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Found 22 results

  1. (Courtesy of The National Post via. The Montreal Gazette) Interesting idea. I just hope they can phase out the penny once and for all.
  2. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Transport+Quebec+launching+radio+station+with+traffic+updates+Montreal/3474054/story.html#ixzz0yPaOEln4
  3. CBC, VIA Rail considered for auction block: Documents BY ANDREW MAYEDA, CANWEST NEWS SERVICE JUNE 1, 2009 6:49 PM OTTAWA — The federal Department of Finance has flagged several prominent Crown corporations as "not self-sustaining," including the CBC, VIA Rail and the National Arts Centre, and has identified them as entities that could be sold as part of the government's asset review, newly released documents show. In its fiscal update last November, the government announced that it would launch a review of its Crown assets, including so-called enterprise Crown corporations, real estate and "other holdings." Finance Department documents, obtained by Canwest News Service under the Access to Information Act, reveal that the review will focus on enterprise Crown corporations, which are not financially dependent on parliamentary subsidies. Such corporations include the Royal Canadian Mint and Ridley Terminals, which is a coal-shipping terminal in Prince Rupert, B.C. But the documents also reveal that the government will consider privatizing Crown corporations that require public subsidies to stay afloat. "The reviews will also examine other holdings in which the government competes directly with private enterprises, earn income from property or performs a commercial activity," states a Finance briefing note dated Dec. 2, 2008. "It includes Crown corporations that are not self-sustaining even though they are of a commercial nature." In the briefing note, the Finance Department identifies nine Crown corporations that fall in that category, including Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., the CBC and VIA Rail. The government announced last week that it will split AECL in two and seek private-sector investors for the Crown corporation's CANDU nuclear-reactor business. The Crown asset review comes as the government struggles to contain the country's deficit, now expected to top $50 billion this year. The Jan. 27 budget assumes that the government will be able to raise as much as $4 billion through asset sales by the end of March 2010. The budget identified four federal departments whose Crown assets are being reviewed first: Finance, Indian and Northern Affairs, Natural Resources, and Transport and Infrastructure. VIA Rail is overseen by the Transport Department, while the CBC and the National Arts Centre fall under the portfolio of the Canadian Heritage department. The Finance Department documents confirm that all government assets will eventually be reviewed. Privatizations tend to work well when Crown corporations enter a reasonably competitive market with a good chance of turning a profit, said Aidan Vining, a professor of business and government relations at Simon Fraser University. Unlike successfully privatized firms such as Canadian National Railway, it's not clear that CBC and VIA Rail could operate as profitable ventures while maintaining the public mandates they provided as Crown corporations, he noted. "They're not the classic privatization candidates, where you sell and walk away," said Vining, an expert in Crown corporation privatizations. "Unless, of course, you're prepared to fully withdraw from the public purpose (of the Crown corporation)." Certainly, the sale of a flagship Crown asset such as the CBC would be politically controversial. After the CBC announced this spring that it would lay off hundreds of employees, opposition critics accused the government of turning a cold shoulder to the public broadcaster's struggles. Under the Financial Administration Act, Parliament would have to approve the privatization of any Crown corporation. "It's hard to believe that some of these sales would go forward in a minority Parliament," said Vining. The Finance Department has also begun to examine the government's vast real-estate portfolio, which includes 31 million hectares of land, and more than 46,000 buildings totalling 103 million square metres — more than double the office space available in the Greater Toronto Area, according to the Finance documents. The government's holdings are worth at least $17 billion, Finance officials estimate. A briefing note labelled "secret" said that the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs acquired $7 million in surplus properties between 1998 and 2006 for potential use in land-claims deals. Over the same period, the properties cost $2 million to maintain. Divesting such properties could not only generate revenue for the government, but also cut "ongoing operations and maintenance costs," states the briefing note. A Finance Department spokeswoman said the asset review won't necessarily lead to sales in all cases. "Reviews will assess whether value could be created through changes to the assets' structure and ownership, and report on a wide set of options including the status quo, amendments to current mandates or governance," department spokeswoman Stephanie Rubec said in an e-mail. "In some cases, it may be concluded that selling an asset to a private sector entity may generate more economic activity and deliver greater value to taxpayers." Crown corporations identified by the government as "not self-sustaining": (Company name, commercial revenues, parliamentary subsidy, expenses) Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., $614.2 million, $285.3 million, $1.3 billion CBC, $565.5 million, $1.1 billion, $1.7 billion Cape Breton Development Corp., $5.1 million, $60 million, $94.1 million Federal Bridge Corp. Ltd., $14.6 million, $31.0 million, $42.9 million National Arts Centre Corp., $26.0 million, $40.6 million, $65.7 million Old Port of Montreal Corp., $16.7 million, $15.1 million, $32.0 million Parc Downsview Park Inc., not available, not available, not available VIA Rail Canada Inc., $293.9 million, $266.2 million, $505.5 million Source: Department of Finance, Public Accounts of Canada Note: Financial results are for 2007-08 http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Rail+considered+auction+block+Documents/1652330/story.html
