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Found 24 results

  1. SYNOPSIS At the end of WWII, 60 minutes of raw film, having sat undisturbed in an East German archive, was discovered. Shot by the Nazis in Warsaw in May 1942, and labeled simply "Ghetto," this footage quickly became a resource for historians seeking an authentic record of the Warsaw Ghetto. However, the later discovery of a long-missing reel, inclusive of multiple takes and cameraman staging scenes, complicated earlier readings of the footage. A FILM UNFINISHED presents the raw footage in its entirety, carefully noting fictionalized sequences (including a staged dinner party) falsely showing "the good life" enjoyed by Jewish urbanites, and probes deep into the making of a now-infamous Nazi propaganda film. A FILM UNFINISHED is a film of enormous import, documenting some of the worst horrors of our time and exposing the efforts of its perpetrators to propel their agenda and cast it in a favorable light. [video=youtube;Khut0kKn-c8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Khut0kKn-c8
  2. The American Institute of Architects recently turned 150 and to celebrate they decided to put together a list of 150 favorite American buildings (do they know how to party or what?). Click forward to see which buildings made the top ten (you can see if any of your other personal favorites made the list here: http://www.favoritearchitecture.org/afa150.php
  3. New Year's Eve party à la Times Square in Montreal Thu, 2009-09-10 17:37. Shuyee Lee Montreal is getting its own Times Square-style Rockin' New Year's Eve. Media company Astral Media is organizing a big New Year's Eve party this year on McGill College Avenue downtown. It'll be an annual affair complete with live music and comedy, activities, as well as sound and light performances. The Big Astral Countdown for Mira event will help raise money for the Mira Foundation, which provides over 180 guide dogs and assistance to people with mental, visual, hearing and motor disabilities. Astral Media owns CJAD 800 which will broadcast the event live, along with its sister stations CHOM 97.7 and Virgin Radio 96. http://www.cjad.com/node/990235
  4. Quebec Tories swapped ad expenses, Elections Canada alleges TIM NAUMETZ The Canadian Press July 22, 2008 at 9:26 AM EDT OTTAWA — The Conservative Party shifted thousands of dollars in advertising expenses from two of its top Quebec candidates to other Quebec candidates who had more spending room in their 2006 federal election campaigns, the lawyer for Elections Canada has suggested. A former financial officer for the party confirmed last month in a court examination that expenses incurred by Public Works Minister Christian Paradis and former foreign affairs minister Maxime Bernier were assigned to other candidates. But former chief financial officer Ann O'Grady said the expenses were “prorated” to the other candidates because the firm that placed the television and radio ads billed Mr. Paradis and Mr. Bernier for higher amounts than their campaign agents originally committed. Elections Canada lawyer Barbara McIsaac probed Ms. O'Grady over records involving an eventual claim for $20,000 in radio and TV advertising by Mr. Paradis and $5,000 in advertising claimed by Mr. Bernier. The financial statements and invoices – filed in a Federal Court case concerning $1.3-million in questionable Conservative ad expenses – also showed that Mr. Bernier and Mr. Paradis paid a fraction of the ad production costs compared with other Tory candidates. Mr. Bernier and Mr. Paradis are among 67 Conservative candidates whose advertising expenditures are under investigation by the federal elections commissioner. Agents for some of the candidates took Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand to Federal Court after he refused last year to reimburse the expenditures on grounds that they did not qualify as local candidate expenses. The Commons ethics committee is also conducting an inquiry into the bookkeeping, which Elections Canada alleges allowed the Conservative party to exceed its national campaign spending limit by more than $1-million. The Canada Elections Act prohibits candidates from absorbing or sharing the election expenses of other candidates. NDP MP Pat Martin, a member of the ethics committee, said if the party did shift expenses from Mr. Bernier and Mr. Paradis to other candidates it would add an entirely new dimension to the controversy. “I can't get (fellow NDP MP) Judy Wasylycia-Leis to put $5,000 of my expenses into her expenses,” Mr. Martin said. “That's absolutely not allowed.” In a sworn cross-examination last month, the transcript of which was subsequently entered in the Federal Court file, Ms. McIsaac pressed Ms. O'Grady about advertising and ad production costs that were transferred from Mr. Bernier and Mr. Paradis to other candidates. Ms. McIsaac challenged Ms. O'Grady's explanations that the expenditures were reassigned because the candidates had been mistakenly invoiced for more than the amounts their official agents originally committed for the campaign. “I'm going to suggest to you that Mr. Bernier was less than $2,590 from his spending limit and that he couldn't afford to put the additional amount into his return,” Ms. McIsaac said to Ms. O'Grady. “That would be total supposition,” Ms. O'Grady responded. “Who knows what else would have been going on at the time? I can't comment on how Mr. Bernier ran his campaign.” In the case of Mr. Paradis, Ms. O'Grady conceded that the candidate had originally committed his campaign to a media buy totalling $30,000, was eventually invoiced $29,766 and subsequently received a “credit note” of $10,000 that was reallocated to another candidate, Marc Nadeau. “Now, again, the reason for this was that Mr. Paradis had reached his limit with respect to spending as well, is that correct?” Ms. McIsaac asked. “He had to allocate some of his money to Mr. Nadeau, did he not, because he was close to his limit?” “I would not know that,” replied Ms. O'Grady, who replaced former Tory chief financial agent Susan Kehoe several months after the election. Ms. McIsaac also questioned Ms. O'Grady over the fact that Mr. Bernier paid no production costs for his share of the advertising. Mr. Paradis paid only $233.93 for his share, even though Ms. McIsaac said other candidates paid $4,500 each for production costs.
  5. To stay sexy, must the German capital remain poor? Sep 17th 2011 | BERLIN | from the print edition Still on the edge CLOUD clamps on to the rooftops in October and stays until April. The language seems equally forbidding to many. Berlin’s streetscapes and restaurants dazzle less than those of Paris or London. Apart from that, it is hard to find fault with the city. Berlin has music, art and nightlife to rival Europe’s more established capitals, but not their high costs and hellish commutes. It is a metropolis with the lazy charm of the countryside. It took a while for people to notice. After the brief euphoria of unification in 1990, the West’s subsidised industry and the East’s socialist enterprise collapsed alongside each other. On measures like employment, public debt and school performance, Berlin ranks at or near the bottom among Germany’s 16 states (it is one of three city-states). Klaus Wowereit, who hopes to be re-elected to a third term as mayor on September 18th, memorably branded the city “poor but sexy”. That is its magnetism. The federal government’s move to Berlin from Bonn in 1999 was a political decision. “Creative” folk are drawn from across Europe and America by cheap studios and frontier-like freedoms. Berlin’s centre still has voids to be built on and argued about. “Easyjetsetters” infest clubs and bars at weekends. More than 1m newcomers have replaced Berliners who have died or left the city since the 1990s. Effervescence pulls in investors. Google plans an “institute for the internet and society”. Industrial clusters have formed in health, transport and green technology. Parts of the media have relocated from Hamburg. Germany will never be as centralised as Britain or France, but if people have something to say to a national audience they tend increasingly to say it in Berlin. Since 2004 Berlin has created jobs at a faster pace than the German average. It leads the country in business start-ups. But the city is defined as much by its inertia as by its energy. A fifth of Berliners live off social transfers. Unemployment is still close to double the national rate because the workforce has recently expanded almost as quickly as the number of jobs. In Berlin “aspiration can be a negative word,” says Philipp Rode of the London School of Economics. Much of its energy comes from outsiders. Even the aspiring are often thwarted: 29% of social scientists and 40% of artists are jobless, according to DIW, a Berlin think-tank. Mr Wowereit, a Social Democrat, strives to channel the city’s edginess while reassuring Berliners weary of change. That is one reason why he is likely to win re-election. (The main suspense involves the Greens, which could replace the ex-communist Left Party as Mr Wowereit’s coalition partner, and the open-source-inspired Pirate Party, which might enter a German state legislature for the first time.) But the straddle is becoming harder. Rents, although still low, have jumped by 30% since 1999. The Swabian yuppie, with multiple offspring and a fondness for coffee bars, is a widely despised figure. “Berlin’s drama”, wrote Berliner Zeitung, a local newspaper, is that its “creative richness is inseparable from its economic poverty.” That will be Mr Wowereit’s puzzle, if he wins
