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  • Kate 10:07 on 2020-06-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Philippe Schnobb wants metro security to be given the powers of special constables, which means they could act more like regular police but also be accountable to the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes. Like other police-type forces, metro security has a record of racial profiling, as described in Christopher Curtis’s article. Not everyone is thrilled with the notion of making these guys accountable after the fact.

  • Kate 09:55 on 2020-06-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Exo is forecasting a loss of half its train and bus ridership as of the September rentrée.

  • Kate 09:53 on 2020-06-04 Permalink | Reply  

    A man who tried to bring a guitar back to Steve’s music shop after Sunday’s looting has been arrested. Other guitars stolen by casseurs on Sunday have been returned to the shop, although it sounds like some were broken and some are still missing.

  • Kate 09:48 on 2020-06-04 Permalink | Reply  

    As you might not expect, business groups are in favour of closing Ste-Catherine Street to cars.

  • Kate 09:22 on 2020-06-04 Permalink | Reply  

    As I observe below, a lot of people are not wearing their masks properly. Somewhere online I saw the observation “seeing how people wear masks, I begin to understand why birth control fails so often.”

  • Kate 21:03 on 2020-06-03 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has bought a plot of land in Rosemont with the intention of building 45 units of social housing.

    • david1983 21:44 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      Yeah, going to be a part of this development:

      Of course, should be a lot denser, but this project will be denser than most, and cost effective. So, can’t complain.

  • Kate 20:06 on 2020-06-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Summaries of Wednesday’s Covid situation in Montreal show a slight uptick after gradually declining numbers of cases and deaths.

    I was out Wednesday, doing a few hours’ work for the place where I was laid off mid-March, which is in a limbo state of being neither really shut nor really open. About half the people on the bus wear masks, if that. I haven’t a formal count, but there’s a strong impression more women are wearing them than men.

    Only a few people were working. One guy had lost his father-in-law to Covid, and another told me about a couple she knew whose kids brought it home, then the parents caught it, and they were all sick and sluggish for weeks.

    On the way in, I said hello to the janitor, who was mopping the floor while wearing a mask “chin hammock” style i.e. completely uselessly. On the way home, I noticed that the man sitting behind me in the bus was “wearing” a mask dangling off one ear. It’s not a good luck charm, people, you’ve got to have them over nose and mouth or don’t bother!

    • Brett 21:11 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      Sounds an awful lot like the symptoms discussed in this post!

    • Kate 21:34 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      Brett, I have wondered whether that was Covid I caught in early February, but if it was, I got off lightly – less than a week of feeling woozed out, then I was fine. If they come up with a general antibody test I’ll be in line.

    • Brett 22:06 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      Kate, did you lose your sense of smell or taste? Apparently that’s the clincher.

    • Kate 23:03 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      I didn’t notice that symptom, but I don’t think I would’ve done. I felt crappy for four solid days and don’t recall paying a lot of attention to what I was eating. I wasn’t nauseated, it wasn’t a digestive issue, but my head felt sort of muffled and I spent most of the time sleeping it off.

    • DeWolf 07:36 on 2020-06-04 Permalink

      I was optimistic that people could be encouraged to wear masks voluntarily, but no level of government has been up to the task of aggressively promoting their use. So maybe it’s time to make them mandatory – at the very least for indoor spaces like public transit and shops. The number of active cases is finally on the decline but there’s no reason to be complacent now.

      If there’s no requirement, then at the very least businesses need to step up and be more proactive in getting their customers to wear masks. I was at Costco recently and while it’s not a requirement, they make a point of handing out free masks to anyone who doesn’t have one, and while I was shopping about 95% of people had a face covering.

    • Margaret Black 07:48 on 2020-06-04 Permalink

      I did a curbside pick up from the Atwater Library Tuesday afternoon. I noticed the same thing with the masks, both on public transport (RTL and metro) and on the street. About half were wearing them, but I’d say equal coverage for men and women and often not properly installed. STM personnel were handing out the masks at Atwater, but I noticed a lot of people taking them and putting them in their pockets or removing them once on the metro platform. What’s with that?

    • DeWolf 08:41 on 2020-06-04 Permalink

      Radio-Canada has an article today that discusses the benefits and risks of wearing masks. I think part of the problem is we still have a number of doctors telling people they’re too stupid to wear masks properly, or that they’re useless unless you put one on the minute you step out of your house and don’t remove it until you get home however many hours later.

      The idea is that, once you’ve worn a mask, it’s potentially contaminated and you should not touch it at all until you can safely wash or dispose of it and then thoroughly wash your hands. Of course this is entirely unpractical if you’re spending most of the day out of the house and you need to stop for food or drink. Maybe we need advice that is less infantilizing: wear a mask, and if remove it during the course of your day, wash/sanitize your hands before and after.

