Canada, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Media, Montreal, Obituary, Opinion, Petition, Public Transit, Quebec, Wordpress

Name Griffintown REM Station for George Springate

George Springate
Recently Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante suggested naming the REM station in the Griffintown area for former Quebec premier Bernard Landry.

Work is well underway around Montreal on the Réseau express métropolitain (REM). A 67 km (42 mile) rapid light rail system that will link several suburbs with Downtown Montreal via Central Station. It involves the conversion of the existing Deux-Montagnes commuter rail line to rapid transit standards. A station at Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport will serve as the terminus of one of the four branches.

Griffintown is the name given to the southwestern downtown part of Montreal, Quebec

Recently Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante suggested naming the REM station in the Griffintown area for former Quebec premier Bernard Landry.

Griffintown is the name given to the southwestern downtown part of Montreal, Quebec, which mainly existed from the 1820s until the 1960s, and was mainly populated by Irish immigrants and their descendants.

In response members of the city’s Irish community are asking Mayor Valérie Plante to withdraw her proposal. Calling for a more area-appropriate suggestion. 

In response members of the city’s Irish community are asking Mayor Valérie Plante to withdraw her proposal. Calling for a more area-appropriate suggestion

On November 21st George Springate passed away at the age of 81. Born in Montreal,  he received a Bachelor of Arts from Sir George Williams University. He also received a Bachelor of Civil Law degree in 1968 and a Bachelor of Common Law degree in 1969 from McGill University. From 1958 to 1969, he was a police officer with the Montreal Police. From 1966 to 1968, he was a member of the McGill Redmen football team.

In 1970, he played 11 games with and was part of the Grey Cup winning Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. In total he played 17 games with the them over 3 seasons.

In 1970, Springate was elected to the National Assembly of Quebec as a Liberal for the riding of Sainte-Anne (Griffintown). He was re-elected in 1973.

Also in 1970, he was elected to the National Assembly of Quebec as a Liberal for the riding of Sainte-Anne (Griffintown). He was re-elected in 1973. In 1974 he was removed from the Liberal Caucus for voting against the French-only language bill along with John Ciaccia. During the Bill 22 crisis, he compared Québec to both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. 

 

After leaving the Liberal Party he was elected as an independent candidate in 1976 for the riding of Westmount. He did not run in 1981, and thereafter being completely disillusioned by the Liberal Party’s direction threw his support behind Brian Mulroney to lead the Conservative Party and as the future PM. In 1989, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

It is my opinion that upon completion the Griffintown REM station be named for George Springate. To that end here is a link to a Change.Org petition in support of the notion

He was a teacher in criminal and civil law at John Abbott College. He was one of the founding members of the “Police Technology” program at John Abbott College ; he retired from teaching in 2008. He was also a columnist for The Chronicle, a local Montreal newspaper.

In 2000 and again in 2006, he was appointed a Citizenship Judge. In 2008 he was appointed Canada’s Senior Citizenship Judge for a five-year term.

It is my opinion that upon completion the Griffintown REM station be named for George Springate. To that end here is a link to a Change.Org petition in support of the notion.

(Factual data in the above post is from Wikipedia)

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Christmas, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Humor, Opinion, Wordpress, Words

Seasonal Song Correction

bob tail, not Bobtail

Here we are in the early days of November and the annual debate over Christmas decorations and music is already in full swing. Is it too early to put up decorations? What about playing Christmas carols in stores? All in an effort to instil yuletide spirit in shoppers with the hope separating them from their dosh.  

… the horse’s name is never mentioned – it is not Bobtail

So I thought I’d get my two cents in, but not on whether it’s too early (it is!) but rather another annual topic that gets bandied about at festive meals and parties. Put simply: in the seasonal classic (it actually isn’t about Christmas) Jingle Bells, the horse’s name is never mentioned – it is not Bobtail.

Bob tail refers to the tail being “bobbed”—cut shorter or docked, which was commonly done to the tails of carriage horses to keep them neat and reduce the chance of the tail getting caught in the reins. Bells could be used to adorn the bobbed tail during the Christmas season. 

Phew … that’s done. But I wonder if it was too early to set things straight

The lyrics from 1857 by one J. Pierpoint clearly illustrate that “bob tail” is written without a capital B. Hence it is not the horses name. In fact the actual title is One Horse Open Sleigh, and not Jingle Bells

Phew … that’s done. But I wonder if it was too early to set things straight. Perhaps I should have waited until December, or US Thanksgiving? Oh well … it’s done now.

