Updates from January, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:44 on 2019-01-31 Permalink | Reply  

    A man was stabbed after a vehicle collision right at Peel and Ste-Catherine Thursday afternoon. No deaths but no arrest either.

    • Steve Q 06:00 on 2019-02-01 Permalink

      ”Stabbed in the stomach” ? The guy had a knife ? What kind of person drives on Ste-Catherine with a knife next to him ?

    • Ian 13:44 on 2019-02-01 Permalink

      I have several knives in my car as part of my emergency toolkit. It’s actually pretty common.

    • Kate 23:47 on 2019-02-01 Permalink

      I usually have a clasp knife in my bag. It’s been known to alarm impressionable folks when I reach it out to open a parcel.

  • Kate 07:50 on 2019-01-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Montreal keeps adding jobs while Quebec’s regions keep losing them. And yet Montreal is a pulsating mass of immigrants, anglophones and people who shamelessly say “bonjour, hi!” So we’ve got to keep those immigrants out, since they’re clearly causing a malaise in the regions.

    • Jack 11:48 on 2019-01-31 Permalink

      A question that needs to be answered is what causes that “malaise” in areas that have no immigration.
      I have my theories anyone else?

    • qatzelok 14:04 on 2019-01-31 Permalink

      Generally, big cities are doing well, small towns are dying. This is the same in many regions of North America and Europe.


    • Ephraim 14:17 on 2019-01-31 Permalink

      It’s not really surprising. The regions don’t offer kinship or community. Small regions need to have programs to absorb newcomers that offer them friendship, community, family (replacement family). Much easier to find in the big city. But there are numerous studies that showed how incomes increase based on the size of the city and that the larger the city, the higher the disposable incomes. If you were going to move your whole family looking for a better future… the city is the place.

      The opposite is also true, when you don’t meet these people, you fear them. It seems strange to you, uncommon, threatening. Xenophobia, the fear of the unknown. Take Jews for example, less than .1% of the world population and yet antisemitism is incredibly high. And it’s not just people…. take a look at technology. Some people embrace it (early adopters) and others wait and then you have the stalwarts… the regions… full of stalwarts.

    • Douglas 15:00 on 2019-01-31 Permalink

      One word: English.

      Immigrants go where the money is. Money goes where it is easiest to do business.

    • qatzelok 19:37 on 2019-01-31 Permalink

      Ephraim: “The regions don’t offer kinship or community”
      Not only the regions, Quebec City offers no kinship or community. Every town in Quebec, except Montreal, has been turned into suburban crap – from Alma to Saint Jean sur Richelieu. And there’s no there there.

    • JoeNotCharles 18:49 on 2019-02-06 Permalink

  • Kate 07:46 on 2019-01-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Some advance notice of Turcot closures of the weekend.

  • Kate 07:45 on 2019-01-31 Permalink | Reply  

    The Grande Roue on the Old Port has been denied a liquor licence because police say one of the owners is linked to the mob. The ferris wheel group denies this is true.

  • Kate 08:08 on 2019-01-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Feels like the collapse of Téo Taxi is a moment that will be seen later as a turning point. It’s sad that an effort to create a taxi service where the vehicles were electric and the drivers decently paid turned out not to be viable. TVA is noting that Alexandre Taillefer hadn’t lost much of his own fortune in the collapse. He hasn’t been interviewed yet either.

    Update: Taillefer says he lost $4 million in the collapse.

    Another update: according to the Journal, Taillefer lost $1.5 million.

    The Globe and Mail has a Konrad Yakabuski piece about how “Quebec Inc.” was no match for Uber, but I can’t even see it on a private browser. You’re welcome to go read it if you’re subscribed. (But see below.)

    • dhomas 08:53 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      I made an archive.org backup of the article for anyone who wants to read it (haven’t done so myself yet).

    • Blork 11:15 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      Nice dramatic headline from CTV: “Alexandre Taillefer says he lost everything in Teo Taxi’s bankruptcy.”

      When you say a wealthy person has “lost everything” that’s supposed to mean they have lost all their wealth. The article says that he lost his entire investment in Téo ($4 million) but that’s not the same as “losing everything.”

    • Kate 21:31 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      dhomas, thanks for the link. Blork, check out the last update above, where the Journal says Taillefer lost only $1.5 million.

