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  • Kate 16:26 on 2020-04-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Went out for a desperately needed walk after being inside for several days. Seems everyone around here felt the same. I was passed so many times by joggers. People were even walking and running along Crémazie, which I thought would be a safely unpopular street for a walk.

    Line of cars waiting to go into the Starbucks drive-thru on Crem. Couldn’t make sense of that one.

    It’s like, get home, check the web to see what horrible news I may have missed in the hour and a half I was outside.

    But some things never change. Someone’s messing around with a circular saw outside, the inevitable accompaniment of spring.

    • Blork 16:42 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      I heard my first neighbourhood lawn mower today. I don’t think he was mowing; just fired it up to make some noise I think. (I.e., maintenance.)

    • jeather 19:43 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      Kate, I hadn’t been to Starbucks in months but lately it is all I have been thinking of. I can’t blame the people.

  • Kate 09:30 on 2020-04-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Here’s a bit of news to give us pause: the SPVM has bought not only a lot of masks, but also more than a thousand bulletproof vests at a cost of half a million dollars. I wonder what kind of popular uprising they’re expecting.

    • John B 11:57 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      I believe every police officer, (at least in uniform?), wears a bulletproof vest whenever they are on duty, so this probably just means they may anticipate having more officers on duty at once, or more hiring, or, (if they currently share), less sharing.

    • Ian 12:19 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      Thanks. John – that does sound (relievingly) considerably less ominous.

    • Kate 13:06 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      I think my 2012 instincts kicked in there for a moment…

    • Blue 13:09 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      A Montreal cop just had a photo of himself posted on Instagram by his wife partying it up with other people in Sainte-Therese, and two days ago, he was in his house in Montreal.

      Add insult to injury? They had the gall to hashtag quarantine on the photo.

      All that to say…I can never give cops the benefit of the doubt. 2012 instincts should be activated.

    • qatzelok 13:15 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      Blue, you are mixing up two very different things: the aims and behavior of the police departments and their leaders, and the aims and behavior of one single person. Not related.

    • Bert 15:49 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      Also, lots of things “expire” so they need to be replaced as they age out. Helmet (bike, moto, etc.), baby car seats, water (yes, look at that package of bottled water) canned food, etc. I would even venture that some things that people would consider non-perishable has expiry dates, like ammunition,tires,…..

    • GC 17:30 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      Doesn’t all food have to have an “expiry” date, by law? It doesn’t mean it’s not safe to eat–just perhaps not as fresh. Very few things are going to be good one day and then magically bad after midnight, as well. With a lot of things–dairy, especially–it’s pretty obvious when it’s gone bad.

      For food, at least…I have no idea about ammunition. In that case, I could guess safety concerns might warrant disposing of it after a certain amount of time has passed.

  • Kate 08:53 on 2020-04-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada has a thoughtful piece on the multiple reasons Orthodox Jewish communities are extra hard hit by COVID-19. Members of the community are concerned about being regarded as scapegoats, since it doesn’t take some people long to start blaming Jews for things.

    • dwgs 09:55 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      Not that it’s the best barometer but the comment section in the Gazoo ‘s piece on Perez the other day very quickly became a cesspool. Chilling remarks about “chosen people” and how they deserve what’s coming.

  • Kate 21:16 on 2020-04-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Both the Mount Royal and Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemeteries are restricting access to casual visitors, and only allowing in a couple of family members by appointment, if there’s a burial.

    • Dhomas 00:20 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      The Repos Saint-François d’Assise out east has been closed for about a week now, too.

    • Kate 08:58 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      I guess I can see why. You don’t want to risk a gathering of people at a graveside. But for taking a stroll far away from most (living) people, all three of these cemeteries are good places. Mount Royal is especially nice in springtime, because the oldest sections have some crabapples and other flowering trees.

      I wouldn’t have thought the cemeteries dangerous for casual visitors, but I suppose they’re running with short security staff.

    • Ian 12:16 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      Last weekend I had to go to a Canadian Tire for emergency supplies and on my way home took a meandering route, originally planning to visit Notre Dame des Neiges just to be able to walk around for a bit without too many people around, or at least that was my plan, as it was already closed except by appointment. I drove to Mont-Royal instead but opted not to walk around as there already a surprising number of people walking around, mostly in groups of 2. Coming down through upper Outremont there were tons of people around, not maintaining social distance at all. I saw one group of 2 families with children openly sharing snacks from tupperware. Surprisingly way more in the very wealthy neighbourhoods than down the hill.

