Updates from August, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:48 on 2020-08-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Police are indicating that they will be patrolling streets for anyone breaking traffic rules, after a month plagued with traffic deaths and injuries. Watch out for ticket traps.

    A small demonstration was held in Cabot Square on Wednesday to deplore the death of two Inuit women in traffic, in two different incidents over the last couple of weeks.

  • Kate 22:43 on 2020-08-05 Permalink | Reply  

    A mural portraying Nelson Mandela is to be painted on the Union United Church in commemoration of Mandela’s visit to town 30 years ago.

  • Kate 22:41 on 2020-08-05 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal describes more homeless camps along Notre-Dame East, as does La Presse. Closure of temporary shelters is being blamed. The city is preparing to rebuild a rooming house in Ville-Marie, and obviously we need more like this, but Quebec is not being generous to the city when it comes to housing.

  • Kate 19:00 on 2020-08-05 Permalink | Reply  

    A candlelight vigil is on the point of beginning at Dorchester Square to commemorate the losses in Beirut Tuesday.

    Update: Some reports on the vigil with photos and thoughts on how difficult it is to help when international travel is limited.

  • Kate 17:19 on 2020-08-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Gatherings of 250 people – this CBC item is illustrated with a rather larger crowd – are now permitted in Quebec, meaning that festivals can now resume.

    A few festivals are actually on the schedule. I’m updating the festivals list in the sidebar, putting in 2020’s dates, commenting out the ones that seem to be missing in action.

    Seems to me the pandemic will bring the definitive coup de grâce to the Montreal International Film Festival.

    • GC 20:27 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      Fantasia Film Festival is going ahead virtually on August 20. Just mentioning it because I see you’ve noted a few festivals that have gone virtual, as opposed to being cancelled outright.

    • Kate 21:27 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      Thanks, GC. I don’t know how that dropped off my list, but it’s now back on.

  • Kate 08:31 on 2020-08-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Many hospitals around Montreal are adding temporary modular buildings to function as Covid isolation wards – which means the medical establishment here is bracing for a surge in cases after the rentrée.

    Dr Theresa Tam is warning us that Covid may be around for a long time. And a study shows that, even with a vaccine, a lot of Canadians will delay getting it, or refuse to get it at all.

    • Mr.Chinaski 09:33 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      Not only that, but the vaccine to be effective will require herd protection, so +/- 75% of the population.

    • Jebediah Pallindrome 13:05 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      Literally every community in Canada has a hockey rink. Dr. Joanne Liu was saying how all COVID+ patients should be kept out of the hospitals to keep hospitals from shutting down and/or becoming vectors of the virus, but that the govt doesn’t want this because it looks bad. The arenas aren’t being used anyways… they’d be perfect isolation spots. Instead govt orders new construction. This is all about greasing palms. The political class couldn’t have been more inept had they tried.

    • Kate 13:26 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      Problem there is that people might want to use the rinks for hockey.

    • Kevin 13:27 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      The temporary hospital buildings were announced in May or June, because while you can do some stuff under a tent, treating people outdoors in the winter isn’t really feasible. Like everything else with this disease, people need space — and those old hospitals that kept 4 people to a room aren’t going to cut it.

      Hospitals need hot zones and cold zones and to do that safely in winter means space, and lots of it.

      As for arenas — they are being used. Hockey camps take place all summer (and there have been outbreaks) and skating for all starts Sept. 1 (at least in my neighbourhood).
      They’d also be terrible isolation spots. There is no medical gear on hand. Accessing washrooms would be difficult at best. They’re gloomy and not designed to be heated.

      Commandeer some buffet halls instead of arenas if you really need people inside 🙂

    • JaneyB 13:34 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      re: Tam’s conference – I think the odds of Canadians wearing masks and avoiding people for 3 years is slim to none. Since now countries like the Czech Republic and Slovakia have lowered their numbers so much that they are basically maskless and back open after 8 weeks even without a vaccine, it will become harder to justify the various strategies we are using. It really looks like we really botched it by not recommending face covering at the same time as we shut down. Hindsight, of course.

    • Kate 14:24 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      I hope you’re right, JaneyB, but I’ll wait to see how things look a few weeks after schools reopen.

