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Found 18 results

  1. YANKEEDOM. Founded on the shores of Massachusetts Bay by radical Calvinists as a new Zion, Yankeedom has, since the outset, put great emphasis on perfecting earthly civilization through social engineering, denial of self for the common good, and assimilation of outsiders. It has prized education, intellectual achievement, communal empowerment, and broad citizen participation in politics and government, the latter seen as the public’s shield against the machinations of grasping aristocrats and other would-be tyrants. Since the early Puritans, it has been more comfortable with government regulation and public-sector social projects than many of the other nations, who regard the Yankee utopian streak with trepidation. NEW NETHERLAND. Established by the Dutch at a time when the Netherlands was the most sophisticated society in the Western world, New Netherland has always been a global commercial culture—materialistic, with a profound tolerance for ethnic and religious diversity and an unflinching commitment to the freedom of inquiry and conscience. Like seventeenth-century Amsterdam, it emerged as a center of publishing, trade, and finance, a magnet for immigrants, and a refuge for those persecuted by other regional cultures, from Sephardim in the seventeenth century to gays, feminists, and bohemians in the early twentieth. Unconcerned with great moral questions, it nonetheless has found itself in alliance with Yankeedom to defend public institutions and reject evangelical prescriptions for individual behavior. THE MIDLANDS. America’s great swing region was founded by English Quakers, who believed in humans’ inherent goodness and welcomed people of many nations and creeds to their utopian colonies like Pennsylvania on the shores of Delaware Bay. Pluralistic and organized around the middle class, the Midlands spawned the culture of Middle America and the Heartland, where ethnic and ideological purity have never been a priority, government has been seen as an unwelcome intrusion, and political opinion has been moderate. An ethnic mosaic from the start—it had a German, rather than British, majority at the time of the Revolution—it shares the Yankee belief that society should be organized to benefit ordinary people, though it rejects top-down government intervention. TIDEWATER. Built by the younger sons of southern English gentry in the Chesapeake country and neighboring sections of Delaware and North Carolina, Tidewater was meant to reproduce the semifeudal society of the countryside they’d left behind. Standing in for the peasantry were indentured servants and, later, slaves. Tidewater places a high value on respect for authority and tradition, and very little on equality or public participation in politics. It was the most powerful of the American nations in the eighteenth century, but today it is in decline, partly because it was cut off from westward expansion by its boisterous Appalachian neighbors and, more recently, because it has been eaten away by the expanding federal halos around D.C. and Norfolk. GREATER APPALACHIA. Founded in the early eighteenth century by wave upon wave of settlers from the war-ravaged borderlands of Northern Ireland, northern England, and the Scottish lowlands, Appalachia has been lampooned by writers and screenwriters as the home of hillbillies and rednecks. It transplanted a culture formed in a state of near constant danger and upheaval, characterized by a warrior ethic and a commitment to personal sovereignty and individual liberty. Intensely suspicious of lowland aristocrats and Yankee social engineers alike, Greater Appalachia has shifted alliances depending on who appeared to be the greatest threat to their freedom. It was with the Union in the Civil War. Since Reconstruction, and especially since the upheavals of the 1960s, it has joined with Deep South to counter federal overrides of local preference. DEEP SOUTH. Established by English slave lords from Barbados, Deep South was meant as a West Indies–style slave society. This nation offered a version of classical Republicanism modeled on the slave states of the ancient world, where democracy was the privilege of the few and enslavement the natural lot of the many. Its caste systems smashed by outside intervention, it continues to fight against expanded federal powers, taxes on capital and the wealthy, and environmental, labor, and consumer regulations. EL NORTE. The oldest of the American nations, El Norte consists of the borderlands of the Spanish American empire, which were so far from the seats of power in Mexico City and Madrid that they evolved their own characteristics. Most Americans are aware of El Norte as a place apart, where Hispanic language, culture, and societal norms dominate. But few realize that among Mexicans, norteños have a reputation for being exceptionally independent, self-sufficient, adaptable, and focused on work. Long a hotbed of democratic reform and revolutionary settlement, the region encompasses parts of Mexico that have tried to secede in order to form independent buffer states between their mother country and the United States. THE LEFT COAST. A Chile-shaped nation wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade and Coast mountains, the Left Coast was originally colonized by two groups: New Englanders (merchants, missionaries, and woodsmen who arrived by sea and dominated the towns) and Appalachian midwesterners (farmers, prospectors, and fur traders who generally arrived by wagon and controlled the countryside). Yankee missionaries tried to make it a “New England on the Pacific,” but were only partially successful. Left Coast culture is a hybrid of Yankee utopianism and Appalachian self-expression and exploration—traits recognizable in its cultural production, from the Summer of Love to the iPad. The staunchest ally of Yankeedom, it clashes with Far Western sections in the interior of its home states. THE FAR WEST. The other “second-generation” nation, the Far West occupies the one part of the continent shaped more by environmental factors