  6. From the Economist ( I was reading it on my vacations, what a great read to kick start my vacations...) Charlemagne Among the dinosaurs France’s Socialists have yet to come to terms with the modern world Aug 27th 2011 | from the print edition BLISS is it in a financial crisis to be a socialist. Or so it ought to be. In speculators and ratings agencies, Europe’s left has a ready cast of villains and rogues. In simmering social discontent, it has an energising force. A recent issue of Paris-Match inadvertently captured the mood: page after full-colour page on Britain’s rioting underclass were followed by gory visual detail of the bling yachts crowding into the bay near Saint-Tropez. Time, surely, to put social inclusion before defiant decadence. The oddity is that almost everywhere the European left is in decline. Among the large countries, Socialist parties rule only in Spain, where they look likely to lose November’s election. The only big place where the left has a good chance of returning to power is France, at next spring’s presidential election. Yet France’s Socialist Party also stands out as Europe’s most unreconstructed. Hence the contorted spectacle of a party preparing for power at a time when the markets are challenging its every orthodoxy. For a hint of French Socialist thinking, consider recent comments from some of the candidates who will contest a primary vote in October. Ségolène Royal, who lost the 2007 presidential election to Nicolas Sarkozy, argued this week that stock options and speculation on sovereign debt should be banned. Denouncing “anarchic globalisation”, she called for human values to be imposed on financial ones, as a means of “carrying on the torch of a great country, France, which gave the world revolutionary principles about the emancipation of the people.” Ms Royal, believe it or not, is considered a moderate. To her left, Arnaud Montebourg, a younger, outwardly sensible sort, argues for “deglobalisation”. He wants to forbid banks from “speculating with clients’ deposits”, and to abolish ratings agencies. Financial markets want “to turn us into their poodle”, he lamented at a weekend fete in a bucolic village, celebrating the joys of la France profonde with copious bottles of burgundy. No one seems to have told him that there is a simple way to avoid the wrath of bond markets: balance your books and don’t borrow. Next to such patent nonsense, promises by the two front-running candidates, Martine Aubry and François Hollande, seem merely frozen in time, circa 1981. They want to return to retirement at the age of 60 (it has just been raised to 62), and to invent 300,000 public-sector youth jobs. Each supports Mr Sarkozy’s deficit-reduction targets, but refuses to approve his plan to write a deficit rule into the constitution. More taxes, not less spending, is their underlying creed. The party is not out of tune with public opinion. The French are almost uniquely hostile to the capitalist system that has made them one of the world’s richest people. Fully 57% say France should single-handedly erect higher customs barriers. The same share judge that freer trade with India and China, whose consumers snap up French silk scarves and finely stitched leather handbags, has been “bad” for France. The right has held the presidency since 1995 partly by pandering to such sentiments. The causes of French left-wingery are various, but a potent one is the lingering hold of Marxist thinking. Post-war politics on the left was for decades dominated by the Communist Party, which regularly scooped up a quarter of the votes. In the 1950s many intellectuals, including Jean-Paul Sartre, clung to pro-Soviet idealism even after the evils of Stalinism emerged. Others toyed with Trotskyism well into the 1970s. François Mitterrand, who mentored Ms Royal, Ms Aubry and Mr Hollande, was swept to the presidency in 1981 by offering a socialist Utopia as a third way between “the capitalist society which enslaves people” and the “communist society which stifles them”. Given such a tradition, it is possible that today’s Socialist leaders believe what they say. At any rate, there is a debate to be had about the right amount of market regulation and fiscal consolidation. Yet the problem with their promises is this: for every bit of conviction, there is a shameful share of pure posturing. In truth, France’s Socialists have often had to be pragmatic in power. As prime minister between 1997 and 2002 Lionel Jospin, himself an ex-Trotskyist, privatised more assets than any of his right-wing predecessors. Even Mitterrand was forced to abandon nationalisation and embrace austerity. Should the Socialists win in 2012, it would take them “about a month, or maybe a week” to confess that they “have no choice but to keep the deficit under control”, says one well-placed party figure. Retirement at 60? Nice idea but, quel dommage, we can’t afford it. Please allow us a moment of madness All this requires heroic faith among centrists considering voting Socialist that reason will triumph over fiscal folly. Moreover, experience suggests that the Socialists, if elected, may feel compelled to introduce some signature policy as a sop to their disappointed base. Under Mitterrand, it was the wealth tax. Under Mr Jospin, it was Ms Aubry’s 35-hour working week. With France’s recovery fragile, the prospect of more such lunacy is chilling. A further danger touches Europe, where France traditionally generates many ideas for integration. At a time when leaders are inching towards more economic co-ordination, with oversight of budgets and even tax harmonisation, a Socialist victory would put the shaping of such a project into uncertain hands. With Dominique Strauss-Kahn out of the running there is just one French Socialist primary candidate who understands all this. Manuel Valls, a deputy and mayor with a refreshingly modern view of the left, says Socialists are not being straight by promising retirement at 60. He dares utter such truths as “we need to tell the French that the [budgetary] effort…will be as great as that achieved after Liberation”. Alas, the 49-year-old Mr Valls is considered too young to be a serious contender. The day the paleo-Socialists of the Mitterrand generation allow such figures to emerge would be the dawn of a real revolution. http://www.economist.com/node/21526894
  7. Montréal, deuxième ville de party au monde Agence QMI Jean-Marc Gilbert 14/11/2009 17h10 À en croire le palmarès fait par l’organisation touristique Lonely Planet, qui a récemment publié son nouveau guide de voyage 1000 Ultimate Experiences, Montréal est la deuxième meilleure ville de party au monde. Se classant tout juste derrière la ville de Belgrade en Serbie, les auteurs de ce classement qualifient Montréal de «destination de plus en plus populaire chez les voyageurs étrangers». Selon eux, on y retrouve «des boîtes de nuit pleines à craquer», «une atmosphère vieux-quartier», et «de la bonne bière locale»... De quoi bien s’amuser toute la nuit! On fait également référence au populaire festival Juste Pour Rire qui se tient chaque été. Tremblay s’en réjouit Le maire de Montréal Gérald Tremblay a été mis au courant de cette nomination et l’a commenté par voie de communiqué, la semaine dernière. «Ces deux prix (Montréal s’est aussi mérité un prix pour les BIXI) nous démontrent qu'en misant sur ses créateurs et sur l'innovation, Montréal a fait le bon choix et réussit ainsi à se démarquer.» Ce dernier pense aussi que ce genre d’honneur permet à la métropole d’être «reconnue tant au national qu'à l'international [...] et j'en suis particulièrement fier.» Les autres villes figurant à ce classement des 10 plus grandes villes de party dans le monde sont dans l’ordre: Buenos Aires en Argentine, Dubaï aux Émirats arabes unies, Thessaloniki en Grèce, La Paz en Bolivie, Cape Town en Afrique du Sud, Bakou en Azerbaïdjan, Auckland en Nouvelle-Zélande et Tel Aviv en Israël.
