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  • Kate 16:31 on 2018-11-12 Permalink | Reply  

    Once again, Bombardier exercises its mysterious power over government, as Ottawa agrees to pay for more Azur cars for the Montreal metro, more to keep 170 workers in La Pocatière off pogey than to keep Montreal running.

     
  • Kate 11:51 on 2018-11-12 Permalink | Reply  

    The body of a young man was found in the woods on Nuns’ Island on Monday morning. CBC says police think the death was accidental but other media don’t seem so sure.

     
  • Kate 09:29 on 2018-11-12 Permalink | Reply  

    Saw these plain hard plastic seats in an STM bus on Sunday. They had an unfinished look and were not very comfortable. Hope this isn’t the future because these would make bus travel just that bit more grim.

     
    • Ian 10:24 on 2018-11-12 Permalink

      An hour on that and I’ll need a replacement butt. I hope they don’t put them in the 211 but knowing the stm that’s exactly where they will put them.

    • Blork 11:10 on 2018-11-12 Permalink

      FYI, that photo is incorrectly rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise.

      I suspect this might be due to the scare of picking up bedbugs from upholstered bus seats.

    • Emily Gray 11:23 on 2018-11-12 Permalink

      I think these kinds of seats are used because they’re easier to clean.

    • Emily Gray 11:23 on 2018-11-12 Permalink

      But yeah, I don’t like them either. Less comfortable and harder to relax in.

    • Kate 11:48 on 2018-11-12 Permalink

      Blork, I posted initially from my phone, but the image should be fixed now.

      You may be right about the bedbug scare. I used to stop by the Grand bibliothèque occasionally on the way home but find I’ve simply stopped going there, almost without thinking, since the last wave of bedbug stories.

    • Emily Gray 13:09 on 2018-11-12 Permalink

      I stopped going to the Grand bibliothèque after their first bedbug scare a few years ago. And I’ve since heard reports about a few other Montreal libraries having found bedbugs, so I’m not really sure which libraries don’t have bedbugs.

    • Kate 13:14 on 2018-11-12 Permalink

      I’ve heard at third hand that there have also been bug problems at the Marc-Favreau library beside Rosemont metro, a nice building and “third place” but not so much if so. Haven’t been in there in awhile.

    • CE 13:19 on 2018-11-12 Permalink

      I saw these the other day in a brand new bus on Henri-Bourassa. I don’t remember how comfortable the seats were but I remember that the bus had nice big windows that didn’t have anywhere you could open them so I suspect it was one of the new air conditioned buses.

    • David 15:57 on 2018-11-12 Permalink

      I hope they put these in all the buses for betterhygiene/prevent parasites. In fact, I never understood why they hadn’t already done this a long time ago, especially after the news reports of bedbug cases increasing in town….

  • Kate 07:45 on 2018-11-12 Permalink | Reply  

    A nice piece in Metro looks at the Sun Life building, its construction and some of its secrets.

     
  • Kate 07:39 on 2018-11-12 Permalink | Reply  

    Ensemble wants to put an end to applause in city council and is prepared to petition to change the rules of procedure to achieve this.

    Hmm, what about boos?

     
  • Kate 18:50 on 2018-11-11 Permalink | Reply  

    A car driver who clipped a truck in traffic in Montreal East Saturday night somehow ended up with his car upside down in a construction dig. “Police believe the man may have been drinking.”

     
  • Kate 09:48 on 2018-11-11 Permalink | Reply  

    The village of Longue-Pointe has changed a lot over the years: this Centre d’histoire piece looks briefly at its history.

     
  • Kate 09:46 on 2018-11-11 Permalink | Reply  

    A new book co-authored by La Presse gang specialist Daniel Renaud reveals what Vito Rizzuto was preparing to say at the Charbonneau commission had he not died of natural causes in 2013. “Just like everyone else, he noticed how often engineering and construction firms artificially inflated their bids. ‘I should’ve opened a consultancy business – I would’ve made more money.’ ”

    Update: Metro reports on the co-authors’ appearance on TLMEP with an anecdote about a woman cop who persuaded Rizzuto to tell some stories.

     
  • Kate 09:25 on 2018-11-11 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC looks back to how Montreal celebrated the end of World War I exactly a century ago. Jonathan Montpetit pulls no punches in his description of the riots seen here when conscription was imposed in 1917, and how the armistice was an end not only to war, but to the divisions caused by this demand by the federal government.

    CTV has a brief preview of the day’s events.

