Friday, October 30, 2009

Flu Rage In Canada

Patients are turned away from a clinic in Calgary, Alta., on Oct. 30 because there were already thousands of people waiting in line for their H1N1 swine flu vaccination. Photograph by: Leah Hennel, Canwest News Service

H1N1 'Flu Rage' Explodes Across Canada -- Montreal Gazette

As much as flu fears have people pulling away, H1N1 is also uniting Canadians through emotion — specifically, a deeply entrenched sense of frustration that, for many, has mutated into bitterness, anger and even hostility.

Call it flu rage. Across the country, otherwise mild-mannered Canadians are finding themselves admonishing strangers for open sneezing, losing their cool with queue-jumpers at vaccination clinics, writing angry letters to government and media, and lashing out at friends whose H1N1 opinions differ from their own.

Read more ....

My Comment: Hospital ERs are packed with people with a slight fever. People lining up to get a flu shot even when they do not fill the criteria to get a flu shot now. Media hysteria .... yup .... hysteria ruling the tv and radio airways. Dirty looks on the bus when someone coughs.

From my perspective .... it appears that everyone is going nuts. Flu rage and flu hysteria all in one package.

Montreal North Like The Bronx, Cop Says At Villanueva Inquest

Lawyer Peter-George Louis directs Fredy Villanueva's parents, Gilberto and Lilian, to the courtroom on Oct. 26, 2009, to hear the long-delayed coroner's inquest into their son's shooting death. Montreal police officer Jean-Loup Lapointe fatally wounded 18-year-old Fredy in Montreal North in August 2008. Photograph by: Marcos Townsend, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL – One of the police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Fredy Villanueva compared Montreal North to the Bronx Friday during a coroner's inquest into the death.

Stéphanie Pilotte, who had just 18 months' experience on the force when her partner, Jean-Loup Lapointe, shot Villanueva, said the area was rife with street gangs and plagued with armed robberies, loitering, poverty and conjugal violence.

Read more ....

My Comment: I use to live there ..... police officer Stephanie Pilotte is 100% right.

Tight Race For Montreal Mayor

The November 9, 2009 edition of Maclean's magazine features a scathing report on municipal politics in Montreal. (Courtesy:

From CTV:

With just two days left before the municipal election, a new poll finds there's no clear frontrunner in the race for mayor of Montreal.

An Angus Reid poll conducted for La Presse shows that Gerald Tremblay, Louise Harel and Richard Bergeron are in a statistical tie ahead of the Nov. 1 vote.

The survey was conducted Oct. 28-29 amongst 804 adult Montrealers.

Read more ....

Update: Montreal campaign hits final stretch -- CBC

My Comment: I do not know who is going to win on Sunday, but it appears that for Mayor Tremblay this election has become a disaster. What was suppose to be an easy win, is now an unknown result for him and his party.

Appeal For Calm As Vaccination Continues

From The CBC:

Quebec Premier Jean Charest appealed for calm, and criticism of the government’s vaccination plan mounted Thursday as people anxious to be vaccinated against the H1N1 virus flooded to vaccination centres in some regions.

In an interview with the French-language LCN television network, the premier asked citizens to respect the priority list that determines who will get the vaccine first.

Read more ....

More News On H1N1 Flu Vaccinations

H1N1 vaccine supplies may run short, feds warn -- Montreal Gazette
Quebecers queue for H1N1 shot -- CBC
Wait for vaccine is too long -- Montreal Gazette
Bolduc says vaccination plan is under control -- CTV
Quebecers queue for H1N1 shot -- CBC

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Montreal News And Weather -- October 29, 2009


ERs overcrowded because of swine flu -- CTV
No plan to accelerate vaccinations in Montreal -- CBC
Eight schools monitored for swine flu outbreak -- CTV

Mayor's party cleared of illegal-financing allegations -- CBC

Road-paving deal under scrutiny -- Montreal Gazette

Interim ADQ leader refuses to apologize -- CBC

Life sentence for Rwandan war criminal -- CTV
Rwandan gets life in prison for genocide -- Montreal Gazette

Quebec law would crack down on contraband smokes -- CTV

N.D.G. residents have a sinking feeling -- Montreal Gazette

Coroner contradicts investigators in Villanueva inquest -- CTV

Third arson attack on bars in St. Michel -- Montreal Gazette
Third arson attack in St. Michel in 24 hours -- CTV

Quebec Takes City's Top Health Official To Task

From The Montreal Gazette:

Why the delay? Minister demands. 8 schools report outbreaks of swine flu; ERs swamped at pediatric hospitals.

Quebec health minister yves bolduc chastised montreal's top health official for failing to deploy the city's h1n1 vaccination program as planned months in advance.

Concerned that further inoculation delays would put people at risk for swine flu infection now that the virus is in hyper speed, Bolduc personally called David Levine, head of the Montreal Health and Social Services Agency, to demand an explanation.

Read more ....

