Updates from June, 2018 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:09 on 2018-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The body of a man was found Saturday afternoon in Pointe Claire, TVA saying it was in the parking lot of a hotel. It’s not clear yet whether this was a homicide.

    Update Sunday: CTV reports that the man was shot dead and the phrasing suggests it was an attacker, not suicide.

  • Kate 19:32 on 2018-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The law community wants to claim the old courthouse building as the kernel of a Quartier de la justice – after it’s finished serving as backup city hall as it’s set to do from 2019 till 2021.

    Some people want a station on the REM in the southwest of the city to be named for the Irish community – Station des Irlandais.

    • ant6n 03:30 on 2018-07-01 Permalink

      Ireland is not a neighbourhood of Montreal.

    • Kate 08:32 on 2018-07-01 Permalink

      It isn’t now, but there was a time the Griffintown-Point St Charles district was very Irish. That community is mostly gone now – St Ann’s was demolished in the 1970s – but these were the people who built the canals (one of my great-great-grandfathers worked on the Soulanges canal before moving to Griffintown) and shod the horses and staffed the factories. And of course a lot of the Irish immigrants who didn’t make it are buried near the Black Rock. We’d call them refugees now, since they were fleeing famine in their homeland.

    • Ant6n 06:05 on 2018-07-02 Permalink

      I’m not claiming there aren’t Irish influences in Montreal. I’m saying transit stops should be named after actual places in the city, like neighborhoods. Not after concepts.

    • Kate 15:06 on 2018-07-02 Permalink

      Maybe we could have a Black Rock station at least?

    • Ant6n 17:16 on 2018-07-02 Permalink

      I guess that could be a compromise?

    • Kate 07:34 on 2018-07-03 Permalink

      Yes. It’s not a concept, ant6n, like calling a station Liberté, Égalité or Fraternité. That community existed, it was a presence in the area for a century or more and there are still people living in the Point (not so much in Griffintown any more) connected to it. For myself although I’m descended from that community on my mom’s side, I’ve never been involved in the whole Irish-Point-sports-and-parade Irish world myself, but it does still exist.

  • Kate 11:21 on 2018-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Two scare banners on the government’s weather information page: a heat warning and a severe thunderstorm watch!

    • Ian 18:46 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      …still waiting for that thunderstorm. Can’t come soon enough.

    • Kevin 22:08 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      It is too hot for a storm to provide any relief. Expect storm warnings multiple times this week, but the overnight temps will be 20+ until next weekend

  • Kate 08:56 on 2018-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Media are running lists of products that will be more expensive as of Sunday because of the trade war. Some of the things on this list are puzzling: who buys American maple syrup in Canada? Do people really buy American coffee? (Mine comes from Italy.) Soy sauce? (China.) Whisky? (Scotland or Ireland.) Chocolate?

    I will be looking at more labels soon. CTV notes that people may move naturally away from U.S. products as their prices go up.

    • Tim S. 09:36 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      My soy sauce always seems to come from Wisconsin – Paul Ryan’s home state.

    • John S 09:59 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      Bourbon is my go to whiskey – yeah this is gonna hurt!

    • Zeke 10:09 on 2018-06-30 Permalink


      John, it’s going to take a while before the SAQs stock reflects the new pricing. In the interim you might want to try Caribou Crossing, Gooderham & Worts, Pike Creek, Lot No. 40, Crown Royal, Collingwood, and/or Dark Horse. They are all Canadian whiskeys and while not identical to bourbon, have similar characteristics.

    • Dhomas 10:18 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      @Kate, I think that’s exactly the point: to impact American industry while not affecting consumers all too much as there are domestic alternatives (or from countries other than the US).

    • carswell 11:09 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      For most U.S. whiskeys, the tariffs will be reflected in SAQ prices as of the round of price changes slated for August 18. For a much smaller subset of whiskeys in the batch-order specialty product category (mostly brands sold under the SAQ Signature banner) and for private order whiskeys (when a customer has the SAQ special order and import a product not available at the SAQ or through the private import channel), the prices will increase on July 1.

