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  • Kate 07:52 on 2019-06-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Motivated by recent news about a snow removal firm cheating the city with half truckloads or less, the city’s blue collar workers are asking to take the task back to the city’s own internal workers.

     
  • Kate 07:47 on 2019-06-19 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s auditor-general is doubtful that we need a thousand charging stations for electric cars but city hall intends to continue adding them.

     
    • Faiz Imam 11:12 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      Well yeah, right now EVs make up about 2% of vehicle sales.

      Its a chicken and egg issue. If we want more people to buy them and use them, they’ll need places to charge.

      If we are seriously electrifying our entire economy, we will need thousands of these chargers eventually.

      A bigger problem is how to best manage our use of these chargers.

      Right now they serve as both chargers and multi hour parking spaces, which means only a few of them can be used each day. And they’ll often sit idle once the car is fully charged up.

      I don’t know how well it works downtown streets, but in parking lots I’ve seen EVs park in a spot in the morning and be there all day.

    • Ephraim 12:23 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      First of all, too many of these are 240V AC and not 400V DC, which leads to the question of if they will change these, since obviously cars that can charge on DC charge faster. For example, the GM volt was only at 3.6kw and took 4.5h to charge. They moved it up on newer models to 7.2kw and takes only 2.3h to charge. But a Nissan Leaf at 7.2kw is about 6h to fully charge…. bump it up to DC charging at 400V and assuming you have 50kw, you should be charge in less than an hour. Of course, you are paying (on the flo network) about $11.50 an hour for a 400V DC charge… and the GM cars can’t take that charge… they are slow charge.

      Tesla is currently at 150kw in pairs or 72kw per individual, but they are moving to 250kw per individual charger (part of the ramp up to pickup trucks and zero emission trucks). Assuming the Model 3 battery is 62kwh, that means that at 250kw we are talking about 20 minutes to an 80% charge (it slows after that). Tesla charges a per minute charge for their chargers, which are 44c per minute at 60kW and 22c per minute below 60kW. Assuming you are on the higher charge with a 62kwh battery from 20% to 80% is 36 minutes of charging (about $16). But they charge an idle fee, if you don’t move your car within 5 minutes of finishing. That’s 65c a minute in Canada if it’s just sitting there. If the station is full, that’s $1.30 a minute.

      These public chargers aren’t charging for idle time… it’s like getting parking at $1 per hour instead of $3… though some charge both fees…. so it’s $4 an hour.

      (Disclosure, I am now on the Tesla Destination Charger network… I have 2 chargers, but they only work for Tesla cars…. most of the other cars use J1772 240V chargers. The DC chargers are on SAE and CHAdeMO.) Have we confused you enough with all the charging information?

    • Raymond Lutz 17:54 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      Charging should be free, as discovered by the study “Consumer behavioral adaption in EV fast charging through pricing” (Yutaka Motoaki, Matthew G. Shirk, 2017). They concluded that “a flat-rate fee has a negative effect on the usage efficiency of DCFC stations.” When people are paying, they tend to stay too long at the charger. And after about 80% the charge rate decreases exponentially (Yes, Kate) so the high power charger pass that threshold is not efficiently used. Pour ceux interessés, j’ai rédigé un texte ‘grand-public’ sur le processus de charge CC-CV, il est publié sur un forum de l’AVEQ (l’Association des véhicules électriques du Québec).

    • Faiz Imam 19:06 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      I agree there is a valid debate that can be had over the cost of charging up a car. But the key point I think we all agree on is that once your car is mostly topped up, then there needs to be significant penalties to limit overstay.

    • Chris 21:21 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      “Charging should be free” -> Strong disagree here. That would be subsidizing cars. Don’t fall for the greenwashing about electric cars being “green”. Cars get way too many subsidies already, we should be subsidizing them less, not more.

    • Raymond Lutz 07:15 on 2019-06-20 Permalink

      Subsidizing? You mean subsidized like the 3.3 G$ we give annually to the oil industries? Talking about policies, I don’t care at what level (muni, provincial or federal) infrastructure is being deployed, financed and maintained. The argument “but its federal” or “but its provincial” is moot. Beside, everything should be subsidized: yes I’m a fucking lunatic pinko socialist.

      And you’re right about the ecological footprint of cars (electric or thermal): they are an enormous waste of resource and emit loads of pollutants (debilitating us like PM2.5 from brakes and tires wear). We will eventually ban individually owned car like we banned wood stoves (or tax them to oblivion), replacing them with transportation as a service (TAAS). “aucune transition écologique ne se fera sans contrainte. Il est temps de le dire, et de le dire clairement.

