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Found 16 results

  1. Montreal to host conference on reducing growth BY MICHELLE LALONDE, GAZETTE ENVIRONMENT REPORTER http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Montreal+host+conference+degrowth/6600947/story.html MONTREAL - Just as events are forcing Quebecers to debate some fundamental questions about our economy and our future, five Montreal universities happen to be hosting a weeklong conference on “degrowth” – a movement that questions whether economic growth should be our society’s primary goal. “Degrowth is an attempt to force us out of this lock-step way of thinking that growth is always good,” said Peter Brown, a professor at McGill University’s School of Environment and one of the conference’s organizers. Brown said the conference – which starts Sunday and ends Saturday, May 19 – has been in the works for years and is modelled on similar conferences in Paris in 2008 and Barcelona in 2010, and is leading up to a global conference on the issue next fall in Venice. But he admits the timing is serendipitous. The Occupy movement, the recent record-breaking Earth Day march in Montreal, concerns over the push to develop northern Quebec and the continuing student strikes are all signs that many Quebecers are questioning the “business-as-usual” approach to economic development. Brown says all of these movements may find common ground in the notion that a narrow focus on growing the economy at any cost, while discounting effects on the environment and human well-being have led mankind to commit some catastrophic errors. Gross domestic product should not be used as the key measure of a country’s well being, because it ignores the cost of creating wealth (for some), such as environmental degradation and human suffering, say proponents of degrowth. Errors like runaway global warming, habitat destruction and a widening wage gap between rich and poor will lead to calamity for future generations, and a forced, unplanned “degrowth” period that will be painful, they warn. “Any healthy civilization looks after future generations ... we just don’t do that,” Brown told The Gazette on Thursday. The conference will feature panels and lectures by academics and activists prominent in the North American degrowth movement. The big draw will be a public lecture by ecologist David Suzuki called Humanity in Collision with the Biosphere: Is it Too Late? on Friday at 11 a.m. at UQÀM. (Admission to Suzuki’s talk is free, but registration is required). The conference, titled Less is More; Degrowth in the Americas, runs from May 13 to 19. Registration costs $200 per day, or $390 for all seven days, with reduced fees offered to students or members of “grassroots Montreal-based organizations.” Talks will be recorded and posted on the conference website (montreal.degrowth.org). [email protected] Twitter: @mrlalonde © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette ********************************************************************************************************************* Québec - Forward Never, Backwards Ever
  2. CTV.ca News Staff Environment Canada confirms that a funnel cloud formed in Montreal's east end Wednesday afternoon, creating a rare tornado-like waterspout. Images of the event showed what appeared to be a twisting pillar of water rising out of the St. Lawrence River. Montreal was expected to be pounded by rain throughout the day. Environment Canada warned of winds reaching up to 90 kilometres per hour, and hail two centimetres in diametre. But despite those conditions, waterspouts are more commonly found in tropical weather. "These systems are usually formed in places like the Florida Keys because the temperatures are warmer and the water temperatures are also warm," said Martin Belanger, a meteorologist with MeteoMedia. "This one formed in Montreal, which is very rare." He added that funnel clouds which trigger waterspouts are basically a "tornado over the water," and have similar characteristics. "It looks kind of like a tornado. It's similar," he told CTV Montreal. "It has the same winds turning counterclockwise, and the wind speeds are roughly around 60 to 120 kilometres per hour. This time it was formed over water, which is why it's called a waterspout." There were no reports of damage from the waterspout.