  8. It's Obama's party Illinois senator finally secures the Democratic nomination, and becomes the first black man to lead his party JOHN IBBITSON June 4, 2008 at 3:03 AM EDT WASHINGTON — This is history. Barack Obama is the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee for president, the first African-American to lead the party of Jefferson and Roosevelt. The Illinois senator secured the nomination last night after a spate of superdelegates – senior party politicians and officials – announced they would be supporting him at the Democratic National Convention in August. That, plus the pledged delegates he obtained after Tuesday's final two primaries in Montana and South Dakota, put Mr. Obama past the 2,118 delegates needed to win the convention. He secured the nomination even though he lost to New York Senator Hillary Clinton in South Dakota. The proportional method of allocating delegations ensured that Mr. Obama would cross the threshold despite losing the state. In compensation, Mr. Obama won Montana, though both states are among the smallest in the union in terms of delegate count. “Tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another, a journey that will bring a new and better day to America,” Mr. Obama declared last night in a speech in St. Paul, Minn. “Tonight, I can stand here and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.” Obama makes history Illinois senator Barack Obama has laid claim to the Democratic presidential nomination, making him the first black man to lead his party Hillary Clinton Clinton's next move Hillary Clinton will acknowledge that Barack Obama has the delegates to secure the Democratic nomination, campaign officials said Related Articles Acknowledging the rifts of race and gender and class that had opened in the party during the 17-month race, Mr. Obama urged Democrats to “unite in common effort to chart a new course for America.” And he lavished praise on his rival, lauding Ms. Clinton's “unyielding desire to improve the lives of ordinary Americans, no matter how difficult the fight may be. “And you can rest assured,” he added, “that when we finally win the battle for universal health care in this country, she will be central to that victory.” For her part, Ms. Clinton offered a speech to supporters in New York that was largely elegiac in nature. “I will carry your stories and your dreams with me every day for the rest of my life,” she promised her supporters. But Ms. Clinton was not prepared to make any public declarations or concessions. “This has been a long campaign and I will be making no decision tonight,” she told supporters at her rally in New York. “In the coming days, I'll be consulting with supporters and party leaders to determine how to move forward with the best interests of our party and our country guiding my way,” she said. Ms. Clinton did, however, indicate in a conference call to members of her party's New York congressional delegation, that she would be open to serving as Mr. Obama's vice-president, if asked, though a campaign spokesman said this was no more than a repetition of her pledge to do whatever she could to ensure victory for the Democrats in November.The next few days could foment intense speculation on where and when Mr. Obama and Ms. Clinton will meet, what she will be asking for, and what he is prepared to offer, as she arranges her formal departure from the campaign. Although the Democratic Party has been energized by this contest, with record turnouts in state after state, the fight has also divided the party along racial and gender lines. Many female Democrats bitterly complain that sexist attitudes, particularly in the media, contributed to Ms. Clinton's loss, while Mr. Obama's supporters say they had to overcome racist attitudes among some voters. Exit polls in South Dakota revealed that 55 per cent of Democrats want Mr. Obama to pick Ms. Clinton as his running mate, though 41 per cent do not. But when only Obama supporters were sampled, 56 per cent wanted her kept off the ticket, a sign of how raw emotions have been rubbed. For 17 months, Mr. Obama and Ms. Clinton have fought each other for the nomination, in one of the epic political contests of modern times. For much of that contest, Ms. Clinton seemed the inevitable winner. But she and others had not reckoned on Mr. Obama's extraordinary ability to galvanize younger voters, to raise more than $200-million, mostly through small donations, to rally both less affluent African-Americans and upscale liberals to his cause, marrying a message of hope and reform to the most powerful oratory seen in America since the days of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. They fought to a draw until February, when Mr. Obama racked up an impressive and unanswered string of victories, mostly in smaller states. Ms. Clinton came back with wins in the Midwest and Appalachia, forging her own coalition of lower-income white voters plus women. But it was the party elders, the superdelegates, who had the final say in this race. And although Ms. Clinton had a grip on them at the start, by the end it was obvious they had collectively decided to give the nomination to Mr. Obama. About 200 of the superdelegates stayed uncommitted until the problem of seating the Michigan and Florida delegations — the two states had violated party rules by holding their primaries in January — was resolved over the weekend. Then Tuesday, in what appears to have been a move orchestrated by the Obama campaign, the superdelegate endorsements began pouring in, until by the time the polls closed in Montana and South Dakota the tally there was almost irrelevant. The most prominent among them was former president Jimmy Carter, who told The Associated Press Tuesday afternoon that “the fact is the Obama people already know they have my vote when the polls close tonight.” So the national presidential election race is fully under way, five months before the actual vote, with John McCain standing for the Republicans and Barack Obama for the Democrats. Mr. McCain acknowledged as much himself, in a speech last night in New Orleans. “Pundits and party elders have declared that Senator Obama will be my opponent,” he told supporters “He will be a formidable one. But I welcome the challenge.” The war in Iraq will figure prominently in this contest, since Mr. McCain wants to stay the course and Mr. Obama wants to bring the troops home. There will be contrasting policies as well on tax cuts and health care and trade, though both candidates are committed to fighting global warming. But as with all elections, the real choices will be intangible: youth versus experience, social justice versus individual freedom, leadership you can trust versus a new voice for America. The presidential race promises to be no less epic than that for the Democratic nomination. This election will be one for the books. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080604.wprimarymain04/BNStory/usElection2008/home
  9. Salmond : No safe seat for Labour in Scotland The Scotsman samedi 26 juillet 2008 ALEX Salmond yesterday claimed there was no safe Labour seat left in Scotland as the full impact of the SNP’s sensational victory in Glasgow East emerged. The First Minister issued what amounted to a battle cry, suggesting the SNP would be unstoppable after ousting Labour from its third-safest seat. If the 22 per cent by-election swing was replicated across Scotland in a general election, it would leave just one of Labour’s 39 MPs in place – Tom Clarke in Coatbridge – with casualties including Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, and Chancellor Alistair Darling. The scale of the defeat piled further pressure on Mr Brown, who faced demands from Paul Kenny, the leader of the GMB union, and the Labour back-bench critic Graham Stringer, to consider his position. David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party, said the defeat showed the country was desperate for change and challenged Mr Brown to call a general election after the summer. But Mr Brown refused to budge, saying he was "getting on with the job" while again trying to empathise with voters about the soaring cost of bread and eggs. Simple arithmetic shows that the SNP would have 49 MPs, the Liberal Democrats seven, the Tories one and Labour one if Labour’s vote collapsed in a similar manner at a general election. The calculation excludes the Glasgow seat currently held by the Commons Speaker, Michael Martin. As for what the result would mean if replicated in a Holyrood election, a source close to Mr Salmond said : "We are still doing our calculations, but there is no doubt that the swing last night would wipe out all Labour’s constituency MSPs. "They would receive some list MSPs in compensation for the proportion of their vote … but there is no doubt that we would be by far the largest party, although not necessarily in a majority." By-elections are unreliable indicators of future governments and success can often be short-lived. Of the four SNP by-election victories prior to the success of John Mason in Glasgow East, all but one failed to hold the seat at the subsequent general election. However, Mr Salmond yesterday maintained that Glasgow East’s voters had been in a "unique" situation. Rather than having a choice between a government and opposition, for the first time they were able to weigh the merits of two parties in power – Labour at Westminster and the SNP at Holyrood. There was also the belief among many Labour loyalists that their party had become "arrogant" and needed to be given a sharp kick, he told The Scotsman. "We have now demonstrated that there are no safe seats for the Labour party anywhere in Scotland," he said. "They used to say that it was the Tories who could only get one MP in Scotland." Several other factors also give the Nationalists hope that they are on the cusp of smashing Labour’s historic dominance in Scotland – and in particular in Glasgow. They point to the fact that the Glasgow East result was the first recent victory against a Labour government. In 1995 in Perth and Kinross, the Tories were in power at Westminster, as they were during the Govan victories of 1973 and 1988. It was only with the SNP’s first by-election victory in 1967 that it defeated a candidate representing a UK Labour government. Then there is Thursday’s turnout. At 42 per cent, it was only six percentage points short of the 48 per cent at the 2005 general election. This gives credence to the argument that electors would vote the same way in the next general election, due by June 2010. Labour could face an earlier test as Jack McConnell, an MSP and former first minister, will be forced to stand down from his Motherwell and Wishaw seat if his posting as High Commissioner of Malawi is activated next year as expected. Then there is the promised referendum vote in 2010, a year before the next elections to the Scottish Parliament. Roseanna Cunningham, who achieved the last SNP by- election victory when she took Perth and Kinross in 1995, said the benefits to the party this time were likely to be greater. This would be seen most obviously by an increase in younger supporters and a boost in membership. Asked what the victory would mean for the SNP’s hopes of ending decades of Labour dominance and driving forward its aim of independence, Ms Cunningham said : "What we can take from (the by-election] at an absolute minimum is that scaremongering about independence simply doesn’t work. That is the difference from between five or ten years ago. That is another sign you can’t simply frighten people away from voting SNP." Labour’s search for a new leader in the Scottish Parliament starts on Monday, following the resignation of Wendy Alexander, and many believe the amateurish attempts to canvass support in a supposedly rock-solid constituency – with imported teenage activists getting lost on a daily basis – showed the absence of a grass-roots organisation. However, Des Browne, Labour’s Scottish Secretary, said it was nonsense to suggest that a by-election result could be used as a guide to future voting intentions across the country. He said voters had wanted to register a protest against high prices caused by world economic conditions, and said Labour was already working to re-establish support in Glasgow. However, he did concede that it was a "significantly bad result". But he compared Glasgow East to the 1999 Hamilton South by-election, which Labour held by just 556 votes from an SNP charge with a virtually identical swing to Thursday. "I remember the SNP issued a press release, which my local paper carried, saying they were about to sweep me away on the basis of that," he said. "It wasn’t replicated at the general election and I have defended that seat twice since then."
