The holidays are coming, and beyond the immediate hurdle of final exams or work deadlines or whatever you need to finish before everyone fucks off for their (religiously neutral) winter holidays, you need to host a first time visitor to Montreal. Maybe's it's your family, here to visit you at university. Maybe it's your long-distance partner, here to spend some precious time with you in the winter. Maybe it's old friends whom you really want to impress, because you feel guilty you never talk much anymore.
There's a specific set of criteria that winter Montreal trips require: it needs to be local, it needs to be impressive, and unless it specifically takes place outside, it requires minimal amounts of outdoor exposure.
a) They have a ton of locations (I recommend the one on St-Denis, next to the Berri-UQAM metro. If your visitor is allergic to the cold. It's less than a five minute walk from the metro station, you'll be right next to dozens of other restaurants, and there's Théâtre St-Denis if you want to watch French movies. )
b) If your parents are coming, artisan chocolate shops are the best things ever to moms.
Because Bell Centre is the best arena in the NHL, and the Habs are pretty good this season
(the definition of "good" for serious fans is, of course, up for debate. But the Bell Centre is still pretty amazing)
Ogilvy's Christmas display (and the rest of St-Catherine for shopping)
Because it's the most adorable thing ever. And if you're too weak to stay outside on St-Catherine for too long, browse in Centre Eaton instead)
The patisseries in Chinatown
Because it's only a five minute walk from Place d'Armes station, and if you're sick of cheap and delicious pastries, you can check out the bubble tea lounges, or the tea shops, or the souvenir stores, or the stall selling sticky dragon beard candy.
Because improv shows are always different, every time. Tickets at Montreal Improv are under $10 (cheaper than movie tickets!) and they are a fun, unusual way to spend an evening. Check out their Friday Smackdowns, or any of their other shows that run in the evenings from Wednesday to Sunday. Make it a night and have dinner on the Main too.
Because it is the best upscale sugar shack for people who want house-made ketchup, local tomato tarts, and luxurious foie gras on their poutine. Pricey, but after you spent so long shepherding your guests around the city, maybe they'll offer to foot the bill?
If you're also a weirdo about Montreal culture and humour, find Sijia on Twitter (@hey_sijia) or on her tumblr.
Quebec Premier François Legault wasn't looking for a negative reaction when he announced his hockey plan, which plays directly to one of the province's passions, but that's exactly what he got.
Late Thursday afternoon, Legault announced the creation of the Comité québécois sur le développement du hockey, a committee that will aim to "restore our national sport to its former glory, to instil a love of hockey in young people and to properly develop Quebec talent in a positive and safe environment," according to the premier.
But Legault is being dragged over his plan that some have called a "populist" distraction from more important issues.
Aujourd\u2019hui, j\u2019\u00e9tais au Centre Bell avec la ministre d\u00e9l\u00e9gu\u00e9e \u00e0 l\u2019\u00c9ducation, @IsabelleCharest, pour faire une annonce importante pour nos jeunes et notre sport national, le hockey.\n\nPour en savoir plushttps://www.facebook.com/FrancoisLegaultPremierMinistre/posts/4687617071295286\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/XmgHaRALbA
Allan Walsh, a well-regarded hockey agent who represents several Quebec-born players like Jonathan Drouin and Marc-André Fleury, took to Twitter to comment that growing hockey in Quebec is "not rocket science."
"Start with developing players at the QMJHL level instead of exploiting them. There [are] a few teams that do a great job, the majority will do anything to maximize profits to the detriment of players' futures."
Somebody may want to tell Legault and Plante that Belzile and Ouellet are in the lineup tonight, so a provincewide cataclysm as been averted and they can get back to that pesky little pandemic that's killed thousands of the same people they want to see on the hockey team so badly
The committee is tasked with addressing several major issues — including athlete development, the development of women's hockey, coaching, accessibility, safety and integrity — with a final report due on March 31, 2022.
For now, though, it's mostly rhetoric. In a statement, Legault exclaimed that hockey "is part of our identity, our pride and also part of the pleasures of life."
