Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'insurance'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Real estate projects
    • Proposals
    • Going up
    • Completed
    • Mass Transit
    • Infrastructures
    • Cultural, entertainment and sport projects
    • Cancelled projects
  • General topics
    • City planning and architecture
    • Economy discussions
    • Technology, video games and gadgets
    • Urban tech
    • General discussions
    • Entertainment, food and culture
    • Current events
    • Off Topic
  • MTLYUL Aviation
    • General discussion
    • Spotting at YUL
  • Here and abroad
    • City of Québec
    • Around the province of Québec.
    • Toronto and the rest of Canada
    • USA
    • Europe
    • Projects elsewhere in the world
  • Photography and videos
    • Urban photography
    • Other pictures
    • Old pictures

Calendars

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.

Blogs

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.


Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


About Me


Biography


Location


Interests


Occupation


Type of dwelling

Found 16 results

  1. Desjardins financial grows outside Quebec The Gazette Published: 1 hour ago Desjardins Financial Security, the life and health insurance arm of the $152-billion Desjardins Group, said yesterday that business growth outside Quebec was strong in the second quarter. Premium income was up 6.1 per cent from a year earlier in Quebec, where it already has a large market presence, and rose 16.8 per cent in the rest of Canada. Desjardins Financial has been working hard to build market share outside Quebec, especially for group business. Desjardins Financial also sells group and individual retirement savings products, including mutual funds, and growth in this business came mainly from its new guaranteed investment contracts. "We continue to gain ground in an extremely competitive insurance market," chief operating officer Richard Fortier said. Second-quarter net income was $59.3 million vs. $68.4 million a year earlier.
  2. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/ssq-financial-buys-intact-unit/article2180067/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intact_Financial It didn't take long for it to change hands, yet again.
  3. 1992–present || 1000 de La Gauchetière || 205 / 673 || 51 1964–1992 || Tour de la Bourse || 190 / 623 || 47 1962–1964 || Place Ville Marie || 188 / 617 || 47 1931–1962 || Sun Life Building || 122 / 400 || 26 1928–1931 || Royal Bank Building || 121m / 397ft || 22 floors What were the tallest buildings in Montreal prior to 1928 (and the Royal Bank building?) A church perhaps? Or another structure entirely? I believe that the New York Life Insurance Building was the first tall building in Montreal. Am I correct?
  4. L'assureur s'approprie donc d'Aegon Services aux courtiers Canada, de Money Concepts et de National Financial Insurance Agency. Pour en lire plus...
  5. Life in Montreal - Telegraph Mentor Patricia Smith says Canadians are genuinely nice people; friendly and welcoming, fond of the British and very proud of their homeland. Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 28/11/2007 Patricia Smith is willing to answer your questions about Montreal. Our mentors are volunteers and any information they provide is for information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Click here to access the message boards terms and conditions. My family moved to Montreal in early 2000 when my husband was offered a job with a Biotech company here. I also worked in the Biotech sector in Montreal for two years but left to start my own relocation company, Home Thoughts. My company is a Destination Services company that specialises in helping Brits who are moving to Montreal to find housing and schools, showing them where to shop, helping them to get drivers licenses, finding them cleaners, doctors, dentists, child-minders etc. Basically, all the things I wish someone had helped me with when I moved here! In addition to my experience of international relocation, having worked here as well, I understand the work ethos, which is very different from that in the UK and in the US. If anyone has any questions about visiting or moving to Montreal I am more than happy to answer them. Ask questions and read the answers on the Mentor Noticeboard. Geography: Montreal is located on an island gently nestled within the St. Lawrence Seaway in Eastern Canada in the Province of Quebec. The city is dominated by a large hill in the centre, grandly called 'The Mountain' by the locals, and only slightly less grandly officially 'Mont Royal'. This beautiful parkland, with the Mansions of Westmount and Outrement cut part way up