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Found 30 results

  1. Le Petit Maghreb By Joel Ceausu Little Italy and Chinatown are getting a new sibling — and since it’s just a few blocks, maybe Louise Harel won’t mind. Le Petit Maghreb is now more than just a casual moniker for a certain part of the city: it’s an official part of Montreal’s commercial destination network, and an unofficial but growing tourism draw. The area in the Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension borough has received $40,000 from the city of Montreal’s Programme réussir à Montréal ([email protected] Commerce) recognizing the efforts of the local Maghreb business association for revitalization of Jean-Talon Street between Saint-Michel and Pie-IX boulevards. “Thanks to this support, local businesspeople finally have the means to create an official new district in Montreal,” said a clearly delighted borough mayor Anie Samson. “It’s excellent news for the Maghreb community, as well as the growing attraction of our borough and Montreal.” The local Maghreb community hails mostly from North Africa, particularly Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Over the years, this important stretch of Jean-Talon has become a gathering place for Montreal’s Maghreb community — estimated at about 150,000 people. The funds will be used to develop a master plan to mobilize businesses, reach targeted communities, and carry out an economic and physical strategy to define a public image for the sector. About half of the 105 area businesses are related to Maghreb culture in bakeries, butchers, Arab pastry shops, restaurants and tearooms, along with hairdressing salons and travel agencies. Malik Hadid is also happy that after three years of work the designation will become official. “I am very happy that the Association can count on the support of [email protected] Commerce,” said the travel agency owner and local association president. He was quick to add that the Maghreb association also enjoys close cooperation with the borough, the local economic development agency and Station 30 police. The city’s [email protected] program is already at work in other neighbourhoods around the island, helping spruce up commercial districts and adding appeal to important arteries using architecture, infrastructure and marketing, and helping boost investment by matching funds of local investors. Other east-end streets selected for the program include Promenade Fleury, Jean-Talon St. in Saint-Leonard, and Charleroi in Montreal-Nord.
  2. http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Gazette+exclusive+EMSB+pitches+tout+fran%C3%A7ais/2414008/story.html This is much needed. And not all of it should be spent on grammar reciting either (as is often the case). I think a big part is just being able to learn to get use out of it. Practice comprehension and conversational skills first, then worry about written skills. Although I had great French teachers in school, how was I (or anyone else) to become fluent by spending only 4-5 hours a week on it? This compared to living the rest of the week entirely in English (except for the Habs/Expos game back in the day). Having said that, English instruction should be toughened up as well. The quality of written English of a good portion of university peers is downright abysmal. They should have to pass a stringent English exam to get accepted into a regular program (if they fail, they should take a year-long mini program designed at teaching them proper written and spoken English). From what I have heard, they offer English-Second-Language courses that are taught by immigrants with heavy accents (notably from Ukraine and China). WTF?
  3. http://www.autoblog.com/2009/12/11/report-detroit-three-call-japans-cash-for-clunkers-program-unf/ http://www.autoblog.com/2010/01/07/report-obama-urged-to-push-japan-to-open-its-cash-for-clunkers/ Protectionism in full swing once again in Japan. Why should their cars be eligible for cash for clunkers in the US, if American cars are not there. That is not free trade. Hopefully President Obama puts an end to this nonsense.
  4. A new era of prosperity RICHARD FOOT, Canwest News Service Published: 8 hours ago Boom times for have-not provinces are redrawing Canada's economic and political map. The remarkable growth is resource-driven: potash and uranium in Saskatchewan, offshore oil in Newfoundland and Labrador To find the front lines of the global commodities boom, drive an hour east from Saskatoon on the Yellowhead Highway to Lanigan, Sask., home of the world's largest potash mine. Two huge, dome-covered warehouses, each about the size of a football field, stand on the mine site, eerily empty except for a few dusty sweepings of potash on the floors. "A decade ago there would have been a mountain of potash in here," said Will Brandsema, general manager of AMEC, whose engineering firm recently completed a $400-million expansion of the mine for the Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan. Potash Corp.'s Lanigan mine in Saskatchewan. The price of the mineral has soared to nearly $1,000 a tonne from about $100.View Larger Image View Today, worldwide demand for the pinkish, chalk-like mineral is so great, Potash Corp. can't keep its warehouses full. In the past four years, the price of potash - the basic ingredient of fertilizer - has soared to nearly $1,000 per tonne from about $100, largely because of rising populations in China and India and their sudden appetite for high-value, fertilizer-grown food. Thanks to a quirk of geologic good fortune, Saskatchewan is filled with potash and now produces more than a quarter of the world's supply. What was for years an unremarkable export has suddenly become one of the most treasured commodities on Earth - pink gold, you might call it - which, alongside surging sales of oil, uranium and even grain, is suddenly making Saskatchewan the economic envy of the nation. About 3,000 kilometres away, another once-poor province accustomed to life on the economic fringes is also reaping a windfall from its natural resources. Skyrocketing oil prices are fuelling an extraordinary economic turnaround in Newfoundland and Labrador, where a fourth offshore oil project will soon be in development. Petrodollars are transforming St. John's from a down-at-the-heels provincial capital into a bustling energy city brimming with stylish restaurants, affluent condo developments and a sense of euphoria not seen there since cod were first discovered on the Grand Banks. "The Newfoundland and Saskatchewan economies have gone from stagnant to stellar," Statistics Canada declared in its May Economic Observer. "These two provinces have moved beyond old stereotypes and stepped into a new era of prosperity." Both