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  • Kate 20:29 on 2019-03-24 Permalink | Reply  

    STM is tweeting that three quarters of the buses grounded late last week are back in service but there still may be some slowdowns Monday morning. La Presse has some details.

     
  • Kate 19:54 on 2019-03-24 Permalink | Reply  

    Taxi drivers held a meeting Sunday in advance of a general strike to begin Monday. They’re pushing for the withdrawal of Bill 17 meant to create a legal framework to allow Uber and other ride-sharing systems to offer services lawfully in Quebec – a change they say will end their industry and destroy their livelihoods.

     
  • Kate 19:50 on 2019-03-24 Permalink | Reply  

    A demonstration against racism and against CAQ government policies on immigration and secularism was held Sunday afternoon downtown, with hundreds marching peacefully through the streets.

     
  • Kate 19:46 on 2019-03-24 Permalink | Reply  

    Residents in eastern Montreal are not happy with the poor air quality from industrial activity in the area.

     
  • Kate 14:15 on 2019-03-24 Permalink | Reply  

    Anjou councillor Lynne Shand is making a name for herself this weekend with a Facebook rant against an emergency doctor who looked after her in hijab. Toula Drimonis has more of her online ranting.

    Update: Valérie Plante has schooled Shand on Twitter; Shand maintains she is “realistic” – totally ignoring the distinction between individual choice and institutional endorsement of religious symbols. As they say in French “elle persiste et signe.” Bye-bye, Ms. Shand.

     
    • Faiz Imam 15:17 on 2019-03-24 Permalink

      @steverukavina: “Anjou borough mayor Luis Miranda tells CBC he finds Shand’s comments “unfortunate”, but that for now he’ll keep her as part of his team and let voters decide”

      That’s not good enough. I hope outrage here builds steam because her comments are completely unacceptable.

      We need to take a stronger stance and we need to do it fast.

      Because if you really believe in the great replacement conspiracy, the only logical end result Is violence, and we have already been too close to that to let it happen again.

    • Kate 16:03 on 2019-03-24 Permalink

      Faiz Imam, from something I read or heard today I don’t think there’s a mechanism in municipal law for dumping a duly elected councillor. But the next municipal election is still pretty far off, so I don’t think Miranda should get to wash his hands so fast. He could at least chuck her out of the Anjou party and make her sit as an independent.

      Update: Luis Miranda says it isn’t in his power to fire anyone from Équipe Anjou. That seems odd. A party leader should be able to chuck any member out who openly expresses views incompatible with the party’s principles.

  • Kate 12:16 on 2019-03-24 Permalink | Reply  

    The statue of Queen Victoria outside McGill’s Pollack Hall was covered in green paint, but nobody has yet claimed the act or delivered a manifesto.

    Would’ve gone better with last weekend’s parade.

     
    • Faiz Imam 13:28 on 2019-03-24 Permalink

      We are seeing an increased consciousness of Imperialism and Canada’s role in empire, I expect all signs of it that are actively venerated in the public sphere (distinct from being taught as part of history) will be both critiqued and vandalized till they are removed.

    • Kate 17:18 on 2019-03-24 Permalink

      I think there’s a distinction between a queen and a politician like Macdonald, though. She was born into her situation and while she became a figurehead during a colonial time – and probably held some of the prejudices common in that time – she was not a politician or otherwise ambitious. She didn’t have to be.

      In addition, I don’t know of any quotes or cites from Victoria expressing xenophobia. Not saying she was a saint, just that having the statue there is a reminder to us of a historical time when our feelings were different and kings and queens were to be honoured. There’s also the Square Victoria statue and the one that’s somewhere in the MUHC hospital (used to be at the Vic), as well as Edward VII in Phillips Square. Should they all come down?

      (As a woman, I have always had a slight soft spot for seeing Victoria up there looking regal, regardless of any other factors. How many statues of real women do we have?)

      Macdonald, on the other hand, didn’t become prime minister by random chance, and once in power, he was in a position to act on attitudes we now find unconscionable toward Canada’s aboriginal people – including the Métis – and immigrants from China and elsewhere. He was our first prime minister, but he established this country on a basis of intransigence and mercilessness toward difference, so I think that statue does need to come down.