it, has a chateau at the top and a lookout from which you can see right across to the States. Looking down you can see the business center of Montreal, the McGill University campus buildings and the bridges that cross the St. Lawrence. To the north of Montreal only 45 minutes away are the Laurentian mountains with their superb ski resorts, golf courses, lakes and cottages for summer and winter. To the East an hour away, are the Eastern Townships, again with superb skiing, golf, lakes and holiday cottages. The US is 40 minutes away to the south with Boston and New York six hours drive away and one hour by air. There are several daily flights to London only 7 hours away, and to the rest of Europe. Cuisine: The French influence means that the food is great; the croissants and pastries are second only to France. It appears that everyone who has ever emigrated here also loves food because there are restaurants of every nationality serving good food to suit every budget. Eating out here is so cheap compared to the UK, the portions are large, the service is great and children are welcome everywhere. There is a lot more smoking here than in the UK so ask for a non-smoking table if that is your preference. Wine and spirits are very expensive as they are sold by a Quebec government agency, the SAQ. The wine sold in the supermarkets is more like Ribena. Beer is more reasonably priced and can be bought in supermarkets or corner shops called depanneurs. People: Canadians are genuinely nice people; friendly and welcoming, fond of the British and very proud of their homeland. It has been said that Canada is a bit boring, but this is really not the case in Quebec. The European influence, particularly that of the French, really livens things up. After Paris, Montreal is the second largest French-speaking city in the world. 69% of its three million people speak French as their mother tongue, 12% speak English and 19% don't speak either. The reality of the situation, however, is that in this tolerant, vibrant, and youthful city most of its inhabitants are functionally bilingual, often trilingual, and so coming here only speaking English is not a problem. Even if you speak perfect French you will be spotted as a visitor as the Quebecois accent is very different. I have lived here for four years and people still start speaking in English to me the minute I say 'Bonjour'. Montrealers love Brits and the shop assistants always want to chat, telling you who in their family is British, and how much they love your accent. There are also large numbers of immigrants from non-English or French cultures and there is no obvious racial tension. I suspect this is because they are not perceived scroungers or benefit seekers but just as new additions to a long line of immigrants, who are here to work hard, learn French and get on with life. Weather: Montreal has four distinct seasons. Winter is long lasting from November until the end of March. It has usually snowed by the middle of December and carries on intermittently until March. January and February are the coldest months with temperatures averaging -10ºC but on the odd day it does fall to -40ºC with the wind chill factor. -10ºC sounds cold but it isn't really provided you have the right clothes. It is a dry cold and so it doesn't penetrate through to your bones as it does in the UK. The children love the snow, which is dry and brushes off easily, and you can always appreciate the beautifully clear blue skies. Spring is very short lasting from April to the end of May, but everything grows extremely quickly and it is delightful to see the grass and flowers pushing through past the residual snow. Summer runs luxuriously through June to September and is hot and often humid. The temperature can reach the mid 30's in July and August and it is truly fantastic. Fall (Autumn) runs from October until mid-November and is beautiful with red, brown and gold colours abounding. It is a great time to travel to Vermont and the Laurentians or anywhere woody and rural. Standard of Living: Everything in Montreal is roughly half the price of that in the UK, from food and clothes to restaurants and housing, and people are not embarrassed to question prices or complain about bad service. Salaries are lower than in the UK but despite this you will still have a much better standard of living in Montreal. Healthcare: The medical system, Medicare, is very similar to the NHS with the same sorts of advantages and disadvantages. Treatment is free on demand and the doctors and nurses are generally very good but the waiting lists are often long. GP's are in short supply and you have to wait for hours in the Emergency Room (casualty). Once you arrive on a work permit or land as an immigrant you need to