Updates from March, 2018 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:19 on 2018-03-31 Permalink | Reply  

    A couple of other good transit pieces this weekend:

    François Cardinal on the troubling precedent created by the REM’s 99-year stranglehold on transit in the Montreal area.

    Richard Bergeron thinks the projected cost of the blue line is too high. The Leitão estimate for the five stations to Anjou is $3.9 billion. Bergeron compares this to the $809 million spent on the Laval extension which was completed in 2007 and asks why the cost has quadrupled in the meantime.

    • REMlover 05:03 on 2018-04-01 Permalink

      Alarmist headline, but Cardinal has enough integrity to demonstrate in the second section of his column that there is nothing exceptional about the exclusive arrangements being set up for the REM. It’s ultimately to avoid redundancies and it’s been done for all infrastructure in Québec. He basically doesn’t like that it’s in a contract for a duration of 99 years with an option to renew:

      C’est logique : on empêche la concurrence inutile entre deux modes de transport en forçant le rabattement vers le plus performant.

      Le problème avec l’entente qui lie la Caisse et l’ARTM, ce n’est donc pas la notion de rabattement en soi… mais plutôt le fait de la rendre obligatoire par contrat.

      Le problème, de la même manière, n’est pas qu’on ait l’intention de limiter la concurrence… mais bien qu’on l’interdise noir sur blanc, formellement, à tout jamais.

      On crée ainsi un dangereux précédent.

    • Kate 05:36 on 2018-04-01 Permalink

      Hey ant6n, you realize this REMlover person has been sent here to counter you, right? This is one of the places you’ve made your arguments.

    • Ginger Baker 09:44 on 2018-04-01 Permalink

      You can tell the REM was designed by people who don’t use public transit.

      There is neither competition nor redundancy in public transit. There’s also no single type of transit which can be universally applied.

      Public transit requires a combination of multiple modes operating on different schedules serving different populations.

      A transit user might need the Metro to complete one journey but prefer a bus to another. As to the bridge, it should be running buses and the REM, not one over the other.

      Cardinal’s argument is flawed 1960s thinking when urban theorists were convinced there was one magical system that would cover all bases. It’s entirely based in the top-down paternalist school of city design that aims to seek out ‘efficiencies’ by only considering the bird’s eye perspective.

      Neither Leitao nor Coiteux nor Sabia use public transit, and therein lies 100% of the problem with the REM.

    • Ephraim 12:04 on 2018-04-01 Permalink

      Just a simple thing to point out…. haven’t we learnt anything from Stationment Montreal and the selling of the parking meters at all? How about Bixi and bankruptcy? Tourisme Montreal, where the city doesn’t even control it’s own image and promotion.

      At the very least, this should be a Societe, a crown corporation.

    • Faiz Imam 12:40 on 2018-04-01 Permalink

      @Ginger: I think the exclusivity stuff is nonsense. If a transit solution is the most efficient, future planning will rationally use it the most. without needing any contracts explicitly making it do so.

      That’s why when the Longueuil metro was built, almost all buses stopped going over the Jacque-Cartier Bridge. There’s no reason to bother now that a more efficient solution exists, and those buses were better served elsewhere in the system.

      Which is why I have to push back on your “As to the bridge, it should be running buses and the REM, not one over the other.”

      No, buses are a horrifically bad solution to the problem of transporting people from many different lines along a single long route with no stops.

      There is not a single bus line that is better off going direct downtown, vs terminating at Panama or dix30.

      And it’s not even a REM thing, the RTL has been hoping to stop all buses going downtown for almost 20 years. they recognise its a waste of their resources.

    • Uatu 14:26 on 2018-04-01 Permalink

      I dunno, Faiz but I like the rush hour bus that stops in front of my house and can take me straight downtown and vice versa. I’d rather just get on one bus than hauling all my crap onto one bus for a short trip then do it again for a train. If I wanted that I’ll go to Longueuil. And I really like the lines that by pass the rush hour traffic shit show that surrounds the Panama bus station. When the monopoly is enforced they’d better improve the access and parking around there because the traffic is going to increase minimum 10 fold…

    • ant6n 15:16 on 2018-04-01 Permalink

      If the rem is supposedly so much better naturally, despite costing three times as much PER PASSENGER, or like 3-5 times as much in subsidies compared to buses, then it wouldn’t need a contract granting it a 100 year monopoly. See how your argument is upside down?

