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Canadians in the west, more than those in the east, say Ottawa does not treat them fairly: poll

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Nearly three out of four Canadians living west of Ontario believe their province is not treated fairly by the federal government, according to a new poll from the not-for-profit Angus Reid Institute.

And Westerners who feel that way — that the rest of the country is not giving them any respect — say it’s been getting worse in recent years.

This survey, the third in a four-part series from Angus Reid looking at Western Canada and its place in Confederation, shows that Western Canadians increasingly believe that the values and lifestyles of their region are distinct from the rest of Canada, a finding that has key implications for national political parties — each of which has their own regional bases of power — as they campaign in this election year to build the kind of broad national coalition that can not only win government, but can also be seen to be governing in the interest of Canadians from all regions.


READ MORE:
B.C. has few friends among the provinces, but Quebec has bigger rivals: poll

The survey also paints a picture of a federation where residents in all regions, except British Columbia and Ontario, do not believe they have the respect of Canadians living outside their region, a finding that also has political implications for any government in Ottawa that is trying to design, for example, a national housing strategy, a defence procurement program that benefits all regions, a national climate change strategy, or a national employment insurance program fine-tuned to regional variations.

WATCH: Trudeau discusses Alberta oil crisis and Western alienation






Angus Reid also tries to come to grips with the question: What is the West? And it finds that, even within Canada’s four westernmost provinces, there are some strong differences in politics and identity, most notably between British Columbia and the three provinces to its east: Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

But those four provinces are united on this: A healthy majority of all of their residents agree with the statement that their province is not treated fairly by the federal government. Just 28 per cent of Canadians west of Ontario agree that they are getting a fair shake from Ottawa.

 

Angus Reid then asked those Westerners who do not believe their province is getting a fair shake from Ottawa if things have been getting better or worse in that regard in “the past few years.”

Not one of that group of Westerners — zero per cent — told Angus Reid they believe the treatment of the West over the past few years is “a lot better.” Instead, 46 per cent said treatment of the West over the last few years was getting “a lot worse”; 21 per cent said it was getting “a little worse.” Just 12 per cent thought it was getting “a little better” and 21 per cent said the West’s treatment by Canada was unchanged.

By contrast, those who live in Ontario and Quebec were much more satisfied with the way Ottawa treats their provinces, while Atlantic Canadians felt about as disconnected from Ottawa as those in the West.

That said: Canadians in all regions — save B.C. and Ontario — say they don’t get enough respect from the rest of the country.

In this, Quebecers and Albertans, for example, are united. Angus Reid found that 74 per cent of Albertans disagree with the statement “My province is respected by the rest of the country.” In Quebec, 71 per cent disagreed with that statement. But it didn’t stop there: 71 per cent of those in Saskatchewan and 71 per cent of those in Atlantic Canada also say they are not respected by the rest of the country.


READ MORE:
Western Canadians still feel more connected to their province than to country as a whole: Ipsos

It was only in Ontario and B.C. where a majority said they believed the rest of the country respected them — 53 per cent in Ontario and 57 per cent in B.C.

Angus Reid also found that Westerners situate themselves in different communities of interest. Those in Alberta and Saskatchewan seem to identify with each other, seeing many similarities in values and lifestyle when they look across the border at each other. Manitoba, Angus Reid noted, appears to have “unrequited love” for Saskatchewan, in that 70 per cent of Manitobans say they identify most with Saskatchewan, while 61 per cent of those in Saskatchewan say they most identify with those in Alberta.

WATCH: 62 per cent of Alberta feel they’re not getting enough from Confederation (October, 2018)






British Columbians, though, stand distinctly apart with 54 per cent of those in that province saying they identify most closely with those in the state of Washington. The number two pick in this category of British Columbians — 18 per cent — was the state of Oregon.

The survey of 4,024 Canadian adults was done online between Dec. 21 and Jan. 3 by Angus Reid Institute, a Vancouver-based not-for-profit research organization. Angus Reid itself paid for the poll and designed its questions. Margins of error cannot be calculated for online polls of this kind, but the pollster says that a poll of a randomly-selected group of 4,024 Canadians would be accurate to within 2.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

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Anglais

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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