2007-05-24

Corporate Communication and Washrooms

Corporate Communication and Washrooms
 
The call centre company I work for started adverting in the washroom. Number 1 or 2, you will have, in your face, an advertisement from the HR department encouraging you to recruit people to work for the company. If you recruit someone and by some miracle they stay at least 90 days, you get $300 and the chance to win tickets to a music group playing in Halifax (transportation and lodging not provided).
 
Advertising in the washroom just crosses the line. Unless it is a memo advising you not to drink the water, the only thing I want to see when taking a leak are clean tiles and, perhaps, clever graffiti.
 
I'm new to Moncton, so maybe it is just culture shock. But to me, advertising/corporate communication in the washroom of your place of work is just wrong. It is crass. Low class. Small town cheap. And I'm being polite. Because really, it is just brain dead stupid.
 

2007-05-21

The China Problem

 
Q.: What do you call a 60 year old Madonna in China? A.: happy.
 
Just Google "China Gender Imbalance" and ponder the consequences. Will it lead to war? Should you invest in Asian porn?
 
By 2020, there will be 120 young men for every 100 young women. Wow. That means tens of millions of single men (and eventually hundreds of millions).
 
Obviously, fewer women of child rearing age will lead to fewer babies. And thus the population of China may start to go down (the locals are a tad worried about running out of staples such as food).
 
Possible "solutions":
-Cancel the ban on two babies and let people die of hunger (but sexually satisfied).
-Allow people to have a second child if the first one is a girl (see hunger). Might not solve anything if couples keep killing their second child untill they get a boy.
-Only allow women over 30 to be pregnant (in case you dindn't know, fertility goes down dramaticllay post 30. Tick, tick, tick).
-AIDS. Seems to be "working" in Africa.
-Free brothels for singles. Prostitution is socially acceptable in places like Thailand and Japan. If controlled and regulated à la Amsterdam, it could work. The women would have to be  paid, of course, and willing participants. I'm not advocating it for Canada, just China. That's what they do for the French Foreign Legion (and, arguably, for many other armies away from home).  
 
If you are a student of economics, you might conclude that this gender "problem" will solve itself. Women will have more partners and be much less interested in settling down with one guy (and more likely to leave/cheat on her husband) à la supply side economics.
 
Two scholars wrote in a book that this gender imbalance will lead to war. War with whom though? Because of the numbers, only a civil war would make sense (although a war with India could work). And even then you'd have to be carefully not to kill any of the precious female civilians (easier said than done in "modern" warfare/all out war).
 
Other "solutions":
-Poligamy reinvented (what was that hunger solution again?).
-Low safety standards in construction, fishing and forestry (high risk male dominated industries, even with high safety standards).
-Drugs, alcohol, smoking, suicide. All men killers, especially if you add motorcycles to the mix.
-Promote China as paradise for women travellers who want to forget about their last boyfriend.
-Pot, lots and lots of pot.

If Victoria Day isn't a Holiday, We will All Run Away

If Victoria Day isn't a Holiday, We will All Run Away

Immigrants and democracy.

A long time ago, immigrants from the 13 American colonies (aka Loyalists) petitioned the King of England to get their own province, separate from Nova Scotia. They got it: New Brunswick.

Today, not a holiday in Atlantic Canada, immigrants are petitioning to rid Canada of the monarchy.

Tanks to a recent court case, federal civil servants no longer have to pledge allegiance to the Queen (something I had to do when the feds became my employer). However, federal politicians and people receiving citizen ship, do. As Clift Claven would say, what's up with that?

Indeed.

How about a pledge to Canadian democracy? Wouldn't that make more sense? Nothing erks me more than new citizens who don't bother to vote. Apathy when you are 19, sure, I get that. But apathy when you are a new citizen from China or Morocco? No way ozé. Invest some time and read up on the issues and vote. Yes, even in the school board elections.

You feel ill-prepared, unsure, even annoyed. Tough. That's democracy. You should have thought of that before becoming a citizen. You don't like it you should run back to your King or Communist leader.

