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September 28, 2015

Eleven Quebec locations to be renamed to remove racial slur

Eleven Quebec locations to be renamed to remove racial slur

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Monday, September 28, 2015

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File photo of the Gatineau River. The Quebec Toponomy Commission states Nigger Rapids, a part of the Gatineau River, is to be renamed.
Image: Nickclose.

The Quebec Toponomy Commission, a Quebec public body which is responsible for naming places, cataloguing place names, and suggesting changes to their names, has announced in a press release on Friday that eleven locations in Quebec, whose names contain a racial slur, are to be renamed. The organization said they have yet to decide on the locations’ future names.

All of the places which are to be renamed include the racial slur nigger, or its French counterpart negre, in their names. Among the list of places to be renamed is Nigger Rapids, a section of the Gatineau River where a black couple drowned.

Although Nigger Rapids was named after the Black couple, the Commission believed the name was no longer an appropriate way to remember them.

The press release notes “Some of these place names, over time, testify to historical events”((fr)), but adds that even though the racial slurs are “of ancient usage”((fr)), they still “violate the dignity of the members of the black community.”((fr))

The name changes came after Rachael Zellars, PhD candidate from McGill University, started a petition to rename the places. “Finally, importantly, we are insisting that the Rapids currently named, ‘Nigger Rapids’ in Bouchette, be renamed to memorialize the dead — that is, to honor the memory of the Black couple who struggled in this body of water and tragically died there in 1912. We want to know their names, just as we know Cartier, Champlain, etc. as markers for real human beings who lived and died in Quebec, rather than as racial or ethnic slurs”, the petition said. 1,980 people have signed Zellars’ petition.

Zellars said the petition was her way of saying “let me show you some disagreement”.

The Commission has de-officialized the names in question.


Sources[]

  • Rachel Zellars. “Remove the term ‘nigger’ from all of Quebec’s natural sites” — IPetitions, September 28, 2015 (date of access)
url: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/removing-nigger-from-quebecs-natural-sites
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August 15, 2013

Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic swimmer Deborah Font

Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic swimmer Deborah Font

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Deborah Font at Madrid–Barajas Airport on Friday
Image: Laura Hale.

Wikinews interviews Deborah Font
Audio: Laura Hale.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Last Friday at Madrid–Barajas Airport, Wikinews interviewed Spanish Paralympic swimmer Deborah Font, who is competing at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships that started this Monday in Montreal, Canada. Font has finished second in Monday’s Women’s 100 meter Freestyle S12 Heat 1, before going on to finish fourth in the Women’s 100 meter Freestyle S12 Final with a time of 1:03.20, less than a second behind bronze medalist German Naomi Maike Schnittger.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png I’m Laura Hale, I’m interviewing Deborah Font for Wikinews. Deborah is going to the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal. You’re already a Paralympic medallist, right? You’ve won several medals at the Paralympics before?

Deborah Font: I won two medals in Sydney [2000 Summer Paralympic Games], a gold medal and bronze medal; in Athens [2004 Summer Paralympic Games] two silver medals and one bronze medal; in Beijing [2008 Summer Paralympic Games] one bronze medal; and in London 2012 Summer Paralympic Games one bronze medal. Seven in Paralympic Games.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And in World Championships?

Deborah Font: I don’t know the exact number. Several.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What style do you swim?

Deborah Font: 400m freestyle.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Okay, and you’re going to do that in Montreal?

Deborah Font: In Montreal I’ll do 400m freestyle.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You think you’re going to get a medal?

Deborah Font: Yes, I’m fighting for a silver or bronze medal.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What classification are you?

Deborah Font: S-12.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png S-12. So you have partial vision.

Deborah Font: Yeah, partial. [I can see a little.]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Since you cannot see perfectly, when you swim, can you see the people next to you?

Deborah Font: I can see those next to me, but not perfectly. I see those near to me, but not those far from me.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you think about other swimmers when you swim, or is it a disadvantage because you cannot see swimmers farther away?

Deborah Font: I swim my race, and don’t see the other swimmers.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png They don’t matter when you swim? You swim against yourself, your best time?

Deborah Font: I swim against myself, I don’t see the other swimmers too much. My race, myself, I go inside myself.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you have any sponsors?

