Canadian officials request technical information on nuclear waste site near Lake Huron, again





Critics opposed to Ontario Power Generations plan to build an underground nuclear waste dump on the shore of Lake Huron were encouraged by news that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has requested more comprehensive information.

OPG has repeatedly ignored the questions or danced over them, said Dr. Ellen Dailey, vice-president of the SOS Great Lakes, a bi-national organization opposing the plan, and a surgeon from Erie, Pennsylvania, whose family has a summer home north of the proposed site. CEAAs 15-page letter reflects many of the concerns which we have held about this potentially disastrous project. This letter signals that the Canadian government will not accept superficial responses from Ontario Power Generation, who have been reluctant to provide answers regarding other potential sites. CEAA have clearly asked for additional information and clarification on three major issues: alternate sites, cumulative effects and mitigation, all of which were concerns we highlighted in our 120-page submissions to CEAA opposing the project.

Last February, Canadas Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, asked the OPG for more information including less risky alternatives than near the Great Lakes. The OPG responded with alternate sites that were not only by freshwater lakes and streams but people, sidewalks, and businesses.

When we looked at the GPS coordinates one of them was in a densely populated area of downtown Toronto, said Beverly Fernandez, spokesperson for Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, another citizens group opposing the plan. And probably the most bizarre choice, a spit of land right under the Burlington Skyway Bridge.

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This is the fifth time that OPG has side-stepped a specific government request to study alternative sites, according to SOS Great Lakes director Rod McLeod.

We have yet to digest the full implications of the CEAA directive but this is a positive step in obtaining answers about this project that should have been made public years ago, Dailey said. Certainly the people of the Great Lakes region deserve more substantive answers from the OPG than off-handed quips like the DGR may be geographically close to Lake Huron, but geologically its a million miles away.

The fiercely debated plan to build what is called a Deep Geological Repository (DGR) has been going on for 14 years.

The plan as proposed by the OPG is to construct an underground permanent burial facility for all of Ontarios low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Kincardine, Ont.

The site is less than a mile inland from the shores of Lake Huron and about 440 yards below the lake level. Kincardine, a small community about 114 miles upstream from Port Huron, agreed to have the facility in their town but will be financially compensated.

If and when the DGR is in place, an estimated 52 million tons of nuclear waste will be shipped to the site from other nuclear plants around Canada. Some of those discarded materials will remain toxic for more than 100,000 years as they are stored in limestone caverns. Once full, the shafts are to be sealed with sand, clay and concrete.

OPG has assured the residents and the public, Years of scientific research have shown that the geology under the Bruce nuclear site is ideal for a DGR; it is some of the tightest rock in the world, impermeable limestone that has remained intact through 450 million years, multiple ice ages and glaciers.

Great or not, it has never been done before and the only examples in the world that have come close have all failed, opponents point out.

The three sites include the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP) in New Mexico and two German site, Asse II and Morslenben, both former salt mines.

Even if this new location appears safe, Dailey said it is not worth the risk to the largest source of fresh water on the planet.

My hope would be that this time they (OPG) say, We give up, Dailey said. Lets regroup and come up with a different plan. Thats what we all want.

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) would likely agree. Following the statement by the Canadian government, he was among the first to cheer for the request.

There is growing opposition, both in the U.S. and Canada, to this dangerous nuclear waste site, and the public pressure is being heard loud and clear, he said, in a press release. The Canadian governments decision to request more information from OPG, including on alternative sites, is another delay for this dangerous plan. I am hopeful that the Canadian government will reject this site so close to the Great Lakes.

However, Kildee warned citizens not to think the battle has been won.

The fight is not over, he said. People need to continue raising their voices in opposition to this proposed site.

One Taxi Driver’s Mission To Help Refugees Reach The Canadian Border

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Canada says more than 2,000 people seeking asylum crossed the border from the U.S. in the first two months of this year. People with valid U.S. visas can cross at official checkpoints. Those without documentation have to find another way to get over the border. Ashley Cleek has this story of someone who’s helping people cross.

ASHLEY CLEEK, BYLINE: At first, when people started showing up in Plattsburgh, N.Y., asking to go to the border, Victor Pizarro was caught off guard.

VICTOR PIZARRO: We didn’t have a full understanding of what was going on nationally that would affect our small community here, so we weren’t prepared for it.

CLEEK: Pizarro runs a cab company in Plattsburgh, about 20 miles from the Canadian border. He says in January, right around the inauguration, people who didn’t speak English were getting off at the bus station and handing his drivers a piece of paper that read, take me to Roxham Road. How much?

