Monday, September 26, 2011

Quebecers Are Still Smoking

Quebecers Still Lighting Up In Spite Of Smuggling Crackdown -- CTV

MONTREAL — The celebrated crackdown on cigarette smuggling has done little to reduce smoking in the province, according to the Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control.

Co-director Flory Doucas is now calling on authorities to intensify efforts to reduce smoking in the province.

Doucas urges more measures to make smoking less attractive to consumers, particularly young ones. She would like to speed the process involved in putting unpleasant images on cigarette boxes. The photos depict illnesses suffered by smokers.

Read more ....

My Comment: With Montreal's surrounding Indian reservations selling cigarettes unencumbered .... what do you expect.

Runner Dies In Montreal's 21st Marathon

The race began from the Jacques Cartier bridge at around 8:30 a.m. Sunday. (Photo courtesy race ambassador Bruny Surin, from his Twitter feed.)

Runner's Death Casts Shadow Over 21st Montreal Marathon -- CTV

MONTREAL — Tragedy struck the Montreal Marathon Sunday morning as a 30-year-old male participant collapsed during the race and died following the subsequent ambulance ride. Officials have not yet revealed further information.

The man fell to the ground at Rosemont and Pie IX, according to Urgences Sante spokesman Guy St-Pierre who said the man was likely killed by heart attack.

Many other racers were treated for various malaises, according to St-Pierre, who said it could be due to unseasonably humid weather.

Read more ....

My Comment: it was hot and humid yesterday .... something that probably did not help.

Public Consultations On New City Electoral Map

Vision Montreal leader Louise Harel says city council is too big, and she wants public consultations before Mayor Gérald Tremblay and his Union Montreal party vote on keeping the current municipal electoral map. Photograph by: John Kenney, Gazette files

Harel Wants Public Consultations On New City Electoral Map -- Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL - City council opposition leader Louise Harel is calling for public consultations before Mayor Gérald Tremblay and his ruling Union Montreal party vote to maintain the current municipal electoral map until 2017.

Harel, leader of Vision Montreal, said the current roster of 103 elected officials is bloated. She noted the numbers of municipal councillors in Calgary and Toronto are much smaller.

Read more ....

My Comment: Not going to happen. Mayor Gérald Tremblay and his ruling Union Montreal party like the system as is.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Parti Québécois Leader Pauline Marois Summons125 PQ Riding Presidents

The Parti Québécois's fortunes have tumbled in recent polls, and party leader Pauline Marois's popularity has taken a hit.

Parti Québécois Leader Pauline Marois Summons Riding Presidents -- Montreal Gazette

QUEBEC — Pauline Marois, the beleaguered Parti Québécois leader, has summoned the 125 PQ riding presidents to a closed-door meeting in Montreal on Saturday to prepare for a fall provincial election that Liberal Premier Jean Charest has said he has no intention of calling.

“We have no choice but to prepare,” PQ spokesperson Manuel Dionne said Wednesday.

Dionne said the Saturday meeting is “informal,” as opposed to the PQ’s formal “council of the presidents,” a periodic gathering that is partly closed, partly open to the media.

Read more ....

My Comment: After the Bloc's decimation in the federal vote .... she knows that her own party has problems and is facing another electoral defeat.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Alouettes Lose To The Ticats 44-21

Ticats Defeat Als 44-21 -- Montreal Gazette

HAMILTON – Like the captain of what appears to be a sinking ship, Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman justifiably claimed he’s responsible for his team’s debilitating 44-21 defeat to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Monday afternoon.

“I hold myself accountable for our inability to be focused and our inability to be disciplined,” Trestman said. “It starts with me. It should.

“At the end of the day, as I told the team, I’m accountable for this. I didn’t have the team focused and we didn’t play a disciplined game. And I’m responsible for both.”

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My Comment: Yup .... the Als were destroyed.

Dalai Lama in Montreal This Wednesday

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama gestures as he delivers a speech at the plenary hall of the state parliament in Wiesbaden August 23, 2011. The Dalai Lama is on a three-day visit to the German federal state of Hesse. Photograph by: Alex Domanski, REUTERS

The Dalai Lama in Montreal Wednesday -- Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL- The Dalai Lama will join controversial Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan in Montreal on Wednesday for a conference on world religions and peace in the aftermath of 9/11.