  • Kate 09:54 on 2019-03-24 Permalink | Reply  

    Nova Bus is promising quick delivery of new parts for the city’s hybrid buses garaged last week after a recall over a steering system glitch. There have been no reports so far of any incident caused by the problem; other towns have been inconvenienced but the problem has affected the STM most.

     
  • Kate 09:48 on 2019-03-24 Permalink | Reply  

    Daily Hive claims to have a rundown of how much money you need to live alone in 2019 in this city.

    Speaking of which, there’s a petition to the National Assembly to review the rental board’s aims and improve its accessibility. It may be futile in this CAQ era, but you never know.

     
    • Blork 12:54 on 2019-03-24 Permalink

      Articles like this are pretty silly and don’t really mean much. Fortunately the tone is also silly, so it’s at least consistent.

      Spoiler: the amount they arrive at is $2,218.58 per month/ $26,622.96 annually (after income tax). But that amount assumes:

      • Downtown appartment.
      • At least one dinner out, a brunch or two, and a couple of movie nights per month.
      • 2-3 drinks at a bar once per week.
      • Gym membership.
      • About 10 lattés per month.

      None of that is excessive, but you could easily lower that amount by not living right downtown, not going to movies, not buying expensive lattés, etc. So the idea that you NEED $2218 a month is a bit spurious. It’s also weird that the article seems to think this is expensive.

      On the other hand, the article isn’t about what one actually needs to survive. It’s more about what a millennial from Ontario would need to have a reasonably fun life as a downtown Montrealer.

    • mare 16:48 on 2019-03-24 Permalink

      The minimum you need for other Canadian cities according to the same website (with a lot of the same stock photos):

      Toronto: $3,582.24 per month/ $42,986.88 annually.
      Vancouver: $3,355.80 per month/ $40,269.60 annually
      The Calgary story is apparently not finished yet.

      So Montreal is super cheap with its “MINIMUM* of $2,218.58 per month/ $26,622.96 annually.

      (I live much cheaper, I’m just doing my taxes. But I’m not a 30-something and I don’t drink coffee and don’t party.)

  • Kate 18:07 on 2019-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

    The CAQ is kindly funding the east-end beach in Pointe-aux-Trembles whose MNA is one of the island’s two CAQ representatives as well as minister for the Montreal region. Quebec is ponying up $5 million for the project expected to take until 2022.

     
  • Kate 09:50 on 2019-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

    As the Radio-Canada writer here observes, enthusiasm here for baseball peaks with the Blue Jays exhibition games played here at the stadium in springtime; it’s a series of brief interviews with people concerned about the potential profitability of returning a professional team to this city.

    Fact is, baseball is declining in popularity all over. Putting up an expensive stadium here would be a hobby for a few billionaires, with the public purse inveigled into footing the bill. A stadium that would stand empty most of the time. Please let us not be idiots about this.

     
    • Kevin 10:36 on 2019-03-23 Permalink

      The contract Mike Trout just signed is a nail in the coffin of this silly exercise. $426 million over 10 years.

      The best paid hockey players get a quarter of that.

      There will be lots of baseball news over the next week, but I want to hear these people explain how baseball in Montreal will be able to afford these salaries

    • Uatu 10:53 on 2019-03-23 Permalink

      It would be good to see how many young people are interested since they’re the future fanbase to keep a franchise viable. Right now the only ones who are enthusiastic are nostalgic baby boomers and rich speculators.

    • Faiz Imam 12:03 on 2019-03-23 Permalink

      While I’m super against the expos coming back, I have to push back a little bit on this hate.

      I’ve gone to my share of blue Jay’s games in Toronto, and I know the league data pretty well. The Jays games are very full and lean extremely young and very multicultural.

      In a city where sports tickets are unaffordable, baseball is realistically cheap.

      This is an older article, but it reflects what I’ve seen:

      https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/baseball/a-new-generation-of-baseball-fans-in-toronto-are-young-hip-and-cool/article13329854/

      While baseball doesn’t belong in Montreal, the sport is in a period of transition and I’d say it’ll come out of it just fine.

    • Kate 15:15 on 2019-03-23 Permalink

      “Hate” is a harsh word. I simply think it’s a bad idea.

    • Chris 19:22 on 2019-03-23 Permalink

      Baseball is too slow and boring for today’s attention span.