    • Faiz Imam 10:25 on 2019-06-20 Permalink

      Chris. I’m very much in favor for making driving harder, but I also want to incentivize EVs.

      Charging a EV doesn’t cost too much electricity, and I think the marketing message of the low cost is a major way to attract users.

      But at the same time you are right that we don’t want to overly subsidize driving. So I think the compromise it to attack parking, which is the major underlying issue.

      If you make parking much more difficult, it doesn’t matter if the charging is subsidized. You still greatly modify behavior while still shifting to EV cars.

    • Ephraim 14:58 on 2019-06-20 Permalink

      The legacy car manufacturers are using too slow a charging system…. and it tends to clog up the system. There are just 8 CHAdeMO/SAE charging spots in Montreal. So other than some Japanese EVs and some Teslas, these 240V charging spots are essentially parking spots for 4 to 8 hours at a time. And since the chargers only charge by the hour…. and it’s cheaper than the meters, people tend to stick to them. It’s $1 an hour… no idle fees.

      So anytime you think that GM and Ford are actually trying to successfully compete with their EV cars, you need to realize that they are far behind the curve. Years behind the curve… maybe even a full decade behind the curve. They are fine as a city car, but they need a parking space or a garage because you are constantly needing to top up.

      Take a car that can fast charge (Tesla or Japanese), someone travelling 25K a year…. the range is 400km and you charge at 20% and stop at maybe 80% (for efficiency) that means that you are adding 240km per charge. So that’s 300km a week, they need to charge 1.25x per week or 65 times a year. On a fast charge that’s about 60 hours a year in charging time…. put it down to 32A and that’s 520 hours of charging. Have an older GM car and that’s over 1000 hours of charging.

  • Kate 07:31 on 2019-06-19 Permalink | Reply  

    A culture of elaborate practical jokes within the SPVM’s motorcycle squad has been revealed and condemned by a labour mediator, who says it has led to psychological harassment.

     
    • David100 07:45 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      That Pichet driver retaliation sounds like intimidation bordering on a threat.

  • Kate 07:25 on 2019-06-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Health authorities are warning of possible exposure to measles in a couple of public places in Laval. Background news: a study shows that worldwide mistrust of vaccines is putting populations at risk from preventable diseases – and ironically, areas with higher education are more prone to buying ill‑founded, unscientific anti‑vaccine notions.

     
    • Raymond Lutz 07:58 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      Kate, it’s probably an occurrence of the Dunning-Kruger effect. I saw a number of well educated people in flatearth videos when I studied the subject for my agnotoly Ph.D. at PragerU

    • Marc 11:27 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      “my agnotoly Ph.D. at PragerU” I feel like there’s a good joke in there but I don’t get it…

    • Raymond Lutz 13:56 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      La blague c’est qu’il n’existe probablement pas (encore) de département universitaire dédié à l’agnotologie. Mais c’est effectivement un sujet d’étude qui me fascine (à l’intersection de la socio, la neurologie et la psycho). J’ai imaginé une Université qui cadrerait bien avec l’agnotologie et j’ai pensé à Prager U, où enseigne, entre autres, l’éminent professeur Jordan B Peterson.

    • Marc 14:25 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      “l’éminent professeur Jordan B Peterson”. Now there’s a joke I can understand.

    • Raymond Lutz 17:12 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      This guy is éminent: he’s making 800 000$ a year in donation alone from alt-right, fachists, incels, and anti-SJW de tout acabit.

  • Kate 07:19 on 2019-06-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Francine Pelletier has a thoughful piece on Bill 21 in Le Devoir, where she fulsomely acknowledges the (to her) charm of François Legault before turning to analyze what the CAQ is trying to do. Good piece.

     
  • Kate 17:09 on 2019-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Seems to me Quebec has ruled out the display of its own flag, with that thumping great cross on it.

     
    • Brett 20:13 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      So it seems Bill 21 applies to religious symbols worn as clothing items – religious symbols that appear on objects or buildings as historical relics or otherwise should be beyond the scope of this law. Kind of like the daily griping about the secularism bill should be beyond the scope of this blog.

    • dhomas 20:22 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      @Brett Seems to me like the scope of this blog is at the discretion of the person running the blog. Also, Bill 21 is definitely within the scope of a Montreal blog as it disproportionately affects the population of Montreal, as opposed to the rest of the province. It’s almost as if the current government was targeting Montreal…

      As to the “exceptions” you’ve mentioned, they are further evidence that the law is not at all secular as much as it is an attack on non-white Catholics (though primarily Muslims).