But rather than promising inspiration in a world plagued by religious tumult, the conference has already stirred up controversy and dissension as critics charge that the Dalai Lama is being duped into promoting Islamic fundamentalism.

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My Comment: He's arriving at the best time (weather wise) in Montreal.

Montreal's Place In The World

Montreal And Its Place In The World -- Montreal Gazette

So Montreal has once again failed to make the Top 10 in the "most livable cities in the world" rankings. Well, so what

MONTREAL - So Montreal has once again failed to make the Top 10 in the "most livable cities in the world" rankings. Well, so what?

We came in 16th this time in the widely touted Livability Survey conducted annually by Britain's the Economist magazine. We rated even lower, 24th, in this year's Monocle magazine Quality of Life Survey. In this one we came second-last among the 25 towns surveyed. Well, big deal.

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My Comment: I have traveled (and lived) in a number of places .... but I always end up back home in Montreal. Hmmmm .... that says a lot.

Remembering The Blue Bird Cafe Fire

The site of the Blue Bird Cafe fire is now inhabited by a parking lot. (Image Google maps)

Permanent Blue Bird Cafe Memorial To Recall 37 Fire Victims -- CTV News

MONTREAL — A permanent memorial will be installed on the site of the Union St. site of the historic Blue Bird Café fire, it was announced at a vigil Thursday night to mark the 39th anniversary of the blaze which claimed 37 lives.

"We're mandated to work with representatives of the family to come up with a suitable commemoration that will be ready for next year," said Executive Committee member Helen Fotopulos, who represented the city while speaking to those who gathered for the solemn occasion.

About 100 people attended the candle-lighting ceremony to mourn the mostly young Anglophones who perished in the fire set by two drunks refused entry into the bar.

Read more ....

My Comment: A few years in jail for the culprits who committed this mass murder .... where is the justice in that?

Large Grocery Stores Closed On Labor Day

Sunday might be a good time to stock up on groceries, as such opportunities will be limited on Labour Day Monday (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Grocery Stores Among Establishments Closed On Labour Day -- CTV

MONTREAL — Bigger isn't always better when it comes to shopping.

According to provincial law, supermarkets and other stores of sized 375 square metres and more are required to remain closed on Monday on Labour Day.

Most offices will also stay shut, including financial institutions, and government offices.

Some municipal services will be offered. Garbage pickup and other roadside pickups vary according to municipality and borough, best check their websites (see below). In the case of the City of Montreal, residents can dial 311 to ask about services as the phone line service remains open for the day.

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My Comment: I just learned that right now.

McGill Top University In Canada

Roddick Gates, the entrance to McGill University. Photograph by: Gordon Beck, Gazette file photo

McGill Ranked Tops University In Canada -- Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL - Students just starting a new academic year at McGill University can take pleasure in knowing they are attending the top-ranked university in the country, according to the new QS World University Rankings.

McGill also moved up to 17th place worldwide, from 19th last year.

And while McGill can boast about being the Harvard of Canada, Harvard had to eat a little humble pie and settle for second place - after the University of Cambridge - for the second consecutive year. MIT, Yale and Oxford rounded out the top five in the world.

It's hard to say in this tough economy if that translates into more jobs for McGill graduates - but it sure can't hurt.

Read more ....

My Comment: As a McGill grad .... I am proud.

What Is Open And Closed On Labor Day

Montreal's bus and métro system is operating on a reduced schedule for the Labour Day holiday. Photograph by: Dave Sidaway, Gazette files

Holiday Schedules In Effect For Labour Day -- Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL - Many Montreal-area businesses and government services are closed or operating under different schedules on Labour Day.

All banks and federal and provincial government offices will be closed.

City services, including Access Montréal offices and borough offices, will be closed.

Garbage, recycling and large-item pickup schedules will vary by borough. For details:

Montreal Municipal Court will be closed.

Read more ....