Pizarro had never heard of Roxham Road, a narrow street that dead-ends in a ditch, marking the U.S.-Canada border. When he drove to the border, Pizarro contacted U.S. Customs and Border Protection and gave them the taxi’s GPS tracking information, so Border Patrol agents could meet the cab and check his passengers’ papers.

PIZARRO: Each time we’ll get pulled over. The people get pulled out the car. And sometimes they got arrested. Sometimes Border Patrol said we’re not there, don’t worry about it, just take them.

CLEEK: Mike Estrella, an operations officer with U.S. Border Patrol, said the opposite in an interview. He said the agency has no protocol with taxicab companies. Then one day, everything changed. Pizarro says he picked up a mother and son. The mom was Haitian. The son was American, around 15 years old. And they asked him to drive them to the border.

Pizarro asked if their paperwork was in order, and the son said yes. So Pizarro stopped near the border, and border agents came up to the taxi and asked them for their passports. Pizarro says the agents told the woman to step out of the car. Her visa had expired. Pizarro looked in the rearview mirror at the son.

PIZARRO: And tears are just rolling, rolling, rolling down his face. I mean, there’s nothing I could do because I have – I’m just driving.

CLEEK: Pizarro got out and asked the agents what was going to happen to the mom and her kid. He says they told him that she would be detained and likely deported. The kid, they said, he would be sent to foster care. Pizarro says he felt like his heart had stopped.

PIZARRO: I mean, as a kid, I was taken away from my family. So it sort of hit me in a place that, you know, it bothered me. It bothered me to a point because when I looked in his eyes, I seen a reflection of myself. It brought me back to a feeling that I thought was gone. And I was like, oh, no, no, no.

CLEEK: No more, he decided. Pizarro called his drivers to an emergency meeting. Change of plans, he told them. From now on, he said, the goal is to make sure people get to the border safely. So if passengers don’t have valid visas, Pizarro tries to make sure Canadian officials are waiting at the end of Roxham Road.

PIZARRO: But as far as ripping families apart, there’s no – we’re not in that business anymore. It happened once and that’s it. It won’t happen again with us.

CLEEK: Estrella, the U.S. Border Patrol officer, said he couldn’t comment on this specific incident but he stressed the agency is not trying to separate families by any means.

(SOUNDBITE OF PHONE RINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Taxi? Yeah, honey, I got you.

CLEEK: Recently, Pizarro’s made some changes to his office, too. He transformed part of it into a waiting area. There’s a comfy leather sofa, a small table and chairs so that people waiting to go to the border have a place to relax, maybe take a nap.

Pizarro says most passengers tell him they’re seeking asylum in Canada because of how President Trump has targeted immigrants and Muslims. Pizarro says before all this, he’d never taken a position on immigration.

PIZARRO: I get the fact that these people have – they’ve overstayed their visas. I don’t know what side of the fence that I actually fall on on this issue. I just know that when they come here and they call us, then our job is get them from point A to point B safely and we’re going to do that.

Yeah?

UNIDENTIFIED BUS DRIVER: Waiting for any certain somebody?

CLEEK: At 1 a.m. one night, Pizarro waits in his taxi as a bus pulls in from New York City. The bus driver walks over and asks Pizarro if he can take someone to the border.

PIZARRO: OK, we’ll take them. Let me go help these guys with their luggage.

CLEEK: A woman in a turquoise headscarf steps off the bus with three young boys. They drag eight massive suitcases and three overstuffed bags from the bus to the curb. They’re Palestinian, from Gaza. She only gives her first name, Amal. And she says her sons are 15, 14 and 8. They got on a train two days ago in Tuscaloosa, Ala. They’re exhausted. And she asked Pizarro to take her to the border.

AMAL: Yeah. Now I can go there to the border?

CLEEK: Now she wants to seek refuge in Canada. She and her sons have valid U.S. visas, so Pizarro calls U.S. border agents. And they tell him to drop the family near the duty-free store, about a quarter mile from the official border crossing. It’s windy, just above freezing. Pizarro pulls their luggage out of the trunk and points to where they can walk.