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Canadian Election 2019, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Humor, Opinion, Wordpress

Nothing Etched In Stone

There was a time when certain things were absolute. No haggling, no bargaining, no grey areas. Black and white. While of course other things were more fluid, shifting, not absolute.

If you were born with a whatzit, you were a whozit

For example let’s consider the notion of senior citizens. At one time the age at which you could claim this lofty title was 65. Period. My grandfather worked for the Canadian government at the time he turned 65, and that was it. Thanks for your service, here’s your watch and pension. From one day to the next you became a senior citizen. When you were a mere 64, a favourite of The Beatles, you were still a working man, but one day later you were put out to pasture. 

But now the concept of being a senior citizen kicks in at age 55, with a number of fiscal advantages and discounts; becomes serious at age 60 and one becomes a full fledged senior at 65. No longer is it black and white, we now experience an array of senior citizenship.

Similarly gender used to be an up or down kind of thing. If you were born with a whatzit, you were a whozit. Simple as that. Had you mentioned to someone as recently as twenty years ago that some forms today, when referring to gender, provide more than merely male or female options, they would have thought you were mad. We now live in a society that has begun to adhere to the idea of a spectrum of gender. Folks born with a whatzit may choose to identify as some point on the scale of gender.

Paradoxically one realm where you could usually find a bit of give and take has become as black and white as gender used to be. I refer to the world of politics. The notion of working across the aisle, whether literally doing so in the Senate or House, or figuratively in day to day life, has been pushed aside in favour of total partisanship. 

… having just turned sixty, I am hereby choosing to identify as 40!

Democrats and Republicans, Conservatives and Liberals no longer seem to fit in somewhere on the political gamut. It has become an all or nothing approach, far left or far right, that will surely lead to problems.

As for me, I’ve decided to use the “no longer etched in stone” angle and, having just turned sixty, I am hereby choosing to identify as 40! 

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Canada, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Humor, Montreal, News, Opinion, Published, Weather, Westmount, Wordpress

DCMontreal in Print: Please Restore August’s Summer Status

Here’s a link to my Comment piece from the Montreal Gazette.

Restore_August

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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Sorry, But We Canadians Do Not Apologize Too Much

Reissued for Canada Day Weekend 2019

This post was linked to by CNN to explain the backhanded apologies of some Canadians!

Sorry, I didn’t realize you are a total arsehole unable to function in normal society

It is often said that we Canadians are polite to a fault.  As a Canadian I would suggest, but certainly not argue, that it is impossible to be overly polite. People point out that we say thank you too much, perhaps even when being given a traffic ticket. If someone gives you something you have two choices; you can say thanks, or no thanks. As the latter probably won’t work with most cops you’re left with the former. Thanks for the ticket. Just as an afterthought, when someone does say thanks, or thank you, it is customary to reply with “you’re welcome”, or “my pleasure”, or even “no problem”. It is never appropriate to reply with “sure” or “uh-huh”!

800px-Canada_flag_halifax_9_-04But maybe we are more often accused of being overly apologetic, so let me enlighten you as to the true nature of the Canadian apology. Saying sorry is often depicted as a national pastime in Canada: bacon, hockey and apologizing. However I think it would be of benefit to those who hold this opinion of Canadians as apologists to explain our apologies, because they can be very subtle in nature – often more empathetic than apologetic.

Let’s say a Canadian and a non-Canadian turn a corner and bump into each other on a sidewalk.

… because (Canadian apologies) can be very subtle in nature – often more empathetic than apologetic

The Canuck will probably be the first to say cheerily “Sorry about that” even though  both were equally at fault, or no fault existed. The other person may also apologize, just as cheerily, resulting in what is known as a civilized exchange. Then again he or she may seize upon the Canadian’s apology to feel superior and reply “You certainly should be sorry” or some other witty retort.

… don’t be fooled by our oft used  “sorry”, sometimes we’re actually expressing our sympathy for your shortcomings

In this case the subtlety of the sorry masks its true intent, which is along the lines of: “Sorry, I didn’t realize you are a total arsehole unable to function in normal society”. You see, the sorry in this case is more akin to the sorry expressed to someone recently bereaved; you weren’t responsible for the death of the loved one, but you “feel” sorry for their loss – you empathise with them. In our case you feel sorry for the cloddish boor for being a cloddish boor.