My Comment: At least some stores are open.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Montreal Among Most Expensive Cities

Toronto, Montreal Ranked As Pricey. What, No Vancouver? -- Globe And Mail

Toronto and Montreal rank among the world's 20 priciest cities, according to a new study. But, for Toronto, at least, buying power lags, suggesting Torontonians have to stretch a bit more to make their way in Canada's financial capital.

The study by UBS AG examines price levels, including and excluding rent, wages and buying power. In rankings of price levels excluding rent, Toronto ranks ninth and Montreal 17th.

My Comment: I must confess that I am surprised by this ranking.

Future Of NASCAR In Montreal Still Unknown

Jacques Villeneuve is chased by Brendan Gaughan as they take the Senna curve during the NASCAR Nationwide Series NAPA Auto Parts 200 race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on August 29th 2010. Photograph by: Vincenzo D'Alto, THE GAZETTE

Still No Word On Future Of NASCAR In Montreal -- Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL - There will be no word on the future of Montreal’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race for a few more weeks, according to the promoters of the event.

The fifth annual NAPA Auto Parts 200 runs on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Friday and Saturday, the final race in the five-year contract between promoter International Speedway Corp. and its subsidiary, Stock-Car Montréal, and Park Jean Drapeau, in which the racetrack lies.

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My Comment: Sorry .... but NASCAR is not Formula 1.

The PQ Civil War Continues

Pauline Marois, shown here unveiling the new PQ program in June, is on the ropes following the publication of a manifesto by a group of dissenters who claim the PQ is “worn out and confused,” and is defending her plan to make Quebec a country. Photograph by: Allen McInnis, Gazette file photo

PQ Leader Pauline Marois Blasts Sovereignist Dissenters -- Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL - Parti Québecois leader Pauline Marois is lashing out at a group of sovereignist dissenters, accusing them of showing contempt for party members.

On the ropes following the publication of a manifesto by a group of dissenters who claim the PQ is “worn out and confused,” Marois defended her plan Tuesday to make Quebec a country.

“I don’t think a divide and conquer strategy is the right attitude to have,” Marois said. “What is happening now is showing contempt for thousands of party activists who believe in sovereignty.

“It is absolutely useless for us to be divided now. We want a country.”

Read more ....

My Comment: Support for the sovereignty movement in Quebec is in the ditch right now .... this fact is starting to frustrate the die-hard sovereignist .... hence the new party.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Downtown Repairs Hurting Businesses

Downtown Repairs Hurting Businesses -- Montreal Gazette

Sewer work at Ste. Catherine and Drummond affecting local merchants

MONTREAL- A complicated sewer repair in downtown Montreal that started in early July has hurt business in the area, store managers say.

The city once again blocked off a cross-shaped portion of Ste. Catherine and Drummond Streets on Monday because of a leaky sewer discovered on July 6.

A deep hole in the street reveals old pipes and water running into the ground.

Patrick-Jean Poirier, a Ville Marie borough spokesperson, said the sewer is at least 100 years old.

Read more ....

My Comment: Walked by last week .... what a mess.

Radio Sports Broadcaster Ted Tevan Dies At 78

Photo: Ted Tevan died at age 78. Photograph by: File photo, The Gazette file photo

Ted Tevan Dies At 78 -- Montreal Gazette

NFB documentary on his life expected within next two years

Ted Tevan, a longtime radio sports broadcaster in Montreal, died Friday night of a heart attack following surgery on a broken hip suffered the previous day in a fall at his N.D.G. home. He was 78.

The blunt, raspy-voiced open-line host was known for the expression “You’re gone!” while cutting off some callers, followed by an unmistakable ratta-tat-tat of a machine-gun.

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My Comment: Many a late night when I went with my friends to the local hot-dog joint, his was a voice that we always listened to.

He will be missed.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Champlain Bridge Repairs To Start Friday

Motorists cross the Champlain Bridge in Montreal, Friday, March 18, 2011. (Graham Hughes/The CANADIAN PRESS)

Champlain Bridge Lane Closures This Weekend -- CTV

MONTREAL — Heavy rain has postponed work on the Champlain Bridge several times this summer, but if the weekend forecast remains dry, multiple lanes on the bridge will be closed from Friday night until Monday morning.