    • Uatu 15:16 on 2018-04-01 Permalink

      Oh I also like the option of using other bus lines during rush hour traffic snafus. The last time I think it was a snow storm and I liked that I wasn’t limited to one bus to get me home. I had 3 buses that could drop me off within walking distance to my house. Redundancy is good as the saying goes and when stuff breaks down it’s always good to have different options. The problem with the mega projects from hospitals to trains and bridges is that no one seems to remember that things don’t always work perfectly and that shit happens and góod planning and design always takes that into consideration.

    • Tim S. 10:11 on 2018-04-02 Permalink

      I’m with Uatu here. The direct buses to the downtown terminus are great. A single, longer trip gives you more time to settle into reading or getting some work done, and being able to take different routes depending on delays or overcrowding is quite handy. My family still fondly remembers when those buses ran all day, not just at rush hour.

    • Uatu 15:01 on 2018-04-02 Permalink

      I remember as well. Weekends and evenings were no problem and my parents were reassured that I had a safe way home after work or a pub night.
      Then and now these bus lines also encourage downtown shopping especially in the winter. It’s easier to pick up some stuff after work and bring it home if you just have to walk across the street after getting off the bus. Saves me time, gas and reduces pollution to boot!

    • Ian 16:30 on 2018-04-02 Permalink

      All this general hate against buses aside, a very good argument for them is that they cost the same throughout the entire island of Montreal as opposed to the obvious cash grab zone system all the trains use. When you factor in that the train service to, say, Ste-Anne is vastly inferior in terms of regular schedules to even the hour long buses from Lionel Groulx (half an hour to the Dorval Circle), I would be deeply upset if the bus system was seriously disrupted – which it looks like it will be, though details are unclear. I mean FFS the proposed new Ste Anne station is out by the Arboretum, almost an hour walk from where the town of Ste Anne actually is. What a joke. Seriously, why would any commuter be happy to pay more to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere for substantially more cost than a regular STM pass?

      Like I keep saying, until the city can figure out how to provide fast, regular, reliable transportation to the West Island they aren’t going to convince anyone to give up their cars. For a line that ostensibly exists to provide commuter service, this is one more of a series of offensive jokes, and at least in the case of West Island service, a total waste of public money clearly serving nothing more than to line somebody important’s pockets, pad out their career resumé, or both. I wonder which mafia-linked contractor(s) will get their RFPs approved, or if there even were RFPs.

    • Ian 16:32 on 2018-04-02 Permalink


      ant6n 16:16 on 2018-04-01 Permalink
      If the rem is supposedly so much better naturally, despite costing three times as much PER PASSENGER, or like 3-5 times as much in subsidies compared to buses, then it wouldn’t need a contract granting it a 100 year monopoly. See how your argument is upside down?

      <3 <3 <3

      Cui bono?

    • Faiz Imam 19:02 on 2018-04-02 Permalink

      I mean, I don’t know why you think you gotcha’ed me anton, I totally agree with you, as I said: “I think the exclusivity stuff is nonsense. If a transit solution is the most efficient, future planning will rationally use it the most. without needing any contracts explicitly making it do so.”

      On the subject of buses.Think beyond Panama to Bonaventure, where are you ultimately going?

      In my case I walk 15-20 mins from Bona to concordia, whereas the REM would drop me off at mcgill and lead to a shorter trip. Ditto for people connecting to destinations all over the island. The current system is really only better for people who are walking distance from the Nazareth bus stop or right next to 1000 la gauchetiere. The rest are transferring to get elsewhere regardless.

      On the south shore: Yes, they will build a brand new terminal from scratch, as well as redesign the entire Taschereau road and intersections, all with transit being prioritized.The AMT and the RTL have been working on the plan for literally a decade, getting and out should be much easier.

      Also, they have stated that the huge amount of bus hours saved from not going all the way downtown can instead be used to have more frequent headway in the rest of the system, as well as add new lines, all of which benefits users much more than the current system. granted, it remains to be seen how REM costs will impact operational funding. the ARTM fare plan this summer will be vital.

      I mean, the big frustration for me is getting from the shore to the intersection of University and St-antoine is 15 mins flat, then waiting *another* 15 mins to drive the last 500m to the terminal.

      Also, as a south shore resident, getting a job on the far side of the island was a huge obstacle, There’s basically know way i’d consider employment in the major nodes in the west island, or to the north. Now I am exchanging a longer walk from home for much better access to almost all the the montreal region without needing a car.

      So uatu and tim, I’m saying that in my analysis, years from now you’ll have substantially better transit access to your homes than you do now.

    • ant6n 19:54 on 2018-04-02 Permalink

      Well, at least you’re finally admitting your personal stake in the project. Previously you’ve been pretending your personal situation would be made worse.