More News On H1N1

ERs overcrowded because of swine flu -- CTV
No plan to accelerate vaccinations in Montreal -- CBC
Montreal must play catch-up -- Montreal Gazette
Open flu season --

Wait Times In Quebec Hospitals Getting Better

Canadians looking to undergo surgery can expect to wait a total of 113 days in 2009, a slight improvement over last year, a national health-care survey has found. Photograph by: File, CNS

Canadians Face 16-Week Wait For Surgery: Report -- Montreal Gazette

Canadians looking to undergo surgery can expect to wait a total of 113 days in 2009, a slight improvement over last year, a national health-care survey has found.

The Fraser Institute’s annual report on hospital wait times found that the median wait time for Canadians seeking surgical or other therapeutic treatment is 16.1 weeks in 2009, down from 2008’s 17.3 weeks.

Read more ....

Update: Wait times drop in Quebec hospitals in 2009: report -- CTV

My Comment: A 16 week wait time is no great improvement.

No Plan To Accelerate Caccinations In Montreal

Photo: Gynecologist André Fortier gets his H1N1 vaccination from Marie-Noël Ouellette in Longueuil, Que. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

From The CBC:

Montreal public health officials say they don't plan to accelerate the H1N1 vaccination campaign, despite a steady increase in swine flu cases since Tuesday.

The number of schools on the island reporting cases of the flu doubled in a single day, officials said Wednesday.

Read more ....

Update: Parents flood ERs for H1N1 testing -- Montreal Gazette

My Comment: One more month, and this will all blow over.

Quebec Law Would Crack Down On Contraband Smokes

Quebec admits it loses $300 million in taxes each year and that
illegal smokes have a large share of the market.

From CTV:

The Quebec government is cracking down on contraband tobacco through a bill that would increase fines and give police more power to control distribution.

Revenue Minister Robert Dutil plans to table the bill in the legislature this fall.

He admits the government loses $300 million in taxes each year and that illegal smokes have a large share of the market.

Read more ....

My Comment: These measures are not going to stop the flow of contraband cigarettes. As long as the price is cheaper than legal cigarettes, the demand will always be there.

Hydor Quebec To Buy New Brunswick Power

The turbines at at Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station in New Brunswick.
Photograph by: Noel Chenier, Telegraph-Journal

Hydro-Québec To buy Most Of NB Power's Assets For $4.75B -- Montreal Gazette

Hydro-Québec is to pay $4.75 billion for the bulk of New Brunswick Power Corp.'s assets in an expansion that will increase its heft and boost its potential to export electricity.

Once the deal – made public Thursday morning – is approved, Quebec’s public utility will acquire NB Power’s distribution network and grid, including its interconnections to the U.S. and Atlantic Canada, along with its hydro-electric assets and a few diesel turbines.

Read more ....

Update #1: Quebec, N.B. strike $10B deal for NB Power -- CBC
Update #2: Hydro-Quebec to buy New Brunswick Power for $5B -- CTV

My Comment: So .... when my rates go up to pay for this purchase I should feel better? From where I stand, there is no benefit (to me) as a Hydro Quebec consumer from this purchase.

Pittsburgh 6 Montreal 1

Penguins Crush Canadiens -- Montreal Gazette

Montreal's four-game win streak ends.

PITTSBURGH ­ Too much Sidney Crosby and too little offence.

That was the story Wednesday night as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Canadiens, 6-1.

Sid the Kid had the fourth hat trick of his career while the Canadiens fired blanks and saw their winning streak end at four games.

Read more ....

More News On Last Night's Hockey Game

Crosby gets hat trick as Pens blast Habs 6-1 -- CTV
Crosby cools off Canadiens with hat trick -- CBC
Crosby's hat trick leads Pens past Habs -- AP
Penguins-Canadiens: Crosby Crushes Montreal's Winning Streak -- Bleacher Report
Game Summary -- USA Today

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Montreal News And Weather -- October 28, 2009


Swine flu vaccine rollout going well: officials -- CTV
Schools send home hundreds -- Montreal Gazette
H1N1 vaccination rolls out in Montreal -- CBC

Charest trying to shut me up: Roy -- Montreal Gazette

Tremblay says ethics cleanup a go at city hall -- CBC

Bergeron proposes coalition at city hall -- Montreal Gazette

Opus card renewal deadline extended for students -- CTV

Expansion at Quebec electric car battery plant -- CTV

This Is It screens in Montreal -- CTV

SQ probes paving contract in Rivière des Prairies-Pointe aux Trembles -- Montreal Gazette

Ignatieff brushes off idea of inquiry into mob scandal -- CTV

Homeless man escaping cold dies in van -- CBC
Homeless man dies following van fire -- CTV
Death of homeless man appears accidental -- Montreal Gazette

New addition to Quebec's Most Wanted List -- CTV

Police counter testimony at inquest into shooting of unarmed Montreal teen -- Montreal Gazette
Officer who shot Villanueva felt attacked -- CBC

Two suspicious attacks on Italian cafes -- CTV
Arsonists target two sports bars in St. Michel -- Montreal Gazette

Suspect accused of killing wife dies in Montreal hospital -- CBC
Homicide suspect dies of poisoning -- Montreal Gazette

Swine Flu FAQ

Photo: The H1N1 vaccine clinics are open.