Construction crews have been working on the underside of the Champlain Bridge all year, but they are now at the point where the only significant task left is to repave the bridge deck.

To that end the Federal Bridge Corporation is planning to limit traffic on the bridge for 4 weekends this summer.

Read more ....

My Comment: Better now than later.

Montreal Alouettes Defeat The Edmonton Eskimos 27 - 4

Montreal Alouettes running back Brandon Whitaker (2) and wide receiver Kerry Watkins (81) celebrate with slotback Jamel Richardson (18) after a touchdown during the first half of CFL football action against the Edmonton Eskimos in Montreal, August 11, 2011. Photograph by: REUTERS/Olivier Jean

Montreal Alouettes Win Would-Be Grey Cup Showdown -- Montreal Gazette

Anthony Calvillo throws his 400th touchdown in 27-4 win.

MONTREAL - Earlier in the day, a Montreal broadcaster had the temerity to suggest this was a potential Grey Cup preview, although it’s only August.

Here’s the problem: Hours later, the Alouettes were the only team that appeared worthy of championship consideration. The Edmonton Eskimos? Merely pretenders to the throne.

The Eskimos, missing Canadian Football League League leading receiver Fred Stamps, hardly put up any resistance, falling 27-4 to the Als Thursday night before 24,448 Molson Stadium spectators. The franchise keeps its streak alive of failing to sell-out its facility in 2011.

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My Comment: I expected a closer game.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

An Interesting Opening Night For Gordon Ramsay's Montreal Eatery

Chef Gordon Ramsay, right, passes out some food during a cooking demonstration at his new restaurant 'Laurier Gordon Ramsay', in Montreal, Tuesday, August 9, 2011, as head chef Guillermo Russo looks on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Gordon Ramsay's Montreal Eatery Evacuated Opening Night -- CBC

Sprinkler system forces out patrons and staff at Hell's Kitchen star's 1st Canadian restaurant.

Anticipation was building this week ahead of the opening of Hell's Kitchen chef Gordon Ramsay's first Canadian restaurant, but patrons and staff were forced out of the grand event Wednesday night when the sprinkler system was somehow triggered.

The Twitter feed of Laurier Gordon Ramsay, located on chic Laurier Avenue West in Montreal's upscale Outremont neighbourhood, reported the evacuation early Wednesday evening.

Read more ....

My Comment: There was probably stressed nerves yesterday .... but with good food everyone will soon forget.

Montreal Canadiens’ Andrei Kostitsyn Sounds-Off

Montreal Canadiens right wing Andrei Kostitsyn (centre) celebrates his third period goal against the Ottawa Senators with teammates Tomas Plekanec, Yannick Weber (left) and Lars Eller (hidden) during third period NHL hockey action in Ottawa, Friday January 21, 2011. The Candiens defeated the Senators 7-1. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Daily Hab-It: Kostitsyn Sounds Off -- CTV

MONTREAL — I find it somewhat astonishing that European players still have a tendency to believe that comments made to the local media will somehow remain in the bubble of their native language.

But every summer, we invariably catch wind of some inflammatory comments from a player speaking to their local paper, and this time it's Andrei Kostitsyn who has stepped in it.

Read more ...

My Comment: Calls for him to be traded are now making the rounds.

Montreal Impact Names A New Coach

Jesse Marsch was named the new head coach for the Montreal Impact on Wednesday, August 10, 2011. Marsch will start as head coach in 2012 when the team enters the Major League Soccer. Photograph by: Dave Sidaway, THE GAZETTE

Marsch Named New Impact Coach -- The Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL- The Montreal Impact announced Wednesday morning that Jesse Marsch has been named the team's new head coach, taking over when the team makes the jump to Major League Soccer for the 2012 season.

Before joining the Impact, Marsch most recently served as assistant coach for the United States men's national team, helping the Americans advance to the round of 16 at the 2010 World Cup. Marsch has also coached and worked with the U23, U18, U17 and U15 youth national team programs in the U.S.. At the collegiate level, Marsch was a member of the Northwestern University coaching staff from 2000-2005.

Read more ....

