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How was your Groundhog Day this year?

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Photo: Cartoon by Patrick LaMontagne

Thousands of years ago when animism and the worship of the spirits of nature were prevalent, people in what is now Germany believed that the badger had the power to predict the coming of spring. Thus, they watched the badger to know when to plant their crops.

Sunrise and sunset along the frozen St. Lawrence River

Photos by Cassandra Kerwin

QCT photojournalist Cassandra Kerwin set out early in the morning of Jan. 30 to capture these gorgeous photos of the ice-choked St. Lawrence River. The interplay of light on the ice floes on the river and along the shore makes frozen works of art.

Kerwin even went back at the end of the day to capture a beautiful sunset over the river and the bridges that span it.


Laval’s ‘Nordic Campus’ offers antidote for pandemic idleness

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Photo: Jonathan Letellier-Black

The Université Laval campus has been transformed into a winter sports park. As the adage from that baseball movie goes, “Build it and they will come.” What the university built was a “Nordic Campus,” featuring a skating oval and trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking. Since the campus opened on Jan. 25, winter sports enthusiasts have been flocking to the new facilities.


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Roberta (O’Hara) BRANION

OBITUARY: Frank (Francis William) HABERLIN

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Frank (Francis William) HABERLIN
1949 - 2021

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mr. Frank Haberlin at age 71, on Jan. 27, 2021, at his home in the Montcalm neighbourhood, Quebec City. He was the son of the late Ettie (Brigid) Bowles and the late Leo G. Haberlin and brother of the late Ralph Haberlin. Frank was retired from the Papiers Stadacona company.

OBITUARY: Patrick Michael Joseph HUTCHINGS

Patrick Michael Joseph HUTCHINGS

Patrick, son of Charles Hutchings and Mary Bryson Hutchings, both deceased, died on January 22, 2021, at 68 years old, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Patrick was predeceased by his wife, Nicole Gagnon.

Shelters walk a fine line during pandemic

Photo: Photo by Ruby Pratka from QCT archives

Since last March, Éric Boulay, the director of Lauberivière, a nonprofit which operates Quebec City’s largest homeless shelter, has walked a delicate line. He and his staff and volunteers have had their hands full keeping the coronavirus out and dealing with the economic and psychological fallout of the crisis.

We need to focus on our objective, not the alligators

Photo: Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

There is a popular saying that when you are up to your ears (or other parts of your anatomy) in alligators, it is hard to remember that your objective was to drain the swamp.

Regarding COVID-19 vaccines, we feel as if the alligators are closing in as we become aware that Canada’s contracts with foreign suppliers may not be enough to hold our place near the front of the line.

Winter pleasures on the Plains of Abraham

Photos by Cassandra Kerwin



This artistic snowperson (maybe a ninja snow turtle) sits on a park bench by the Pavillon Pierre-Lassonde of the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec.


Black artist who painted Biden gift influenced Canadian landscape

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Photo: McCord Museum collection

Though not on the epic scale of the performances of Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and that amazing young poet, Amanda Gorman, shortly after their memorable outdoor inauguration on Jan. 20, U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris attended the presentation of a painting by an artist with a remarkable Canadian, specifically Quebec, past.

City delays tax bill payment schedule again

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Photo: Screenshot from YouTube

Municipal taxpayers are again being given a break on the payment schedule this year. Mayor Régis Labeaume announced at a Jan. 14 news conference that the first of four payments will be due June 3 instead of the usual March 3.

The three other payments will be due Aug. 3, Sept. 15 and Nov. 15. The schedule applies to 163,000 residential and 5,400 commercial rate-payers.

Labeaume: Tramway delay ‘starting to bug me’

Amid reports of a dispute within the governing Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) caucus over the city’s ambitious tramway plan, Mayor Régis Labeaume has voiced his frustration, saying the delay “is starting to bug me.”

The story behind Rue Jolliet


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Photo: Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

This street is named in honour of explorer Louis Jolliet (1645-1700), who was born in Beaupré, near Quebec City.


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Photo: Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

Editor's note: Starting in December each year, winter weather led to ice building up on the St. Lawrence River, making navigation difficult. Until 1909 the river would completely freeze over between Quebec City and Lévis from mid-January to late March.

First virtual Robbie Burns Night held in Quebec City

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Photo: Screenshot from Facebook

Well, it had to happen. With everything else going virtual, why not the annual celebration of Robbie Burns’ birthday?

Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel

We are being told the end is near – the end of life as we have known it for the better part of the last year, that is. And not a moment too soon.

We have seen the light at the end of the tunnel, and for the first time in a year, it does not belong to an out-of-control freight train.

Stoneham and Mont–Sainte-Anne adjust to skiers’ demands

Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

Mont-Sainte-Anne (MSA) and Stoneham Mountain Resort found themselves with an avalanche of problems following the Jan. 15 snowstorm. Skiers with passes and tickets looking for a pleasant evening on the slopes faced packed parking lots and long lines for the chairlifts, and some were even turned away.

Agriculture, Food and Consumer Fair goes virtual

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Photo: Lise Lafond

For 46 years, students in the faculty of agriculture and food science at Université Laval have been sharing their scientific and technical knowledge with the public at the annual Salon de l’agriculture, de l’alimentation et de la consommation (SAAC). In light of the pandemic, the first virtual edition was held this year, from Jan. 13-17.

Remembering Hank Aaron’s ‘royal visit’ to Quebec City

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Photo: Tom House

Quebec City has seen its share of royal visitors over the years: King George VI, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Grace of Monaco, Carl Gustav XVI of Sweden, and the home run king, Henry Aaron.

Henry “Hank” Aaron, the player who dislodged Babe Ruth as baseball’s all-time home run king on April 8, 1974, died on Jan. 22 at the venerable age of 86.

Remparts get one win in two games of QMJHL action

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Photo: Alexandre Régimbald - QMJHL

Pierrick Dubé scored two goals and added an assist while Finnish rookie Viljami Marjala added three assists. It wasn’t enough for the Quebec Remparts as they lost an offensive game 7-5 to the Rimouski Océanic on Jan. 24 in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).

IN MEMORIAM: Terence J. Kerwin


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Terence J. Kerwin

On Jan. 25, we commemorated the first anniversary of your death. Despite your absence, you are always present in our lives. The family values and the sense of mutual assistance that you have left us are considerable. Your concern to always provide aid to those in need, your counsel and your kindness are missed by more than one. Your absence is felt every day.

OBITUARY: Barbara (born Neville) McGRORY

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Barbara (born Neville) McGRORY

FAMILY LITERACY DAY: Read your way around the world

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Photo: Danielle Burns

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr. Seuss


The first blizzard of 2021 hits Quebec City

Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

High winds and blowing snow wreaked havoc on Quebec City streets and highways on Jan. 16. Although only about 12 centimetres of snow fell, the winds made it very difficult to walk or drive. Many trees and branches were knocked down, causing power outages and property damage. Poor visibility necessitated the closure of sections of some highways.

Former spaceman and PM contender Garneau has new lofty mission

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

For a guy who’s spent a total of 28 days in space, Marc Garneau seems pretty down to earth.

He’s also pretty grounded. Until his appointment on Jan. 12 as the minister of foreign affairs, Garneau had been Justin Trudeau’s minister of transport, ever since the Liberals strode so full of hope and purpose to be sworn in at Rideau Hall back in November 2015.

It’s a ‘wrap’ for the 25th Community Christmas Hamper Campaign

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Photo: Shirley Nadeau

The 25th annual Community Christmas Hamper Campaign was very different from past years, but the organizing committee is just as pleased with the results. COVID-19 changed the way many things were done, but we were able to help 235 families and individuals.

Machine de Cirque breathes new life into Limoilou church

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Photo: Danielle Burns

Saint-Charles-de-Limoilou Church may have peeling paint inside and piles of dead flies in the basement, but Machine de Cirque (MDC) co-founder, artistic director and CEO Vincent Dubé sees only “lots of possibilities!”

City takes another step toward expropriating Maison Pollack

Photo: Peter Black

The Ville de Québec says it has taken another step toward expropriating the badly deteriorating Maison Pollack on Grande Allée.


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Photo: Cassandra Kerwin from QCT archives

January 20, 1871 – The Morning Chronicle   Our Railways – A recent London journal commenting upon our system of railways gives the following description: – Quebec will soon be better provided with railways – those pioneers of commercial prosperity – than most of the British colonies.

The story behind Rue Jean-Carignan


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Photo: Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain

This street is named in honour of Jean Carignan (1916-1988), who was one of the greatest folk fiddlers of the 20th century and the leading exponent of the Celtic tradition in French-Canadian fiddling.

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