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Found 23 results

  1. I made all of the generic avatars on this website. http://www.mtlurb.com/forums/profile.php?do=editavatar As my right to post in the political section has been withdrawn, I am now revoking this website's right to use the avatars I have provided. I ask that all those who are using an avatar found in the avatar gallery to stop using these avatars immediatley. They are my intellectual property.
  2. Mort Zuckerman Who: Real estate developer Mortimer B. Zuckerman is the chairman of Boston Properties, one of the largest real estate developers in the United States, and the owner of U.S. News & World Report and the New York Daily News. Backstory: The son of a Montreal tobacco and candy wholesaler who passed away when Zuckerman was 17, the future real estate mogul headed off to college at McGill at age 16, then moved to the U.S. in the late '50s to attend business school at Wharton and law school at Harvard. After briefly enrolling in a PhD program, he turned to real estate, taking a job at a Boston-based development firm called Cabot, Cabot & Forbes at a starting salary $8,750. Zuckerman soon became one of the firm's young stars; he proved himself to be a pretty brash operator a few years later when he struck out on his own and teamed up with Ed Linde to form Boston Properties: Zuckerman immediately filed suit against his former employer over his ownership interest in a property he developed and ended up collecting a $5 million, which he used to make some of his first real estate deals. In the early '70s, Zuckerman and Linde began developing office buildings on the outskirts of Boston; they later moved into Boston proper and expanded to other cities during the '80s. By the middle part of the decade, Boston Properties had assembled 50 properties in its portfolio, 10 million square feet of real estate in Washington, Boston, New York, and San Francisco. It was during the company's growth spurt that Zuckerman started making his first investments in media, acquiring a small local newspaper chain in New England in the mid-'70s, The Atlantic in 1980, and U.S. News & World Report four years later. He purchased the Daily News in 1992. Of note: Zuckerman continues to serve as chairman of Boston Properties, and today the publicly-traded real-estate investment trust controls more than 100 commercial properties across the country. In New York, Boston Property's portfolio includes 599 Lexington (where Zuckerman's own 18th floor office is located) and 7 Times Square, which was built in 2004. But while there's little question Zuckerman has been enormously successful in the real estate game, his media track record is mixed. The Daily News squeezes out a small profit, but its battle with the Post has been bloody and painful, and U.S. News has been losing money for years and never managed to close the gap with larger rivals like Time and Newsweek. Zuckerman did extraordinarily well with his purchase of Fast Company—he unloaded it at the height of the dotcom boom for $350 million—but other media forays haven't panned out. In 2003, Zuckerman put in a bid for New York, ultimately losing out to Bruce Wasserstein; his investment in Radar lost him a good sum of money; and more recently, his effort to purchase Newsday never came to fruition when Cablevision's Jim Dolan snagged it instead. Keeping score: Zuckerman is worth $2.8 billion according to Forbes. On the job: Zuckerman isn't the sort of developer who spends his days on construction sites wearing a hard hat. Owning media outlets generates the sort of political and social currency that gives him entrée to the Washington political establishment and lands him an occasional seat on Sunday morning political talk shows. And he actively exercises his political influence as the "editor-in-chief" of U.S. News and owner of the News. While he isn't exactly sitting at his desk proofreading copy, he has a hand in the editorial direction of the magazine, which, most recently, he's used to take a series of (often cheap) shots at President Obama. Grudge: With the Daily News and the Post at each other's throats, Zuckerman has been a bitter rival of Rupert Murdoch for years. The Daily News questions the Post's circulation numbers. The Post chides "the Daily Snooze" for every misspelling and factual error. The News refers to Page Six as "Page Fix." The Post questions the methodology used to generate U.S. News's college rankings. And on and on. (The one thing they don't do is go after each other personally. Several years ago, PR guru Howard Rubenstein negotiated a pact between the two moguls to keep their private lives out of their respective papers.) He also isn't a fan of Bernie Madoff. After the Ponzi schemer was busted in 2009, Zuckerman revealed his personal foundation lost $25 million that had been entrusted to Madoff. Pet causes: Zuckerman gives to a variety of medical causes and Jewish charitable groups. In 2006, he announced his largest gift yet when he handed a $100 million check to Memorial Sloan-Kettering. His connection to the institution is personal: His daughter, Abigail, suffered from a childhood cancer that was treated at MSK. Personal: A notorious bachelor—the Washington Post once described him as having "dated more women than Italy has had governments"—Zuckerman's been connected to Nora Ephron, Gloria Steinem, Arianna Huffington, Diane von Furstenberg, Patricia Duff, and Marisa Berenson. In 1996, he tied the knot with art curator Marla Prather. (Justice Stephen Breyer officiated.) In 1997, they had a daughter, Abigail, before separating in 2000 and divorcing in 2001. In December of 2008, Zuckerman had a second daughter named Renee Esther. The identity of the mother, though, was not announced. It's believed the child was conceived via a surrogate. Habitat: Zuckerman resides in a triplex penthouse apartment at 950 Fifth Avenue decorated with paintings by Picasso, Rothko, and Matisse and sculptures by Frank Stella. (His neighbor back in the day was disgraced Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski.) Zuckerman also has a four-acre spread on Lily Pond Lane in East Hampton and a home in Aspen. Zuckerman has a helicopter to ferry him to the Hamptons. For longer trips, he relies on a $60 million, 18-seat Gulfstream G550 or a $35 million Falcon 900 that seats 14 people. True story: A film director pal, Irwin Winkler, cast him in the 1999 film, At First Sight. The role? Billionaire mogul Zuckerman played a homeless man. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vital Stats Full Name: Mortimer Benjamin Zuckerman Date of Birth: 06/04/1937 Place of Birth: High School: Undergrad: McGill University Graduate: McGill University Law School, Wharton, Harvard Law School Residence(s): Upper East Side, Aspen, CO East Hampton, NY Filed Under: Business, Media, Real Estate http://gawker.com/5646808/
  3. Take the test here Your political compass Economic Left/Right: 0.75 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.03 Graph
  4. A bridge in Mumbai Halfway to paradise A half-built bridge symbolises the urgency and the frustrations of improving India’s infrastructure Dec 22nd 2012 |From the print edition N 1988, when V.S. Naipaul arrived in Bombay, now known as Mumbai, and drove south from its airport, he could tell something unusual was happening because the traffic was so bad. It turned out that a festival of Dalits, the former untouchables, had led to crowds that blocked the roads. The Nobel-prizewinning writer complained of “fumes and heat and din” in his taxi to the Taj Hotel. The chaos was novel enough to form the opening passage of his book, “A Million Mutinies Now”. Today greater Mumbai’s population has almost doubled to 18m, and transport bedlam has become as integral to its psyche as the stockmarket, films and slums. Millions endure commutes that would qualify them for post-traumatic-stress counselling in rich countries. Rush-hour trains get so crushed that a phone or pair of glasses carried in a breast pocket will smash under the pressure of bodies. Every year perhaps 500 people perish after falling off trains in the city and 6,000 die on the tracks. If, like Mr Naipaul, you can afford a taxi, it will reek of sweat and honk and buck for inches of advantage against bigger cars, which under a Darwinian highway code have bullying rights. After monsoon storms the sewers overflow and the roads flood. On nights like this endless lines of vehicles crawl in the dark and you can hear the slop lapping on your car’s underbelly, like waves on a dinghy’s hull. But if you divert from Mr Naipaul’s route, by a creek at a place called Mahim, and turn west, you can take a different trip. Time leaps forward. India becomes China, or even Singapore. The swarm of autorickshaws fades and, after pausing at a toll booth, you find yourself on an eight-lane motorway running parallel with the coast, floating high over the sea on 120 piers, and suspended on wires from two 128-metre towers. The bridge is called the Sea Link and opened in 2009. If you open the window the air is fresh; if you put your foot down you can hit racing speed. From the bridge Mumbai’s berserk skyline seems hazy; the 23 sets of traffic lights and 40 minutes of furious traffic you are bypassing are like a bad dream. The Portuguese fort and aboriginal fishing village that you zip past feel about as real as the scenery of a Disneyland ride. For that matter, can it truly be possible that after just 4.7km, or about five minutes, all eight lanes of this glorious bridge stop in mid-air—as if King Kong had bitten them off? But alas, it is. If you keep going you will plunge into the Arabian Sea. Instead a narrow slip road delivers you back to the city. The shift is disorienting. As your car battles for space again and you pass a Dalit slum, perhaps housing the children of the folk Mr Naipaul saw, it is tempting to look back. What just happened? Viewed from the Sea Link, Mumbai seems like a mirage. But seen from the chaos of the city, it is the Sea Link that is improbable, like a giant hologram. Decent infrastructure and this megacity, maybe this country, do not belong together. Do they? Dream on If any country needs better infrastructure, it is fast-urbanising India. The government hopes a trillion dollars will be spent between 2012 and 2017, although with a creaking banking sector and jumpy investors that is optimistic. If any megacity needs better transport, it is Mumbai. Formed from seven islands, the city was given by Portugal to Charles II of England in 1661 as dowry for his marriage to Catherine of Braganza. It is a long spit whose hub is at its southern tip. Manhattan has 16 bridges, four underwater tunnels and a ferry system linking it to the mainland. Mumbai has just six bridges, all but one at its northern extremity. Two main roads, three railway lines and an airport besieged by shanty towns are its fragile links to the outside world. The city centre is like a head on a long, strangled neck. The difficulty of commuting is partly why Mumbai is so densely populated, with property prices driven high and migrants forced into slums, which now house over half the population. There are only a handful of successful state-sponsored developments: a satellite city on the mainland called Navi (New) Mumbai, some flyovers and a new office park built on marshland near the airport. What Mumbai has been unable to do in practice, it has done in theory. The first master plan to relieve the city’s woes emerged in 1948, the most recent in 2011. In the six decades in between some fine minds, from J.R.D. Tata, a revered industrialist, in 1981, to McKinsey, a consulting firm, in 2003, have had their say. There is widespread agreement on what is required. First, a road round the city’s perimeter—probably a series of Sea Link-style bridges along its entire west coast, and on its east coast a highway partly to be built on land occupied by the city’s dying old port. Second, to link this ring to the mainland, a 22km road over the sea, an idea known as the “trans-harbour link”. Third, near the end of this putative bridge, on the mainland, a new airport. And fourth, at least nine metro lines in the city itself. You can get a flavour of this Utopia in the offices of one of the many government agencies responsible for projects in Maharashtra, the state Mumbai belongs to. A huge, Lego-for-adults model built by a Singaporean firm shows the city centre bisected by an elevated bridge that sweeps in from the ocean. Vast new skyscrapers tower over the Art Deco and colonial buildings. Today’s shabby military cantonment is a nature park. Metro stations are everywhere. Jetties for ferries are abundant. A slum has become a “heritage village” with yachts moored beside it. The sea is blue, the grass is green and the buildings are spotless white. All of it is made up. Indeed of all the transport mega-projects planned for Mumbai, after decades of reports and committees, only one is in use: that surreal 4.7km stretch of the Sea Link. Kafka in Bombay What has gone wrong? One view can be heard on the wasteland at the north abutment of the Sea Link. A ragged family are smashing reinforced concrete rubble. They say they get about a dollar for every two kilos of steel inside—roughly the cost of a one-way Sea Link ticket. Nearby, dogs and feral pigs sniff around abandoned machinery as Girish, aged 52, hits the bottle with his colleagues. The pals work nights in a call centre selling Americans an erectile-dysfunction drug. “You get a quick recharge,” is the sales pitch; the most common response, they all agree, is “Fuck you”. They also agree that this derelict land is a fine spot to unwind. Yet the rumour, which seems to have originated in the nearby slum, is that it has been grabbed secretly by a tycoon to build a mall, or luxury flats; the details vary. A local priest (a church was built nearby in 1575) talks suspiciously of the “fantasy” that any such project could ever benefit the common man. In fact, the land is still owned by the government. But the conspiracy theory that Mumbai is essentially a stitch-up by the rich is not propounded only by drunk cold-callers and men of the cloth. It may be the most widely held belief in the city. Its grandest iteration is that the city’s elite has deliberately sabotaged its transport infrastructure to enrich themselves. The argument goes like this: better transport would lower the scarcity premium on land and property in downtown Mumbai, hurting builders’ profits, and in turn curbing the flow of bribes to India’s political parties. The idea that the rich control the city’s fate was fuelled