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  • Kate 12:00 on 2018-09-22 Permalink | Reply  

    T’cha Dunlevy goes on here about how Cinéma Moderne is the first café bar movie theatre in Montreal which makes me wonder where I was having coffee on the Main years ago – can’t have been in the Cinéma Parallèle’s Café Méliès – not the “new” one but the old one, further up the street, can it? Not if Dunlevy is unaware it ever existed.

    In other café news, it was reported last week that the Olimpico made the Telegraph UK’s list of fifty greatest cafés on Earth. It’s in some hefty company here, magnificent old European establishments in places like Naples and Porto and Prague.

     
    • dewolf 13:45 on 2018-09-22 Permalink

      I seem to recall a café-bar that projected nightly movies about 15 years ago… and it was almost directly across the street from where Cinéma Moderne is now.

    • Kate 14:21 on 2018-09-22 Permalink

      Yes! I remember that too.

  • Kate 08:48 on 2018-09-22 Permalink | Reply  

    I’ve read through this piece twice about the issue of reorganization of events in Jean-Drapeau park, about the new amphitheatre being built for Evenko and about some master plan involving the islands, and I can’t make sense of any of it – who’s on what side, what Evenko wants, what the city wants, and why. I don’t think it’s my French comprehension either.

     
  • Kate 08:36 on 2018-09-22 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s on a hiring rampage for programmers to help upgrade its computer systems.

     
  • Kate 08:34 on 2018-09-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Shots were fired Friday in Ahuntsic, and three young men have been arrested, although there were no actual victims of the shooting.

     
  • Kate 22:12 on 2018-09-21 Permalink | Reply  

    A Montreal man found in possession of a huge cache of weapons which he was selling on the internet was given a maximum sentence of 10 years this week.

    Another fella who killed his girlfriend’s adult son with a homemade spear, as well as injuring the woman, was sentenced to 12 years on Friday, and will only have to serve 8 given time already served.

    A leading pedophile – can we even say that? – was declared guilty this week of a list of crimes. He too was using the internet to disseminate his foul wares.

     
    • Bill Binns 10:04 on 2018-09-22 Permalink

      10 years for selling prohibited items vs 12 years for taking a human life? Life sure does come cheap in Canada and Quebec especially.

    • Kate 10:24 on 2018-09-22 Permalink

      I wasn’t really meaning to compare the two, but looked at that way, maybe.

      To this day I don’t quite get the argument that “the guy was a drunk, or on drugs, so he shouldn’t be too harshly sentenced” that crops up from time to time. I suppose the point is that such a person isn’t quite so far gone as to be considered not criminally responsible, but nor are they in full possession of their judgement, so if they kill a person while under the influence it’s a less serious act than if a sober person plans and carries out a murder. We already have concepts of murder in the first and second degree to cover the understanding that a premeditated killing seems worse to us than one that happens because of sudden situational anger.

      Or maybe it’s simply justice being pragmatic: there’s little point in punishing people for whom cause and effect isn’t a familiar idea. In a sense I’ve always felt there’s little or no point in punishment at all but it’s not really an idea youi can sell to the general public.

  • Kate 07:26 on 2018-09-21 Permalink | Reply  

    The provincial election is on October 1, but that’s a Monday, so voters in any doubt about getting their statutory four clear hours to vote can go this Sunday and Monday to advance polls (the location should be indicated on your voting card), or vote at the polling offices at other times this week. All your local details are on the Elections Quebec website once you put in your postal code, or on the card you got from Elections Quebec.

    This would have been a public service announcement if it wasn’t that I’m going on to advise Montreal residents not to vote for the CAQ even if every other party annoys you equally. The CAQ isn’t just a neutral option for change, it’s a return to the old Union Nationale mindset and is inherently hostile to the wellsprings of urban life in Montreal.

    I’m not supporting any other specific party because options and situations vary depending on your riding and your personal politics.

    Just not the CAQ.

    Here’s a map of the ridings and candidates in Montreal.

     
    • Ian 08:01 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      Haha, okay, but how do you really feel? No worries from me, the CAQ sound like a bunch of racists to me so I’m going to vote QS as usual.

    • Ephraim 08:51 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      We have about 50K job openings in Quebec…. no immigrants, no jobs filled. We either need immigration or a way to automate those jobs out of existence. It’s the reality that the independence movement always glaces over…. I was in a class at UdS when a student mentioned it to the professor, who spent the next 15 minutes of a class on Education to eviscerate.

