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  • Kate 11:12 on 2022-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

    An historian is writing up a paper on the oft-repeated truitism that anglos are the best-treated minority in the world.

     
  • Kate 11:07 on 2022-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

    Some retired cops and a defeated borough mayor have proposed a law‑and‑order plan for the city, which unfortunately is getting mentioned in the media, yet has already been neatly skewered by Ted Rutland.

     
  • Kate 10:38 on 2022-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec has enforced a new standard on the CMM to allow more carcinogenic nickel particles in the air.

     
  • Kate 09:39 on 2022-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

    A man who protested having the REM go along Sherbrooke East in his area has got his comeuppance now that a new plan puts the path along Souligny, right past his house. Man, that’s a lot of trouble to deliver a “fuck you” to a private citizen.

    Actually, the plan diverts the REM onto a segment of CN track, intermittently still used by freight. Will this mean CN can’t use it any more? The REM has previously been adamant about not letting its services be delayed by other trains (something Exo has put up with for years).

     
    • Mercier 09:55 on 2022-01-26 Permalink

      The REM always equals ugly aerial structure. They’re only moving the structure from Sherbrooke street to the Souligny train tracks. No sharing of tracks

    • Kate 10:39 on 2022-01-26 Permalink

      Thank you.

  • Kate 16:31 on 2022-01-25 Permalink | Reply  

    François Legault has announced a partial reopening plan for restaurants, theatres and cinemas. Reading this alongside another article where the fire chief explains that so many of his guys are out sick that it’s verging on dangerous, what are we to think?

     
    • Chris 22:52 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      I guess that covid is here to stay, and that we have to keep calm and carry on as it were.

    • SMD 08:08 on 2022-01-26 Permalink

      I guess that we have given up, and that we have to keep calm and ignore the suffering of those we have decided to sacrifice.

      Reminds me of this pandemic poem:

      To learn to live
      with the virus
      is an easy thing
      all it requires
      is that you
      learn to ignore
      those dying
      from the virus.

    • MarcG 11:25 on 2022-01-26 Permalink

      Or as in the article above, ignore people dying in fires?

    • Chris 11:33 on 2022-01-26 Permalink

      SMD, is it so different from how we “ignore” the 0.5 million that die of flu? Or the 1.4 million that die in car crashes? Or the 8 million that die of air pollution? (All figures global, per year.)

      They aren’t totally ignored, there are some mitigations in place to keep those numbers from being even bigger. It’s a trade off. We accept some deaths for the benefits of industry, car travel, etc. And we’ll surely keep some covid mitigations too. But we can’t stay at red alert forever.

  • Kate 13:34 on 2022-01-25 Permalink | Reply  

    Two properties on Esplanade south of Mont‑Royal, left to rot for decades, will finally be sold. One has already had to be demolished. These were handsome stone-fronted buildings which, had they been maintained, could still be in use. I can only hope that whatever’s built on the empty lot will be in harmony with the buildings already there.

    I did a bit of looking back and note that in 2019, the demolished building was taken apart carefully. I don’t know whether they will really be able to reassemble it as it was, or even if they should do so. We don’t construct buildings the same way now. A new building in the same form factor, integrating that façade, would be the ideal. The other building, still mostly standing, could get the same treatment because I doubt it’s worth trying to return the interior to livable condition. But it will all cost someone a pretty penny and those condos will not be cheap.

     
    • walkerp 13:53 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      I want to know Guy Desrosiers story, but prima facie, he is going to architectural hell.

    • Kate 15:42 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      walkerp, you asked the same question 2.5 years ago. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any explanation of what Desrosiers thought he was doing with those two properties.

    • Max 20:50 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      Thanks for scaring up the 2019 article. I was wondering about that this morning.

      I’m confident that the facade will go back up as part of the eventual redevelopment. It’s not like we have a shortage of qualified stonework artisans, and who wouldn’t want to live in a modern apartment, on a quiet tree-lined street, facing Mount Royal, behind an authentic greystone facade? I’d be first in line if I had the means to take on a $1M+ mortgage. That little strip’s on par with Carré St. Louis in terms of desirability.