(SOUNDBITE OF SUITCASES ROLLING)

CLEEK: The three boys each grab a suitcase and run backwards towards the border. It’s 2:30 a.m. by the time Pizarro starts back to Plattsburgh. He drives to the bus station to see if anyone getting off the 3 a.m. bus needs a ride to the border. For NPR News, I’m Ashley Cleek in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Senators Schumer, Gillibrand and Baldwin Call on Trump Administration to Act on Restrictive Canadian Trade Barriers Threatening American Dairy »

Senators: Dairy farmers should not have their businesses ruined and lives upended as a result of this unfair trade practice

April 12, 2017

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) have called on the Trump Administration to act on restrictive Canadian trade barriers that are hurting American dairy farmers and processors.

The Senators sent a letter to Acting U.S. Trade Representative Stephen Vaughn, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Acting Secretary of Agriculture Michael Young, detailing the negative impact these unfair trade practices are having on America’s dairy industry and urging the Administration officials to immediately address this issue with the Canadian government and launch an investigation into these trade actions.

‘We urge you to exhaust all potential avenues to bring Canada into compliance with its trade commitments and establish dependable trading conditions for U.S. companies exporting to Canada,’ the Senators wrote. ‘Dairy farmers should not have their businesses ruined and lives upended as a result of this unfair trade practice. Canada must be clearly and swiftly reminded in a concrete way that dependable trading conditions between our two countries is critically important to their country as well.’

Current Canadian trade barriers have already started to hinder development and growth of the Upstate New York dairy industry. Companies like O-AT-KA and Cayuga Milk Ingredients, along with Ideal Dairy Farm, rely on trade with Canada for a significant percentage – millions of dollars – of their revenue. As the country’s third largest milk producing state, a significant impact on New York’s ability to tap into key foreign markets could also impact farmers in surrounding states. Therefore, any reductions in export sales could impact New York dairy manufacturers and their supplying farms, which are already struggling with depressed milk prices.

The letter text is available below.

We write to request your immediate attention to a trade matter with Canada that is causing severe harm to dairy farmers in the U.S. Following Canada’s action earlier this year to formalize a new milk pricing scheme, dairy processors in the U.S. have been abruptly informed by their Canadian customers that these Canadian companies are drastically reducing their purchases of and in some cases will no longer buy American milk. This action has left many farmers facing terribly difficult decisions about the future of their farms. We urge you to immediately address this with your Canadian counterparts and to launch an investigation into whether Canada’s Class 7 National Ingredients Strategy and Ontario’s Class 6 pricing programs are in compliance with Canada’s long standing trade commitments to the United States.

Canadian dairy pricing policies are upending long-standing trade relationships with American dairy companies and have resulted in the sudden loss of major contracts for companies in both of our states. Canada’s new Class 7 National Ingredients Strategy and the existing Ontario Class 6 pricing program appear to be designed in ways to intentionally displace current U.S. dairy imports and in the case of Class 7 to also negatively impact global milk powder markets. We are extremely concerned that these programs appear to violate Canada’s existing trade commitments to the United States. In addition, we have serious doubts as to how these programs are compliant with Canada’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations.

The Ontario Class 6 program has already slashed U.S. exports of ultra-filtered milk starting in mid-2016 and companies are reporting further losses of contracts already this year. The loss of these, and likely other exports, as a result of the Class 6 and 7 programs will harm dairy manufacturers and their supplying farms in areas of our states that rely on the jobs the dairy industry provides. In addition to these revised pricing policies, Canada has also reportedly been considering additional avenues that press reports indicate would be pursued strictly to curtail U.S. dairy exports.

It has become abundantly clear that Canada has been pursuing ways to impede U.S. dairy exports through various policy and regulatory tools. Canada cannot be allowed to continually impair the value of concessions the U.S. previously secured under our prior trade agreements nor to disrupt global milk powder markets to the detriment of companies all across this country that rely on them to help provide returns to our dairy farmers.

We thank you for the U.S. Government’s work to date on this issue and urge you to fully investigate whether Canada’s Class 7 National Ingredients Strategy and Ontario’s Class 6 pricing program are in keeping with Canada’s commitments to the United States under NAFTA and the WTO. We urge you to exhaust all potential avenues to bring Canada into compliance with its trade commitments and establish dependable trading conditions for U.S. companies exporting to Canada.

Dairy farmers should not have their businesses ruined and lives upended as a result of this unfair trade practice. Canada must be clearly and swiftly reminded in a concrete way that dependable trading conditions between our two countries is critically important to their country as well.

Kirsten E. Gillibrand published this content on 12 April 2017 and is solely responsible for the information contained herein.
Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 12 April 2017 17:31:22 UTC.

Dairy Farmers Losing Canadian Milk Markets, Fear Backlash

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Canada has long been a steady market for Midwest dairy exports, but it appears the flow is about to slow.