      PDF of the announcement made to SAQ suppliers: http://marketing.globalwinespirits.com/SAQ_B2B/Surtaxe_Whiskies_USA_FR.pdf

    • Kate 11:17 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      carswell, thanks for the lowdown on the booze. I suppose California wines will also be going up on August 19?

      Tim S.: Hmm, yes. Kikkoman is made in Wisconsin. I never noticed before.

    • carswell 12:04 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      Kate, if wine is one of the affected product categories, it has escaped my attention. And since most of the tariffs seemed aimed at parts of the U.S. that voted for Trump, it would make sense for wines from the heavily anti-Trump west coast (and New York, Vermont, etc. for that matter) not to be included. Imports of wine from from pro-Trump areas (southeast US, Texas, Missouri, etc.) are so minuscule, they’re probably not worth bothering with.

    • Blork 12:17 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      Maybe the SAQ should make BC wines more available.

    • Raymond Lutz 12:27 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      What’s the mtl angle, Kate? 😎 Je me souviens encore de cette nouvelle importante concernant la répression judiciaire contre un montréalais, nouvelle que vous avez passée sous silence parce que jugée trop anodine ou trop techy? Vous êtes l’hôtesse appréciée de ces lieux et je me suis incliné, but Mtlcity readership worrying about their Bourbon… Prenons de la hauteur, que diable!

    • Kate 13:33 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      Raymond Lutz, the CTV link is framed as a Montreal story, although it isn’t very, and who in Quebec can even countenance the thought of anyone bringing maple syrup here from south of the border?

      Anyway, this falls under “this kind of interested me so it may interest the blog” and I also plead holiday weekend latitude in my choices.

      carswell: oops, I hadn’t realized liquor was specifically listed and not wine. Thanks.

    • Ephraim 16:48 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      Most of the products were chosen because easy replacements are available. Bourbon and playing cards are all aimed at KY. Chocolate, licorice, ketchup are all aimed at PA (a swing state), orange juice at FL (another swing state), etc. Toilet paper is OH and GA and you can just buy Cascades which is Canadian.

    • Ian 18:47 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      Well for soy sauce Wing’s is still in Chinatown – been there since 1897. http://www.wingnoodles.com/en/history.php

    • Ian 19:37 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      For bourbon, we’re out of luck. Seagram’s used to make bourbon but that ship has sailed.

      FWIW I do like bourbon quite a bit and while I know it’s not the same, Crown Royal Northern Harvest has distinctly bourbon-y qualities, is reasonably priced, and is available at the SAQ. I know, I know. A rye that goes down like bourbon? Try it, you’ll be surprised. Crown Royal also has a bourbon mash available through the SAQ I haven’t tried yet…

      As Kate notes there are many coffees from elsewhere, and we are fortunate enough to live somewhere that roasted beans is not unusual, and it’s easy to get even ground coffee from Europe. Starbucks will probably suck up the tariffs to keep prices stable, other big American coffee chains may vary.

      As Ephraim notes there are a variety of toilet paper brands.

      For licorice NZ & AU actually make really good licorice … I’ve seen some brands at the PA, even. Too bad Lowney doesn’t produce here anymore since they got taken over by Hershey’s.

      On the topic of candy and specifically chocolate, US chocolate is garbage anyhow. Let’s see more European and especially German/ Swiss/ Belgian/ Finnish chocolate. Boucherie Atlantique is my go-to for that kind of thing, they have all the best brands form Europe. To be honest, Even British chocolate is infinitely superior to American chocolate. Americans claim they need to add massive amounts of carnuaba wax to their chocolate because of their hot climate but we have had refrigeration for some 100 years and almost all stores are air conditioned so I call bullshit. Cadburys UK actually sued their American counterpart for ruining the chocolate with too much wax. Perhaps obviously, wax is cheaper than chocolate.

