Archive for the ‘Business and Economy’ Category

Co-op Bookstore now hiring

Wanna work at a bookstore? Well, kid, it’s your lucky day! The Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore (aka Co-op Bookstore) is currently looking for a Finance and Administrative Coordinator, so if you’ve got the skills to pay the bills, have a look at the requirements for the position below (which has been cut ‘n’ pasted from the job posting on the Co-op’s Facebook page, in its entirety):

cooplogoFinancial and Administrative Coordinator / Coordonnatrice-eur financière et administrative

The Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore is currently hiring a Financial and Administrative Coordinator. / La Librairie coopérative de solidaritéde l’Université Concordia est à la recherche d’un-e Coordonnatrice-eur financière et administrative.

The Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore is pleased to offer a viable alternative to the corporate structure, putting students’ best interests above and beyond our own bottom line. As a not-for-profit alternative to corporate bookstores, we are conveniently located right on Concordia’s downtown campus at 2150 Bishop. Offering both new and used books, in addition to a wide variety of artisan consignment, we also boast the largest selection of sex and gender studies titles anywhere in Montreal.

Find us on the web at, or on Facebook at

Tasks and Responsibilities


  • Organizing and maintaining all financial documents
  • Liaising with Co-op’s co-coordinator on the daily operations of the store
  • Administrating publisher accounts
  • Overseeing monthly and annual budgets
  • Reporting monthly to the Board of Directors & acting as a resource person on financial and administrative matters
  • Liaising with the Co-op’s accountant
  • Ensuring that receipt trails and paper trails are organized and in order
  • Communicating with federal and provincial governments regarding financial and administrative matters, including submitting government declarations and remittances
  • Overseeing operations of the Concordia University internal Banner account
  • Researching and preparing proposals to update our bookkeeping systems
  • Liaising with Concordia administrative bodies and services
  • Liaising with the Concordia community and the community-at-large
  • Maintaining and developing office systems with other staff including archiving, filing, computer and communication systems
  • Ensuring the upkeep of the office, order and organize supplies with other staff
  • Working with other staff and Board to maintain a clean, organized and welcoming space


  • Making adjustments to the budget in accordance with Board decisions
  • Liaising with Co-op’s co-coordinator on seasonal and general book orders and ongoing publisher relations
  • Making month-end adjustments, including inventory adjustments
  • Reconciling accounts
  • Completing and presenting month-end financial reports to the Board
  • Invoicing


  • Coordinating year-end inventory
  • Completing all year-end adjustments
  • Completing year-end transactions and reports
  • Preparing year-end for auditor
  • Liaising with auditor
  • Presenting our year end financial report at our Annual General Meeting (held in November)
  • Interpret and make recommendations regarding the auditor’s report to the Board and at our Annual General Meeting

Job Requirements and Assets:

  • Experience in finance within Non-Profits and/or Not-for-Profits
  • Understanding of bookkeeping in a retail (inventory and sales-based) context
  • Excellent time management skills, self-motivation and self-direction
  • Knowledge of MYOB or similar accounting software
  • Ability to work with a computer (PC and Mac), proficiency in Word, Excel, and File Maker Pro
  • Bilingualism (French and English, spoken and written)
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to problem solve
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Ability to work in a chaotic environment
  • Interest in community-based groups and non-corporate, self-managed environments and principles is an asset
  • Experience in a bookstore is an asset
  • Experience in community outreach, marketing or external relations an asset

Application Details:
Deadline to apply is Friday, September 25th, 2009 at 6 p.m.
Interviews will be held from September 29th to October 1st 2009.
Please note that only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

The position is set to begin on Friday, October 12th, 2009, and it is a one-year renewable contract. Candidates must be available 10am-4pm Monday to Friday (30 hrs per week), including some occasional evening and weekend work. The position includes two weeks of paid vacation.

The ideal candidate is eligible for an Emploi Quebec salary subvention program.

The Co-op Bookstore has a commitment to employment equity in our hiring practices. We encourage applicants to describe the unique contributions they, as individuals with diverse experiences, would bring to the Co-op in their cover letter or resume. Please indicate clearly in your cover letter that you would like to be considered for Employment Equity.

Please submit your CV and cover letter by Friday, September 25th, 2009 at 6 p.m. Unfortunately applications without a cover letter will not be considered!

By email:
Subject line: “FA Coordinator Hiring Committee”

By Mail or in Person:
2150 Bishop
Montreal, QC.
H3G 2E9

For more information you can contact us at 514-848-7445 or email us at

Please feel free to circulate this posting to any job-hunters you may know!

