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  • Kate 15:20 on 2021-04-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Glen Le Mesurier, known for his unofficial sculpture park on Van Horne, has been installing new pieces in Mile End. The article’s a little vague about the location of the site it mentions.

    • Alex 16:31 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      They are above the underpass where Clarke intersects with the Railtrack

    • Kate 16:40 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      Thank you!

    • Alex 16:52 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      Thank you for all the hard work on this blog!

    • GC 17:54 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      Along the Réseau-Vert, then, Alex? I’ll have to check them out.

  • Kate 15:16 on 2021-04-19 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM is to investigate the actions of some of its security force on the weekend at Jean‑Talon metro. Almost goes without saying that the subject of the incident was Black; the video is disturbing, but the STM is already saying it doesn’t show the entirety of the incident.

    These are the guys who will become special constables soon?

  • Kate 11:24 on 2021-04-19 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal says the costs of building or enlarging three city libraries are rising very fast. The big glass enlargement to the classic Maisonneuve library (see sketch in article) is particularly expensive, but the budget includes upgrading the interior of the old building, which was neglected for decades. I went and had a look a couple of summers ago – it’s majestic on the outside, dark and cramped inside and all the walls and shelving are gamboge.

  • Kate 23:19 on 2021-04-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Protesters gathered at Jeanne-Mance park on Sunday evening, organizers saying that the curfew “has a disproportionate impact on marginalized communities.” But a study comparing Quebec’s current Covid status with the precarious conditions in Ontario suggests the Quebec curfew may be an important factor despite complaints.

    Update: Only one arrest at this protest.

    • Meezly 09:05 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      They do have a point. The QC govt is relying too much on the curfew, when it should really be an emergency measure. But it’s easier to enforce the curfew than to do the harder, proactive measures.

    • Kate 09:22 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      No government in Canada, whether Ontario or Quebec, wants to be the one to shut everything down that’s truly not essential including most businesses. They want their cake – people working and generating profits and taxes – and eat it too – people staying home in the evening and not socializing. And with Canada being so sloppy about letting people into the country without quarantine, the inevitable has happened.

    • JohnS 10:51 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      Canada is not sloppy about letting people in without quarantine. The vast majority of those who cross cannot quarantine as they are doing essential work (eg truckers, HCW who cross for work – live in Windsor but work in Detroit). Those travelling for discretionary purposes (about 20-25% of those who enter) ate heavily tested. Compliance with quarantine measures was already over 90% before the hotel regime and added testing was put in place. Remember these are only potentially infected people – actual infected cases aren’t subjected to the same degree of scrutiny/quarantine supervision. Fussing over travellers is again part of the distraction governments have used to turn attention away from their failure to actually target workplaces, schools, and other congregate settings. As you point out that would be politically too costly to consider.

    • Kate 11:11 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      JohnS, it seems Australia and New Zealand have been doing well by being draconian about letting people in. Whereas we’ve seen variants blowing up, and it’s not just truck drivers. There have been stories about people refusing quarantine and just walking away or using loopholes to cross the border after long flights from abroad.

    • Kevin 11:15 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      The country has been sloppy about quarantining travellers. One of my neighbours has crossed the border multiple times in the past year. The only checkup is a phone call to a cell phone. One time she brought her dog specifically so she’d be allowed to walk around outside.

      Flights into Canada are worse. Click on the drop downs at this link and you’ll see that every single day there are multiple flights into Canada with infected people. Flights across the country are also rife with infected people.

      Yes, the workplace transmission is a horrendous problem, but the notion that our country is doing anything to limit travel-based spread is a joke.

    • Bill Binns 11:36 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      I spent something like 150 days in the US last year and flew in and out maybe 8 times. My company worked for months to get me “essential worker” documents from our clients. I never had to show that letter to a single person. It was 100% the “honor system”. Unless things have changed since December, you can sail right through immigration simply by saying you are an essential worker.

    • walkerp 12:37 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      @kevin that is a real eye-opener!
      But I have so many questions. How can there be all these cases on flights into Canada if you have to get a negative test before you can board the plane?
      How did they discover these cases in the first place?

    • YUL514 12:41 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      @walkerp I’d assume incubation period. They should have shut all international travel, big mistake.