    • Faiz Imam 20:39 on 2018-04-02 Permalink

      I simplified my situation for the sake of brevity, in reality my current commute would end up even/slight loss. Instead of a 10mins walk, I have a 30 mins walk, which will likely be a new bus connection whose timing I’m speculating on. I’ll probably bike it to dix30 I imagine.

      In exchange i’m saving maybe 5 mins walk downtown.

      But that’s not the point, the point is that any future mobility needs I may have will be greatly expanded, especially as employment patterns shift away from the inner core to a wider ring of opportunity throughout the region. Not having all your lines terminate in one location in the CBD is a much bigger deal than you think it is.

    • ant6n 20:52 on 2018-04-02 Permalink

      Nobody cares how this financing project that’s bad for the region will benefit you personally.

      And there you did the deliberate, lying strawman, yet again — pretending I’ve ever argued against through-routing. You are a true shill with no integrity.

    • Ali Bear 08:26 on 2018-04-03 Permalink

      “as employment patterns shift away from the inner core to a wider ring of opportunity throughout the region”

      Sounds like you’re pretty excited about more sprawl.

    • Faiz Imam 08:45 on 2018-04-03 Permalink

      Maybe. Or maybe I understand urban growth projections and dynamics, and am in favour of strict greenbelts and growth boundaries, and want to focus on intense densification of historic low density to be able to absorb future decades of growth in a single dense block.

      Recall, government projections anticipate mtl’s population will double in the next ~50-80 years. You have never articulated a way to manage that level of development, which overlaps but is distinct from changing mode share for current users.

    • Blork 12:29 on 2018-04-03 Permalink

      Sounds like you don’t have much understanding of “sprawl” or urban development.

      “Sprawl” refers to the spread of low-density, single-purpose development that exists primarily to serve as the bedrooms of the city center (i.e., “sprawl” people commute into the city every day for work). But much of the development happening in the periphery of Montreal is non single-purpose, nor is it low-density.

      Many of the communities outside of the city center exist as communities in their own right. People live AND work in those communities. (Not *all* people, which is why we will always need good mass transit commuting corridors.) And much of the residential development I see on the south shore are somewhat dense multi-level, multi-family units combined with retail, social, and work spaces. (It depends on the area; Brossard still seems pretty big on the single-family unit farms, but Longueuil, St-Lambert, Boucherville, etc., have largely turned towards multi-family condo units.)

      So yeah, yelling “sprawl!” every time somebody pounds a nail into a 2×4 off the island is juvenile and uninformed.

    • ant6n 13:45 on 2018-04-03 Permalink

      So far the theory. You vaguely construct the idea of a polycentric city. But the problem is that the rem isn’t that. To make a polycentric city, you need the rapid transit corridors to connect to the centers of the suburban pockets of densities that you hope exist. But the rem has all new suburban stations along highways. So creating towns around these areas is basically impossible. But also, the line goes way too far away, terminating after the 30, I,e, into that supposedly protected green belt. And then therss lots of parking encouraging the previously mentioned sprawl.

    • Blork 14:07 on 2018-04-03 Permalink

      @ant6n, sure, that seems reasonable. But I wasn’t even talking about the REM in my comment above; that was entirely a response to Ali Bear’s poor rhetorical choice in his comment. (I’m on the fence with REM, leaning more and more against it as the various implications become clearer.)

    • Faiz Imam 13:11 on 2018-04-04 Permalink

      ” So creating towns around these areas is basically impossible. ”

      Well that’s technically not true, as many suburbs have published extensive master plans doing exactly that, and at densities and designs unprecedented in suburbs before.

      Just because they don’t live up to your standards doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

  • Kate 15:57 on 2018-03-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Besides the return of the ringed gulls, in the Plateau this afternoon I saw other signs of spring: Bixi stations appearing, people having coffee on terrasses or walking freakishly tiny dogs, and skateboarders hurling themselves off curbs.

    I also put out some laundry on the line for the first time this year. Yay!

    Also, the U.S. warship stuck in the ice in Montreal harbour has finally been able to set sail for home.

    • Emily Gray 16:04 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      I saw my first motorcycle of the year today.

    • Kate 16:21 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      Yes! Motorbikes too, I saw two guys on those.

    • carswell 17:06 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      Heard at least a couple of flocks of geese honking overhead this morning after being awoken by a very vocal male cardinal.

    • Su 10:28 on 2018-04-01 Permalink

      I stepped in melting dog poo!!

  • Kate 09:46 on 2018-03-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Boats are out on the still-icy Back River Saturday morning trying to find the body of Ariel Kouakou after a fruitless search Friday with a specially trained water search dog from the Nova Scotia RCMP.

