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Found 18 results

  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/06/nyregion/06broadway.html?_r=2&ref=michael_m_grynbaum&pagewanted=all Ceux qui n'aiment pas les "piétonisations" à Mtl devront s'y faire. C'est un mouvement de fond, et généralisé.....
  2. As predicted and discussed with the prophet greenlobster. Media Advisory - Air Canada to Make Major Montreal Announcement MONTREAL, Sept. 22, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - On the occasion of the visit to Canada by the Premier of China, Air Canada invites the media to attend a press conference in Montreal for a major announcement concerning air service to China. DATE: Friday, September 23, 2016 TIME: 07:15 a.m. Registration and light breakfast 07:30 a.m. Press conference starts 08:20 a.m. End of press conference WHO: Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer, Air Canada, accompanied by invited government officials and dignitaries. LOCATION: Le Westin Montreal 270 Rue Saint-Antoine Ouest, Montréal, QC H2Y 0A3 Salon Ville-Marie A, 9th Floor Metro: Place-d'Armes PLEASE RSVP: [email protected] SOURCE Air Canada
  3. Couillard pushed Quebec City project to Tories after firm lost Montreal bid DANIEL LEBLANC AND INGRID PERITZ With reports from Tu Thanh Ha in Toronto and Rhéal Seguin in Quebec City June 13, 2008 OTTAWA AND MONTREAL -- The Kevlar Group was losing out on a major federal contract in Montreal in early 2007 at the same time as Julie Couillard started lobbying two senior Conservative officials in favour of another one of the company's projects in Quebec City, according to government records and sources. Kevlar wanted to spend up to $25-million to develop a large swath of land that belonged to Canada Post on the Montreal harbourfront. However, another Crown corporation, Canada Lands, used its right of first refusal and snagged the 60,000-square-metre property in a deal that was officially announced on May 2, 2007, a spokesman for Canada Lands confirmed. Kevlar was believed to be unhappy in Montreal when its postal-site bid was rejected, according to a real-estate consultant. "They [Kevlar] probably invested a lot of time, money and energy in their building proposal, which they thought was the best," said a source familiar with the project. "Then Canada Lands turned around and said, 'We'll develop the site.' " Print Edition - Section Front Enlarge Image More Front Page Stories Couillard pushed Quebec City project to Tories after firm lost Montreal bid About the same time, Kevlar was bidding on another federal project worth about $30-million for a building in Quebec City to house 750 bureaucrats. In the House yesterday, the Opposition expressed clear concerns that the company used Ms. Couillard to infiltrate the government in an attempt to ensure it would win that contract. Ms. Couillard was finishing her training as a real-estate agent at the time, and had obtained an affiliation with the firm's real-estate branch. In the spring of 2007, she started dating, in succession, two senior Conservative officials: Public Works adviser Bernard Côté and industry minister Maxime Bernier. According to senior federal officials, Ms. Couillard directly discussed Kevlar's bid in Quebec City with Mr. Bernier and Mr. Côté. Mr. Bernier has since resigned after classified documents were left in April at the home of Ms. Couillard, who had lived with two men with ties to the Hells Angels in the 1990s. Mr. Côté resigned this week after telling his superiors about Ms. Couillard's lobbying efforts and acknowledging he should have recused himself from the file to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. As The Globe and Mail reported yesterday, Kevlar co-chair Philippe Morin introduced Ms. Couillard and Mr. Bernier to one another in April in a restaurant in Montreal. A source added yesterday that Mr. Bernier and Mr. Morin might have known one another through their respective involvement in a group called the Young Presidents' Organization. Mr. Morin is the son of a well-known book publisher in Quebec. Kevlar officials refused repeated requests for comment yesterday, and did not expand on their previous statement that their link to Ms. Couillard was simply related to her real-estate licence. In the House of Commons, the Liberals accused Ms. Couillard of attempting to "infiltrate the Conservative government." "She tried to influence real-estate contracts at Public Works," said Montreal Liberal MP Marlene Jennings. According to news reports, Kevlar was founded by president René Bellerive in 1996, with Mr. Morin becoming a partner in 1999. The firm has acquired and built a number of commercial buildings and condominiums in Montreal and Quebec City, often with other financial partners. Kevlar and its owners have also donated thousands of dollars to federalist and separatist parties, in Ottawa and Quebec City, with the first recorded pledge to the Conservative Party, for $1,000, coming in the months after the Tories were elected to office. The government did not directly address the opposition's concerns in the House yesterday, except to say there has been no decision on the Quebec City project, on which Kevlar is one of about two dozen bidders. Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan accused the opposition of wasting time by holding a parliamentary inquiry into the matter. "It is about finding sordid stories that can make for good news for those who are into gossip and that sort of stuff, but it is not about the important questions of public policy," he said. Regarding the Montreal project, Kevlar submitted an initial $25-million bid for the site in 2006. After several extensions to conduct due diligence, the firm submitted a lowered offer for the property on Feb. 28 of last year. Kevlar's deal fell through when Canada Lands matched its $18-million offer. "The company that bid on the site put in an offer, and we matched it," said Gordon McIvor, vice-president of Canada Lands.