  3. Time to protect the 'green lace doily' of Montreal, environmentalists say Coalition is pressing Quebec to create a provincial park joining endangered lands MICHELLE LALONDE, The Gazette Published: 10 hours ago Environmental groups across southwestern Quebec are ratcheting up the pressure on the Quebec government to create a new kind of provincial park to stop the rapid destruction of forests, wetlands, islands and other natural spaces around Montreal. Fifty-five groups have united behind the innovative project to create the Montreal Archipelago Ecological Park, Montreal's answer to the "green belts" other Canadian cities have established to stop urban sprawl, combat climate change and preserve nearby natural green space. "We don't call it a green belt, though, it's more like a green lace doily," said David Fletcher, a spokesperson for the new coalition calling itself Partners for the Montreal Archipelago Ecological Park. The ship has sailed long ago on creating a true green belt around Montreal, since the island is surrounded by rapidly growing suburbs. But environmental groups say it would be possible for the province to legislate as protected the remaining forests, shorelines, wetlands and other natural spaces on Montreal Island and Laval's Île Jésus, as well as a number of undeveloped islands in the region. The groups want to see this "green doily" of remaining natural lands protected with the same status as a provincial park, or what the Quebec government refers to as a national park. The government has made repeated international commitments to protect at least eight per cent of its territory, ensuring that the protected areas reflect the biological diversity of the province. While the government has recently created some new conservation areas in northern Quebec, Fletcher says nothing is being done to protect southwestern Quebec, an ecologically rich domain that biodiversity experts refer to as the sugar maple bitternut hickory bioclimatic domain. Less than four per cent of this domain, which stretches from the lower Laurentians to the U.S. border, is protected from development. "The tough job that needs to be done is down here, where half the people of Quebec live, and this is is simply being ignored." Although former Liberal environment minister Thomas Mulcair had expressed enthusiasm for the park project, current minister Line Beauchamp has been at best lukewarm. In a recent letter to the project's proponents, responding to their request for support, an Environment Department official suggested the protection of these lands is a municipal and regional responsibility. "I share your concerns about the protection of biodiversity in southern Quebec, where we find a great richness of species and ecosystems, both land-based and aquatic," wrote Patrick Beauchesne, director of ecological heritage and parks in the Environment Department. But Beauchesne went on to suggest that municipalities are responsible for zoning of privately owned urban land, and did not offer support. Fletcher said his group is determined to take the debate to the National Assembly. Members of his group met last week with Mulcair, now an NDP member of Parliament, and with Parti Québécois environment critic Camil Bouchard. "The political establishment has to get behind this project," Fletcher said. "Quebec has (biodiversity) commitments that are international. ... Now it's time to move from statements of principle to action." [email protected] thegazette.canwest.com
  4. Completed Vancouver Convention Centre West goes for Leed Gold certification Vancouver's waterfront has a spectacular new addition in the completion of Vancouver Convention Centre West, the city's latest flagship eco-development which triples the total square footage and functional capacity of the Centre and completes the development of the public realm. With 6 acres of green roof it boasts the largest in Canada, and the largest non-industrial green roof in North America. This combined with many other eco-measures is set to help the project achieve LEED Canada Gold certification. The project consists of 1.2 million sq ft divided into exhibition space, meeting rooms, 90,000 sq ft of retail space, a 55,000 sq ft ballroom and 400,000 sq ft of public realm including walkways and bikeways. All in, the project promises to be “a celebration of people and place and a model of sustainability”. Architects LMN worked in collaboration with Vancouver-based Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership and DA Architects & Planners to design the centre which will be used as a hub to support 7,000 media during the XXI Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games. But not suffice to support homosapians, a key element of the design was the restoration of the shoreline and marine habitat. Having worked with marine scientists, an underwater habitat skirt or artificial reef was developed as part of the centre’s foundation and now provides new habitat for barnacles, mussels, seaweed, starfish, crabs and various fish species. The green roof too is home to 400,000 indigenous plants and grasses, providing natural habitat to birds, insects and small mammals. But it will also provide vital insulation for the building. Other eco-measures include black water treatment and desalinization, a heat pump system that takes advantage of the constant temperature of adjacent seawater, extensive use of controlled daylighting and energy efficient fixtures. Local materials including locally harvested Douglas fir and Hemlock have been used for wood finishes reducing the harmful effects of transportation on the environment. Vancouver is a mixed bag of spectacular natural environment with an impressive urban core. This latest addition attempts to blend the two and create a synergy, acting as a powerful visual ambassador of the Pacific Northwest region’s commitment to sustainability. Niki May Young News Editor http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=11387