  4. Can Richard Baker reinvent The Bay? MARINA STRAUSS From Monday's Globe and Mail NEW YORK — Richard Baker, the new owner of retailer Hudson's Bay Co.,mingled with the New York fashion elite as the lights dimmed for designer Peter Som's recent show, offering opinions and taking a close look at the latest in skirts and dresses. It's a stark contrast to previous HBC owner Jerry Zucker, who HBC insiders had a hard time picturing with fashionistas in New York. But Mr. Baker, who made his name in real estate, knows it is time for a new approach at the struggling retailer. “As an entrepreneur I'm not necessarily fixated on how things were done in the past,” says Mr. Baker. “We function and we think much more like a specialty retailer rather than a department store retailer. A specialty retailer is much more nimble and willing to adjust to the environment than department stores, historically. Department stores, frankly, haven't changed a whole lot in 100 years.” His Purchase, N.Y.-based equity firm, NRDC Equity Partners, has snapped up a string of dusty retailers, among them HBC's underperforming Bay and Zellers. The Bay operates in the department store sector which is on the wane, squeezed for years by specialty and discount chains. Zellers struggles in a low-priced arena dominated by behemoth Wal-Mart Canada Corp. The need for a makeover is clear: The Bay's sales per square foot are estimated at merely $142, and Zellers', $149 – a fraction of the estimated $480 at Wal-Mart Canada. At Lord & Taylor, which also lags some of its key U.S. rivals in productivity, Mr. Baker has had some success in its efforts to return to its high end Americana roots. But the 47-store chain is feeling the pinch of tight-fisted consumers and, late last month, he unveiled a shakeup at the top ranks of his firm's $8-billion (U.S.) a year retail businesses to try to shave costs. Still, he is pouring money into the chains in other ways, quickly distinguishing himself from Mr. Zucker, who died last spring. While the former owner had named himself CEO despite his lack of merchandising experience, the new owner has handpicked a team of seasoned merchants at the senior levels of his retailers. And while Mr. Zucker shunned publicity and focused on more mundane, although critical, matters, such as technology to track customer demand, Mr. Baker enjoys the limelight. Now he is betting on the fragile fashion sector as an engine of growth. Last fall he set up Creative Design Studios (CDS) to develop designer lines for Lord & Taylor, now, HBC and, eventually, retailers around the world. Mr. Baker is “looking at every one of the properties with a different viewpoint,” says Walter Loeb, a former member of HBC's board of directors and a consultant at Loeb Associates in New York. “He has new ideas. He doesn't want to keep Hudson's Bay in its present form.” Nevertheless, “this team has taken over a not particularly healthy business,” says Marvin Traub, a former executive at Bloomingdale's who runs consultancy Marvin Traub Associates in New York. “They know and understand the challenges. It will take some time to fix them.” What Mr. Baker looks for in retailers is faded brands that have the potential to be revived. Early this year, NRDC acquired Fortunoff, an insolvent jewellery and home décor chain. The synergies among NRDC's various retailers are tremendous, says Gilbert Harrison, chairman of New York investment bank Financo Inc., which advises Mr. Baker. So is the value of the real estate. At HBC, it is estimated to be worth $1.2-billion, according to industry insiders. That's just a little more than the equivalent purchase price of the retailer itself. Lord & Taylor's real estate was valued at $1.7-billion (U.S.) when Mr. Baker acquired the company in 2006 – about $500-million more than he bought it for. “Initially I thought, good luck,” says Mr. Gilbert. “He's bought this in one of the most difficult retail environments that we've seen for 20 or 30 years. … “But he's protected his downside because the basic real estate values of Lord & Taylor and, now Hudson's Bay, certainly help prevent tragedy.” Mr. Baker likes to tell the story of buying Lord & Taylor for its real estate, and then on the way to signing the deal noticed how well the stores were performing. Like most other U.S. retailers, Lord & Taylor has seen business slow down recently. But its transformation to appeal to the well heeled had begun even before Mr. Baker arrived. It had dropped an array of tired brands, such as Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica, and picked up trendier labels, among them Coach and Tracy Reese. Mr. Baker encouraged the strategy of expanding and upgrading higher margin designer handbags and footwear. Ditto for denim wear and funky styles in the women's “contemporary” section under hot labels such as Free People and Diesel. “My job is to understand that we need to get the best brands in the store.” But he also saw the opportunity to bolster margins by stocking affordable lines in the form of CDS brands, with a focus now on Black Brown 1826 men's wear line. “I thought there was a void in the market for exactly the kind of clothes that my friends and I wear, at a right price. Why should we pay $150 for a dress shirt?” he asks, holding up one for $69. Now Mr. Baker wants to borrow a leaf from the Lord & Taylor playbook for HBC. He wants to introduce better quality products with higher margins, and plans to add his design studio merchandise to the stores early next year. Besides the details, he sees a whole new concept for the big Bay department stores. It would entail shrinking the Bay, possibly introducing Lord & Taylor within the stores, and adding Zellers in the basement and Fortunoff jewellery departments upstairs, with office space at the top. Lord & Taylor would serve to fill a gap in the retail landscape between the Bay and carriage trade Holt Renfrew, he says. For discounter Zellers, he seems to take inspiration from Target Corp., the fashionable U.S. discounter, by putting more focus on branded apparel. But he's not averse to selling parts of the business, or real estate, if the right offer came along either. “We're always available to sell things at the right price, or buy things at the right price.”
