Updates from May, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:23 on 2019-05-06 Permalink | Reply  

    I can see the headline writer’s temptation here, but the headline Chickens run afoul in Montreal makes no sense. A person or animal doesn’t just “run afoul” but “runs afoul of” e.g. “The chicken ran afoul of a fox.”

    So, apparently it’s not so easy keeping chickens, although some of the assumptions here are odd. If you have only hens, you can’t suddenly find you’ve got a rooster, because unless someone very close by does have a rooster, none of their eggs will be fertile.

    Also, the assumption that we don’t know what to do with spare chickens is bizarre. When you decide you don’t want chickens any more, or you have hens that stop laying, you can do with them what people have done with them since time immemorial. Or, if you can’t face doing that, find someone who can. Really, the SPCA shouldn’t have its time wasted.

    • Tee Owe 02:31 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Hi Kate – roosters can happen another way. Sometimes hens undergo a sex change https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/sex-change-in-chickens.1247620/. I know this because my neighbor has hens and one of them started to crow!

    • Kate 06:48 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      I don’t imagine this happens every day.

    • Chris 10:29 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Kate, where does that article assume ‘we don’t know what to do with spare chickens’? It’s hardly surprising that an organization named “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals” tries to find them a home instead of BBQing them. They could also send spare dogs to Korean restaurants, but that’s not the SPCA’s thing. (I’m not advocating for/against either, just saying the SPCA is clearly against both.)

      But I agree the article is kind of weird / pointless. You could substitute another species in there and have basically the same article. Many people think having dogs is easier than it is, many abandon/free them, etc.

    • Kate 11:49 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Chris, people are, I assume, doing urban chickens because it’s cool to have egg-laying critters around, not because they want them as pets. Then they discover that these creatures have needs just like any other animal, and the eggs are not worth the hassle.

      I have no idea whether the trend for urban chickens has lasted long enough that some hens have already gone through henopause. But these are creatures we don’t usually keep as pets, can’t easily keep indoors, have to somehow get through winter. So they get given up – like pets. But properly speaking they are not pets. And although, Chris, you have for years here tried to break down the conceptual wall between farm animals and pet animals, it does exist, socially.

      Eat ’em.

    • Ian 12:42 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Old hens are pretty tough, though – that’s a soup chicken at best.

    • Chris 13:00 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Kate, I’m not trying to ‘break down any walls’ here. I’m simply trying to understand and comment on the last paragraph of your post. I doubt the SPCA feels its time is being wasted, why do you think so? Are you expecting the SPCA to advocate killing chickens if they can find them a home? Have you ever met anyone at the SPCA?! 🙂 It’s just not their modus operandi. I’ve just visited their website, it says “Guided by humane ethics, the Montreal SPCA’s mission consists of protecting animals from neglect, abuse and exploitation; representing their interests and ensuring their well-being; and last but not least, raising public awareness and helping develop compassion for all sentient beings.” They seem to make little distinction between pet or not. They talk about wildlife, farm animals, pets, etc. Killing the chicken directly contradicts their mission statement. I agree society disagrees, but the article is about the SPCA.

    • Ian 13:17 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Nobody’s saying the SPCA is being inconsistent, it’s the people that get into farming chickens that are being daft.

      You have to be a special kind of idiot to get into farming chickens and then get confused what to do with them if you don’t want to keep them for eggs anymore.

    • Kevin 13:42 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Chickens can easily overwinter outside in our climate. I know someone illegally keeping three in her backyard.

      And yes, when they are no longer producing eggs they end up in someone’s pot.

    • Ian 11:38 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      … but yes, the phrasing of the lede was so rich in potential but poorly crafted. I feel your pain, Kate.

  • Kate 20:52 on 2019-05-06 Permalink | Reply  

    By 2030, fuel oil will be banned in Montreal although the city is converting its own remaining oil‑heated buildings sooner than that. Later, natural gas will also be phased out.

    • Ian 21:38 on 2019-05-06 Permalink

      Ugh thank goodness I’ve been trying to talk my landlady into switching to electric for years. Oil is way more expensive than hydro too, environmental damage, bad smell, and general ickiness aside.

    • Ephraim 11:26 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Apparently no one at the city realizes that it’s much more difficult to do some things with electrical… Large homes and apartment buildings can use half as large a water heater with natural gas than with electrical. So, instead of one 40 gallon tank, you have to move to an 80 gallon tank and you still may have trouble providing enough hot water, because it heats at about 1/3rd more time. Hydronic heaters are very effecient and most of the new ones does emit particles.