  4. Lexus Lanes coming to California's Bay AreaPosted Jul 28th 2008 7:19PM by Noah Joseph Filed under: Etc., Government/Legal Officials are hard at work trying to alleviate the notorious traffic congestion in California. Across the state, drivers sit still in traffic while carpool lanes sit empty, underused by public transit and vehicles carrying multiple passengers. The solution for the Bay Area, as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission sees it, is to allow solo motorists to pay for using the carpool lanes. The commission is working up a proposal that would start with a pilot project in 2010 or early 2011 on I-680 S over the Sunol Grade and in both directions on I-580 between Livermore and the I-680 interchange. To implement the project over the entire 12-highway system would require the approval of state lawmakers (who are currently considering such a bill for Sacramento), as well as an investment of an estimated $3.7 billion. That would be recuperated and then some in the long run, generating an estimated $6 billion over the course of 25 years, the balance of which would be reinvested into the transportation network. If implemented, drivers running late and motivated to pay the fee would be able to move into the carpool lane at designated spots and pay with in-car transponders. Although the fees have yet to be determined, they are estimated at between 20-60 cents per mile at the outset of the program, eventually ramping up to as much as $1 per mile by 2030. Similar systems in place in southern California got the nickname "Lexus Lanes" because of the perception that the rich would use them all the time, leaving those with less means stranded in traffic. However officials cite studies that indicate that the system would be used by a wide cross-section of the socio-economic populace. [source: SF Chronicle via All Cars, All the Time, Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty] Posted Jul 28th 2008 7:19PM by Noah Joseph Filed under: Etc., Government/Legal Officials are hard at work trying to alleviate the notorious traffic congestion in California. Across the state, drivers sit still in traffic while carpool lanes sit empty, underused by public transit and vehicles carrying multiple passengers. The solution for the Bay Area, as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission sees it, is to allow solo motorists to pay for using the carpool lanes. The commission is working up a proposal that would start with a pilot project in 2010 or early 2011 on I-680 S over the Sunol Grade and in both directions on I-580 between Livermore and the I-680 interchange. To implement the project over the entire 12-highway system would require the approval of state lawmakers (who are currently considering such a bill for Sacramento), as well as an investment of an estimated $3.7 billion. That would be recuperated and then some in the long run, generating an estimated $6 billion over the course of 25 years, the balance of which would be reinvested into the transportation network. If implemented, drivers running late and motivated to pay the fee would be able to move into the carpool lane at designated spots and pay with in-car transponders. Although the fees have yet to be determined, they are estimated at between 20-60 cents per mile at the outset of the program, eventually ramping up to as much as $1 per mile by 2030. Similar systems in place in southern California got the nickname "Lexus Lanes" because of the perception that the rich would use them all the time, leaving those with less means stranded in traffic. However officials cite studies that indicate that the system would be used by a wide cross-section of the socio-economic populace. [source: SF Chronicle via All Cars, All the Time, Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty] http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/07/24/MNBN11U37D.DTL
  5. China's Olympic Nightmare What the Games Mean for Beijing's Future Elizabeth C. Economy and Adam Segal From Foreign Affairs, July/August 2008 ELIZABETH C. ECONOMY is C. V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. ADAM SEGAL is Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Of Related Interest On the night of July 13, 2001, tens of thousands of people poured into Tiananmen Square to celebrate the International Olympic Committee's decision to award the 2008 Olympic Games to Beijing. Firecrackers exploded, flags flew high, and cars honked wildly. It was a moment to be savored. Chinese President Jiang Zemin and other leaders exhorted the crowds to work together to prepare for the Olympics. "Winning the host rights means winning the respect, trust, and favor of the international community," Wang Wei, a senior Beijing Olympic official, proclaimed. The official Xinhua News Agency reveled in the moment, calling the decision "another milestone in China's rising international status and a historical event in the great renaissance of the Chinese nation." Hosting the Olympics was supposed to be a chance for China's leaders to showcase the country's rapid economic growth and modernization to the rest of the world. Domestically, it provided an opportunity for the Chinese government to demonstrate the Communist Party's competence and affirm the country's status as a major power on equal footing with the West. And wrapping itself in the values of the Olympic movement gave China the chance to portray itself not only as a rising power but also as a "peace-loving" country. For much of the lead-up to the Olympics, Beijing succeeded in promoting just such a message. The process of preparing for the Games is tailor-made to display China's greatest political and economic strengths: the top-down mobilization of resources, the development and execution of grand-scale campaigns to reform public behavior, and the ability to attract foreign interest and investment to one of the world's brightest new centers of culture