  5. US DOT Report Confirms Speed Not Major Accident Cause US Department of Transportation study finds only five percent of crashes caused by excessive speed. As lawmakers around the country continue to consider speed limit enforcement as the primary traffic safety measure, the most comprehensive examination of accident causation in thirty years suggests this focus on speed may be misplaced. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigated 5,471 injury crashes that took place across the country between July 3, 2005 and December 31, 2007. Unlike previous studies automatically generated from computerized data found in police reports, researchers in this effort were dispatched to accident scenes before they were cleared. This allowed a first-hand comparison of physical evidence with direct interviews of witnesses and others involved in the incident. NHTSA evaluated the data to determine the factors most responsible for the collision. "The critical reason is determined by a thorough evaluation of all the potential problems related to errors attributable to the driver, the condition of the vehicle, failure of vehicle systems, adverse environmental conditions, and roadway design," the report explained. "The critical pre-crash event refers to the action or the event that puts a vehicle on the course that makes the collision unavoidable, given reasonable driving skills and vehicle handling of the driver." Overall, vehicles "traveling too fast for conditions" accounted for only five percent of the critical pre-crash events (page 23). More significant factors included 22 percent driving off the edge of a road, or 11 percent who drifted over the center dividing line. When driver error was the primary cause of a crash, researchers went further to identify the "critical reason" behind that error. Distraction and not paying attention to the road accounted for 41 percent of the errors. Ten percent of errors were attributed to drivers lacking proper driving skills and either freezing up or overcompensating behind the wheel. Eight percent were asleep, having a heart attack or otherwise incapacitated. A similar eight percent of errors were attributed to driving too fast for conditions and five percent driving too fast for a curve (page 25). The NHTSA findings are mirrored in accident statistics provided by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. The agency's most recent report lists "speed too fast" as the driver error that caused 2.9 percent of crashes in 2007 (view chart, see page 19). More accidents -- 3.8 percent -- were caused in Virginia by drivers falling asleep or becoming ill behind the wheel. Another 14.6 percent were caused by bad weather such as fog, rain and snow. "Speed too fast" was a more significant factor -- 13.7 percent -- in fatal accidents, as compared to 18 percent of fatal accidents involving alcohol and 9.6 percent caused by sleepiness and fatigue (PDF File view full Virginia report in 1.9mb PDF format). In the NHTSA and Virginia reports, "too fast for conditions" does not mean exceeding the posted speed limit. A vehicle driving 10 MPH on an iced-over road with a 45 MPH limit would be traveling too fast for the conditions if it lost control, but it would not have exceeded the speed limit. The UK Department for Transport isolated cases where only the posted limit was exceeded and found that, "Exceeding speed limit was attributed to 3 percent of cars involved in accidents" (view UK report). "Four of the six most frequently reported contributory factors involved driver or rider error or reaction," the Road Casualties Great Britain 2007 report stated. "For fatal accidents the most frequently reported contributory factor was loss of control, which was involved in 35 per cent of fatal accidents." A full copy of the NHTSA report is available in a 400k PDF file at the source link below. Source: PDF File National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (U.S. Department of Transportation, 7/15/2008) ----------------------------------------- Bon les politiciens devraient lire ça avant de proposer d'autres conneries du genre 40-50kmh en ville, et notre 100kmh national.
  6. * Find this article at: * http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1930822,00.html
  7. Canadian retail sales up in 2008: Report By Derek Abma, Canwest News ServiceJanuary 9, 2009 10:04 AM A report released Friday by Canada's largest processor of credit- and debit-card transactions indicates people were spending more money this past holiday season than the year before despite the downbeat economic environment. Moneris Solutions said its data for December sales indicates "resilience" in consumer spending last month and "dramatic growth" for certain categories, such as department stores and clothing retailers. Moneris said it processed two per cent more sales in all merchant categories in December compared with a year earlier. It said sales at department stores — which includes Wal-Mart and Zellers — were up nine per cent, and sales at apparel outlets were up six per cent. "Canadian consumers and retailers are owed a little bit of credit," said Brian Green, senior vice-president of Moneris Solutions. "Despite the inclement weather and despite all the noise about the economy, consumers went out and they bought more this year than they did last year, and retailers gave them a reason to do that." Green said retailers should be credited for their holiday sales performance because they responded to "a more difficult economy" by providing discounts, conducting successful promotions, and ensuring a positive experience for the people that came to their stores. He said in better economic times, the increase in holiday sales processed by Moneris has been as much as seven per cent. Richard Talbot, president of retail-analysis group Talbot Consultants, said he's not surprised by these numbers and never expected this past holiday season to be as bad as some expected. "I was not a great believer in the doom and gloom for Canada that we were led to believe in the media ahead of time because that wasn't the feedback I was getting from the retailers I deal with," he said. Talbot said the economic situation in Canada is not as dire as in the United States, though there could be more difficulties for domestic retailers in the coming year as the downturn for Canada's largest trading partner, the U.S., spills across the border. Moneris' figures for December showed sales for discount retailers, such as the various "dollar