Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

New Year's Holiday; Laval, Longueuil Offer Free Transit

From The Montreal Gazette:

Here is a partial list of what's open, what's closed, and when for New Year's Day: Banks will be closed on Friday and Saturday.

Federal government offices, including unemployment centres, are closed Friday.

Provincial government offices, including immigration centres, are shut Friday.

Read more ....

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Quebec Brings In Strict Fuel Efficiency Standards

New regulations for fuel efficiency are expected to come into force for the 2010 model year in Quebec. Photograph by: Andreas Rentz], Getty Images

From The Montreal Gazette:

Environment and consumer groups welcomed news that Quebec’s new fuel efficiency standards officially take effect as of mid-January, meaning automakers will face stiff fines if they sell too many gas-guzzling vehicles in the province.

Quebec is the first Canadian province to adopt strict fuel efficiency standards for cars sold or leased in its territory, following the lead of California and 15 other American states in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more ....

My Comment: This is just another tax on businesses that rely on vehicles and trucks to operate on the roads. My prediction .... Quebec auto dealerships are going to experience a steep drop in the sale of big vehicles, but Ontario is going to experience a boost in sales.

On a side note .... using California as a poster child for what can be accomplished on the environment is not a smart move for our politicians. I visit California on a regular basis (my brother lives in San Francisco), and their environmental guidelines (which Quebec is duplicating) has helped to devastate what was once a strong economy within 2 years. Throw in higher taxes .... we will then create the ideal environment for higher unemployment and a prolonged recession.

Family Threatened With Deportation Due To Daughter's Illness

David Barlagne emigrated from France in 2005 with his wife, Sophie, and his daughters, Lara and Rachel, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

From CTV News:

A French family who immigrated to Montreal is fighting to stay in the country after Canadian authorities threatened to deport them because their daughter has cerebral palsy.

David Barlagne emigrated from France in 2005 with his wife, Sophie, and his daughters, Lara and Rachel.

Seven-year-old Rachel suffers from cerebral palsy, a congenital disorder that causes motor dysfunction in the body.

Before deciding to leave France, Barlagne asked a Canadian Embassy official in Paris if his daughter's condition might cause a problem.

Read more ....

My Comment: I hate reading stories like this one. But the law is the law .... and the bottom line is that Mr. Larlagne should never have trusted the advice of a government official who told him to ignore the law when he started asking about specifics within the law.

Lakeshore Hospital Battles Bacterial Outbreak

From The CBC:

A Montreal-area hospital has imposed some quarantine measures after an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant bacteria was reported in one of its wings.

Access to patients at the Lakeshore Hospital in Pointe-Claire is restricted until Jan. 5 because of several cases of Vancomycin-resistant enterococci, known as VRE.

Seven patients on the fourth-floor west wing have developed a VRE infection, hospital officials said.

Read more ....

My Comment:
A common problem in a good number of our hospitals. My father's best friend died in Verdun General 6 years ago because of this type of outbreak .... the operation was a success for him, but the infection is what killed him.

A Dozen Montrealers Receive Order Of Canada

Team Canada captain Mario Lemieux wraps himself in the nation’s flag after his team won gold in men's hockey at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. Canada defeated the United States 5-2 to take the gold for the first time in 50 years. The team is being inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. Photograph by: Grant Black, CNS files

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL- Pittsburg Penguins owner Mario Lemieux is among a dozen Montrealers to be named to the Order of Canada, announced today by Governor General Michaëlle Jean.

Jean announced a total of 57 new appointments yesterday, including musicians Neil Young and Burton Cummings, former New Democratic Party leader Alexa McDonough, former Manitoba Premier Gary Filmon, former Nova Scotia Premier John F. Hamm and Running Room founder John Stanton.

Read more ....

My Comment: Congrats to all from a proud Montrealer.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Trudeau Airport Lineups Long, But Moving

U.S.-bound travellers at Vancouver International Airport line-up to go through customs prior to boarding their flights Sunday, December 27, 2009. Photograph by: Jason Payne, The Province

From The CBC:

Lineups were long but moving at Montreal's Trudeau airport Monday, as a result of increased security measures.

New restrictions and heightened security procedures were put in place after a Nigerian man was charged with trying to destroy a plane during a transatlantic flight on Friday.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had travelled from Nigeria to Amsterdam, and then on to Detroit, allegedly with an explosive device attached to his body.

Read more ....