From CTV:

As the vaccination campaign rolls out slowly across Montreal, fears have been raised by the news of a second death from swine flu.

The victim, 13-year-old Evan Frustraglio, died Monday at his home in Toronto, the second youngster in less than a week in Ontario to succumb to the disease.

Read more ....

Update #1: Swine-flu reports double in Montreal schools -- Montreal Gazette
Update #2: H1N1 vaccination rolls out in Montreal -- CBC
Update #3: Flu fears: Schools send students home -- Montreal Gazette

NDP Backs French-Language Education In Quebec

Photo: NDP candidate Thomas Mulcair celebrates with Jack Layton, the party's leader, in Outremont. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

From The Montreal Gazette:

OTTAWA — Quebec has the right to ensure new immigrants are schooled in French, say the federal New Democrats.

For its opposition day motion, the NDP has asked Parliament to accept this to celebrate Quebec's culture and continue its legacy.

"Canadians from coast to coast to coast celebrate the rich culture of Quebec and are proud of the strength of its francophone institutions. Ensuring that new Canadians learn French when they arrive in Quebec is key to continuing this legacy," said NDP Leader Jack Layton.

Read more

My Comment: You can never succeed in supporting a culture or language by suppressing the culture and language of someone else. So much for the NDP's belief in human rights and individual liberties.

LaSalle Tax Anger

There's one thing all candidates agree on -- Airlie Street is in desperate need of a makeover.

From CTV:

LaSalle residents are taxed more than in most Montreal boroughs, due it part to a municipal improvement tax that left many residents fuming.

Now the issue is at the centre of the election campaign.

One duplex owner saw his property tax bill rise by almost $500 in 2007.

Read more ....

My Comment: These politicians may represent La Salle, but they have no idea on why Airlie is in the shape that it is. I know the problem .... I have lived in the area for 45 years.

To begin, with the high business taxes that we have, no business is going to venture into this region unless their clients make them do so or if their business must be conducted on the island. I moved my business out of LaSalle when the suburb joined with Montreal .... I may live here, but why should my business pay the extra tax.

The apartment buildings further up on Airlie are dumping grounds for refugees and immigration claimants. Crime has also gotten out of control. The IGA in the area had to close down because of shop lifting and crime. My mother now never goes there, and I avoid the area at night. What normal family would want to move into such an area .... answer .... no one is his or her right mind.

So .... the politicians may bemoan how bad the area has become .... but they do not have the means to assist in improving the area. There are also numerous social and cultural problems that the area was never prepared to accept nor handle .... throw in high taxes and you will end up with the dead zone that we now have.

Earl Jones' Wife Wants A Divorce

Earl Jones is lead out of a Montreal courthouse by security guards in late July. Photograph by: Dave Sidaway, Montreal Gazette

Wife Of Earl Jones Files For Divorce -- CTV

Earl Jones's problems are now not only legal, they're also personal; the self-proclaimed financial planner's wife, Maxine, is filing for divorce.

The issue is raising concern among his former clients who worry what may happen to his assets.

About $1 million in equity remains, after trustees sell 67-year-old Jones's three homes, despite heavy mortgages on each of the properties.

Read more ....

More News On The Earl Jones Case

Accused Montreal fraudster's wife wants divorce -- CBC
Maxine Jones files for divorce from husband Earl -- Montreal Gazette
Disgraced financier Earl Jones's wife files for divorce -- Vancouver Sun

Quebec Budget Deficit Raises Concerns

Photo: Finance Minister Raymond Bachand says Quebec's finances are under control. (CBC)

Return To Balanced Budget Won't Be Easy: Minister -- CBC

Quebec taxpayers should brace for some pain as the province heads deeper into deficit than originally expected, Finance Minister Raymond Bachand said Tuesday.

The provincial deficit will reach $4.7 billion by the end of the fiscal year — $749 million more than announced in the budget last March, Bachand said in an economic update presented to the national assembly.

He blamed a deeper than expected recession, which brought job losses.

Read more ....

My Comment: The Finance Minister is making it very clear .... expect more taxes.

Quebec Rate For Murders Among Lowest In Canada

Canada's Homicide Rate Up Slightly In 2008; Quebec Rate Among Lowest -- Montreal Gazette

OTTAWA — Canada recorded a two per cent increase in the national homicide rate in 2008, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday.

Police reported 611 homicides during the year, 17 more than in 2007, according to the federal agency, which said the increase was due almost entirely to deaths in Alberta and British Columbia, most of which were gang-related.

Read more ....