provinces led the country last year in growth of exports, in the rate of housing starts and in growth of gross domestic product - the only provinces, along with Alberta, whose per capita GDP was above the national average. In June, a report by the TD Bank Financial Group called Saskatchewan "Canada's commodity superstar" and said if the province were a country, it would rank fifth in the world among member nations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, in terms of per capita GDP. It would trail only Luxembourg, Norway, the United States and Ireland. (Alberta would come second if ranked on the same list.) John Crosbie, who announced the cod fishery's shutdown as federal fisheries minister and is now the province's lieutenant-governor, expressed the mood of many Newfoundlanders while reading his government's throne speech in March: "Ours is not the province it was two decades ago," Crosbie said. "We are - for the first time in our history - poised to come off equalization very soon. This is a stunning achievement that will reinforce the bold new attitude of self-confidence that has taken hold among Newfoundlanders and Labradorians." What do such economic shifts mean for the country as a whole, and how will the rise of two weaker provinces, coupled with the manufacturing malaise in Ontario, affect the workings of confederation? First, many economists say it's a mistake to underestimate the resilience and strength of the huge Ontario economy. They also say the surging energy economies of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland face their own challenges, including cyclical commodity prices, the social costs of rapid development and severe labour shortages. Canada is already facing a labour crunch that's only going to worsen with time. In six years, said economist Brian Lee Crowley, president of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, there will be more people leaving the country's labour force than entering it. The new demand for workers in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, especially in construction and engineering, can only exacerbate the problem. In 2006, for the first time in 23 years, Saskatchewan stopped losing people, on a net basis, to other provinces, thanks to the thousands of workers streaming home from Alberta to new jobs in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and elsewhere. As job opportunities also grow in Newfoundland, and competition for skilled workers intensifies, the availability of labour will decline and the cost of it will increase, putting further pressures on the dollar and on manufacturers. The rampant growth of Canada's resource-rich economies is also expected to force changes to the federal equalization program. In April, the TD Bank forecast that Ontario, a longtime contributor to equalization, could become a recipient as early as 2010 - not because Ontario's economy is falling apart, but because it is slipping relative to the extraordinary growth of commodity-producing provinces. As the resource boom pushes the average level of provincial revenues higher, provinces like Ontario will fall below that average, and the cost of funding equalization will increase. Yet the federal government won't be able to afford the program, because Ottawa has no access to the commodity revenues that are driving up its cost; natural resource royalties flow only to the provinces. "The amount of money required for that program is going to get bigger and bigger," said Wade Locke, an economist at Memorial University in St. John's. As for Newfoundland and Labrador, over the past decade its per capita GDP has risen to $10,000 above the national average from $10,000 below - the fastest 10-year turnaround of any province in Canadian Newfoundland and Saskatchewan both reaped a bonanza last year from commodity royalties. Newfoundland posted a record $1.4-billion budget surplus; Saskatchewan announced a $641-million surplus plus a $1-billion infrastructure spending spree. While those two provinces enjoy their economic rebirth, recession stalks other regions of Canada, in particular the industrial heartland of Ontario. There, many manufacturers are struggling with high energy costs and a strong dollar, and the North American automakers - once Canada's economic engine - are shedding jobs and shutting factories. John Pollock, chairman of Electrohome Ltd. in Kitchener, Ont. - he is winding up the affairs of a once-proud consumer electronics maker forced to the sidelines by overseas competition - predicts Ontario is entering a period of perhaps a decade or more in which it will no longer drive the country's economy. "There's going to be a period of transition that's going to be tough," he said. "Ontario has supported the rest of the country - provinces like Saskatchewan and Newfoundland - for years. Maybe it's time for a shift." Global financier George Soros recently described Canada's economy as a split personality - half beleaguered by a sluggish manufacturing sector, and half enjoying the wonders of the worldwide resource boom. Never before have the fault lines between Central Canada's energy-dependent provinces and the far-flung energy-rich ones been so stark, says Brett Gartner, an economist with the Canada West Foundation, a Calgary think-tank. "Of course, Ontario's not about to fade away. It still accounts for more than 40 per cent of the national economy," Gartner said. "But let's not discount what's happening in the regions. It's quite astounding." In Saskatchewan, for example, Potash Corp., buoyed by a share price that has made it one of the leading companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange, is spending $3.2 billion to construct new mines and expand existing ones. Much of that work has gone to AMEC, an international engineering firm that recently refurbished a second mill at the Lanigan mine after the facility was closed in the 1980s because of lack of demand. Will Brandsema, who runs AMEC's Saskatoon office, says he can't hire engineers fast enough to fill the jobs created by mine expansions in the potash and uranium industries. Eight years ago, AMEC employed 64 people in Saskatoon; today that number is 325. "You talk about have-not provinces," he said. "Ten years ago, I spent most of my time in the office looking for business. Now I spend most of my time with human resources, looking for people to hire. "It's just amazing the growth here, and not only in potash. Thirty per cent of the world's uranium comes out of this province. And we have other commodities - oil, gas, coal and the whole agricultural side. All of these are going to grow." Saskatchewan left the ranks of equalization-receiving provinces in 2007. Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to become a "have" province this year or next, a startling change considering that the cod fishery - once the foundation of the province's economy - has not substantially reopened since its devastating closure by Ottawa in 1992. "It's currently $13 billion. It's going to be $30 billion in 10 years. The federal government doesn't have the financial wherewithal to fund that program." Yet abolishing or changing equalization, a program required by the constitution, presents huge political problems, particularly in Quebec, which receives the largest equalization payment, although the lowest per capita amount. "You're going to see some serious restructuring of equalization, but not before the next election," Locke said. "The Harper government is not going to do it." Changes to equalization, not to mention a realignment of "have" and "have-not" provinces, could also prompt a new wave of regional beefs and resentments - the bane of confederation. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is already complaining about how much his province's taxpayers contribute to national transfer programs, a system Ontario governments once supported in better economic times. Oil itself could become a flashpoint that divides the country. Public demands in Quebec, Ontario or British Columbia for a national carbon tax would now raise the ire of more than just one oil-producing province. In the meantime, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, which typically wield little weight in national discussions, could use their new economic clout to campaign for a truly effective Senate, with real power to represent regional interests. "There is some realignment of economic power occurring that will influence the national political debate," said former Newfoundland premier Brian Peckford, who now works as a business consultant in British Columbia. "Premiers' meetings, for example, won't be dominated by only a few big provinces. Smaller provinces like Saskatchewan and Newfoundland won't have to shout and demand to be heard. We'll get noticed simply by being there." Still, Peckford - who grew up in a province so poor that he remembers, as a boy, studying his schoolbooks by kerosene lamp - warns Newfoundlanders not to let their budding affluence go to their heads. "I would caution them that as they grow financially, they must also grow emotionally and socially," he said. "The last thing Newfoundland and Labrador should do is get arrogant about this, because one never knows how long it will last. "A lot of Canadians helped us after we joined confederation, so it's our turn now to contribute back." Rags to resources: First of a series Boom times for the "have-nots" are redrawing Canada's economic and political map. Next: Day 2: Flush with commodities cash, Saskatchewan revels in its rebirth. Day 3: From misfit to petro-darling: Newfoundland's remarkable transformation. Day 4: Hard times in the industrial heartland: Ontario's painful transition. Day 5: The ''curse'' of resources: Post-fortune perils. Day 6: Finding new fortunes: Quebec's industrial heartland moves on. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=6fd0d4f0-4e9c-462d-af41-4ae1b93545a0&p=3
  5. Stewart Museum shuts for $4.5-million refit To reopen in 2010; military drills continue The Gazette Published: 9 hours ago The Stewart Museum in the Old Fort on Île Ste. Hélène has closed for 18 months for a $4.5-million renovation program. The museum, which attracts about 60,000 visitors a year, is housed in a 188-year-old building that needs to be upgraded to meet 21st-century standards. "It means bringing the building up to scratch," said Bruce Bolton, executive director of the Macdonald Stewart Foundation, which rents the facility from the city. The work will include the installation of elevators, new windows and a sprinkler system. Another $500,000 will be spent to refurbish the permanent collection of artifacts, which hasn't been touched since 1992. The city has leased the property to the Macdonald Stewart Foundation since 1963 for use as a military and maritime museum. In 1985 it became the Macdonald Stewart Museum, and in the '90s became simply the Stewart Museum in the Old Fort. The museum is expected to re-open in May 2010. When it does, it will offer a revised educational program of activities. "In the past we offered quite a few group activities, perhaps too many, so we plan to clean up the act," said Sylvia Neider Deschênes, the museum's communications chief. The museum will be closed, but the military drills in the parade square will continue. "We will not touch the two ceremonial military regiments, the Compagnie franche de la Marine and the 78th Fraser Highlanders," Neider Deschênes said. "That's one program that sets us apart from other museums. We're adamant about keeping them. All the military animation programs will run next summer."
  6. New housing plan unveiled The Gazette Published: 9 hours ago A plan by the Metropolitan Montreal Community that would cost $500 million over the next five years to build, renovate and repair 10,000 low-income and social housing units in the greater Montreal area was unveiled yesterday. The agency co-ordinates urban and regional planning for 82 municipalities in and around the island of Montreal. Paul Larocque, who heads the CMM's housing commission, announced the five-year plan that would see 20,000 units built across Quebec. The greatest need, however, is on the island of Montreal, where the occupancy rate of existing social and low-cost housing units is 100 per cent. "The challenge is enormous," said Michael Prescott, Montreal city council executive committee member. "We need the co-operation of all levels of government to assure stable financing if we are to realize our objectives by 2013." Most of the funding is already secure. The Quebec government has set aside $26 million a year under the five-year Accès Logis program to build new housing units and has earmarked another $96 million a year until 2013 to renovate and repair existing housing units under another infrastructure program, Habitations à loyer modique. It appears the federal government is on board. On Sept. 4, the Harper government allocated $1.9 billion to extend programs to combat homelessness in Canada, including in Montreal, but in the middle of an election campaign, it hasn't bothered to tell anyone. "We are well on our way to meeting our needs," said James McGregor, a vice-president with the Société d'habitation du Québec, the principal government agency responsible for affordable housing in Quebec. "But we only found out about the federal government's participation through the CMHC website. It's a very curious thing." No one from the department of Human Resources and Social Development was available to comment yesterday.