obtain a Medicare card to get treatment. The private health system in Quebec is very limited. You cannot pay to see a consultant or have tests performed in a public hospital more quickly but you can go to a private clinic for certain tests, particularly if you are an adult. Many health insurance schemes will pay for this. The cost of prescription medicines is borne by the patient or by the private insurance that you will have through your employer. Dental care is high quality but very expensive and not covered at all by Medicare for adults and even for children the provision is limited. Employee insurance schemes cover dental treatment but cover varies from scheme to scheme. As in the UK, adults in Quebec pay for eye check ups and children and those on welfare benefits do not. Medicare does not cover the cost of glasses or contact lenses, however, most insurance schemes cover the costs in part or completely. Glasses and contact lenses are considerably cheaper in Quebec than in the UK. Driving: If you hold a valid British Driving License you can obtain a Quebec license without taking a test. You can drive for a few months on your international license but it is best to get a Quebec license as soon as possible. You can obtain this from the SAAQ (Société de l'Assurance Automobile du Quebec). You are legally required to carry your license with you when driving as well as the insurance and registration documents for the car. The rules regarding drink-driving, the wearing of seat belts, and use of child car seats are similar to those in the UK, i.e do not drink and drive, wear seats belts at all times and make sure your child has the correct car seat for their size and age. It is relatively easy to adjust to driving on the right hand side of the road in Quebec, because the speed limits are lower than in the UK and they are, by and large, obeyed. The general consensus among expats is that drivers in Quebec are not very good. It is not that they are deliberately obstructive or aggressive; they just seem unaware of other cars, not letting you into a lane or out of a side street, pulling out suddenly and rarely indicating. There is 'no fault' insurance in Quebec. That is, if you have an accident your insurance company pays for your damage and the other parties company pays for their damage regardless of who was responsible. Any injury to your person is insured by the SAAQ. Banking: If you are just visiting banking is fine, you can use your UK cashpoint cards in the ATM's which are everywhere, not just in the banks but in cinemas, depanneurs and supermarkets. Of course, UK credit cards are accepted everywhere. The banks are open 10am until 4pm on weekdays only and have very long queues so use the ATM whenever possible. If you are planning to move here for a few years banking is more difficult. Your credit reference in the UK is no good here at all and you basically start from scratch proving your financial worthiness to be given a credit card and overdraft facility. Getting as many store cards as possible is one way to improve your credit rating.
  6. Jobless claims soar 21% in Canada Financial Post March 24, 2009 1:02 Lukas Stewart, with his resume strapped to his body, uses a megaphone to attract the attention of potential employers on Bay Street in Toronto's financial district.Photograph by: Mark Blinch/Reuters, Mark Blinch/ReutersOTTAWA -- The number of people receiving employment insurance benefits rose to 567,000 in January, a 21.3% jump from the year before. British Columbia saw the biggest percentage increase, rising 47.7% from last year, followed by Alberta, 46%, and Ontario 43%, Statistics Canada said Tuesday. But Ontario, where the manufacturing sector experienced heavy layoffs, suffered the biggest number increase with claims rising by 54,570 from the year before. “In recent months, labour market conditions in Canada have deteriorated significantly,” the agency said in its report. “Through the early part of 2008, employment growth weakened, only to fall sharply later that year and into 2009, causing a spike in the unemployment rate. By February 2009, the unemployment rate hit 7.7%, up almost two percentage points from a record low at the start of 2008.” The number of beneficiaries is a measure of all persons who received employment insurance benefits from Jan. 11. to 17. In Alberta, 23,300 people were receiving regular EI benefits in January, up 10.5% from the month before. British Columbia had 56,100 beneficiaries, up 9%, while Ontario had 181,500 people receiving EI, which was a 6.2% increase over December. The agency noted year-over-year figures shows the increase in the number of men receiving regular was double that of women. © Copyright © National Post