  10. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/montreal-working-group-formed-to-improve-citys-business-outlook Montreal has considerable assets when we think of our quality of life, of our spot as the second largest pool of higher-education students in North America and certainly when we think of how safe it is…” Hubert said. There should be a working group that looks at how to retain students. It's all about retention. Students come here from abroad, live for cheap, party hard and then leave. Aside from high taxes, this should be highest priority.
  11. The upscale new face of Old Montreal More laid-back scene smacks of sophistication Maxine MendelssohnFor Canwest News Service Sunday, March 09, 2008 First came boutique hotels and condos, then yoga studios and shops. Now it's bars, supper clubs and a vibrant nightlife: Old Montreal has become a party destination in its own right. And its more laid-back scene is attracting some of the club kids who once clambered to get into the city's hot spots. While these places still pack in the crowds, a bit of fete fatigue has set in on Montreal's two traditional party streets -- Crescent St. and St. Laurent Blvd. The lineups that don't move, some as long as 100 people, the hefty price tag on drinks; it can be a bit much. Now, chic partiers co-exist nicely with tourists in horse-drawn caleches winding their way through the cobblestone streets. New resto-bars like Santos, Wilson and Cherry are becoming popular destinations, offering their own brand of chic decor, fancy drinks and a party atmosphere. On the weekends, smaller bars in Old Montreal are often filled to capacity, but the larger ones have plenty of breathing room. "In the Old Port, if they don't let you in it's not because you're not having bottle service, it's because there's no room." Some party places on St. Laurent Blvd. have become so in demand that they only let in customers who order bottle service, which can cost upwards of $300. The 20- and 30-somethings who flock to Old Montreal want intimate dinners and drinks, not teens flaunting cash and downing rows of vodka shooters. There are occasional, small lineups and only one club has a cover charge in Old Montreal. It's definitely easier to get your foot in the door. "They make it easy and appealing to party here," said 27-year-old Maria Toumanova. "Everything is getting a facelift and people are coming down to check it out. It's a great alternative to the common party places downtown." Dimitri Antonopoulos has been betting heavily on Old Montreal for the last eight years. His company, the Antonopoulos Group, owns a number of Old Montreal hot spots including Suite 701, Mechant Boeuf and the Place d'Armes Hotel, which opened in 2000. "The W Hotel (which opened four years later) also helped bring people down here, then restaurants and nice shops started opening up, too. All these businesses attracted a savvier customer and hipper tourists," said Antonopoulos, VP of marketing. Mechant Boeuf is Antonopoulos's newest venture. There is always a place to sit, and conversations don't require yelling, something that's standard at the downtown clubs. "These are discerning partiers," Antonopoulos said. "They know the ins and outs of clubbing, but they're growing up and maybe they want something different. It's a new market in Montreal." © The Vancouver Province 2008 http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=2750276e-1761-495b-b845-d1a0490f8856
  12. Can't find a job in Quebec. "The founder of Quebec's newest pro-independence party is moving to England. Jean-Martin Aussant, who recently resigned as leader of the upstart Option Nationale, is returning to London to resume his career in international finance. In a blog post, he says will rejoin Morgan Stanley Capital International where he was a vice-president before entering politics. Aussant was elected as a member of the Parti Quebecois and was considered one of its rising stars. However, lamenting the PQ's timid approach to achieving independence, he resigned to create Option Nationale. Option Nationale didn't win any seats in last year's election and Aussant lost his own riding. But the new party attracted a young energetic base, had a big online presence, and won support from sovereigntist stalwart Jacques Parizeau. Now Aussant says the job offers he's been getting are in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and London — but nothing in Montreal or Quebec City."
  13. (Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette) How about the government learns how to manage the money they get from tax payers and not go over budget on every FUCKING PROJECT you dumb morons! No form of government works. Not even total monarchy. :stirthepot: I wonder what Paul Desmarais Sr and Guy Laliberté would say about this or I bet they would be spared from QS antics. -end rant
  14. Why did the Republicans lose the election? How should party members go about rebuilding America's Conservative Party? My problems with party (in order): 1. Too dependent on white evangelical and redneck support (they need to be able to attract educated northern voters and minorities too). Since when did the party that abolished slavery become a party that many racists support? 2. Too many half-wits. When someone of Sarah Palin's intelligence is considered a rising star in the party you have a big problem. 3. Too corrupt. During the tenure of the Bush administration we constantly heard stories of corrupt officials. 4. Too far right. I am a conservative myself. But there are just some members of this party who are a little extreme for me. 5. No new ideas. Where's the daring new schemes of the Reagan era? What happened to the days when it was cool to be conservative? The Party also seems to be suffering from unity problems. There are the McCain Republicans (Rudy Giuliani, Ron Paul, etc) and the Bush Republicans (Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney). It seems similar to the divisions in the Canadian Liberal Party between the Martin Liberals and Chrétien Liberals. In short, the Republicans need their own version of Obama. A good speaker and debater, a uniter not a divider and an intelligent person. If Harper was American he'd make a great leader despite the fact that he's not the best speaker. McCain would make a great leader but is hampered by his lack of knowledge on the economy.
