Monday, December 23, 2013

The 'Pav' a little history from Verdun

The "Pav" as we knew it was a hangout for most Verdun teens growing up in the 40's 50's 60's I seem to recall it closing for good around 1968. Here is a pdf file I came across on the net regarding the buildings history...I do have some photos of it around somewhere but for now I will leave you with the link to the pdf file.....Cheers ! - LesF

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Have a Safe Holiday Season (good advice)

stay safe for the holidays:

With the holidays upon us I would like  to share a personal experience with
my family & friends about  drinking and driving.  As you may know some of us
have been known  to have brushes with the authorities from time to time on
the way home  after a "social session" out with friends.

Well, three days ago I  was out for an evening with friends and had several
cocktails, followed  by some rather nice red wine.  Feeling jolly I still had
the sense  to know that I may be over the limit.  That's when I did  something
that I've never done before ...  I took a cab  home!

Sure enough on the way home there was a police road block,  but since it was
a cab they waved it past.  I arrived home safely  without incident.  This was
a real relief and surprise because I  had never driven a cab before.  I don't
even know where I got it  and now that it's in my garage I don't know what to
do with  it!!!

                           ................................................Merry Christmas, have fun ......Cheers !

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ben Karlstrom ( who ? Just Listen He's Incredible) doing Pink Floyd's "Hey You"

Have listen to this song, Ben Karlstrom plays each instrument & then mixed the whole thing himself, not to mention did a fantastic job just making the video......
  ps: He & his wife Geri Karlstrom did my favourite parody song in the previous post " Der's a lot of Dat"  it just shows they like to have a laugh ,and are extremely professional as well.
 Kudo's to you both...............Amazing talent (imho)


Also in the previous post "Der's a lot of Dat"  a fellow named Matt Baird did the scratching, I can't say I've been a fan of most scratching records,but you have to admit he's good too.....

   However I digress, enjoy this Pink Floyd tune "Hey You" by Ben Karlstrom
           Cheers !

Friday, December 13, 2013

Der's A Lot Of Dat (my favourite ex-PM..he called it as he saw it)

Heard this many years ago, but it is good for laugh , Our favorite ex-PM (at least one of my favourites) Jean Chertien.
 A rock station in Vancouver BC did this ,well put together sort of rap song using part of Chretiens voice put to a beat........I think even Jean would get a kick out of this. Afterall the man with the Shawinigan Handshake have to like that.
  Here's the link to the youtube video (music only) the 'embed' code has been disabled or I would have posted the actual video, but for now click on the link & hear "Der's a lot of Dat"


    Funny thing is I got to meet Jean Chretien before he became PM, He signed a book for me here in Victoria BC many years ago, & I asked him point blank  " So Jean are you going to be our next Prime Minister" ?    His answer without hesitation was "We're gonna see about dat " true

Saturday, December 7, 2013

R.U. Friggin Kiiding Meaning to the Big O-W-E

how's this for a con game ,$700million to tear this thing down , I call BS. What a pile of crap, the thing is coming down on it's own. How about just implode the pile of $hiT , and let anyone who neads clean fill, come and take what they want at their own expense,so it takes a few years.
 Remember when they built this money grab,over spending graft thieving etc etc and an estimated $250 million turned into 1.2 Billion (roughly) and 35 years to pay off,now the razing of it is supposed to cost $700 million.........sounds a little odd.  Perhaps the Charboneau Commision may want to investigate this idea too...........
here's the story from today's Montreal Gazette:
MONTREAL - It has been hailed as a solution to the financial quandary over the Olympic Stadium, where costs seem to balloon with each annual deficit and every new hole, tear and snag in the fibreglass roof. But to the chagrin of Quebec taxpayers, the mere suggestion of demolishing the Big O has long been treated by politicians and the stadium’s managers not just as heresy but — at $700 million — sheer lunacy.
Even as figures in the hundreds of millions of dollars are being debated as the cost of installing a new roof on the Big O, the idea of razing the iconic Montreal landmark has been dismissed by its manager — the Olympic Installations Board (OIB) — as too expensive to carry out. Considering the stadium’s vast size and unique structure of reinforced concrete blocks held together with cables, an engineer once compared the impact of demolishing the Big O to the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, “where one-third of the island of Manhattan was covered in a thick coat of dust and debris.”
But for the first time, a Gazette analysis, including examinations of three feasibility studies, discussions with a dozen demolition industry experts and an exclusive interview with the engineer behind the $700 million estimate cited by the board, suggests the OIB’s long-used financial argument against razing the stadium — just like the roof — appears to have holes.
The estimate, which continues to baffle the demolition industry for being so high, stems from a 2009 report that author Gino Lanni says was designed to be preliminary. Lanni, an engineer with Groupe Séguin Experts-Conseils Inc. — now called Génius Conseil Inc. — said he had only a two-month mandate to prepare the study, which had such a potentially large margin of error, the results could be off by hundreds of millions of dollars.
“It’s really a feasibility study,” said Lanni, who prepared the 2009 report as an update of another preliminary study on the Olympic Stadium he oversaw in 2003. “When you’re at the feasibility stage, you’re not doing any design. Your margin of error there can go from 20 to 100 per cent, practically.”
Lanni said his estimate of $666 million to $700 million — depending on industry demand — would cover any “surprises” like the discovery of additional asbestos in the stadium, beyond certain ducts that were already known to contain the potentially carcinogenic material.
“When you’re starting off a project like that, you don’t have much information,” he told The Gazette.
“The final estimate is (from) the guy who puts in the price or the engineer who does the final drawings.”
While the OIB often refers to the $700 million figure as the cost of razing the Big O specifically, all three feasibility studies commissioned by the board cover the demolition of not only the stadium, but all the structures it manages: the tower (including the pool and sports complex), two parking garages and the board’s offices, for a total of more than 5.6 million square feet.
A board spokesperson declined to comment for this article. The Gazette’s questions, such as whether asbestos is present in the concrete — key data for estimating demolition costs — could only be answered following a formal request under Quebec’s access-to-information laws.
Among The Gazette’s other findings:
  • Lanni based the $700 million figure on an estimated 30 per cent rise in prices since 2003, when an earlier study placed the stadium’s demolition at $510 million. But his analysis was based on the Statistics Canada non-residential construction index, which takes into account the price of materials used to develop buildings, not to tear them down. A comparison with a demolition is a “misuse of our index,” Statistics Canada’s Randy Dorken said.
  • Unlike construction, demolition costs fluctuate because they can be partly offset by the salvaging of materials like steel. While far smaller and simpler than the Big O, the 33,000-seat Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg was demolished this year for around $1 million — in part because a deal was worked out with the contractor to recycle the steel and concrete. A 2004 study by engineering firm CIMA+, which said the stadium’s deconstruction costs could run as high as $587 million, calculated recyclable steel at $100 a tonne, compared to around double that amount right now.
  • Groupe Séguin, which became Génius Conseil in 2010, is the same firm that worked with a subcontractor to calculate the $10 million to $21 million decontamination costs of the land sold to developer Frank Catania & Associates for the controversial Faubourg Contrecoeur housing project. La Presse revealed that the city sold the site — which had a municipal evaluation of $31 million — for $4.4 million to Catania once the firm’s decontamination and other costs were subtracted. Yet a second company, Genivar, later found the decontamination costs to range between $5 million and $7 million. Lanni said he did not prepare the Faubourg Contrecoeur study.
After examining all three reports on the stadium — obtained by The Gazette under Quebec’s access-to-information laws — a large Quebec demolition contractor and two of his work site engineers said they believed the $700 million estimate far exceeds industry norms, despite the difficulties posed by the Big O’s pre-stressed concrete structure, in which concrete is poured over steel reinforcing cables. While the contractor agreed that the Big O couldn’t be demolished in one shot, because of the dust and the risk of concrete blocks flying off once the cables are cut, the tower’s base and the ring around the top of the stadium could be weakened and engineered to fall safely inside the Big O, with the rest of the structure left to be razed by heavy equipment.
“This appears to be political,” said one of the engineers, who spoke on condition that his name not be published. “If you really want to know the price of dismantling the stadium, you need to get an engineer to prepare all the necessary plans ... and hold a request for proposal (ask bidders to submit estimates).”
- - -