  7. Nutrition in Motion Ltd. expands to Montreal TORONTO, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - Nutrition in Motion Ltd. (NIMDIET.COM), Toronto's most sought after fresh diet delivery service, has arrived in Montreal! Life on the Island just got a little less hectic and a lot healthier as Nutrition in Motion Ltd. begins delivering healthy gourmet meals directly to the doorsteps of Montreal residents. The city with a cuisine best known for smoked meat sandwiches has a new option for those looking to eat healthily and lose some weight. Nutrition in Motion's Montreal diet delivery service provides clients with three fresh daily meals, three snacks and a dessert conveniently delivered to their door. Meals are portion controlled and consist of healthy carbs as well as the right fats providing customers with effective weight loss and balanced nutrition. Montreal resident Lindsey Spelder, who believes that she would still be a fast food junkie if not for Nutrition in Motion Ltd., says "I'm not a good cook and I'm always working. I've been trying to lose weight for years and Nutrition in Motion is really easy. For me it's a no-brainer." The NIM Montreal comprehensive food program, including three meals, snacks, dessert, and delivery costs $36.99 daily (or $1036.00 per month). Nutrition in Motion Ltd. is a Canadian based diet company that has helped thousands of Canadians slim down and achieve their desired weight. Through its daily, full service weight loss program comprised of three meals and three snacks delivered to the client's door, Nutrition in Motion Ltd. is becoming a leader in the Canadian health and weight loss industry. Please visit Nutrition in Motion Ltd. at www.nimdiet.com. For further information: 2006 Highway 7, Unit No.1, Concord, Ontario, L4K 1W6, [email protected], www.nimdiet.com, (416) 486-1646
  8. http://mentalfloss.com/article/72661/detroit-named-americas-first-unesco-design-city
  9. Merci à MTLCity pour m'avoir aiguillé sur le sujet! http://w5.montreal.com/mtlweblog/?p=49437&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter http://vtdigger.org/2015/06/30/vermont-pbs-soaks-up-montreal-qulture/
  10. Interesting series on PBS on Wednesdays at 22:00 http://www.pbs.org/program/super-skyscrapers/ About the Program As urban space shrinks, we build higher and faster than ever before, creating a new generation of skyscrapers. Super skyscrapers are pushing the limits of engineering, technology and design to become greener, stronger, smarter and more luxurious than their predecessors. This four-part series follows the creation of four extraordinary buildings, showcasing how they will revolutionize the way we live, work and protect ourselves from potential threats. Read more about each episode below. A Closer Look at Super Skyscrapers One World Trade Center Blink Films UK 1 / 12 About the Episodes One World Trade Center (Premiered February 5, 2014) One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the western hemisphere and a famous modern landmark, is engineered to be the safest and strongest skyscraper ever built. This episode follows the final year of exterior construction, culminating with the milestone of reaching the symbolic height of 1,776 feet. For head of construction Steve Plate, as well as scientists, engineers, ironworkers and curtain wall installers, this is a construction job suffused with the history of the site and a sense of duty to rebuild from the ashes of Ground Zero. Building the Future (Premiered February 12, 2014) Commonly known as “the cheese grater,” the Leadenhall Building is the pinnacle of London’s avant-garde architecture. Designed as a tapered tower with a steel exoskeleton, it’s the tallest skyscraper in the City of London and the most innovative. The teams behind the Leadenhall project had to radically rethink every aspect of the traditional building model. This program follows the monumental challenges that come with erecting this super skyscraper: it will be constructed off-site, delivered to location, and stacked and bolted together like a giant Lego set. The Vertical City (Premiered February 19, 2014) Shanghai Tower isn’t just a skyscraper — it’s a vertical city, a collection of businesses, services and hotels all in one place, fitting a population the size of Monaco into a footprint the size of a football field. Within its walls, residents can literally work, rest, play and relax in public parks, looking up through 12 stories of clear space. Not just one, however, but eight of them, stacked on top of each other, all the way to the 120th floor. When complete, the structure will dominate Shanghai’s skyline, towering over its neighbors as a testament to China’s economic success and the ambitions of the city’s wealthy elite. The Billionaire Building (Premiered February 26, 2014) Upon completion, One57, on Manhattan’s 57th Street, will rise more than 1,000 feet, making it the tallest residential tower in the western hemisphere and boasting spectacular views of Central Park. “One57” follows the teams tasked with creating New York’s most luxurious residential skyscraper and their ambition to redefine luxury living the big city. Condominiums at One57 showcase state-of-the-art interiors — double-height ceilings, full-floor apartments, bathrooms clad in the finest Italian marble and the finest material finishes. Super Skyscrapers was produced by Blink Films. sent via Tapatalk
  11. Courtesy of Advisors.ca http://www.advisor.ca/news/industry-news/bmo-makes-buying-gold-simple-59141 Seems like BMO is following Scotia bank.
  12. There are an article in The Gazette (which I shall put after this post) that speaks about Montreal embracing open data. Also, anybody every been to Ottawa, Quebec? lol How Open Data Initiatives Can Improve City Life by Aliza Sherman Major city governments across North America are looking for ways to share civic data — which normally resides behind secure firewalls — with private developers who can leverage it to serve city residents via web and mobile apps. Cities can spend on average between $20,000 and $50,000 — even as much as $100,000 — to cover the costs of opening data, but that’s a small price to pay when you consider how much is needed to develop a custom application that might not be nearly as useful. Here are a few examples of initiatives that are striving to make city governments more efficient and transparent through open data. 1. Apps4Ottawa – Ottawa, Quebec Careful to adhere to security and privacy regulations for their open data program, the City of Ottawa started sharing data in several areas: geo-spatial (roadways, parks, runways, rivers, and ward boundaries); recreation facilities; event planning; civic elections data; and transit, including schedules. Other data the city is pursuing includes tree inventory, collections schedules for garbage, recycling and compost, and bike and foot paths. Ottawa aligned their first open data contest, Apps4Ottawa, with the school year (September 2010 to January 2011 ) to involve colleges and universities as well as residents and local industry. Categories for the contest included “Having Fun in Ottawa,” “Getting Around,” “Green Environment/Sustainability,” “Community Building,” and “Economic Development.” The winner is scheduled to be announced later this evening. Guy Michaud, chief information officer for the City of Ottawa, said their open data efforts have already spurred economic development and is meant to be good for local entrepreneurs. The city receives no revenue through the apps, and the developers can sell what they create. In turn, Ottawa residents get improved services from applications that are created, with better access to city data and more user-friendly formats and platforms. 2. CivicApps.org – Portland, Oregon After tracking Vivek Kundra’s efforts at the federal level with data.gov, Portland, Oregon launched CivicApps.org, a project initiated out of the mayor’s office to bring a more localized approach to the open data movement. Skip Newberry, economic policy advisor to the mayor, say that the project’s main objective is to improve connections and the flow of information between local government and its constituents, as well as between city bureaus. To call attention to the release of public data, they also launched an app design contest, highlighting the tech talent in Portland’s software community. According to Rick Nixon, program manager for the Bureau of Technology’s Open Data Initiative for the city of Portland, CivicApps.org took a more regional approach to cover the multiple layers of local government: County, Metro, TriMet, and the City of Portland, all of which collect and maintain various kinds of public data. Data sets released include regional crime, transit, infrastructure (i.e. public works), and economic development programs. Additional projects, such as the PDX API, have been launched in order to make the raw data from CivicApps more useful to developers. In addition to developer-specific apps, a number of transit related apps — bike, train, bus, mixed modes — were also developed. A very popular and established transit app, PDXBus, was re-released as open source under the rules of the CivicApps contest. Other popular apps helped provide residents greater awareness of their surroundings such as where to find heritage trees, where to find urban edibles, and where to locate each other during disaster relief efforts. 