Updates from May, 2018 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:30 on 2018-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec plans to fund a thousand more places for grade school students in central Montreal – two new schools including the Académie Bourget on lower Mountain Street, which stopped being a school in 1970, and a new school on the Grey Nuns site. Global’s headline specifies they will be French schools.

    A new school will also rise on the ruins of the old near the shore of the Back River in Ahuntsic.

    • j2 00:27 on 2018-06-01 Permalink

      In NDG an (English school) card carrying grade 3 English student I know can’t get into a French school because they’re all full up.

      When his mother inquired about transitioning him to the French school board she was ignored.

      What’s going on?!

    • Kevin 08:56 on 2018-06-01 Permalink

      What exactly do you mean? The kid was turned away from an EMSB immersion school?

    • dwgs 09:07 on 2018-06-01 Permalink

      If they are trying to get into Ecole NDG it may well be that there is no room. You don’t get refused for being anglo, both of our kids went there from kindergarten on. The school is very much in demand, it’s full to capacity and in my opinion it’s grown too large. There are almost 1000 students there now. In an elementary school. It’s nuts. We moved our youngest to a newly built CSDM school with about 275 students, best decision ever.

  • Kate 21:27 on 2018-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Ex SPVM chief Philippe Pichet says he wants his old job back and may take the matter to court. I can never quite fathom why anyone would put up a fight to resume a job where it’s been made clear they’re not wanted in the role any more – fight for reparations, certainly, but not expect to return to the actual position.

    • Jim 06:17 on 2018-06-01 Permalink

      I agree. I think the end goal is not so much getting the job back, but it’s hard to claim for a high compensation if you do not clearly state that you want your job back, even if it’s just on paper.

  • Kate 21:25 on 2018-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is more interested in making existing bike paths safer than in simply adding more kilometers to the system, at least for the moment. More details on its cycling plans were revealed Thursday.

    • Faiz Imam 00:30 on 2018-06-01 Permalink

      A lot of these are improving paths that were done in the most politically non-disruptive way possible, and thus were very poor and limited.

      I see PM making a lot of more sensitive choices about removing parking and reducing road space that previous governments were too afraid to touch.


    • Chris 08:19 on 2018-06-01 Permalink

      Pretty ‘meh’ announcements if you ask me. The only dollar figure I see is $15 million, which is about the same as every other year. I had hoped for a big increase from PM.

    • Faiz Imam 11:18 on 2018-06-02 Permalink

      Well it looks like the major plan for “bike boulevards” is distance from that,

      Doensn’t look like that’s for this year, but its a massive project when it happens.

  • Kate 21:22 on 2018-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Following this week’s report on the lack of statistics on unsanitary housing, Valérie Plante explains that although each borough having distinct criteria and methods has made it tricky to compile data, some kind of city-wide number crunching is under way. She also noted that the number of inspectors has doubled since she became mayor.

  • Kate 21:15 on 2018-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Bixi has been testing a power-assisted tricycle, nicknamed Trixi, as one means of shifting bikes from one station to another. Trixi can move twelve bikes at a top speed of 35 km/h.

  • Kate 20:12 on 2018-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Andy Riga has some notes on the ban on driving over the mountain.

  • Kate 12:59 on 2018-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Media are announcing weekend street closures ever more in advance. Like this one.

    La Presse goes for the classics and says the weekend will be cauchemardesque for drivers and Radio-Canada chimes in with a cauchemar en vue.

  • Kate 06:04 on 2018-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Even though the Palais de justice has had airport-style security searches now for two years, people still keep turning up with illegal drugs and weapons on their persons.

  • Kate 06:00 on 2018-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    The Collectif de recherche et d’action sur l’habitat (CRACH) did a study and finds that the city and its boroughs don’t keep totals on reports of unlivable housing conditions so can’t even make recommendations based on their own statistics in this chronic issue for the city’s tenants.

  • Kate 05:55 on 2018-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    The softball field in Jeanne-Mance park, near the corner of Mont-Royal and Park Avenue, has been abolished by the city. Alex Norris is quoted as saying motorists and passersby are at risk of getting hit with stray balls. I wonder I haven’t seen any report of such a massacre of the innocents along that stretch.

    • Michael Black 06:38 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      I’ve gone by along Mt Royal lots of time in the summer, and never worried once that I’d be hit by a baseball. I suppose if I’d had a close encounter I might be hesitant, but that never happened.


    • Uatu 06:47 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      If that were the case, then there would’ve been deaths all over suburban parks and school grounds. Just come out and say it looks ugly, ferrrandez and Norris and that it goes against the idea of what u think a park should be…

    • Sebastian 07:16 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      This is not going to go down well.

