Justin Trudeau, Gilles Duceppe, Thomas Mulcair, Pierre-Karl Péladeau, Denis Coderre. Those were only a few of the many big names that were present Wednesday at Montreal’s St-Jean Baptiste annual parade. Among less famous participants, a mosaic of languages could be heard. Despite what polls suggested, people from sundry cultural backgrounds came together to celebrate “Quebec, a land where life is good”.
In fact, it was so well attended that Sabrina Gauthier and Luc Prud’homme had trouble edging past the traffic caused by the celebrations on the night of June 24th. The young couple was scrambling to rush to Lakeshore General Hospital: Sabrina was about to give birth. They were forced to drive down a one-way street in the wrong direction to save the situation, earning them some not-so kind remarks from strangers. Fortunately, a good samaritan came to their rescue. He jogged in front of their black car, clearing the way while explaining to bystanders and to fellow drivers their situation. But even that didn’t prevent the baby from coming out before their they could get to the hospital; Sabrina gave birth on her car seat to her second daughter, Sophia. With both of them healthy, the family is now safely back home, relieved after the intense ordeal.
In less dramatic festive news, Jazzfest kicked off on Friday to sunny skies. The annual festival runs from June 26th to July 5th and will feature Steven Wilson, My Brightest Diamond and Elliot Maginot among countless others.
For the first time, it will be possible to catch the latest updates from the highly anticipated music gathering on your smartphone. Free wifi, a part of mayor Coderre’s “Smart Montreal” concept, is now available in Old Montreal, with MtlWiFi expected to come downtown by 2017. City councillor Harout Chitilian describes the new technology as a “competitive” matter for the metropolis, following the lead of other cities around the world. The province agrees and is currently contributing $2.4 million for the project, adding to the $450 000 of the city.
In addition to the free wifi, traveling businesspeople can also rejoice at the fact that Air Canada is now offering direct flights from Trudeau to Lyon, the second largest city in France, hence furthering the city’s status as a hub between North America and Europe. The flight route will operate up to five times a week using an Airbus 330-300 aircraft. Tickets go on sale on July 2nd, with the first flight scheduled to depart on July 16th.
The only cloud in this seemingly perfect week shuffled in from Vancouver on Saturday night. The Lionesses defeated the Canucks 2-1 with a one-two punch from Jodie Taylor and Lucie Bronze in the quarter finals. Christine Sinclair’s lone comeback effort, while sparking off-the-charts decibel levels from the crowd in BC Place Stadium that continued right into the second half, did not produce a successor. A late shot by Sophie Schmidt came close to becoming one, but disappointingly took flight over the English crossbar. England will face Japan on Canada day in the semi-finals in Edmonton.