World Cup 2026 and Montreal

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As a child of EXPO 67 and teenager during the 1976 summer Olympics I was pleased to learn of Montreal’s potential role in staging matches during the 2026 World Cup. The Jean Drapeau years established the city as an excellent host to world-class events.

But it was not long before reality set in. The current climate in Montreal is not event friendly. Just ask former mayor Denis Coderre and his Formula E Race fiasco.

The plan is for games to be played in a revamped Olympic Stadium. Will that work, or will a new stadium have to be built? The cost of security alone will be drastic.

Large events, and there is none larger than the World Cup, have a nasty habit of cost overruns.

Chicago and Vancouver both declined to be part of the bid for financial reasons.

With so much fodder, can it be long before some municipal candidate takes a No Cup position? Pledging to pull out of the deal and save the taxpayers millions.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

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Trudeau and Trump

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DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Weird Job Interview

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I have to imagine most of us have had an experience that gives us pause for thought over the years. One such event happened to me about twenty-five years ago.

I was between contracts and looking for a job. This was before the Internet was commonly accessible and most job hunting was still done via newspaper advertisements. I noticed a small ad for an employment agency that was located just two blocks from where I lived. Most of the big agencies were downtown and were not interested in my eclectic background.

I called the number and set up an interview for later in the day.

This was before the Internet was commonly accessible and most job hunting was still done via newspaper advertisements. 

The building was a two-story one that used to serve as the administrative hub of an adjacent bakery that had been turned into condos. I arrived promptly and was met by a shabbily-dressed older man, perhaps in his mid-sixties, who introduced himself as the guy I had talked with on the phone. His name has long escaped my memory. He told me his business partner was just finishing up a conference call and would be available soon. We went to an unoccupied office and engaged in small talk.

After a few minutes, the phone on the empty desk rang, summoning us to an office next door. As soon as I entered I immediately recognized the man behind the desk. We had gone to the same grade school many years ago.  Although he was several years older, I was a friend of his younger brother and as such had talked with him on many occasions over the years. Then, as these things often go, we did not move in the same circles and I guess I forgot about him. Until that day.

By coincidence we both had beards. When I was introduced to ‘Doug’ and we shook we hands I joked that the last time we had met, neither of us had a beard. He looked me straight in the eye and simply said, we’ve never met before. It is an odd feeling indeed to look at a person you know and have them deny having ever met you when you are absolutely certain, for a fact that you’ve met.

He looked me straight in the eye and simply said, we’ve never met before.

By the way he looked at me it was clear that no further discussion of our mutual past was going to take place. As I sat there listening to him talk about the services they offered, not really concentrating on the details, I noticed that along one wall of his very nicely appointed office, was a wall unit that had about a dozen small screens, each showing a view of some part of the small building. Overly high security for an employment agency I thought.

After our chat, as the first guy was showing me out, I mentioned that I believed I had met Doug before and asked if he had a brother. The old fellow said he did not, and mentioned that Doug had been in the USA for some years. I have to think it is more realistic that he may have been behind bars.

I have never had any further contact with them, but I must admit I’ve always been curious.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Now That’s a Pot-Hole

A man in Brussels, Belgium decided to go about town filling in potholes with flowers to bring attention to the problem. I figured with Canada on the verge of legalizing marijuana and Montreal drivers no strangers to potholes, there was a match made in heaven.

Montreal pot-hole!

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A slight variation on a theme!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

WH Correspondents Dinner Needs a Rethink

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Much is being said in the wake of Saturday night’s White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCD). Once again this year President Trump refused to attend the event, instead opting to hold a campaign-style rally in Michigan during which he was free to take pot shots at the media, the left and anyone else.

If you are going to use humour to skewer someone, a real zinger, you better make sure it’s funny!

They say that even a stopped clock is right twice a day. It astonishes me to say, but among the idiotic things Trump was spouting in Michigan was a kernel of truth: the WHCD is dead. Not that they won’t have another, but the old tradition of “good-naturedly” poking fun at each other has been replaced by downright nastiness.

However, that’s not what gets me riled. I can watch two adversaries quip each other all day assuming they are funny. But the last two dinner comedians have lacked that one essential ingredient: humour.

I say either bring back the old style roasting or call the whole thing off before it turns very ugly.