    • Kate 20:53 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      Thank you, dhomas.

      Brett, I’d feel like a stooge with this going on if I only put up little links about potholes and stuff. This is the big story and, as dhomas says, it affects Montreal more than the rest of Quebec, therefore it is a Montreal story. I don’t feel constrained to only look at stories at the municipal level if this city is being drawn into the whirlwind by other levels of government.

      So, if someone wears the Quebec flag on a t-shirt or a pin, isn’t that wearing a cross?

    • steph 21:24 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      Wedding rings exchanged in a house of god are religious symbols. Everyone better take those off asap!

    • Kate 21:44 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      If you take off the rings and rinse them in Labatt 50, that washes off the religion and you can put them back on.

    • Mr.Chinaski 23:03 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      Kate, keep this as a Montreal city web blog please.

    • Tim S. 23:05 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      Kate, please keep posting about whatever you feel like.

    • dhomas 00:15 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      Re-reading my comment, the last sentence makes it sound like I was saying the law is attacking Catholics who are not white. I meant to say it is attacking those who are not white and not Catholic.

    • Kate 07:15 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      Day to day I use my judgement about what’s happening that affects people living in Montreal. This has worked for 17 years and it will continue to work. Some people griped, to use Brett’s word, when I covered the protests in 2012, and some may gripe now. Too bad.

      The CAQ is trying to remake everything in Quebec in the image of a simpler time when you could live your whole life without encountering anyone who looked, spoke, believed or dressed much differently from you. Those days are over, not just here but all over the globe. Instead of entering the debate with spirit, Legault is trying to shut it down. His comment Tuesday that this law could have gone further is a warning. But he still has most of a term to continue to try to direct Quebec into the past, and as Montrealers, we’re going to bear the brunt of it.

      Yes, I will post about it. If you prefer, skip those entries and read the ones about traffic blockages, nonfatal stabbings and potholes, which I will also continue to do.

    • Michael Black 08:53 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      It matters because it’s not about “them”, it’s about “us”. What works do we want? I want to see diversity, not just white men in power.

      Michael

    • Bill Binns 09:13 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      @Kate – Look at the vote. It wasn’t even close. The vast majority of people in Quebec clearly want this type of legislation. You can demonize the politicians if you want but this is coming from the people. It’s good old democracy.

      When close to two thirds of a population is demanding something, one party or another will rise up to give it to them. You can get it from a somewhat problematic center-right party or wait a few years and get it from a real right wing party along with a bunch of other stuff you will like even less. Look at what’s happening in Europe at the moment.

    • dwgs 09:17 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      Am I the only one who sees the irony in people commenting on what is inappropriate for someone else to cover in their own personal blog?

    • Bill Binns 09:21 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      @dwgs – Nope. I never understood this complaint. Just read what interests you and skip the rest. Every “local” newspaper I have ever read has some news about the larger world.

    • Chris 09:45 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      Well, at least they are getting rid of two “thumping great crosses”: in the Nation Assembly and City Hall.

    • Blork 09:54 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      Bill Binns said “When close to two thirds of a population is demanding something…” and I read that seconds after I read “areas with higher education are more prone to buying ill‑founded, unscientific anti‑vaccine notions” farther up. My conclusion is that this demonstrates a fundamental flaw with raw democracy.

      Just because a majority of people think they want something (or think they are right) doesn’t mean the thing they want is right or that other people opposed shouldn’t complain about it or try to expose the flaws in that majority thinking. We (should have) learned this from history, but if I get too specific some idiot will shout “Godwin!” and I’ll just be too annoyed to even come back here for a few days.

    • Chris 10:14 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      Blork, yes, it’s a flaw of democracy. But, it’s still the least bad system. Certainly less bad than minority rule.

    • Kate 11:06 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      Couple of things, Bill Binns:

      The CAQ won a majority of seats with 37.42% of the votes. That’s only a majority if your electoral rules are stuck in the 19th-century system of first past the post. If we had a more equitable system there’s no way the CAQ could have railroaded this law through. Legault keeps talking about the majority to try to flimflam away that he got just over a third of the popular vote.

      We don’t have what Blork calls raw democracy for good reasons. We have elections and we choose representatives we hope have better education and higher ideals than the average. In Canada this has meant, for example, that we don’t have capital punishment, even if at times it looks like a majority of people would choose it. It means we decriminalized abortion even if major parties or percentages of the population would not have done so. We’re still teetering on guns and on environmental decisions.

