Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Canada Day Festivities At Montreal's Old Port

Military personnel and Mounties parade after a citizenship event at the Old Port of Montreal as part of Canada Day celebrations last year. Photograph by: John Kenney, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL - An unconventional soccer match, a historical re-enactment and an open-air disco are among the eclectic lineup set for this year’s Canada Day celebrations taking place in Montreal’s Old Port.

Here’s a sampling of what you can see and do this Wednesday:

Read more ....

Sask. Firefighters Help Battle Massive Blaze In Northern Quebec

From The CBC:

A contingency of 21 forest firefighters have been dispatched to northern Quebec to help battle a massive blaze in that province.

Firefighters departed for their new assignment on the weekend after heavy rains reduced the risk to forests in Saskatchewan's north.

"All the provinces have resource-sharing agreements," Val Nicholson, a communications consultant for the Provincial Fire Centre in Prince Albert, Sask., told CBC News on Monday.

Read more ....

Rain, Rain Go Away

From CTV:

It's beginning to be a Montreal tradition: the soggy start to summer.

Last year's summer months were rainy and dreary, with sunny, cloud-free skies at a premium.

Now this year is looking like a weather rerun.

The rain already has counsellors in Verdun suffering from cabin fever, even on the first day of summer camp!

They spent Monday indoors working on activities, but with more rain in the forecast, counsellors like Heidi Wager doubt they can sustain this level of fun.

"If it gets too rainy but no thunder and lightning, we go outside," said wager.

Read more ....

Oliver Jones Christens L'Astral

Pianist Oliver Jones and singer Ranee Lee perform at L’Astral, the Montreal International Jazz Festival's intimate new concert venue, on June 29, 2009.
Photograph by: Phil Carpenter, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL - They were still putting finishing touches on L’Astral Monday afternoon while a beaming Alain Simard, president of the Montreal International Jazz Festival, gave the Gazette a tour of the new club.

Opening-night headliner Oliver Jones had done a soundcheck there Sunday afternoon, and Simard was talking about that moment.

“André Ménard and I both shed a tear. It was as if the Spectrum was being reborn, only smaller – a new baby,” Simard said. “Until it’s open, you don’t know how it will sound or if everyone will see as well as we thought when the plans were drawn. But it was beyond all our hopes.”

Read more ....

Moving? Here Are Some Tips From A Pro

Brothers Charlie (left) and William O'Donnell, seen outside their Griffintown office, are their family's third generation to run King's Transfer Van Lines. Photograph by: ALLEN MCINNIS, THE GAZETTE, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

Be organized, get rid of junk and remember: movers are people, too.

Brothers Charlie (left) and William O'Donnell, seen outside their Griffintown office, are their family's third generation to run King's Transfer Van Lines.
Photograph by: ALLEN MCINNIS, THE GAZETTE, The Gazette

Wednesday is moving day in Quebec. Most movers, like King's Transfer Van Lines, are fully booked and have been for a month.

We spoke to King's president and CEO William O'Donnell about some of the tricks of the trade, how to ensure a smooth move and how the company his grandfather founded in 1922 has grown over the years.

Why did your grandfather choose the name King's Transfer?

Read more ....

Cleaning Up After Moving Day

From CTV:

This is moving week in Montreal, notorious for double-parked vans, arguments over elevator access, and the desperate hunt for one more cardboard box.

It's also a week when people abandon old furniture and other junk on sidewalks, rather than take it with them to a new home.

Every year more than 115,000 Montrealers move to a new home, most of those moves take place around July 1, and almost 50,000 tonnes of junk is dumped.

So city officials Alan DeSousa and Luis Miranda are asking Montrealers to have some civic pride and clean up after themselves.

Read more ....

Monday, June 29, 2009

Scars Left From Dawson Shooting

File photo: Unidentified people run from Place Alexis Nihon, Wednesday September 13, 2006, following a shooting. The gunman, was shot by police. Panicked students and shoppers ran out of Alexis Nihon shopping centre soon after being evacuated from Dawson College because of rumours of gunfire at the mall. Photograph by: Phil Carpenter, THE GAZETTE

From The Montreal Gazette:

Major study; Tough to identify people who need counselling most.

Sick leave. Burnout. Depression. The sleeplessness, flashbacks and hyper-vigilance symptomatic of post-traumatic stress disorder.

A major research study - the first of its kind looking at the effects of mass shootings in the age of Columbine and Virginia Tech - says the closer students and staff at Dawson College were to the shooting three years ago, the greater the risk of psychological scarring, that "a sense of heaviness had settled upon them."

