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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.