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  • Kate 12:24 on 2019-09-19 Permalink | Reply  

    I’ve seen questions asked on Twitter about whether one has worn a racist costume. I don’t think I have, although I once dressed up as Theda Bara as Cleopatra for a movie-themed party. At a stretch, I suppose that could be called Orientalism at second hand, although it was all about the eyeliner, no teint basané. No, there are no photos.

    I knew about the burnt cork thing, growing up, only because my mother once used it to draw tiger stripes on my sister’s face for Halloween.

    I think we’re facing a Conservative government, and I am not happy. Can I blame Justin Trudeau? Yes, because if nothing else he grew up in a household that should have made him aware of the possible consequences of having public light shone on your activities. He should have known better.

    • mare 14:56 on 2019-09-19 Permalink

      I have; when I was young in the seventies.

      For Carnaval I once dressed up as “an Indian” with a red-ish skintone and a feather headdress, I once wore brownface during the oil crises impersonating a sheik who came drilling for oil (I used a car jack as a drill and won first prize for the best costume in the parade) and I’ve been Black Peter a couple of times, to make some money when I was in high school.

      Not once I thought any of that was racist, and neither did any adult around me. We’d never heard of minstrels, and the first time I saw a first black person was when I was 8.

      Different country, different times. (I’d be totally unelectable, and not only for those costumes.)

  • Kate 08:08 on 2019-09-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Valérie Plante is to welcome Greta Thunberg to city hall when she comes here next week.

    Plante is also going to address the United Nations next week on the subject of climate change.

  • Kate 08:04 on 2019-09-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Since 80% of us are concerned about circulars – in practice, this means Publisac – enough to sign a petition asking for consultation, a consultation we will have, later this fall.

    Do people really not know you can go to your borough office and get a sticker for your mailbox that indicates you don’t want them? Works for me.

    • JaneyB 08:09 on 2019-09-19 Permalink

      Went to the dollar store and got a sticker. Works like a charm. For those who read the grocery flyers, try instead: or

    • Chris 08:56 on 2019-09-19 Permalink

      Publisac is probably my favourite example of how little society is willing to give up for the environment. These should be opt-in not opt-out. But corporate “rights” always win over the environment. Their “right” to advertise trumps everything else. Forget about giving up cars, or oil, or anything difficult. We can’t even give up garbage attached to our doors. 🙁

    • CE 10:23 on 2019-09-19 Permalink

      In my building, I have no way to opt out as I have nowhere to put a sticker. The mailboxes are in the foyer which is locked and the Publisacs are just left in a bundle of 6 in front of our door. Usually most of them just sit there until someone throws the whole bundle in the recycling.

    • SMD 11:41 on 2019-09-19 Permalink

      The stickers don’t work for me, we still get them and put them directly in the recycling. What a massive waste of paper, plastic, time and money. I don’t know why we would ask people to opt out – especially if 80% of us don’t want them – instead of asking the 20% who want them to opt in.

    • Kate 11:50 on 2019-09-19 Permalink

      I guess I’m lucky to have an individual mailbox and an obedient delivery person.

      I’m out of this loop since I haven’t accepted the Publisac for years. Doesn’t it also include the local weekly, or has that been gone for a long time already? (This is particularly directed to SMD because we both live in the same borough.)

    • SMD 11:56 on 2019-09-19 Permalink

      Our local weekly hasn’t been included in years. 🙁

    • Blork 12:16 on 2019-09-19 Permalink

      I get two or three different local weeklies in my Publisac, which sort of boggles my mind.

    • SMD 12:34 on 2019-09-19 Permalink

      Yes, if they are published by Transcontinental (which also owns Publisac) then you’ll likely get them. Another reason why they don’t want to go opt-in, as it artificially boosts their readership numbers and thus how much they can charge for ads in the free weeklies.

    • Ephraim 14:07 on 2019-09-19 Permalink

      I use Reebee, which is great, because you can search for a product and then have Maxi price match.

    • Kevin 15:14 on 2019-09-19 Permalink

      As I was reminded my child’s meet the teacher meeting on Monday — lots of people do not have internet at home, or don’t have enough data to use it skimming GB-gobbling stuff like images of flyers.

      Having never received a Publisac in the lifetime of that child, I don’t care one way or the other what happens to that thing.

    • Faiz Imam 16:37 on 2019-09-19 Permalink

      I guess I’m the odd one out, but I really appreciate Publi-sac.

      As long as I can remember, my mom would take all the flyers from the publi=sac, select all the grocery stores and pharmacies, and make a shopping list of what we wanted to buy from which store. It was excellent frugal shopping.