That’s after a recent change in Canada’s milk pricing policy, which has a number of Minnesota and Wisconsin dairy farmers scrambling for new markets.

“That’s the first time I’ve seen that happen in my 40 years,” said Goodhue dairy farmer David Buck.

As president of the Minnesota Milk Producers Association, Buck is keenly aware of the dilemma. He says a number of farmers are learning the Canadian market for ultra-filtered milk has dried up.

When it does, their milk will no longer be wanted by processors.

farm2 Dairy Farmers Losing Canadian Milk Markets, Fear Backlash

(credit: CBS)

“There’s about 100 producers total who got a letter saying they wouldn’t get their milk picked up after May 1,” Buck said.

Without processors to buy the milk, farmers will face a decision: sell dairy herds or resort to dumping out their raw milk.

Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson put out a statement, saying in part, “This puts our farmers at an unfair disadvantage and could drive some farms out of business.”

A lucky few may be able to arrange deals to sell their milk to other dairy processors, but with many of them at capacity, even that will provide little relief.

“Spring is usually when cows produce the most milk, so everybody’s full,” he said. “It’s just a difficult situation to find a place that can even process it, that’s the biggest problem.”

National dairy groups are asking governors in dairy-producing states and President Donald Trump to pressure Canada to rescind the new policies. They see the country’s new pricing structure as a violation of NAFTA and protectionist in design.

However, because the lack of export will cause a drop in milk prices for the producer, all dairy farmers will feel the pinch — not just those who export to Canada.

‘A huge win for Canadian gas’: LNG dithering clouds natural gas rebound

The oilsands business is getting all the attention, but the Canadian exploration and production companies that made it through the oil downturn are also cautiously returning to growth.

Many are in the gas side of the business where the price outlook is encouraging, are digesting acquisitions that transformed them into sizeable players, and have slimmed down costs to keep themselves competitive with their U.S. counterparts.

Life would be close to perfect if they could get a liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry off the ground on the West Coast to open new export markets for Canadian gas, or some of the investor attention U.S. players are hoarding, thanks largely to their more supportive policy environment.

“We need (Canadian) provincial and federal governments truly behind the LNG business,” Mike Rose, president and CEO of Tourmaline Oil Corp., which has grown into a senior producer, said at the CAPP Scotiabank Investment Symposium in Toronto Wednesday. “It’s a huge win for Canadian gas. It’s the best thing Canada can do to replace coal generation in Asia … as opposed to a fantasy exercise” to reduce carbon emissions.

Rose expects drilling activity in Western Canada to rebound if natural gas prices keep strengthening.

“At the current gas price, I don’t think activity is really going to ramp up,” he said on the sidelines of the conference. “If gas goes up by 30 or 50 cents, I think it will.”

Tourmaline, which last fall acquired Western Canadian assets from Royal Dutch Shell PLC for $1.3 billion, produces 240,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (about 84 per cent natural gas), making it one of Canada’s top oil and gas companies outside the oilsands. Many sold out or were forced to shrink significantly.

Longer term, Rose is optimistic for Canadian gas.

Demand in Alberta is rising as power generation moves away from coal, oilsands companies require more gas to fuel their growing operations, and global demand is growing.

“If you look at the overall energy in the world going forward … the one that is growing the most on a proportionate basis is natural gas, probably because it’s cheaper than renewables and it’s cheaper than oil,” Rose said.

AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Pat Ward, president and CEO of Painted Pony Petroleum Ltd., another consolidator, said it’s hard for gas companies to get market respect after more than a dozen years of depressed prices.

But he believes they are rebounding as demand for Canadian gas grows, in part because of sizeable exports from LNG terminals in the U.S.

“The U.S. guys started on LNG when we started on LNG (on the British Columbia Coast) and the U.S. is already exporting over 10 billion cubic feet a day,” Ward said outside the conference. “They are buying our Canadian gas for $2.50 Canadian and selling it to the Mexicans for US$3.50.”

Meanwhile, the Canadian LNG sector remains stalled, with only a small export terminal planned out of more than two dozen originally planned, following regulatory delays, aboriginal opposition, and changing market conditions.

I am just absolutely disappointed that as a country we dithered around pipelines and LNG

Painted Pony, which last month acquired private company UGR Blair Creek Ltd. for $276 million to bolster its position in the giant Montney shale gas play, expects to grow production to 70,000 boe/d at the end of the year, from 45,000 boe/d today. Its Canadian reserves are so large they are now bigger than those of former gas giant Encana Corp., Ward said.

