Updates from May, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 12:00 on 2019-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Police are seeking witnesses of an incident in which two men beat up a bus driver in Ville St‑Laurent. But this happened back in mid-February, which makes me wonder why they’ve waited till now to scout for evidence.

    • Ephraim 13:21 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      The police never like competition. 🙂

    • Ian 14:20 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Probably because in that neighbourhood people know not to talk to cops.

  • Kate 08:49 on 2019-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Here’s an interesting trio of stories: The working economy here is booming so “experts” are calling on the city to encourage downtown construction, especially high-rises. But this is already happening, with three promoters vying to build the highest residential building in the city. Meantime, on the Main, merchants are hanging out signs saying they’re hiring but nobody’s biting.

    But let’s not kid ourselves. Nobody is buying a downtown condo with the proceeds of a job in a storefront on the Main. That’s why nobody wants that work unless they can’t find anything else.

    • Chris 09:35 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      If those merchants aren’t getting any bites, then maybe the wage they are offering is too low.

    • walkerp 10:08 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Very worrying. Kate, you are pointing to the beginnings of the socio-economic trend that is ruining San Francisco. Service job salaries are too low for the cost of living, driven up by the internet economy and thus services start to go away and working people have to live farther and farther away, thus destroying diversity and culture.

    • CE 10:13 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Last year, my girlfriend worked for a small grocery store on St-Laurent while she was looking for work in her field. When she left, her manager kept calling her to come in for shifts because because she couldn’t find anyone to take her place. They paid minimum wage and both stores on either side had help wanted signs in their window. My girlfriend told her that she needed to raise wages if she wanted to get employees but she absolutely refused. This was for a job where the first requirement was trilingualism!

    • Ephraim 10:49 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      I’ve seen this elsewhere and we are seeing signs of it here… automation of certain service jobs. Today, almost everyone at McDonald’s works in the kitchen, there is usually just one person assigned to the cash as we put in our own orders on our phone or at a terminal. This has become necessity and in fact, McDonald’s has actually closed at least 2 branches for their inability to fill jobs even at minimum wage plus $1.75. PFK has also closed at least one branch.

      We see people at supermarkets who are balking at using the self-service machines for check-out. But they are going to become a fact of life as it’s impossible to fill the cashier jobs. No one wants those jobs. We are going to see things like supermarkets where you can scan your items with your phone and just walk out with your items. And the grocery pick-up thing is in it’s infancy….it will be faster and cheaper for a supermarket to not have a front-facing store, and to just fulfill the order and deliver it.

      And those food delivery services… we are already seeing ghost restaurants appear…. I first saw them talking about them in London, but I know they already have them in Calgary and in Montreal I’m seeing some restaurants that don’t do take-out actually using another name to sell items on some of the services.

      Times are changing. Also, we already know that many older people are moving into town from the suburbs because it’s walkable and services are close. They don’t need a car. Which gets more problematic as you get older… they aren’t looking for work, either.

    • Raymond Lutz 13:06 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      This January, we visited NYC (for the low hotel fares). On the ferry between Staten Island and Manhattan at rush hour (we made the round trip just for the pleasure of a it) I said to my three kids: “Look, those are tired working people, mostly of noticeable ethnicity. They have to endure long travel hours each day because they can’t afford to stay where they work, because the rent is too damn high…”. They were listening but none asked questions (they’re preteens).

      For some analysis: Class-Divided Cities – New York Edition.

    • Ian 14:31 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Anyone who has ever worked retail can tell you that it sucks. If you have no personal stake in the business, why bother? If they can get high-turnover students to work for them, that’s the best they can expect – especially since the neighbourhood has gentrified so far that working class people who might otherwise have seen working for a self-important grocer as a decent job had to leave the neighbourhood probably 25 years ago, or can just work at the Provigo closer to home for the same wages. It’s been a long time since you could rent a 3 and a half for $350 a month. Minimum wage if you are full time gets you $450 a week before taxes, and all these guys try to keep you just below full time so they don’t have to give you full time benefits. Try living around Charcuterie Hongroise on minimum wages, what a joke.

