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Found 17 results

  1. November 14, 2008 by Deyanira Bautista Filed under Montreal Market Report According to the Greater Montréal Real Estate Board’s MLS® system, there were 36,955 transactions from last year until now. 4% less sales compared to last year. In terms of property prices in the Metropolitan Area of Montréal, the median prices of single-family homes and plexes increased by 6% compared to the same period last year, condominium prices increased by 3%. Compared to the first 10 months of 2007, condo sales grew by 5% in the Montréal Metropolitan Area. On the other hand, sales of single-family homes decreased by 7%, and plex sales decreased by 5%. “The median price of a single-family home grew last month by 4 per cent, increasing from $220,000 in October 2007 to $228,000 in October 2008. The plex market retained a stable median price at $329,250, while that of condominiums fell slightly by 1 per cent. This decrease can be explained by the minor decline in median prices of condominiums on the Island of Montréal, the largest condominium market. October’s resale market continues to favour sellers, despite a 9 per cent increase in the number of active listings in the MLS® system.” Source: Montreal Real Estate Board http://montrealrealestateblog.com/
  2. :yikes: Procter & Gamble for the next two days is filming a commercial, inside and out of where I live. I can not wait to see the commercial. It is pretty funny. Outside my window I see this mezzanine type of thing. Guess this is decent, compared to having celebs use one of the units, once and a while when they are in Montreal filming.
  3. Toronto a suburb? It's begun RENÉ JOHNSTON/TORONTO STAR Apr 08, 2009 04:30 AM Vanessa Lu city hall bureau chief Toronto is at risk of becoming a bedroom community for the booming 905 regions, warns a new report by the Toronto Board of Trade. Cities that were once outer suburbs are now growing employment areas as more businesses have pulled up stakes in the downtown core for cheaper real estate. Meanwhile, the city itself faces increasing disparity between the wealthy, who buy downtown condos where factories once stood, and the poor who inhabit the increasingly deprived inner suburbs. So Toronto remains an attractive place to live, but struggles to keep up with its neighbours on key economic indicators such as employment, productivity and income growth. "It's a tale of two cities," president and CEO Carol Wilding said at yesterday's release. "We see the reverse, or mirror images, from the city proper versus the 905." Wilding agreed with a release for the report that said Toronto has become a "magnet for living, while the surrounding municipalities form the more powerful economic engine." "If you stand back, the data shows that at this point," said Wilding. "Given the employment growth that isn't there in the city centre – yet it is a hugely attractive place – suggests the doughnut effect. ... People flock to and live in the city ... but are actually travelling outwards in the region for employment opportunities." The split between the two regions is reflected in a prosperity scorecard that compares the Toronto region with 20 others around the world on 25 important indicators. While the Toronto region scored very well overall – tying for fourth place with Boston, New York and London, but behind Calgary, Dallas and Hong Kong – the findings show a growing gap between the city itself and surrounding communities. (The study is based on the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, a tract that includes most of the GTA except Burlington and Oshawa.) If the 416 and 905 area codes were ranked separately, the suburban regions would have taken second place on the world list – after Calgary – and Toronto would have fallen into the bottom half. But Wilding credited Toronto city hall for taking steps to counteract the trend and boost economic growth, including a policy of gradually shifting more of the property tax burden from commercial and industrial property onto homeowners. "I think from a policy perspective, we've put in place many of the changes the data would have suggested we do ... two years ago. We didn't wait," Mayor David Miller said yesterday, reacting to the report. However, he said, "Toronto starts from a very good place" as Canada's financial capital and the third biggest centre of information communications technology in North America. "Council adopted a strategy two years ago because we didn't believe we could take success for granted," he added. "And I think the underlying data says we took the right step and we're on the right path." He noted both the tax rate cuts and the creation of two new agencies, Build Toronto and Invest Toronto, to lure business and investment to the city. Given that traffic is now jammed both ways on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway in the morning rush hour, it hardly comes as a surprise that employment growth has been strong outside Toronto proper. But the data shows the gap is "far larger than people would have expected it to be," Wilding said. Employment in the suburban regions grew by an average of 2.8 per cent a year between 2002 and 2007, compared with 1.1 per cent in the city of Toronto. In fact, most of the employment growth over the past two decades has occurred outside Toronto. "That's a significant divide. Until we start to narrow that, then we aren't serving the interests of the region as a whole," Wilding said. Average real GDP growth during the same period was just 1.2 per cent in Toronto – compared with 4.2 per cent in neighbouring cities. After-tax income growth over the same period was 3.5 per cent in Toronto, compared with 5.9 per cent outside. Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone said the report's data is already a couple of years old and doesn't reflect recent actions the city has taken to stem the flow of jobs. The report cites a 10.2 per cent growth in non-residential building permits in the surrounding regions, versus only 8.9 per cent in the city. But Pantalone pointed out that today, 4 million square feet of office buildings are under construction in Toronto, compared with only 1.5 million square feet in the 905. "That's a historical reversal. It shows those policies are working," he said. "We have established new trend lines to correct that. And it seems to be working." As Miller pointed out, the report isn't all bad news for the city. It notes that Toronto is "a study in contrasts, struggling to keep pace on the economic fundamentals but scoring well on all the attributes of an attractive city." Using research from the Conference Board of Canada, the report points out the city is doing well on indicators such as commuter travel choices, a young labour force, university education and percentage of jobs in the cultural industry. New infrastructure investments by the province, notably in transit, will also help make Toronto more competitive. Some 44 per cent of Toronto residents walk, bike or take transit to work, while only 13 per cent of residents outside Toronto do. One of Toronto's biggest advantages is its diversity, with immigrants making up close to half of the city's residents. That puts it at Number 1 among the 21 global cities, above Los Angeles at 41 per cent and New York at 36 per cent. But Board of Trade chair Paul Massara warned that the talent that exists among newcomers must not be squandered – and their integration has to be ensured. "It's absolutely essential that we get this productive part of the economy working and enhance that," Massara said, noting governments have been working to improve settlement services. With files from Paul Moloney
  4. Pay what you want in this Montreal restaurant PETER MCCABE FOR THE TORONTO STAR Crescent St. tavern hard hit by drop in business tries something new Feb 25, 2009 04:30 AM Andrew Chung QUEBEC BUREAU CHIEF MONTREAL – Already stung by a slide in American tourists and a deepening financial mess that's keeping business customers away, the Taverne Crescent, situated on one of Montreal's historic party streets, decided to implement a new policy: Pay what you can. So yesterday, lunch-hour customers were given the choice of an appetizer, plus either tagliatelle bolognese, salmon or braised beef, and coffee or tea, for whatever they wanted to pay. For a dollar even. Or nothing. "Some people might pay nothing," said owner George Pappas, "but maybe when they have more money in three or six months, they'll come back and pay more." Desperate times call for desperate measures, it seems. Pappas's actions, though gimmicky, illustrate the darkening picture for all those attached to the tourism industry in the province. Despite the proximity of major Canadian cities like Montreal to the border, the number of American tourists coming into Canada by car – still the vast majority compared to other means of transport – reached a record low last year, data from Statistics Canada show. There were nearly 10 million of those trips in 2001. Last year, just 7.4 million. It wasn't even that bad during the last two recessions, including the oil shock of the 1970s. Meanwhile, Americans are taking 1.3 million fewer trips to Quebec compared to 2001. That number, which includes same-day trips, is off by nearly half Canada-wide. "It's astounding," said Statistics Canada analyst Paul Durk, "these are very big drops." There are a number of reasons why the Americans are staying away. New border security requirements, the perception of long border wait times, and even cross-border shopping may be less attractive for aging baby boomers, Durk suggested. Overall, there is a growing fear for the coming year, particularly since the recession has gone global. Already, there has been a sharp decrease in tourism from Britain and soon the rest of Europe will follow. "It will affect big cities the most," said Pierre Bellerose, vice-president of Tourism Montreal. "The cities get more international clients." In the last few years, the American malaise has been offset by increases in tourism from Europe and Mexico. And Montreal's hotels were saved last year by a strong convention calendar. But this year will be different. Bellerose said they're expecting the tourism sector to decline 2 to 3 per cent overall. Quebec's government has stepped in. On Sunday, Tourism Minister Nicole Ménard announced she's giving $4.2 million in financial help to certain businesses and groups, such as Aventure Écotourisme Québec, to try to pump up the tourist volume, and, a spokesperson said, to get past the economic crisis. It won't be easy. The horizon is bleak. Last year, there were 336 restaurant bankruptcies, the Association des restaurateurs du Québec reports – a 20 per cent increase from the year prior. Pappas, who also owns a nightclub in Montreal, describes having to cut staff in response to the American tourist decline. And until his bright idea to "pay what you can," his Taverne Crescent was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays because it was losing money. With no Formula One Grand Prix in Montreal this summer, he said, "It's going to be worse!" http://www.thestar.com/article/592677#Comments
  5. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/us/blighted-cities-prefer-razing-to-rebuilding.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131112&_r=0 Absolutely fascinating article in the New York Times abut the demolition of inner city areas throughout the States. The figures for population exodus are staggering. It reminds me of Drapeau`s slum clearance programme here. . What is it now? 50 years later? And we still have great swaths of abandoned land along Rene Levesque ouest. Our urban challenges seem fairly minor compared to some.