Red-light rally at Café Cleopatra

redalertAs mentioned in a previous post, a coalition is forming to protest the proposed “revitalization” of the lower Main, and the destruction of Café Cleopatra and much of the red-light district. For those who are interested in supporting a more democratic approach to revamping this space, there will be a “Friends of Cabaret Cleo” rally event happening on Saturday, June 6, starting at 8 PM at the cabaret (1230 St-Laurent, 2nd floor). Attendees will be able to sign a petition (also available online and in PDF format, if you want to collect signatures beforehand), and there will be lectures, entertainment and performances, so if you can come on out, you should!

For more info on the rally, check out the Club Sin website, read Louis Rastelli’s article in the Montreal Mirror, or join the Red Alert! group on Facebook.

Win free transportation for a year from the STM

With lots of new green initiatives happening here in Montreal, like the recent introduction of the Bixi rental bikes, the STM has also decided to hop on board the environmentalism bandwagon. Montreal’s transit service is currently offering a contest that will allow 20 lucky folks to win free yearly passes for the bus and metro system. To enter, all you need to do is head to the newly redesigned (and much more bilingual!) STM website and click on the link.

The new OPUS cards (photo via

The STM's new OPUS smartcards (photo via

Of course, this is all a part of the promotion of the STM’s new OPUS card, since May 2009 is the last month that the old monthly passes are being sold, and the June 30 deadline for purchasing a reduced-price card for only $3.50 (the cards themselves will cost $7 a piece thereafter) fast approaches. Everybody eventually needs to switch over to the new smartcard service that OPUS provides, which allows for rechargable cards that can be used as daily, weekly or monthly unlimited service passes, or on a pay-per-ride basis. Paper tickets will no longer be accepted in the system after September 30, 2009, so it’s important for citizens to start the transition to the new reusable plastic cards.

On a final note, if you’re into Cirque du Soleil, they’re also offering free tickets to the “OVO” show, along with free monthly passes to get you there. Pretty sweet deals from our much-maligned public transportation system. Perhaps this will help bring the STM back into people’s good graces after their perpetual rate hikes and worker strikes.

Red-light district demolition project greenlighted

UPDATED: May 25, 2009, 4:44 pm

Cause for concern or mere progress? Montrealers will be interested to know that our so-called red-light district of lower St-Laurent is currently slated for some controversial renovations by a group called Angus Development Corp.

The scoop: The stretch of St-Laurent slated for reno is between Ste-Catherine and René-Lévesque, and according to a March 6, 2009 article in The Gazette, has been purchased by Angus, a “non-profit development corporation that wants to transform that part of the red light district into an eco-friendly showcase of art and socially responsible retail.” Sounds good, so far. Problem is, this developer is also trying to acquire the building that is currently home to such colourful (and historical) businesses as Café Cléopatra and the Montreal Pool Room.

Though the Gazette article also notes that “The report says the street level on St. Laurent would become an avenue dedicated to ‘responsible retail,’ lined with stores selling fair-trade and bio- and eco-friendly products that promote Quebec design,” and that although the company plans to put in a “restaurant, lounge or café,” no fast-food restaurants will be allowed, nor any chain stores.

Ambitious plans for Montreal’s storied Main, but some citizens are protesting these changes as signs of gentrification and the destruction of local history. Montreal-based burlesque troupe, the Dead Doll Dancers, are fighting to save this stretch of St-Laurent, as most of their shows take place at Café Cleopatra. In fact, a Facebook user named Amy Hudston has been circulating information about upcoming planning meetings, suggesting that “anyone who is concerned about cultural elitism, gentrification, sex workers rights, travesty theatre, historical architecture, expropriation, etc.” attend to voice their opinions.

The next meeting is slated for May 25 at 7 PM at 2-22 Ste-Catherine the Holiday Inn (95 Viger West). The meeting’s topic will be “Architectural concept and urban insertion and heritage.” There is another meeting scheduled for May 26 at 7 PM at the Quadrilatère Saint-Laurent same location on the same topic, for those who can’t make the first.

Further reading:

Concordia Co-op Bookstore

Entrance to the Co-op Bookstore, 2150 Bishop

Entrance to the Co-op Bookstore, 2150 Bishop (photo by Laura Roberts)

As my first post on Metblogs, I’d like to give a shout out to my friends at the Concordia Co-op Bookstore. These guys and gals rock my world, as they’re one of the best independent bookstores in Montreal. Oddly enough, they seem to have trouble getting bodies in the store, despite their extremely unique selection, with an emphasis on sexy books, feminism and queer literature, political and DIY stuff, and just plain rad savings on day-to-day items like pens, notebooks and even flat-tire kits for your bike.

