Monthly Archives: June 2019

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Montreal artists’ wooden mural looks to promote local talent

With the holiday season on the way, two Montreal artists have used the festivities to inspire their most recent artwork.

READ MORE: Espace Verre offers opportunities to learn about glass arts in Quebec

Patrick Monast and Diane Tremblay used different types of wood and branches to depict a village, mountains, a river and the holiday season.

The aim is to promote local artists.

ChangSha Night Net


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  • Montreal pit bull mural protests city’s proposed dog regulations

    READ MORE: Scottish Diaspora Tapestry tells globe-trotting tale of Scots, on display at Atwater Library

    The mural, which was made in a workshop in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, is 8 feet high and 24 feet in length.

    From there, it was transported in five pieces to its location at 1176 Bishop St.

    “We unified the five sections to adjust the texture and surface,” Monast told Global News.

    “It’s important to properly marry the sections together.”

    The artwork was made possible through 50 hours of work by 10 people.

    READ MORE: Montreal artist teams up with SPCA to counter anti-pit bull sentiment

    Since putting the piece up for display, Monast has visited the location to see how many people have stop to observed the work.

    “For artists, it is very important to see the traction that the artwork makes,” Monast said.

    The mural will be in place until the beginning of January, but the length of its stay depends on the weather.

    READ MORE: Syrian refugee photo exhibit portrays 4 families’ new life in Montreal

    Since publishing the mural on Facebook, several businesses have shown interest in having it transferred to their offices once its time on Bishop Street is over.

    “We would be thrilled to see this art piece have a second life,” Patrick Monast said.

    “There’s certainly a second life, but where? Not sure where it will end up.”

Tennessee wildfire: Gatlinburg man desperate to find his missing family

A Gatlinburg, Tenn., man says he hasn’t heard from his wife or daughters since Monday, when mandatory evacuations due to a wildfire separated him from his wife and daughter.

“My wife’s name is Constance Reed and my daughters’ names’ are Lily Reed and Chloe Reed,” Michael Reed said in an emotional interview with CBS affiliate WATE in Tennessee.

ChangSha Night Net


  • Dolly Parton donating $1,000/month to every Tennessee family devastated by fires

  • 4 dead as devastating wildfires rip through Tennessee resort towns in Great Smoky Mountains

  • Cats survive months in the wild following Fort McMurray wildfire

    Reed said he and his son were separated from his wife and daughters when the wildfire, one of the largest and most devastating in U.S. history, began to threaten Gatlinburg.

    The wildfire grew in size Monday night when high winds blew trees onto power lines, sparking new fires and spreading embers over long distances, officials said.

    Hundreds of homes and other buildings, including a 16-storey hotel, were damaged or destroyed.

    READ MORE: Dolly Parton donating $1,000/month to every Tennessee family devastated by fires

    “We had seen on the news that there were fires on the spur,” Reed said. “So my son and I jumped in our van and drove … down the mountain to the Welcome Center on to the spur to see if it was close to our house.”

    After getting caught in the traffic of the massive evacuation – more than 14,000 people were evacuated from Sevier County according to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) – Reed had what would become his final contact with his family in several days.

    “[My wife] called us about 8:15 and said that there were flames across the street from our house,” Reed told a WATE reporter while fighting back tears. “She didn’t know what to do. So I told her to call 911, and that was the last time that I talked to her.”

    WATCH: Tennessee firefighter captures dramatic video as he drives through Gatlinburg wildfire

    Reed says he’s been trying to learn more from emergency officials about his family’s fate, but no one has been able to give him any information.

    “We’ve snuck back into Gatlinburg, and a friend of mine went to the other shelter in Gatlinburg and they said she wasn’t there,” Reed said. “I’ve called the other shelters here, they said she isn’t there.”

    “[I’m] just hoping for a miracle.”

    Meanwhile thousands of people in Gatlinburg are preparing to get their first look at what remains of their homes and businesses Friday morning.

    READ MORE: Cats survive months in the wild following Fort McMurray wildfire

    Local officials, bowing to pressure from frustrated property owners, began allowing people back into most parts of the city and affected parts of the county for the first time at 10 a.m.

    Gatlinburg city manager Cindy Cameron Ogle says residents have to pass through a checkpoint and must show some proof of ownership or residency. She says the city is not implying that private property is safe and that people may encounter downed power lines and other dangers.

    The wildfires killed 11 people and damaged hundreds of homes and businesses.

    -With files from the Associated Press

Canada’s top political stories of 2016

It was another year of big headlines on Parliament Hill. The new Liberal government tried to find its feet, a bromance bloomed and — as usual — more than a few people found themselves in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Here, in no particular order, are the top political moments of 2015. Elbows up!

Bromance with Barack

Whether real or imagined, the friendship between incoming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and outgoing President Barack Obama was the subject of endless chatter in 2016.

