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  1. The new oil sheik of Quebec SOPHIE COUSINEAU MONTREAL — The Globe and Mail Published Tuesday, Feb. 05 2013, 7:45 PM EST Last updated Tuesday, Feb. 05 2013, 7:53 PM EST 6 comments 25 8 17 0 Print / License AA To say that I am a football fan is an overstatement as big as New Orleans’ Superdome, though I’ve always had a soft spot for the San Francisco 49ers. But I gave up on “my team” and on the Super Bowl when the Baltimore Ravens’ lead reached 22 points, and switched to Tout le monde en parle, the talk show that normally rules Quebec airwaves on Sundays. MORE RELATED TO THIS STORY Redford calls on energy workers to raise the flag Alberta stands firm on Keystone Gaspé drilling ban assailed by pro-exploration factions ENERGY Video: How oil sands players are collaborating on environmental innovation VIDEO Video: Quebec considers updating common law legislation GALLERY From Leduc to the Bakken boom, big moments in Canada's modern age of oil So I missed the power outage and the 49ers’ spectacular comeback. But I did see Quebec’s Natural Resource Minister, Martine Ouellet, throw a couple of Hail Marys. This may come as a surprise to those who have heard of Quebeckers’ widespread disdain for the oil sands, but the province of cheap, abundant hydroelectricity has some big oil ambitions of its own. On the Radio-Canada talk show, Ms. Ouellet talked about the revenues that could be extracted from Quebec’s oil reserves. The Gaspé region could generate $35-billion, she said. The Anticosti Island? Between $200-billion and $300-billion. The Old Harry offshore deposit in the Gulf of St.-Lawrence? A whopping $500-billion! (A press officer corrected her Tuesday and said she had meant to say $50-billion, but still.) The show’s court jester, Dany Turcotte, was flabbergasted at those huge figures, which conjured up images of oil gushing from a swamp like in the opening of the old Beverly Hillbillies TV series. Until now, the reality has been very different. Quebec’s oil is hard to extract. In the past 10 years, junior resource companies poking the land have only succeeded in pumping a couple of hundred of very pricey barrels from exploration wells. “You have got to be careful before asserting that we are going to be as rich as Alberta,” says Jean-Yves Lavoie, chief executive officer of Junex, a Quebec exploration company. There is still a lot of work to be done. There is only one deposit close to being commercially viable, according to its promoter, Pétrolia Inc., and that is the Haldimand project near the town of Gaspé, where exploratory work is now halted. But Premier Pauline Marois is determined to see Quebec reduce its reliance on imported oil. And for a cash-strapped province that is cutting expenses in all departments to balance its books, extra oil royalties would ease some fiscal pain. Even Ms. Ouellet, a former water conservationist who denounced “fracking” as unsafe in her first days in a limousine, is officially riding along, although she advocates moving with extreme caution. Fracking is a technique that injects a chemically-laced solutions underground to fracture rock formations and release oil and gas. But Quebec’s three known oil regions are facing daunting obstacles. The Old Harry offshore deposit has become another battleground between Quebec and Newfoundland, with both provinces claiming jurisdiction over its riches. While there have been some seismic surveys on the Newfoundland side, there has been no exploratory work on the Quebec side of the disputed border, as the government awaits an environmental assessment of the fragile ecosystem. Since no drilling has been done, no one knows what Old Harry truly holds. “Chances are it’s natural gas, but when politicians take a hold of Old Harry, it turns into oil,” says Mr. Lavoie, a mining engineer. The Anticosti island, also in the Gulf, holds the best promise, according to Mr. Lavoie, whose exploration licences border the south of the island. Pétrolia concurs. Its licences and those of its partner Corridor Resources from Halifax cover the rest of the island; they hold 30.9 billion barrels of oil, according to an assessment by Sproule Associates Ltd. But most of this oil would only be accessible by fracking, not by conventional extraction methods, according to Pétrolia president and chairman André Proulx. And there is a de facto moratorium on fracking until Quebec completes its environmental review on the controversial technique. In the meantime, the former shale gas opponents are revving up the campaign to protect the sparsely populated wildlife sanctuary against oil production. This places the Marois government in an untenable position, as it opposed fracking for gas while apparently favouring it for the oil industry. Which leaves Gaspésie. There, Pétrolia temporarily halted its exploratory work on the Haldimand project because of the Gaspé mayor’s opposition on environmental grounds. Mr. Proulx believes the fear of ground water contamination is rubbish. “What they are truly trying to do is to get more municipal powers and a share of the mining royalties,” says Mr. Proulx, who hopes the province will settle the issue. Despite this setback, Pétrolia’s president remains a believer. “In theory, in five or six years time, we could supply half of all the oil Quebec consumes,” Mr. Proulx asserts. Only a vocal minority opposes oil production, this promoter says. Yet the Marois government will have to do a hell of a selling job. Because if recent history proves anything, that minority is what freezes energy development in Quebec – be it winter or summer.