and business. Mobilizing massive resources for large infrastructure projects comes easily to China. Throughout history, China's leaders have drawn on the ingenuity of China's massive population to realize some of the world's most spectacular construction projects, the Great Wall, the Grand Canal, and the Three Gorges Dam among them. The Olympic construction spree has been no different. Beijing has built 19 new venues for the events, doubled the capacity of the subway, and added a new terminal to the airport. Neighborhoods throughout the city have been either spruced up to prepare for Olympic visitors or simply cleared out to make room for new Olympic sites. Official government spending for the construction bonanza is nearing $40 billion. In anticipation of the Olympics, the government has also embarked on a series of efforts to transform individual behavior and modernize the capital city. It has launched etiquette campaigns forbidding spitting, smoking, littering, and cutting in lines and introduced programs to teach English to cab drivers, police officers, hotel workers, and waiters. City officials have used Olympic projects as a means to refurbish decaying buildings and reduce air pollution, water shortages, and traffic jams. Yet even as Beijing has worked tirelessly to ensure the most impressive of Olympic spectacles, it is clear that the Games have come to highlight not only the awesome achievements of the country but also the grave shortcomings of the current regime. Few in the central leadership seem to have anticipated the extent to which the Olympic Games would stoke the persistent political challenges to the legitimacy of the Communist Party and the stability of the country. Demands for political liberalization, greater autonomy for Tibet, increased pressure on Sudan, better environmental protection, and an improved product-safety record now threaten to put a damper on the country's coming-out party. As the Olympic torch circled the globe with legions of protesters in tow, Beijing's Olympic dream quickly turned into a public-relations nightmare. Although the Chinese government excels when it comes to infrastructure projects, its record is poor when it comes to transparency, official accountability, and the rule of law. It has responded clumsily to internal and external political challenges -- by initially ignoring the international community's desire for China to play a more active role in resolving the human rights crisis in Darfur, arresting prominent Chinese political activists, and cracking down violently on demonstrators. Although there is no organized opposition unified around this set of demands, the cacophony of voices pressuring China to change its policies has taken much of the luster off of the Beijing Games. Moreover, although the Communist Party has gained domestic support from the nationalist backlash that has arisen in response to the Tibetan protesters and their supporters in the West, it also worries that this public anger will spin out of control, further damaging the country's international reputation. Already, China's coveted image as a responsible rising power has been tarnished. For many in the international community, it has now become impossible to separate the competing narratives of China's awe-inspiring development and its poor record on human rights and the environment. It is no longer possible to discuss China's future without taking its internal fault lines seriously. For the Chinese government, the stakes are huge. China's credibility as a global leader, its potential as a model for the developing world, and its position as an emerging center of global business and culture are all at risk if these political challenges cannot be peacefully and successfully addressed. TIANANMEN'S GHOSTS Nothing has threatened to ruin China's Olympic moment as much as criticism of the country's repressive political system. China lost its bid for the 2000 Summer Olympics to Sydney, Australia, at least in part because of the memory of the violent Tiananmen Square crackdown of June 1989. When China made its bid for the 2008 Games, Liu Jingmin, vice president of the Beijing Olympic Bid Committee, argued, "By allowing Beijing to host the Games, you will help the development of human rights." François Carrard, director general of the International Olympic Committee, warily supported such a sentiment: acknowledging the seriousness of China's human rights violations, he nonetheless explained, "We are taking the bet that seven years from now ... we shall see many changes." Few would place such a bet today. For months, human rights activists, democracy advocates, and ethnic minorities in China have been pressuring the government to demonstrate its commitment to greater political freedom. For many of them, the Olympics highlight the yawning gap between the very attractive face that Beijing presents to the world and the much uglier political reality at home. Exactly one year before the Olympics, a group of 40 prominent Chinese democracy supporters posted an open letter online denouncing the Olympic glitz and glamour. "We know too well how these glories are built on the ruins of the lives of ordinary people, on the forced removal of urban migrants, and on the sufferings of victims of brutal land grabbing, forced eviction, exploitation of labor, and arbitrary detention," they wrote. "All this violates the Olympic spirit." Even Ai Weiwei, an artistic consultant for Beijing's signature "Bird's Nest" stadium, has been critical of the Chinese government. He declared in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, "The government wants to use these games to celebrate itself and its policy of opening up China .... By now, it has become clear to me that this hope of liberalization cannot be fulfilled .... The system won't allow it." Protests have arisen around virtually every Olympic Games in recent history, but Beijing, with its authoritarian