A visit to Washington, D.C. in the spring featured the like-minded leaders cuddling babies and posing for photos, and culminated in a glittering state dinner.

The goodwill continued when Obama showed up over the summer to address Parliament, prompting (some said embarrassing) chants of “four more years!” in the House.

There were hugs. There were high-fives. The word “dude-plomacy” was uttered. It all ended too soon.

Mulcair gets rejected. Hard.

If Tom Mulcair thought he was going to get a pass from his party’s membership after a dismal showing in the 2015 federal election, he got a very rough dose of reality at the NDP convention in April.

Pundits speculated that Mulcair would need to clear 70 per cent support in order to stay on as leader. He didn’t even hit 50.

Then, because things just weren’t awkward enough, he confirmed he’ll be staying on until a replacement is chosen sometime in 2017. So far, nobody has officially entered the race.


By international standards, our House of Commons is downright serene, so a brief moment of contact between the prime minister’s elbow and a fellow MP’s upper body qualified as an all-out ruckus.

Trudeau apologized three times for the elbow-to-the-chest heard around the world. Politicians rose to express their shock and dismay, media went nuts (sorry), and average Canadians just wanted the whole thing to blow over. Eventually, it did.

Assisted death

Canada’s new assisted-dying law was arguably the
most contentious and sensitive piece of legislation handled by the House of Commons this year, but it was the Senate that really threw a wrench in the government’s plans to get the law in place before everyone went home for the summer.

Once the bill was in front of them, the Red Chamber tried passing an amendment to give Canadians who aren’t terminally ill access to doctor-assisted death (which is more in line with a ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada), but the House of Commons rejected that amendment and sent the bill back again.

ChangSha Night Net

Complicating matters was the growing crop of independent senators who were not compelled to vote along party lines. The legislation was widely seen as the first major test of how a truly independent Senate might work.

In the end, the Senate yielded. The more restrictive legislation became law in June, to the relief of some Canadians and the dismay of others.


It cost taxpayers $200,000 to move two top Trudeau aides from Toronto to Ottawa, $3,700 to cover limo rides for the health minister, and $6,600 to pay a photographer to follow our environment minister minister around.

Scandals involving government expenses are nothing new in Canada ($16 orange juice, anyone?), but the Liberals set a new record for the sheer number of damaging headlines in August and September.

The prime minister promised, each time, that his government was reviewing how expenses are handled.

Values screening

Kellie Leitch was barely a blip on the political radar when she launched her campaign to become the next leader of the Conservative Party, but all that changed with an email sent to her supporters in the fall. Leitch wanted to know if they thought screening immigrants and refugees for “anti-Canadian values” was a good idea.

What followed was weeks of controversy, debate and speculation about what, exactly, an “anti-Canadian value” might be.

Leitch doubled (and tripled) down, in spite of opposition from within her own party, then added fuel to the fire with praise of president-elect Donald Trump.

Expect the controversies to continue. The Conservatives aren’t set to choose a new leader until next May.

Liz may resign

Elizabeth May has been the face of the federal Green Party and its sole MP for a decade, so when she began talking about stepping down, people took notice.

May found herself in direct conflict with her party’s membership in August when the Greens voted to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel during their convention.

After a week of soul-searching and a meeting with top party brass, she stayed. The party’s support for the BDS movement has since been retracted.

First Nations suicide crisis

The third-world conditions in many First Nations communities across Canada were once again laid bare in April when 11 people tried to take their own lives in a single night in the remote town of Attawapiskat.

Local chief Bruce Shisheesh pleaded for help from Ottawa, highlighting the overcrowded and substandard housing situation plaguing Attawapiskat and many other reserves across Canada.

Eight-year-old Shakira Koostachin plays on a swing in the northern Ontario First Nations reserve in Attawapiskat, Ont.


“I’m homeless, leading my own community,” Shisheesh told Global News.

“I sleep on a couch, how would you feel if you were leading Attawapiskat and you didn’t have a home or a place to sleep?”

The government responded with emergency aid and a visit from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett. In June, Shisheesh and youth from the community met personally with the prime minister.

Phoenix payroll meltdown

The Liberals inherited a disaster-in-the-making with the roll-out of the Phoenix payroll system in February. The new program, which handles the paycheques of around 300,000 federal public servants, came with a steep learning curve and an already deep backlog of files waiting to be processed.

It promptly flamed out.

For some employees, the money simply dried up, while others failed to receive back-pay or overtime pay. As the crisis deepened and families struggled to pay their mortgages, the government opened new call centres to handle pay files and hired new staff to man the phones. As of December, the backlog still hasn’t been cleared.

