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  • Kate 10:44 on 2021-03-07 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse informally asked Montreal readers whether they favour the Legault government keeping Montreal as a Covid red zone, and found that a majority supports his decision.

  • Kate 10:41 on 2021-03-07 Permalink | Reply  

    Some thoughts from managers of SDCs about how the pandemic has changed the use of public space and may have accelerated an already existing trend to offer more space to pedestrians around commercial streets.

    Some merchants and residents in Hochelaga want this summer’s pedestrianization of Ontario Street to go further than planned.

  • Kate 08:57 on 2021-03-07 Permalink | Reply  

    There was a drive-by shooting Saturday afternoon in Rivière-des-Prairies, but the apparent targets (“known to police”) were not hit.

  • Kate 08:46 on 2021-03-07 Permalink | Reply  

    The city planned carefully to keep snow removal crews separate this season. That, plus fairly mild-mannered weather, has meant no Covid-related snow removal crises. La Presse talks to the city’s snow czar.

  • Kate 23:04 on 2021-03-06 Permalink | Reply  

    A protest by intervention workers at Bordeaux Jail on Saturday pressed the government to give prisoners priority in getting vaccinated for Covid, as they don’t have the freedom to manage their own social distancing inside. The government has no plans to change the current policy, which is that prisoners are treated in their age groups like everyone else.

  • Kate 21:11 on 2021-03-06 Permalink | Reply  

    A water main break near the 40 eastbound near l’Acadie means the highway is closed while it’s cleaned up. Sounds like it may be closed for some time.

    Update: And a driver got some salty fines, as they say in French, not only for driving on the closed road but doing so outside curfew and trying to obstruct the police officer who stopped her.

  • Kate 18:44 on 2021-03-06 Permalink | Reply  

    A police report says gangs in Montreal are violent and armed to the teeth although, compared to many cities this size, ours is almost comically peaceful. A sidebar looks at seized weapons and numbers 39 gang killings from 2006 to 2009 – a period of time more than ten years ago.

    I’m not minimizing the potential for violence, but this kind of story can also be used for nonsense crackdowns by police, especially on people of colour. Cops should be allowed to do a reasonable job without hysteria from the media.

  • Kate 14:03 on 2021-03-06 Permalink | Reply  

    Le Devoir was allowed to visit the intensive care at the Jewish and describes the ravages of Covid and the limitations, still, of medical understanding of the disease, and why certain people are inexplicably vulnerable to it.

  • Kate 10:48 on 2021-03-06 Permalink | Reply  

    A lot of fentanyl was seized at the airport last month, and a traveller coming from Germany arrested by Canada border services.

    Even so, many dangerous drugs are on the streets. Services that support addicts are seeing more overdoses from the injection of drugs of unknown strength and quality by desperate users. This CTV story is a good one, being mostly an interview with François Mary, who runs Cactus Montreal and tries to keep police away from his sites.

    • Raymond Lutz 12:20 on 2021-03-06 Permalink

      The opioid crisis? It “turned out pretty well” for the Slacker family too! (owners of Purdue pharma). They were giving a 14 000 USD bonus to sale representatives for each overdose case on their territory (following advices from the McKinsey management consulting firm). 450 000 deaths. The Promotion and Marketing of OxyContin: Commercial Triumph, Public Health Tragedy. OK, this is my last comment about “turning out well” 🙂

    • qatzelok 12:55 on 2021-03-06 Permalink

      “Get in the Swing With OxyContin”

      (From the link above, a marketing campaign slogan from Purdue’s many sales conferences)

    • Dominic 13:24 on 2021-03-06 Permalink

      It’s time to decriminalize and legalized all drugs in Canada.

    • dhomas 02:01 on 2021-03-07 Permalink

      Holy shit! “Get in the Swing With OxyContin” was actually a marketing tool used by Purdue. I thought it might have been qatzelok exaggerating.

  • Kate 10:38 on 2021-03-06 Permalink | Reply  

    Summer 2019, a major water main beside the Ville-Marie was on the brink of exploding – not collapsing, but actually exploding, given the pressure it sustains. The orange line, the Ville-Marie, and nearby Little Burgundy would all have been flooded.

    It’s interesting to know that the city’s reservoirs contain 16 hours’ worth of water, and then they run dry. Emergency warnings would’ve gone out to reduce water usage and industrial consumers told to halt operations, but that would only have eked out a few extra hours.