      As a species, as a nation and as a people we create and ordain bills of human rights, because we know trends come and go and that people can, when the shit hits the fan, make claims and demands that would rob others of their rights, and we stand on those rights because they’re the highest ideals we’ve got. The whole point of them is not to cherrypick them and make exceptions when politically convenient – which Legault has just done.

    • jeather 11:10 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      FPTP pretty much leads to minority rule. The last election where a party won a majority of VOTES was 1985 in Quebec, and 1984 in Canada. Some of the elections since have been minority governments — but a lot haven’t.

    • Kevin 11:24 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      “The vast majority of people in Quebec clearly want this type of legislation. You can demonize the politicians if you want but this is coming from the people. It’s good old democracy.”

      The vast majority is often wrong.
      Death penalty. Homosexuality. Abortion. Human rights. Climate change.

      The vast majority never supports anything that they think will change their lives.

      Leadership is convincing and cajoling the masses to do the right thing, not kowtowing to their baser instincts.

    • Blork 11:52 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      Surely democracy can be more sophisticated than “majority rule” or as I like to call it, “mob rule.”

      And it can be. There are checks and balances. What we have is way more sophisticated than “majority rule,” although it does need work. (It’s a work in progress.)

    • Bill Binns 13:21 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      @Kate – Yep the CAQ was elected with 37% of the vote. You may as well give them the PQ’s 17% as well. The PQ’s hat law was much stronger than the CAQ’s. >50% of Quebec voted for a hat-limiting party in 2018.

      Regardless, poll after poll shows strong support in Quebec for government secularism.
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/public-religious-symbols-quebec-poll-1.4919997

      Just as in 2012, poll after poll showed the vast majority of Quebec thought the student protesters were a bunch of entitled crybabies.

      Democracy itself and FPTP specifically are far from perfect but as Chris says above they are “the least bad system”.

      Anything other than FPTP is a recipe to hand the looney fringe parties from both sides of the political spectrum power completely out of proportion to their membership. Look at the full 2018 election results and the names of the parties in the bottom third of the list. Quebec has enough problems without QS forming a coalition government out of communists and anarchists.

      @Blork – The majority is “the mob” when we disagree but “the voice of the people” when we agree, right?

    • Blork 15:16 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      “Regardless, poll after poll shows strong support in Quebec for government secularism.”

      Sure! Me too! I’m all for government secularism. I don’t want any religious overtones in the legislation that I live under. I’m fully behind that.

      But Bill 21 isn’t secular, which (at least to me) means neutral. Bill 21 is explicitly anti-religion. More specifically, it is anti-religious PEOPLE. That’s the part I cannot agree with. I cannot agree with the government targeting specific types of people as being undesirable or unworthy. A truly “secular” government wouldn’t give AF what hat you wear or if you don’t wear a hat at all.

      Bill 21 is the equivalent of saying the government is gender-neutral by insisting all people be male, and if you’re not male then you can’t be in the government, therefore, since the government is 100% male, it is gender neutral.

      (You can apply the same faux neutrality argument to race; if everyone is white then white is “normal” and if everyone is “normal” then the government is race-neutral.)

    • Bill Binns 16:01 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      “Bill 21 is the equivalent of saying the government is gender-neutral by insisting all people be male”

      As much as people are trying to prove the contrary, having a preferred hat is not the same as being brown or being male or female. It’s a choice that is made every day when one gets dressed. I know a guy who has worn a Red Sox hat just about every day of his life. They didn’t let him wear it at work so he chose to leave his hat at home and keep his job. I know another guy who at some point made a vow to the universe that he would never in his life under any circumstances wear a tie. He takes that vow pretty seriously and he walked away from a supervisor job at Boeing over it. People are fired or denied jobs everyday over tattoos or piercings or hairstyles. All of those things are choices. In my job, I will be fired on the spot for being at certain locations without wearing a high vis orange vest. I don’t get to wear exactly what I want to wear at work. Boo hoo. I have survived.

      The idea that a hijab or any other bit of religious kit is an inseparable part of the anatomy of certain people is an entirely 21st century Western invention. There are hundreds of millions of Muslim women in the world who do not wear a hijab or wear them sometimes. They don’t burst into flames.