    • Chris 07:24 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      The article says “passesrby (sic) have already been hit, and the city was recently obliged to compensate one of the injured parties”. Maybe the City is worried about having to pay out now that a precedent is set.

    • Joey 08:05 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      Luc Ferrandez confirmed in writing this past February that the field would be returned to its proper state by May 28 (the field has been used as an equipment storage area for the past year as part of the re-construction of the adjacent tennis courts). This occurred after the softball community based in the park – perhaps the most socioeconomically, linguistically and culturally diverse group in Montreal – mobilized and convinced the previous administration to restore the field. Ferrandez, who took over the major parks file after the last election, was very receptive to the group, despite whispers that his administration wanted nothing to do with baseball in the shadow of the Coderre era. Last week the city suddenly announced that they had received a ballistics report (?!) indicating that water is wet, sorry, that a stray ball could theoretically leave the playing field and that the park is located in a city where there are people, bikes and cars. Rather than investigate ways of reducing risk (signage, higher fences, retractable netting, etc.), Ferrandez decided to break his promise and end 40+ years of ball-playing on that field.

      The logic that leads to the conclusion that softball is unsafe on this field necessarily implies that all sports – soccer, softball, tennis, football, frisbee, cricket, etc. – are al inherently unpredictable and cannot in good conscience be played in parks or around people. And this from the supposedly competent, rational urbanist administration! Meanwhile, 200 metres away the city provides infrastructure for teenagers to destroy their brains playing football.

      Oh, and on the same day the workers destroyed the backstop, they installed new bleachers, so that generations of Montrealers can sit on benches and stare at… nothing at all.

    • Ian 08:18 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      Tennis balls however, are somehow not capable of being stray.

    • Chris 08:34 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      Ian, IIRC, the tennis court had a big fence, the baseball field did not. Obviously either *could* have one, but it wasn’t such.

    • Bill Binns 08:52 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      @Ian – The La Fontaine dog park is directly next to the tennis courts. Tennis balls absolutely do “go stray”. However, this situation is working to everyone’s satisfaction (the dog’s aren’t complaining).

    • dwgs 09:08 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      What Joey said, +100. I played in that game a long time ago and have friends who play to this day. The city’s actions are ridiculous. At this point it’s like PM are actively trying to antagonize people. And would I be out of line if I suggested that Alex Norris needs to take that stick out of his butt?

    • Joey 09:13 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      On Paul Arcand’s show this morning, Mayor Ferrandez dismissed the softball community as a bunch of anglos who like to eat hot dogs and have a good time. Nice way to talk about your constituents (and, it should be noted, voters, volunteers and donors).

    • Ian 09:36 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      Not the first time Ferrandez has expressed sentiments antagonistic to Anglos. Remember when the idea of naming something after Richler was first floated? I sure do.

    • Benoit 09:44 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      Joey, did we listen to the same interview? What Ferrandez said is that the city has been sued due to a stray ball and they were advised by their legal department that if they don’t do something the next time they will get sued they would have to pay big bucks. He seemed to find the situation ridiculous. “One ball, on one person, in 50 years. We should put up a sign and that should be enough. But judges will not be as lenient next time” When he talked about “the anglo gang”, what he said seemed really respectful to me : “Je tiens beaucoup à ces gens-là. C’est une communauté d’un certain âge. C’est un groupe, ils sont là depuis toujours, ils sont 200, ils ont du fun, ils se font des hot dogs, c’est ça la vie, c’est ça une communauté”. The audio is available here: http://www.985fm.ca/extraits-audios/opinions/115826/cest-ce-samedi-que-debute-le-projet-pilote-qui-interdira-la-circulation-de-transit-sur-la-voie-camillien-houde-entrevue-avec-luc-ferrandez

    • Benoit 09:54 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      Ian, Ferrandez wasn’t antogonistic to Anglos AT ALL in this interview. You should listen to the interview and see for yourself.

    • mare 10:14 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      As a counterpoint, I once *have* been hit by a baseball (much harder than a softball) when I was passing the baseball park in Parc-Marquette while walking my dogs. People shouted “Attention!”, really, really loud, and I had the good reflexes of not looking up but ducking and covering my head. It hit my back, and caused a small bruise later on, but I’d never even have thought about sueing the city. (Maybe I’d have if I had looked up and had it landed in my face though.) A couple of players came and asked if I was ‘correct’ and offered me a beer. I don’t drink, so I declined and went my merry way.

      There are fences, but you can’t fence both sides of the field to 10 metres high. These are mishits and they can sometimes bounce in unexpected directions.

