Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'mayor'.



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 36 results

  1. The small town of Triberg, Germany is creating big headlines these days, after its mayor designated a number of difficult or tricky parking spaces for men-only. Mayor Gallus Strobel has risked countless accusations of sexism after marking the town's toughest parking spots with a male or female symbol depending on their level of difficulty. "Men are, as a rule, a little better at such challenges... There are also great women drivers who are, of course, most welcome!" Mayor Strobel told German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. The idea behind this new policy was designed to attract ambitious drivers to utilize more difficult spaces. Parking spaces which are wider, well-lit and close to exits have been painted with female symbols, while narrow, obstructed and awkwardly angled spots have been labeled with male symbols. So far the parking challenge has been met with mixed opinions, however its also increased tourism to the area, as countless drivers have traveled to the small town in order to test their parking abilities. A major study in Britain earlier this year showed that while women might be slower at parking, they are more accurate and have better technique. The survey also suggests men liked to "pose park" by opting to park in a smaller spots, even when a larger spot is available. http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/10/12664764-german-mayor-designates-parking-spaces-just-for-men?lite
  2. http://www.westislandgazette.com/news/28915 Dorval considering options for major facelift City wants public input on its draft of master urban plan Albert Kramberger The Gazette Wednesday, March 14, 2012 The city of Dorval is looking to make a few changes in how it looks - everything from revitalizing its waterfront to giving Dorval Ave. a facelift. The next step in preparing a new sustainable master urban plan is a public consultation set for March 26. The city has prepared a draft of its master plan, a general statement of the direction the city should follow over the next two decades regarding development, zoning and quality of life concerns as well as promoting and encouraging "greener" options. It now hopes to gauge input from citizens before adopting the formal version later this fall, said Mayor Edgar Rouleau. Among its proposals, the city aims to make its waterfront along Lake St. Louis more user-friendly and animated, possibly installing outdoor exercise equipment at Millennium Park. As well, it will consider purchasing select private lands near existing cityowned sites, like the Forest and Stream Club, should they ever come on the market, the mayor said. "There are sites along Lakeshore that may, in five or 10 years, become available and the council should at that time evaluate if it's worthwhile to acquire," Rouleau said of potentially adding to publicly owned space along the lake. "Is it going to expensive? As you know, yes." While the city is also looking at encouraging highdensity residential develop-ment, especially around the Pine Beach and Dorval train stations and along Bouchard Blvd., it will have to be measured in light of respecting the single-family home residential character in much of the city. There is also a goal to reverse an aging demographic trend by attracting young families and immigrants, the latter of which are expected to account for more than 30 per cent of Dorval's population by 2024. As of 2011, Dorval had about 18,615 residents and approximately 8,000 households, with an additional 2,000 housing units envisioned by the city within a decade, including more affordable housing. "Residents want the population to increase, but they don't want to lose that residential sector that we have," Rouleau said. "We're not going to change that, except those few big lots we have, like the one at the corner of De la Presentation and Lakeshore, which will soon be developed," he said. The city also aims to revitalize the commercial area on Dorval Ave. and make it more attractive. For example, by allowing outdoor terraces, and making it safer for both pedestrians and cyclists. A study has already been commissioned to prepare some proposals, the mayor said. "We want it more friendly, but the challenge is that we cannot widen the road," Rouleau said of Dorval Ave. "Whatever we extend, we have to take it from somewhere else. Right now it's two lanes each way with an island in the middle and sidewalks on both sides," he said, adding that perhaps the avenue could be reduced to one lane in each direction with a narrow median strip to allow for something like a bike path.
  3. New York City fears return to 1970s Tue Jan 27, 2009 By Joan Gralla http://www.reuters.com/article/newsO...50Q6IH20090127
  4. The jury members are: - Melvin Charney, architect; - Odile Decq, architect and Director of the École Spéciale d'Architecture, Paris; - Jacques Des Rochers, Curator of Canadian Art, Montréal Museum of Fine Arts; - Michel Dionne, architect, Cooper, Robertson & Partners, New York; - Raphaël Fischler, urban planner and professor at the School of Urban Planning, McGill University; - Mario Masson, landscape architect and Division Manager, Service du développement culturel, de la qualité du milieu de vie et de la diversité ethnoculturelle, Ville de Montréal; - Alessandra Ponte, associate professor, School of Architecture, Université de Montréal; - Philippe Poullaouec-Gonidec, landscape architect and holder of the UNESCO Chair in Landscape and Environmental Design at Université de Montréal. Instructions for prospective entrants (Courtesy of CNW Telbec)
  5. Cataclaw

    Longueuil 2020

    Voici ma vision pour le secteur du bord de l'eau. The situation is simple. We have a high-density area surrounding a transit hub, a good example of transit oriented development... but it is locked in by highways. Furthermore, the "Old Longueuil" area, the real cultural, historical and recreational area of Longueuil is blocked off from this downtown area as a result. Finally, the waterfront is also isolated by autoroute 20. This isn't just some random waterfront either.. this is PRIME space. Just across from Sainte-Helene island and Montreal. There's a reason throngs of people come here to watch the fireworks in the summer! The view is exceptional! Solution : Mettre l'autoroute 20 sous terre ainsi qu'une portion du boulevard Taschereau et réunir le bord de l'eau avec Place Charles-Lemoyne (le "centre ville" de Longueuil) et le secteur du Vieux-Longueuil historique (l'autre "centre ville", et selon moi, le vrai) - Faire de cette région un vrai pole économique, culturel, récréotouristique, etc. Optimistic? Ambitious? Naive? Perhaps... i know this project would be hilariously expensive, but damn, imagine the cohesive and dynamic, livable and exciting Longueuil city center that would emerge! Please give me your feedback... i'm very interseted in hearing what you have to say! Merci beaucoup tout le monde! (Metro Charland named after the Montreal South mayor - Montreal South being the small town originally located on that land, eventually merged into Longueuil. Boul Isidore Hurteau named after the first mayor of Longueuil) AVANT APRES
  6. Investing in infrastructure A question of trust Chicago pioneers a new way of paying for infrastructure May 12th 2012 | CHICAGO AND WASHINGTON, DC | from the print edition FOR decades America has underinvested in infrastructure—even though poor roads, delayed flights, crumbling bridges and inefficient buildings are an expensive burden. Deficiencies in roads, bridges and transport systems alone cost households and businesses nearly $130 billion in 2010, mostly because of higher running costs and travel delays. The calculated underinvestment in transport infrastructure alone runs to about $94 billion a year. This filters through to all parts of the economy and increases costs at the point of use of many raw materials, and thereby reduces the productivity and competitiveness of American firms and their goods. Overall the American Society of Civil Engineers reckons that this underinvestment will end up costing each family in the country about $10,600 between 2010 and 2020. Yet though investment in infrastructure would bring clear gains in efficiency, there is little money around, and all levels of government are reluctant or unable to pile up more debt. Traditional sources of funding, such as the (flat) tax on petrol, have delivered a dwindling amount of revenue as soaring prices at the pump have persuaded people to drive less. The federal government has been unable to get Congress to agree on other ways to generate new sources of funding for transport, to the point where money for new highways has almost dried up. For years America has talked about a federal infrastructure bank, which would blend private and public finance and would yield returns over a long number of years. Various other countries have tried the idea, but it has never caught on in the United States. Barack Obama wants $10 billion in funding as initial capital for a national infrastructure bank as part of his jobs plan. So far the idea has gone nowhere in Congress. In March the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, announced that his city could not wait for such help from elsewhere and will go