    We were lucky – it got fixed. But the cause here is the same reason the old Champlain didn’t last. Salt from the road seeped in and weakened the structure far faster than city engineers expected.

    Good story.

  • Kate 16:08 on 2021-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

    On Twitter, André Lavallée posts a La Presse story from 1984 in which the Shiller family is hiking rents on Masson Street and putting independent merchants out of business.

    • dhomas 16:27 on 2021-03-05 Permalink

      I’m no fan of the Shiller-Lavy empire, but Masson turned out pretty well for awhile after they started buying it up. I would still see sex workers walking that street as late as 2005. Since then, it has definitely become “classier”, and then gentrified. They might be really good at playing the long game in real estate. I lived in the area from 2010 to 2014 (my wife, who I started dating in 2003, grew up in the area) and it was great, but property value pretty much doubled in that time, to the point that when I was ready to buy a home myself in 2014, it was too expensive for me. Masson was a destination for awhile (nicknamed “Plateau Masson”), and rents got really expensive. They might have accelerated the process as this was likely one of their first real estate experiments during the “Au Bon Marché” era. The original “Marché du store” (Oui, Papa!) was not too far from Masson street on Saint-Joseph just east of St-Michel.

    • Blork 18:37 on 2021-03-05 Permalink

      I’m not sure how getting priced out of your own neighborhood amounts to it “turned out pretty well.”

    • dhomas 19:20 on 2021-03-05 Permalink

      Well, I did say “for awhile”. This being their first attempt at the real estate game (I think), they went about it a little slower. It allowed the neighbourhood to thrive a little more organically. They started buying it up in the mid-80s, and it only started fully gentrifying by 2011 or so. We had a good couple of decades of organic growth. I think they perfected and optimized their model after the Masson experiment. Or perhaps after they partnered with the Lavy clan, I don’t know.

    • Raymond Lutz 10:14 on 2021-03-06 Permalink

      Capitalism “turned out pretty well” for a short period too. Murderous global and colonial wars, ecosystem collapses, alienating social inequities… Since a few decades we are starting to pay the price of our scupidity. Bernard Friot explains how we can abolish private lucrative propriety. In French, slow with plenty of hesitations (eeuuhhh), but informative.

  • Kate 12:01 on 2021-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

    TVA says here that complaints have doubled over five years about not getting served in French in Montreal. Given that feelings about this are stoked regularly by TVA’s owners, we shouldn’t be surprised. There’ll be some columns about this over the weekend, too.

    • Blork 12:52 on 2021-03-05 Permalink

      Yeah, more complaints doesn’t necessarily mean more of that colonial devil talk being used, it just means more people are feeling agitated and need something to complain about.

    • Ephraim 14:19 on 2021-03-05 Permalink

      What is the OLF going to do when all the boomers are gone?

    • Kevin 15:12 on 2021-03-05 Permalink

      I know we live in the whiniest age in human existence, but people need to find better hobbies.

    • Jack 15:12 on 2021-03-05 Permalink

      This article is perfectly emblematic of how Quebecor creates discourse and ultimately public policy. Take a look at how this article is framed, who speaks, and who is given authority.
      One of the first things about this article that requires a bit of clarity is the complaint process of the OQLF. You or I can sit down and fill out multiple complaints, so if they divided the complaints by authorship one would be stunned to see how many come from the same hand full of people, who are retired boomers with an ax to grind i.e. Gilles Proulx
      The creation of the fear of the disappearing French language is a trope that has been repeated non stop for 60 years. My favorite was sitting in class at Universite de Montreal and watching the film “Disparaître” by Lise Payette. In the last scene, in what can only be described as a shockingly xenophobic film, Gilles Vigneault looks at the camera and says ” By the year 2000 it will be over, we will have become Louisiana.” Sad music maybe a tear, fade to black, that was in 1989.
      The film was described and promoted this way ” D’ici à vingt-cinq ans ( 2014) tout au plus, prédisent certains démographes, la nation canadienne-française sera moribonde. PUIS, ELLE DISPARAÎTRA.”
      This is getting old.