  5. Hilton is launching a New Brand DENIZEN Hotels and Montreal is on the list for a new concept hotel!!!! See the web site: http://www.denizenhotels.com/ press on Heart See also the following article: Hilton unveils new brand: Denizen Hotels Mar 10, 2009 Beverly Hills, Calif.--Hilton Hotels Corp. announced today the addition of Denizen Hotels, a global lifestyle brand, to the Hilton Family of Brands. Appearing throughout the world in international social epicenters, Denizen Hotels will cater to globally-conscious modern travelers of the world. “We are thrilled to welcome Denizen Hotels into our portfolio of brands,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hilton Hotels Corporation. “While we continue to operate in a challenging macro economic environment, the addition of Denizen Hotels demonstrates our commitment to continuing to invest in our long-term growth. Denizen Hotels, a lifestyle brand that will attract business and leisure travelers across cultures and generations and has an authenticity that will appeal to today’s sensibilities, will be highlighted by exceptional design and service at an accessible price point. This new brand rounds out our Luxury & Lifestyle portfolio, which includes the Waldorf Astoria, the Waldorf Astoria Collection and Conrad Hotels & Resorts.” Denizen Hotels will target corporate and leisure guests and creates an international intersection between business and pleasure with an environment that redefines how guests stay and how they play. Each hotel will offer both substance and style, creating a technology-rich, smart-in-design living environment, focusing on connecting emotionally with guests. From innovative check-in experiences to in-room curated comfort, Denizen Hotels will harness design and technology inspiration to provide a transformative guest experience for the world citizen. During a unique unveiling at the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin, a reconstructed vision of the brand experience will be presented to attendees within a shipping container. Designed to allow visitors to walk in and experience the space, this bold presentation embodies the eclecticism and global design language of the brand, expressed with the green thread of sustainability – one of the core values of the brand. “The term denizen literally means ‘citizen of the world,’” said Ross Klein, Global Head Luxury & Lifestyle Brands, Hilton Hotels Corporation. “We created this new brand in homage to guests who desire and deserve the best hotel experiences, both on an emotional and functional level. We are excited to introduce this new concept and look forward to welcoming the denizens of the world to our properties.” Denizen Hotels will offer a global voice with a local accent – cultivating a community for guests to connect within each unique location. In addition, Denizen Hotels will benefit from being a part of Hilton’s global infrastructure that supports a worldwide network of more than 3,200 hotels and 545,000 rooms in 77 countries. Highlighting local expertise, and blending with a solid support network, Denizen properties will provide an exceptional and practical experience at accessible prices in urban, non-urban and resort destinations. Social, interactive spaces will be at the heart of the Denizen Hotels brand, welcoming guests and providing exclusive hubs for relaxation and inspiration. From communal style society restaurant tables for the epicurean explorers to rejuvenation zones which will provide a personal technology-rich haven before or after check-in, Denizen Hotels creates a living community, anticipating guest needs and desires in and outside of their rooms and suites. Harnessing the diversity of world renowned architects and interior designers such as Charles Allem, Clodagh and David Rockwell to shape and envision each space, Denizen Hotels’internal and external spaces will reflect the influence and eclecticism of world class international design. Denizen Hotels is primarily aimed at the globally-conscious modern traveler. With developments planned in cosmopolitan, urban cities as well as resort destinations, Denizen Hotels provides for everything from an inspiring urban weekend getaway to a rejuvenating retreat or smart business trip in destinations across the globe. Denizen Hotels will range from unique, select experiences to larger destination resorts, creating a unified yet eclectic brand with the assurance of the Hilton brand reputation. Active development negotiations are currently underway for resorts and destinations in key cities throughout the globe; including, but not limited to Abu Dhabi, Austin, Beverly Hills (California), Buenos Aires, Cancun, Hollywood (California), Istanbul, Jerusalem, Las Vegas, London, Los Cabos, Miami, Montreal, Mumbai, New York City, Panama City and Washington D.C. “Hilton Hotels’ Luxury and Lifestyle brands have heralded a return to the authenticity of Conrad Hilton’s original vision, as realized in the 1950s,” added Ross Klein. “We listened to the comments and needs of our Hilton loyalists and are excited to introduce Denizen Hotels as our latest addition to these complementary, best-in-class brands.” For additional information on Denizen Hotels, please visit http://www.denizenhotels.com.