Deborah Font: No, no sponsors.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How difficult is it to swim in Spain for Paralympic swimmers when you don’t have sponsors?

Deborah Font: We have a Paralympic Committee. It’s difficult having sponsors in Spain. For the Olympics, athletes don’t have many sponsors, and for Paralympics it’s more difficult.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Where are you from?

Deborah Font: Barcelona.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Is swimming more competitive in Barcelona, in Madrid…? Where do you think the best swimmers come from?

Deborah Font: They come from all Spain, but train only in Madrid or Barcelona. Most in Barcelona. (laughs)

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Is there a reason most of the swimmers train in Barcelona?

Deborah Font: There are more possibilities for training in good swimming pools. The “Centros de Alto Rendimiento” [High Performance Centres] are in Madrid or Barcelona.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Coming in into the World Championships, did you do any special training, or change how you prepare?

Deborah Font: I did special training with a coach that only trains three or four of us at the High Performance Centre.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png This is a pretty dumb question, but I know a lot of people who look at blind swimmers and they go how can they swim at a straight line? Can you clarify how people with vision impairments can actually swim?

Deborah Font: Well, in swimming it’s all technique and a lot of learning, and learning to swim by the middle of the lane involves a lot of training, habit… Perhaps it’s more difficult for completely blind people, but it’s all a matter of training, trying again and again, get to know the swimming pool… But I think the most difficult thing is to learn to swim the technique without being able to see the others, and to know what you are moving, your arm here and not there… and learning to touch the wall, it’s harder to calculate, especially when competing, because you cannot see the distance you have to the wall.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Thank you very much!



Sources

Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

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August 11, 2013

Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic swimmer Marta Gómez

Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic swimmer Marta Gómez

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Wikinews interviews Marta Gomez.
Image: Laura Hale.

Marta Gomez at Madrid–Barajas Airport yesterday
Image: Laura Hale.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Thursday at Madrid–Barajas Airport, Wikinews interviewed Spanish Paralympic swimmer Marta Gomez, who is scheduled to compete at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships that start on Monday in Montreal, Canada.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png This is Laura Hale, I’m interviewing Marta Gómez, a Spanish Paralympic swimmer going to the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal. Are you going to Montreal and what strokes and distances are you competing in?

Marta Gomez : I’ll swim the 100 meter and 400 freestyle, and the 200 individual medley.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Have you won any medals at previous championships?((es))

Marta Gomez : In 2011, at the European Championships in Berlin, I won 3 bronze.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you think you will win any medals in Montreal?((es))

Marta Gomez : I will try to fight for a medal in the 400 freestyle which is my main event, but, well, [if I swim well and feel well] my options are clearer, but until you swim nothing is clear.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png You’ve competed at previous Paralympic Games? In London?

Marta Gomez : Yes.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And you didn’t win any medals?

Marta Gomez : No, I didn’t win any medals.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What’s the difference preparing for London to the World Championships?((es))

Marta Gomez : That I have improved many aspects of technical level [like?] performance, and especially the psychological aspect that after London I have faced other competitions and I feel much more confident about myself and I have become more competitive.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Are you a swimmer with a visual impediment? You cannot see…?((es))

Marta Gomez : S13.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png When you swim, can you see the swimmers next to you?((es))

Marta Gomez : Depending on the race, you will always be able to — some races like in short distances like the 100 meter breaststroke and 100 meter freestyle as it is too short to lose sight of your rivals, but for example in 400 meters, yes, but I can only see from the sides. I cannot see all the swimmers. In the 800 meters, seeing swimmers in the race is impossible: I fail to see them.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png When you swim, do you mostly think about your own race because you cannot fully see everyone? Do you race more against yourself because you can not see?((es))

Marta Gomez : Yes, of course. Not being able to see your rivals you have to concentrate on your event because you may have nobody to [watch?], you may have a slight reference but you have to swim against yourself.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Why did you choose swimming as opposed to athletics or Goalball or some other sport?

Marta Gomez : I have only practiced swimming since childhood, I’ve always liked the water and it’s been the only sport I’ve practiced because I think it’s a sport where you feel a lot of freedom and don’t have any architectural barriers or anything.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Gracías.((en))

Marta Gomez : De nada.((en))



Sources

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August 10, 2013

Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic swimmer María Delgado

Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic swimmer María Delgado

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Wikinews interviews María Delgado.
Image: Laura Hale.