it alone. With the speedy approval of the city council he created a new breed of infrastructure finance known as the Chicago Infrastructure Trust (CIT). The trust is not so much an infrastructure bank with money to hand out, but a city effort to match public infrastructure needs to private investors on a case-by-case basis; something more like an exchange. The city will finance the running costs of the trust itself to the tune of $2.5m. Several financial institutions are already lined up to make investments totalling $1.7 billion, among them Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, Ullico, Citibank and JPMorgan. The background to this is that Mr Emanuel wants to spend about $7 billion to rebuild the city of Chicago—on everything from streets, to parks, to the water system, schools, commuter rail and the main airport. Tom Alexander, a spokesman for the mayor, says the city cannot ignore the future as it deals with the present. But raising the money needed for new investment, while maintaining the current infrastructure, is a daunting task. The CIT allows Mr Emanuel to tap the private sector for money, rather than just raising taxes and borrowing. The private sector will invest money in projects and get it back in the shape of tolls, user fees, premium pricing or even tax breaks. The first project is an investment of $225m to make city buildings more energy-efficient. This is expected to reduce annual energy costs by $20m, and the savings will then be used to pay back the investors. The CIT will provide some capital, bond financing and grants. It will also offer tax-exempt debt to entice investors. Returns on investment could vary from 3% on tax-exempt bonds to 8% for equity partners. Private involvement should, in theory, improve the quality of projects that get undertaken. A politically-expedient but financially dubious project would be unlikely to generate enough money to interest private investors. Padding, short cuts or shoddy construction are less likely to be tolerated. And city leaders might in turn overcome their aversion to the efficient pricing of public resources such as parking and busy roads. At the moment, investor appetites are keen and the supply of potential projects looks ample. The project is causing some anxiety in Chicago, though. Although the new trust would leave all the resulting investment under public ownership, the city’s recent bitter experience with a bungled 75-year lease of its parking meters under a previous mayor has left residents fearful. And with reason. For example, experience with public-private partnerships shows that cost-benefit estimates can sometimes prove wildly optimistic. When projects go bad—leaving half-built roads and schools—they become a public problem. Private investment might well end up being recouped in higher user fees. Mr Emanuel is well aware that other cities are watching this experiment with interest. The mayor is a hugely ambitious man, who is undoubtedly keen to leave a lasting legacy, and who some believe may want to remain as mayor for a period of Daleyian proportions. He, of all people, will want to build something that other cities will want to copy, not avoid. http://www.economist.com/node/21554579
  7. * Find this article at: * http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1930822,00.html
  8. I haven't seen this article posted anywhere. Given the challenges presented with putting up the Mackay project I suspect this doesn't bode well for future tall development. Megaproject proposals put Montreal at 'major crossroads': founder Lambert http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/think+tank+will+conscience+mayor/2104533/story.html
  9. By Anne Sutherland, The Gazette Benoit Labonté, borough mayor of Ville Marie, will be tabling a motion tonight that will provide for eight days of free parking downtown in an effort to help merchants in these tough economic times. He will propose that city parking meters will be free from 9 a.m. on Dec. 20 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 28. The gross loss of revenue from those metered spots will be $800,000, but Labonté said the net loss to the Ville Marie borough will be between $100,000 and $150,000. “We’re talking about one week in the year to help our tax-paying merchants, a kind of subsidy,” Labonté said. “The message we’re giving to citizens is come downtown to shop and don’t go to the suburbs.” Labonté and his Vision Montreal councillors have a three to two advantage on the borough council, so the motion is expected to pass. --
  10. meme s'ils ne sont pas non plus immunises contre les depassements de couts ou les delais dans les projets, on doit avouer que ca dors pas au gaz, dans la region new yorkaise. moins de deux semaines apres la liberation de milliards de $ en fonds publiques du a l'abandon d'un projet de tunnel sous la hudson river, voila ce qui est sorti ce matin: -------------------------- Let 7 train go to NJ: Mike By TOM NAMAKO Transit Reporter Last Updated: 5:27 AM, November 17, 2010 Posted: 1:20 AM, November 17, 2010 Mayor Bloomberg wants to extend the No. 7 train into New Jersey -- the first time any New York subway train would leave city limits. The mayor's plan would continue the subway line from its stop at 34th Street and 11th Avenue, which is still under construction, to Secaucus, NJ, where it would connect to every New Jersey Transit suburban line. "Like others, we're looking at -- and open to discussing -- creative, fiscally responsible alternatives," Andrew Brent, a spokesman for Deputy Mayor Robert Steel, said last night. The idea, which is still in a very preliminary stage, would be to use the partially built tunnel that would have brought Amtrak and NJ Transit trains to Penn Station before New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie killed it, citing potential cost overruns. The feds and Port Authority had each committed $3 billion to the original project, and that money could go toward funding the No. 7 extension. "Extending the 7 line to New Jersey could address many of the region's transportation-capacity issues at a fraction of the original tunnel's cost," Brent said. The estimated cost would be $5.3 billion -- about half that of the original plan, sources said. The West 34th Street station is slated to open in December 2013. -------------------------- http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/let_train_go_to_nj_mike_TakEl5Qp50CremjgaK17HO si j'ai bien compris, ce projet relirais la nouvelle extention au tunnel du service 7 prevu jusqu'a la 11e avenue et le nouveau tunnel sous la hudson river construit presqu'en totalite, mais maintenant abandonne.
  11. Je sais que Chicago et Montréal sont des villes différentes, et on peut nommées ces différences. Chicago, elle aussi... est une des plus grandes villes dans son pays. vit avec la corruption dans le présent et a vécu la dominance de la mafia dans le passé. on des élus qui sont allés en prison ou q'iraient. appartient à une structure métropolitaine trop bureaucratique. était plus une ville nationale dans son passé mais à progressivement devenu plus régionale. est renommée pour son architecture. essaye de convaincre des grandes conférences internationales de choisir leur ville pour montrer quelle est encore «dans le game.» n'est pas une ville où les gens faut s'installer selon leur profession comme New York ou Los Angeles. fait du rattrapage vis-à-vis ses concurrents, dont New York et Los Angeles. Maintenant je vais prendre le rôle de Simon Durivage (ou Peter Mansbridge, selon vos goûts): Est-ce qu'il y a des leçons pour Montréal, en ce qui concerne la corruption, la bureaucratie et la perte du statut national (Canada)? La raison pour laquelle je pose cette question ce que Chicago est une ville dynamique avec quelques de les mêmes problèmes que Montréal. En ce qui concerne nos problèmes, je trouve qu'on a plus de liens avec Chicago qu'avec Toronto, Vancouver or Calgary. The Second-Rate City? http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_2_chicago.html Chicago’s swift, surprising decline presents formidable challenges for new mayor Rahm Emanuel. In the 1990s, Chicago enthusiastically joined the urban renaissance that swept through many of America’s major cities. Emerging from the squalor and decay of the seventies and eighties, Chicago grew for the first time since 1950—by more than 100,000 people over the decade. The unemployment rate in the nation’s third-biggest city was lower than in its two larger rivals, and per-capita income growth was higher. Chicago’s metropolitan area racked up 560,000 new jobs, more than either New York’s or Los Angeles’s in raw numbers and over twice as many on a percentage basis. A rising Chicago spent lavishly to improve itself, investing in a new elevated line to Midway Airport, a major street-beautification program, and new cultural facilities costing hundreds of millions of dollars. The capstone was Millennium Park, a $450 million showplace featuring work by such celebrities as architect Frank Gehry and sculptor Anish Kapoor. The idea was to portray Chicago as a “global city,” and it was successful, to judge from the responses in the national media. As Millennium Park opened (a few years late) in the mid-2000s, The Economist celebrated Chicago as “a city buzzing with life, humming with prosperity, sparkling with new buildings, new