political system, is uniquely threatened by dissenting voices, and it has responded with a traditional mix of intimidation, imprisonment, and violent repression. Teng Biao, a lawyer and human rights activist, was seized in March 2008, held by plainclothes police for two days, and warned to stop writing critically about the Olympics. Yang Chunlin, a land-rights activist, was arrested for inciting subversion because he had gathered more than 10,000 signatures from farmers whose property had been expropriated by officials for development projects. After a 20-minute trial, he was sentenced to five years in prison. In April, the HIV/AIDS activist Hu Jia, who was also one of the authors of the open letter, was sentenced to three and a half years in jail for subversion, after being held under house arrest for several months along with his wife and baby daughter. Although the vast majority of Chinese are probably unaware of these protests and arrests, Beijing's overreaction demonstrates how fearful the Chinese government is that any dissent or protests could garner broader political support and threaten the party's authority. CRASHING THE PARTY The international community has also raised its own human rights concerns. For more than a year, China has endured heightened scrutiny of its close economic and political ties to Sudan. A coalition of U.S. celebrities and international human rights activists has ratcheted up the pressure on Beijing to do more to help bring an end to the atrocities in Darfur, labeling the 2008 Olympics "the genocide Olympics." The very public attention they have brought to China's relations with the Sudanese government prompted the movie director Steven Spielberg to withdraw as the artistic adviser for the opening and closing ceremonies for the Games. It also seems to have had some effect on Beijing, which now strives to appear as if it is placing more pressure on Khartoum. The Chinese government's questionable human rights record has received even more scrutiny since its violent suppression of Tibetan demonstrators in the spring. In March, Tibetan Buddhist monks marched to commemorate the 49th anniversary of Tibet's failed independence uprising and to call for greater autonomy for Tibet and the return of their exiled religious leader, the Dalai Lama. The demonstrations soon escalated into violent protests. Chinese police forcefully cracked down on the protesters in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa and throughout other Tibetan areas of western China, leaving more than a hundred dead and injuring hundreds more. Ignoring international calls for restraint, Beijing closed off much of the affected region, detained or expelled foreign journalists from the area, and created a "most wanted" list of Tibetan protesters. All independent sources of news, including broadcasts by foreign television stations and YouTube videos, were blacked out in China, and text messages in and out of Tibet were filtered. Vitriolic government propaganda condemned the Dalai Lama as a "wolf in monk's robes" and a "devil with a human face but the heart of a beast." Chinese officials accused the "evil Dalai clique" of attempting to restore "feudalist serfdom" in the region and called for a "people's war" against it. The international community immediately condemned the crackdown and called for Beijing to resume negotiations with representatives of the Dalai Lama. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Czech President Václav Klaus, and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk have since announced that they will not be attending the Olympics' opening ceremonies. As the Olympic torch made its way across the globe, the number of protesters along its path ballooned, from a few in Athens to thousands in London, Paris, San Francisco, and Seoul. These large-scale disruptions of Olympic pageantry humiliated the Chinese government and angered Chinese citizens, producing a wave of nationalist counterdemonstrations by Chinese living abroad and millions of virulent anti-Western posts on Chinese Web sites. A bit more than a month after Beijing's initial crackdown, senior Chinese leaders indicated a willingness to meet with the Dalai Lama's envoys. But this does not represent a fundamental shift in policy; it is merely a stopgap measure designed to quell the international outrage. WAITING TO INHALE Although some foreign athletes have joined the chorus of China's critics, the more immediate concern for many Olympians will be whether Beijing can ensure clean air and safe food for the duration of the Games. The city has reportedly spent as much as $16 billion to deliver a "green Olympics"; many of the Olympic sites showcase a number of clean-energy and water-conservation technologies, and for the past seven years the city has been shutting down many of the biggest polluters and steadily weaning the city's energy infrastructure off coal, replacing it with natural gas. On February 26, senior Chinese officials formally announced a more sweeping effort, including restrictions on heavy industry in five neighboring provinces surrounding Beijing, a ban on construction in the months immediately preceding the Olympics, and plans to compensate car owners for staying off the road during the Games. But pollution levels in Beijing are still far above average. On a typical day, the city's air pollution is three times as bad as the standard deemed safe by the World Health Organization. Last August, an air-quality test revealed that pollution levels in the city had barely improved despite one-third of the cars having been removed from the city's roads. Even some senior Chinese officials have reservations about the prospects for a green Olympics. The mayor of Beijing, Guo Jinlong, admitted in early 2008 that bringing traffic and environmental pollution under control by the time the Games begin would be an "arduous" task. After all, there are few economic incentives