  • Kate 08:22 on 2019-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    We’re running out of landfill sites near the city, so could Montreal go zéro déchet like the town described in Sweden? Are we ready to sort waste into seven different bags?

    • walkerp 10:08 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Hell yes! I will help my entire block do it. Time to grow up, east coasters.

    • Ephraim 10:50 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Well, the city will need to start installing collective bins.

    • Faiz Imam 14:49 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      A bunch of cities are starting up composting pickups, which if well done can make a huge difference. Most garbage most households produce is organic waste. 2nd most is recyclables.

      I have a compost bin in the yard and we recycle as much as possible, so we throw out one small grocery bag of garbage a week, sometimes not even one.

      Family of 3. our garbage mainly consists of meat products, styrofoam, coffee cups.

      If everyone is on the same page, and the alternatives are there, it really is not very hard.

  • Kate 08:19 on 2019-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Notes on weekend traffic are dominated by the Tour de l’Île, with the evening tour taking place Friday and the daytime tour on Sunday. There are the usual other road closures around the Turcot and beyond.

    • Tim S. 08:40 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      I was a little sad to see that in my part of NDG they’re sending the tour down a side street instead of the main street. It’s always nice to have a traffic-free morning, and there’s a park that’s only really pleasant without traffic – for two years now I’ve been looking forward to hanging out there. On the other hand, they’re promising a month of construction, so I guess there’s that for traffic reduction.

    • Blork 12:00 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      JdeM article is classic; all blah blah blah without any maps nor links to maps. FFS!

    • Kate 12:10 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Rue Masson has a clear map of Tour la Nuit, which is mostly taking place in Rosemont this year. Here’s a PDF of that map.

      Here’s a PDF of Sunday’s ride.

    • Blork 12:12 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Yes, it’s not so hard to find a map if you dig around a bit. My point is just the lameness of a publication not bothering to add maps/links in their article on the topic.

  • Kate 08:00 on 2019-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    I was looking at comments on my post on the Guy Street bridge incident from yesterday. The city supposedly put up a large warning sign (I don’t see it on Streetview) but every now and then a trucker still wedges a rig under there, stopping not only road traffic but also commuter trains while CP sends engineers out to inspect the bridge. So I was wondering: do truckers rely on GPS? Does GPS give out any information besides routing? Could GPSes be programmed to have the voice say “Turn down Guy Street but do not take this route if your vehicle is higher than 3.5 meters”?

    Of course, this would rely on truckers being aware of the height of their vehicles, but is this possible, or has it already been done and still falls down from time to time?

    • Chris 08:55 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      GPS only gives location and time, doesn’t give routing at all. You’re presumably referring to map apps like Apple Maps, Google Maps, Waze, etc. Not sure if any of their databases have underpass height info, I’ve never noticed it.

    • Roman 09:25 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      The actual solution is so simple. Install another low hanging gate at the same height on both sides a few meters before on both sides. The trucks would hit that and stop.

    • John B 09:51 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      There are “Trucking GPSs,” (both apps and devices), where you enter the size & weight of your vehicle and it’ll find you a safe & legal route. The data required to do this, (info on low bridges, etc), is mostly controlled by one or two companies, and is generally pretty good. Also, most truck drivers, especially if they’re not renting the truck, are pretty aware of the size of their truck.

      However, some truckers also use Waze to avoid traffic, (there’s no good Waze-style nav that takes truck size/weight into account yet), and Waze isn’t aware of vehicle size & weight and the related restrictions.

    • Patrick 14:27 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      There was a story in La Presse the other day about 20-ton trucks traveling on Montreal highway connectors or other roads built for 5 tons max. Apparently there is no enforcement of the limit.

  • Kate 07:39 on 2019-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Police have been offering jaywalkers a choice: pay a ticket, or go to a road safety class.