    • Kevin 12:48 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      You need to test negative anywhere from 72 hours to 0 hours before flying into Canada.
      It can take up to 14 days from being exposed to being sick enough to test positive on a PCR test, with the median being 5-6 days.
      So it’s entirely possible to be exposed a week before your flight, to test negative a day or 3 before you board, and to be ragingly ill on the plane.

      There is no check on flights within Canada unless you’re showing obvious signs of being ill.

    • walkerp 12:55 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      Yes, I get that. Possibility I believe. It’s the rate that is shocking. 10 flights alone on April 14 with cases from outside the country?
      And then how do they know about the domestic flights? I guess these are all based on investigative post-facto contract tracing?

    • GC 12:58 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      Couldn’t you also, theoretically, get infected at the airport before boarding your flight? I’m guessing most airports still have common international areas where passengers are mingling, regardless of destination. But I haven’t been to one in over a year, so someone please correct me if that’s not true… Of course, such a thing would likely not be tracked at the link Kevin shared, as tracing it back to the airport could be complicated.

    • Tee Owe 14:35 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      GC – I read (can’t find the link, was in the Guardian, too long ago) that in New Zealand they genome sequence all of their very few virus-positive cases and they could identify that at least one in hotel quarantine had been infected while on the plane – so it’s not just airports. To track this requires resource and unpressured time, both of which NZ have.

    • GC 16:10 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      Of course, yes. Good point. Which is just another reason why the test-negative-before-entering solution is so full of holes. It’s far better to just limit the international travel as much as possible.

  • Kate 18:21 on 2021-04-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Ideas like giving non-citizens the right to vote in municipal elections, and doing something at the city level to control commercial rents, are being bandied about.

    So is the Parti Québécois ideal of denying English CEGEP to francophones and allophones – which 1. assumes the PQ will return to power and 2. assumes you can frame a law to control where people of adult age choose to get their education.

    • Ephraim 19:44 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      People going into CEGEP are adults…. not children. So, will this end with a lawsuit or with an exodus of people to other province preparatory programs?

      Can someone explain why condo/co-op strata vote by the square foot, yet municipal elections are by tenancy? And the more people in the house, the more influence on the vote, so the rich may actually have less of a vote even though they pay higher taxes and receive the same services? Do commercial property owners get to vote? Does everyone in the household vote? So how is there equity when commercial properties pay 5X the tax than residents do? And what does citizenship have anything to do with tenancy? We have consular offices in Montreal, do they not have a right when they certainly have tenancy.

    • Tim 21:11 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      @Ephraim: do you have direct knowledge of voting by square footage? Usually fees are paid this way, but I have never heard of that for voting. Counting votes would be very difficult with decimals…

    • Ephraim 21:24 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      @Tim – It may have changed, but at one time that was the rule and there was a BIG fight in a few of the condo buildings where the penthouse were enormous and there were a lot of smaller apartments on the lower floors and the cable packages, for example. You know, 4 apartments at the top having the same weight as 20 or more apartments at the bottom. It’s one reason why buildings with too much variety in the size of apartments are problematic. Co-property is definitely by percentage owned… someone owning 50.1% of the property can do what they want.

    • Spi 22:16 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      Some condo boards (potentially all?) require a double majority to enact certain changes to their bylaws or major decisions. A supermajority of tenants representing a supermajority of the square footage. In that situation, more affluent residents in larger units hold more importance in tipping the balance.

    • Joey 22:24 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      @Tim read your declaration of co-property. It should detail how many fractions each unit has and how that translates into votes. Quebec law stipulates supermajorities for certain decisions. Other decisions, such as budget/fee adoption, are the exclusive purview of the board, and cannot be decided by the assembly of co-owners.

    • vasi 00:11 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      I’m not in favour of the PQ’s idea, but surely it’s legal for the province to decide which CEGEPs to fund. I imagine that, just as with K12, allophones/francophones could still pay for private English CEGEP.

    • Myles 08:28 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      @Ephaim : They’re completely different things. A condo is a private property. Municipal elections are democratic elections of our governing officials. One person, one vote. To base the right to vote on property ownership would be sliding back into feudalism.