Read more ....

Update: Major study conducted on Dawson shooting -- CTV

Update #2: Dawson College students, staff still struggling -- CBC

Tourists To Montreal Will Be Happy To Get Runaround

Taking a run along de la Commune street in Old Montreal.
Photograph by: Phil Carpenter, Montreal Gazette

From Canada.com:

It sounds like a derisive First Nations name for an interloper with dysentery, but Running Tourist may be an idea whose time has come.

Heather Beauchesne hopes so. The 29-year-old transplanted Saskanoise (on her father's side; her mother is Californian) is launching a service that will take out-of-town fitness enthusiasts on runs through scenic parts of Montreal.

Local joggers will lead groups of 15 visitors on 45-minute runs through the Old Port and Plateau Mont Royal. A $30 weekend membership will include Running Tourist excursions on Saturday and Sunday.

Read more ....

Iran Protesters March Again In Montreal

A woman is seen marching with an Iranian flag on Sherbrooke Street in downtown Montreal during a march organized by Solidarité Iran-Montréal to protest the recent controversial elections in Iran on June 28, 2009. Photograph by: Dario Ayala, THE GAZETTE

From The Montreal Gazette:

Some call for another vote, boycotts; others seek complete regime change.

About 500 Montreal Iranians and their supporters took to the streets of Montreal Sunday in two separate groups to protest the disputed June 12 presidential elections in their homeland and the ensuing crackdown on protesters.

Chanting "Democracy in Iran, Liberty in Iran," the demonstrators wended their way from Place du Canada park at Peel St. and René Lévesque Blvd. to the foot of Mount Royal at Jeanne Mance Park, many bearing photos of demonstrators attacked by riot police in Iran.

Read more ....

Update: Montrealers march for recount in Iran -- CTV

Canadians See 33 Million Equals

Canadian, New Brunswick and Quebec flags amongst others fly in the sky of Moncton, N.B., in a file picture. Photograph by: Robert Laberge, AFP/Getty Images

From The Montreal Gazette:

Quebecers strongly support 'multiple nations' idea, poll finds.

Canadians now "widely reject" the notion that their country is a federation of 10 equal provinces, according to a survey released by a Montreal-based think tank ahead of the July 1 anniversary of the nation's birth.

Just 13.5 per cent of respondents in the Canada Day poll (or slightly more than one out of 10 Canadians) still adhere to the vision set out in principle by the Fathers of Confederation in 1867 that Canada is a union of equal provincial partners.

"The idea of a country of 10 equal provinces," says a summary of the survey by the Association for Canadian Studies, appears to be "dead and gone" after 142 years of nationhood.

Read more ....

Dan Aykroyd: Vintner, Actor, Autograph Lover

Dan Aykroyd. Photograph by: Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits/Toronto

From The Montreal Gazette:

Blowing through town this week, Canadian acting and blues legend Dan Aykroyd expects to do more than shill for Mexican tequila and Ontario wine.

He’ll also meet fans of his work as TV icon (Saturday Night Live), musician (The Blues Brothers), Oscar-nominated movie star (Driving Miss Daisy) and 3-D character (the new Ghostbusters: The Video Game).

There might even be some who admire Aykroyd as a spiritualist who believes in UFOs.

“The signings are a lot of fun, because the full range of humanity passes in front of the desk, and I feel like the judge who has one second to judge each case,” the 56-year-old said from his ancestral home in Sydenham, Ont., north of Kingston.

Read more .....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A (Stevie) Wonder-Full Opening To Jazz Fest

Stevie Wonder (left) with his daugther Aicha (right) performs at the eighth Mawazine international music festival in Rabat on May 23, 2009. He'll perform at the June 30 opening-night free show for the 2009 edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Photograph by: Abdelhak Senna, AFP/Getty Images

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL - There is more than a little irony – and fixing of past wrongs – in the fact that, after performing an incredible concert to a mere 8,700 people at the Bell Centre in 2007, music legend Stevie Wonder returns on Tuesday to play a free show for more than 100,000 people to kick off the 30th edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

And it could be well over 100,000.

Have you felt the buzz? It’s a testament to both Wonder’s generation-spanning appeal and the timelessness of his music that absolutely everyone in town is talking about – and apparently going to – this concert.

Read more ....

