CBC.ca | Quebec AM

December 2012 Archives

The Microflow: Quebec pride up in space

MicroFlowcytometer.jpgA Quebec-designed, miniaturized and portable medical tool has made it all the way into space. As we speak, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is testing a device called the Microflow on the International Space Station. Dr. Ozzy Marmut of the National Optical Institute in Quebec City has been leading the Bio-photonics program that created this mini-laboratory. She was in Kazakhstan for the launch, and is back in Quebec City and joined us in studio.

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Quebec AM's musical favourites for 2012

From folk to electro pop through hip hop and beyond, Julia Caron and Allison Van Rassel review some of their favourite Quebec musical selections of this past year.

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Here are the selections (in no particular order):

  1. Avec pas d'casque, Astronomie
  2. Louis-Jean Cormier, Le 13e étage
  3. Half Moon Run, Dark Eyes
  4. Karim Ouellet, Fox
  5. The Luyas, Animator
  6. Ariane Moffatt, MA Remix
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7. Grimes, Visions
8. FoxTrott, Shields EP
9. Kid Koala, 12 bit blues
10. Chilly Gonzales, Solo Piano II
11. Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas
12. Martha Wainwright, Come Home to Mama

Honorable mentions:

  • Marie-Pierre Arthur - Aux Alentours
  • Patrick Watson - Adventures in your own backyard
  • Elisapie Isaac - Travelling Love
  • Coral Egan - The Year He Drove me Crazy

What were your favourites? What did we miss? Let us know!

"Je ne suis pas un sosie!" photography project making waves

0301-103 Godinho Silvestre  35x800V.jpgA Quebec photographer has been taking portraits of people who look alike and "twinning" them. Portraits of people who have no blood connection, and yet look the same. Recently, he's been getting a lot of attention online. François Brunelle joins guest host Kim Garritty in studio to tell us about the inspiration for the project. 
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Threads: Fur, Fabric and Fashion in Quebec

Thumbnail image for threads-cover.jpgLike Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver, many cities in the province of Quebec have a rich history of textile production. From the first days of the fur trade, to the bustling factories, to today's innovative fashion, clothing drove the economies of cities like Montreal, Quebec City, and Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. But change has been tough on the industry. On Threads, we take a look at what remains from over a century of making clothing in this part of the country.
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You can find additional photos and links on our Facebook and Tumblr pages.

The evolution of fashion and style in Quebec: A conversation with curator Esther Trepanier

Esther Trepanier2.JPGEsther Trépanier is a professor of art history at the Université du Québec à Montréal. In February of this year, she curated an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Quebec City called Mode et Apparence dans L'Art Quebecois, 1880-1945. CBC's Kim Garritty sat down with her to discuss the evolution of fashion and style in Quebec.

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Threads: Fur, Fabric and Fashion in Quebec

threads-small.jpgA few members of the Quebec AM team have been working on a holiday special for listeners across the country. Threads: Fur, Fabric and Fashion in Quebec will be stitching together the various chapters of how the clothing industry has evolved. The holiday special airs December 26 from 5 to 6 pm.

We will be sharing lots of photos, audio and links here once it has aired. In the meantime, you can like us on Facebook or follow us on Tumblr. Stay tuned!

Threads: Tour of the Montreal Cotton Company in Valleyfield, Quebec

1987_7_39.jpgThe early industrial mills were the backbone of many towns across the province of Quebec, but they often meant back-breaking work with very little pay. Quebec AM's Julia Caron visited one of those mills, the Montreal Cotton Company in Valleyfield, Quebec.

Christian Fortin works with MUSO , which works to preserve the history of that mill. He gave us a tour, and tells us how workers rights were won behind weaving looms, and what remains of those impressive brick buildings today.
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Hear more about the Montreal Cotton Company, including people who once worked there, on Threads. The holiday special airs on CBC Radio One, December 26th from 5 to 6 pm.

You can also hear the full interview with Madeleine Parent here.


Decrease in waiting list for mental health services at CFB Valcartier

Canadian forces employees at CFB Valcartier are getting help for some mental health services much faster. Last year, a coroner's report into a soldier's suicide said the wait to see a psychologist or psychiatrist was too long. The CBC's Catou MacKinnon spoke with Major Valerie Lafortune, base surgeon at CFB Valcartier.
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Arrimage du Saint-Laurent on red dust in Quebec City

Arrimage du Saint-Laurent, a stevedoring company located in the Port of Quebec, stands accused of poorly handling the loading and off-loading of cargo, leading to red dust showering parts of the city. Not fair, the company says. We'll find out what it's doing to minimize the dust fall-out.
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Inuk's blog challenges views of "Eskimo" fashion

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,

Jack Frost nipping at your nose,

Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,

And folks dressed up like Eskimos."