for businesses to reduce pollution; the central government routinely calls on local officials and businesses to clean up their act to no effect. Many factory managers have agreed to slow production during the Olympics but not to shut down. In the brutally competitive Chinese economy, closing factories for several weeks could well spell the end of those enterprises unless the government provides significant financial compensation. Meanwhile, corruption flourishes, and local officials openly flout environmental laws and regulations. In January 2008, it was revealed by a Western environmental consultant, Steven Andrews, that officials in Beijing's Environmental Protection Bureau had for several years been skewing the city's air-quality data by eliminating readings from some monitoring stations in heavily congested areas. Faced with the prospect of dangerously high levels of air pollution during the Games, International Olympic Committee officials have warned that competition in endurance sports, such as the marathon and long-distance cycling, might be postponed or even canceled. The world's fastest marathon runner, Haile Gebrselassie, has already withdrawn from the Olympic race for fear that air pollution might permanently damage his health. Many athletes are planning to take precautions, such as arriving in Beijing as late as possible, coming well equipped with medication for possible asthma attacks, and wearing masks once there. Beijing's capacity to provide safe food and clean water for the athletes is also in question. In the past year, China has endured a rash of scandals involving food tainted with steroids and insecticides, and as much as half of the bottled water in Beijing does not meet potable-water standards. Some teams, such as the United States' and Australia's, have announced that they will be bringing some or all of their own food and that their bottled water will be supplied by Coca-Cola. Olympic officials have put in place a massive food-security apparatus that will track the athletes' food from the producers and distributors to the Olympic Village. Having promised a safe and green Olympics, Beijing must now deliver. Otherwise, it risks irrevocably damaging the historic legacy of the 2008 Games. BEIJING'S BLIND SPOT Beijing's failure to respond creatively to its critics and effectively manage its environmental and product-safety issues reveals a certain political myopia. China's leaders have long been aware that opponents of the regime would try to disrupt the Olympics. They prepared extensively for disturbances by developing a citywide network of surveillance cameras and training, outfitting, and deploying riot squads and other special police. They also made some attempts to defuse international hostility, such as offering to renew the human rights dialogue with Washington that was suspended in 2004 and publicly pressuring Khartoum to accept a joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force. But Beijing has been unable to counter the images emanating from Darfur and Tibet. Chinese leaders simply saw no relationship between the pageantry of the Olympics and Tibet, Sudan, or broader human rights concerns, and they never figured out how to engage and disarm those who did. They continue to fail in this regard. As a result, tensions will run high until the end of the Games. There are also real worries that with the spotlight focused on Beijing during the Games, some of the opposition to the regime could take an extreme form. For example, Chinese security forces have expressed concern that activists from the religious movement Falun Gong might attempt to immolate themselves in Tiananmen Square. Because of such concerns, the 30,000 journalists covering the Games may find themselves straitjacketed when reporting on controversial stories. And despite recent assurances that a live feed from Beijing will be allowed and that the Internet will be uncensored in China, the government has yet to fulfill its promise to allow foreign journalists unfettered access throughout the country. The Chinese public is already angry about what it sees as a pervasive bias toward Tibet and disrespect of China in the Western media. Chinese citizens are likely to view any disturbances of the Games as an effort to embarrass the country and undermine China's rise. Foreign media, corporations, and governments might all bear the brunt of the sort of nationalist backlash that the French retailer Carrefour endured -- in the form of a consumer boycott -- in the wake of the disrupted torch ceremony in Paris. The combination of demonstrators desperate for the world's attention and the heightened nationalism of Chinese citizens makes for an extremely combustible situation. The official Beijing Olympic motto of "One World, One Dream" suggests an easy cosmopolitanism, but Chinese nationalist sentiment will be running high during the Games, stoked by the heat of competition. In the past, sporting events in China, in particular soccer matches against Japanese teams, have led to ugly riots, and the same could happen during the Olympics. If the Games do not go well, there will be infighting and blame shifting within the party's central leadership, and it will likely adopt a bunker mentality. Vice President Xi Jinping, the government's point man on the Olympics and President Hu Jintao's heir apparent, would likely face challenges to his presumed leadership. A poor outcome for the Games could engender another round of nationalist outbursts and Chinese citizens decrying what they see as racism, anti-Chinese bias, and a misguided sense of Western superiority. This inflamed form of Chinese nationalism could be the most enduring and dangerous outcome of the protests surrounding the Olympics. If the international community does not welcome China's rise, the Chinese people may ask themselves why China should be bound by its rules. As a result, Beijing may find the room it has for