  • Kate 08:06 on 2019-01-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Global reports on a new show at the Museum of Fine Arts showing “once-repressed” sketches of nude models by Montreal artists from 1880 to 1950. I don’t know what’s in the video, but there are no repressed still images in the article.

  • Kate 07:48 on 2019-01-30 Permalink | Reply  

    People are talking again about the Sir George Williams computer riot fifty years ago, and this piece claims the real problem – one professor’s racist attitudes – was never properly aired out, and the man went on teaching.

    A new play at Concordia addresses the incident, although the director is mistaken in thinking the protest has been forgotten. I may have mentioned it before, but the riot had an effect on my life too. My parents took from it the notion that university is a dangerous and radical place – an idea already in the air after war protests in the U.S., but brought closer to home by this incident. Later, they refused to help me go to university and the Sir George riot was a big part of their reasoning. I wonder how many others here had a similar experience.

    • DeWolf 12:42 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      I grew up with my dad telling me stories about it!

    • CE 14:55 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      For me it had the opposite affect. Concordia’s reputation for activism was one of the reasons I studied there (and didn’t even consider McGill as an option).

  • Kate 21:58 on 2019-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s notable how much money Téo Taxi got from Quebec while the Liberals were in power, and thus no surprise that Alexandre Taillefer put his efforts into trying to get them re-elected. TVA reports “5 millions $ du ministère des Transports, 5 millions $ du Fonds provincial de modernisation de l’industrie du taxi, 5 millions $ du ministère de l’Environnement et 4,5 millions $ du ministère de l’Économie à Téo Techno, ainsi que près de 1 million $ du gouvernement fédéral.” More millions were injected by Investissement Québec, the Caisse de dépôt, the FTQ solidarity fund and the CSN.

    It’s the coda to this piece that has me steaming. François Legault says that he’s only worried about the twenty or so well paying jobs and the app. “Mon obsession, ce n’est pas de créer des emplois à 15 $ de l’heure. Mais des emplois payant à 25-30, 40 $ de l’heure.” To hell with the 450 drivers for whom a steady $15/hr was a solid deal. Legault just can’t imagine people for whom a regular job $3 over minimum is a matter of aspiration, not disdain.

    And yet the CAQ remains popular.

    • david100 03:30 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      Wow, that’s a remarkably high poll score. That 16% for Solidaire is looking pretty good though.

    • Kevin 08:42 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      Quebec is at the bottom of the chart for income per person in North America. Only three provinces and one state have lower average incomes.

      It may not be polite to say so, but creating a bunch of near-minimum-wage jobs isn’t going to let the province afford the services so many people want and need.

    • dhomas 09:09 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      That type of logic doesn’t seem to make sense. We want higher paying jobs, I get it. But there is a need for taxis. Téo was paying drivers more than Uber is, thus driving the average up. Should we be paying taxi drivers 25$/hour when we couldn’t even make it work at a modest 15$/hour?

    • Spi 12:07 on 2019-01-30 Permalink


      Legault’s point was that he wants to create high- skilled/higher-value jobs not to simply pay workers above market wages.

    • qatzelok 12:21 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      Kevin, Quebec already has some of the best services in North America, and our “low income” is more than offset by the low cost of living. It’s called “social programs” and it’s why Cubans live longer than Americans now, with one twentieth the money to play with.

      You can’t really compare “disposable incomes” when the regional supply of collective social programs differs as dramatically as it does in North America.

    • dwgs 17:10 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      Qatzelok, I fear you may be ignoring the Quebec debt that is approaching 200 Billion dollars. One day that chicken will come home to roost.

    • qatzelok 18:18 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      dwgs, debt-strangulation is all over the world, and I am as concerned about it as anyone.


    • Kevin 19:12 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      Who is comparing disposable income? I’m talking overall income, and there are many places nearby where people earn more and spend less to live.

      Our public services are wonderful, but we know we can’t afford to pay for them unless the average income goes up.
      (And despite those services, Quebec’s lifespan is lower than the average in Canada… )

      So, let’s use our debt wisely to improve our collective lot.
      It’s about self-reliance as a people. Surely that is a good thing?

  • Kate 21:50 on 2019-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s a report by the police service, so reach for the salt: they say body cams on their officers are pretty useless and would cost $24 million a year, so they’re recommending against. Apparently cops have to activate the devices themselves, which suggests they wouldn’t exactly be an objective eye on police actions anyway.

