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  • Kate 08:31 on 2020-08-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Many hospitals around Montreal are adding temporary modular buildings to function as Covid isolation wards – which means the medical establishment here is bracing for a surge in cases after the rentrée.

    Dr Theresa Tam is warning us that Covid may be around for a long time. And a study shows that, even with a vaccine, a lot of Canadians will delay getting it, or refuse to get it at all.

    • Mr.Chinaski 09:33 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      Not only that, but the vaccine to be effective will require herd protection, so +/- 75% of the population.

    • Jebediah Pallindrome 13:05 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      Literally every community in Canada has a hockey rink. Dr. Joanne Liu was saying how all COVID+ patients should be kept out of the hospitals to keep hospitals from shutting down and/or becoming vectors of the virus, but that the govt doesn’t want this because it looks bad. The arenas aren’t being used anyways… they’d be perfect isolation spots. Instead govt orders new construction. This is all about greasing palms. The political class couldn’t have been more inept had they tried.

    • Kate 13:26 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      Problem there is that people might want to use the rinks for hockey.

    • Kevin 13:27 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      The temporary hospital buildings were announced in May or June, because while you can do some stuff under a tent, treating people outdoors in the winter isn’t really feasible. Like everything else with this disease, people need space — and those old hospitals that kept 4 people to a room aren’t going to cut it.

      Hospitals need hot zones and cold zones and to do that safely in winter means space, and lots of it.

      As for arenas — they are being used. Hockey camps take place all summer (and there have been outbreaks) and skating for all starts Sept. 1 (at least in my neighbourhood).
      They’d also be terrible isolation spots. There is no medical gear on hand. Accessing washrooms would be difficult at best. They’re gloomy and not designed to be heated.

      Commandeer some buffet halls instead of arenas if you really need people inside 🙂

    • JaneyB 13:34 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      re: Tam’s conference – I think the odds of Canadians wearing masks and avoiding people for 3 years is slim to none. Since now countries like the Czech Republic and Slovakia have lowered their numbers so much that they are basically maskless and back open after 8 weeks even without a vaccine, it will become harder to justify the various strategies we are using. It really looks like we really botched it by not recommending face covering at the same time as we shut down. Hindsight, of course.

    • Kate 14:24 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      I hope you’re right, JaneyB, but I’ll wait to see how things look a few weeks after schools reopen.

  • Kate 08:28 on 2020-08-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Héma-Québec’s study finds that 2.23% of Quebec adults aged 18 to 69 have caught Covid-19, suggesting a number closer to 125,000 people who have caught it here, vs. the official figure of 37,000 cases in that age group. That’s a lot of people walking around without symptoms, possibly spreading it.

    Update: Santé Quebec’s official numbers say 60,000 Quebec residents have caught the virus so far.

  • Kate 20:19 on 2020-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Dan Philip, who headed the Black Coalition of Quebec for 40 years, is retiring from the post to be replaced by Max Stanley Bazin, described as a lawyer. On looking him up, I found this article from 2015, which says Bazin no longer practices.

    • David732 22:00 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      That article strongly suggests that he no longer practices because he fell into some sort of situation (drugs, mental decline, booze, laziness, women, gambling, etc) that caused him to stop doing work for which he was paid, possibly because he was unable to do so. He was never reinstated after he was disbarred.

      Not such a great record, here:

      “Bazin, qui le représentait lors du procès « n’avait tout simplement pas pris connaissance du dossier, même de la façon la plus élémentaire », précise le document.

      L’« incompétence » de l’avocat était telle qu’un juré a fait parvenir une note au juge pour questionner le déroulement du procès.

      « L’incident n’est pas banal et représente sans doute une première au Québec, sinon au Canada », précise le jugement.

      . . .

      M. Bazin a été radié de l’ordre pour une période de deux ans en 2011.

      Le conseil de discipline lui a notamment reproché de ne pas s’être présenté à la cour pour représenter certains de ses clients, entraînant l’émission d’un mandat d’arrestation contre l’un d’eux.

      Il n’aurait pas non plus suivi les cours de perfectionnement que le Barreau lui avait imposés, « vu ses lacunes en droit ».