  7. Jury for the “Shenzhen 4 Tower in 1” choose Coop Himmelb(l)au design The jury for the “Shenzhen 4 Tower in 1” Competition chaired by Mr. Arata Isozaki, selected Coop Himmelb(l)au's design for Tower C, the new “Headquarter of China Insurance Group” as the winning scheme. Other participants include Morphosis, Steven Holl Architects, Hans Hollein, MVRDV and FCJZ Atelier. The new “Headquarter of China Insurance Group” will be part of a lively business quarter in the heart of the Central District of Shenzhen made up of a carefully composed ensemble of unique, individual towers creating a landmark silhouette. The project is a high-rise structure with a height of approximately 200 m with 49 storeys. The footprint area has the size of 40 by 40 m. The required program is distributed vertically. A clear separation of public and private functions is given. All public functions are organized in the base building while the office program is situated in the tower. Semi public program like meeting rooms, conference center, recreation areas and gardens are concentrated in the middle of the building. This zone is designed to create a pattern of meeting facilities, gardens and recreation areas for all employees and become spaces for an exchange of knowledge and creativity and a synergy of form and function. The “Headquarter of China Insurance Group” is not only recognizable by its significant form but also by its façade. The design of the façade is driven by generation of energy. The second skin of the façade is shaped by climate conditions and inner functions. This skin includes photovoltaic cells to generate electricity and also cells to reduce excessive wind pressure, shade the sun and create multi media displays. Strategies employing the form of the building to assist natural ventilation together with the use of renewable energy sources (wind and solar power) assure an energy efficient design and reduce energy consumption and reliance on fossil fuel energy sources. http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=11098
  8. Too fat to work: The 30st man doctors say is a risk in case he topples over and crushes his colleagues Last updated at 7:03 PM on 6th September 2010 * Obese father fights for benefits after being laid off A morbidly obese father has been diagnosed as too fat to work by doctors who fear his weight may cause him to fall over and crush his colleagues. Barry Fowers, 51, who weighs a life-threatening 30 stone, worked until October last year assembling industrial power source equipment. But insurance analysts decided he was too big a risk to himself and to others and Mr Fowers reluctantly accepted voluntary redundancy. Mr Fowers - who had a heart attack when he was 30 and has been warned another would kill him - is furious that he is still classified as fit to work despite his poor state of health. Among his ailments are angina and other heart problems, diabetes, back trouble and irritable bowel syndrome. He was initially granted incapacity benefit and has a doctor’s sick note, but does not qualify for Employment and Support Allowance worth around £75 a week. Instead, he receives Jobseeker’s Allowance, which has just been reduced to £21.65 a week. Mr Fowers, who worked for ten years at Crestchic in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, said: 'I had to climb onto platforms about a metre from the ground to get to the equipment and install parts. 'They were worried I might pass out through my diabetes and have a hypothyroidism, or have a heart attack. 'The insurance people came in and did an assessment after I had a little incident. I tripped and fell over and I was off work for a few weeks. 'I had an interview with a medical person and I told them about all my different ailments. They sent a report back to work, and I had a meeting with the managing director while I was still off work. 'They said my weight was a danger to myself and to others in case I fell off a platform while I was working. 'Because I was having a lot of time off for medical reasons, I was edged towards voluntary redundancy.' Both Mr Fowers's parents were diabetic and his mother suffered serious heart problems. For the past six months, Mr Fowers has been getting by on £65.45 a week in Jobseeker’s Allowance. However, as of August 24 he was informed his allowance was reduced to £21.65, as he is only entitled to 186 days of National Insurance . 'I’m having to accept that I may never work again,' he said, 'but I’ve paid tax and National Insurance for 34 years and I think the country should do something in return.' Mr Fowers's wife Shirley works as a part-time carer and their income is jointly assessed. His unemployed son Peter, 29, lives at the family home in Hatton, Staffordshire. Mrs Fowers said: 'One of the main reasons he volunteered to take the pay-off was because he was classed as a potential danger to himself. Also, he was a potential risk to his work colleagues in case he fell on them. 