Sound familiar? Those are the lyrics to a well-known holiday carol called The Christmas Song. The song was penned by Mel Tormé and Robert Wells, and made popular when Nat King Cole recorded a version in 1946. But the song's imagery isn't appreciated by everyone. One particular line - Folks dressed up like Eskimos - caught the attention of Joey Flowers. He's an Inuk man who grew up in both Nunavik and Labrador. And he's created a tongue-in-cheek blog to show people what so-called Eskimos actually wear.

He joined Susan from our studios in Ottawa, where he lives. 

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Historian Pierre Anctil on worker's conflicts in Montreal's clothing industry

img_14fb3b00135130.jpgThreads: Fur, Fabric and Fashion in Quebec is a special holiday program produced by some of our team members here in Quebec City. We look at some of the major lines of history in the clothing industry in this province, and look at what has survived through decades and decades of change.

One of the guests on the program is Pierre Anctil. He is an historian who has specialized in the history of Jewish people in Montreal and the immigration experience. Here is part of our conversation on the defining role that Jewish people played in the clothing industry, which was also known as the schmatte business.
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Threads airs on Boxing Day, December 26th between 5 and 6 pm. Follow them on Facebook and Tumblr.

(Image from the Interactive Museum of Jewish Montreal)

Winter biking

An incident of apparent road rage is sparking a lot of reaction amongst cyclists on social media. This week, Alain Gravel, host of the Radio-Canada program Enquête, wrote a blog post about his colleague, Florent Daudens.

Gravel described how Daudens was attacked while riding his bike down a narrow Montreal street.

Florent Daudens talked with the CBC's Steve Rukavina about the incident.

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Christophe Navel runs Véli Coursiers - a year-round bike courrier business in Quebec City. He joined Susan in studio.

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Mohawk activist lends support to chief of Attawapiskat

One week ago, the Chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation Theresa Spence began a hunger strike. She is refusing to eat, until she gets a meeting with Prime Minister Harper and the Governor-General as a representative of the Crown. Her northern Ontario community made headlines a year ago as it tried to get Ottawa's help to deal with terrible housing conditions.

Mohawk human rights advocate, Ellen Gabriel, visited Chief Spence a few days ago. Spence is staying on an island in the Ottawa River not far from Parliament Hill. Gabriel joins Susan to talk about why she's throwing her support behind Spence.

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Study suggests student laptops lead to better grades

Ten years ago, the Eastern Townships school board gave its students from grade 3 and up their own laptop. At the time, the board struggled with a drop-out rate of 42 per cent and its schools fared poorly in provincial rankings. But new research suggests that the the school's laptop program has helped turn that around.

Quebec AM's Eastern townships reporter Sarah Rogers joins Susan with the details.

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Town mourns victims of Sandy Hook Elementary

The first funeral services have begun for the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. We catch up with Christine Crudo, a former Quebecer living in the Sandy Hook part of Newton, Connecticut, about how the town is coping with the loss.

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Roma in Hungary

On Friday, the federal Ministry of Immigration unveiled its safe countries list. Refugee claims to Canada from the 27 countries on the list will be fast-tracked with no appeal.

One of those countries is Hungary. It has been the source of a huge increase in refugee claims in recent years, many by ethnic Roma.

Nahlah Ayed travelled to Hungary to see what the situation was among Roma people living there. She joined Susan to talk about her documentary, Seeking Safety, which aired recently on The National.

Part 1:

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Part 2:

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Tursujuq Park is Quebec's newest provincial park

tursujuq.jpgA new provincial park comes to life today on the shores of Hudson Bay. It's called the Tursujuq Park, straddling the boreal forest and the tundra, and 18 times the size of the Mont Tremblant Park.

The park has been in the works for years, and the Mayor of the village, Charlie Tooktoo, tells Quebec AM's Glenn Wanamaker that he is very satisfied. We also hear from The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, who pushed hard for the creation of the park. Patrick Nadeau is the executive director for the Quebec Region.
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Les Artisans de la Paix helping people in need in Trois-Rivières

IMG547.JPGTrois-Rivières is one community that was hit hard in the economic downturn. But even before that, some people were struggling to make ends meet. This week, the organization les Artisans de La Paix is putting together Christmas baskets, to help people with their grocery bills at this tough time of year. Ainslie MacLellan dropped by and tells us about some of the people she met.
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Mohawk Ironworkers putting finishing touches on new World Trade Centre

Steve-Cross-2.jpgThe main building of the new World Trade Centre in New York City is rising into the sky. This week, the work reached a new stage with the arrival of the building's spire, made here in Quebec. We caught up with one of the ironworkers doing some of the high-wire work, Steve Cross, continuing the long tradition of Mohawk workers from Kahnawake.
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Retired pilot shares thoughts on controversial plans for purchase of F-35 fighter jets

