Updates from April, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 13:45 on 2019-04-24 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has a budget surplus of $213 million for last year, being ascribed to the hot real estate market. Benoit Dorais is quoted: “Right now we have a situation where the real estate market is very, very, very good for Montrealers.” But is this real estate thing an unmixed blessing?

  • Kate 13:37 on 2019-04-24 Permalink | Reply  

    No cops will be charged in the death of David Tshiteya Kalubi in police custody, two years ago. He was picked up on two minor charges and died as a result of a heart ailment, according to the coroner’s report.

  • Kate 08:04 on 2019-04-24 Permalink | Reply  

    Marc Cassivi comments on the irony of Robert Lepage being accorded a prize by an artists for peace group in the year after SLAV and Kanata.

    • EmilyG 08:33 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      I think the last paragraph in that article tells us what we need to know about Lepage’s thoughts on the matter.

  • Kate 06:56 on 2019-04-24 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal is alleging that the five-year-old who drowned in a back yard pool in Pierrefonds on the weekend may have been pushed in by his brother – but that the brother then tried to fish him out.

    • JaneyB 09:17 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      That poor kid. Siblings are normally pushing each other incessantly but what a terrible consequence that one time. How fast accidents can happen – the parents almost lost both of them in their own backyard.

    • Kate 10:04 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      Don’t think it was the kids of that family – the item suggests they were foster kids from another household. Which isn’t to say it won’t haunt the pool owners or others involved, like the neighbour who tried to save the kid.

    • Bert 16:33 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      Absolutely no security around the pool! Negligence? I think so.

  • Kate 06:50 on 2019-04-24 Permalink | Reply  

    Flooding is still the biggest story Wednesday as rain pelts down. The peak is expected to come Thursday or Friday. Quebec is offering to buy certain houses for $200,000 to get people out of the worst flood zones, a maneuver examined here by the Gazette. It’s fine and dandy to say you have a $900K house on Île Bigras, but if it’s literally underwater, you may be best advised to cut your losses. Surely owners have some responsibility for making a choice to live so close by the river – even if government also has to admit that zoning certain areas residential wasn’t exactly smart either. At least flood maps are being redrawn in the Montreal area.

    Upside: Montreal may get some of its wetlands back because the rivers are making their wishes very clear.

    Other upside: Can people still be living in denial of climate change?

    • steph 07:47 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      are these people/houses insured?

    • dhomas 08:24 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      @Steph that was my initial thought, too. $200k should be enough to buy a new plot of land, then insurance should cover the rebuilding costs (I know my insurance covers rebuilding my home in the event of a complete loss). I then proceeded to check my insurance policy (and I have pretty robust insurance), to find the following:

      WE DO NOT INSURE loss, damage or expenses caused directly or indirectly by flood.
      “Flood” includes waves, tides, tidal waves, tsunamis, seiches, dam breaks and the rising or
      overflow of any stream of water or body of water, whether natural or man-made.
      This exclusion applies whether or not there is another cause or occurrence (whether
      covered or not) that contributes concurrently or in any sequence to the occasioning of the
      loss, damage or expenses.
      However, we insure loss or damage caused directly to insured property by a fire or explosion
      resulting from flood.”

      That said, I’m nowhere near a flood zone, so I may have opted out of such coverage. But my insurance is already so expensive that I can only imagine how much adding “flood insurance” would cost, especially in a high risk area.

    • Marc 09:12 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      I think I recall my insurance company sending an update a few years ago saying that the plan I subscribe to no longer covers flooding. If there’s one thing humans are good at it’s denial.

    • Ephraim 09:48 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      Climate change, flat earth, KKK, Sandy Hook, man on the moon, chemtrails, windmills give cancer…. people will believe silly shit if it means that they feel it gives them, understanding, certainty, control, security and helps maintain a positive self-image. And a lot of society rejects any change at any cost… try to get someone using Tide detergent to change, even if something works better, costs half as much and doesn’t pollute… If their flip phone batteries never died… they would still be using a flip phone.