sculptures, new parks, and generally exuding vitality.” The Washington Post dubbed Chicago “the Milan of the Midwest.” Newsweek added, “From a music scene powered by the underground footwork energy of juke to adventurous three-star restaurants, high-stepping fashion, and hot artists, Chicago is not only ‘the city that works,’ in Mayor Daley’s slogan, but also an exciting, excited city in which all these glittery worlds shine.” But despite the chorus of praise, it’s becoming evident that the city took a serious turn for the worse during the first decade of the new century. The gleaming towers, swank restaurants, and smart shops remain, but Chicago is experiencing a steep decline quite different from that of many other large cities. It is a deeply troubled place, one increasingly falling behind its large urban brethren and presenting a host of challenges for new mayor Rahm Emanuel. Begin with Chicago’s population decline during the 2000s, an exodus of more than 200,000 people that wiped out the previous decade’s gains. Of the 15 largest cities in the United States in 2010, Chicago was the only one that lost population; indeed, it suffered the second-highest total loss of any city, sandwiched between first-place Detroit and third-place, hurricane-wrecked New Orleans. While New York’s and L.A.’s populations clocked in at record highs in 2010, Chicago’s dropped to a level not seen since 1910. Chicago is also being “Europeanized,” with poorer minorities leaving the center of the city and forced to its inner suburbs: 175,000 of those 200,000 lost people were black. The demographic disaster extends beyond city limits. Cook County as a whole lost population during the 2000s; among America’s 15 largest counties, the only other one to lose population was Detroit’s Wayne County. The larger Chicago metropolitan area grew just 4 percent—less than half the national average. What little growth Chicagoland had, then, was concentrated in its exurban fringes, belying the popular narrative of a return to the city. And even that meager growth resulted almost entirely from new births and immigrants, rather than domestic migration: over the decade, the Chicago metro area suffered a net loss of more than 550,000 people to other parts of the country. Chicago’s economy also performed poorly during the first decade of the century. That was a tough decade all over the United States, of course, but the Chicago region lost 7.1 percent of its jobs—the worst performance of any of the country’s ten largest metro areas. Chicago’s vaunted Loop, the second-largest central business district in the nation, did even worse, losing 18.6 percent of its private-sector jobs, according to the Chicago Loop Alliance. Per-capita GDP grew faster in New York and L.A. than in Chicago; today, Chicago’s real per-capita GDP ranks eighth out of the country’s ten largest metros. Fiscal problems are commonplace these days among local governments, but Chicago’s are particularly grim and far predate the Great Recession. Cook County treasurer Maria Pappas estimates that within the city of Chicago, there’s a stunning $63,525 in total local government liabilities per household. Not all of this is city debt; the region’s byzantine political structure includes many layers of government, including hundreds of local taxing districts. But pensions for city workers alone are $12 billion underfunded. If benefits aren’t reduced, the city will have to increase its contributions to the pension fund by $710 million a year for the next 50 years, according to the Civic Federation. Chicago’s annual budget, too, has been structurally out of balance, running an annual deficit of about $650 million in recent years. As dire as Chicago’s finances are, those of Illinois are in even worse shape. The primary cause, once again, is pensions, which are underfunded to the tune of $83 billion. Retirees’ future health care is underfunded an additional $43 billion. There’s a lot of regular debt, too—about $44 billion of it. And Illinois, like Chicago, has run large deficits for some time. Despite raising the individual income tax 66 percent and the corporate tax 46 percent in 2011, the state is projected to end the current fiscal year with an accumulated deficit of $5.2 billion. While California has made headlines by issuing IOUs to companies to which it owes money, Illinois has taken an easier route: it just stopped paying its bills, at one point last year racking up 208,000 of them, totaling $4.5 billion. Some businesses have gone unpaid for nine months or even longer. Unsurprisingly, Illinois has the worst credit rating of any state. Unable to pay its bills, it is de facto bankrupt. What accounts for Chicago’s miserable performance in the 2000s? The fiscal mess is the easiest part to account for: it is the result of poor leadership and powerful interest groups that benefit from the status quo. Public-union clout is literally written into the state constitution, which prohibits the diminution of state employees’ retirement benefits. Tales of abuse abound, such as the recent story of two lobbyists for a local teachers’ union who, though they had never held government jobs, obtained full government pensions by doing a single day of substitute teaching apiece. If the state and city had honestly funded the obligations they were taking on, their generosity to their workers would be less of a problem. But they didn’t. As City Journal senior editor Steven Malanga has written for RealClearMarkets, Illinois “essentially wanted to be a low-tax (or at least a moderate-tax) state with high services and rich employee pensions.” That’s an obviously unsustainable policy formula. The state has also employed a series of gimmicks to cover up persistent deficits—for example, using borrowed money to shore up its pension system and even to pay for current operations. At the city level, Mayor Richard M. Daley papered over deficits with such tricks as a now-infamous parking-meter lease. The city sold the right to parking revenues for 75 years to get $1.1 billion up front. Just two years into the deal, all but $180 million had been spent. The debt and obligations begin to explain why jobs are leaving Chicago. It isn’t a matter, as in many cities, of high taxes driving away businesses and residents. Though Chicago has the nation’s highest sales tax, Illinois isn’t a high-tax state; it scores 28th in the Tax Foundation’s ranking of the best state tax climates. But the sheer scale of the state’s debts means that last year’s income-tax hikes are probably just a taste of what’s to come. (Cutting costs is another option, but that may be tricky, since Illinois is surprisingly lean in some areas already; it has the lowest number of state government employees per capita of any state, for example.) The expectation of higher future taxes has cast a cloud over the state’s business climate and contributed to the bleak economic numbers. But that isn’t the whole story. Many of Chicago’s woes derive from the way it has thrown itself into being a “global city” and the uncomfortable fact that its enthusiasm may be delusional. Most true global cities are a dominant location of a major industry: finance in New York, entertainment in Los Angeles, government in Washington, and so on. That position lets them harvest outsize tax revenues that can be fed back into sustaining the region. Thus New York uses Wall Street money, perhaps to too great an extent, to pay its bills (see “Wall Street Isn’t Enough,” page 12). Chicago, however, isn’t the epicenter of any important macro-industry, so it lacks this wealth-generation engine. It has some specialties, such as financial derivatives and the design of supertall skyscrapers, but they’re too small to drive the city. The lack of a calling-card industry that can generate huge returns is perhaps one reason Chicago’s per-capita GDP is so low. It also means that there aren’t many people who have to be in Chicago to do business. Plenty of financiers have to settle in New York, lots of software engineers must move to Silicon Valley, but few people will pay any price or bear any burden for the privilege of doing business in Chicago. Chicago’s history militates against its transforming itself into a global city on the scale of New York, London, or Hong Kong. Yes, its wealth was built by dominating America’s agro-industrial complex—leading the way in such industries as railroads, meatpacking, lumber processing, and grain processing—but that is long gone, and the high-end services jobs that remain to support those sectors aren’t a replacement. Chicago as a whole is less a global city than the unofficial capital of the Midwest, and its economy may still be more tied to that troubled region than it would like to admit. Like the Midwest generally, parts of Chicago suffer from a legacy of deindustrialization: blighted neighborhoods, few jobs, a lack of investment, and persistent poverty. Chicago is also the “business service center of the Midwest, serving regional markets and industries,” Chicago Fed economist Bill Testa wrote in 2007; as a result, “Chicago companies’ prospects for growth are somewhat limited.” It’s easy to understand why being a global city is the focus of civic leadership. Who wouldn’t want the cachet of being a “command node” of the global economy, as urbanists put it? It’s difficult, too, to think of a different template for Chicago to