      I don’t do it as often, but I try to do the same, and I appreciate all the flyers showing up weekly so that i can scan through them quickly at once.

  • Kate 07:55 on 2019-09-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Four households are still without a permanent dwelling since Moving Day and the Office municipal d’habitation is asking the government for more money to operate.

  • Kate 07:52 on 2019-09-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Since the Open Door shelter moved from nearby, 14 people have died in Cabot Square. Item goes on to say that the condo project that bought the church and dislodged the shelter has gone bust, but Westmount is now apparently unwilling to consider a revival of a homeless shelter in that spot.

    • Daniel 09:30 on 2019-09-19 Permalink

      That was a very good and very sad read.

  • Kate 07:47 on 2019-09-19 Permalink | Reply  

    A man was shot and badly injured overnight in the east end after two suspects entered his house. Further details are not forthcoming.

  • Kate 22:01 on 2019-09-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Valérie Plante would like to see a car-free development on the old Blue Bonnets site, partly to balance the car-based plans of the nearby Royalmount project.

    Apparently it’s news that Luc Ferrandez once said il faut rendre la vie difficile aux automobilistes, and his aspiring replacement, Luc Rabouin, won’t condemn him. TVA’s tone here is almost as if cars and driving are a religion, and Ferrandez, Plante and possibly Rabouin are heretics.

    • Chris 23:22 on 2019-09-18 Permalink

      Cars and driving *are* a religion.

    • qatzelok 08:27 on 2019-09-19 Permalink

      Not a religion, but a source of advertising revenue.
      Commercial media is fatally flawed when it comes to liveable ecology.

  • Kate 12:08 on 2019-09-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Not sure what it says about Angela Mancini or about the EMSB that she’d be perfectly fine with seeing the board put under direct government trusteeship.

    • Tim S. 12:33 on 2019-09-18 Permalink

      I think it says that she wants to make sure that she brings everyone else down with her. You know, for the good of the children.
      At least she’s stopped with the self-congratulatory robocalls.

    • Michael Black 12:45 on 2019-09-18 Permalink

      Maybe she’ delusional and really thinks the problem lies elsewhere. It diesn’t seem like good leadership that she woukd accept trusteeship rather than fight for the schoolboard.

      This is assuming the comments here about her are valid. I have no first hand knowledge or was even aware of problems other than the comments. I’m not dismissing those comments either.


    • Ephraim 12:55 on 2019-09-18 Permalink

      I don’t think there is any other solution

    • Michael Black 16:26 on 2019-09-18 Permalink

      Apparently Russell (Copeman) will save the day. He’s part of some association of English school boards and was quoted in a Gazette article today, a reaction to the earlier stories.

      Has he ever been anything but a politician? He was head of the Central Student Council (I never checked to see how many schools that entailed) when I briefly knew him i. 1976, and of course was an MNA for some years.


    • SMD 11:43 on 2019-09-19 Permalink

      And CDN-NDG borough mayor for four years.

  • Kate 07:40 on 2019-09-18 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has pretty good control over how contractors handle contaminated soil from its own construction sites, but the inspector general has revealed that there are 18 sites on the island where soil from private construction is being illegally dumped. Control over this unsupervised practice may be tricky to achieve, but the city wants to do it.

  • Kate 20:33 on 2019-09-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Three teachers at the CSDM have taken off religious symbols to work.

    Update: The education minister says this action proves Bill 21 is a good law.

    • Jack 11:34 on 2019-09-18 Permalink

      I think ultimately this is what Bill 21 is about, submission. It makes people who are weak minded strong. It creates a context where I tell you what you can wear and what you have to take off. Which if I am living in a basement apartment in Joliette, reading my Journal and getting ready for my shift at Burger King….it makes me feel good.

    • Tim S. 12:35 on 2019-09-18 Permalink

      I’m sort of with you Jack, but I’m not sure making up straw man fantasies about the “other side” is the way out of this.

    • Jack 12:43 on 2019-09-18 Permalink

      Tim you’re right it’s not productive. Im pissed how easy this became law. With the acquiescence of all our institutions.

    • qatzelok 18:31 on 2019-09-18 Permalink

      @ Jack: “basement apartment in Joliette, reading my Journal and getting ready for my shift at Burger King”

      This is a nasty and sort of prejucided characterisation of the working class.

      The left used to stand for income equality, and equal opportunity. But now, alas, it is mostly about shallow identity politics that don’t equalize income or opportunity at all. Which is why it has lost so much support in the real world.