stores," were down 11 per cent from the year before. Moneris said it processed nine per cent less sales for wholesale outlets last month, a category that includes Costco. Green said it's possible the bargains being offered by department and specialty stores cut into some of the business for discount and wholesale outlets. Moneris said the average transaction value in December was three per cent less than a year before. Green said it was the first time Moneris, which has been doing these holiday-season comparisons for eight years, has seen a year-to-year decline in the average transaction amount. The company attributed this to a combination of discounting, lower gasoline prices and overall economic conditions. © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  8. Luckily the fire department only a few blocks away and we ended up changing the fire extinguishers a few weeks back. This is something you don't want to wake up to at 1 something in the morning. I can't wait to hear how this electrical fire started. One thing, at least we don't use chlorine in the pool. If there was some of that laying around, it probably would have been worse. Plus its a small building, only 5 of the 13 units were supposedly occupied
  9. U.S. Economy: Retail Sales Drop in October by Most on Record By Shobhana Chandra and Bob Willis Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Retail sales and prices of goods imported to the U.S. dropped by the most on record, signaling the economy may be in its worst slump in decades. Purchases fell 2.8 percent in October, the fourth straight decline, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Labor Department figures showed import prices dropped 4.7 percent, pointing to a rising danger of deflation, and a private report said consumer confidence this month remained near the lowest level since 1980. ``The weakness in growth is intensifying and inflation pressures have evaporated,'' said James O'Sullivan, a senior economist at UBS Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, who accurately projected the decline in sales. ``Deflation is a word that will be increasingly used over the coming months.'' Spending may continue to falter as mounting job losses, plunging stocks and falling home values leave household finances in tatters. Retailers from Best Buy Co. to J.C. Penney Co. are cutting profit forecasts ahead of the year-end holiday shopping season, when many stores do most of their business. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said at a conference today in Frankfurt that continuing strains in financial markets and recent economic data ``confirm that challenges remain.'' The Fed chief said central bankers worldwide ``stand ready to take additional steps'' as warranted. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News predict the Fed will lower its benchmark interest rate to a record 0.5 percent by March from the current 1 percent. Policy makers next gather in Washington Dec. 16. Stocks, Treasuries Stocks fell and Treasuries rose. The Standard & Poor's 500 Stock Index dropped 1.8 percent to 894.09 at 10:11 a.m. in New York. Yields on benchmark 10-year notes fell to 3.75 percent from 3.85 percent late yesterday. The Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment was 57.9 in November compared with 57.6 last month. The measure averaged 85.6 in 2007. Retail sales were expected to fall 2.1 percent, according to the median forecast of 73 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Purchases in September were revised down to show a 1.3 percent decrease compared with an originally reported 1.2 percent drop. ``The September-October credit jolt to the economy is showing up in all of the numbers now,'' Ellen Zentner, a senior U.S. macroeconomist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. ``We're expecting the worst recession, possibly, post-World War II.'' Worse Than Estimates Retailers have now logged the longest string of monthly declines since the Commerce Department's comparable data series began in 1992. Excluding automobiles, purchases decreased 2.2 percent, almost twice as much as the 1.2 percent decline anticipated and also the worst performance on record. Declines were broad based as furniture, electronics, clothing and department stores all showed loses. Demand at automobile dealerships and parts stores plunged 5.5 percent after falling 4.8 percent in September. Car sales are among the most affected as banks make it harder to borrow. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson this week said the government will shift the focus of the second half of the $700 billion rescue plan from buying mortgage assets to unclogging consumer credit. President-elect Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress are under pressure to push through another stimulus plan even before the new administration takes over. Filling-station sales decreased 13 percent, also the most ever, in part reflecting a $1-per-gallon drop in the average cost of gasoline. Excluding gas, retail sales fell 1.5 percent. Gain at Restaurants Sales at furniture, electronics, clothing, sporting goods and department stores were also among the losers. Restaurants, grocery stores and a miscellaneous category were the only areas that showed a gain. ``Since mid-September, rapid, seismic changes in consumer behavior have created the most difficult climate we've ever seen,'' Brad Anderson, chief executive officer of Best Buy, said in a Nov. 12 statement. The Richfield, Minnesota-based electronics chain said sales in the four months through February 2009 will decline more than it previously estimated. Rival Circuit City Stores Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection this week. Macy's Inc., Target Corp. and Gap Inc. were among the chains that reported same-store sales dropped in October, while shoppers searching for discounts on groceries gave sales a lift at Wal- Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer. Nordstrom yesterday cut its profit forecast for the third time this year. Worst Season J.C. Penney, the third-largest U.S. department-store company, today forecast earnings that trailed analysts' estimates and posted its fifth straight quarterly profit decline as shoppers cut spending on home goods and jewelry. Shoppers are pulling back as the labor market slumps. The unemployment rate jumped to 6.5 percent in October, the highest level since 1994. Employers cut more than a half million workers from payrolls in the past two months. The longest expansion in consumer spending on record ended last quarter, causing the economy to shrink at a 0.3 percent annual pace. The economic slump will intensify this quarter and persist into the first three months of 2009, making it the longest downturn since 1974-75, economists forecast in a Bloomberg survey conducted from Nov. 3 to Nov. 11. Excluding autos, gasoline and building materials, the retail group the government uses to calculate gross domestic product figures for consumer spending, sales decreased 0.5. The government uses data from other sources to calculate the contribution from the three categories excluded. To contact the reporter on this story: Shobhana Chandra in Washington [email protected]