“The resource that we have is stunning — for a company we just started ten years ago,” he said.

Jonathan Wright, president and CEO of NuVista Energy Ltd., another big Montney player, said there hasn’t been cost inflation so far this year in Western Canada, where many drilling rigs remain idle. But some cost pressures could come in the second half of the year if commodity prices continue to strengthen.

The sector is back to “firing on all cylinders” after many tough years, Wright said, though he remains concerned about Canada’s inability to reach new export markets for its oil and gas.

“I am just absolutely disappointed that as a country we dithered around pipelines and LNG,” he told the meeting. “We need to get on with business here.”

Financial Post

ccattaneo@nationalpost.com

Ten of the best places in Montreal to watch Habs playoff games

A group of Montreal Canadiens fans watch the final regular season game against the Detroit Red Wings at McLean’s Pub in Montreal April 8, 2017.
Christinne Muschi / Montreal Gazette

It’s that time. The time that Montrealers live for. It’s the playoffs and for the first time in two years, our beloved Canadiens are in the hunt for the Stanley Cup.

There’s a buzz in the air and nowhere more so than in the city’s bars, pubs and restaurants where fans of the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge will be congregating for as long as Les Boys are still competing for the precious trophy that has eluded the Habs’ grasp for the past 24 years.

Back in the day when Montreal was winning the Cup with re-assuring regularity and the parade was following the “usual route” every June, there weren’t nearly as many bars and restaurants in town showing the games. But with the arrival of wide-screen TVs and the growing popularity of the Canadiens, every second watering hole ici is chock-full of screens and come game night, the drinking establishments are packed with folks sporting the team colours.

Without further ado, here’s a rundown of ten of the best places ‘round these parts to catch Habs playoff games, listed in alphabetical order.

Bruno Sport Bar

Special playoff features: Same drill as every other Habs game at this Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie bar. When you come in, you get a hockey card with a Canadiens player’s name and number and if he scores, you get a free shot.

Screens: 3 100-inch screens and 8 other screens.

Most popular drink: Carlsberg draft.

Most popular dish: The Italian panini, which features Italian cold cuts, lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, with pickles on the side.

Habs playoff prediction: “I’m thinking the first series is going to be the hardest,” said owner Bruno Verrillo. “But if they beat the Rangers, we’re going to go to the conference final.”

Address: 313 Beaubien St. East.

Phone: 514-271-8364

Website: None.

Hours: 8 a.m. – 3 a.m.

Burgundy Lion

Special playoff features: “We’re not a sports bar per se but with the playoffs, we spice it up,” said co-owner Paul Desbaillets. That includes playing the games with sound and being able to watch the games in the courtyard. “When the game is over, win or lose, you just want to hang out. With our place, everybody sticks around and if we win, it really becomes a party.”

Screens: 8.

Most popular drink: Burgundy Lion Ale.

Most popular dish: Fish & chips.

Habs prediction: “I think we’re going to the third round,” said Desbaillets. “We can beat New York but it’s the playoffs and it’s going to go to game seven.”

Address: 2496 Notre Dame St. West.

Phone: 514-934-0888

Site: burgundylion.com

Hours: 11 a.m. – 3 a.m.


Youppi! on the mechanical bull at Chez Serge, making good on a bet the Canadiens made with Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon, in a photo posted to Twitter on Sunday, June 1, 2014.

Montreal Canadiens

Chez Serge

Special playoff features: The bar is bringing in a food truck, Mi Corazon, which will be parked outside and will serve up Mexican fare, plus chicken wings and poutine, for hungry hockey fans. Chez Serge will also, as always, be working with next door neighbour, Café Mei, to offer Chinese dishes as well. There will be a pump-you-up video of Habs highlights from this season that will be shown before every playoff game.

Screens: 2 110-inch screens, 9 52-inch screens.

Most popular drink: Molson Ex, quart.

Most popular dish: General Tao chicken.

Habs prediction: “We beat the Rangers during the regular season so I have a good feeling,” said Chez Serge owner Paulo Branco. “I’d say we’ll get to the conference final but in my heart I want to win the Stanley Cup.”

Address: 5301 St. Laurent Blvd.

Phone: 514-663-4227

Site: None.

Hours: 5 p.m. – 3 a.m.


Montreal Canadiens fans Larry Skinner (R) Caroline Goyman from Red Lake Ontario celebrate a goal by the Montreal Canadiens during their game against the Detroit Red Wings at the Irish Embassy in Montreal April 8, 2017.