    • dwgs 15:25 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      Several hockey arenas were used for temporary hospitals (Jacques Lemaire in Lasalle comes to mind) as well as other uses. Doug Harvey in NDG was used as a temporary home for the local food bank. As others have said, they’e not really well suited to the purpose on a long term basis. They lack the necessary electrical and plumbing infrastructure for example. Most of the arenas are starting to install ice at the moment and the ones that do have ice are already seeing heavy usage.

    • Michael Black 15:42 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      A hospital is way more than beds. There is massive infrastructure behind it. A hockey arena might be fine for minor things (something like an ice storm where people need a place to stay), but you need that infrastructure for anything much serious. I had xrays a few times, a camera down my throat a bunch of times, I guess it was an electrocardiogram twice, dialysis for ten weeks, endless laundry, awful hospital food three times a day. Adjacent to the hospital means these resources are close.

      Remember, this is for the very serious cases. They were telling people with mild symptoms to stay home.

      I’ll note that the article quotes Dr. Fauci as being more optimistic about a vaccine. This guy is no mere administrator. His name is on a paper about my rare disease, I gather he did something significant about how to deal with it. So he seems to know what he’s doing.

    • Kate 21:33 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      Michael Black, I see so many contradictory things about the possibility of a vaccine that I do not know what to think. Some reports say immunity to SARS-CoV-2 doesn’t last long enough for a vaccine to work. Even if we do get a rock-solid vaccine, enough people will refuse the shot that we may not be able to immunize enough of the population.

      Used to be you couldn’t enroll your kid in school without a smallpox vaccination certificate. If the Covid vaccination comes and it works, maybe a rule like that could be revived.

  • Kate 08:28 on 2020-08-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Héma-Québec’s study finds that 2.23% of Quebec adults aged 18 to 69 have caught Covid-19, suggesting a number closer to 125,000 people who have caught it here, vs. the official figure of 37,000 cases in that age group. That’s a lot of people walking around without symptoms, possibly spreading it.

    Update: Santé Quebec’s official numbers say 60,000 Quebec residents have caught the virus so far.

  • Kate 20:19 on 2020-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Dan Philip, who headed the Black Coalition of Quebec for 40 years, is retiring from the post to be replaced by Max Stanley Bazin, described as a lawyer. On looking him up, I found this article from 2015, which says Bazin no longer practices.

    • David732 22:00 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      That article strongly suggests that he no longer practices because he fell into some sort of situation (drugs, mental decline, booze, laziness, women, gambling, etc) that caused him to stop doing work for which he was paid, possibly because he was unable to do so. He was never reinstated after he was disbarred.

      Not such a great record, here:

      “Bazin, qui le représentait lors du procès « n’avait tout simplement pas pris connaissance du dossier, même de la façon la plus élémentaire », précise le document.

      L’« incompétence » de l’avocat était telle qu’un juré a fait parvenir une note au juge pour questionner le déroulement du procès.

      « L’incident n’est pas banal et représente sans doute une première au Québec, sinon au Canada », précise le jugement.

      . . .

      M. Bazin a été radié de l’ordre pour une période de deux ans en 2011.

      Le conseil de discipline lui a notamment reproché de ne pas s’être présenté à la cour pour représenter certains de ses clients, entraînant l’émission d’un mandat d’arrestation contre l’un d’eux.

      Il n’aurait pas non plus suivi les cours de perfectionnement que le Barreau lui avait imposés, « vu ses lacunes en droit ».

    • Kate 10:30 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      David∞, it wasn’t necessary to extract and spell out the details about Mr. Bazin’s troubles. I linked the story so anyone sufficiently interested could check it out.

      In fact, I suspect the Black Coalition was Dan Philip, and that without him it may simply cease to exist in favour of more recent groupings.

    • Dan 10:41 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      David can never resist an opportunity to spout his unfounded, racist assumptions about a POC in the news.

    • Michael Black 10:49 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      I was surprised by a story a while back where the Coalition was mentioned but someone other than Dan Phillips was quoted. He definitely is the organization, though more concrete than something I mentioned recently. I did see him on TV more recently, and he is looking old, though that’s since ly because I haven’t seen him on the news recently.

      It won’t be the same, and time will tell how things go.

    • david232 10:54 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      Yeah, Dan, I have it out for POCs in the news. Thanks for your contribution.