María Delgado at Madrid–Barajas Airport Thursday.
Image: Laura Hale.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Thursday at Madrid–Barajas Airport, Wikinews interviewed Spanish Paralympic swimmer María Delgado, who is scheduled to compete at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships that start on Monday in Montreal, Canada. Delgado will be 15 when she is to compete in Montreal.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png I’m Laura Hale, I’m interviewing María Delgado who is a Spanish swimmer and who is going to the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, and you have received a lot of press attention from the Spanish press for being the next great Spanish Swimmer, […] [Do you expect to medal in this tournament or in Río?]((es)) [Note: The translated question here differed from the one originally asked in English.]

María Delgado: [laughs] I don’t know.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The Spanish newspapers say she is the greatest swimmer, she is the next greatest Spanish Paralympic swimmer. Does she feel pressure from the media saying that she is a great swimmer to perform in a really high level? Does she feel pressure to win because the newspapers say it? Spanish newspapers say she is the next great Spanish Paralympic swimmer, that she is going to go to Río.

Translator: She has also been future with “plan AXA”, who bet on young swimmers Paralympics, and has been going at concentrations, which are younger with future have driven a little to fit in the world level of competition.((es))
María Delgado: I’m on a plan for young talent, that is preparing for Rio 2016 and has selected us, and now we go to the World Championship.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Because you are 15, how do you […] balance going to school and competing?

María Delgado: It’s a little difficult but with hard work and effort it’s doable. Study in the morning and train in the afternoon.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Are you doing school work while you are in Montreal? How does you balance school? How do you do the school at the 15 years old and swim? Because that seems really hard to do both at once.((es))

María Delgado: It is very difficult to combine and train while swimming, with swimming and studying.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Because you’re 15 do your parents go with you? Are your parents going to Montreal or are you all traveling solo by yourself?

María Delgado: With my coaches. My parents aren’t going.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Only with your coach?((es))

María Delgado: Yes.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Is it scary to be on your own? Competing against all these 20 year olds and 30 year olds who’ve been to Paralympic games, or you just go “I’m 15, I can — el Mundo es mío [the world is mine]”?((es))

María Delgado: I’m not scared and I go eagerly.((es))

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Thank you.((es))



Sources

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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

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June 18, 2013

Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum arrested for corruption

Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum arrested for corruption

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

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Michael Applebaum, the current interim mayor of Montreal, Québec, Canada, was arrested at about 6am local time (1000 UTC) yesterday morning by the Unité permanente anticorruption((en)) on fourteen charges including corruption, fraud, breach of trust, and conspiracy, including reportedly a C$50,000 bribe.

File photo of Michael Applebaum in 2009.
Image: abdallahh.

Commissioner Robert Lafrenière said the alleged illegal acts occurred between 2006 and 2011 and relate to two real-estate projects in the Côte des Neiges-Notre Dame de Grâce borough. The CBC indicated one of these projects was the borough’s new 15 million dollar sports complex. Applebaum is now one of several Québec mayors who have been accused of corruption in the past few years, including the previous Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay and Laval Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt.

Several politicians are calling on Applebaum to resign, including Québec Premier Pauline Marois, to let the city continue on with its affairs. A few others, such as Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault, are suggesting to put the city on a trusteeship as Laval was a few weeks ago, but Municipal Affairs Minister Sylvain Gaudreault says this will not happen, as only a few people are implicated, unlike Laval, where nearly the entire city council was implicated.

Two other people were arrested on charges related to the same real-estate deals: Saulie Zajdel, former city councillor, on five charges; and Jean-Yves Bisson, a bourough official, on four charges.

A second interim minister is to be nominated for the rest of Tremblay’s term, until the next municipal election is held in November.


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January 8, 2013

Three cities submit bids for 2020 Summer Olympics

Three cities submit bids for 2020 Summer Olympics

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The bidding cities for the 2020 Olympic Games (Baku, Doha, Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo) are represented by red dots, and their respective countries (Azerbaijan, Qatar, Turkey, Spain and Japan) are filled in in black.
Image: Kartin.

