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  1. as much as Aubin is a loud mouth - he;s not far from the truth. A wake up call to forum members.. we all love Montreal but we need to seriously wake up. 2011/2012 was a bad 2 years - we need to improve MONTREAL — SNC-Lavalin Inc. — founded by francophone Montrealers, headquartered in Montreal and active in engineering and construction projects in more than 100 countries — has long been the proud symbol of Québec Inc. Now, however, it risks becoming a symbol of something else — the decline of Montreal’s place on the world stage. The company announced last week that it is creating its largest corporate unit (one focused on hydrocarbons, chemicals, metallurgy, mining, the environment and water) and locating it not in Quebec but in London; heading it will be a Brit, Neil Bruce. As well, the company also said it was creating a global operations unit that would be based in the British capital. To be sure, SNC-Lavalin denies speculation by a La Presse business columnist that the company might be slowly moving its head office from Montreal. The two moves to London must be seen as reflecting “our healthy expansion globally,” says a spokesperson. “The corporate headquarters and all its functions still remain in Montreal.” Nonetheless, this unmistakable shift of authority abroad takes place within a broader context of fewer local people atop the SNC-Lavalin pyramid. In 2007, six of the top 11 executives were francophone Quebecers; last year, three. Note, too, that only two of 13 members of its board of directors are francophone Quebecers. When the company last fall replaced discredited Pierre Duhaime of Montreal as president, CEO, and board member, it picked an American, Robert Card. What’s happening to the company based on René-Lévesque Blvd. is the latest sign of the erosion of Montreal’s status as a major business centre. Of Canada’s 500 largest companies, 96 had their head offices in this city in 1990; in 2010, says Montréal International, only 81 remained, a 16-per-cent decline. It’s true that Toronto, too, has seen a decrease (with some of its companies heading to booming Calgary), but it’s only of six per cent. As well, because Hogtown has more than twice as many head offices as Montreal, the trend there has far less impact. Anyone with a stake in Montreal’s prosperity should care about what’s happening here. Head offices and major corporate offices, such as the SNC-Lavalin’s units, bring more money collectively into the city than do big events — the Grand Prix and the aquatics championship — whose threatened departures cause political storms. Such offices employ high-spending, high-taxpaying local residents and attract visiting business people year-round — people who represent income for cabbies, hoteliers, restaurateurs, computer experts, lawyers and accountants. Indeed, this week’s controversy over the absence of direct air links from Trudeau International Airport to China and South America is pertinent to this trend. It’s not only federal air policy over the decades that’s responsible for this isolation. It’s also that Montrealers have less money, and one reason for that is, as Trudeau boss James Cherry notes, “there are far fewer head offices in Montreal.” Keep losing them and we’ll be a real backwater. But how do we avoid losing these offices? We don’t need more studies. Tons of studies — good ones — already exist. The No. 1 factor for a company when choosing a head office location is corporate taxes, according to a Calgary Economic Development study. Quebec’s are the highest in Canada and the U.S. Thirty-four per cent of the executives at 103 local companies say that Montreal’s business climate had “deteriorated “ in the previous five years, Montreal’s Chambre de commerce found a year ago. The main reason: infrastructure (not only roads but also the health system). A study called “Knowledge City” that Montreal city hall commissioned in 2004 is still relevant. Its survey of 100 mobile, well-educated people (some of whom had already left Montreal) found that their top three biggest complaints with the city were, in descending order, high personal taxes, decaying infrastructure and political uncertainty from sovereignty. All studies agree that the quality of Montreal’s universities helps attract companies. Weakened universities would lower this power. The Parti Québécois government’s minister for Montreal, Jean-François Lisée, declared before Christmas that he was “Montréalo-optimiste.” He did not, however, spell out concrete steps for addressing the above-listed problems. Too bad that his government on Jan. 1 imposed higher personal taxes for people with high incomes — which hits business people. Too bad it has reduced spending on infrastructure by 14 per cent. Too bad that it has not only reduced funds to universities by $124 million over the next three months but that it says it might cut their funding in other years as well — in effect weakening them. And, finally, too bad that Premier Pauline Marois said this week her party would soon launch a campaign to promote sovereignty and that her government would step up its strategy of wresting powers from Ottawa. In the next few says, she’ll further promote Quebec independence with a meeting in Edinburgh with Scotland’s sovereignist leader. Staunch the hemorrhage of corporate offices from Montreal under this government? The very idea is Montréalo-irréaliste. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Henry+Aubin+avoid+losing+head+offices/7862525/story.html#ixzz2IrXbVaOH