    • david100 03:33 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      $24 million a year, if true, is a colossal waste of money. For far less than that, we could have cameras installed London-style every dozen meters. Why adopt these technologies best suited to lonely highway stops when most interactions with the police could be recorded off a building or dashboard?

    • Kate 07:38 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      Not everyone likes the full-time surveillance they have in London, david100.

    • Ephraim 09:32 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      Bodycam footage isn’t merely an expense, it lowers the cost of prosecution, it lowers attacks on the police, it calms situations, it helps improve policing. BUT what the Montreal police are fearing is video of their doing the wrong thing, of course we could just tell them to STOP doing the wrong thing…. but the reality is that the bodycam is there to ensure the integrity of the whole situation, including how both the policeman and the public are treated. The one thing it isn’t…. useless. And sorry, but you don’t have to activate it. In fact, there is a button to deactivate it… which brings up questions of WHY you did.

    • Marco 12:16 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      The Toronto Police Service did a pilot project with body cams and reached the opposite conclusion:

  • Kate 20:26 on 2019-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

    A hole stoved into a major gas line at Ste-Cat and Crescent was plugged up in time for happy hour, after several hundred folks were evacuated.

  • Kate 20:19 on 2019-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Valérie Plante has written to all the boroughs reminding them that the city requires a certain standard in snow clearance.

    So far Tuesday, the city has only had a relative dusting rather than the forecasted snowstorm.

    • Kevin 08:43 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      So… City hall is complaining about the terrible job being done on snow removal.

  • Kate 08:07 on 2019-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Must-read of the day: Martin Patriquin tears a strip off François Legault and his stated preference for “Europeans.”

    • Steve Q 09:38 on 2019-01-29 Permalink

      Funny how Patriquin is doesn’t seem offended by Israel’s preference for Jewish people ?

    • Kate 09:52 on 2019-01-29 Permalink

      Patriquin doesn’t mention Israel in that piece.

      He’s pointing out the shift from linguistic to ethnic preference, which I noted briefly a few days ago here on the blog. He’s saying it wasn’t unreasonable for Quebec to give preference to people from e.g. Algeria and Haiti who already knew French, but that choosing “Europeans” who may not know a word of French, but have white skin, is a different thing entirely.

    • Jack 12:19 on 2019-01-29 Permalink

      The picture of Legault with Dany Lafferiere makes it even more appalling.

    • qatzelok 14:08 on 2019-01-29 Permalink

      J Trudeau startes his term by making boycotting of Israel “condemnable.”

      But it’s also clear that imitating Israeli policy is off limits to non-Israelis.

      The level of subtle racism in our government is much more serious than what a bunch of hicks say at town halls in Sudbury or Ste Hyacinthe. Or a slip of the tongue of an inexperienced government spokesmodel.

    • Hamza 14:33 on 2019-01-29 Permalink

      I was hoping for him to make the point in a more aggressive way but he surprisingly goes really easy on Legault and the CAQ.

      Just in the last year or so we’ve had the SLĀV/Kanata thing, Gabriel Chaput, the First Nations hockey players in Quebec City and if you want to go back further, the Mosque Shooting.

      This is a systemic problem in Quebec and all you need to do is ask a PoC and they will recount to you their experiences off the top of their head.

      Oh, and I musn’t forget those perennial lads whom Rage Against the Machine summed up as ‘some of those who work forces/are the same that burn crosses’

    • qatzelok 17:57 on 2019-01-29 Permalink

      People in small towns all over most of the world express similarly bewildered opinions of other cultures. What is really exceptionally racist (and important) is the hierarchy of races in the international arena – of all rich countries’ political leaders.

      Our government protects Israel and will attack Venezuela for the same reason: money, not race. But the distribution of money follows ethnic lines because of tribal loyalty, so this money-based politics is racist by the very definition of racist: ordered according to racial lines. And it’s extremely influential: it determines the way the world functions.

      Using media memes to prove a point on this topic is problematic because commercial media isn’t neutral at all and chooses which memes to run on loop. It also exists for money, which follows tribal lines. Media is, thus, also tribal and racist.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjrD3wachW0 (Michel Onfray on how the Gilets Jaunes are being framed inaccurately by commercial media)

    • js 23:45 on 2019-01-29 Permalink

      Wasn’t this yahoo banned for promoting anti-semitic nonsense before? Why do you keep letting him back in? Does ranting about how Jews are control all governments, banks, and news media really advance understanding of local politics?