Groupe Séguin was first asked to come up with a feasibility study in the early 2000s, after calls to demolish the stadium generated headlines. At the time, spectacular demolitions of aging U.S. stadiums, like the Seattle Kingdome in 2000, made news broadcasts, and critics wondered why the same couldn’t be done in Montreal. One local demolition boss, Gino Forlini, was quoted as saying the Olympic Stadium could be imploded with dynamite for less than $10 million.
In a 2005 column, The Gazette’s James Mennie cited the $587 million figure from the 2004 CIMA+ study, sarcastically suggesting that the money for the demolition be raised through a lottery, with the lucky winner getting to push the “button marked ‘BOOM.’ ”
How a unique stadium — designed by the renowned French architect Roger Taillibert for Montreal’s 1976 Summer Olympics, and an integral feature of the city’s skyline — had become so reviled largely came down to dollars and cents.
Since its inception, the Big O was beset with financial problems. Delays and the price of the steel running through the stadium’s concrete blocks — which soared six-fold during its construction — doubled the planned building costs from $135 million. Then there were the repair costs, with chunks from the tower tumbling into the field in 1986, and pieces of concrete breaking off in 1991 and 2012. The original roof was replaced by a non-retractable one in 1998, which tore from snow buildup just a year later.
The total cost for building all the Olympic facilities — plus renovations, repairs, interest and inflation — left taxpayers with a mortgage of $1.5 billion and the inspiration for a new nickname: the Big Owe.
In 2004 the stadium lost its key tenant after the Montreal Expos, who played there since 1977, moved to Washington, D.C., becoming the Nationals.
A decade later, financial questions surrounding the Big O continue to generate controversy at a time when the Quebec government is projecting a $2.5 billion deficit this year, putting off plans for a balanced budget until 2015-2016.
This week, Radio-Canada reported that the stadium’s roof has deteriorated further, with the number of tears tripling from last year and the maintenance doubling from $400,000 to $800,000 in 2013.
And a study on the possible return of Major League Baseball to Montreal — expected to be unveiled at a news conference next week — is to recommend a new ballpark closer to where the majority of fans live, given the broader North American trend of tearing down and replacing aging stadiums.
Without a new roof, the stadium continues to bleed money. According to the OIB’s financial records, the Olympic Park lost more than $20 million a year over the last two fiscal years, excluding Quebec government subsidies. In 2012, the board spent almost $11 million on payroll costs for its 180 regular employees “who maintain the park and handle administrative functions for the organization.”
Efforts have been made to boost the stadium’s use — during the 2011-2012 fiscal year there were 22 major events, like concerts and trade shows, along with 59 secondary activities, such as private rentals. But the Big O was left empty for 284 days. Changing the roof, which would allow the stadium to remain open all year, would lead to $160 million a year in economic spinoffs, according to a 2009 Secor study, the board says on its site.

Pressure has been mounting on the Quebec government, which owns the stadium, to make a long-term decision about the structure. Industry sources say the Parti Québécois government is considering a $300 million roof, although Tourism Minister Pascal Bérubé has yet to make a decision, apart from ruling out all chance of demolishing the stadium.
Some members of Montreal’s business community believe a more detailed demolition study should be produced, especially in the wake of The Gazette’s findings suggesting the Big O could be dismantled for far less.
“The $700 million doesn’t make sense. To me, this stadium is a white elephant,” one real estate professional said.
“Let’s just say I find the $700 million figure intriguing,” said Michael Taylor, executive director of the Pennsylvania-based National Demolition Association, which represents more than 1,000 companies in the U.S. and Canada.
While Taylor declined to give an estimate, since he wasn’t familiar with the Olympic Stadium, he said the figure would “likely drop significantly” during a bidding process.
Kevin Callahan, chief operating officer of Demco Inc., the New York-based demolition company that razed the former 57,000-seat Yankee Stadium in 2010, said the $700 million estimate was unheard of in the industry. Callahan said it cost $23 million to dismantle the legendary New York City stadium, which was mostly razed by crews instead of being imploded, in part because there was an elevated subway line located just feet away.
“I can’t imagine anything within a multiple of that, short of having a nuclear reactor underneath,” said Callahan, whose company is now in bankruptcy protection for events unrelated to the Yankee Stadium demolition.
“For $700 million, I can take down a nuclear plant.”
- - -
Ask Ryan Priestly to give an example of a challenging demolition, and the president of Ontario’s Priestly Demolition talks about taking down an oil rig in the ocean. The Olympic Stadium doesn’t even make his short list.
While Priestly is not familiar with the Big O, he has demolished smaller structures that used post-tension cables — which involve high-strength steel strands or bars — including a 10-storey parking garage that was near the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto.
“Is it fundamentally different? No, it’s not that much, but it’s different than conventional concrete,” he said. “We come across it two or three times a year.”
According to the 2009 study, taking down the stadium would generate 1.4 million tonnes of concrete and steel debris, and the very act of cutting the cables that hold the concrete blocks together would risk sending debris flying.