    • Etienne 08:01 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      I had to follow one of these road safety last year to avoid a bicycle ticket (breezes through empty intersection with stop)
      At the time i was happy not to have to pay, but I looking back I am annoyed that as peds and cyclists, where are ticketed for not « behaving » when our behaviour is 0.01% likely to cause any deaths.. (except maybe ours)

      Enforcement should be done ON MOTORISTS.

    • Kate 08:15 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      I know. I mean, it’s not like I don’t know I’m technically not supposed to cross on the red, but if there’s no traffic in any direction, I feel like a stooge just standing there.

    • Tim S. 08:46 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Everyone in Montreal behaves badly. For example, at intersections with pedestrian-only phases, pedestrians often cross on the car phases, which causes turning cars to be stuck in the intersection waiting for them to cross, meaning the cars are still there when the light changes and end up going through on the pedestrian phase.
      A few years ago I made of point of complaining frequently to the local police station about their lack of traffic enforcement, and realized that once they got to know me, they’d probably love nothing better than to catch me jaywalking and give me a lecture about how I’m no better myself. So ever since I have scrupulously obeyed all signals, often feeling like “a stooge” as Kate said. But be the change you want and all that.

    • Daniel 09:06 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Where to even begin with this…

      I do know I’d like to see some stats on how many motorists are sent for road safety training compared to cyclists and people on foot.

      It’s arguably commendable the authorities want to protect walkers from harm by better educating them, but really this is just a form of victim blaming.

      This approach is easier than having a greater focus on educating motorists and improving infrastructure to make crossings safer for people on foot. They’re just going for the sparse low hanging fruit here; It’s lazy.

      I could rant an essay on this topic!

    • Chris 09:16 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Tim, you’re right that everyone technically breaks many aspects of the highway code. But Etienne is also right that the consequences of these violations is vastly different.

      I too “be the change you want to see in the world” and as such I jaywalk when there’s no one else and it’s safe, I practice Idaho Stop, etc. Because the highway code should change to allow these things!

    • DeWolf 09:32 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Chris is right that the highway code needs to change to adapt to the realities of active transportation. Only once have I ever encountered someone in Montreal who came a full and complete stop on her bicycle at every stop sign. Needless to say everyone passed her when the had the chance. Most cyclists practice an Idaho stop (slow down, make sure the coast is clear, glide through) and for good reason. There are streets like St-Viateur that have stop signs every 150 metres. If a cyclist followed the law at every one of those they’d have no energy to continue cycling.

    • John B 09:54 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      > There are streets like St-Viateur that have stop signs every 150 metres.

      And that’s where the bike paths get put. See Maisonneuve vs. Sherbrooke. Cars get lights and a through route. Bikes get stop signs every few pedal strokes.

    • walkerp 10:10 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Having a six year-old child works wonders for improving your behaviour at lights and cross walks. 🙂 Both because you want to set the right example, but also because they will start calling you out on it immediately and consistently like a little policeperson right by your side.

    • Ian 13:30 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Haha indeed! This even backfired on my wife once, who inadvertantly taught our youngest daughter that it’s ok to jaywalk of there aren’t any cops… she meant if there isn’t any traffic, but children see things differently.

      @johnB there aren’t bike paths on St. V, just on the north-south streets. Saint V is a mess of car, pedestrian, bicycle, and delivery traffic.

      @deWolf, yes, I see bicyclists blazing through the stop signs on St. V every day, it is incredibly dangerous and a bad example for everyone. Give me a break on keeping up your steam, it’s one of the flattest roads around, people are just being impatient. I’ve seen people getting into all kinds of conundrums, but bicyclists ignoring stop signs are a real danger to themselves and others in this high traffic multipurpose area – just yesterday my kid’s crossing guard had to yell at a cyclist for ignoring their instructions to stop as we were walking home from her school, and I see cyclists ignoring the stop signals on school buses every single day, especially as in my neighbourhood there are school buses 6 days a week for the Hassidic kids.

      Mile End is a real mess, and cyclists thinking stop signs of all types are optional for them because they are somehow more righteous than cars, trucks, or pedestrians doesn’t help a bit. I’ve actually had more road raging bicyclists get up in my face when I call them out than car drivers – and I call out both regularly!

