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Morning Brew: January 11, 2008

Posted by Sisi / January 11, 2008

Photo: "3 Brasseurs," by Midnight Poutine Flickr pooler Humanoide.

Your morning news roundup for Friday, January 11th, 2008:

Canadian employers unexpectedly cut 18,700 jobs in December after 7 straight months of job creation, another sign that the economy is slowing. According to Statistics Canada, factories took the biggest hit last month. The sector experienced a 14.9 percent workforce reduction in the last five years. The tourism industry was also hard hit due to dwindling U.S. visitors. December's job losses were the most significant since SARS ate into the economy in 2003. Despite the drops, the unemployment rate remains steady at 5.9 percent.

Transit authorities are weighing proposals to "create a marriage made in commuter heaven." The Metropolitan Transit Agency and other government bodies are looking into a public-transit tram-train line linking the West Island, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport, and downtown. The project would meet two goals: to improve West Island commuter service and build a downtown-to-airport shuttle. Currently, three studies are under way to examine proposals for a downtown-airport-West Island rail service.

Montreal bus and metro drivers are gearing up for pressure tactics that may lead to an all-out strike as early as next month. Unionized drivers are unhappy with the state of contract negotiations, according to union officials. Pressure tactics began on Wednesday afternoon, with drivers refusing to wear their uniforms. They have been working without a contract for about a year. Last month, the Montreal Transit Corporation and the union reached a deal, but it was rejected by Mayor Gérald Tremblay. This possible strike comes months after MTC maintenance workers walked off the job in May 2007.

News from the sidelines: The Habs enjoyed a "Dandy" 5-2 victory over the Boston Bruins last night, with 2 goals from Mathieu Dandenault. This was the team's 8th win in a row over the Bruins. The boys next head to New York for a Saturday date with the Rangers.

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