    CTV mentions something that’s come up before: his family are still convinced Ariel was kidnapped, which makes me wonder why they think so. TVA also covers this angle. Does the family have enemies or an embittered relative or some other complication that might lie behind this suspicion? Police still think Ariel’s disappearance is due to misadventure in the river and are clearly pretty sure they will find him eventually, maybe after the river thaws a little more.

    • Dhomas 19:26 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      They likely think it’s a kidnapping because this option provides more hope that he’s still alive. The other option is much bleaker for the family.

    • Kate 19:30 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      To be grim, after a point I think I’d rather the kid is dead than in the hands of the kind of person who would have a motive to abduct a ten-year-old.

    • Dhomas 19:39 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      I agree with you, Kate, that the kidnapping scenario would be terrible. But parents will always hope for the best, I suppose, and wish for a miracle.

  • Kate 09:32 on 2018-03-31 Permalink | Reply  

    In comments below, we found out that the construction of the REM would obliterate all or parts of nature reserves near the airport and near DIX30. Now there’s news that a plan to reopen the old Wellington railway tower as a cultural incubator project will also be spiked because of REM construction.

    • denpanosekai 11:03 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      Response from the group who runs the community project (spoilers: they had no idea!)


    • REMlover 13:23 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      The wetlands around the airport issue was addressed 2 years ago. People raised the alarm and cpdq infra modified the approach to the airport so as to borough through the bedrock before reaching the wetlands.


    • ant6n 13:31 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      The REM wants to put a metro station inside a suburban office park that’s rushing to expand into wetlands. Acting like the REM is completely independent from the development pressure it causes is silly.

    • Ginger Baker 14:23 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      I’m sure I am not alone in noticing this… Montreal seems to have an awful lot of REM proponents who have an awful lot of time on their hands commenting on anything REM related on social media.

      It’s almost as if the communications dept. of CDPQ Infra spends most of their time creating social media profiles, which are in turn used to retort criticism of the project.

      Otherwise, are we to believe that the REM has inspired legions of supporters who keep the CDPQ Infra REM fact sheet open on their browsers at all times, all passionate defenders of a light-rail project, who will sweep in to ‘correct’ what they consider to be erroneous statements concerning the REM?

      Instead of addressing the valid questions of journalists (which in turn validates the work of the journalists), the ‘conversation’ is restricted to social media posts wherein all criticism can be labelled ‘fake news’ and ignored.

      We’re not having a conversation about whether this is really a good idea for Montreal, and it’s very suspicious that both the Quebec govt and the CDPQ seem to be doing everything in their power to keep it that way.

      If the REM is as good a project as they say it is, why do they seem so insecure?

      If they were confident, they’d take the criticism more seriously and would be able to answer legitimate questions.

    • REMlover 15:02 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      Ginger, you’ve figured it out: it’s a big conspiracy. But really, the fact sheets are easily accessible on the web. You don’t even need to scrape the CDPQ Infra page too deep or hard. Just requires a bit of extra effort. But why get your info from the horse’s mouth when you can get ready-made “news” from muckraking, controversy-mongering journos?

      ant6n, you’re conflating issues: construction of the REM and expansion of the technoparc. The construction of the REM itself won’t obliterate the wetlands. And if there was enough of an outcry to cause CDPQ Infra to modify its plans and avoid disrupting the wildlife habitat, why wouldn’t there be enough to protect them from the encroaching development, if and when it happens?

    • Kate 16:01 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      Curious that REMlover gives Carlos Leitão’s email address in the comment field for this. Not sure what that misdirection is meant to imply.

      Ginger Baker, I think you are right, and that CDPQ Infra has social media sharks with script alerting them to mentions on Facebook and Twitter (this blog is syndicated onto Twitter via ifttt).

    • ant6n 18:18 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      There’s also been a lot of linking to the CDPQInfra website, as if that’s some sort of gospel, like as if the company that’s promoting and benefitting from the project it’s also the best independent source on said project…

    • Ali Bear 18:52 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      I’m with Ginger Baker. On the Mtl Urb page, for example (https://mtlurb.com/), there are about a dozen “posters” who just post positive “get er done!” comments on the REM thread.

      This shows how money can ruin public discussion. By flooding “open” discussions with fake opinions that have been bought.

    • Ginger Baker 09:36 on 2018-04-01 Permalink


      Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying: the CDPQ has conspired with the Quebec gov’t to privatise Montreal’s public transit system, and instead of addressing any of the legitimate questions posed by a vast multitude of journalists – all of whom are concerned about private, for-profit interest screwing with transit development – the gov’t has decided any and all criticism is ‘fake news’.

      If either the gov’t or the CDPQ are truly confident about this project, why are they so consistently demonstrate their insecurity?