'Some days, his IBS can be so severe he can’t make it upstairs and I have to stand my husband in the shower and wash him down.' She added: 'I can’t afford to keep him. I may as well pack my husband’s bags and chuck him on the street.' Mr Fowers is currently seeking work, but has had no response from the job applications he has filled in. He said: 'Some of the applications asked "Have you got medical conditions?" and I’ve filled it in that I’ve got a heart condition and diabetes, and that does go against me. 'It does get you down. I have tried dieting, exercising and lifestyle changes. 'I have been offered the possibility of having a gastric band or bypass fitted but I’m a bit dubious about surgery. With my heart condition I think if I went under the knife I might not wake up. 'I may only live another three years.' http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1309407/The-30st-man-work-case-topples-crushes-colleagues.html
  9. CGI a signé un contrat avec Magnolia Insurance Mise en ligne 07/05/2008 10h33 Photo © ARGENT La Presse Canadienne MONTREAL _ Le Groupe CGI ( GIB.A) a annoncé mercredi la signature d'un contrat de 10 ans, d'une valeur de 115 millions $ US, avec Magnolia Insurance Company, une compagnie d'assurance basée en Floride. CGI fournira à Magnolia des services d'arrière-guichet, ainsi que des services complets d'administration des polices et des demandes de règlement, de facturation et de service à la clientèle, de rapports statistiques et de comptabilité législative. Le Groupe CGI est un fournisseur de services en technologies de l'information et en gestion des processus d'affaires. L'entreprise et ses affiliées comptent environ 27 000 employés à travers le monde.
  10. Insurance giant wants to build Canadian operations with Standard's Quebec assets CBC News Posted: Sep 03, 2014 5:13 PM ET Last Updated: Sep 03, 2014 6:45 PM ET Manulife Financial Corp. says its life insurance division is buying the Canadian-based assets of Standard Life Plc for $4 billion in cash. The deal combines Manulife, one of the largest life insurance companies in the world with 84,000 employees, and Standard Life Canada, this country's fifth-largest insurer with 2,000 employees. "Several months ago, Standard Life decided to explore the sale of its Canadian operations through a competitive process," Manulife CEO Donald A. Guloien said. "We are delighted to be named the successful bidder." Standard Life provides long term savings, investment and insurance products to about 1.4 million Canadians, with $52 billion of assets under management. Manulife said it was particularly keen to acquire Standard Life’s Quebec assets. "One of the key reasons we were interested in this company is its people in Quebec. We want to increase our presence in the province and use the very talented employee base to grow and expand our business in Quebec, throughout Canada and indeed the world,” Guloien said in a statement announcing the deal late Wednesday. Caisse contributes to deal Manulife plans to pay for the deal with a combination of a public offering, a private placement, internal resources and possible future debt, it said. Later in the day, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Quebec provincial pension fund investment arm, announced a $500‑million equity investment in Manulife Financial to contribute to the financing of the acquisition. Manulife and Standard Life have previously collaborated in distributing investment products around the world, through a relationship between Standard Life Investments and John Hancock. Manulife said it would take 18 to 24 months to consolidate the new operations and it did not foresee any job losses in the near future. The company expects the deal to add three cents to its earnings per share every year over each of the next three years and to build earnings capacity beyond the 2016 core earnings target of $4 billion. The deal closes in the first quarter of next year, pending regulatory approval. http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/manulife-buys-standard-life-s-canadian-assets-for-4b-1.2754776
  11. Je ne sais pas si je me trompe, mais je crois que quelqu'un avait parti un fil sur un projet d'ajouter deux maisons sur le toit de l'édifice N-Y Insurance Life Building de la Place d'Armes. Ça vous dit quelque chose ? Le projet est terminé et à l'émission Visite Libre de artTV, on visite les maisons. Ce qui est spectaculaire, c'est que les chambres de la première maison sont situées dans le clocher de l'édifice. Bref, si vous retrouver le fil svp me le laisser savoir. Merci !