follow; its structural costs are too high for it easily to emulate Texas cities and become a low-cost location. But just because the challenge is stiff doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be tackled. Chicago isn’t even trying; rather, it’s doubling down on the global-city square. Senator Mark Kirk wants to make O’Hare the most “Asia-friendly” airport in America and lure flights to central China, for example. A prominent civic leader suggests that the city should avoid branding itself as part of the Midwest. One of Mayor Emanuel’s signature moves to date has been luring the NATO summit to Chicago. Another reason for Chicago’s troubles is that its business climate is terrible, especially for small firms. When the state pushed through the recent tax increases, certain big businesses had the clout to negotiate better deals for themselves. For example, the financial exchanges threatened to leave town until the state legislature gave them a special tax break, with an extension of a tax break for Sears thrown in for good measure. And so the deck seems to be stacked against the little guys, who get stuck with the bill while the big boys are plied with favors and subsidies. It also hurts small businesses that Chicago operates under a system called “aldermanic privilege.” Matters handled administratively in many cities require a special ordinance in Chicago, and ordinances affecting a specific council district—called a “ward” in Chicago—can’t be passed unless the city council member for that ward, its “alderman,” signs off. One downside of the system is that, as the Chicago Reader reported, over 95 percent of city council legislation is consumed by “ward housekeeping” tasks. More important is that it hands the 50 aldermen nearly dictatorial control over what happens in their wards, from zoning changes to sidewalk café permits. This dumps political risk onto the shoulders of every would-be entrepreneur, who knows that he must stay on the alderman’s good side to be in business. It’s also a recipe for sleaze: 31 aldermen have been convicted of corruption since 1970. Red tape is another problem for small businesses. Outrages are legion. Scooter’s Frozen Custard was cited by the city for illegally providing outdoor chairs for customers—after being told by the local alderman that it didn’t need a permit. Logan Square Kitchen, a licensed and inspected shared-kitchen operation for upscale food entrepreneurs, has had to clear numerous regulatory hurdles: each of the companies using its kitchen space had to get and pay for a separate license and reinspection, for example, and after the city retroactively classified the kitchen as a banquet hall, its application for various other licenses was rejected until it provided parking spaces. An entrepreneur who wanted to open a children’s playroom to serve families visiting Northwestern Memorial Hospital was told that he needed to get a Public Place of Amusement license—which he couldn’t get, it turned out, because the proposed playroom was too close to a hospital! And these are exactly the kind of hip, high-end businesses that the city claims to want. Who else stands a chance if even they get caught in a regulatory quagmire? As Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce CEO Jerry Roper has noted, “unnecessary and burdensome regulation” puts Chicago “at a competitive disadvantage with other cities.” Companies also fear Cook County’s litigation environment, which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has called the most unfair and unreasonable in the country. It’s not hard to figure out why Chief Executive ranked Illinois 48th on its list of best states in which to do business. Chicago’s notorious corruption interferes with attempts to fix things. Since 1970, 340 officials in Chicago and Cook County have been convicted of corruption. So have three governors. The corruption has been bipartisan: both Governor George Ryan, a Republican, and Governor Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, are currently in federal prison. A recent study named Chicago the most corrupt city in the United States. But an even greater problem than outright corruption is Chicago’s culture of clout, a system of personal loyalty and influence radiating from city hall. Influencing the mayor, and influencing the influencers on down the line, is how you get things done. There is only one power structure in the city—including not just politicians but the business and social elite and their hangers-on—and it brings to mind the court of Louis XIV: when conflicts do arise, they are palace intrigues. One’s standing is generally not, as in most cities, the result of having an independent power base that others must respect; it is the result of personal favor from on high. One drawback with this system is that it practically demands what columnist Greg Hinz calls a “Big Daddy”–style leader to sustain itself. Another is that fear of being kicked out of the circle looms large in the minds of important Chicagoans. Beginning in 2007, Mayor Daley launched an ultimately unsuccessful bid for the 2016 Olympics. Later, commentator Ramsin Canon observed that Daley “was able to get everybody that mattered—everybody—on board behind the push. . . . Nobody, from the largest, most conservative institutions to the most active progressive advocacy group, was willing to step out against him.” These organizations have good reason to fear reprisal for not toeing the line. When Daley signed his disastrous parking-meter deal, an advocacy group called the Active Transportation Alliance issued a critical report. After a furious reaction by the Daley administration, the organization issued a groveling retraction. “I would like to simply state that we should not have published this report,” said executive director Rob Sadowsky. “I am embarrassed that it not only contains factual errors, but that it also paints an incorrect interpretation of the lease’s overall goals.” Sadowsky is no longer in Chicago. It’s easy to see how fiascoes like the parking-meter lease happen where civic culture is rotten and new ideas can’t get a hearing. Chicago’s location already isolates it somewhat from outside views. Combine that with the culture of clout, and you get a city that’s too often an echo chamber of boosterism lacking a candid assessment of the challenges it faces. Some of those challenges defy easy solutions: no government can conjure up a calling-card industry, and it isn’t obvious how Chicago could turn around the Midwest. Mayor Emanuel is hobbled by some of the deals of the past—the parking-meter lease, for example, and various union contracts that don’t expire until 2017 and that Daley signed to guarantee labor peace during the city’s failed Olympic bid. But there’s a lot that Emanuel and Chicago can do, starting with facing the fiscal mess head-on. Emanuel has vowed to balance the budget without gimmicks. He cut spending in his 2012 budget by 5.4 percent. He wants to save money by letting private companies bid to provide city services. He’s found some small savings by better coordination with Cook County. Major surgery remains to be done, however, including a tough renegotiation of union contracts, merging some functions with county government, and some significant restructuring of certain agencies, such as the fire department. By far the most important item for both the city and state is pension reform for existing workers—a politically and legally challenging project, to say the least. To date, only limited reforms have passed: the state changed its retirement age, but only for new hires. Next is to improve the business climate by reforming governance and rules. This includes curtailing aldermanic privilege, shrinking the overly large city council, and radically pruning regulations. Emanuel has already gotten some votes of confidence from the city’s business community, recently announcing business expansions with more than 8,000 jobs, though they’re mostly from big corporate players. Chicago also needs something even harder to achieve: wholesale cultural change. It needs to end its obsession with being solely a global city, look for ways to reinvigorate its role as capital of the Midwest, and provide opportunities for its neglected middle and working classes, not just the elites. This means more focus on the basics of good governance and less focus on glamour. Chicago must also forge a culture of greater civic participation and debate. You can’t address your problems if everyone is terrified of stepping out of line and admitting that they exist. Here, at least, Emanuel can set the tone. In March, he publicly admitted that Chicago had suffered a “lost decade,” a promisingly candid assessment, and he has tapped former D.C. transportation chief Gabe Klein to run Chicago’s transportation department, rather than picking a Chicago insider. Continuing to welcome outsiders and dissident voices will help dilute the culture of clout. Fixing Chicago will be a big, difficult project, but it’s necessary. The city’s sparkling core may continue to shine, and magazines may continue to applaud the global city on Lake Michigan—but without a major change in direction, Chicago can expect to see still more people and jobs fleeing for more hospitable locales. Aaron M. Renn is an urban analyst, consultant, and publisher of the urban policy website The Urbanophile.