than ethnographic ones. High, dry, and remote, the Far West stopped migrating easterners in their tracks, and most of it could be made habitable only with the deployment of vast industrial resources: railroads, heavy mining equipment, ore smelters, dams, and irrigation systems. As a result, settlement was largely directed by corporations headquartered in distant New York, Boston, Chicago, or San Francisco, or by the federal government, which controlled much of the land. The Far West’s people are often resentful of their dependent status, feeling that they have been exploited as an internal colony for the benefit of the seaboard nations. Their senators led the fight against trusts in the mid-twentieth century. Of late, Far Westerners have focused their anger on the federal government, rather than their corporate masters. NEW FRANCE. Occupying the New Orleans area and southeastern Canada, New France blends the folkways of ancien régime northern French peasantry with the traditions and values of the aboriginal people they encountered in northwestern North America. After a long history of imperial oppression, its people have emerged as down-to-earth, egalitarian, and consensus driven, among the most liberal on the continent, with unusually tolerant attitudes toward gays and people of all races and a ready acceptance of government involvement in the economy. The New French influence is manifest in Canada, where multiculturalism and negotiated consensus are treasured. FIRST NATION. First Nation is populated by native American groups that generally never gave up their land by treaty and have largely retained cultural practices and knowledge that allow them to survive in this hostile region on their own terms. The nation is now reclaiming its sovereignty, having won considerable autonomy in Alaska and Nunavut and a self-governing nation state in Greenland that stands on the threshold of full independence. Its territory is huge—far larger than the continental United States—but its population is less than 300,000, most of whom live in Canada. http://www.tufts.edu/alumni/magazine/fall2013/features/up-in-arms.html
  2. CTV Montreal Published Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 11:42PM EST MONTREAL--The Matrix, the Royal, the Sasquatch and now the Montreal Jazz. This city just can’t seem to hold onto professional basketball teams, but players hope this new squad will stick around. “One of the big differences is the league. The league is so legit. When you play away games, you can tell the league is serious. So, it's a big difference,” said Jazz forward Louis-Patrick Levros The Jazz have replaced the Kebs as the province's only team in the National Basketball League, the current owners of the franchise until a proper ownership group is put in place. “Every game was played last year, you got the website, everything was very serious which is the first time that I saw a league at that level to be so serious. All the players have to be cleared through Basketball Canada which means our league is well respected,” said Jazz General Manager Pascal Jobin. “They put in hard work to get a team here in Montreal and hopefully we can continue doing it. So this year is very important for the city and the team,” said Jazz centre Sani Ibrahim. With the exception of two players, the team is comprised entirely of Quebecers, something the league surely hopes will finally attract a loyal following. “We are really happy with a group of hard charging Quebecois players,” said head coach Alejandro Hasbani “For me it's definitely just a blessing. After I left Concordia, it's been three or four years since I haven't gotten anything. I've just been working. I miss the game of basketball and to have this opportunity I’m just blessed and I work every day just to be in this position,” said point guard Damian Buckley. As for the product, fans will be pleasantly surprised, the Jazz have a good mix of speed, size and talent—something that will complement the team’s blue collar mentality. “I think we're going to come out and play hard,” said Ibrahim. “That’s the most important thing. We’re probably not the best talent in the league but for sure we're going to play hard and get some wins.” Read more: http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/sports/montreal-s-newest-sports-franchise-the-jazz-1.1035875#ixzz2CADHMg7d
  3. Montreal's Greek consulate has already felt the impact of the Greek government's austerity measures, but many in the city's 80 thousand-strong Greek community are more angry at the rioters in their homeland than they are about the cuts. Hundreds of people rioted in the streets of Athens on the weekend, setting fires and looting stores, after the Greek parliament passed a new round of measures aimed at staving off bankruptcy. Politicians voted to slash the country's minimum wage and axe one-in-five civil service jobs over the next three years. Foreign consular offices have not been left unscathed. "We have had cuts, yes," confirmed the Greek consul-general for Montreal, Thanos Kafopoulos. "But we still try to maintain service, and we are also trying to increase revenues." Kafopoulos said many Greek expatriates living in Montreal own property and have investments in their native country - and they are divided over the solution. "There is concern. There is sadness, and there is worry about the process that Greece is going through," he said. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/02/13/montreal-greeks-react.html