      I guess now that the city is asking that we not leave our neighbourhoods trying to go for a solitary walk anywhere around my neighbourhood, Mile-End, will be pretty much impossible. I guess i’ll be getting my sun by sitting on my stoop. This morning I took my coffee on the stoop as my neighbours up and down the block did their Sabbath prayers together from their own stoops & balconies, including a kaddish for the dead.

    • Chris 13:10 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      I wonder how much they think through the unintended consequences of these things. Like Ian says, in dense neighbourhoods, closing parks will just result in more crowding of sidewalks. Could be worse overall.

      With so little car traffic now, pedestrians should take back the streets. 🙂

  • Kate 21:14 on 2020-04-03 Permalink | Reply  

    A man drowned in the back river Friday afternoon in an attempt to rescue his dog, who’d fallen in. The dog got itself out, but the owner did not.

  • Kate 21:07 on 2020-04-03 Permalink | Reply  

    A Hasidic spokesman said Friday that there had been no gathering in the synagogue on Bernard the previous evening, although he admits people had been milling around outside to some extent.

  • Kate 21:04 on 2020-04-03 Permalink | Reply  

    A regular reader pointed out I’d missed this important news about means being taken by three boroughs to deter renovictions.

  • Kate 16:42 on 2020-04-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Montreal public health has introduced a web app where you can enter any rona symptoms you have and specify your neighbourhood down to the first three characters of your postal code. It was written in Toronto but is known here as aplatir.ca.

  • Kate 13:23 on 2020-04-03 Permalink | Reply  

    The jazz festival and the Francos are cancelled for this year and Just For Laughs is postponed, theoretically till late September.

    I just got email from Vélo Québec saying the Tour de l’Île and related events, scheduled for the end of May into June, are cancelled.

    Twitter is also telling me that this year’s Fringe is cancelled.

    • Max 23:04 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      This must not bode well for the Porch Fest nor the Folk Fest gang. Hang in there, Sud-Ouest folks. We’ll catch up with you later for sure.

  • Kate 09:43 on 2020-04-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Police broke up a gathering at a storefront synagogue on Bernard, Thursday evening. They were “snitched” on by firefighters who happened to notice.

    People have been flushing sterilizing wipes, and it’s bad for the sewage system.

    Calls to suicide lines dipped at the beginning of the crisis, but are now on the rise as people face job stress or job loss, isolation or else being locked in with difficult family members.

    Cult MTL is not going to print this month, but they do have a PDF version you can download, with a terrific cover.

    • Tim S 09:49 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      I know a family who had to evacuate their home for several months after their upstairs toilet backed up and overflowed, apparently quite dramatically, on account of wipes clogging the pipes.

    • Ian 10:03 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      Firefighters can’t snitch, they are the authorities. But point taken, see you all after this is over.

      May you never be in a situation where your safety or well-being is compromised by some holier-than-thou reactionary “neighbour” that cares more about the letter of the law than its spirit.

    • Chris 10:09 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      Details matter. Was this event like Perez’, with a handful of people that mostly live together already? Or was it 50 people from 50 different families congregating together? The article is light on actual details.

    • Kate 10:24 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      Ian, I’m sorry. Please don’t blow off this blog because we’ve disagreed on a thing. Not during a crisis.

    • qatzelok 10:42 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      Neither climate change, nor coronavirus, nor rain, nor snow… can stop Superman (who is fictional, by the way).

    • Ephraim 10:51 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      Did someone see what GROUP they are from? The city needs to appeal to their rabbi.

    • Chris 10:58 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      It could just as easily be the rabbi encouraging them to continue as usual. That’s the case in Israel, where several prominent rabbinic leaders have publicly defied government rules about quarantine.

    • ottawaowl 12:25 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      Damn, that’s my daughter’s ruelle!