  12. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2010 Expropriate Overdale! Demolition: within minutes pulleys, chains and trucks can transform a visual touchstone, place of fabulous living bricks and mortar and vibrant history and memories into a pile of junk to be trucked off. This is the fate that the city has decreed for the Lower Main and one of its most unique and liveliest of spots - the Cafe Cleopatra. What's more shocking is that the city plans to expropriate the properties and simply hand them over to another owner, a practice that's considered ethically dubious at best. If indeed the city proposes to tread in those murky waters, we propose that they set their sights further west. Over two decades ago the city of Montreal allowed landowners Douglas Cohen and Robert Landau to demolish a neighbourhood of about seven buidings buildings housing about 100 people at the corner of Mackay and René-Lévesque. The city could easily have refused them permission to demolish the structures, as most suggested that the buildings be integrated into the larger project that the duo proposed. But Cohen and Landau insisted that their $500 million condo project could never happen unless the entire block was razed. The city blinked and ordered the tenants out and demolished the buildings. Mayor Dore and his assistant John Gardiner suffered a major blow to their credibility and their powerful MCM party started a downhill spiral that ended when they were voted out of power. Meanwhile the owners never kept their promise to build condos on the property. Two decades later the owner Robert Landau has not only failed to build anything on the land but he's created an urban parking hell eyesore where a vibrant neighbourhood once stood. Robert Landau also runs Landau Fine Art Gallery at Mackay and Sherbrooke. Landau's family money comes from the fur business. He opposed the greening of Mackay last year. He has sought to demolish the last remaining structure on the property, which has considerable historic value. Landau has some sort of British accent even though he's a Montrealer. He said in an interview "you know that you can trust us." Get the picture? Landau looks like he'll be alive for a few more years and he seems unable or unwilling to get anything done on the precious downtown block. The city should expropriate and resell the land to someone to build on the land. An indoor parking lot could be incorporated so even those who like to park their cars there could still be accommodated. Montreal's city administration was tricked and betrayed and burnt by the Overdale affair but it can now make things right by some forceful action that it has claimed to be willing to take in much less justifiable circumstances. Mayor Tremblay claims he's willing to use this tool, he should use some wisdom to discern the proper place to use it. http://coolopolis.blogspot.com/2010/02/expropriate-overdale.html
  13. http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/keywords-to-expand-its-montreal-studio-creating-100-jobs-577614131.html MONTRÉAL, Canada and DUBLIN, Ireland, April 29, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Keywords Studios, an international technical service provider to the global video game industry, announced today that it intends to expand further in Montréal, creating 100 new jobs within the next three years. This announcement was made during a visit of The Honourable Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal and President of the Montréal Metropolitan Community, at Keywords headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and after his discussions with Andrew Day, Chief Executive Officer of Keywords Studios. We love the city and we love the quality of the talent we can find in Montréal", commented Mr Day. "Since coming to Montréal in 2010, we've had great results there and we want to continue this success." Keywords offers technical services to the gaming industry. Functional testing and localization testing are the main tasks accomplished in Montréal. Keywords' clients includes the world's best-known developers, among which, to name a few, Ubisoft, WB Games, Zynga, King and Sony. They have worked on thousands of different titles such as Rise of the Tomb Raider, Halo 5: Guardians, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Candy Crush, Clash Royale and Mobile Strike. "Keywords' decision to continue to invest in our metropolis illustrates once again Montréal's strength in the video game industry", said The Honourable Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal and President of the Montréal Metropolitan Community, during his visit of Keywords' headquarters, part of his European trip. "What's more, it does highlight the fact that the whole gaming cluster plays a vital role in our economy and that Montréal is the place to be." Montréal International, Greater Montréal's investment promotion agency, has provided support to Keywords Studios over the years. "Along with our government partners, we've been working with Keywords since their arrival in Montréal, stated Stéphane Paquet, Vice President - Investment Greater Montréal at Montréal International. Their reinvestment is most welcome and the whole team at MI look forward to continuing working with Keywords on other projects." "I hope that this most recent announcement is only a first step, added Mr Day, since we are currently studying further more ambitious possibilities for our Montréal studio." Keywords' Montréal studio currently employs around 350 employees.
  14. Mayors to release national transit strategy March 5 in Montreal MONTREAL, March 2 /CNW Telbec/ - The Federation of CanadianMunicipalities (FCM) and its Big City Mayors' Caucus will release theirproposed national transit strategy at a news conference on March 5 inMontreal. Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay and Toronto Mayor David Miller will briefnews media from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. << - What: FCM releases national transit strategy - When: Monday, March 5, 2007 - 10:30 a.m. - Where: Hall of Honour, Montreal City Hall, 275 Notre-Dame East, Montreal >> A technical briefing will be held for journalists in French and Englishat 9:30 a.m. in Room #4.100 (4th Floor), Montreal City Hall, 275 Notre-DameEast, Montreal. Journalists may also participate in the briefing by telephone. Call1-866-219-7782 and enter access code 313264 at the prompt. T he NationalTransit strategy document will be available on the FCM website (www.fcm.ca) at9:00 a.m.For further information: Massimo Bergamini, (613) 907-6247, FCM; MauriceGingues, (613) 907-6395, FCM; Darren Becker, Cabinet du maire et du comitéexécutif, (514) 872-6412, François Goneau, Division des relations avec lesmédias, (514) 868-5859
  15. City, 'burbs broker pact 'A win-win scenario' Montreal gets more autonomy and new powers of taxation; island suburbs spared millions in shared costs; property owners to get single tax bill Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay leads Municipal Affairs Minister Nathalie Normandeau (left) and Westmount Mayor Karin Marks to a news conference at city hall. Two deals signed yesterday amend Bill 22, a bid to resolve a power feud between Montreal and the suburbs. LINDA GYULAI AND DAVID JOHNSTON, The Gazette Published: 6 hours ago Peace was declared yesterday by the municipalities of Montreal Island, and with it comes new tax powers, greater autonomy and special status for the city of Montreal. Mayor Gérald Tremblay, the mayors of the 15 island suburbs and prominent Quebec cabinet ministers announced they had brokered an accord to revamp the agglomeration council that manages island-wide services and has been a source of acrimony since the suburbs demerged from Montreal in 2006. Taxpayers in the suburbs would now receive one tax bill instead of two, while their cities and towns would regain control over maintenance of major roads in their areas and be spared millions of dollars in shared costs with Montreal. And, under a separate deal with Montreal, Quebec agrees to grant a long-standing wish of Tremblay and previous Montreal mayors for more clout and for the power to raise revenue through new forms of taxation. Both deals, signed at Montreal city hall yesterday, provide a package of amendments to Bill 22, legislation that was tabled in the National Assembly last year to resolve a power feud between Montreal and the suburbs. The amendments will be submitted to the National Assembly for a vote before the current session ends late next week. "In every step of this negotiation, we were looking for a win-win scenario," Municipal