    • Bill Binns 09:34 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      The CAQ is just not there yet. Too much bitter PQ after-taste. They need a new class of candidates and leaders that can’t be found on YouTube passionately arguing in favor of the breakup of Canada just a few years ago.

      I am grateful to them for nudging the Liberals towards more responsible spending. Let’s see how they behave when they have the big checkbook and credit cards in their hands for a few years though.

    • jeather 10:03 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      Don’t forget that in a provincial election, you CANNOT be added to the list the day of the election. Although it’s convenient if you bring your reminder card to vote, it is not required, and it cannot be used to verify identity.

    • Chris 10:12 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      Ephraim, that’s a false dichotomy. There’s 50k job openings unfilled *at the offered salary*. Doesn’t the supply/demand/price curve apply here? If the jobs aren’t being filled, then perhaps the price (i.e. salary) needs to increase. The Canadian labour force participation rate is around 65% currently, so it’s not like there aren’t already people that could potentially take some of those jobs. One reason capitalists argue for more immigration is of course because they can/do pay them less. (Not saying you; not saying that’s the only reason; not arguing against immigration; am pointing out your false dichotomy.)

    • Emily Gray 10:54 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      Yeah, I still don’t know who I’m going to vote for. I do know I will vote against the CAQ.

    • Kate 11:45 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      Good reminders, jeather, thanks. It’s only at the federal level you’re able to get signed onto the list at the poll itself.

    • Ephraim 14:17 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      @Chris – Yes, at the offered salary, but there is elasticity, for example, fast food often pays $1.75 above minimum and still can’t fill the jobs. The change in minimum wage in Ontario affected wages in the rural areas, it also increase tax revenues. To increase the take home pay, we are better off increasing the personal exemption, which won’t affect CPI, interest or costs. But that means that the government needs to give up that income.

      But we are going to have more and more need for employment in some areas as the population ages. In some countries they have programs to bring in temporary workers to fill those jobs, rather than immigration. Especially caregivers.

    • Chris 14:34 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      Then they could offer more than $1.75 above minimum. In its heyday, Fort McMurray fast food places were paying [some large amount that I don’t feel like googling now].

      Canada is one of those countries with temp foreign workers, especially in farming.

    • Ephraim 14:55 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      @Chris – We will need more. We already need more. We already have some fast food chains closing because of staffing problems. Not that I really lament their closing, but it’s a symptom. We already have nurses on forced overtime. It will get worse.

    • Chris 15:48 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      Ephraim, yeah, I broadly agree.

      So I’m back from voting. Decided on QS since they have a chance in my riding, and hopefully if they can win a few seats we’ll end up with a minority government (which I like in general as some compromise is then needed).

    • jeather 17:06 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      The likelihood of a majority CAQ is dropping, which is great, though they can team up with PQ which isn’t fun. My riding is still a safe liberal, so I’m voting NPDQ probably.

    • Uatu 17:55 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      Just vote for the party you support regardless of whether they can get elected. Remember that your vote counts towards the amount of money your party of choice gets so no vote is “wasted”. https://www.electionsquebec.qc.ca/english/provincial/financing-and-election-expenses/allowance-paid-to-political-parties.php

    • JaneyB 10:54 on 2018-09-22 Permalink

      More Voting Day notes: If you moved since your last vote in a provincial election and have not changed your govt info via your driver’s license, you are not on the list…for your new riding. Go vote at your old riding; you will still be on the list there.

      If you’ve never gotten the little card in the mail, you are not on the list at all and they will not add you on Voting Day.

  • Kate 07:17 on 2018-09-21 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has revealed a list of rental buildings it considers unsanitary and Metro has put them on a map.

     
    • Ephraim 09:05 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      The city/province needs to legislate to fix the problem. One warning with 10 days to start to clean up and a phone number to call for inspection and a fee for the inspection. A registered later 10 later if no action and a phone number to call for inspection and a fee for the inspection. Finally the city can hire someone to do the work RBQ certified and just bill the owner and add it on to the tax bill. If the tax bill remains unpaid, put the property up for sale….see how quickly that will solve the problem.

    • Bill Binns 10:13 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      @Ephraim – It sounds good but if such a program was successfully setup and operated as you describe it would be the best run government program in Quebec. A phone call that gets a government inspector into an apartment in a matter of days? A follow up inspection a few days later? Cooperation between the Regie and whoever controls property taxes?