“You cut the string and the whole thing collapses,” Lanni said.
Lanni’s recommendation for taking the stadium apart piece by piece — a plan that would take five years to design and execute — might be costly, but it is the least risky scenario, he said, for a stadium located in an urban area and in a city where the use of dynamite is heavily regulated.
Indeed, rules governing environmental protection and the use of dynamite have become more strict over the years, but the demolition industry continues to dismantle structures in densely populated areas. Unlike the World Trade Center example given in Lanni’s 2009 study, demolitions are specifically controlled by engineers.
Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition Inc., said he wasn’t familiar with the Olympic Stadium. But his U.S.-based company has used explosives to demolish thousands of structures worldwide over the last 70 years, including stadiums like the Kingdome, bridges, and buildings like Orlando’s former city hall — which was located just feet away from the building that replaced it, with the implosion captured in the action film Lethal Weapon 3.
“CDI regularly (brings down) major structures on top of and immediately adjacent to ... rail tunnels, utility lines, oil transmission lines and railroad rights of way,” he said.
Demolition association executive director Taylor pointed out that if Controlled Demolition could implode the former Orlando city hall without damaging one glass pane on the neighbouring building, experienced members of his industry have the ability to deconstruct a stadium located near a métro.
“These were all difficult engineering challenges ... but the industry has the ability to do this. Having a subway running underneath a structure to be demolished is a surmountable, workable problem.”
Twitter: RealDealMtl

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The "Road Runner" Turns 70

Bon Fete Yvan,...........& thanks for the excitement over the years. (including the Brasserie douze) lol

His birth certificate says he turned 70 on Friday, and maybe some days his bones tell him he’s been on this Earth for close to that.
So how is it that Canadiens legend Yvan Cournoyer doesn’t look a day over 50?
“I don’t want to be 70,” the Roadrunner joked Friday. “I look young, maybe, but I think I’m getting older.
“All the talk today about this being 50 years since John F. Kennedy was shot — I turned 20 that day, and I was on the ice in Guelph, practising with the Junior Canadiens at noon hour when we heard the news.
“And now I think, it’s been 50 years …”
Thirteen years before that momentous 20th birthday, Cournoyer had received perhaps his favourite gift, unwrapped as a 7-year-old in Drummondville: his first pair of skates, bought for him by his uncle Jean.
“I fell in love with hockey that day,” Cournoyer said, setting off on a life’s path that would win him 10 Stanley Cups with the NHL club of his boyhood dreams, four of them as team captain; the 1973 Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs; a starring role in the historic 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union; and 1982 induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Cournoyer retired from hockey at age 35 in 1978, unable to go on after his second back surgery. Reluctantly, he left the game — or so he thought.
To this day, he remains an enormously popular, cornerstone member of the Canadiens family, one of the team’s ambassadors whose boyish face lights up any time he’s recognized in public.
Which is virtually everywhere, no matter where he goes.
He is loved — worshipped, really — in Russia, where he played a huge role in Team Canada’s stunning come-from-behind victory in the Summit Series.
To mark 70 years, Cournoyer planned a quiet day Friday with his wife, Evelyn. The couple will attend a wedding Saturday, then celebrate his birthday with a Sunday family dinner.
The Canadiens’ 18th captain will attend maybe 20 Habs games per season, renewing friendships with fellow alumni. Hanging from the rafters of the arena is the No. 12 that was retired for him and Dickie Moore on Nov. 12, 2005.
“What a night that was,” Cournoyer said. “I thought the Hall of Fame induction was the ultimate, but the ultimate was when the Canadiens retired my number.”
He still treasures memories of the Forum, which he calls “my house.”
“I arrived there at 17, played three years junior before I joined the Canadiens, and I left at 35, unable to continue with my back,” he said. “I see people today at the Bell Centre who have worked for the team for 50 years. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a good-luck charm, but I feel like we can always win.”
Not just at home it seems. On Oct. 28, with old friend and rival Rod Gilbert, Cournoyer dropped the ceremonial faceoff in New York for the Canadiens-Rangers game, the first match in refurbished Madison Square Garden.
The Canadiens blanked the Rangers 2-0.
It was in New York during his prime that Cournoyer had picked up the Roadrunner nickname, a Sports Illustrated writer hanging the label on him for his blazing speed that had undressed the Rangers.
(In Russia, he’s known as The Train, an unstoppable force with a locomotive’s power when he’s at speed.)
“I went back to New York two weeks after that game and saw the same reporter,” Cournoyer recalled.
“I said, ‘You know what you did to me?’ and he replied, ‘I just wrote the Roadrunner scored twice and the Rangers couldn’t touch him.’
“I said, ‘Well, now I have no choice. I have to skate fast the rest of my life.’ ”
Cournoyer remains the last Canadien to have scored five times in one game, also earning two assists against Chicago at the Forum in the Habs’ 12-3 win on Feb. 15, 1975.
(Imagine what he could have done had he not played a couple hours of tennis the night before and gone cross-country skiing the morning of the game.)
“And I scored the first goal in Chicago the next night,” he recalled of the Habs’ return visit, a 6-3 win. “Sometimes, it just works.”
Cournoyer has almost maintained his frantic on-ice pace three and a half decades since his retirement, his appeal to fans never waning.
He was in Winnipeg this week making a corporate appearance; on Monday, he attended the game between the Calgary Flames and the hometown Jets.
“I never took so many pictures in my life with the people,” he said, speaking of fans at the MTS Centre and many more in business suits the next day.
“It’s like I still play,” he said, a little overwhelmed by this ongoing rock-star treatment. “I always tell people, ‘We grew up together, you in front of the TV and me on the ice.’ And it’s true — every Saturday night, they’d watch us play. It’s amazing.”
Cournoyer says he might see a bit of himself in the Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher, who’s also fearless in traffic despite his economical build.
If Gallagher doesn’t have the Roadrunner’s speed, he shares his nose for the net, regardless of the abuse he takes getting there.
“I love his style of playing for his team,” Cournoyer said. “He’s there every night and he shows the same thing every game. That’s an ideal player for a coach. You don’t have to worry about that guy.
“It’s a dream for a coach to have a player like Gallagher — no matter where you put him, no matter his assignment or his linemates, he’ll do his job to the best of his ability, doesn’t care about the beating he takes and he doesn’t complain.
“And he’s always laughing a little bit. I wouldn’t like to play against him.”
It’s a playful, relentless smile that the two also have in common. Often, especially down Highway 401, Cournoyer delights in telling fans and audiences this one:
“I love driving in Toronto and having to turn left,” he said, laughing once more. “I put my window down and put my hand out to signal — with a Stanley Cup ring on every finger!”

Monday, November 11, 2013

Remembrance Day

Lest We Forget

                                                       ...above photo by Paul Lachine (Veterans)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The 3 Little Pigs old fairy tale/fable, or is it life Imitating Art.... lol

         .....In the year 2013, will there be a new ending to the traditional 3 Little Pigs fable.
or will the Big bad Wolf almost win again, well it seems that the 3 little piggies in this version are working hard together to build a brick house that can't be blown down by the big Bad Wolf
but you can bet he will Huff & He'll Puff & He'll try to blow the little piggies house down.
Hmmmmmmm  maybe he should have abolished that house when he had the chance , but you know what happens when at first you practice to deceive, Yup it tangles the web you were trying to

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Transparency in Governent (means we can 'Clearly' see they are Thieves

Move over Mulroney, Harper is about to challenge for your title of 'worst PM Ever of Canada'
I have faith in Brian remaining the worst, ( when you have a book pointed at you named On the Take , then you certainly have an
 but Stevie boy's Nose is growing quicker than Pinochio' this case though Stevie is the puppet master (puppeteer if you will) pulling all the strings and manipulating his staff, and his appointees................ahhh !   Stevie baby, your hands must be deep in the cookie jar too, we just don't know how deep yet.  How about next election we change this 'transparent' govt.