    • mare 10:19 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      ^ Not an endorsement of closing the field, btw.

    • Blork 10:50 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      I’m surprised they’re not installing MORE softball fields on the principle that more risk of having your car hit by a softball will discourage people from driving.

    • Michael Black 11:25 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      But isn’t this “disorganized” baseball? I’s not some organized set of teams. It’s not like city run soccer leagues, full of clout. What happened with the diamond over the reservoir near McGill? That was in the news some years back, but I can’t remember if the baseball players there, also “not organized”, ended up being able to continue to play. I have no interest in sports, but it seems like a good idea to have places where people can still play team sports without a lot of structure.


    • Jack 14:49 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      @Joey if you heard anti anglo-animus in Ferrandez interview than……..seriously dude vote CAQ.

    • Joey 15:18 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      Sorry @Benoit, you transcribed the quote wrong. It’s:

      “Je tiens beaucoup à ces gens-là. C’est une communauté d’anglophones d’une certain âge. C’est un groupe, ils sont là depuis toujours, ils sont 200, ils ont du fun, ils se font des hot dogs, c’est ça la vie, c’est ça une communauté.”

      WTF – half the people who play there are Latino!

    • Jack 16:14 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      The people who are leading the charge have names like Smith and Shapiro, bottom line Fernandez was not blowing anti anglo smoke ……get real.

    • Tim S. 16:32 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      In my hearing it was a patronizing dismissal: These guys are cute local colour, but not really worth taking seriously.
      It may not have been explicitly anti-anglo, but I would say it’s usually implicitly negative when the language a person speaks is brought up, unbidden, in a discussion of an issue that has nothing to do with language.

  • Kate 05:51 on 2018-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Says here that Pine Avenue’s going to get bike paths between Hutchison and Berri, after a dig to replace water mains and sewers. (Pine ends at St-Denis and doesn’t get as far as Berri, but let it pass, let it pass.)

    In street dig news, CBC reports on a restaurant suffering from a relatively new dig on St-Denis near Jarry. Thing is, there aren’t too many storefront businesses along that stretch of St-Denis. It’s mostly residential with a few professional offices, couple of shops at corners, and the road surface from Jean-Talon to Jarry has been execrable for years.

    • Ali Bear 06:03 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      “Afin de rejoindre la piste cyclable de la rue Berri, l’aménagement empruntera un court tronçon de la rue Roy, à l’est de la rue Saint-Denis.”

      I can’t wait to see the new intersections of Pine and St. Denis and of St. Denis and Roy, currently hideous death-zones for cyclists and pedestrians.

    • Benoit 09:56 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      Rue Roy? Cherrier would have been less of a detour for most cyclists.

    • Zeke 09:59 on 2018-05-31 Permalink


      Mr. Bear, I would like to know where you are getting your information, that “Pine and St. Denis and of St. Denis and Roy [are] currently hideous death-zones for cyclists and pedestrians.”

      The maps that I have of pedestrian and bicycles accidents going back to 2006 do not support your view.

      La Presse, 2006 – 2011. Metro, 2012 – 2014. Montreal Gazette, 2006 – 2011.

      Might you be thinking of the intersection of Berri and Ontario? Which is one of the more dangerous intersections in the city.

    • Blork 13:25 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      @Benoit, by going to Roy, it means the turn from north (St-Denis) to east (Roy) doesn’t cross traffic. If it went the other way it would mean a very complicated and hazardous turn from St-Denis onto Cherrier, especially considering many people would do it without waiting for the correct signals.

  • Kate 22:26 on 2018-05-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Juste pour rire’s new owners have sacked Gilbert Rozon’s four sisters, who must have thought they had a lifetime contract with the festival. Item notes that the twins Luce and Lucie took charge of the festival at the end of the 1990s when their brother pleaded guilty to sexual assault. A few others who’ve been in management for a long time were also let go.

    Full disclosure: I worked for the festival in the summer of 2009 and encountered the twin sisters then, but as a contract graphic designer for the season I would have made no impression. The sisters did act like they owned the place as I suppose, in a sense, they did.

  • Kate 21:02 on 2018-05-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Bill McKibben absolutely slaughters Justin Trudeau over the Kinder Morgan deal.

    • thomas 23:10 on 2018-05-30 Permalink

      Interesting how one can have a diametrically opposing view of the same article. How can one neglect to mention the deal the federal government made with Alberta where Ottawa would ensure building of one of three proposed pipeline expansions in exchange for Alberta implementing a carbon tax. Is this not pertinent?

    • Brett 04:45 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      Hi Kate, isn’t this story totally beyond the scope of this blog?