foreign policy maneuvering more restricted by public opinion. This form of heightened nationalism has occasionally hurt the Chinese government, as happened after a U.S. spy plane was shot down over China in 2001. When the crew was eventually released, an outraged Chinese public accused the government of weakness and kowtowing to the West. More recently, despite a decade of increasingly close economic, political, and cultural ties between Beijing and Seoul, South Koreans were outraged by the Chinese counterprotests during the Olympic torch ceremony; in response, the South Korean government imposed tight restrictions on the number of Chinese students permitted to study in the country. Sensing the potentially damaging consequences of a prolonged nationalist backlash, the official Chinese media began signaling in May that it was time for people to move on, focus on economic development, and steer clear of staging counterprotests and boycotting Western companies. The barrage of criticism China has endured prior to the Olympics may have brought a short-term gain in forcing the Chinese leadership to agree to meet with the Dalai Lama's envoys, but real reform of China's Tibet policy or a broader willingness to embrace domestic reforms is unlikely to follow in the near term. Nevertheless, the current controversy could yield positive results in the long run. Beijing's Olympic trials and tribulations could provoke soul searching among China's leaders and demonstrate to them that their hold on domestic stability and the country's continued rise depend on greater transparency and accountability and a broader commitment to human rights. Already, some Chinese bloggers, intellectuals, and journalists, such as Wang Lixiong and Chang Ping, have seized the moment to call for less nationalist rhetoric and more thoughtful engagement of outside criticism. The nationalist outburst has provided them with an opening to ask publicly how Chinese citizens can legitimately attack Western media organizations if their own government does not allow them to watch media outlets such as CNN and the BBC. Similarly, they have used the Olympics as a springboard to discuss the significance of Taiwan's thriving democracy for the mainland's own political future, the need for rethinking China's approach to Tibet, and the desirability of an open press. Whatever the longer-term implications of the 2008 Olympics, what has transpired thus far bears little resemblance to Beijing's dreams of Olympic glory. Rather than basking in the admiration of the world, China is beset by internal protests and international condemnation. The world is increasingly doubtful that Beijing will reform politically and become a responsible global actor. The Olympics were supposed to put these questions to bed, not raise them all anew. http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20080701faessay87403-p0/elizabeth-c-economy-adam-segal/china-s-olympic-nightmare.html
  6. As Greater Montreal grows, both demographically and physically, public officials will soon have to decide whether or not suburban development should be constrained. In other words, do you believe a "green belt" is needed? If you do believe in a green belt, what should be the limits? If not, what are your reasons for opposing such a policy?
  7. C'est comme cool! Source USA Today Sears Tower unveils 103rd floor glass balconies CHICAGO — Visitors to the Sears Tower's new glass balconies all seem to agree: The first step is the hardest. "It's like walking on ice," said Margaret Kemp, of Bishop, Calif., who said her heart was still pounding even after stepping away from the balcony. "That first step you take — 'am I going down?"' Kemp was among the visitors who got a sneak preview of the balconies Wednesday. "The Ledge," as the balconies have been nicknamed, open to the public Thursday. RELATED: Ten tips for Chicago tourists The balconies are suspended 1,353 feet in the air and jut out four feet from the building's 103rd floor Skydeck. They're actually more like boxes than balconies, with transparent walls, floor and ceiling. FIND MORE STORIES IN: Sears, Roebuck and Company Visitors are treated to unobstructed views of Chicago from the building's west side and a heart-stopping vista of the street and Chicago River below — for those brave enough to look straight down. John Huston, one of the property owners of the Sears Tower, even admitted to getting "a little queasy" the first time he ventured out. But 30 or 40 trips later, he's got the hang of it. "The Sears Tower has always been about superlatives — tallest, largest, most iconic," he said. "Today is also about superlatives. Today, we present you with 'the Ledge,' the world's most awesome view, the world's most precipitous view, the view with the most wow in the world." The balconies can hold five tons, and the glass is an inch-and-a-half thick, officials said. Sears Tower officials have said the inspiration for the balconies came from the hundreds of forehead prints visitors left behind on Skydeck windows every week. Now, staff will have a new glass surface to clean: floors. "It's very scary, but at the same time it's very cool," said Chanti Lawrence of Atlanta, adding that she's made her first step toward overcoming her fear of heights. Adam Kane, 10, of Alton, Ill., rushed to the ledge with his friends and siblings, and they each eagerly pressed their faces to the glass bottom. "Look at all those tiny things that are usually huge," Adam said. The balconies are just one of the big changes coming to the Sears Tower. The building's name will change to Willis Tower later this summer. Last week, officials announced a 5-year, $350 million green renovation complete with wind turbines, roof gardens and solar panels. With the ledge, visitors like Kemp said the nation's tallest building has succeeded in creating something they've never seen before. "I had to live 70 years for a thrill like this," she said.