'It Was Never Easy,' Zidane Tells Kids

French soccer legend Zinédine Zidane visits hundreds of screaming fans in Montreal North Saturday, June 27, 2009. His Montreal visit is part of a national tour. Photograph by: Tyrel Featherstone, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

French Soccer star on tour for child refugees

When Montreal North makes the news, you can usually count on it that gangs or last year's police shooting of an unarmed youth will figure in the headline.

But Saturday, the multicultural, north-end neighbourhood hosted a media event with a difference: a message of hope from retired French soccer superstar Zinedine Zidane.

Zidane - a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Program - spoke briefly to a delirious crowd of 1,500 who packed the municipal arena to glimpse the bean-shaved soccer legend.

Read more ....

Montrealer Facing Beheading Pleads With PM For Help

Photo: Mohamed Kohail was sentenced in Saudi Arabia to a public beheading after a schoolyard brawl that led to a death. (Canadian Press)

From The CBC:

A Montreal man facing beheading in Saudi Arabia has written directly to Stephen Harper, asking the prime minister to personally intervene in his case.

Mohamed Kohail's family members gave the letter to Trade Minister Stockwell Day when they met in Jidda on Saturday and relatives asked Day to deliver it to Harper.

In it, Kohail tells Harper he feels his government has let him down.

"I am currently spending more time in jail than William Sampson although my case does not have any political implications," Kohail wrote.

Read more

My Comment: Facing death for their son, the family is now looking at the Canadian Government for a "get out of jail free card". It is not going to work. I have visited many countries, and like all visitors in another country, we all know that we are subject to their rules and laws. Break down .... there will be consequences .... a fact that Mohamed Kohail is learning to his regret.

Canada's Top Tourist Attractions

Peter J. Thompson/National PostCanada's Wonderland roller coaster Behemoth helped the Toronto amusement park to place 9th in the ranking of top tourist spots.

From The Financial Post:

The global recession may have lowered tourism numbers in many vacation spots, but at Grouse Mountain resort in North Vancouver, British Columbia, things are looking up, both literally and figuratively.

Attendance at the 82-year-old ski and recreation destination has remained lofty, increasing to 1.2 million in 2008 compared with 1.1 million the previous year, according to William Mbaho, the resort's public relations and communications manager. "Snow enthusiasm is not waning," he says, adding that so far in 2009 there has also been an increase in the number of students at the resort's ski and snowboarding schools.

Read more ....

Two Quebecers Among Seven Players Drafted By Canadiens

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL ­ The NHL Enrty Draft wrapped up Saturday with rounds two through seven, with the Canadiens holding seven picks. With those selections, the Canadiens selected four centres, a winger, a defenceman and a goaltender. When you add in the selection of Louis Leblanc on Friday night, the Habs selected five centres in the draft, addressing one of the major shortcomings on the team up the middle - although not in the short term.

Two of the seven players selected were Quebecers: Leblanc and Gabriel Dumont.

Read more ....

Images Reach Out From Past

Nine-year-old Taegan Perrier peers at one of the McCord Museum's 3-D images on display along McGill College Ave. Photograph by: DAVE SIDAWAY THE GAZETTE, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

History literally pops to life in the latest photo exhibition, put on by the McCord Museum, that lines one side of McGill College Ave.

Twelve archival stereographic photos from the Notman collection have been blown up and made into anaglyphs that give the pictures depth of field when viewed properly.

But don't worry, you don't need 3-D glasses - the viewing panels are built right in.

Read more ....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Aislin Cartoon

Bell Centre Ecstatic As Habs Pick Kirkland Native Leblanc

Montreal Canadiens draft pick Louis Leblanc poses for a photo as general manager Bob Gainey looks on at the 2009 NHL entry draft Friday, June 26, 2009 in Montreal. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz.)

From CTV News:

The Bell Centre erupted in cheers as the Montreal Canadiens selected Kirkland native Louis Leblanc with the 18th overall pick in the NHL draft on Friday night.

The hometown fans were thrilled to see the team select a French-Canadian in the first round, which they hadn't done since they picked Eric Chouinard in 1998.

The 15,000 Bell Centre fans erupted in cheers when the announcement was made, chanting "Louis, Louis, Louis".

Leblanc, a six-foot, 178-pound forward, opted to skip major junior hockey and played last season in the U.S. Hockey League with Omaha, where he had 28 goals and 39 assists to win Rookie of the Year.

Leblanc was thrilled to be returning home.

"I have butterflies this evening," he said after being selected.

"It's magnificent. I've realized a dream. I adore the Canadiens and now I can wear the jersey. It's really special for me and my family."

Read more ....