    • Chris 19:57 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Ian, define “blaze through stop signs”. Cyclists are well aware that they are the dead ones if they collide with a car. (Almost) never will a cyclist fly through an intersection blind, without looking first if they’re gonna get killed. Cyclists are higher up than motorists and see things motorists can’t. It’s like a car going 40 in a 30 zone, if they think they can do it reasonably safely (road width, visibility, etc.), they’ll do it despite knowing it’s illegal.

      I’m certainly not saying that cyclists are angelic, but I am saying they are no more scofflaw than motorists.

      Everyone should follow the golden rule: if it’s not your right of way, yield! But if no one else is in the intersection, then by all means jaywalk, Idaho stop, etc.

    • Ian 22:09 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      I mean just go through stops like they aren’t there, ignoring pedestrians. And yes, they really are worse about it than cars, including passing stopped school buses, ignoring crossing guards, et cetera. I’m guessing you don’t spend much time on Saint Viateur, Bernard, or Fairmount …or are seeing the world through a very partisan lens. This is my neighbourhood, I spend most of my time here on foot. Trust me that I don’t have any special love for non-pedestrians be they cars, trucks, bikes, scooters, segways (yes segways) or whatever.

    • Ian 22:14 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Also worth noting I’ve never seen a motorist going the wrong way down my street with no lights at night, no hands, checking their cell phone. I saw three people do that on bikes over the last summer while I was sitting on my stoop. I call bullshit on bicyclists having some inherent sense of safety based on their vulnerability.

    • qatzelok 19:14 on 2019-06-01 Permalink

      Automobile drivers kill thousands of Canadians every year. When killers start moralizing, it’s time to close your ears. Cars are not camparable to bikes. Cars are like cigarettes, and bikes are like apples.

    • Ian 22:17 on 2019-06-01 Permalink

      As a pedestrian I’d say cars are like cigars and bikes are like cigarettes but whatever. Thanks for your well-=reasoned input as always.

  • Kate 07:34 on 2019-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse has a few stories of extreme bedbug infestation: read at your peril.

    • Blork 12:11 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      “Il y en avait jusque dans le jambon dans le réfrigérateur !”


  • Kate 07:29 on 2019-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    A group of 15 people beat up a 17-year-old in a St-Michel park Thursday night. They fled when police showed up, leaving the young man unconscious, and there was only one arrest.

    • Kate 16:00 on 2019-05-30 Permalink | Reply  

      In advance of Grand Prix weekend we see two sides of the coin on this story: police have devised a new plan nominally to counter sexual exploitation by encouraging taxi drivers and hotel workers to speak up if they think they’ve seen signs of it.

      CBC makes the process sound benevolent, but Metro speaks to a sex worker spokeswoman who’s livid, saying the plan will turn everyone into a snitch and make relatively safe places for sex work – notably hotels – off limits.

      • Blork 17:36 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        This is why we can’t have nice things. The RADAR plan is supposed to target sexual EXPLOITATION, not sex work. The difference should be apparent to anyone who’s been paying attention.

        But I suppose it’s not just a matter of some random hotel worker or taxi driver not knowing the difference. In “real world” situations it might not be obvious (a 20 year old sex worker might look like she’s underage, for example). The article says RADAR is about reporting “possible” cases of exploitation. I don’t know if that’s the SPVM’s specification or just CBC’s terminology. The point being that it gets very fuzzy when people report things based on possibilities or “suspicions.” Hopefully this program includes some training on what to actually look for.

      • Chris 19:46 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        In some people’s view, sex work is by definition exploitation.

      • Blork 11:58 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

        True, but that’s a moral perspective not a legal one.

      • Ian 13:52 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

        All work is exploitation in some sense, Chris. Whether you are performing as a dom or working at a knitting mill, somebody benefits, which is why you get paid. The question is who has agency, and by default, people being exploited in wage slave settings are seeing as not being exploited, legally, and sex workers are by default being exploited – which is hypocritical to say the least.