"This is how we are going to become a breeding ground for talent again. This is how Quebec will once again become a powerhouse in hockey."
Legault qui s\u2019occupe du hockey pr\u00e9sentement , cet homme est une honte pour le Qu\u00e9bec , alors que 6700 vies fauch\u00e9es par la COVID-19 dans les CHSLD \u00e0 cause d'une gestion de merde , le gouvernement a d\u00e9truit des rapports d\u2019inspection,a emp\u00each\u00e9 des a\u00een\u00e9s de dire un dernier adieu
Several more people criticized Legault for announcing this plan while his administration is in the middle of an inquest into the number of deaths during the peak of the pandemic at the province's CHSLDs. Over 4,000 elderly people died in CHSLDs during the first wave of COVID-19.
"When will you have a conference to explain your catastrophic management of CHSLDs?" inquired one Twitter user.
The premier was mum on that issue during his hockey press conference.
Kuei , je ne comprends pas pourquoi qu\u2019il n\u2019y a pas une personne issue des 1ers nations au comite . Il y a des experts autochtones qui ont jou\u00e9s dans la LHJMQ et LNH et vous savez qu\u2019il y a eu du racisme au hockey dans les arenas au Qc.
In a press conference on November 18, Premier Legault announced that the government set up a committee dedicated to boosting the number of Quebecers in the National Hockey League as well as getting more youth involved in the sport.
A press release explains that the committee aims to "restore our national sport to its former glory, to instill a love of hockey in young people and to properly develop Quebec talent in a positive and safe environment."
"Hockey is our national sport. It is part of our identity, our pride and also part of the pleasures of life. With the creation of a committee of experts to revive the development of hockey, I hope that we will see the renaissance of Quebec hockey. This is how we will become a breeding ground for talent again. That's how Quebec will become a hockey powerhouse again," Premier Legault said in a statement.
This isn't Legault's first time speaking publicly on this subject. In October, he tweeted a photo of himself with the general manager of Hockey Quebec, stating, "We discussed ways to have more Quebec players in the NHL."
Le Comité québécois sur le développement du hockey, as the committee is being called, consists of 15 people, including the committee leader, Marc Denis, a former NHL goalie who's "actively involved in the sport in Quebec," according to the press release.
It also includes women hockey players who the press release says will "identify issues related to the development of women's hockey."
The committee is set to address everything from athlete development structure to player coaching, educational success, accessibility to the sport, safety and integrity, and more.
A final report from the committee is expected to be submitted on March 31, 2022.
Montreal Canadiens fans have Carey Price's back. After he released a statement saying he had entered a substance abuse treatment program and was focusing on his mental health, tons of praise and supportive messages poured in on social media.
Universally beloved by his teammates and Habs fans near and far, Price is poised to be welcomed back with open arms and even more open hearts.
Tyler Toffoli and Ben Chiarot show their support for Carey Price.\n\n#GoHabsGopic.twitter.com/fa1Cndv9mB
I don't know Carey Price personally but, as with all of you, I have been involved in his life from a professional and personal standpoint for 16 years. He has the hardest job in hockey. To see him be this open about his struggles, to inspire others to get help...I'm proud of him.
Several Habs fans took to Twitter to share similar sentiments about Price. Many posts exclaimed how Price's honesty and openness would "open the door" for athletes and inspire others to seek help for their issues.
Carey Price better get a 5 minute standing O his first game back at the Bell Centre
In his statement, Price said he was in "a very dark place" in the past few years and explained that he "didn't have the tools to cope."
His decision to enter a treatment facility for substance abuse was brought on by a need to "prioritize my health for both [himself] and for [his] family."
He also encouraged others to seek help if that's what they need to do.
Friendly reminder that Carey Price doesn\u2019t owe anybody anything. He doesn\u2019t need to tell the public what he\u2019s going/went through. All that matters is him and his family\u2019s well being. Nothing but positivity towards them!pic.twitter.com/uSVKWIwWSX