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  • Kate 07:26 on 2018-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

    A fire Friday morning has closed streets south of the Bell Centre.

  • Kate 07:22 on 2018-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Daniel Renaud says police grilled known sexual predators around Ahuntsic-Cartierville in their search for the missing Ariel Kouakou, but turned up no leads.

  • Kate 06:08 on 2018-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Valérie Plante isn’t going to a baseball game, and Réjean Tremblay is bent out of shape, even calling the prime minister “Justin Sinclair-Trudeau” in his snit.

    • Ephraim 06:21 on 2018-03-23 Permalink

      Geez, why do old people think that would be an insult? It is essentially his name. His mother is Margaret Sinclair. So?

    • Jack 06:27 on 2018-03-23 Permalink

      Wow that’s about as transparent a dog whistle as you can get.

    • Kate 06:57 on 2018-03-23 Permalink

      It’s like the people who discovered Jean Charest had been baptized as “John” — a taint of the Anglo.

    • Lucas 07:37 on 2018-03-23 Permalink

      These people are caricatures of themselves and a stalwart reminder of the dangers of too narrow a gene pool.

    • Kevin 11:15 on 2018-03-23 Permalink

      Alternate headline: Mayor refuses opportunity to accept bribe from rich people who want your tax dollars for fading industry.

  • Kate 06:05 on 2018-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

    René Bruemmer has a good piece on the REM’s extensive monopoly clauses, but the Gazette puts on a headline suggesting the exact opposite to the import of the story. That the Caisse is coldly putting a lock on large sections of the city in order to maximize profits just makes me want to spit; it’s typical of these aggressive capitalists that they will praise competition long and loud until it inconveniences them.

    • Tim 07:29 on 2018-03-23 Permalink

      From the article: “In Montreal, the non-compete zone is contained by St-Laurent Blvd., Jean-Talon St. and Côte-des-Neiges Rd. and extends to the Mont-St-Hilaire commuter line and the Bonaventure Expressway.”

      Does this mean that bus service will be removed from this zone? Can someone explain this a bit better?

    • ant6n 07:47 on 2018-03-23 Permalink

      They have a website and where they show the giant monopoly zones:

      Basically no transit agency will be allowed to run public transit between the mopoly zones and downtown, except the rem.

      But It really doesn’t make any sense. The website explains that this rule doesn’t prevent the development of existing lines.

      But it gives the example that it wouldn’t be allowed to run a bus from Fairview to downtown.

      Except there is a bus from Fairview to downtown today (485). So which one is it?!

    • John B 08:56 on 2018-03-23 Permalink

      The linked Gazette article is damage control from the original CP article in the Gazette, (headline: “Proposed deal for REM would kill some existing transit services”).

      To answer Tim’s question, we can pull a quote from ant6n’s link:
      “Aussi, ce n’est pas le développement du transport collectif à l’intérieur d’un bassin qui est limité, c’est la liaison entre ce bassin et le centre-ville” So, “non-compete” applies to travel between the Montreal zone and the south shore or West Island zone, (which includes the airport).

      It sounds like the 747 is dead, many of the south shore buses that come in to Place Bonaventure are probably out, the 211 and anything similar is probably iffy. If the non-compete zones taken literally, anything from the Faiview, Dorval, or Panama bus stations to downtown are going to be killed, along with several lines that run through Longueuil/Brossard then come to Bonaventure, providing no-transfer rides to downtown.

      ant6n’s link has a line that says “La définition de ces bassins n’a pas pour but d’empêcher le développement des lignes existantes, par exemple la ligne de trains de banlieue Vaudreuil ou Saint-Hilaire.”, but does “lignes existantes” apply to bus lines, or just trains? I’m going to take the pessimistic view and guess trains only.

      What about the “Feeder Clauses” that “guarantee” the ARTM direct riders to REM stations. Does that mean suburban bus routes get reworked to include an additional stop at an REM station, giving riders more options, or are they being reworked so the only way to get between regions is the REM, forcing us onto the REM even if we don’t want it?

      It seems like the days of using a CAM for a leisurely ride out to St-Anne on weekends might be over, (I believe there’s a regular commenter here that enjoys the St-Anne market). Also, I think Ian’s commute is going to get more transfers, and maybe more expensive.

      Also, check out this line in the article I linked: “The ARTM also agrees to step to provide transit services should the REM break down.” Seems like when the weather turns bad & the new trains can’t handle it the ARTM is expected to step in with busses.

      The most pessimistic view is that not only is the REM putting crucial public infrastructure in private hands and possibly harming rail service, it’s also castrating existing transit services with the goal of turning a profit, at the expense of rider comfort and convenience.

    • Blork 09:16 on 2018-03-23 Permalink

      I highly doubt that existing bus lines would be killed by that clause, and if they were killed there would be a riot (with me leading it) after which I would pack up and move to a different city. Seriously, there is no way that can happen in a sane world (note I’m not saying it absolutely not happen).

      However, the clause could prevent new lines from being introduced, and that would also be bad but less likely to provoke riots.