Affairs Minister Nathalie Normandeau said of the deals. "Today, we can say, 'Mission accomplished.' " Montreal acquires new power to tax assets and property in its territory and to claim royalties for use of resources. The deal also allows Montreal to walk away with $25 million a year in aid from the province starting in 2009, the power to unilaterally set the rate it charges for the "welcome tax" on property sales above $500,000 and a cheque of $9 million a year from the province to cover property tax on the Palais des congrès. The new, potentially sweeping tax power was inspired by the City of Toronto Act, Normandeau said. Using that legislation, Toronto is now creating a personal vehicle tax that it will begin charging car owners this fall. The Montreal deal would overhaul the governance of the downtown Ville Marie borough. It would also bestow status on the city as the metropolis of Quebec, which would be written into the city charter. As well, the deal would allow city council to centralize any borough responsibility in case of danger to health or safety by a majority vote for up to two years. And in response to criticism of the way the city bypassed its independent public-consultation office to approve the redevelopment of Griffintown this spring, the deal would extend the boroughs' power to initiate changes to the city's urban plan to the city council and require such changes to be sent to hearings by the public-consultation office. Tremblay refused to say what new taxes he would create. "We're not going to identify an additional source of taxation today," he said, adding that Toronto spent a year consulting businesses and groups before deciding what new taxes to create. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/index.html
  16. The whole blogosphere and media in Canada has said a lot of things about two mayoral elections in two of Canada's major cities the past month. Both of them had the guy expected to come in 3rd place, win the elections with a majority of votes, with high voter turnouts as well. Everyone was surprised because a "progressive", brown, unmarried and Muslim guy won the mayoralty in Calgary (of all places) and a "hyper-conservative" fat white guy won the mayoralty in Toronto, which just shatters everyone's stereotypes of both cities. Some say they should have happened the other way around But it seems that the "progressive" Mr. Nenshi is also quite respectful of the taxpayers, which is always very nice to hear of and would be most welcome in Montreal or any city. He has said he has "a lot in common" with Mr. Ford, and has been trying to find ways to cut spending in his city to reduce a planned property tax hike. So I liked this article: As for Rob Ford, I don't think he has actually become Mayor of Toronto yet or at least has done anything, except meet with all the elected councillors to get to know them. Who said things about "angry politics", he seems like he is actually trying to make the council work An interesting, contemporary TO article: This article about spending by TO city councillors is also illuminating: http://www.nationalpost.com/high+costs+council/3780393/story.html Some highlights: I don't think I even want to know what the books look like for Montreal's city council
  17. Today is a day like any other. I got up, got into my car and drove to work. While driving I noticed the unbelievable price increase at the pump!! From about $1.26 yesterday to $1.35 this morning. The barrel price dropped to about $78 this morning and these S.O.B.S. have the balls to increase the price. About 2 or 3 years ago when the barrel hit $147 the price of the liter peaked at about $1.50. Today our CDN $ has gained parity with the US greenback (approx. a 4 or 5% gain from 2 years ago) the barrel is at $78 and they have the audacity to raise the price and the governments say squat!!...Come on enough is enough!! And our Mayor Tremblay wants to add new fuel taxes !!! Holy cow!! :stirthepot::stirthepot:
  18. MONTREAL - Montreal must be the bad-news capital of Canada. That’s the impression I got from an email I received last Saturday from Jean-François Dumas, the president of a Montreal-based media-monitoring service, Influence Communication. Dumas was responding to my column in Saturday’s Gazette. In the column, I speculated that negative publicity outside Quebec about the Pastagate affair may be a factor in what so far has been a disappointing summer tourist season in Montreal. “Pastagate” refers to the furor last February over the unsuccessful attempt by Quebec’s French-language-protection agency to force a Montreal restaurant to add French translations to the Italian names of dishes on its menu. As I mentioned in my column, Dumas’s firm reported less than a week after the story broke that Pastagate had become the subject of 350 articles in 14 countries as far away as Australia, and many more articles in Canada. Dumas’s firm started monitoring media coverage in 2000, And he said in his email that for the first several years, it found that Quebec received “softball” (bonbon) coverage in the international media. Most of it, 58 per cent, was about either Quebec’s culture or its tourist attractions. “The foreign press essentially praised Quebec for its European character, its dining, its hospitality and its cultural richness and dynamism. “The foreign press essentially praised Quebec for its European character, its dining, its hospitality and its cultural richness and dynamism. “It was even said often that Montreal was an ‘incubator for cultural products and ideas.’ “The only criticism addressed to Quebec concerned its exploitation and exportation of asbestos to developing countries.” That began to change early last year, during the disruptive and sometimes violent student protests against the former Liberal government’s university-fee increases. In the last 18 months, said Dumas, a series of events had “considerably changed” Quebec’s image in the foreign media. “In fact, one might even say that Quebec has become one big news story” in itself — and a mostly negative one. Dumas listed a “Top 15” of the Quebec stories that received the most coverage in international media since the beginning of 2012 (see accompanying list). Except for the papal candidacy of Quebec City Cardinal Marc Ouellet, most of the stories were negative. (Pastagate ranked No. 11). And most of them were linked to Montreal. If that doesn’t make Montreal the bad-news capital of Canada, I don’t know what is. I can’t think of another Canadian city that has produced nearly as many big, negative news stories in the same period. The mayor of Toronto is alleged to have smoked crack? Pfft. The actual arrest of Montreal’s mayor only made it to No. 8 on Dumas’s list. A police raid at Montreal city hall just cracked the list at No. 15. In a demonstration of the media version of Gresham’s law in economics, the bad coverage of Montreal has driven out the good. Dumas noted that in the past 18 months, Quebec’s cultural and tourist attractions have lost 65 per cent of their share of international media coverage. And, he concluded, the damage to the images of Quebec in general and Montreal in particular is not good for their economies. “If one accepts that a city, a province or a country is a bit like a brand in foreign media, and that the interest of others helps generate tourism, immigration and investments, I believe that we should seriously question ourselves about the state of our collective assets.” Montreal hoteliers might agree. The latest figures obtained from the Hotel Association of Greater Montreal show that last month, compared with July 2011, the number of nightly room occupations in its 77 member hotels in the metropolitan region was down by 40,000. Top 15 Quebec news stories by volume of international media coverage since January 2012 (Source: Influence Communication) 1. Lac-Mégantic disaster 2. Magnotta case 3. Student protests 4. Helicopter jailbreak 5. Charbonneau inquiry and corruption 6. Quebec papal candidate 7. Metropolis shooting 8. Arrest of Montreal mayor Applebaum 9. Gatineau shooting 10. Explosion at fireworks factory 11. Pastagate 12. Turban in soccer 13. Resignation of Montreal mayor Tremblay 14. Shafia “honour” killing trial 15. Police raid at Montreal city hall [email protected] Twitter: MacphersonGaz © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  19. Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2010/08/12/ford-poll.html#ixzz0wXCBUy1b Rob Ford blew the whistle on all the free perks available to Toronto city councilors: This is exactly the kind of mayor Montreal needed. Too bad.
