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Archive for February, 2009

Would you normally associate the SAAQ with dancing? The SAAQ mandataire at La Prairie donates all of its profits to a local organisation that organises dancing classes for children.

Isn’t that nice?

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Blog Moved!

This blog has moved to: www.movetomontreal.ca

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If you’ve ever had the pleasure of going to the Société d’Assurance Automobile du Québec, the SAAQ, you know how much fun it is to queue. It’s a delightful administrative complex with, well lots of people. You need to go for your drivers licence, car licensing, driving tests etc.

And you spend a lot of time there queuing. Demand is high – it’s like that. There are however other alternatives.

The SAAQ has outsourced some of its activities to “mandataires” – private companies that perform services on behalf of the SAAQ. These are generally much smaller than the main SAAQ office with only a relatively short queue of maybe 20 minutes, or if you go at the right time not at all.

To find your nearest mandataire consult the website of the SAAQ.

Some services are equally available online at SAAQClic.

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This week anyone who’s anyone really wants to be in California at this year’s TED conference. If you haven’t yet been introduced to the concept of TED, it’s a big annual meeting of some of the world’s brightest minds on a whole range of subjects. You can watch talks from previous conferences at www.ted.com

Canada of course has it’s own share of thought leaders as you would expect. Quite some have had their views recorded by the Canadian Voices project – they are well worth listening too. Here are some of the more interesting ones that I’ve come across:

Matt Hern talks about reinventing education and why current education systems are not optimum for our children.

Irshad Manji is a muslim speaker who talks about the positive aspects of Islam and gives a different view of this religion than we usually see

David Suzuki is a top biologist and popular science speaker

Severn Cullis-Suzuki is David’s daughter and an activist in her own right. Famous for giving a speech to the United Nations as a teenager amongst other things.

Chantal Hérbert is a top Québec journalist and columnist working in both English and French

And now back to TED for a video of Mosche Safadie who built the famous river front “Habitat” appartment block for Expo ’67:

http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/219

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Snow removal is a very important, and sensitive, part of the winter here in Montréal. A new Snow Czar has just been appointed, Luis Miranda the mayor of Anjou. This part of Montréal has the best record on cleaning streets and pavements/sidewalks.

As soon as there is 2.5cm of snow on the ground, the snow ploughs come by and clear the streets of snow and leave salt/grit on the road. Pavements are cleared by a small snow plough too so that you can walk along them.

Once the snow fall has stopped, the snow left by the plough will be removed. See the images below to see this in action.

Large stock piles of snow exist around Montréal waiting for spring and summer to come and melt it. After last year’s record snow fall, it was still melting in dumps in August.

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