My Comment: What a difference when compared to the U.S. .... or most countries in the world for that matter.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Montreal News And Weather -- October 27, 2009


H1N1 hits McGill University -- CBC
H1N1 shots: Montreal plays catch-up -- Montreal Gazette

Ethics dominate last Montreal mayor debate -- CBC

Quebec's deficit worse than expected -- CTV
Quebec's deficit will rise to $4.7 billion -- Montreal Gazette
Quebec deficit projected to rise to $4.7B -- CBC

Tory senator linked to key players in Quebec scandal -- CTV
Infrastructure czar clams up -- Montreal Gazette
Ex-city manager at centre of storm -- Montreal Gazette
Anjou borough mayor tied to city contractor -- CTV

Blind Refugee Claimant wins Canadian residency after living in church for four years
-- CTV
Refugee free after 4 years in Montreal church -- CBC

Man dies on train tracks in Dorval -- CTV

Video leads to arrest of Dorval man -- Montreal Gazette

Different treatment for officers who shot Villanueva -- CBC

Thibault pleads not guilty to charges -- Montreal Gazette
Disgraced former Lt.-Gov. pleads not guilty -- CTV
Ex-Quebec Lt.-Gov. pleads not guilty to fraud -- CBC

Quebec's Deficit Higher Than Forecast

Quebec Finance Minister Raymond Bachand.
Photograph by: File, The Gazette

Quebec Deficit Projected To Rise To $4.7B -- CBC

Quebec is projecting a deficit of $4.7 billion this fiscal year, up from the $3.9 billion in last spring's budget.

Finance Minister Raymond Bachand said Quebec will have deficits totalling $13.2 billion over the next few years before the province posts a balanced budget in 2013-14.

Bachand told a news conference in Quebec City on Tuesday that the province must find $5.1 billion in new revenues by 2013.

Read more ....

Update #1: Quebec's deficit worse than expected -- CTV
Update #2: Quebec's deficit will rise to $4.7B -- Montreal Gazette

My Comment: In the height of a recession, Government is still growing. Instead of cutting back government and giving a break to the taxpayers of this province, they are looking at raising taxes. I cannot complain, the PQ antidote is even worse.

PQ To File No-Confidence Motion Over Corruption

From CBC:

Quebec engineers also demand public inquiry into alleged construction collusion.

The Parti Québécois says it will table a no-confidence motion against the governing Liberals to force a public inquiry into Quebec's construction industry.

Officials with the PQ told CBC News on Tuesday that the party will table its motion this week.

Read more ....

My Comment: This non-confidence motion will be defeated, but it does put more spotlight on what is clearly a problem in Quebec's construction industry. The governing Liberals will have to respond.

Montreal 3 New York islanders 2

Habs Beat Islanders In Overtime -- Montreal Gazette

Hamrlik pushes win streak to four games

The Canadiens’ magic run in overtime continued Monday night as Roman Hamrlik scored at 1:32 of overtime to give the Canadiens a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders.

Hamrlik pinched in from the left side and took a pass from Tomas Plekanec to extend the Canadiens’ current winning streak to four games. The Canadiens are also 5-0 this season when the score is tied after regulation time.

The Islanders were a different team than the sorry crew which lost to the Canadiens here, 5-1, last Thursday.

Read more ....

More News On Last night's Hockey Game

Hamrlik's OT goal lifts Habs to 3-2 win over Isles -- CTV
Canadiens defeat Islanders in OT -- CBC
Hamrlik scores in overtime to extend Canadiens streak -- National Post
Roman Hamrlik's overtime goal leads Canadiens to 3-2 win over Islanders -- Canadian Press
OT pays big for Canadiens -- Ottawa Citizen
Hamrlik's OT goal gives Canadiens 4th straight win -- AP
Hamrlik's OT strike sinks Islanders -- Reuters
Islanders-Canadiens Sums -- New York Times

Guns N' Roses In Montreal, January 27, 2010

Alx Rose will bring Guns N' Roses back to Canada whether we're ready or not. Photograph by: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images, National Post

Is Montreal Ready To Welcome Guns N’ Roses Back To The Jungle? -- Montreal Gazette

Tour announcement brings back memories of 1992

“Thank you, your money will be refunded.”

These were the parting words from Axl Rose to a crowd of 53,000 Guns N’ Roses fans at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Aug. 8, 1992, delivered right before leaving the stage.

As the evening’s co-headliners, Metallica had been forced to cut their performance short after singer James Hetfield was rushed to a hospital following a pyrotechnics accident; the crowd had been hoping that Guns N’ Roses would salvage the night. With a set cut short at 55 minutes, Rose’s performance didn’t cut it.

Read more ....

My Comment: Yup .... I was at the Big O that day .... an event that I will never forget. Will I go to this new concert .... it depends on my friend who was with me the last time. If she wants to go .... I will be ready to rock.

Quebec Deficit Higher Than Expected

Photo: Economic Development Minister Raymond Bachand says the province's deficit will be higher than projected last spring. (CBC)

From The CBC:

Quebec's finance minister says this year's provincial budget deficit will be higher than the $3.9 billion forecast last March.

But the deficit won't be as high as Ontario's or the federal government's, Finance Minister Raymond Bachand said Monday, the day before his economic update.

Read more ....

My Comment: I agree .... our deficit pales to the $25+ billion that Ontario has ringed up for their tax payers.

Opposition Renews Attack On Tory Organizer Over Bridge Contracts

Champlain Bridge. Photograph by: File photo, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

OTTAWA — Opposition parties in the House of Commons renewed attacks on a prominent Conservative party organizer and senator from Montreal on Monday, raising questions about the government's links to a well-known construction-industry executive and a controversial engineering contract for Montreal's Champlain Bridge.