by a battle in 2005-08 between Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, and his estranged brother, Anil, over a tender to build the trans-harbour link. After a legal tussle Anil undercut his brother by bidding for a concession of nine years and 11 months. The tender process was eventually abandoned. Mumbai is certainly corrupt in other ways. The chief minister of Maharashtra, Prithviraj Chavan, who wants to clean things up, speaks of a nexus of builders and politicians. One official reckons illegal gains of $5 billion a year have been made by builders bribing their way around planning rules. “Those bastards have ruined everything” by scaring off legitimate firms, says one boss. But the grand conspiracy theory is silly. Mukesh Ambani owns a chunk of land near the proposed new airport, the value of which would soar if the trans-harbour link were built. Builders are buying space near proposed metro stations. And without good transport links the population of south Mumbai has begun to decline, which should be bad for property prices. Most businesspeople say the city’s decay is an embarrassment. The truth is fiddlier—as the half-built Sea Link demonstrates. The bridge was commissioned in 1999 but took ten years to finish, instead of the planned two and a half. Ajit Gulabchand, the boss of HCC, the construction firm that won the contract to build it, says the project was “a Kafkaesque struggle”. He describes himself as a “south Bombay boy” and drives a Bentley through the city to his office in the north-east (he does not use the Sea Link because there are no good connections between the west and the east). He is also subject, like all tycoons, to a secondary conspiracy theory, which is that he gained by being close to Sharad Pawar, who heads a Maharashtrian political clan. Mr Gulabchand says this is rubbish. “I’m not going to deny my friendship,” he says. But, “If I’m so powerful, how come I lost money?” One recent fiasco involved a military convoy doing a U-turn, a naval ambulance, a man in flip-flops with a red flag, and thousands of angry drivers The bridge’s original budget was $74m at current exchange rates, which rose to double that (officials verify these figures). Mr Gulabchand says he is still owed around $100m. The rising cost reflects a deep problem: delays. After construction began the cash-starved road agency in charge, MSRDC, changed the plan from eight lanes to four and back to eight again. The council took an age to release the land needed to house machinery (near where the call-centre employees relax). Maritime rules banned work during the monsoon. Customs held up the import of a 5,400-tonne floating crane. Subsea telecoms cables were found in the wrong place. Old folk living nearby griped about noise pollution. Those are the kind of problems big projects face everywhere. But other hurdles were peculiarly Indian. In a 107-year-old house in the fishing village the bridge passes over at its southern end sits Vijay Worlikar, one of the “nine Patils”, or clan chiefs, who in effect run the area. He is a Koli, an aboriginal people who have been there for centuries; he has childhood memories of Iranian boats sailing to the village to trade pistachios for dried fish. “This land is our land,” he says. Mr Worlikar successfully campaigned to shift the bridge farther from the village, and for a second suspended section to be built to create a channel for the fishing fleet to sail underneath. His legal objections, along with other environmental complaints, caused years of delays. Yet he is a modern man: his daughter is a doctor and his son an executive at the airport. He blames sloppy planning. He says he is now helping the state build relations with other fishing villages in the city to try to avoid further fiascos. Cutting red tape and winning public support would be easier with political leadership. The Sea Link was opened, with a firework display, by Sonia Gandhi, the dynast of India’s ruling Congress Party, and was officially named after her assassinated husband, Rajiv. However, consistent with the rule that the more politicians celebrate a finished project, the less they did to make it happen, the Sea Link had earlier been left out to dry. Mr Gulabchand says that after the state government changed in 1999 and an energetic minister left, the plan had no sponsor to bulldoze through bureaucracy. Maharashtra’s ruling coalition since 1999, of the Congress Party and the NCP, often squabbles over who runs big projects. The politicians have rural vote banks and are afraid, as one official puts it, “to be seen to neglect the rural man”. Mr Gulabchand thinks Mumbai needs more political accountability: “The Sea Link would not have been delayed if there was a mayor responsible for doing it. His re-election would have depended on it.” For the time being, such a change in the city’s governance seems unlikely. Mumbai’s biggest secret To grow fast India needs lots more infrastructure. But lately spending has been falling. The central bank thinks that the value of envisioned projects dropped by 52% in 2011-12. The slump reflects worries about red tape, corruption and doubts about the profitability of public-private partnerships (PPPs). In Mumbai it is easy to despair. “The whole spirit of doing things has gone,” says Mr Gulabchand. Five kilometres south of Mr Worlikar’s village is a fenced plot by the sea where men sit on plastic seats, apparently anticipating, like actors in a production of “Waiting for Godot”, the next section of the Sea Link to arrive. It could be a while. The winner of a PPP project to build and run it, Anil Ambani, has got cold feet. A political tussle has erupted, with the NCP keen to build a bridge using public funds and Congress preferring a road on reclaimed land. Nothing may happen for years. Yet, just as the Sea Link manages those 4.7km of elevated bliss, some projects are moving. Beneath a hill owned by an atomic research agency in north Mumbai, roaring diggers have almost finished excavating two half-kilometre-long tunnels. Outside, in both directions, the ghastly task of clearing slums has been accomplished and their residents moved to blocks of flats nearby. This is part of Mumbai’s best-kept secret—the Eastern Freeway, a new road stretching all the way down the city’s east coast, on the opposite side from the Sea Link, using tunnels and stilts. It should open in 2013, about five years after work began. J.R. Dhane, an engineer on the project, says it has been like painstakingly weaving a thread through the city’s dense fabric. Elsewhere the first metro line is almost finished, its platforms inches away from living-room windows, an experimental monorail is coming up, and a new round of bids is set to begin on a contract to build and operate a $2 billion trans-harbour link. These projects are all being run by the MMRDA, a state development body that has stepped into the vacuum. It owns land worth $12 billion, which it sells to help finance projects, and is viewed as clean and technocratic. Its boss, Rahul Asthana, says that progress is being made, but seems cautious about the city making a Shanghai-style great leap forward. In all probability Mumbai will do enough to prevent a crisis, but not enough to fulfil its vast potential or quickly transform the quality of most of its people’s lives. The same is true of infrastructure across India. And what of that 4.7km stretch of the Sea Link, stranded out there, all alone? The bridge is in good nick but seems to be run poorly by the road agency, MSRDC (its chief declined interview requests). Vehicle numbers are thought to be half those expected. The financial impact is hard to assess: the most recent annual report on the agency’s website is from 2008. Waiting for Utopia Meanwhile the toll-booth system has become a slapstick affair, with a maze of concrete chicanes prone to collapse, complex cash fares and overstaffed booths. Usually receipts are printed, but occasionally they are hand-stamped on the kind of paper used for bingo tickets. Accusations of graft swirl. An electronic swipe system has apparently been introduced but seems to be available only to VIPs. After a suicide jump in August it emerged that the CCTV system to help stop terrorist attacks was not working properly. One recent fiasco involved a military convoy doing a U-turn on the bridge, a naval ambulance, a man in flip-flops with a red flag like a Formula One race official, and thousands of angry drivers. This created a traffic jam along most of the Sea Link, which seemed at last to have become part of the city. Often couples on motorbikes park by the bridge. They are not there to ride on it—two-wheelers are prohibited. They are not seeking intimacy, for the choice spot for that is the rocks around the headland at low tide. Nor are they there for the ambience, for the ground nearby features broken promenades, weeds and rats. They are there for the view. When you see its sweeping cords silhouetted against a dusky sky, the Sea Link is as close to a wonder as Mumbai can offer. And whether this ritual demonstrates low expectations or hope is in the minds of the beholders alone. http://www.economist.com/news/christmas-specials/21568582-half-built-bridge-symbolises-urgency-and-frustrations-improving-indias
  5. Excellent texte de François Cardinal (de La Presse) sur pourquoi Montréal devrait avoir un statut spécial : Manifesto for a city-state Montreal has paid the price for being treated like just another region. Quebec’s economic hub deserves better. François Cardinal Policy Options, November 2013 Far from being a land of forests, plains and prairies, Canada is an urban country. Nearly 70 percent of the population lives in urban centres and more than 90 percent of demographic growth is concentrated in those metropolitan areas. These proportions put Canada at the top of the world’s most urbanized nations. And yet all of Canada’s cities, from Montreal to Toronto, Calgary and even Ottawa, are neglected by federal and provincial political parties. They are short-changed by electoral maps. All are forced by the provinces to labour under a tax system that dates from the horse-and-buggy age. All are relegated to the status of lowly “creatures” subject to the whims and dictates of higher levels of government. It’s as if the country has not yet come to terms with the changes it has undergone since its founding. “Cities do not exist under the Constitution, since it was drawn up in 1867 when we were a rural, agricultural country,” Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi pointed out when I interviewed him at City Hall. “But today the country is highly urbanized, a fact that, unfortunately, is not reflected in the relations higher levels of government maintain with the cities.” The 2011 federal election offered a good example of this oversight. Every party targeted the “regions,” those wide-open spaces of rural and small-town Canada. The Conservatives’ slogan in French was “Notre région au pouvoir” [Our region in power]. The Liberals cited “rural Canada” as a priority but barely mentioned urban Canada. The Bloc used the slogan “Parlons régions” [Let’s talk about regions] but had no urban equivalent for the metropolis. More critically, the parties felt compelled to appeal to voters in the regions by positioning themselves in opposition to the cities. The most glaring instance came during the French leaders’ debate, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper castigated Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff over his promise to build a new Champlain Bridge. “I would not take Mr. Ignatieff’s approach and divert money from the regions to finance infrastructure for Montreal,” Harper said. The Liberals were not much better. They pledged to develop a plan for public transportation but never specified what it would look like. They promised support for social housing but said they would take the money out of funds for urban infrastructure. The reason for this is not rocket science. With the big-city vote so thoroughly predictable, the parties focus on rural areas or the suburbs where they believe their policies might swing votes. They rarely target the city centres. At the provincial level, the situation is pretty much the same. In fact, the Quebec government was able to relieve Montreal of its “metropolis” title and its dedicated ministry nearly 10 years ago without raising eyebrows. Thus Montreal became just one “region” among all the rest: Administrative Region 06. In the 2012 election in Quebec, Montreal did move up a notch. There was more discussion about the city. But since then, unfortunately, good intentions have been replaced by a charter of Quebec values, which has been broadly criticized in Montreal. Imposing it confirms the implicit trusteeship under which the government rules the metropolis. But even more than urban centres elsewhere in the country, Quebec’s parties have limited reason to take an interest in the city. Montreal is either politically safe (for the provincial Liberals) or a lost cause (for the Parti Québécois). In short, Quebec is no different from other Canadian provinces in treating its major city like a big village that must be attended to, certainly, but not more than any other municipality. The cost of showing the city favour is to risk losing precious votes in rural areas. But major cities are no longer the same municipalities they were in the past. Today, Montreal and Toronto are expected to compete with Paris and New York. They are expected to attract and hold onto businesses, court foreign creative talent, draw more private investment and deliver more and more services to residents, from social housing to public transportation. Providing support services for recent immigrants, developing the knowledge-based economy, building social housing, dealing with antigovernment demonstrations and adapting to climate change are all responsibilities that now fall to cities. They are nothing like the urban “creatures” of the 19th century. Lucien Bouchard could not have been more clear when he said in his 1996 inauguration speech after being elected premier: “There can be no economic recovery in Quebec without a recovery in Quebec’s metropolis.” For once, it appeared the government of Quebec was going to recognize Montreal’s special character and grant it preferential treatment. “The complexity of the city’s problems calls for special treatment and even, I would say, for the creation of a specific metropolitan authority,” Bouchard continued. It seemed as if he was about to usher in an exciting new era. There was now a minister responsible for “the metropolis.” A