(According to Wikipedia, and confirmed by the Library of Parliament ) Here is what our House of Commons approved in 1999 (the legislation died in the unelected Senate):


In 1998, Bill
C-63, the proposed Citizenship of Canada Act, was introduced by the Liberal
government of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. This
bill proposed (among other measures) that the Oath of Citizenship be changed
to:
From this day forward, I pledge my loyalty and allegiance to Canada and
Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada. I promise to respect our
country's rights and freedoms, to defend our democratic values, to faithfully
observe our laws and fulfil my duties and obligations as a Canadian citizen
.
In French, this would be:
"Dorénavant, je promets fidélité et allégeance
au Canada et à Sa Majesté Elizabeth Deux, Reine du Canada. Je m'engage à
respecter les droits et libertés de notre pays, à défendre nos valeurs
démocratiques, à observer fidèlement nos lois et à remplir mes devoirs et
obligations de citoyen(ne) canadien(ne).
"


If we reintroduce the legislation, let's drop the "Her Majesty" part:

From this day forward, I pledge my loyalty and allegiance to Canada. I promise to respect our country's rights and freedoms, to defend our democratic values, to faithfully observe our laws and fulfil my duties and obligations as a Canadian citizen.

Sounds good to me.

The Snowbirds are Immoral

The Snowbirds are immoral. No, not the Canadians that spend their winters in Florida (I'd do the same if I could), I'm talking about the military air show. You know the group that uses the 1968 planes and that we are so proud of.

Risking peoples lives purely for entertainment is stupid. Granted, getting out of bed is risky (and so is not), but there has to be a point when we realise that the members of the snowbirds are at a greater risk of loosing their lives than our soldiers in Afghanistan!

The excuse we need (it is hard to admit you are wrong) is the age of the planes. We can say that our troops in Afghanistan need our support/affordable housing needs our support/the GST is to high. Replacing those 1968 planes will be expensive. Not as percentage of the billions of dollars we spend annually on the military (I'd venture a number, but I'd be wrong by several billion dollars, and that's bad even by blogging standards), but sticker shock expensive. The kind of sticker shock where you cancel helicopter orders and pay a 20 million dollar fine.

You could argue that the snowbirds contribute to the prestige of Canada. But so does Lake Louise. Nobody dies because of Lake Louise (the adjacent avalanche prone trails, yes, but I digress). Put the money into tourism. Who goes to airshows anyway? Its not cost effective to have these jets fly over a few hundred spectators in Arkansas.

But, more importantly, it is immoral to have tax dollars paying for something so risky and yet so pointless. The snowbirds are like Canadian Idol, except people die, regularly.

2007-05-12

You Will Smile

Watch this video and try not to smile.

2007-05-10

Moncton is the Help Desk Capital Of the World

Moncton is the Help Desk Capital Of the World

I figure there are about 1000 people working in the various help desk call centres in the Moncton area. Not that impressive in itself until you compare it to the size of Moncton (Let's say 100,000 people, give or take 20,000 depending on how far into the wilderness you want to go). One person in a hundred in Moncton works for a helpdesk. That's like one worker out of 50!

-ICT on behalf or Aliant. They pay $14/hr but (usually) only hire bilingual workers. Aliant is now part of the Bell Canada Enterprise empire. The jobs at ICT are for Aliant's Internet residential customers whom reside in Atlantic Canada. Location: Riverview. 10 km from downtown Moncton.
-AOL Canada, on behalf of AOL USA. $12 ($13 after 8PM) per hour. Only English is required (with a few bilingual positions for their Canadian customers). AOL has been closing most (all?) of its American call centres and moving jobs to Canada and India. Location: Near Vaughn Harvey at St. George, accross from the new YMCA. 2 km from downtown Moncton.
-Rogers, $12.50/hr. English or Bilingual. The cable and cell phone company has help desk workers for their cell phone service (available in Quebec) and their cable service (not available in Quebec). Location: Downtown Moncton.
-Sitel (formally know as ClientLogic) on behalf of Bell Sympatico (Ontario and Quebec). $12/hr for French positions, $11.30/hr for English positions. Location: Moncton Industrial Park. Edingburg at St. George. 5 km from downtown Moncton.