    • Kate 10:30 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      David∞, it wasn’t necessary to extract and spell out the details about Mr. Bazin’s troubles. I linked the story so anyone sufficiently interested could check it out.

      In fact, I suspect the Black Coalition was Dan Philip, and that without him it may simply cease to exist in favour of more recent groupings.

    • Dan 10:41 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      David can never resist an opportunity to spout his unfounded, racist assumptions about a POC in the news.

    • Michael Black 10:49 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      I was surprised by a story a while back where the Coalition was mentioned but someone other than Dan Phillips was quoted. He definitely is the organization, though more concrete than something I mentioned recently. I did see him on TV more recently, and he is looking old, though that’s since ly because I haven’t seen him on the news recently.

      It won’t be the same, and time will tell how things go.

    • david232 10:54 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      Yeah, Dan, I have it out for POCs in the news. Thanks for your contribution.

      Back on planet earth, I have a professional interest in lawyers behaving badly. And “unfounded”!

      You obviously don’t read French:

      “Bazin, qui le représentait lors du procès « n’avait tout simplement pas pris connaissance du dossier, même de la façon la plus élémentaire », précise le document.

      Translation: he didn’t even have the most elementary familiarity with the case, let alone familiarity sufficient to defend his client.

      « L’incident n’est pas banal et représente sans doute une première au Québec, sinon au Canada », précise le jugement.

      Translation: this is egregious, a first in Quebec, and possibly all of Canada.

      M. Bazin a été radié de l’ordre pour une période de deux ans en 2011.

      Translation: he was disbarred in 2011, for a period of two years (after which he could apply for readmission).

      Le conseil de discipline lui a notamment reproché de ne pas s’être présenté à la cour pour représenter certains de ses clients, entraînant l’émission d’un mandat d’arrestation contre l’un d’eux.

      Translation: In its order, the bar discipline board noted that in some cases, he didn’t even show up for court to represent his clients, which in at least one case led to an arrest warrant being issued against one of said clients.

      Il n’aurait pas non plus suivi les cours de perfectionnement que le Barreau lui avait imposés, « vu ses lacunes en droit ».

      Translation: he also didn’t even do the legal education units ordered by the bar to correct his lack of legal knowledge (ie. pertaining to the things that he kept doing wrong).

      Then the guy didn’t bother trying to get his law license back.

      A lot of racism there!

    • Kate 12:32 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      david∞– yes, we got the story, you don’t have to keep copying it to your comments.

    • Dan 12:33 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      Thanks so much David, but I am perfectly bilingual. Funny I didn’t see a translation of the part about drugs, booze and laziness – oh right, cause there was absolutely no mention of that and just your own unnecessary, and IMO, racist assumption.

  • Kate 20:08 on 2020-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    A man who lived partly in Montreal and partly in Lebanon was killed in the Beirut explosion on Tuesday. A lot of folks in Montreal have family connections there.

    Update: On Facebook, the mayor posted a photo of the three city hall flags at half mast and a statement about honouring Wednesday’s day of mourning.

  • Kate 12:45 on 2020-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s already fairly bucketing down as I type, but tropical storm Isaias is expected to bring even more torrential rain Tuesday night into Wednesday.

  • Kate 09:25 on 2020-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Two thirds of people surveyed in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie are in favour of bike paths. And this is TVA admitting it!

    La Presse has published a response to last week’s sour Montréal, je te quitte! screed. Pascal Henrard points out that journalists like negative stories – that someone hates a new bike path or a new park is more edgy and newsy than how much people like a new thing. Le bonheur écrit à l’encre blanche sur des pages blanches. (Henrard doesn’t go so far as to theorize that journalists writing these sour stories are giving readers permission to also hate, giving them a focus for their hate, but I could go on about this.)

    Update: Toula Drimonis responds to Montréal, je te quitte!, specifically, the writer’s complaint that the city didn’t do enough to give him copious free parking everywhere he might want to go.

    • Blork 11:09 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      This might be ass-talk, but I think about how a generation ago, the usual line from media-savvy and progressive-minded people was that mainstream media always favored mainstream ideas because it assured larger readership numbers for the sake of advertising. So the mantra among the up-and-coming new media people was always to “go behind the story” and to find alternative perspectives and to highlight the less-told, “unheard” voices.