      For orange juice, however, we’re out of luck I suspect.

    • Dhomas 08:26 on 2018-07-01 Permalink

      @Ian, I read in another article that Minute Maid orange juice is made in Canada: https://globalnews.ca/news/4282602/boycott-u-s-products-buy-canadian-products-trade-war/

    • Kate 08:58 on 2018-07-01 Permalink

      Ian, looking at the “products” tab on the Wing’s website, they package their soy sauce either in 4L institutional bottles (which you don’t see in stores) or sachets for restaurants, but not in domestic-size bottles. Which is too bad, because I’d buy it otherwise.

    • Ephraim 14:07 on 2018-07-01 Permalink

      The reason for the tariff is that Kikkoman is made in Wisconsin… home of Paul Ryan.

      Looking at soya sauces, there are a number that are marked as MK, which suggest that they may in fact be local or even WIng’s private label packaged. No Name, Federated Co-op, Metro, Sobey’s and even Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart’s is easy to see via the web and it’s MK 888. Wing’s is 298.

    • Ephraim 14:12 on 2018-07-01 Permalink

      Just checked Akita Foods is MK888. Now you know who makes it 🙂

    • Blork 15:15 on 2018-07-01 Permalink

      OK, realistically, how big of a deal is most of this? How often do you buy a bottle of soy sauce? And if it costs $5 next week instead of $4, what are you going to do? Nothing! You’ll buy it because it’s something you only buy once every few months anyway, so you won’t even notice the extra dollar.

      Not all things are so minor, but I’m amazed at the extent to which people are focusing on rinky-dink pantry items, as if adding $6 to their monthly grocery bill is some insurmountable obstacle. Or people speaking as if these products are going to VANISH AND NEVER BE SEEN AGAIN!

    • Ephraim 17:45 on 2018-07-01 Permalink

      @Blork First, it will be more than $6, because steel is used in cars. And aluminum is used to make doors, windows, aerosol cans, drink cans, nails, staples, etc. It’s also in the cost, so the 10% is then marked up at least once, if not twice.

      In some cases, the manufacturers are just going to have to swallow the cost because we have easy replacements and they will need to be competitive. And in some cases the targets are products that were made here where the manufacturer moved…. Heinz ketchup for example. Heinz will have a tough time with the tariff, they are competing for the hearts of Canadians already and French’s is made in Canada (with the tomatoes they no longer buy

      Kraft strawberry jam versus Smucker’s (Ohio, another swing state). Smucker’s will have to eat the tariff, because we easily have choices. Campbell’s announced the closure of their only plant in Canada…. we have Habitat, Aylmer and others. Even Kraft/Heinz has announced closures of Canadian manufacturing and it’s in PA, another swing state. So for many people, it will change habits OR the company will swallow the tariff as their own importer.

      But also on the list are refrigerator/freezers, washers, dish washers, stoves, water heaters (Rheem, PA versus Giant, QC), mattresses, boats, mowers, etc. Those are big ticket items. We are likely to see more products from Mexico and Korea imported to avoid the tariffs.

    • Ephraim 17:55 on 2018-07-01 Permalink

      Apparently a number of US companies (Bascom, Butternut Farm) actually sell maple syrup in Canada (Western Canada and Private Label) and let’s face it, with a 10% tariff, it’s going to be hard to compete with Quebec’s syrup.

    • Blork 18:55 on 2018-07-01 Permalink

      Ephraim, I get that (the big stuff). My comment is specifically about the rinky-dink pantry items that so much media seems to be focused on.

      And FWIW, Heinz ketchup still outsells French’s despite all the anti-Heinz/pro-French’s activity. This is probably due to all the restaurant and institutional sales, which could actually be affected by the tariffs because that kind of sale is not rinky-dink.