Update: Habs draft Leblanc with No. 18 pick -- Montreal Gazette

Quebec Needs Clear Cruelty Laws, Says Head Of Animal Rights Task Force

Photo: Puppy rescued from a breeding operation (June 26, 2009)

From CTV News:

The head of a Quebec task force looking into the province's puppy mill problem says Quebec needs strong, clear legislation that will allow the province to shed its reputation as the puppy mill capital of North America.

"I think we've been shamed by some of the images we've seen on television," said Liberal MNA Geoff Kelley. "We've been shamed by so many citizens have written to the government, putting pressure on the government."

Kelley told CTV Montreal he thinks it is the government's responsibility to provide and train more inspectors to enforce the law.

Read more ....

A Sea Of Orange Cones

Work at Peel St. and René Lévesque Blvd. There's another project down the hill on Peel between St. Jacques and St. Antoine Sts.;Share your tips and photos on the worst spots and how to get around them montrealgazette.com/commuter
Photograph by: DAVE SIDAWAY, THE GAZETTE, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

A summer of frustration; Projects mean we'll be hot under the collar for more than one reason.

Frustrated with traffic around the city? Well, you can be sure of two things: A) You're not alone, and B) It's going to be a long summer.

With $258.2 million being spent on roadwork by the city in coming months, detours, orange cones and untimely delays will be the reality for many commuters.

"We knew there was going to be a lot of construction this summer," said Dany Babin, a spokesperson for the city of Montreal.

Read more ....

City Planning Route For First Tramway

An artist's vision of a Montreal tram.
Photograph by: John Kenney, Gazette file photo

From The Montreal Gazette:

Within two weeks, Montrealers will know the route and projected ridership of the city's proposed new downtown tramway, which Mayor Gérald Tremblay wants rolling by 2013.

Before that, the city's executive committee will review a study of a tramway's economic benefits and ridership, said André Lavallée, city executive committee member responsible for transportation.

The study, which has not been made public, "is really convincing," Lavallée said.

Read more ....

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dozens Of Bixi Bikes Missing In Montreal

Photo: About 60 Bixi of Montreal's public, shared rental bikes are missing, an official says. (CBC)

From The CBC:

Dozens of Montreal's Bixi rental bicycles are missing, an official said Friday.

People are vandalizing the locking mechanisms at Bixi stations to steal the shared public bikes, the official said.

The thieves use extreme force to a yank bike out of its locking station, said Michel Philibert, a spokesman for Parking Montreal, the company that runs the Bixi system. The problem seems to be a small anchor that holds the bikes in place, he said.

Read more ....

My Comment: I am just laughing out loud. This is so predictable, the surprise is that only 60 bikes are missing. Give it a summer, and I would not be surprise if all of the bikes will be missing.

Montreal Impresarios Saddened By Jackson’s Death

Fans make a shrine for the Michael Jackson on his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California, June 26, 2009. Jackson, the child star turned King of Pop who set the world dancing but whose musical genius was overshadowed by a bizarre lifestyle and sex scandals, died on Thursday. He was 50. Photograph by: Lucy Nicholson, Reuters

From The CBC:

Prominent members of Montreal’s music and entertainment scene said they’re saddened by the news of Michael Jackson’s untimely death on Thursday.

Donald K. Tarlton, a prominent Montreal-based entertainment promoter, presented all of Michael Jackson’s concerts in Canada.

Tarlton — who's known professionally as Donald K. Donald — said Jackson's two concerts at Olympic stadium in 1984 rank among the best moments in rock and roll history.

He said Jackson was one of the most talented and creative icons in show business.

Read more ....

Quebec Reports 12th Swine Flu Death

From The CBC:

Public health officials in Quebec reported another death related to the swine flu on Friday, bringing the total of deaths related to the H1N1 virus in the province to 12.

The victim, a woman in her 60s from the Quebec City area, already suffered from a chronic illness when she succumbed to the virus.

Public health also reported 39 new cases of the flu; in all, the virus has affected 1,873 people in Quebec.

Canada's chief public health officer has said the government will likely start a program this fall to vaccinate Canadians against swine flu.

Read more ....

Heritage Montreal Wants To Save Milk Bottle

The Guaranteed Milk Bottle has been neglected, but Heritage Montreal wants it to be fixed up because it has historical value. (June 25, 2009)

From CTV News:

It's 77 years old, weighs 6 tones and is covered in rust.

But for Heritage Montreal, the Guaranteed Milk Bottle sitting on a vacant building on Lucien-L'Allier just south of Rene Levesque, is a treasure.