    • david100 03:57 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      I’m not sure what to think of qatzelok’s thoughts or the others.

      Overall, I think it’s pretty obvious that we should be dead against the hard conservative values of middle easterns, Asians, and people from here.

      Obviously, it’s not ideal that so many people in Quebec would prefer not to have non-white people around, but here I think it’s also not great to project “Canadian” multi-cultural values on a semi-autonomous political entity like Quebec that hasn’t ever adopted the Vancouver/Toronto ideology that Trudeau parachuted in here to take nationwide.

      I don’t have an opinion on any given creed, but it strikes me, just as a guy who gets really annoyed with have-every-answer Canadians coming to Quebec and imposing their views, that in the same way a lot of you types demand rights for, say Muslim immigrants to practice their religion without restrictions or interference, it should also be fairly normal to allow the Quebec majority to voice opinions about how crazy they think it is. And to impose limits to its influence in the political and social community.

      The Canadian idea that some positions voicing concern about change are off the table and just can’t be discussed because doing so violates some identitarian compact that you cooked up in Toronto? That’s just not a majority Quebecois position.

      I don’t know what turn we took where people wearing burkas are who we on the left are defending, I must have missed it, but I think the sensible position in this column is right: yeah, let’s not go nuts on this stuff but, also, let’s not pretend that we want it or think it’s normal or desirable to be a religious fundamentalist from the middle east. Like, wtf.

    • david100 04:02 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      And obviously it’s not a big problem. I think the idea a lot of people have is that if there were just a lot less tolerance, these people would come anyway, they’d just assimilate a lot fasted and more effectively.

    • Hamza 06:01 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      Racists don’t deserve tolerance. Trudeau senior gave us multiculturalism in the constitution, so I dont know where u get ‘Toronto values.’ Ppl who obsess about hijabs/niqabs reveal their own racism/sexism and ignorance of individual women’s rights to choose.

      Individual and particularly group/minority rights exist as protection against tyranny of the majority.

      The quip about ‘middle eastern’ (are not Israelis Middle Eastern?) and ‘Asians’ (oh brother) is 18th century in its ignorance.

      Define ‘effective assimilation.’ Does it mean look and dress European? Kill your cultural roots and practises? Eat bacon and swallow Timbits?

    • Ephraim 09:33 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      If seperatism wasn’t already dead after seeing the mess of Brexit, the fact that it’s racist has certainly loss them every vote of every immigrant forever.

    • Hamza 13:16 on 2019-01-30 Permalink


      Trust me when I say that mask slipped with Parizeau’s concession speech and nobody ‘ethnic’ who was around then will forget it

    • Chris 22:35 on 2019-01-30 Permalink

      Hamza said “Ppl who obsess about hijabs/niqabs reveal their own racism/sexism and ignorance of individual women’s rights to choose”

      I suspect a reason some people “obsess” about hijabs/niqabs is because they are legally mandated in several places. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I know of no country on Earth where wearing a crucifix or kippah is required. So yeah, how about the woman’s right to choose? Iran and Saudi total ~100m people, say 50m women. That’s almost 2 whole Canadas of women *without* the right to choose. (No doubt a fair chunk would chose to wear it anyway, but they are not given the choice.) Strangely, this forcing applies only to women, and not men. So yeah, I agree sexism is at play. But racism? We’ve got brown people forcing hijab, and white people wanting to forbid hijab. In fact, we’ve also got brown people forbidding hijab, example Turkey. Seems forcing women transcends race. Almost as if assholes come in every colour.

      Forcing hijabs is wrong. Forbidding hijabs is wrong. I can understand that some in solidarity with the former group think the latter policy is warranted, but beyond being illiberal, I think it’s a tactical mistake too, as that which is banned is often coveted.

    • Hamza 07:11 on 2019-01-31 Permalink

      Saudi and Iran’s regimes are terrible yes. Last I checked, there aren’t many Christian or Jewish theocracies left so it doesn’t make sense to compare. The fact that men (white) want to take away the right to wear Islamic dress in Western countries is hypocrisy. Kippahs and crucifixes are not nearly as important to those religions as the Islamic commandments of modesty, and btw modesty in dress is mandated for men as well.

      Anyway my point was that if these supposed defenders of women’s rights actually gave a damn, they would talk about domestic violence, sexual assault, inequality of employment/pay, voting rights, reproductive rights, maternity leave, media and political representation, FGM, and a dozen other more pressing and relevant issues .