                                             (photo found on internet at this address: some may find interesting stories here,check it out if you like  

                         Steve basically a tyrant and self serving dictator, who doesn't seem to believe in free speech........................Wake Up Canada & Let's get rid of this guy soon .

         Yes Mr Mulroney your title is being challenged.......... geez what is it with Conservative parties, not content to help Canadians but rather themselves, this seems to go back to Dief (remember the Avro Arrow, hmmmmmm. then Mulroney ,now Stevie boy's regime.) None of these people did anything to help Canadians but sure did a lot to help their friends both in & outside of Canada not to mention Themselves.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Snouts Cut Out of Public Trough (maybe)

                                        Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau  the 3
Well will the feeding frenzie be over ? or at least slowed up, Maybe it seems the blatant abusers of public money spending are soon to be cut off........(Unless you can conveniently get on a med-leave & continue to collect) I wonder when the present day govt of Canada will get the balls to just oust the culprits. Imagine a job where you can be handed a golden goose job, abuse the crap out of it & cannot be fired by the guy that appointed you. Nope all you have to do is say I will sit as an independent (code for keep making out the chq's to me & don't forget the perks too) but Hey force me out & I may have to take a sick  These guys in power (the Mulroney replacements) are almost as bad (possibly worse ,when we find out the real behind the scenes deals) than the party led by the main character in that aptly named book "ON the TAKE" by Stevie Cameron .in case you forgot who the character on the cover was ,here's a picture of Stevie Camerons  great book.........(imho)   

Now we have the (arguably) the same party in power, certainly named the same (same friends too it seems) but his protégé manages to follow the same crooked path appointing sympathizers when possible hiring others in his office,(while he sneaks out of the country (to do a deal as 'great' as the Freed Trade Deal ) Remember Free Trade where the free part is replaced by 'fees' at the border.
 Anyway have a read of the article in today's Montreal Gazette.

We've seen this snout before:   

OTTAWA — The Senate took an unprecedented step Thursday by moving to suspend three embattled senators without pay — even though none has been formally charged with wrongdoing and one expects to take a medical leave.
The RCMP are investigating allegations of misspending against senators Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau and Pamela Wallin.
The government Senate leader, Claude Carignan, told the Senate Thursday afternoon that all three should be suspended without pay due to “gross negligence” in their use of taxpayer dollars.
Whenever a final vote happens, a simple majority would be needed to approve the proposals to suspend the three without pay. The Tories hold a majority in the Senate, and one Liberal senator suggested the Tories will “fold” and vote to suspend Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau — three former Conservatives — and try to deflect attention away from the scandal in the Senate that was the focus of debate in the House of Commons.
But there was a hint that some senators felt they would be setting a dangerous precedent for three of its own who face no criminal charges related to their Senate spending, and at a time when the auditor general is poring through the expenses of every member of the upper chamber to root out any wrongdoing.
“This is an extraordinary measure brought in at a time with the government who are seeking public favour because they’re down in the polls — it’s the popular thing to do,” said Liberal Sen. George Baker. “It’s the unpopular thing to say what I’m saying. … To have a motion so worded is not fair, it’s not fair.”
None of the three faces charges from the Mounties, but their colleagues in the Senate are to vote on whether they should be removed from the red chamber until the end of the parliamentary session, an undefined period of time that could end in the fall of 2015 when the next federal election is scheduled. A positive vote would also bar them from spending any Senate dollars, and could affect their pensions.
“This is not about the criminal investigation,” said Sen. Vern White, a former police chief. “Every organization I’ve been in has an internal system that sanctions people as well. That’s what this is about.”
Under Senate rules, the upper chamber can take whatever actions it needs to protect itself, even if it means withdrawing the parliamentary privileges of its members.
“We are members of a parliamentary body, and there’s a lot of responsibility … for every individual member,” said Tory Sen. Pierre Claude Nolin, a lawyer by trade. “There’s a code of conduct, there’s an attitude that needs to be maintained to not provoke disrepute of the institution.”
Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau were not in the chamber Thursday, as the Senate returned for a new session from prorogation, but the motions to suspend all three were introduced.
The Senate will debate all three motions next Tuesday at the earliest. It’s unclear when a final vote will take place.
Carignan argued the suspensions should be made to protect the dignity of the Senate, and the public trust in the chamber, which has taken a beating over revelations of misspending and ethical lapses by some of its members. In this case, the three senators facing suspension were all appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Speaking to reporters outside the chamber, Carignan said it didn’t matter that the three were former Conservatives; he said the sanctions would be considered for any senator caught grossly violating Senate spending rules.
“It’s not a question of money, it’s a question of gross misconduct,” Carignan said. “It’s very severe sanctions, but I think it’s appropriate in this case.”
The Liberals in the Senate will discuss the proposals in detail Tuesday morning, but their leader on Thursday suggested all three should be punished.
“As I said at the very beginning, further sanctions are necessary,” said Liberal Senate leader James Cowan. “I don’t think it’s enough that when you get caught abusing rules and you claim money inappropriately, I don’t think it’s enough to simply pay the money back.”
All three will have a chance to make their case before the Senate next week. However, Brazeau is unlikely to attend due to a recent medical episode that saw police called to a Gatineau, Que., home and Brazeau taken to hospital. Duffy, too, is questionable after telling the Senate on Thursday morning that he was taking a medical leave of absence, a move that would normally allow him to continue receiving his $135,200 annual salary.
Carignan said that wouldn’t affect the move to suspend Duffy without pay.
“He will have the opportunity to come Tuesday to explain why he (should) not have the sanctions against him,” Carignan said. “He could explain his case Tuesday. If he has a medical problem, we will see Tuesday.”
In a letter Thursday morning to the Senate speaker, the former Conservative said he had suffered unstable angina this past summer while in Prince Edward Island, which he represents in the Senate. Duffy said his doctor in Ottawa has recommended further treatment and suggested he stay off work.
The RCMP are investigating a payment of $90,000 made by Harper’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, to Duffy to cover his housing expenses. Wright resigned over the affair.
Duffy had open-heart surgery in 2006, but in his letter says not all of the problems were fixed at that time and that it had been expected he would need surgery again at a later date.
Normally, a senator on medical leave continues to collect his or her salary.
Duffy has also come under scrutiny after the RCMP recently alleged he billed the Senate for $65,000 to pay a friend who provided “no tangible work” in return, even after Senate finance officials raised concerns.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Le Gros Bill celebrates 60 Years With Montreal (Story in today's Montreal Gazette)

