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Kingston’s mayoral candidates walk and talk with Bill Hutchins – Kingston

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With the municipal elections fast approaching, Global Kingston spoke with each of Kingston’s four mayoral candidates to ask them why they are running this time around.

If you’re still undecided, watch these in-depth interviews with each candidate to help you decide between Eric Lee, Rob Matheson, Bryan Paterson and Vicki Schmolka on Oct. 22.

Global Kingston will also be airing a mayoral debate on Oct. 17, so be sure to stay tuned to Global Kingston or to watch the debate online.

Eric Lee

Eric Lee is known to many Kingstonians as the ‘elevator guy’ from the old S&R Department days.

Although Lee doesn’t have any political experience, he is hoping to rise to the top floor of city politics. He lists tax reform as one of the key platforms in his first-ever campaign for mayor. Lee says he wants to repeal the vacancy tax rebate law, which he blames for the number of vacant storefronts in the city’s downtown core at the moment.

He also wants to focus on protecting tenants from landlords, who he says don’t take care of their properties despite tenant complaints.


READ MORE:
‘I’m the person for this’: Eric Lee, 68, files to join Kingston mayoral race

Watch the full interview below:






Rob Matheson

Rob Matheson served one term as city councillor for the Loyalist-Cataraqui District from 2006 to 2010 and then left politics to become a local cab driver.

He has also run for mayor once before, and councillor in the last municipal election for the Trillium District, loosing to Adam Candon, but Matheson believes its time for his political comeback.

The mayoral candidate describes himself as a champion of the working person, and he believes the current council has not been keeping the community’s best interest in mind.


READ MORE:
Kingston councillors pass motion to review transparency issues for closed meetings

Matheson says the current council bungled the purchase of the Cataraqui West Open Space Lands — protected wetlands that can never be developed — with money spent that could have been better allocated. The mayoral candidate would also change Kingston’s annual tax rate, saying Paterson’s 2.5 per cent increases are also not sustainable.

Watch the full interview below:






Bryan Paterson

Incumbent mayor Bryan Paterson has served one term as mayor and hopes to serve at least one more. He says he wants to build on the momentum of growth started by the current council while promising to keep annual property tax hikes at or below 2.5 percent.


READ MORE:
Mayor Bryan Paterson announces he will run again

Paterson listed the third crossing, the airport expansion and the improvements on Breakwater Park as accomplishments solidified while he was in office.

Paterson says he wants a chance to build more housing and to address the city’s low vacancy rate by pushing for more developments.


READ MORE:
Potential leak of closed-meeting details has some Kingston councillors concerned

Paterson responded to criticism about how he and his council closed the deal with Homestead Land Holdings Ltd. to build two high rises — 19- and 23-storey buildings — on Queen Street. The approval of that deal was done behind closed doors and later voted on in public, a process some have criticized for its alleged lack of transparency.

Paterson defended the negotiations, arguing that some things needed to be done behind closed doors in order not to tip off Homestead of the city’s plans.

Watch the full interview below:






Vicki Schmolka

As a former city councillor, Vicki Schmolka represented the Trillium District from 2006 to 2010, and she believes city hall has lost its way and needs to get back to basics, like fixing roads and sidewalks. Schmolka was chair of planning committee for four years, and she believes the current council has been disrespecting residents who tried to get involved in the planning process of certain developments.


READ MORE:
Kingston reaches deal with developer for two downtown high-rise apartments

Schmolka has also been a critic of the recent deal city hall made with Homestead Landholdings to build two high-rises on Queen Street, finally approved at 19 storeys and 23 storeys. Schmolka believes projects like these don’t follow the city’s official plan, and if she were mayor, she would opt for more residential development in the downtown core, but with buildings six- to eight-storeys high at the maximum.

Watch the full interview below:






© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Nostalgia and much more with Starburst XXXtreme

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Get a taste of adventure with Starburst XXXtreme based on the legendary NetEnt Game. The nostalgic themes are sure to capture fans of the classic version as they get treated to higher intensity, better visuals, and features. The most significant element of the game is its volatility. Patience will not be an essential virtue considering the insane gameplay, and there is a lot of win potential involved. It retains the original makeup of the previous game while adding a healthy dose of adrenaline. 

Starburst Visuals and Symbols

The game is definitely more conspicuous than before. The setting happens over a 5-reel, 3-row game grid with nine fixed win lines, which function if a succession from the left to the right reel is present. Only those players that that attain the highest win per bet line are paid. From a visual standpoint, the Starburst XXXtreme slots illustrates lightning effects behind the reels, which is not surprising as it is inherited from the original version. Available themes include Classic, Jewels, and Space. The game is also available in both desktop and mobile versions, which is advantageous for players considering the global pandemic. According to Techguide, American gamers are increasingly having more engaging gaming experiences to socialize to fill the gap of in-person interaction. Starburst XXXtreme allows them to fill the social void at a time when there is so much time to be had indoors. 

Starburst XXXTreme Features

Players get to alternate on three features which are Starburst Wilds, XXXtreme Spins, and Random Wilds. The first appears on reels 2,3, or 4. When these land, they expand to cover all positions while also calculating the wins. They are also locked for a respin. If a new one hits, it also becomes locked while awarding another respin. Starburst XXXtreme offers a choice between two scenarios for a higher stake. In one scenario with a ten times stake, the Starburst Wild is set on random on reels 2,3, or 4, and a multiplier starts the respin. The second scenario, which has a 95 times stake, starts with two guaranteed starburst wilds on reels 2,3, or 4. it also plays out using respin game sequence and features. The game also increases the potential with the Random Wilds feature to add Starburst Wilds to a vacant reel at the end of a spin. Every Starburst Wild gives a random multiplier with potential wins of x2, x3, x5, x10, x25, x50, x100, or even x150.

