It is that time of year for my annual What’s Hot and What’s Not column. Do you concur with my choices for 2020?
Hot: Denis Coderre. Pencil him in as the next Mayor of Montreal.
Not: Valerie Plante, the incumbent, whose anti-car sentiment and love for bikes is killing downtown. Her actions last week were late at best.
Hot: Quebec Premier François Legault, who has shown great leadership qualities from the start of this process.
Not: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his lame press conferences in front of his cottage, the beard that only he seems to like and of course the WE controversy.
Hot: Black Lives Matters and any type of advocacy condemning racism.
Not: Derek Chauvin, the racist cop in Minnesota who murdered George Floyd and set off a worldwide protest movement.
Hot: Ben Graur and Leah Lasry. The duo organized the purchase and installation of air conditioners in CHSLDs and low-income and private apartments across Greater Montreal by raising money and putting in some of their own funds.
Not: The operators of some of the CHSLDs in this province, notably Maison Heron in Dorval, where horror stories emerged during the early going of the pandemic.
Hot: Le Windsor Ballrooms. With business down to nil due to the pandemic, owner Dan Bensoussan and company have been preparing meals for the homeless.
Not: The closure of the Bar B Barn on Guy Street. While the West Island locale on Sources remains intact, the late Ralph Lockwood would have been very sorry to see this occur.
Hot: Shuyee Lee and Elizabeth Zogalis. The veteran and the relative newbie at CJAD continue to go out in the field.
Not: Maripier Morin. Allegations of sexual impropriety transformed her from a media star to a pariah.
Hot: Take-out at most restaurants, like Table 51, has proven to be safe and reliable and a regular staple for me.
Not: Buffets have always represented among my favorite culinary experiences, but they are not too popular under the present-day circumstances.
Hot: The Royalmount Drive-in Event Theatre at the Decarie Circle. Promoters Lorne Levitt and Adam Bultz must be credited for a brilliant idea.
Not: The Cirque de Soleil. Who would have ever thought this worldwide entertainment adventure could end up in such dire financial straits?
Hot: Grocery stores and pharmacy workers. They have been there from the start of the pandemic and we are all grateful.
Not: People who do not wear masks in stores.
Hot: The Montreal SPCA and other animal welfare organizations.
Not: People who abandon their pets.
Hot: The Suburban. Our team has never stopped since this pandemic began. We have even expanded our offerings with a neat new On Air video platform, which has been getting great reviews.
Not: The Canadian Jewish News closed its doors for good last spring.
Hot: Arpon Basu of the sports website The Athletic. His coverage of the Habs is worth the subscription alone.
Not: AM 600. This new station seemed ready to finally launch before the pandemic, Now, who knows?