  6. I hope Avenue, Tour des Canadiens and Icone go up. And then the rest can wait Softening market raises doubts over condo projects By Allison Lampert, THE GAZETTE January 9, 2013 8:11 PM 0 Story Photos ( 1 ) Softening market raises doubts over condo projects A number of properties are up for sale in Brossard, on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. Photograph by: Dave Sidaway , The Gazette MONTREAL - There are condo projects like the Tour des Canadiens which will undoubtedly be built, with the only lingering question surrounding their final height. But a decline in new home construction in Greater Montreal last year is increasingly raising doubts over the viability of the record number of condo buildings announced for the region: this summer, the city’s Ville Marie borough identified projects with 3,000 units destined for downtown alone. “You talk to the different developers and they are all confident that their project will go forward,” said Carlos Leitao, chief economist at Laurentian Bank. “But I don’t think that all the projects will come to fruition. I would be extremely surprised to see presales advancing for every project so some of them will have to drop off.” In 2012, a more balanced resale market led new home construction to decline nine per cent in the Greater Montreal Area and analysts are expecting a further 12-per-cent drop in housing starts for the region in 2013, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Wednesday. In December, the decline in housing starts, compared with the same month in 2011, was fuelled by a 65-per-cent drop in new home construction on Montreal Island. So even as the sold-out Tour des Canadiens near the Bell Centre is looking to add floors, the steep drop in new Montreal Island housing starts reflects the growing array of choices for buyers in the resale market. While Greater Montreal Real Estate Board data are not yet available for December, November resales tanked 19 per cent. Meanwhile, figures reported Tuesday by Royal LePage Real Estate Services showed condo inventory has shot up 30 per cent at the end of 2012, compared with a year earlier. Housing starts The numbers suggest Montreal’s current low interest rate-fuelled real estate boom peaked in 2011, even though demand still far exceeds historic norms. Compared with record-breaking 2011, new condo construction dropped six per cent to 11,880 units in 2012 — still the second highest year in Greater Montreal for condo building. To put that number in context, Greater Montreal developers were only building around 2,000 to 3,000 units a year before the last condo boom of the early 2000s that peaked with 10,000 units in 2004, explained CMHC analyst David L’Heureux. For the province of Quebec, new home construction dropped three per cent last year to 40,526 units above 2011, CMHC data show. Quebec and Nova Scotia were the only two provinces in Canada to report a decline in total housing starts for 2012. Nationally, housing starts declined for the fourth consecutive month in December, but remained well above sustainable levels, leading to further fears the economically important sector could be headed for a hard landing. The pace of housing starts slowed by a modest 1.7 per cent last month to 197,976 on an annual basis, the fourth drop in as many months. In a note, BMO economist Robert Kavcic said “2012 was a strong year for homebuilding in Canada, but it was distinctly a tale of two halves — we judge that 2013 will look more like the second half (cooling) than the first.” Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Softening+market+raises+doubts+over+condo+projects/7797746/story.html#ixzz2HXfyW4rB
  7. Housing starts climb in August, led by Montreal's 283% increase Foundations poured for 1,878 homes. Construction of condos rises highest, while rental properties fall vs. last year MARY LAMEY, The Gazette Published: 6 hours ago Housing starts rose in August for the fifth consecutive month in greater Montreal, though market demand for rental housing showed signs of cooling, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported yesterday. A total of 1,878 dwellings were started, a seven-per-cent increase over the month a year earlier. The number of condominium starts increased by 65 per cent, while the number of single-family homes rose by 20 per cent. Rental starts fell by 22 per cent to 692 units, compared with 890 a year earlier. Montreal had less new construction than other parts of the metropolitan census area, but still managed the biggest percentage gain for the month, with a 283-per-cent increase in starts. That was powered by the start of work on 413 rental units, compared with 20 a year earlier, and by 252 condo starts, vs. 118 last year. In contrast, Laval and the North Shore construction fell by 29 per cent to 734 units. The drop was most noticeable on the rental front, where the number of new units underway was 155, vs. 618 a year