      The Regie doesn’t work on that kind of a timescale. Their basic unit of time measurement is years not days.

    • Tim 11:25 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      That map is a great resource for apartment hunters. If it makes it more difficult for those buildings to attract renters, it could force the management companies to improve the state of their buildings.

    • Ephraim 14:23 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      @Bill – Hence the fees. It shouldn’t cost the taxpayer anything.

  • Kate 07:16 on 2018-09-21 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s budget for next year is coming, so there are pieces about how the other island municipalities want more of a say and how Valérie Plante is saying nice things about other towns, doing what she can to keep them happy. This is the kind of wave of story that makes me wonder what’s really behind it.

     
  • Kate 06:28 on 2018-09-21 Permalink | Reply  

    Pedestrians may be having their deadliest year since 2013.

     
    • Ian 07:55 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      While that’s a lot of deaths, I’d like to see the number of people who were hit by a motorized vehicle and required hospitalization. I don’t think 15 is a big scary number, if we really want to get people concerned about this issue I want to see the big scary numbers. It’s like how in the 90s the death by shooting rate dropped n LA …mostly because doctors got better at keeping shooting victims from dying.

    • Ephraim 10:12 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      Ian – Of course even if they show the numbers, they will only be reported numbers, rather than real numbers, because so many people don’t report. We need to see the numbers for all vehicles, not just motorized. We need to break it down by age, by km walked. . And we need to see hospitalizations, days of work lost, etc. Not to mention where, because Cremazie, for example, is the most dangerous street in Montreal.

    • Tim S 19:14 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      I just had a near-death experience with a Ford 350 (we both had a green on de Mais,he wanted turn left, got impatient with all the cyclists. and when he had a chance he went, regardless of whether I as there or not). Anyways, made me think that how I might have survived a collision with a Civic, or maybe even an old-fashioned Ford Ranger, but not a F350. Which in turn caused me to wonder, is there any way to a prevent these guys from driving around in massive trucks just to carry a couple of lawnmowers or 2x4s?

    • Brett 01:37 on 2018-09-22 Permalink

      We could double the price of gas for the whole CMM.

    • Ian 11:19 on 2018-09-22 Permalink

      It’s a thought, but chances are anyone with a truck that size has it as a business vehicle so any fuel is a writeoff. Unless you also change the tax laws it’s not much of a disincentive other than affecting operating costs.

  • Kate 19:02 on 2018-09-20 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM has arrived at a new deal with its drivers, but its maintenance workers are still without a contract.

     
  • Kate 19:00 on 2018-09-20 Permalink | Reply  

    The Montreal Marathon adds to the driving notes for the weekend and will also be altering bus routes between Verdun and the Olympic park. The shorter distances being run as part of the marathon event are taking place Saturday and the full length marathon on Sunday.

     
    • nau 12:47 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      Apparently, CTV doesn’t know where Verdun is.

    • Kate 08:41 on 2018-09-22 Permalink

      That’s a good point. The western end of the route appears to actually be in Ville-Émard or Côte St-Paul.

  • Kate 18:57 on 2018-09-20 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has bought a parcel of land to be added to Anse-à-l’Orme park. It’s part of Angell Woods.

     
    • Max 20:00 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Huzzah!

      Enlargeable / better map here.

    • Kate 06:23 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      Thanks, Max. I couldn’t quite picture how Angell Woods could be contiguous to Anse-à-l’Orme park and the map shows it really isn’t.

      Half of Angell Woods remains in limbo, though.

  • Kate 08:09 on 2018-09-20 Permalink | Reply  

    A magnificent elm tree in Jarry Park, estimated at 300 years old, has been taken down after it was discovered to be hollowed out by disease and therefore unsafe.

    Update: Tree’s estimated age was adjusted down to 170 years after felling (see below).

    Another update: La Presse notes that this tree survived the epidemic that destroyed most of this city’s elms in the 1950s, but the disease caught up to it at last.

     
    • Chris 09:18 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      It’s funny how our society judges and reacts to “unsafe”. I bet that tree could have stood for years more. But, hey, it might fall, so cut it down immediately. But arsenic emissions? Meh, just keep it secret for a decade and do nothing about it. Seems to me the difference is that someone is making money of the latter, but not the former. 🙁

    • Frankie 09:39 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      “Son importance était telle dans le paysage local que l’arrondissement a cru bon de distribuer un avis aux résidants du secteur pour leur annoncer qu’il allait disparaître.” I am glad they did not underestimate the emotional impact of the loss of this tree. It is sad to see it go. It figures in many of our family photos from the 60s.