Read more ....

My Comment: Is the taint of corruption in Montreal reaching the halls of Parliament in Ottawa .... for one contract there appears to be an obscure connection of people knowing people .... but there is no smoking gun that one can point to.

Milk Bottle Restored

In a nod to eccentric urban art, the six-tonne Guaranteed Pure Milk Co. bottle at 1025 Lucien-L'Allier St. has finally been restored after years of disrepair.

From CTV News:

Montreal's most famous milk bottle is looking a lot fresher today.

In a nod to eccentric urban art, the six-tonne Guaranteed Pure Milk Co. bottle at 1025 Lucien-L'Allier St. has finally been restored after years of disrepair.

Read more ....

My Comment: I drove by it yesterday .... it looks weird seeing it so clean and white.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Honour Overdue For Ex-Habs Goalie Vachon

Former Montreal Canadiens goaltender Rogatien Vachon signs autographs at Centre Pierre Charbonneau on Oct. 25 during a sports memorabilia and collectibles show. Photograph by: Phil Carpenter, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

Former Canadiens goaltender Rogatien Vachon was the first person to have his number retired by the L.A. Kings - but still isn't in the Hall of Fame.

MONTREAL – Newspaper stories in the autumn of 1967 were suggesting that Canadiens goaltender Rogatien Vachon might soon be returned to the Houston Apollos, the minor-league farm club from which he had been summoned the previous winter.

So a 10-year-old Vachon fan took pen to paper and addressed the first fan letter of his life to his first hockey hero, telling "Mr. Vachon" in as many words that he should simply ignore any demotion and stay put.

Read more ....

My Comment: I will always remember him and Gump Worsley as the goaltenders for the Canadiens before Dryden took possession of that title in the 70s. It is good to see that he is still around and still signing autographs.

Montreal News And Weather -- October 26, 2009


H1N1 vaccinations late in Montreal -- Montreal Gazette
Swine flu vaccinations underway -- CTV

Strong turnout for advance election voting -- Montreal Gazette
Large turnout at advance polls -- CTV

Bixi to close for season on Nov. 15 -- Montreal Gazette

Quebec backs Nortel employee pensions -- CBC

Quebec solidaire calls for stronger municipal ethics rules -- Montreal Gazette

Quebec deficit higher than expected -- CBC

Several lanes of Mercier closed for repairs on Monday, Tuesday -- Montreal Gazette

Sid Stevens honoured at gala -- CTV

Villanueva shooting inquest resumes after false starts -- CBC
Cops in Villanueva case not interviewed face-to-face -- CTV
Cop who shot Villanueva took month to file report -- Montreal Gazette

12 minors involved in fatal crash, one girl dead -- CTV
Fatal crash ignites safety calls -- Montreal Gazette

Fatal motorcycle crash in Lanaudière -- Montreal Gazette

There's Really No Choice Except An Inquiry -- A Commentary

From The Gazette:

Political suicide bomber Benoit Labonté has blown up his own career, just 10 days before Montreal's civic election. It remains to be seen how much collateral damage he has done to either of the major city parties, and their leaders.

In a bombshell interview with Radio-Canada this week, Labonté claimed to know of widespread, deep-rooted, systematic corruption in party financing and public-works contracting in Montreal, and claimed that city hall harbours a pervasive culture of don't-ask-don't-tell about this.

Read more ....

My Comment: There is no evidence, so to prove something is going to be next to impossible. An inquiry is necessary, but I doubt that it will find anything.

Villanueva Inquest Resumes Monday

The shooting of Villanueva triggered riots in which businesses were ransacked
and a police officer was shot in the leg.

From The CTV:

After months of delays and controversy, a coroner's inquest into the shooting death of Montreal teenager Fredy Villanueva is set to resume Monday.

Judge Andre Perreault will preside over the inquest instead of Judge Robert Sansfacon, who pulled out of the proceedings in September for health reasons.

Read more ....

My Comment: I do not have a clue on what the coroner will find, but I do know one thing .... do not jump police officers when they are conducting an arrest .... you may get shot.

Hydro-Québec Seeks Control Of N.B. Corridor To U.S.: Experts

From CBC:

Hydro-Québec has a strategic motive for its interest in NB Power, say people familiar with the industry.

Former New Brunswick energy minister Jeannot Volpe said Hydro-Québec may want to buy the utility so it can block sales of electricity to the United States by Newfoundland and Labrador from its Lower Churchill development.

The Newfoundland government wants to get electricity from that project into the U.S., he said, but it has not been able to arrange transmission through Quebec.

Read more ....

My Comment: Smart business if you ask me .... the only question that I have to ask is that Newfoundland knows what is happening .... but why are they on the sidelines?

U2 In Montreal July 16

From Montreal Gazette:

Big O, Bell Centre among possible venues for concert.

MONTREAL – U2 will be coming to Montreal July 16, 2010, although the mega Irish rock band has yet to announce which venue it will perform in.