      As it stands, this is only about cultural hegemony and forced ‘assimilation’

    • Chris 10:28 on 2019-01-31 Permalink

      “there aren’t many Christian or Jewish theocracies left so it doesn’t make sense to compare” -> There’s only Vatican City and Mount Athos. Total population about 3000. They are basically all there by choice.

      “modesty in dress is mandated for men as well” -> The standard of ‘modesty’ is not the same for men vs women, and you know it. It’s a sexist standard.

      “these supposed defenders of women’s rights” -> who are you referring to exactly? Anyway, there are plenty of us that talk about all those issues you listed, *without omitting* religious stuff too.

      “more pressing and relevant issues” -> there are countless pressing and relevant problems on this Earth. No one can tackle all of them. There’s nothing wrong with picking a subset of issues and tackling them. Some people focus on environment, some on feminism, some on nuclear proliferation, and yes some on hijab. You might find it more pressing were it forced on you.

      If the topic of Islam and feminism interests you, check out some of the exmna videos, ex: youtube.com/watch?v=QToH2x8njJM

      Anyway, my overall point is to push back against the idea that being anti-hijab is _automatically_ racist. Of course some anti-hijab people are also racist! But the one does not require the other. Hijab used to be illegal in Iran. Were they racist against themselves? Today Iranian women are being arrested for taking off their hijab, are they racist against themselves?

    • dhomas 20:58 on 2019-01-31 Permalink

      I’ve been to Iran. The standard of modesty is pretty similar for men and women. I was advised to avoid shorts and wear long sleeves, but no tie. The only difference for women is the hijab, and even then it was pretty loose. Most women I saw in Tehran had a simple veil covering the back of the heads (basically starting around the same place a Jewish man would wear a kippah). I could tell you stories of all the propaganda we are fed her about Iran…
      I can’t speak about Saudi Arabia, though.

    • Chris 22:18 on 2019-01-31 Permalink

      dhomas, if the standard is similar towards men and women, perhaps you could cite something analogous to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girls_of_Enghelab_Street where men are arrested for wearing shorts?

    • dhomas 12:08 on 2019-02-01 Permalink

      When I was there, men definitely could be arrested for “unacceptable” clothing. We don’t hear much about it because the situation is worse for women.
      This article mentions that the police were supposed to stop arresting people for breaking dress code: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/irairan-police-tehran-women-rights-islamic-dress-code-arrests-police-hijab-hasan-rouhani-reform-a8132726.html
      It also mentions that “men can also be stopped by the police if they are seen wearing shorts or going shirtless”. I think this happens less often, but since I didn’t see a single person, man or woman, stopped by police for indecent clothing, I can’t confirm first-hand.

    • Chris 15:42 on 2019-02-01 Permalink

      dhomas, men in Canada can be arrested for “unacceptable” clothing too (Criminal Code sections 173 & 174). But the same rules apply to women, topfreedom included (though only recently).

      In Iran, neither the rules nor enforcement are the same between the sexes. The rules for men are a *subset* of the rules for women. No shorts for men, but no shorts for women either. Head covering for women, but *no* such rule for men. Enforcement likewise is biased against women. It’s textbook sexism.

      Sure we are fed propaganda about Iran, but this isn’t an instance of it.

    • Chris 15:29 on 2019-02-02 Permalink

      And very timely: youtube.com/watch?v=vVpZ0FZc8SY

  • Kate 08:05 on 2019-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Curious little piece says city hall adopted an opposition motion to adopt a carbon budget with the aim of making city operations carbon neutral. The city had already made plans in that direction, so once again the opposition tries (and fails) to activate an issue against Valérie Plante.

  • Kate 08:03 on 2019-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

    An AI hub that’s a collective effort between UdeM, the HEC, the Polytechnique and McGill has been inaugurated in Mile Ex. (It’s called Le Mila, although probably not in honour of Brian Mulroney’s wife.) One of the aspects it’s supposed to be studying is the ethics of how AI is implemented in human society. I think, in retrospect, this will be told as a joke.

  • Kate 07:55 on 2019-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Lavacon, the contractor who renovated the library in Pierrefonds, has been accused of fraud by the inspector general. The company allegedly tweaked its accounts with subcontractors to inflate its invoices at the taxpayer’s expense.

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