  2. Lors d'une consultation publique il y a quelques semaines, je me suis renseigné sur ce projet. L'école des Premières Lettres, sur la rue de Gaspé, dans le Plateau Mont-Royal, sera remplacée par des logements sociaux ainsi qu'un CPE. L'édifice fera 5 et 6 étages, ce qui est quand même une bonne dimension pour le Plateau. [sTREETVIEW]https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Ecole+Des+Premi%C3%A8res+Lettres+(L'),+Gasp%C3%A9+Avenue,+Montr%C3%A9al,+QC,+Canada&hl=fr&ie=UTF8&ll=45.52542,-73.59252&spn=0.000015,0.013078&sll=45.525343,-73.592196&layer=c&cid=8902136627253855968&cbp=13,87.84,,0,-2.25&cbll=45.525471,-73.592633&hq=Ecole+Des+Premi%C3%A8res+Lettres+(L'),+Gasp%C3%A9+Avenue,+Montr%C3%A9al,+QC,+Canada&t=m&z=17&panoid=ogwKFYVPpQpGUdXhr55VqQ[/sTREETVIEW] La volumétrie sera de 6 étages pour un édifice longeant le parc, et 5 étages le long de la rue de Gaspé, à ce qu'on m'a dit. Il semblerait que le projet avance bien. De toute manière, l'école des Premières Lettres est en train de se démolir par elle-même, l'édifice est vétuste.
  3. Le pouvoir d’attraction du Mile-End est indéniable. Des centaines d’artistes y ont leurs ateliers; les boutiques et bars branchés foisonnent; de plus en plus d’entreprises y déménagent leurs bureaux. Bref, le quartier est dans le vent. Et une transaction tout juste notariée vient de confirmer l’attrait économique du Mile-End pour les grands groupes immobiliers. Le fond de placement Allied Properties, déjà propriétaire de l’édifice d’Ubisoft et du 5455 de Gaspé, vient d’acquérir la bâtisse voisine, le 5445 de Gaspé. Un immense cube de béton de 500 000 pieds carrés. Allied a contracté une hypothèque d’un peu plus de 29 millions de dollars pour acquérir cette ancienne usine textile, révèle l’acte notarié. Le groupe avait acheté le 5455 –quasi identique– en juin dernier. Cet intérêt accru des promoteurs pour le Mile-End a soulevé une vague d’inquiétude chez les artistes du secteur. Ils paient actuellement de très bas loyers et craignent de se faire expulser au profit de locataires beaucoup plus payants. Allied a déjà commencé à dépenser des millions pour rénover le 5455. Les investissements devraient totaliser 7 millions sur trois ans dans ce seul immeuble. Dans un appel-conférence le mois dernier, M. Emory a indiqué que des locataires déplacés du 5455 pourraient être déplacés vers le 5445. Tout cela en vue de d’accueillir des locataires “plus gros et plus haut de gamme” au 5455. Malgré cette nouvelle transaction, les artistes semblent aujourd’hui plus rassurés qu’à l’automne dernier. Ils sont environ 600 dans les deux immeubles de la rue de Gaspé, selon le Regroupement Pied Carré. Raphaëlle Aubin, coordonnatrice de l’organisme, a indiqué vendredi matin que des négociations étaient en cours avec Allied. Les pourparlers visent à “garder les éléments créateurs” dans les immeubles de la rue de Gaspé, a-t-elle dit. Michael Emory, d’Allied, ne nous a pas rappelé. L’automne dernier, il avait toutefois affirmé ne pas vouloir expulser en bloc les créateurs de la rue de Gaspé. http://blogues.cyberpresse.ca/lapresseaffaires/immobilier/2012/04/13/artistes-et-immobilier-allied-etend-sa-presence-dans-le-mile-end/
  4. Plan Nord' exploited Mining, energy Charest would expand Hydro-Québec output WILLIAM MARSDEN, The Gazette Published: 14 hours ago Premier Jean Charest ventured into solid Parti Québécois territory yesterday where he announced his government's intention to supercharge Hydro-Québec with $19 billion in new energy projects as part of his plan to open Quebec's north to massive development and resource exploitation and make the province an economic powerhouse. "We are the party that forges Quebec's future," he told an audience of Liberal faithful huddled under a large white tent erected in the rain-soaked Port of Sept Îles. As part of a continued string of staged events where local Liberals pack the crowd, the premier used the opening of new port facilities in Sept Îles, which were actually completed two years ago, to hammer home his vision of turning Quebec's north into an economic powerhouse of mining and energy exploitation. He calls it the "Plan Nord." His said new energy expansion plans that will add 3,500 megawatts to Hydro-Québec's grid by 2035. That's enough power to run about 600,000 homes - or Quebec City. Charest traveled in a chartered plane from Montreal to Sept Îles Thursday with his wife, Michelle, and then flew yesterday to the town of Gaspé to tour a Danish factory called LM Glasfiber that makes windmill blades. From Montreal to the Gaspé, every time he tours a plant, the Liberals make sure workers are lined up to shake his hand for the cameras. The Liberals campaign slogan, "The economy first, yes?" festoons his podiums and he never fails to mention the need for a majority government to navigate the province through the international slowdown. Yet in most of the areas he visits, the economy is doing well. With the exception of forestry, most other resource industries continue to thrive. So Charest warns of an "approaching storm." But it's a hard sell. Unless you are at sea, it's hard to see the hurricane before it hits and Charest finds himself frequently questioned about the embattled health-care system. This problem he blames on Pauline Marois and the PQ when they retired thousands of nurses and doctors in the late 1990s, creating a huge deficit of medical staff. He argues that without wealth generation Quebec cannot maintain its social services. Yet the expansion plans he announced yesterday won't see the light of day until at least 2015. So he tries to appeal to Quebecer's pride. "Quebec's north is mineral resources, it's energy for the future, clean and renewable energy. It's energy that we have developed and it's energy that is in our genes," he told the audience to great applause. "We have to plan for the future, for the future of our children," he said. Hydro-Québec is about to embark on several giant projects that will add another 4,500 megawatts to the grid, increasing its overall capacity of 38,000 megawatts by about 12 per cent. They will exact a high environmental price, environmentalists say. Charest hopes the grandeur of his economic vision will entrance Quebecers to support his Plan Nord strategy. He links it with signing labour mobility agreements with France and Ontario, which he claims will help open new markets for Quebec's resources. But even here it often sounds as though he wants to give jobs to foreigners. Yet it's hard to gage audience reaction, since they are all Liberals.