The announcement on new North American tour dates was made on the band’s website.

Read more ....

H1N1 Mass Vaccination Underway In Quebec

A doctor receives an H1N1 swine flu vaccination during the launch of the first vaccine clinics in Los Angeles, Calif., on October 23, 2009. Photograph by: David McNew, Getty Images

From The CBC:

Quebec kicked off its widespread vaccination campaign against the H1N1 virus Monday morning, targeting health-care professionals, first responders and long-term care patients.

The majority of the population will have a chance to get the shot at mass vaccination centres next week, where officials say they will give priority to small children, pregnant women and people with ill health.

On the weekend, Quebec Premier Jean Charest reminded people to take advantage of the shot.

Read more ....

Update: First doses of Quebec H1N1 vaccinations start today -- Montreal Gazette

Habs President Suggests Quebec Hockey Symposium

Photo: Montreal Canadiens president Pierre Boivin says something has to be done to develop young Quebecers into elite hockey players for the NHL. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

From CBC:

Quebec has a tough time developing its elite, young hockey players for the NHL and it's time to do something about it, says Montreal Canadiens president Pierre Boivin.

In a speech Thursday, Boivin suggested holding a symposium of Quebec's hockey minds, including members of the Canadiens' organization, to find solutions.

Read more ....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Long Lineups In Advance Polls. Complaints. Are Starting To Come In

Voters are being encouraged to head to the polls, even if they are feeling cynical about municipal politics. (CTV File Photo)

From The Montreal Gazette:

There were long lineups at several polling stations Sunday as advanced voting in Montreal’s election got underway.

“It’s common for the lines to be long when polls open for advanced voting,” said Pierre Laporte, a spokesperson for Montreal’s election office.

Polls are open from noon until 8 p.m.

Laporte said within about two hours of the opening of polling stations most lineups had dissipated.

But the wait angered some voters.

Read more ....

Update: Large turnout at advance polls -- CTV

My Comment: I also went early to vote at my advanced poll. While going there I was concerned that since there was only one polling station for LaSalle, there was a very good chance that it would be packed.

It was.

After waiting for about 20 minutes, I realized that this was a waste of time and I just took off.

This advanced poll was not well planned at all. I have been to advanced polls for both Federal and Provincial elections, and I have never had a problem. But I am repeating myself .... this Municipal advanced poll was not well thought off. To begin, there should have been more advanced polling stations in a large city like LaSalle. (2) Why one day .... let advance polls be open for two days or three like they are for Provincial and Federal elections. (3) Not enough staff to take care of people who are asking questions when they got to the advanced poll .... and .... when waiting in line, all announcements were made in french .... ignoring the fact that there are many anglophones and allophones in LaSalle and that many of them do not understand French.

In summary ... a big F for this day. I can only hope that election day will not be as bad as it was today.

Swine Flu Vaccinations Begin Monday

From The CTV:

The nation-wide swine flu vaccination program will begin Monday.

Quebec began vaccinations two days ahead of schedule on Saturday, after 13 children at a high school in the small Gaspe town of Trois Pistoles were infected with the virus.

The government wants to vaccinate more than one million people as quickly as possible, and hopes as many as 75 per cent of Montrealers will get the shot between the end of October and the beginning of December.

Read more ....

Update #1: H1N1 shots start early in Quebec region -- CBC
Update #2: Second wave is at our shores -- Montreal Gazette

1 Dead, 7 Injured In Two-Car Crash

Google maps

From The Montreal Gazette:

A 14-year-old girl was killed and a 15-year-old boy is fighting for his life after two cars reportedly carrying 12 minors collided on Rte 133 in St. Jean sur Richelieu.

Municipal police said the 14-year-old girl was travelling along with another teenager in the opened trunk of a Kia Rio that hit a much larger vehicle, a sedan carrying five other minors, about 3 a.m. Sunday.

Read more ....

Update #1: 12 minors involved in fatal crash, one girl dead -- CTV
Update #2: Girl, 14, dies in Que. accident -- CBC

My Comment: A whole bunch of teens in two cars .... sometimes things go wrong and it certainly did for them.

This all happened at 3:00 am in the morning .... you have to wonder where were the parents.

Montreal Election Mired In 'Mafia' Allegations

"I've been cleaning up for three years," Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay said Friday, hoping to be re-elected on Nov. 1, 2009. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

From The Toronto Star:

Claims of corruption – kickbacks, luxury yachts, even bombs – get more dramatic by the day.

MONTREAL–The image of the broom has been nearly worn out by mayoral contenders vowing to "clean up" Montreal's city hall, as the stench of corruption in its corridors gets worse.

"Only Projet Montréal can clean up city hall," said Richard Bergeron, quirky leader of the municipal party that's in third place in the polls.

Read more ....