development commission was set up for the Montreal metropolitan area and it was to be invested with significant powers. A true decentralization of power was in the offing. An economic development agency, Montréal International, was created at this time, as was the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT). But just when it appeared Montreal was going to receive special attention and treatment, the government’s old habits returned with a vengeance. Like a parent who has given too much to one child, the Quebec government decided to restore the balance by giving to the regions with its left hand what it had given Montreal with its right. A local and regional development support policy was introduced in 1997. Then the Ministry of Regions was created and local development centres set up. A few months later, they added government measures for the province’s three metropolitan areas and then, finally, measures for all urban areas. “The reforms demonstrate, once again, the government’s efforts to address Montreal’s specificity without neglecting the needs of the rest of Quebec,” political scientist Mariona Tomàs explained in her fine book Penser métropolitain? But the result was a government policy similar to the previous ones, an across-the-board approach based on a view of Quebec as a collection of communities, rather than a province organized around its main economic hub. “The government’s desire to maintain a territorial balance can be seen in the powers of metropolitan structures,” Tomàs observed. “The law provided the same types of powers for all the urban communities created in 1969, and then for all the metropolitan communities in 2000.” Giving the rural Outaouais region the same powers as Greater Montreal reduces the latter to just one region among many. To this way of political thinking, the metropolis must not be allowed to overshadow any other town, must not be given too much. It cannot receive more attention than others, and cannot be elevated above any other. Canada’s “hub cities,” those few major urban centres like Montreal, are the drivers of economic activity in the country. That was the conclusion of a recent Conference Board study, which pointed to the collateral benefits of a thriving metropolis. It found that strong growth in metropolitan areas spurs growth in neighbouring communities and then in the whole province. But how can Montreal play its role as an economic driver if it is not treated as such? We need only look outside the country to be convinced that we need to roll out the red carpet for the metropolis: to the United States, where big cities have the attention of the country’s leaders; to Asia, where the treatment of major centres sometimes borders on obsessiveness; or even to France, a country that, like Quebec, is marked by a deep divide between “the metropolis” and “the provinces.” France provided a telling illustration of this awareness in early 2013, a few months after François Hollande’s Socialist government took office. Although France was in dire straits, burdened by crushing public debt and being forced to reconsider the fate of its precious social programs, Hollande did not think twice about launching a project of heroic proportions to relieve congestion in Paris. The price tag: the equivalent of $35 billion for a brand new “super metro,” plus $10 billion to extend and upgrade the existing system. Was this completely crazy? On the contrary. Hollande was being logical and visionary. France understands the importance of investing in its metropolis. This is a country that is ready to look after its towns and villages, while not being afraid to give Paris preferential treatment. “A strong Paris is in the interest of the provinces,” commented L’Express magazine in March 2013. Quite so. The article notes, for example, that much of the income generated in Paris is actually spent in the rest of the country. All financial roads — tourism, commuting for work, national redistribution, whatever — all lead to Paris, with benefits to the provinces. L’Express cites the case of Eurodisney to illustrate. Disney had hesitated before settling on building its amusement park in Paris — not between contending French cities, but between Paris and Barcelona. Herein lie the value and importance for the entire country of having a strong metropolis. “Weakening Paris would slow France’s locomotive,” argued L’Express. “And in a train, the cars seldom move faster than the locomotive.” Clearly, what Montreal needs is special treatment, more autonomy and more diverse sources of revenue. In short, it needs a premier who will stand on the balcony of City Hall and proclaim: “Vive Montréal! Vive Montréal libre!” Worryingly, the current state of affairs in Montreal — the revelations and insinuations of political corruption and collusion — is prompting many observers to call for the Quebec government to take the opposite tack and tighten the city’s reins. According to this view, more provincial government involvement is needed to check the city’s propensity for vice. But in fact the only way to make the city more responsible and more accountable is to give it greater power, wider latitude and more money. Montreal’s problem is that it has all the attributes of a metropolis but is treated as an ordinary municipality, subservient to the big boss, the provincial government. Its masters are the minister of municipal affairs, the minister’s colleagues at other departments involved in the city’s affairs and, of course, the premier. Montreal is under implicit trusteeship. This encourages, even promotes a lack of accountability on the part of the municipal administration, which is only half in charge. “It’s not complicated: Montreal is currently a no man’s land of accountability,” says Denis Saint-Martin, political science professor at the Université de Montréal. “There is a political and organizational immaturity problem, which explains the political irresponsibility we have seen in recent years. Montreal needs more power, not less. Montreal needs to be more accountable, more answerable.” Essentially, the metropolis needs to be treated like one, with the powers and revenues that go along with city status. Montreal is a beggar riding in a limousine. Invariably, after a municipal election, the incoming mayor announces a wish list and then gets the chauffeur to drive him up provincial Highway 20 to Quebec City to knock on the provincial government’s door with outstretched hands, hoping for a little largesse. Montreal’s mayor has to beg because the past offloading of responsibilities for delivering services to citizens onto the municipality has not been accompanied by new money. “In Quebec, the province is responsible for much of the regulatory apparatus under which cities operate, which the cities feel restricts their autonomy,” said political scientist Laurence Bherer in 2004, speaking at the 50th anniversary of the Université Laval political science department. “And far from decreasing in recent years, provincial intervention has spread to a variety of areas such as the environment and public security, further relegating the cities to the role of operative rather than architect.” It is unacceptable for the provincial government to be the “operator” of a metropolis. That is why municipalities are rightfully seeking greater autonomy and greater freedom of action from their provincial masters. This is what is starting to happen in other provinces: in Alberta, with its Municipal Government Act, with British Columbia’s Community Charter and especially in Ontario, with the City of Toronto Act, which reads in part: “The [Ontario Legislative] Assembly recognizes that the City of Toronto, as Ontario’s capital city, is an economic engine of Ontario and of Canada.” The Ontario government appears to understand the special role Toronto plays in the wider economy. The City of Toronto Act goes on to say, “The Assembly recognizes that the City plays an important role in creating and supporting economic prosperity and a high quality of life for the people of Ontario [and] that the City is a government that is capable of exercising its powers in a responsible and accountable fashion.” Quebec’s largest city deserves similar treatment: strict accountability in exchange for recognition of its status as an autonomous government and the ability to tap more diverse sources of revenue. Indeed the main reason Montreal is regularly forced to pass the hat in Quebec City is its heavy dependence on property taxes for its income. As a creature of the province, it still operates under the good-old British tax model that sees it derive the bulk of its revenues — 67 percent — from property taxes. This was not a problem a hundred years ago, when Montreal provided only property services to its residents. But its responsibilities have expanded. The standards imposed by Quebec City have proliferated, and the portion of the budget allocated for services to individuals has grown considerably. Yet its tax base remains just as dependent on a single sector: real estate. This situation has a huge drawback. The City does not share the economic benefits that it generates. It might well pour money into the Formula One Grand Prix and summer festivals, invest in attracting conventions and tourists, renovate public spaces to make the urban environment more attractive and friendly. But it will get not a penny back. On the contrary: these investments only increase the city’s expenses in maintenance, security and infrastructure, while the federal and provincial governments reap the sales taxes. Take the city’s jazz festival. Montreal has to pay for security, site maintenance, public transportation to bring visitors to the site, and must deal with the event’s impact on traffic. In return, it gets happy festival-goers and tourists who spend money, stay at hotels, eat at restaurants — and fill provincial and federal coffers with sales tax revenues. They enrich the governments in Quebec City and in Ottawa, but not Montreal, which picks up the tab for the costs. The result is that the hole into which large cities are quietly sinking gets deeper. Big-city economies are dematerializing. The knowledge-based economy, in which Montreal shines, is based on innovation, research and brains, not factories. But for now, grey matter is not subject to property tax. Add to the mix an aging population with more modest housing needs, the increase in teleworking, self-employment and e-commerce, and you have a Montreal that is not only under implicit administrative trusteeship but also in an increasingly precarious financial position. And then people wonder why our metropolis is not playing the role it should be playing. another region. Quebec’s economic hub deserves better.
  6. [MAPS]https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=Pernambuco&hl=en&sll=45.495362,-73.568761&sspn=0.001608,0.004128&t=h&hnear=Pernambuco,+Brazil&z=7[/MAPS] Brazil’s north-east: The Pernambuco model Eduardo Campos is both modern manager and old-fashioned political boss. His success in developing his state may make him his country’s next president Oct 27th 2012 | RECIFE | from the print edition IN THE 1980s an American anthropologist, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, carried out fieldwork in Timbaúba, a town in the sugar belt of Pernambuco state, in Brazil’s north-east. She described a place seemingly resigned to absolute poverty. The back-breaking task of cutting sugar cane by machete provided ill-paid work for only a few months of the year. The deaths of young children from disease and hunger were accepted “without weeping”. Traces of that bitter world survive in Timbaúba. In Alto do Cruzeiro, a poor suburb on a hilltop overlooking the town, Severina da Silva, a maid who also runs a shop in her living room, says that some people still go hungry. She is 48 but looks 20 years older. A 31-year-old cane cutter nicknamed “Bill” has six children—a throwback to the days when people had big families instead of pensions. But Bill has a labour contract, with full rights; he gets a stipend and a small plot from the state government to see him through the idle months. That is part of a broader social safety net provided by democracy in Brazil. It includes non-contributory pensions for rural workers. Some 6,000 of the town’s poorest residents take part in Bolsa Família, a cash-transfer scheme started by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s president from 2003-10, who was born near Timbaúba. Thanks partly to this cash injection, the town now boasts car and motorbike dealers, new shops, a bank and restaurants. That is a ripple from a broader flood of investment that has made Pernambuco one of Brazil’s fastest-growing states. Once Europe’s most lucrative Atlantic colony, it languished for centuries. While sugar estates on the plains of São Paulo mechanised with world-beating efficiency, those in Pernambuco’s rolling hills struggled. Revival began with a new port at Suape, south of Recife. Its hinterland is now a sprawling industrial complex. Some 40,000 workers are building a vast oil refinery and petrochemical plants for Petrobras, the state-controlled oil company. A new shipyard and wind-power plants rise among the mangroves. Suape is a monument to federal money, industrial policy and an alliance between Lula and Eduardo Campos, Pernambuco’s ambitious governor. But the state’s boom goes wider. Rising incomes have helped Mr Campos attract private investment. Fiat is to start work on a car plant beside the main road north of Recife. A host of smaller food, textile and shoe factories are now setting up in the state’s poor interior, including Timbaúba. While the rest of Brazil worries about deindustrialisation, Pernambuco does not: since Mr Campos became governor in 2007, industry’s share of the state’s economy has risen from 20% to 25%, and will reach 30% by 2015, he says. This boom has brought nearly full employment—and created an acute skills shortage. The refinery is years behind schedule, as is the shipyard’s order book, partly because illiterate former cane-cutters make poor welders. To try to remedy that, Mr Campos has teamed up with the Institute for Co-Responsibility in Education (ICE), a private educational foundation, to reform the state’s middle schools. More than 200 of these now operate an eight-hour day, rather than the four-hour shifts common in Brazil. In return, the government has raised teachers’ salaries and added bonuses tied to results. It is also trying to chivvy mayors into improving primary schools through extra funds and other incentives. That is vital: on average, pupils arrive