Christinne Muschi /

Montreal Gazette

Irish Embassy

Special playoff features: Will be a heated tent on the back terrace for those who want to watch the games (sort of) al fresco. There will also be a couple of specials on Habs playoff game nights, including a pint of Keith’s and a shot of Bushmills whiskey for $9; and a pint of Keith’s and a burger for $15.

Screens: 14.

Most popular drink: Guinness draft.

Most popular dish: Burgers.

Habs prediction: “We’re hoping they get as far as possible,” said assistant general manager Nick Bignell.

Address: 1234 Bishop St.

Phone: 514-875-8777

Site: irish-embassy.com

Hours: Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. – 3 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 3 a.m.


A group of Montreal Canadiens fans watch the final regular-season game against the Detroit Red Wings at McLean’s Pub in Montreal April 8, 2017.

Christinne Muschi /

Montreal Gazette

McLean’s Pub

Special playoff feature: Business as usual. “We have a ton of screens and they’re all devoted to the Habs,” said general manager Stuart Ashton. After the games, there will be an MC who will host a hockey-trivia quiz. There is also a hockey menu that includes the Jean Béliveau – sirloin steak – and the Knuckles sandwich in honour of former Canadiens bruiser and current TSN 690 host Chris ‘Knuckles’ Nilan.

Screens: 25.

Most popular drink: Labatt 50.

Most popular dish: Burgers.

Habs prediction: “I think we could go three rounds,” said Ashton. “I’d love to go to the final but can we? It’s a whole new season. Price has been incredible but we gotta score some goals.”

Address: 1210 Peel St.

Phone: 514-392-7770.

Site: mcleanspub.com

Hours: 11 a.m. – 3 a.m.

Momesso

Special playoff features: Business as usual.

Screens: Two.

Most popular drink: Molson Ex.

Most popular dish: Sausage submarine.

Habs prediction: “It’s not going to be easy,” said Sandra Momesso, who has worked at the N.D.G. landmark since it opened in 1978. “The playoffs is a whole different thing.”

Address: 5562 Upper Lachine Road.

Phone: 514-484-0005

Site: momesso.ca

Hours: 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Rosewood

Special playoff features: The Old Montreal pub and restaurant has live music on Thursdays and Saturdays but if the Habs are playing those nights, the band will only hit the stage after the game.

Screens: 7.

Most popular drink: Smoked Old-Fashioned (2 ounces of bourbon on the rocks, with a splash of maple syrup, smoked in their special machine).

Most popular dish: Salmon tartare.

Habs prediction: “Better than last year,” said manager Jérémie Labbé.

Address: 60 St. Jacques St., Old Montreal.

Phone: 514-843-8585

Site: rosewoodmontreal.com

Hours: 4 p.m. – 3 a.m.

Sir Winston Churchill Pub Complex

Special playoff features: Business as usual.

Screens: 25.

Most popular drink: Molson Canadian draft.

Most popular dish: Jambalaya.

Habs prediction: “I’ve been a Habs fan since my birth and this is the first year I’m very confident that we’ll go far,” said manager Corey Stone. “I never thought that we had the size and grit before and Price is going to shine. And we’ll have big guys to protect him.”

Address: 1455 Crescent St.

Phone: 514-288-3814.

Site: winniesbar.com

Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 3 a.m.


Montreal Canadiens fans Jean-Claude Ferron (L) and Michael Cormier celebrate as the Montreal Canadiens win in overtime the Red Wings-Habs game at Taverne Normand in Montreal April 8, 2017.

Christinne Muschi /

Montreal Gazette

Taverne Normand

Special playoff features: “We will have really retro diner-ish specials” said manager Alex Ouellette. The specials will include chicken wings, nachos and grilled cheese. Also there will be a DJ spinning the tunes, including during the commercials. In addition, a Normand tradition is they put the jersey of the opposing team on the floor at the door, so fans get to walk over it on the way in. If the Habs win the series, that sweater then goes up on the wall. Charles Prévost-Linton, who sang the national anthem at the Canadiens games at the Bell Centre for years, used to show up for Habs playoffs games at the Taverne Normand and during the Canadian national anthem, they’d turn the sound down on the TV and he’d stand on a bench and belt out O Canada. But for the moment, he is not booked to appear at the tavern during these playoffs.

Screens: 8.

Most popular drink: West Shefford blonde.

Most popular dish: Nachos.

Habs prediction: “I would say at least two or three rounds,” said Ouellette. “It really depends on Price and whether he can stay healthy.”