      Could it be M. Desrosiers just aged out of the real-estate game?

    • Kate 22:02 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      It’s an interesting street architecturally between Mont-Royal and Duluth. Mind you, there’s a real eyesore at 4387 – it looks institutional, and I think it was built as an extension to the one to the south of it, and I have an idea they belong to a religious order. Certainly 4387 is the sort of bad modern architecture the Catholics like.

      Also, someone should have a word with the owners of 4219 about that brick excrescence.

      Re Desrosiers: quite possibly. I seem to remember he lived in one of those buildings and did not want to leave. Maybe he underestimated the work it takes being a landlord and maintenance guy for a couple of old buildings, even ones that may have been in acceptable condition when he bought them. Something’s always leaking or having to be patched up.

    • Max 23:01 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      Ouf! There’s one in every crowd, eh? Where’s the architecture police when you really need ’em?

      https://www.google.com/maps/@45.5164682,-73.5837552,3a,81.2y,38.03h,99.6t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sCNOrE4RC2Ff97aGndGx4pA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

    • MarcG 11:28 on 2022-01-26 Permalink

      What am I even looking at? Yikes.

  • Kate 11:08 on 2022-01-25 Permalink | Reply  

    From talks with the authorities, the Journal has estimated that at least 2000 illegal guns are circulating around the city, changing hands for anything from $1,000 to $8,000.

     
  • Kate 11:05 on 2022-01-25 Permalink | Reply  

    Police are asking for possible victims of a foster family accused of years of abuse in their Montreal East home to report in, and strengthen the case against them.

     
  • Kate 10:28 on 2022-01-25 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse has discovered that three unvaccinated Covid patients at the CHUM have been given double lung transplants after the virus ravaged their own. The ethical dilemma is front and centre in this piece.

     
    • Meezly 10:47 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      If they recover, they could show their gratitude by becoming voluntary advocates for vaccinations.

    • jeather 10:48 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      I didn’t realise we had such a wealth of lungs for transplant. But we don’t, for instance, refuse lungs to people who have smoked if they quit; similarly, these people have since been vaccinated.

      The article seems to imply some were not unvaccinated but only had one dose (one is described as unvaccinated, but the term ‘not adequately vaccinated’ is what is used for just one dose), and they got covid 6-8 months ago. As open 2nd doses for <45 started in early July, I'd like more clarity on the other 2.

    • Clément 13:45 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      I guess there’s a difference between “was not vaccinated” vs “refuses to get vaccinated”.

      A related article from the US this morning (relayed by Richard Hétu): https://www.cbsnews.com/news/brigham-and-womens-hospital-boston-refusing-heart-transplant-man-wont-get-vaccinated/. Their argument is about “lifestyle behaviour”.

    • Blork 14:50 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      That’s the same principle as refusing a liver transplant to someone who refuses to stop drinking alcohol.

      It’s not the same as the lung transplant issue here, because none of those people were anti-vaxxers, and they have all since been vaxxed, so the risk of being a “wasted transplant” is no different from any other transplant recipient.

      This guy in the US (and people who need liver transplants but won’t stop drinking) ARE essentially throwing away their transplants by putting themselves at extraordinary risk of premature death.

      It’s not like transplant organs are in abundant supply and we can afford to waste any on people that will not mitigate their risk of dying prematurely.

  • Kate 10:22 on 2022-01-25 Permalink | Reply  

    The city wrote a $35M contract in 2018 for IT services that the BIG has condemned as having major irregularities and ordaining it be cancelled as soon as possible. The company does seem to be getting paid a ludicrous amount for hooking the city up to Google cloud applications, but that’s how IT always benefits from the technical helplessness of bureaucrats.

    The Plante administration has promised to act to sort this out.

