Thousands of Montrealers left in the dark on Christmas morning due to high winds

Montreal Gazette

The sun is thankfully rising for thousands of Quebecers who were plunged in the dark this Christmas morning due to high winds blowing in the Montreal region.

Hydro-Québec says more than 34,000 customers are without power across the province as of 8 a.m. Thursday.

A little more than 8,000 customers are affected in the Montreal region.

Geneviève Chouinard, spokeswoman for Hydro-Québec, said crews are out in force to help restore power, but strong winds are making it difficult for them to work. She said people who wish to know when power should be re-established for their region should call 1-800-790-2424.

Environment Canada issued a wind warning in effect for the Montreal area, Laval, Longueuil and Châteauguay. Weather experts say the 70-80 km/h winds can gust up to 90 km/h in some areas near the St-Lawrence River.

The gusts are expected to subside gradually throughout the day but authorities warn…

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Strangers credited for rescuing B.C. boy after he was hit by man, abandoned at bus stop

National Post | News

METRO VANCOUVER — Police are crediting kind Surrey strangers for rescuing and attempting to identify a three-year-old boy who was struck in the face and then abandoned at a bus stop.

RCMP said several people called 911 around 11 a.m. on Saturday to report they had seen a man hit a boy in the face at a bus stop near 152nd Street and 64th Avenue.

The man, who appeared to be the boy’s caregiver, then boarded a bus and left the child on the street, police said.

“The boy was cared for by witnesses,” police said in a release.

“The boy was not readily identified and as such witnesses used social media sites, distributing his photograph in an attempt to identify the boy.”

It made me sick to my stomach, like he discarded him like he was a piece of garbage

Police were able to identify the boy and reunite…

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Palestinians tell Canada to back Geneva Conventions meeting on Israel

National Post | News

OTTAWA — The top Palestinian diplomat in Canada says the Harper government should not have boycotted a United Nations conference this week that harshly criticized Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Said Hamad says Canada should have joined other countries at a conference in Geneva examining the Fourth Geneva Convention, which governs the rules of war and military occupation.

Some 126 countries of the 196 international parties to the convention adopted a resolution Wednesday saying Israel’s construction of settlements does not conform to its international legal obligations as an occupying power.

Along with Israel and the U.S., Canada boycotted the conference, another example of unwavering Conservative support of Israel — a position that has exposed deep differences with the majority of the United Nations.

“We had hoped Canada would participate in this conference, given its long-standing policy that ’Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are a violation…

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Lac-Mégantic’s Musi-Café quietly reopens

Montreal Gazette

by Peter Rakobowchuk

The restaurant-bar at Ground Zero of the deadly train derailment and explosion that killed 47 people in Quebec in July 2013 is back in business.

The Musi-Café quietly opened its doors to the public in Lac-Mégantic on Monday, about 400 metres from the original site.

Owner Yannick Gagné said only three of the original employees have returned to work with him in his new establishment.

“One of them is my chef, a friend,” he told The Canadian Press in a phone interview. “I have a girl who worked for me for three or four years — she’s coming back — and one of my good friends, Karine Blanchette, will handle all the artists who will come here.”

At the time of the disaster, Blanchette told reporters two children were left orphans after one of her friends died in the tragedy.

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Many of the 47 victims were inside the…

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Why Not Just Believe in the Afterlife?

Eric Linus Kaplan

I was sad about my Dad’s death so I looked up my old friend Richie. He had been my best friend in third grade, but everybody from my elementary school had lost touch from him. A friend of a friend told me I might be able to see him if I waited at Church Avenue station. It was a cold night, but I gave it a try.

After a few hours the train came into the station and the doors opened and there was Richie. The rumor was that Richie had died after a bar fight. I couldn’t tell immediately if it was true or not. So I decided to just talk.

I asked him “Why not just believe in an afterlife if it would give me comfort.”

“You mean like heaven?”

“I’m not sure..”

“Yeah you are. You mean like an after life. You and your Dad can live…

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What’s the story

To understand people you must understand their story

In fact to understand yourself, you must understand your own story

For example, the conflict of religions, is the conflict of stories

Let’s start with religion

They are very easy stories to know, for they are repeated

As a Rabbi I am authorized to say the Jewish story (though obviously there are sub-stories but the universal Jewish story is) God made the world, at Mount Sinia, he obligated us to keep his 613 commandants, which the Rabbis clarify (through an oral tradition that also came from Mount Sinai) when we’re good, God blesses us – because we were bad, He sent us into exile – the messiah will redeem us and we will all live happily ever after (again there may be deeper dimensions but this is the universal story, for the past few thousand years.)

So for the Christian standpoint I…

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Watch the Robots Shipping Your Amazon Order This Holiday



Across the country, laborers are hard at work lifting 700-pound shelves full of multivolume encyclopedias, propane grills or garden gnomes and dragging them across vast warehouse floors. Carefully trained not to bump into one another, the squat workers are 320 pounds and a mere 16 inches tall.

No, they’re not Christmas elves—they’re some of the most advanced robots that e-commerce giant Amazon now uses to ship its goods. In an exclusive video for TIME, photographer and videographer Stephen Wilkes captured these Amazon robots in action at the company’s Tracy, Calif., warehouse.

The robots are made by Kiva Systems, a company Amazon purchased for $775 million in 2012 to better handle the hundreds of worldwide orders Amazon customers make every second. Kiva’s robots bring shelves of goods out of storage and carry them to employees, allowing Amazon to retrieve more items for more customers simultaneously. Amazon began using these robots in…

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Letters: Where is the Quebec wealth to which Pierre Karl Péladeau keeps referring?

Montreal Gazette

Re: “Péladeau makes a case for sovereignty” (Montreal Gazette, Nov. 29) and “Péladeau raises the stakes” (Don Macpherson, Nov. 29) 

When the provincial election was held this April, Quebecers voted in the Quebec Liberal Party, expecting that it would create a more stable provincial environment by removing the sovereignty option. So what has occurred over the last eight months and what does the future hold?

Pierre Karl Péladeau, Parti Québécois leader aspirant, has constantly been in the news, will continue to be in the news until the May 2015 PQ leadership vote, and then plans to spend the next three years explaining and promoting Quebec independence.

So much for hoping to create a stable provincial environment.

Robert MarcoglieseMontreal

Presumably, as an avowed sovereignist, Pierre Karl Péladeau was using the royal we when he said “sovereignty will make us richer.”

It is unusual, but most laudable, for a politician…

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