    • walkerp 09:51 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      What I heard on the radio this morning was that if the insurance companies do not cover it, that’s when you are entitled to government emergency funding. When insurance companies start covering new disasters, then the government doesn’t use emergency funding. Floods did not used to be routinely covered but now they are starting to (though probably at prohibitive cost if you continue to live in a high-risk area).

    • Mark Côté 10:35 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      My house insurance also informed me some time ago that flood protection was no longer included in the basic plan. If you want confirmation of big shifts like climate change, look no further than insurance companies.

    • SMD 11:47 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      A Rigaud resident’s helpful perspective, in Le Devoir today:

      « Tu veux savoir pourquoi on a construit une maison en zone inondable ? C’est simple : ce n’était pas une zone inondable. Quand j’étais petit, j’attendais l’autobus scolaire le long de la rue là-bas, même quand l’eau montait à la fonte des neiges. Des inondations, il n’y en avait pas », ajoute-t-il. Les eaux avaient envahi le chemin en 1976, mais ce n’était rien de comparable avec les inondations de 2017 et de cette année.

      « Les changements climatiques, on a les deux pieds dedans. Ceux qui n’y croient pas devraient venir voir ici. C’est évident que le climat change », dit-il en marchant péniblement dans la rue envahie par un demi-mètre d’eau.

      He also says he’d take the $200K to move, in a heartbeat.

    • Ian 12:32 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      He’s right, 76 was a rough year across Canada, but that area is considered a 50 year flood plain – that it is apparently now annual-ish is regrettable, but not unforeseeable, especially since people have been talking about climate change flooding for well over 30 years now.

    • Mr.Chinaski 13:01 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      Il faut simplement faire comprendre à la population c’est quoi la ligne 0-20 ans, et c’est quoi la ligne 0-100 ans. Fait un vox pop, la majorité des gens n’ont aucune idée de ceci et ce que ça veut dire (même si c’est très évident).

    • Raymond Lutz 13:52 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      Denial? I’ll paste my pinned mastodon toot:

      I don’t believe anymore good arguments can change something in people’s head. I don’t believe anymore in Rationality as a driving social force: we’re hardwired to hang to our misconceptions. Read this Atlantic article for a starter. Here’s a quote: “Having social support, from an evolutionary standpoint, is far more important than knowing the truth.” Pascal Boyer

    • steph 15:36 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      So they [i]could[/i] be insured but chose not to be? Do you think that would work with my car insurance?

    • Ian Rogers 16:12 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      In other news you can buy a 3 bedroom house in Île Bizard for under 150k now…

  • Kate 06:44 on 2019-04-24 Permalink | Reply  

    CDN-NDG mayor Sue Montgomery is in court this week over harassment from a man who has targeted her since she was a journalist for the Gazette – repeatedly taking photos and videos, posting them to a blog – which I’m not going to link to – and showing up for council sessions. Reading about her experience makes my skin crawl: she has my respect for continuing with a public career despite this nuisance.

    • Tim S. 08:29 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      Well put Kate. I’ve had some tangential experiences with Sue Montgomery in the past, and this person has always been a constant presence. She has, as far as I know, always handled it well and not let it put her off.

  • Kate 06:21 on 2019-04-24 Permalink | Reply  

    The winter just past – a long one, which started November 13 and ended with an April snowstorm – is costing the city an additional $6 million for snow removal. Fluctuating temperatures and resulting icy conditions also meant more salt and gravel work.

    • Ian 12:28 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      This amidst plans to not actually bother repairing potholes in any serious way.

      “The City of Montreal says it is going to scale back road repairs and focus on long-term construction designed to make the city more “livable.”

      In other words, the city is going to cut back on patching potholes, and will instead spend money on rebuilding roads and increasing the number of bicycle lanes, widening sidewalks, and planting trees.

      Many roads are currently being repaved to extend their life cycle by an average of ten years. The Plante administration said it wants to refocus its efforts on roads that need to be completely rebuilt and use the occasion to redesign them, as it did on Papineau, north of the metropolitan.”