    • Tim 08:38 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      Good comments all. I was on the board for my building for a number of years. Most people have no idea how things really work. The votes to “approve” the budget and projects at the AGM each year were purely symbolic. At the end of the day, if you are unhappy with the board the best you can do is vote them out and then take on the responsibility yourself.

    • Kate 09:38 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      vasi, Quebec could have chosen decades ago to cut off all funding to English-language education. To be honest, I don’t know why they didn’t. But they’re not talking about cutting funding to the CEGEPs, merely barring many people from applying and attending.

    • Ephraim 09:41 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      @Myles – So is a business and a home, private property. Businesses don’t even get a vote and yet they are paying even more of the taxes. And then we need to go into the democracy model itself.

      @vasi – They absolutely can cut off money. The question is, do they have a right to tell adults what to do and where to study? And, law of unintended consequences, what will they do if you do. Will this leave to a flight of people to other provinces and therefore affect Quebec’s long term? Having people study elsewhere increases the chances that they will settle elsewhere, with their education and their tax-paying money.

    • Kate 11:12 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      Wait a sec, Ephraim. Business and property owners who don’t live in Montreal can certainly vote in municipal elections here. I’m busy and don’t have time to look up the laws, but I have worked in the elections and it was so.

    • Ephraim 12:26 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      @Kate – Can they? I haven’t seen documentation on WHO can vote.

      One interesting piece of data that I did see, which might help people better understand why even the Plateau isn’t unified is Transport… Mile End is 19.5% by foot, DeLormier is 15% by foot, but Jeanne Mance is 30.9% by foot. I’d love to see where the cyclists in JM are, because they aren’t in my part of JM. This area is really foot and public transit. Even cars are low.

    • Uatu 13:51 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      Re cegeps- they’re just creating a 2 tiered system. Those with money will just send the kids out of province or pay to get them into marianopolis while the rest are shit out of luck

    • dwgs 14:15 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      That 2 tiered system already exists, it begins in high school. If I had to do it all over again no way would I send my kids to public high schools.

  • Kate 09:57 on 2021-04-18 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC Montreal has moved into the new Radio-Canada building as the crown corporation vacates the building it has sold.

    I never worked for CBC, but I had a vague affection for the old creepy tower, although I can see the attractions of a new building with more light.

    • DeWolf 12:23 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      On a few occasions the hosts at Ici Musique have expressed their pleasure at broadcasting from studios with natural light and a view instead of being trapped into a windowless basement.

    • Kate 16:33 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      I can see that. The basement studios had an atmosphere of concentration, though. Windows mean distraction.

  • Kate 09:25 on 2021-04-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Projet is hoping to bring Will Prosper into the fold ​to run in Montreal North, but he hasn’t decided yet.

  • Kate 09:12 on 2021-04-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Denise Bombardier gets it up her nose about the city snubbing Camille Laurin by not naming a street after him.

    There’s a bust of Laurin right on Sherbrooke Street, in the pocket park at St‑Urbain, kitty corner to the SSJB, a corner passed daily by hundreds if not thousands of people, in non-pandemic times, including many McGill and UQÀM students. That’s about the opposite of a snub.

    And Bombardier cannot really be such a fool. She knows that Montreal city hall can’t be roped into divisive nationalist gestures, and naming a street for Laurin would fall into that category. However, it stirs the Quebecor pot.

    • dhomas 09:49 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      There’s a (very small) “rue Camille-Laurin” in RDP:
      There’s also a school named after him:
      He was born in Charlemagne, QC, and yet that city has not named any streets after him.

    • Kate 13:46 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      And yet, according to Google Maps, Charlemagne named Highway 344 “Boulevard Celine-Dion” where it goes through the town.

    • qatzelok 19:14 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      Boul. Céline Dion is a pizza place, a muffler joint, and clusters of generic bungalows. Camille Laurin was right to wait for a higher-quality urban street.

    • Kate 10:20 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      There’s no street with a French CEGEP and a jail, though.

    • SMD 11:06 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      Gouin Boulevard has both the Cégep Gérald-Godin and Bordeaux prison on it…

    • Kate 11:46 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      True! But would we want to cancel Lomer Gouin in favour of Camille Laurin?

