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Found 6 results

  1. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/al-jazeera-coming-to-canadian-tv/article1200118/ I am in favour of them bringing this channel to Canada provided that the CRTC keeps a very close eye on it. However, if Videotron adds this channel, they will be receiving an angry phone call or letter. I am still waiting for Fox News to come to Illico, and it is in no way fair to offer Al Jazeera but not Fox News.
  2. Water plan for St. Lawrence unpredictable, critics charge Joint commission hearings. River levels might have to be artificially elevated, environmental coalition fears CHRISTOPHER MAUGHAN, The Gazette Published: 7 hours ago The environmental and economic impact of a proposed plan to change how water flows into the St. Lawrence River is potentially disastrous and in many ways unpredictable, critics said last night. The International Joint Commission - which manages how much water passes into the river from Lake Ontario - held public hearings in Montreal last night to discuss concerns about their proposal to allow water levels to rise and fall more sharply than they now do. The IJC is an independent, bi-governmental organization that manages the Great Lakes. It controls water flow to Quebec via the Moses-Saunders dam, which runs across Lake Ontario from Cornwall, Ont., to Massena, N.Y. Their commissioners have argued that more drastic changes in water levels would allow for the establishment of more diverse flora and fauna along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence. But at the hearings last night, critics seemed far from convinced that the proposal would result in a net environmental gain. "We haven't put enough effort into forecasting the different climate change scenarios," said Marc Hudon, a director at Nature Québec, an environmental coalition that represents 100 smaller groups. Hudon worried that the IJC plan would allow water levels on the St. Lawrence to drop so low that Quebecers would be forced to artificially elevate the water, which could cause major environmental problems. "If you have less water, you concentrate the contaminants in it," said Hudon, adding that even if the issue were addressed, the St. Lawrence would still suffer. "We would have to keep the levels up artificially by slowing the water down. That makes the water hot. When the water's hot, fish flip upside down - they can't survive." That's why Hudon is dead-set against the IJC's proposal, which is known as Plan 2007. A slightly modified proposal that takes wetland restoration into account shows promise, he said, but is too short on details to be adopted now. "We like the idea, but we don't want to go into it blind." Montreal executive committee member Alan DeSousa echoed Hudon's concerns about a lack of specifics. "We want to make sure we know what we're getting into and at this point we're not entirely sure we can say that," he told members of the IJC. "There remain many questions as to the potential impact of the various plans, especially downstream." DeSousa wondered whether the IJC had environmental contingency plans in place to deal with any serious environmental impact. "We don't have any information at this time as to the scope of the (IJC's) mitigation measures," he said. Marine transportation officials also expressed concerns, worrying about the potential impact on the economy. "Just a 10-per-cent loss of the (volume of) the seaway would result in 28 more days a year the seaway would have to be closed," said Kirk Jones, director of transportation services at Canada Steamship Lines. "Ten percent or 28 days could add up to $250 million in losses." Source http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=a37baa36-107d-4bc0-a482-78c6e52c158b
  3. Group calls for CP to give up Cote St. Luc rail yards. McGill urban planning to draft designs. http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/mobile/group-calls-for-cp-to-give-up-cote-st-luc-rail-yards-1.2950411 A former mayor of Cote St. Luc is calling for the removal of the CP rail yards. Robert Libman is leading a group calling for the rail yards to be taken off the island of Montreal. The yards take up about one-third of the city of Cote St. Luc, more than 200 hectares in the geographic centre of the island. "There's almost like this black hole in the heart, right in the middle of Montreal," said Libman. His Coalition for the Relocation of the St-Luc Rail Yards is going to lobby Canadian Pacific and multiple levels of government . The group acknowledges that buying out CP will take a fortune, not to mention the cost of decontamination. However it says the value of the land should be an incentive to sell. "In 2016, just the real estate value alone is reason for CP to consider moving their operations off island," said Libman. Libman said that he has heard countless complaints from people living near the yards from people frustrated by noise, smell and pollution. He said the yards are also the source of major commuting problems across a broad part of the island. The rail yards, and spurs from the yard, significantly limit the north-south connections in the region. Trying to afford a path over or under the yards has been one of the sticking points in the decades-old proposal to connect the two ends of Cavendish Blvd. Sources say negotiations with CP about crossing the rail spur that roughly parallels Vezina St. have also been one problem delaying the Blue Bonnets housing project. "[it] creates traffic gridlock, environmental concerns, safety concerns about rail yards being so close to a residential community," said Libman. He pointed out that the Turcot train yards are no longer used, moved out by the reconstruction of the Turcot Interchange and the displacement of Highway 20. Over the summer the Coalition will be seeking support for a petition to move the rail yards off-island - possibly to Les Cedres. Libman said the McGill School of Urban Planning will also work on designs for what could be done with the land if the rails are removed.