  15. End of an Era on Wall Street: Goodbye to All That By TIM ARANGO and JULIE CRESWELL Published: October 4, 2008 JUST before midnight 10 days ago, as a financial whirlwind tore through Wall Street, someone filched a 75-pound bronze bust of Harry Poulakakos from the vestibule of his landmark saloon on Hanover Square in Manhattan. Harry Poulakakos at his restaurant, which has been part of the Wall Street culture now being transformed by the financial crisis. “If Wall Street is not active,” he warned, “nothing is active.” Digging into a bowl of beef stroganoff the day after the bust disappeared — it was eventually returned anonymously — Mr. Poulakakos recalled some of the customers who had passed through his doors since he opened his bar, Harry’s, 36 years ago. Ivan Boesky once had a Christmas party there. Michael Milken worked over at 60 Broad. Tom Wolfe immortalized the joint in “The Bonfire of the Vanities.” Mr. Poulakakos says he even got to know Henry M. Paulson Jr., the former Goldman Sachs chief executive and now the Treasury secretary. Mr. Poulakakos, 70, has also seen his share of ups and downs on the Street, including the 1987 stock market crash, when Harry’s filled up at 4 p.m. and stayed open all night. But the upheaval he’s witnessing now — much of Wall Street evaporating in a swift and brutal reordering — is, he said, the worst in decades. “I hope this is going to be over,” he said. “If Wall Street is not active, nothing is active.” Mr. Poulakakos, rest assured, isn’t planning to disappear. But the cultural tableau and the social swirl that once surrounded Harry’s are certainly fading. “It’s the beginning of the end of the era of infatuation with the free market,” said Steve Fraser, author of “Wall Street: America’s Dream Palace,” and a historian. “It’s the end of the era where Wall Street carries high degrees of power and prestige. And it’s the end of the era of conspicuous displays of wealth. We are entering a new chapter in our history.” To be sure, living large and flaunting it are unlikely to exit the American stage, infused as they are in the country’s mojo. But with Congress having approved a $700 billion banking bailout, historians, economists and pundits are also busily debating the ways in which Wall Street’s demise will filter into the popular culture. It’s an era that traces its roots back more than two decades, when suspendered titans first became fodder for books and movies. It’s an era when eager young traders wearing khakis and toting laptops became dot-com millionaires overnight. And it is an era that roared into hyperdrive during the credit boom of the last decade, when M.B.A.’s and mathematicians raked in millions by trading and betting on ever more exotic securities. Over all, the past quarter-century has redefined the notion of wealth. In 1982, the first year of the Forbes 400 list, it took about $159 million in today’s dollars to make the list; this year, the minimum price of entry was $1.3 billion. As finance jockeyed with technology as economic bellwethers, job hunters, fortune seekers and the news media hopped along for the ride. CNBC became must-see TV on trading floors and in hair salons, while people gobbled up stories about private yachts, pricey jets and lavish parties, each one bigger and grander than the last. Finance made enormous and important strides in these years — new ways to parse risk, more opportunities for businesses and individuals to bankroll dreams — but for the average onlooker the industry seemed to be one endless party. In 1989, tongues wagged when the 50th birthday celebration for the financier Saul Steinberg featured live models posing as Old Masters paintings. That bash was outdone last year, when Stephen A. Schwarzman, head of the private equity firm Blackstone, feted guests at a 60th birthday party boasting an estimated price tag of $5 million, video tributes and the singer Rod Stewart. “The money was big in the ’80s, compared to the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Now it’s stunning,” said Oliver Stone, who directed the 1987 film “Wall Street” and is the son of a stockbroker. “I thought the ’80s would have been an end to a cycle. I thought there would be a bust. But that’s not what happened.” Now, with jobs, fortunes and investment banks lost, a cultural linchpin seems to be slipping away. “This feels very similar, historically, to 1929 and the emotions that filled the air in the months and years that followed the crash,” Mr. Fraser said. “There is a sense of extraordinary shock and astonishment, which is followed by a sense of rage, outrage and anger directed at the centers of finance.” A WALL STREET hotshot was in a real-estate quandary, and he wanted Barbara Corcoran to help him sort things out. “This is a finance guy making a ton of money and he was trying to decide whether he should sell the country home in Connecticut, the apartment here in the city or the 8,000-square-foot dream home in Oregon that he just finished,” recalled Ms. Corcoran, who has spent years selling high-end luxury properties to New York’s elite. Daintily pulling the shell off a soft-boiled egg at a busy restaurant, she said she had fielded call after call from anxious Wall Streeters trying to decide between signing contracts on multimillion-dollar properties or renegotiating because of the downturn. (Renegotiate, she advises.) Skip to next paragraph Enlarge This Image Mark Lennihan/Associated Press Limos lined up at the Lehman Brothers headquarters, pre-bankruptcy. Enlarge This Image Carl T. Gossett/The New York Times The New York Stock Exchange on New Year’s Eve, 1971, in the innocent days before the Gordon Gekko’s arrived, before the 1987 crash and before the credit crisis tarnished the second Gilded Age. But this particular financier, whom Ms. Corcoran declined to identify, was interested in unloading property so he could time the absolute tippy-top of the real-estate market, not because his wallet had thinned. “He decided to list the country home in Connecticut,” Ms. Corcoran said, shrugging as she bit into her egg. If there has been one thing that has kept pace with the outsize personas on Wall Street, it’s the gigantic paychecks they’ve hauled in. Since the mid-1980s, top traders, bankers, hedge fund managers and private equity gurus have reeled in millions of dollars in rotten years and tens and hundreds of millions — a handful even making billions — while the good times rolled. For instance, Steven A. Cohen, a high-profile hedge fund manager who leads SAC Capital Advisors, spent more than $14 million in 1998 for his 30-room mansion in Greenwich, Conn. Then he spiffed up the place with a basketball court, an indoor pool, an outdoor skating rink — with its own Zamboni — a movie theater and showpieces from the art collection on which he has spent hundreds of millions in recent years. So it’s unlikely that hedge fund stars like Mr. Cohen are headed for the bread lines. Two weeks ago, as Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, Bank of America rescued Merrill Lynch, and regulators and bankers anxiously tried to figure out how to save the Street from itself, the world’s affluent plunked down more than $200 million in a two-day auction in London, snapping up the latest works by the British artist Damien Hirst. Still, some will inevitably downsize. “The yacht is probably the first thing to go,” said Jonathan Beckett, in a telephone interview from Monte Carlo as he attended the annual Monaco Yacht Show last month. Mr. Beckett, the chief executive of Burgess, a yacht broker, said that for the past eight years there have been few sellers in the market. That is starting to change, said Mr. Beckett, who noted that a handful of yachts had been put up for sale, ranging in price from $10 million to $150 million. Even party time has shortened. “In the last couple of weeks, since the bottom fell out of the market, we’ve seen people become more reticent to sign commitments for some expensive venues,” said Joseph Todd St. Cyr, director of Joseph Todd Events, which plans weddings and bar and bat mitzvahs for clients whom he describes as nonshowy, sophisticated Park Avenue types. “I had one client who was ready to book the Plaza for a wedding, but now he wants to know what are his other options and whether the Plaza will back down on its minimum spending requirement, which runs about $80,000 to $100,000 for a prime Saturday night date,” Mr. St. Cyr said. “Bar and bat mitzvahs in this town had become a little bit of a show. There’s a little bit of outdoing the Joneses and the Cohens,” he added, noting that typical parties, if devoid of appearances by N.F.L. superstars or the Black Eyed Peas, range from $150,000 to $400,000. Even though some clients may not have been hurt in the downturn, they simply don’t want to have an overly ostentatious party in this environment, he said. SHOWY homes are also on the block. Joseph M. Gregory, Lehman’s president and chief operating officer who was replaced in June, a couple of months before the firm filed for bankruptcy, listed his oceanfront, 2.5-acre, eight-bedroom Bridgehampton home for $32.5 million this summer. Mr. Gregory could not be reached for comment. While brokers say they have yet to see an avalanche of high-end sales, they do say that upheaval is present in the minds of buyers. Once a hamlet for the moneyed old guard, Greenwich has found itself in recent years overrun by flashy hedge fund and private equity managers. But with the markets in flux, some high-end homes with price tags as high as $3 million to $8 million that sat unsold for six months or longer are now being offered as rentals, said Barbara Wells, a local Realtor. “I had a rental on the market for $11,500 a month. On Monday, we got an offer for $8,500, which we countered with $9,500. They came back with $8,000,” she said. “I told them they were going the wrong way but they said, because of what was happening in the financial markets, this is our new offer. And guess what? The owner accepted it.” Also shocking, she said, is the fact that some of the new homes offered for rent were houses built on spec. In all likelihood, the real estate market could be frozen for the next 6 to 18 months or so as buyers and sellers struggle to reach agreement on prices, Ms. Corcoran said. “The buyers have jumped to the sidelines and the sellers refuse to budge on their prices, completely in a state of disbelief that anything has changed,” she said. Job