Updates from May, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:00 on 2019-05-13 Permalink | Reply  

    Taylor C. Noakes dissects and demolishes the claim that professional sports teams bring economic benefits to a city. As regular readers will expect, I think he’s right.

  • Kate 19:53 on 2019-05-13 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM has announced plans, to begin in September, for additional trains on the orange line at rush hour, as well as new bus routes and adjustments to existing ones.

    What Blork wrote last week is so true: on the worst parts of the line, you’re often standing, wedged in by other riders, unable either to reach a handhold or look at your phone. It’s a little easier now that people have shed their heavy coats, but on some winter mornings the orange line down from Momo has been wicked.

    • Meezly 12:40 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

      This is heartening news though I’ll have to see it to truly believe it! Great that they’re planning on enhancing bus service along Ave du Parc and Papineau, but curious there was no mention of the 55 St-Urbain/St-Laurent bus, which commuters must surely use to avoid the orange line. I guess there are limits to what they can do.

    • Alex L 16:03 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

      The problem with the 55 is that it’s always late, because it’s stuck in traffic. And I guess they’re not ready to put a reserved lane on Saint-Laurent.

  • Kate 19:46 on 2019-05-13 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s BIG is alleging that a city employee drew up requirements for some new park installations and gave the contract to her partner (i.e. husband or boyfriend in this context, not business associate). The contract has been cancelled and two employees have been suspended.

    • Kate 06:55 on 2019-05-13 Permalink | Reply  

      Everyone has seen those SPA Canada fundraisers, using animal welfare to get donations from passersby. The bona fides of the organization have been called into serious question by a group of ex-employees.

      • Ephraim 07:32 on 2019-05-13 Permalink

        Question #1. Are they listed at https://apps.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/hacc/srch/pub/dsplyBscSrch?request_locale=en . If the answer is no, then do not proceed to donate. There are specific guidelines in Canada that you have to follow to be a real charity, including a minimum amount that has to be spent on your charitable work… anyone who isn’t there… can’t meet the guidelines… like paying out too much in salaries and not doing the work they are supposed to.

      • Blork 09:56 on 2019-05-13 Permalink

        I’ve been questioning them for years. “SPA” is piggybacking on the “SPCA” tame in terms of name recognition, but it’s very difficult to find anything concrete about them online. The solicitors are all super-enthusiastic youths who (to me at least) seem like easily led people who are so happy to be helping puppies and kittens that it never occurs to them to question where the money is going. (Although the article shows that at least some of them did so).

      • walkerp 10:25 on 2019-05-13 Permalink

        No annual report is a huge red flag. Sounds like they started out idealistically, things grew and now they are liking the income too much and lack the skills to actually put their ideals to use.

      • Ephraim 10:27 on 2019-05-13 Permalink

        Blork – They all hire the same company to go do the soliciting for them. The only thing that changes is the smock they wear. Real charities don’t have to do that. They know who you are from previous years and send you in a form/email to remind you. And issue an actual receipt with a tax number. See https://www.donaction.ca/ which itself isn’t a charity either. They also need to meet a disbursement quota… if you are paying 50% of your money out to donaction to collect for you, you aren’t meeting disbursement quotas… see https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/charities-giving/charities/checklists-charities/basic-guidelines.html

      • walkerp 21:03 on 2019-05-13 Permalink

        Ephraim, that is not accurate. Read the entire article. SPA is the only one left that does its own street canvassing. The others legit non-profits all use external contractors, of which there are 4 operating in Quebec.
        Also, it is important to understand the distinction between charities and non-profits in this context. In the 80s, the Mulroney government created a law that removes charity status from any non-profit that lobbies politically. This was a tactic to weaken non-profits that had views opposing the government at the time. So many non-profits lost their charity status and do not offer tax receipts. Doesn’t make their cause any less important or their work illegitimate.

      • Ephraim 08:06 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

        Some not-for-profits are used as a way of enriching those who are running it. For example, Tourisme Montreal. It’s real job is supposed to be promoting Montreal. So, why when the last Czar stepped down was he paid over $700K in a golden parachute… that’s not part of the interests of promoting Montreal. Some non-profits work well… they really are for good reasons and some simply increase the top guy’s salary to bring the profit level down to $0. Maybe what we need is a better report card. In the US you can look up a charity and check it out. I found https://www.charityintelligence.ca for Canada, but it’s not as comprehensive as in the US, where even their tax forms are required to be public.