in middle schools aged 15 with a three-year learning deficit, says Marcos Magalhães, ICE’s founder. Pernambuco is rising up the rankings of state educational performance. Mr Campos’s critics say he should do more to tackle poverty. Alongside the opulent residential blocks towering over its palm-fringed beaches, Recife has 600 favelas (slums), and its lagoons are fetid with untreated sewage. He replies that his government is doing what it can to help the generation scarred by the poverty of cane-cutting, particularly in the drought-stricken semi-desert region farther inland. But his bold bet is that infrastructure, private investment and better education will eliminate the causes of his state’s misery. “We are turning off the flow of poverty while looking after the stock,” he says, using his trademark management-speak. So far that bet has paid off. Mr Campos won a second term in 2010, and his Brazilian Socialist Party did well in this month’s municipal elections, in Pernambuco and beyond. He is nominally an ally of Dilma Rousseff, Lula’s successor as president. But he is also a potential threat to her winning a second term at the 2014 election. Mr Campos was born into politics. Miguel Arraes, his grandfather, was an old-fashioned socialist and Pernambuco’s governor both before and after Brazil’s 1964- 85 military dictatorship. Mr Campos says Arraes taught him that politics is about “bringing people together, rather than dividing them.” Some in Recife complain that he has learned that lesson too well and become a modern version of a traditional north-eastern coronel (political boss), shrinking from challenging the old rural order, trading support for jobs and favours and freezing out dissenters. But his defenders say he gets things done. He was lucky that his less-heralded predecessor laid the foundations of Pernambuco’s renaissance. He has built on them by modernising the state. He faced down the trade unions over school reform and brought private managers to state hospitals. He has set hundreds of targets for his administration, and harries his aides to achieve them. One that he recognises he must meet—or pay a political price—is to finish a new football stadium in Recife in time for next year’s warm-up tournament for the 2014 World Cup. As both the main parties that have run Brazil since 1995 lack new faces, Mr Campos’s success in Pernambuco has turned him into the country’s most-watched politician. http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21565227-eduardo-campos-both-modern-manager-and-old-fashioned-political-boss-his-success
  7. I wonder what some will have to say about this Henry Aubin: Can our city gain influence? By Henry Aubin, The Gazette January 2, 2013 0 Story Photos ( 2 ) Henry Aubin: Can our city gain influence? Henry Aubin MONTREAL — A study by U.S. intelligence predicts that the power of the world’s major cities will continue to grow in coming decades. Meanwhile, the power of most countries will wane. “The role of cities will be an even more important feature of the future as urban areas grow in wealth and economic power,” says the study by the National Intelligence Council, which reports to the U.S. intelligence czar James Clapper and which has made its study public to “stimulate strategic thinking” by decision-makers everywhere. “Increasingly, cities are likely to take the initiative on resource management, environmental standards, migration, and even security.” Meanwhile, countries in general “will struggle to keep up with the rapid diffusion of power.” So, can Montrealers count on their city wielding more clout? Sadly, no. The intelligence study does not deal with many cities individually, and it does not mention Montreal. But the study’s assertion that a city’s growth in influence hinges on its growth in “wealth and economic power” points to Montreal’s disadvantage. According to the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal’s calculation based on 2010 data, the Montreal area ranks dead last among the 32 largest Canadian and U.S. cities for per-capita GDP. On current form, it’s hard to imagine Montreal moving up very far. The Canadian constitution gives far less autonomy to cities than does U.S. law: In Canada, provinces control municipalities. That doesn’t hurt Toronto: The provincial legislature is located in that city, legislators know the city’s needs first-hand and there is no Ontario nationalism to distract them. Montreal has no such luck. The emergence of strong Quebec nationalism means the dominant political discourse is to gain more power for l’état québécois (either as a province or as a republic). Montreal mayors keep asking Quebec for more autonomy, but that would mean less power for l’état — and the mayors never obtain it. It’s all the easier for Quebec legislators to ignore Montreal’s needs because the city is a) far from the legislature geographically, b) far from the rest of the province socially because of its large non-francophone population and c) far from the levers of influence because it has so few swing ridings. Here, in no special order, are six ways in which the Quebec government, deliberately or not, adversely affects Montreal’s economic development. In a study of the Montreal metropolitan area, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says a “tangled muddle” of institutions is harming the area’s development. The respected think tank recommends that Quebec — the institutions’ ultimate master — chop many of them. That was in 2004. Quebec has done nothing, The Montreal area thus has more bureaucracies dealing directly or indirectly with economic development — and often working at cross purposes — than other North American metropolitan areas. Count’ em: Five administrative regions, seven conferences of elected officials, 12 counties (MRCs), 20 local development centres (CLDs) and 20 public transit boards. Studies show that immigrants, including those with solid credentials, find the labour market harder to crack here than in Toronto and Vancouver — where newcomers help fuel those cities’ economies. Quebec gained the power to help Ottawa select immigrants 17 years ago; it wanted to choose people who could best fit in here. Yet it has been too passive about fighting private-sector bias, too stuck in its ways to serve as a role model by hiring a more diverse public service. Universities have been the city’s best hope for success in the knowledge economy. Now the Parti Québécois government has cut their already subpar funding. Entrepreneurs also fuel cities’ economies. As it is, Montreal has too few of these job creators. Now a PQ plan would in effect make Montreal less hospitable to them by extending Bill 101 to companies with 26 to 49 employees. This could impede the recruiting of non-French-speaking knowledge workers from out of province. Much of Bill 101 is necessary for the health of French. This is not. Quebec is, to be sure, not consciously anti-Montreal. Its coercive merger of the city with many of its suburbs was in part an attempt to make Montreal a player on the world stage. But the premise — that bigger means better — was naive. After 11 years, the enlarged city has become unmanageable, more corrupt, more marginalized. At the heart of much of the city’s economic decline is the perpetuation of political uncertainty, thanks to the PQ’s goal of sovereignty. Yet much of the political class — including two mayoral aspirants, sovereignists Louise Harel and Richard Bergeron — won’t acknowledge the self-evident: that another referendum would further harm Montreal’s economic interests. Sad. The U.S. intelligence study might predict that cities’ power will grow as countries’ power declines, but Montreal is unlikely to be part of this trend. The rise of nationalism has coincided with a decline in the political class’s sensitivity to the city’s interests. No change is the wind. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Henry+Aubin+city+gain+influence/7768030/story.html#ixzz2Gwu4GC4l
  8. Where do you locate on the Political Compass? After taking the Test, if you can either post the coordinates and/or the graph with the dot on it. Economic Left/Right: 7.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 4.62 I'm fairly right economically, however on social issues I tend to be more centrist (however in the authoritarian quadrant still). In general, I'm ideologically similar to Harper and McCain. Bush if a little further right than I am and more authoritarian. Obama is further left and a little less authoritarian. Take the test here: http://www.politicalcompass.org/
  9. http://westislandgazette.com/bluenotes/23052 Blue Notes Thursday, May 26, 2011 When did the decline of Montreal really start? posted by BOFarrell at 7h15 I spent some of my early childhood in the beaches area of Toronto. My father was in the marine insurance business. He, like many of his colleagues, would have to go up to Montreal once a month to meet with "head office." That was when Montreal was the largest inland ocean port in the world. That was when Montreal was in charge of the country. He used to bring me back Tintin books in French, thinking that it was a way to inculcate me with culture. Luckily, there were pictures. But I did learn the phrase: "Tonnerre de Brest." I am still waiting for an opportunity to use it in conversation. Captain Haddock was my favourite character. He was crusty and drank too much. Even then I had an inkling of my own future. Those of us who can see clearly know full well the impact of Quebec nationalism and the subsequent language laws on the decline of Montreal. Those of us not protected from reality by the spin of the Quebec political class. But is it not probable that Montreal's economic decline began even before that, with the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959? That was when trans-oceanic shipping no longer had to stop here. And trade could bypass Montreal and go directly into the great lakes. That was when the ascendancy of Toronto began in earnest. I wonder if the architects of the seaway foresaw the coming political crises in Quebec. If they understood that Montreal would end up being on the wrong side of the Quebec border and, therefore, they had to make a preemptive strike. The seaway had a large effect on the ecology of the great lakes. Ocean-going vessels brought various species into the water that had never been there before, Zebra mussels to name one. These consequences are well documented in books. But there is not much to be found on the political motives of the major players in this engineering feat, which was built between 1954 and 1959 as a federal government project by Louis St. Laurent's Liberal government. Most of the literature I could find only talks about the politics between Canada and the U.S., the rocky road to how it eventually became a bilateral project. Because it happened before the rise of Quebec nationalism, there is no discussion about that as a motive for its creation. But in retrospect it has had so many detrimental effects to the economy of Montreal that one would figure that some of its more astute architects must have foreseen them. Before it ships had to be unloaded in Montreal and the goods put on trains. Wheat and other commodities were trained from the interior to Montreal and put on ships here. That diminished after the seaway. And the national railroads that once had their head offices here have moved out. So was there a "Bay Street conspircy" of some kind? Montreal did experience its zenith in the late '60s, when it hosted Expo 67. But perhaps this is what sociologists call a "sunset effect" - just before a society is about to collapse, it goes through a colourful cultural explosion. Right after that Montreal began to lose its position as the economic metropolis of Canada. And ever since, it seems that it has been losing out to Toronto. Rick Blue is a resident of Beaconsfield and is half of the musical comedy duo of Bowser and Blue.
  10. Tories looking for ways to cut gas price DANIEL LEBLANC Globe and Mail Update July 30, 2008 at 2:01 PM EDT LÉVIS, Que. — The Conservative Party will look over the next two days for ways to bring down the price of gas even though there is no room for major tax cuts, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said. Speaking to reporters Wednesday morning, Mr. Flaherty said his constituents have clearly told him about the impact of high gas prices on their household budgets in recent weeks. However, Mr. Flaherty cautioned that “this is a time of economic slowdown” and that his government has no plans to drastically change its course in coming months. “This is not a year for big new spending projects or big new tax reductions,” he said. Still, Mr. Flaherty said that the Conservative caucus will be exploring solutions to high gas prices at its current two-day meeting, including looking at a variety of tax measures that will be proposed by MPs. However, Mr. Flaherty shot down the notion that he could use $4-billion in revenue from a recent auction of wireless spectrum to send cheques directly to taxpayers to offset their heating bills. Mr. Flaherty said it is likely that a portion of the auction funds will be used to pay down the debt. “Our preference is to have structural change,” he said. “You can't spend your way out of a situation like this.” On law and order, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day showed that the Conservatives will continue to press for tough measures against criminals as a way to differentiate themselves from its political opponents. “We are alone on this,” Mr. Nicholson said, promising to toughen the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Mr. Day said his government is also looking to improve security in prisons, including getting rid of rules that prevent the government from forcing inmates to work or that hinder proper searches for drugs in prisons. On federal-provincial relations, Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon said his government will continue to foster the autonomy of the provincial governments in their areas of jurisdiction. Mr. Cannon, who is the Quebec lieutenant in the Harper government, said his party's position is clearly different from the Bloc Québécois's focus on sovereignty and the Liberal Party's centralizing view. “Our autonomy position as a political party is to respect the Constitution as it was written,” he said. Conservative MP Maxime Bernier also addressed reporters, saying he has nothing more to say about the controversy over his relationship with Julie Couillard, a woman who had relationships with a number of people tied to criminal biker gangs.