    • Chris 23:21 on 2019-09-18 Permalink

      Jack, there’s really no info to go on here, and it’s only about 3 people. People wear religious symbols for innumerable reasons, from just liking the look, to just honouring ancestral culture, to being mildly religious, to being militantly religious, to being forced by another. We have no idea what category these 3 people were in. Though I suppose we can conclude they decided their job is more important than their symbol. It’s lamentable they were forced to pick between them, but it was still their decision.

      Also, I had a good laugh at your first sentence. Did you know the word “Islam” means submission? 🙂

      qatzelok, yes, left identity politics is indeed a scourge. You might enjoy the book Political Tribes by Chua.

    • Jack 05:18 on 2019-09-19 Permalink

      Your all correct I should not of wrote that, my bad. However “ identity politics” as an exclusively left construct is b.s. . Identify politics is what Bill 21 is , a non existent issue that creates political traction in a majority community, aimed directly at a community without any political or economic power. This law is Quebec’s “Jim Crow” I thought we were done with that.

    • Chris 09:07 on 2019-09-19 Permalink

      Jack, reread. No one said identity politics is *exclusively* a left issue. I was even careful to prepend the adjective “left” to “identity politics”. Right-wing identity politics exist too of course. Give Chua’s book a read, it’s short. There’s a good argument that the left identity politics of recent decades is precisely *why* we have the current right-wing backlash.

  • Kate 19:33 on 2019-09-17 Permalink | Reply  

    At Jean-Talon station the orange line platform is accessible via elevator, but the station is still waiting for elevators to the blue line. The construction boom here has apparently meant that the hardware they need is back-ordered.

    The STM also announced that they’ve been able to reopen Jean-Talon Street to traffic although the nearby dig continues to replace the waterproofing membrane and other measures to reinforce the station.

  • Kate 19:12 on 2019-09-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Municipal judge Gaétan Plouffe threw out 264 charges on Friday because they were delayed and mostly handed out to homeless people who couldn’t pay the fines anyway.

  • Kate 19:07 on 2019-09-17 Permalink | Reply  

    School boards, as well as Concordia and Dawson, probably more to come, will be cancelling classes September 27 for the climate protest.

    The rallying point is the Cartier monument at noon. Has anyone heard yet if it’s to be a march, and if so, what the endpoint is?

    • SMD 19:29 on 2019-09-17 Permalink

      It will be a march, but the organizers are planning an XR disruption (probably blocking a major road, like last time) so they aren’t sharing the itinerary.

    • Kate 20:21 on 2019-09-17 Permalink

      Thank you, SMD. (I’m relieved. I was getting annoyed with myself for not being able to find that piece of information anywhere.)

    • Faiz Imam 21:43 on 2019-09-17 Permalink

      Ya know, I first heard a presentation by an Extinction Rebellion person only a couple months ago. I was taken aback by their focus on disruptive direct action.

      But they are all over the news these days and I can’t help but agree.

      We seem to have almost unanimous agreement that small measured changes in technology will solve this problem without anyone making any major sacrifices. But that’s delusional, and Its good that those folks are out there making a louder point.

    • Chris 08:49 on 2019-09-18 Permalink

      “We seem to have almost unanimous agreement that small measured changes in technology will solve this problem without anyone making any major sacrifices.” We do? That’s the exact opposite of the consensus I’m aware of.

    • Su 12:21 on 2019-09-18 Permalink

      Faiz, It is my understanding that officially, Extinction Rebellion uses Civil Disobedience . Direct Action is not the same thing.

    • Michael Black 13:08 on 2019-09-18 Permalink

      The terms are often used interchangeably, so it’s go’s hard to follow.

      If it’s just hit and run disruption, I woukdn’t call it civil disobedience. Though there was the time in October 1979 when the Clamshell Alliance decided to call it “direct action” and it seemed like an escalation. Annie said afterwards that the woman she was with got her head bashed. And while there was a call later to return to Seabrook, nothing much happened there afterwards, while previously Seabrook had been the model for civil disobedience at nuclear power plants.

      Most people don’t understand civil disobedience. They think of it as firce, when really it’s about changing people’s minds. Gandhi didn’t fast as a threat, he wanted people to know how serious he was. The Montgomery Bus Boycott wasn’t about disruption, people just stopped using the bus, either walking or carpooling. The Freedom Rides were about changing the law, either they’d have no trouble or being arrested would show the world the reality of segregation.

      The students in 2012 weren’t prepared for arrest, they wanted to be loud and inconvenient. And when they did get arrested, for being disruptive, they got lost in side issues about “right to protest”.

      One mistake is to decide the end justifies the means. That happened during the anti Vietnam era, going as far as the Weathermen bombings. That was force, rather than trying to convince people.