      • Chris 19:47 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

        Ian, agreed. I believe it’s largely an artifact of puritanical Christian views of sex. Thankfully in recent decades we’re finally getting farther and farther away from that.

    • Kate 15:54 on 2019-05-30 Permalink | Reply  

      Guy Laliberté is about to launch his Pyramid Club PY1 on the clock tower pier. It’s to be part trippy event space, part dance club.

      • Ian 13:54 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

        Wow, not paying his ex-wife a proper divorce settlement because their commonlaw marriage isn’t recognized here really worked out for him.

    • Kate 15:51 on 2019-05-30 Permalink | Reply  

      Fo Niemi says in a Gazette op-ed that the process for public consultation on systemic racism in Montreal has excluded speakers of English who “represent a significant portion of the city’s residents, taxpayers and voters. Those English-speakers of Asian, South Asian, black, Middle Eastern, Indigenous and other minority backgrounds, who can easily number half a million, encounter double or triple obstacles in employment in the public and private sectors in Montreal, despite being functionally bilingual.”

      • Blork 17:37 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        (This post seems to be truncated…)

      • Kate 22:39 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        Initially it was, but I went back in time and fixed it.

    • Kate 15:33 on 2019-05-30 Permalink | Reply  

      The Guy Street train underpass has a big sign warning of its low height, but nonetheless a trucker wedged an 18-wheeler under the bridge Thursday morning. This happens every now and then although this item says CP won’t say how often.

      I haven’t checked but it seems to me that by the time a driver gets to the sign, there’s nowhere else for them to go. I don’t know what else we can do, though.

      Update: I see that, in a pinch, they might be able to turn along the nameless road beside the tracks, but that would be a tight turn for a big rig.

      • Danny 16:26 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        There’s a railroad trestle in Durham, North Carolina that’s 5 or 6 inches shorter than this, and has trucks ignoring multiple warning lights and running into it all the time. So much so, that a guy with an office overlooking the bridge has set up a camera, and the videos end up on 11foot8.com. So far, he has documented 146 crashes since 2008. There’s no fixing distracted or stupid driving.

      • Blork 17:41 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        One thing they can do is dangle a plank on some chains about 20 metres before the underpass; the plank is the same height as the trestle (maybe a few inches lower even). If a truck hits the plank, they will know they won’t fit under the trestle. (And because the plank is dangling on chains, there is no damage, so this is reusable and cheap.)

        There I fixed it.

      • P.O. 18:04 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        There’s a tunnel somewhere that detects trucks that are too tall, then activates a waterfall/water curtain illuminated with a giant STOP at the entrance of the tunnel.


      • Ephraim 20:43 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        Why is there no low hanging sign that they would hit FIRST?

      • Kevin 22:38 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        Low hanging signs don’t work because the trailer is taller than the cabin. The drivers won’t notice.
        Some don’t notice signs either, so I think the alert systems need a strobe and an airhorn.

      • mare 23:20 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        A suggest a tire puncture device (spikes) that should come out of the road after the handling plank is hit and the truck doesn’t stop. Truck tires are expensive, I’m sure companies won’t be happy when their drivers cause major damage. And if they still continue, the now 20 cm lower truck might actually fit.

    • Kate 13:00 on 2019-05-30 Permalink | Reply  

      Aaron Derfel pursues the theme of private incursion into the MUHC with a second piece about how the organization made money back on a bad real estate gamble by shunting some outpatient services to private clinics. There’s also reactions from opposition parties in the National Assembly.

      • Uatu 06:57 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

        I’m glad at least one media outlet has kept the MUHC accountable. Also remember that the rvh foundation bought the building with 40million dollars of your donations. Money that should’ve gone to patient services and new equipment. Keep that in mind the next time they have a donation drive or fundraising event….

    • Kate 10:31 on 2019-05-30 Permalink | Reply  

      Outremont is about to announce that it will charge for all street parking. It’s an idea Luc Ferrandez also had for his borough, but hadn’t carried out before he stepped down.