      If the government wanted to pass a law that said “Employers are not allowed to tell employees what to wear under any circumstances”, I’d be mostly fine with it. Like so many things, what bugs me is the god people being exempted from rules the rest of us are subject to. The idea that religion trumps absolutely all other concerns (even safety as with special exemptions for Sikh men regarding motorcycle helmets or construction hard hats) is pure insanity to me.

    • Blork 16:29 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      “…what bugs me is the god people being exempted from rules the rest of us are subject to.” I get that. But this isn’t about hats, it’s about people’s beliefs and identities. Your example would be more legit if it really were about headgear and all people were forbidden from wearing it. But it’s not.

      Under Bill 21 you can be a teacher who wears a scarf on your head because you are cold, but you can’t wear a scarf if you identify as Muslim. So it’s not about the scarf; it’s about the person.

      Similarly, you can be a cop and have a Swiss Army Knife tucked into your sock but you can’t be a cop and have a kirpan tucked into your sock. So it’s not about the blade, it’s about the person.

      So in a sense, it’s the non-religious people who are getting exceptional treatment.

      You can argue that being religious is a “choice” but it’s way more than that. Many religious people are born into it and for whatever reason strongly identify that as part of who they are. It’s not just a choice like the choice to not wear a tie or to support the Red Sox. (I’m saying this as an atheist, BTW.)

    • Blork 16:31 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      (Yes, I know that Sikhs don’t generally put their kirpans in their socks. Shaddap, it’s not about socks!)

    • JaneyB 17:32 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      I really dislike this new law. I also don’t think it will be enforced for very long. As soon as some yahoos beat up someone wearing a hijab and use this law as their justification, I think people will reassess the need to assert their umm..’post-Catholic-ness’. Quebeckers undoubtedly dislike mostly the hijab/niqab but they really don’t want to see their young men beating women up when they’re walking in public. I predict support will gradually erode. It will be impossible to propose getting rid of it, of course, but it can join the limbo of other laws that get sidelined by convention.

    • Kevin 18:06 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      @Bill Binns
      You and the majority of Quebecers seem to be missing a crucial point: Dress codes don’t need to invoke the notwithstanding clause.

      Bill 21 violates the second clause of the Charter of Rights. That’s all there is to it.

      As a country, we’ve decided that people are allowed to have whatever religion they want and express it however they want. Including having NO religion.

      But as much as I think everyone who has a religion is insane, I don’t get to force them not to believe or not to worship. It’s the whole ‘I can swing my fist as long as I don’t hit your nose”

      Personally, I think actions speak louder than words, so if I was running a secular government I’d ensure that my employees’ actions, no matter their beliefs, did not impose their own particular religious beliefs. But of course Bill 21 does no such thing: employees could still end every conversation telling people to go to church, crucifixes are still allowed in schools and other places, and you know that not a single officer in the province will write a parking ticket anywhere near a church on Dec. 24 even if people block a street.

  • Kate 15:30 on 2019-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Plateau homeowners with dreams of enlarging their building will have to consult their neighbours and, I suppose, get some sort of consensus on it before beginning.

     
    • mare 19:38 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      They should adopt what you have to do in Switzerland: if you want to build or make an addition to a building you have to make a construction out of wood first. Basically it has to show the outline of your building, so the corners of the walls, the roofline etc. That way anyone can see what view they’re going to lose, or how much sunshine this building will catch. I’ve no idea how long you have to keep it up, maybe all 4 seasons.

    • david100 01:00 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      I hope the province steps in and clips cities’ wings with regards to this sort of thing.

    • david100 01:33 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      M. Frappier craint une réglementation dans laquelle «tout le monde aurait le droit de s’opposer aux projets».

      Sur la page Facebook de l’arrondissement, les réactions sont partagées. « Je trouve que cela va rendre les démarches encore plus difficiles pour les familles qui veulent entreprendre des projets de construction afin de demeurer sur l’île de Montréal », a écrit une citoyenne en réponse à l’annonce.

      Followed by a commenter who applauds the initiative, because a neighbor lost his view of the mount because of development, and she looks forward to blocking future projects.

      Wonderful. Taking a page out of the San Francisco playbook, indeed.

    • Kate 11:10 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      I think it’s admirable that the paramount value of property ownership has to cede a little to the commonsense fact that, in a city, you’re sitting on a bus, elbow to elbow with other passengers. What you choose to do has an impact on the people closest to you, whether it’s putting an elbow in their ribs or adding an extension to your house that puts their back yard in permanent shadow.