3. CityWide Data Warehouse – Washington, DC For years, the District of Columbia provided public access to city operational data via the Internet. In keeping with the mayor’s promise to be transparent, the program CityWide Data Warehouse was launched, and provides citizens with access to over 450 datasets from multiple agencies. The first two datasets released were service requests from the mayor’s call center, including trash pickup, pot hole repair, street light repair, snow removal, parking meter issues and crime data. According to David Stirgel, program manager for Citywide Data Warehouse, the project looks for data that be of interest to the widest possible audience and which will remain reusable over time. Some of the applications that have come out of the program include Track DC, which tracks the performance of individual District agencies, and summary reports that provide public access to city operational data. Some of the applications built by companies and individuals using the data include Crime Reports and Every Block. In 2008, the District Mayor’s office, the District of Columbia’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, and digital agency iStrategyLabs launched Apps for Democracy, an open code app development contest tapping into District data that cost $50,000 and generated 47 apps. The contest was repeated in 2009. Over 200 ideas and applications were submitted, and the winner was an iPhone and Facebook app called Social DC 311. It could be used to submit service requests, such as reporting potholes and trash problems. An honorable mention was given to FixMyCityDC. Unfortunately, neither app is maintained today. 4. NYC Data Mine – New York, NY NYC BigApps 2.0 is part of an initiative to improve the accessibility, transparency, and accountability of city government. According to Brandon Kessler, CEO of ChallengePost, the company and technology powering the NYC BigApps 2.0 Software Challenge, Mayor Bloomberg challenged software developers to use city data from the NYC.gov Data Mine to create apps to improve NYC, offering a $20,000 in cash awards to the winners. The second annual challenge closed its call for submissions at the end of January 2011 and opened the vote to the public. Voting ends on March 9. Requirements included that the software applications be original and solely owned by the entrants, that they use at least one of the datasets from the NYC.gov Data Mine, and be free to the public throughout the competition and for at least one year after the challenge. The panel of judges reads like a “who’s who” of New York tech luminaries, and includes Esther Dyson of EDVenture, Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, Jack Dorsey of Square and Twitter, and Kara Swisher of All Things Digital. One of the first year’s winning apps was WayFinder, an augmented reality Android app which allows users to point their phone in a direction and see which subways and Path trains are in front of them. 5. DataSF – San Francisco, California Like other city governments, San Francisco’s goal for their DataSF program was to improve transparency and community engagement as well as accountability. Ron Vinson, director of media for the city’s Department of Technology also stated potential for innovation in how residents interact with government and their community. With an emphasis on adhering to privacy and security policies, the city can stimulate the creation of useful civic tools at no cost to the government. Before launching, they reached out to Washington, DC to identify the most popular datasets, and learned that 20% of the datasets represented over 80% of the downloads. With this information, they went out first with crime, 311, and GIS data. They also allowed the public to request data through a submissions mechanism on the website where others could vote on their suggestions. This input is now required reading for the city administrator thanks to an executive directive and open data legislation. Since launching in August 2009, DataSF has accumulated over 60 applications in its showcase. According to Vinson, the city stays engaged with their tech community by participating in local unconferences and meetups. http://mashable.com/2011/02/15/how-open-data-initiatives-can-improve-city-life/
  13. New York City streets go green New York City transportation head, Janette Sadik-Kahn is taking it to the streets, literally. The visionary transportation planner, who has been on the job for two years and was tapped by the Obama Administration for a top post, is serious about sustainability. And, while her first attempt to reduce the city’s carbon footprint by proposing congestion pricing for those who came in to the city by car went over like a lead balloon, her current efforts to green the city’s streets by reinventing car lanes as public space has carried favor with just about everyone. Her latest project, dubbed “Green Lights for Broadway”, aims to transform the city’s iconic car-clogged thoroughfare into a pedestrian oasis. As the only street in Midtown that is off the grid, Broadway poses significant traffic problems and safety issues along its length. “Green Lights for Broadway” aims to reduce traffic congestion through Midtown with targeted improvements focused at Times Square and Herald Square that will speed cross town traffic and replace car lanes with public space where pedestrians can lunch or relax in the middle of the street. Broadway is just one of many areas of the city that is being “pedestrianised” by Sadik-Kahn. Another intiative to green the city steets is the Plaza Program which began last year aiming to put all New Yorkers within a 10-minute walk of a park. Under this program, streets throughout the city are being reinvented as public plazas, as, for example, at Madison Square Park where 45,000 sq ft of public space was recently added in the middle of Madison Avenue and in nearby Chelsea where a car lane was transformed into a plaza with planters and a bike lane. While these efforts will no doubt make the city more liveable, the Mayor and the Transportation Commissioner would like to see a Manhattan with fewer cars. As such, the city is tweaking its public transportation system to expand and speed service. While the focus is mainly on adding designated bus lanes and improving ferry service, there may also be a tramway in New York’s future. In the 1990s, while with the Dinkins Administration, Sadik-Kahn tried to build a light rail system on 42nd Street. And though that project died on the vine, the idea of a building a light rail line on 42nd Street is still very much alive. The Institute for Rational Mobility (RUM), an advocacy group, is currently floating a proposal, dubbed “Vision 42” that re-imagines 42nd Street as a landscaped pedestrian mall with a 2.5-mile long light rail line that runs river to river. In a recently released report, RUM indicates the roughly $500 million project would generate $704 million in annual benefit. While that project’s future is yet to be determined, Sadik-Kahn has said she is not opposed to using the dedicated bus lanes initiative as a “back door “ step toward light rail, noting that cities all over the world, like Bogotá Columbia, are working toward a light rail service by reclaiming auto space in this way. Regardless, the city’s green transportation czar is on the case manipulating over 6,000 miles of roadway and 12,000 miles of sidewalks for the betterment of the public. While incomplete, her efforts have led to large increases in cycling as a primary mode of transit, increased ridership on subways and busses, and reduced mortalities amongst bicyclists and pedestrians. Sharon McHugh US Correspondent http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=11479
  14. How to extract images from PDF files without using copy and paste Posted Aug 5th 2008 6:00PM by Brad Linder Filed under: Utilities, Windows, Freeware PDF Image Extract PDF Image Extract is a free Windows utility that does exactly what the name suggests: it extracts images from PDF files. Sure, you could save pictures one at a time the old fashioned way by hitting print screen and pasting the image into an editor or using a screen capture program. But PDF Image Extract saves you a lot of time if you want to save multiple images because it will save every single image in a PDF file for you. In fact, you can create batch jobs to save images from multiple documents. The only down side? I'm not kidding when I say PDF Image Extract saves every image. You'll likely wind up with a folder containing hundreds of images, only a few of which are the ones you were looking for. That's because the program will save all sorts of segments of the original PDF as image files, including the background. http://somepdf.com/downloads.html
  15. Read more: http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/new-green-tax-to-make-electronics-more-expensive-1.957018#ixzz26druCxzC Things just got more expensive again in this province I wonder what else is left for Quebec to tax us on? Quebec could make life harder for consumers buying stuff at Zara, H&M and others, by having a tax on clothes made in China, Bangladesh and other countries.