      While this is a nice idea to beautify the city and focus on major roadworks, the entire length of Hutchison, to take one example, is a mess of potholes top to bottom – there are even potholes on the speedbumps. Not just little patches, but actual holes to the bottom of the roadbed.

      newsflash: bicyclists are also affected by potholes, it’s not just the evil cars and trucks. In personal experience, I blew out my front tire on one a couple of years ago – fortunately it was a side street (on Hutchison), I wasn’t going very fast, and there was no traffic to fall into – but there are major potholes all up and down Parc, Saint Larry, & Saint Urbain – effectively all the major north-south streets in Mile End. Beaubien is a serious mess of deep, unavoidable potholes right where the Van Horne bike path starts, Bernard & Saint Viateur are falling apart – I’ve seen the city just place traffic cones in the deepest holes and leave it at that for weeks at a time… But good news, they put major work into bike paths in on Clark & Jeanne Mance, no need to worry about the potholes on major streets /s – this administration has decided to stick with the old patch up the hole and hope for the best approach which is pennywise and pound foolish at best, we will see more ghost bikes chained to the pretty new urban furniture over the next few years I’m sure.

    • Joey 13:01 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      Maybe this is an unspoken admission that none of the contractors in this city will properly repair streets to prevent potholes from re-emerging soon after the work is done, so we might as well just make do with things as they are.

    • mare 15:33 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      Maybe the streets riddled with potholes will convince drivers to keep to the 30km/h speed limit. Hahahaha.

    • Ian 16:00 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      You’re absolutely right, mare, it’s clearly to the public benefit to leave the potholes. Maybe the city’s budget surplus from gentrification can go into more beautification stuff like building nicer tennis courts for the yuppies in Fletcher’s Field, or redoing the cycle path median on Clark that narrowed the street too much for fire trucks to pass.

  • Kate 06:56 on 2019-04-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Centre-Sud is facing change as the block currently occupied by Maison Radio-Canada is redeveloped, and I suppose most of the the Molson brewery building will be coming down as well. They don’t want their neighbourhood turned over to rapacious developers and lose their affordable places to live. But they’re living in a dream world, because that’s exactly what will happen.

    • Faiz Imam 18:20 on 2019-04-23 Permalink

      There is an absolutely massive area that will be redeveloped, densified and re-planned. This is a key moment where the degree to which we give developers control can decide the future of this part of the city.

      Can we get more than a token amount of affordable housing? can we get more than a token amount of purpose built rental? With the government in power now, we have the best shot we’ve ever had to do so.

      And its not just the housing. The new land that has been converted means an opportunity for elementary schools, community centers.

      But another major part of that is the highway. The current way the Ville marie emerges and spreads out in that area is a real killer. Some amount of re-configuation, ideally something major, would be a huge help to everyone.

    • Ian 12:30 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      Haha no. I cite the razing of the Children’s Hospital – the developer has essentially refused to build the social units they agreed to and the city is toothless to do anything about it.

    • SMD 12:44 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      Not to mention the badly-needed downtown school, which just wasn’t « rentable » enough for him.

  • Kate 06:50 on 2019-04-23 Permalink | Reply  

    A five-year-old fell into a swimming pool Monday in the West Island and drowned, and his brother is recovering from an attempt to save him.

  • Kate 11:42 on 2019-04-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Rivers continue to rise but there have been no evacuation orders yet in the Montreal area. Hydro-Quebec has tweeted that if you think your house is at risk from water, cut the current. TVA says the worst is to come although La Presse sees a respite but media generally seem to think flood preparations are better this year after the damage done in 2017.

    • Ian 13:09 on 2019-04-22 Permalink

      TVA is pretty alarmist, I’m surprised they aren’t showing us lost ponies wandering the streets of Pierrefonds.

  • Kate 09:17 on 2019-04-22 Permalink | Reply  

    The private Phi Foundation is opening a new exhibit by Yoko Ono this week toward the 50th anniversary of the bed-in at the Queen Elizabeth.