    Relevant items I’ve noted: the Musée d’Orsay, where a dinner for world leaders is taking place this weekend, has been tweeting pieces related to World War I, both photos and paintings; Daily Mail has a lot of photos of world leaders in Paris; the BAnQ has a great selection of local images from that time; Trump used rain as his excuse for avoiding the memorial in Compiègne; thousands held a memorial in Ypres; read the Wikipedia piece on the causes of WWI and, if you thought you understood that war, you’ll realize you didn’t.

    Update: La Presse reports on the ceremony at Place du Canada.

     
    • Raymond Lutz 17:15 on 2018-11-11 Permalink

      J’ai découvert que la lecture de la guerre de 14-18 est éminemment politique (au niveau de la lutte des classes).

      “La guerre, un massacre de gens qui ne se connaissent pas, au profit de gens qui se connaissent mais ne se massacrent pas.” P. Valéry

      14-18 était déjà une guerre du fric: “Le capitalisme porte la guerre, comme la nuée porte l’orage” J. Jaurès

      L’incontournable historien Henri Guillemin (qui se déclarait catholique mais pas socialiste, IIRC) traite magistralement des causes de la Grande Guerre dans cet enregistrement sonore. Pour ceux qui préfèrent les images, il y a “On croit mourir pour la Patrie, on meurt pour des industriels” sur Viméo.

    • Raymond Lutz 17:46 on 2018-11-11 Permalink

      Je ne peux passer sous silence la connerie du président de la France, E. Macron, qui a affirmé lors des cérémonies de commémoration que “Pétain était un grand soldant”. L’internet, qui se souvient, s’est ému et de nombreux documents (oubliés dans l’ombre) ont connus une heureuse publicité, dont celui-ci, où j’ai vu la photo la plus évocatrice de l’horreur banale de la guerre.

      Rappel: Pétain en 14-18 a fait fusiller les soldats déserteurs lors de la 1ere Guerre (en plus de collaborer avec les nazis lors de la 2e).

    • Kevin 20:49 on 2018-11-11 Permalink

      Every year I am surprised at who doesn’t know the significance of the poppy, or those who think it glorifies war.

      This year the offender was an author about modern-day wars who shall remain nameless.

  • Kate 23:55 on 2018-11-10 Permalink | Reply  

    Pierre-André Normandin in La Presse looks at the departure in road maintenance philosophy found in the new city budget: this administration is going beyond hastily patching things up – the policy most administrations have had in our lifetimes – and is trying to make proper repairs to the tune of $1.2 billion.

     
    • Roman 09:32 on 2018-11-11 Permalink

      The problem is that due to corruption the asphalt quality produced by the asphalt plant is terrible and the roads are doomed before they are even paved. It’s not the winter, it’s not the salt, it’s not the trucks, it’s pave mix. They add used car engine oil, instead of bitum, to save a couple of bucks, but also to ensure that the road fails 20x faster and they get more biz to repave.

    • Ephraim 11:06 on 2018-11-11 Permalink

      Without a clause in the contract with the repair companies, you won’t get quality work. And we need some of those asphalt repair units that redo a section at the time after an incursion, so you aren’t left with more cracks to have water/ice get into.

  • Kate 20:12 on 2018-11-10 Permalink | Reply  

    On a windy, chilly Saturday afternoon tens of thousands marched downtown to press the Legault government to act on global warming. Photos of the march by Jacques Nadeau.

     
    • Steve Q 23:32 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      Nothing in the english media about this event ?

    • Kate 23:45 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      Le Devoir covered it first, and I figure my readers don’t object if the only link I provide happens to be in French. I was planning to survey the other media tomorrow, but here you go: the CBC, the Gazette, CTV and Global all have it now.

      Also the Journal and La Presse for the royal flush.

    • Kevin 00:34 on 2018-11-11 Permalink

      Kate posts as she sees it. You are always welcome to visit all media sites directly.

    • Kate 08:52 on 2018-11-11 Permalink

      Thanks, Kevin.

    • Steve Q 10:24 on 2018-11-12 Permalink

      This was not a critic against Kate posting a link from a french paper. Not at all. Au contraire, I like this blog mainly because it usually doesn’t make any differences wether an article comes from the french or english press as both languages are fully part of Montreal and Kate acknoledges that marvelously.

      I just thought, for a moment, that there was no coverage of that march from the english medias, but I was wrong. And yes, I could have searched myself to see if there was any coverage somewhere else but guess what, I like being ”lazy” and coming here to find stuff about Montreal without having to go to all the medias and browse trough dozens of articles and pop ups that are of no interest to me.