  16. Houston study lauds red light cameras despite uptick in accidents We all know we shouldn't mess with Texas. And Houston, Texans shouldn't mess around with statistics, because the folks running the show are going to come to any conclusions they want no matter what the statistics say. This is the easy part: a study of red light cameras in the city shows that accidents have actually increased at intersections with the cameras. These are the parts that are open to interpretation: most intersections only have one camera looking at one (out of four) directions of traffic, but the accident rate went up for traffic in the other three unmonitored directions; and, in the one monitored direction, "accidents remained relatively flat or showed only a slight increase." What do you make of that? Mayor Bill White and the study authors say the city in general is experiencing a swell in the number of collisions, and claim that collisions at the monitored intersections haven't risen as much as the wider municipal rate. Yet they have no data to back up an increase in citywide collisions, and no year-on-year accident data at intersections (let alone an explanation for the uptick). White said that a 40-percent year-on-year drop in red light citations in the month of October shows the program is working and keeping drivers more safe. Critics say that the program is nothing but a cash register for city government. The study's authors plan to study insurance industry findings to come up with more substantive conclusions. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6185795.html
  17. Battle lines drawn on environment at premiers rendezvous in Quebec City LEE GREENBERG and MARIANNE WHITE, Canwest News Service Published: 5 hours ago Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach issued a stern warning against a national cap-and-trade program yesterday, underscoring divisions among Canada's 13 premiers and territorial leaders at the outset of a three-day meeting featuring discussions on climate change strategy. Stelmach and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall scuttled any hope of a unified cap-and-trade program, making it clear they consider the policy a thinly disguised attempt to share in the billions generated by western oil and gas. "There's only one inter-regional transfer of wealth in this country and it's called equalization," Stelmach said. Sam the man and the premiers: An actor portraying Samuel de Champlain mingles with provincial premiers and territorial leaders attending the Council of the Federation in Quebec City yesterday. "There won't be another one from the province of Alberta. And that's as straight an answer as I can give." "We will fight aggressively against any initiative that would redistribute not just wealth, but opportunity, and threaten our 'have' status," Wall added. "Because (our prosperity) is good for the country." The two Prairie premiers placed themselves squarely against Ontario and Quebec, which recently announced their intention to begin a cap-and- trade program in 2010, as well as B.C. and Manitoba, which have both signed on to cap-and-trade programs under the aegis of the Western Climate Initiatives. The group also includes Quebec and seven U.S. states. Cap-and-trade would require companies exceeding emissions caps to trade for credits from greener firms. Both Wall and Stelmach cast aspersions on the viability of cap and trade, touting instead carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. Alberta last week announced a $2-billion investment in CCS, also known as sequestration, a process that aims to store carbon emissions by injecting them into deep geological formations. Most provinces have at least something in common when it comes to climate change - they have better plans to tackle it than Ottawa, according to the report released yesterday by the David Suzuki Foundation. As the premiers gathered for the Council of the Federation, the conservation group noted that almost all provinces are stepping up with strong targets and policies in the absence of federal leadership. The report card shows that British Columbia is leading the pack with its carbon tax. The Suzuki Foundation gives a good rating to Quebec and Ontario for their policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and their proposed cap-and-trade system. Manitoba also gets the thumbs-up. Not surprisingly, Alberta rated the worst, with Saskatchewan not far from the bottom. "For Alberta to be moving backward is incomprehensible," said Dale Marshall, climate-change policy analyst with the Suzuki Foundation.
