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Found 14 results

  1. 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?
  2. 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."
  3. A new vision for the country? Harper's federation of fiefdoms will drive Canadian traditionalists nuts LAWRENCE MARTIN From Thursday's Globe and Mail July 31, 2008 at 9:21 AM EDT Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been knocked for not giving the country a sense of direction, for visionlessly plotting and plodding, politics being his only purpose. Not true. Something has been taking shape - and it just took further form with pledges from Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon on the dispersal of federal powers. Yes, Matilda, the Conservatives have a vision. A federation of fiefdoms. Stephen Harper - headwaiter to the provinces. The firewall guy has curbed the federal spending power, he's corrected the so-called fiscal imbalance in favour of the provinces, he's doled out new powers to Quebec and now, if we are to believe Mr. Cannon, more autonomy is on the way for one and all. Mr. Harper has always favoured a crisp reading of the Constitution. He has always been - and now it really shows - a philosophical devolutionist. His nation-of-duchies approach will drive Canadian traditionalists bananas. They will see it not as nation building, but nation scattering. They will roll out that old bromide about the country being more than the sum of its parts. They will growl that we are already more decentralized than the Keystone Kops and any other federation out there save Switzerland, and that only rigorous paternal oversight can hold us together. But do these long-held harmonies still hold? Or are they outmoded, in need of overhaul? Has the country not moved beyond its vulnerable adolescent era to the point where now, like a normal family, it can entrust its members with more responsibilities? After 141 years, is there not a new sense of trust and maturity in the land? Identity? History is identity. If you don't know who you are at 141, if you still think some provinces have stars and stripes in their eyes, the shrink is in the waiting room. Now even Liberals don't think the new Canada is as dependent on the centre as the old. The old parts were fragile, in need of nurturing, in need of national and protectionist policies. But now there is more wealth and more equality, a levelling of the braying fields. Little guys like Newfoundland and Saskatchewan, with their newfound riches, are no longer little guys. They are not as beholden and their new level of maturity requires new thinking in Ottawa. Treat them like teenagers and they'll be more inclined to rebel. Give them space and they'll be more inclined to be part of the whole. Not to say that a balkanization of the federation is in order. Not to say that you want a host of provinces running off and negotiating treaties with other countries or that you want better north-south transportation systems than east-west or that national programs are not worthwhile. But a recognition of modern realities is in order. When we get more meat on the bones of Mr. Harper's plans, we'll know how they stack up. There's plenty of room for cynicism. It's well known that the PM will do anything to woo Quebec politically. Letting the province negotiate a unilateral labour-mobility agreement with France can be seen as some rather timely toadying. Shouldn't he be doing more for labour mobility between Ontario and Quebec? Extending his autonomy push to other regions smacks of smart politics as well. Headwaiter to the provinces? How about head cashier at the polling booths. Westerners will lovingly see it as a kick at the Toronto-Ottawa dictatorship. It's gravy for la belle province and down East, loud guys like Danny Williams won't be complaining. The PM needed something to take the focus away from Stéphane Dion's attention-grabbing Green Shift. This raw-boned conservative stuff might do the trick. Joe Clark was the original headwaiter to the provinces. Pierre Trudeau mocked him mercilessly. But of course it was Mr. Trudeau's great centralist grab, the national energy program, that backfired. Brian Mulroney undid some of Mr. Trudeau's work and tried to go further with his province-friendly constitutional accords. Under Jean Chrétien, the Grits got in the act, forsaking economic nationalism. Mr. Harper is following and hastening the trend line. We needed - thank you, England - grandparents. We needed - thank you, John A. - a national policy. We needed measures to keep us independent of the United States and our social security systems and national institutions. Thank you, other leaders. All part of growing up. But now? Noteworthy is that while in more recent times we have seen a trend away from centralized powers, unity is now well intact. Many would argue the country is more unified today than at any time since 1967. The big centre is still needed. It's still needed for infrastructure, uniform social programs, defence and multifarious other initiatives. But, with the old family having a better sense of its bearings, it isn't needed the way it was before.