  8. Les gens viennent au centre-ville pour s'y établir et y vivre. On voit donc de plus en plus de tours d'habitations. Mais une des raisons pour lesquelles on planifie moins de grandes tours à bureaux est illustré dans l'article ci-dessous. Dell Wants Half of Employees Working Remotely By 2020 Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer in February generated a lot of attention when the company announced that employees could no longer work from home and had to come into the office. Mayer and other Yahoo officials said it was the right move for the company, arguing that Yahoo needed to improve communication and collaboration among employees, and that it was difficult to do without having the employees under the same roof. The decision went against the trend toward telecommuting—particularly in the tech sector—and was furiously debated, with critics saying that telecommuting boosted worker productivity, made for more satisfied employees, was a good recruiting tool, saved companies money and helped the environment. It also reportedly has engendered some anger from Silicon Valley residents, who say Yahoo's decision and similar ones by other tech vendors like Hewlett-Packard are key contributors to a worsening traffic situation in the area, according to Business Insider. However, Dell is laying out a plan to get half of its workforce to work remotely at least part of the time by 2020, which officials said will reduce the vendor's expenses while helping out the environment. The effort around increased telecommuting is one of more than two dozen goals outlined in a recent report by the newly-private Dell—called the "2020 Legacy of Good" plan—that officials are aiming for over the next six-plus years to reduce the company's impact on the environment. Other goals range from ensuring that 100 percent of Dell packaging is made from reusable or compostable materials, phasing out "environmentally sensitive materials" (such as mercury and berylium) as viable alternatives hit the market, getting 75 percent of employees involved in community service, and diverting 90 percent of all waste generated by Dell buildings away from landfills. Dell already offers flexible work schedules through its Connected Workplace program, through which 20 percent of employees telecommute, work remotely or have variable work times. Trisa Thompson, vice president of corporate responsibility at Dell, told Houston television station KVUE that having 20 percent of the company's 14,000 employees at Round Rock, Texas, saved Dell $14 million in 2012 and reduced CO2 emissions by 6,735 metric tons. Increasing the number of telecommuters and remote workers to 50 percent could result in more than 7,000 cars being taken off area roads, Thompson said. "Technology now allows people to connect anytime, anywhere, to anyone in the world, from almost any device," the Dell report reads. "This is dramatically changing the way people work, facilitating 24x7 collaboration with colleagues who are dispersed across time zones, countries and continents. Dell is a global technology leader, so our team members should be able to take advantage of the flexible work opportunities that our own products and services create." The company also has begun offering consulting services to customers looking to create similar flexible work schedules using Dell technology and expertise. According to the market research firm Global Workplace Analytics, telecommuting and remote working is becoming increasingly popular, with 3.3 million people in the United States—not including the self-employed or unpaid volunteers—saying their home is their primary place of work. Regular telecommuting grew by 79.7 percent between 2005 and 2012, and should grow to 3.9 million workers by 2016, according to the firm. Sixty-four million U.S. employees—about half of all workers in the country—are in a job that is compatible to telecommuting and remote working at least part of the time, Global Workplace Analytics reported. According to a March report by Staples Advantage, the B2B unit of retail chain Staples, 93 percent of employees surveyed said telecommuting programs are benefitting both them and their companies, and 53 percent of business decision makers said telecommuting leads to more productive employees. In addition, 37 percent of employers reported a drop in absenteeism, while 48 percent of remote workers surveyed said they are less stressed. However, there also were concerns: 59 percent of telecommuters don't use their company’s data backup system, putting sensitive information at risk, and 33 percent of employees said dealing with IT issues is one of the most difficult aspects of working from home. http://www.eweek.com/mobile/dell-wants-half-of-employees-working-remotely-by-2020.html#!
  9. Solar shingles from Dow Chemical make Top 10 tech list By Jeff Kart | The Bay City Times October 12, 2009, 2:44PM The Saginaw News A concept illustration of the Dow Chemical solar shingle. A clean tech blog called CleanTechnica has a post up on the "Top 10 Solar Technologies to Watch Out For." Coming in at No. 3: "Solar Roof Shingles, Printable and Paintable Solar Panels ... Solar shingles, by Dow Chemical, should be available in limited supply by mid 2010 and then readily available by 2011, says the company." Dow officials showed off the company's solar shingles to Gov. Jennifer Granholm in Midland earlier this month. The company launched a $53.5 million solar shingle initiative in 2008, with help from a $20 million U.S. Department of Energy grant. http://www.mlive.com/mudpuppy/index.ssf/2009/10/solar_shingles_from_dow_chemic.html