    • Chris 11:36 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Ephraim, well you’ve got > 11 years, and these distant timelines are never kept, so I don’t think you need to worry.

    • Ephraim 11:43 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Chris, not personally worried, but it’s not really something they are thinking through. Electricity is nice, but for larger apartment buildings it’s not something that can easily be changed. A hydronic system on electricity would need twice the amount of space… where are they going to find the room for this? If we wanted to do instant hot water in Quebec, it can only be done on natural gas that is outside vented… it isn’t even a dream to do it on electric. Imagine a Victorian aged triplex… to switch to electric baseboard heating would mean rewiring an entire home… and take up a good part of the walls…. or removing the flooring to go to radiant heat. It’s announcements without reality. (And of course, expenses that will increase rents….)

    • SMD 12:24 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Fear not, your beautiful old Victorian radiators can easily be converted to energy-efficient electric ones: http://www.ecorad.ca/en/electrical-conversion-residential/.

    • Ian 12:49 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      My place is steam rads, putting in an electrical boiler was no problem for my upstairs neighbour whose oil tank needed replacing – the landlady went electric for him because it made more sense than putting in a new oil tank..

    • Kevin 14:03 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Thanks for that link. Your definition of easy is not the same as mine, since that conversion still requires disconnecting all the radiator water piping.

      I can just imagine the fun that will be if all the people on the upper floors of duplexes and triplexes decide to convert to that look.

      I mean, we’re not going to gut homes, we’ll just cap and leave the pipes in place, right? But we’ll still need to patch floors and/or ceilings in every room.

      Or do we switch over to electric hot water furnaces, which last 8 to 12 years?

    • Ian 15:01 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Or just install an electric steam boiler like my landlady did.

    • Ephraim 17:04 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Electric water heaters take TWICE the space and electric boilers take double the time to heat, so you need a much larger one… which of course means more amperage, which means you need hydro to bring in more electricity, etc. Our friend, who is an energy efficiency expert looked at my system, he said to keep my natural gas water heater… if I converted to electricity, I would need a second water tank just to provide hot water. Also told me to convert to a new energy efficient. The modern boiler (natural gas) is 97% efficient, takes less space than the previous boiler (which was oil) and is extremely able to handle the extreme cold… which electricity just can’t. (Oh and when the power goes out, I can plug it into a battery and keep the system going… remember the ice storm?) Imagine a dip in the temperature… electricity can take up to 4x as long to catch up to natural gas when temperature dips.

    • Ian 10:30 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      Maybe in an apartment building, but the electric boiler we got was about the same size as the old oil one, and doesn’t require the giant oil tank. I’m not just talking through my hat here, we actually had one installed and there is literally no difference in heating costs or effectiveness, and since there’s no fuel tank it takes up less space. My landlady even got some money from the government for the conversion. Granted, it needed to be replaced anyway so she wasn’t out any money, but the picture you are painting is vastly different from my own direct experience. No changes to the water supply, pipes, or rads, and only an afternoon to do the installation including the hydro crew putting in new connections.

    • david100 02:09 on 2019-05-09 Permalink

      Hydro man, the best. Ultra low life-cycle emissions (especially compared with oil or gas), and Quebec pumps it out cheaper than pretty much anyone else this side of Russia. Sucks to cook with it, but for everything else . . .

  • Kate 20:29 on 2019-05-06 Permalink | Reply  

    When the CAQ government was elected we knew this would mean Montreal vs. the ROQ, and that’s how it’s rolling.

    The city is trying to get changes in the new taxi law, saying the new rules may be fine in the ROQ but not here. The city wants to run its taxis as it sees fit but the CAQ is determined to make no exceptions for Montreal.

    CAQ transport minister Chantal Rouleau – also “responsable de la Métropole” – is snarking at Valérie Plante for expressing doubts about the Caisse de dépôt’s sudden enthusiasm for running more REM lines north and south of town without considering the domino effect of pouring more people onto a metro system already overloaded at rush hour. The mayor wants the ARTM to make decisions about urban transit, not the provincial pension manager, but it has the upper hand.

    And the brief debate on Bill 21 begins tomorrow as the CAQ attempts to make Montreal look and behave more like Joliette.

    It could get worse. We could elect the Tories in October.

    • Ian 21:38 on 2019-05-06 Permalink

      *knocks on wood, vigorously

    • Chris 10:30 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      If the Libs don’t get a second term, they have only themselves to blame.

    • Ian 10:39 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      If the voting population once again pulls a “we’re mad at the Liberals so we’re going to give the conservatives a majority until they scare some sense into us” we have only ourselves to blame.