      Why can’t they provide satisfying answers to simple questions?

      If the REM’s guaranteed to succeed, why are taxpayers footing half the bill? If the project has no risk, why does the CDPQ get to have a monopoly on transit development?

      If the free market is supposed to make transit better in Montreal, why is the CDPQ outlawing any and all competition to its system, and monopolizing federal infrastructure to do it?

      Why wasn’t the STM involved in planning the project?

      What experience in transit planning do actuaries have?

      Why was the REM chosen as the only possible soution to Montreal’s transit issues? Why was there no competition? Why did the Quebec govt ask the CDPQ to come up with a solution – and no one else?

      When did Montreal ask for the REM?

      Why does the province and Fed have to contribute $3 Billion to the REM, and not the same amount to buy buses, or extend the Metro?

      Why are we replacing high-capacity trains on a dedicated, already electrified rail line with lower capacity trains that require a complete rebuilding of the line (as well as its electrification)? When the project was announced, CDPQ Infra said the REM made such infrastructure work unnecessary. Nothing’s been done, the cost has risen by $800 Million and the CDPQ can’t explain how the seamless integration of the REM now requires the complete rebuilding of the city’s most used commuter rail line.

      Why even bother putting the REM on the Deux Montagnes Line in the first place?

      Is it wise to build an airport shuttle that’ll benefit, at best, a few thousand people each day?

      Where’s the wisdom in spending $6.3 Billion to encourage fewer than 9,000 new users per day?

      What makes these questions fake news?

    • Su 10:42 on 2018-04-01 Permalink

      Are our QPP payments subsidising REMlover’s salary ?!!

    • Faiz Imam 12:49 on 2018-04-01 Permalink

      @Ali, I’ve been visiting mtlurb.com on and off for almost 10 years now, and I followed the REM thread literally since before the line was even announced. The regulars in that thread are all legitimate citizens who are largely very pro development. they all post very actively on dozens of other threads as well as have extensive histories. So the possibility that they are shills or plants is quite low.

      I don’t know about this REM lover, but the name is obviously trolling and absolutely not helpful in having a productive conversation.

      I’ve always tried to acknowledge the issues with the project, while at the same time advocate for what good can come of it.

      in contrast copy pasting some CDPQ PR points is not at all helpful.

    • ant6n 15:23 on 2018-04-01 Permalink

      You’re a shill who wants an expensive metro line in your backyard and have no problem bending the truth to manipulate the masses. That youre probably not getting paid is your problem.

    • Faiz Imam 19:05 on 2018-04-02 Permalink

      What I have is a vision of the city beyond the short term, towards a future that looks quite a bit different from what we have now and for which the REM, while not optimal, is decently well suited.

    • ant6n 19:46 on 2018-04-02 Permalink

      Yup, exclusive monopoly sprawl-train for the rich areas, buses for the poor areas; transit money funneled towards semi-private pension funds; a plan that has some improvement for the correct voting areas in 5-10 years; then 100 years of blocking further extensions, low capacity, and the wrong voters just generally cut off. Real vision you got there, real long term.

      What makes you a shill is not having a “different opinion” (maybe the ‘v’ word is a bit out of your league, don’t you think). It’s repeating over and over the same falsehoods that are being refuted over and over. Knowingly. All the while adopting the silly PR speak of our corporate overlords.

  • Kate 08:59 on 2018-03-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Spring must be coming, as the Journal posts more pieces on the upsides of various parts of Montreal. Today, 11 reasons to love Old Montreal.

    (Yes, I know this is just QMI leveraging Instagram for content, but it’s still content.)

  • Kate 08:54 on 2018-03-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Had a brief debate with coworkers this week. One maintained that “a lot of people died” during the initial construction of the Montreal metro. I recall reading that there were a couple of accidental deaths, but nothing too surprising given the size of the project and the safety regulations of the day. Where would I look this up, or does anyone know?

    • REMlover 13:29 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      I remember going through old news articles on microfilm in the archives section of city hall many years ago to read about the initial construction of the Montreal metro. If memory serves, there were about a dozen fatalities among workers.

  • Kate 08:06 on 2018-03-31 Permalink | Reply  

    The Plante administration says it wants to simplify city parking signs, but aren’t the complicated, conditional signs part of our local culture?

    • Ephraim 08:32 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      April 2016 was the last set of promises by Codere. Everyone promises simplification. No one actually does anything about it, nor a budget for the cost of changing all the signs. Here is an article with a sample… https://globalnews.ca/news/529152/officials-look-for-feedback-on-sample-simplified-parking-sign/ from Calgary

    • Daniel 09:01 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      What is so complicated about the signs? I’ll never understand this issue.

