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Found 12 results

  1. (Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette) Good to see we have some talent left in this city
  2. Yet another crane collapses in NYC... What is it with cranes in NYC? Every month there's a crane collapse story. Are they raised differently? Does it have to do with the crane company's safety standards? This is a most unfortunate occurence that keeps repeating itself. Especially when lives are lost... http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/05/30/crane.collapse/index.html
  3. TSX Group looks to U.S. for next CEO Talks with ex-CBOT chief; risks backlash by overlooking former head of Montreal Exchange BOYD ERMAN From Wednesday's Globe and Mail May 28, 2008 at 4:10 AM EDT TSX Group Inc. [X-T] is close to hiring a U.S. executive to run the company now that the merger with Montreal Exchange Inc. is complete, passing over former MX head Luc Bertrand in a decision that's sure to be controversial in Quebec. Sources said TSX is in talks with Bernard Dan, former president and chief executive officer of the derivatives-focused Chicago Board of Trade, though a contract has yet to be signed. Mr. Dan lost his post at CBOT after the company's 2007 acquisition by Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings Inc. (CME). Mr. Bertrand, who built the Montreal Exchange into a force in derivatives, had been long viewed as the likely successor to Richard Nesbitt at the helm of TSX Group. Under the merger agreement, Mr. Bertrand was slated to be deputy CEO with Mr. Nesbitt in the top job, but those plans were thrown into flux when Mr. Nesbitt unexpectedly announced his resignation in January to become CEO at CIBC World Markets. A dark-horse candidate was Rik Parkhill, the head of the markets division at the TSX and one of the company's interim co-CEOs after Mr. Nesbitt's departure. Bernard Dan Both Mr. Parkhill and Mr. Bertrand were among the final candidates, but sources said the TSX board deadlocked over whether the CEO should come from TSX or MX and that contributed to the decision to go with an outside candidate. Passing over Mr. Bertrand may rekindle a controversy that arose last year even before the merger, when Quebec's Finance Minister said an early round of talks about a TSX-MX combination broke down because some on the TSX board weren't happy with the idea that a Montrealer might run the company. "Even though there were no guarantees that Luc would get the job, it's going to be perceived as a slap in the face," said Dundee Securities analyst John Aiken. That may lead to a backlash from Quebec investors, he said. Still, going with Mr. Dan may have some advantages, Mr. Aiken said. Whoever takes over TSX will have to know derivatives, because buying the MX gives the combined company dominating positions in that business as well as stock trading. Also, the TSX is facing a surge of new competition from alternative trading systems (ATS) for shares, a trend long established in the United States. "Canada with all the ATS's is going to more a U.S.-style exchange environment, and nobody domestically has seen that yet," Mr. Aiken said. "The question is how quickly will this individual adapt to the peculiarities of the Canadian market." TSX spokesman Steve Kee would not comment on the names of any candidates, and declined to confirm the talks with Mr. Dan. "The board process is not complete," Mr. Kee said. "We don't have a deal with any candidate." Mr. Kee said TSX plans to have the new CEO in place in time for the June 11 annual meeting. Previously, the company had a May 30 target. As head of CBOT from 2002 to 2007, Mr. Dan oversaw one of the biggest U.S. markets for agricultural and financial derivatives - contracts tied to price movements on everything from bonds to beef. He also won plaudits for CBOT's expertise with electronic trading, which helped to fuel the company's growth. Electronic trading is a focus at the TSX as the company rolls out its new system, known as Quantum, and tries to integrate the MX's Sola system. TSX GROUP (X) Close: $43.01, down 92¢ http://www.reportonbusiness.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080528.wrtsxceo28/BNStory/SpecialEvents2/home