before. Those results were distorted by the start of work on a 500-unit rental project for seniors in August 2006. Construction of single and attached homes and condominiums all rose. On the South Shore, construction declined by 35 per cent for the month, including a 91-per-cent drop in the biggest city, Longueuil, where there wasn't a single rental or attached home start and where only five single-family homes and 14 condominium units were started. The 19 starts for Longueuil compared with 200 a year ago. In Vaudreuil-Soulanges, construction rose by 144 per cent, totaling 100 new units. CMHC considers a project started when the concrete foundation is poured. For the year to date, Montreal is 27 per cent ahead of last year, while Laval and the North Shore are down seven per cent. The South Shore is up eight per cent, and Vaudreuil-Soulanges is up seven per cent.
  8. http://www.conferenceboard.ca/Libraries/PUBLIC_PDFS/7517_MontrealScorecard_IdQ_RPT-FR.sflb Our productivity, GDP per capita and education levels are quite bad compared to other cities comparable in size.
  9. Source: Montreal Gazette Immigration in Canada by the numbers By Kirsten Smith, Postmedia News The proportion of foreign-born population in G8 countries and Australia (reported statistically) Japan — 1.0 per cent (2000) Italy — 8.0 per cent (2009) Russia — 8.2 per cent (2002) France — 8.6 per cent (2008) United Kingdom — 11.5 per cent (2010) United States — 12.9 per cent (2010) Germany — 13 per cent (2010) Canada — 20.6 per cent (2011) Australia — 26.8 per cent (2010) Recent immigration (2006 to 2011) Canada — 1.2 million Toronto — 381,745 Montreal — 189,730 Vancouver — 155,125 Calgary — 70,700 Edmonton — 49,930 Winnipeg — 45,270 Ottawa-Gatineau — 40,420 Saskatoon — 11,465 Windsor — 9,225 Regina — 8,150 The make-up of first-, second- and third-generation immigrants compared to total population: First generation (born outside Canada): 7.2 million or 22 per cent Of them: • 93.3 per cent immigrants • 4.9 per cent foreign students and foreign workers • 87,400 were born outside Canada to parents who are Canadian Second generation (born in Canada but at least one parent was born abroad): 5.7 million or 17.4 per cent • 54.8 per cent said both their parents were born outside Canada • B.C. was home to the most second generation residents 23.4 per cent • 3 in 10 second-generation residents were a visible minority Third generation (born in Canada, both parents also born in Canada): 19.9 million or 60.7 per cent Read more: http://www.canada.com/Immigration+Canada+numbers/8354135/story.html#ixzz2SiAN7sP2
  10. Montreal’s economic development lags behind that of other Canadian cities and it needs greater political and economic powers to turn around its sagging fortunes, says a new study. It’s time to realize that Montreal is a motor of the Quebec economy that contributes more than it gets back, said BMO President L. Jacques Ménard, the chancellor of Concordia University. He unveiled the 162-page study by BMO Financial Group, in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group, on Tuesday. “Montreal finances more than half of the public spending across Quebec, even, in fact, the Colisée,” said Ménard, referring to controversial plans to build a new arena in Quebec City. Yet Canada’s second-biggest city has no more powers than small towns like Ste-Adèle or Mascouche, Ménard said. Forced to rely on property taxes to finance repairs to its crumbling infrastructure, Montreal needs to be recognized and promoted as Quebec’s metropolis, he said. “We have to get away from the unfortunate idea, I think, that wrongly presents the development of Montreal as being antithetical to that of the regions,” he said. With slow population growth, stagnating personal income and sagging economic growth, Montreal has lost 20 per cent of its major head offices in 20 years, the report noted. A comparison with five other Canadian cities shows that Montreal’s GDP grew by only 37 per cent over the past 15 years, compared to 59 per cent on average for Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton and Vancouver. Montreal’s population only grew by 16 per cent compared to 33 per cent for the other cities. Unemployment remains at about 8.5 per cent in Montreal compared to 6.3 per cent in the other cities. And Montrealers’ disposable income has risen by only 51 per cent in 15 years, compared to 87 per cent for residents of the other five cities. “It has to do with the lack of us trying to create a milieu where ideas, people and technology conjugate to create innovation and to contribute to what you could call the new economy,” Ménard said. “One has to try and imagine what is Montreal going to look like 10 years from now? What are the new things we’re going to be doing and exporting that we’re not doing today?” he asked. For solutions, the report looked to seven world cities that have successfully regenerated their economies after