MONTREAL — The smiles of three men light up the wood-panelled Montreal Forum office.
On the left is Canadiens general manager Frank Selke, a canary having been a meal for this satisfied cat.
On the right is head coach Dick Irvin, flashing the sign of victory that soon would come for the club on a great many nights.
And seated at Selke’s desk in the early Saturday afternoon of Oct. 3, 1953, beaming, about to put pen to the contract in front of him, backdropped by a large wall calendar, the Canadiens’ 1945-46 team photo and a glossy picture of a leggy figure skater, is Jean Béliveau.
Ending was a team’s lengthy courtship of the brilliant, hard-to-get centreman, this 22-year-old cornerstone of the senior league’s Quebec Aces finally lured to Montreal.
Beginning was an illustrious Hall of Fame-bound Canadiens career that would see Béliveau win 10 Stanley Cups as a player — five consecutively from 1956-60, five more from 1965 to his retirement in 1971 — and then another seven as a Habs vice-president.
Sixty years ago Wednesday, with three signatures, Béliveau was embraced by a hockey family, forming a bond that’s just 102 days younger than his marriage to Élise, his soulmate.
“It was always my dream to play for Canadiens, even for the two or three years I didn’t want to sign,” Béliveau said Tuesday. “Now it’s been 60 years?”
And he laughed.
“Maybe I wasn’t looking that far ahead that day.”
This diamond anniversary is yet another reminder of how Le Gros Bill is synonymous with elegance and grace and leadership both in hockey and beyond the game, living every step of his life in the public eye and never putting so much as one toe out of place.
If he’s among us a little less now, not in his Bell Centre seat for every home game and not attending the endless functions to which he’s still invited, it’s because he’s finally putting himself first, taking his days a little easier since cancer and two strokes have slowed his gait.
“I ran around for 60 years,” Béliveau joked. “And more.
“I liked all of it, but I had to slow down. I’m not 60 any more. I’m 82. It’s about time.”
Of course, Béliveau’s gentle retreat from the spotlight has done nothing to diminish his place in the Canadiens family, his heart in many ways still the pulse and the conscience of the franchise.
Few are Canadiens fans of a certain age who don’t have their own special Béliveau story — of meeting him at a banquet, in an airport, a mall, on the street. Each tale is shared with stars in the storyteller’s eyes.
In this world of “too good to be true,” Béliveau is as good as advertised, and better than that. He has this gift: if you speak to him for a half a minute in a packed room, he makes you feel that the two of you are alone for that 30 seconds.
The Canadiens’ 1950s pursuit of Béliveau was a soap opera of the highest order. He had Quebec City in his palm, as well paid as NHL stars Rocket Richard and Gordie Howe, and he felt a profound loyalty to the Aces and the generous community that treated him as royalty, showering him with affection and gifts.
Béliveau’s NHL negotiation rights belonged to the Canadiens, for whom he knew in his heart he would one day play. While he spurned their offers several times, remaining with the Aces, he attended Habs training camp every fall in the early 1950s and had a few tryouts, tantalizing management and fans with his powerful stride, smooth stickhandling and rugged presence.
His NHL debut, on Dec. 16, 1950 at the Forum against the New York Rangers, saw Béliveau named the first star for his nine shots on goal. He scored in his second game a year later, then dazzled in a three-game call-up in December 1952, scoring five times before returning to coach Punch Imlach’s Aces.
The mating dance was growing comical. Béliveau recalled in his 1994 autobiography, My Life In Hockey, that the Toronto Star even ran a “Wanted” poster:
“Jean Béliveau. Age 20. 6’2”. 195 lbs. Wanted by Canadiens to play NHL hockey. Reward $15,000 a season … and he turns it down.”
A French newspaper ran a similar poster-type notice a few months later, but Béliveau recalls he had grown to 6-foot-3, 205 pounds for the francophone market.
His signing in Montreal was inevitable when the Quebec Senior league, an amateur circuit, was turned pro. Finally, on Oct. 3, 1953, Béliveau put his name on three copies of a contract that would pay him salary and bonuses of $105,000 for five years, the richest NHL pact to that time.
His long relationship with Molson Breweries had been in the works for some time, broadcaster/columnist/brewery executive Zotique Lespérance having paid regular visits to Quebec.
“Mr. Lespérance would drop by the Colisée and tell me, ‘If you ever come to Canadiens, come see us at the brewery,’ ” Béliveau said.
He would meet with Senator Hartland Molson, four years later the Canadiens president, in the summer of 1953, “and the Senator and I shook hands. That was my contract with Molson’s,” Béliveau said.
He would work with the brewery’s sales promotion department for the next 18 years, eventually named a vice-president and board member.
It was six weeks after Béliveau joined Molson’s that he signed with the Canadiens, the team’s dogged pursuit finally landing their prize.
The Gazette of Monday, Oct. 5, reported Béliveau’s signing on the third page of its Sports section, behind two pages of World Series coverage, 12 paragraphs accompanied by a photo of Selke over his new star’s shoulder.
It began:
“Jean Béliveau, sensational hockey rookie, Saturday signed a five-year contract with Montreal Canadiens, a contract termed by Managing Director Frank Selke ‘the highest contract ever given any player — highest by a city block.’ ”
The story went on to say that a “long conference” a day earlier had failed to produce a deal:
“No reason for the youngster’s hesitancy was given but the presence at Saturday’s conference of a financial adviser, on Béliveau’s behalf, and an expert on income tax regulations indicated Béliveau was figuring closely on how much he would have left after the government got through with him. …
“Saturday’s conference dragged on and for a time it was reported there was only a 50-50 chance of Béliveau signing and becoming eligible to play for Canadiens against the NHL all-stars (that night).
“Finally at 1:05 p.m., Selke walked from his office and told newspapermen and photographers: ‘Well, you haven’t waited in vain.’ All rushed into the office, and Béliveau, smiling, picked up a pen and signed three sets of the contract.
“Selke described the signing as ‘the biggest moment of my career in hockey,’ ” the story continued, “and said he was pleased that the ‘highest contract’ to any player had been given ‘a French-Canadian boy from Victoriaville.’
“He also said that in the five years he had known Béliveau and during the many conferences at which he tried to get the youngster to sign, ‘Neither of us has ever made a crack about the other and Béliveau has always been courteous and considerate.’ ”
Béliveau joined his new team hours after signing, playing that night in the NHL’s seventh All-Star Game that pitted the Canadiens, the defending Stanley Cup champions, against a team of NHL stars. Béliveau assisted on Maurice Richard’s power-play goal in the Canadiens’ 3-1 loss, the Rocket poking the rebound of a Béliveau blast behind goaler Terry Sawchuk.
Dirk Irvin Jr., the celebrated broadcaster and author, remembers his Canadiens coaching father “going easy” on the young rookie when he finally signed, the centreman having arrived three months after his marriage to Élise Couture.
“Jean reported (to the team) fat,” Irvin recalled. “But before long, Dad gave it to him. Jean wore a rubber shirt so he’d sweat off the extra weight. But what impressed my dad was that Jean never complained. He ever said a word.”
“I didn’t wear that shirt every day,” Béliveau clarified, chuckling. “It makes you weak.”
Which wasn’t an adjective often used to describe him. Béliveau would score 507 goals and add 712 assists in his 1,125 NHL games, all with the Canadiens, scoring 79 and assisting on 97 more in his 162 playoff games.
He won the NHL’s 1955-56 Art Ross and Hart trophies as the league’s top points-getter and most valuable player, respectively; the inaugural Conn Smythe in 1964 as MVP of the playoffs; and twice had the NHL’s top goal and assist totals.
On Thursday, 60 years to the day that he joined the Canadiens family, Jean Béliveau says his only plan is to sit in his South Shore condominium, put his feet up and look out at Montreal far below.
How fitting that this city will be at Le Gros Bill’s feet, precisely where it’s been for the past six decades.