  10. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/million+supercomputer+just+cool/4947908/story.html#ixzz1PNeR8W5L
  11. MONTREAL, June 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The head office of Astral Media Inc. (TSX: ACM.A/ACM.B) now boasts a new address at 1800 McGill College Avenue. Astral-one of Canada's largest media companies-also shares its name with this office building that has been part of Montréalers' lives since 1989 and now becomes Maison Astral. Over 400 of the 2,800 Astral employees will occupy many of the building's floors, including Corporate Department employees, as well as a large portion of its French-television team and Sales Department employees. "Our company was founded in Montréal nearly 50 years ago and we take great pride in helping to make our city one of the country's economic and cultural drivers. Today, we are delighted to occupy a choice location at the heart of Montréal's business and cultural district," declared Ian Greenberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of Astral. Maison Astral is a 30-storey office building with a breathtaking view of the Mount Royal that overlooks Montréal's most strategic hub at the corner of McGill College Avenue and de Maisonneuve Boulevard. ----------------------------------------------- They have already installed their hideous new logo
  12. Roman Bezjak Roman Bezjak, who was born in Slovenia but was raised in West Germany, set out to document the everyday qualities of communist buildings. Once the Ministry of Road Construction, this building in Tbilisi, Georgia, consists of five intersecting horizontal bars and resembles a Jenga game. It was designed to has as small a footprint on the ground as possible and to allow natural life to flourish. Now it houses the Bank of Georgia. Roman Bezjak Pictured here is a Cold War-era commercial complex in Leipzig, eastern Germany. Bezjak wants viewers to approach his photos "with a gaze uncontaminated by ideology." Roman Bezjak Nemiga Street in the Belarusian capital Minsk, where an old church still stands in the old city core, between two monstrosities of postwar modernism. Bezjak made repeated trips to Eastern Europe over a period spanning five years. Roman Bezjak Prefabricated apartment blocks in St. Petersburg, Russia. Bezjak wanted to show the buildings from eye level, the way local citizens would have seen them every day. Roman Bezjak A patriotic mosaic on the National History Museum in Tirana, Albania, built in 1981. Roman Bezjak This massive 1970s government building in the eastern German city of Magdeburg become a department store after 1991. Roman Bezjak The "three widows" in Belgrade, Serbia -- three massive apartment blocks. Roman Bezjak Bezjak's book has collected photos of post-war architecture from countries including Poland, Lithuania, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine and Georgia. Roman Bezjak The 12-story building in the middle is a three-star hotel -- the "Hotel Cascade" -- in the Czech city of Most. Roman Bezjak This publishing house in Sarajevo, Bosnia, looks like a spaceship. It shows signs of damage from the war. "It was near Snipers' Alley," Bezjak recalls -- a street in the Serbian capital that received its nickname during the Balkan wars. Roman Bezjak An earthquake in 1963 gave city planners in the Macedonian capital of Skopje the chance to envision an "ideal city" in concrete. The city's main post office could be from a science fiction movie. Roman Bezjak A department store in the Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk. Roman Bezjak The center of Dresden, where a state department store built in the 1970s was meant to be the height of modernity. The building was torn down in 2007. Roman Bezjak A dinosaur of communism: The roof of the sports hall in Kosovo's capital Pristina looks like the back of a stegosaurus. Built in 1977, it's still in use for athletic events and concerts. Roman Bezjak The Polish port city of Gdansk has prefabricated apartment blocks from the 1960s and 1970s that are supposed to look like waves from the nearby Baltic Sea. Called "wave houses," they take up whole city blocks. The largest is 850 meters long and is said to be the third-longest apartment building in Europe. Roman Bezjak For Bezjak, these buildings are not just relics of a failed system, but also, simply, home. "That can't be measured according to aesthetic or social categories, but only in terms of memories," he says. This photo shows the city of Halle in eastern Germany. Bezjak's photographs repeatedly met with incomprehension from Eastern European colleagues. "They can't understand why anyone would focus on this phenomenon," Bezjak says. Roman Bezjak's book "Sozialistische Moderne - Archäologie einer Zeit" is published by Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2011, 160 pages. http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,777206,00.html
  13. MONTREAL - Actor Michael Douglas has volunteered to serve as the star attraction in May at a Montreal fundraiser for cancer research. Douglas has stepped forward to assist with this year's event, the 17th annual Head and Neck Cancer Fundraiser, held by the Department of Otolaryngology of the McGill University Department of Medicine. It is scheduled for May 3 at Le Windsor, on Peel St. in downtown Montreal, according to the calendar of coming events at the Jewish General Hospital - where, according to the actor's publicist, his recent case of throat cancer was diagnosed after other physicians had missed it.. "It was his very gracious offer to help us in view of his own battle with throat cancer," Dr. Saul Frenkiel was quoted Monday night by the Canadian Press news agency. Frenkiel, a head and neck surgeon who is the event's co-chairman, could not be reached for an interview by The Gazette. Douglas owns a vacation property in the Mont Tremblant resort area in the Laurentians. Tickets to the dinner have been priced at $375 each. VIP tickets are $750. © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/movie-guide/Michael+Douglas+star+cancer+fundraiser/4639105/story.html