  • Kate 08:41 on 2019-04-22 Permalink | Reply  

    For a long weekend the police blotter has been quiet, one non-fatal stabbing in Villeray being the only such item I can find. Whether it’s petty criminals or journalists taking the holiday weekend off is anyone’s guess.

    • Marc 10:50 on 2019-04-23 Permalink

      Does that “petty” apply to the journalists as well? 🙂

  • Kate 08:37 on 2019-04-22 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal has a quiz about animal species in Montreal as a sidebar to a piece on how climate change is altering the mix of bird and animal species that cohabit with us on the island.

    I started the Flickr group Montreal faune/wildlife in 2015 and keep an eye on it: oddly, it’s seen a fair number of pix of snowy owls (which the quiz say aren’t present here) but none of porcupines (which they say are). The group’s got some dedicated bird photographers in particular, and as a city dweller familiar with 3 bird species – pigeons, gulls and sparrows – it’s been enlightening to learn about the many other species that coexist with us.

    • Frankie 12:00 on 2019-04-22 Permalink

      I was surprised to start seeing cardinals in Villeray over the past few years as that is not a bird that I would have seen 30 years ago in this area. Either there are more of them and are expanding their territory or they are getting used to city life. In January, I had a small falcon (kestrel?) perch on the ash tree in the front of the house to have his dinner, a sparrow (feathers flying everywhere). A pair had built a nest in a tree in Parc Christophe Colomb last summer but I didn’t expect them to hang around during the winter. They don`t seem to mind noisy roads as the park is on Jean Talon and I live on De Lorimier. I, on the other hand, hate traffic and may end up extinct because of it.

    • mare 12:00 on 2019-04-22 Permalink

      I saw a porcupine a bit north of the island while walking my dogs. One dog saw it too and chased it and I was very, very glad there was a tree in the middle of the field and the porcupine decided to climb in it instead of porcupining my dog. I saw pictures of dogs full of porcupine spines in the face and lips and it is extremely painful and expensive to remove them.
      I didn’t know they lived on the island as well, must be in the east or west island, maybe near the nature parks or golf courses there. Hope to never encounter them again, because it’s certain I have my dogs with me.

    • Ian 13:14 on 2019-04-22 Permalink

      @Frankie I used to work on Chemin Bates about 15 years ago and we saw nesting cardinals a fair bit there. If they can make it in industrial CDN I am sure they think Villeray is a treat 🙂 There are also peregrine falcons nesting in the old Rosemont incinerator chimney railings.

      I have a friend on Clark just south of Saint Joey with rooftop access, and on summer evenings we see all kinds of birds flying from Lafontaine Park to the mountain that you don’t notice at street level – lots of ducks, herons, and hawks. There is even a fairly substantial colony of nighthawks in Mile End but I’m not sure where they nest. I love the crazy zooming noise of their wings when they do their display flights.

    • Blork 15:45 on 2019-04-22 Permalink

      Don’t forget the enormous turkey vultures that like to summer here, hanging out mostly around the skyscrapers of downtown it seems. (I haven’t seen any yet this year.)

    • John B 18:28 on 2019-04-22 Permalink

      The first cardinal I ever saw, (I’m from out west), was 12-ish years ago at the Botanical Gardens. I saw some this year in LaSalle. There’s a big hawk/eagle (some sort of raptor) that comes to Verdun every winter.

      Jean-Marc Lacoste on YouTube has a lot of videos of wildlife in the Verdun/Lachine area.

    • JP 21:25 on 2019-04-22 Permalink

      I’ve been seeing a lot more cardinals in Ahuntsic-Cartierville the past few years. I’ve also seen more robins this year and a few woodpeckers. All spring, there have also been ducks, geese and seagulls in the park area next to Arena Marecelin-Wilson. I’m always curious about where all of these birds have their nests and what happens when it’s very windy or extremely rainy. Has anyone ever seen bluejays in Montreal?