Monday, September 30, 2013

? Montreal Landmark Disappears Overnight ( what ? it wasn't even there when I left Montreal)

Wow ,Place Ville Marie,  The O'gilvies Flour (later Five Roses Farine ) sign , Ben's Deli, The Montreal Forum, the Milk Can on the Rooftop,  etc  etc ..these were Montreal Landmarks.........but alas! I must be getting old-(er) this Montreal Gazettte article about the Euro Deli Disappearing 'overnight' after 31 years seams odd to was never there till years after many of us left.
However it is history for our newer (non-boomer) generations & they too now see what it's like to lose what they consider a landmark........perhaps we just take comfort in things we think should never disappear......(like the Elmhurst/Sealtest 3D, 2 head Cow that's a landmark) -lol

             Here is the Gazette article : on the disappearance of a Montreal 'landmark'

MONTREAL — After 31 years in business, St-Laurent Blvd. landmark Euro Deli closed suddenly last week.
Disappointed regulars walked by every few minutes Tuesday afternoon, peering through the window into the darkened, empty restaurant.
“I went there often. Everybody went there often. They were always packed, they had amazing food and I’m going to miss their tortellini a whole lot,” said Glenn Castanheira, manager of the Société de développement du boulevard Saint-Laurent.
“Many of us have beautiful memories of Euro Deli,” he said.
“It was a place you could go and run into people you know. It’s been an institution on the Main for decades, and it’s a real loss,” said Alex Norris, city councillor for the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough.
Both Norris and Castanheira said they thought the restaurant had been doing well, and seemed to have steady business.
“We have absolutely no idea what caused the closing of the restaurant,” Castanheira said.
Euro Deli owner Vincent Scanzano was not available to comment on Tuesday.
In the empty restaurant on Tuesday afternoon, building owner Aleksander Jevremovic sat at the table where seven years before, he had signed the building’s ownership papers.
Listening to a leaking tap and watching disappointed regulars tug on the locked doors, he said business has been tough in the neighbourhood.
“Everything is closed, everything’s for rent,” said Jevremovic.
“Everything has changed. We have less money, and everything is more expensive.”
Businesses on the street are still recovering after over two years of construction chaos that started in 2007 and dragged on for months as the street was dug up, paved over and dug up again.
When city crews packed up the last orange cones, the boulevard had wider sidewalks, improved plumbing, fresh asphalt and new granite benches.
Customers scared off by many months of impossible parking, loud noise and redirected bus routes are just starting to come back.
“The harm was done, but we’re getting over it. In general, this year has been very good. Things are coming up, finally. Consumers are changing their habits,” Castanheira said.
But after surviving the street excavation, merchants say they’re being buried under tax hikes.
“The city doesn’t do anything to help. They shouldn’t have raised the taxes so much,” Jevremovic said.
Since he bought the three-storey building in 2006, he said, his property taxes have more than doubled, from $18,000 to $41,000 per year.
“If you raise my taxes by $2,000 a month, do you think I’ll have $2,000 less in my pocket? No. I’m going to have to ask for $1,000 extra from my tenants on this side and that side,” he said.
As his taxes have continued to increase, Jevremovic said he hasn’t seen any significant improvements in the city’s services on the street.
“They’ve done nothing for the street. Normally when you pay more you should get something for that,” he said.
The Euro Deli isn’t alone, Castanheira said.
“Many, many, many of those buildings have seen their taxes double. We have some tenants here who are paying tens of thousands of dollars in taxes,” he said.

“(Business) is the same, but costs are up,” said Hassan Nassereddine, who is part-owner of a pizza restaurant on St-Laurent Blvd., a few doors down from the Euro Deli.
“Property tax, business tax, (goods and services tax), tax for employees, and the cost of food is up. $9.75 for a kilo of cheese — it just went up the other day,” he said.
The introduction of pay parking above Prince Arthur St., and what he called overzealous ticketing of his customers were also scaring away business.
“I had a guy come in the other day — he bought two slices and it cost him 60 bucks. I heated the slices up, two, three minutes, and he got a $52 ticket,” Nassereddine said.
“Look down the street — for rent, for rent, for rent,” he said.
“Half of Prince Arthur closed,” said Charlie, who owns a shish taouk place on St-Laurent Blvd.
Jevremovic is out next month’s rent—$5,000, including the $1,000 per month business tax—and said the restaurant was short last month as well.
“Life is hard. I’m not going to chase after them for (the missing rent),” he said.
He’s not worried about the other tenants—offices for the Aveda salon next door, and two apartments—but Jevremovic said he’s not sure about the empty ground floor.
He’ll either look for a new tenant, or try to open his own business, the landlord said.
If Jevremovic does rent the space, he’ll likely try to lease to a franchise, which he can be sure won’t disappear on the first of the month.
“I don’t think an independent can make it,” he said.
Most businesses on St-Laurent Blvd. are still family-owned, and losing one is painful, Castanheira said.
“Small, independent businesses are one of the luxuries we have on St-Laurent.
“It’s not like a Tim Horton’s closing. There’s a family there, there’s a house, a pension fund,” Castanheira said.
“It’s a tough business. Some people make it, some people don’t. Maybe they didn’t realize how much people appreciated them.”

Friday, September 27, 2013

60 Years of Photo Journalism a book about Ted Grant -written by Thelma Fayle (one of our ex-pat Montrealers)

A local (Montreal/Verdun) gal Thelma Fayle ,accomplished in many areas,and published in many venues,has her 1st book launching ,she gets to share the many talents of TED GRANT , a great Canadian Photo Journalist & both of them are decent nice human beings ( I'm biased , as I know both of them) but as a Montrealer I thought I would share this new poster: listing the dates at UVIC for the start of the book launch & of course showing one of the many great photos that Ted Grant was able to capture throughout his life so soon as you see it ,you will have that "Ah Ha " moment I Remember that photo...........and you will probably want to see &.no less recognize many of the photos taken by him over the years......(and believe me; there are 100's of thousands of them) If you have a chance get to see them, many of which are in this book.