    • dwgs 09:42 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      I don’t know Chris, pretty doubtful that it’s the same people making the decisions in those two cases. I’d say that in one situation someone did their job in a responsible manner. The tree was in a public park where people might be drawn to it as shelter in the exact type of storm that is most likely to bring it down.

    • Bill Binns 09:48 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      I kind of feel like they are too quick to chop trees down too. How many 300 year old trees do we have? We couldn’t have had a conversation about maybe fencing it off or stabilizing it somehow? There is a huge old oak in the Percy Walters dog park up on Penfield that has a bunch of heavy iron chains and other hardware that look like they were put into the tree to stabilize it a hundred years ago. Appears to have worked.

      I don’t know jack about trees and acknowledge that the tree may have been too far to gone to save but it would be nice to hear about these things before the decision has been made and the tree is gone.

    • Kate 10:14 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Bill Binns, as Frankie pointed out, the borough did warn us. I follow the borough Facebook feed and they had a photo and an explanation, and as close to an apology as a bureaucracy ever gets, for having to do it.

    • Blork 11:16 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Picky point, but the article says the tree’s age estimate was revised to “about 170 years” after it was felled and they analyzed the rings.

    • Bill Binns 11:19 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      @Kate – Well, I get most of my Montreal news here and you didn’t tell us about it in advance- 🙂

      I’m not on Facebook which is sometimes a media blind spot for me. Especially for local stuff. I’m fooling around with the idea of starting a Facebook account on a clean computer that does absolutely nothing else but I’m not even sure if that will keep it’s tentacles out of the rest of my life anymore.

    • Mark Côté 11:57 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Sorry for the off-topic (ish? Facebook news does come up regularly), but Firefox’s Facebook Container is about as close as you can come to full isolation without a separate computer. https://blog.mozilla.org/firefox/facebook-container-extension/

    • Bill Binns 12:15 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Thanks Mark, that looks interesting.

    • Kate 13:19 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Bill Binns: I see a fair bit of microlocal news because of the way I have my personal stuff set up, but I try to find items of wider interest for the blog. Sometimes I miscalculate.

    • Blork 13:50 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Side note: Firefox’s “Containers” feature is the greatest browser invention since the popup blocker. I didn’t realize there was a specific Facebook container extension.

      Quick tutorial: with the Containers extension you can define several “Containers” for your different types of browsing. E.g., a “Banking” container for all your banking and financial stuff. A “Shopping” container for all your shopping, etc. The caches for the containers DO NOT MIX, so the cookies that land in your Shopping container have no awareness of the cookies in your Banking container.

      This is also useful for having multiple logins. So lets say you have two Flickr accounts. Instead of constantly logging out of one and into the other, you have one Flickr account open in one container and the other Flickr account open in the other container.

      This is similar to using a Private window for a second simultaneous login, but here’s the difference: when you close a private window, the cache (including all cookies, logins, etc.) is cleared. But Container tabs persist, meaning that if you close that second Flickr tab, and then open it again the next day, you will still be logged into that second Flickr account. (Note that you can have multiple tabs open for the same container.)

      Back to our regular programming…

    • Bill Binns 14:01 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      @Kate – You do an excellent job and provide me with a valuable service. Without this blog I would pretty much be stuck with the Gazette and bad machine translations of the rest of the media in the city.

      I’m not sure what the rest of the unilingual Anglos in Montreal do for the news but judging from the people I know, they just don’t know what’s going on around town much of the time.

      @Blork – Cool. Going to check it out after work. If it works on mobile devices as well, it’s going to be killer. I think I deleted my FB account in 2008 or something. I deleted it on the first day FB allowed accounts to be deleted.

    • Blork 16:34 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      @Bill Binns; I don’t think there are “containers” in the FF mobile app. 🙁

    • Chris 10:19 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      dwgs, my beef is less that we do do things like cut this tree, but rather that we don’t do things like stop arsenic pollution.

    • Raymond Lutz 17:00 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      Without cutting it down they could have put it on a yearly monitoring program to check how its structure is gradually (or not) affected by its diseases. How? By pulling on it at some branches with a force largely superior than those produced by any wind. The one or two contraptions could have been left in place to speed up the testing process for subsequent years.