    • GC 09:52 on 2019-03-24 Permalink

      I’m actually a fan of baseball, but I still want us to be realistic about the viability of another Montreal team. We tried it once and it failed. What reason is there to think it will be more successful a second time?

    • dhomas 15:03 on 2019-03-24 Permalink

      I am fully against this project. I don’t think a single red cent of public money should be spent on it. However, the whole “we tried it before and it didn’t work” narrative is a poor argument against it. Nothing would ever improve if we stopped trying after every failure. Failure leads us to get better by figuring out what doesn’t work. Unfortunately in this case, I’m worried that the folks who want to bring a new MLB team to Montreal have learned that they need more government incentives to make this second go-round work.

    • GC 20:22 on 2019-03-24 Permalink

      I agree with you to a point, dhomas, but we try something different the second time or there’s no point. What’s going to be done differently this time?

  • Kate 09:14 on 2019-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

    The most recent head count of the homeless in Montreal was taken last April, but for some reason the results haven’t yet been released. They’re expected next week, and Pierre-André Normandin tells us the numbers are predicted to have risen since the only other such census, taken in 2015.

    It wouldn’t surprise me. As I’ve recounted before, I volunteered for the 2015 census, and by chance it was an atypical evening downtown. A big student march was also taking place that night, with a pervasive police presence on the ground as well as helicopter surveillance, so that a lot of folks would’ve been lying low and not answering nosy questions from people with clipboards. The resulting numbers in 2015 were bound to have been on the low side for this reason.

     
  • Kate 09:06 on 2019-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Like an elevator ascending an inclined tower, costs to upgrade the Olympic stadium are sliding inexorably upward.

     
    • Ephraim 09:08 on 2019-03-23 Permalink

      Looking for someone actually surprised by this news….

    • Frankie 12:28 on 2019-03-24 Permalink

      It should be demolished, although the disruption it would create in the area during the demo, not to mention all that concrete, rebar and everything else in there ending up in landfills, would be an environmental mess. Maybe sell off pocket size chunks of it for 10 bucks a piece? What’s an extra 10 bucks to finally own a piece of something you have been paying for for decades?

    • Faiz Imam 13:34 on 2019-03-24 Permalink

      Honestly, there are so many markets, fairs and festivals that we could use that space for. Unfortunately under the current system the rental costs are prohibitive, but from what ive’ read, a key part of the renovations is to make it much easier to rent the floor or a small part of the stadium.

      Given how much of a winter city we are, i’m always surprised we don’t make better use out of what is the biggest climate controlled volume of space in the city.

      Hopefully once it gets renovated, we can come up with more community events and such to make use of it in the winter months.

    • dhomas 15:20 on 2019-03-24 Permalink

      @Frankie: The Big O has been paid off since 2006. It’s time to put the tired “Big Owe” trope to rest. The total cost was just shy of $1.5 billion (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_Stadium_(Montreal) ). We spend a whole lot more elsewhere (the Turcot alone is costing almost $4 billion, plus whatever overages they can tack on).
      I only wish they would make better use of the space.

  • Kate 08:49 on 2019-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

    A young woman was hit by an STM bus Friday evening as it turned down a detour off Jean-Talon necessitated by the work on Pie-IX. Her condition has been upgraded from critical to stable.

    Two men were stabbed in a Plateau brawl after bar-closing time Saturday morning, not fatally, and several arrests ensued.

    Claude Grou says he will soon be back on the job. Grou, 77, stabbed during mass at St Joseph’s Oratory on Friday, wasn’t seriously injured. The suspect, Vlad Cristian Eremia, has given police no reason to suspect any political motive; Eremia had previously been accused in a case of criminal harassment although cleared of the charge. The Journal link includes video of the incident.

    Update: Eremia has been charged with attempted murder and will also be given a psychological assessment.

     
  • Kate 12:09 on 2019-03-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Taxi drivers plan a protest for Monday all over Quebec against the proposed new law.

     
    • steph 15:53 on 2019-03-22 Permalink

      any word on the value for the medallion buyback?

  • Kate 10:07 on 2019-03-22 Permalink | Reply  

    A priest was stabbed during mass at St Joseph’s Oratory on Friday morning. Later news says the victim was Claude Grou, rector of the Oratory, and he was not seriously injured.

     
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