      FFwd a generation, and now those people ARE the mainstream media. Given that the previously unheard are heard too much now because of social media, blogs, and other less commercial forms, the way for the mainstream media to “go behind the story” is now to present views that are counter to the majority of the noise from social media. So, for example, if social media is full of people saying they want more bike paths, the mainstream media will feel they’re doing the responsible media thing by voicing the “unheard” schlubs who complain about parking and don’t like bicycles.

      Progress! (Sarcasm.)

      (And the advertising part takes care of itself, because it’s now about getting clicks not regular readership, and inflammatory and/or click-baity headlines take care of that.)

    • Ian 12:03 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      Another thing to consider is that probably people aged 55 and over are less likely to be riding bikes so it doesn’t benefit them personally. This purely anecdotal evidence is based on my own experience of riding those paths, and noticing the ages of the people around me. Certainly skews towards families with younger kids, or people in their 20s and 30s that seem to be in a bit of a rush to get where they are going. There are a few older riders like myself but not nearly as many.

      I wonder what the demographics of the surrounding neighbourhoods are, i.e.; do they skew young?

    • Kate 12:25 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      Rosemont elects Projet councillors, Québec solidaire MNAs and the only remaining NDP MP on the island of Montreal. Must be something in the water.

    • Ian 16:24 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      So does Mile End (well, Liberal MP this time, sadly) and half the population is Hassidic – voting patterns alone don’t tell us a lot about demographics.

    • DeWolf 19:48 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      I always think of Rosemont as the Portland of Montreal. Maybe it’s just me. But it really gives me that kind of vibe.

    • walkerp 07:18 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      And Portland is also known as The City of Roses, so further connections…

    • mare 14:16 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      And there was a direct rail link to Portland from Montreal, albeit not from RosePatrie, but from Bonaventure station.

      Oh wait, The Grand Trunk went to that other Portland, in Maine.

  • Kate 09:22 on 2020-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    There’s a Montreal angle to the Perseverance Mars rover, as one of the engineers involved was born here. The mission took off successfully last week and is scheduled to land there in February.

  • Kate 09:14 on 2020-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Verdun General is adding a new 36-bed Covid wing. It’s going to be a prefab, meant to handle the surge of new cases expected later this year.

  • Kate 09:10 on 2020-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Two people were seriously hurt Tuesday when they crashed their car into a truck trailer parked in a lot in St-Laurent. Police are trying to figure out how this happened.

  • Kate 21:08 on 2020-08-03 Permalink | Reply  

    The headline here – Montreal cop suspended for three days after good deed goes bad – is a little misleading. It’s an amusing read, but the cop in question shows incredibly poor judgement at several points in the story. What cop with 26 years of experience thinks it’s appropriate to return lost property at 2 in the morning?

    • Ephraim 07:52 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      What punishment is 3 days off with no pay? The note on his file is more of a punishment than the actual punishment.

    • steph 08:46 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      I wonder what would happen if the lawyer pressed charges? It’s basically a home intrusion gone afoul.

    • walkerp 08:51 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      This is super suspicious. Sounds to me like some kind of attempt to harass or get info was going on and he got caught.

    • Meezly 09:09 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      The first wallet belonged to the daughter of a lawyer who “defends clients who require legal aid and has displayed an impressive knowledge of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms in cases heard at the Montreal courthouse.” Interesting. Coincidence?

    • Michael Black 09:32 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      The article did say that the cop claimed he didn’t know the guy was a lawyer.

      There was that drug bust a few years ago where the homeowner shot a cop, claiming he thought it was a home invasion. Someone suddenly appearing in a home doesn’t seem very safe.

      There was no mailbox to put the wallets? No way to lock both wallets back in the car and leave a note about it?

    • Kate 10:13 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      Michael Black: yes, the Basil Parasiris case in Brossard. That guy had a gun and killed one of the cops, thinking it was a home invasion – as, in a sense, it was. The Wikipedia page mentions nothing about drugs.

  • Kate 16:39 on 2020-08-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Now that the construction holiday is over, Quebec wants anyone with any doubts about their exposure to get tested for Covid.