  4. Liberals refuse to confirm report Ontario to run near $1-billion deficit Wed, 2008-10-22 13:04. By: THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO - The Ontario government refused to confirm Wednesday in advance of handing down its fall economic update that the province will run a deficit of almost $1 billion this year because of the world financial crisis. For the past two weeks, Premier Dalton McGuinty has signalled he is prepared to run a deficit because of declining government revenues. In the legislature, Opposition Leader Bob Runciman wanted to know how Ontario went from a balanced budget four weeks ago to what he said was an expected deficit of $1 billion. "Less than a month ago, (Finance Minister Dwight Duncan) said the budget would be balanced, even with a downturn in the U.S. economy," Runciman said. "Premier, how is it that just four short weeks ago the budget was balanced, but today there's going to be a deficit of almost $1 billion?" McGuinty told the house he didn't know where Runciman was getting his numbers. People would have to wait until the finance minister delivers the fall economic update later Wednesday to see what red ink exists, McGuinty said. "We're in a pretty good position now to withstand these powerful winds that are blowing out there," he said. But, McGuinty added, the government also has to find a way to "make advances on the poverty front, to act in a way that is fiscally responsible, to protect health care and to protect education." On Monday, McGuinty said he told Duncan not to run a deficit unless not doing so would mean cutting back on public services. He also vowed that Ontario would not close hospitals or cancel infrastructure programs after more than 200,000 people lost their jobs. On Tuesday, he warned schools, cities and hospitals that funding projections would have to be scaled back during challenging times that may last as long as two years. Government officials will say only that Duncan's statement will outline which new government programs will have to be delayed because of falling revenues. Anti-poverty activists are worried that will mean the government will fail to keep its promise to help the poorest of the poor improve their living standards.
  5. Champlain College to open Montréal campus BURLINGTON — Champlain College announced that it is leasing property in Montréal to operate a study-abroad campus starting this fall. Students will be able to choose to spend a full academic semester in Montréal taking Champlain College courses. Champlain’s campus is believed to be the first U.S. campus in Montréal. Ten Champlain College courses will be offered there this fall — the same courses that are offered at its Burlington campus. Students will pay the same tuition and residence hall rates as they would in Vermont. Study-abroad applications for fall have been coming in and the college is now working with an architect to renovate the brownstone building on Rue Sherbrooke that will house Champlain’s academic center. The college has also contracted with L'Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) to offer student housing in a UQAM residence hall on Rue St. Urbain. This is a francophone university that offers Champlain students the opportunity to live with students from Québec and Canada, as well as a variety of other countries. “With our new campus in Montreal, Champlain students can make the most of the many international business, multicultural and learning opportunities that are available in that major metropolitan center,” said David F. Finney, college president. “The Montreal campus is another way for our students to internationalize their educational experience.” In addition to study-abroad programs at partner colleges in Europe and a host of international internship offerings, Champlain also operates a satellite campus in Mumbai, India. Courses offered in Montréal will include: Modern Canadian Social History, Creativity and Conceptual Development, Critical Thinking, Practical Game Design, Animating Characters in 3-D, Game Development Senior Team Project, Social Responsibility in Media, Conversational French, and a required Québec cultural immersion course. Nearly 30 students are expected to spend the fall 2007 semester in Montréal. In the future, students from other colleges will be able to apply to study at the Quebec campus. The Montréal campus is open to students in all academic programs. Students in Champlain’s electronic and multimedia and graphic design programs may be particularly attracted to the experience since Montréal is one of “gaming’s global hot spots,” according to WIRED Magazine. Québec is home to more than 50 electronic game-related companies and development studios, including Ubisoft, A2M and Electronic Arts. Students in Champlain’s business programs can study in a province that is among Vermont’s most important trading partners.
  6. (Courtesy of CBC News) I would love to see a tougher law be put into place here in Quebec. 1st time you get caught or caught again you lose your license for life or you can spend life in prison. These idiots should not get any chances.
  7. For their latest museum design in Beijing, Ben van Berkel and UNStudio have designed a formal expression which takes ques from Chinese culture to create an architecture that offers dynamically varied spaces for the NAMOC collections. Based on uniting dualities – past and future, day and night, inside and outside, calm and dynamic, large and small, individual and collective – the two volumes reference ancient Chinese ‘stone drums’ and function in a contemporary way as a media facade with illuminated art projections. The museum focuses on creating varied galleries for the artwork that offer extensive lighting possibilities and ample wall space in order to provide artists and curators with the optimal conditions in which to display their work and communicate their ideas. The circulation is divided into different routes which lead different visitor groups around themed sequences of art and additional programs. “Whilst the architecture of the museum is represented by the ancient artifact of the stone drum, the art within represents its spirit, or its “essence”. In the same way that the agile strokes of ink in a Chinese painting give spirit to a blank piece of paper, the art collection gives spirit to the museum,” explained the designers. In addition to the interior spaces, the museum’s situation within the urban context was of utmost importance. The public urban plinth plateaus of the cultural district serve as connectors to bridge the city with the museum by connecting the street level, the the underground, and the museum volumes. http://www.archdaily.com/189675/national-art-museum-of-china-unstudio/
  8. Canada is the center of the world. You didn’t know that? Oh, yeah. See, your trouble (as always, I address the mirror) is you’ve got Mercator’s projection in your mind—which tells you nothing about the way things really are: It was invented in 1569 for sailors, who couldn’t conveniently fit a globe—the very idea of a globe was new then—into the situation room. And despite the fact that it’s so distortive it’s the icon of news programs, weather reports, travel agencies, Google Maps—it’s our image of what the world looks like. Plus sur le Canada, le Québec, le froid de cet écrivain maintenant chaudement installé en Grèce. Cold Comfort: Notes on Canada