Address: 1550 Mount-Royal Avenue East.

Phone: 514-525-8748

Site: latavernenormand.ca

Hours: 4 p.m. – 3 a.m.

Ye Olde Orchard

Special playoff features: “Those who are not fans become casual fans, casual fans become real fans, and real fans become crazy,” said Ye Olde Orchard owner John Orr. “It’s the rite of spring in Montreal.” If you turn up at the new Laurier location – formerly the Laurier BBQ – wearing the Habs colours, you’ll get a free beer.

Screens: Lots.

Most popular drink: Keith’s.

Most popular dish: Fish & chips.

Habs prediction: “I think we could go all the way to the final,” said Orr. “We have the team.”

Address: There are locations on Monkland Ave. in N.D.G., de la Montagne downtown, Prince Arthur St., Pointe Claire village, St-Sauveur, Châteauguay and Laurier Ave. in Outremont.

Site: yeoldeorchard.com

Hours: Monday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 1 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. – 1 a.m.

bkelly@postmedia.com

twitter.com/brendanshowbiz

Scotland could join Canada, but should it? Your responses

The great Scottish poet Robert Burns once wrote that “the best laid plans of mice and men go often askew”.

Perhaps that explains how, in the midst of Brexit negotiations and as Scotland weighs a second referendum on independence, an obscure Canadian writer was able to capture people’s imagination with his unconventional proposal: Scotland could quit the UK and join Canada instead.

On the surface, it sounds improbable. But as Ken McGoogan told the BBC, “in an ideal world, this might work really well”.

His proposal has since been picked up by media outlets as far as China, and he says he’s “amazed and gobsmacked” at the level of interest in an idea he initially described as a “flight of fancy”.

  • Scotland could leave UK and join Canada, says author

Some 1,500 readers wrote to the BBC from across the UK and North America to weigh in on whether Scotland should become Canada’s 11th province. Some found it was the best idea since chips-and-gravy. Others thought it would be a total disaster, like when they added the letter “e” to whisky.

Here’s what both Scots and Canadians had to say about the possibility of joining forces.

Independence

“We don’t want to be part of another country, we *are* a country… My dream is that we gain our independence and keep our sovereignty, no handing it over to the EU.” – Scot Chegg, Ayr, Scotland

  • Scottish independence referendum: what happens now?

“I think leaving the UK is a bad idea to start with, but leaving the UK to join Canada is absurd.” – Kyle Richardson, Scotland

Strike that, reverse it

“Canada should really be joining with Scotland, as we are the original Canadians and they’re basically just a big Scotland anyway.” – Rory Watt, Scotland

“Sorry, he’s got this in reverse… Canada was part of Scotland 25 million years ago and its about time we re-united. Being Scottish lets us use all those uniquely Scottish phrases, wear kilts on a regular basis, and enjoy a quality of life not otherwise possible. We could even switch to driving on the correct side of the road!” – Martyn Ridley, Canada

Fringe benefits

“I don’t know how we’ll be able to squeeze in 40-50 new MPs into our already crowded House of Commons. I do welcome the access to the home of my ancestors, and maybe more choices of whiskys.” – Alex Milton, Winnipeg, Manitoba

“While I can’t speak for all Canadians, myself and many, many others would happily welcome Scotland to join Canada as a full province. At the very least, we’d have Olympic curling all sewn up.” – Kevan Dettelbach, Vancouver, British Columbia

Teamwork

“Joining Canada would be fantastic…They already have Nova Scotia, now they’d also have the original Scotia!!” Colin Groundwater, West Lothian, Scotland

“At last someone has published what I have long thought. I think it makes good sense culturally, emotionally and economically. If they like, the English could ask to become part of the United States.” -Alisdair Dale, Orpington, England

Heritage

“If Scotland and Canada were to join, it would be the perfect matrimony… Not only are Canada and Scotland similar in geographical terms (both being cold and beautiful) but also the friendly people of Canada would be welcomed with open arms in Scotland.” – Natalie Rosie, Dunfermline, Scotland

“To hear this idea put forward really makes a Scots descendent day dream about the possibilities! …I’ll gladly open my door and show them our famous Scottish-Canadian hospitality. Free of charge, naturally!” – Jason MacGregor, Montreal, Canada

“At least someone would then listen to me playing the pipes! Besides, I actually like haggis and the Scottish hills. Some of my fondest memories occurred during visits to Scotland as a child to the farm my grandfather worked on.” – John McCubbin, Toronto, Ontario

Autonomy

“Geographical boundaries don’t matter so much these days. What the people of a nation value does, identity does, and Scotland, for a very long time has not had the same values as England. As a province of Canada, Scotland would be treated better than it is now.” – B Whickham, Gloucester, England

  • MPs call for immigration devolution

“Canada and Scotland has so many deep and historic ties. We would be with our people, and peoples of a like mind, we would have the freedoms we require, yet still be part of a greater community, one that would not throw away or ignore our wishes.” – Symon Kielg, Edinburgh, Scotland

Some responses were edited for length.

