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Friday News - May 25, 2007

Posted by Susan / May 25, 2007

This week's instalment begins with yours truly, mired in the depths of shame. See, I feel obligated to report to you about the latest developments in Alcoa’s US$27.7 billion bid to take over Montreal aluminium giant Alcan, and the latter’s rejection of that bid this week, and what it means for local jobs and stock prices and everything. But as people in the know use worn out poker metaphors to explain the deal-making, while others compare it to a drawn-out saga, the NYSE numbers confuse my liberal-arts-education-riddled brain and it all begins to sound like the adults in Charlie Brown. Can someone explain to me exactly what makes a takeover bid hostile? Is there such a thing as a friendly takeover? Isn’t that a bit like Britney insisting that she and K-Fed’s former girlfriend – who was pregnant when Spears snatched him up like one of her long-suffering Chihuahuas – are really good friends? Anyway, what I can tell you is that nothing’s been settled yet; and for all their fancy Wall Street talk, the business reports could basically be summed up best by Wyclef Jean: “What, say what, say what, anything can happen.”

If you've been walking, biking, blading or boarding your legs off this week, you won't be surprised to hear that the transit strike is now in its fourth day. Well-known unionista Claudette Charbonneau of the Confederation of National Trade Unions has weighed in, saying that the province should stay out of it and let the two sides work it out on their own. Instead, the Quebec government has set a deadline of this afternoon for a settlement to be reached. But having refused to explain the consequences if this does not happen, Charest sounds a bit like a mother who doesn’t have control over her kids, counting down from 3…2….

If the strike is not settled, Montreal’s free museums day will be slightly harder to navigate this Sunday; since the free buses that shuttle passengers between museums will be absent. But the event will go on as scheduled. Note that if you were holding out to see plastinated dead bodies without the exorbitant ticket prices, you will be disappointed. The Montreal Science Centre has announced that the BodyWorlds 2 exhibit will not be part of the free day. Visitors will be treated, however, to a to-die-for $4 discount.

Well, the buses might not be rolling but the Als Quarterback Jesse Palmer sure is. Palmer is retiring his CFL jersey and taking up the pancake makeup as he heads to the U.S. to pursue a career in broadcasting.

Also on the road is our local comedy festival. Just for Laughs is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with a trip to Toronto. Now I could make a joke here about this being the crappiest anniversary present ever – Paris, yes. The T-dot? I want a divorce – but slagging on Toronto is getting kinda tired. So in the spirit of cross-city friendship, here’s hoping our export of mirth will be a great success in Hogtown from July 26th to 28th.

And Monique might be happy about her new budget tabled yesterday, but snappy shoes or not, the opposition is livid. The PQ and the ADQ are threatening to unite and vote against it. Their beef? The meaty tax cut that takes money away from social services. If the budget is defeated, as we all know, Charest’s minority government is defeated, and that means a whole new batch of campaign signs littering our streets. The big question is whether the PQ will be willing to head into an election amidst the disarray caused by Boisclair’s departure. And another quandary – what fun can be had with discarded placards when there is no snow to sled on?

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