A recent sampling from jobbank.ca :

Rogers:

Title: Call centre agent - technical support (Cable Repair Tech Support
Consultant)
(NOC:
2282)

Terms of Employment: Permanent, Full Time, Weekend, Day,
Night, Evening
Salary: $12.50 Hourly for 40 hours per week, Other
Benefits
Anticipated Start Date: 2007/06/11
Location: Moncton, New
Brunswick (15 vacancies )
Skill Requirements:
Education: Completion of
high school, Some college/CEGEP/vocational or technical training
Credentials
(certificates, licences, memberships, courses, etc.): Not
applicable
Experience: Experience an asset
Languages: Speak English, Read
English, Write English
Specific Skills: Communicate electronically and in
person with computer users experiencing difficulties to determine and document
problems experienced, Consult user guides, technical manuals and other documents
to research and implement solutions, Provide advice and training to users in
response to identified difficulties, Collect, organize and maintain a problems
and solutions log for use by other technical support analysts
Work Setting:
Telecommunications industry
Computer an Technology Knowledge: Windows
Work
Conditions and Physical Capabilities: Fast-paced environment, Work under
pressure, Repetitive tasks, Attention to detail, Sitting
Security and Safety:
Criminal record check (abstract)
Transportation/Travel Information: Own
transportation
Essential Skills: Reading text, Oral communication, Working
with others, Problem solving, Decision making, Critical thinking, Significant
use of memory, Finding information, Computer use, Continuous
learning
Employer: Rogers Communications Inc.
How to Apply:
Please
apply for this job only in the manner specified by the employer. Failure to do
so may result in your application not being properly considered for the
position.
By E-mail: careersmoncton@rci.rogers.com
Online:
http://www.rogers.com
Business Profile: Rogers
aggressively builds for the future by providing Canadians with innovative
products and services that make life more interesting, more productive, and more
fun.
Web Site: http://www.rogers.com
Advertised until: 2007/05/30

Sitel (French):
Title: Call centre agent - technical support (Bilingual -must be able to speak French) (NOC: 2282)
Terms of Employment: Permanent, Full Time, Shift, Overtime, Weekend, Day, Night, Evening
Salary: $12.00 Hourly for 37.5 hours per week, Bonus, Other Benefits
Anticipated Start Date: 2007/05/30
Location: Moncton, New Brunswick (25 vacancies )
Skill Requirements:
Education: Completion of high school
Credentials (certificates, licences, memberships, courses, etc.): Not applicable, Not required
Experience: 0 - 6 months
Languages: Speak English, Speak French, Read English, Read French, Write English, Write French
Specific Skills: Consult user guides, technical manuals and other documents to research and implement solutions
Work Setting: Help desk, Internet Service Provider (ISP)
Computer an Technology Knowledge: Windows, MAC, Internet
Work Conditions and Physical Capabilities: Fast-paced environment, Repetitive tasks, Attention to detail, Sitting
Security and Safety: Bondable, Criminal record check (abstract)
Transportation/Travel Information: Own transportation
Essential Skills: Reading text, Document use, Numeracy, Writing, Oral communication, Working with others, Problem solving, Decision making, Job task planning and organizing, Significant use of memory, Finding information, Computer use, Continuous learning
Other Information: Visit www.localmoncton.com to see a virtual tour of our site. Some additional benefits include: Free onsite gym, satellite & hot canteen. There's a very impressive employee lounge, bright and clean work environment. Why not apply now?
Employer: Sitel
How to Apply:
Please apply for this job only in the manner specified by the employer. Failure to do so may result in your application not being properly considered for the position.
By Mail:
320 Edinburgh Drive
Moncton, New Brunswick
E1E 2L1
In Person between 8:30 and 17:00:
320 Edinburgh Drive
Moncton, New Brunswick
E1E 2L1
By Phone between 8:30 and 17:00:
(506) 860-1800
By Fax: (506) 860-1805
By E-mail: monctonjobs@clientlogic.com
Online:
http://www.sitel.com
Business Profile: SITEL, formerly known as ClientLogic, is a leading global provider of outsourced customer support services. SITEL has over 42,000 employees in 26 countries and is a leader in the contact center industry.
Web Site: http://www.sitel.com
Advertised until: 2007/05/27