  4. THE WHIPPET: QUEBECKERS' CLASSIC COOKIE Montreal's industrial foundations - built on chocolatey marshmallow goodness PETER RAKOBOWCHUK The Canadian Press October 31, 2007 MONTREAL -- Apopular cookie that's still being gobbled up by Quebeckers today is being given some of the credit for helping to launch the industrial growth of Montreal. The decadent Whippet cookie, a chocolate-coated, marshmallow-topped treat, is more than a century old. Housed in its familiar gold- and chocolate-coloured box, the Whippet made its debut in 1901 and the rest, as they say, is cookie history. The Whippet and Viau Biscuits Corp., the company that made it, are featured in an exhibition at the Écomusée du fier monde, a small museum in the city's east end. Print Edition - Section Front Museum director René Binette says the Whippet was launched when the founder of the company tested it at a hockey game. "People at the game liked it so much that it confirmed to Charles-Théodore Viau that he was on to a good thing," Mr. Binette said in an interview. The cookie, first introduced as the Empire, was considered a luxury item and its sales helped Mr. Viau to expand the company's operations. But Mr. Binette said the cost of vanilla and chocolate also put the Empire out of reach of the average Quebecker. So in 1927, Mr. Viau decided to change the recipe and the name and created the more affordable Whippet. Mr. Viau started the enterprise in a small bakery in Montreal's east end in 1867 and created the Village cookie - a plain, but hugely popular shortbread that Quebeckers loved to dunk in their tea. He continued to expand the business until his cookie and candy factory became one of the area's major employers. Part of Montreal even became known as Viauville, and a church in the neighbourhood was named St-Clément de Viauville. One cookie lover tells the story of his parents buying several boxes and being warned by them not to touch the treats because they were destined for "Whippet-starved" relatives in Ontario. Viau became history in March, 2004, when the company was sold to Kitchener, Ont.-based Dare Foods Inc., another family-owned business, and the factory was closed. But Whippets are still being produced under the Dare banner at the company's plant in St-Lambert, south of Montreal. A Dare spokeswoman says the company markets the Viva Puff, a similar cookie, in Ontario. The Quebec Whippet has "real" chocolate while its counterpart is made with a "compound" chocolate. Contrary to what many Quebec cookie lovers may think, the popular Oreo sandwich cookie has not been around as long as the Whippet. A spokeswoman for Kraft Foods Inc. says it was only introduced in Canada in 1949, although the Oreo was launched in the United States in 1912. The Viau factory has now been converted into a condominium complex that has been appropriately named La Biscuiterie, the cookie factory. Aficionados can visit the Viau: Cookie History exhibition at the Écomusée du fier monde until March 23, 2008.
  5. Wireless win will mean new growth for Quebecor: Peladeau VIRGINIA GALT Globe and Mail Update August 5, 2008 at 9:21 AM EDT Montreal-based media company Quebecor Inc. is “poised to embark on a new round of growth” as a result of its successful bid for a new wireless spectrum licences covering all of Quebec and part of the Toronto area, the company said Tuesday. “This is a key strategic development for Quebecor media, since consumer demand for advanced wireless services is expected to increase substantially in the coming years,” said chief executive officer Pierre Karl Paul Peladeau, in releasing the company's second quarter financial results. The company, which has gone through a major restructuring, reported consolidated net profit of $57.3-million, or 88 cents a share, compared with $43.2-million, or 77 cents a share, in the corresponding period a year earlier. The year-ago result was dragged down by a $6.7-million loss at the company's former printing subsidiary, Quebecor World Inc., which sought court protection from creditors earlier this year. “Once again, Quebecor's very positive results were spearheaded by robust numbers in the cable segment, which continued to log strong customer growth for all its services,” Mr. Peladeau said. Quebecor Inc. “At the conclusion of the spectrum auction for advanced wireless services, Quebecor Media held standing high bids on 17 operating licences, covering all of Quebec and part of the Toronto area.” Quebecor bid $554.6-million for the operating licences in the auction that closed late last month – an investment that pave the way for future growth by allowing the company to offer its customers “a still more complete and competitive array of cable and telecommunications services,” Mr. Peladeau said. The company reported that consolidated revenue from continuing operations increased to $942.3-million, up 15.6 per cent from the corresponding period a year ago. Revenue in the cable segment was up 20.3 per cent to $75.6-million, “reflecting continued customer growth for all services,” the company said. Newspaper revenue was up 27.2 per cent to $65.7-million, due primarily to the acquisition of Osprey Media Income Fund in August, 2007, and broadcasting revenue was up 4.2 per cent to $4.5-million.