  18. CAE on deck for $500-million defence program By David Pugliese , Canwest News ServiceFebruary 13, 2009 11:02 AM Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be in Montreal Friday where he is expected to announce a new aerospace training facility that will provide work to CAE and other high-tech firms in Canada. The contract to CAE and its partners, which could over time be worth up to $500 million, arrives at a time when the Harper government needs to be seen to provide work and create jobs for Canadians during the recession. Last year, the government selected CAE as the winner of a Defence Department program known as the Operational Training Systems Provider or OTSP. But the actual awarding of the contract was delayed, at first by the election and then by other political developments. OTSP will see the creation of aerospace training facilities to teach Canadian Forces aircrews how to fly new transport planes and helicopters, as well as aircraft to be bought in the future for search and rescue. It is unclear at this point how many new aerospace jobs will be created. Montreal-based CAE, one of the world’s largest aviation simulation firms, had been deemed by the federal government as the only qualified bidder for the program. Defence officials privately say the OTSP program, which will include new training facilities and simulators at different locations in the country, will provide the air force with a common infrastructure for teaching crews on a number of aircraft. The project would run over the next 20 years and include training on new C-130J transport aircraft and other planes that will be purchased in the future. The final value of the deal will depend on how much training for various aircraft fleets will be eventually be included. The initial deal for CAE will focus on the C-130J aircraft and is expected to be worth around $250 million. The CAE team that will work on the project includes Xwave Defence and Aerospace in Ottawa; MacDonald Dettwiler of Richmond, B.C.; NGRAIN of Vancouver; Atlantis Systems International of Brampton, Ont.; Bombardier of St-Laurent, Que., and: Simgraph of Laval, Que. The announcement is seen by the Tories as a good news story as the Harper government has faced criticism from domestic aerospace and defence firms for not spending enough money in Canada. The government has earmarked more than $8 billion for new aircraft purchased from U.S. firms but Canadian companies have complained they have seen little work from those projects. On Thursday, parliamentarians were also calling for stricter oversight on how the Defence Department spends tax dollars after yet another internal audit found a lack of management oversight on a major equipment support project. The Ottawa Citizen reported that Defence Department auditors concluded the government has no idea whether it is getting value for money from a Canadian Forces communications project worth more than $290 million because it is not enforcing the terms of the contract. Defence Minister Peter MacKay found himself answering questions in the Commons from both the NDP and Liberal parties about ongoing problems with military procurement and the growing secrecy over such troubled deals. But according to MacKay the department has strict review policies already in place. “The procurement process is accountable and is transparent,” he noted. But Liberal defence critic Denis Coderre pointed out that previous audits had raised concerns about multi-billion dollar equipment purchases. “Clearly there needs to be big changes made on how this department can be made more accountable and responsible,” added NDP defence critic Dawn Black. “They spend billions and billions of dollars and Canadians have a right to know about what is going on.”
  19. Jury for the “Shenzhen 4 Tower in 1” choose Coop Himmelb(l)au design The jury for the “Shenzhen 4 Tower in 1” Competition chaired by Mr. Arata Isozaki, selected Coop Himmelb(l)au's design for Tower C, the new “Headquarter of China Insurance Group” as the winning scheme. Other participants include Morphosis, Steven Holl Architects, Hans Hollein, MVRDV and FCJZ Atelier. The new “Headquarter of China Insurance Group” will be part of a lively business quarter in the heart of the Central District of Shenzhen made up of a carefully composed ensemble of unique, individual towers creating a landmark silhouette. The project is a high-rise structure with a height of approximately 200 m with 49 storeys. The footprint area has the size of 40 by 40 m. The required program is distributed vertically. A clear separation of public and private functions is given. All public functions are organized in the base building while the office program is situated in the tower. Semi public program like meeting rooms, conference center, recreation areas and gardens are concentrated in the middle of the building. This zone is designed to create a pattern of meeting facilities, gardens and recreation areas for all employees and become spaces for an exchange of knowledge and creativity and a synergy of form and function. The “Headquarter of China Insurance Group” is not only recognizable by its significant form but also by its façade. The design of the façade is driven by generation of energy. The second skin of the façade is shaped by climate conditions and inner functions. This skin includes photovoltaic cells to generate electricity and also cells to reduce excessive wind pressure, shade the sun and create multi media displays. Strategies employing the form of the building to assist natural ventilation together with the use of renewable energy sources (wind and solar power) assure an energy efficient design and reduce energy consumption and reliance on fossil fuel energy sources. http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=11098
  20. Interesting article, Gazette, Jul 25, 1962: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=H4Y1AAAAIBAJ&sjid=eJ4FAAAAIBAJ&pg=1948,3612930&dq=quebec+metropolitan+boulevard&hl=en I remember looking on the BANQ website and seeing strange pictures of cars around the Metropolitan, I think one was a '62 Chevrolet or so, with some equipment, and the like. Ah now I think I understand what was going on! Cars flying off the top of the Met, hilarious if one ignores the probable injuries... Note also the 55 mph (88 km/h) speed limit... 10 mph reduction, 45 mph = 72 km/h and why today we are stuck with 70. Comment, Aug 22: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=VoU0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=jJ4FAAAAIBAJ&pg=5024,3387255&dq=montreal+metropolitan+speed+limit&hl=en "many people mistake this roadway with one like the Auto-Route" One interesting thing is that the road was apprarently planned and mostly built by the Montreal Metropolitan Corporation, which was its only project, and financed via tax levies on the municipalities, some which were collected, but then, transferred to the province (MVQ?) who paid the cost in conjunction with some federal assistance under the TCH program, and then the municipalities had to pay back their citizens, while the old MTC had no jurisdiction and was prohibited by law (!) to build a subway... Aug 1960: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Go0tAAAAIBAJ&sjid=GZ0FAAAAIBAJ&pg=6874,879561&dq=quebec+metropolitan+boulevard&hl=en 1960, Transit plan! http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=vIwtAAAAIBAJ&sjid=HJ0FAAAAIBAJ&pg=6747,3452991&dq=quebec+metropolitan+boulevard&hl=en 1955, congested Decarie - Cote de Liesse circle needs solution: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=zYMtAAAAIBAJ&sjid=iJkFAAAAIBAJ&pg=5178,4054845&dq=montreal+metropolitan+boulevard&hl=en Ha the stupid thing is still there they just added some flyovers And random tractor vs streetcar accident. Planning article, suggest 17 mile central section to cost 20 MM $, Financial Post, 1952: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=OWo_AAAAIBAJ&sjid=ClQMAAAAIBAJ&pg=5048,5229372&dq=montreal+traffic+plan&hl=en It suggests a 12-lane artery. There isn't really anything like that there, it is basically 6 lane with Cremazie and Cote de Liesse on the sides but that hardly counts...