  12. Senate passes bailout Plan to buy $700B in troubled assets wins OK. Backers hope add-ons will yield more yes-votes in House. By Jeanne Sahadi, CNNMoney.com senior writer Last Updated: October 1, 2008: 10:20 PM ET NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Senate on Wednesday night passed a sweeping and controversial financial bailout similar in key ways to one rejected by the House just two days earlier. The measure was passed by a vote of 74 to 25 after more than three hours of floor debate in the Senate. Presidential candidates Sens. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, and John McCain, R-Arizona, voted in favor. Like the bill the House rejected, the core of the Senate bill is the Bush administration's plan to buy up to $700 billion of troubled assets from financial institutions. Those assets, mostly mortgage-related, have caused a crisis of confidence in the credit markets. A major aim of the plan is to free up banks to start lending again once their balance sheets are cleared of toxic holdings. But the Senate legislation also includes a number of new provisions aimed at Main Street. The changes are intended to attract more votes in the House, in particular from House Republicans, two-thirds of whom voted against the bailout plan. The House is expected to take up the Senate measure for a vote on Friday, according to aides to Democratic leaders. The legislation, if passed by the House, would usher in one of the most far-reaching interventions in the economy since the Great Depression. Advocates say the plan is crucial to government efforts to attack a credit crisis that threatens the economy and would free up banks to lend more. Opponents say it rewards bad decisions by Wall Street, puts taxpayers at risk and fails to address the real economic problems facing Americans. "If we do not act responsibly today, we risk a crisis in which senior citizens across America will lose their retirement savings, small businesses won't make payroll ... and families won't be able to obtain mortgages for their homes or cars," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., moments before the vote. In a press briefing after the vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. R-Ky., said, "This is a measure for Main Street, not Wall Street. [it will help] to unfreeze our credit markets and get the American economy working again." Because of Senate add-ons, the bill's initial price tag will be higher than the $700 billion that the Treasury would use to buy troubled assets. But over time, supporters say, taxpayers are likely to make back much if not all of the money the Treasury uses because it will be investing in assets with underlying value. How the Senate bill differs The package adds provisions to the House version - including temporarily raising the FDIC insurance cap to $250,000 from $100,000. It says the FDIC may not charge member banks more to cover the increase in coverage. But that doesn't prevent the agency from raising premiums to cover existing concerns with the insurance fund, according to Jaret Seiberg, a financial services analyst at the Stanford Group, a policy research firm. Instead, the bill allows the FDIC to borrow from the Treasury to cover any losses that might occur as a result of the higher insurance limit. The bill also adds in three key elements designed to attract House Republican votes - particularly popular tax measures that have garnered bipartisan support. It would extend a number of renewable energy tax breaks for individuals and businesses, including a deduction for the purchase of solar panels. The Senate bill would also continue a host of other expiring tax breaks. Among them: the research and development credit for businesses and the credit that allows individuals to deduct state and local sales taxes on their federal returns. In addition, the bill includes relief for another year from the Alternative Minimum Tax, without which millions of Americans would have to pay the so-called "income tax for the wealthy." The debate over extending AMT relief is an annual political ritual. It enjoys bipartisan support but deficit hawks on both sides of the aisle contend the cost of providing that relief should be paid for. Others argue it shouldn't be paid for because the AMT was never intended to hit the people the relief provisions would protect. Nevertheless, lawmakers pass the measure every year or two. How Senate bill mimics House version For all the sweeteners added to the Senate bill, however, it is similar to the House bill in many key ways. The core is the Treasury's proposal to let financial institutions sell to the government their troubled assets, mostly mortgage-related. And as in the House bill, the Senate would only allow the Treasury access to the $700 billion in stages, with $250 billion being made available immediately. The Senate bill is also similar in that it includes a number of provisions that supporters