More News On Airline Delays

Security measures in place at Trudeau airport -- CTV
New security measures delay flights Monday -- Montreal Gazette
Pearson airport lineups easing -- CBC
Delays, cancellations continue at Canadian airports -- National Post
Longer lineups on tap at Ottawa's airport -- CTV

Montreal Fire Reveals 6,000 Pot Plants

MONTREAL, QUE.: DECEMBER 28, 2009--An early morning fire in the Villeray area Monday December 28, 2009 revealed the presence of an estimated 6,000 marijuana plants, in the second large-scale pot growing bust in Montreal in two weeks. Photograph by: Marcos Townsend, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

An early morning fire in the Villeray area Monday revealed the presence of an estimated 6,000 marijuana plants, in the second large-scale pot growing bust in Montreal in two weeks.

The street value of the plants could be as high as $6 million because when mature, a marijuana plant has a street value of about $1,000.

Read more ....

My Comment: A fire started by a molotov cocktail .... hmmmm .... it seems to me that someone must have been pissed.

Montreal's Politicos Don't Want To See Yule Logs Burning

From CTV:

Logs crackling in a fireplace conjure images of romance and comfort, but city officials blame them for dozens of smog advisories being issued last winter.

This past spring, Montreal adopted a bylaw banning the installation of new wood-burning stoves.

"Ultimately, we want people to be safe," said Montreal Executive Committee member Alan DeSousa. "It's good for people's health, and it's also good for the environment."

Read more ....

My Comment: Alan DeSousa has been on this crusade for as long as I can remember. So now that he is dictating what we should do in our living rooms when it comes to fireplaces and our health .... I guess the next step is having him dictate what we should then do in our other rooms .... all for the cause of assisting us in our health.

Hmmmm ..... forget about the other rooms .... lets go into the bedrooms, since a considerable amount of .... cough cough .... "unhealthy activity" occurs there.

On a side note .... I have been looking for where I can find the "science" that backs up DeSousa's claim. No surprise .... it is nowhere to be found.

Editor's Note

Sorry for the light postings. I have been battling a bad case of the flu since last week .... and it is only now that I am catching up on my blogging and reading.

Posting will be light for this week. Regular blogging will return on Monday, January 4, 2010.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lafleur Interview May Hold Clue In Missing Teen Case

Photo: Police suspect the teen seen in the background may be David Fortin. (Sûreté du Québec)

From The CBC:

Quebec police have released a clip of a recent television interview with hockey great Guy Lafleur, in the hopes of cracking a missing teen case.

In the 11-second clip, a teenager bearing a strong resemblance to missing Quebecer David Fortin appears in the background.

The Lafleur interview was recorded at Montreal's Bell Centre by TSN's French-language network RDS at the Canadiens Centennial celebration game in early December.

Read more ....

My Comment: This type of attention is something that Guy Lafeur probably does not want.

Shelters Stepping Up Efforts To Help Homeless

A man checks on a homeless person sleeping on a snow-covered sidewalk in downtown Montreal only a week after a man was found frozen to death in Viger Square last December. Photograph by: ROGERIO BARBOSA, GETTY IMAGES, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

Cold nights; Food depot facing increased demand.

At these temperatures, there's nothing "Ho ho ho!" about being homeless during the holiday season.

For the last several days, the daily highs and lows have been well below seasonal norms, and the nights have been bitterly cold.

Read more ....

My Comment: And winter has been cold this year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Regina Mayor Pays Off Grey Cup Bet

Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco wore a Montreal Alouettes jersey during a City Council meeting on Monday. He wore the jersey as part of a Grey Cup bet with Montreal's Mayor Gerald Tremblay. The Montreal Alouettes defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders 28-27 in this year's Grey Cup. (Troy Fleece/Canadian Press)

From The CBC:

Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco says a deal is a deal — even if it means he has to trade his beloved Saskatchewan Roughriders jersey for a Montreal Alouettes one.

Fiacco made good Monday on a Grey Cup bet he had made with Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay.

The pair agreed that the losing city's mayor would don the winning team's jersey, fly its flag at city hall and buy season tickets for the winning team to be donated to charity.

Read more ....

My Comment: The sweet taste of victory. Now if the Montreal Canadiens can get their act together .... that is when we can really celebrate.

Gas Surtax Better Than Bridge Tolls: Laval Mayor

Cars line up at the tolls booths on the Champlain Bridge in Montreal in the 1980s. Laval Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt says a gasoline surtax makes more sense than resurrecting bridge tolls, which he says harm the poor more than the rich. Photograph by: Len Sidaway, Gazette file photo.

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL – Higher gasoline taxes would make a lot more sense than bridge tolls as a tool to reduce automobile congestion on the island of Montreal, says Laval Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt.

“We don’t want tolls, we want higher gasoline taxes,” Vaillancourt said in an interview Monday.