  14. CAE on deck for $500-million defence program By David Pugliese , Canwest News ServiceFebruary 13, 2009 11:02 AM Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be in Montreal Friday where he is expected to announce a new aerospace training facility that will provide work to CAE and other high-tech firms in Canada. The contract to CAE and its partners, which could over time be worth up to $500 million, arrives at a time when the Harper government needs to be seen to provide work and create jobs for Canadians during the recession. Last year, the government selected CAE as the winner of a Defence Department program known as the Operational Training Systems Provider or OTSP. But the actual awarding of the contract was delayed, at first by the election and then by other political developments. OTSP will see the creation of aerospace training facilities to teach Canadian Forces aircrews how to fly new transport planes and helicopters, as well as aircraft to be bought in the future for search and rescue. It is unclear at this point how many new aerospace jobs will be created. Montreal-based CAE, one of the world’s largest aviation simulation firms, had been deemed by the federal government as the only qualified bidder for the program. Defence officials privately say the OTSP program, which will include new training facilities and simulators at different locations in the country, will provide the air force with a common infrastructure for teaching crews on a number of aircraft. The project would run over the next 20 years and include training on new C-130J transport aircraft and other planes that will be purchased in the future. The final value of the deal will depend on how much training for various aircraft fleets will be eventually be included. The initial deal for CAE will focus on the C-130J aircraft and is expected to be worth around $250 million. The CAE team that will work on the project includes Xwave Defence and Aerospace in Ottawa; MacDonald Dettwiler of Richmond, B.C.; NGRAIN of Vancouver; Atlantis Systems International of Brampton, Ont.; Bombardier of St-Laurent, Que., and: Simgraph of Laval, Que. The announcement is seen by the Tories as a good news story as the Harper government has faced criticism from domestic aerospace and defence firms for not spending enough money in Canada. The government has earmarked more than $8 billion for new aircraft purchased from U.S. firms but Canadian companies have complained they have seen little work from those projects. On Thursday, parliamentarians were also calling for stricter oversight on how the Defence Department spends tax dollars after yet another internal audit found a lack of management oversight on a major equipment support project. The Ottawa Citizen reported that Defence Department auditors concluded the government has no idea whether it is getting value for money from a Canadian Forces communications project worth more than $290 million because it is not enforcing the terms of the contract. Defence Minister Peter MacKay found himself answering questions in the Commons from both the NDP and Liberal parties about ongoing problems with military procurement and the growing secrecy over such troubled deals. But according to MacKay the department has strict review policies already in place. “The procurement process is accountable and is transparent,” he noted. But Liberal defence critic Denis Coderre pointed out that previous audits had raised concerns about multi-billion dollar equipment purchases. “Clearly there needs to be big changes made on how this department can be made more accountable and responsible,” added NDP defence critic Dawn Black. “They spend billions and billions of dollars and Canadians have a right to know about what is going on.”
  15. Le nom de ce nouveau dirigeant: Jeffrey Sherman. Il avait également été chef de la direction de The Limited Stores et PDG de Bloomingdales/Federated Department Stores. Pour en lire plus...
  16. NRDC Equity buys Hudson's Bay MARINA STRAUSS Globe and Mail Update July 16, 2008 at 1:32 PM EDT Upscale U.S. department store chain Lord & Taylor is about set up shop in Canada. The company that owns Lord & Taylor bought Hudson's Bay Co. on Wednesday and will convert up to 15 of its key Bay department stores to the U.S. retailer's name. The move marries the two oldest department store retailers in North America, and will create an $8-billion (U.S.) merchandising powerhouse for the new buyer, NRDC Equity Partners of Purchase, N.Y. It will combine HBC's Bay, Zellers, Home Outfitters and Fields chains with NRDC's Lord & Taylor and Fortunoff, the jewellery and home decor chain. “By acquiring Hudson's Bay Co. along with previous acquisitions Lord & Taylor and Fortunoff, we will have an unprecedented opportunity to recreate the retail landscape in North America,” said Richard Baker, chief executive officer of NRDC. The newly expanded holding company will be called Hudson's Bay Trading Co. “Enormous potential exists by upgrading the offerings at both the Bay and Zellers and by bringing Lord & Taylor, Fortunoff and CDS into the mix.” CDS, or Creative Design Studios, produces fashion lines. The deal, for an undisclosed amount, comes just three months after the death of Jerry Zucker, the South Carolina businessman who acquired HBC in early 2006 for $1.1-billion and took it private. Mr. Zucker began to make changes at the chains, moving the Bay more upscale and adding new brands to the mix, while renovating Zellers stores and expanding Fields. Last summer, he appointed his chief lieutenant, Robert Johnston, as president of HBC. He was promoted to chief executive officer in April and succeeded Mr. Zucker on his death. Now Mr. Baker, who becomes the 38th governor, or chairman, of HBC, is investing $500-million into the combined new company and is set to put his own stamp on the retailer. Mr. Baker is already familiar with HBC, having sat on its board of directors since 2006. NRDC owns what is believed to be about 20 per cent of HBC. He said in a statement he plans to convert the Bay's most high-profile 10 to 15 stores to Lord & Taylor. It's a high-end U.S. fashion department store chain that was bought by Mr. Baker's holding company in 2006 and has since enjoyed a turnaround under his watch. It has also moved to more high-end fashions after closing some of its weaker outlets, leaving it with 47 stores. HBC has about 580 outlets in all. Lord & Taylor will serve to fill a gap in the Canadian retail landscape between the Bay and the carriage trade Holt Renfrew, Mr. Baker said. He wants to put greater focus on branded apparel at discounter Zellers, he said. He plans to improve its customer service and, in the future, roll out new 125,000-square-foot prototype stores. He will also bring Fortunoff to Canada, both as standalone stores and within the Bay. And he wants to expand NRDC's Creative Design Studios, selling its branded collections throughout North America and internationally. Its brands include Peter Som's eponymous collection as well as the Kate http://www.reportonbusiness.