    • qatzelok 12:44 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      On the upside, changing “Gouin” to “Godin” could be done with a black permanent marker and step ladder.

      So it has the potential of not going over budget.

  • Kate 08:55 on 2021-04-18 Permalink | Reply  

    The Mordecai Richler library is experimenting with offering a new service, that of a public writer, who will help people draft letters, CVs and the like.

    The item mentions the prevalence of the tradition in France. The Wall Street Journal had a piece ten years ago about it (the first 4 paragraphs are accessible). French Wikipedia has an entry as well as examples from literature and movies.

    • PatrickC 16:39 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      There have been three seasons of a Quebec TV series called L’écrivain public, featuring a character who does just those things.

    • Kate 19:11 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      Well there you go. I don’t watch TV, not just TV in French, TV at all. I don’t even know how you go about getting a TV and plugging it in, now.

      I sometimes think I owe the blog the effort to get a TV and watch it, but you know how it is – you get a TV, then you have to get a sofa (don’t have one of those either), then a coffee table, and the next thing you know, you’re living in Brossard…

    • steph 21:59 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      Good luck buying a house in Brossard in this market. Koodos on the ‘no tv life’.

    • ant6n 03:58 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      Wait, no sofa?

    • Kate 09:39 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      Why would I need a sofa if I don’t have a TV?

    • jeather 11:59 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      To nap on with the cat? I like having them when there was such a thing as “visitors”.

    • Kate 14:09 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      Several real reasons. I like my apartment, but it doesn’t have any space corresponding to a living room in the classic sense. In normal times, I socialize with friends elsewhere, meeting in a café or resto, going someplace together, or visiting them if it’s agreeable.

      Also, I’ve seen how people, especially women, especially as they get older, start living on their sofa. Watching TV, eating, sleeping on the sofa. It’s a passive form of life I don’t intend to adopt.

    • Tee Owe 14:46 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      Yeah right Kate, men never lie on sofas, not with their cats, not even while typing replies to Mtlcityweblog – I’m with Jeather on this one

    • jeather 15:24 on 2021-04-19 Permalink

      I’ve known a bunch of elderly women who have couches and none of them who were mobile ended up doing that (the ones who spent time on their couch didn’t do it until they lost mobility either). Not that I think you need to have a couch if you don’t want one.

  • Kate 08:47 on 2021-04-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Bixi hiked rates for its electric bikes this season, which is deterring many users.

    • j2 09:55 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      I had to use one to rush some comfort items to my partner at the hospital the other day to beat curfew and was happy for the convenience and the massive savings compared to a taxi. (I just realized I forgot my helmet, mandatory on the electric bikes)

      This reminds me of when car2go stopped rolling over to automatic 24 hours after 90 minutes. It was a hell of a feature but obviously cost them money.

      Ignoring joyriding, the people using the 45 minutes to commute would be paying +$400/year (assuming 200 working days, bidirectional use) on the old rate.

      This would be $1800/year with the new rate. But I’m trying to think of how far out you’d need to be to do 45 minutes on especially an electric bike. Capable of averaging say 30kph (assist kicks out there), but of course traffic. That’s quite the commute and also more likely to require withdrawal for charging (whether on the newer stands or by an employer).

      You _could_ switch to the non electric bike for part of the ride. It’s not impossible to find flat rides that long in Montreal but most likely there’s downhill in at least part of your ride in one direction. (The bike swapping delay probably applies when swapping between types, but shouldn’t)

    • j2 09:58 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      Oh and that BIXI ride saved me $15. I know because she ended up being freed and we took the taxi back. Downhill, alas, but there was no way I was putting her on a bike.

    • Joey 09:59 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      Pretty sure there aren’t even 200 working days in a Bixi season…

    • Meezly 10:16 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      Weren’t electric bixis a flat $1 extra on top of your regular membership? So they’ve changed how they charge to 10 cents/minute. So if you go over 10 minutes, then it starts getting more expensive.

      There are noticeably more electric bixis this year, so I guess this is a way to recuperate their investment. On weekday mornings, I’ve seen stands where it’s all electrics left and no regular bixis. So it does look like the new rates are deterring users.