  4. To stay sexy, must the German capital remain poor? Sep 17th 2011 | BERLIN | from the print edition Still on the edge CLOUD clamps on to the rooftops in October and stays until April. The language seems equally forbidding to many. Berlin’s streetscapes and restaurants dazzle less than those of Paris or London. Apart from that, it is hard to find fault with the city. Berlin has music, art and nightlife to rival Europe’s more established capitals, but not their high costs and hellish commutes. It is a metropolis with the lazy charm of the countryside. It took a while for people to notice. After the brief euphoria of unification in 1990, the West’s subsidised industry and the East’s socialist enterprise collapsed alongside each other. On measures like employment, public debt and school performance, Berlin ranks at or near the bottom among Germany’s 16 states (it is one of three city-states). Klaus Wowereit, who hopes to be re-elected to a third term as mayor on September 18th, memorably branded the city “poor but sexy”. That is its magnetism. The federal government’s move to Berlin from Bonn in 1999 was a political decision. “Creative” folk are drawn from across Europe and America by cheap studios and frontier-like freedoms. Berlin’s centre still has voids to be built on and argued about. “Easyjetsetters” infest clubs and bars at weekends. More than 1m newcomers have replaced Berliners who have died or left the city since the 1990s. Effervescence pulls in investors. Google plans an “institute for the internet and society”. Industrial clusters have formed in health, transport and green technology. Parts of the media have relocated from Hamburg. Germany will never be as centralised as Britain or France, but if people have something to say to a national audience they tend increasingly to say it in Berlin. Since 2004 Berlin has created jobs at a faster pace than the German average. It leads the country in business start-ups. But the city is defined as much by its inertia as by its energy. A fifth of Berliners live off social transfers. Unemployment is still close to double the national rate because the workforce has recently expanded almost as quickly as the number of jobs. In Berlin “aspiration can be a negative word,” says Philipp Rode of the London School of Economics. Much of its energy comes from outsiders. Even the aspiring are often thwarted: 29% of social scientists and 40% of artists are jobless, according to DIW, a Berlin think-tank. Mr Wowereit, a Social Democrat, strives to channel the city’s edginess while reassuring Berliners weary of change. That is one reason why he is likely to win re-election. (The main suspense involves the Greens, which could replace the ex-communist Left Party as Mr Wowereit’s coalition partner, and the open-source-inspired Pirate Party, which might enter a German state legislature for the first time.) But the straddle is becoming harder. Rents, although still low, have jumped by 30% since 1999. The Swabian yuppie, with multiple offspring and a fondness for coffee bars, is a widely despised figure. “Berlin’s drama”, wrote Berliner Zeitung, a local newspaper, is that its “creative richness is inseparable from its economic poverty.” That will be Mr Wowereit’s puzzle, if he wins
  5. From the Economist ( I was reading it on my vacations, what a great read to kick start my vacations...) Charlemagne Among the dinosaurs France’s Socialists have yet to come to terms with the modern world Aug 27th 2011 | from the print edition BLISS is it in a financial crisis to be a socialist. Or so it ought to be. In speculators and ratings agencies, Europe’s left has a ready cast of villains and rogues. In simmering social discontent, it has an energising force. A recent issue of Paris-Match inadvertently captured the mood: page after full-colour page on Britain’s rioting underclass were followed by gory visual detail of the bling yachts crowding into the bay near Saint-Tropez. Time, surely, to put social inclusion before defiant decadence. The oddity is that almost everywhere the European left is in decline. Among the large countries, Socialist parties rule only in Spain, where they look likely to lose November’s election. The only big place where the left has a good chance of returning to power is France, at next spring’s presidential election. Yet France’s Socialist Party also stands out as Europe’s most unreconstructed. Hence the contorted spectacle of a party preparing for power at a time when the markets are challenging its every orthodoxy. For a hint of French Socialist thinking, consider recent comments from some of the candidates who will contest a primary vote in October. Ségolène Royal, who lost the 2007 presidential election to Nicolas Sarkozy, argued this week that stock options and speculation on sovereign debt should be banned. Denouncing “anarchic globalisation”, she called for human values to be imposed on financial ones, as a means of “carrying on the torch of a great country, France, which gave the world revolutionary principles about the emancipation of the people.” Ms Royal, believe it or not, is considered a moderate. To her left, Arnaud Montebourg, a younger, outwardly sensible sort, argues for “deglobalisation”. He wants to forbid banks from “speculating with clients’ deposits”, and to abolish ratings agencies. Financial markets want “to turn us into their poodle”, he lamented at a weekend fete in a bucolic village, celebrating the joys of la France profonde with copious bottles of burgundy. No one seems to have told him that there is a simple way to avoid the wrath of bond markets: balance your books and don’t borrow. Next to such patent nonsense, promises by the two front-running candidates, Martine Aubry and François Hollande, seem merely frozen in time, circa 1981. They want to return to retirement at the age of 60 (it has just been raised to 62), and to invent 300,000 public-sector youth jobs. Each supports Mr Sarkozy’s deficit-reduction targets, but refuses to approve his plan to write a deficit rule into the constitution. More taxes, not less spending, is their underlying creed. The party is not out of tune with public opinion. The French are almost uniquely hostile to the capitalist system that has made them one of the world’s richest people. Fully 57% say France should single-handedly erect higher customs barriers. The same share judge that freer trade with India and China, whose consumers snap up French silk scarves and finely stitched leather handbags, has been “bad” for France. The right has held the presidency since 1995 partly by pandering to such sentiments. The causes of French left-wingery are various, but a potent one is the lingering hold of Marxist thinking. Post-war politics on the left was for decades