losses and lower bonuses are likely to hurt sales of apartments in New York, particularly starter abodes like studios, one bedrooms and basic two bedrooms. “The lowest-priced properties are always hit hardest first and recover last,” said Ms. Corcoran, who estimates that 20 to 25 percent of apartment buyers in the city work on Wall Street. “The rich have more wiggle room.” Skip to next paragraph Enlarge This Image Neal Boenzi/The New York Times, top; Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times Michael R. Milken, top, in 1978, and Ivan F. Boesky, bottom, in 1987. The two men, both of whom went to prison, became symbols of Wall Street’s excesses. Enlarge This Image Janet Durrans for The New York Times The Greenwich, Conn., mansion of Steven A. Cohen. After buying it in 1998, he added amenities befitting a hedge fund king, like an outdoor skating rink. Despite the malaise, she says she sees some hope. “This feels like 1987,” after the stock market crashed, she declared. “It’s not even close to ’73 or ’74, when people used to feel sorry for you if you told them you lived in New York City.” That said, Ms. Corcoran said that data she once compiled showed that apartment prices in New York had peaked in 1988, one year after the ’87 crash, and taken 11 years to recover. Of course, there’s another much-watched barometer of Wall Street buoyancy: traffic at some of the city’s high-end strip clubs. During the heyday of the Wall Street boom in the 1990s, Lincoln Town Cars, Rolls-Royces and Bentleys were often found idling outside places like Scores. Inside, according to people who were present at the time, groups of brokers routinely dropped $50,000 and even $100,000 in a single night. In the “presidential suite” at Scores, with its own wine steward who delivered $3,200 bottles of Champagne, the tabs grew quickly. While dancers may not receive gifts like the ones once lavished upon them — say, a $10,000 line of credit at Bloomingdale’s or a pair of $125,000 earrings — the clubs still appear to be filled with brokers, bankers and foreign businessmen. On a recent night at Rick’s Cabaret in New York, men in suits and ties were in full force. At around 10 p.m. — early for a strip club — 10 of the club’s 11 private rooms on the second floor were booked. “Men will never grow tired of the high-class strip-club experience,” said Lonnie Hanover, a spokesman for Rick’s Cabaret International in New York. Rick’s, which is publicly traded on the Nasdaq and has 19 clubs across the country, even plans to expand. “When times are tough, there is no better form of escapism than a night at a gentlemen’s club,” he added. IN the early 1980s, Mr. Stone (who gave the world Gordon Gekko and the “Greed is good” mantra in “Wall Street”) spent time in Miami doing research for his movie “Scarface” (with its cocaine-snorting gangster Tony Montana). When he returned to New York he noticed a shift in the city’s culture of high finance, a world he was familiar with from his childhood. While Wall Streeters weren’t packing guns, other similarities startled him. “What shocked me was I met all these guys who at a young age were making millions and they were acting like these guys in Miami,” Mr. Stone recalled. “There’s not much difference between Gordon Gekko and Tony Montana.” “Money was worshiped and continues to be worshiped,” Mr. Stone added. “Maybe that will change now.” Adoration of riches is hardly new, however. In the mid- to late 19th century, the Gilded Age — a term Mark Twain coined in 1873 — offered equally ostentatious displays of wealth and a broadening gulf between rich and poor. “In the Gilded Age, they built great, enormous palazzos in Newport that they lived in for six weeks a year,” said the historian John Steele Gordon, whose book, “An Empire of Wealth,” chronicles that era. “During the last 25 years, it’s certainly been a gilded age in the sense that enormous fortunes have been built up in an unprecedented way.” Part of Wall Street’s allure for the young and ambitious was that anyone — regardless of education or breeding — could hit it big and live like a kingpin. Consider, for instance, Jordan Belfort. In 1987, Mr. Belfort, then a down-on-his-luck former meat-and-seafood distributor, was standing outside an apartment building in Bayside, Queens, when a childhood acquaintance who worked on Wall Street pulled up in a Ferrari. “This was a guy who you never would have expected would be making this kind of money,” Mr. Belfort recalled in a recent telephone interview. “I was broke, broke, broke, down to my last $100.” Mr. Belfort hit the Street in the late 1980s, and he recounted his adventure last year in a book called “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which he published after serving almost two years in prison for securities fraud and stock manipulation. He recently finished a second installment, “Catching the Wolf of Wall Street,” to be released in February. When he first struck it rich, he followed a well-trodden path for Wall Street upstarts. “First thing I did was go out and buy a Jaguar,” he said. “Step One is you get the car. Step Two, you get a great watch. Then great restaurants, and then maybe a place in the Hamptons — a summer share with another broker.” Whatever the Street’s excesses, it did offer individuals and institutions reliable, sophisticated and often efficient ways to trade and invest, helping to spread some of the wealth. Markets were democratized as individuals who had never before bought a stock or bond dabbled in investing, even if that meant simply plunking down money in a mutual fund, or participating in their company 401(k) plans. New technologies and the ability to trade stocks cheaply opened the financial doors to more people. As home prices rose, meanwhile, homeowners were enticed to tap into their new wealth through home equity loans and then used that money to pay for their own version of a lavish lifestyle. DESPITE these gains in the middle class, though, the truly wealthy have pulled away from the pack. Not since the late 1920s, just before the 1929 market crash, has there been such a concentration of income among individuals and families in very upper reaches of the income spectrum, according to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Paris School of Economics. Some say that anger over the yawning wealth divide found traction in the highly charged and polarizing debate in Congress over the bailout bill. Mr. Fraser, the historian, says that anger is informed by the de-industrialization of the American economy in recent decades. Factory closings and the loss of manufacturing jobs that paid decent, middle-class wages coincided with the heady expansion of the financial sector, where compensation soared. “That means that people in Ohio and Pennsylvania have not been living as high on the hog as those on Wall Street,” Mr. Fraser said. “There’s a real sense of anger at that unfairness.” Even if the current crisis leads to a prolonged slowdown, people may still flock to finance jobs. But they may have to recalibrate their expectations. “There’s no question that people on Wall Street are going to make less money,” said Jonathan A. Knee, a Columbia Business School professor and author of “The Accidental Investment Banker.” Like any cultural force concerned about its legacy, the financial world has a custodian of its past. On Wall Street, it can be found at the Museum of American Financial History, just a block from the New York Stock Exchange. Located in a grand space once occupied by the Bank of New York, it features a long timeline charting major market events. The last event it notes is the popping of the dot-com bubble earlier this decade. Robert E. Wright, a financial historian at New York University who is a curator of the museum, said that there were still many unknowns about how recent events would be recalled. “If the economic system shuts down and we go in for a deep recession, it probably is the end of an era,” he said. Hedging its bets, the museum has already started collecting mementos from the current crisis to post on its wall.
  16. On pensait enfin en tenir une. Une bonne nouvelle en ces temps où tout va mal. Les dernières données sur le PIB montrent une forte croissance de l'économie du Québec. Mais les économistes sont rapidement venus gâcher le party. Pour en lire plus...
  17. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/an-australian-famous-for-documenting-toilets-has-come-to-montreal An Australian famous for documenting toilets has come to Montreal ROBERTO ROCHA, MONTREAL GAZETTE More from Roberto Rocha, Montreal Gazette Published on: February 20, 2015Last Updated: February 20, 2015 5:23 PM EST Mozza restaurant washroom is known for its party ambiance, with disco lights, music and a TV screen. Australian blogger Dan Schaumann searches for the world's best toilets, and this one was suggested to him by the Montreal community on Reddit. Mozza restaurant washroom is known for its party ambiance, with disco lights, music and a TV screen. Australian blogger Dan Schaumann searches for the world's best toilets, and this one was suggested to him by the Montreal community on Reddit. Marie-France Coallier / Montreal Gazette A mantra of making it big on the Internet is to find a niche and run with it. Dan Schaumann, an Australian transplant to Montreal, has found his niche in snapping eccentric toilets. When he’s not making music or working in a supply chain for a multinational, Schaumann scours the cities he visits for its oddest loos, often crowdsourcing tips on Reddit.com. A recent discussion in the Montreal section of the website turned up no fewer than 100 comments. The washroom at L’Avenue restaurant on Mont-Royal Ave., with black light, fluorescent paint, and a TV embedded in the floor was a big favourite. The chaotic graffiti that adorns the urinals at Les Foufounes Électriques on Ste-Catherine St. E. was also a top suggestion, as was Mozza restaurant in the Gay Village, described as “a dance party, complete with disco ball, lights and blaring music.” Montrealers, it seems, are as proud of their washrooms as Schaumann is passionate about them. So far he has documented 10 toilets in the city. “I’m going to make a point of visiting one or two of the suggestions per week until I get through them all,” Schaumann told the Montreal Gazette. He has already documented hundreds of toilets in 30 cities. His efforts have won him close to 1,000 