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Morning Brew: January 24, 2008

Posted by Sisi / January 24, 2008

Photo: "Montreal's Place des Arts," by Midnight Poutine Flickr pooler prestwick_99.

Your morning news roundup for Thursday, January 24th, 2008:

The city of Montreal will spend $8.8 million to revamp an industrial section of the Mile End in order to attract businesses and residents. The three-year plan will transform an area in the northwest corner of Plateau Mont Royal that once bustled with clothing and textile firms. It has been in decline for the past decade as companies closed or moved out. The first phase of the project will begin this year and will revitalize St. Viateur St. between St. Laurent Blvd. and De Gaspé Ave. The city estimates it will recoup the $8.8 million by 2015 by increasing taxes after the renovation is complete.

Provincial Health Minister Philippe Couillard warns that flu season will likely hit Quebec hard, and he has no "magic solution" to prevent overcrowding in ERs. However, he doesn't foresee crowding to be as bad as last year, when the province was hit by gastroenteritis, lung infections, and influenza. Health officials in Montreal say they still have influenza vaccines in stock and there is still time to get protected before flu season. The elderly, children, and people with chronic conditions are urged to get a flu shot.

Speaking of hospitals...: The 350-year old Hôtel-Dieu hospital has a rat infestation that is particularly difficult to control around the cafeteria. At least a dozen of these creatures have been captured in the basement of the Marie-Morin pavilion since the beginning of 2006. The Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST) filed a report last year indicating that the rats had been prolific between January 2006 and October 2007. Health Minister Philippe Couillard has ordered a review of the situation.

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