    • Kevin 19:06 on 2018-07-01 Permalink

      Does that taste anything like the Northern Harvest?
      Although I tend toward rum and Pimm’s and rosé in the heat…

      Ephraim and Blork
      Heinz is noticing the shift in the market. There’s an article over on the CBC site about that issue.

      Although I don’t use much canned soup, I did switch to Ayllmers a few years ago just because it has less sugar

    • Dhomas 15:05 on 2018-07-02 Permalink

      @Ian: That Seagram’s Bourbon was made in the US, though it was owned by a Canadian company. I don’t think that would have exempted it from tariffs. For reference, that particular brand of Bourbon is still made, though under new ownership: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/McAfee%27s_Benchmark.

  • Kate 07:02 on 2018-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

    A lot of my contacts are linking this Globe and Mail piece about how livable Montreal is. While the Toronto writer praises our affordable rents, an op-ed in Le Devoir considers how landlords often hike rents excessively between tenants.

    • Ian 21:04 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      All good point from the GLOB excpet this one -“There are a few things that Toronto wins at: Lake Ontario provides the most delicious tap water in the world, while the stuff here tastes kind of metallic. ”
      Toronto tapwater tastes sweeter because it has more chlorine, which is necessary as it has been through on average 20 sets of kidneys. The water doesn’t come from far out enough in the lake to be actually fresh.
      That;s not to say Montreal tapwater is the shizz either – hands down, that’s New York. Perhaps it’s the microscopic shrimp.

      “How good is the water that comes out of your faucet? Here’s one way to look at it: The city is only one of five big municipalities that is allowed by the federal government to supply unfiltered water.”

  • Kate 06:44 on 2018-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is way behind on redoing street markings like pedestrian crosswalks, with some scheduled to be done just before winter.

    • Ian 17:32 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      I was wondering why my street go repaved but they didn’t bother repainting the lines. I’ve been noticing the lines are pretty faded all over the city, for that matter.

  • Kate 06:40 on 2018-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The strike by crane operators meant 17 days of delay on the new bridge and means it won’t be completed by the deadline of December 21.

    I suspect there was a sigh of relief in the construction management office in finding a scapegoat for the missed deadline.

  • Kate 20:23 on 2018-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Longtime CTV Montreal news anchor Mutsumi Takahashi has been named to the Order of Canada. The full list includes Lise Bissonnette, who’s been editor of Le Devoir and head of the Grande bibliothèque, and Paul-André Linteau, who’s written extensively on the history of this city.

  • Kate 20:13 on 2018-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

    With a heat wave coming, the city is keeping its swimming and paddling pools and various water jet features open later than usual. Full list here. Some general heat advice and a list of places with air conditioning; some festivities have been cancelled as we wait for what’s predicted to be the hottest Canada Day on record.

    Roberto Rocha has made Radio-Canada a map of the hottest and coolest parts of the city. Not surprisingly, it’s coolest near water and under trees.

    Also, Radio-Canada’s list of what’s open and closed. As Michael Black points out below, some of the lists of cool places intersect poorly with the holiday weekend. The Grande bibliothèque and the city library network are definitely closed Sunday, for example, and the Grande b. is always closed on Mondays.

    • Emily Gray 21:20 on 2018-06-29 Permalink

      Thank you for the list of places with air conditioning. Though what the list doesn’t mention is if any of these spaces will be open on July 1 (e.g. there are some malls on the list even though I heard most or all malls will close on the 1st, and I’m not so sure about the libraries.)

    • Michael Black 22:58 on 2018-06-29 Permalink

      Yes, a lot of libraries close on Sundays, at least in the summer, even before it being July 1st.

      Quebec has some holidays that are mandatory, but July 1st isn’t one. So things can be relatively open, while a week before most is shut down. One thing there was a renegotiation around store openings some tears back, which got rid of some of the silliest store opening rules, but kicked some mandatory holidays. But the Gazette kept getting it wrong, I think they were just using an old list. It took something like four years of complaining for them to catch on about Labor Day being mandatory. And I had to complain about another holiday more recently. I can almost see a hedging, “most grocery stores will be closed” when even PA closes. So I don’t fully trust the Gazette’s list of what’s open or closed. I can’t go around checking to see if malls are open or closed.