Sitel (English):
Title: Call centre agent - technical support (English) (NOC: 2282)
Terms of Employment: Permanent, Full Time, Shift, Overtime, Weekend, Day, Night, Evening
Salary: $11.30 Hourly for 37.5 hours per week, Bonus, Other Benefits
Anticipated Start Date: 2007/06/11
Location: Moncton, New Brunswick (25 vacancies )
Skill Requirements:
Education: Completion of high school
Credentials (certificates, licences, memberships, courses, etc.): Not applicable, Not required
Experience: Will train
Languages: Speak English, Read English, Write English
Specific Skills: Consult user guides, technical manuals and other documents to research and implement solutions
Work Setting: Help desk, Internet Service Provider (ISP)
Computer an Technology Knowledge: Windows, MAC, Internet
Work Conditions and Physical Capabilities: Fast-paced environment, Repetitive tasks, Attention to detail, Sitting
Security and Safety: Bondable, Criminal record check (abstract)
Transportation/Travel Information: Own transportation
Essential Skills: Reading text, Document use, Numeracy, Writing, Oral communication, Working with others, Problem solving, Decision making, Job task planning and organizing, Significant use of memory, Finding information, Computer use, Continuous learning
Other Information: Visit www.localmoncton.com to see a virtual tour of our site. Some additional benefits include: Free onsite gym, satellite & hot canteen. There's a very impressive employee lounge, bright and clean work environment. Why not apply now?
Employer: Sitel
How to Apply:
Please apply for this job only in the manner specified by the employer. Failure to do so may result in your application not being properly considered for the position.
By Mail:
320 Edinburgh Drive
Moncton, New Brunswick
E1E 2L1
In Person between 8:30 and 17:00:
320 Edinburgh Drive
Moncton, New Brunswick
E1E 2L1
By Phone between 8:30 and 17:00:
(506) 860-1800
By Fax: (506) 860-1805
By E-mail: monctonjobs@clientlogic.com
Online:
http://www.sitel.com
Business Profile: SITEL, formerly known as ClientLogic, is a leading global provider of outsourced customer support services. SITEL has over 42,000 employees in 26 countries and is a leader in the contact center industry.
Web Site: http://www.sitel.com
Advertised until: 2007/06/07