    Health minister Christian Dubé is promising an updated school policy soon soon.

    The WHO is warning us that there may never be an effective vaccine against this thing. Canada has created a tracking and notification app but it isn’t active anywhere but Ontario yet, and if Quebec follows its usual modus operandi, it will insist on building its own from scratch.

    Update: There are complaints that the Canada app only works on phones less than five years old. To make the app do what it does, presumably it needs more recent hardware and software hooks – you can’t make older hardware do new tricks by magic.

    • j2 18:21 on 2020-08-03 Permalink

      There was a public consultation by Quebec about the app that ended yesterday.

    • Kate 20:20 on 2020-08-03 Permalink

      Thanks! I wonder when we’ll hear the results.

    • Mark Côté 21:58 on 2020-08-03 Permalink

      Yes, unfortunately Apple and Google haven’t made the necessary functionality available on older phones (not sure if it’s impossible on the hardware or they just didn’t want to put in the extra effort). The app authors had their hands tied there.

    • Faiz imam 23:59 on 2020-08-03 Permalink

      FYI, another requirement set by Apple/Google is that there only be one app per country that uses their technology. They expressly don’t want competing apps.

      So Quebec literally cannot build their own. At least not if they want it to actually be effective. The alternative is to have an app that is permanently on screen at all times. That’s the only way for normal apps to have Bluetooth running persistently. An obvious non-starter.

      I figure its only a matter of time before Quebec uses the official app. It’s extremely well designed, I’ve actually already downloaded it. There is no serious reason not to.

    • walkerp 08:36 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      Although I am always suspicious of Apple, there is a very valid reason that the app is designed for newer models. Apple updated their API a few versions ago and made the privacy requirements much stricter, forcing developers to be transparent and conscious about what data their app accesses. This is a crucial requirement for a contact-tracing app in the west.

      The consensus among security experts that I follow is that privacy is much stronger in the iOS environment than Android. It always has been, but the new API made that even stronger.

    • Meezly 09:14 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      The last time there was a public notice urging people to get tested for Covid, there were massive lineups. Has the testing capacity and turn over improved at all since then?

    • Tim S. 09:31 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      I’m a little curious about the testing plan for the return to school and daycare. Kids get colds, gastros, unexplained pains all the time. Is every kid with a sniffle or headache going to need to get tested? If so, is there some kind of plan for them to be tested in their neighbourhood without having to wait for hours? Because for some families this might become a monthly event.
      On the other hand, maybe all the COVID precautions will cut down on all the other germs too.

    • Kate 10:35 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      Tim S., it’s one of the few silver linings that the precautions will also cut down on flu and cold transmission, yes. But you ask cromulent questions I have not seen answered and which will probably not be tackled till school’s been open for a few weeks.

    • DeWolf 12:30 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      Meezly, there are indeed new testing facilities and I haven’t noticed any significant lineups at any of the ones I have passed by. That said, I know people who were tested recently (all negative!) and some of them had to wait a full week for their results, even after being told they’d be ready in 1-3 days. So there are still backlogs, just on the back end and not the front.

    • Dhomas 07:23 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      About the complaints of the tracing app requiring a phone newer than 5 years, the journalist either did no research or is intentionally trying to blame the government for something outside of their control: “Parsons said criticism should be directed at the federal government, not those who designed the app.” If they had done a 30 second Google search, they would have found that the software infrastructure required for this app is Android 6.0 ( and which was released in 2015 ( Also, most Android phones released in 2015 wouldn’t even have shipped with Android 6, as phone hardware manufacturers are notoriously slow at shipping current versions of the OS. Some of those 2015 phones would get an update to Android 6.0, others would not. That said, some even older phones WOULD get an upgrade to Android 6.0, for example the Google Nexus 5, released in 2013, was upgraded to Android 6.0 in 2015. So, there’s a 7 year old phone that would work with the app.

      In any case, my point here is that the government could do nothing to just make it work on older software. It was simply outside of their scope.