  6. Microsoft to Open Stores, Hires Retail Hand By NICK WINGFIELD Microsoft Corp. said it hired a former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. executive to help the company open its own retail stores, a strategy shift that borrows from the playbook of rival Apple Inc. The Redmond, Wash., company said it hired David Porter, most recently the head of world-wide product distribution at DreamWorks Animation SKG, as corporate vice president of retail stores for Microsoft. In a statement, Microsoft said the first priority of Mr. Porter, who is also a 25-year veteran of Wal-Mart, will be to define where to place the Microsoft stores and when to open them. A Microsoft spokesman said the company's current plans are for a "small number" of stores. [microsoft store and retail concept] Microsoft In a warehouse near its Redmond, Wash., campus, Microsoft created mockups for how Microsoft products might be displayed either in its own stores or in a retailer's. [microsoft store or retail concept] Microsoft It remains to be seen whether the effort can add some pizzazz to Microsoft's unfashionable image, which Apple has sought to reinforce with ads that mock its competitor. Mr. Porter, in a statement, said there are "tremendous opportunities" for Microsoft to create a "world-class shopping experience" for the company's customers. "The purpose of opening these stores is to create deeper engagement with consumers and continue to learn firsthand about what they want and how they buy," Microsoft said in a statement. The move is a sign of the deeper role consumer-technology companies are playing in the retail business, despite the many risks of straying from their traditional businesses of making hardware and software. Apple, of Cupertino, Calif., encountered widespread skepticism when it first began opening its own retail stores in 2001. Eight years later, though, Apple's chain of more than 200 stores around the world are widely credited with helping the company boost sales of its Mac, iPod and iPhone product lines. The Apple stores, with their eye-catching architecture, highly-trained sales staff and "genius bars" that provide technical support, gave Apple a way to showcase its products in an environment where they weren't lumped in with a gamut of other electronics items. Sony Corp. and Bose Corp. also operate their own stores. At the same time, some large electronics retailers have fallen on hard times amidst the weakening economy. CompUSA Inc. last year closed most of its retail stores, while Circuit City Stores Inc. is in the process of shutting down all of its stores and laying off more than 30,000 employees. Microsoft has long flirted with the idea of doing its own store, even as it has tested ways that retail partners can better sell Microsoft products. In a 20,000-square-foot warehouse near its campus in the suburbs of Seattle, Microsoft has tested various retail concepts, complete with shelves displaying Xbox games and big computer monitors with touch-sensitive screens. Key details about Microsoft's retail plans still need to be worked out, though. Microsoft said the stores could feature a range of products from personal computers running its Windows operating system to cellphones running the company's Windows Mobile operating system to its Xbox videogame console. One of Mr. Porter's tasks will be to figure out whether to actually sell computers rather than merely show off their features. Any decision that favored some PC makers and left others off store shelves could anger some hardware partners. Stephen Baker, an analyst at NPD Group Inc., which tracks retailers, said Apple doesn't face the dilemmas Microsoft will in the retail business because Apple makes the hardware and software for its products. "That's going to be a big challenge for Microsoft," Mr. Baker said. A spokeswoman for Hewlett-Packard Co., one of Microsoft's biggest hardware partners in the PC business, declined to comment on Microsoft's retail strategy. Spokesmen for Dell Inc. didn't respond to requests for comment. Microsoft's store plans could also irk existing retail partners like Best Buy Co., on whom Microsoft is especially dependent for sales to consumers. Best Buy representatives didn't return calls requesting comment. Microsoft said it will share the lessons it learns from its own stores with other retailers. The failures of other stores opened by technology companies will loom over Microsoft as it launches its stores. In 2004, computer maker Gateway Inc. shuttered a network of more than 188 company-owned retail stores after weak sales. Microsoft itself operated a Microsoft store inside a movie-theater complex in San Francisco beginning in 1999, but two years later shut down the store -- which showcased, but didn't sell, Microsoft products.