dominated by the Communist Party, which regularly scooped up a quarter of the votes. In the 1950s many intellectuals, including Jean-Paul Sartre, clung to pro-Soviet idealism even after the evils of Stalinism emerged. Others toyed with Trotskyism well into the 1970s. François Mitterrand, who mentored Ms Royal, Ms Aubry and Mr Hollande, was swept to the presidency in 1981 by offering a socialist Utopia as a third way between “the capitalist society which enslaves people” and the “communist society which stifles them”. Given such a tradition, it is possible that today’s Socialist leaders believe what they say. At any rate, there is a debate to be had about the right amount of market regulation and fiscal consolidation. Yet the problem with their promises is this: for every bit of conviction, there is a shameful share of pure posturing. In truth, France’s Socialists have often had to be pragmatic in power. As prime minister between 1997 and 2002 Lionel Jospin, himself an ex-Trotskyist, privatised more assets than any of his right-wing predecessors. Even Mitterrand was forced to abandon nationalisation and embrace austerity. Should the Socialists win in 2012, it would take them “about a month, or maybe a week” to confess that they “have no choice but to keep the deficit under control”, says one well-placed party figure. Retirement at 60? Nice idea but, quel dommage, we can’t afford it. Please allow us a moment of madness All this requires heroic faith among centrists considering voting Socialist that reason will triumph over fiscal folly. Moreover, experience suggests that the Socialists, if elected, may feel compelled to introduce some signature policy as a sop to their disappointed base. Under Mitterrand, it was the wealth tax. Under Mr Jospin, it was Ms Aubry’s 35-hour working week. With France’s recovery fragile, the prospect of more such lunacy is chilling. A further danger touches Europe, where France traditionally generates many ideas for integration. At a time when leaders are inching towards more economic co-ordination, with oversight of budgets and even tax harmonisation, a Socialist victory would put the shaping of such a project into uncertain hands. With Dominique Strauss-Kahn out of the running there is just one French Socialist primary candidate who understands all this. Manuel Valls, a deputy and mayor with a refreshingly modern view of the left, says Socialists are not being straight by promising retirement at 60. He dares utter such truths as “we need to tell the French that the [budgetary] effort…will be as great as that achieved after Liberation”. Alas, the 49-year-old Mr Valls is considered too young to be a serious contender. The day the paleo-Socialists of the Mitterrand generation allow such figures to emerge would be the dawn of a real revolution. http://www.economist.com/node/21526894
  6. If you give me 1000$ today, I will pay you back 100 trillion dollars (real money) in about 2 weeks, depending on shipping delays. As proof that I am standing by what I'm proposing, I'm putting in my own money as well to keep one of the 5 bank notes. There are 4 left. I’m looking for 4 people for this deal of a lifetime, but you must act fast. 5x100 TRILLION DOLLARS BANK NOTES :-)
  7. In this thread I am going to dispel some myths about the build quality of General Motors products. Today, I'll start off with Buick and its new/upcoming models. The current Allure/LaCrosse will be replaced this year by the one I'm posting here. The Regal will make a return to North America and take the place of the Saturn Aura (with some Opel underpinnings). The Lucerne will be cut completely. Saturn looks like its on the way out over the next few years, so expect Buick to pick up where Saturn left off. BUICK 2010 Buick LaCrosse Base engine: 260 hp, 3.0L direct injected V6 Optional engine: 280-hp 3.6L direct injected V6 New Buick Regal (2010 or 2011) Buick Enclave (current model) 275-horsepower, 3.6-liter VVT V6
  8. Siège social Rogers pour le Québec. Looks like I had a few left to upload .
  9. MONTREAL – The central-city administration didn’t open the door any further Monday night to preserving the 57-hectare Meadowbrook green space. But Alan DeSousa, vice-chairman of the city executive committee, didn’t slam it shut, either – not with about 375 anti-development protesters who converged on city hall trying to save the West End site hanging onto his words. “We’re ready to see what we can do to support a local community consensus” on Meadowbrook’s future, he told Patrick Asch of the Les Amis de Meadowbrook citizens’ coalition, which wants the entire site preserved as a public park. A Miami Beach condo developer, Michael Bedzow of Pacific Group Canada, wants to build 1,500 housing units on the site, which has been a private golf course for about a century. Meadowbrook hosts a broad range of wildlife, including foxes, rabbits and birds. It straddles the Lachine borough and Côte St. Luc, and is located near rail yards. Asch and other questioners tried repeatedly to get Mayor Gérald Tremblay to commit to preservation. But the mayor left it to DeSousa to do all the talking on his behalf. The site is already partly zoned for development. Last night’s occasionally loud crowd demonstrates broad support for the site’s preservation, Asch said. The site is “irreplaceable and one of the few natural green spaces left in Montreal,” he added. “Residents across the island will not accept the destruction of Meadowbrook.” Tremblay’s continuing silence on the issue is “deafening – and very suspicious,” Asch said. The site’s preservation is part of a May 2009 report that is to be voted on Thursday by Montreal Island’s agglomeration council. DeSousa said that report doesn’t deal with golf courses. On April 15, Karel Mayrand, Quebec executive director of the David Suzuki Foundation, wrote to Tremblay asking him to act “to preserve all of Meadowbrook as a nature park.” The Pacific Group housing plan – which features Plateau Mont Royal density levels – would represent “destruction for short-term private gain,” Mayrand added. Projet Montréal has already endorsed Meadowbrook’s preservation in full as a public park, said party leader Richard Bergeron. [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/City+commit+Meadowbrook/2926786/story.html#ixzz0leaaJ97g