"The milk bottle has been in downtown Montreal since the mid-thirties," said Dinu Bumbaru, of Heritage Montreal.

Read more ....

Visitors Restricted At 2 Montreal Hospitals To Curb Swine Flu

Image: Two hospitals, Maisonneuve-Rosemont and Sainte-Justine's, have put restrictions on who can visit, in hopes of limiting the spread of swine flu. Hospital (U.S. Centres for Disease Control)

From The CBC:

Two Montreal hospitals have established visiting restrictions in hopes of limiting the spread of swine flu.

Last week, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital began asking young people to stay away from the hospital, and Sainte-Justine Children’s Hospital has banned all visitors except parents.

Dr. Sarah Bouchard, interim director of professional services at Sainte-Justine, said the hospital's priority is protecting patients. "To do that, we really have to try to limit the disease inside the hospital," said Bouchard.

Read more ....

Update: Sainte-Justines and the Children's say H1N1 having an impact -- CTV News

Slowdown In Manufacturing Bumps Quebec's Jobless Rate Up

An assembly line worker at a St. Hyacinthe soup and military rations company that British company Baxters bought out in 2006. Photograph by: Marcos Townsend, Gazette file photo

From The Montreal Gazette:

Quebec's jobless rate will likely top nine per cent next year as the economy struggles with a slowdown in manufacturing, including aerospace, sharply shrinking private-sector payrolls and lower public-sector hiring, BMO Capital Markets said today.

Manufacturing shipments fell by 11 per cent year-to-year in the first four months of this year, the steepest rate of decline since the early 90s, the bank said. The overall economy will contract by 1.6 per cent this year before recovering by 1.9 per cent in 2010.

Read more ....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Harel Not Worried About Loss Of 3 Vision Montreal Candidates

Photo: Mayoral candidate Louise Harel announced Thursday that Bloc Québécois MP Réal Ménard will join her Vision Montreal party and run for mayor of the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough. (CBC)

From The CBC:

Mayoral candidate Louise Harel said she's not worried about people leaving her party even though three high-profile members of Vision Montreal quit this week.

Former Vision Montreal leader François Purcell announced Thursday afternoon he’ll join Mayor Gérald Tremblay’s Union Montreal party.

Ville-Marie Councillor Karim Boulos said Thursday morning he's leaving Vision Montreal to run as an independent in this fall's municipal election. And on Monday, Vision Montreal’s vice-president, Oksana Kaluzny, quit the party as well.

Read more ....

My Comment: Mayoral candidate Louise Harel's intolerant views towards those who do not share her opinions, as well as having a history of being anti-english and anti-immigrant is starting to catch up to her. Expect more defections from her party as the summer goes on.

Montreal May Be The Winner In F1 Dispute

Formula One Babes

From The Globe And Mail:

Max Mosley's Formula One disaster may end with Canadian racing fans thanking the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile president for the return of a grand prix to Montreal.

Dropped from the calendar this year after its city, provincial and federal government backers could not meet F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone's financial demands, the Canadian Grand Prix jumped back on his favoured list last week after the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) expressed interest in coming to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with its breakaway series.

Read more ....

New York City Transport Boss Likes What She Sees Here

Janette Sadik-Khan signs city hall's guest book while meeting with Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay on Tuesday. Photograph by: MARCOS TOWNSEND, THE GAZETTE, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

Praises our Bixi system.

Upon arriving from New York City this week, the first thing Janette Sadik-Khan did after dropping off her luggage was head for a Bixi station so she could cycle along the Lachine Canal.

"Bixi is fantastic - great bike, easy to use" Sadik-Khan, New York City's commissioner of transportation, told reporters after meeting Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay on Tuesday.

Read more ....

Ex-Habs Coach Lemaire Joins Team Canada: Sources

This will be the first Olympic experience for Lemaire, who was head coach of the Habs from 1983 to 1985. (Getty Images.)

From CTV:

LaSalle's Jacques Lemaire, former coach of the Montreal Canadiens, is among three assistant coaches to Mike Babcock on Canada's 2010 men's Olympic hockey team, sources tell CTVOlympics.ca.

The team's executive director, Steve Yzerman, is expected to officially introduce Babcock, Lemaire, Lindy Ruff and Ken Hitchcock at a news conference Thursday morning in Montreal.

Read more ....

My Comment: I am biased because Jacque Lemaire once lived a block away from me .... but I know that he will be a big plus for the team.