Honestly, it’s a no-brainer to shop there. Why? Because they ALWAYS charge below suggested retail prices on everything in the store! If you become a member ($10 FOR LIFE!), you’ll get even bigger discounts, but you DON’T have to be a member to shop here.

All in all, it’s a winning proposition. You can find new books, used books, and even textbooks there. If you’re an artistic type who makes zines or t-shirts, you can even consider their Artisan Consignment services to sell your wares. They’ve always got interesting events happening, which you can find out via their Facebook page, or through their email newsletters, and the people who work there are super friendly and kick-ass.

Seriously, what are you waiting for? Go to the Co-op Bookstore at 2150 Bishop, on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between noon and 5PM (their summer hours), and check it out!

Little City Gems 5: Jewels of St. Henri

I took a walk into St. Henri the other day westward along Notre Dame, admiring the lovely and impressive Carré George-Étienne Cartier (which looks like a larger, grander Carré St-Louis), and was pleasantly pleased to spot a few curious and worthwhile establishments. All in the vicinity of Metro St-Henri, here are my little finds:

Ambaa Yoga
A great little yoga studio with a nice relaxed vibe that teaches classes of mediation, pilates and yoga in several styles, including ones for kids, which seems to be an additional specialty of theirs.

Recessionary note: They have a community drop-in class on Friday evenings which costs a very affordable donation of $5, taught by a featured teacher of the week.

4660 Notre Dame O.
(corner of De Courcelle)

A curious little boutique that caught my eye, full of neat and cheeky clothing designs, jewellery, accessories, books and other fun knick-knackery. Definitely worth a browse.

4217 Notre-Dame O.

La Gaillarde
I walked into this shop with its deceptively non-descript store front to find a treasure trove of fripperie, and many of the local as well as local-eco designer wear and accessories we already know and love.

Recessionary note: Sundays are 2-for-1 days in the basement fripperie section.

4019 Notre-Dame O.

Le Caffe Mariani (read the review)
What a great find! Facing a lovely church and an interestingly designed last-century caisse-pop building I happily stepped into this cafe. The decor is lovely and unpretentious as are the staff. I enjoyed my cafe au lait and choco-cranberry-banana bread and the general ambience of the place. I made a mental note to come back with a book and be ready to spend an afternoon eating an affordable and delicious lunch made with excellent and possibly organic ingredients. They also sell locally made fancy soaps and not-so-local olive oils and the like. Judging from the number of laptops I saw, I suspect they must have wi-fi as well.

4450 Notre Dame St. West


Little City Gems 3: Ode to Bygones

A few of my favourite little shops in town (all on St. Denis street, actually) have sadly closed their doors in recent years and months and this is my ode to them.

A Japanese-style tea-house that closed a couple of years ago was O-Chai which had one location on St. Denis just above Mont-Royal and later on just below Laurier. They had a cute and cozy décor and served wonderful teas (including my favourite green matcha latté) and delicious little snacks that came in the form of samosas, sushi, noodles, scones and personal dimsum in bamboo containers, all for bargain prices. It was a perfect place to relax on a quiet Sunday afternoon, and read a good book. (Their sub-Laurier location has since been taken over by Les 3 Petits Bouchons, which is a thankfully yummy resto I would definitely recommend.)

It’s been at least a year, but I’m still getting over the closing of the Japanesey home decor, gift, paper and tea shop Carton which came to an end when the owners decided not to renew their lease and that twenty-five years was a good enough run. They were done and it was time to move onto the next part of their life adventures, whatever they were.

Madras, on the west side of St. Denis street near Duluth sold great items of clothing, run by a French man who always sported a casual and unimpressed ennui. It used to be a mix of frippe and local and NYC designer clothing shop, and gradually the fripperie section became smaller and the local designer section grew larger. They had sales often enough and I always found such neat little pieces most every time I went, all of which I still wear.

Feu Vert, to my dismay, also on St. Denis but on the east side just above Marie-Anne greeted me recently with papered up windows when I was hunting for a new year’s eve dress this past season. Deceptively kitschy looking, this tiny shop packed full of sequined, scarfy, beaded things, and dresses, tops and bottoms and accessories of all colours and textures was run by an even tinier tough-as-nails Argentinian woman. She would look down at you (somehow, from her height of under 5′) over her glasses on a chain and let her irritation flare when you chose the “wrong” style of clothing for yourself. She would never let you try on anything that was not exactly right for you and had no qualms about making realistic comments about your weight or shape. Thick skins were necessary in her shop, but boy did you ever walk out with a fantastic properly accessorized outfit at a well-bargained price.

I will miss them all dearly.

