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The birth of the National Post and ‘the impending newspaper war’

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It was news that a lot of people knew was coming: Canada was getting a new newspaper and it was called the National Post.

The paper’s first edition hit the streets on Oct. 27, 1998 and its founder, Conrad Black, saw a big market of readers to be won in English Canada.

The first edition of the National Post hit the streets on the morning of Oct. 27, 1998. (Kevin Frayer/Canadian Press)

« There’s certainly room for two papers out there, » Black told CBC’s The National. « No one is going to die. It’s just a little more variety for the reader. »

Black told CBC that more than 500,000 copies of the inaugural edition were distributed that day.

« Basically, we feel it went well, » said Black. « It’s a fairly ambitious undertaking and I think we were reasonably satisfied as a first effort with the contents and certainly with the reception we had. »

The launch came a few months after Black had acquired The Financial Post, which was being incorporated into the newborn National Post.

Getting the paper out to readers, however, was just the first step. Next, the Post would have to build a successful following.

Donna Logan, a professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Journalism, thought the Post needed to position itself as a truly national paper.

« I think the worst mistake they could make is to have it be labelled as another Toronto paper, » she said.

But the Post, like its peers, was not just competing against other newspapers. Because, as The National‘s Raj Ahluwalia pointed out to viewers, the papers were fighting the fact that « more people are getting their news from the Internet or television. »

‘The papers are getting better’

When Ahluwalia spoke to the rival Globe and Mail, the paper told him it was ready for what he described as « the impending newspaper war. »

In 1998, CBC looks at what the newly launched National Post will have to do to thrive. 1:06

William Thorsell, then the Globe’s editor-in-chief, believed the entry of the Post to the market had forced existing papers to up their game.

« Instead of dumbing down because there’s someone else in the market, the papers are getting better, » said Thorsell.

The ‘war’ and its costs

A year into the Post era, initial readership counts put the upstart paper behind the Globe — but not that far behind it. 

A survey of newspaper readers found the Globe was reaching 1.7 million readers each week, compared with nearly 1.5 million the Post was reportedly reaching.

A year after the Post was launched, a newspaper audit reveals how many readers it has claimed. 1:49

And Thorsell’s prediction had come true: Newspaper subscribers were getting more choice and a beefed-up paper to read.

As the CBC’s Adrienne Arsenault reported for The National in 1999, the Globe was « adding entire sections, more stories, more flash in its fight for readers. »

The war had been costly, though: CBC reported that Hollinger — the company that owned the Post — had lost $55 million in its bid to build the paper’s subscriber base and pundits believed the Globe had suffered its own losses.

Sale to CanWest Global

In 2000, CanWest bought many papers from Hollinger and half of the National Post. 1:25

In July of 2000, Hollinger announced that it was selling half its Post holdings to CanWest Global. It was part of a $3.5-billion deal that saw the company also sell many other English-language Canadian newspapers, magazines and websites that it owned. 

The $3.5-billion deal involving CanWest and Hollinger was on the front page of the Aug. 1, 2000 edition of the National Post. (The National/CBC Archives)

The following year, CanWest acquired the remaining half of the Post that it did not control.

« I found it painful to part with it, but it was the responsible thing for the Post, » said Black, when speaking to reporters, after breaking the news to the employees of the paper he founded just three years earlier.



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Anglais

A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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Anglais

9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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