going through periods of decline. They are Boston, Manchester, Melbourne, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Seattle. Researchers identified strategies all of the successful cities used to become more competitive in the global economy, Ménard said. They included strong municipal leadership, support from higher levels of government, centres of excellence that acted as catalysts for growth, improved quality of life and transportation, a focus on human capital at universities and colleges, and development of a strong identity or brand for the city. With its effervescent cultural scene, cultural diversity, cheap rents and key industries like aerospace, technology and medical research, Montreal has enormous potential to thrive, the report said. Ménard said one way to achieve that potential is to unleash the talent and expertise concentrated in its five universities (including the Longueuil campus of the Université de Sherbrooke) instead of treating institutions of higher learning simply as service centres. “Montreal is a revolving door,” he said, noting the city loses as many residents as it gains. Even though the city has a huge student population, it retains few graduates because most leave in search of better opportunities, the report found. Corruption scandals and the divisive debate over the charter of values also make the city a less attractive and welcoming place, it said. Researchers interviewed more than 50 community leaders from a variety of fields, including cultural industries, education, finance, industry, health, community organizations, politics and technology to delve into challenges facing the city. Ménard emphasized the initiative is non-partisan and said it was only a coincidence that the report, which was 18 months in the making, is coming out just before a provincial election campaign. Premier Pauline Marois is expected to call an election in the coming days or weeks. “They say coincidences can be lucky. If the revitalization of Montreal is part of the debate in the coming weeks, I think it will be good for Quebec,” he said. Ménard said Montreal is sorely neglected by other levels of government. “When you look at the Champlain Bridge, the Turcot Interchange, the state of our roads, I don’t think they would have tolerated that in Ottawa, or in Quebec City, or even in Toronto,” he said. He said he hopes Montreal will be front and centre in the coming election campaign. “If they mention the word Montreal more than 100 times, I’m going to break out the champagne because it doesn’t happen very often,” he said. Ménard said he hopes to rally citizens from all walks of life to join the effort to revitalize the city. A public meeting is planned for June 13 at the Palais des Congrès and will include people from business, higher education, social agencies, the arts and youth organizations. Mayor Denis Coderre said he fully support the initiative and will do all he can to achieve the dream of putting Montreal back on the road to prosperity. “I’m inspired today,” he said. [email protected] You can download the report, in French, here: http://www.bmo.com/ci/files/Creer_un_nouvel_elan_a_Montreal.pdf « PREVIOUS 1 2 View as one page NEXT » © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  11. Greater Montreal Real Estate Board Statistics: Real Estate Market Off to a Strong Start ILE-DES-SOEURS, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 7, 2007) - The real estate market is off to a strong start with sales increasing by 16%, according to statistics from the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board (GMREB) MLS® System. In January 2007, 3,631 homes changed hands, compared to 3,141 in 2006. "Job creation is strong, consumer confidence in the economy is still positive and despite a slight increase in interest rates in 2006, the market remains good to buy or sell a home", says GMREB Chief Executive Officer, Michel Beausejour, FCA. "The environment for the real estate market will remain favourable in 2007 with the number of listings still increasing, which will help balance the market and slow down price increases. As for the number of transactions, we expect that 2007 will be similar to 2006." Condominiums The highest increase in transactions was observed in condominium sales, which went up by 21% in January 2007, from 628 sales in January 2006 to 763. The increase was even stronger on the Island of Montreal, which recorded 39% more condominium sales. "The condominium resale market has reached a balanced level on most of the Island of Montreal and we are now even talking of a buyers' market in the boroughs of Ahuntsic-Cartierville and Saint-Laurent", adds the GMREB spokesperson. "In such a context, it becomes even more important to hire a real estate agent in order to ensure a quick transaction at the best possible price." In terms of condominiums, the average price went up by 7% in January 2007 to $200,000, compared to $187,000 