  4. Westmount needs you! With this mailing, we are appealing to your civic duty. We need your input on the most important project the City of Westmount has put forward in its long history: the rebuilding of the Westmount arena and pool. Council would like to proceed with this project, but only if a majority of taxpayers is behind it. It is your money, after all, that will help pay for it. I shall not pretend that the history of this rebuilding project so far has been a smooth one. Mind you, nor was the struggle to restore and expand the Westmount Library in the 1990s, but it was a project most citizens became very proud of. Your Council feels this same success can be repeated with the arena/pool project. But only if it is a rallying point and not a focus of division and rancour. There were two separate designs suggested for the arena/pool project by the previous Council during 2009. A great deal of work went into these proposals, but they received mixed reviews in a series of public meetings. The whole of Westmount, however, was never canvassed. The new Council, since its election in November 2009, has been working on ways to address the objections raised by citizens to the prior proposals. Objectors fell into two broad camps: people in the neighbourhood saw the new arena as a massive intrusion, a wall 30 feet high by 500 feet long from St Catherine Street to de Maisonneuve, jutting into Westmount Park; meanwhile, the pool itself ate up precious green space. For the rest of Westmount, concerns had more to do with the cost: do we really need to go from one-and-one-half to two rinks? Why can’t we just fix up the existing arena? Others felt we needed an indoor pool more than a replication of our current sports mix. The cost concerns were substantially mitigated by the crowning achievement of my predecessor Mayor Karin Marks: she managed, by dint of incredible perseverance - and the help of Jacques Chagnon, our local MNA - to get $20 million of infrastructure grants for the project. It is Canada’s and Quebec’s contribution that allows us to build a $37 million arena/pool complex that will cost Westmounters $17 million. In fact, the cost to taxpayers will probably be closer to $12 million, thanks to contributions from Westmount schools, foundations, and private donors. This cost translates into an additional $200 a year in taxes for the average single-family dwelling. What about the neighbours and the sheer bulk of the arena? Well, if we had to describe the essence of our city, we would surely be torn between invoking Westmount’s unique architectural heritage and Westmount’s prized greenspace. This Council wants a project that respects both. We want the park to win the battle between it and the arena. We do not wish to plunk a massive piece of architecture down in an established greenspace. So we have gone underground. Council’s plan is to bury the ice rinks, putting tennis courts and grass on top of them - creating the ultimate green roof. Skylights will bring in natural light. Only the entrance pavilion and Teen Centre will be above-ground. more pics and full desc. http://www.westmount.org/pdf_files/ArenaPool_Proposal.pdf
  5. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20100312/mtl_un_report100312/20100312?hub=Canada UN urges Canada to take action against discrimination Brian Daly, ctvmontreal.ca Date: Friday Mar. 12, 2010 3:37 PM ET Montreal is one of several cities where ethnic Canadians are facing rampant discrimination in policing, education and labour, says a wide-ranging report issued by the United Nations. The document follows a visit to Montreal and other Canadian cities by Gay McDougall, the UN's Independent Expert on minority issues. Among the communities she visited last October was Montreal North, which was still tense more than a year after the police shooting death of teenager Fredy Villanueva that triggered widespread riots. She said many people expressed concerns about Quebec's system of police investigating each other when civilians are hurt or killed during police operations. "Montreal North residents claim that investigations of police misconduct have not been independent," she wrote. Community members told the UN envoy that they want an independent civilian body to probe any allegations of police misconduct. McDougall agreed. "It is essential … that mechanisms of civilian oversight are strengthened where they exist or established where they do not." Profiling McDougall's report also raised concerns about racial profiling, echoing observations in a report issued earlier this week by the Quebec Human Rights Commission. The UN report heard from people who described racial profiling as systemic. Response Montreal police had a chance to defend their practices during a meeting with the envoy. Her report said police provided information on their zero-tolerance policy towards racial profiling. "They pointed to specialist expert committees established with advisory roles, including on racial profiling and with respect to specific communities," said the report. "They rejected claims of excessive force and impunity." A civilian police ethics commissioner and outside police forces oversee officer conduct across the province. But McDougall wrote that "police representatives acknowledged that the process currently fails to have the confidence of the community," adding that government officials are trying to improve the system. Recommendations McDougall also visited Toronto and Vancouver, where she noted similar concerns by ethnic communities. She issued a number of recommendations: Cracking down on racial profiling in all areas of society: Ensuring that ethnic groups have access to jobs while penalizing employers that practice racial discrimination: Making sure that provinces enforce existing employment equity laws: Ensuring that governments recruit, retain and promote minorities to senior posts: Gathering more detailed demographic data on Canadians to get a better picture of ethnic communities: Increasing political participation of minorities Ensuring that anti-terrorism measures don't violate human rights Granting better access to legal aid and human rights agencies.