My Comment: I wish him luck (he will need it).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chef Gordon Ramsay's Rotisserie Laurier BBQ Opens Today

Chef Gordon Ramsay, right, passes out some food during a cooking demonstration at his new restaurant 'Laurier Gordon Ramsay', in Montreal, Tuesday, August 9, 2011, as head chef Guillermo Russo looks on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Gordon Ramsay Wants To Be Judged On His Food, Not His Foul Mouth -- CTV

MONTREAL — The man who put the spicy "F" in food says he's a little tired of being recognized only as the bad boy of haute cuisine.

"I don't get judged enough for what I put on a plate," said a soft-spoken Gordon Ramsay, using none of the scorching profanity that so often reduces his TV tirades to a series of bleeps.

"I get judged more, I suppose, as a persona from TV, which is a pain in the butt, to be honest," he told The Canadian Press on the eve of Wednesday's opening of his first restaurant in Canada.

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My Comment: I am sure that the food is going to be OK.

Did They Repair The Ville Marie?

Transport Quebec’s director of structures, Daniel Bouchard (left), Deputy Transportation Minister Anne-Marie Leclerc, Transport Minister Sam Hamad and Transport Quebec’s director for the Montreal region, Maroun Shaneen, discuss the safety and repair of the Ville Marie tunnel, following the collapse of a section of the concrete gridlike ceiling, at a news conference last week.
Photograph by: Bryanna Bradley, THE GAZETTE

Questions Arise Over Ville Marie Tunnel Repairs -- Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL - Did they or didn’t they?

Last week, Transport Minister Sam Hamad and other department officials said all eight of the key Ville Marie Tunnel safety repairs recommended in a 2008 inspection report had been completed.

But a progress report posted on Transport Quebec’s website and dated Aug. 2, 2011, indicates the province only expected to begin work on three of those repairs later this year and notes two other repairs are “in progress.”

On July 31, a beam supporting a concrete, gridlike ceiling known as paralumes collapsed in the tunnel, narrowly missing motorists.

Read more ....

My Comment: This is a clear sign of disorganization on the top.

Arrest In Hit-Run 'Cold Case'

Robert Brisson, 43, a father of two, was killed by a hit and run driver as he bicycled through Lachine in 2006. He was hailed as an inspirational coach of young athletes. Photograph by: Courtesy of, the Brisson family

Suspect Arrested In Hit-Run 'Cold Case' -- Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL - Almost five years after Robert Brisson was struck and killed by a truck as he rode his bicycle home through Lachine, a 47-year-old man turned himself in to police Monday and has been charged with failure to stop at the scene of an accident.

Alain Gaudreault appeared briefly in Quebec Court on Tuesday and was released on bail until his next court appearance Sept. 29. Reached at home, Brisson's widow was shocked to hear the news she has been waiting for every day since Oct. 20, 2006, and was upset police had not contacted her.

"I'm getting this information from The Gazette?" said Sylvie Guilbault, the mother of a 16-and 13-year-old.

Read more ....

My Comment: the family should have been notified.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Impact Unveil New Logo

The Montreal Impact unveiled their new logo during Saturday's home game. It's being introduced ahead of the team's entry into the MLS next year. (

Impact Unveil New Logo During Loss To Stars -- CBC

Logo is blue and black emblem with fleur de lys.

Simone Bracalello scored twice to lead the Minnesota Stars past the Montreal Impact 3-1 in North American Soccer League action Saturday.

Defender Neil Hlavaty opened the scoring for the Stars (7-4-7) in the 17th minute before Bracalello added two more including the winner in the 75th minute.

Read more ....

My Comment: The fleur de lys looks silly .... but .... the Impacts play is even worse.

Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay Laurier BBQ Is Ready To Reopen

The Rôtisserie Laurier BBQ first opened in 1936. (Google Street View)

Laurier BBQ Ready To Reopen Under Gordon Ramsay's Banner -- CTV

MONTREAL — Laurier BBQ – a 75-year-old institution – is getting a jolt of new blood.

Notoriously foul-mouthed celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is taking over the Laurier Ave. rotisserie chicken joint and making it his own, while still maintaining some of the core elements that made the restaurant popular for so many years.