Keep this in mind the next time a Canadian apologizes to you; don’t be fooled by our oft used  “sorry”, sometimes we’re actually expressing our sympathy for your shortcomings.

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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Blogging, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Humor, Opinion, Wordpress, Writing

Gutenberg Editor Omits Post Title

When the new Gutenberg Editor was introduced to WordPress.com I was not a big fan. But I persevered and manage to figure things out with a few work-arounds.  

I found the blocks to be a real pain in the ass, and more so the fact that without inserting a snip of code, it is not possible to justify text. I like my text justified. 

But recently what has really stunted my blogging pleasure has been the editor’s idea to publish my posts without a title. As the email above illustrates my post a few days ago was distributed simply as 80424. My followers would have received this and must have thought it an odd title. The whole thing reminds me of Dr. Johnny Fever on WKRP in Cincinnati who would wear a T-shirt with Your Name Here on the front

Even after previewing the post to make certain it had a title, it was published without one. I had to edit the post to include the title. Most annoying.

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Blogging, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Media, Opinion, Wordpress, Writing

Major Glitch With Gutenberg Editor

I little while back I sat down to write a blog post and was faced with the chance to switch to the new WordPress.com editor. Thinking erroneously that I could take it for a test drive then switch back if I wanted, I went ahead and agreed to give it a try.

At first I thought it was the biggest blogging mistake I had made, and wanted to go back to the old version. Alas, I have yet to be able to figure out how to do that. Then I thought perhaps it’s just a bit of a learning curve. I can figure this out.

Changing my theme was helpful.

So there I was cruising along, getting used to the new editor and its quirks and differences when wouldn’t you know it, it went seriously strange on me. 

For reasons not known to me the new editor often refuses to use the title I give my post, opting instead for a number. No matter how many times I edit the post to include a title, the editor refuses to cooperate.

I have tried using the WordPress help boards before – and will again regarding this matter – but have never really received a satisfactory reply. 

So if anyone reading this knows the solution please let me know.

Thanks.

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DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Education, Humor, Misused words, News, Opinion, Radio, Television, Wordpress, Words, Writing

Impordant News Out Of English

It used to be that if a person was born in,  say Philadelphia, you would refer to them as so and so from Philadelphia. It was simple. A business based in Omaha was said to be from Omaha. From. But the trend has changed. You hear it often in sports and business. No longer are people from a place, they are out of it.

Thoroughbred horses for instance: Cocoa Balls out of Dusty Cheeks and Maiden’s Hat

The starting quarterback is out of Michigan State. He works for a company out of Chicago. There was a time when this phrase was used solely by animal breeders. Thoroughbred horses for instance: Cocoa Balls out of Dusty Cheeks and Maiden’s Hat. In this case, given the birthing process, Coco Balls really was out of Maiden’s Hat.

And what about popular culture? Should we retrofit titles from the past? The Man Out Of U.N.C.L.E.? Out of Here to Eternity? Far Out of the Madding Crowd? What was wrong with the word from? For that matter Out of Africa could be simply From Africa.

And when did someone decide to put a D into the word important? So many people seem to think the word is impordant

And when did someone decide to put a D into the word important? So many people seem to think the word is impordant. You hear it on the bus, on the radio, and on television. “This is a very impordant day for weasels.” There is no D in the word. 

We used to have an exercise in grade school that involved tapping your hand on the desk while saying various words. We were taught to enunciate the word important with an emphasis on the last third beat; namely “tant”. The most important part of important has been altered recently. 

Likewise, the word student was vocalized with one beat. The two syllables run together. Today that word sounds more like “stu-DANT”.

Please, make it stop!

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DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Genealogy, History, Nostalgia, Wordpress

Happy 100th Anniversary George and Madge

My grandparents’ wedding announcement from December 1918

Exactly one-hundred years ago today – it was a Tuesday – December 3, 1918, London was enjoying an unseasonably mild day. With the Armistice having been signed just weeks before, one can easily imagine the sense of relief and happiness that must have pervaded the city after long years of war. Locals could once again get back to the business of living, without the focus being placed on the trenches of France and the Great War.