  20. NEARLY $630 MILLION IN FOREIGN INVESTMENT AND TWO NEW INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS ATTRACTED; HELP TO OVER 1,000 SKILLED FOREIGN WORKERS TO ESTABLISH IN GREATER MONTRÉAL MONTREAL, April 15 /CNW Telbec/ - On the occasion of its 14th Annual Meeting held today with 200 members and partners attending, Montréal International (MI) presented its results for the year 2009. Among the highlights were the metropolitan economic development organization's success in contributing to attract nearly $630 million in foreign investment, two new international organizations and over 1,000 skilled foreign workers into Greater Montréal. On the innovation front, MI supported five promising projects in high-tech industries in Metropolitan Montréal. As for promoting the region's advantages on the international stage, some 40 activities were undertaken in foreign markets. At the event - which welcomed Mr. André Lauzon, Executive Producer and Head of Electronic Arts Mobile Montréal as guest speaker - the Acting President and CEO of Montréal International, Mr. Luc Lacharité, emphasized: "The competence and dedication of MI's staff, combined with the support and collaboration of the organization's members and partners, once again has generated further substantial benefits for the metropolitan region's economic competitiveness and international status, in spite of difficult world economic conditions." Foreign investment In 2009, MI helped attract $626.3 million in foreign investment into Greater Montréal. This investment, nearly three-quarters of which is in high-technology sectors and will create or maintain over 2,900 jobs in the metropolitan region, comes 56% from North America, 32% from Europe and 12% from Asia. A further indicator of the added value of MI's results is that over half (55.3%) of the projects were new set-ups. International organizations In terms of attracting international organizations (IOs), the MI 2009 Activity Report mentions the decision of two IOs to set up in Montréal, as well as the official opening of the secretariats of two other IOs in the metropolis. Various international promotional and networking activities were also organized among the IOs community during the year. Skilled foreign workers In 2009, the International Mobility team handled 1,025 files of skilled foreign workers on behalf of 262 businesses, institutions and international organizations in Greater Montréal. In total, 1,784 individuals benefited from MI help and career counselling to settle in the region. The impact of this specialized foreign workforce is very positive for Greater Montréal, as their combined earnings will represent more than $155 million over three years. This qualified workforce also boosts the region's expertise in key sectors. Innovation Last year, MI supported five promising projects in innovation development in Greater Montréal: - Research and innovation initiative in computer-generated images, a Québec Film and Television Council project; - Mobility Alliance, a TechnoMontréal project in cooperation with Alliance numérique to develop and market new applications and new content for mobile platforms; - ScienceAffaires meetings, in cooperation with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), a pilot project to maximize sharing among scientists, artists, economic development players and the business world; - A market intelligence study in the medical drug sector, in cooperation with the Québec Consortium for Drug Discovery (CDQM); - The 2009 Aerospace Innovation Forum, organized by Aéro Montréal. International promotion of Greater Montréal At the top of the list of MI's key promotional achievements in 2009 is its upgraded website. The 2009-2010 edition of "Greater Montréal's Attractiveness Indicators" has also drawn keen interest. This annual MI publication also won an APDEQ (Québec Association of Economic Development Professionals) award in the best information tool category. Lastly, numerous promotional events were organized last year, including a mission to New York in which MI partners participated. MI Board of Directors The 2010-2011 Board of Directors of Montréal International is made up of the following members (N=new member, R=renewal): Private Sector Members: - Mr. Luc Benoît, President, AECOM Tecsult; - Mr. André Boulanger, President, Hydro-Québec Distribution ®; - Mr. Jean-Jacques Bourgeault, Vice Chairman of the Board, Montréal International, and Corporate Director; - Mr. Pierre Brunet, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Montréal International, and Corporate Director; - Mr. Renaud Caron, Principal Vice President, Strategic Development, CGI Group; - Me C. Stephen Cheasley, Treasurer, Montréal International, and Partner, Fasken Martineau ®; - Mr. James C. Cherry, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aéroports de Montréal ®; - Mr. Richard Filion, Director General, Dawson College, and President, Regroupement des collèges du Montréal métropolitain (Metropolitan Montréal College Alliance); - Mr. Michel Guay, Chairman of the Board, TechnoMontréal ®; - Mr. Luc Lacharité, Acting President and Chief Executive Officer, Montréal International; - Mr. Guy LeBlanc, Managing Partner, Montréal Office, PricewaterhouseCoopers (N); - Me David McAusland, Partner, McCarthy Tétrault ®; - Mr. Andrew T. Molson, Vice Chairman, Molson Coors Brewing Company ®; - Mr. Marc Parent, President of the Board of Directors, Aéro Montréal, and President and Chief Executive Officer, CAE; - Ms. Louise Roy, Chancellor, Université de Montréal, Chair of the Board, Conseil des arts de Montréal, and Cirano invited Fellow ®; - Mr. Jean-Pierre Sauriol, President and CEO, Dessau; - Mr. Hubert Thibault, Vice President - Institutional Affairs, Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec ®; - Ms. Sylvie Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Montréal Port Authority ®; - Dr. Judith Woodsworth, President, Concordia University. Public sector Representatives: - Mr. Michael Applebaum, Mayor of the Borough of Côte-des-Neiges - Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of the City of Montréal, responsible for Services to citizens, Relations with the Boroughs and Housing, Member of the Agglomeration Council and the Board of Directors of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) (N); - Mr. Richard Deschamps, Member of the Executive Committee, responsible for Major Projects 2025, Economic development, Infrastructures and Roads, City Councillor, LaSalle Borough, City of Montréal ®; - Mr. Claude Haineault, Mayor of the City of Beauharnois ®; - Mr. Luis Miranda, Mayor of the Anjou Borough, City of Montréal ®; - Ms. Sylvie Parent, Member of the Executive Committee, City of Longueuil ®; - Mr. Jean-Marc Robitaille, Mayor of the City of Terrebonne and Warden of MRC Des Moulins ®; - Mr. Jean Séguin, Sous-ministre adjoint à la Métropole, Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l'Occupation du territoire (MAMROT); - Mr. Gérald Tremblay, Mayor of the City of Montréal and President of the Board, Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) ®; - Ms. Rita Tremblay, Vice President, Policy and Planning, Canada Economic Development for Québec Regions; - Mr. Gilles Vaillancourt, Mayor of the City of Laval and Vice President of the Board, Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) ®. A full report of Montréal International's 2009 activities is available on its website: http://www.montrealinternational.com. About Montréal International Montréal International (MI) was created in 1996 as a result of a private/public partnership. Its mission is to contribute to the economic development of metropolitan Montréal and to enhance its international status. Its mandates include attracting foreign investment, international organizations and qualified workers, supporting the development of innovation and metropolitan clusters, and promoting the competitive and international environment of Greater Montréal. Montréal International is funded by the private sector, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (Montréal Metropolitan Community), the City of Montréal and the Governments of Canada and Québec. Since its creation, Montréal International has helped to attract more than $7.5 billion in foreign investment to Greater Montréal. From these investments, more than 43 000 jobs have been created or maintained. To date, MI's activities have also allowed more than 25 international organizations to establish themselves in the city and attract more than 4 000 qualified foreign workers. To learn more, please visit MI Web site at: http://www.montrealinternational.com. For further information: Benoît Lefèvre, Communications Advisor, Montréal International, (514) 987-9323, [email protected] http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2010/15/c2834.html
  21. Big Apple starting to crumble Janet Whitman, Financial Post Published: Thursday, November 06, 2008 NEW YORK -- The Big Apple is losing its shine. After years of benefiting from consumer bingeing on everything from luxury lofts to US$99 hamburgers, New York is seeing a dramatic turn in its fortunes as Wall Street stumbles. Investment banks and other financial-services firms here have cut tens of thousands of high-wage jobs and many more pink slips still could be on the way as they grapple with the deepening credit crisis. This year's Wall Street bonus pool, which makes up the bulk of the pay for high-flying financial executives, is forecast to be chopped in half to US$16-billion. Businesses are already feeling the pinch. Revenue at some high-end Manhattan restaurants are down an estimated 20% this year and the once sizzling real-estate market is cooling fast. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this week that the big drop in tax revenue collected from financial firms is forcing him to renege on planned US$400 property tax rebates for homeowners and to mull a 15% income tax hike. Economists said yesterday that the downturn could resemble New York's financial crisis in the early 1970s, when the city nearly went bankrupt and crime rates skyrocketed. "Compensation is going to be way down and that's going to weigh on restaurants and retailers and the housing market as well," said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Charlotte, N.C.-based bank Wachovia Corp. "We're going to have a very difficult climb back out of this. The recovery might begin in the middle of next year, but that just means things will stop getting worse." Mr. Vitner said it could take at least three years before New York starts to see strong growth and five years before the city gets back to normal. After the dot-com bust in 1999 and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, New York soon roared back, fueled by Wall Street's recovery. But the city can't depend on Wall Street this time around. "The flavour is different," said James Brown, a New York state Department of Labor regional analyst who focuses on New York City. "It's not clear how much growth we can expect from our financial sector in the next upturn. We don't know to what degree they may not be as profitable and able to lavish the same high salaries in the next boom as they have in the past booms." With the U.S. government looking to avoid sowing the seeds for a future financial crisis by cracking down on executive bonuses and limiting how much financial firms can wager, Wall Street's recovery could be slow. That's bad news for New York State, which depends on the financial sector for 20% of its revenue. The state already is facing its biggest budget gap in history, at US$47-billion over the next four years. The crisis last week prompted New York State Gov. David Paterson to ask U.S. Congress for billions of dollars in federal assistance. New York City has been particularly hard hit. For every Wall Street job another three or four will be lost in the city. Despite the doom and gloom, Mr. Bloomberg assured New Yorkers at a press briefing this week that the city wouldn't return "to the dark days of the 1970s when service cuts all but destroyed our quality of life." The mayor, who is seeking a third term to guide the city through the crisis, said New York is in much better fiscal shape than it was then and won't make the same mistakes. Still, he warned, it could be as many as five years before financial companies have to start paying city or state taxes again because of the half a trillion dollars in write-downs they have taken, which will offset future profits.