      Other than the Vancouver Five with the bombing at Litton in Toronto, the nuclear disarmament movement forty years ago wasn’t violent or disruptive. Nobody talked about how it was so important that anything was acceptable. Causes come and go, all want to believe that their cause is the most important thing. But it’s through other means that that us conveyed. Being disruptive doesn’t explain how important this is, it just annoys peop!e.

      There was a story at the CBC this week about young women making a pledge to not have children. Time will tell, but that seems to convey something more than blocking traffic.


    • Tee Owe 14:48 on 2019-09-18 Permalink

      Michael – that’s very insightful – thank you!

    • Meezly 14:51 on 2019-09-18 Permalink

      According to:

      “Advocates of civil disobedience argue that small crimes, such as the disruption of roads and public spaces, are justified when they are against far greater crimes such as massive environmental damage or war.”

      Disruption is a form of civil disobedience, which is why they are indeed used interchangeably. I’m learning this myself as I observe the Hong Kong protests this past year, which completely relied on disruption (of major roads, public spaces, airports) to force the authorities to meet their original demand, which was to withdraw a proposal that would extradite dissidents to mainland China. For them, the right to protest is not a side issue – they know firsthand how fragile and valuable democratic rights are. Perhaps they seem desperate to hold onto what little rights they have in their so-called two systems.

      The ends justify the means can go both ways for each ‘side’. The HK authorities were prepared to use any means necessary to dampen the protests, which had the opposite effect and further escalated the situation (to put it mildly).

  • Kate 19:03 on 2019-09-17 Permalink | Reply  

    A plume of thick black smoke rose from a tire fire in the Plateau Tuesday afternoon.

  • Kate 13:27 on 2019-09-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Well, he’s losing it. Ensemble’s Lionel Perez claimed Tuesday that traffic congestion is a deliberate ploy by the Plante administration to make the roads inhospitable to drivers. Even TVA here rounds off the story by noting the constantly rising number of cars in Quebec, and how many of them are driving around Montreal.

    • qatzelok 13:41 on 2019-09-17 Permalink

      There was a huge line-up in front of the Diperie (designer ice cream) in the Village all summer. This was obviously a plot by local fruit and vegetable vendors to get us to eat more fiber and vitamins.

    • YUL514 16:07 on 2019-09-17 Permalink

      It is indirectly deliberate, there are a lot of new lights where cars don’t have an opportunity to turn left or right on busy streets because there’s no flashing green and no stationary hand to stop pedestrians from crossing. What occurs is more congestion, call it deliberate, conspiracy, bad planning, all I know is it’s real. This will lead to frustrated drivers and an increase in accidents. It doesn’t make sense that only one car can turn left/right per light sequence.

      The irony for PM is that this causes more congestion and pollution from idling cars, something they want to alleviate.

    • Faiz Imam 16:30 on 2019-09-17 Permalink

      We are just short of half way through PM and plante’s 4 year mandate, and Perez has done absolutely nothing of substance in opposition. It’s all manufactured controversy and minor annoyances.

      I guess its the best we can hope for. This lack of any credible opposition leadership means there is actual hope that PM can win again and have a lasting impact of the city.

    • Spi 18:02 on 2019-09-17 Permalink

      Well even when Coderre was the mayor, the most credible opposition were the borough Mayors, not the opposition party, but now that the central neighborhoods are all under one party who’s left to raise their voice? The mayors of Saint-Laurent, Anjou, Lachine?

      Perez is stretching it by saying it’s a deliberate ploy, but I don’t think it would be unfair to say that there aren’t a lot of measures to mitigate the situation.

    • Kate 19:18 on 2019-09-17 Permalink

      Spi, actually there are. The city has a mobility squad working on keeping traffic flowing and if that report is correct it’s doing good work.

      And don’t forget, a lot of the blockages are not created by the city. Between the whole Turcot thing, the Pie‑IX bus lane and the REM construction sites, which are Quebec’s babies, sites like Bishop Street and the excavations around Jean-Talon metro, which are the STM’s, and countless private construction sites, I’d hazard a guess that the majority of the construction blocking city streets is not municipal in origin.

    • DavidH 23:35 on 2019-09-17 Permalink

      Regarding the construction zones that actually are municipal projects, a lot of them like the Plaza St-Hubert, etc. were Ensemble Mtl initiatives to begin with. Projet Mtl’s actual initiatives are barely starting. Big construction projects require planning, voting budgets, announcing public tenders, etc. It takes years for them to be launched. Except for the Camilien-Houde pilot project, there isn’t much an honest person could really pin on Projet per se.

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