  • Kate 19:59 on 2020-06-03 Permalink | Reply  

    There’s concern about the humpback whale in the Old Port, because she’s out of her normal habitat and could be getting weaker. But there seems to be no safe way of chivvying a whale in the direction you want it to go.

    Why she’s here remains a mystery.

    The Journal claims a humpback was seen near here in 2012, but Global’s piece leads with the statement that this is the first time such an animal has been recorded off Montreal.

    • Ginger Baker 20:59 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      She’d be a hell of a new attraction for the Biodome but I think they’d have to turn the Big O into a pool

    • EmilyG 21:04 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      I saw the whale yesterday. I hope she’ll be all right.

    • Kate 21:41 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      I can’t help thinking, if she just wanted to loaf for awhile, couldn’t she simply ride the current back downstream till she got near Tadoussac? But maybe whales don’t loaf.

  • Kate 19:54 on 2020-06-03 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has pushed its tax deadline till September.

  • Kate 19:13 on 2020-06-03 Permalink | Reply  

    There was a stabbing in Lachine Wednesday afternoon. Nobody’s dead, nobody’s been arrested.

  • Kate 09:11 on 2020-06-03 Permalink | Reply  

    The head of Tourisme Montréal says the city’s reputation is in tatters due to coronavirus, and needs a lot of help to be rebuilt.

    Two organizations concerned with the fate of the downtown core are proposing various means Le Devoir calls audacious, to draw people back downtown again.

    The mayor may have to ask Quebec for permission to run a deficit to offset the extra costs caused by the pandemic.

    City hall’s promised new (temporary) cycling and walking paths are coalescing quickly and people are using them. Others, of course, complain.

    The owner of a successful grocery store in the Plateau lays out in detail why food and other basic goods are going to be more expensive, as his costs have soared to adapt his business to new demands.

    • Jonathan 10:23 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      I LOLed at that TVA reporting on the ‘pandemic’ bike paths. They took one lane out for a new bike path.

      That is actually right next to my workplace. Haven’t been there since January, but there are not very many vehicles rolling on that part of Rachel.

    • Dominic 11:15 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      Isn’t every other city in the world facing a tourism crisis? Not sure why Montreal’s reputation is any worse off than NYC or all of Italy since they were all hot spots.

    • Ephraim 12:37 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      Sorry to have to remind people…

      Tourisme Montreal is NOT a government agency, although they LEVY a tax of 3.5% on tourism businesses without giving them any representation. It is the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (used to be Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal) and is a “not-for-profit” in that they pay out big surpluses to the people at the top so they don’t have a profit. They can say what they want, but about 75% of the tourism businesses in Montreal have NO voice because they won’t pay Tourisme Montreal more money than the 3.5% that RQ collects on their behalf. In other words… they are as reliable as cable installation appointments.

    • Dominic 13:49 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      @Ephraim I wonder if business owners can just refuse to pay. I wonder if anyone has tried a court challenge on that

    • Ephraim 20:42 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      Dominic, I don’t think so, it’s collected by RQ. Tourisme Montreal wants a separate fee to be a member… if you refuse to pay that, you aren’t a member, have no say and they won’t even supply maps unless you pick them up in St-Laurent. Needless to say about 75% aren’t members. I think there used to be 2 or 3 B&B members out of nearly 100 B&Bs. That’s why all the data they provide is worthless… no one is really giving them data. All the know is how much they get from RQ.

    • Blork 20:45 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      There’s a part of me that would no mind seeing this city and others go back to being just cities instead of being tourist playgrounds full of gimmicks. Yes, I know that’s an old saw (remember “I’m not a tourist, I’m a traveller?”). Sure, there’s all those tourism jobs and all, but it’s all just so pathetic and boring. A couple of years ago I saw a bunch of teenage American girls go screaming into Forever 21 on Ste-Catherine, and all I could think was “FFS it’s no different from the Forever 21 in whatever city you’re coming from.” (To be fair, they might have been coming from some backwater in upstate NY that doesn’t have a Forever 21 but I DOUBT IT.)

      OK, back to my happy face.

    • vasi 00:41 on 2020-06-04 Permalink

      Honestly, I don’t think Montreal is very gimmicky as a tourist city. There’s only a few things that are almost entirely for tourists—the cruise terminal, Place Jacques Cartier, that’s about it? Maybe if you’re picky you could add the stadium, parts of Crescent, a couple of churches. Otherwise most attractions get as much attention from locals, such as festivals, museums, parks, sports, etc.