Many of the 65 staff at the new restaurant are holdovers from the older version, and the desserts that regulars at Laurier BBQ used to love will remain on the menu.

Read more ....

My Comment: It is almost lunch time now .... hmmm hmmm .... a perfect story to read before noon.

A New Champlain Bridge Is needed

Section of the Brossard side of the Champlain Bridge. Photograph by: Phil Carpenter, The Gazette

Champlain Bridge Has Terminal Cancer: Expert -- Montreal Gazette

Time to move beyond politics to replace structure, NDP says

MONTREAL – The Champlain Bridge has the engineering equivalent of terminal cancer, a McGill University structures specialist declared Monday – accompanied by two Montreal-area Members of Parliament who told reporters that their opposition New Democratic Party is prepared to help rebuild Canada’s infrastructure without letting political considerations get in the way.

“The key thing is the need to construct something urgently” to replace the Champlain, said Saeed Mirza, an emeritus professor of civil engineering and applied mechanics at McGill University. He has been keeping his eye on the deteriorating structure since the 1980s. The Champlain might last “another 10 to 15 years,” he said, unless disabled by a major earthquake.

Read more ....

My Comment: Where were these politicians 5 or 10 years ago?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tornado In Lac St. Jean

Photo: Olympic speedskater Marianne St-Gelais said there was so much damage she didn't recognize the area. CBC

Heavy Tornado Damage In Lac Saint-Jean Area -- CBC

Olympic speedskater Marianne St-Gelais was visiting family when storm struck.

Residents of an area north of Lac Saint-Jean are scrambling to clean up the mess Monday after at least one tornado hit the area Saturday night, tearing apart buildings and bringing down trees.

That was in the community of Sainte-Elisabeth-de-Proulx, while heavy winds battered other communities nearby.

Hundreds of people were affected, but no one was injured.

Read more ....

My Comment: A tornado in Lac St. Jean .... wow. If Lac St. Jean can have a tornado, that means most populated ares in Quebec can have one also.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Famous Quebec Eatery (Le Madrid) To Close

Le Madrid, on Highway 20 midway between Montreal and Quebec City, is known for its dinosaurs -- massive fibreglass structures built by hand. (CBC)

Famous Quebec Eatery Set To Close -- CBC News

Rest stop known for dinosaurs and monster trucks on the verge of shutting its doors.

A landmark rest stop in Quebec that's best known for the dinosaurs and monster trucks that litter its grounds is on the verge of shutting its doors for good.

The family-owned Le Madrid has been a popular pit stop for travellers, attracting about 400,000 people a year.

But the red-roofed building, a staple on Highway 20 midway between Montreal and Quebec City, is to be torn down in early September.

Earlier this summer, the Arel family sold the popular institution in St-Leonard-d'Aston to a Quebec developer.

Read more ....

My Comment: The last time that I ate there was about 10 years ago. Sighhh .... all good things always come to an end.
Google's Street View service has provided images of many pranks and other unusual moments. (photos from Google Street View)

Report: Google Street View Snapping In Montreal -- CTV

MONTREAL — Google Street View is reportedly snapping photos of Montreal streets once again.

According to an unconfirmed report, the Google Street View cars are in Montreal and driving around city streets snapping new, high definition photos in an effort to update the street map of city streets that the online service provides.

Read more ....

My Comment: About time .... their pics are approximately 2-3 years old.

Construction Holidays Are Now Over

Many vacationers are on their way home now that the construction holiday is over. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty at Old Orchard Beach, Maine, May 2011)

Construction Holiday Winds Down; 21 Lives Claimed On Roads -- CTV

MONTREAL — Twenty-one people have died on Quebec roads during the two-week construction holiday which ends Sunday evening. It represents a big hike from the total of 14 recording one year earlier.

However the total is below that of 2009 when there were 23 deaths on Quebec roads.

Read more ....

My Comment: Uneventful .... boring .... and hot. That about sums up my summer break.