      So grocery stores should be open on Sunday, it can be a respite. Independent stores may be the most variable. I suspect downtown malls won’t close.

      I wouldn’t count on government offices being open, certainly not federal, though they are already closed on Sundays so it will be Monday.

      The heat wave goes on all week, so I guess this list is about that. After a few days they may open places because of the heat, but that won’t help this weekend. The Westmount Library is closed on July 1 & 2, and I suspect Victoria Hall will too, though that may be treated like a “cooling station” later in the week.

      I was in a bank today, and it was cool, but maybe not so cool as the long weekend advances. PA and Adonis downtown were nice and cool. There are some stores downtown that really crank up the air conditioning and then leave the doors open so you know. HMV used to do it, but they are gone. The Atwater Metro, at least before you pay was quite nice, I’m thinking the renovation a couple of years ago has improved things.

      I can live without air conditioning, but days like this week I will hangout in stores and such. Doesn’t help the dog, the places I can think of mooching air conditioning won’t want big dogs.


    • Blork 12:31 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      RTL is offering a free bus from the Longueuil terminus (attached to the Metro station) to the Longueuil beach on the Boucherville islands. It’s about a 15 minute ride.


    • Kate 09:36 on 2018-07-01 Permalink

      Blork, that’s interesting. Have you been?

    • Blork 14:38 on 2018-07-01 Permalink

      No, I haven’t been there, but it’s supposed to be nice. They’re clearly trying to lure people from the island over there with the free shuttle from the Metro (it runs all summer on weekends and holidays).

  • Kate 19:32 on 2018-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

    The Guardian Cities is running a Mireille Silcoff piece on moving day in Montreal. But the idea that the day was moved from May to July to mess with Canada Day is dubious: it was a bill proposed by Quebec Liberal justice minister Jérôme Choquette in 1973 because the May date cut into the school year and meant kids would sometimes have to write exams and finish their year in an unfamiliar school. Wikipedia.

    • Ephraim 22:05 on 2018-06-29 Permalink

      Quebec’s legal school year starts the 1st of July.

    • Kate 07:08 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      What does that even mean, Ephraim, when classes start in September?

    • Ian 10:18 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      Classes start in August but the school year starts in July. There are lots of things going on for administration and staff in preparation for that, and some services like custodial, repairs, and records keeping go on all year

    • JoeNotCharles 11:39 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      Off the top of my head I’d guess the important point is that the previous school year ends on June 31 – so if kids are held back for summer school or a strike pushes back the end of classes or whatever, they’re still guaranteed to be finished before July 1.

    • Ephraim 16:50 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      Kate – The school year ends June 30th and starts July 1st, so having moving day coincide makes it easy to ensure children are in the right place. But if they have to do summer school, it’s based on the 1st of July. School can start whenever in August/September. But even the teachers need to know and prepare before classes start. No, they don’t really get the WHOLE summer off. And when I taught, I taught through the summer as well since it was adult ed.

    • Ian 19:05 on 2018-06-30 Permalink

      JoeNotCharles makes a good point, elementary school can get extended if days are missed for snow days – but they usually reschedule PED days to avoid that. Pretty unlikely they would get extended all the way to July 1 though – last day of school here for elementary is usually June 22/23. In the ROC regular elementary classes start after Labour Day but here it starts the last week of August.
      Also like Ephraim says, there are a lot of things going on at schools outside the regular school year like summer school, camp (at some schools), adult ed (at some schools) etc.
      It makes sense to have moving day July 1 because kids are in school in June and there’s no reason to push it off to August – July 1 is the earliest available date.
      The real peculiarity is why do all the leases end at the same time? I know this is a holdover from New France (which makes me wonder if other French colonies had similar provisions) but nowadays almost everyone I now move in the fall because it’s cooler, rents are cheaper, and the moving companies don’t gouge you. The only legal obligation is to notify the tenant about rent increases 3 months before lease end, I don’t get it.