    • Mathieu 10:24 on 2018-03-23 Permalink

      The express buses from the West Island all go to Côte-Vertu or Lionel-Groulx, so they are excluded from this exclusivity agreement because they don’t service the downtown exclusivity zone (which goes form CDN/Guy to St-Laurent). However, they couldn’t continue all the way to Peel for instance. The Vaudreuil tain line is also exempted from this.

      The only existing lines affected by this are the 747 (which could continue to exist if it isn’t express anymore) and the South shore buses that will now have to not cross the bridge (which is logical, I mean, why build a metro and still run buses on the same bridge). There are no other affected bus lines as all services West of A-13 already transfers at some point to reach downtown (either Montmorency, Côte-Vertu or Lionel-Groulx). And the RTL/RTM is still free to send South Shore buses to Longueuil station or the train lines and the STL/RTM can also still send buses from Deux-Montagnes or Ste-Dorothée to Montmorency.

      The REM is now an operator with a service contract from the ARTM to service certain zones. It will receive all of it’s revenue from the ARTM to operate it’s trains in these zones, just as the STM or RTL does with their respective zones. It would be illogical for the ARTM to also give money to other service operators to compete with this service in the same zones, especially when we consider these different operators couldn’t even charge a different fares to the users; the fares are determined by the ARTM and are to be unified to be the same for a REM user or a suburban bus user.

      There’s no reason to be outraged by this in my opinion.

    • PO 12:09 on 2018-03-23 Permalink

      Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa.

      In the new A20/Turcot build, there’s an entire exclusive-access bus lane infrastructure stretching from around Ville-St-Pierre all the way to the Ville-Marie Expressway, including a fancy overpass to give the buses their own entrance onto Rose-de-Lima to get to L-G.

      A20 on that stretch currently serves the 191, 211, 405, 411, 425, 491, 496 and 747.

      Maybe with the exception of one, all of these lines connect at Dorval. And a lot of these lines enter the West Island’s town which will have stations on their territory, some as far as Ste-Anne.

      If the REM will force the elimination of these bus lines, what the hell is going to happen to that massive bus lane? All of the buses which might have used it would be classified as those whose routes are in competition with the REM.

      Whoa whoa whoa.

    • Blork 12:15 on 2018-03-23 Permalink

      @Mathieu; OMG, where to start? For one thing, it would be nice if the transit plans were designed around serving the people who use them instead of serving the corporations that run them.

      “The only existing lines affected by this are the 747 (which could continue to exist if it isn’t express anymore).” The whole point of the 747 is that it’s an express.

      “…the South shore buses that will now have to not cross the bridge (which is logical, I mean, why build a metro and still run buses on the same bridge).”

      (1) Because the Metro/REM are subject to outages. Without buses, all eggs are in the same basket. (2) Because with buses AND Metro/REM you can move more people. (3) Buses are more flexible for many people. (AFAIK, not all south shore buses start/end at the terminus Longueuil or Panama; some of them go into the weeds, which is much more convenient for those people who live in the weeds. The biggest pain in the ass for transit commuting is the transfers. If you can go from home to downtown without transferring it means you’re more likely to use that bus instead of taking your car.

      “And the RTL/RTM is still free to send South Shore buses to Longueuil station or the train lines…”

      No. Those are almost full. You can’t keep cramming more and more people into a crowded system.

    • PO 12:31 on 2018-03-23 Permalink


      I’m foreseeing it like this: It costs $3.25, or an STM pass, to get from the West Island to downtown. But with the REM plans, they’ll eliminate the express bus services that already connect the two. Mind you, there’ll be an STM bus at the existing price, but it’ll route you to an REM station, where you’ll have to enter on the equivalent of a TRAM fare to give you access to the whole ARTM system.

      So people who presently get by on the STM prices will now have to pay ARTM prices.

      Currently a monthly STM pass is $83. A zone 3 TRAM pass is $135.

      I suppose the pension fund managers want to be damn sure they get their ROIs as big as possible, and they’ll be forcing STM users to cough up an extra $50+ a month to make sure of it.

    • Blork 12:39 on 2018-03-23 Permalink

      So yeah, it’s a system designed to serve the corporations that make it, not the people that use it. :-/

    • ant6n 13:11 on 2018-03-23 Permalink

      Mmmh, looking at the plan again, it seems that Lionel-Groulx is not part of the downtown destination monopoly zone. So none of the West-Island expresses (except the part of the 747 going through downtown) would be affected (i.e. it would have to terminate at Lionel-Groulx).

      I bet in the final plan, Lionel Groulx will be part of the monopoly zone.

      The CDPQ has shown great skill protecting its interests, while the public has shown very little interest to protect theirs (just look at how Plante changed her tune once she was in office, suddenly endorsing a project apparently unconditionally that she’d warned about in letters to Trudeau just months before).