By “we,” Vaillancourt means he and other municipal leaders in the Montreal region’s off-island suburbs, where people who commute to Montreal island for work would be hurt most by the introduction of bridge tolls.

Read more ....

My Comment: I always find it remarkable that each time a government budget is not met (which is all the time), the natural default position of the politician is to raise taxes.

LBPSB Votes To Close Three Elementary Schools

From CTV:

The Council of Commissioners at the Lester B. Pearson School Board has voted in favour of closing three elementary schools in the West Island.

The three schools that will close are Jubilee Elementary School in Pointe Claire, Bishop Whelan Elementary School in Dorval, and Purcell Academy in Pierrefonds.

Monday night's public meeting at Lindsay Place High School in Pointe Claire was the final step in a consultation process that began last winter.

Read more ....

Update #1: LBPSB resolutions call for more French, fewer schools -- Montreal Gazette
Update #2: Quebec board to shut 3 English schools -- CBC

My Comment: I personally know of 4 French families in my area (my neighbors) who would give their eye-teeth to have their children exposed to a free English education. Two of them are sending their kids to a private English school ... the other two do not have the funds to do so. Among my friends who are French Quebecers .... all of them want their children to be exposed to English as a second language .... but it is denied to them according to the law.

This is an issue that is not going away.

Quebec Sees Growth In English-Speaking Population

From The CBC:

The number of English-speaking Quebecers is on the increase for the first time in 30 years due to immigration, along with a slowdown in the outflow of Quebec anglophones.

The number has grown by about 5.5 per cent between the censuses of 2001 and 2006, reversing a trend that began in the early 1970s when provincial language policies and a push for Quebec sovereignty prompted many English-speaking residents to move elsewhere.

Read more ....

My Comment: This is not a surprise. I have seen for myself the growth of the English community in Montreal and in the Laurentians. If present trends continue .... and they will since the French community have stopped having children .... Montreal will be a majority English city within 20 years.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Montreal 3 New York Islanders 0

Canadiens' Andrei Markov smiles as he is congratulated for his goal by team mates during the second period of their NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders in Uniondale, N.Y., Saturday night.Photograph by: Shannon Stapleton, Reuters

St. Andrei Markov Brings Canadiens Back To Life As Jaroslav Halak Posts 40-Save Shutout -- Montreal Gazette

Canadiens 3, Islanders 0

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Andrei Markov returned to the Canadiens' lineup after a 35-game absence Saturday night and had an immediate impact - scoring two power-play goals.

But the difference-maker was backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who made 40 saves as the Canadiens beat the New York Islanders 3-0.

Halak, who has been angling for a trade because he wants to play more, showed why general manager Bob Gainey can’t afford to deal him away.

Read more ....

More News on Saturday's Hockey Game

New York Islanders fall to Montreal Canadiens as goalie Martin Biron loses fifth straight start -- New York Daily News
Halak, Markov lead Canadiens past Islanders -- AP
Welcome return: Markov scores twice, Halak perfect as Habs shut out Islanders -- The Examiner
Islanders, Biron buried by Canadiens, 3-0 -- New York Post
Habs hope to keep rolling on road trip -- CBC
Markov shows how ready he is -- National Post
Snowstorm grounds Canadiens on Long Island -- AP

Cirque Du Soleil's Alegria Is Playing In Montreal

An acrobat performs a hand-balancing scene from the Cirque du Soleil's Alegría in Montreal on Dec. 18, 2009. Photograph by: Allen McInnis, The Gazette

Alegría Awes In Return To Montreal -- Montreal Gazette

Cirque du Soleil masterpiece revamped for arena.

MONTREAL – Many years have passed since Alegría, the Cirque du Soleil’s second touring show, opened here in 1994. Arriving at the Bell Centre for the opening of the arena version of Alegría on Friday night, I was expecting to enjoy the music (the soundtrack is the Cirque’s best) and wallow in a bit of nostalgia.

Read more ....

Quebec, Ontario Dump On Oilsands But Take The Cash

Despite Alberta's financial support, Quebec and Ontario have taken public shots at the province's oilsands development during the Copenhagen climate summit. (CP Photo).

From CTV:

MONTREAL — Ganging up on Alberta's polluting oilsands is becoming a national sport and it's on full display for the world in Copenhagen.

But what would the country look like if the cash flow pumped from the Western oil patch was suddenly turned off?

With climate change now morphing into a national-unity issue, angry defenders of Western oil argue that the provinces doing most of the environmental finger-pointing -- namely, Ontario and Quebec -- can only afford their own social programs and tax rates thanks to the gooey Alberta cash cow they love to disparage.