  6. A 45 - acre comprehensive, master planned office campus on Nuns' Island. This multi-phased office complex is geared to those tenants looking for the quality environment offered in suburban locations but with the benefits of a site located just five minutes from Montreal's central business district. Availabilities range from 50,000 sq.ft. to 500,000 sq.ft. in various configurations, all of which will be LEED certified. With the arrival of Bell Canada on Nuns' Island, public transportation has improved with investments in infrastructure being made by various governmental authorities; the neighborhood is poised for even more development. Companies such a Yellow Pages, Multi-prêt, Bombardier Recreational Products and the Bank of Canada continue to enjoy the exceptional office environment that Nuns' Island has to offer with its abundant retail offerings, bike paths, nature walks and lush landscaped public areas.
  7. http://www.archdaily.com/535628/free-cad-files-of-241-major-world-cities/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter 241 CAD files of metropolitan areas, for architectural and urban planning applications. These .DXF files are prepared for use in programs such as AutoCAD and Rhinoceros. How to UseChoose "meters" as the unit of measurement when importing these files. Models are two-dimensional and organized into 8 feature layers: Central Park in new-york.dxf roads_1 major highways roads_2 major roads roads_3 minor roads buildings railways parks parks, stadia, marinas, gardens... water rivers and lakescoastline sea level 0m AboutFiles are derived from OpenStreetMap, a free, collaboratively edited document of the built environment, and distributed under the Open Database License. Improve these files by contributing your knowledge to OSM. Data and web page are based off work by Mapzen and Michal Migurski's Extractotron. Questions? Suggestions? Reach me by email or Twitter.
  8. By Jay Bryan, Special to Gazette February 15, 2013 8:04 PM Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/homes/Bryan+housing+numbers+point+soft+landing/7973381/story.html#ixzz2L1fXbpfN MONTREAL — For more than a year, there have been two competing narratives about the future path of Canada’s high-flying housing market: total collapse and moderate decline. The moderates, if we can call them that, still seem to me to have the better argument, especially when you consider the unexpectedly upbeat housing resale figures last month. Friday’s report from the Canadian Real Estate Association demonstrates that national home sales continue to be significantly lower than those of a year ago, but that virtually all of this decline happened abruptly last August, reflecting a tough squeeze on mortgage-lending conditions in July by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. Since then, however, there’s been no further month-to-month downtrend, notes CREA chief economist Gregory Klump. Prices, which don’t necessarily track sales right away, have also weakened, but less. While sales are down five per cent from one year ago, average national prices are actually up by three per cent, as measured by the CREA Home Price Index. However, this year-over-year price gain has slid gradually from the 4.5 per cent recorded in July. What’s the bottom line? In my opinion, it’s that the catastrophist scenario detailed not just by eccentric bloggers but also in national newspapers and magazines, looks increasingly unlikely. That’s not to say this outcome is utterly impossible. At least one highly regarded consulting firm, Capital Economics, has been predicting for two years that this country faces a 25-per-cent plunge in average home prices. This is the kind of drop — almost comparable to the 30-per-cent-plus crash in the U.S. — that would probably trigger a bad recession, especially in today’s environment of subdued economic growth. David Madani, the economist responsible for this frightening prediction, understands the housing numbers very well, but he simply doesn’t share most other analysts’ relative equanimity about what they mean. Yes, Canada’s banks are financially stronger and more prudent in their lending than their U.S. counterparts, he acknowledges, and yes, there’s little evidence of the fraud and regulatory irresponsibility that worsened the U.S. catastrophe, but he sees the psychology of overoptimistic buyers as uncomfortably similar. What looks like enormous overbuilding of condos in the hot Toronto market help to make his point, as does the still-stratospheric price of Vancouver housing. Madani certainly has a point, but the countervailing evidence seems even stronger. A key example is the behaviour of Canada’s housing market over the past six months. The latest squeeze on mortgage lending, the fourth in five years, is also the toughest, points out economist Robert Kavcic of BMO Capital Markets. It drove up the cost of carrying a typical loan by nearly one percentage point, or about $150 a month on a $300,000 mortgage. And as this shock was hitting the housing market, Canada’s employment growth was slowing. In a market held aloft by speculative psychology, it seems very likely that such a hammer blow would bring about the very crash that pessimists have been predicting. Instead, though, the market reacted pretty much as it had during previous rounds of Flaherty’s campaign to rein in the housing market, notes Derek Burleton, deputy chief economist at the TD Bank. Sales dropped moderately, but the decline didn’t feed on itself as it would in an environment of collapsing speculative hopes. Instead, the market proved to be rather resilient, with sales plateauing and then actually rising a bit in January. Burleton, along with Kavcic and Robert Hogue, an economist at the Royal Bank who follows housing, believe that we’ve already seen most of the market downside that will result from Flaherty’s move. Jay Bryan: New housing numbers point to soft landing This doesn’t mean that the market is out of the woods. It’s still overvalued, not hugely, but by something like 10 per cent, Burleton estimates. But moderate overvaluation can persist for years unless the market is hit by some shock to incomes or interest rates. While there’s no agreement on the path prices take from here, some of these analysts think they’ll drift down slowly, maybe three to eight per cent over a few years. At the same time, rising take-home pay will be shrinking the amount of overvaluation, creating a more sustainable market. Let’s hope they’re right. [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/homes/Bryan+housing+numbers+point+soft+landing/7973381/story.html#ixzz2L1ew0d8Y