    • Kate 09:14 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      In 2004, Maciej Ceglowski, who had spent some time here, wrote a piece called The Few Things I Won’t Miss About Montreal. The section on parking explains it as well as anything I’ve read.

    • JaneyB 09:53 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      @Daniel. The arrows. It’s hard to know if they mark the ‘beginning’ or the ‘end’ of the parkable space. Some blocks have only parts available for parking…but which part?

    • Daniel 11:20 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      Fair enough. I assumed it was obvious the arrows would mark the beginning. However, looking at Calgary’s “simplified” signage I cannot see how that would create less confusion.

  • Kate 14:34 on 2018-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

    A lot on Mont-Royal that used to be a gas station will become a park this summer. The borough’s going to solicit public response to three possible layouts before work begins.

  • Kate 10:12 on 2018-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal offers 17 reasons why Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie is the best part of town and 31 photos of the city from March.

    • Steve Q 11:23 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

      I agree that Rosemont-Petite-Patrie deserves more attention for being a nice area with a good quality of life. But it’s not a neighborhood….it’s much bigger than that. It actually encompasses many neighborhoods from Little Italy to Angus to Nouveau Rosemont and many more.

    • Emily Gray 13:13 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

      I like Rosemont-Petite-Patrie a lot, but I think I prefer Villeray.
      Though admittedly, one of the things I like most about my part of Villeray is that it’s near a lot of Petite-Patrie attractions. The best of both worlds, perhaps.

    • Patrick 13:55 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

      I always enjoy the vibe on rue Masson, the Librairie du Vieux-Bouc as well as the Librairie Paulines, but what with the OLF say about le “street art”?

    • Kate 08:13 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      Patrick, there’s also the Puits du livre on Masson. But isn’t the Librairie Paulines a religious bookshop? Maybe I misunderstood.

    • Patrick 16:35 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      @Kate, Yes, Paulines carries a lot of religious books, but also a lot of mainstream fiction, current affairs, etc. Plus they have regular authors readings and discussions. For example, on April 5, Osire Glacier from Bishop’s U. will talk about her book on women and Islam:
      The Puits du livre is run by good-hearted volunteers and has a lot of stuff for low prices, but the stock is a mixed bag.

  • Kate 09:39 on 2018-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s not happy with the organization running the St-Laurent Technoparc, so it’s taking over direct management.

    It’s not mentioned in the articles, but notice the woods remaining around the Technoparc on Radio-Canada’s aerial shot. These woods, tucked right up against the airport’s runways, are a wildlife sanctuary. Photographers have been documenting the many species found there.

    • DavidH 10:32 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

      Lots of great pics in there!

    • ant6n 10:38 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

      The wildlife sanctuary being threatened by the ‘eco campus Hubert Reeves’ (and also the REM line & station they want to build in the area).

    • Su 11:09 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

      At last action is being taken. I recall questions being raised years ago.https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.3115477#ampshare=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/technoparc-ceo-board-slammed-by-montreal-auditor-general-1.3115477
      I read yesterday that plots of that municipal land have been sold at 1995 valuations, and have been sitting idle for some reason

    • Emily Gray 13:22 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

      I hope that the natural areas can be protected. I haven’t actually been exploring them, though I’d like to someday. I’ve sometimes been on the 72 bus that goes through that area, just to see the nice green space.

    • Faiz Imam 17:09 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

      Excellent. I didn’t know the city still had some control in this way.

      The technopark was a reasonable idea in principle, but the end result is a totally generic suburban office park that uses environmentalism to get tax breaks and reduced oversight.

      Some of the businesses there are probably doing great work, but they are not showing it in day to day practice. There might have been an idea for a high quality sustainable economic node, but the final result is generic. The proposed expansion plans don’t change any of that.

      The worst part is that there’s a still quite a bit of open cleared brush land available, not to mention all the parking. There’s no immediate reason to convert the most sensitive wetland anytime soon, if ever.

      Going back to my usual optimistic pro-development shtick again, my hope is that the REM, plus the new management, means a refocusing towards developing the huge parking lots and already cleared brushlands into much larger office towers and commercial space to allow the area to attract more occupants without impacting the wetlands. Now that the area is accessible without a car in a more attractive and high performance way than the previous bus routes, I hope the city develops a new master plan that has some real vision of urbanism.

    • Faiz Imam 17:27 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

      Jeez. I took 10 mins to survey the area and do a quick and dirty land inventory.

      In orange is the open land that has already been drained and cleared or trees and that can be built on without issue. And purple is all the significant parking lots, of which considerably less will be needed with an rapid transit station inbound.