Ottawa To Return National Assembly Land To Quebec

Quebec National Assembly

From The CBC:

PM joins Quebecers for St-Jean-Baptiste Day celebrations.

In Quebec City Wednesday for St-Jean-Baptiste Day celebrations, Prime Minister Stephen Harper seized the occasion to announce that he wants to settle a dispute with the province.

Harper said he wants to give back the land where the national assembly is located to Quebec.

"Only in Quebec does the federal government still own the grounds of the provincial legislature. This is an anomaly, it should be corrected, and I'm sure that reasonable people in Ottawa and Quebec City should be able to negotiate a resolution of this situation quickly."

Read more ....

St. Jean Baptiste: 'This is a lot of fun!'

FEEL-GOOD FETE UNDER QUEBEC-BLUE SKIES: Benjamin Bois, 12, captures the spirit of yesterday's Fête nationale parade, which featured marching bands, Chinese dragon dancers, samba marchers and tributes to French colonists. Photograph by: PHIL CARPENTER, THE GAZETTE, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

Alexander Peykov, a computer-savvy 20-year-old who grew up in eastern Europe, took a pass on Quebec's annual feel-good festivities for a very good reason indeed, his mother explained yesterday while taking in the sights along the sun-drenched route of this year's Fête nationale parade in Montreal.

"He's very busy studying for his Cisco Systems certification," Kitka Peykova, 42, explained.

"It's very important and there is very much material he has to cover," she added, as her husband, Plamen Peykov, 43, made sure to grab digital shots of every float, trailer and marching band that came by on Sherbrooke St. E., "to show Alexander."

"This is a lot of fun!" daughter Tsvetomira, 14, chimed in.

Read more ....

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sovereignists Heckle Lake Of Stew At L'Autre St. Jean

A sovereignist flips the bird during Lake of Stew's performance at L'Autre St. Jean concert on June 23, 2009. Photograph by: Vincenzo D'Alto, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL - A small but vocal group of Jeunes Patriotes tried to disrupt an anglo group playing at St. Jean Baptiste festivities at Pelican Park in Rosemont Tuesday night, but was met mostly with disdain by those in the audience, and the anglo band Lake of Stew played on to cheers.

A group of six or seven young men, some appearing inebriated, began chanting "en français" and tooting fog horns and beating on drums.

One protester climbed a security rail beside the stage and shouted, "We told you this would happen!" and "Get off the stage!"

Read more ....

Update: Cheers drown out jeers for anglo bands at Montreal Fête nationale concert -- CBC

Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay To Start Unveiling His 'Unifying' Team

Mayor Gérald Tremblay.
Photograph by: Dave Sidaway, Gazette file photo

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL - Mayor Gérald Tremblay is going to start showing some new political horsepower in the coming weeks – and his new recruits will demonstrate that his Union Montreal has more “unifying” potential than Louise Harel’s emerging team, says one of the mayor’s aides.

But the aide, Martin Tremblay, refused to confirm in an interview Wednesday morning that one of those new recruits will be the man who took over Vision Montreal after its former leader and former mayor Pierre Bourque quit the party.

Read more ....

Two More H1N1-Related Deaths In Quebec

From CTV:

Two more Quebecers who had contracted the H1N1 flu virus have passed away, health officials said on Tuesday.

The total death toll related to the virus in Quebec is now 11.

Officials did not give details about the ages of the victims.

Read more ....

Is French In Danger In Montreal?

Eighty-seven per cent of francophones surveyed agreed with the statement: "The French language is threatened in Montreal." Photograph by: (THE GAZETTE/John Kenney)

From The Montreal Gazette:

Anglos, allophones dismiss concerns over language.

MONTREAL - Is French threatened in Montreal? Depends whom you ask.

French-speaking Quebecers are almost unanimous that it is, while English-speakers and immigrants overwhelmingly dismiss the concern.

That is the main finding of a poll by Léger Marketing for the Association for Canadian Studies and the Quebec Community Groups Network.

"There is a gigantic gap between francophones and non-francophones on whether they think French is threatened," said Jack Jedwab, the association's executive director.

Read more ....

My Comment: I would have to agree with the supposition that the French language is in danger in Montreal. The majority of the young are so plugged into the world wide web, the culture as well as the social networks, that with time French becomes secondary to the English language.

The fact that the French Quebecois are not having as many kids as they use to .... this is only accelerating this trend.

Montreal Among Potential Sites For F1 Breakaway Series

From The CBC:

Montreal is on a leaked list of potential venues for the breakaway racing series being discussed by disgruntled Formula One teams.

