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The Blanche Report: Qatar, The Princess & Israel

Did anyone notice the insane traffic these days? You can’t drive anywhere without encountering a massive traffic jam. Never mind that the roads are still full of potholes. Never mind that the Champlain bridge is closed over the weekend. Today one more bit of misery was added to the woes of the city.

After years and years of construction, ripping up the road, paving it, ripping it again, paving it – you get the picture – they have again closed parts of St. Catherine and St. Dominique because – get this – there is a huge hole under the road. Did someone forget to fill it in? We are assuming that such a cavity can cause a sinkhole, which we had last year on Sherbrooke and McGill College. Blanche – ya wouldn’t want da Corvair ta fall inta dat dere hole.

One thing is certain in this city – we will be paying for years and years and years, not only in money but in wasted time – for the incompetence, shoddy work and inferior materials used to ‘fix’ the infrastructure in this city.  And from the looks of things, no one is going to pay for what they did except us in taxes. ‘They’ will keep the money and laugh all the way to the bank. Last Wednesday an 8 story building (which was supposed to have been a 5 story building) collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh killing at the very least 500 people, but probably twice that many. At that time we said that the fix for the problem of high fashion, throw-away clothing was not an easy one.

Executive Chairman Galen Weston of Loblaws, under who’s umbrella Joe Fresh clothing falls, finally spoke up today. He said that they will continue manufacturing in Bangladesh, but will now not only source garment makers, but the places where they work, making sure they meet some kind of safety standard. According to Weston, as many as thirty international apparel brands had goods manufactured in the building and, as he noted, the silence is deafening. No one said a word or owned up to anything.

If everyone stopped manufacturing there, the workers would have no income at all, so that won’t work. To say that manufacturers will check the safety of the workplaces will definitely incur expense, as they are not engineers. That expense will undoubtedly be passed on too…either the consumer or the factory worker and his wage will drop. One thing we can say for certain – they aren’t coming back here to manufacture anything as the government destroyed our industry.

Ever hear of Stephen Poloz? Get used to his name. He’s the new Governor of the Bank of Canada replacing Mark Carney who’s off to England to be the Governor of the Bank of England. It appears that Poloz was a surprise choice as there was someone who was groomed for this job, was waiting in the wings and got bumped. Oops…

The ICAO – International Civil Aviation Organization – has been headquartered in Montreal since 1947. In the past month, the country of Qatar, located in the Middle East, has been petitioning the United Nations to have the headquarters moved from here to there. Why? It seems that Canada’s strong stance with Israel is not to the liking of either Qatar or the United Nations and this is one way of ‘punishing’ us. Qatar is reportedly offering to construct a brand new building and cover all the expenses for the move. There will be a vote in the fall. Guess we’ll have to wait it out.

Three more students were arrested in Boston in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings. From start to finish, everyone involved in those bombings has, what is quite obviously a low level of intelligence.

The three students arrested are friends of the brother who currently in jail. When they saw that it was their friend who was wanted for the bombings, they texted him. He told them they were welcome to take whatever they wanted out of his dorm room. So they took his backpack which was loaded with firecrackers – the powder was used in the bomb – and threw it into a dumpster.

Yesterday, officials went to a huge landfill and guess what – found the backpack! There was also a computer taken but it seems they gave that over to the FBI. The best part of this story is all of these boys are here on student visas – two are Chechins. Looks like they will be spending more time in the United States that they had originally anticipated. We have a feeling that the FBI will not be looking favorably on what they did.

Princess Pauline has waded into the Charbonneau commission with yet another one of her ‘threats’. Someone should tell her the story of the boy who cried wolf so many times that in the end, no one believed him.  Marois said the judicial inquiry should show some “prudence,” and her deputy premier Francois Gendron urged it to “be careful.” If those aren’t threats, we don’t know what is.

Testimony coming from the inquiry this week has branched out way beyond the Charest liberals and is heading in her direction. What do you think – will she shut down the inquiry once it gets to close to her party? Does she really think that the Parti Quebecois is lily white and none of her friends ever took a bribe? That ‘party faithful’ didn’t get handouts from ‘friends’ who wanted things done for them? How much do you want to bet that the little missives of the language police are taking money under the table to stay quiet about some things? Dream along with me, I’m on the way to the stars…

Good Shabbos,

We’ll talk…

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