That doesn't mean this site will become completely quiet... watch this space for more in the coming days and weeks.
Action-Packed and Star-Studded!
Not long after being named general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, you knew Marc Bergevin would have questions to answer. The native of Pointe-Saint-Charles is happy to be back in Montreal, even if he never saw himself good enough to play for the Canadiens.
Read Dominic's in-depth summary of the interview with Bergevin.
Charles Lafortune, the television host, is very interested in what Bergevin has to say about the Canadien--he actually walks in unannounced during Bergevin's interview and usurps the interview!
Not to be outdone, Denise Filiatrault walks on stage unannounced (or rather, announced as Lafortune!) to tell us about this summer's line-up at the Théâtre du Rideau Vert, including a first production of Une vie presque normale, a French-language adaptable of the accalaimed Next to Normal.
But let's come back to Lafortune. He hosted hosted this year's gala for the Artis awards we spoke about last week. How fun was it? Watch and see:
He also talks about rumours running of him hosting a talk-show, and the Quebec version of The Voice. (The rumours about The Voice have since been confirmed. The Gazette says it's an adaptation of NBC's show, but NBC's is an adaptation of the original The Voice of Holland.)
But that's not the only reason why he's here. He tells us about his challenges with his autistic son, Mathis, and the work they do at the foundation he's spokesperson for, À pas de géant/Giant Steps, that offers resources for families with issues with autism. It's an area that lacks resources, mostly because it's not a deadly disease, there's no solution to it, and there's no pharmacological response to capitalize. Among other things, Giant steps help get autistic youth a one-on-one education.
Lafortune speaking about autism:
Syndicats and Syndicates
Jean Poirier, general president of the Machinists' union representing employees at Aveos, where 1,800 Montrealers lost their jobs on March 19; Magali Picard, who is alternate regional executive vice president for Quebec of the Public Service Alliance of Canada and speaks for the some 17,000 federal public servants whose jobs are at risk of being cut; and Marc Maltais is president of the Steelworkers (Métallos) local for Alma that are in a lock-out from the Rio Tinto Alcan smelter since January 1 (Happy New Year!).
The union leaders accuses the federal government of interpreting the laws in a way that fits its agenda. That means not holding Air Canada to its legal obligation to keep jobs in Montreal, Winnipeg and Toronto--Poirier expects them to move to El Salvador--and using back-to-work legislation when they want certain people to work, like in the case of other Air Canada employees. To quote Poirier: "Le gouvernement conservateur [...] présentement est un dictateur--c'est clair, net et précis." (The Conservative government, presently is a dictator--that much is crystal clear.) That statement is met with applause and a standing ovation.
Maltais reminds us that the positions the Harper government wants to abolish are not just boondoggle paper-shifters, but real people who provide real essential services: search and rescue responders, food inspectors (the 100 positions created after a series of listeriosis crises are now abolished); the site inspectors at Transport Canada that check the airplanes in the sky... inspections that, if Poirier is right, will be outsourced to El Salvador.
In the case of Rio Tinto Alcan, they denounce the Quebec government, who buy through Hydro-Québec (a Crown corporation), buying the excess electricity that the idling plant is generating, essentially subsidizing them to the tune of 14,5M$.
Watch the interview with the union leaders.
Switching gears, we talk with Stéphane Rousseau and Luc Dionne to talk about the upcoming film, Omertà. The film is inspired by the television series about the Italian mafia that aired on Radio-Canada in the late 90s. View the trailer.
We talk about Rousseau's experience with shady characters, and his time in France making films and doing stand-up. (We assume these are two separate events.) Luc Dionne talks about doing the West Wing-style mini-series, Bunker, le cirque.
Louise Latraverse tells us about National Mental Health Week, from May 7 to 13. Mental health problems cost the Canadian economy $51 billion annually; 500,000 people are home sick from work on any given day due to mental health issues.
Rémy Couture is quite right in the head, but the police accuse him of corrupting social morals and encouraging sexual deviance by way of his gory special effects website. He is now awaiting a court case, facing a two-year sentence and a criminal record. He deplores the fact that this goes beyond just censorship, but outright criminalization of speech. To show his craft, the guests are "handed" a dismembered arm (moulded on his own) and a juicy brain (he won't say where he got the mould for that!). A website has been started to support his cause.
We close the season with a crop of upcoming young atheletes that are looking forward to competing in the London Olympic Games this summer.
- The judoka Sergio Pessoa is born in Brazil and speaks French wonderfully well after only seven years living here. He's proud to represent his adopted country and wouldn't trade it for Brazil or the world. Sergio's father competed in judo in Seoul and is now his personal coach.
- Synchronized swimmer Marie-Pier Boudreau-Gagnon is preparing for her second Olympic games. The Canadian syncrhonized swimming team worked hard to qualify early, so that they would be able to develop their program in hiding and not show their hand to other national teams in other world competitions.
- Swimmer Charles Francis, going into his first Olympic competition, says he needs to find the equilibrium between focus and living in the moment.
- Audrey Lacroix, also a swimmer, will be competing in her second Games. In recent years, she's been struggling with anxiety, which had its toll and shook her confidence. Since September she's done a lot of work with psychologists to improve her situation and be at her full potential.