  • Kate 08:30 on 2018-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

    A park in Montreal North supposedly to honour Fredy Villanueva won’t be named for him or have any image of him.

    How any observer is to link the park to Fredy or his unfortunate demise is anyone’s guess.

    Update: Borough mayor Christine Black says naming the park for Fredy was felt to be too polarizing, but some feel that calling the park “de l’Espoir” is a further insult to the family.

    Who would begrudge the Villanueva family a memorial for their son? The police.

    • Ian 09:51 on 2018-06-29 Permalink

      Easy enough to install an unauthorized plaque or mural…

  • Kate 07:09 on 2018-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

    The PLQ’s new religious neutrality law has hit a snag with a judge already ruling against the ban on receiving any public service with a face covering.

  • Kate 07:07 on 2018-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

    The DSP, the public health authority, is bracing for the heat wave which the weather page suggests will start Sunday and continue through next week with highs in the general area of 34° and coinciding with moving day. The usual advice is here to stay inside, keep cool, and check on older relatives and neighbours if you can.

  • Kate 07:00 on 2018-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Back when some of us alleged that police infiltrated protests, there were commenters who scoffed at what they called left-wing paranoia or worse. Now police have admitted they did just that, while claiming they don’t intend to do it any more.

    I suspect it would take another season of protest for this tactic to return. Police in many places use provocateurs to help shape their narrative and the zeitgeist may have shifted again before this happens.

    • PO 08:53 on 2018-06-29 Permalink

      I remember seeing them in 2012. Plain clothes, wearing an earpiece and reporting information under their breath. Following the crowd. You could tell.

    • Kate 09:04 on 2018-06-29 Permalink

      Yes, I saw one watching a FRAPRU protest that year and talking into a device. He looked convincingly enough like an ordinary guy till you observed his behaviour.

    • Ian 09:52 on 2018-06-29 Permalink

      Black Bloc clothes and cop boots.

    • Bill Binns 09:57 on 2018-06-29 Permalink

      The accusation back then was that all of the protesters were angelic students incapable of even thinking about violence and all of the window smashing, fire starting, molotov cocktail carrying and classroom vandalism was either being done by the police or due to their sneaky encouragement of said angelic students. Undercover police attended demonstrations? Good. That’s their job. I don’t see any reason for them to promise to stop doing this. I’m pretty comfortable with them posing as students, joining groups etc in order to gather intelligence too. As long as they aren’t the ones committing the crimes or causing them to be committed, I’m fine.

    • Tim 10:37 on 2018-06-29 Permalink

      @Bill, I’m going to disagree with you on this one. Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St1-WTc1kow for video evidence of agent provocateurs.

    • Kate 11:16 on 2018-06-29 Permalink

      Ian, not this guy I saw. They knew the FRAPRU crowd: old hippies, basically. Their man was not young, and was wearing a worn shirt and jeans.

      Bill Binns: you know well you overdramatize. Some said the students had a point, some took exception with their means of expressing it, but nobody idealized them in the ludicrous way you portray. And Tim has pointed out that police agents did not hesitate to provoke and ramp things up.

    • Ian 12:56 on 2018-06-29 Permalink

      Fair enough, I was thinking of Montebello specifically.

  • Kate 06:38 on 2018-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

    The oldest half of the Mercier bridge, dating from 1933, will be rebuilt in 2023. Item says it’s been in terrible shape for years. Current construction on the bridge is causing big traffic problems radiating out over the southwestern quadrant of the city.

    Yowza. In other Mercier Bridge news, it was entirely closed by a bomb threat Friday morning but has since reopened.

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