  • Kate 06:00 on 2018-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Florida, 1982: crooks carry out a well-planned heist, killing a Brinks driver, although they fail to get their hands on any cash. Now the police there think there’s a West End Gang connection with the incident. Kristian summarizes the story on Coolopolis and goes on to make some guesses which gang members might have been there.

  • Kate 05:53 on 2018-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Not seen anything lately in local media about the fate of the huge convent at 1420 Mont-Royal in Outremont, so it’s interesting to see the development viewed, completely without reference to its controversial conversion, in the Globe and Mail real estate section, along with two other condo conversions in the same area as bids in “Montreal’s expanding and very competitive luxe condo market” including a gated community built in “the 1895 former philosophy seminary of the Sulpician Fathers” – would this be the old Marianopolis site?

  • Kate 05:37 on 2018-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

    The Montreal metro has only one defibrillator even though a coroner suggests every station should have one.

  • Kate 05:34 on 2018-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Some notes on the variance in city library usage among the boroughs with some explanations why. Sud-Ouest and CDN-NDG are the biggest library users, but access depends on distance as well as urban obstacles like underpasses and tracks.

  • Kate 20:53 on 2018-03-22 Permalink | Reply  

    CTV already has notes on Turcot closures this weekend; the Journal notes other tricky spots.

  • Kate 19:45 on 2018-03-22 Permalink | Reply  

    A hike in parking fines will be voted on by city council in a month’s time.

    • Ephraim 06:26 on 2018-03-23 Permalink

      The current fine for parking in a handicapped spot definitely isn’t high enough, but even at $300… I’m still not sure people really understand what these spots mean to those who are handicapped. (Often it is for people who are in pain while in movement). We should list the fine on the sign along with a symbol allowing them to be towed.

  • Kate 19:31 on 2018-03-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Four people unjustly manhandled by SPVM Agent 728 have accepted a payout of $75,000 for their trouble and an agreement to drop their suits against the city. They will also receive a letter of apology.

  • Kate 06:01 on 2018-03-22 Permalink | Reply  

    This Tampa Bay item desctibes a 12-hour train trip to Montreal, but I’m pretty sure it takes longer than that. Entertaining, but loses points for putting Mount Royal in quotation marks.

    • Daniel 06:36 on 2018-03-22 Permalink

      I tried this trip a few years ago as I was visiting some friends in D.C. for their wedding. I wrote about the experience here for anyone interested in another perspective going the other way: https://heliomass.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/montreal-to-washington-d-c-by-train/

    • Steve Q 09:06 on 2018-03-22 Permalink

      The 12 hour train trip is from NYC and I think that’s where their trip begins.

    • Emily Gray 15:16 on 2018-03-22 Permalink

      I’ve taken the trip to NYC and back from Montreal, 3 times, by train. If I remember correctly, it says on the schedule it’ll take about 10 or 11 hours, but in reality you’re always stopped quite a while at the border.

    • Ian 16:59 on 2018-03-22 Permalink

      Last time I took the train to NYC (about 4 years ago) 12 hours was about right. As Emily Gray points out it really does depend on how long it is stopped at the border. I have had friends that waited 2 hours, for us it was about 45 minutes.

  • Kate 05:50 on 2018-03-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Ariel Kouakou is still missing and police think it’s most likely he fell into the river by the park where he was last seen.

  • Kate 05:43 on 2018-03-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Ogilvy’s has donated money and all its old Christmas window props to the McCord Museum, where they will – theoretically – be put on show during the holiday season from now on. The window display has been a feature of the Ste-Catherine Street shopping season since 1947.

    • Max 09:19 on 2018-03-22 Permalink

      Does this mean Spoonman will finally vacate that corner?

    • Mr. Chinaski 09:49 on 2018-03-22 Permalink

      IIRC Spoonman has retired since last year?

    • Blork 10:13 on 2018-03-22 Permalink

      He said he would “semi-retire,” meaning he still might set up occasionally. I haven’t seen him for months.

  • Kate 19:54 on 2018-03-21 Permalink | Reply  

    There will be no criminal charges laid against the SUV driver whose U-turn on the Camillien-Houde caused the death of cyclist Clément Ouimet last fall.

    • Chris 19:59 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      Duh. There (almost) never is.

    • Daniel 20:03 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      In Montreal it seems drivers can do no wrong and suffer no concequence, a thought which crosses my mind every day as I take my son to daycare.

    • Jack 20:31 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      Cyclists and pedestrians in this city are merely collateral damage.

    • DeWolf 21:37 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      “Recklessness, simple negligence, or an error of judgment are insufficient for an individual to [be held] criminally responsible.” WTF? So reckless, negligent driving is not legally considered dangerous?

    • david 01:04 on 2018-03-22 Permalink

      The laws are provincial, the prosecutors are provincial.

    • Ephraim 07:14 on 2018-03-22 Permalink

      Do I need to remind people that de la Concorde and du Souvenir inquests? Police who get paid vacation for wrong doing? And Pauline Marois’s palace (the selling by the government, the building permits and finally her selling it to a foreigner in spite of it being on agricultural land….)

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