followers on Instagram and extensive news coverage in Boston and Chicago. His passion for flushers started three years ago, as a joke. “I noticed that people could take a photo of just about anything — a leaf on the ground, for example — and they would almost always receive ‘likes’ no matter how common the subject matter was. I wondered if anyone would ever like a photo of a toilet, and indeed, it didn’t take long for someone to show their appreciation,” he wrote. As to why his requests for toilet tips are often fruitful wherever he goes, he has a theory. “The toilet is a day-to-day necessity that doesn’t have a reputation as being particularly captivating, so I think when you encounter a washroom that strikes you as being out-of-the-ordinary, it becomes quite a memorable occasion,” Schaumann said. As a lavatory connoisseur, Schaumann has distilled the common traits of memorable commodes. “Graffiti is the one I love the most, whether it’s a simple witty remark someone has scrawled upon the wall or a punk-style plastering of graffiti across the whole bathroom. I love it when there is an interesting tiling pattern, artwork or decor in the room,” he said. “The whole experience has left me with a new-found respect for the restroom. I can pretty much find something unique in every bathroom I enter now, such as an interesting colour scheme, feature, or sign on the wall.” Map: Dan Schaumann’s top 10 toilets Navigate via the map or click on List to see the full list. If using a computer, swipe to the next item by dragging the mouse across the grey area above the photos. If on mobile, swipe with your finger. For a full-screen map, click here. [email protected] twitter.com/robroc sent via Tapatalk
  18. very interesting - and agree with a lot of what's being said. Dear Montreal, Please Don’t Give Up – Greg Isenberg – Medium "Dear Montreal, Please Don’t Give Up Parce que j’ai confiance en toi I’ve been wanting to write this post for awhile. It’s one I’ve got a lot of feels for. This isn’t an attack on Montreal. This is critical feedback for the city I love. We do performance reviews for employees, so why not do it for cities from time to time? This is purely an economic performance review. Caveat: I’m not going to write a fluff piece. We all know how Montreal’s quality of life is off the freakin’ charts, but that’s not what I’m here to discuss. Here’s the truth: Montreal is a dying city. Where other cities like Portland, Berlin and Oakland are on the up, Montreal stands still. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people I meet in the US and abroad who only think of it as a bachelor party city, who have no idea what Montreal life is like or who haven’t even heard of the city. Breaks my heart. The problem: Some of the smartest and most entrepreneurial leave Montreal in search for “opportunity”. Montreal has failed them. How do we fix that? Here’s my top 3: Montrealers and Montreal needs to be a bilingual city. English in Quebec is only introduced in the 4th grade. For a city that is a mere 60 miles from the US border, that’s absolutely absurd. The more languages we know, the better. That is a global competitive advantage not a loss of our Quebecois identity. One language is not better than the other. One culture is not better than the other. We are brothers and sisters. I believe laws should be in place to protect our Quebecois and French language culture. However, some laws are completely onerous and it puts Quebec in the right hand lane when other cities are zooming by in the left lane. Get this — if you move to Montreal from outside Quebec, your children cannot go to an english public school unless you parents were educated in Quebec in english. How can a Montreal company attract top talent (usually from the US) when there are laws that make it downright uninviting and difficult to raise a family there? Why would a NYC entrepreneur start a company in Montreal when their french skills are limited and government paperwork is only in french? We are failing these folks. They will bring jobs, spend money, pay taxes and create change. Montreal has the opportunity to be the Berlin of North America; Berlin is similar to Montreal. Both suffered economic decline, both have excellent foodie and party scene, both are super cool, both are university towns, both are artistic towns and both are in the economic shadow of their bigger brother (Berlin has Frankfurt and Montreal has Toronto). Yet ask any hipster in this world, and Berlin is thriving. Companies like Soundcloud were founded and grown there. Thrillist calls Montreal “The Porn Capital”. I think Montreal could be known for a lot more than a city involved in the underbelly of the internet and promote companies that affect global change (Breather is a good example) Montreal needs to retain McGill graduates. It’s Montreal’s top school, one of the best in Canada and renown across the world yet McGill grads don’t stay in Montreal to start companies etc. How do we make it easy for them? What kind of programs can we put in place? My question is do Montrealers want the city to become an influencer city? Or are you comfortable with the status quo? I think Montreal has 2 options; either continue on this path to be the most relevant city in Quebec (which it is) or change course and become a more world-class city. There is something really special about Montrealers and with the right push, more incredible art, companies and technology will come out of the city. Maybe it’s just me, but I think the people and the city deserve more. Best, Greg Isenberg"
  19. 'The city is mine' The home secretary Jacqui Smith says she feels unsafe walking London's streets after dark, and, undoubtedly, she's not alone. What a shame, says confirmed nightwalker Kate Pullinger - how could anyone not love a great city at night? Tuesday January 22, 2008 The Guardian I've always loved the city at night, even before I knew what it was like. I come from a rural suburb of a small town on the west coast of Canada and I spent my adolescence dreaming of cities in the dark. To go anywhere when I was a kid you had to drive; there was no public transport. And when you got there, wherever There was, there wasn't anything to do, except drink. I knew that when I finally made it to the city the night would sparkle and shine and pulse and that when I walked down the street, night music - Roxy Music, the Velvet Underground, Curtis Mayfield, Ultravox even - would accompany me. My first ever city was Montreal, where I spent a dissolute 18 months struggling with the concept of university. Montreal at night was always romantic but bipolar: a continuous street party during the summer - hot sweaty nights in cafes and bars that spilled on to the streets; phenomenally cold, encased in ice, in the winter. I would bundle up in multiple layers before heading out. In January and February I would wear both my coats. Montreal at night involved a lot of trudging, carrying your party shoes in a bag, stamping the snow off your boots. Falling snow at night in the city is irresistible; it squeaks and crunches beneath your boots on the pavement and comes to rest on your eyelashes and cheeks like glitter, only even more precious, more fleeting. Walking by myself through Montreal at night was to feel a kind of freedom that was completely new to me - the people are sleeping, the city is mine, all mine. Through the frozen air I could hear and see myself breathing - walking at night always makes me feel more aware of my own physicality somehow; it's the unexpected silence, the unsolicited peace - and my joy at escaping the suburbs was complete: I'm alive, I'm my own person, and I'm at home in the city. After Montreal I came to London, where a lot of women are afraid to walk alone at night. When Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, said at the weekend that she wouldn't walk at night in Hackney, or Kensington and Chelsea, she was just being honest, despite her aides' subsequent attempts at spin. In a world where we are afraid to let our children cross the street by themselves, this is hardly surprising. Our levels of fear bear little relation to the statistics - Smith was right that crime rates have fallen, too - but we are told to be afraid, so many of us are, both despite of and because of our experience. But not me. For me, growing up was all about becoming free, becoming who I wanted to be, not who other people expected me to be, and London was a part of that. It was the 1980s and London had an urgency to it, made all the more vivid by the fight to the death between that era's David and Goliath - Ken Livingstone and Margaret Thatcher. I was young and broke and needed to save my money for pints, books and movies: walking was the cheapest way to get around and most nights out ended with a long walk home. The city was huge, and foreign to me, and I needed to map it out in my mind by stalking the twisty streets with their ever changing names: Eversholt Street becomes Upper Woburn Place becomes Tavistock Square becomes Woburn Place becomes Southampton Row becomes Kingsway all inside 15 minutes. It was only through walking that this would ever make sense, and it was only when walking at night that I witnessed the secret lonely heart of the city; for a time it seemed as though every other doorway in the centre of town was temporary shelter to at least two homeless people. Alone at night I could repeat the street names and practise the English-as-in-England words that were new to me: "wanker", "loo", "pants", "tuppence", "sacked", "fanciable", "shag". I had a bicycle some of the time and there is nothing to match riding a bike by yourself through the streets of London late on a summer's night when the air is so soft it feels like velvet and your wheels spin and your hair gets messed up under your helmet but you don't care and you have to peel off the layers to stop yourself sweating. I was living in Vauxhall and working in Covent Garden at a catering job that required an early start before the tube was running, and crossing Lambeth Bridge on foot at 5am provoked in me a kind of epiphany, an ecstatic communion with the city and its only-just-buried layers of history. At night it's as though the city's history comes alive, bubbling up from where it lies dormant beneath the tarmac: when the crowds are gone, modernity slips away, and the city feels ancient and unruly. How could anyone not love London late at night, or