One pair in particular was, I suspect, in very good spirits. At least I’d like to think they were. My maternal grandparents, Sergeant George Ernest Blackwell of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps., and Madeline (Madge) Deegan of St. Julien’s Road, Kilburn, were married on this day, one century ago.

The wedding took place at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Quex Road, Kilburn. While the church still stands to this day, having survived the bombing of the Second World War, I have to believe the officiating priest, Father Burke, has passed on to a better place.

My grandfather (L) with a future brother in law

Little is known about how or exactly when my grandparents met. My grandfather arrived in England in 1914 with his colleagues in the Black Watch, part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force that volunteered to defend King and Crown. Like many of his comrades, he suffered numerous afflictions in the trenches, including septic boils, influenza, the effects of gassing and shell shock.

In early September of 1918, during the Second Battle of Arras, part of the Last Hundred Days offensive that would lead to the German surrender, he received a gunshot wound that left shrapnel in his knee and cost him the sight in his right eye. His war was over.

Several decades of marriage.

He was seen by several doctors in various hospitals in and around London. However, evidently, he was well enough to get on with the matter of marriage. On November 22, 1918, while at the Canadian Machine Gun Depot at Seaford, he was granted permission to marry “at public expense”.

Sacred Heart Church, Quex Road, Kilburn

And so, a century ago today, my grandparents tied the knot. One of the memories I have from my childhood was their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1968. The dregs of an almost entirely evaporated bottle of sherry remain in my refrigerator to this day.

Ten years later they marked their 60th, or diamond anniversary. George passed away in early 1980 and Madge followed in May of 1981. 

In December 1968 my grandparents celebrated their 50th – or Golden – wedding anniversary. 

Here are a couple of posts about my Grandfather’s favourite phrases and a bit of family lore


An article I wrote for Family Tree magazine about my grandparents.

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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Canada, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, driving, F1, Formula One, Montreal, Opinion, Sports, Wordpress

Making the Canadian F1 Grand Prix More Montreal

Canadian F1 Grand Prix - Practice

Although the race is ten months off, work is now being carried out on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to bring it up to Formula 1 standards. The annual Canadian Grand Prix is an important Montreal event bringing tourists from around the world. Yes, it does tend to be loud, but the noise of the cars is often drowned out by the sound of cash registers.

…to suggest to the powers that be at F1 headquarters several small tweaks that would, I believe, go a long way to having the race reflect Montreal more accurately.

While making major alterations to the track and paddock, I thought it would be the ideal time to suggest to the powers that be at F1 headquarters several small tweaks that would, I believe, go a long way to having the race reflect Montreal more accurately.

I suggest that at various points during the race groups of cyclists be released onto the track. Going, of course, in the wrong direction and, as the drivers weave their way among them, the cyclists will be instructed to swear and make obscene gestures at them.

screen-shot-2017-10-29-at-12-50-58-am-e1509258577596

In addition to flag-waving marshals, who will be clad in camo pants, F1 tracks also have safety signage indicating, for instance, the braking distance leading to a sharp turn. To make this a Montreal-like experience for the drivers, several of these signs should be located behind tree branches or overgrown hedges making them virtually impossible to see until passing them when it is too late.

As the Grand Prix is run on a Sunday, the teams should be presented with a list of those sections of the track that are closed for the weekend…detours will be indicated by Montreal’s ubiquitous orange cones.

Over the last few years, Montrealers have grown used to the late-weekly reports informing us which streets, highways or bridges will be closed for the weekend. As the Grand Prix is run on a Sunday, the teams should be presented with a list of those sections of the track that are closed for the weekend. Not to worry, detours will be indicated by Montreal’s ubiquitous orange cones.

Formula 1 pit-crews are famous for being able to change four tires and make minor repairs to the cars in the blink of an eye. They are going to need to be even faster. When cars enter the pit lane and arrive at the team garage where they would have once stopped if ever so briefly, they will find BIXI stands or several red-bagged parking meters illustrating that no one, not even the best race car drivers in the world, can find a parking spot in Montreal.

… they will find BIXI stands or several red-bagged parking meters illustrating that no one, not even the best race car drivers in the world, can find a parking spot in Montreal.

Lastly, as the race reaches the three-quarter point, some of the drivers may be getting hungry. This problem is solved by the arrival of several Montreal food trucks along the straightaway. Appropriate given F1 drivers are possibly the only people who can afford the prices charged by these mobile eateries.

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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