  10. Here to stay: the hip anglo By David Johnston, The GazetteJanuary 31, 2009 1:01 PM Ask a couple of twentysomething anglophones like Ryan Bedic and Brian Abraham how many of their friends have left Quebec and you are likely to draw a long pause. It isn’t that they need time to count up all of those who have left. It’s that they have trouble coming up with the name of anyone in their largely English-speaking entourage in Montreal who has left. Bedic, 23, and Abraham, 27, are students at the Pearson Electrotechnology Centre in western Lachine. In the 1970s, it was Bishop Whelan High School, an English-speaking Catholic school where students studied two hours of rudimentary French a week. Like anglo high-school students everywhere in Montreal in those days, the Bishop Whelan kids ended up graduating and finding out that Quebec politics was about to pull the rug out from under their feet. Today, the old Bishop Whelan has been reincarnated as Pearson Electrotech, a vocational-education facility with dual electricity and telecommunication streams – as well as a four-year-waiting list for specialized trade instruction in English. Most students, like Bedic and Abraham, are totally at ease in French, and counting on building careers in Montreal. Bedic says he knows one guy, an engineer, who has left for Saskatchewan. But that, he says, was because someone in his family, who owns a company there, had offered him a job. For his part, Abraham says he can also give one example of a friend who has left Quebec. “But maybe she doesn’t count,” he says, “because she always wanted to travel. She left for Vancouver. Now she’s in Dubai working for an airline.” To stay or not to stay; that has been the question for young anglophones in Quebec, across all education levels, through these past four decades of political change in Quebec. But after 35 years of uninterrupted population decline, the latest census data made public in December 2007 showed a 5.5-per-cent increase in the anglophone community from 2001 to 2006. It was the first census-to-census, five-year growth in the English-speaking community since 1971. Overall, the number of anglos who came to Quebec from other provinces and countries, or who were born here between 2001 and 2006, exceeded the number who left, or who died during these same five years. Within Canada itself, there was still a net loss of anglos to other provinces. But the average annual net loss of 1,700 anglos from 2001 to 2006 was roughly equal to the average loss in just one month in the late 1970s, or one season in the late 1990s. When the new census data came out, anglophone community leaders could hardly believe the statistical evidence of a turnaround. They didn’t know whether to trust the data. Since then, however, there has been a slow acceptance that something relatively encouraging has been happening within the English-speaking community. “It’s still too early to say that we are on a positive track for the foreseeable future,” says Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies. “But there are definitely encouraging signs. Identity is built on events that shape you – and clearly, the dominant event for the anglophone community over time has been the migration phenomenon, and the profoundly negative psychological impact that that has had.” From 1971 to 2001, Quebec’s anglophone population – defined as those who speak primarily English in the home, no matter their ethnic background or mother tongue – declined by 15.9 per cent, from 887,875 to 746,890. During these same 30 years, Quebec’s population rose by 18.2 per cent and Canada’s 39.1 per cent. Ever since the 2006 census, Statcan has reported a new uptick in departures from Quebec. But Statcan analyst Hubert Denis says the rise hasn’t been unique to Quebec. There’s been a corresponding rise in migrations out of Ontario, he says. In fact, Ontario has begun losing more people to other provinces than Quebec is losing – something not seen since the recession of the early 1990s. “There’s something special going on there,” says Denis, citing the decline of traditional manufacturing industries in eastern Canada, as opposed to political or economic uncertainty unique to Quebec. In the case of both Ontario and Quebec, he says, people drifted to Alberta. Both La Presse and Le Journal de Montréal, Montreal’s two largest French-language newspapers, have reported over the past 18 months on a new wave of francophone migration to Fort McMurray and other oil-patch communities in Alberta. By contrast, there has been no anecdotal evidence of a new anglo exodus. Mary Deskin, a real-estate agent with Royal LePage in Pointe Claire, says 2007 was the first year since she started working in the industry in 1990 that she didn’t have a single anglo client who listed a home for sale in order to leave Quebec for another province. It was the same story last year, she says. “My listings have been all upgrades or divorces,” she says. Tom Filgiano, president of Meldrum the Mover, in Notre Dame de Grâce, has also found anglo Montreal to be all quiet on exodus front. “In fact, there is no exodus at all anymore,” he says. “It’s more of a balanced flow now.” Bedic of Pearson Electrotech, who is the son of an anglophone mother from Verdun and an immigrant father from Croatia, says he’s staying put. “I’m pretty confident about finding work in Montreal and building a life here,” he says. Abraham, the son of immigrant parents from Grenada, feels the same way. “French isn’t a problem for me,” he says. “And I like the low cost of living in Montreal.” Richard Bourhis, a professor of psychology at the Université du Québec à Montréal who has studied the anglophone community closely, says the low cost of living in Montreal has been an important driver of new anglo population growth. Bourhis isn’t the only demographer who has noticed that the 2006 census showed most of the anglo population growth was concentrated in the age 