      La Presse: Les services de sécurité hassidiques, les Chomrims, sont accourus sur place dans plusieurs véhicules. Les Chaverims, un service d’assistance d’urgence bénévole hassidique, ont aussi été dépêchés sur place. Vers 21 h la situation s’est calmée et la plupart des gens sont rentrés chez eux.

      The Dutriaz audio link on the TVA story calls them “les goons hassidiques” and the racist (?) “reporters” seem to rejoice in the news about Michael Rosenberg which is perhaps understandable but still UGLY.

      A few savoury expressions in the audio file: partir en couilles, sacrer une amende, ses cambrilles (sp?), etc.

    • Raymond Lutz 12:40 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

    • Jack 14:30 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      Thanks Raymond I am healed.

    • Ephraim 16:17 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      Chaverim Shomrim is Tosh. Same people as Kiryat Tosh, in Boisbriand. They are the UO neighbourhood watch, though I didn’t realize that in Montreal it was one group, rather than two, since Chaverim is usually the Tosh neighbourhood watch group, Shomrim is more general UO group. There is also Hatzalah, which is the UO EMS group.

  • Kate 09:29 on 2020-04-03 Permalink | Reply  

    The city was about to raise parking meter rates, but now the increase has been postponed.

  • Kate 17:18 on 2020-04-02 Permalink | Reply  

    Verdun General has become a COVID-19 hotspot where at least two doctors and 35 patients have the virus.

    The mayor is now asking us to stay in our neighbourhoods and says police will be patrolling six big parks – Maisonneuve, Lafontaine, Mount Royal, Jeanne-Mance, Laurier and along the Lachine Canal – to break up any gatherings.

    City cases are now up to 2,642; 17 people have died so far in Montreal. The curve is still on an upswing in the city.

    • Max 21:13 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      That figures. Verdun is the shittiest hospital on the whole island. Their head of orthopaedics, Dr. Serge Tohme (who operated on my leg a few years ago) is the subject of a lawsuit for causing a woman to lose her leg. Fuck Verdun Hospital up the arse.

    • Raymond Lutz 08:19 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      The metro is still running and the police is breaking up any gatherings in the parks?

    • Meezly 08:38 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      Even the shittiest hospital does not deserve this (but the administration, maybe!). May the staff and patients receive the help they need.

    • Chris 10:05 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      Raymond, are you saying they should close the metro? You know hospital workers and other vital workers use it to get to work, right? Not everyone owns their own car.

    • Raymond Lutz 12:33 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      Chris, no, I’m not saying that, I was only stressing the incoherency… If they have staff on hand, it shoud be used to enforce (civilly) social distancing in the metro. I’m not in Mtl so I had to go to the STM website to check.. How is ‘social distancing’ implemented in the metro? How do people behave?

    • Chris 15:11 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      Raymond, thanks for the clarification, I suspected I misunderstood you. I dunno how people are behaving in the metro, I rarely use it, I bike everywhere.

    • Ant6n 15:17 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      Running the metro = calculated risk out of necessity.
      Gathering in the park = not considered necessary.

  • Kate 08:43 on 2020-04-02 Permalink | Reply  

    A hotel near the airport was opened up for a wedding on March 16, with between 180 and 250 guests, some of whom came up from New York. And now some of the guests are sick.

    Is this the “big west end wedding” we’ve been hearing about, and possibly one reason why Côte St-Luc and CDN-NDG are such hotspots?

    • Joey 09:04 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

    • Tim S. 09:05 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      Interesting to see if there will be legal consequences for this. At the very least I can imagine the employees are in a good position to sue. Also, why was the 14 day isolation period not mandatory from the beginning?

    • qatzelok 12:10 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      Boy, I wouldn’t want to be in TMR when that giant cloud of virus blows in from CSL in a few days.

    • Jack 13:12 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      This guy sounds like a real prince .”Samuel Rosenberg juge ces critiques injustes. « C’est du baloney-macaroni tout ça. Personne n’a été forcé de venir travailler », proteste-t-il.” His employees got sick.

    • Kate 09:30 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      Rosenberg’s brother Michael, one of Canada’s biggest landlords, is now in intensive care. He’s worth $1.2 billion, according to this story.

  • Kate 08:19 on 2020-04-02 Permalink | Reply  

    Police will be patrolling parks to deter gatherings. It’s bound to be an issue as the weather gets nicer and people feel compelled to get outside.