More News On Montreal's Municipal Election

Montreal ready for another cleanup? -- Toronto Star
Playing politics at Montreal city hall -- National Post
Yacht visits allegations meet a wave of denials -- Montreal Gazette
They're all promising to bring back integrity -- Montreal Gazette
A little rogueishness is one thing -- Montreal Gazette opinion
There's really no choice except an inquiry -- Montreal Gazette editorial

Advance Polls Open Today In City Elections

File photo: Marjorie Empey cast her ballot during an advance poll in the borough of Pointe Claire in 2004. Photograph by: Pierre Obendrauf, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

'Crisis of confidence' Union of municipalities fears scandals might lower voter participation rates.

Advance polls open today at noon

Advance polls for Nov. 1 municipal elections are being held Sunday across the province. In some municipalities, advance polls will also be held Monday.

Advance polls are held from noon to 8 p.m. To vote, you must be on the electoral list and present photo ID such as a driver's licence, medicare card or passport.

On Nov. 1, voting will be held across Quebec from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Read more ....

My Comment: For me .... this is a protest vote .... only the small or local parties are going to get my vote.

Bombers Hand Alouettes 41-24 Loss

From The Montreal Gazette:

WINNIPEG – The Alouettes’ future doesn’t look so bright on the road, does it?

Second-year backup quarterback, Adrian McPherson got the start for the Als, replacing the injured Anthony Calvillo.

But McPherson and Montreal’s offence failed to get untracked during a 41-24 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Saturday.

Calvillo is suffering from a calf injury and left last weekend’s game against Hamilton early in the second half. He’s expected to return next weekend.

Read more ....

More News On Yesterday's Football Game

Bombers back in tie with Cats after dropping Als -- CBC
Michael Bishop throws for 411 yards, 2 TDs as Winnipeg rolls over Montreal 41-24 -- Canadian Press
Bombers add twist to Simpson's saga -- Montreal Gazette
Gut-check time as cracks appear in Alouettes' armour -- Montreal Gazette
Not short on drama -- Winnipeg Sun
Down to the wire -- Winnipeg Sun

Montreal 5 New York 4

Habs' Cammalleri Caps Hat Trick With OT Winner -- Montreal Gazette

Montreal 5, New York 4; Canadiens win third straight with come-from-behind victory over Rangers.

MONTREAL – Mike Cammalleri scored at 2:42 of overtime to complete a hat trick and give the Canadiens a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the New York Rangers Saturday night.

After two wide-open periods that proved goaltenders Jaroslav Halak and Henrik Lundqvist were human, the Canadiens played their game in the third period, limiting the high-flying Rangers to five shots on goal.

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More News On Last Night's Hockey Game

Cammalleri's hat trick lifts Habs over Rangers -- CBC
Gomez will have to pay -- Montreal Gazette
Rangers blow lead, lose to Canadiens in OT -- Newsday
Habs’ Cammalleri caps hat trick with overtime winner -- National Post
Cammalleri completes hat trick in overtime to give Canadiens 5-4 win over Rangers -- Canadian Press
Mike Cammalleri scores thrice as Montreal Canadiens top New York Rangers 5-4 in overtime -- New York Daily News
Gilroy scores 2nd goal of season for Rangers -- Newsday
Rangers-Canadiens: Cammalleri Caps Canadiens' Comeback -- Bleacher Report
Mike Cammalleri's hat trick spurs Habs win over Rangers -- Examiner
Rangers-Canadiens Sums -- New York Times

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Montreal News And Weather -- October 24, 2009


Louise Harel denies Labonte claims -- CTV

H1N1 shots start early in Quebec region -- CBC

Municipalities encourage citizens to vote en masse -- CTV

ADQ confirms leadership result despite bogus vote -- CBC

Tremblay, Harel deny Labonté allegations -- CBC

Corbeil should be behind bars: Crown -- CTV

Ste. Anne pizzeria burns down -- Montreal Gazette

Fire destroys restaurant in Ste. Anne de Bellevue -- CTV

Worker crushed by wrecking ball -- CBC

Two pedestrians hit in separate incidents; one driver turns himself in -- CTV

Body found in Laurentians was in trunk of car: SQ -- Montreal Gazette

Quebec Car-Pooler Caught With Teddy Bear In Child's Seat

A Quebec man has been caught twice in one week driving in a car-pool lane carrying a teddy bear in a child's seat. Photograph by: John Mahoney, Montreal Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

OTTAWA — A Gatineau, Que., man faces almost $300 in fines after police caught him twice this week driving with a teddy bear disguised as a third passenger in a carpooling lane.

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My Comment: The lengths that people go for to get a break.

Getting Ready For The Flu

Montreal Will Open Special Flu Shot Centres -- CBC

Shopping centres, schools — even Olympic Stadium and the Palais des Congrès — will serve as makeshift clinics when Montreal public health officials begin vaccinations against the H1N1 virus.

The Montreal Health Agency unveiled its strategy Friday as the province’s flu vaccination campaign gets underway Monday.

Read more ....

Update: Second wave is at our shores -- Montreal Gazette

My Comment: Using the shopping malls is a good idea to ensure that people will be vaccinated.

Allegations And Denials Of Corruption At City Hall

Photo: Labonte told Radio-Canada that Harel knew companies illegally divided up big donations into smaller cheques to make them appear to be personal donations. (Courtesy: Radio-Canada).