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Malala is ‘humbled’ by honorary Canadian citizenship

Nobel Peace prize laureate Malala Yousafzai says she is “humbled” to become the sixth person to receive an honorary Canadian citizenship.

At 19, she is also the youngest ever person to receive the honour.

During the official ceremonies in Ottawa, she called on Canadian politicians to use their influence to help fund education for girls worldwide, including refugees.

Ms Yousafzai is a global advocate for women’s rights and education.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised Ms Yousafzai for her advocacy, calling her “the newest and possibly bravest citizen of Canada”.

The Pakistani schoolgirl activist was originally meant to receive her citizenship in October 2014, an honour bestowed on her under former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper’s government.

That event was cancelled when it coincided with the shooting death of a ceremonial guard Nathan Cirillo and an attack on Parliament by gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.

Soldier killed in Canada shootings

Malala spoke of the attack in her address said in an address to legislators in the Canadian Parliament on Wednesday. Many in the audience were in Ottawa that day.

“The man who attacked Parliament Hill called himself a Muslim,” she said. “But he did not share my faith.”

She said he instead shared the same hatred as the man who allegedly shot six people at a Quebec City mosque in January, the attacker who killed six people in London in March, and the Taliban gunmen who in 2012 shot her for defying their ban on girls attending school in her native Pakistan.

“These men have tried to divide us and destroy our democracies, our freedom of religion, our right to go to school. But we – and you – refuse to be divided,” she said.

She also praised Canada’s embrace of refugees and its ongoing international development work for women and girls.

Only five other people have received honorary Canadian citizenship: Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, religious leader Aga Khan, Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, and Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Malala was accompanied on Wednesday by her parents Ziauddin and Toor Pekai Yousafzai.

Earlier in the day, Malala surprised Ottawa high school students by arriving unannounced to take their questions during an event with by Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, Mr Trudeau’s wife.

Ms Yousafzai will also meet with Conservative interim opposition leader Rona Ambrose, who called her a “symbol of determination and hope for young girls around the world”.

In 2009, when she was just 11 years-old, Malala began writing a blog for the BBC Urdu service under a pseudonym, describing her life under the Taliban.

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Illinois woman plotted Valentine’s Day Canada mall massacre

A US woman has admitted plotting to carry out a mass shooting in a Canadian shopping centre on Valentine’s Day.

Lindsay Kantha Souvannarath, 25, made the surprise plea to conspiracy to commit murder, during a routine court hearing.

She was charged alongside Canadian Randall Steven Shepherd for planning a massacre at the mall in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2015.

They wanted to use rifles and gas bombs to kill shoppers at a food court.

Shepherd pleaded guilty in November and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Chris Hansen, a spokeswoman with the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service, said the American’s plea on Tuesday in Nova Scotia’s Supreme Court “was unexpected”.

Souvannarath, of Geneva, Illinois, was scheduled to go on trial in May.

According to an Agreed Statement of Facts filed in the province’s top court, 21-year-old Shepherd, Souvannarath, and a third person, 19-year-old James Gamble, plotted online to commit mass murder on 14 February 2015 in Halifax.

In December 2014, Gamble began an online relationship with Souvannarath, who “had a pre-existing interest in school shootings and Nazism”.

They bonded over a shared obsession with the 1999 Columbine High School attack in Colorado and other mass shootings.

Gamble eventually confessed his desire to commit mass murder, and the two began plotting the shooting spree throughout January and early February of 2015, targeting the Halifax Shopping Centre.

They even gave their plot a codename, Der Untergang, which means “the downfall” in German.

Gamble kept a hesitant Shepherd abreast of the plot, according to the court filing.

Police discovered the plans following a tip-off from Crime Stoppers just a day before the shooting spree was due to take place, as Shepherd was collecting Souvannarath from Halifax airport.

Gamble committed suicide as police closed in.

Souvannarath’s sentencing is scheduled for early October. The Crown has yet to make sentencing recommendations.

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