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080716.whbcstaff0716/BNStory/Business/home
  17. Who else is tired of the non-stop traffic around town ? And few or no measures to redirect traffic proprely! All roads lead to headache as repairs, more cars pile up Published: 21 hours ago JASON MAGDER, The Gazette Published: 21 hours ago Joseph Simon has been driving a taxi in Montreal for 19 years, and he says traffic in the last few months is the worst he's ever seen. "My clients have left my car to walk the rest of the way; it's happened three times already," he said yesterday while sitting in his black Buick Century, waiting at a taxi stand on Metcalfe St. in front of the Sun Life Building. "Traffic has been terrible this summer." Several of his fellow taxi drivers agreed. "It's blocked everywhere this year," said Hayssam Hamad, a 12-year veteran who works for Diamond Taxi. "Every year, there is more and more traffic." Montrealers are used to road construction in the summer and fall, but it seems this year has been particularly difficult. In addition to construction on several major highways, many arteries in the city core also are under repair. Add to that the 135 inspections of road structures ordered by the Johnson commission investigating the causes of last year's overpass collapse in Laval, and you have a recipe for traffic mayhem. Mario St-Pierre, a spokesperson for Quebec's Transport Department, said there isn't more construction than usual. "But the construction maybe affects more people," he said. "Especially with the Ville Marie Expressway (which since June has had several lanes closed for repairs). It's very difficult to divert the traffic there." He added there are more cars travelling to and from Montreal than ever before. According to figures from the Auto Insurance Board, car ownership in the areas around Montreal shot up between seven and 11 per cent between the years 2000 and 2005. In Montreal, there were 3.1 per cent more cars in the same period. Yesterday, motorists had a double dose of gridlock to contend with during the morning rush hour. An accident forced the closure of the Montreal-bound lanes of the Mercier Bridge. To make matters worse, the Transport Department closed Côte de Liesse Expressway to and from the Dorval Circle for emergency repairs to the underpass that gives eastbound cars access to Trudeau airport, causing backlogs on Highway 20 westbound, an area usually free of traffic problems in the morning. Yesterday at 7:30 a.m., cars backed up for a kilometre on Highway 20, causing about a half-hour delay, said André Marcotte, the Transport Department's director of planning for the Montreal region. The traffic caused some people to miss their flights yesterday morning, said Christiane Beaulieu, the vice-president of public affairs for Aéroports de Montréal. Some airport employees also were late for work because the parking lot for employees is located where the worst gridlock occurred, she said. The situation eased slightly in the afternoon when westbound Côte de Liesse was reopened. Things should improve even more this morning as the eastbound part from Marshall Ave. to the Dorval Circle is expected to be reopened. The underpass will remain closed until tomorrow and eastbound traffic to the airport will be diverted onto Michel Jasmin Ave. (the expressway's service road) and the Marshall Ave. overpass. The underpass was one of 135 structures flagged for inspection by the Johnson commission. It was found to be structurally deficient. With just 20 inspections carried out so far, Montrealers can expect many more temporary road closures in the coming months. Back at the taxi stand, Hamad said he doesn't mind the highway repairs so much, it's the work being done in the downtown core that is really hurting him. "On the highway, there's just a bit of a delay where the construction is, and then it clears up afterward," he said. He added it has been particularly difficult navigating on de Maisonneuve Blvd., where a bicycle path is being constructed, and on Sherbrooke St. near Amherst St., which has been closed since June for repairs after a section of the road collapsed. There were several other problems downtown recently: part of Bleury St. was closed for a weekend this month. It's still off-limits for heavy trucks. A section of the downtown core was closed last month when cracks were found in a concrete slab in the underground city near the McGill métro station. One block will remain closed for the next few months while crews work to remove the slab and replace it. [email protected] - - - And looking down the road, there's trouble circling More traffic headaches are in store for Highway 20 next year, as the Quebec Transport Department starts work on the much-anticipated reconfiguration of the Dorval circle. André Marcotte, the Transport Department's director of planning for the Montreal area said an announcement of the $150 million project will be made in the coming months. Preliminary work will be done this year with the demolition of a derelict building near the Via Rail train station. The major work will start next year, for completion in 2010. The project will reduce congestion to and from the airport by eliminating the traffic lights in the Dorval circle, Marcotte said. Christiane Beaulieu, Aéroports de Montréal's vice president of public relations, said this is welcome news. "The No. 1 complaint we get about the airport is that it is difficult to access," she said. "This is very good news." The project has been delayed many times in the past. It was originally planned for completion by 2001.