  2. Canada’s best and worst run cities The RankingsThis survey, the first of its kind in Canada, provides citizens in 31 cities across the country with comparative data on how well—or poorly—their city is run, measured by the cost and quality of the public services it delivers. (Why 31? We took the 30 largest cities in Canada, added whatever provincial capitals were not on the list, then subtracted a few cities from the Greater Toronto Area for better regional balance. Somehow that left 31.) Though the overall results—Burnaby, Saskatoon and Surrey, B.C. lead the pack; Charlottetown, Kingston, Ont., and Fredericton trail—will be of particular interest, they are less important than the process this is intended to kick off. We aim not merely to start some good barroom arguments, but to help voters to hold their representatives to better account, and indeed to help city governments themselves. For without some sort of yardstick to measure their performance, either against other cities or against their own past record, how can they hope to know whether they are succeeding? To compile the survey, Maclean’s commissioned the Halifax-based Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, expanding on the institute’s earlier work measuring the performance of municipalities in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Unlike other studies, this does not try to measure quality of life, or which city is the “best place to live.” Rather, it focuses on the contribution of local governments to this end. This survey looks at a city’s efficiency—the cost of producing results—and the effectiveness of its services, including how well each city does when it comes to things like maintaining roads and parks, picking up garbage and putting out fires. Click below to see how the numbers break down. __________________________________________________________________________________ Montréal en queue de peloton Mise à jour le mercredi 22 juillet 2009 à 10 h 18 La ville de Montréal se retrouve au bas du classement au chapitre des villes les mieux gérées du Canada. Au Québec, elle fait aussi piètre figure, derrière Longueuil, Sherbrooke, Québec et Gatineau. Ce sont les conclusions d'une étude effectuée par l'Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS), et dont les résultats ont été publiés dans le magazine Maclean's, mardi. La recherche s'est attardée au rendement des villes quant à leur production de résultats et à l'efficacité de leurs services, tels que l'entretien des routes et des parcs, et la collecte des ordures. Sur les 29 villes canadiennes étudiées, la métropole québécoise s'est donc placée au 21e rang. Les analystes concèdent que Montréal a un niveau de services supérieur, mais ont montré du doigt le coût de ses services, sa dette et ses taxes. Au chapitre de la gouvernance, les résultats de l'étude ne sont pas plus satisfaisants pour Montréal. Elle occupe le peloton de queue avec une 27e position. « Décentralisation exagérée » - Benoît Labonté En entrevue avec le Journal de Montréal, le chef de l'opposition de Montréal, Benoît Labonté, estime que ces résultats sont « catastrophiques » pour une ville comme Montréal. « C'est dû à une décentralisation exagérée depuis 2003. Quand on a 19 arrondissements avec 19 directeurs généraux, 19 administrations, 19 petits domaines, ça finit par coûter cher », a-t-il ajouté. Le président du comité exécutif de Montréal, Sammy Forcillo, s'est porté à la défense de l'administration municipale. Selon lui, la métropole a été défavorisée en raison du mauvais état dans lequel se retrouvaient les infrastructures souterraines notamment. « Il y a eu un sous-investissement pendant des années et, actuellement, on est en train de faire du rattrapage. On met les bouchées doubles et ça coûte cher », a-t-il souligné au quotidien montréalais. L'autre côté du pont Jacques-Cartier L'administration municipale de Longueuil a pour sa part de bonnes raisons de se réjouir. La même étude place cette ville de la Rive-Sud au 5e rang canadien et bonne première au Québec. Ce sont notamment son taux de taxation, le plus bas des 29 villes étudiées, et son faible niveau de dépenses qui ont permis à Longueuil de se démarquer. De tailles similaires à Montréal, Vancouver (4e), Toronto (10e) et Calgary (11e) ont déclassé la métropole québécoise. Sherbrooke (6e), Québec (9e) et Gatineau (12e) ont aussi fait bonne figure. Comme la ville de Victoria, Laval n'a pas été évaluée, puisqu'elle n'a pas fourni suffisamment de données. En publiant ce classement, le magazine Maclean's souhaite « enclencher un processus » pour améliorer les services dans les villes canadiennes.