      • walkerp 11:54 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        Great news. Golf clap. Will be interesting to see the media response. I guess there is less shopping in Outremont than in the Plateau, so may not get the same outcry. Ironic, that Ferrandez would have been pilloried for this, though and Outremont just slides in with this.

      • jeather 12:40 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        There will be 2h free parking for visitors, all residents will need a vignette, I don’t think they’re adding more meters yet. So not unlike Westmount.

      • Joey 13:28 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        Talk about burying the lede. From La Presse:

        Dans certaines rues, le stationnement sera permis des deux côtés toute la semaine, ce qui permet d’ajouter 400 espaces.

        Ces changements seront implantés graduellement entre août et octobre prochains.

        Des citoyens se plaignent que des automobilistes de l’extérieur viennent se stationner dans les rues d’Outremont, dans des espaces gratuits, pour ensuite prendre les transports en commun pour se rendre au travail, indique Philippe Tomlinson. Ils pourront continuer de le faire en achetant une vignette.

        So they are (a) increasing the overall parking footprint and (b) cashing in on some parking nimbyism. Nice greenwashing too!

      • Kate 15:46 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        Joey, I thought that normally you can only get a parking vignette for the zone you live in.

      • Joey 17:15 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        That’s how it is in the City of Montreal – not sure about Outremont.

      • Kate 17:21 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        Outremont’s a borough of Montreal, though. Used to be a separate town but hasn’t been for awhile.

      • Chris 19:55 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        In Plateau, not only do you have to live in the zone (and it has to be your primary address, mere ownership of a property is insufficient) but you have to own the car too. Though now they have Park au Jour at least.

        Adding 400 places. Sigh. We should be removing parking.

      • qatzelok 20:49 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        Adding parking just as the city will be removing capacity from major arteries like St-Denis? I guess the MTQ will have to add an elevated deck to Parc Avenue to carry all the new cars. “Welcome to Outremont, St-Denis car-parkers!”

      • Ian 14:17 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

        Nobody is going to drive to Outremont to walk all the way to Saint-Denis, especially as the main shopping strip of Saint-Denis is south of Mont-Royal. I guess you could try to find parking in that narrow band of Outremont west of Hutchison, South of Saint Joseph – but good luck. It’s still a half an hour walk.

        @Chris you’ve always been able to buy temporary parking permits, which is pretty handy for out of town guests. Personally as a Mile End resident I’d like to see these Outremont rules applied here too, it’s a slap in the face that residents have to pay for street parking and literally half the street is taken up by vehicles with plates from NY, MA, NJ, ON, (etc). Take into consideration entire streets are blocked off for ongoing multiyear construction and that most people don’t have private parking spots. I often have to circle around for a good 45 minutes just to find a place to leave my car on street-cleaning days.

        I get it, private combustion powered vehicles are evil and dumb and the worst thing ever – but for those of us who actually have to work in far-away areas poorly served by transit it’s a necessity. I also get that most people with their own vehicles don’t actually work in far-away areas poorly served by transit… but as long as resident parking is a thing, it should be geared toward supporting residents. I’d love to see assigned parking spots with electric car recharging ports, too. I drive a very old used hatchback because I don’t like supporting making new cars and fuel efficiency is important to me – but I would have bought an electric car for sure if there was anywhere to hook it up, and we aren’t allowed to park in the alleys – except mysteriously if you are a construction vehicle then you can do whatever the hell you want.

      • Chris 19:41 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

        Ian, perhaps we are talking about different things, or you have a special definition of “always”, but visitor parking permits are only a couple of years old in the Plateau, ex: https://journalmetro.com/local/le-plateau-mont-royal/1440290/les-vignettes-journalieres-etendues-a-lensemble-du-plateau-mont-royal/

        Yes, private combustion powered vehicles are evil and dumb and the very least we should do is charge cost+ rates for parking them on public property. Instead, we subsidize and encourage them by providing ample free parking (or nearly free, yearly resident vignette is like $200).