    • dwgs 12:27 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      Exactly Kate, and in other places that’s a part of the permit application process, an inspector will take a look at the site and the proposal and deem what is fair and allowable. They will also follow up to ensure that the job has been done properly. In Montreal a permit serves as a cash grab and an excuse for the city evaluators to pass by afterwards to decide how much your taxes will increase.

    • Ephraim 17:50 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      dwgs, it is also a way for city bureaucrats to abuse citizens with fabricated regulations. Frankly, when they refuse something, they should be required to specify exactly which regulation forbids it, rather than simply allowed to say “no”. We have gone through this process at least twice and when challenged the city officials are hard pressed to point to actual regulations…they just make them up, until someone pushes back. As I have pointed out, you can’t legally have a home theatre in the Plateau… why? Because a bureaucrat decided…. only room you can have without a window, a kitchen and a bathroom. And what are you going to do with a window in a home theatre… cover it up, 24 hours a day…. logic?

  • Kate 15:10 on 2019-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

    TVA says some architects find the new bridge lacking in audacity.

     
    • CE 15:34 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      Considering cable-stayed bridges all look pretty much the same, they would have had to build a completely different type of bridge to get something more interesting. The architect wants a park on the bridge but who would use a windswept park suspended between six lanes of traffic?

      “Certains architectes estiment qu’il aurait été plus beau d’avoir plusieurs sections haubanées sur le pont.”

      Do these architects not understand that the “sections haubanées” are purely functional? If they want more cables to make the thing look pretty, I hope they’re prepared to pay for them themselves.

    • Kate 16:03 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      Exactly. The last 2 paragraphs are about why there’s one suspended section, because it has to go over the Seaway. As you say, it’s not for decoration.

    • Clément 16:35 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      Yes, of course it would be better if it looked like the Viaduc de Millau. But like CE said, it’s all functional. The Viaduc de Millau has very (very) tall piles, so there was a cost benefit to keeping them much far apart. On the (shallow) St-Laurent, the piles are short and (relatively) inexpensive. The cost benefit was definitively in having more, closer piles thus avoiding the need to have long suspended sections.

      But then again, why would Quebecor praise a publicly funded project?

    • Faiz Imam 00:06 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      Armchair quarterbacking always sounds smart.

      Here is the announcement from 2013 where the architect was chosen: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/poul-ove-jensen-to-design-new-champlain-bridge-1.2447763

      The key line: “Federal Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel said the government has decided to forgo an international design competition, which will mean the construction can begin three years earlier than planned. ”

      and we all know time means money. Given how decent the bridge already looks, how much extra is a “better” design worth?

    • Tim F 05:44 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      You can’t please everybody. In my circles I have family and friends who complain about how high-falutin’ it looks and how much extra that must have cost us as-is. Not too mention purely aesthetic details like the animated lighting.

    • Bill Binns 09:07 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      I gave up on this bridge as soon as they announced it would be concrete. The very last thing this city needs is more concrete. Time will tell if this was as terrible a decision for longevity as it was for aesthetics but look at what happened to the Turcot in 40 years. Regular inspection and careful maintenance done on time is critically important for concrete bridges and we all know how good we are at that around here.

    • Blork 12:16 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      Hopefully some lessons were learned from the old Champlain Bridge’s concrete problems.

      Whatever it’s made of, there will be problems. No project of this size is ever pulled off without some problems. What I am NOT looking forward to is the inevitable public and media displays of stupidity that will happen when small problems are found and the outcry is everyone throwing their arms in the air and yelling “SEE? THEY CAN’T DO ANYTHING RIGHT!”

      CTFD people. There will be problems. Hopefully minor. Most likely fixable.

    • dwgs 12:29 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      Isn’t it just the piers that are made of concrete? I thought the bridge structure was all steel. Most past problems with concrete bridges around here centred on improper drainage, causing rot.

    • Uatu 17:28 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      The difference is that sections can be removed and replaced unlike the old bridge where all that you could do was patch over the holes. I want those architects to do the yardwork necessary to maintain a green space in the middle of a bridge. Then we’ll see if they still think it’s good idea….

  • Kate 15:08 on 2019-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

    A beauty salon on Decarie at Jean-Talon was destroyed overnight in a fire assumed to be arson.

     
    • david100 01:05 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      You know, I’d love to read a longform article that explains all the arsons over the past half dozen years – who owns the numbered companies that own the buildings, the mafia connections of the individual shops targeted, all those Haitian gangsters and what their plan is, and generally what the sides are. I’m pretty sure you’d need just one or two guys willing to talk, and from there a bunch of time poring over the various records and police moves. Or has someone already done that?