early in the morning? How could the wide black Thames with the city reflected upon it not remind you of everything that is most desirable and glamorous in life? But sinister, too, of course, and this is part of what makes the city at night such a grown-up, adult, provocative space. There are parts of town that always have been, and always will be, creepy. In London: the backend of Whitechapel. Stockwell on a rainy night. Acton when you're a bit lost. And Hampstead, because everyone there seems to go to bed very early. In attempting to recant her comment about not walking alone at night in Hackney, Smith named the parts of the city where she does feel comfortable (for her, Peckham), and this is something that most women would recognise: we make our routes, we do what we feel comfortable doing, and it's not possible to ask anything else of us, home secretaries included. I've lived in Shepherd's Bush, west London, for 11 years now and I always feel safe on the Uxbridge Road. It's one of those wide, long streets that is full of life, full of commerce and connection, full of people I sometimes know and often recognise. The walk home from the tube feels safer than the shorter walk home from White City, with its looming football ground and empty pavements, cars zipping past too quickly. Just before Christmas I walked home by myself from a party; several people asked if I would be OK before I left. When I got outside the night was foggy and the street lamps glowed through the freezing mist; a black taxi passed with its yellow light blazing, the low purring sound of its diesel engine reassuring. I wandered along, a bit drunk, bundled up, and the residential streets were completely empty. When I got into bed I put my cold hands on my husband's warm back and woke him up, happy. I wear sensible flats and carry my party shoes in a bag still, not because of the snow, obviously, and not because I want to be able to run away if I can, but because I like to do my walking in comfort. I don't walk at night as much as I used to, but that's because of children and work and the fact that the days and nights aren't as long as they used to be. It is true that I would not take out my mobile phone on a dark street for fear that someone might think it worth snatching. It's also true that I do not listen to music through headphones when I walk by myself, but that's because I've never liked listening to music through headphones: it has always made me worry that someone is about to sneak up behind me, even when - or especially when - I'm lying on the couch in an empty house. Plenty of people don't love London, I realise that, and plenty of people probably love it even less at night; I'm well aware that it might take only one incident for me to change my mind about walking alone at night. I have been mugged in London, but that was in broad daylight in Finsbury Park on the way to the tube station; I lost volume one of a two-volume Complete Plays by Shakespeare that my mother had given me. The young man who pushed me against a brick wall to wrestle my bag away from my shoulder had a look of desperate determination; the police later found the bag and the wallet, but not the Shakespeare. I've walked these streets for 25 years now. I'm not a young woman any more - aren't the young more likely to be victimised? - and I'm fairly tall - aren't little women more preyed upon? - and on dark winter nights I walk quickly with a hat jammed down over my head. But when I look up from the pavement and see the sparkling lights, I hear the night music; could it be that I am who I always wanted to be, and the city at night belongs to me? By the light of the moon ... Nightwalking across Britain's cities Birmingham As a proud Brummie and shamelessly debauched hedonist, I, and the city I truly love, properly come alive at night. Birmingham has more canals than Venice and those moon-washed nightwalks along the most famous ones at Brindley Place and Gas Street Basin are just as magical as the Italian city's finest. By day, Birmingham's Victoria Square and Centenary Square are thick with office workers, tourists, shoppers, teens and trolls. But after dark you can peacefully appreciate the floodlit beauty of the historical council house, the Floozy in Jacuzzi fountain (well, that's what we locals call her, anyway) and Iron Man sculpture, the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and the Victorian listed buildings on Colmore Row - before popping into the late-night bars One Ten or the once-famous cigar lounge at the Hotel du Vin. St Paul's Cathedral and Square are intoxicating before dawn - not simply because of the drinking opportunities, but because of the path they lead towards the charm bracelet streets of the Jewellery Quarter. I've often done a wee-small-hours West Midland's Audrey Hepburn impersonation by peering into the hundreds of jewellery shops there. There are plenty of midnight munching opportunities - get a night owl down to Ladypool Road, the heart of the city's Balti Belt and where neon restaurant signs blaze above hordes of my fellow, friendly nocturnal buddies. Wersha Bharadwa Manchester Go to eat in Chinatown, and leave around midnight. Stroll back under the gloriously garish Imperial Arch. The unmistakeable smell of oil on hot wok will linger but slowly the grid of streets will wind down and sleep. Emerge into St Peter's Square and hear the hoot of the last tram passing in front of the Pantheon-like circular central library (which has been known to offer small-hours tours of its basement stacks). Move on into Albert Square and wait for the midnight bongs from the clock of the floodlit town hall, Manchester's glorious statement of civic one-upmanship. Then on to Cross Street (where the former home of the Manchester Guardian was long ago replaced by Boots) and turn left into King Street, where the fashion shops doze and dream of bigger profits. Cut through towards St Ann's church and the square after which it is named. If the circular Royal Exchange theatre had a curtain, it would have come down long ago, but memories of entrances and exits long ago live on. Then, past brash Harvey Nicks and Selfridges, to the silent route between the cathedral and the old corn exchange to Cathedral Gardens. Take a seat and gaze at Urbis, the glass ski slope that has become an icon. Behind you, at Chetham's school of music, a sleepless student may entertain you with a Bach partita. David Ward Leeds The best thing to be in late-night Leeds is a bird. Floodlighting is pretty inspired in the city centre generally, but specially good at rooftop level. Get the lift or stairs up any high building - the uni campus has a good selection - and drink it all in. At ground level, the ginnels off Briggate and Vicar Lane are a wonderful maze by moonlight; unchanged since Atkinson Grimshaw did those great Victorian paintings, except nowadays there are lots more bars and places to eat. Try the riverside, too, spooky if it gets too late but lively enough till at least midnight. Cross the canal from Water Lane and thread back through the Dark Arches where the river Aire crashes about beneath the train station. Best for quiet strolling is Kirkstall, with its subtly lit Cistercian abbey, just off the always-busy A65. You can swim at Kirkstall baths till 10pm, get a tapas at Amigos, a Leeds end-terrace that is forever Spain, and then potter across the road and spend as much of the dark as you want to in the 12th century. Headingley is great for strolling, with more shortcuts and alleys through the student-colonised redbricks round St Michael's and the Skyrack and Original Oak pubs. Martin Wainwright Bristol By day, Bristol's harbour area can feel like a place of local authority and corporate regeneration. Fair enough, that's what it is. But by night the magic of the docks returns with the youngsters and bohemians who arrive to party. Walk along the cobbles on Welsh Back alongside the Floating Harbour. Turn into Queen Square with its the wonderful Georgian architecture - much more subtly lit than their counterparts in touristy Bath, and more glorious for it. Look out for the bohos-made-good and London refugees dining in the hip dockside eateries. Cross Pero's Bridge to the Watershed media centre. The laptop brigade who make use of the wi-fi access will have gone, replaced by the art crowd with their red wine and movie talk. The Falafel King van on the Centre is a great, much cheaper alternative to the riverside restaurants. Or get away from the city centre and head to Montpelier. Again, it's a people-watching place - this is eco-trendy territory. Supper at the One Stop Thali cafe, where the locals take their own tiffins to be filled with steaming curry. Walk up to the Cadbury House pub, multiple award winner. And don't forget Clifton. Sorry to be obvious. By day, the Avon gorge can be a little grubby, especially in the winter. After dark, the suspension bridge gleams and the chasm below yawns. Steven Morris Edinburgh Edinburgh's more intimate scale makes it a great city to explore on foot, as long as you don't mind the odd uphill jaunt, and there's no denying the city's beauty at night. There are obvious highlights: a walk along Princes Street gives a great view towards Edinburgh Castle, which is illuminated at night, as are most of the noteworthy monuments, while the Mound has the National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy Building at its foot - with their regal columns, these buildings look pretty spectacular when floodlit - and the impressive headquarters of HBOS, which includes the Museum on the Mound, at its top. Once you're up there, there are guided walks through the Old Town - the night-time ghost tour routes focus around the Royal Mile - while there are less obvious highlights if you head north into the New Town, which is mainly residential and has some of the finest classical Georgian architecture in the country. There are beautiful terraces to explore, such as Royal Circus or Moray Place, and you can admire the architecture while catching glimpses inside where people haven't closed over their tall Georgian shutters - a bit nosy, but who can resist? Wrap it up with a warming drink in Kay's Bar, a cosy pub in an early 19th-century building on Jamaica Street West, tucked in the New Town's heart. Fiona Reid http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,2244671,00.html
  20. 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.