    I’m seeing a notice on a closed Facebook page that the stairs on Mount Royal that lead from the lookout to Olmsted Road have been closed off. People can still use the path.

  • Kate 08:05 on 2020-04-02 Permalink | Reply  

    Police broke up a party at Lionel Perez’s house on Wednesday, not long after the city hall opposition leader had tweeted to stay home and save lives.

    • Ian Rogers 08:11 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      There was no party and police agree that social distancing was properly maintained. Why the kerfuffle?
      Wait until Plante finds out I’ve been teaching classes of up to 14 people using MS Teams all week, she’ll call in the army.

    • walkerp 08:13 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      Yes, I was all ready to get outraged and then read the story. What exactly did he do wrong here? We and our neighbours were planning to do an apero from our balconies. Will the cops break it up?

    • Ian 08:25 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      Only if some nosy snitch tries to make political hay out of it, maybe.

    • Kate 08:33 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      CBC radio says Perez had someone outside playing music, which attracted people to gather outside.

    • Dominic 08:50 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      Looks like he’s saying there were 7 people who are in his family so it “looked like” a larger gathering than it was. Not sure how police are supposed to know who families are quarantined with.


    • Chris 10:34 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      Is it just me, or is everyone becoming a snitch now? At a certain point, this cure could be worse than the disease.

    • Kate 10:42 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      Chris, if you characterize reasonable concern as “becoming a snitch” then I can’t help you. This isn’t social disapproval or snobbery. Read the story about the wedding, 2 stories up from here. You hold a gathering, you enable contagion. It’s a fact, not a social fiction.

    • Chris 11:09 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      I characterize *unreasonable* concern as snitching. The line between reasonable and unreasonable is fuzzy to be sure, but I’m starting to find us sliding towards the latter. As in this Perez example.

    • JaneyB 11:16 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      @Chris – Regarding the ‘snitching’, everyone is hyper-aware and tired of being confined. They are going to notice when others are not observing the disease control protocols. The longer others gather, the longer everyone else has to stay inside to flatten the curve. Every new breach means we basically go back to Day 1 of the 14 days necessary to thwart the virus propagation. Some of us have been mostly at home for more than 3 weeks now. Whether stuck with family or isolated alone, this is not fun.

      Perez’s thing is not a problem since they were distancing but the big hotel wedding was, park gatherings are, basement parties are etc. Don’t think people won’t remember who wasn’t a team-player after this is over either. I don’t want to hate my concitoyens but I’m learning because some of them are showing me they don’t care about the common good. Frustrating.

    • Chris 11:39 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      JaneyB, yes, I quite agree with your assessment. It’s all very interesting psychologically. Person 1 is being a good citizen and staying inside, sees Person 2&3 in the park across the street tossing a frisbee, gets mad/jealous that he’s inside and they are out, and so calls the cops. But Person 2&3 already live together, and no one else is around them in the park. That’s the kind of thing I see us slipping into. (Doubly so if the person is also your political enemy.)

      >I don’t want to hate my concitoyens but I’m learning because some of them are showing me they don’t care about the common good.

      I’ve also been pondering why this sentiment doesn’t apply to environmentalism. All the people out there that don’t care about the common good by being gluttonous consumers, driving a car, using disposable goods, etc., etc. Very little scorn is poured on them vs the scorn currently being poured on the likes of Perez. Why? The best I can figure is that humans are very good at short term thinking (covid), but really bad at long term thinking (environment).

    • Tim S. 12:06 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      Chris, what are you talking about? There’s plenty of anger here directed against suburbanites, car drivers and others (I know, because I’ve expressed some of it). If extinction rebellion and so on have their way, that will just increase.

    • Ian 18:07 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      This isn’t a case of “reasonable concern”, there was no “party” or “gathering”, just some nosy busybody looking to rat out their neighbour. I do indeed think this is exactly the same kind of person that would snitch on their neighbour over environmental laws, like that lady who kept complaining to the borough about Fairmount Bagel to the point that Alex Norris decided to take up her flag and insult everyone in the neighbourhood who dared contradict him.

      Again, this is not the time to be doctrinaire. Think of context and the concerns of others before you decide what’s what, especially if it means calling the cops. We already know if you call the cops on someone you increasing that person’s chance of winding up dead.