     
  • Kate 10:18 on 2022-01-25 Permalink | Reply  

    Persistent anti-masker and anti-vaxxer François Amalega Bitondo was denied bail Monday after he breached a court order to keep his distance from the premier. The prosecutor cited Amalega Bitondo’s flouting of previous bail conditions.

     
    • Max 13:21 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      Let him rot in jail until he comes up with the $60K. What a waste of skin.

    • MarcG 11:30 on 2022-01-26 Permalink

      The guy is clearly mentally ill.

  • Kate 09:51 on 2022-01-25 Permalink | Reply  

    This is stuff I’m only seeing on Twitter and not in the main media: according to this doctor’s tweet: Quebec’s education minister dismantled contact tracing in schools, prohibited the closing of classes / the isolation of contacts, prohibited schools from notifying parents of cases, no longer declares or tracks outbreaks, and then announces proudly that no schools have been closed due to Covid.

    This is kind of important information, especially with an impending announcement of the reopening of everything. Why is this not being more widely reported and discussed?

    What we don’t need: politicians who mistake spin for fact.

    Updated to add: CTV found some boards and parent groups doing their own reporting and tracking. Is there anything closer to the heart of most parents than the health and well-being of their kids, and is the CAQ playing games with this to their peril?

     
    • dwgs 10:12 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      I was reading that on the way in to work this morning. In order to close a class 60% of the students must be absent for two straight days and anyone who is absent but online isn’t marked as absent.

    • Tim S. 10:28 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      It’s sort of there in the main media, but phrased as “some parents are worried” and left at that. What’s frustrating is how simplistic the narratives are: “Online school bad, in-person school good.” Online school isn’t ideal, but students still learn far more than they would if they were in bed with a fever for a week, or from a substitute. Switching for two weeks in the event of a outbreak isn’t the end of the world.

      Also generally disturbing: that there seems to be no timeline or intention to going back to mass testing and contact tracing. At the very least, how hard is it to set up an website to report a rapid-test result?

    • Kate 10:33 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      I recall a promise to set up a site to report rapid test results, a couple of weeks ago. But they clearly don’t want the official figures to be inflated by actual case numbers, because it might make reopening businesses look foolhardy.

    • Joey 10:39 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      QC administered 27K tests yesterday (well, Sunday, reported yesterday). At what point do they re-open PCR testing to all?

    • jeather 10:51 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      I see a lot of that kind of complaint on twitter, but the regular press is not saying much about this. I assume they are going to continue to restrict PCR testing until the howls from the public get too extreme/the risk to his approval rating is too high. The longer he can do it, the better we can pretend the numbers are.

    • steph 11:29 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      I take it they’ve crookedly announced that “basically we accpet that everyone will get Covid, so lets stop wasting any more money”…

    • Kate 12:04 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      steph, it feels like that’s what they’ve decided, yes.

    • Joey 12:13 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      22K samples reported for yesterday, way down from Saturday (turns out the daily reports for testing are from two days’ prior). If this isn’t an artifact of reduced demand for tests on weekend, there really is no reason to ration tests. Then again, Public Health may have decided that rapid tests > PCR tests for the duration of Omicron. That said, having administered a rapid test, I supsect there are false negatives due to ‘user error’ and the lack of any kind of reporting is nuts. If we had waste-water analysis, I think we’d be OK for a system view, but since we don’t…

    • Tim S. 12:18 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      It’s interesting to watch the press conferences live, both for the politicians and the journalists. The past couple that I’ve seen there have been a bunch of questions about re-opening restaurants, nothing about re-opening testing. And so the politicians are taking their cues accordingly, I assume.

    • Joey 13:11 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      Agreed. The questions make me nuts.

      Also, while it’s easy for us to criticize the gov’t for not creating a rapid-test reporting tool, I can’t imagine it actually being all that useful. Too much unreliability, voluntary participation, etc. Would probably wind up as useless as the smartphone app the feds were pushing for a year.