  11. Cuban art makes a grand showing in Montreal By Diane E. Foulds, Globe Correspondent | February 3, 2008 MONTREAL - Canada is a great enabler. For years it has served as a virtual way station for travelers, allowing them passage to Havana without running afoul of US travel restrictions. Now it is making possible a journey through Cuban art. The prestigious Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is hosting the most comprehensive retrospective of Cuban art ever held outside Cuba's borders. More than three years in the making, the show surveys some 400 works by more than 100 Cuban artists. More than half of the works were brought from Cuba; the rest are on loan, largely from private collections in New York and Miami and museums, particularly Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art and the Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe, whose holdings of Cuban art are the world's largest outside Cuba. Paintings and photography dominate, but sculpture, poster art, music, video, magazine covers, installations, films, even cigar wrappers make an appearance, all with the objective of capturing Cuba's elusive national identity, or "cubanida." It is an ambitious task. For historical perspective, the museum has subdivided the show into five categories: colonial art of the 19th century, interwar avant garde, the post-World War II renaissance, revolutionary art after Fidel Castro's rise in 1959, and the caustic conceptualist art that has emerged since 1980. Each section begins with photographic close-ups of the people, conditions, and mood of the era, which is an education in itself. Murder victims slumped on the street, an unsmiling Ernest Hemingway in a bar, prostitutes waiting for customers. Girded with these impressions, you then see the period through an artistic lens. There are dark-haired beauties and strong colors, which you would expect in Caribbean art. Less predictable is the originality of the work, the result, in part, of the island's geographic isolation. The big surprise is how good it is. For Nathalie Bondil, director of the Montreal museum, it was a revelation. Having accepted an invitation to visit Havana's newly renovated Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the French-born art historian was astounded "by the scale and quality of the art," she said. On a whim, she proposed an exhibit. In the three years that followed, Bondil traveled to Havana eight times. Bureaucracy was minimal, she said, as unlike the United States, Canada enjoys good relations with Cuba. But the magnitude of the undertaking raises questions. Why, with Castro ailing, would Cuba roll out such a candid look at domestic achievements, hopes, and disappointments? Could the regime be loosening its grip? The timing was "nothing political," Bondil said. She acknowledged Cuba's current drive to spur tourism, saying more Canadians visit its ocean-swept beaches than any other nationality. Bondil's motive was simple: to take the lid off Cuban culture. To make it happen, Montreal has picked up the tab. The museum has added several pieces to its collection and is keeping the door open for future collaboration. Meanwhile, it is turning the show into a veritable Cuban celebration. Ongoing events include lectures, tours, and a Cuban film festival, including "Strawberry and Chocolate," an Academy-Award-nominated 1995 comedy about homosexuality. A 424-page catalog is being published in English, French, and Spanish. In its five chapters, some artists are given long-deserved recognition, like Marcelo Pogolotti, who produced hauntingly colorful avant-garde work in the interwar years. Authored largely by Cuban scholars, the essays don't mince words. Discussing a contemporary artist's habit of ridiculing political propaganda, for example, Panama-based art critic Gerardo Mosquera laments that political slogans "have reached heights of absurdity comparable to North Korean standards." The subtext is hard to miss. One is the message that there's a lot more to Cuban culture than crumbling facades and 1950s-era American cars. The fact that Canada is hosting the exhibit and not the United States, even though US institutions have larger collections of Cuban art, is a subtle reminder of the price the US public is paying for the embargo. Havana boasts a world-class art academy, an esteemed photography school, and an impressive, if little known, art scene. Little known, that is, except for Wifredo Lam (1902-82), who ranks among the 20th century's leading painters. A whole gallery of the show is dedicated to Lam, a surrealist and Picasso protégé who died in Paris and whose paintings are stylistic hybrids reminiscent of Joan Miró, Fernand Léger, and Wassily Kandinsky. Born to a Chinese father and an African-Cuban mother, Lam spent most of his life deconstructing the Afro-Cuban aesthetic. He lived many years in Europe, but returned to Havana in the 1960s. In 1967 he orchestrated one of Cuba's greatest artistic moments, the collective painting of a massive pro-revolutionary mural. The canvas, a patchwork of images radiating outward in a great spiral, was the handiwork of some 100 Cuban and foreign writers, painters, and intellectuals. Each was assigned a square; number 26 was reserved for Castro, but he never showed up, so the square was left blank. This is the mural's first appearance outside Cuba. One of the show's biggest revelations is how tolerant Castro has been of provocative art. Though dependent on Soviet subsidies, the Cuban leader eschewed Socialist Realism. And though artists were censored and even jailed in the 1980s and beyond, their defiance was not quelled. "Castro was always open to abstract and Pop Art," Bondil said. "It was completely different from the situation in Russia." When the Soviet subsidies vanished, living standards dropped, and works of art became even more politically abrasive, taking aim not only at Castro, but at the United States, too. A display called "Cuba, Island of Fiesta and Siesta," parodies the Cuban stereotypes pervasive in US society. But with Florida only 90 miles away, the US presence remains a constant in Cuban thought. All the more reason to hope that a similar show opens in the States. "I must say that the lenders have been especially touched and happy to collaborate with us on this show," said Bondil in an interview published in the January issue of the museum's magazine. "The passion for Cuban art transcends all borders." Diane E. Foulds, a freelance writer in Burlington, Vt., can be reached at [email protected] http://www.boston.com/travel/getaways/canada/articles/2008/02/03/cuban_art_makes_a_grand_showing_in_montreal?mode=PF
  12. In search of a dream To persuade voters of the need for reform, India’s leaders need to articulate a new vision of its future Sep 29th 2012 | from the print edition WHEN India won independence 65 years ago, its leaders had a vision for the country’s future. In part, their dream was admirable and rare for Asia: liberal democracy. Thanks to them, Indians mostly enjoy the freedom to protest, speak up, vote, travel and pray however and wherever they want to; and those liberties have ensured that elected civilians, not generals, spies, religious leaders or self-selecting partymen, are in charge. If only their counterparts in China, Russia, Pakistan and beyond could say the same. But the economic part of the vision was a failure. Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the independence movement, Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, and his daughter, Indira Gandhi, left the country with a reverence for poverty, a belief in self-reliance and an overweening state that together condemned the country to a dismal 3-4% increase in annual GDP—known as the “Hindu rate of growth”—for the best part of half a century. That led to a balance-of-payments crisis 21 years ago which forced India to change. Guided by Manmohan Singh, then finance minister, the government liberalised the economy, scrapping licensing and opening up to traders and investors. The results, in time, were spectacular. A flourishing services industry spawned world-class companies. The economy boomed. Wealth and social gains followed, literacy soared, life-expectancy and incomes rose, and gradually Indians started decamping from villages to towns. But reforms have not gone far enough (see our special report). Indian policy still discourages foreign investment and discriminates in favour of small, inefficient firms and against large, efficient ones. The state controls too much of the economy and subsidies distort prices. The damage is felt in both the private and the public sectors. Although India’s service industries employ millions of skilled people, the country has failed to create the vast manufacturing base that in China has drawn unskilled workers into the productive economy. Corruption in the public sector acts as a drag on business, while the state fails to fulfil basic functions in health and education. Many more people are therefore condemned to poverty in India than in China, and their prospects are deteriorating with India’s economic outlook. Growth is falling and inflation and the government’s deficit are rising. Modest changes, big fuss To ease the immediate problems and to raise the country’s growth rate, more reforms are needed. Labour laws that help make Indian workers as costly to employers as much better-paid Chinese ones need to be scrapped. Foreign-investment rules need to be loosened to raise standards in finance, higher education and infrastructure. The state’s role in power, coal, railways and air travel needs to shrink. Archaic, British-era rules on buying land need to be changed. Among economists, there is a widespread consensus about the necessary policy measures. Among politicians, there is great resistance to them. Look at the storm that erupted over welcome but modest reformist tinkering earlier this month. Mr Singh’s government lost its biggest coalition ally for daring to lift the price of subsidised diesel and to let in foreign supermarkets, under tight conditions. Democracy, some say, is the problem, because governments that risk being tipped out of power are especially unwilling to impose pain on their people. That’s not so. Plenty of democracies—from Brazil through Sweden to Poland—have pushed through difficult reforms. The fault lies, rather, with India’s political elite. If the country’s voters are not sold on the idea of reform, it is because its politicians have presented it to them as unpleasant medicine necessary to fend off economic illness rather than as a means of fulfilling a dream. Another time, another place In many ways, India looks strikingly like America in the late 19th century. It is huge, diverse, secular (though its people are religious), materialistic, largely tolerant and proudly democratic. Its constitution balances the central government’s authority with considerable state-level powers. Rapid social change is coming with urban growth, more education and the rise of big companies. Robber barons with immense riches and poor taste may be shamed into becoming legitimate political donors, philanthropists and promoters of education. As the country’s wealth grows, so does its influence abroad. For India to fulfil its promise, it needs its own version of America’s dream. It must commit itself not just to political and civic freedoms, but also to the economic liberalism that will allow it to build a productive, competitive and open economy, and give every Indian a greater chance of prosperity. That does not mean shrinking government everywhere, but it does mean that the state should pull out of sectors it has no business to be in. And where it is needed—to organise investment in infrastructure, for instance, and to regulate markets—it needs to become more open in its dealings. Compare contrasting GDP and population levels across India’s states with our interactive map and guide India’s politicians need to espouse this vision and articulate it to the voters. Mr Singh has done his best; but he turned 80 on September 26th, and is anyway a bureaucrat at heart, not a leader. The remnants of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, to whom many Indians still naturally turn, are providing no leadership either— maybe because they do not have it in them, maybe because they have too much at stake to abandon the old, failed vision. Sonia Gandhi, Nehru’s grand-daughter-in-law and Congress’s shadowy president, shows enthusiasm for welfare schemes, usually named after a relative, but not for job-creating reforms. If her son Rahul, the heir apparent to lead Congress, understands the need for a dynamic economy, there’s no way of knowing it, for he never says anything much. These people are hindering India’s progress, not helping it. It is time to shake off the past and dump them. The country needs politicians who see the direction it should take, understand the difficult steps required, and can persuade their countrymen that the journey is worthwhile. If it finds such leaders, there is no limit to how far India might go. http://www.economist.com/node/21563720
  13. Quality of Living global city rankings 2009 – Mercer survey United Kingdom London, 28 April 2009 * European cities dominate the top of the ranking * Vienna scores highest for overall quality of living, Baghdad the lowest * Singapore ranks top for city infrastructure; London ranks eighth Vienna has passed Zurich to take the top spot as the world’s city with the best quality of living, according to the Mercer 2009 Quality of Living Survey. Geneva retains its position in third place, while Vancouver and Auckland are now joint fourth in the rankings. Overall, European cities continue to dominate the top locations in this year’s survey. In the UK, London ranks at 38, while Birmingham and Glasgow are jointly at 56. In the US, the highest ranking entry is Honolulu at position 29. Singapore (26) is the top-scoring Asian city followed by Tokyo at 35. Baghdad, ranking 215, remains at the bottom of the table. The rankings are based on a point-scoring index, which sees Vienna score 108.6, and Baghdad 14.4. Cities are ranked against New York as the base city with an index score of 100. Mercer’s Quality of Living ranking covers 215 cities and is conducted to help governments and major companies place employees on international assignments. See top 50 quality of living rankings below. Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer, commented: “As a result of the current financial crisis, multinationals are looking to review their international assignment policies with a view to cutting costs.” “Many companies plan to reduce the number of medium to long-term international assignments and localise their expatriate compensation packages where possible though the hardship allowance, based on quality of living criteria, will remain an essential component of the package,” he added. This year’s ranking also identifies the cities with the best infrastructure based on electricity supply, water availability, telephone and mail services, public transport provision, traffic congestion and the range of international flights from local airports. Singapore is at the top of this index (score 109.1) followed by Munich in second place and Copenhagen in third. Japanese cities Tsukuba (4) and Yokohama (5) fill the next two slots, whilst Dusseldorf and Vancouver share sixth place. Baghdad ranks at the bottom of the table with a score of only 19.6. See top 50 infrastructure rankings below Mr Parakatil commented: “Infrastructure has a significant effect on the quality of living experienced by expatriates. Whilst often taken for granted when functioning to a high standard, a city’s infrastructure can generate severe hardship when it is lacking. Companies need to provide adequate allowances to compensate their international workers for these and other hardships.” Americas There have been few changes in the rankings for North American cities. Canadian cities still dominate the top of the index for this region. Vancouver (4) retains the top spot and Honolulu (29) is the city in the United States with the highest quality of living. Washington and New York remain in positions 44 and 49 respectively. In Central and South America, San Juan in Puerto Rico retains the highest ranking at 72, followed by Montevideo at 79. Port au Prince (206) in Haiti continues to rank lowest in the region and has gone down four places in the overall ranking due to food shortages experienced in 2008 and the subsequent riots. Mr Parakatil commented: “A number of South and Central American countries have experienced positive changes. But on the whole, political and security issues, and the incidence of natural disasters, continue to hinder the improvement of quality of living in the region. Shortages of consumer goods have also contributed to a decline in quality of living in some cities.” In terms of city infrastructure, Vancouver (6) again tops the ranking for the whole of the region, with Atlanta following in position 15. Santiago in Chile has the best city infrastructure in Central and South America, whereas Port au Prince is again the lowest ranking at 212. Europe Europe’s cities once more dominate the world’s top 10 for quality of living. Vienna is the city rated with the best quality of living worldwide, moving up one place in the rankings following improvements in Austria’s political and social environment. The rest of the top 10 for Europe are dominated by German and Swiss cities, most of them retaining last year’s ranking and scores. Zurich, in second place, is followed by Geneva (3), Dusseldorf (6), Munich (7), Frankfurt (8) and Bern (9). Many Eastern European cities have seen an increase in quality of living. A number of countries which joined the European Union back in 2004 have experienced consistent improvement with increased stability, rising living standards and greater availability of international consumer goods. Ljubljana in Slovenia, for example, moves up four places to reach 78 while Bratislava moves up three places to 88. Zagreb moves three places to 103. In the city infrastructure index, German cities fair particularly well with Munich (2) the highest ranked in the region, followed by Dusseldorf (6) and Frankfurt in joint eighth place with London. “German city infrastructure is amongst the best in the world, in part due to its first class airport facilities and connections to other international destinations” said Mr Parakatil. London’s ranking in the infrastructure index reflects the high level of public services offered, with its extensive public transport network and wide variety of telecommunication services. Middle East and Africa Dubai (77) in the United Arab Emirates and Port Louis in Mauritius (82) are the region’s cities with the best quality of living. Dubai’s transport facilities have