in 2006. ---------------------------------------------- CONDOMINIUM ---------------------------------------------- January 2007 ---------------------------------------------- Administrative Average Variation Region Price 2005-2006 ---------------------------------------------- Montreal $227,000 +6% ---------------------------------------------- Laval $160,000 -0,5% ---------------------------------------------- Monteregie $162,000 +9% ---------------------------------------------- Laurentides $173,000 -8% ---------------------------------------------- Lanaudiere $129,000 +5% ---------------------------------------------- Single-family homes In January 2007, the single-family home market increased by 14% with 2,341 sales recorded on the GMREB MLS® System, compared to 2,046 sales at the same time in 2006. The average value of a single-family home rose by 2%, from $204,000 in January 2006 to $209,000 in January 2007. ---------------------------------------------- SINGLE-FAMILY HOME ---------------------------------------------- January 2007 ---------------------------------------------- Administrative Average Variation Region Price 2005-2006 ---------------------------------------------- Montreal $315,000 +3% ---------------------------------------------- Laval $214,000 +4% ---------------------------------------------- Monteregie $201,000 +2% ---------------------------------------------- Laurentides $182,000 -4% ---------------------------------------------- Lanaudiere $162,000 +6% ---------------------------------------------- This is not necessarily a true indication of the actual price of single-family homes in all sectors of the Greater Montreal area, but rather an indication of the trend in the average cost of properties located in the areas covered by the GMREB. In January 2007, the total sales dollar volume of units sold reached $761 million, rising 18% from the $643 million recorded in January 2006 in the GMREB MLS® System. In January 2007, 10,146 new listings were entered in the system, up by 8% compared to the 9,424 new listings entered in January 2006. As of January 31, 2007, there were 36,585 residential listings in the GMREB MLS® System, compared to 33,389 at the same time last year. About the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board The Greater Montreal Real Estate Board is a non-profit organization with close to 9,000 members - real estate agents and brokers. Second largest real estate board in Canada, its mission is to actively promote and protect its members' professional and business interests in order for them to successfully meet their business objectives and maintain their predominance in the real estate industry.
  12. (Courtesy of the Financial Post) Reason I put it in culture, it seems more of a Quebec culture to be more laid back and no really care about material wealth, but that is my own point of view.
  13. More Quebecers see immigrants as threat: poll By Marian Scott, The GazetteMay 22, 2009 6:59 Protesters demonstrate outside Palais des congrès during the Bouchard-Taylor hearings on reasonable accommodation in November 2007. Protesters demonstrate outside Palais des congrès during the Bouchard-Taylor hearings on reasonable accommodation in November 2007. Photograph by: John Kenney, Gazette file photo One year after a provincial report on the accommodation of cultural minorities, a majority of Quebecers still say newcomers should give up their cultural traditions and become more like everybody else, according to a new poll. Quebecers’ attitudes toward immigrants have hardened slightly since 2007, when the Bouchard-Taylor commission started hearings across Quebec on the “reasonable accommodation” of cultural communities. The survey by Léger Marketing for the Association for Canadian Studies found that 40 per cent of francophones view non-Christian immigrants as a threat to Quebec society, compared with 32 per cent in 2007. Thirty-two per cent of non-francophones said non-Christian immigrants threaten Quebec society, compared with 34 per cent in 2007. “If you look at opinions at the start of the Bouchard-Taylor commission and 18 months later, basically, they haven’t changed,” said Jack Jedwab, executive director of the non-profit research institute. “If the hearings were designed to change attitudes, that has not occurred,” he added. Headed by sociologist Gérard Bouchard and philosopher Charles Taylor, the $3.7-million commission held hearings across Quebec on how far society should go to accommodate religious and cultural minorities. It received 900 briefs and heard from 3,423 participants in 22 regional forums. Its report, made public one year ago Friday, made 37 recommendations, including abolishing prayers at municipal council meetings; increasing funding for community organizations that work with immigrants and initiatives to promote tolerance; providing language interpreters in health care; encouraging employers to