  5. Le Mile-End continue de se renforcer, et attire des emplois différents maintenant. C'est dommage pour le centre-ville, cette tendance de délocalisation, mais un bon coup de pouce aux quartiers périphériques, qui peuvent se développer autour de ces emplois. http://affaires.lapresse.ca/economie/immobilier/201601/11/01-4938874-sun-life-transfere-300-emplois-dans-le-mile-end.php
  6. Le top 10 des températures historiques les plus froides Selon les statistiques, en excluant les régions les plus septentrionales de l’Ungava et de la Baie James, la plus basse température historique enregistrée au Québec a été de -54,4 degrés Celsius. Ça se passait le 5 février 1923 à Doucet au nord du Lac Saint-Jean. * Ville-Marie, dans le Témiscamingue (-50,0) le 11 février 1914, * Val-d’Or (-43,9) le 29 janvier 1962, * Bagotville (-43,3) le 15 février 1943, * Sherbrooke (-41,2) le 15 janvier 2004, * Montréal (-37,8) le 15 janvier 1957, * Québec (-36,1) le 2 février 1962, * Gaspé (-35,5) le 22 janvier 1984 * Mont-Joli (-33,3) le 4 janvier 1947. Chute de neige : Top 10 Montréal La moyenne saisonnière des chutes de neige pour Montréal est de 226,6 centimètres. Pour nous rappeler nos hivers passés, voici la liste des dix saisons hivernales les plus enneigées pour la métropole. * 1970-71: 382,7 centimètres * 2007-08: 371,4 centimètres * 1946-47: 353,3 centimètres * 1975-76: 317,7 centimètres * 1962-63: 317,1 centimètres * 1959-60: 316,6 centimètres * 1942-43: 313,9 centimètres * 1954-55: 309,3 centimètres * 1996-97: 305,4 centimètres * 1957-58 : 302,0 centimètres. Top 10 Québec À Québec la moyenne saisonnière pour les chutes de neige est de 315,9 centimètres. Le dernier hiver a été foudroyant. * 2007-08: 558,4 centimètres * 1965-66: 457,7 centimètres * 1962-63: 456,8 centimètres * 1954-55: 446,1 centimètres * 1946-47: 435,1 centimètres * 1996-97: 432,8 centimètres * 1959-60: 430,6 centimètres * 1968-69: 430,5 centimètres * 1971-72: 420,5 centimètres * 1972-73: 412,8 centimètres * 1970-71: 410, 7 centimètres. Les records: Les plus fortes précipitations Et si la région de Québec est la plus touchée par les précipitations de neige, ce n’est pas dans la capitale où a été enregistrée la plus forte tempête historique, mais à Gaspé le 19 janvier 2007 où 74 centimètres étaient tombés. Suivent dans l’ordre: Sherbrooke (60 centimètres) les 14 et 15 février 2007, Mont-Joli (60cm) le 5 février 1995, Val-d’Or (54,1cm) le 25 février 1965, Québec (52,0 cm) le 15 décembre 2003, Bagotville (44,5 cm) le 2 décembre 1942 et Montréal (43,2 cm) le 4 mars 1971. Bon hiver! Sources : Agence Nomade Bernard Plante 08/12/2008 12h55 - Mise à jour 08/12/2008 13h32 http://www.canoe.com/infos/quebeccanada/archives/2008/12/20081208-125556.html http://www.canoe.com/archives/infos/quebeccanada/2008/12/20081208-132406.html
  7. L'entreprise rimouskoise Petrolia vient de conclure une entente de 20 millions de dollars avec un partenaire, dont l'identité ne sera pas dévoilée, pour effectuer des travaux d'exploration au nord-ouest de Gaspé. Pour en lire plus...
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