AOL:
Title: Call centre agent - technical support (Internet Support Specialist) (NOC: 2282)
Terms of Employment: Permanent, Full Time, Shift, Overtime, Weekend, Day, Night, Evening
Salary: $12.00 Hourly for 37.5 hours per week, Other Benefits
Anticipated Start Date: As soon as possible
Location: Moncton, New Brunswick (150 vacancies )
Skill Requirements:
Education: Some college/CEGEP/vocational or technical training
Credentials (certificates, licences, memberships, courses, etc.): Not applicable, Not required
Experience: Will train
Languages: Speak English, Read English, Write English
Specific Skills: Communicate electronically and in person with computer users experiencing difficulties to determine and document problems experienced, Consult user guides, technical manuals and other documents to research and implement solutions, Provide advice and training to users in response to identified difficulties, Collect, organize and maintain a problems and solutions log for use by other technical support analysts
Work Setting: Internet Service Provider (ISP)
Computer an Technology Knowledge: Windows, Hardware, Internet, Security software, Office Suites
Own Tools/Equipment: Computer, Internet access
Work Conditions and Physical Capabilities: Fast-paced environment, Work under pressure, Repetitive tasks, Attention to detail, Sitting
Security and Safety: Bondable, Basic security clearance
Transportation/Travel Information: Public transportation is available
Essential Skills: Reading text, Document use, Writing, Oral communication, Working with others, Problem solving, Decision making, Critical thinking, Job task planning and organizing, Significant use of memory, Finding information, Computer use, Continuous learning
Other Information: $1.00/hour shift premium after 8:00 PM,Complimentary FREE High-Speed Broadband DSL Internet Account,Comprehensive health care plan including: Health & Drug,Dental,Vision & Employee Assistance Prog, 10 Vacation days and 5 Paid Personal Days per year, RRSP and Savings Plan,Emp Stock Purchase Plan
Employer: AOL Canada
How to Apply:
Please apply for this job only in the manner specified by the employer. Failure to do so may result in your application not being properly considered for the position.
Contact Name: Human Resources
By Mail:
101 Ocean Limited Way, suite 100
Moncton, New Brunswick
E1C 0H1
In Person between 9:00 and 17:00:
11 Ocean Limited Way, suite 100
Moncton, New Brunswick
E1C ,0H1
By Phone between 9:00 and 17:00:
(506) 387-6400
Online:
http://www.aol.ca/moncton
Business Profile: AOL Canada Inc. is a leading Interactive Service Company focused on enhancing the Canadian online user experience.
Web Site: http://www.aol.ca/moncton
Advertised until: 2007/05/20

ICT: Aliant outsourcing 129 jobs at Atlantic Canadian call centres-

Here is an interesting, if laughable, calculator for Moncton boosters. Note that no sources/explanations are provided.

I guess the calculator didn't convince Apple. They sent their iPod tech support to OLS in Charlottown and Antigonish.


iPod Technical Support AgentLocation: Antigonish, NSWebID: 87358Post Date:
4/25/2007Closing Date: 5/17/2007Purpose:Successful iPod Technical Support Agents
are individuals committed to providing outstanding technical support services
and thrive in a fast paced, team environment. After completion of extensive
classroom and on the job training, you will support customer satisfaction by
providing accurate information through superior listening skills and first
contact resolution. Position Responsibilities:
Accurately and efficiently
respond to customer inquiries.
Provide technical assistance to clients in a
timely manner.
Meet or exceed service level standards set for productivity
and quality.
Provide service to customers on products and services.
Maintain customer accounts with the latest information in a timely manner.
Remain current on all products and services being offered.
Ability to
cross sell and upsell. Position Qualifications:
Experience in a customer
service environment preferred.
Call centre and/or sales experience is
desirable.
Ability to use a computer and type 30 wpm.
Detail oriented,
adaptable, personable, and reliable.
Excellent verbal communication skills.
Flexible working hours.
Grade 12 or equivalent.
Have a positive
attitude and able to work effectively in a team setting.
Ability to listen
effectively to the customer, understanding their needs and provide excellent
customer service.
If you are interested in applying for this position you
may do so by completing our on-line application form. Alternatively, you may forward your resume
with a covering letter in Microsoft Word format to via e-mail at mailto:emarzi@onlinesupport.com?Subject=Application:
by 5 PM on 5/17/2007.
Now you know that job has to suck.

Does Tony Blair Speak Better French Than You Do?

Does Tony Blair Speak Better French Than You?

Blair addressed the French people in an acceptable version of Molière's language. Interesting to note that Blair never graduated from university or, for that matter, community college. What is your excuse for being so unilingual?

Although in your defence, as far as I know, Blair doesn't speak any Gaelic, a language that is spoken by 538,000 of his countrymen.

By the way, is it just me or is Blair's Youtube page a tad creapy à la 1984?

In any event, the French use Daily Motion. Using Youtube to address the French was a bit gauche.

By the way, before you die hard Gerard Kennedy fans get too excited, although Blair didn't graduate, just like Canada's Robert Borden, he studied law and worked as a barrister. And as if it needed to be mentioned, Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, speaks better French than Gerard Kennedy.