say would protect taxpayers. One would direct the president to propose a bill requiring the financial industry to reimburse taxpayers for any net losses from the program after five years. And the Treasury would be allowed to take ownership stakes in participating companies. Like the House version, the Senate bill includes a stipulation that the Treasury set up an insurance program - to be funded with risk-based premiums paid by the industry - to guarantee companies' troubled assets, including mortgage-backed securities, purchased before March 14, 2008. And it would place curbs on executive pay for companies selling assets or buying insurance from Uncle Sam. One provision: Any bonus or incentive paid to a senior executive officer for targets met would have to be repaid if it's later proven that earnings or profit statements were inaccurate. Lastly, the Senate version would set up two oversight committees. A Financial Stability Board would include the Federal Reserve chairman, the Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, the Federal Home Finance Agency director, the Housing and Urban Development secretary and the Treasury secretary. A congressional oversight panel, to which the Financial Stability Board would report, would have five members appointed by House and Senate leadership from both parties. Differing views Despite the Senate bill's sweeteners, the bill did not garner unanimous support because those who oppose the Treasury plan felt passionately it was the wrong approach. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., a champion of the energy tax breaks in the bill, said on Wednesday afternoon she nevertheless would vote against the bill because she opposes "giving the keys to the Treasury over to the private sector." Opponents of the bill have said they resented being given a "my way or the highway" choice to address what they acknowledge is a very serious economic threat. During the Senate debate on Wednesday, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., characterized the administration's request to lawmakers 12 days ago as "crying 'Fire!' in a crowded theater, then claiming the only [way out] is to tear down the walls when there are many exit doors." Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said the Senate will have "failed the American people" by acting hastily. "I agree we need to do something. ... [but] we haven't spent any time figuring out whether we've picked the best choice." Supporters of the bill say they hate the position they are in and are angry, too, but say it's better to do something now than to let the credit crunch persist. "There's no doubt that there may be other plans out there that, had we had two or three or six months to develop ... might serve our purposes better," said Obama during the floor debate. "But we don't have that kind of time. And we can't afford to take a risk that the economy of the United States of America and, as a consequence, the worldwide economy could be plunged into a very, very deep hole." Potential costs The tax provisions of the Senate bill - the bulk of which come from the addition of tax breaks from other legislation - may reduce federal tax revenue by $110 billion over 10 years, according to estimates from the Joint Committee on Taxation. More than half of that is due to the 1-year extension of AMT relief. The Congressional Budget Office said it cannot estimate the net budget effects of the troubled asset program because of the many unknowns about that piece of the bill. However, the agency noted in a letter to lawmakers on Wednesday, it expects the program "would entail some net budget cost" but that it would be "substantially smaller than $700 billion." Overall, the CBO said, "the bill as a whole would increase the budget deficit over the next decade." All eyes on House Now the fate of the bailout rests with the House. "The reality has hit some members," said House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., late Wednesday on CNN. "The main change is reality - it's not possible now to scoff at the predictions of doom if we don't do anything." The lead House Republican, Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, was consulted on the Senate's plans and gave his "green light," spokesman Kevin Smith said. "We believe we'll have a better chance to pass this bill than the one that failed [Monday]," he added. The plan could attract House Republicans while simultaneously alienating bailout supporters among the Democrats because the tax cuts in the revenue bill aren't offset by spending cuts or increased revenues. President Bush, following the Senate vote, said the bill was central to the "financial security" of the nation. "The American people expect - and our economy demands - that the House pass this good bill this week and send it to my desk." - CNN's Jessica Yellin, Deirdre Walsh and Ted Barrett contributed to this story. To top of page First Published: October 1, 2008: 12:00 PM ET