Ville Marie Tunnel Opens

Traffic led by an SQ car and two construction trucks, enter the section of the Ville Marie tunnel for the first time, on Satuday August 6, 2011, that collapsed a week ago. Photograph by: Phil Carpenter, Montreal Gazette

Damaged Ville Marie Traffic Tunnel Reopens In Montreal -- Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL — The spokesman for Transport Québec says the Viger tunnel of the eastbound Ville Marie expressway is now so safe, even he will be driving through it.

“(Motorists) can absolutely drive in the tunnel,” Grégoire Réal said. “I myself will use it. There are no problems, none, none, none.

“This structure has been over-inspected for the past six days to ensure safety, because we understand people are preoccupied so it’s important to do everything well.”

Read more ....

My Comment: I still do not have confidence, and I dread travelling on the Champlain Bridge.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Rogers Cup Hits Montreal

Tennis: Rogers Cup Hits Montreal and Toronto -- Sports Interaction

Big time Tennis returns to Canada as one of the world’s oldest tournaments takes place across Montreal and Toronto next week. Al Dannity breaks down the field at the Rogers Cup.

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My Comment: A rather watch the women.

Montreal's Jobless Rate Is Unchanged At 8%

Jobless Rate Drops To 7.2% -- CBC

Canada's unemployment rate dipped to 7.2 per cent in July as the economy added 7,100 new jobs, Statistics Canada reported Friday.

It was the fourth straight month of job growth, although the gain was weaker than the 15,000 to 20,000 new jobs economists had been expecting.

Statistics Canada said the unemployment rate dipped mainly because almost 29,000 people left the labour force and were no longer actively looking for work.

Read more ....

My Comment: Quebec's overall rate decreased to 7.2%

Dorval Circle Construction Held Up By A Block Of Land

Transport Quebec says it needs to acquire 6,494 square metres of land around the Fairfield Inn & Suites to create a right-of-way for an eventual rail line that will run Aéroports de Montréal’s planned shuttle service between downtown and Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport. Photograph by: John Kenney, THE GAZETTE

Quebec Slow To Act On Dorval Circle Expropriation -- Montreal Gazette

City gave hotel construction permit.

MONTREAL - The equivalent of less than half a city block of land appears to be holding up Transport Quebec’s $350-million project to rebuild the Dorval Interchange, and questions are being raised whether that’s because the Transportation Department neglected to put a hold on the property when it had the chance.

Transport Quebec is in a legal dispute with Fairfield Inn & Suites, which operates a hotel under the Marriott banner on Michel Jasmin Ave., over the land coveted by Transport Quebec.

Read more ....

My Comment: My friends own the Boathouse next to the Dorval circle. I have no idea on where they have the patience for the mess that they have been seeing in front of their business for the past few years .... and a mess that (it appears) will continue for a few more.

Champlain Bridge Construction Starts Today

Champlain bridge file photo (CP PHOTO/Paul Chiasson)

Champlain Bridge Construction Intensifies Friday -- CTV News

MONTREAL — Major work on the Champlain bridge will resume Friday and last until September.

Maintenance work had little effect on traffic July, as the efforts concentrated on the structure beneath the bridge.

Paving work starting Friday will entail both daytime and nighttime closures during the weekend.

Read more ....

My Comment: This work is long overdue.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hudson Mansion Back On The Market

John Hooper’s Hudson mansion, called Oakleigh, has eight bedrooms on 5.4 acres of land, a two-storey indoor pool and spa, guest house, geothermal heating and cooling and even a charming, if clichéd, secret passage behind a bookcase. Hooper tried unsuccessfully for two years to sell the property through conventional means.

Hudson Mansion Buyer Not Returning Calls -- Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL - Desperate for a final sale, John Hooper was willing to accept an auction result that he felt undervalued his Hudson estate by millions of dollars.

But with the highest bidder no longer returning his calls, Hooper has been forced to put the luxury estate back on the market for the $3.4 million it won in Quebec’s first absolute auction last month.

Read more ....

My Comment: I guess the buyer is not going to get her $100,000 back.

Montreal Alouettes 36, Toronto Argos 23

Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo throws a pass against the Argonauts on Thursday night. Photograph by: Mike Cassese, Reuters

Montreal Alouettes Defeat Argonauts As Anthony Calvillo Sets Another CFL Record -- Montreal Gazette

TORONTO - Time will tell whether the Alouettes are the best team in the East Division - again. But it seems pretty safe to assume the Toronto Argonauts are the worst.