The new feature is sure to be a big hit with the gaming market as online gambling has shown significant growth during the lockdown. AdAge indicates the current casino customer base is an estimated one in five Americans, so Starburst XXXtreme’s additional features will achieve considerable popularity. 

What We Think About The Game

The gambling market has continued to diversify post-pandemic, so it is one of the most opportune times to release an online casino-based game. Thankfully Starburst XXXtreme features eye-catching visuals, including the jewels and space themes. These attract audience participation and make the gameplay inviting. The game also has a nostalgic edge. The previous NetEnt iteration featured similar visuals and gameplay, so the audience has some familiarity with it. The producers have revamped this version by tweaking the features to improve the volatility and engagement. 

That is characterized by the potential win cap of 200,000 times the bet. Starburst XXXtreme does not just give betting alternatives for players that want to go big. The increase of multipliers also provides a great experience. If the respins in the previous version were great, knowing that multipliers can go hundreds of times overtakes the game to a new level. 

Players should get excited about this offering. All of the features can be triggered within a single spin. Whether one plays the standard game or takes the XXXtreme spin route, it is possible to activate all of the features. Of course, the potential 200,000 times potential is a huge carrot. However, the bet size is probably going to be restricted and vary depending on the casino. It is also worth pointing out that a malfunction during the gameplay will void all of the payouts and progress. Overall, the game itself has been designed to provide a capped win of 200,000 times the original bet. 

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Anglais

‘We’re back’: Montreal festival promoters happy to return but looking to next year

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In downtown Montreal, it’s festival season.

In the city’s entertainment district, a musical act was conducting a sound check on stage Friday evening — the second day of the French-language version of the renowned Just For Laughs comedy festival. Tickets for many of the festival’s free outdoor shows — limited by COVID-19 regulations — were sold out.

Two blocks away, more than 100 people were watching an acoustic performance by the Isaac Neto Trio — part of the last weekend of the Festival International Nuits d’Afrique, a celebration of music from the African continent and the African diaspora.

With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to limit capacity, festival organizers say they’re glad to be back but looking forward to next year when they hope border restrictions and capacity limits won’t affect their plans.

Charles Décarie, Just For Laughs’ CEO and president, said this is a “transition year.”

“Even though we have major constraints from the public health group in Montreal, we’ve managed to design a festival that can navigate through those constraints,” Décarie said.

The French-language Juste pour rire festival began on July 15 and is followed by the English-language festival until July 31.

When planning began in February and March, Décarie said, organizers came up with a variety of scenarios for different crowd sizes, ranging from no spectators to 50 per cent of usual capacity.

“You’ve got to build scenarios,” he said. “You do have to plan a little bit more than usual because you have to have alternatives.”

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MELS new major movie studio to be built in Montreal

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MONTREAL — MELS Studios will build a new film studio in Montreal, filling some of the gap in supply to meet the demand of Hollywood productions.

MELS president Martin Carrier said on Friday that MELS 4 studio construction will begin « as soon as possible », either in the fall or winter of next year. The studio could host productions as early as spring 2023.

The total investment for the project is $76 million, with the Quebec government contributing a $25 million loan. The project will create 110 jobs, according to the company.

The TVA Group subsidiary’s project will enable it to stand out « even more » internationally, according to Quebecor president and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau. In the past, MELS Studios has hosted several major productions, including chapters of the X-Men franchise. The next Transformers movie is shooting this summer in Montreal.

Péladeau insisted that local cultural productions would also benefit from the new facility, adding that the studio ensures foreign revenues and to showcase talent and maintain an industry of Quebec producers.

STUDIO SHORTAGE

The film industry is cramped in Montreal.

According to a report published last May by the Bureau du cinéma et de la télévision du Québec (BCTQ), there is a shortage of nearly 400,000 square feet of studio space.

With the addition of MELS 4, which will be 160,000 square feet, the company is filling part of the gap.

Carrier admitted that he has had to turn down contracts because of the lack of space, representing missed opportunities of « tens of millions of dollars, not only for MELS, but also for the Quebec economy. »

« Montreal’s expertise is in high demand, » said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, who was present at the announcement.

She said she received great testimonials from « Netflix, Disney, HBO and company » during an economic mission to Los Angeles in 2019.

« What stands out is that they love Montreal because of its expertise, knowledge and beauty. We need more space, like MELS 4, » she said.

There is still not enough capacity in Quebec, acknowledged Minister of Finance, the Economy and Innovation Eric Girard.

« It is certain that the government is concerned about fairness and balance, so if other requests come in, we will study them with the same seriousness as we have studied this one, » he said.

Grandé Studios is the second-largest player in the industry. Last May, the company said it had expansion plans that should begin in 2022. Investissement Québec and Bell are minority shareholders in the company.

For its part, MELS will have 400,000 square feet of production space once MELS 4 is completed. The company employs 450 people in Quebec and offers a range of services including studio and equipment rentals, image and sound postproduction, visual effects and a virtual production platform.

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