      • Ian 16:22 on 2019-06-03 Permalink

        As usual your reactionary sensibilities makes even the broadest sarcasm fall flat. Thanks for rising to the occasion. Until there is reserved street parking those neighbourhoods without driveways essentially can’t go electric. It’s attitudes like yours (all cars are bad so screw ’em) that effectively prevents that much-needed transition.

    • Kate 10:27 on 2019-05-30 Permalink | Reply  

      Till recently, the CSDM had an arrangement with the Petits chanteurs du Mont-Royal, a boys’ choir not unlike ones in the UK, where boys with good voices willing to work on their music can sing their way into a better-than-average education. In this case, the school board paid the same fee for the boys that it would’ve done to educate them in the public system, so that they could study at Collège Notre-Dame opposite the Oratory and practice music in the same location.

      Now the board, determined to philistine it out to the bitter end, intends to shut this down, and make it so the boys have to go to public school and shuttle back and forth from distant locations. Various high-profile cultural nabobs have signed an open letter deploring the decision, but to no effect.

      • jeather 12:30 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        I’m puzzled, because it’s not clear to me what was paid for this. The government pays, via the school board (for some reason), but . . . does it pay regular tuition to the school or does it pay full fare? Are there equivalent programs for girls? Is this really available to any boy, and particularly boyswho couldn’t afford private school?

        Or, souligne Me Talbot, « le ministère de l’Éducation finance entièrement cette mesure. Donc la commission scolaire, ça ne leur coûte rien, ils ne sont qu’une courroie de transmission ».

        I’d like a lot more detail.

      • Kate 12:48 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        As I understand it, the board has been giving the private school the same amount it would cost for the education of the students on the public side. I’ve never heard of any equivalent here for girls and it isn’t available to everyone – it’s specifically a kind of scholarship for boys with a good singing voice.

      • jeather 13:07 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        It isn’t clear to me that the tuition paid is only the public equivalent, but the board is paying nothing either way, apparently.

        Well, sure, boys who can sing, but I mean: is it really available to all boys with a good singing voice, or is it mostly going to wealthy non-immigrants? Can they come from any school? Do we want the government to pay for these kinds of programs only for boys (I don’t object if they have single-sex boys and single-sex girls, and it’s entirely possible they do and I don’t know about it)?

        This seems like a nice program, and I am all for more arts-type schools, but I’m not sure the system this one has makes the most sense.

      • dwgs 13:11 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        When my eldest was in elementary school at Ecole NDG someone came around from that school scouting talent, I remember him telling me about it, one of his friends made the move.

      • jeather 13:36 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        Scouting from all the CSDM public schools seems reasonable enough.

      • Kate 16:22 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        The La Presse piece says: “Les 210 garçons qui forment le choeur bénéficiaient d’une entente leur permettant d’aller au Collège Notre-Dame à rabais, le ministère payant les droits de scolarité des élèves à la CSDM.” Which I take to mean the students get a deal: a private school education which the ministry subsidizes only to the extent it costs normally to educate a student on the public side.

        Whether the school gets additional cultural funding to cover this I do not know. It’s a kind of scholarship grant.

      • jeather 21:11 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        The CSDM seems to have a public elementary school for the choir, and wants now to have a setup in a public high school and as such aren’t interested in making it convenient to go to a private school. I just don’t feel this is the end of culture in this city.

        I don’t read that as the ministry getting the discount but the parents, who pay nothing, though I think it’s ambiguous.

      • Andrew 23:33 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        According to their website, tuition for the choir is $1200 a year, so not just for anyone who can sing. It was founded expressly for the purpose of performing at the Oratory and they still do 70 times a year. I’m thinking it’s not just an arts program, but more a relic from the catholic school board that predated the CSDM. As long as the teachers don’t wear any religious symbols while they’re teaching the kids hymns I guess?

      • jeather 07:46 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

        Don’t be silly, they’re cultural hymns.

      • Ian 14:39 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

        @jeather golf clap. Well played.
        At my daughter’s school (FACE) they have a mandatory choir program, and yes, there were Jesus songs for the end of school year concert. As always.

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