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Old Brewery Missions’s Matthew Pearce will retire in September


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Matthew Pearce, president and chief executive officer of the Old Brewery Mission since 2008, will retire from his post and step down in September, the organization announced on Thursday.

In a statement, Eric Maldoff, chair of the Mission’s board, praised Pearce for having “led the Old Brewery Mission through a period of significant growth and phenomenal transformation that have inspired other organizations to adopt the Mission’s approaches to end chronic homelessness. … He will be missed.”

During Pearce’s time as executive director, the Mission underwent significant changes that included:

Establishing new supportive housing models and programs adapted to the needs of specific homeless populations.

• The creation of  a research department in partnership with McGill Universityto gain greater knowledge of the root causes of homelessness.

• Opening a triage and referral centre for first-time shelter arrivals to shorten their homelessness experience and ensure they are adequately housed and reintegrated into the community.

• Transforming the emergency shelter into a 24/7 resource centre that allowed residents to remain onsite and fully connected to counselling staff and services.

Pearce will be replaced by James Hughes, who was the Mission’s director-general from 2004 to 2008.

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A COVID-quiet summer will cost Montreal’s economy hundreds of millions


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Industry figures for 2009, the last year that the Grand Prix didn’t take place, show Montreal hotels suffered a $25-million revenue shortfall compared with other race weekends, Paré said.

Occupancy rates in Montreal typically average 96 or 97 per cent during Grand Prix weekend. City hotels double their room rates to coincide with the event, allowing them to offset slower winter bookings.

“If you convert that $25 million into 2020 dollars, and if you consider that additional seats have since been installed at the racetrack, the shortfall this year is going to be even higher,” Paré said.

As more events in and around Montreal get cancelled, those lost weekends — and weeks — look set to multiply well into the summer. On Tuesday, event promoter Evenko officially cancelled this year’s edition of the Osheaga and ÎleSoniq electronic music festivals. Both events will be back in 2021, Evenko said.



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Projections show spike in COVID-19 deaths in Montreal if confinement lifted


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“It’s not a free-for-all at all at this point,” she said.

Hankins said it was too soon to say whether schools and non-essential stores should reopen in Montreal on May 25.

“It’s prudent to watch and see what happens,” she said.

“I know it’s unsettling not to have firm dates, but on the other hand we want wisdom to prevail here,” she added.

On Thursday, Premier François Legault again delayed the reopening of schools, daycares and non-essential retail outlets in the Montreal region.

Sixty-three per cent of Quebec’s 2,928 deaths from COVID-19 have occurred on the island of Montreal, as have 51 per cent of diagnosed cases of the disease, according to the latest statistics unveiled by the Quebec government on Sunday.



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