    • Ephraim 02:49 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      This is the SPVM…. I think you know the answer to that question. I would be surprised if they actually did their job.

    • Kate 11:16 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      david100, there are a handful of journalists whose beat this is, but when big incidents occur, like a killing or a major arson, you read them and realize that a lot of their surmises are based on old information or received ideas. Whether that means the cops do know (and aren’t telling the scribes) or don’t know, can be hard to determine. No guy on the gang side will live long if his confrères know or suspect he’s been spilling the beans, whether to a cop or to a journalist.

      Yes, someone could do a study of the arsons, I agree. But there may not be a bigger picture, it may be all piking little games of protection money.

  • Kate 15:06 on 2019-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

    The new name for Amherst Street will be announced on Friday, which is national indigenous people’s day.

     
    • Bill Binns 18:27 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      Groan. What’s the over/under on apostrophes? Three? Four? Let’s hope they do what they did with the Mount Royal summit and choose something so indecipherable that people will still be calling it “Amherst” 100 years from now.

    • Kate 19:51 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      Kondiaronk is not a bad name – no hyphens, no apostrophes. But I’ve never heard anyone actually call it that.

    • DeWolf 00:22 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      I generally agree with grumpy old men that things shouldn’t be renamed willy-nilly. But I think an exception should be made for the 19th century Eichmann. The guy who thought smallpox blankets were a splendid idea needs to disappear from our landscape, period.

    • qatzelok 08:04 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      But “WHY” does it have to dissapear? Because he was such an evil man, or because we don’t like to be reminded that success is often predicated by the number of artrocities you’re willing to perform for the empire or state?

      This erasure of National atrocities is sort of like how we recycle plastic: out of sight, out of mind.

    • Michael Black 08:49 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      I don’t feel much either way. But it’s easy to get trapped into blaming government or public officials, but everyone benefited and much of the public was racist.

      Every European carried the potential of smallpox or other disease, so deliberate spreading is just a matter of degree.

      A relative, Annie Bannantyne, was famous for horsewhiipping Charles Mayre in Red River, for saying had things about the mixed blood women.

      My great, great grandfather stood up to Thomas Scott, who at the very least thought the Metis were in the way.

      When the expeditionary force got to Red River, they let a lot of retaliation happen. My great, great grandmother’s brothers house got torched among other things.

      A lot of racism still happens, we need to deal with that as much as blame Amherst and others.

      Friday the Syilx are having a Salmon ceremony, I’d point out the Okanagan Nation flag now flies at UNI Okanagan, an extra flag pole installed.

      But Friday is also National Aboriginal Day, various events happening. I know there will be something at Cabot square, probably elsewhere too. These belong to everyone, people should take them in.

      Michael

    • Kate 08:51 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      qatzelok, following your logic, we should have things named after Hitler and Stalin too, to remind us. No. We name things after people to honour them, not merely as a reminder. That’s why there’s the pressure to take down the Macdonald statue (which I don’t think is pressing, but which I can understand) and the statues of Victoria (which I don’t agree with at all, for reasons previously explained).

    • Bill Binns 08:54 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      @Kate – The other summit, in Outremont is “officially” named… “Tiohtià:ke Otsira’kéhne”. Just rolls off the tongue doesn’t it? How many people in this city of millions do you think can read that name and make any sense of it?

      @DeWolf – Yeah, Amherst was the “19th century Eichmann” except for the small problem that there is zero evidence he ever acted on his germ warfare idea and even if he had it would not have affected Canadian Indians. The letters that caused all the fuss were in relation to Indians living in present day Pennsylvania. Not to mention the fact that he never lived to see the 19th century.

      If Amherst had stood up in Montreal City Hall in the late 18th century and announced that he had a plan to wipe out the Indians with a new and terrible weapon, he likely would have been applauded and encouraged so why don’t we get started on erasing all Montreal history before the current super-woke period.

    • Marc 11:03 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      This isn’t an erasure of history, Amherst and that time period will still exist in the textbooks. They’re simply being taken out of celebratory public space. It’s like taking down the portrait of a family member that you find out is a rapist or how you don’t listen to Louis CK anymore.

  • Kate 06:40 on 2019-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Mayor Plante says Montreal will follow the new secularity law although she has strong reservations about it. On CBC radio just now, she also mentioned the same concern I expressed earlier: that the spirit of the law may encourage an even harder line than is written down.

     
    • Raymond Lutz 09:19 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      C’est un jour triste.