2007-05-05

Trudeau Will Never Be Elected, Ever

Trudeau proclaimed to a bunch of teachers in New Brunswick that "Quebec will never seperate, ever." Then he suggests that having a French language education system in Quebec is a waist of money and "affixing labels".

Good grief. The state of French is New Brunswick is bad enough the way it is, not sure how sending French kids in Southern New Brunswick to English schools is going to improve it.

Back to separation. Justin Trudeau says Quebec will never separate because "Separatism is a mythology that has been created." According to the Toronto Star , he "compared Quebec separatists to school children, accusing them of "whining and complaining to get more attention." (Hat Tip to Impolitical )

Countries that had smaller populations than Quebec currently has when they seperated:

-Canada
-Australia
-New Zealand
-Ireland
-Norway
-Sweden
-Israel
-Every country in Spanish Speeking South America, south of Mexico.
-Many, but not all, of the countries in Africa.
-Slovenia
-Croatia
-Boznia Herzegovina
-Albania
-Montenegro
-Slovakia
-Estonia
-Latvia
-Lithuania
-Moldova
-Georgia
-Armenia
-Azerbaijan
-Turkmenistan
-Tajikistan
-Kyrgyzstan
-Mongolia
-Lebanon
-Jordan
-Syria
-Bhutan
-Laos
-Singapore
-Brunei
-East Timor
-Papua New Guinea
-Bulgaria
-Austria
-Hungary

And, not that long ago, thanks to the end of the Roman Empire:
-England
-France
-Spain
-Portugal

And many, many others...

Quittons l'OTAN

En ce jour d'élection française, je me pose la question: Est-ce que le Canada devrait quitter l'OTAN?

Qu'est-ce qu'on fait en Afghanistan au juste? On défend les États-Unis d'Amérique. Ce pays, bien que notre voisin, a des intérêts divergeants du Canada.

Voyez-vous, le Canada est le seul pays membre de l'Otan a ne pas être un importateur d'énergie. Le seul.

Si le pétrol ce fait de plus en plus rare, ne serait-il pas plus logique d'être membre d'une organisation de défense de pays exportateurs en énergie comme la Russie et la Norvège.

OTAN : Une dérive américaine préoccupante ;
L'efficacité de la propagande guerrière ;

Unilingualism is Expensive

Ever hear the line "bilingualism is to expensive" ?

I used to wonder. But having a job that required translating my own work, I discovered a huge advantage: clarification.

Double meanings are everywhere. Missinterpretation are shockingly prelevent. The most basic instruction can be missunderstood; never mind Federal tax regulations.

I recently received a wedding invitation in French and Vietnamese. I realised that I insticlively read both versions, simply because I'm used to receiveing them in English and French, languages I understand. Be it microwave cooking instructions or a change in garbage days, I read both versions. That way, if I read the translation and realise that isn't what I had understood, I can read to original version to see if perhaps I had missunderstood.

What would seem completely innificient, reading the same thing twice, is actully quite efficient as it cuts down on burnt food and missed weddings.

Writing rules and regulations in both languages, I'm convicinced, helped me make them clearer. I would often modify the original version having realised that something could have more than one meaning. An other way to do this would obviously be to aks people to read what you have written and then explain what they understood. But then you get the impression you are surrounded by morons. By translating the work, you realise the possible missinterpretations for yourself.

The Conservative "Nation" resolution is a prime example. Read the English version first, then see if the French version is what you had understood.

"That this House recognize that the Québécois form a nation within a united Canada".

"Que cette Chambre reconnaisse que les Québécoises et les Québécois forment une nation au sein d'un Canada uni."

The resolution was adopted on Monday, November 27, 2006.

The next day:

(...)

Ms.
Paule Brunelle (Trois-Rivières, BQ)
:

I am again asking the government
whether it can confirm today that the Quebec
nation officially recognized in
yesterday's motion (...) that all citizens
of Quebec are part of it?

Hon.
Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities,
CPC)
: (...)
the House of Commons of Canada, decided last night that yes,
Quebeckers are part of a nation. We recognize that fact, but within Canada,
within a united Canada.