  9. Quartier Concordia Quartier Concordia will transform the Sir George Williams campus from a collection of scattered buildings into a welcoming and cohesive urban campus in the area bordered generally by Sherbrooke, Guy, René-Lévesque, and Bishop. The goals of the Quartier Concordia project include improving the use of outdoor spaces, stimulating street life, and providing respite for the Concordia community and the public. The project will optimize vehicular and bicycle traffic as well as pedestrian flow, facilitate movement between campus buildings, and ensure the safe interaction of vehicles and pedestrians. Quartier Concordia will also maintain a welcoming environment for the Concordia community and the public, highlight landmarks, improve the use of space, promote the display of artwork and create a distinct campus environment within the downtown core. The project will be carried out over several years by Groupe Cardinal Hardy and in conjunction with the City of Montreal. Facts: A multi-year project Landscape architect: Groupe Cardinal Hardy Location: The area bordered by Sherbrooke, Guy, René-Lévesque, and Bishop The project will promote a distinct, welcoming, and efficient downtown campus
  10. Dell offers the first-ever look at a trend-setting hospital of groundbreaking aspirations. Combined with a desire to celebrate the community and culture of central Texas in the U.S., the design for the hospital began with a distinct vision to significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of the building on the environment and building occupants. The facility is part of a 700-acre new urbanist development on the brownfield site of a former municipal airport in Austin, a city known for promoting green building practices. An on-site natural gas-fired energy plant; courtyards that provide natural light and cooler, cleaner fresh air; views and access to nature; and the use of environmentally-friendly finishes all contribute to providing central Texas with a unique healing environment that is not only appealing to patients and families, but plays a key role in recruiting and retaining employees, critical in an industry experiencing a shortage of skilled staff. UPDATE On 12 January 2009 Karlsberger announced that Dell Children's Medical Center is officially the first hospital in the world to achieve LEED Platinum status. http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=10894
  11. http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Outlook+rosy+Montreal+real+estate/2238533/story.html
  12. Quebec adopts California car emissions standards Rules will gradually lower greenhouse gas emission ceiling for cars Last Updated: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 | 10:17 PM ET Quebec is adopting California's stringent auto-emissions standards next month, in a move to tackle the province's polluting transport sector. When the new emissions standards take effect Jan. 14, Quebec will become the first Canadian province to follow California's lead in reducing greenhouse gases with cleaner light vehicles. The standards will impose increasingly strict limits on maximum greenhouse gas emissions for light vehicles manufactured between 2010 and 2016, and sold in Quebec. By 2016, provincial standards will require light vehicles to produce no more than 127 grams of greenhouse gas per kilometre. New emissions standards for light vehicles in Quebec are modelled after California's stricter regulations.New emissions standards for light vehicles in Quebec are modelled after California's stricter regulations. (Canadian Press)The new rules come after two years of consultation on California's controversial standards, said Line Beauchamp, the province's environment minister. California's emissions program is "really interesting because it is accompanied by a system of penalties, but especially, a system of rewards" for cleaner cars, Beauchamp said in French at a news conference in Montreal on Tuesday. The emission caps apply to a manufacturer's total vehicle fleet, which means companies that manage to come under the limit can either bank their credits, or sell them to others, Beauchamp explained. When the West Coast state first introduced its standards in 2004, it was beset by judicial challenges from the auto industry, a reaction Quebec noted with interest, the environment minister said. But with the advent of Barack Obama as president, and a slow spread of California's standards to other states, Quebec is ready to take the plunge for stricter standards "with much pride," Beauchamp said. The minister noted that several states neighbouring Quebec are among those that have followed California's lead, including Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut. The Obama administration has also signalled its intent to adopt equivalent standards for all of the United States by 2012. In Quebec, the transport sector generates about 40 per cent of the province's greenhouse gases, half of which is caused by light vehicles.