Yesterday in Lausanne, Switzerland, three cities, Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid, submitted their official bid books to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as part of their efforts to secure the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics for their cities.

The books contain each city’s plans for the Games as they relate to key hosting aspects such as venues, budgets, financial guarantees, security, accommodations, and transportation. These are scheduled to be made public today. The host city is to be named on September 7 at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, where a new IOC President is also to be chosen. All the bids are being viewed against a backdrop of the global economic downturn, with hosting costs and the national economy possibly playing a role in voter decision-making.

Baku in Azerbaijan and Doha in Qatar took part in the first stage of the bid process but were eliminated from contention in May at a meeting of the IOC’s Executive Board in Quebec City, Canada. Rome had considered a bid but withdrew early in the process because of Italian economic concerns. An IOC report said Istanbul’s bid “offers good potential” while Madrid had “a strong application” and Tokyo had “a very strong application.”

A sign in Tokyo supporting their 2020 Olympic bid
Image: 高木あゆみ.

Bookmakers have given Tokyo best odds to receive the Games at 4/6 compared to 5/2 for Istanbul and 3/1 for Madrid. Tokyo’s bid delegation included a member of the women’s FIFA World Cup champions Homare Sawa, 2008 Summer Paralympics swimming gold medalist Takayuki Suzuki, President of Tokyo 2020 and Japanese Olympic Committee Tsunekazu Takeda, bid chief executive Masato Mizuno, senior director for planning for sports at Tokyo 2020 Katsura Enyo, and a member of the Executive Board for Tokyo’s bid Yasuhiro Nakamori. Tokyo last hosted the Olympics in 1964 and had previously won the rights to host the later canceled 1940 Summer Olympics. This is their second consecutive bid, having lost to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Bid organizers believe the Games would be an uplifting force for a country still recovering from a natural disaster in 2011. A possible complication to Tokyo’s bid is territorial disputes with China.

Sawa is quoted by Inside the Games, an Olympic and Paralympics news site, saying, “I want to feel that deeply moving spirit from the London Games once again in Tokyo, […] I want to do all I can.”

Takeda is quoted by Inside the Games saying of the bid, “With tremendous support from people in Tokyo and across Japan, we have celebrated a memorable milestone today with the submission of our Candidature file, […] Based on lessons from our bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we have retained the best of that bid plan while adding important new strengths. Now that our Candidature file is complete, Tokyo is one step closer to implementing an innovative and inspiring Games plan. The Games in 2020 in Tokyo will offer athletes, spectators and Olympic and Paralympic family members a true once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Most of the infrastructure for a Tokyo Games has been built, which assists in keeping costs down as the world economy is a potential concern for financing the Games. Takeda remarked, “Many of our venues are in place; most of the games infrastructure is in place and the $4.5 billion budget to complete these tasks is already in the bank.” Despite Tokyo’s positive early response from the IOC, there is no guarantee the city will be selected as previous early favourites have failed to win hosting rights when it came down to the final vote. Amongst possible concerns, their bid could be undermined by South Korea’s hosting of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Istanbul are bidding for the fifth time, with this bid viewed as their most competitive and serious one to date. Their bid was presented by the city’s mayor, Kadir Topbaş, the bid leader Hasan Arat, President of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey and president of the World Archery Federation Uğur Erdener, Deputy Undersecretary of the Minister of Youth and Sports Yavuz Çelik, and general director of sports for Istanbul 2020 Mehmet Baykan. Their bid calls for the largest Opening Ceremonies in Olympic Games history, with a ceremony on the European and Asian banks of the Bosphorus involving a half million people. Istanbul’s bid calls for events to be held on two continents, which the bid organizers believe gives them an advantage of Madrid and Japan, as this fits within the framework of the Olympic ideal. That they have not hosted the Games previously is another potential positive as the most recent successful bids for the Olympic and Paralympic Games were in cities that had never hosted them before. Turkey’s bid is bolstered by having successfully hosted the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics and the FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships last year. The strength of the Turkish economy is also seen as a positive with their bid going forward. Their bid is hurt by ongoing disputes with Syria that has resulted in 150,000 Syrian refugees living on the Turkish side of the border.

Atatürk Olympic Stadium/Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadı in Istanbul
Image: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen (Uspn).