witnessed improvements, with the development of its road infrastructure and expansion of its international airport, and the city is up six places in the ranking. Cape Town in South Africa, previously the city in the region with the best quality of living, has dropped substantially in this year’s ratings (from 80 to 87 in 2009). This move follows violent riots in South Africa’s main cities in 2008. Baghdad (215) retains its position at the bottom of the table, though its index score has increased (from 13.5 to 14.4 in 2009) due to some slight improvements in its infrastructure and steps taken to encourage investment. Nevertheless, the lack of security and stability continue to have a large impact on quality of living and the city’s score remains far behind Bangui (29.3) in the Central African Republic, which is second to last. In the city infrastructure index, most of the region’s cities rank below 100. The exceptions are Dubai (35),Tel Aviv (55) Jerusalem (70), Abu Dhabi (72), Port Louis in Mauritius (92) and Cairo (93). Baghdad (215) is again at the bottom of the list with a city infrastructure score of 19.6, while Port Harcourt in Nigeria is at 214, scoring 30.5. Mr Parakatil continued: “Many countries on the African continent are experiencing continued political and economic unrest, making life for expatriates very difficult. This is generally reflected in the higher compensation and benefits packages offered there by multinationals, compared to other regions of the world.” Asia Pacific Auckland (4) retains its position as the highest ranking city for quality of living in the region. Sydney follows at 10 and Wellington in New Zealand at 12. While the majority of the region’s cities retain a similar ranking to last year, Singapore (26) is the region’s highest riser, up six places since 2008. The city has gained importance as a financial centre and offers a wide range of international and private schools to cater to its expatriate community. Beijing has also moved three places in the ranking, up from 116 to 113, mainly due to improvements in public transport facilities from the Olympic Games last August. Dropping down in the rankings, mainly due to a decline in stability and security are Bangkok (from 109 in 2008 to 120) and Mumbai (from 142 to 148). Thailand’s political turmoil continued throughout 2008 and 2009 with frequent and violent demonstrations and rallies taking place in Bangkok. Terrorist attacks in Mumbai have led to the city’s decline in quality of living for expatriates. Dhaka in Bangladesh holds the lowest ranking in the region at 205. Mr Parakatil commented: “As a region, Asia Pacific is highly diverse. Recent political unrest and terrorist attacks in some cities in the region have negatively impacted the quality of living there. In addition to providing an appropriate hardship allowance, companies need to make sure they review their expatriate strategies by implementing specific safety measures such as ensuring their expatriates’ accommodation is under surveillance and providing effective channels of communication should evacuation be necessary.” For city infrastructure, Singapore has the highest score world-wide (109.1). The city boasts an airport with excellent facilities and connections, as well as an efficient and extensive public transport network. Other high rankers in the region include Hong Kong (8), Sydney (11) and Tokyo (12). Dhaka ranks lowest in the region at 197. Notes for Editors The worldwide rankings are produced from the most recent Worldwide Quality of Living Survey, conducted by Mercer. Individual reports are produced for each city surveyed. Comparative quality of living indexes between a base city and a host city are available, as are multiple city comparisons. Further information is available from Mercer Client Services, on tel. +48 22 434 5383. Alternatively, please visit http://www.mercer.com/qualityofliving'>http://www.mercer.com/qualityofliving Data was largely collected between September and November 2008 and is regularly updated to take account of changing circumstances. In particular, the assessments are revised in the case of any new developments. The Mercer database contains more than 420 cities, however only 215 cities have been considered for the quality of living 2008 ranking in order to compare them from one year to the next. Compensating expatriates to live and work in difficult locations: determining appropriate allowances and incentives The provision of incentives to reward and recognise the efforts that employees and their families make when taking on international assignments remains a typical practice, particularly for difficult locations. Common incentives include a quality of living allowance and mobility premium. Companies need to be able to determine their compensation package in a rational, consistent and systematic way. Quality of living or hardship allowances are designed to compensate expatriates for differences in the quality of living between their home and host locations. The mobility premium is more intended to compensate for the inconvenience of being uprooted and having to work in another country. The former is typically location-related whilst a mobility premium is usually independent of the host location. A number of major international companies combine these premiums but the vast majority of international companies provide them separately. The latter approach has the advantage of clarity and transparency. Mercer hardship allowance recommendations Mercer evaluates local living conditions in all the 420 cities it surveys worldwide. Living conditions are analysed according to 39 factors, grouped in 10 categories: * Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc) * Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services, etc) * Socio-cultural environment (censorship, limitations on personal freedom, etc) * Health and sanitation (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc) * Schools and education (standard and availability of international schools, etc) * Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transport, traffic congestion, etc) * Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure, etc) * Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc) * Housing (housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services, etc) * Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters) The scores attributed to each factor allow for city-to-city comparisons to be made. The result is a Quality of Living Index which compares the relative differences between any two locations. For the indices to be used in a practical manner, Mercer has created a grid that allows companies to link the resulting index to a Quality of Living Allowance amount by recommending a percentage value in relation to the index. The following list of rankings is provided to journalists for reference, and should not be published in full. The top 10 and bottom 10 cities in either list may be reproduced in a table. For a full copy of the city rankings please contact the press office. <table class=MsoNormalTable border=1 cellspacing=1 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;background:white;border:outset #0057A6 1.0pt'> <tr style='height:24.0pt'> <td width="10%" style='width:10.0%;border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background: #0057A6;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt;height:24.0pt'> <p><strong><span style='color:white'>Rank 2009</span></strong></p> </td> <td width="10%" style='width:10.0%;border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background: #0057A6;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt;height:24.0pt'> <p class=style3><strong><span style='color:white'>Rank 2008</span></strong></p> </td> <td width="30%" style='width:30.0%;border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background: #0057A6;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt;height:24.0pt'> <p><strong><span style='color:white'>City</span></strong></p> </td> <td width="30%" style='width:30.0%;border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background: #0057A6;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt;height:24.0pt'> <p><strong><span style='color:white'>Country</span></strong></p> </td> <td width="10%" style='width:10.0%;border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background: #0057A6;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt;height:24.0pt'> <p><strong><span style='color:white'>Index 2009</span></strong></p> </td> <td width="10%" style='width:10.0%;border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background: #0057A6;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt;height:24.0pt'> <p><strong><span style='color:white'>Index 2008</span></strong></p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>1</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>2</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>VIENNA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>AUSTRIA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>108.6</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>107.9</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>2</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>1</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>ZURICH</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>SWITZERLAND</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>108</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>108</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>3</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>2</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>GENEVA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>SWITZERLAND</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>107.9</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>107.9</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>4</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>4</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>VANCOUVER</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>CANADA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>107.4</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>107.6</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>4</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>5</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>AUCKLAND</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>NEW ZEALAND</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>107.4</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>107.3</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>6</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>6</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>DUSSELDORF</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>GERMANY</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>107.2</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>107.2</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>7</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>7</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>MUNICH</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>GERMANY</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>107</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>107</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>8</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>7</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>FRANKFURT</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>GERMANY</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>106.8</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>107</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>9</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>9</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>BERN</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>SWITZERLAND</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>106.5</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>106.5</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>10</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>10</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>SYDNEY</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>AUSTRALIA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>106.3</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>106.3</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>11</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>11</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>COPENHAGEN</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>DENMARK</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>106.2</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>106.2</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>12</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>12</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>WELLINGTON</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>NEW ZEALAND</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>105.9</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>105.8</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>13</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>13</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>AMSTERDAM</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>NETHERLANDS</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>105.7</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>105.7</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>14</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>14</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>BRUSSELS</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>BELGIUM</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>105.4</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>105.4</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>15</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>15</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>TORONTO</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>CANADA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>105.3</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>105.3</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>16</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>19</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>OTTAWA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>CANADA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>105</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>104.7</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>16</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>16</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>BERLIN</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>GERMANY</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>105</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>105</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>18</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>17</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>MELBOURNE</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>AUSTRALIA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>104.8</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>104.8</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>19</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>17</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>LUXEMBOURG</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>LUXEMBOURG</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>104.6</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>104.8</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>20</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>20</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>STOCKHOLM</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>SWEDEN</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>104.5</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>104.5</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>21</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>21</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>PERTH</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>AUSTRALIA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>104.3</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>104.3</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>22</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>22</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>MONTREAL</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>CANADA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>104.2</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>104.2</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>23</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>23</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>NURNBERG</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>GERMANY</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>104.1</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>104.1</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>24</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>24</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>OSLO</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>NORWAY</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>103.7</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>103.7</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>25</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>25</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>DUBLIN</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>IRELAND</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>103.6</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>103.5</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>26</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>32</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>SINGAPORE</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>SINGAPORE</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>103.5</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>102.9</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>26</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>25</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>CALGARY</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>CANADA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>103.5</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>103.5</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>28</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>27</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>HAMBURG</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>GERMANY</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>103.4</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>103.4</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>29</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>28</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>HONOLULU, HI</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>UNITED