  7. Pourquoi je mets cette nouvelles sur le site, Six Flags est le propriétaire de La Ronde. Source: CNN.com In an effort to shed $1.8 billion in debt, popular theme-park chain Six Flags announced Saturday that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The filing will not affect the operation of the company's 20 parks in the United States, Mexico and Canada, said spokeswoman Sandra Daniels. "This restructuring will have no impact on families who come out to our parks. They will not see an inch of difference," Daniels said. In an online letter to employees, President and CEO Mark Shapiro said Six Flags inherited a $2.4 billion debt load that "cannot be refinanced in these financial markets." "This process is strictly a financial restructuring of our debt and that's how you should view it and speak about it," Shapiro said in the message posted on the Six Flags Web site. He said Six Flags was seeking expedited approval from the for the District of Delaware of a pre-negotiated plan of reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. He said the company actually performed well in 2008, attracting 25 million visitors and making $275 million. But it could not keep up with its debt obligations. That's a balancing act you just can't risk year in and year out," he said. "Today, we are moving to rectify our balance sheet once and for all. Believe me when I say we will emerge from this process stronger and more competitive than ever." The restructuring would reduce the company's debt to $600 million. Shapiro told employees that the company was on "solid ground" and the bankruptcy decision was "difficult." He assured them their paychecks and jobs were safe.
  8. Google Pairs With Sony, Best Buy, DISH On TV Aaron Baar, May 20, 2010 01:58 PM First, the Web. Then the phones. Now Google wants to change the way people watch television. At a developer's conference on Thursday, Google announced it would develop an open platform to bring the World Wide Web to the television, and it has enlisted partners such as Intel, Sony, Logitech, Best Buy, DISH Network and Adobe to help. The new product, Google TV, is based on the company's Android mobile platform and runs the company's Chrome browser. IT will allow users to access traditional TV channels as well as Internet content, including Adobe Flash video. Both Logitech and Sony have committed to creating products using Intel's Atom processor and the Google TV platform later this year, to be sold through Best Buy locations. Though the product can be used with any TV operator, Google said the experience will be "fully optimized when paired with DISH Network" at the product's launch. "We are very proud to be working with this distinguished set of partners, all of whom have decades of experience in hardware, design and retail," Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman and CEO, said in a statement. http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.printFriendly&art_aid=128632
  9. Schering-Plough Canada to build head office in Montreal Mar 06, 2007 06:10 PM Canadian Press MONTREAL – Drug developer Schering-Plough Canada is proceeding with plans to build a $9 million three-storey office complex that will serve as the U.S. company's new Canadian head office in Montreal's west-end. Construction is about to begin on the first phase of a 60,000-square-foot building that will be built along the Trans-Canada highway, across from rival Merck Frosst's large research complex. The Schering-Plough building could be expanded in a second phase in a couple of years, officials told The Canadian Press on Tuesday. Company president and general manager Carlos Dourado will officially unveil the project at a news conference Wednesday. The structure will occupy a portion of vacant land under a long-term lease with the property's owner, Broccolini Construction, said Guy Filiatrault, director of urban planning and business services for the town of Kirkland, Que. Town officials are finalizing a building permit for the new building, which is expected to be completed this fall, he said in an interview. Quebec Economic Minister Raymond Bachand, Native Affairs Minister Geoffrey Kelley and Kirkland Mayor John Meaney are expected to participate. Schering-Plough Canada, which employs more than 850 people across the country, is part of a New Jersey-based global company that develops prescription drugs as well as consumer and animal health products. It wasn't immediately clear how many workers will be transferred from other Schering-Plough Canada operations, including its existing headquarters in nearby Pointe Claire. Schering-Plough Canada operates a manufacturing plant in Pointe Claire, where more than 400 employees help produce 300 million tablets annually for domestic and international markets. In 2000, Schering-Plough Canada invested $25 million to modernize its manufacturing plant and expand the nearby warehouse. The project. built by Broccolini Construction, also included construction of an 86,000 square-foot, distribution centre in Kirkland. It serves the Canadian retail market and exports products to sister companies of Schering-Plough in the US, Europe and Asia. It processes 120,000 product orders annually, said the company's website. In January, Montreal-based pharma company Warnex Inc. (TSX: WNX) said it will develop new pharmacogenetic assays – used to predict a patient's response to drugs – and operate a central laboratory for several of Schering-Plough Canada's clinical studies. The Canadian company's parent, Schering-Plough Corp. (NYSE: SGP), recently reported its fourth-quarter profits surged 75 per cent as strong sales of cholesterol, arthritis and allergy medicines offset rising research and marketing spending. The company's sales include revenue from a joint venture with Merck & Co. on cholesterol drugs.