Read more ....

My Comment: I cannot speak for Ontario, but for Quebec their reaction is so typical. they complain about the money .... and will with time demand more .... but in the interim will complain about how the money is made.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Quebec Blogger Surprises By Revealing He's A She

Image: A Quebec copy writer found work income doubled after she took a man's name. (CBC)

From The CBC:

Male name better for business, freelance writer finds.

A well-known Quebec blogger has revealed she's actually a woman who took a male name because she suspected it would be better for her web-development and copywriting business.

Her decision proved correct.

James Chartrand, who operates the website Men with Pens, said that when she wrote as a woman, she struggled to get freelance jobs and found herself making less than minimum wage.

Read more ....

My Comment: I am skeptical. I am in the business .... and I am always contracting out work. Before giving a contract ... I also make sure that I have met the contractor, and verified that they are capable of doing the work. Women ... man .... it makes no difference. What makes a difference is price and date of delivery .... and that's how they get a contract.

Montreal Transit Passes To Rise

Commuters board an STM bus in Montreal. Beginning Jan. 1, 2010, the cost of a monthly bus-and-métro pass will increase $1.50 to $70. Photograph by: Pierre Obendrauf, Gazette file photo

Mayor Tremblay Assailed Over STM Fare Increase --

Cost of monthly bus-and-métro pass climbs to $70; Projet Montréal calls for fare freeze.

MONTREAL – A looming 2.2-per-cent hike in the cost of a monthly bus-and-métro pass is evidence Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay is paying lip service to public transit, opposition parties say.

The Société de transport de Montréal announced 2010 fare hikes Friday, following on the heels of similar increases by Longueuil and Laval transit authorities and the Agence métropolitaine de transport, which runs the region’s commuter trains.

Read more ....

My Comment: I expected the increases to be more ....

Major Tax Hikes Loom In Montreal Suburbs

Mayor Gérald Tremblay's administration issued levy notices to Montreal's 15 suburbs on Dec. 18, 2009. While the figures are confidential for now, sources say property taxes will increase 10 to 12 per cent next year. Photograph by: Pierre Obendrauf, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

Island municipalities fear city is trying to off-load costs on them.

MONTREAL – Property taxes are poised to increase significantly in Montreal Island suburbs next year thanks to higher levies from the city of Montreal for shared services.

The Tremblay administration sent out the levy notices to the 15 suburbs late Friday afternoon, that being the preferred time in politics to deliver bad news.

Read more ....

My Comment: Offloading Montreal's debt and problems onto the suburbs .... I am not surprised. As for my municipal tax bill .... it has doubled since amalgamation.

Cold Snap To Continue Over The Weekend

From CTV News:

Montrealers are staying bundled up as the deep freeze continues across the province.

On Thursday night, the temperature dropped to -19 C, with winds making it feel much as 10 degrees colder.

According to CTV Montreal weather specialist Lori Graham, Friday night will not be much different, with the temperature expected to dip to -18 C.

"Daytime highs over the last three days have been about 10 degrees below normal," Graham said.

Read more ....

My Comment: Some say that you will get use to it .... and I say that I have lived here for 50 years .... and no .... I have never gotten use to it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Andrei Markov To Return To Habs' Lineup Vs. Islanders

Andrei Markov, the Montreal Canadiens' all-star defenceman, will return to action Saturday night when the Habs visit the New York Islanders. Photograph by: John Mahoney, Gazette file photo

From The Montreal Gazette:

All-star defenceman missed 11 weeks of action.

MONTREAL – Andrei Markov will celebrate his birthday weekend by returning to the Canadiens' lineup on Long Island Saturday for the Habs' game vs. the New York Islanders.

Markov, who turns 31 on Sunday, was given the green light Thursday night by Habs doctor David Mulder, and now it's up to head coach Jacques Martin to determine how much to use his all-star, given that he's missed 11 weeks as of Saturday's game.

Read more ....

My Comment: He has been badly missed.

Minnesota 3 Montreal 1

Why I oughta ...: Canadiens' Josh Gorges lashes out at former teammate Guillaume Latendresse of the Wild for rushing the goal crease Thursday night at the Bell Centre. Photograph by: Allen McInnis, The Gazette

Skidding Habs Lose 3-1 To Wild -- Montreal Gazette

CH looks ahead to seven-game road trip.

MONTREAL – As homecomings go, let's agree it never will be confused with Guy Lafleur's 1989 return to the Forum in the uniform of the New York Rangers.

And as results went, it did nothing to put the brakes on a Canadiens team that's skidding down the standings on a dangerously icy road.