      So thanks for adding them later on, Kate.

      ps: By the way, I was looking for english articles about the march in order to send it to an american friend of mine, bragging about how we, in Montreal, are preoccupied about the environment.

  • Kate 08:51 on 2018-11-10 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has given its approval to Hydro-Quebec’s plan to construct a central near the approach to the Victoria Bridge to be called “le poste des Irlandais” after a small nearby street which, take a look on Streetview, already has an electrical substation on it. This new installation would be much bigger and would likely displace the Black Rock, which was placed to “preserve from desecration the remains of 6000 immigrants who died of ship fever A.D. 1847-58” as the inscription says, but probably not for much longer.

     
    • Steve Q 11:08 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      So there would be two central next to one another. Le poste des Irlandais and le poste de Viger ? That seems a lot especially since these infrastructure are very ugly. I wish they would find a way to make them more ”appealing” and I hope they leave more space for the upcoming (if they ever do it) park for the Black Rock. It is time to appropriately commemorate the death of so many Irish people in that area.

    • ProposMontréal 12:22 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      Whether they build a electrical station there or not I don’t mind, the place is a bit of no man’s land, Replace the damn parking for all I are. But do not touch the Black Rock or the small median strip they like to call a park. Irish Montrealers have so little respect in this city, it still looks like 1850 sometimes.

    • Tee Owe 14:40 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      @ProposMontréal
      Somewhere between a Blork#3 and #5 on that last point

  • Kate 08:42 on 2018-11-10 Permalink | Reply  

    A convicted fraud artist who ran a million-dollar grandparent scam ring has been granted day parole after an essentially wrist-slap sentence. Apparently he was a good boy when he was behind bars.

     
  • Kate 07:53 on 2018-11-10 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM’s latest report shows a record number of passengers over the last 12 months.

     
    • Roman 09:56 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      Well, those new subways cars are a joy to ride for sure. I have a car, and started taking subway more often this year. It’s just more pleasant.

    • Jack 13:02 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      Thanks Roman.

    • Blork 17:29 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      I agree. I work practically right across the street from Guy-Concordia, but since the new cars launched I usually walk to Lucien-L’Allier so I can ride them. (OK, it’s also so I can get a bit of a walk in…)

    • Kate 20:41 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      The Azur is nice, but I ride it when it’s very crowded and have learned not to get corralled into spots where there’s nothing to hang onto if you’re short. There’s a pair of seats next to the join between cars, both sides, with a grab handle above it on the ceiling, no use to anyone under about 5’10”.

      On the other hand, it’s a smoother ride in general than the old trains and less likely to slow down suddenly, so you’re less likely to need a reason to hang on.

    • dewolf 22:10 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      I also go out of my way to take the orange line just so I can ride in an Azur. It’s not just that they’re new – they have a lot of design details that make them very pleasant, like the lighting, the extra-wide doors and the little shelf next to the seats.

    • Kate 00:15 on 2018-11-11 Permalink

      There are Azurs on the green line now, probably one out of four at rush hour. But yes, the little shelf next to the seats makes the ride so much more comfortable, especially for reading.

    • Blork 01:48 on 2018-11-11 Permalink

      I also like that you can move between cars, which helps distribute the crowd and makes it feel less claustrophobic.

    • Kate 13:17 on 2018-11-11 Permalink

      Blork, if you move between cars as the train’s running, people give you the side-eye, as most folks who do that tend to be panhandling, or so I’ve noticed. My home station has only one exit, at one end of the platform, so once or twice I’ve walked forward in a moving train to get to the first car, when it’s not too crowded, and I’ve received a few doubtful looks.

    • Uatu 18:41 on 2018-11-11 Permalink

      I move between cars regularly to escape the private school kids that flood the Metro during rush hour and nobody gives me the stinkeye. Mostly everyone’s too busy staring at a phone to notice.

    • Emily Gray 19:13 on 2018-11-11 Permalink

      I don’t mind moving between cars. Except that it can sometimes be impossible to move to where you want because there’s a big knot of people in the middle of the train that can’t be walked through. But that doesn’t always happen.

    • Blork 11:20 on 2018-11-12 Permalink

      Kate, I long ago abandoned giving AF if people give me the stink-eye for doing something that should be normal. That said, I tend to do my inter-car walkabouts when the train is stopped at a station, simply because walking on a moving Metro can sometimes be tricky due to the bouncing around.