          "[Thelma Fayle] shows us how a kind, determined, generous, and brilliant man has made one of the greatest contributions to our history through the lens of his camera" 
Joe Clark and Maureen McTeer
Enjoy the book .........& its' many photos.
 Cheers ! HF&RV ~ LesF
ps: this post is a continuation or update from a previous post :

Thursday, September 19, 2013

"EVOLUTION" -----------We've Come a Long Way Baby............or Have We ?

A great cartoon as seen in a local Victoria newspaper, I think we can all relate to this.

                                                               ...................Nuff  said...........   lol ! Cheers.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Leonard Cohen 79 on the 21st of Sept.............

today is Montrealer Leonard Cohen's 70th birthday...Cheers Mr. Cohen & thanks for the music.& all the years of entertainment.

            This was the crowd at Valencia a few years ago welcoming Lenoard back to the stage after a brief setback,........they sang Happy Birthday to him en masse. Cool stuff.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Belmont pArk update from an old post

This links back to an old post, re: Belmont Park,.as I mentioned before there are many & I will try to add more soon.........enjoy the old post & video.    Cheers ! ~ Les

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Le Parc Belmont (Belmont Park )

There are quite a few youtube vids about Belmont Park, this one is the most recent I've seen,the music is rather dramatic for a fun place,but hey thanks to Sylvie who took the time to post it for everyone to enjoy,some great footage of the old rides & sideshows........(freak shows more like it)

Anyway enjoy the show............................................

                              I'll post a few more Belmont vids in the coming days:  Cheers !

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Loddy-Dah ! by Dolly Dennis Takes Place in ' MONTREAL' btwn: 1967 & 1970

Montreal btwn: '67 & 1970............Loddy-Dah ! -----by Dolly Dennis (ex-Montrealer)

"Congratulations" to Dolly (Sabby to us few) Dennis who has a book coming out very soon ,the story is set in Montreal between the years of 1967 & 1970..........( I imagine we can all get into that timeframe) Dolly has been working hard for years & finally she will see the reality of her first novel ,as it is being published as you can read here an excerpt from the Canadian Authours of Alberta website: (just type in Dennis in the search window & it will bring you to the following ....... as printed here below,but checkout the whole site if of interest to future talents,it may be of use ................let's support our friend & ex-Montrealer & Buy Her Book,or at least read it ..........I know I will
Dolly Dennis’     
first novel, Loddy-Dah, has been picked up by Toronto publish-er Guernica Editions. The book is set
in Montreal between 1967 starting with EXPO 67 and ends in 1970 with the FLQ Crisis and the War Measures Act. Loddy-Dah explores issues of self-identity, self-image, illusion, delusion and self-acceptance.                                                

Here is the cover as promised: congrats again Dolly.

I will post a photo of the cover as soon as I see one,along with the isbn number so you can borrow it from a library or buy your own copy from your favourite local bookstore.............Congrats again Dolly (for never giving up) ~LesF

ps: Dolly is an ex-Montrealer & a talented Verdun character,who is a writer living in Alberta.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

J'aime le metro.j'aime le autobus.......................NOT SO MUCH anymore


                         Ahh!......... the over regulated police like state of La Belle Province,you know- where they have a police force, for everything (any similarity to the old communist countries is purely coincidental) - lol  Common sense & more importantly Common Decency is severly lacking in the heads of overzealous power nuts working for the Bus Company.

A real nice story of the ongoing lunacy of our once great city.It sure isn't the La Belle Province ,that ; Je me  the following stoy is from the Gazette.

MONTREAL — More than a week after a mother and her 2-year-old son were kicked off a city bus and fined $219 for not having exact change, the STM says it has still not interviewed the bus driver involved in the Verdun incident.
Pauline Tantost, 24, who has since filed a complaint with the STM, was fined last Friday evening after attempting to pay the bus fare with a $5 bill.
STM spokesperson Amélie Régis said an investigation is underway and that all employees involved will be interrogated.
Tantost was headed home last Friday after spending five hours at the Montreal Children’s Hospital with her toddler, Xavier, who was suffering from an infection.
When she boarded the bus at 10 p.m., she asked the driver how much she owed. After looking in her bag for money, she told the driver she didn’t have $3 in change — only a $5 bill.
She offered the bus driver the money, but he refused, saying he only accepted exact change. He warned Tantost of being fined by STM investigators if she stayed on board without obtaining a proof of payment.
“I didn’t care, I just wanted to pay the bus fare and get home as soon as possible,” Tantost said in a phone interview.
She stayed on the bus and sat down behind the driver, with her $5 in hand.
A few minutes later, an STM vehicle rolled up. Two inspectors boarded the bus and asked to see her ticket.
“I left the bus on my own because I felt bad, I couldn’t stop crying, so I didn’t want everyone seeing me like that,” she said.
After the bus left, leaving Tantost on the sidewalk with her son, STM officers handed her a $219 fine for riding without a ticket. They told her she could wait for the next bus and show the fine as a proof of payment.
“I kept crying, I was really sad. Disappointed. I didn’t think something like this could happen,” she said.
Instead of waiting for the next bus, Tantost decided to walk home from the bus stop, which was 20 minutes away from her house in Verdun.
Although the STM has not yet spoken to the bus driver, officials have told Tantost that it wasn’t the driver who called STM investigators.
“It was just bad luck,” Tantost said.
But Wayne Larsen, who was aboard the bus when the incident occurred, is suspicious.
“To me, it looked like it was an ambush because these guys got on and targeted her right away,” Larsen said.
Larsen said that during the inspection last Friday evening, another passenger had issues with her ticket, but was let go with a warning.
“There was another person on the bus — an older woman — and they let her go. They didn’t take her off the bus or anything,” Larsen said.
Régis said Friday that she couldn’t give the specific number of random inspections that are conducted every year by STM investigators.

                                     :Here is a youtube of the old advertising campaign from MTC

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Montreal btwn: '67 & 1970............Loddy-Dah ! -----by Dolly Dennis (ex-Montrealer)

"Congratulations" to Dolly (Sabby to us few) Dennis who has a book coming out very soon ,the story is set in Montreal between the years of 1967 & 1970..........( I imagine we can all get into that timeframe) Dolly has been working hard for years & finally she will see the reality of her first novel ,as it is being published as you can read here an excerpt from the Canadian Authours of Alberta website: (just type in Dennis in the search window & it will bring you to the following ....... as printed here below,but checkout the whole site if of interest to future talents,it may be of use ................let's support our friend & ex-Montrealer & Buy Her Book,or at least read it ..........I know I will
Dolly Dennis’
first novel, Loddy-Dah, has been picked up by Toronto publish-er Guernica Editions. The book is set
in Montreal between 1967 starting with EXPO 67 and ends in 1970 with the FLQ Crisis and the War Measures Act. Loddy-Dah explores issues of self-identity, self-image, illusion, delusion and self-acceptance.

I will post a photo of the cover as soon as I see one,along with the isbn number so you can borrow it from a library or buy your own copy from your favourite local bookstore.............Congrats again Dolly (for never giving up) ~LesF

ps: Dolly is an ex-Montrealer & a talented Verdun character,who is a writer living in Alberta.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Canadian & Proud of it............