Under the plan, which appeared on various websites on Tuesday, Montreal would host an event on June 6, 2010.

Several top F1 teams are threatening to leave the circuit after the International Automobile Association, the sport's governing body, announced plans to introduce a 45-million euro ($73 million Cdn) budget cap for 2010 that FIA president Max Mosley said was "essential" if independent teams were to survive.

Read more ....

'It's About Time' Mont Tremblant Casino Opens

Casino de Mont-Tremblant, Quebec’s fourth casino, as seen from the back and the trail leading to a gondola that is to link the casino, located at the base of the Versant Soleil mountain face, with the Intrawest resort village of Mont-Tremblant. Photograph by: Loto-Québec, Loto-Québec

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONT TREMBLANT ­ Asked about the opening of Canada's first ski-in ski-out casino at the Intrawest resort here, local businessman Louis Kilburg didn't hesitate for a second.

"It's about time," the recently-retired owner of the town's hardware store said Tuesday afternoon.

"We needed that to help the (area) businesses, the hotels and restaurants. People who come here have to have something to do with themselves at night."

Read more ....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Vision Montreal Executive Resigns Over Louise Harel's Candidacy For Mayor

Louise Harel of Vision Montreal says Montreal is stuck "in the 1960s."
Photograph by: John Mahoney, Gazette file photo

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL ­ The vice-president of Montreal opposition party Vision Montreal has resigned saying she can’t work for its new mayoral candidate, Louise Harel, because she’s a sovereignist, a centralizer and the architect of the 2002 municipal mergers.

And Montreal lawyer Oksana Kaluzny, who notified party leader Benoit Labonté in writing Monday that she’s resigning from the party’s executive, said in an interview that others in the party are reflecting on their futures as well because they question Harel’s ability to boost the party’s chances of winning the Nov. 1 election.

Read more

Update: A sovereignist as mayor? -- Montreal Gazette

Liberals Sweep Two Quebec Byelections

Clement Gignac (L) with Quebec Premier Jean Charest, as he celebrates his by-elelction win in the riding of Marguerite-Bourgeoys on Monday June 22, 2009. Photograph by: Pierre Obendrauf, The Gazette

From Canada.com:

MONTREAL — Quebec's Liberals sailed to an easy provincial byelection victory in the Montreal-area riding of Marguerite-Bourgeoys Monday night and narrowly picked up a second more difficult win in the eastern Quebec riding of Riviere-du-Loup.

The doubleheader win is a boost for Liberal Premier Jean Charest's troops — it is the party's first electoral test since the December 2008 general election — but spells trouble for the Parti Quebecois which threw all it had at Riviere-du-Loup, a rural francophone riding held for 14 years by Action democratique du Quebec leader Mario Dumont.

The ADQ suffered a humiliating slip to third place in what was for years known as Super Mario's kingdom.

Read more ....

More New On The Quebec Liberal Byelection Wins

Quebec Liberals easily win 2 byelections -- CBC
Quebec Liberals strengthen slim majority by sweeping by-elections -- Globe And Mail
Liberals sweep two Quebec by-elections -- Montreal Gazette
Charest's Quebec Liberals easily win Montreal byelection -- Canadian Press

Culinary Intellectual Property And The Montreal Bagel

Should Canada being doing more to protect its distinctive culinary traditions, such as the Montreal bagel, which can often be found in inferior knock-off forms in the U.S. and, er, Toronto? Photograph by: Tyrel Featherstone / Canwest News Service, National Post

From The Montreal Gazette:

Amid the parade of iconic brands that adorn Beverly Hills is an unexpected piece of culinary culture from home. There, one block from Rodeo Drive, is a small establishment called St. Urbain Street Bagels that offers up Montreal’s famous foodstuff in a bakery full of historical posters of the city.

The sight of a distinctive Canadian culinary item in the world’s most famous shopping district might be cause for pride. Except for one fact: The doughy confections for sale in Beverly Hills have as much resemblance to Montreal bagels as Velveeta does to cheddar. Rather than burnishing the city’s gastronomic image, the pseudo bagel cheapens it.

Read more ....

Beliveau Put Canadiens Ahead Of Personal Glory

Hall of Famer Jean Beliveau was named the 20th captain of the Canadiens in 1961. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

From The CBC:

Hockey legend Jean Béliveau earned nearly every individual award an NHL player could ever desire during his 20-year Hall of Fame career.