STATES</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>103.1</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>103.1</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>30</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>29</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>SAN FRANCISCO, CA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>UNITED STATES</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>103</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>103</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>30</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>29</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>HELSINKI</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>FINLAND</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>103</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>103</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>30</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>29</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>ADELAIDE</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>AUSTRALIA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>103</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>103</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>33</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>32</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>PARIS</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>FRANCE</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>102.9</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>102.9</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>34</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>34</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>BRISBANE</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>AUSTRALIA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>102.4</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>102.4</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>35</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>35</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>TOKYO</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>JAPAN</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>102.2</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>102.2</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>35</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>37</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>BOSTON, MA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>UNITED STATES</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>102.2</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>101.8</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>37</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>36</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>LYON</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>FRANCE</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>101.9</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>101.9</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>38</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>38</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>YOKOHAMA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>JAPAN</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>101.6</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>101.6</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>38</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>38</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>LONDON</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>UNITED KINGDOM</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>101.6</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>101.6</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>40</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>40</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>KOBE</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>JAPAN</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.9</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.9</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>41</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>41</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>MILAN</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>ITALY</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.8</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.8</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>42</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>48</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>PORTLAND, OR</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>UNITED STATES</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.6</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.2</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>42</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>42</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>BARCELONA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>SPAIN</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.6</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.6</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>44</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>44</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>WASHINGTON, DC</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>UNITED STATES</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.3</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.3</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>44</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>44</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>OSAKA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>JAPAN</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.3</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.3</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>44</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>44</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>LISBON</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>PORTUGAL</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.3</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.3</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>44</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>44</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>CHICAGO, IL</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>UNITED STATES</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.3</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.3</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>48</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>43</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>MADRID</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>SPAIN</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.2</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100.5</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>49</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>49</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>NEW YORK CITY, NY</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>UNITED STATES</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>100</p> </td> </tr> <tr style='height:13.5pt'> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>50</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>50</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>SEATTLE, WA</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>UNITED STATES</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>99.8</p> </td> <td style='border:inset #0057A6 1.0pt;background:#CFE7FF;padding:3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt 3.0pt; height:13.5pt'> <p>99.8</p> </td> </tr> </table> Mercer is a leading global provider of consulting, outsourcing and investment services. Mercer works with clients to solve their most complex benefit and human capital issues, designing and helping manage health, retirement and other benefits. It is a leader in benefit outsourcing. Mercer’s investment services include investment consulting and investment management. Mercer’s 18,000 employees are based in more than 40 countries. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., which lists its stock (ticker symbol: MMC) on the New York, Chicago and London stock exchanges. For more information, visit http://www.mercer.com
  14. 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
  15. http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Language+debates+holding+corporate+plans+developer+says/8451858/story.html MONTREAL — Major corporations are putting expansion, relocations and long-term commitments on hold, because of the “unstable business environment” caused by the Parti Québécois hotly debated Bill 14, Jonathan Wener said Wednesday. “The market has definitely gotten softer and a lot of people are putting major decisions on hold. It’s basically a wait-and-see attitude,” the head of Canderel Group of Companies, a national real estate development and management company, said. Wener is the chairman and CEO of Montreal-based Canderel, which manages 9 million square feet of commercial space and has an additional 2 million square feet of residential development under construction nationally. “I think it is extremely unfortunate that we live in a society that has reduced itself to thinking it needs language police to preserve its culture — point final,” Wener told The Gazette, in a reference to the Office québécois de la langue française. “I’ve travelled a good chunk of the world and when I talk about the fact that we have language police in Quebec they laugh at me.” His comments come as the PQ is expected to put the bill to a second reading vote Thursday morning, despite widespread opposition from different groups and a Liberal filibuster. “It’s reawakened old memories which are just unfortunate because I really felt the most important thing to do was to get on with governing and improving the state of our economy, which needs a lot of work,” he said. A seventh-generation Montrealer, whose family first arrived in the 1860s, Wener is being honoured Thursday night for his support of the non-profit Segal Centre, North America’s second-largest bilingual multidisciplinary performing arts centre. The Segal Centre has a cultural — and not political — vocation. Despite Canderel’s offices in Canadian cities like Toronto, where it is building Aura, the country’s tallest residential skyscraper, the 38-year-old company still has its headquarters on Peel St. in downtown Montreal. While Wener’s personal views supporting English rights are well known, Canderel has worked on business ventures with partners of all political affiliations, including the Fonds immobilier de solidarité, which is controlled by the sovereignist-leaning Quebec Federation of Labour. Canderel and the Fonds are still looking for tenants to launch a two-tower office complex with 1.2 million square feet at the corner of Ste. Catherine and Bleury St. in Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles. Wener said political uncertainty generated by proposals like Bill 14, may have softened, but not “depressed” a Greater Montreal real estate market. Until recently, the industry was breaking records for prices and new condo construction, at a time when former industrial areas like Griffintown and former downtown parking lots transformed with new developments. Indeed, the Bell Centre-adjacent Tour des Canadiens housing project that Canderel is developing with Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd. and other partners actually added two floors in January, after the original 48 storeys sold out at a pace that surprised Wener himself. “What I was surprised about is that we could do it as quickly as we did in Montreal. We had allowed for a year, we had allowed for millions of dollars in advertising that we never spent,” Wener said. “We were finished in virtually six to eight weeks.” [email protected] Twitter: RealDealMtl
  16. Abolish Montreal's 'Little Kingdoms' Posted by: Michael Dudley 8 January 2008 - 1:00pm Owing to political fragmentation and 20 different mayors, the Canadian city of Montreal is becoming increasingly dysfunctional and must be simplified, writes Lysiane Gagnon. "How many mayors does a city with 1.8 million people need? In Montreal, no fewer than 20." "Mayor Gérald Tremblay chairs city council. Nineteen "smaller" mayors chair the conseils d'arrondissements; these municipal districts have become responsible for zoning, housing, parks, street maintenance and so on. The arrondissements often collide with the central administration, and some of the mayors, riding on their inflated status, behave like feudal lords." "Montreal [is] divided...into 'arrondissements' (some carved out of the main city, and others corresponding to the former suburban municipalities) [to which are] delegated massive powers. Montreal was stuck with 19 cities within the city." "More and more, Montrealers complain about the disintegration of services. They don't even know who to blame because there is no tangible political accountability." "The absurdity of the system...was especially obvious in the wake of two consecutive snowstorms that descended on the metropolitan area before Christmas. Since boroughs are responsible for snow removal, the clearing operations varied from one district to another." "In Côte-des-Neiges, the streets surrounding two hospitals were still clogged days after the snowfall, while the quiet residential streets of Rosemont were thoroughly clean. The worst was in Ville-Marie. Sherbrooke, Montreal's major east-west artery, was still lined with giant snowbanks when the second snowfall hit. On Ste-Catherine, Montreal's major commercial street, the Ville-Marie workers never managed to spray salt or sand on sidewalks covered with black ice. "It was the worst performance in memory," wrote Gazette city columnist Henry Aubin, who believes that snow clearance, like firefighting and policing, should be subject to a unified policy." "Actually, Montreal is ready for more: The city should be recentralized and its little kingdoms abolished." Source: Globe & Mail, Jan 07, 2008 http://www.planetizen.com/node/29179 Full Story: Down with Montreal's 19 kingdoms
  17. http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/montreal/Number+Quebecers+leaving+province+rise/9360879/story.html BY MARIAN SCOTT, THE GAZETTE JANUARY 7, 2014 8:05 PM A total of 28,439 people moved from Quebec to another province from January to September 2013. In most cases, Quebec’s loss was Ontario’s gain, with two out of three ex-Quebecers moving to Ontario. Photograph by: Peter Redman , National Post MONTREAL - The number of Quebecers heading down the 401 is on the rise, partial statistics for 2013 suggest. Departures from Quebec to other provinces rose to their highest level this century in the first nine months of 2013, according to the Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration. Statistics are not available yet for the final three months of the year. A total of 28,439 people moved from Quebec to another province from January to September 2013 — the highest number of departures for that period in any year since 2000. In most cases, Quebec’s loss was Ontario’s gain, with two out of three ex-Quebecers moving to Ontario, one in four to Alberta and just under one in ten to British Columbia, according to quarterly demographic estimates released by Statistics Canada in December. Quebec had a net loss of 11,887 residents due to interprovincial migration (departures minus arrivals) in the 12 months from October 2012 to September 2013, compared to a loss of 7,700 people in the corresponding period of 2011-12 and a loss of 4,394 in 2010-11. The rise in departures corresponds with the election of the Parti Québécois in September 2012 — but there is no evidence the political situation is a contributing factor, said Jack Jedwab, the institute’s executive vice-president.“It’s too early to say,” he said. “I would argue it’s more about our economy,” Jedwab said. “These numbers have a very recessionary look to them, at a time when we’re not in a recession.” Jedwab said the loss of residents sounds a warning signal. “Significant population losses have a negative effect on our economy,” he said. The rise in out-migration is not related to the divisive debate over the PQ government’s proposed charter of values, Jedwab said, since the departures occurred before the charter was unveiled. A National Assembly committee will commence hearings on the charter Jan. 14. But Jedwab said if the trend continues, the hypothesis that political angst is spurring departures would deserve a second look. “If it persists into the next quarter, we’ve got to start thinking non-economic considerations are at work here,” he said. The PQ government’s focus on identity issues has decreased the comfort level of some members of cultural minorities, particularly the values charter, which proposes to bar all public sector workers from wearing religious garb like the Muslim head scarf, Jewish skullcap or Sikh turban. In September, an Ontario hospital published recruitment ads aimed to capitalize on the controversy. A photo of a female health worker wearing a hijab (head scarf) bore the caption: “We don’t care what’s on your head. We care what’s in it.” Aaron Lazarus, director of communications at Lakeridge Health in Bowmanville, Ont., east of Toronto, said the hospital received several job applications from doctors, nurses and other health professionals from Quebec in response to the ads. But Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Montreal Board of Trade, warned against jumping to the conclusion that the current political climate could be causing people to leave Quebec. “What is worrisome is that we have a net loss of residents every year,” Leblanc said. “People have a tendency to migrate not only to places with better weather, but also to places where the economy is performing better,” he said. Leblanc said that while the recent increase in departures is cause for concern, it is much smaller than the massive exodus of anglophones from Quebec in the 1970s and ’80s. He called on the government to improve the integration of immigrants into the workforce and to lower taxation to retain residents. Statistics Canada’s quarterly demographic estimates showed Alberta — with a population of 4,060,700 in October 2013 — continues to lead the provinces in population growth, adding 137,703 new residents from October 2012 to September 2013, of whom 49,031 moved there from elsewhere in Canada. Ontario (population 13,585,900) had slower population growth, gaining 128,442 new residents from October 2012 to September 2013. Quebec, numbering 8,174,500 residents, added 67,385 new residents from October 2012 to September 2013, with immigration and the natural increase of the population compensating for out-migration. Previous studies have shown that about two-thirds of Quebec residents who move to other provinces are allophones — people whose first language is neither French nor English. [email protected]