      Clearing any more sensitive wetlands makes absolutely no sense in the context of the available lands.

  • Kate 09:30 on 2018-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Carlos Leitão is calling criticism of the REM fake news. “Le ministre a toutefois été incapable de préciser ce qui était inexact dans les nombreux articles sur le sujet qui ont été publiés depuis la semaine dernière. «Ce n’est pas l’information qui m’irrite, ce sont les commentaires (comme) «l’épouvantable projet du REM’, c’est ça qui m’irrite», a-t-il précisé.”

    Quoting Taylor C. Noakes on Facebook: “Nothing fills me with confidence about a multi-billion dollar publicly-funded megaproject like a finance minister who labels valid criticism by journalists ‘fake news’ and who is completely incapable of answering basic questions.”

    • ant6n 10:31 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

      Leitao: “Je demande seulement a tout le monde.. Arretez un peu, la. Prenez un tasse de cafe. Relaxer un peu. Et vous aller avoir la information necessaire et utile en temps utile.”

      The arrogance of this guy is palpable. He’s like saying there’s no discussion, and we’ll know what the government agreed to once things are signed and set in stone. He seems he’s quite irritated because during the last 2 years or so, the big journalists haven’t been really doing job enough and not pushing on this, and the government thought they had gotten away with the scheme.

    • ant6n 10:31 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

    • Su 11:16 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

      Interesting connection with the previous story https://renx.ca/leasing-boost-montreal-lrt-technoparc-saint-laurent/
      REM to benefit TechnoParc land leasing

    • Raymond Lutz 11:43 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

      Attendez que le Canada et/ou le Québec passe une loi contre les Fake News tel que le projette Macron en France… Vous trouvez Leitao arrogant? 😎 Savourez les vers de la Parisienne Libérée en souffrant d’entendre le fiel de Macron Premier

    • ant6n 01:41 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      Your article is interesting. This bit:
      “Launched 30 years ago, Technoparc is home to 100 companies and about 7,000 employees and forecasts it will have 10,000 employees by 2021. In a report to Quebec’s public hearings office on the environment on the impact of the REM, Technoparc estimated the arrival of rail transit would increase public transit users to the site from 6.8 to 15 per cent.”

      8% more transit share for a suburban office park. At 10k workers, that’s like one or two thousand trips n the REM. I guess the estimate of 4000 trips on the airport branch of the REM (which includes the Technopark station) makes sense; and it really tells us that this station is pretty useless, likely to be the least used metro station on the island.

    • Uatu 08:37 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      This is the perfect opportunity for the Gazette to increase readers by having critical coverage of the REM. Leitaos’ obvious irritation is a clear call that more transparency is needed. We don’t need the blind boosterism like there was with the muhc. And I hope people will see through it when the REM comes out with some pr campaign to try to buy compliance from the public. The MUHC did this by hiring mitsumi Takahashi and Jean Béliveau as the spokespeople and running fluff stories on the 6 o’clock news. If there’s a critical eye on the REM then maybe mistakes can be avoided and we won’t have a situation like with the connection between the hospital and Vendome metro- something being addressed 3yrs. after the fact. Imho the bigger the project = more press coverage. We’ve been collectively screwed over too many times.

    • Faiz Imam 12:19 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      @anton: alternative take: the managers behind the techno park, which mayor plante just fired, are visionless elitists who can’t see beyond their steering wheel and can’t imagine a serious transit oriented focus for the area.

      If you look beyond the texhnopark, there’s a huge additional swath of industry to the west. The STM expect to reorient all bus lines heading to that entire Area to terminate at either the techno park or des source stations.

      Assuming a decently high performance bus line on Banting boulevard, not to mention hymus boul, it could shift a ton of mode share away from cars in an area with serious congestion problems at the moment.

  • Kate 09:25 on 2018-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gazette got its paws on some newly released UPAC search warrants, so Linda Gyulai has a story about police wiretapping Gérald Tremblay in 2015, crying on the phone with his onetime assistant and asking her to hang onto a document for him. But the entire story spreads out into the epic of UPAC trying to untangle the funding of the 2005 FINA Aquatics Championship from other shady doings around Tremblay’s city hall, so there’s no clear dénouement.

    Update: In response to this story, Tremblay has sent a copy of a document to the media which he claims is the one under discussion in the phone conversation. It’s clear from the tone of the Le Devoir writer that there’s some skepticism that this is true.

  • Kate 09:06 on 2018-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The DGEQ has opened an investigation into Russell Copeman, mayor of CDN-NDG till the last election. Marvin Rotrand alleges Copeman offered him the job of city ombudsman if he would agree not to run in the 2017 election. (Rotrand says he turned him down; he ran and returned to a seat he’s had for decades.)