  22. Montreal eyeing new tax on personal vehicles Under bill 22. Private swimming pools could also provide sources of revenue DAVID JOHNSTON, The Gazette Published: 7 hours ago City of Montreal residents probably will have to pay a new municipal tax on personal vehicles of about $75 annually under new tax powers the Charest government wants to give to the city. Senior government officials who spoke to journalists this week said a new "PVT" is the most likely new municipal revenue source to arise from the menu of options that Bill 22 would give Montreal. Bill 22 is the draft legislation tabled last fall to give Montreal new tax powers and make governance changes in the Montreal agglomeration. Email to a friendEmail to a friendPrinter friendlyPrinter friendly Amendments unveiled Thursday at city hall scrapped the idea of a new food and beverage tax or a return of the old Montreal amusement tax. But the amendments are now calling for open-ended, royalty-type levies in their place. Although Mayor Gérald Tremblay has refused to be specific about the new taxes he has in mind, bureaucrats did bring up the possibility of a new tax on backyard swimming pools. And Tremblay conceded that many of the new taxes he is considering are inspired by some of the new taxing powers the city of Toronto won from the Ontario government in 2006. Royalties are traditionally applied to the use of a natural resource, like oil or water, but Toronto has taken the idea one step further and is considering a new tax on billboards, for the use of public space. The Bill 22 amendments are said to have sufficient opposition-party support to be approved before the legislature recesses next Friday. If that happens, Montreal will get the power to tax movables and immovables, but sales and inheritance taxes won't be allowed. Neither will taxes on gasoline, income, payrolls or energy. The new tax powers would be given only to the city of Mont- real, not to the 15 demerged island suburbs. Any new personal vehicle tax in Montreal would apply only to residents of city of Montreal boroughs. The most notable difference between Bill 22 and the city of Toronto Act is that Bill 22 stops short of allowing Montreal to tax alcohol and tobacco. "We're going to take time to look at our options," said Renée Sauriol, an aide to Tremblay. No new taxes would be introduced before 2010, Sauriol said. [email protected] thegazette.canwest.com - - - New municipal taxes Mayor Gérald Tremblay says the new tax powers that the provincial government is proposing to give Montreal are inspired by the new powers accorded in 2006 by the Ontario government to Toronto. Some highlights: In September, residents of the city of Toronto will begin paying a $60 annual municipal personal-vehicle tax. Only one car per household will be subject to the tax. A $75 tax for Montreal residents was mentioned this week by senior provincial and municipal bureaucrats as a possibility. Toronto hasn't yet determined what kind of new parking-lot tax it wants to introduce. The Tremblay administration is said to be leaning toward a new property surtax tied to the number of parking spots on a property. In February, Toronto approved new tax brackets for land-transfer taxes. The new regime has resulted in higher "welcome taxes" on properties worth $400,000 or more. The Quebec government has said it is prepared to let Montreal set its own new welcome-tax rates on properties worth more than $500,000. Below this value, provincially set rates would continue to apply. Toronto is still considering a new tax on billboards, justified as a royalty on the use of public space. This idea of expanding the notion of royalties to the municipal level is something that Montreal finds intriguing. Quebec is proposing to give Montreal a lot of leeway to come up with inventive new royalty schemes. In February, Toronto Mayor David Miller proposed a new toll on all provincial highways within the Greater Toronto area. The proposal hasn't been received well by suburbanites and nothing has happened yet. In Montreal, the Tremblay administration has similarly begun to regionalize its own original proposal for new island bridge tolls. Tremblay is now saying he wants to share any new toll revenues with off-island suburbs to help expand public transit. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=508d2256-8e5d-4700-8815-fac8e5f43c1f&p=2
  23. Push for tidier city starting to pay off But more work to do, mayor says. 'If the streets look clean today, it's because of the rain we had Tuesday,' merchant maintains JAMES MENNIE, The Gazette Published: 4 hours ago As far as Raffi Kotchounian is concerned, if the streets aren't paved with cigarette butts it isn't so much because of an act of city council as an act of God. "I was walking down Ste. Catherine St. the Wednesday before the Grand Prix. The street was a mess - papers everywhere, garbage everywhere. ... It was filthy," Kotchounian said. "If the streets look clean today, it's because of the rain we had on Tuesday," he added. Kotchounian is the owner of the Vasco cigar store on Ste. Catherine east of Crescent St. He has been doing business on the street for 30 years. When it comes to assessing how clean - or not - the neighbourhood has become since Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay and Ville Marie borough mayor Benoit Labonté declared separate wars on downtown litter, he gives credit where credit is due. "I have to tell you, the cigarette butts weren't as bad as the flyers," he said, referring to the handbills handed out by various nightclubs and businesses to downtown pedestrians. "They were a real problem. But with the police cracking down, it made a big difference." But Kotchounian's take on the big picture of downtown cleanliness is one that perceives the trash can as half empty rather than half full, presuming, of course, the trash can was even there to begin with. "There was a trash can at the corner of Ste. Catherine and Crescent that was taken away during the riot after the Canadiens-Bruins game (on April 21). "It still hasn't been replaced." Last Tuesday, the city of Mont-real kicked off its annual cleanliness campaign with Marcel Tremblay, the executive committee member in charge of the operation, meeting members of the media on a street cleaning vehicle as he explained how 200 cleaning crew members would be deployed in the city's 19 boroughs. That announcement was made a week after the downtown Ville Marie borough announced its own cleanliness crackdown, noting that more than $1 million in tickets were handed out last year. They were issued for infractions ranging from improperly recycling garbage to the lack of an ashtray outside a commercial establishment. The cleanliness campaigns have been going on for three years. While their effectiveness remains a matter of dispute, a stroll through the quadrilateral formed by Ste. Catherine St., de Maisonneuve Blvd., Atwater Ave. and St. Laurent Blvd. suggests that something has changed. Cigarette butts that could once be found by the score, piled at street corners or along sidewalks, were noticeable by their scarcity, popping up in ones or twos at the sidewalk's edge. City trash cans, once overflowing, had been cleaned and emptied, while the drifting paper, plastic bags and other lunchtime junk that seemed to be part of every summer breeze were absent. Tremblay, who once berated a passerby who was littering while the mayor was in the middle of a cleanliness photo op, acknowledged yesterday there was still work to be done. "Sometimes when I go up St. Laurent or St. Urbain, I'll see trash cans that are full. Perhaps we have to improve the logistics of emptying them," he said. "And when I drive around the city, I have these portable ashtrays in my car, and when I see a citizen throw their cigarette butt out of their car window or on the sidewalk, I'll stop, and I hand them an ashtray. "We're calling upon the civic duty of citizens, and it's starting to have a major impact. Mont-realers are proud. And they weren't proud to see that the city wasn't up to their standard. "But we still have a lot of improvement to do," the mayor said. [email protected] http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=fade8e50-eebb-4878-a41a-eecc8d1c4181