Don Rickles was never my cup of tea. Not because he engaged in insulting people for a living, but because I never found what he said funny. Michelle Wolf, someone I must admit I had never heard of prior to Saturday evening, was not funny either.

If you are going to use humour to skewer someone, a real zinger, you better make sure it’s funny!

I say either bring back the old style roasting or call the whole thing off before it turns very ugly.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Backpacks Briefcases and Buses

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The other day I found myself on a crowded city bus. It was mid-afternoon and many of my fellow commuters were college or university students. At one point the bus became so cramped that the driver had to insist on those carrying/wearing backpacks to remove them. Put them on the floor between your feet. Don’t take up two places.

This got me to thinking how things change. My memory can be vague at times, but when I was in grade school I recall the common means of toting your books was a school bag. It was probably part of the backpack family as it was worn on one’s back via straps over each shoulder. By high school these bookbags were passé and it was bare hands used to carry books.

School Walk

When you got to college or university it was a very serious matter, school bags were for children. The university student of my day carried his or her things in a briefcase. Backpacks were strictly for travel purposes. No one ever had to accuse another of taking up two places on the bus or Metro while carrying a briefcase.

Then again it was probably also true that the buses were more packed in those days as, unlike the current trend, no self-respecting student of higher education would have arrived on campus on a skateboard. This purported entrance to adulthood called for the retirement of childhood toys.

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How times have changed indeed!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Popcorn and Dental Implants

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I broke a tooth. I’m not a happy camper. It’s not the pain, the tooth was filled long ago and the nerve had lost most sensation. It’s the annoyance and of course, the financial pain is another thing altogether. Over this, I am fretting plenty.

Evidently, most dental insurance plans do not cover implants. It seems for insurance companies the way to go is root canal followed by a cap.

Two dentists, one at an emergency clinic and my long-time dentist, have confirmed that the only solution is to extract the tooth, put in an implant then a crown. Oh, joy. We are now getting into the thousands of dollars over a period of time. Evidently, most dental insurance plans do not cover implants. It seems for insurance companies the way to go is root canal followed by a cap. Something both dentists assured me would eventually break and the implant procedure would have to be undertaken. A waste of time, discomfort, and money.

But I may have an angle on this. At some point most weekday afternoons I used to drop by a nice Irish pub for a beer. A few weeks ago that pub was gutted by a large fire. Since then the regular patrons have been roaming the downtown core like nomads in the desert seeking a new temporary home.

But I could not be at my regular pub, so I figure my broken tooth is, therefore, a direct result of the fire and should, therefore, be covered by the original pub’s insurance. 

One such place offers many of the comforts of home, several items on our checklist: decent beer at a decent price, a few televisions for sports fans, and friendly bartenders. It also makes popcorn available at happy hour. It was on an Old Maid, a non-popped kernel of corn, that I crunched my tooth. The way I see it, had I been at my usual pub, which did not offer popcorn, I would not have been able to break my tooth on the kernel. But I could not be at my regular pub, so I figure my broken tooth is, therefore, a direct result of the fire and should, therefore, be covered by the original pub’s insurance. Seems simple to me.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Bruins, Leafs and Scorpions

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It’s NHL playoff time. Much like The Masters and the Kentucky Derby the playoffs are a true sports-themed harbinger of spring. The weather is getting more pleasant, the snow has just about all melted under the warm sun. Bars and restaurants open their terraces and make sure that there are adequate big-screen televisions to accommodate hockey-loving patrons. Will this be the year the Montreal Canadiens finally snap their too-long championship-less streak?

No Canadiens in the playoffs and we are anticipating the arrival of a late-season ice storm. I’m not sure about Mudville, but there’s certainly a lack of joy in Montreal this year.

Well, no it won’t be. That is a certainty as the team failed to qualify for the postseason. No Canadiens in the playoffs and we are anticipating the arrival of a late-season ice storm. I’m not sure about Mudville, but there’s certainly a lack of joy in Montreal this year and lots to crank about.

On the other hand, all is not lost. You see, part of being a fan of the Montreal Canadiens is a deep-rooted dislike for their two old rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins. It just so happens that these two clubs are facing each other in the first round of the playoffs. Like scorpions in a bottle we, Habs fans, can sit back and watch the on-ice clash. Personally, if I have to select one over the other, I have to go with the Bruins.