Béliveau won his only Art Ross Trophy — given to the NHL's regular-season scoring champion — in 1956, collected a pair of Hart trophies as league MVP and played in 14 all-star games, representing the Montreal Canadiens.

The Trois-Rivières native also became the first player to be named the Stanley Cup playoffs' Conn Smythe Trophy winner in 1965.

Read more ....

French-English Relations In Quebec At A 'Happy Medium'

There were straws in the wind recently that augured well for the state of French-English relations in Quebec. Photograph by: Canwest News Service, Canwest News Service

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL -- There were straws in the wind recently that augured well for the state of French-English relations in Quebec.

Among the new inductees to the Ordre National du Quebec, was Judge Michael Sheehan, honoured both for judicial accomplishment and his outstanding work on suicide prevention in both anglophone and francophone communities, and Heather Monroe-Blum, principal of McGill University once held as a bastion of anglophone dominance in the province.

Read more ....

My Comment: I have lived here for 49 years .... and it is still the same. On the outside the French Quebecois are all smiles, but on the inside they still want to stick it to the English.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bell Seeks Minority Stake In Montreal Canadiens

The Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadiens NHL hockey team, is seen in Montreal, June 20, 2009. Photograph by: Christinne Muschi, REUTERS

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL - Bell Canada will have a minority stake in the Molson family’s bid to acquire the Montreal Canadiens, the company confirmed Monday morning.

Having an interest in the hockey team will give the telecom giant “enhanced marketing opportunities” and “preferred access to Canadiens content for Bell customers,” according to a press release.

Read more ....

Concordia Graduate Detained In Iran

Filmmaker Maziar Bahari earned a communications degree at Concordia.
Photograph by: Photo from Maziar Bahari's Facebook page

From The Montreal Gazette:

Crackdown; Newsweek staffer caught up by sweep of journalists in aftermath of disputed vote

MONTREAL - A Concordia University graduate who works for Newsweek magazine was detained Sunday by authorities in Iran in a continuing crackdown on journalists.

Maziar Bahari, 42, who graduated from Concordia University in 1993 with a degree in communication studies, has been working as a correspondent for Newsweek, covering the aftermath of Iran's disputed presidential election.

Read more ....

Ramp For Mercier Bridge Closed For Bridge Repairs

Deck replacement on the Jacques Cartier Bridge in Montreal cost $120 million and was completed in 2003. A similar procedure will be used to repair the Mercier Bridge starting next spring.

From CTV:

One of the access ramps to the Mercier Bridge was closed Monday morning in preparation for re-decking of the bridge.

The ramp coming from Highway 138 heading towards Montreal from the south shore town of Chateauguay was closed.

The federal body overseeing the repairs, the Champlain and Jacques Cartier Bridges Corporation, says the ramp will be closed for about three or four months.

The actual re-decking is slated to start in three weeks.

The whole project should take two or three years to complete, say officials.

Read more ....

STM Fare Inspectors Could Be Put To Better Use, Critic Says

A commuter swipes her Opus card. The STM estimates fraud accounts for $20 million in lost revenue per year - five per cent of total revenue - a number gleaned from discussions with other transit agencies around the world. Photograph by: Vincenzo D'Alto, Gazette file photo

From The Montreal Gazette:

Will be checking users' proof of purchase with Opus readers starting in September.

MONTREAL - What the public transit system needs is more mechanics or real live people to talk to for help finding a bus route - not more inspectors to double check that we've paid our fares, says Normand Parisien.

Parisien, the executive director of Transport 2000, was reacting to news the Société de transport de Montréal has hired 25 new inspectors to board buses and the métro to make sure no one's getting a free ride.

That's on top of the 117 full-time inspectors who earn up to about $62,500 a year.

Read more ....

Another Standing Ovation For Béliveau

"Jean (Béliveau) was a star, a statesman of our game," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. "He is the emblem of elegance and class." Photograph by: Ethan Miller, Getty Images

From The Montreal Gazette:

Best moment during sluggish NHL awards night.

MONTREAL - On this awards night, in singles and a few times in pairs, the NHL's best appeared on the stage of this Las Vegas hotel. There was none of the glitz during this 90-minute celebration of excellence normally associated with the gambling capital of North America. No upsets, either.

I mean ... did anyone among you really think Alex Ovechkin would not repeat as the Hart Trophy winner? He was the game's most exciting player in 2007-08, and it's not a stretch to suggest he improved on his performance this season. It's why he received 115 of 133 first-place votes.

Read more ....