Verdun and I (or, Fripperie: Part Un)

I’ve always been budget-concious, even before the current economical clime cast a pall on our collective plastic. A former freelance lifestyle, with the fiscal rollercoaster that often accompanies it, have etched an indeliable restraint on my spending habits. To wit, I’ve nosed out some pretty good bang-for-your-buck eateries and shops over the years. They’ve become a part of me, and I’d like to share them with you.

The “downtown” core of  Verdun is, in my humble O, one of our city’s most under-rated shopping destinations. This Sud-Ouest borough isn’t the self-important trend whore that many soi-disant Montréal hotspots are. Despite encroaching gentrification, it has managed to keep some good ol’ fashioned working-class grit intact.  There is very little facade, nothing shiny and sleek. And I wouldn’t have the place any other way. The charm of the area – what makes me feel more at home there than any other neighbourhood in Montréal – is its hidden niches. Granted, you have to explore a little to find them, something I had ample opportunity to do when I resided there.

I remember with fondness the large flat I lived in for a mere $325.00 a month. ($325.00!)  Naturally I don’t need to outline the fact that was quite a while back. The density of businesses in Verdun is incredible, and makes owning a car almost laughable. I could bank, get my hair cut, rent a flick, pick up some sausage, spices and a bottle of plonk at the SAQ for the evening meal, meet a friend for tea, buy some paperbacks or pair of gloves – all within a few blocks. There was a law passed long ago prohibiting bars in the district, but what you must know is that in Verdun, summer and balconies were made for beer. I was hard-presssed to walk down 3rd Avenue without someone offering me a sweating cold one (why, straight from the handy porch fridge of course!). On residential streets, especially The Avenues north of De Verdun, balconies are the hub of social (and wild) life, particularly livening up at 3 a.m., if memory serves. I also recall a more welcomed feature; a dep on every corner.  Also, an amazing waterside bike path and three métro stations to choose from made getting around a breeze.  I regret moving from Verdun, and I’m clearly not the only one who recognizes the area’s primeness as a good spot to live, as soaring rents can attest to. I miss that flat. True, the ceiling caved in on me, I was once offered the friendly (discounted!) services of the resident hitman, and the intermittently employed downstairs neighbour couldn’t be arsed to share the weed he was growing, but really, good times overall.

Recent years have brought in waves of new ethnic groceries, tea-houses and specialty boutiques, all glazed with “me-too” hip, without pretentious Plateau prices.  Variety abounds. Wellington Street, the bit roughly bounded by Woodland and Regina ( formally branded as “Promenade Wellington“)  is an almost perfect shopping strip. Sadly, I’ve noticed some boarded up windows and “For Sale” signs peppering store fronts – no doubt the inevitable victims of the recession. By contrast, thrift-oriented businesses are naturally thriving these days.  I will be devoting an entire series to those, and other neat aspects of Verdun in the coming weeks.

Renter’s Market ?

    I’ve been talking with a few landlords over the past few weeks and they have all told me that this year, the phones are ringing less and people are taking their time in choosing.

My current landlord, who owns two other apartments, told me his phone barely rings at all for the 2 places he has for rent. And when they do arrive to visit, they say they like it, but will think about it.

He has the same apartments for rent last year and he claims the phone wrang off the hook. People were willing to sign right away. Some putting considerable pressure on my landlord to sign right then and there.

What he has also noticed is that the amount of scams has increased considerably.. The favorite of course being someone from Russia claiming to be moving to Canada. They send over first month’s rent but it’s a cheque for $10,000 and promptly claim they made a mistake and ‘would you please return the rest’… Of course the cheque then bounces.

If you are looking for an apartment for July 1, have you noticed that there is more choice and that you have more time in choosing ?

Bell Canada and Net Neutrality

   Recent story in The Globe and Mail regarding the throttling of P2P traffic as well as recent discussions on various forums, have determined that Bell Canada is now throttling all P2P traffic. Not just theirs, that is on Sympatico, but anyone who happens to be a client of Bell including independent 3rd party ISP’s such as TekSavvy.

I’m surprised, but not really. The Achilles heel  of all of these DSL outfits was that the last mile is Bell Canada. And Bell Canada being what they are, have a tendency to do things the way a monopoly feels it should. I am proud to say that for the past two years, not one Bell bill enters my home. I am completely free of them. I’ve been scorned once too often by that company and therefore have sworn them off.

This latest move by them only reinforces this idea.

So the battle by all these 3rd party ISP’s now begins. Bring in the lawyers, the government lobbying and everything that goes with it.

It’s a shame but it’s a perfect example of why we need Net Neutrality in Canada.

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