  21. Ottawa is preparing to crack down on employment-insurance recipients who are not seeking work in areas where employers are forced to bring in foreign workers to fill jobs. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Wednesday the government wants to reduce disincentives to work by creating a “greater connection” between the EI program and the temporary foreign worker program, which is under Mr. Kenney’s purview. “What we will be doing is making people aware there’s hiring going on and reminding them that they have an obligation to apply for available work and to take it if they’re going to qualify for EI,” Mr. Kenney told the National Post editorial board on Wednesday. He was touting immigration reforms that will try to streamline the entry of immigrants and foreign workers, favouring entrepreneurs, innovators and those with high quality professional credentials. The reforms would require unemployed Canadians to accept local jobs that are currently being filled by temporary foreign workers. “Nova Scotia province-wide has 10% unemployment, but the only way Christmas tree operators can function in the Annapolis Valley is to bring in Mexicans through this agricultural worker program,” he said, also pointing to the increased number of Russians working in Prince Edward Island fish processing plants and Romanians working at the Ganong chocolate factory in New Brunswick. “Even on the north shore of New Brunswick, which has the highest unemployment in the province, the MPs keep telling me the employers definitely need more temporary workers. What’s going on here?” Minister of Human Resources Diane Finley will soon address the issue in further detail, Mr. Kenney said. The coming changes were first revealed in last month’s federal budget, which proposed spending $387-million over two years to align EI benefit amounts with local labour market conditions. The government will consider more measures to ensure the Temporary Foreign Worker Program will continue to meet those labour needs by “better aligning” the program with labour demands, according to budget documents. At the same time, businesses will have to have made “all reasonable efforts” to recruit from the domestic labour force before they seek workers from abroad. When an employer looks to the government for a labour market opinion, which is one step in getting approval to hire foreign temporary workers, Mr. Kenney said the government will soon point out the number of people on EI in that employer’s region and ensure the people collecting EI are aware of that job opportunity. “If you don’t take available work, you don’t get EI,” he said. “That’s always been a legal principle of that program.” http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04/18/conservatives-want-unemployed-to-fill-jobs-going-to-temporary-foreign-workers-jason-kenney/
  22. Consortium a welcome booster shot for pharmaceutical research PETER HADEKEL, The Gazette Published: 8 hours ago Up to $48 million over four years could be pumped into drug discovery in Quebec under an innovative new consortium that links governments, pharmaceutical companies and universities. The Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery, announced last week by Economic Development Minster Raymond Bachand, could be a welcome shot in the arm for the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors in Montreal. The industry has a significant presence in Quebec, with 145 companies, nearly 21,000 jobs, and five centres for basic pharmaceutical research. About $550 million in new investments have been announced since 2006. But like the rest of the industry worldwide, the biopharmaceutical companies operating here have been struggling to find and develop the next generation of blockbuster drugs to treat more complex medical conditions. The easy discoveries have been made. For example, it's a lot easier to develop a product to lower blood pressure than one that enhances memory in an Alzheimer's patient. Meanwhile, regulatory requirements are rising amid public concern over drug safety and efficacy. And the cost and time it takes to develop a new drug and bring it to market continue to increase. Bachand hopes to create some new momentum and capitalize on the research strengths already here. The plan is to create a public-private partnership that will foster research at the pre-competitive stage. Private sector participants are AstraZeneca, Merck Frosst and Pfizer Canada, with each expected to kick in $5 million over five years. University players include McGill, the Université de Montréal, Université Laval and the Université de Sherbrooke. Government funding will come from Quebec's Ministry of Economic Development and its Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec. The federal government has been asked to chip in through its Networks of Centres of Excellence program. Small biotech companies can also participate by applying for funding from the consortium for their own research projects. The initial amount of money may seem small, but the goal is to build new links between the players in Quebec, the consortium's director, Max Fehlmann, said in an interview. The emphasis will be on finding drug-discovery technologies that can benefit the entire industry rather than on finding new molecules per se, he said. The idea is to make that intellectual property available to other investors in the program, who would pay a licensing fee to the discoverer to access the findings. Quebec's program is modeled on similar ventures in Europe and the U.S. The difference, said Fehlmann, is those programs are government-run while this one will be steered by consortium members themselves. The drug venture is also inspired by a similar program in the province's aerospace sector. The Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec funds pre-competitive research and licenses the findings to its various industrial partners. Philippe Walker, vice-president of research at AstraZeneca Canada, says "the idea is to develop a kind of neutral, fertile ground where ideas could be exchanged." ne example, he says, could be to find new brain imaging techniques that would help to confirm a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and evaluate at an early stage whether new drugs are having an effect on the patient. "This could tap into the historical strengths of various groups in Montreal who have developed imaging technology. "There are a lot of good things happening in Quebec," Walker added. One reason AstraZeneca invested in its Montreal research facility was to be close to academic scientists working here in the pain research field. Collaboration is considered a key to creativity in drug science, because new discovery often comes at the intersection between two disciplines. "It's extremely difficult and complex to develop a new drug," Walker said. "The pharma industry in general, not only in Quebec, is suffering from a reduction in productivity if it's measured by the number of new (products) that are put on the market." On average, the drug industry spends between $800 million and $1.7 billion (over a 12-to-15 year period of research and development) to bring a new product to commercialization, U.S. data show. The Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. backed its collaboration initiative, known as Critical Path, in the hope that it would help to cut delays and costs. And backers of the venture in Quebec are betting it can lead to the same kinds of gains. [email protected] http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/business/story.html?id=d2f98b6b-95bf-4681-9ac3-2de68e832fe2&p=1