  13. Harper is on the second day of a three-day tour of Europe, with environmental issues at the centre of the agenda. Most European countries are wary of Canada's mixed record on the Kyoto Protocol for greenhouse gas emissions, with far more political and public support for reductions in Europe than is generally found in this country. Before he left, some environmentalists criticized the prime minister's trip for its own greenhouse gas emissions. They say the air travel involved in taking Harper's retinue to several European cities in three days will generate more than 400 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, as much as 100 cars produce in a year. But Harper and his officials say expressing Canada's position on climate change is crucial, as well as discussing this country's booming trade with Europe, worth some $110 billion in the past year. Speaking to UN delegates in Bonn, Harper said Canada was the first industrialized country to ratify a biodiversity treaty in 1992, and that this country took a varied approach to environment protection, involving all sectors of society, and not just government. "Canada has gone to great lengths to protect and preserve our rich and diverse environment," Harper said in Bonn. "In our country, this is not just a government enterprise. We are partnered with many private individuals, corporations and non-governmental organizations dedicated to environmental philanthropy." CBC's chief political correspondent, Keith Boag, travelling with the prime minister, said there was little about the address that was new in policy terms. "The speech was really just a once-over-lightly about how beautiful Canada is," Boag said. "How many lakes and rivers and streams and mountains and forests and fields and so on [the country] has." The Bernier resignation is still very much on the mind of the prime minister and officials and journalists travelling with him, Boag said. Canada could do more: environmentalists Environmental groups at the Bonn meeting say there is sometimes more words than substance to Canada's positions on biodiversity and other environmental issues. William Jackson with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature said Canada can be proud of its domestic achievements in environmental protection, but its international role in holding up agreements on issues like climate change has raised eyebrows. "I have not seen Canada blocking things to the point [that] decisions are not being made," Jackson says, "but I've seen them expressing their views strongly." Federal Environment Minister John Baird, who is with Harper, dismissed accusations Wednesday that Canada isn't doing enough to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Baird said the Canadian government actions include regulating big polluters, a hydrogen initiative in B.C., encouragement of carbon capture and storage efforts, an electricity grid between Ontario and Manitoba and support for tidal power generation in the Maritimes. Harper was hoping to convince European leaders that his plan for fighting greenhouse gases is a good one, despite criticism from environmentalists. Unlike most of Europe, Canada and the U.S. oppose any new climate change pact that would exclude major polluters, such as China or India. Harper is using this trip to lay the groundwork for the upcoming G8 meeting this summer in Japan, which will focus on climate change. On Wednesday in Bonn, Harper is also meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The two leaders pledged last year to increase co-operation between their two countries on a range of issues, including environmental policy and trade. Harper's next stop will be Rome for meetings with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi before travelling to London where he has meetings scheduled with the Queen and his British counterpart, Gordon Brown, as well as a speech to business leaders at the Canada-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce. With files from the Canadian Press http://news.sympatico.msn.cbc.ca/abc/world/contentposting.aspx?isfa=1&newsitemid=harper-bonn&feedname=CBC-WORLD-V3&showbyline=True