Great thinking involved by the simplicity of this unique ad for Canadian

            "Happy Canada Day" this movie called "the Beer Fridge" now what's more Canadian than that.


                                                     Have a safe Canada Day weekend


Friday, June 28, 2013

Verdun Memories

A great little local project by Kathryn Harvey,with several long time verdun residents.
Worth watching,(especially if you were/are from verdun)

Cutting, pasting and remembering is a short film shot in the spring of 2008.
Kathryn Harvey, working with local filmmaker and friend Leila Marshy, wanted to capture not only the process of piecing together an oral history,
but the special synergy and joy of doing it in a group

                          Thank You to all involved,a good effort to remind us of days gone by in Verdun

.....Also if nostalgia is your thing you may like this Luc Bourdon film which I posted here in 2010,
it is well made from old NFB clips & put together nicely. It is a long film ,so if your interested,grab a coffe (or a case of beer and sit back & watch on full screen,you will no doubt remember this Montreal.


                                   .........................Cheers !  ~ Have Fun & Remember Verdun/Montreal2

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Montreal's Class Act ..........Mr & Mrs Beliveau

         MONTREAL - It was the Gagnons who brought them together in Quebec City more than six decades ago, a family that lived on rue des Érables around the corner from the McKenna sisters.
Jean Béliveau, age 19 in the autumn of 1950, was boarding in the McKennas’ home, living in a small third-floor room while his hockey career flourished with the junior-league Quebec Citadels.
The Gagnons, who attended most of the games, told Béliveau: “Jean, you should come out with us on Wednesday. We have a nice girl we’d like you to meet.”
It was over dinner at Lac Beauport’s Manoir St. Castin that Jean Béliveau would be introduced to Élise Couture, “a pretty, bilingual blond (who) knew absolutely nothing about hockey,” as he brightly recalled in his 1994 autobiography.
In time, Élise’s hair would whiten from blond to snow and her knowledge of hockey would grow dramatically, both by interest and necessity.
A shy young woman also would soon learn that much of her life, and every fibre of her husband’s, was the property of an adoring public.
On Thursday evening, over a quiet dinner with their daughter, Hélène, and granddaughters Mylène and Magalie, the Béliveaus will celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.
Jean and Élise Béliveau exchanged their marriage vows at St. Patrick’s Church in Quebec City on the morning of June 27, 1953. Three months later, Béliveau would join the Canadiens, finally wooed from the senior semi-pro Quebec Aces to begin an illustrious NHL career that shaped him into one of the finest players of all time and its greatest ambassador.
If hockey was Béliveau’s natural calling, there wasn’t a magnetic pull between this man and woman whose marriage 60 years ago instantly produced hockey’s royal couple — a reign that continues to this day.
“I don’t know …” Béliveau said with a laugh, asked this week about love at first sight of his soulmate. “Maybe I had visions that my life wouldn’t be easy and there would have to be a lot of understanding between us two.
“It turned out,” he said, chuckling again, “that I made the right decision. I think Élise and I have done a pretty good job.”
So was Béliveau instantly the life partner for Élise?
“Not really,” she replied with a laugh. “I didn’t know him at all. I thought he was very nice and all that, but there was nothing there at the beginning. But after that, he started calling and calling and we began to go out.”
It wasn’t long before Élise was attending her beau’s games, getting a close-up look at his star quality.
If Élise’s mother was a hockey fan, she doubted the off-ice sincerity of the men who played the game.
“After two months, I asked my mother what she thought of this young man I was bringing home,” Élise told me in a profile of the couple published on Valentine’s Day five years ago.
“She replied: ‘He’s very nice,’ and I said: ‘Well, I’m glad, because he’s a hockey player.’ I hadn’t dared tell her anything until then.”
(Madame Couture probably was less than thrilled that her daughter lost the family dinner bell, brought to one of Béliveau’s Aces games in Chicoutimi as a noisemaker only to have it stolen by an angry fan of the Saguenéens.)

Neither Béliveau nor Élise precisely remember the details of the Christmas 1952 marriage proposal. What was clear was that Le Gros Bill soon would realize a dream of playing for the Canadiens, and that this would happen a few months after the couple’s June 1953 wedding, the society event of the season.
And so they were married on June 27 by Father Leonard Murphy at St. Patrick’s, the parish of the Couture family.
The newlyweds planned to honeymoon in Florida, but never made it south of Virginia Beach, returning to set up their first Montreal apartment on Abercorn Ave. in Town of Mount Royal.
Their daughter, Hélène, was born during the 1957 playoffs, Béliveau in Boston as the Canadiens steamed toward their second of a record five consecutive Stanley Cups.
The couple have been at each other’s side, in sickness and in health, through more than six decades.
On the occasion of his 81st birthday last August, Béliveau suggested that he’s had “a few too many battles” in recent years.
A grand understatement, of course, given a cardiac issue, a cancerous tumour in his neck requiring 35 chemotherapy treatments, abdominal aneurysm surgery and a couple of strokes — all of this following countless injuries he suffered during his 18-season, 1,125-game, award-winning Canadiens career.
Élise has had health scares of her own; the couple even wear his-and-hers pacemakers. But her laugh is robust and you’d need the proverbial team of wild horses to slow her down.
Ten days ago, the Béliveaus drove to Quebec City to celebrate the 94th birthday of Élise’s sister, Rita, in the shadow of the parish (since rebuilt) where the couple was wed.
Thoughts were expressed to Rita this month about her perhaps downsizing into a retirement home.
“I’ve been trying to put that in her head, but my God, she’s Irish, eh?” Élise said, laughing again. “When it’s no, it’s no. There’s no ‘maybe.’ ”
The couple attended a handful of Canadiens games during this lockout-abbreviated season, bookending two guests in their regular seats three rows behind the Montreal bench.
From my media-gallery seat over centre ice, there’s a pregame sense of “now we can begin” when they take their positions, their matching white hair a beacon even seven storeys above the rink.
Sometimes, it’s easier for Béliveau to watch the action from the comfortable, ice-level Salon des Anciens with old friends and teammates; navigating corridors and a few winding stairs to his seat saps his energy and challenges his balance.
It makes no difference whether he’s in the arena or not, of course. Where the great Maurice (Rocket) Richard was the fire-breathing soul of the 1940s and ’50s Canadiens, Jean Béliveau was and remains the conscience of the club.
On Thursday night, dinner conversation will turn to hockey only if restaurant staff and star-struck diners mention it to him.
And they will.
If hockey has been the centrepiece of Jean and Élise Béliveau’s rich, eventful life together, it’s hardly been their sole focus. A diamond anniversary to be quietly celebrated with family will remind the sport’s royal couple of that.

“I’m going to let the girls decide what I’ll eat,” Béliveau joked of his wife, daughter and granddaughters.
“I’m surrounded by four girls. They’ve never aimed me in the wrong direction and this would be a bad time to start, wouldn’t it?”

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