      Back on planet earth, I have a professional interest in lawyers behaving badly. And “unfounded”!

      You obviously don’t read French:

      “Bazin, qui le représentait lors du procès « n’avait tout simplement pas pris connaissance du dossier, même de la façon la plus élémentaire », précise le document.

      Translation: he didn’t even have the most elementary familiarity with the case, let alone familiarity sufficient to defend his client.

      « L’incident n’est pas banal et représente sans doute une première au Québec, sinon au Canada », précise le jugement.

      Translation: this is egregious, a first in Quebec, and possibly all of Canada.

      M. Bazin a été radié de l’ordre pour une période de deux ans en 2011.

      Translation: he was disbarred in 2011, for a period of two years (after which he could apply for readmission).

      Le conseil de discipline lui a notamment reproché de ne pas s’être présenté à la cour pour représenter certains de ses clients, entraînant l’émission d’un mandat d’arrestation contre l’un d’eux.

      Translation: In its order, the bar discipline board noted that in some cases, he didn’t even show up for court to represent his clients, which in at least one case led to an arrest warrant being issued against one of said clients.

      Il n’aurait pas non plus suivi les cours de perfectionnement que le Barreau lui avait imposés, « vu ses lacunes en droit ».

      Translation: he also didn’t even do the legal education units ordered by the bar to correct his lack of legal knowledge (ie. pertaining to the things that he kept doing wrong).

      Then the guy didn’t bother trying to get his law license back.

      A lot of racism there!

    • Kate 12:32 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      david∞– yes, we got the story, you don’t have to keep copying it to your comments.

    • Dan 12:33 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      Thanks so much David, but I am perfectly bilingual. Funny I didn’t see a translation of the part about drugs, booze and laziness – oh right, cause there was absolutely no mention of that and just your own unnecessary, and IMO, racist assumption.

    • David838 14:44 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      That’s the assumption about every lawyer when he/she goes off track. It’s drummed into you in law school, professional responsibility lectures, CLEs, etc. Literally, those things are the reason pretty much every otherwise normal attorney ends up going off the rails, white or black, 90% of cases in front to the bar court, that’s the reason.

    • Michael Black 15:51 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      But what relevance does this have to the organization? Leading it, you’ll have lawyers working for you, not in court handling the case yourself. Knowing the law is useful, it helped the Black Panthers, but not having a license isn’t that important.

      Kate’s right, someone new leading the group is more likely to be a problem because they aren’t Dan Phillips than any problem in their past.

    • david25 18:04 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      It’s remarkable when a semi-well known civic organization hires a 1%er of attorneys – namely, the disbarred – to run the organization! Mazel tov and bon courage to them, but I think it’s perfectly worth commenting about.

      And again, people can look up how people end up making the sorts of repeated violations that result in disbarment, and it’s not pretty. If it’s new behavior, there’s an underlying issue, that’s usually pretty dark.

  • Kate 20:08 on 2020-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    A man who lived partly in Montreal and partly in Lebanon was killed in the Beirut explosion on Tuesday. A lot of folks in Montreal have family connections there.

    Update: On Facebook, the mayor posted a photo of the three city hall flags at half mast and a statement about honouring Wednesday’s day of mourning.

  • Kate 12:45 on 2020-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s already fairly bucketing down as I type, but tropical storm Isaias is expected to bring even more torrential rain Tuesday night into Wednesday.

  • Kate 09:25 on 2020-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Two thirds of people surveyed in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie are in favour of bike paths. And this is TVA admitting it!

    La Presse has published a response to last week’s sour Montréal, je te quitte! screed. Pascal Henrard points out that journalists like negative stories – that someone hates a new bike path or a new park is more edgy and newsy than how much people like a new thing. Le bonheur écrit à l’encre blanche sur des pages blanches. (Henrard doesn’t go so far as to theorize that journalists writing these sour stories are giving readers permission to also hate, giving them a focus for their hate, but I could go on about this.)

    Update: Toula Drimonis responds to Montréal, je te quitte!, specifically, the writer’s complaint that the city didn’t do enough to give him copious free parking everywhere he might want to go.