      And as for “you can’t make older hardware do new tricks by magic”, that’s true. But you don’t need magic. A lot of phone manufacturers don’t bother upgrading their OS to get consumers to buy a new model with a new OS capable of new tricks. It is possible and there are some community projects that will allow you to install newer versions of Android even when the manufacturer never provided an update. If you look up the Lineage OS project, you’ll see a number of older phones being upgraded to Android 10, way after their manufacturers wrote them off.

    • Dhomas 09:20 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      I didn’t mention iPhone/iOS in my post as I’m much more familiar with Android. For iPhone users, it’s much more cut and dry: contact tracing requires iOS 13.5 which is available on the iPhone 6S and newer. iPhone 6S was released in 2015.

    • Kate 10:01 on 2020-08-05 Permalink

      Thanks for the clarifications, Dhomas.

  • Kate 16:17 on 2020-08-03 Permalink | Reply  

    City hall has a survey about budget priorities for 2021.

    • david100 00:59 on 2020-08-04 Permalink

      And we welcome the hurt like it’s something we deserve . . . Classic Montreal public consultation.

      Question 2: Est-ce que Montréal devrait obtenir du gouvernement du Québec la levée temporaire de l’obligation d’équilibrer son budget en 2021, comme le font les autres gouvernements? La levée de l’obligation d’équilibrer son budget n’élimine pas la pertinence d’un soutien financier des autres niveaux de gouvernement.

      ^ This is actually the first question after whether you actually live here. They should have just asked if the government should grant them a autonomous status, same effect.

      Question 5: Si Montréal devait revoir à la baisse ou même limiter certains services, quels sont ceux parmi les choix suivants qui devraient être revus? (Plusieurs choix possibles)*

      (a) Service de police
      (b) Gestion des matières résiduelles (par exemple, nombre de collectes)
      (c) Chargement de la neige
      (d) Autre (spécifiez)

      ^ Very subtle.

      Question 6: Est-ce que la Ville devrait participer activement à un retour vers une économie plus forte en faisant davantage d’investissements en immobilisations, et ce, en ajustant son plan décennal de retour à un ratio d’endettement de 100 % de ses revenus annuels?

      ^ The 1% of survey respondents who have a clue what the hell this question is even asking would still have to give this some thought, as we’re talking about budget priorities, debating what sort of debt the city holds, what future revenue looks like, and a lot more.

      Like, I appreciate that it’s no more corrupt/amateurish/transparently intended to get a predetermined result than any past such exercise by other administrations . . . but it’s still sort of insulting.

  • Kate 09:18 on 2020-08-03 Permalink | Reply  

    There were power failures around town Sunday during the thunderstorm, and it’s going to be a week of wet weather, with the remnants of Isaias expected to pay us a visit on Wednesday.

  • Kate 09:14 on 2020-08-03 Permalink | Reply  

    More people are likely to find themselves homeless soon with the shortage of rental space and lack of support from Quebec for the city’s efforts to help.

  • Kate 08:41 on 2020-08-03 Permalink | Reply  

    There aren’t many strip clubs left, and the remaining ones are now coping with masks. Couldn’t make it up.

    • Ian 10:10 on 2020-08-03 Permalink

      Imagine the lucky person out there with a mask kink who feels like they have been waiting their whole life for this.

    • Michael Black 10:21 on 2020-08-03 Permalink

      But what’s sexy about a naked body? It’s the face that makes the rest appealing.

    • MarcG 11:10 on 2020-08-03 Permalink

      Comments are closed.

    • Kate 12:38 on 2020-08-03 Permalink

      MarcG, no they’re not.

    • j2 15:32 on 2020-08-03 Permalink

      Captain Obvious here, the issue isn’t the dancers wearing masks. It’s physical distancing and the whole fear of death thing that’s also keeping people out of bars. The late night alcohol thing seems spurious. If people were in bars then they’d be drunk earlier is all that would mean, it’s not like strip joints had later last calls.

      Although I’m curious how much the habs win will affect the latter.

    • MarcG 15:32 on 2020-08-03 Permalink

      Failed attempt at humour

    • Kate 15:49 on 2020-08-03 Permalink

      MarcG: It’s OK, just wanted to make sure people understood it was not so.

      I take your point. If the internet has taught me anything, it’s that one can’t make any universally sweeping statement about what’s sexually appealing.

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