      Here’s the thing: we will only achieve success against this pandemic by acting as a community. We will only achieve success against environmental catastrophe by acting as a community. We will only achieve success against anything that might destroy our communities by acting like a community… and I’ll tell you one thing that doesn’t improve trust and working together and acting as a community:


    • Dhomas 19:11 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      It’s not snitching, it’s being a concerned citizen. If you’re a family, the police will come and confirm it and you’ll be on your way. Period. The end. If you’re NOT family, then you’re in trouble. And you should be, because you’re being an inconsiderate jackass.

    • Ian 20:01 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      “Nothing to be afraid of if you;’re doing nothing wrong”, right?
      Just watch, one wrong family intervention and the cops will be shooting people. We’ve seen it before, here in Montreal.

    • Stayhome! 20:16 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      ”but he asked a friend to play music in the driveway to help the celebration”
      How is this essential? Immoral if not illegal..

    • Blork 21:11 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      There is room in this conversation for both ideas; that some people are overly vigilant in — e.g., yelling at people who are walking next to each other ignoring the fact that the people live together, or calling the cops on neighbourhood 5à7 gatherings where everyone stays in their own driveways — and people who are legitimately reporting gatherings that should not be happening.

      In this case it seems like Perez was right on the line between acceptable and not, but what tips him into “not” is his position as a public figure who should be setting an example. Yes, that matters, and that’s the price you pay when you have a soapbox that isn’t available to the average person; you have a duty to double-down on whatever it is you’re preaching (or should be preaching).

    • Ian 21:54 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      Someone standing outside playing music is immoral if not illegal? Pardon me, I think I just rolled my eyes so hard they got stuck.

      If we make out stuff like this as crucial we can hardly be surprised if people don’t take distancing seriously. We are still allowed to line up outside grocery stores, the city isn’t in full quarantine. Don’t make this out to be something it’s not, that’s just ridiculous and in the case of Plante, obvious political posturing.

    • Kate 22:01 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      I’m on Blork’s side here. Perez was responsible for setting up something on the order of an “attractive nuisance” by having music and the appearance of a social event at a time when people are getting starved for social stimulus.

    • Dhomas 05:56 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      @Ian: I would agree with your comment if you were talking about, say, mass surveillance, but this situation is entirely different. As much disdain as you seem to have for police, it’s not like it’s in their job description to shoot up citizens. At a certain point, we need to trust the police to do their jobs. We can’t fall into lawlessness because we think the cops might be “shooting people”.

    • Ian 08:13 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      So now we’re needing to not even have the “appearance” of violating social distancing laws? Creating an “attractive nuisance” is a concept used in tort law, usually talking about the safety of children. If nothing actually happened, you are playing a game of “what if”. Having a musician in your driveway is not a crime, and it’s certainly not “immoral if not illegal”. Perez may very well be the grade A jerk I have heard him described as but regardless, the police did not fine or charge him, so what exactly is the big deal here? Did an impromptu dance party erupt? Did somebody try to kiss the musician? Then what exactly happened? Nothing, that’s what. This is Plante making a mountain out of a molehill out of spite and political opportunism.

      Let’s not forget that singing on your balcony and people are playing “c” on their stoops & in their backyards across the city is being celebrated in these dark times. Having a friend play music in your driveway is no different. There is no law against music, only gatherings.

      @Dhomas right, police brutality isn’t real, you have nothing to fear if you aren’t doing anything wrong. /s

    • Jack 09:42 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      “Thursday, speaking on Radio-Canada’s morning radio program Tout un matin, Perez said he “failed in my role as a leader, to lead by example.”

    • Chris 10:44 on 2020-04-03 Permalink

      Tim S., I didn’t mean there’s *no* scorn poured on “suburbanites, car drivers and others”, just that’s it’s much less than the current hysteria wrt physical distancing today.

      To take Stayhome!’s phrasing: “immoral if not illegal”. Using a disposable shopping bag instead of a reusable one is immoral, though not illegal. Ever hear of the cops being called for such an “offence”? Yet for the “offence” of standing outside playing music it’s seemingly normal to some of you here to call the cops. Why for the latter but not the former?

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