  • Kate 22:34 on 2018-11-09 Permalink | Reply  

    The mayor defended property tax hikes in the new budget on Friday, but she says high property values in three boroughs mean taxes hiked more than inflation. The Gazette sees the hikes being passed on to tenants who can ill afford it.

     
    • Steve Q 01:11 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      The city should stop taxing based on property values but rather per square feet. That way it wouldn’t matter if the property gains value or not. Because not because the property value goes up that they use more city services. Also, it’s not fair to live in a small condo downtown and pay more taxes than a bigger one in RDP or PAT just because it worth less.

    • Kate 08:34 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      I don’t know about “fair” in that last example. Living downtown is much more desirable for most things, closer to services and entertainment and more likely to be near your workplace. You can’t measure that value in square feet alone.

    • Jonathan 09:03 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      I think that charging per square feet would be better for several reasons. For one, it would encourage the development of density rather than of luxury or high end market housing. That’s I the strongest case in my opinion for the change.

      In the case of fairness, that single detached home in RDP PAT is costing a lot more in infrastructure and services than the downtown condo because of density. In this case the downtown condo is subsidizing the infrastructure in RDP PAT even though they are hardly using it if at all.

    • Ephraim 13:05 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      Steve Q, it’s worst than that, the city sends inspectors into houses and the valuations include such things as floors, ceiling height and how much they like the place…. so sometimes you artwork, your furnishings, etc. Even though they aren’t supposed to be considered.

      For example, a parquet floor, a hardwood floor or even a wood plank floor is all valued the same as if it is perfectly polished hardwood…. even if it’s completely in disrepair.

      You need to have someone who knows what they are doing when the city comes to inspect, because they will seek to increase your evaluation. They don’t even measure, they approximate to the city’s benefit.

      It should be valued at an average per square metre per neighbourhood or set of streets. Not based on the whims of an often not impartial mandarin.

    • Ephraim 13:13 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      And bull on it’s only 3 neighbourhoods that are over 1.7%…. CdN/NdG is 2.75%, Ile Bizard is 2.53%, Mercier/HoMa is 1.78%, Outremont is 2.03%, the Plateau is 2.12%, Rosemont is 2.58%, Sud-Ouest is 1.83% and Villeray is 2.16%. And in the Sud-Ouest businesses went up 2.03% and in Ville-Marie 2.53%.

      So that’s 8 of the 19 residential neighbourhoods that went up, and 2 of the 19 where businesses went up. But I’d like to see that broken down by property valuation as well, because other than Ile Bizard and Ville Marie, these are also the most densely population neighbourhoods as well.

    • Hamza 17:18 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      Didn’t she get caught breaking campaign promises on this very issue last year? And now she’s raising it again? And my borough (DGwutup) is getting the most? Like I have very little sympathy for landlords in general but wtf Valerie

    • Kate 21:25 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      Campaign promises are just that – big talk before the party gets a look at the real financials. Most of what Plante is doing seems like responsible governance to me: Projet has had to mop up after Coderre’s four years of bread and circuses and after decades of infrastructure neglect by a series of administrations unwilling to bite the bullet and spend money on boring stuff like roads and sewers. Sooner or later that was all going to come home to roost.

      The city does need to find a way to get into Quebec’s ribs for more financial support, but is that likely under a CAQ government that has no need to court Montreal? No. So the money has to come from somewhere.

    • Ephraim 22:24 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      Every government always has to mop after the circus act, real or imaginary. Every government comes back with the same “the previous government overspent and we are starting with a deficit”. But there are some things that people will forgive as promises and others, they won’t. We can only tell at the next election how much all the other parties are going to bring back this promise. But these promises of not putting taxes above inflation have been going on for decades. they usually dumped the need for extra taxes on businesses…. which worked, until well, we had lots of empty space. And even a small change in business can make a change in the city’s deposits. Business tax is almost 5X the tax of property tax. (Put another way, 500 households would pay 1% more to cover the loss of one business in the neighbourhood.)

    • Hamza 22:40 on 2018-11-10 Permalink

      I can see things go one of two ways – either the glut of road work, tax hikes and quality-of-life measures come to fruition and people are allowed to enjoy the fruit of this labour or we’re told it’s all medicine, bitter but necessary and the ppl rebel. I’m going to assume mostly because I like Ms. Plante, Projet’s overall platform and I actually caught my city councillor on the her Azur one day going to city hall and he was a gentleman, that the seeds their sowing will flower about eight months before Election Day. That is, if they have any sense of ‘marketing’.

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