    • Chris 11:24 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      Or the passage of the law may finally put to bed an issue raging for a decade now. I guess we’ll see. I’m not sure which way I’d bet. 🙁

    • Kevin 12:18 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      Only Legault and Jolin-Barrette think this has put the issue to bed.

      The hater-in-chief over at the Poubelle de Montreal has already told his troops that the Liberal party is to blame for the legal battles and to get ready for a big fight.

      I’d say that I hope nobody is hurt over this, but since six people were killed in Quebec City it’s a bit late for that.

  • Kate 06:37 on 2019-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

    The auditor general says the city’s buildings are not secure enough but it’s a wide assessment covering both accidents and deliberate attacks.

     
  • Kate 06:28 on 2019-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Following a change in provincial law made during the Couillard administration, municipalities no longer have to publish certain public notices in any newspaper. So Montreal will save some money by stopping this practice. That this change deprives newspapers of a traditional source of revenue is handwaved completely.

     
  • Kate 18:53 on 2019-06-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Now that we live in a secular state, the opposition is raising the spectre of secularism police. But the problem isn’t the creation of an actual inspection squad, distasteful though that would be. It’s that some people will now feel vindicated in appointing themselves secularism inspectors, and impose the law beyond even the terms of Bill 21 – like the bus driver last week who decided she wouldn’t stop for a woman in niqab.

     
    • Faiz Imam 21:32 on 2019-06-17 Permalink

      Like clockwork. A FB snitch group has already been created for the purpose of calling out anyone breaking the new law:

      https://twitter.com/xaviercamus1/status/1140759409548824576

    • mare 23:26 on 2019-06-17 Permalink

      And nobody can break the law at the moment since current government employees are grandfathered in. But from now on the government will just hire white people who can hide their Catholic traditions before they step into their office.

    • Faiz Imam 23:57 on 2019-06-17 Permalink

      eh, I don’t think the xenophobia is that explicit, this is focused particularly on Muslim women.

      I have a family friend who is one of the most radical religious extremists I know. He’s also a practicing physician in the Montreal area. I would absolutely not trust him on sensitive medical issues, but other than a well trimmed beard, there is nothing about him that stands out. This law does not affect him at all.

      At the same time my sister is a hijabi woman and also a wonderfully empathetic and effective social worker. She does not currently live in Quebec, but going forward there is no reason she’ll ever come back.

      I say that to demonstrate how ineffective this policy is to actually do what it claims to do.

      Anyways, all that is all stuff we’ve covered a dozen times before.

      This just sucks, and in the long term it’ll probably be repealed, but it won’t be anytime soon.

    • jeather 09:34 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      And yet the Sud-Ouest renamed their nice secular solstice party after St-Jean.

    • Chris 11:20 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      mare, do you really believe that or are you just being hyperbolic?

    • dwgs 11:37 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      Well Chris it wouldn’t be a major step from what their hiring practices seem to be now.

    • Chris 12:48 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      dwgs, I disagree, it *would* be a major step. For which there is no evidence that I’m aware of. But they collect statistics on this, so we can see in a few years if indeed “the government will just hire white people”. Or do you figure they’ll forge the stats too?

    • thomas 13:13 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      Anyone what happens to an employee who “finds religion” during their employee and then dons a religious garment? Would they get fired or be grandfathered as well?

    • mare 13:55 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      @Chris it was hyperbole but it feels a bit like a law to be able to discriminate “others”. We’ll see what surprises the CAQ will include at the last moment in their immigration bill next weekend.

    • dwgs 14:22 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      Chris, we don’t have to wait to see what *will* happen, we can just look at what *has* happened.
      https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/quebec-needs-hiring-targets-to-increase-diversity-in-workforce-study
      I doubt that we will be seeing any widespread changes in hiring policies for the foreseeable future.

    • Uatu 19:59 on 2019-06-18 Permalink

      Too bad about the Solstice fest being renamed. I was looking forward to seeing them setting aflame the human sacrifice trapped within a giant wicker man… 😛

    • Chris 09:50 on 2019-06-19 Permalink

      dwgs, that article says “the presence of cultural communities in the workforce increased” between 2003 and 2017. Let’s see where it goes after Bill 21. I don’t think it’s a forgone conclusion.

  • Kate 17:56 on 2019-06-17 Permalink | Reply  

    A trucking firm that was sending half-full trucks to snow dumps while claiming the cost of full ones will be blacklisted by the city for five years.

     
    • steph 18:09 on 2019-06-17 Permalink

      How long before the company is sold to the brother in law to continue business as usual?

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