The Habs lost their fifth straight game Thursday night, falling 3-1 to the returning Guillaume Latendresse and his Minnesota Wild.

Read more ....

More News On Last Night's Hockey Game

Wild hand Habs 5th straight loss -- CBC
Wild hand Canadiens their fifth straight loss -- National Post
Niklas Backstrom makes 30 saves to lead Wild past Canadiens 3-1 -- CTV News
Niklas Backstrom makes 30 saves to lead Wild past Canadiens 3-1 -- Canadian Press
Koivu's PP goal leads Wild past Canadiens -- AP

MTC Fare Hike Set For Jan. 1

From The CBC:

The cost of public transit is going up in Montreal on Jan. 1.

A monthly transit pass will cost $70 a month, up $1.50. A reduced fare pass will cost $38.75, instead of $37.

A one-time ticket will stay the same at $2.75, but six tickets will cost $13.25, up from $12.75.

Marvin Rotrand, vice-president of the Montreal Transit Commission, says increasing the fares will pay for an increase in services.

Read more ....

My Comment: The hikes could have been worse.

Mandatory Vehicle Inspections Coming

Those that don't meet emissions standards will have to be repaired or else destroyed.

From CTV News:

Quebec is prepared to junk any clunkers that don't meet tough new emissions standards for vehicles.

Beginning two years from now, people who own cars built before 1995 will be required to undergo mandatory inspections. Those whose cars don't meet the standard will have to get their cars repaired, or else the cars will be destroyed.

Read more ....

Large Mtl. H1N1 Centres Close Tonight

Nurse Nathalie Cousineau vaccinates Michel Lemay against the H1N1 virus at the CLSC Dorval-Lachine in Lachine. Photograph by: John Mahoney, Gazette File

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL – Montreal’s large vaccination clinics will close Friday at 8 p.m., after nearly one million people got flu shots to protect themselves against the H1N1 pandemic virus.

No vaccinations will be available during the weekend, but starting on Monday, people can get the shot at their local CLSC from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The clinics will be open on Dec. 21, 22, 23, 29 and 30, as well as Jan. 5, 6, 7 and 8.

People can get the flu shots without an appointment.

Read more ....

Update: H1N1 vaccination sites to close Friday -- CTV

Reserved Bus Lane Coming To Pie-IX Boulevard

The $150-million Pie-IX project is expected to be completed in 2013. (Dec. 17, 2009)

From CTV:

Pie-IX Blvd., one of the busiest boulevards in Montreal, is getting a major facelift.

Two reserved lanes for express buses will be added to the centre of the boulevard, stretching from Laval to the South Shore.

The announcement was made Thursday by Quebec Transport Minister Julie Boulet, who was accompanied by Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay and Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt.

The old bus lane on the boulevard was closed in 2002, after two pedestrians were struck and killed by buses.

Read more ....

My Comment: By taking away one of the lanes .... I can just imagine the traffic jams.

Victoria Bridge Spans Montreal's History

The Victoria Jubilee Bridge was built in 1859 and originally named the Victoria Bridge in honour of Queen Victoria. it was officially rededicated as the Victoria Jubilee Bridge following renovations in 1897. However, it is still commonly referred to by its original name as simply the Victoria Bridge. Photograph by: Dave Sidaway, The Gazette

From The Montreal Gazette:

Every weekday, Montreal’s newest trains cross the region’s oldest bridge.

State-of-the-art double-decker train cars, complete with bathrooms, came into service on the Mont St. Hilaire-downtown Montreal commuter line last month.

They use the Victoria Bridge, its 24 stone piers still supporting the structure after a century and a half of service. The first passenger train crossed the bridge 150 years ago today – Dec. 17, 1859.

Read more .....

My Comment: They do not make them like they use to do.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Montreal News And Weather -- December 17, 2009

Montreal News And Weather

Montreal to unwrap budget Jan. 13
-- Montreal Gazette

Specialists want higher breast-cancer standards -- CTV

Minimum wage going up 50 cents
-- Montreal Gazette

Provinces could ignore weak climate deal: Charest -- CTV

Coach Trestman returning to Alouettes -- CBC
Als coach Marc Trestman signs contract extension -- CTV
Source: Montreal Alouettes sign head coach Trestman to contract extension -- Canadian Press

Pilot praised after Montreal helicopter crash -- CBC

33 months for Montreal teen in fatal mugging -- CBC

Sex workers march for decriminalization -- Montreal Gazette

Violent mental patient escapes from Pinel Institute
-- CTV

New Jersey 2 Montreal 1

Devils' Bryce Salvador powers around the Canadiens' net with Habs' Matt D'Agostini in pursuit in Newark, N.J., Wednesday night. Photograph by: Jim McIsaac, Getty Images

No Shutout But Brodeur Beats Habs -- Montreal Gazette

Devils' goalie ties Roy's mark for most NHL games.