    Copeman denies the charge, but I’m wondering what the actual ombudsman thinks of Copeman possibly trying to shop her job around like this.

  • Kate 08:24 on 2018-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Le Devoir says both the city and Vélo Québec are angry about changes in provicial law meaning much heavier fines for cycling infractions.

    • Ephraim 08:35 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

      It’s not the fines, it’s the enforcement. That being said… the cost of collection and ticketing for cyclists is much higher than for drivers, where photo ID is always present. And of course, it doesn’t matter what the fine is… if you are following the law, of course.

    • Ali Bear 08:47 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

      It’s pretty obvious that both our provincial liberal government and the federat liberal government really don’t care about the environment. They do whatever their corporate sponsors tell them to do.

    • Kate 09:02 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

      Ephraim, the article very clearly says it’s the hikes in fines that are an issue right now. Nothing to do with enforcement.

      Ali Bear – or should I call you qatzelok? – this is nothing to do with corporate sponsors, but of a calculation that motorists vote, and enough motorists hate cyclists that it’s wise to be seen cracking down on cyclists in an election year.

    • Chris 09:15 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

      Ephraim, do you have a source for the claim that “the cost of collection and ticketing for cyclists is much higher”, or is it supposition? I’d be genuinely interested in reading up on any actual data you can cite.

      I think Kate is right: cyclist-envy and cyclist bashing is genuinely popular.

    • Ephraim 15:03 on 2018-03-30 Permalink

      Kate – Yes, but we all know that the fine isn’t the deterrent, so changing the fine doesn’t actually do anything. Remember. the fines are also not fair, they “tax” the poor more than they tax the rich. The less you earn the more they cost.

      Chris – No, it’s what they police themselves have said and complained about. When they stop someone with a bicycle they have to get ID and check it. There is a certain percentage that refuse to ID themselves and have to be taken to the police station, causing more work and time lost. And there are those who give fake ID. It takes longer to issue a ticket to a cyclist. A driver’s licence and registration are standard, they can be verified in seconds. There was an article a few years ago about a cyclist who ended up with over $400 in fines because he decided to give a fake name when stopped. The police had to take him to the station and he ended up with fines for falsely identifying himself, etc.

    • Ali Bear 08:32 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      “this is nothing to do with corporate sponsors, but of a calculation that motorists vote, and enough motorists hate cyclists…”
      That “hate” comes from commercial media, which is also sponsored by corporations. Our unwillingness, as a society, to confront the brainwashing (and political corruption) we are exposed to by commercial media (and commercial lobbying) will finish us off. We already owe banks four years salary… at birth.

    • Ephraim 16:06 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      Easiest way to cheat government out of revenue… don’t violate the law, so you can’t get fined.

    • Ali Bear 18:55 on 2018-03-31 Permalink

      When the government starts making healthy behavior illegal, it’s time to stop obeying and start changing the way we’re governed. What a reactionary way of looking at corporate tyranny. “Just obey.”

    • Ephraim 08:08 on 2018-04-01 Permalink

      They aren’t making cycling illegal…. in any way. Going through a red light, riding opposite traffic, riding on a sidewalk/pedestrian zone or pedestrian crosswalk or not having the reflectors on your bicycle do not curtail you from cycling.

    • Clément 11:04 on 2018-04-01 Permalink

      I wish we had statistics about the number of drivers of cars and SUV’s killed each year by cyclists without reflectors on their pedals. Truly this government is tackling the real important issues.

    • Ephraim 12:11 on 2018-04-01 Permalink

      Clement…. priorities? We still have the banns, from 1670s… even the Catholic church gave up on them in 1983… The reality is that it’s a minor thing. The bigger question, as I point out is… how often do the police enforce it. If anything, increasing the fines is simply a way to get police to even bother pulling out their ticket booklets. But the reality is, this is a place we need better automation… if a policeman can scan a licence, scan a VIN/Plate, etc and have a ticket print up, ready to be electronically signed, they might enforce laws and make the city safer for all. At the moment, enforcement is so lax that it’s all just random tax and has no effect on people’s thought.

      Wait until the new school bus cameras start to work. Enforcement is over 90% with those cameras. The company rolls through the footage, sends a policeman the video proof and a ticket is issued. And soon no one wants to drive a school bus with flashing lights (instead of me being the only idiot stopped.)

  • Kate 07:56 on 2018-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Here are your notes on traffic issues for the long Easter-Passover weekend, and possibly useful Easter weekend open-and-closed items.

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