15 to 24 category. Bourhis says this suggests to him that a lot of young anglos from the rest of Canada have been migrating to Montreal to attend school or just have a good time – sort of like Canadian backpackers going to Europe a generation ago. For some out-of-province students, the cost of university tuition in Quebec is now cheaper than it is in their home provinces. For example, tuition this year is $6,155 at the University of New Brunswick, versus fees of $5,378 that Quebec charges its own out-of-province students (compared with $1,868 for Quebec residents). Many kids from small-town Canada who leave home to go to university have discovered that the cost of off-campus housing and public transit in Montreal are a bargain by Canadian standards. Bourhis says tuition, rent control and heavy taxpayer subsidization of transit have combined to create winning conditions for an influx of young anglos. For young Americans facing even more onerous tuition fees at home, the financial allures of Montreal are that much greater. In 2001, one of these young Americans who drifted up to Montreal was a 21-year-old man from Houston, Tex., named Win Butler, who came up through a Boston prep school to study religion at McGill University. A musician, he created a new band, called Arcade Fire, with a Concordia student from Toronto, and other anglo migrants from Ottawa, Guelph and Vancouver. They were joined in the band by a francophone woman of Haitian origin from the Montreal suburbs. Butler ended up marrying that woman, Régine Chassagne. Today, Arcade Fire is an international sensation. And with other new English-language indie bands like The Dears and The Stills, they have become symbols of a radically new anglo chic. It all came to a sociological climax in February of 2005, when Spin magazine, and then the New York Times, anointed Montreal the next big thing in music, the new Seattle. For anyone who remembers the acute morosity in the English-speaking community after the 1995 referendum, the proposition that Montreal would soon have international resonance because of its English cultural vibrancy would have been preposterous. But Montreal’s essence is still undeniably French, not to mention alluring for anyone who grew up admiring the city from a distance. Tamera Burnett, 22, a third-year McGill University political-science student from Kamloops, B.C., came to Montreal thinking it was a very special place. She first came to Quebec when she was 16, to study French in Jonquière. She’s continuing to improve her French today at McGill, and hopes to study law in Montreal or at the bilingual University of Ottawa. “I’d love to end up in Montreal,” she says. Bourhis, the UQAM professor, is also director of the Centre d’études ethniques des universités montréalaises, a research organization with offices at the Université de Montreal. He and Jedwab are on opposite sides of the spectrum, when it comes to interpreting the 2006 census results. Bourhis thinks the 5.5-per-cent increase is a blip that will wash out over time if the cost of living in Montreal rises to national averages for large Canadian cities, and fewer anglos come to Montreal from other provinces. But Jedwab says the main reason why the English-speaking community is growing isn’t this new influx of young anglos from the rest of Canada. The main reason is that young anglos born and bred in Quebec aren’t leaving anymore, at least not in the numbers that they did a generation ago. The reasons for that, he says, go beyond mere cost-of-living considerations. And they reflect a major shift in perception within the anglophone community, he adds. “This psychology, this sense of persistent losses, has been broken,” says Jedwab. Anglo community leaders aren’t so sure. They’re not comfortable with the notion of a renaissance. Their worry, as Jedwab sees it, is that governments will respond to the census findings of growth by reducing financial support to all the different little anglophone community groups in Quebec. “That’s the concern some people have,” Jedwab says. “And so the good news, in a perverse sort of way, is really bad news. People are afraid that governments will say, “Well, the anglophones are doing very well, thank you very much. What kind of support do they really need anymore?’ ” Robert Donnelly, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network, the main umbrella group for all the anglophone community organizations in Quebec, says the census results need to be interpreted with caution. In almost every region of Quebec outside of Montreal, says Donnelly, anglophone populations are continuing to shrink – and shrink fast. Without strong government financial and moral support, he says, English schools, old-age homes, community newspapers and health services in the regions will be severely threatened. “While the numbers are up overall, they mask serious declines outside of Montreal,” says Donnelly, a native of Quebec City, which has a 2 per cent anglo population, down from 40 per cent a century ago. But Donnelly admits that something encouraging does appear to be going on with young anglos in Montreal. “Are we finally moving on beyond Bill 101 and the after-effects of that? Maybe there’s a stabilizing factor that has kicked in,” he says. “We’re hearing less and less about people leaving.” Bill 101 chased away a lot of anglos at first. But over time, the demands of the language law also created the conditions for the rise of a new generation of anglophones more at ease in French than their Bishop Whelan forefathers were in the 1970s. And that has helped make it easier for young anglos today to stay. [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  11. Is America's suburban dream collapsing into a nightmare? Suburban neighborhoods are becoming refuges for those outpriced in gentrifying inner-cities. By Lara Farrar For CNN (CNN) -- When Shaun Yandell proposed to his longtime girlfriend Gina Marasco on the doorstep of their new home in the sunny suburb of Elk Grove, California, four years ago, he never imagined things would get this bad. But they did, and it happened almost overnight. art.jpg "It is going to be heartbreak," Yandell told CNN. "But we are hanging on." Yandell's marriage isn't falling apart: his neighborhood is. Devastated by the subprime mortgage crisis, hundreds of homes have been foreclosed and thousands of residents have been forced to move, leaving in their wake a not-so-pleasant path of empty houses, unkempt lawns, vacant strip malls, graffiti-sprayed desolate sidewalks and even increased crime. In Elk Grove, some homeowners not only cut their own grass but also trim the yards of vacant homes on their streets, hoping to deter gangs and criminals from moving in. Other residents discovered that with some of the empty houses, it wasn't what was growing outside that was the problem. Susan McDonald, president of a local neighborhood association aimed at saving the lost suburban paradise, told CNN that around her cul-de-sac, federal agents recently busted several pot homes with vast crops of marijuana growing from floor to ceiling. And only a couple of weeks ago, Yandell said he overheard a group of teenagers gathered on the street outside his back patio, talking about a robbery they had just committed. When they lit a street sign on fire, Yandell called the cops. "This is not like a rare thing anymore," he said. "I get big congregations of people cussing -- stuff I can't even fathom doing when I was a kid." Don't Miss For Yandell, his wife and many other residents trying to stick it out, the white picket fence of an American dream has faded into a seemingly hopeless suburban nightmare. "The forecast is gloomy," he told CNN. While the foreclosure epidemic has left communities across the United States overrun with unoccupied houses and overgrown grass, underneath the chaos another trend is quietly emerging that, over the next several decades, could change the face of suburban American life as we know it. This trend, according to Christopher Leinberger, an urban planning professor at the University of Michigan and visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, stems not only from changing demographics but also from a major shift in the way an increasing number of Americans -- especially younger generations -- want to live and work. "The American dream is absolutely changing," he told CNN. This change can be witnessed in places like Atlanta, Georgia, Detroit, Michigan, and Dallas, Texas, said Leinberger, where once rundown downtowns are being revitalized by well-educated, young professionals who have no desire to live in a detached single family home typical of a suburbia where life is often centered around long commutes and cars. Instead, they are looking for what Leinberger calls "walkable urbanism" -- both small communities and big cities characterized by efficient mass transit systems and high density developments enabling residents to walk virtually everywhere for everything -- from home to work to restaurants to movie theaters. The so-called New Urbanism movement emerged in the mid-90s and has been steadily gaining momentum, especially with rising energy costs, environmental concerns and health problems associated with what Leinberger calls "drivable suburbanism" -- a low-density built environment plan that emerged around the end of the World War II and has been the dominant design in the U.S. ever since. Thirty-five percent of the nation's wealth, according to Leinberger, has been invested in constructing this drivable suburban landscape. But now, Leinberger told CNN, it appears the pendulum is beginning to swing back in favor of the type of walkable community that existed long before the advent of the once fashionable suburbs in the 1940s. He says it is being driven by generations molded by television shows like "Seinfeld" and "Friends," where city life is shown as being cool again -- a thing to flock to, rather than flee. "The image of the city was once something to be left behind," said Leinberger. Changing demographics are also fueling new demands as the number of households with children continues to decline. By the end of the next decade, the number of single-person households in the United States will almost equal those with kids, Leinberger said. And aging baby boomers are looking for a more urban lifestyle as they downsize from large homes in the suburbs to more compact town houses in more densely built locations. Recent market research indicates that up to 40 percent of households surveyed in selected metropolitan areas want to live in walkable urban areas, said Leinberger. The desire is also substantiated by real estate prices for urban residential space, which are 40 to 200 percent higher than in traditional suburban neighborhoods -- this price variation can be found both in cities and small communities equipped with walkable infrastructure, he said. The result is an oversupply of depreciating suburban housing and a pent-up demand for walkable urban space, which is unlikely to be met for a number of years. That's mainly, according to Leinberger, because the built environment changes very slowly; and also because governmental policies and zoning laws are largely prohibitive to the construction of complicated high-density developments. But as the market catches up to the demand for more mixed use communities, the United States could see a notable structural transformation in the way its population lives -- Arthur C. Nelson, director of Virginia Tech's Metropolitan Institute, estimates, for example, that half of the real-estate development built by 2025 will not have existed in 2000. Yet Nelson also estimates that in 2025 there will be a surplus of 22 million large-lot homes that will not be left vacant in a suburban wasteland but instead occupied by lower classes who have been driven out of their once affordable inner-city apartments and houses. The so-called McMansion, he said, will become the new multi-family home for the poor. "What is going to happen is lower and lower-middle income families squeezed out of downtown and glamorous suburban locations are going to be pushed economically into these McMansions at the suburban fringe," said Nelson. "There will probably be 10 people living in one house." In Shaun Yandell's neighborhood, this has already started to happen. Houses once filled with single families are now rented out by low-income tenants. Yandell speculates that they're coming from nearby Sacramento, where the downtown is undergoing substantial gentrification, or perhaps from some other area where prices have gotten too high. He isn't really sure. But one thing Yandell is sure about is that he isn't going to leave his sunny suburban neighborhood unless he has to, and if that happens, he says he would only want to move to another one just like it. "It's the American dream, you know," he said. "The American dream." http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/06/16/suburb.city/index.html