      It’s nothing like, say, Miami, where the tourist parts are practically a separate city from where people actually live.

  • Kate 08:57 on 2020-06-03 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal captures a notable pileup in the parking lot of a grocery store on Jarry. Three cars ended up looking like the toys of a hyperactive toddler.

    • mare 09:40 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      A major malfunction of the car, did she have a seizure or TIA or did she lose her shit when she saw the person who just cut the line at the cash? I can’t wait to find out how this drama will unfold. I don’t read Le Journal, so Kate,please keep us posted. (In a comment please, updates to original posts don’t make it to the RSS feed.)

    • Alison Cummins 10:33 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      The banal explanation is the most likely: she accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake, and when the car took off she panicked and pressed harder on the brake/gas.

      A 65-year-old woman driving an SUV may have chosen it to feel safe in, suggesting she may not be a confident driver.

    • Blork 11:55 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      WTF? The item says the driver didn’t even shut off the engine, that it was still running when the police arrived and even after they yelled at the driver to shut it off. Yet only minor injuries reported, so it’s not like the driver was unconscious. FFS, maybe part of the driving exam should be the ability to not lose your shit when things get a bit tense. (Turning off the engine is the FIRST THING you should do after a collision!)

    • Kevin 23:57 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      That’s why every motorcycle has a kill switch on the right handlebar. Push the red switch up and poof!
      Done here by a guy being silly

  • Kate 08:48 on 2020-06-03 Permalink | Reply  

    A couple of years ago, when the new Université de Montréal campus was proposed, observers said it would probably cause a rental crisis in Park Extension. As the campus was built, more warning voices came in, saying the same thing, talking about renovictions. And voilà, rents and evictions are up in Park Extension. It was clearly foreseen and it happened.

    • Alison Cummins 10:15 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      According to their old city councillor Susan Clarke, this is a feature, not a bug.

    • Alison Cummins 10:18 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      Aka “what happens when most voters in a borough are rich and most poor people in the borough are nonvoters.” Reinforcing that sticking disenfranchised people in the same borough with entitled people was deliberate.

    • david1991 20:26 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      “Rich” = No.

      However, you’re right that the idea of building out a second campus up there was – everyone knew – going to change one of the poorest hoods. Parc-ex was already gentrifying because of the hardcore conservative anti-growth policies masquerading as progressivism that forced people further north, and massively jacked up the cost of living in inner Montreal across the board. You add a university campus to that, what do you expect?

      In an ideal world, they’d have built a bunch of skyscrapers downtown.

    • david1991 20:49 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      I mean that the campus would have been built at as a Concordia II, in Griffintown or by the Jacques Cartier.

    • david1991 21:03 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      The Children’s would have been perfect.

    • david1991 22:08 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      And I’d also refer anyone new to this conversation so simply search “david” or “parc-ex” and find dozens of posts of mine on this very subject.

  • Kate 22:07 on 2020-06-02 Permalink | Reply  

    The owner of Steve’s music store says getting looted was worth it to fight racism.

    • david1991 20:28 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      Fair play. Good attitude to take.

      That said, does he think that it was a bunch of black people that raided his store?

      Like, does anyone really believe it wasn’t just a bunch of stone cold criminals seizing their opportunity?

    • Blork 20:54 on 2020-06-03 Permalink

      Noble attitude if the protest had actually done something to fight racism (as in, if there had been a measurable outcome). Otherwise, its just a loss.

      This brings to mind a rhetorical question I’ve been asking around to people with retirement savings. That question being “how much of your retirement savings would you be satisfied to lose if it meant a revolution in the US that completely turns things around?” As in, if there were such a revolution, and it caused a market crash that depleted your stock portfolio, at what measure of financial loss would you draw the line at it being “worth it” for the sake of the positive outcome?

      Unfortunately it’s a too-complicated question and everyone gets lost in the details. (It’s not about you donating your money, and the question 100% assumes a very positive turnaround in the US, which would presumably be a model for other places.)

      Also: it’s a rhetorical question, so it’s not really meant to have a specific answer.

    • Alison Cummins 00:24 on 2020-06-04 Permalink


      My presumption is that we aren’t as rich as we think we are. The bottom is falling out for us (or, wealth is being redistributed globally) anyway, so if the precipitating event is a useful revolution I’m all for it.

    • Max 09:46 on 2020-06-04 Permalink

      Some moron got himself arrested attempting to return one of the stolen guitars.

  • Kate 10:25 on 2020-06-02 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro says it has figures showing that use of public transit is gradually rising again, which should be no surprise as retail and other workers go back to their jobs.

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