  13. The tallest of them all (in 1888) Little Giant It had electric lights, an elevator and mail chute where you could drop letters from any floor. More impressive, the New York Life Insurance Building at 511 Place d'Armes was Montreal's first skyscraper - at eight storeys high MARIAN SCOTT, The Gazette Published: 6 hours ago From the top floor of Montreal's first skyscraper, you can see ... Well, not much, to tell the truth. Crane your neck from the eighth floor of 511 Place d'Armes and you can make out the statue of Montreal founder Paul Chomedey sieur de Maisonneuve in the square, and the roof of the Vieux Séminaire, adjoining Notre Dame Basilica. But back in 1888, oh my! Eight storeys high was a dizzying height, indeed. The New York Life Insurance Building boasted the latest in modern conveniences. Electric lights! An elevator! And a mail chute where you could drop letters from any floor! Impressed? Perhaps not, but back in the gaslight era, these were state-of-the-art innovations. The New York Life had its own generator to provide power to the offices. Imagine a city where the only tall structures were church spires. Just the twin towers of Notre Dame soared higher than the clock tower that sits atop the New York Life. Rising to 40 metres, its facade of red sandstone - imported all the way from Dumfriesshire, Scotland - made a splash against the grey limestone buildings of Old Montreal. The arched doorway and upper windows evoke the Italian Renaissance. "Look, even the smallest detail is decorated," says Madeleine Forget, admiring the carved entrance, with its intricate wrought-iron grille. Forget is an architectural historian who wrote a history of the city's early high-rises (Les Gratte-ciel de Montréal, Éditions du Méridien, 1990). Sculptor Henri Beaumont created the intricate carvings of urns, garlands and masks in the doorway. When the New York Life was built, from 1887 to 1889, architects were just starting to figure out the secrets of high-rise construction. The first ingredient was the elevator. In 1852, Elisha Graves Otis invented the safety brake for elevators. He installed the world's first passenger lift in a New York department store in 1857. The second ingredient was steel. Traditionally, the walls of a building supported the structure. The taller the building, the thicker the walls needed to be. The walls of Chicago's 17-storey Monadnock Building, completed in 1893, are two metres thick at ground level. Steel-frame construction allowed buildings to reach for the sky. A steel skeleton supported the structure, with the exterior walls hanging from it, like curtains. Chicago's 11-storey Home Insurance Building, constructed in 1885, was the first to use this construction method. Montreal would have to wait until 1895 for its first steel-frame building, the Canada Life Assurance on St. Jacques St. Designed by New York architects Babb, Cook & Willard, the New York Life has supporting masonry walls and steel floors. "The New York Life Building," wrote a visitor, "is one of the most imposing in the City." Its construction ushered in Montreal's "office era," noted the late Gazette history columnist Edgar Andrew Collard. The lantern in the entrance is original, as are the beige marble walls and mosaic floor. The hall boasts a coffered ceiling and staircase with an elegant, filigreed banister. Inside, the building is surprisingly modest in scale. Grand lobbies with hordes of scurrying office workers would come later in the history of office buildings, Forget says. "It looks bigger (from the outside) than it is," says Guylaine Villeneuve, director of operations for the building. The New York Life Co. had its Canadian head office on the fourth floor and a library on the eighth. The other floors were rented out. The Quebec Bank, whose name is carved over the entrance, occupied the ground floor. It bought the building in 1909 and was absorbed into the Royal Bank in 1917. For 12 years, only three eight-storey buildings - the New York Life, Canada Life and Telegraph Chambers Buildings - would rise above the skyline. After 1900, 11-storey buildings began to dot the cityscape. In the 1920s, office buildings with towers set back from the street appeared. One is the art-deco Aldred Building next door to the New York Life. Last year, owner Bechara Helal built two penthouse apartments on the roof, one of which he occupies, Villeneuve says. Tourists sometimes stop to read the brass plaque identifying the building as Montreal's first skyscraper, but few come in, she says. Today, the New York Life barely rates a glance among the soaring structures cluttering the skyline. But what it lacks in stature, it gains in well-bred elegance. Dwarfed by modern high-rises, the building preserves a memory of the era when eight storeys was a dazzling height. [email protected] http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=199c1c3e-af3b-4bcf-a949-9b8f88c5c671