    • Chris 11:39 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Ian, there’d be no blame in that case, since the point of democracy is to choose who you prefer. Also, we could do as Nanaimo did and not limit ourselves to 2 choices, which is of course made easier thanks to the proportional representation the Libs promised and delivered, oh wait…

    • Christopher DeWolf 12:19 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      The Liberals have nobody but themselves to blame for their woes, but at the same time, I will never understand anyone who would be totally cool with an Andrew Scheer government just because they’re mad at Trudeau. It’s like being upset that your pasta is oversalted so you throw it out and decide to eat yesterday’s garbage instead.

    • qatzelok 12:31 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      It would be sad if Canadians exchanged one rentier-class party for another, yet again.

    • Ian 13:13 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Hey don’t look at me, I’ve never voted for the Conservatives or Liberals in any election over the 30+ years I’ve been old enough to vote.

      The sad fact is that without the vote reform the Liberals literally promised, we are effectively in a 2-party system because everyone is so afraid of the possibility that the party being punished this time around might get in that any vote for a party other than Scheer or Trudeau is considered a scary wasted vote. People don’t actually choose who they prefer because they have been manipulated by the main political parties and mass media.

    • Ian 15:52 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

  • Kate 08:12 on 2019-05-06 Permalink | Reply  

    An unvaccinated individual may have exposed others to measles, although either public health or the CBC is not giving out details about where this person lives or works; CTV says the workplace is in Ahuntsic.

    • Ephraim 10:58 on 2019-05-06 Permalink

      If you are going to make that choice, you should have to live with the consequences… keeping their identity secret increases the worry as people don’t know if they were exposed and of course, we, the tax payers are left with the bill for their stupidity.

    • JaneyB 09:59 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Interesting idea @Ephraim. In the case of anti-vaxxers, it would help them understand the ‘herd’ concept in a new and likely unpleasant way. Could work.

    • Chris 10:33 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      “We, the tax payers” are left with the bill for lots of stupidity. The stupid that smoke, overeat, don’t exercise, etc.; we pay for their health care too. Health care is a universal right that even idiot anti-vaxxers deserve.

    • Ephraim 17:23 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      I wasn’t suggesting that they had to pay for it… but they don’t deserve having their identities hidden from the public, because that increases costs. If people knew who they were, they could react faster… because if you are exposed the immediate treatment for exposure is another inoculation. Fine, you made a choice, then live by your choice… don’t ask to be shielded. Take some fucking responsibility for your choice.

      As for comparing smokers and overeaters and those who don’t exercise… sorry, but not the same, those are simply risks to yourself… the antivaxxer becomes a walking carrier and in the case of measles… one of the most contagious diseases… 19 out of 20 people exposed who are not immune will get measles. Further, 5% of the population that has been inoculated (once) still can get it and 1% of those inoculated fully (twice) will get it… they are covered by herd immunity… except that we are losing herd immunity because of antivaxxers who believe they know better than immunologists, doctors, scientists, etc.

  • Kate 07:03 on 2019-05-06 Permalink | Reply  

    A handsome fire hall on Mont-Royal East is being renovated, and the Journal is trying hard to make a scandal about how much it will cost and how long it will take. Ho hum. Some may remember this is the station where, some years ago, firefighters answering an alarm forgot they had oil for fries heating up on their stove, and came back to find their own station in flames. I guess there’s still damage to be repaired from that incident.

    • david100 02:13 on 2019-05-09 Permalink

      That’s a Montreal story if ever I heard one. But I thought it was Rachel East one that happened at? I may just be thinking that because it’s across from the Banquise.

    • Kate 08:01 on 2019-06-08 Permalink

      Nope. It’s on Mont-Royal at des Érables.

  • Kate 06:48 on 2019-05-06 Permalink | Reply  

    City hall opposition is demanding a study of transit cheating on bus and metro, and – assuming it’s bad – more security to crack down on the phenomenon.

    Is this the same opposition demanding an investigation of the violent incident captured on video not long ago when transit security beat up a young man at Villa-Maria?

    Looking for links here, I found an opinion piece on Forget The Box, and I agree with the writer’s conclusion: “A safe commute is knowing that the person next to you won’t do you any harm, not that they paid for a ticket or pass. The STM brass needs to realize that fact.”

    In other transit news Monday morning: the Journal is annoyed that the STM is refusing to publish monthly performance numbers, and it also reports that of 24 metro escalators slated to be replaced last year, only eight have been done. As one commenter said here recently – what else do you expect of a company called Global Tardif?

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