    • Ephraim 10:53 on 2021-03-06 Permalink

      Reminds me of a class that I took. One student got up and discussed how bad immigration was for Quebec. The professor looked at him and asked if he wanted to stop Quebec’s growth and do the jobs that new immigrants filled. And how would he fill this jobs, if we didn’t take in new immigrants? And that’s the point. It’s a game of chess, you need to think a few moves ahead. There are two types of government, those that deal with the immediate, and those that lay down long term plans based on the future…. those that build on fossil fuels and those thinking about how we reduce dependence, increase the middle class and set a larger tax base for the future. None of these is built on snitching on someone who wrote a word with an apostrophe s or worried about using chien chaud instead of hot dog. There are hundreds of languages out there, all managing to survive. There are still people speaking Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) in spite of the Spanish Inquisition.

    • Blork 18:20 on 2021-03-06 Permalink

      And oh, the irony. That student probably thought of him or herself as very lefty and progressive, not realizing that their nostalgia for the purity of de souche Quebec is pure MAGA-think and conservative AF.

    • JaneyB 20:20 on 2021-03-06 Permalink

      If people don’t want immigrants, fine, but at the very least they need to have more kids to fill the population gap. I don’t know how many Montrealers are ready to raise 3-4 kids in their 20s, like they did in 1965 but that’s the deal. People who are not doing that are part of the decline problem.

      As Ephraim pointed out, immigrants right now do the bad jobs so the Anguished would need to work for much less and/or pay more for everything. Likewise, many immigrants are needed to fill jobs requiring a lot of advanced education which many average Quebecois do not want to do (Franco male high school drop-out rate of 50%). There need to be some real conversations about what Francos are contributing to the survival project if they are not having families in their 20s, going to grad school or working hard at basic wages. We have a fabulous daycare system so there is even a family-friendly infrastructure but it’s not really helping the population decline.

      Language protection is important but the big problems are elsewhere, imo.

  • Kate 11:51 on 2021-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

    People working for the railways want to make sure we understand how trains are dangerous. The young man walking his dog who got killed this week seems to have thought he could quickly get across after the barrier came down, and he was wrong.

    The experts here emphasize that a train can’t stop like a regular motor vehicle. It takes time for a train’s brakes to work against its massive momentum.

    Also touched on here is that people may think trains are slow, an idea probably based on seeing freight trains lumbering through town. The death this week was caused by a lighter, faster commuter train, but even a freight train can pick up speed on some stretches, and no train is to be taken lightly.

  • Kate 10:34 on 2021-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

    We’re going to have a moderately chilly weekend followed by temperatures as high as 11° midweek next week.

  • Kate 10:28 on 2021-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

    More on how the British variant of the coronavirus will soon be dominant here. So if you find yourself drinking tea and watching “The Crown”, you’d better go get tested.

    We’ll be lucky if the Brazilian variant doesn’t get here, with their president all but cheering it on as that country faces a growing death toll. And you know what the side effects of that version are likely to be.

    • Nick 17:19 on 2021-03-05 Permalink

      Which variant of the China virus is worse? Uk Brazil or South Africa variant? Is it any different naming the variants after their country of origin than the novel virus itself?

    • Kate 10:59 on 2021-03-06 Permalink

      That’s a relevant question, but at this point it may help health authorities identify variants based on where a patient has been visiting. But I’m just guessing here. Maybe it’s easier to mention the place than an arbitrary block of letters and numbers.

    • GC 11:35 on 2021-03-06 Permalink

      One big difference is I don’t think people are generally blaming the British for the variant (though someone somewhere might be…), whereas calling it “China virus” and believing the Chinese created it in a lab taps into a very real pool of racism.

      But, yes, it might be good to find another shorthand for them. But what?

    • Chris 14:40 on 2021-03-06 Permalink

      Bit off-topic maybe, but why is “China virus” politically incorrect and “British/Brazilian/South African variant” ok? Is it just ‘because Trump’?

    • Kate 10:37 on 2021-03-07 Permalink

      According to the CDC, the UK variant is known as B.1.1.7, the South African as B.1.351, and the Brazilian as P.1.

      Chris, Trump is a big reason, because he clearly wanted to impute blame to China, even suggesting the virus had been engineered in a lab there. Whereas these variants have been traced by identifying travellers from specific locations. Also, it’s easier, as I said above, to give a name to the variant rather than talking about B.1.351 or whatever.

      As GC says, nobody is blaming the UK or Brazil for a viral mutation happening in their population.

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