    • mare 06:35 on 2022-01-26 Permalink

      (anecdate here, and a bit late comment):
      (I know healthcare workers who see patients get tested twice a week, which accounts for a large amount of tests.)
      I personally had 4 PCR tests this week while staying in a Montreal hospital, so maybe that’s were most of the current tests are done. We had a Covid outbreak on our floor last week, but when I asked they wouldn’t divulge if it affected staff or also patients. They sold it as ‘routine’ testing, but of course only the patients who were here for a long time know if was that a ‘normal’ routine. We have room arrest, don’t see other patients, so we can’t even ask them. There’s no panic though, and they didn’t tighten the mask-wearing requirements. Patients are still only provided shitty procedure mask (and don’t get a new one every dayn or ever), and they can take them off when in their beds. My test results were never divulged, but I presume I tested negative, because we can still have one visitor. But today my visitor was asked to not sit on the end of my bed, because of Covid (contact) transmission. In the mean time ventilation is not great (baseboard heaters) and the windows are never opened.

    • SMD 08:15 on 2022-01-26 Permalink

      Tim S., the ministry of health quietly launched this website to report your positive rapid test yesterday: https://covid19.quebec.ca/autodeclaration/. It is for statistical purposes only, and doesn’t link to your vaccine passport or health file, but at least it is a start.

    • Tim S. 09:14 on 2022-01-26 Permalink

      Thanks SMD.

  • Kate 14:18 on 2022-01-24 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada and CBC are both reporting Monday on the plan to protect some of Chinatown (TVA too, and Le Devoir and Metro). It’s a pity nobody thought of this before the massive and damaging construction of the Guy‑Favreau building, but that’s ancient history now (constructed 1977-1983).

     
    • Meezly 14:42 on 2022-01-24 Permalink

      Nor that huge eyesore Hampton Hotel.
      Nor that other huge eyesore ONE Condominiums.

    • Max 15:17 on 2022-01-24 Permalink

      Anybody else remember when bricks were falling off the Guy-Favreau building? I think it was in the late 1980s around when I came back to town from university. Every single one of those bricks had to be replaced, both inside and out, because of a manufacturing flaw. At least that’s what I read once.

    • DeWolf 00:26 on 2022-01-25 Permalink

      One thing that hasn’t been discussed much is the huge vacant lot at the corner of St-Laurent and René-Lévesque. Amazingly it has been empty since the 1960s, and it has been owned by various dodgy characters over the years, but since 2020 it has been used for a pop-up space in the summertime with funding from the city.

      Last summer was particularly wonderful as one of the mature trees that have grown in the vacant lot was turned into a Chinese-style wishing tree by Karen Tam, a local artist. It was such a nice space that I really think the city should buy it and make it into a permanent gathering space, with maybe a few small buildings on the edge of the lot. Whoever owns it now is paying an insane amount of money in taxes for nothing in return, so the city has some leverage in that regard. But I’m just dreaming.

  • Kate 10:31 on 2022-01-24 Permalink | Reply  

    Shelters for the homeless are working flat out to house everyone from the cold and the pandemic, but there are still not enough spaces for everyone who needs one. Refuges are suffering not only from lack of space but from shortages of staff.

    La Presse has started a series on how people with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems, who are supposed to be looked after by the public curator, sometimes find themselves on the street because there isn’t any system in place to ensure they have a safe place to live. Quebec recoiled so hard from the residential insane asylums where it used to park so many unwanted people that it left those who actually need care and shelter to cope for themselves.

    Update: The issue seems to be between operators of shelters who say there isn’t enough space, and the mayor, who says there is, but not enough workers to sort out the reasons why people are homeless and get them the help they need.

    I wish Mike Ward hadn’t thrown in his stupid offer of tiny wooden shelters, because now the city has to look bad for turning them down, and Ward gets to buy some “aw, he’s a nice guy after all” points for doing nothing.

     
  • Kate 10:25 on 2022-01-24 Permalink | Reply  

    A teenager was stabbed in the Plateau overnight; only 16, he was already known to police.

    There were a couple of shootings over the weekend in Montreal North. CTV makes it 3 shootings.

    No homicides to count, though.

     
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