Arat is quoted by Inside the Games on the bid saying, “This milestone is the latest step in our 20-year journey to win the honour of hosting the Games, […] For the very first time, our desire to host the Games is matched by our capacity. We have been learning and evolving every step of the way, and today we are submitting a brand new and dramatically enhanced Games concept. Istanbul 2020 has a technically outstanding master plan and delivery structure, and we would grab the world’s attention with a breathtaking setting and a series of groundbreaking firsts, such as being the first ever Games held in two continents simultaneously. Now is the time for Istanbul; now we are ready to deliver.”

Istabul’s mayor Topbaş arrived at the last minute to assist in the bid submission despite bad winter weather in Istanbul. Quoted by Inside the Games, he said of the city’s bid, “Today is a historic moment for Istanbul and the Turkish nation, […] Istanbul 2020 is the first sports bid in Turkish history to have been officially launched by the Prime Minister, and it has been identified as a strategic national priority. As such, this bid has the unequivocal backing of every level of Government. […] The Games would enhance Istanbul’s growing global status as a place to visit, do business and, increasingly, stage world-class sport, […] We are all aligned behind our shared vision: hosting the Games for the first time would be the defining achievement in nearly 100 years of the Republic of Turkey.”

Madrid’s bid comes at a time when the Spanish economy is in the middle of a second recession where unemployment hovers around 25 per cent and on the heels of two previous failed bids. Bid organizers believe the Games could serve as an economic driver for the country. Juan Antonio Samaranch Salisachs, International Triathlon Union President and IOC member Marisol Casado, International Canoe Federation President and IOC member José Perurena López, Madrid mayor Ana Botella, Madrid’s bid leader and the president of the Spanish Olympic Committee Alejandro Blanco, President of the Sports Council Miguel Cardenal, the Councillor for Education, Sports and Youth with the Madrid Regional Government Lucia Figar, and two-time Olympic gold medal sailor Theresa Zabell were part of the Madrid bid delegation. In submitting their bid, they gave a half-hour presentation to the IOC’s head of Bid City Relations Jacqueline Barrett and Executive Director of the Olympic Games Gilbert Felli.

Comité Olímpico Español headquarters in Madrid
Image: Luis García (Zaqarbal).

Madrid’s mayor is quoted by Inside the Games on the bid as “a project the whole country is behind and a dream for all Spaniards […] The proof can be seen in the fact that three levels of Government are represented here — the city, the regional and the national. We are here to give our support to the countless people who are working for and believe in Madrid’s Olympic aspirations.”

Like Tokyo, much of the sport-related infrastructure for a Madrid-hosted Games already exists. This would keep infrastructure costs down and make the Games more affordable for Spain. Their bid is the least expensive of all the submitted bids. London’s recent hosting of the Games is seen as potentially harmful to their bid because two Games in Europe within only a few Olympic cycles runs counter to traditional Games hosting.

The IOC’s Evaluation Commission is scheduled to visit each city in March, with their first scheduled visit starting March 4 in Tokyo, then starting March 18 in Madrid and wrapping up their city visits starting March 24 in Istanbul. Following their visits, the Commission is to write and submit a report to IOC membership by July 4 to assist voters in making their decision.



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August 2, 2012

Quebec election called for September

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Jean Charest in 2010
Image: US Mission Canada.

Following speculation from the media, Quebec, Canada premier Jean Charest has called a provincial election for September 4, 2012. After meeting with Lieutenant Governor Pierre Duchesne to officially drop the writ and dissolve parliament, he made the public announcement on Wednesday in front of Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport, stating the airport represents a “bridge to the north” (in reference to his government’s plan to develop natural resources in northern Quebec).

Flag of Quebec

Charest is the leader of the Quebec Liberal Party and has held his position as premier since 2003. This time, it is uncertain whether he will continue to govern or not, since polls are showing no clear winner.

This election comes in the midst of widely-reported student protests against a raise in university tuition, which is expected to be one of the major issues of the elections. One other party, the Coalition Avenir Québec, is in favour of the tuition increases, while the Parti Québécois, Option nationale, and Québec solidaire oppose the tuition increases.

The Quebec Liberal Party is federalist, meaning it supports Quebec being part of Canada, while the other major parties are separatist, meaning they support Quebec becoming a sovereign state. During his speech, Charest reaffirmed his position on tuition fees and was quoted as saying he was representing the “silent majority.”