    • Kate 05:45 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      Brett: Yes, but I squeaked it in under a technicality: Trudeau is a Montreal MP.

      thomas: McKibben is not Canadian so it’s not likely he knows or cares about the intricacies of federal-provincial politics here.

    • Chris 07:27 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      Trudeau promised no more subsidies of fossil fuels. Hard to argue this isn’t one. 🙁

    • Ian 09:36 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      He also promised electoral reform, but we see where that went. Typical Liberal procedure; campaign left, govern right.

    • Blork 11:31 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      One can’t help but wonder if J. Trudeau doesn’t feel a duty to apply some Sunny Days polish to the tarnish that PET’s National Energy Program inflicted on Alberta’s view of Ottawa and Federal Liberals back in the 1980s. Whereas PET is known as the “Father of Western Alienation,” maybe JT wants to be the “son of Western love and selfies.”

    • ant6n 14:09 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      This idea that the Alberta oil represents a significant fraction of our remaining carbon budget is incredibly pertinent. It’s a tiny fraction of the world population that will cause the difference between 2 degree and 2.5 degree warming.

    • Faiz Imam 14:15 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      no, but it does represent a significant portion of Canada’s carbon budget, which is the only part we are responsible for.

      And this pipeline justifies an entire new generation of tar sands projects that will produce a massive increase in Canadian emissions.

      Other nations may be doing more or less, but that line of argument is invalid, because it takes us down some game theory nonsense that only results in everyone doing less than they can.

    • ant6n 15:19 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      I’m not really sure who you’re responding to, because your post doesn’t make sense again. Ill assume that you don’t understand what the carbon budget is, and how it applies, but pretend that you do.

      Anyway, the problem is that if we want to keep warming below 2degrees, we can’t emit more than around 2000 billion tons of co2. The 173billion barrels of oil referred to in the article are a significant fraction of that, if extracted and burnt. You can’t just pretend Canada is only responsible for its direct emissions, but not for the fossile carbon its extracting from the ground — that’s exactly the way Canada will end up making the global warming issue much worse, that’s how they end up doing less than they can.

    • ant6n 15:20 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      By no we can’t emit more than 2000b tons, I meant us globally, not just Canada.

    • ant6n 15:22 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      (Actually it seems at this point we got like 1000b tons left)

    • Faiz Imam 17:53 on 2018-05-31 Permalink

      As usual I appreciate your insults.

      I was wrong (I have no issue admitting when I am), because I missed your use of the term “pertinent”. I thought you meant the opposite of what you did.

      If you read my comment at least somewhat closely, you’d realize we are on the exactly same page.

      Just replace the “no, but” in my comment with “yes and” and we’re good.

      Though at this point the more strict concept of the term carbon budget is outdated, because it’s clear that we are going to bust it.

      The new question is, by how much are we going to bust the limit, and how much can we limit the damage.

    • Raymond Lutz 07:26 on 2018-06-01 Permalink

      Une note sur les budgets carbone du GIEC mentionnés ici dans les commentaires. Ils sont déraisonnablement optimistes car: un, ils présupposent de techniques industrielles de capture de carbone QUI N’EXISTENT PAS ENCORE [3] (désolé pour le cri) et, deux, ils négligent les boucles de rétroaction positives actuellement observées (eg, méthane microbien issu du pergélisol fondu [2]).

      [2] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0095-z.epdf
      [3] http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/03/the-paris-climate-accords-are-starting-to-look-like-fantasy.html

    • Ant6n 17:21 on 2018-06-03 Permalink

      `If you’d read my comment more carefully, you would’ve realized I didn’t really read your comment at all.`

      Maybe you could try to lay off the lecturing, then you won’t feel so “insulted” when it doesn’t work out.

    • Faiz Imam 18:45 on 2018-06-03 Permalink

      I read you comment multiple times, in great detail, as I almost always do.

      But I completely misinterpreted one word to mean the opposite of what you meant it to.

      It happens.

    • Raymond Lutz 05:18 on 2018-06-05 Permalink

      et moi, personne ne me lit? I feel insulted… At least, Kate had to approve my comment flagged as spam, but but, did she only read it? 😎

  • Kate 20:56 on 2018-05-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Gabriel Gascon, one of the city’s grand old men of the theatre, has died at 91. His career stretches back to the dawn of modern French-language theatre here, and extended through several noted roles on TV and on the stage. Biographical sketch in La Presse.

  • Kate 20:52 on 2018-05-30 Permalink | Reply  

    CP Rail workers have been offered a tentative deal which has ended their strike quickly. It still has to be ratified.

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