NEWARK, N.J. – Martin Brodeur reached one National Hockey League milestone and missed out on another Wednesday night.

But the New Jersey Devils’ veteran goaltender wasn’t too upset over not earning a record 104th NHL shutout because he and his teammates emerged as 2-1 winners over Carey Price and the Canadiens in a dull contest that deserved the announced attendance of 12,178.

Read more ....

More News On Last night's Hockey Game

Brodeur ties Roy record in win over Habs -- CBC
Brodeur ties Roy's record as Devils edge Habs 2-1 -- CTV
Brodeur ties record for most games played by goaltender -- Reuters
Brodeur matches NHL mark in Devilish 2-1 win -- AFP
Brodeur reaches another milestone in Devils' win -- AP

Massive Marijuana Grow-Op Ring Busted

Photo from

Montreal Grow-Ops Raided -- CBC

A police crackdown on marijuana production in Montreal led to the arrest of three men and two women on Thursday.

Officers raided five warehouses and three homes on the island of Montreal, in Laval and Repentigny Thursday morning before arresting the suspects.

Read more ....

More News On Today's Arrest

Police raid marijuana grow-ops in Montreal area -- The Montreal Gazette
Five arrests as police raid reputed marijuana ring -- CTV
Thousands of pot plants seized in the Plateau -- Examiner
Cops make huge Plateau pot bust --

Quebec Launches Bar-Coded Medicare Cards

The Quebec health insurance board is to launch a new "smart" card for valid health care users, starting in January 2010. Photograph by: Wikipedia

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL - The Quebec health insurance board is to launch a new "smart" card for valid health care users, starting in January 2010.

The new card, to be phased in over a period of four years, will have a bar code providing the individual's Medicare number.

Read more ....

The Hydro Quebec - New Brunswick Electrical Deal -- A Commentary

Bad Deal For Quebec -- National Post

Hydro-Quebec’s planned purchase of NB Power only looks good until you factor in all the hidden costs.

Hydro-Quebec has agreed to buy most of NB Power’s assets for $4.75-billion, according to a memorandum of understanding signed at the end of October. Unfortunately, the government-owned electric utility has not proven that the proposed transaction is a good deal for Quebec. Rather, my analysis tends to show that the opposite is true.

Read more ....

My Comment: A well researched article ... a must read if you are a Hydro Quebec customer.

Alouette's Head Coach To Stay With The Football Team

Head coach of the the 2009 Grey Cup champion Alouettes Marc Trestman is expected to sign an extension with the team. Photograph by: Dave Sidaway, The Gazette

Alouettes Ink Coach Trestman To Extension: Report -- CBC

The Montreal Alouettes have locked up head coach Marc Trestman.

A league source requesting anonymity said Wednesday that the Alouettes have signed Trestman to a contract extension and will announce the deal Thursday at a news conference in Montreal.

Trestman, 53, had one year remaining in his original deal with the Alouettes.

Read more ....

More News On Head Coach Trestman Staying With The Alouettes

Head coach Marc Trestman expected to stick with Alouettes -- Montreal Gazette
Alouettes reportedly set to sign Trestman to extension -- Globe And Mail
Montreal Alouettes sign head coach Trestman to contract extension -- Metro News/Canadian Press

Huge Bonaventure Pothole Should Be Repaired By Noon Thursday

Bonaventure Expressway (From Flickr)

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL – One of the three westbound lanes on an elevated portion of the Bonaventure Expressway could be be reopened to traffic “about noon” Thursday – after being shut Tuesday morning by the abrupt appearance of a pothole about one metre in diameter, a roadway spokesperson said Wednesday evening.

That lane reopening will take place mid-day “if everything goes well,” said André Girard, speaking for Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Inc.

Road crews were continuing repair work at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, in the right-hand lane near the landmark Five Roses sign.

Read more ....

My Comment: Potholes usually show up in springtime .... something tells me that this must be a monster hole.

Major Marijuana Seizure In Montreal

Record Marijuana Seizure In Plateau -- CTV

A 55- year- old man is expected in court Wednesday after what's being called the biggest marijuana bust in the history of Montreal.

Police say they conducted a massive operation at two locations in the city's Plateau-Mont Royal district on Tuesday.

Officers confiscated more than 10,000 plants from two grow operations.

Read more ....

