on whom all eyes will be focused.

Ten days ago, the reaction to the 42-year-old Roy - a charismatic, but polarizing icon in this city - when he took his spot behind the visitors' bench would have been mixed. But the Sept. 11 announcement by the Canadiens that the former goaltender's jersey would be retired turned into a love fest, a turn of events that surprised even the man himself.

"Things turned around," Roy said this week. "I expected opinion to be more divided. But I really loved it. It was a really great day. It was a real trip."

Read more ....

Montreal Expands Ecoterritory

envFrom The Chronicle:

In what the Montreal executive committee is calling an unprecedented partnership, it has teamed up with conservation group Ducks Unlimited Canada to save about 180 hectares of wetlands in West Pierrefonds, west of Rivière à l'Orme, from development.

"This is the largest (conservation zone) enlargement project ever undertaken on the Island of Montreal," explained Hélène Fotopoulos, executive committee member responsible for green and blue spaces. The announcement occurred at a public meeting of the committee at the Salle Pauline-Julien of Collège Gérald Godin in Île Bizard/Ste. Geneviève.

Currently, there are about 88 hectares in the area that are protected. With the addition of another 180, the protected area would be as large as Jean Drapeau Park, and larger than Mount Royal Park, according to Fotopoulos.

Read more ....

Harper's Quebec Chief Apologizes After Algonquins Offended

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper responds to a question.

From the CBC:

MONTREAL (CBC) - The office of a Conservative MP and cabinet minister has issued an apology to Algonquins in his western Quebec riding after his riding assistant made remarks that some denounced as racist.

The comments by Darlene Lannigan came at the Maniwaki, Que., launch this week of the re-election campaign of Lawrence Cannon, transport minister and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's Quebec lieutenant.

In a conversation recorded by the Aboriginal People's Television Network outside Cannon's Maniwaki campaign office during its opening Tuesday, Norman Matchewan, a member of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, asked Lannigan if he will be arrested if he visits Cannon's campaign office.

The Barriere Lake reserve is about 300 kilometres northwest of Ottawa in Cannon's riding of Pontiac, and a group including Matchewan had visited the office for a rally.

"If you behave and you're sober and there's no problem and if you sit down and whatever, I don't care," a female voice that the network identified as Lannigan responds in the recording.

She goes on to say that "one of them showed up the other day and was drinking."

When contacted by CBC News, Lannigan would not deny she made the remarks.

Read more ....