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The world is welcome to park downtown 150 spots set aside for diplomats, staff ANNE SUTHERLAND, The Gazette Published: 8 hours ago Parking downtown is difficult enough: Who hasn't done the "once more 'round the block" routine over and over before throwing in the towel and paying sky-high prices to park in a lot? Adding to the frustration is seeing prime spots reserved for the diplomatic corps - 150 spaces in all - in the Ville Marie and Plateau Mont Royal boroughs. Who are these people with special licence plates and why do they get to park - free of charge, on top of everything - in some of the most advantageous places? Cars fill Cathcart St. parking spots designated for use by diplomatic staff. Those sites represent only a handful of the 16,800 metered parking spaces in Montreal, a city official says.View Larger Image View Larger Image Cars fill Cathcart St. parking spots designated for use by diplomatic staff. Those sites represent only a handful of the 16,800 metered parking spaces in Montreal, a city official says. For staff of consulates and employees of international organizations, like the International Air Transport Association or the International Civil Aviation Organization, free parking is part of a range of diplomatic perks. Italy, for example, has its own consular building and parking lot on Doctor Penfield Ave. Many other consulates rent space in office towers downtown, however. As a matter of courtesy and security, the city of Montreal designates 150 spots to international officials and consular and diplomatic staff, said Jacques-Alain Lavallée, spokesperson for the Ville Marie borough. Montreal has been extending this privilege for more than 30 years, and does so "to attract international institutions and for security reasons," said François Goneau, of the city's public affairs department. There are 16,800 metered parking spots in the city, so the 150 spots for consular officials represent a minuscule percentage of available street parking, he noted. Michel Philibert of Stationnement de Montréal, the para-public agency that manages parking in the city, said there is no way to gauge how much revenue metered parking in those diplomatic spots might bring in. Extending perks to the international market is very lucrative in the long run for Montreal, Goneau said. "It has been estimated these international organizations bring in excess of $200 million in business to the city," he said, citing a study done in 2000. Only drivers with a CC (Consular Corps) or a CD (Diplomatic Corps) prefix on their licence plates are eligible to park in the diplomatic corps spots. There are 191 CC plates and 140 CD plates issued to people in Montreal, according to the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec. If you park in a spot designated for the diplomatic corps and get caught, you will get the usual $42 fine for parking in a restricted zone, Montreal police Constable Olivier Lapointe said. The city receives two requests a year, on average, for diplomatic corps parking spots. If a consulate closes or moves, the designated parking spots are returned to the public, Lavallée said. [email protected]
This aired 5 months before Anthony Bourdain's show. Andrew visits the multi-cultural city of Montreal and eats duck livers and horse-heart tartar. Andrew digs into the culture and traditional dishes that represent the city's heritage and modern chefs with food-forward ideas. http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/bizarre-foods/episodes/montreal [video=youtube;PmYcZ0-LWeE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmYcZ0-LWeE
Thales opens expanded facility in Montreal By Mary Kirby Thales has unveiled an expanded facility in Montreal to meet the continuing growth of its aerospace capabilities. The manufacturer’s new larger location will house around 145 employees, including after-sales support and a maintenance team, as well as test bench facilities. Today’s inauguration coincides with the 10-year anniversary of Thales’ aerospace activities in Canada. Francois Quentin, Thales senior VP in charge of aerospace activities, says: “Thales has a long and prestigious history as a key partner to Canada’s aerospace and defence establishments. Its roots go back to the early 1980’s, when Thales first established a domestic presence in Canada. “Thales’ Canadian aerospace activities play a key role as the central hub for the regional and business aircraft market and represent a worldwide centre of excellence for flight control systems.” From Montreal, Thales provides avionics systems for regional and business aircraft with customers ranging from Bombardier, Embraer, Sukhoi, Gulfstream and Dassault Falcon. It is currently equipping Air Canada’s entire fleet with its in-flight entertainment systems. Source: Air Transport Intelligence news http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2008/02/11/221483/thales-opens-expanded-facility-in-montreal.html