Update: Major pot-growing operation raided -- Montreal Gazette

My Comment: My bet is that this crop was not grown for his own personal consumption.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Montreal News And Weather -- December 16, 2009


H1N1 vaccination sites to close Friday -- CTV

39 Quebecers with breast cancer wrongly treated -- CBC
Health minister backs breast-cancer tests -- CTV
Breast cancer patients relieved, doctors still concerned -- CTV

Overcrowding slows ambulance staff: union -- CBC

Chopper crash leaves news team in shock -- CTV

CUPE not impressed with Montreal's whistleblower hotline -- Montreal Gazette

West Island snow removers renege on refund -- CTV

Man shot on street in Laval des Rapides -- Montreal Gazette
Man shot in Laval - suspect at large -- CTV

Montreal, police reach deal on 120 cops -- Montreal Gazette

Record marijuana seizure in Plateau -- CTV

STM Tells Chinese Company 'It's Too Late' to Bid On Métro Deal

Société de transport de Montréal is about to announce the final terms of the contract to replace its fleet of métro cars. The only two bidders on the contract, Bombardier Inc. and Alstom SA, have formed a consortium to build the large order, which could number up to 700 cars.

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL ­ “It’s too late.” That was the response Wednesday from the Société de transport de Montréal’s Odile Paradis to Monday’s late legal challenge asking that the upcoming contract to replace Montreal’s métro cars be re-opened.

But the challenger, Glen T. Fisher, shot back: “Excuse me? Too late to save Quebecers $500 million or more? I don’t think so.”

Read more ....

My Comment: The Chinese are probably right about the cost savings .... they do not pay that much to their employees, while in Canada and France it is another story.

Montreal Ethics Hotline Is Up And Running

From CTV:

Montreal's new ethics hotline is now up and running, two months after city council adopted a new code of ethics.

The number is 1-866-232-8803.

The hotline came about following a series of scandals that embroiled city hall this year, several of which have led to police investigations.

Montreal's auditor-general, Jacques Bergeron, has launched measures to report on abuse and fraud.

Read more ....

My Comment: Bookmark this link .... you may one day need to use it.

Pilot Praised After Montreal Helicopter Crash

The TVA traffic helicopter went down around 7:30 a.m. ET Wednesday near the Bonaventure Expressway. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

From The CBC:

The pilot of a Quebec news helicopter that crashed Wednesday morning in Montreal at the peak of rush hour is being hailed for his skill in preventing a worse outcome.

"I think they are both lucky and I think our pilot did a marvelous job," Serge Fortin TVA vice-president told reporters at a news conference. "I think just landing the chopper this morning … having both guys coming out alive, I think it's a miracle.

"It was great piloting, If I can say that. I'm not an expert, but from what I've been hearing, it was pretty amazing what he did."

Read more ....

More News On Today's Helicopter Crash

Doctor praises helicopter pilot’s sang froid -- Montreal Gazette
Chopper crash leaves news team in shock -- CTV
Helicopter crashes in Montreal -- Globe And Mail
Two injured in Montreal helicopter emergency --
TV traffic helicopter crashes near Montreal highway, injuring two -- Canadian Press

Quebec Targets Homelessness In $60.5M Plan

Between two-thirds and three-quarters of Quebec's
homeless population live in Montreal. (Photo: Istock)

From The CBC:

Quebec has unveiled a new $60.5 million, three-year plan to fight homelessness, including measures to improve mid- and long-term housing options for people on the street.

Details of the plan were released Monday, after a year of consultations between 10 different provincial ministries and public organizations.

The plan is made up of 70 measures that address concerns "expressed by diverse groups in civil society," according to a news release issued by the Ministry of Social Services.

Read more ....

My Comment: Unfortunately .... this is just a spit in the bucket.

Concert News: Alicia Keys At The Bell Centre Feb. 28

Singer Alicia Keys performs on NBC's "Today" show in New York, November 24, 2009.
Photograph by: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

From The Montreal Gazette:

MONTREAL - R&B star Alicia Keys will perform at the Bell Centre on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010.

Keys, whose new album The Element of Freedom was released Tuesday, sits atop the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart as the featured singer on rapper Jay-Z's Empire State of Mind.

Tickets for Keys's Bell Centre show cost $50 to $125 (plus service charges) and go on sale Friday at noon via or by calling 514-790-2525 or 1-877-668-8269.

Read more ....

Calvillo's Gift To The MUHC

The donation from Calvillo (seen here with wife Alexia) will help build a new kitchen and bathroom at the Montreal General Hospital family room.

From CTV:

Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo is giving back to his community, donating the $10,000 prize money from his CFL Most Outstanding Player Award.