Except now the hated-Bruins are up against the hated-Leafs. So, for perhaps the first time in my life, I find myself being able to side with the Boston skaters 

I like the city of Boston; I root for the New England Patriots (and have been doing so for many years, not merely jumping on the recent bandwagon) and in the absence of a Montreal MLB franchise I cheer on the Red Sox. But of course, the Bruins are a different kettle of clam chowder as they are usually in direct competition with my Canadiens. Except now the hated-Bruins are up against the hated-Leafs. So, for perhaps the first time in my life, I find myself being able to side with the Boston skaters as they take on Toronto. It’s a bit weird at first, but I’m getting used to it.

I’m even thinking of dropping my Rs when I speak, and debating the correct pronunciation of Faneuil Hall (does it rhyme with manual or Daniel).

I can’t say that I really care which team wins the series, but I have found a different angle from which to partake of the annual spring playoff viewing. I’d much rather be watching the Canadiens play of course, but for the next little while, I’ll have to make do with being a Boston fan. I’m even thinking of dropping my Rs when I speak (Pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd), and debating the correct pronunciation of Faneuil Hall (does it rhyme with manual or Daniel).

But before tonight’s game in Toronto, I’ll be cheering on all the participants in the Boston Marathon and hoping for a safe race.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Who vs Whom on Campus

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On the front page of today’s Montreal Gazette there is an article about yesterday’s protest at McGill University. Concordia and McGill students decried the schools’ administrations lack of action on sexual misconduct accusations. Clearly an issue of great importance.

But let me disrupt your thoughts on these allegations for a moment and turn to another important issue; grammar. The photograph above accompanied the front page story. What caught my eye was the poster asking “Who are you protecting”.  Aside from the lack of a question mark, I wonder if “Whom are you protecting?” would have been a better choice.

In the 1950s Johnny Carson hosted a game show called Who Do You Trust which is often cited not just for Johnny’s witty retorts, but for the grammar question.

Now, I am far from a grammar expert, but the folks at Grammar Matters provide this explanation:

Rewrite a simple sentence, using he or him in place of who or whom, and rephrasing the sentence appropriately. For instance, “Who do you trust?” may not sound wrong to you. But “Do you trust he?” certainly does. You can see that it would be “Do you trust him?” so you know it should be “Whom do you trust?”

So, “who are you protecting” becomes “are you protecting he?”Nope, that’s not it. “Are you protecting him?” makes a better sentence, which means whom is the way to go. As a graduate of McGill I can only hope the holder of the poster is a Concordia student!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

ERs: Hurry Up and Wait

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Dario Ayala / Montreal Gazette

When I think of hospital emergency rooms I imagine a hive of activity, doctors, nurses, orderlies rushing about in orchestrated madness. Ambulances pulling up with patients requiring immediate medical attention. The triage process assigns a level of urgency to patients as they arrive. This will dictate when you are seen by a doctor.

Last Thursday the homecare doctor came to visit my eighty-nine-year-old mother. She wanted her to have some tests and x-rays done. She filled out the appropriate forms, gave them to me and told me to take my mother to the emergency room the next day.

“Is this a dire situation?” I asked her.

She said it was not, but that we really should get these things done.

So we arrived at the Montreal General Hospital emergency room on Friday morning at about ten o’clock. The room was already a going concern with broken bones, chest pains, and numerous other afflictions. After triage during which the nurse told my mother she was “…going to be with us for a while” we took our place in the waiting room.

And wait we did.

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At about three-thirty Friday afternoon my mother was seen by the doctor who arranged for the tests and imaging to be done. By 5:15 we were done and the waiting for results process began. It had been a long day, and it was only made longer when the emergency area was placed on lockdown pending the arrival of two shooting victims via ambulance. Police and masked medical staff were everywhere.

Finally, around six-thirty we were on our way with a prescription in hand.  The experience having been a drain on my mother, to say nothing of myself.

What got me annoyed was that people often complain about emergency services; they are understaffed and overworked, there are not enough resources, and too many people clog up the system with non-emergencies. With this last point, I am in total agreement.

I felt we were seeking advice and diagnoses that were more suitable to a clinic than a hospital emergency room. I understand the lengthy wait; the neediest cases get priority, that is the essence of an emergency room. I don’t think ERs should be used as clinics.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+