      Also the more electrics out there, there fewer slots left for regular bixis. But it used to be a minor challenge to find an electric one, so I think it’s a fair trade-off.

  • Kate 21:40 on 2021-04-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Port workers carried out their intentions Saturday by refusing weekend shifts.

  • Kate 21:32 on 2021-04-17 Permalink | Reply  

    A man was stabbed in an altercation with two others Saturday in a grocery store near the Bell Centre. No arrests have been made.

    It was news to me that there’s a grocery store near the Bell Centre.

    • GC 22:51 on 2021-04-17 Permalink

      Isn’t that the one under the Canadiens condos?

    • DeWolf 01:08 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      There’s a big Provigo directly across the street from the Bell Centre. There’s also an Italian grocery store around the corner on Mountain.

    • Max 08:06 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      The Provigo on de la Gauch is actually on the small side. A limited selection of products and clumsy to access what with the escalators.

    • Kate 08:26 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      Obviously that part of town has changed and I haven’t kept up. I’d very little reason to be around there, even before the pandemic.

    • Bill Binns 09:51 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      It seems like if you get enough people living in a given area, the services find a way. Look at the near miraculous transformation of Griffintown for example.

    • dhomas 09:53 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      It’s been there for a number of years, even before the pandemic. Though I prefer the Adonis that is less than a 15 minute walk away.

  • Kate 13:31 on 2021-04-17 Permalink | Reply  

    The site Patrimoine Montréal – not a city site, but a project of Martin Bérubé from ProposMontréal – looks at plans for the Hélène-de-Champlain building that were included in this week’s detailed plan for Parc Jean-Drapeau. The same site teased out the plans for Place des Nations and the sole remaining remnant of the Expo-Express park transit system, a bridge between the islands, which will be revived to be used by cyclists and pedestrians.

    • ProposMontreal- Martin 09:27 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      Wow, thanks for sharing the new site Kate. Greatly appreciated.

    • Kate 09:38 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      It’s very promising, Martin. I’m keeping it on my list of sites to look at regularly.

    • Bill Binns 09:54 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      I made the mistake of reading that “Chicken War” article and now I must have a chicken sandwich from Serrano BBQ today.

    • ProposMontreal- Martin 12:07 on 2021-04-18 Permalink

      @Kate Thanks again.

  • Kate 10:08 on 2021-04-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Eater tells how some restaurants are taking advantage of public parks, renting out tables and preparing take-out picnics.

    The Gazette looks at the proliferation of chicken restaurants in the Mile End.

    • JaneyB 17:16 on 2021-04-17 Permalink

      Very enterprising. I’m now thinking those rental table/take-out picnics may actually be the truly Montreal version of the food truck. I like it.

  • Kate 09:57 on 2021-04-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Mayor Plante is concerned about the future of Fête nationale celebrations in Montreal as the decision is made to hold a single, televised show in Trois-Rivières. The Jean-Baptiste society feels the same way.

    The Gazette looks at the prospects for other festivals this summer. I’ve been checking out sites for my festivals list and am finding most are hedging, not stating specifically yet whether they’ll be able to go live, or will hold some kind of placeholder online, as many did last summer.

    The pandemic has brought about the definitive end for the old Montreal film festival, which had been sputtering to a close for more than a decade – deprived of funding and only hanging on because Serge Losique wouldn’t say uncle. The website is dead.

    • Max 15:28 on 2021-04-17 Permalink

      You should add the Folk Sur le Canal to your fest list. Last year’s edition was cancelled and no word yet about the 2021 edition (scheduled for June 18 to 20, it’s customarily on the Father’s Day weekend).

    • LJ 16:58 on 2021-04-17 Permalink

      You can also add the Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival. It is on for this year, mainly online but also some live events. This year’s lineup not yet announced, but will be soon-ish.

    • Kate 17:10 on 2021-04-17 Permalink

      Thanks! I know I’ve had them listed before, but you’d be surprised, even during non‑pandemic times, how tricky it can be to figure out whether a festival still exists, when it’s going to be, and – most annoyingly – whether a festival website that keeps going on about “this year” is talking about THIS year, or is actually not updated since LAST year and is still talking about past events.

      Festival people, put a year on the website for your annual events, please.

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