  12. Where do you locate on the Political Compass? After taking the Test, if you can either post the coordinates and/or the graph with the dot on it. Economic Left/Right: 7.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 4.62 I'm fairly right economically, however on social issues I tend to be more centrist (however in the authoritarian quadrant still). In general, I'm ideologically similar to Harper and McCain. Bush if a little further right than I am and more authoritarian. Obama is further left and a little less authoritarian. Take the test here: http://www.politicalcompass.org/
  13. tres tres triste. Je gage de voir 3 ou 4 personnes commencer a insulter Villeneuve Former Formula 1 champion Jacques Villeneuve said he left Quebec because of the province’s language laws, business climate and the general “morose ambiance.” In an exclusive interview with QMI Agency, Villeneuve, who works as an F1 analyst on French and Italian television, said he “no longer felt at home” in Quebec. He recently sold his luxurious home in one of Montreal’s wealthiest neighbourhoods and is now living in Andorra, a microstate that is known as a tax haven, located in the Pyreneese mountains between France and Spain. “My leaving had nothing to do with taxes,” Villeneuve said. Rather, he said he didn’t appreciate Quebec’s “evolution,” which he said reminded him of France. “Everything bad about France was transferred to Quebec,” he said. “The social ills, the student protests ... The climate is such that people hesitate before investing in Quebec.” He blamed government regulations for scaring off investors, and said he didn’t want his three children to live in the “morose ambiance” in Quebec that “blocks its future.” In particular, Villeneuve targeted the province’s language laws, which legislate the use of the French language. He said it’s up to parents to teach their children how to speak French. The former F-1 driver will be in Montreal in two weeks for the Canadian Grand Prix where he’ll likely draw criticism for his recent remarks on Quebec. Villeneuve also received the wrath from student movement leaders last spring when he invited striking students to “stop protesting and go back to school.”
  14. http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=179543 Not sure how the "Tour Centre-Ville" ended up on that list. I guess that the guy who posted this listing thought it was real (i.e. A city the size of Montreal has to have at least one project in the 20 tallest proposals)
  15. Old Damascus is quite unique, it is enclosed by very high walls and it can only be accessed by very few doors ( i believe 7 of them). Streets are never wider than the width of two cars, and most of them are unmapped and wide enough for one person to pass. Old Damascus is composed of a good sized Christian Minority, and you can find packed Churches on Sundays and other Holidays. Old Damascus is the heart of the oldest still inhabited city in the world, Damascus goes back to over 4000 years before Christ. So I'm not going to spoil any surprises, check the pics and some commentaries... i tried to be as concise as possible, but if you do have questions, just ask. If you haven't checked the first part: Going to Old Damascus There's no detached houses in Damascus, its all 3-4-5 stories with no elevator. Thats why you don't see many fat Syrians :-) The almighty Minister of Finance... aka Mafia. My host in his '78 Mercedes annoyed by my too many pics... he hasn't seen nothing yet. The usual 3 lanes become 6 lanes traffic in Syria. More fountains... Notice the fruits on the left, that guy makes amazing fresh pressed juice... I was always having one too... 25sp or 50 cents. That's the most important commercial street in Damascus, the mazout deliverer and his horse perfectly blend. The almighty Commercial Bank of Syria... the biggest fiasco I've ever witnessed in my life... it takes maybe 5 or 6 signatures to cash in a regular cheque (45 minutes)... to bad I couldn't take any pics inside. A roundabout, very common. Another common sight... ok maybe not, a fellah wit his lamb :-) A vestige of old railroad tracks. Thats a movie theatre... look at those sexy women. BTW, going to the movies in Syria is seen as a bad thing by the masses. A viaduc. Thats the old central station. Good luck in getting in. Can't remember what was that building. Thats the telegraph and communication central... if you want a phone line, you go there. (the waiting list for a phone line was so long that we got it nearly 10 years after we already moved to Canada) Market (Souq) al-Hamidiyya and Roman ruins So we wanted to visit Al Hamidiyya, unique I confess, and encolsed in Old Damascus. These are the walls of Old Damascus. Thats the new part of the markt... not intresting. That guy on the left doesn't seem to like being taken in a picture :-) Here we are... it is encolsed by roof. This is the prime spot of the Sook (which spans on many many blocks). Secondary streets where the sook spans.
  16. Not quite sure what to think. I guess its a good thing that the people going more than 50 km/h above the speed limit get stiffer penalties. The danger is not necessarily speed though, but the difference between speeds of each vehicle. If grandma is cruising at 65 km/h, and a Schumacher wannabe is going 130 km/h, then we are going to have ourselves a little problem. http://www.wheels.ca/article/31982