  10. Solar shingles from Dow Chemical make Top 10 tech list By Jeff Kart | The Bay City Times October 12, 2009, 2:44PM The Saginaw News A concept illustration of the Dow Chemical solar shingle. A clean tech blog called CleanTechnica has a post up on the "Top 10 Solar Technologies to Watch Out For." Coming in at No. 3: "Solar Roof Shingles, Printable and Paintable Solar Panels ... Solar shingles, by Dow Chemical, should be available in limited supply by mid 2010 and then readily available by 2011, says the company." Dow officials showed off the company's solar shingles to Gov. Jennifer Granholm in Midland earlier this month. The company launched a $53.5 million solar shingle initiative in 2008, with help from a $20 million U.S. Department of Energy grant. http://www.mlive.com/mudpuppy/index.ssf/2009/10/solar_shingles_from_dow_chemic.html
  11. Source: http://www.financialpost.com/working/story.html?id=272627 Montreal's aerospace sector skyrockets Hiring Overseas Christopher De Wolf, Canwest News Service* MONTREAL - There's no way around it: The Aerospace industry in Montreal is booming. So much, in fact, that a new report issued by the Conference Board of Canada credits it with being the main force behind Montreal's economy, which is expected to grow by 2.6% in 2008. Just last week, the federal government announced that Quebec aerospace companies will benefit from $660-million in contracts to build parts for new Canadian Forces airplanes. That should lead to even more job growth in the sector, which already counts 44,548 positions in Greater Montreal, an increase of more than 2,500 since 2006. For many companies, finding new employees is a challenge. That's the case for Alta Precision Inc., a 50-employee Anjou, Que.-based company that makes landing gear components. "Our biggest hardship in 2007 was finding the right labour," said Giovanni Bevilacqua, the company's director of business development. "We've actually been going to India and Romania to find new people. " Alta Precision needs to fill 15 positions, Mr. Bevilacqua said. He expects most of its new hires to come from overseas, where it is easier to find workers with several years of experience. But that doesn't mean it has given up on local talent: Last year, the company invested in advertising, headhunters and in-school recruitment to find new employees. Mr. Bevilacqua said that as a small company, Alta Precision has a hard time competing for workers with "big boys" including Pratt &Whitney. Jean-Daniel Hamelin, spokesman for Pratt & Whitney Canada, a Longueuil-based aircraft engine manufacturer, stressed that the diversity of aerospace employers in Montreal is what makes the industry so strong. "If you have an excellent pool of candidates and a large group of employees, they can seek the employer that best suits their need," he said. Last fall, Pratt & Whitney Canada hosted a job fair for the first time in years. "It was a real success," Mr. Hamelin said. "We had about 100 positions to fill and we ended up retaining 175 candidates." The company's workforce now numbers 5,700 in the Montreal area. One of Pratt & Whitney's greatest sources of new recruits are students from Montreal's post-secondary aerospace programs, including those offered by the Montreal Aerospace Trade School, the National Aerotechnical School and the engineering departments at McGill and Concordia universities. Serge Tremblay, president of the Center for Aerospace Manpower Activities in Quebec, a non-profit organization that works with major aerospace players to develop skilled labour in the industry, said innovation is key to Montreal's success. "[in Montreal,] we invest close to 10% of our sales in research and development. By investing millions of dollars a year, it's obvious that you're in it for innovation," he said. Bravo Chris, aka Kilgore Trout :-)