Calvillo, fresh off a Grey Cup win, is giving the money to the Cedars Cancer Institute at the McGill University Health Centre.

His wife, Alexia Calvillo, was treated for B-Cell lymphoma cancer at the Royal Victoria Hospital, which is part of the MUHC.

Read more ....

Update: Calvillos give $10K to hospital -- CBC

My Comment: This is one of the many reasons why he is a champion.

Montreal's Weather Forecast Is Calling For Cold Temperatures

Brrrr! Time To Get Out The Woolies -- Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL – Those frigid temperatures that have been dogging Alberta and other parts of the west are heading our way for a couple of days, so it’s time to dig out the down jacket and the scarves, ’cause it’s gonna be frosty.

After two days of daytime highs hovering around the freezing mark, the mercury will plummet starting Thursday when a new front moves in.

Read more ....

My Comment: Another cold winter ..... yech ....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Montreal News And Weather -- December 15, 2009


CLSCs will offer flu shots over holidays -- Montreal Gazette

Power back on in Montreal -- CBC
Massive province wide power failure -- CTV

Quebec minimum wage raised to $9.50 -- CBC
Quebec minimum wage to increase to $9.50 next May -- CTV

Laval sees fast growth -- Montreal Gazette

Calvillos give $10K to hospital -- CBC
Calvillo's gift to the MUHC -- CTV

Centraide surpasses fundraising goal -- Montreal Gazette

Judge makes rare offer to convicted murderer
-- CTV
Judge offers immunity in return for body -- CBC

Accused in family killings appear at inquiry -- Montreal Gazette

Two Shafias to go straight to murder trial
-- CTV

Neilson family marks 1 year since disappearance -- CBC

Suspect charged in connection with armed robberies -- Montreal Gazette

Trade Rumours Swirl Around Halak

Canadiens' Jaroslav Halak makes a pad save against the Senators in a game at Scotiabank Place on Dec. 8, 2009. Photograph by: Phillip MacCallum, Getty Images

From The Montreal Gazette:

NEWARK, N.J. – As the Canadiens prepare to face the New Jersey Devils Wednesday night (7 p.m., RDS, CJAD Radio-800), the focus will be on a goaltender, and it’s not Martin Brodeur, who is in position to break Terry Sawchuk’s NHL record for career shutouts.

The man in the news is Canadiens backup Jaroslav Halak, who may or may not have asked general manager Bob Gainey for a trade. While Gainey told veteran columnist Bertrand Raymond that he has talked to the Philadelphia Flyers about Halak, the goaltender was coy on Tuesday.

Read more ....

More Trade Rumors Of Canadian Golie Halak

Gainey comments on Halak trade rumours -- Examiner
Habs offer Halak to Flyers -- CTV
Canadiens reportedly shopping Halak for top-six forward -- National Post
Canadiens offer goaltender Halak to Flyers -- TSN

Judge: Show Us Where The Body Is .... And You Will Get Immunity?!?!?!

Judge Makes Rare Offer To Convicted Murderer -- CTV

There was a rare turn of events at the Montreal courthouse Tuesday when a judge offered immunity to a convicted murderer in exchange for the whereabouts of the victim's body.

Marchat Marseille, 20, was convicted of shooting David Mutunzi Nyagahene, 17, in an apartment in Montreal North in 2007.

A jury convicted Marseille on the weekend even though the boy's body was never recovered.

Read more ....

My Comment: This does not make any sense. This murderer has been convicted of murder .... let the conviction stand. The proper tack is to tell this murderer that his term in jail will be dependent on whether he cooperates or not.

Quebec Minimum Wage Raised To $9.50

From CBC:

Quebec is increasing its minimum wage by $0.50 to $9.50 per hour, effective May 1, 2010.

Workers in the restaurant and bar industry will also see their minimum salaries rise by $0.25 per hour, to $8.25.

Labour Minister Sam Hamad announced the 5.5 per cent wage increase on Tuesday.

Read more ....

Montreal Joins Calls For National Transit Strategy

The Canadian Urban Transit Association says Canadian cities need more than $20 billion to maintain public transit infrastructure over the next two years.

From CTV:

The city of Montreal is looking for new ways to fund public transit and it says money from taxpayers can do the trick.

on Monday evening, city council adopted a plan created by the Canadian Urban Transit Association.

The Toronto-based group says Canadian cities need more than $20 billion to maintain public transit infrastructure over the next 2 years.

Read more ....

My Comment: My beef with the Montreal Transit authority is that they are more focused on big and new projects .... but not on improving the existing service. For example .... the bus service to the West Island still sucks after all of these many years.