  3. Small-town life looking good to boomers Statistics Canada report; Montreal Island is bleeding population to outlying regions, new studies show David Johnston, The Gazette Published: 2 hours ago The Montreal metropolitan region, once a magnet for people from the rest of Quebec, is now losing more people to the outlying regions than it is gaining, Statistics Canada reported yesterday. Leading the way in this U-turn in the province's demographic history is the restless pitter-patter of retiring baby boomers in the Montreal region. Many are cashing out of the local real estate market and buying cheaper properties in outlying towns, or simply moving back to their home towns in the regions. Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary are seeing some of the same boomer-fuelled trends. In Quebec, the chief beneficiaries have been Joliette and St. Jean sur Richelieu, both situated a short hop outside the Montreal metropolitan region. The two towns ranked among the 10 fastest-growing medium-sized towns in Canada from 2001 to 2006, according to a Statistics Canada analysis of 2006 census data made public yesterday. "All of our own studies confirm what Statistics Canada is saying," Daniel Desroches, town manager of St. Jean, said in an interview yesterday. Overall, the metropolitan region registered a net loss of 29,195 people to other regions of Quebec from 2001 to 2006. This loss represents the birth of a new trend. The Montreal region had registered an overall gain in intra-provincial migration from 1996 to 2001, although relatively minor, as well as major gains in the decades before that. Despite the losses from 2001 to 2006, immigration, or international migration, has more than compensated for the region's internal population losses to the rest of Quebec and Canada. "What we can say is that most of those people leaving for the rest of Quebec are moving to smaller towns - not larger cities like Quebec City and Sherbrooke that have their own census metropolitan areas," said Patrice Dion, an analyst in the demography division of StatsCan. Some towns that had relatively minor population gains from 2001 to 2006 have since begun to show signs of a vigorous new construction boom, real estate experts say. Lachute, for example, 80 kilometres northwest of Montreal, has awarded $19 million in new housing construction permits this year, double last year's total at this time, which was double the comparable total for the first six months of 2006. The StatsCan study made public yesterday also confirmed previous studies showing a slowdown in the so-called exodus of Quebecers to other provinces. The inter-provincial losses from 2001-06 were the lowest recorded in any five-year census period since 1971-76, Dion said. From 2001 to 2006, Quebec lost only 8,000 anglophones to other provinces - fewer than 2,000 a year, compared with up to 50,000 a year in the late 1970s. But as a StatCan study made public last December showed, new influxes of anglophones into Quebec from other countries between 2001 and 2006 slightly outnumbered the 8,000 losses, meaning English Quebec is growing today for the first time since the early 1970s. StatsCan also examined population movement within the Montreal metropolitan region. It looked at all the household moves from one municipality in the region to another and found clear winners and losers. The city of Montreal was a heavy loser, mainly to off-island suburbs. But Boisbriand, St. Joseph du Lac and Pointe Calumet, all off-island suburbs, were also big losers. The only town on Montreal Island with a net gain of population from other parts of the region was Ste. Anne de Bellevue. Beaconsfield and Dollard des Ormeaux suffered mild losses, as did Westmount and Montreal East. Off-island suburbs Longueuil, Oka and Ste. Anne des Plaines also suffered slight net losses. The one bright spot for the region was its net gain of 12,795 people in the 15-to-29 age group. These gains came from both the rest of Quebec and the rest of Canada. They reflect continuing poor job prospects in some outlying Quebec regions for young people as well as strong interest nationally in Montreal as a city for post-secondary studies, Dion said. [email protected] - - - montrealgazette.com - - - Not-So-Small Towns Small and medium-sized urban centres experienced significant population growth from 2001 to 2006, figures from the 2006 census show. Here are the urban centres that experienced the biggest gains from population shifts within Canada: City Province 1. Okotoks Alta. 2. Parksville B.C. 3. Grande Prairie Alta. 4. Wood Buffalo Alta. 5. Chilliwack B.C. 6. Vernon B.C. 7. Joliette Que. 8. Red Deer Alta. 9. St. Jean sur Richelieu Que. 10. Courtenay B.C. Other centres in Quebec in the Top 50 23. Drummondville 30. Granby 32. St. Georges (Beauce) 37. Sorel-Tracy 38. Victoriaville 44. Cowansville 49. Rivière du Loup 50. St. Hyacinthe source: statistics Canada
  4. Small-town life looking good to boomers Statistics Canada report; Montreal Island is bleeding population to outlying regions, new studies show David Johnston, The Gazette Published: 2 hours ago The Montreal metropolitan region, once a magnet for people from the rest of Quebec, is now losing more people to the outlying regions than it is gaining, Statistics Canada reported yesterday. Leading the way in this U-turn in the province's demographic history is the restless pitter-patter of retiring baby boomers in the Montreal region. Many are cashing out of the local real estate market and buying cheaper properties in outlying towns, or simply moving back to their home towns in the regions. Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary are seeing some of the same boomer-fuelled trends. In Quebec, the chief beneficiaries have been Joliette and St. Jean sur Richelieu, both situated a short hop outside the Montreal metropolitan region. The two towns ranked among the 10 fastest-growing medium-sized towns in Canada from 2001 to 2006, according to a Statistics Canada analysis of 2006 census data made public yesterday. "All of our own studies confirm what Statistics Canada is saying," Daniel Desroches, town manager of St. Jean, said in an interview yesterday. Overall, the metropolitan region registered a net loss of 29,195 people to other regions of Quebec from 2001 to 2006. This loss represents the birth of a new trend. The Montreal region had registered an overall gain in intra-provincial migration from 1996 to 2001, although relatively minor, as well as major gains in the decades before that. Despite the losses from 2001 to 2006, immigration, or international migration, has more than compensated for the region's internal population losses to the rest of Quebec and Canada. "What we can say is that most of those people leaving for the rest of Quebec are moving to smaller towns - not larger cities like Quebec City and Sherbrooke that have their own census metropolitan areas," said Patrice Dion, an analyst in the demography division of StatsCan. Some towns that had relatively minor population gains from 2001 to 2006 have since begun to show signs of a vigorous new construction boom, real estate experts say. Lachute, for example, 80 kilometres northwest of Montreal, has awarded $19 million in new housing construction permits this year, double last year's total at this time, which was double the comparable total for the first six months of 2006. The StatsCan study made public yesterday also confirmed previous studies showing a slowdown in the so-called exodus of Quebecers to other provinces. The inter-provincial losses from 2001-06 were the lowest recorded in any five-year census period since 1971-76, Dion said. From 2001 to 2006, Quebec lost only 8,000 anglophones to other provinces - fewer than 2,000 a year, compared with up to 50,000 a year in the late 1970s. But as a StatCan study made public last December showed, new influxes of anglophones into Quebec from other countries between 2001 and 2006 slightly outnumbered the 8,000 losses, meaning English Quebec is growing today for the first time since the early 1970s. StatsCan also examined population movement within the Montreal metropolitan region. It looked at all the household moves from one municipality in the region to another and found clear winners and losers. The city of Montreal was a heavy loser, mainly to off-island suburbs. But Boisbriand, St. Joseph du Lac and Pointe Calumet, all off-island suburbs, were also big losers. The only town on Montreal Island with a net gain of population from other parts of the region was Ste. Anne de Bellevue. Beaconsfield and Dollard des Ormeaux suffered mild losses, as did Westmount and Montreal East. Off-island suburbs Longueuil, Oka and Ste. Anne des Plaines also suffered slight net losses. The one bright spot for the region was its net gain of 12,795 people in the 15-to-29 age group. These gains came from both the rest of Quebec and the rest of Canada. They reflect continuing poor job prospects in some outlying Quebec regions for young people as well as strong interest nationally in Montreal as a city for post-secondary studies, Dion said. [email protected] - - - montrealgazette.com - - - Not-So-Small Towns Small and medium-sized urban centres experienced significant population growth from 2001 to 2006, figures from the 2006 census show. Here are the urban centres that experienced the biggest gains from population shifts within Canada: City Province 1. Okotoks Alta. 2. Parksville B.C. 3. Grande Prairie Alta. 4. Wood Buffalo Alta. 5. Chilliwack B.C. 6. Vernon B.C. 7. Joliette Que. 8. Red Deer Alta. 9. St. Jean sur Richelieu Que. 10. Courtenay B.C. Other centres in Quebec in the Top 50 23. Drummondville 30. Granby 32. St. Georges (Beauce) 37. Sorel-Tracy 38. Victoriaville 44. Cowansville 49. Rivière du Loup 50. St. Hyacinthe source: statistics Canada
  5. Environmental study, alignment approved for high speed rail Michael Cabanatuan, Chronicle Staff Writer Wednesday, July 9, 2008 (07-09) 12:55 PDT San Francisco -- The High Speed Rail Authority granted final approval to the Pacheco Pass alignment to the Central Valley, and to the environmental studies supporting it, Tuesday. With that decision, which came on an 8-0 vote, with member T.J. Stapleton absent, the alignment and environmental study for the 800-mile statewide system are complete. The next step is up to the voters, who will decide on Nov. 4 whether to approve a $9.9 billion bond to help fund construction of the system, estimated to cost at least $30 billion. Environmental studies for the rest of the system were completed in 2004 but controversy over which route to use between the Bay Area and Central Valley - the Pacheco Pass or the Altamont Pass - prompted further studies and much debate. The proposed high-speed rail system would whisk travelers from downtown San Francisco to downtown Los Angeles in two and a half hours, and would travel at speeds up to 220 mph. <img src="http://www.intellexual.net/temp/hsr.jpg"> http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/ this thing is finally coming together! the next step is for voters to approve a $9.9 billion bond to fund the construction of the system. this bond won't increase your taxes.
  6. Je suis surpris qu'il n'y ait pas déjà un fil sur les grands architectes. Alors je commence le bal avec celui-ci... Bernard Tschumi. Bernard Tschumi (born January 25, 1944 Lausanne, Switzerland) is an architect, writer, and educator, commonly associated with deconstructivism. Born of French and Swiss parentage, he works and lives in New York and Paris. He studied in Paris and at ETH in Zurich, where he received his degree in architecture in 1969. Tschumi has taught at Portsmouth Polytechnic in Portsmouth, UK, the Architectural Association in London, the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York, Princeton University, the Cooper Union in New York and Columbia University where he was Dean of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation from 1988 to 2003. Tschumi is a permanent U.S. resident. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Tschumi http://www.tschumi.com/