Louise Harel Denies Labonte Claims -- CTV

Vision Montreal mayoral candidate Louise Harel denied her party took cash kickbacks to run its campaign as suggested by her ousted former colleague, Benoit Labonte.

Harel, surrounded by journalists in Montreal, said she has insisted upon above-board donations ever since she took over the party from Labonte earlier this year.

In an interview broadcast Thursday by Radio-Canada, Labonte said Harel knew that companies illegally divided up big donations into smaller cheques to make them appear to be personal donations.

Read more ....

Update: Tremblay, Harel deny Labonté allegations -- CBC

My Comment: If one wants to undermine our political institutions, corruption (even the perception of corruption) would be on the top of the list.

Corruption Hotline Already Getting Tips, SQ Says

Quebec Public Security Minister Jacques Dupuis (left) with Director General of the Sûreté du Québec Richard Deschesnes, announces the creation of a special squad, called Opération Marteau, to look into allegations of corruption and collusion in the construction industry in Montreal. Photograph by: Pierre Obendrauf, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

Despite being in use for less than a day the Sûreté du Québec is already getting calls on a phone line set up to receive tips on suspected criminal activity in Quebec’s construction industry.

Inspector Michel Forget, the head of a newly formed squad mandated specifically to investigate illegal activities within the construction industry like collusion and money laundering, said Friday the line (1-888-444-1701) is already receiving tips.

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My Comment: Give it a few more weeks, I predict that the SQ's hot line's answering machine will be full.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Montreal City Hall And The Stench Of Corruption

Benoit Labonte addresses the media at a press conference on Saturday, October 17, 2009.

Montreal City Hall Run By Mafia-Like System: Ex-Opposition Leader -- CBC

Montreal's former opposition leader says the city's political system is run by a Mafia-like system — and his opponents know it.

On the weekend, Benoît Labonté was forced to resign from his party and drop out of the campaign for the city’s Nov. 1 election over allegations he met with, and accepted donations from, a controversial construction entrepreneur.

Labonté initially denied the allegations.

Now, in an interview with Radio-Canada, Labonté has admitted he lied.

Read more ....

More News On Corruption At Montreal City Hall

Harel, Lampron push Charest for corruption probe -- Montreal Gazette
Calls for inquiry into Montreal corruption allegations -- CTV
Mayor dismisses Labonté charges -- Montreal Gazette
Tremblay, Harel deny Labonté allegations -- CBC
Labonté admits he accepted cash from Accurso -- Montreal Gazette
Montreal tycoon sues Radio-Canada, denies political links -- CBC
Charest names ministers accused of yacht cruising with Accurso -- Globe And Mail

My Comment: Benoit Labonte is clearly peeved that he has been kicked out of his own political party. He is now spilling the beans, and even if 25% of what he says is true, corruption in our political process runs very deep on both the municipal and provincial level.

Special Squad Formed To Investigate The Role Of The Mafia In Quebec's Construction Industry

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson insists the federal government will not get involved in Quebec's investigation into Mafia corruption in the construction industry. The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld

Justice Minister Steers Clear Of Montreal Mess -- Globe And Mail

Rob Nicholson expresses confidence in Quebec's ability to sort out allegations of corruption and mob ties driving up price of infrastructure projects.

Don't expect the federal government to get involved in the murky allegations of corruption and mafia ties enveloping Montreal's city hall.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson indicated Friday morning that Ottawa will leave the mess to Quebec, and expressed confidence that the province can sort it out.

Read more ....

More News On The Role of the Mafia In Quebec's Construction Industry

No place for Ottawa in Quebec Mafia investigation: Nicholson -- CTV
Mafia probe to be handled by Quebec: federal minister -- CBC
No role for Ottawa in Quebec Mafia investigation: Nicholson -- Canadian Press
Special squad to tackle corruption in Quebec construction industry -- National Post
Quebec forms squad to investigate construction industry -- CBC

My Comment: One has to go back a few decades when the Quebec Government last investigated the role of the mafia in Quebec's construction industry. I guess that after a number of years passed, the sons of the Dons simply took over where their dads first operated from.

Quebec's Bill 104 Options Limited, Constitutional Experts Say

Quebec Parliament Building.
© Creatas/JupiterImages

From The Montreal Gazette:

The Quebec government has several options in response to the Supreme Court ruling that struck down a law limiting access to English public schools, but all of them are problematic if not unrealistic, constitutional law experts said Thursday.

The country’s highest court ruled that Bill 104, a seven-year-old law passed by the previous Parti Québécois government that closed a loophole whereby children not eligible for English public schooling could gain access by spending some time in a non-subsidized private English school, is unconstitutional in that it excessively infringes on provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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My Comment: Boo hoo hoo .... I am crying over what some nationalists may feel over denying fundamental rights to families with children.

Montreal Unveils Swine-Flu Vaccination Plans

From CTV:

Montreal's public health agency has released its swine-flu vaccination campaign on Friday.

The ambitious plan calls for the vaccination of more than one million people as quickly as possible.

The department unveiled its official schedule of when and where people can go to get their vaccines.

Read more