The Als ended a two-game losing streak with a convincing 36-23 victory over the hapless Argos before a disappointing crowd of 19,204 at the Rogers Centre. Montreal improved to 4-2 with the win. The Argos, meanwhile, are now 1-5, having lost five straight following a surprising season-opening win at Calgary, of all places.

Read more ....

My Comment: It was a convincing win.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lineup For Montreal World Film Festival Unveiled

Photo: André Forcier brings his feature film Coteau Rouge to the Montreal World Film Festival. Philippe Bossé/Canadian Press

Montreal World Film Festival Lineup Unveiled -- CBC

Quebec director André Forcier's Coteau Rouge, starring Roy Dupuis and Céline Bonnier, is to open the Montreal World Film Festival on Aug. 18.

A full lineup of films for the Montreal festival, which concentrates on new, foreign and auteur filmmakers, was released Tuesday.

Forcier, who previously brought Un histoire inventée (An Imaginary Tale) to the festival, was hailed as "Quebec's Fellini " by MWFF president Serge Losique on Tuesday.

Read more ....

Dany Villanueva Deportation Appeal Denied

Dany Villanueva

From CTV News:

Dany Villanueva is likely to be deported from Canada.

The 24-year-old, who is the older brother of Fredy Villanueva, fatally shot by police in 2008, will likely be extradited to his birthplace of Honduras.

Villanueva is a permanent resident of Canada, not a citizen, and has been faced with the prospect of deportation since he spent 11 months in jail for armed robbery in 2006. He has been living in Quebec since the age of 12, when his brother and sisters immigrated to Canada. His parents had moved to the country three years prior.

Read more ....

My Comment: I say good riddance.

Infrastructure Crisis Will Not Stop Plans For A New NHL Arena In Quebec City

The provincial government has pledged $200 million to the arena project.

Infrastructure Crisis Will Not Derail Plans For New NHL Arena -- CTV

The Quebec government says the province's infrastructure crisis will not derail plans to build a new, NHL-style hockey arena in the provincial capital.

A spokesman says reconsidering the Quebec City arena project is not on the government's radar.

The provincial government has pledged $200 million to the project, which is wildly popular in the vote-rich region of Quebec City.

Read more ....

My Comment: Talk about a screw-up in priorities.

The Montreal Expos Are Not Coming Back

Fans cheers on the Montreal Expos during the team's final home game ever in Montreal against the Florida Marlins at Olympic Stadium, September 29, 2004. Photograph by: Christinne Muschi, REUTERS

Ex- Expos President Insists MLB Won’t Be Back -- Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL — It has been more than a decade since Claude Brochu was involved with the Montreal Expos.

The former president and managing partner of the club was vilified by many Montrealers for the demise of Nos Amours following the 1994 players’ strike and the fire sale of players he approved when Major League Baseball returned in the spring of ’95.

Today, Brochu still stands by his decisions.

Read more ....

My Comment: He is probably right. The only way that Montreal can get a baseball team here is if (1) Bob Selig is gone, and (2) a billionaire living in Montreal will put up the funds to build a team and a stadium. Otherwise .... there is zero chance of this happening.

Ville Marie Could Open Soon

Transport Quebec engineers say workers chipping concrete in the tunnel got too close to the ceiling support beam. (CBC)

"We Are In Control Of Our Infrastructure": Transport Minister -- CTV

Quebec Transport Minister Sam Hamad confirmed to CTV Montreal Wednesday that preliminary analysis on the Viger Tunnel has shown the collapse Sunday was a result of work related to the job site.

Hamad said the 25-ton chunk of concrete that fell was not related to the state of the infrastructure, referring to the incident as an "accident."

He said the tunnel is being closely analyzed.

Read more ....

My Comment: Fortunately the tunnel is going to be open soon. What is unfortunate is that this near disaster is now being used by the mayor to justify tolls on bridges and the need for more money.

Sighhh .... Transport Quebec has a budget of $4 billion per year .... that is far more than enough money to insure that what happened at the Ville Marie should not have happened at all.