The reason I bring this up is that I just discovered Scott Adams' blog (which is way better than Rick Mercer 's or Paul Wells ') and came across a post about the Koran and the possible miss interpretations, based on various English translations. In this case, according to Adams, the consequence is beating your wife, or not. Think about that next time you think translation is expensive. NOT translating could be far worst!

Suburban Sprawl Sends Paris Hilton to Jail

Paris Hilton* will be sent to jail for 45 days for driving with a suspended license. Her license was originally suspended for driving slightly drunk.

How many people get caught drunk driving in New York City, Paris Hilton's home town? Probably not that many. Had Hilton stayed in New York, she could have enjoyed her lifestyle without risking jail. Drunk driving is deadly and, frankly, going to jail is better then being seriously injured or dying.

But why do people drink and drive? It's not just selfish irresponsibility and alcohol impaired judgment. The logistics of clubbing 50 km away from home are surely a contributing factor. Whereas in urban areas you can stagger home, take a subway, bus or taxi, in sprawling suburban cities like LA, the options are limited. Even when you are rich, you don't want to spend a couple hundred dollars on cab fare (each way). Having a designated driver means you leave the club with the same person you arrived with (that's a downer).

Even in never ending suburbia like LA, you often can't leave your parked car for very long. So while you are nursing a hangover, having taken a cab home, your car maybe in the process of being towed, stolen or vandalised.

Drunk driving is one of the consequence of sprawl. Granted, it also happens allot in rural areas, but in suburban magacities like LA, you are more likely to involve Innocent drivers.

*Paris Hilton stars in the reality type series The Simple Life with Nicole Ritchie. She also has two home movies available on the Internet. The second video, of her taking a bath, was filmed by her boyfriend, the millionaire behind Girls Gone Wild. You could argue that Paris Hilton has done for High Speed Internet what Alyssa Milano did for the World Wide Web.

2007-05-01

Four Times More Cities in Quebec Have a Subway Than in Ontario

Alright, so the title needs work. I was going to post this in French, but I figure most French speaking people this side of Paris know by now that in Quebec, even Laval has the subway.

And not some cheap imitation subway either (take that Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Scarborough). Heck no. We are talking the real deal here. The type of subway that makes absolutely no sense unless you amortise it over 100 years and include intangibles like being able to brag your better than Scarborough (actually, I think the real subway does go all the way to Scarborough, but for the sake of argument, let's pretends it ends in East York.)

Since the subways systems of Toronto (a city that now includes the aforementioned Scarborough), Calgary and Edmonton are each wholly in their respective cities (thanks to rather large area cities), Quebec can brag about being the only Canadian province with an inter-municipal subway system. Four by my count. Four! (Longueuil, Westmount, Montreal and now Laval). And all underground. That is where sofisticated people move around (take that Vancouver hicks).

A subway transports as many people as a six lane highway. Ironically, the Quebec government is building a six lane highway to Laval. The problem is, the population of the greater Montreal isn't increasing. More transportation for the same amount of taxpayers.

Still, as a citizen of Moncton, I'm jealous. I want a subway to. Heck, I'd even settle for a Skytrain or Edmonton style light rail. Hey, maybe we can buy Montreal's monorail (the one at LaRonde, the Expo67 amusement park that still opens in the Summer). Too expensive? Pff, half of NewBrunswick's budget comes from the feds. We should get our fair share (not our fault if our harbour is clean, we shouldn't be penalised for that).

If I could end on a serious note. Coodos for the Quebec government's decision to stick with the same technology as the rest of the metro. The Scarborough Light Rail has proven disastrous. If you have ever climbed three stories (more like 6 really) only to have to walk them down 20 minutes later, you will understand that taking 3 modes of transportation is no fun at all, especially when one is underground and the other is high it the airs (Granted, getting downtown from Université de Montréal isn't that much fun either, even if it is all subway; a transfer is a transfer, all hail Ottawa's transitway).

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