    • Tim S. 21:35 on 2019-04-22 Permalink

      JP: I’ve seen bluejays from time to time in Brossard, but not yet in the city

    • dhomas 04:53 on 2019-04-23 Permalink

      I regularly see a pair of cardinals that like to hang out in the tree in my backyard. There’s also some kind of woodpecker (I think it’s a “Downy Woodpecker” or “Pic mineur” because it looks quite small) that I see pretty often, pecking at the local trees. Lots of other birds like what I think we call red-breasted robins (“rouge-gorge”), red-winged blackbirds (called “Carouge à épaulettes” in French, which is a much more creative name), and others. But the animal that I see most often is a Fox that I believe lives in the cemetery next to my house. I almost exclusively see it in the cemetery, though I did notice it once or twice out on the street in the winter, early in the morning after a snowfall. I’ve seen it with a squirrel in its mouth, but I’ve been told that I should not be worried about my cat and the fox cohabitating (I’m still a bit worried, though).

    • EmilyG 08:39 on 2019-04-23 Permalink

      I saw a brown creeper in Villeray. And although I’ve never seen a nighthawk, they can be heard sometimes on summer evenings in the city.

    • Ian 11:28 on 2019-04-23 Permalink

      @dhomas there are lots of birds and animals in the cemeteries, I’ve seen a variety of hawks and owls on the mountain I never see anywhere else in town. There are also a TON of groundhogs along with the squirrels and chipmunks so there are many small predators prowling around looking for them. For some reason Notre Dame des Neiges seems to have more groundhogs than Mont-Royal but that could just be a matter of perception as up among the crypts in NDDN you can see way across the fields and the groundhog holes are plentiful. The only places I’ve seen rabbits in town was Saint Henri down by the abandoned railway lines, but I am told they are also plentiful throughout the island.

    • Kevin 07:51 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      I last saw cardinals in NDG earlier this month.
      Last time I saw a blue jay was a year ago. They don’t hang around for long.

    • nau 10:56 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      Cardinals are around in Verdun most of the year, and there are blue jays in summer. The little hawks are back. Lots of other birds are passing through right now and are easy to spot as the trees haven’t leafed out, such as flickers, hermit thrush, white thoated sparrows, wrens. The warblers should start showing up soon. As for animals, just in our yard I’ve seen racoons, skunks and marmots. There are foxes and beavers around, as well as muskrats in the Aqueduc canal. At the Parc des rapides in Lasalle, there are egrets, kingfishers and orioles (not now but later in the year), and last year on one occasion an osprey. Sometimes one can spot gar in the shallows there and also in the Lachine Canal in Griffintown. Never seen any porcupines in Verdun though, or coyotes or rabbits for that matter.

    • EmilyG 11:39 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      I was looking out my back window today here in Rosemont and I saw juncos, though they’re pretty common at this time of year. I think my area (south Rosemont) has good potential for interesting wildlife sightings.

    • Kevin 16:45 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      A mated pair of cardinals and a blue jay in my backyard right now! (along with a bunch of other birds)

    • Blork 16:48 on 2019-04-24 Permalink

      Right on cue, I just spotted a turkey vulture buzzing the new condo towers along René-Lévesque.

  • Kate 11:25 on 2019-04-21 Permalink | Reply  

    Flooding remains the major local story on Easter Sunday, a storyline that takes the spotlight off the central city onto suburbs and outlying areas. The army has been called in; a woman died in a car on a washed-out road; there are sandbags deployed around the north end, where the back river may be paying folks a visit.

    It’s being floated* that people may simply have to move away from areas that flood in springtime.

    * see what I did there

    • Blork 11:58 on 2019-04-21 Permalink

      Yeah, but plenty of people would like to sink* that idea.

      ha ha

    • Chris 20:31 on 2019-04-21 Permalink

      Those people should move, but who would buy their property? No one, that’s who. 🙁

    • Kevin 19:42 on 2019-04-22 Permalink

      We all will Chris.

  • Kate 09:34 on 2019-04-21 Permalink | Reply  

    Several construction firms have been accused of false billing fraud around new construction at the Jewish General Hospital. Oddly, only QMI is reporting on this, I’m finding.

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