Sister links

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg 2012 Quebec student protests
  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Quebec sovereignty movement

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Quebec election called for September 2012

Quebec election called for September 2012

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Quebec, Canada premier Jean Charest has called a provincial election for September 4. After meeting with Lieutenant Governor Pierre Duchesne to officially drop the writ and dissolve parliament, he made the public announcement yesterday in front of Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport, stating the airport represents a “bridge to the north”, in reference to his government’s plan to develop natural resources in northern Quebec.

Jean Charest in 2010
Image: US Mission Canada.

Charest is the leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, has held his position as premier since 2003, and has been a member of the National Assembly since 1998. He has now won four consecutive elections in his riding of Sherbrooke, first becoming the leader of the official opposition, then becoming premier for three terms. At this time, polls show no clear winner for the upcoming election.

This election comes in the midst of widely reported student protests against a raise in university tuition, which is expected to be one of the major issues of the elections. One other party, the Coalition Avenir Québec, is in favour of the tuition increases, while the Parti Québécois, Option nationale, and Québec solidaire oppose the tuition increases.

The Quebec Liberal Party is federalist, meaning it supports Quebec being part of Canada, while the other major parties are separatist, meaning they support Quebec becoming a sovereign state. During his speech, Charest reaffirmed his position on tuition fees and was quoted as saying he was representing the “silent majority.”



Sister links

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg 2012 Quebec student protests
  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Quebec sovereignty movement
  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Quebec general election, 2012

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July 21, 2011

Davie Shipyard sale cleared by Québec court

Davie Shipyard sale cleared by Québec court

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Québec Superior Court judge has approved the sale of troubled Davie Yards to Ontario-based Upper Lakes Group in a decision handed down today in Québec City.

Davie has been in creditor protection since February 2010 and had been planning a bid for one of two contracts to be handed down as part of the Government of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS). This plan had historically been cast into doubt as a condition of the bidding process was that the yards involved be financially solvent.

The deadline to submit bids is 14:00 Eastern Time (19:00 UTC) on July 21. Vancouver-based Vancouver Shipyards, and Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding are also bidding for the NSPS contracts.



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February 9, 2011

London and Toronto stock exchanges propose merger

London and Toronto stock exchanges propose merger

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Canada
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Only weeks before the Canadian government in Ottawa is expected to table a budget which may trigger a national election, the announcement of a proposed 3.2 billion CAD merger between the Toronto (TSX:X) and London (LSE:LSE) stock exchanges to produce the largest single exchange.

Even as news was beginning to leak about the mega-merger, Deutsche Börse AG (FWB:DB1) and NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) announced deep negotiations under way regarding a merger between the third and second, respectively, largest exchange groups by total revenues. The proposed TMX-LSE group merger would produce the largest market in terms of listings – approximately 6,700 companies are traded between the two groups – but total annual receipts would likely not make it the largest in dollars.

Technically the merger is a takeover of Toronto-based TMX by the LSE Group, with LSE shareholders owning 55% of the new company. TMX head Thomas Kloet would become CEO of the new firm, while LSE’s executive would take chairmanship of a new board consisting of 8 members from LSE and 7 from TMX.

Canadian Industry Minister Tony Clement has said the government will review the merger, which raises the spectre of a government rejection of a deal which would see yet another large Canadian corporation under foreign ownership. The ruling conservatives have been dogged by the issue, and have blocked two other foreign ownership bids during the current government’s terms – last year’s Potash Corp. (TSX:POT) takeover bid from BHP Billiton (BHP.AX) and the earlier Alliant Techsystems Inc. (NYSE:ATK) bid for MacDonald (TSX:MDA) space technologies branch, the only two such blocks ever made by a Canadian government.

Canadian opposition parties challenged the Prime Minister over the proposal, with New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton questioning the benefits of the deal. “Of course, Canadian companies need access to foreign capital, but not at the expense of our own capital markets,” he said. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper refused to comment on the proposal, having been criticised for involving his office in the Potash bid.

Both the Quebec and Ontario regulatory commissions are also involved in reviewing the deal, which is set for October 2011, as their provincial exchanges are in Montreal and Toronto respectively.



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