Updates from December, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 09:37 on 2017-12-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada has a brief report and video about new high-tension electric lines being put in downtown. We’re hungry for megawatts, especially during cold snaps.

    • Ephraim 15:18 on 2017-12-29 Permalink

      It’s a real shocker… Hydro actually putting lines underground. Like they promised, 19 years ago during the ice storm.

    • Max 15:45 on 2017-12-29 Permalink

      Cool mobile workshop they’ve got.

  • Kate 08:15 on 2017-12-29 Permalink | Reply  

    On Sunday, New Year’s Eve, there will be festivities in Old Montreal to mark the end of the city’s 375th year. The expected high on Sunday is –20°C though.

  • Kate 08:09 on 2017-12-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Le Devoir tells how a community group in Point St Charles has acquired a disused industrial building to turn into a community centre after years of waiting.

  • Kate 08:06 on 2017-12-29 Permalink | Reply  

    The cold temperatures make things more difficult for emergency services. Some anecdotes and advice from La Presse.

  • Kate 07:45 on 2017-12-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Bringing forward this post on retrospectives for 2017.

    Eater has a piece gathering up the best food critic lists so I don’t have to, and Jack Todd writes about the lacklustre year experienced by our professional sports teams. I’ll add any more I find to this item.

    CBC Montreal offers its best photos of the year and Radio-Canada lists those who died in 2017, figures both local and international.

    The Journal has a quiz on who said what in 2017 and the CBC has one on what you know about Montreal.

    The Gazette looks back on the highs and lows of weather in 2017.

    Quebec political soundbites of the year. (Couillard really said “en tabarnouche”?)

    Radio-Canada lists 17 memorable incidents throughout the year.

  • Kate 21:50 on 2017-12-28 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gazette has some notes on the shopping bag ban coming in the new year.

  • Kate 21:40 on 2017-12-28 Permalink | Reply  

    There have been some power failures on the island, but sounds like nothing major so far. You might want to keep an eye on where your candles and matches are, all the same.

    An outage in Verdun was caused by a fire sparked when a man tried to thaw his frozen pipes with a blowtorch. The city has a page about stopping pipes from freezing.

    • J 22:20 on 2017-12-28 Permalink

      On my street in Cartierville, we unexpectedly lost power for about an hour last night, and this morning, received a call saying we’d lose it again from 10:30 to 11 pm…

  • Kate 21:33 on 2017-12-28 Permalink | Reply  

    I’m seeing numerous tributes to Abby Lippman, epidemiologist, emeritus professor at McGill and advocate for women’s health, who died on Tuesday.

    The Gazette has an item about Lippman Friday.

    My condolences to regular blog commenter Zeke: Ms Lippman was his mother.

    • Zeke 05:35 on 2018-01-01 Permalink


      Thanks, and if anybody here wants details on the celebration/memorial/party please feel free to email me.

  • Kate 08:00 on 2017-12-28 Permalink | Reply  

    The current Planetarium show is about the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe.

    • Kate 17:40 on 2018-10-21 Permalink

      This is for a test on commenting, please ignore.

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  • Kate 09:39 on 2017-12-27 Permalink | Reply  

    Wednesday is the coldest December 27 we’ve seen in 24 years as a polar vortex sweeps across the province.

    Thursday will be just as cold if not colder.

    Homeless shelters are preparing for the long cold snap that looks likely to carry us well into the new year. Thursday, La Presse looks at those who actively seek people still stubbornly trying to sleep outdoors to bring them inside; similarly in Le Devoir. Shelter operators are asking the public to take note of anyone seeming to be disoriented or in bad shape and call it in. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this kind of notice before.

    Radio and other media are also emphasizing that the temperature is making it difficult to start vehicles, so the CAA is staying busy.

    Also Thursday, CBC quotes an Environment Canada meteorologist saying Wednesday did not beat the 1993 record of –24°C.

    Also… this weekend is likely going to be even colder. CTV has brief notes on pets and the cold.

  • Kate 08:57 on 2017-12-27 Permalink | Reply  

    Philippe Schnobb, who’ll be staying on as head of the STM during Valérie Plante’s first term, talks to Le Devoir about improvements he’d like to make in services.

    I was never keen on Schnobb as a replacement for Michel Labrecque in that post. Schnobb got the job as a consolation prize for not winning a council seat in 2013 – mind you, Labrecque had got the job in 2009 after losing the mayoralty of the Plateau, so this kind of patronage appointment was nearly traditional – and on Schnobb’s watch the STM saw budget compressions that reduced services. Maybe he has a chance of doing better under a Projet administration. We’ll see.

    • Faiz Imam 22:12 on 2017-12-27 Permalink

      Can anyone explain the political factors involved here that would explain why he kept the job, or why others in this position got it/lost it?