allow time off for religious holidays; studying how to hire more minorities in the public service; and attracting immigrants to remote regions. Rachad Antonius, a professor of sociology at the Université du Québec à Montréal, said it’s no surprise the commission failed to change Quebecers’ attitudes toward minorities. “Focusing on cultural differences is the wrong approach,” Antonius said. Cultural communities need to achieve economic equality by having access to education, social services and job opportunities, he said. “If there is greater economic integration, that is what is going to change things,” he said. The poll reveals persistent differences between younger and older Quebecers and between francophones and non-francophones on cultural and religious diversity. For example, 56 per cent of respondents age 18 to 24 said Muslim girls should be allowed to wear hijabs in public schools, while only 30 per cent of those 55 and over approved of head scarves in school. Sixty-three per cent of non-francophones said head scarves should be permitted in school compared with 32 per cent of French-speaking respondents. Only 25 per cent of francophones said Quebec society should try harder to accept minority groups’ customs and traditions while 74 per cent of non-francophones said it should make more of an effort to do so. The poll also found Quebecers split on an ethics and religion course introduced last year in schools across the province. A coalition of parents and Loyola High School, a private Catholic institution, are challenging the nondenominational course, which they say infringes parents’ rights to instill religious values in their children. Half of francophones said the course was a good thing while 78 per cent of non-francophones gave it a thumbs up. When asked their opinion of different religious groups, 88 per cent of French-speakers viewed Catholics favourably, 60 per cent viewed Jews favourably – down 12 percentage points from 2007 – and 40 per cent had a favourable opinion of Muslims (compared with 57 per cent in 2007). Among non-francophones, 92 per cent viewed Catholics with favour, 77 per cent had a positive opinion of Jews and 65 a good opinion of Muslims. A national poll published this month by Maclean’s Magazine also revealed that many Canadians are biased against religious minorities, particularly in Quebec. The survey by Angus Reid Strategies reported that 68 per cent of Quebecers view Islam negatively while 52 per cent of Canadians as a whole have a low opinion of the religion. It found that 36 per cent of Quebecers view Judaism unfavourably, compared with 59 per cent of Ontarians. The Léger Marketing survey of 1,003 Quebecers was conducted by online questionnaire May 13-16. Results are considered accurate within 3.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  14. The owner of Yogen Fruz, Cultures and several other food court stalwarts is adding stand-alone coffee and doughnut shops to its suite of brands. MTY Food Group Inc. said it has entered into a binding agreement to purchase all of privately held Country Style Food Services Holdings Inc. for an undisclosed price. The buy allows MTY to seize "the opportunity to strengthen its position and foothold in the Ontario quick service franchise industry and launches itself as a major player in the coffee and sandwich segment" the company said in a statement. Montreal-based MTY was already on the acquisition trail before it announced the Country Style purchase, but this latest acquisition takes it into new territory. Country Style is one of the biggest coffee and doughnut retailers in Ontario and is a household name in that province, but lags behind market leader Tim Hortons Inc. in number of stores and perceived quality among consumers. It does have significant reach however with 488 outlets, and is just the latest expansion for MTY. MTY acquired Taco Time Canada Inc. from its U.S.-based parent last November for $7.85-million. The deal gave it 117 of the quick service Mexican food restaurants, mostly in Western Canada. A couple months earlier it added 27 Tutti Frutti restaurants, solidifying its base in Quebec. Earlier this year MTY reported a 16% increase in fourth quarter net income to $2.84-million. For its fiscal year ending Nov. 30 of last year, the company earned $9.91-million, an 8% increase over a year earlier. MTY says Country Style's sales were approximately $94-million for the last 12 months, more than a third of the system-wide sales reported by MTY last year. The combined company would still be a shrimp compared with Tim Hortons, which reported sales last year of more than $2-billion and has a market capitalization of $5.9-billion. The chain is so omnipresent throughout much of the country that it has tried to expand in the U.S. with mixed results. While consumer spending has been crimped, fast food companies have been decent stock investments since the fall market crash. Shares of Tim Hortons are breakeven over the last seven months compared to a 26% drop for the S&P/TSX composite index. MTY has also proven itself a solid investment in uncertain times. Over the last seven months, the venture exchange-listed stock has dropped only 3%. http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=1492403