  10. West Island green space sale raises concern The wooded area extends from Cap-Saint-Jacques nature park in Pierrefonds alongside the l'Anse-a-l'Orme Park to Angell Woods in Beaconsfield. (CBC)A call for tenders for green space on Montreal's West Island has caught both environmental activists and government officials by surprise. Quebec's industrial development corporation, the Société générale de financement, which owns the land, has published ads in local papers seeking bids for the 98 hectares of land. The ads announce opportunities for residential and industrial construction. The wooded area extends from Cap-Saint-Jacques nature park in Pierrefonds alongside the l'Anse-a-l'Orme Park to Angell Woods in Beaconsfield. David Fletcher of the Green Coalition said he's worried the land - home to beavers, a herd of deer and rare species of plants and trees - will be spoiled. "We already have enough development," said Fletcher. "We already have enough strip malls. We don't have enough areas conserved." Local environmental groups and officials at the city of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue said they had been told at one time the land would be turned into a conservation area. "When we saw the ad in the paper, we thought, obviously we've been lied to perhaps," said Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Coun. Ryan Young.David Fletcher of the Green Coalition says the land should be preserved.David Fletcher of the Green Coalition says the land should be preserved. (CBC) The city had been planning to change zoning bylaws on its portion of the land this fall, said Young. But some worry it could be too late. A spokesperson for Quebec Environment Minister Line Beauchamp confirmed the ministry had hoped to turn the land into a conservation area. He said she is not happy about the decision to sell it. "I think that speaks volumes," said Young. "I've been speaking to activists inside Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and there's a move afoot to demonstrate … public support [to save the land]. Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2010/06/16/mtl-west-island-woods.html#ixzz0r77Ccrlu
  11. Cash-strapped Quebec Liberal wing warns of closing CAMPBELL CLARK From Thursday's Globe and Mail September 27, 2007 at 5:07 AM EDT OTTAWA — The Liberal Party's Quebec wing has warned Leader Stéphane Dion that it needs a quarter-million-dollar cash injection by Friday or it will have to close its Montreal office and lay off staff. The threat is not a sign of a financial crunch but part of an internecine battle between the party's national headquarters, run by officials close to Mr. Dion, and its Quebec machine over the transfer of funds, according to party officials. The Montreal office will remain open, Liberal officials said, but the dire warning has piled onto a run of troubles for Mr. Dion. It all seems to be centred in Quebec, where grumbling about his leadership has been loudest since last week's poor showing in three by-elections, including the loss of the party's traditional safe seat of Outremont. Mr. Dion yesterday lost potential star candidate Marc Garneau, the former astronaut, who said he was frustrated by the leader's delay in appointing him to run in the safe Liberal seat of Westmount-Ville Marie. And even an MP who leapt to his defence, Raymonde Folco, of the suburban Montreal riding of Laval-Les Iles, appeared to damn him with faint praise and conceded that Mr. Dion was "not getting through" in Quebec. At his age, Ms. Folco told reporters, the leader is not going to be able to change radically, so strong players in the party might have to travel with him in the province. Former Liberal cabinet minister Jean Lapierre said on CTV-Newsnet that the party's Quebec director-general, Serge Marcil, told Mr. Dion "that if [the Liberals] don't deposit a quarter of a million dollars by Friday, they probably will have to close down the office in Montreal and they can't even honour the payroll." When reached by telephone, the president of the party's Quebec wing, Robert Fragasso, said he would call back, but he did not. A spokesman for the Liberal Party in Ottawa, Elizabeth Whiting, said that the party's Montreal office will not close. She said that a request for funds came from Quebec, but did not discuss the details, although she acknowledged that Ottawa and the Quebec Liberals disagree over money. The public departure of Mr. Garneau was another blow to Mr. Dion yesterday. The former head of the Canadian Space Agency had wanted to carry the party's banner in Westmount Ville-Marie, but decided to give up on running for the party because he doubted Mr. Dion would choose him. The Liberal Leader has said he will name a candidate in the riding, but, having been passed over for an appointment in Outremont, Mr. Garneau said he decided he will no longer try to run.
  12. I have a question: Why would city officials allow Segafredo to have a cheap terrace blocking half of the sidewalk on Ste-Catherine yet at the same time refuse to allow Apple to pay for 3 less parking spots in front of its store? It dosn't make any sense. Corruption or incompetence? I would like to hear your views on this. Thank you.
  13. Gretzky confirms Coyotes in trouble MATTHEW SEKERES January 16, 2009 VANCOUVER -- Phoenix Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky confirmed yesterday that the troubled NHL franchise requires financial assistance and is seeking an investor who could help keep the team in Arizona. The Coyotes could lose as much as $45-million (all currency U.S.) this season, including interest payments, and owner Jerry Moyes is looking for a partner. He also is speaking to city officials in Glendale about the lease arrangement at the community-owned Jobing.com Arena. Yesterday, when Gretzky was asked whether the owner could continue to operate the club, given its losses, he deferred queries to Moyes. But Gretzky, the club's coach and managing partner, also signalled that Moyes requires investment in the franchise and financial relief from the city of Glendale. "I don't think it is any big secret that Mr. Moyes has asked for new partners or investors," Gretzky said. "Mr. Moyes is doing the best he can in working with the city and city officials. Our responsibility is to come, show up and play, and play the best we can." Since The Globe and Mail began documenting the Coyotes' economic woes last month, no one from the club's management had confirmed that it was seeking financial help. A TSN report on Wednesday said that as much as 80 per cent of the team is expected to be sold in the next two months, and that Moyes would retain as much as 20 per cent. Barring a sale, the club could be forced into bankruptcy proceedings. It is possible the Coyotes could be disbanded or moved out of Phoenix before next season. The Coyotes entered a game against the Vancouver Canucks last night in seventh place, a playoff spot, in the Western Conference. The team is trying to snap a seven-year postseason drought behind a youth movement that features seven players who are 22 or younger. "The older players definitely don't let [the financial trouble] be a distraction, but the younger players don't understand it, maybe," said defenceman Derek Morris, the team's union representative. "We realize that things aren't good, but they are still treating us first-class here. They're allowing us to play hockey."