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+

 

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+

Kudos To Toronto Police

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In the wake of the horrific incident in Toronto that has cost ten people their lives and injured more than a dozen others, much is being said about the courage of the officer who apprehended the driver.  The man had driven a van along a busy sidewalk and street evidently trying to kill as many people as possible.

So often we see on television police using what seems to be excessive force to subdue a suspect. It is often made public later that the suspect was unarmed. The police officer in Toronto, given the way the suspect was waving and pointing what appears to me to be a weapon and asking the cop to kill him, would have been, in my opinion, justified in using his weapon. But he was able to maintain calm and arrest the suspect without drawing his gun. It has since been reported the suspect was waving a mobile phone.

The police chief was quick to refer to the training that his officers receive. As members of the public, we are often quick to criticise police actions that result in what seem to be avoidable deaths. It, therefore, behooves us to bestow as much attention on the successful end to a catastrophic event.

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.

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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+

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+

 

The Arrogance of “Because I can”

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The concept of entitlement is often attributed to millennials, those folks born around the turn of the millennium. Of course, they did not create the idea, it existed long before they did. I recall that when I was in my teens there was a man who lived on our street. He had a dog. In fact, he was one of a growing number of dog owners in our community. So popular were these pets that after numerous complaints the city followed the lead of several other towns and passed a “stoop and scoop” law. Dog walkers were required to pick up after their furry friends or face a fine.

When the latter pointed out that the man was breaking the law by not picking up after his dog he looked straight at his accuser and said, “That law is not for me”

The man I am referring to became notorious for ignoring the new bylaw. On one occasion I was close enough to overhear a confrontation between this man and a fellow dog walker. When the latter pointed out that the man was breaking the law by not picking up after his dog he looked straight at his accuser and said, “That law is not for me”. Evidently, this man felt he was entitled to leave his dog’s feces wherever he chose. Laws were not enacted for everybody, he believed others should conform to the bylaw, but not him.

Some years later I witnessed another expression of entitlement while going to the supermarket. I was just about to go in when I heard a cacophony of car horns and hollering coming from behind me. Turning around I could see that a woman had made a left-hand turn from the right lane and pulled into the parking lot. In so doing she not only crossed a double solid yellow line clearly painted on the street, but also completely ignored the queue of law-abiding drivers waiting politely to enter the parking lot.

Unfortunately for her, a police officer happened to see the whole thing and in an effort to restore peace he approached her. He explained that not only had she broken the law by crossing the double yellow line, but had cut into the line of cars waiting to park. She replied to him by saying simply, “But I have to get into the parking lot”. Apparently, she felt entitled to get to her destination regardless of the highway code or other shoppers. She was quite taken aback that the cop did not see things exactly the same way.

While not being responsible for creating the notion, they have coined the phrase that best sums up entitlement. I refer to none other than the ubiquitous “Because I can”

I have written before about what many people call the millennials’ sense of entitlement. While not being responsible for creating the notion, they have coined the phrase that best sums up entitlement. I refer to none other than the ubiquitous “Because I can”. When I first heard this phrase I figured it was to be taken along the lines of mountaineer George Mallory’s statement that he climbed Mount Everest “Because it was there”. But I now understand it to mean that if I can do it, I am entitled to do it.

The Uber ride-sharing phenomenon illustrates precisely the problem with Because I can. I have a car, I can drive, there are people looking for rides, therefore I can offer to charge them a fee to drive them to their destination. The fact that in Montreal a system of taxis already exists, one that trained drivers pay significant sums to be permitted to drive others about is totally ignored by Uber drivers. Rules? Regulations? By-laws? Lineups? Not for me because I can.

What makes my blood churn, why I find the phrase abhorrent is the attitude it projects: pure arrogance.

Now the folks at Diet Coke have taken the catchphrase and turned it into a rebranding slogan. But I don’t have to buy the product, I might just opt to buy Pepsi. Why? Yep, because I can.

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+

Wake For a Pub; Godspeed Irish Embassy

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I went to a wake last night. it wasn’t my intention, nor was it a typical wake. A traditional Irish wake takes place before a funeral – in the wake of the death  – and is an opportunity for mourners to reflect on the life of the departed. Once they were held in the home of the deceased with the body present. But with modern funeral homes, the ‘wake’ is more often called a reception and is held at the parlour after the ceremony. Take a room full of tired, emotional people, throw in some music and a significant amount of alcohol and frankly anything is possible.

What made last night’s wake unique was that while the departed rested across the road, its heart was present at the wake.

Needless to say, the deceased cannot attend the wake. Like funerals, wakes are for the living. What made last night’s wake unique was that while the departed rested across the road, its heart was present at the wake. You see the commiserating, the wake, was not for a person, but for a pub. The true soul of the pub, the staff, had gathered to share thoughts and comfort one another in the wake of a terrible occurrence.

With the five-alarm fire early on Saturday morning at the Irish Embassy Pub, Montréal’s rich history of Irish and English pubs is currently down one member. The building now a shambles of charred lumber and flooded rooms. The acrid odor of century-old burnt wood permeates the downtown air for blocks.

Yet another reason this was not your typical wake is that there was hope of a return.

Yet another reason this was not your typical wake is that there was hope of a return. The fire was contained to the upper floor. The actual pub only suffered smoke and water damage, albeit severe, giving one the thought that maybe, just maybe, like Phoenix the Embassy will soon rise from the ashes.

The building that was ravaged by flames was merely the bricks and mortar housing of the pub. The heart and soul of it are the staff members, many of whom gathered, along with several regular patrons, at another popular Irish pub. (I would be remiss if I did not mention that in a demonstration of class and I believe genuine empathy, Hurley’s Irish Pub made the displaced Embassy staff more than welcome for the evening.)

Tears were shed and hugs abounded, but all were quick to heave a sigh of relief that thankfully no one had been injured or worse. Bricks and mortar can be fixed.

Emotions ran high among the bartenders, wait staff, bussers and managers who gravitated to Hurley’s. The fire a bitter pill to swallow. Tears were shed and hugs abounded, but all were quick to heave a sigh of relief that thankfully no one had been injured or worse. Bricks and mortar can be fixed.

I’ve spent many a pleasant hour at the Irish Embassy. I’ve come to know many members of staff, management, and ownership. I consider several to be my friends.  It pains me to see them so touched by the fire. Perhaps it’s the upcoming Easter holiday but I also believe that these people are sincere in their vow to resurrect the pub. They are off to a good start by keeping the heart beating.

Godspeed.

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+