    • Blork 11:09 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      This might be ass-talk, but I think about how a generation ago, the usual line from media-savvy and progressive-minded people was that mainstream media always favored mainstream ideas because it assured larger readership numbers for the sake of advertising. So the mantra among the up-and-coming new media people was always to “go behind the story” and to find alternative perspectives and to highlight the less-told, “unheard” voices.

      FFwd a generation, and now those people ARE the mainstream media. Given that the previously unheard are heard too much now because of social media, blogs, and other less commercial forms, the way for the mainstream media to “go behind the story” is now to present views that are counter to the majority of the noise from social media. So, for example, if social media is full of people saying they want more bike paths, the mainstream media will feel they’re doing the responsible media thing by voicing the “unheard” schlubs who complain about parking and don’t like bicycles.

      Progress! (Sarcasm.)

      (And the advertising part takes care of itself, because it’s now about getting clicks not regular readership, and inflammatory and/or click-baity headlines take care of that.)

    • Ian 12:03 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      Another thing to consider is that probably people aged 55 and over are less likely to be riding bikes so it doesn’t benefit them personally. This purely anecdotal evidence is based on my own experience of riding those paths, and noticing the ages of the people around me. Certainly skews towards families with younger kids, or people in their 20s and 30s that seem to be in a bit of a rush to get where they are going. There are a few older riders like myself but not nearly as many.

      I wonder what the demographics of the surrounding neighbourhoods are, i.e.; do they skew young?

    • Kate 12:25 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      Rosemont elects Projet councillors, Québec solidaire MNAs and the only remaining NDP MP on the island of Montreal. Must be something in the water.

    • Ian 16:24 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      So does Mile End (well, Liberal MP this time, sadly) and half the population is Hassidic – voting patterns alone don’t tell us a lot about demographics.

    • DeWolf 19:48 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      I always think of Rosemont as the Portland of Montreal. Maybe it’s just me. But it really gives me that kind of vibe.

    • walkerp 07:18 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      And Portland is also known as The City of Roses, so further connections…

    • mare 14:16 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      And there was a direct rail link to Portland from Montreal, albeit not from RosePatrie, but from Bonaventure station.

      Oh wait, The Grand Trunk went to that other Portland, in Maine.


  • Kate 09:22 on 2020-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    There’s a Montreal angle to the Perseverance Mars rover, as one of the engineers involved was born here. The mission took off successfully last week and is scheduled to land there in February.

  • Kate 09:14 on 2020-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Verdun General is adding a new 36-bed Covid wing. It’s going to be a prefab, meant to handle the surge of new cases expected later this year.

  • Kate 09:10 on 2020-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Two people were seriously hurt Tuesday when they crashed their car into a truck trailer parked in a lot in St-Laurent. Police are trying to figure out how this happened.

  • Kate 21:08 on 2020-08-03 Permalink | Reply  

    The headline here – Montreal cop suspended for three days after good deed goes bad – is a little misleading. It’s an amusing read, but the cop in question shows incredibly poor judgement at several points in the story. What cop with 26 years of experience thinks it’s appropriate to return lost property at 2 in the morning?

    • Ephraim 07:52 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      What punishment is 3 days off with no pay? The note on his file is more of a punishment than the actual punishment.

    • steph 08:46 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      I wonder what would happen if the lawyer pressed charges? It’s basically a home intrusion gone afoul.

    • walkerp 08:51 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      This is super suspicious. Sounds to me like some kind of attempt to harass or get info was going on and he got caught.

    • Meezly 09:09 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      The first wallet belonged to the daughter of a lawyer who “defends clients who require legal aid and has displayed an impressive knowledge of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms in cases heard at the Montreal courthouse.” Interesting. Coincidence?

    • Michael Black 09:32 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      The article did say that the cop claimed he didn’t know the guy was a lawyer.

      There was that drug bust a few years ago where the homeowner shot a cop, claiming he thought it was a home invasion. Someone suddenly appearing in a home doesn’t seem very safe.

      There was no mailbox to put the wallets? No way to lock both wallets back in the car and leave a note about it?

    • Kate 10:13 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      Michael Black: yes, the Basil Parasiris case in Brossard. That guy had a gun and killed one of the cops, thinking it was a home invasion – as, in a sense, it was. The Wikipedia page mentions nothing about drugs.

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