The federal government has announced a new panel that will decide which fighter planes Canada should buy next, after the price tag for the F-35s rose to 45 billion. Dan McWilliams is retired major CF-18 pilot. He is now a ground school instructor at Aviation Training centre at the CEGEP in Chicoutimi. McWilliams shares his thoughts on the process and the best plane for the job.
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Tennis player Filip Peliwo named World Junior Champion

Canada has yet another promising young tennis player to watch. He's Filip Peliwo -- he played and lost in Rimouski earlier this year. Then he went on to Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and won them both as a junior. And now he's been named world junior champion. He spoke to us about his year and his career.
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Daley Brothers respond to concerns over future of fish plant in La Tabatiere

For two years, people in Gros Mecatina have been asking questions about the future of the closed fish plant in La Tabatière. Francisco Ojeda, director of the Daley Brothers seafood processors, joins us to tell us more.
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Future of bilingual services in the Eastern Townships

Quebec's new language bill could make it easier to deny anglophone Quebecers access to municipal services in English. Under Bill 14, the Quebec government would re-evaluate a bilingual status held by 90 municipalities across the province.

If passed, the new law could remove that designation, if it considers it "appropriate in light of all the circumstances." These circumstances include the latest census data on language, to ensure that at least 50 per cent of people living in a town identified English as their mother tongue. Our Eastern Townships reporter Sarah Rogers brings us that story, from our Sherbrooke studio.
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"A Christmas Carol" performed by Sherbrooke Elementary students

ScreenShot2012-12-06at5.45.33PM.pngThe students at Sherbrooke Elementary School are getting into the holiday spirit. They've also been busy rehearsing for their upcoming performance. Students in grades two to six will put on the famed Charles Dickens story, A Christmas Carol this week. Quebec AM's Eastern Townships reporter Sarah Rogers dropped in on a rehearsal Monday.
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Potential impact of changes to Bill 101 on military family exemptions

If approved in its current form, the Parti Québécois' new language bill would tighten the rules for military members who want to send their kids to English school. Stephen Burke, chairman of the Central Quebec School Board, tells us how this proposal could affect parents and kids at Valcartier and Bagotville, among others.
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Two students suspended for bullying at Alexander Galt High School

A group of students at Alexander Galt high school say they have been bullied by other students at the Sherbrooke school, which has led to the suspension of two girls. Quebec AM's Townships Reporter Sarah Rogers brings us that story. 
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Arrests in connection to human smuggling announced in Stanstead

Minister Jason Kenney called a news conference in Stanstead on Wednesday to announce arrests in connection with a human smuggling operation. The allegations involve illegal crossings at on the Quebec-Vermont border. Quebec AM correspondent Sarah Rogers brings Susan up to speed.

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 Earlier in the week, Susan spoke with Corneiliu Chisu. He is the Conservative MP for Pickering-Scarborough East. He is also from Romania. Here is the first part of their conversation.

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 Here is the second part of their conversation.

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PQ moves to amend French language charter

On the campaign trail, the Parti Québécois promised there would be changes to the Charter of the French Language.The party was concerned the use of French in the workplace, in stores, even in daycares was slipping.

Yesterday, the government tabled Bill 14 - close to 35 pages of amendments affecting schools, small businesses, and municipalities.

Susan speaks with Jean-Francois Lisée, minister for international trade, the Francophonie and for relations with the anglophone community.

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The bill stops short of restricting access to English CEGEPs - a PQ campaign promise. But it does propose that English college students be able to demonstrate their mastery of French. Susan speaks with Jean Robert, director of CEGEP Champlain St. Lawrence in Quebec City.

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Bill 14 also calls for increased French proficiency at the high school level. Susan talks with David D'Aoust, president of the Quebec English School Board Association about how well the boards are meeting that challenge.

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Michelle Blanc: Un Genre à Part

michelleblanc.jpgMichelle Blanc is one of Quebec's best-known experts on web marketing and e-commerce. She's a pioneer. A blogger, an analyst. And she was born a man.

In a new memoir called "Un Genre à Part," Michelle Blanc recounts her experience of gender identity disorder. She tells how that diagnosis led her transition from male to female. Michelle Blanc joins Susan to talk about all the battles - private and public - that were involved in the change.

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Exotic plants grown in Arundel

bamaco tree.jpg
Among the poinsettias, jade plants and herbs in Serres Arundel, you'll find exotic fruits. Marika Wheeler stopped by and introduces us to the man who started growing seeds of the fruits he eats, and now helps stock the shelves of his local grocery store.
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