    • Mark Côté 22:57 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      @Block I think it will be added at some point, but there’s massive platform work that has to be done first, namely switching Firefox for Android to use the new “GeckoView” engine.

  • Kate 06:58 on 2018-09-20 Permalink | Reply  

    Contrarily to some expectations, crime is not up around the locations of supervised drug injection sites.

     
    • Bill Binns 09:34 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Excuse me but BULL FUCKING SHIT. I called 911 four times last week. I called 911 yesterday. The number of needles on the street has absolutely exploded. I have open drug dealing in front of my house in the middle of the day.

      If I call the cops about something violent going on, they respond and usually stop by and talk to me. If I call about ANYTHING drug related, it’s “Your information has been passed on to the police” followed by crickets. There is your reduction in crime. The cops once again curating their own stats.

      The other problem is that they are only looking at crime within 50 to 350 meters of the heroin lounges. Just like the Old Brewery Mission, these places are very careful to keep their clients from hanging out in the immediate vicinity of the facility but the clients never stray far away. They shuffle an orbit around the place stealing and engaging in prostitution to come up with the money for the next hit to be enjoyed in their nice safe lounge.

      I mean really, does anyone think heroin addicts are heading back to the plant to finish their shift after shooting up? Where do the government and the police think these people are getting the money to buy the drugs being enjoyed in these facilities?

    • Ephraim 09:54 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Bill, talk to the people who run the place. They will likely give you a phone number to call when there is a problem. They will react even faster than the cops. They don’t want you calling the cops. We used to have this with Cactus. And soon the problem disappeared.

      Method 2, call the cops and ruin their statistics (and they will pressure you to stop calling).

      Method 3, if it is bad enough, call the Gazoo. They may be interested especially with the cops saying the opposite. Nothing cleans up a neighbourhood faster than the cops seeing a bad article in the press.

    • Bill Binns 10:14 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      @Ephraim – I have no interest in talking to Cactus. The only thing I want from them is for them to close up shop and leave.

      I have been calling the cops like crazy and not unnecessarily either. My little house is 5 meters wide and I rarely call for anything that is not happening directly in front of or directly behind my house. Interestingly, my wife and I were talking to someone at the city permitting office discussing renovation plans for the house. The woman who worked for the city kept making suggestions for our front entrance and we kept shooting them down because of security concerns. She advised us to call the cops for every single crime or suspicous person we observed and basically said the same thing you said – “eventually they will do something about it or ask us to stop calling and if they do ask us to stop, that’s a good sign”.

      The Gazoo – I know. So tempting. I have been collecting photos, security camera footage and actual needles that tell a pretty damning story but my wife absolutely does not want me or our house in the paper or on the news. She’s slowly coming around though.

      I plan on presenting myself at the local Police station soon to complain in person since it appears to be absolutely impossible to get a human to answer the phone at the non-emergency number. Last summer the cops started driving marked cars through the alley a few times a day and it had an amazing effect.

    • Ephraim 10:18 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Most of the time the non-emergency number isn’t answered anymore. That’s something that needs to be asked about. You can call 911 if they won’t answer and say that they don’t answer their phone…. not your fault.

    • Bill Binns 10:20 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Right, but 911 will only discuss the current “emergency” with you. You can not request additional patrols or anything like that. You also can’t set that up by talking to the cops in person. Everyone directs you to the number that is never answered.

    • Ephraim 10:43 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Maybe it’s time to arrange an appointment with the station chief then.

    • Douglas 20:09 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Its not about crime. Do you want kids looking at heroine junkies on the street? Nobody calls the cops on them.

      A needle junkie with blood leaking out of his arm was at the McDonalds hassling people for money. This is safe for kids?

    • CE 21:19 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      @Bill, you cant really call bullshit on crime not going up based on your personal experiences unless you’ve been calling more in the last little while. Also, you’re just one person. Maybe you are calling a lot more now, but all it takes is one person who used to call all the time to move away for your calls to have no effect on the cops’ stats.

  • Kate 06:36 on 2018-09-20 Permalink | Reply  

    Commuters are fed up with unreliable service on the Deux-Montagnes line, and held a demonstration this week. Construction of the REM has been interfering with the line, reducing the departures so that available trains are, as they say, sardine class.

    In other REM news, environmentalists are distraught about damage being caused at the St‑Laurent Technoparc site.

     
    • Uatu 09:18 on 2018-09-22 Permalink

      I found it interesting that in a news report someone straight up called the REM more a development project than a transit one.

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