  15. 'Continue to lag significantly behind non-blacks on every success indicator' http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Invisible+barriers+hurt+black+Montrealers/2699666/story.html BY MARIAN SCOTT, THE GAZETTEMARCH 19, 2010 MONTREAL – Black Montrealers face "invisible barriers" to employment, education and home ownership that make them twice as likely to be poor and unemployed as the rest of the population, according to a major demographic study by McGill University. "Blacks continue to lag significantly behind non-blacks on every indicator of success," said the report by the Montreal Consortium on Human Rights Advocacy Training, led by social work professor Jim Torczyner. The comprehensive study, which examined employment, housing, youth, justice, immigration and education among the city's 173,000-member black community, is a follow-up to one in 1998. It shows that poverty and inequality continue to haunt black Montrealers, whose average annual income is $22,701, compared with $34,196 for the population as a whole. Unemployment among black Montrealers is more than twice as high: 13.4 per cent vs. 6.6 per cent. In Montreal - home to one in five black Canadians - the black population surged by 38 per cent from 1996 to 2006. One in two black Montrealers is under age 25. With the city's black community expected to rise by more than double, to 381,000 from 173,000, in the next 20 years, according to a recent Statistics Canada study, Torczyner called for a coordinated strategy to combat pervasive social and economic ills. "I think that study and this study provide a wakeup call, that we need to bring together the best minds in the black community, in government, in business, in labour unions to work together and find a solution," Torczyner said. "It's just a matter of the political will to move it forward and that will is necessary because it won't go away. It hasn't gotten better in 10 years." Almost half of black children in Montreal live in poverty and almost one-quarter of black females age 15 or over are single parents. Among black women age 45 to 64, more than one in three are single parents - that's 3 1/2 times the rate among non-black women. One-quarter of Montreal blacks age 25 to 44 are university graduates, compared with one-third of non-blacks in that age group. But even with an equivalent or better education than their non-black counterparts, blacks earn dramatically less, the report said. Only 30 per cent of blacks with a master's degree or doctorate earn $45,000 or more a year, compared with 54 per cent of non-blacks with graduate degrees. Only 23 per cent of blacks with a bachelor's degree earned $45,000 or more, compared with 42 per cent of non-blacks. Almost seven of 10 blacks in Montreal have an annual income of less than $25,000. Only one-third of blacks own their own homes, compared to two-thirds of non-blacks. Frances Waithe, a community worker with the Desta Black Youth Network in Little Burgundy, called the study saddening and worrisome. "I'm concerned because 50 per cent of the black community consists of youth under 25," she said. [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  16. Passenger growth down, revenues up at Trudeau The Gazette Published: 1 hour ago Passenger traffic at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport grew by a lacklustre 0.4 per cent during the second quarter of 2008, as the economic slowdown in the U.S. drove down transborder traffic by four per cent, the Aéroports de Montréal said today. For the first six months of 2008, traffic at Montreal-Trudeau rose 2.8 per cent to 6.3 million passengers over the same period in 2007, mostly fueled by international flights. While an increase in payroll and pension payments drove up operating costs by 8.6 per cent during the first six months of fiscal 2008, revenues as of June 30, 2008 were up by $24.8 million, a 15.9 per cent rise over the half-year figure for 2007. The increase is mainly attributable to increased aeronautical fees and airport improvement fees, as well as small growth in passenger traffic, the airport authority said. Airport fees are now being contested by carriers who have asked the ADM for a break as they struggle with high fuel prices. The ADM usually sets its rates during the fall. And the authority appears to have some leeway. For the second quarter of 2008, the ADM made $2.6 million in revenues, over expenses, up from $2.3 million during the same period a year earlier. For the first half of the year, the airport authority made $11 million in net earnings, compared to $2.4 million for the same period in 2007.