      Given that we have a new administration with a majority, seems to me there is absolutely no political favoritism here.

      Can this be an extortion situation of some kind? not literally, but maybe he’s in the middle of some plans that the government thinks he needs to be kept in charge of?

      or is it possible PM thinks hes the best person for the job?

      None of those ideas makes complete sense. Very odd.

    • ant6n 03:47 on 2017-12-28 Permalink

      Maybe grooming Craig Sauve to be president next term? … or next year?

    • Kate 08:06 on 2017-12-28 Permalink

      I have no extra information, but my impression is that Projet might not want to be seen to emulate previous administrations in automatically sacking people like Schnobb – people in patronage positions – to supplant them with their own protégés.

    • CE 09:11 on 2017-12-28 Permalink

      Even if Schnobb was far from the best person for the job, he at least has four years of experience and can continue with what he has going while working with the people he’s built relationships with over the years. When you put a new person in, even if they are more qualified, they can’t hit the ground running. Everything has to be learnt all over again and new relationships have to be built (and there’s no guarantee that the new person is going to be any better at the job). I think it speaks well of the new administration that they’re not using it as a cynical patronage position to reward their buddies.

    • Ali Bear 09:13 on 2017-12-28 Permalink

      Maybe she’s waiting for a high-profile event to sack him in order to show leadership?

    • Kate 10:22 on 2017-12-28 Permalink

      Ali Bear: Plante doesn’t have to do things like that to show leadership.

      CE: good analysis.

    • CE 10:40 on 2017-12-28 Permalink

      Continuing on my previous post, I’ve seen what a bureaucracy based entirely on nepotism looks like having seen a municipal election take place in Bogotá, Colombia, where I currently live. When a new mayor is elected here (which happens every election cycle due to term limits), from what I’ve been told, almost the entire bureaucracy is sacked. Managers are replaced by friends, family, and donors of the mayor and councillors and those in lower ranks are replaced by the friends and family of the managers. These are rarely people hired because they’re qualified and even if they were, it still means that every department of the government has to be completely reorganised and everyone has to learn how to do a new job (while trying to purge any achievements made by the previous administration). For the first year, the whole thing is a mess and doesn’t get much better for the remaining years. I imagine that things are probably running pretty smoothly around the time that a new mayor is elected and the whole process starts over again. I was talking to someone here about this once and he couldn’t believe that, in Canada, we have professional bureaucracies that stay in place from election to election.

      Having seen this in action, I’m happy to see Schnobb keep his job, even if I never thought he was particularly good at it. I hope it sets an example for future administrations.

    • ant6n 12:19 on 2017-12-28 Permalink

      I’d prefer somebody running the STM who is good at their job.

      It’s not like the last four years the STM did super well…

    • Benoit 10:00 on 2017-12-29 Permalink

      My impression is that Schnobb was limited in what he could do by the Coderre administration, due to lack of funding. He seems to be very enthousiastic about service improvements, and in recent interviews he did say that the rate of service improvements would increase with the Plante administration. And contrarily to many of his predecessors and other members of the STM board, he does use transit in his daily life – I see him frequently in the metro. At least he has first-hand experience as a user, it doesn’t hurt when you’re president of a transit organisation.

      I think it’s a case of “laisser la chance au coureur”…

  • Kate 08:48 on 2017-12-27 Permalink | Reply  

    Police are looking for a man who apparently talks his way into older women’s homes and then gives them some kind of knockout drop before pillaging their belongings.

    Thursday evening, a little more detail from CTV and similar with video from TVA.

  • Kate 07:50 on 2017-12-27 Permalink | Reply  

    Daniel Renaud at La Presse breaks down the murders of the year. Renaud has 24 on his list, whereas the blog has seen 22 homicides as noted on Kevin’s map.

    And while 24 killings is not a lot in a city this size, Renaud says police have solved only 60% of them so far, and none of the six homicides he attributes to organized crime has yet been solved.

    La Presse also has a story about how New York authorities wouldn’t allow Montreal police to question a captive whom they suspect in a 2013 murder in Rivière-des-Prairies.

    • CE 08:47 on 2017-12-27 Permalink

      Philadelphia, the US city that is probably the most similar to Montreal (population, geographic size, density, age) is at 310 so we’re doing ok in comparison.

  • Kate 10:23 on 2017-12-26 Permalink | Reply  

    It was never a Montreal story, but the mass shooting at the Quebec City mosque last January shook the whole province. Now there’s a drive to collect funds to help Aymen Derbali, a member of the congregation paralyzed after being hit by several bullets in an attempt to stop the attack. The campaign has so far collected $147,000 toward the $400,000 goal with the intention to provide an accessible living space for the disabled man and his family. This is the campaign site.

  • Kate 08:35 on 2017-12-26 Permalink | Reply  

    TVA offers a quick interview with Valérie Plante.

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