  18. Do we dare think big again? After three decades of decline, stagnation and costly federalist-separatist battles, Montreal politicians have taken to looking in rear-view mirrors to the Drapeau era megaprojects, when the term 'Big O' could have stood for 'optimism' JAMES MENNIE, The Gazette Published: 10 hours ago "Of all the achievements of the Drapeau administration," says Paul-André Linteau, a professor of history at the Université du Québec à Montréal, "Expo 67 occupies a special place in our collective imagination. "When we marked the 40th anniversary of Expo last year, it was heavily covered by the media, and full of teary-eyed, nostalgic baby boomers recalling the extraordinary summer they spent at Expo 67. "But often we experience a kind of deformation of memory that sees an individual's recollection transformed into something the entire community believes it experienced. Not everybody had a great summer in 1967, but the boomers expressing themselves on TV or radio (create) a strong, positive perception of Expo 67." Nostalgia is a valuable commodity in politics. Candidates who campaign on a platform of change usually depict their promises through the prism of the past. U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama hearkens to a day when the United States was economically strong and enjoyed the world's respect and opponent John McCain speaks of a simpler age when ordinary people had a role in determining what direction their country took. How much truth exists in either version of the past is debatable, but it makes for good oratory. Locally, where the political stakes may be less, the good old days aren't hard to locate. After 30 years of economic decline, an exodus of taxpayers to the suburbs and political trench warfare that pitted separatists against federalists, Montreal politicians in the here and now are hard pressed to rally the electorate to the promise of a better tomorrow. They've decided, instead, to stake their political futures on the memory of a better yesterday - in fact, a very specific collection of yesterdays from April 27 to Oct. 29, 1967, the golden days of Expo and a mayor named Jean Drapeau. The latest example occurred last week, when municipal opposition leader Benoit Labonté announced that he wanted Montrealers to work together to submit their city as a candidate to host the Universal Exposition for 2020. Brandishing a pair of passports from Expo 67, Labonté said the fair evokes memories of "the greatness of Montreal ... of a time when everything seemed possible. "The future seemed to belong to us, and it was probably the biggest moment of collective pride felt by Montrealers in the 20th century." Arguing that a second exposition could jump-start Montreal as a world class metropolis, Labonté invited all Montrealers - including Mayor Gérald Tremblay- to join in an effort to bring the show here. While some news organizations reported that Labonté's plan seemed to come out of the blue, the opposition leader had hinted broadly at it during an interview with The Gazette in May, saying that Montrealers needed a common cause they could focus their energies on and noting that the last time such a sentiment existed here was between Expo 67 and the 1976 summer Olympics. Whatever the genesis of Labonté's invitation, it was dismissed by city hall three hours after being made. "We like to dream with our eyes open," said Montreal executive committee member Alan De Sousa, describing Labonté's plan as "an electoral balloon." De Sousa's response wasn't totally unexpected, but it ignored the fact that pointing to the Drapeau-era as an inspiration for the future isn't a ploy invented by the municipal opposition. Tremblay has never spoken publicly about staging another world's fair here, but three years ago he did float the idea of luring another major event from the Drapeau-era back to Montreal. In August 2005 and flushed by the apparent success of the World Aquatics Championships, Tremblay mused that "Montreal will not wait another 30 years to renew acquaintances with the world," and that the city would "think" about bidding for the 2016 Olympic Games. Even though the idea went over like a lead balloon, the mayor's reverence for the Montreal of a generation ago came to the fore in speeches given during the 40th anniversary of Expo 67. "We owe to Jean Drapeau a great part of Montreal's recognition and international growth," Tremblay told a Board of Trade lunch as a slide show of Expo 67 pavilions flickered behind him. "Expo was a great project that marked our history and our imagination - an audacious project, the expression of an immense confidence in ourselves, in our capacity to create and invent." Even Projet Montréal, an opposition party holding one seat on city council and an equal amount of contempt for Tremblay and Labonté's policies, isn't immune from the lure of Expo. Party leader Richard Bergeron once observing that if Drapeau had dithered as much as the present administration, "the métro would never have been built." But while Linteau acknowledges that changes were afoot in Montreal and Quebec in 1967, it would be a mistake to think it was a magical time for Montreal. "The '60s were exceptional years," he says. "It was the Kennedy years in the United States. "We often look only at what Quebec was going through, but we were in the middle of a universe in transition." In fact, while the year may be remembered through rose-coloured mists, the reality was that the bloom was already leaving this city. Linteau acknowledges the optimism of the time - "when you consider all the projects that were being proposed, we thought there'd be 7 million people living in Montreal by 1980, that there would be 15 million visitors at Montreal airport by the end of the 1970s." But, he adds, "that optimism was quickly deflated because Expo occurred about the same time the decline of Montreal began. "Drapeau didn't care. Economic development and things of that nature were too trivial for him. He didn't notice our being overtaken by Toronto which, even by 1960, had passed Montreal as a major metropolis." Linteau notes that people usually like to be a part of something bigger than themselves. "A lot of humanity's monuments are the result of policies of grandeur and waste," he says. "Big projects are a bit megalomanical, but they get things moving, create change. "What's certain is that it's been a long while since we had that kind of project in Montreal. Just look at the bickering over the superhospitals." [email protected]
  19. Au moins on va se consoler en jouant au Monopoly! National governments may shape the broad outlines of globalization, but where does it really play out? Where are globalization’s successes and failures most acute? Where else but the places where most of humanity now chooses to live and work—cities. The world’s biggest, most interconnected cities help set global agendas, weather transnational dangers, and serve as the hubs of global integration. They are the engines of growth for their countries and the gateways to the resources of their regions. In many ways, the story of globalization is the story of urbanization. But what makes a “global city”? The term itself conjures a command center for the cognoscenti. It means power, sophistication, wealth, and influence. To call a global city your own suggests that the ideas and values of your metropolis shape the world. And, to a large extent, that’s true. The cities that host the biggest capital markets, elite universities, most diverse and well-educated populations, wealthiest multinationals, and most powerful international organizations are connected to the rest of the world like nowhere else. But, more than anything, the cities that rise to the top of the list are those that continue to forge global links despite intensely complex economic environments. They are the ones making urbanization work to their advantage by providing the vast opportunities of global integration to their people; measuring cities’ international presence captures the most accurate picture of the way the world works. So, Foreign Policy teamed up with A.T. Kearney and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs to create the Global Cities Index, a uniquely comprehensive ranking of the ways in which cities are integrating with the rest of the world. In constructing this index of the world’s most global cities, we have collected and analyzed a broad array of data, as well as tapped the brainpower of such renowned cities experts as Saskia Sassen, Witold Rybczynski, Janet Abu-Lughod, and Peter Taylor. Specifically, the Global Cities Index ranks cities’ metro areas according to 24 metrics across five dimensions. The first is business activity: including the value of its capital markets, the number of Fortune Global 500 firms headquartered there, and the volume of the goods that pass through the city. The second dimension measures human capital, or how well the city acts as a magnet for diverse groups of people and talent. This includes the size of a city’s immigrant population, the number of international schools, and the percentage of residents with university degrees. The third dimension is information exchange—how well news and information is dispersed about and to the rest of the world. The number of international news bureaus, the amount of international news in the leading local papers, and the number of broadband subscribers round out that dimension. The final two areas of analysis are unusual for most rankings of globalized cities or states. The fourth is cultural experience, or the level of diverse attractions for international residents and travelers. That includes everything from how many major sporting events a city hosts to the number of performing arts venues it boasts. The final dimension— political engagement—measures the degree to which a city influences global policymaking and dialogue. How? By examining the number of embassies and consulates, major think tanks, international organizations, sister city relationships, and political conferences a city hosts. We learned long ago that globalization is much more than the simple lowering of market barriers and economic walls. And because the Global Cities Index pulls in these measures of cultural, social, and policy indicators, it offers a more complete picture of a city’s global standing—not simply economic or financial ties. The 60 cities included in this first Global Cities Index run the gamut of the modern urban experience. There’s thriving, wealthy London, with its firmly entrenched global networks built on the city’s history as capital of an empire. But there are also Chongqing, Dhaka, and Lagos, cities whose recent surges tell us a great deal about the direction globalization is heading and whose experiences offer lessons to other aspiring global cities. The cities we highlight are world leaders in important areas such as finance, policymaking, and culture. A few are megacities in the developing world whose demand for resources means they must nurture close ties with their neighbors and provide services to large numbers of immigrants. Some are gateways to their region. Others host important international institutions. In other words, they represent a broad cross section of the world’s centers of commerce, culture, and communication. THE WINNER’S CIRCLE So, which city topped them all? If anything, the results prove there is no such thing as a perfect global city; no city dominated all dimensions of the index. However, a few came close. New York emerged as the No. 1 global city this year, followed by London, Paris, and Tokyo. The Big Apple beat out other global powerhouses largely on the back of its financial markets, through the networks of its multinationals, and by the strength of its diverse creative class. Overall runner-up London won the cultural dimension by a mile, with Paris and New York trailing far behind. Perhaps surprisingly for a city known more for museums than modems, third-ranked Paris led the world in the information exchange category. No. 4 Tokyo ranked highly thanks to its strong showing in business. And, though it finished 11th overall, Washington easily beat out New York, Brussels, and Paris as the leader in global policy. Although the winners may be the usual suspects, they have plenty of new competition on their heels. Buoyed by their strong financial links, Hong Kong and Singapore finished at fifth and seventh, respectively. Chicago’s strong human-capital performance sent it into the eighth spot. What’s more, several strong performers are emerging from formerly closed societies: Beijing (No. 12), Moscow (19), Shanghai (20), and Dubai (27). The new, sometimes abbreviated, often state-led, paths to global dominance these cities are treading threaten the old formulas that London, New York, and Los Angeles (No. 6) followed to reach their high spots. As diverse as they are, the most successful global cities have several things in common: As New York proves, global cities are those that excel across multiple dimensions. Even Shanghai’s staggering, decades-long double-digit annual economic growth alone can’t make it global. The city also must determine how to use that wealth to influence policy, attract the brightest young minds, and accurately portray the rest of the world to its citizens. Global cities continuously adapt to changing circumstances. London may be the city hardest hit by the global credit crunch, but chances are that it will leverage its abundant global financial ties to bounce back. Singapore, San Francisco (15), and Mexico City (25) will no doubt be taking notes. As the world readjusts to the fits and starts of a volatile global economy, as well as other transnational problems such as climate change, human trafficking, and fuel shortages, the Global Cities Index will track the way cities maneuver as their populations grow and the world shrinks. Although we can’t predict next year’s winner, the odds are good that New York will have to fight to stay on top. How to Be a Global City There is no single correct path a city should tread to become global. But how should cities that want to boost their international profile go about it? They could follow any of the tried-and-true models that came before them. Just look at the various ways some of this year’s 60 global cities manage to use urbanization and globalization to their advantage. Open Cities What they look like: Large cities with a free press, open markets, easy access to information and technology, low barriers to foreign trade and investment, and loads of cultural opportunities. They often rely on a heavy service industry and are outward looking, rather than focused on domestic affairs. Who they are: New York (#1), London (#2), Paris (#3) Lifestyle Centers What they look like: Laid-back cities that enjoy a high quality of life and focus on having fun. They attract worldly people and offer cultural experiences to spare. Who they are: Los Angeles (#6), Toronto (#10) Regional Gateways What they look like: Efficient economic powerhouses with favorable incentives for businesses and easy access to the natural resources of their region. They attract smart, well-trained people from around the world, and they often must reinvent themselves to remain competitive. Who they are: Hong Kong (#5), Singapore (#7), Chicago (#8) National Leaders What they look like: Large cities that shape the collective identity of their countries. They usually have homogenous populations, and their new urban policies tend to evoke a shared history. They do well in international business, but not because they’re necessarily globally connected; in these places, foreign firms can find something no other city offers. Who they are: Tokyo (#4), Seoul (#9), Beijing (#12) Policy Hubs What they look like: Cities with outsized influence on national and international policy debates. Their think tanks, international organizations, and political institutions shape policies that affect all people, and they tend to be full of diplomats and journalists from somewhere else. Who they are: Washington (#11), Brussels (#13) Platform Cities What they look like: Large hubs in typically small countries that attract huge amounts of investment through their strategic locations and international connections. Firms don’t set up shop in these cities to invest in the local economy; they move there so they can reach important foreign financial markets without dealing with the region’s political headaches. Who they are: Amsterdam (#23), Dubai (#27), Copenhagen (#36) http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4509&print=1
  20. I apologize in advance if anybody gets pissed off at me, I dont mean to offend anybody personally with the following. WHY DO WE BLAME OUR MISFORTUNE ON OTHER PEOPLE? Why can't we all collectively stare each other in the eye, and realize that the things that have passed up by, our mediocrity as a city,an economy, and a province has stagnated because we have allowed it. NOT Toronto, Not ROC English Canadians, Not the federal government.... US..NOUS sommes la raison. Why is everything a federal conspiracy? Why do we get mad when MOntreal International get less financing because it hasnt met its objectives? Why do we get mad when consolidation is the name of global enterprise, and we get merged with a larger wealthier stock exchange than our Montreal Commodities exchange? When I read this board, I get a range of emotions from euphoric (Montreal has some neat developments and is at a crossroads in its development) to pessimistic (NIMBYs,political red tape slowing down projects, talks of political uncertainty). Havent we realized, yet, that the mistakes of the past and the things of the past, have held us back, and our development for so long? So I ask you again, why do we blame others for our misfortune? How much if it is created by us? Why cant we stand up, and position Montreal to get back that which it lost ... Canada's economic powerhouse, and cultural capital. Can we stop looking in the rear-view mirror, and move forward? I love Montreal, more than my province or country. I dream of the day when we can stand up and be a top 5 metropolis in North America, and a top destination in the world. I dream of the day when we put Toronto to shame....and I wish everybody felt the same way I did.