Loss of Jim Prentice and Jean Lapierre

Canada’s Parliament lost two former cabinet ministers in 2016, and shockingly they both died in plane crashes. Jean Lapierre, who became a respected Quebec political analyst after leaving federal politics, was killed on March 29 while en route with his family to his father’s funeral in eastern Quebec.

Then, in October, former Alberta premier and federal minister Jim Prentice died in a similar crash at the opposite end of the country, in British Columbia. He had also been travelling with family.

Both deaths shook the federal political scene, with tributes to the two men pouring in from across the country.

5 Montreal stories you must read this week: December 2

From an ethics scandal at the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB) to meeting a Great Montrealer whose mission is to give dogs a second chance at life, these are the top five stories Global News covered in Montreal this week:

Holiday heist

“I tell my kids we can’t buy another one. It’s like that. Someone stole it.”

It appears a Grinch-like character is striking the off-island town of Notre-Dame-de-L’île-Perrot.

READ THE STORY: Holiday light heists hitting Montreal’s off-island town

Auditing Quebec’s English school boards

“They have a code of ethics that they have to respect.”

Quebec education minister Sébastien Proulx has appointed an auditor to look into breach of ethics allegations and growing tension between commissioners at both the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) and the Lester B. Pearson School Board(LBPSB).

READ THE STORY: Quebec appoints auditor to look into English school board scandals

Riverside rezoning

“Ultimately, my daughter will probably end up going to French school close to home.”

This year could be the last for some students at St. Lawrence Elementary in Candiac as the Riverside School Board looks at re-zoning.

READ THE STORY: Parents considering French schools if Riverside School Board re-zones

Giving dogs a second chance

“[Anne Dubé is] the epicentre of this rescue, she’s the heart and soul of this rescue. She has the ability to inspire people.”

Anne Dubé found her true calling in life 15 years ago — simply because she has a love of dogs.

READ THE STORY: #GreatMTLer: Rosie Animal Adoption’s Anne Dubé, saviour who gives dogs 2nd chance at life

ChangSha Night Net


  • 5 Montreal stories you must read this week: November 25

  • 5 Montreal stories you must read this week: November 18

  • 5 Montreal stories you must read this week: November 11

    LBPSB ethics scandal

    “I can assure you one thing positively, I have the utmost respect for all of our administrators, always have.”

    Since the beginning of the school year, the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB) has been embroiled in an ethics scandal.

    READ THE STORY: Calls for resignation of LBPSB chair Suanne Stein Day date back to at least December 2015

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Nova Scotia teachers work-to-rule: What does it mean for you?

As parents and guardians, teachers and administrators prepare for work-to-rule job action to begin Tuesday, questions are still swirling about what this will actually mean for students and for parents.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia schools to reopen Tuesday, work-to-rule still in place

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Schools were closed Monday after the government said original work-to-rule directives from Nova Scotia Teachers Union compromised student safety. Monday afternoon, Education Minister Karen Casey announced the schools would reopen after learining the union had changed their directives regarding principals’ duties.

Here are answers to some of parents’ biggest questions heading into next week:

Will classes go ahead as usual?

Yes. Regular classroom instruction won’t be interrupted.

Will there be supervision for students before and after school?

Yes. Principals will be able to arrive on school property earlier than 20 minutes before class time starts, and stay longer than 20 minutes after the last bell rings.

They are also permitted to supervise during lunch and recess breaks.

Teachers, however, will are only required to show up at school 20 minutes before classes start, and to stay for 20 minutes after the school day ends.

How will breakfast programs be affected?

Breakfast and lunch program operation at schools across the province depend on each school, therefore there’s no definite yes or no.

READ MORE: With work-to-rule days away, NS students worried about breakfast program

With teachers and principals not arriving at schools until 20 minutes before the start of the school day, some breakfast and lunch programs may be affected. Any changes will be communicated to parents.

What about my child’s fundraiser?

Unless facilitated by a parent or volunteer, no fundraisers will be going ahead.

Here is a list of expectations for teachers during a work-to-rule campaign:

Teachers will arrive at school 20 minutes before start time and leave 20 minutes after the end of the school dayTeachers won’t communicate about school matters, including with parents, outside the teaching dayNo collection of money for, or organization of fundraisers with studentsInformation, including assessments and attendance, won’t be entered into PowerSchool or TIENTNo external assessments or diagnostic instruments will be completed by teachers, unless they’re required by lawNo department or board assessments will be administeredTeachers won’t participate or support extra-curricular activitiesTeachers won’t update websites or e-newslettersNo attendance of staff meetings, program planning or student success meetingsTeachers won’t take part in department or school board professional developmentTeachers won’t give extra help to students before or after lass or at lunch timeStudent teachers won’t be acceptedSchool administrators won’t participate in advisory council or parent group meetings, unless it’s due to an appeal of student disciplineSchool administrators won’t do classroom walk-throughs to supervise teachersTeachers and school administrators won’t attend board and department staff

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