  18. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1230226--toronto-ers-feel-weight-of-downtown-condo-boom Sarah-Taïssir Bencharif Staff Reporter Anil Chopra can’t believe some of the things happening in his emergency departments’ waiting rooms. Or triage areas. They’re just too crowded. It’s clear to him where the surge of people comes from. “You just have to look outside your window,” says Chopra, head of emergency medicine at the University Health Network, which comprises four hospitals: Princess Margaret, Toronto Western, Toronto General and Toronto Rehab. “Toronto has a great reputation as being a condo king in North-America,” he says. Amidst the debate ignited by Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday over who should live in the city’s downtown core, Torontonians are wondering what services are available for the increasing number of people who do. Chopra and other doctors and hospital administrators say the rate at which downtown Toronto’s density is increasing is outpacing the area hospitals’ capacity and infrastructure. Both Toronto Western and Toronto General’s emergency departments have exceeded their capacities, with a combined total of more than 100,000 visits to the ER every year. “We do things I wouldn’t have imagined,” says Chopra. Nurses in his department started doing some therapies right in the triage area. Patients with IV drips are sitting in chairs — there aren’t enough beds. Chopra’s had to examine patients’ right in the waiting room, “knowing full well I’m in earshot of other people,” he says. “Otherwise, they will wait four more hours.” He doesn’t like saying it, but they’re just trying to survive. The city and province’s plans to curb urban sprawl have pushed development vertically with a multitude of condos sprouting up in the downtown core. While there are environmental and social benefits to building up, doctors say hospital infrastructure hasn’t been able to catch up. The emergency waiting rooms are getting as crowded as Toronto’s skyline. “We’re seeing a 5 to 10 per cent increase (in emergency room patients) year after year after year,” says Chopra. “It seems to be endless.” Planning for downtown urban growth can be challenging, says Sandeep Agrawal, professor of planning at Ryerson University. Usually, when planners prepare new subdivisions, they design and allocate services according to the planned density. “Downtown, it’s a bit the other way around, where the population has increased multiple folds and hospitals have to keep up with that,” he says. “Obviously they were not designed initially to cater to that density.” Agrawal is worried urban planners have forgotten their discipline’s original purpose which was to mitigate the spread of disease caused by living in close quarters. “City planning as a profession has moved far from health planning agencies with relatively little or no contact with health and health planning agencies,” he writes in an email. In downtown Toronto, the quarters are getting closer. The city’s population grew by almost 112,000 residents, a rise of 4.5 per cent between 2006 and 2011. That’s more than five times the growth reported in the previous five-year period, according to Statistics Canada. The city of Toronto’s website reports there are 132 high rises currently under construction. It’s the most out of any city in the world. The Ministry of Infrastructure’s plan for Toronto is to increase the density of residents and jobs in downtown Toronto to a minimum of 400 per hectare by 2031. That figure is already at 708 jobs and residents per hectare in Toronto Centre, according to MPP Glen Murray’s office. The downtown population boom has also put pressure on St. Michael’s Hospital. When its emergency department was built in 1983, it was designed to handle 45,000 patients a year. Today, that department annually sees more than 70,000 patients. That figure is growing alarmingly fast. “We’ve been going up 5 to 8 per cent a year over the last five years,” says Doug Sinclair, St. Mike’s executive vice-president and chief medical officer. He says there are likely other factors behind the rapid increase in the number of ER visits, but the increased downtown population is an important one. “The vast majority of patients who come to St. Mike’s are from the downtown area . . . most of the emergency department visits are local. We’re presuming it’s had an effect,” he says. It’s hard to beat the rush. Since securing government approval for a hospital revitalization project which will include a new 17-storey patient care tower, they’ve had to revise the emergency department’s size and resources to fit the new volume of patients. But it’s nearly impossible to really build for future projections. “We can design it for the number we have now or guesstimate a few thousand more, but clearly the government never wants to build something too big,” says Sinclair. Money is tight. The Ministry of Infrastructure sets its density forecasts and communicates them to other relevant ministries, like the Ministry of Health. The two are responsible for funding and building hospitals in the province. The Ministry of Health changed its funding model from an across-the-board increase to funding hospitals based on the services they deliver. This should provide funding that better matches each hospital’s changing population and needs, according to Tori Gass, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health. But emergency doctors like Chopra aren’t sure the new funding model or all the cost-saving strategies already in place will help them much. “I’m not that optimistic,” he says.
  19. 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
  20. Ce sujet à été démarrer seulement pour les crisses d'épais qui pollue trop souvent ce forum et qui pense qu'il y a juste à Montréal que des choses comme ça arrive. Il n'y a pas juste ici qu'ils trouvent des défauts dans des constructions. Source: CNN Construction crews working on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in California discovered a crack that could keep the heavily traveled bridge closed beyond the planned Labor Day weekend shutdown. During inspection of the east span of the bridge, workers found a crack in one of the eyebars on the side of the structure, said Bart Ney, spokesman for the California Department of Transportation. "It's a significant crack -- significant enough to have closed the bridge on its own," he said in a news conference aired on the agency's Web site Saturday night. Ney said the crack has to be repaired immediately and acknowledged that the work may stretch past Tuesday when the bridge was scheduled to reopen. "I want to assure everyone that this repair will be made and we will return the Bay Bridge safer than when we took it out," he said.