        We have strict guidelines on nonprofits in Canada to ensure that their status isn’t abused. And some of them were abusing it. The way the law is currently structured, it is a lot more difficult…. even the cost of your building is calculated as part of the ratio to ensure you are doing what you say you are doing.

    • Kate 06:52 on 2019-05-13 Permalink | Reply  

      Postmedia has a site called Driving, which currently has an ugly piece about the closure of the Camillien-Houde. Starting with the headline calling Projet an “anti-car administration” (which it isn’t, it can’t be, but evidently the position of this site is that anything that holds back total car domination of the city is bad), it goes on to call Luc Ferrandez Plante’s “anti-auto axeman” and says “It’s important to note that Ferrandez is not above smearing himself in blood to further advance his anti-car agenda.” The rest is written in a heavy-handed style to match.

      Nobody loves Postmedia or has high expectations of it, but this piece is ridiculous. It shows how far our media are willing to go to court car manufacturers and sellers.

      • Kevin 08:58 on 2019-05-13 Permalink

        I rode over the mountain twice last week and the same problems exist.
        If U-turns near the lookout are a problem, put up a wall between the up and down lanes.

        To prevent cyclists from being killed by cars going down the mountain and turning right into the lookout, create a separated cycling area next to the uphill lanes.

        Or if nobody likes barriers, install traffic lights or a stop sign at the lookout so people can enter and exit safely.

      • qatzelok 09:10 on 2019-05-13 Permalink

        The article includes the scoop that two people were killed by cyclists the same year that a tourist killed a cyclist on Camillien Houde. No other news source has this story! It must have been kept hush-hush by the all-powerful bicycle lobby. (eyeroll icon)

      • Ephraim 10:38 on 2019-05-13 Permalink

        Shouldn’t be called an article, a feature or a feature story… it’s clearly an opinion piece. And shame on “Driving” for printing it as such. It should have definitely had the words “Opinion” posted on it. Are we really getting so far from Journalistic integrity in Canada? But I digress…. you have to understand that people who live in the suburbs and those who live in the inner city won’t see things that same way. The same way that I don’t see things the same way having to deal with older people and handicapped people (and the fact that younger people don’t understand this and can’t sympathize… until it’s too late.) who don’t have the same mobility. The percentage of cars per person is entirely different in the Plateau than in Cartierville. You also have to understand that walking neighbourhoods and density offer things that lower density cannot, like restaurant density. Been to a large American suburb and looked for a good restaurant? Notice it’s all full of chains, which can survive, but a local chef’s restaurant can’t. There is a trade-off for everything.

      • Ian 13:59 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

        While I completely agree that Postmedia is a steaming pile of hot garbage, to Kevin’s comment, I was up on the mountain on the weekend too, and specifically opted to walk back down through the cemetery because on the path up to the belvedere from the foot of the mountain my family had to keep dodging bikes (including electric bikes)… so much for a stress-free stroll up the mountain! I think separated bike paths are a great idea, and not just on the roads. Bikes are great, cars are bad, got it… but let’s remember people on foot need some quiet space, too. Where’s the all-powerful pedestrian lobby at?

    • Kate 06:45 on 2019-05-13 Permalink | Reply  

      Some road infrastructure in Montreal is in such poor shape that it shouldn’t be used by heavy vehicles – but it is.

      • Kate 06:38 on 2019-05-13 Permalink | Reply  

        A man who cultivated roses around his property in RDP was appalled to find them all destroyed by a snowplow yet hasn’t heard a thing from the borough about restitution. Item goes on to talk about the bigger issue of getting better training for snow removal workers, and not making them work excessive hours.

        I think this latter bit smacks of what I call seasonal amnesia. Outside of winter, promises are made about how we’ll manage things, but when a blizzard hits, we want that snow gone and we don’t care if the guy in the plow has a diploma.

        • qatzelok 09:14 on 2019-05-13 Permalink

          They were planted right to the curb, and there’s no sidewalk – only bungalows and lawns.How sad that so few people will ever see his roses or walk near his house to actually care.

        • Ian 14:07 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

          For whatever reason this year my neighbourhood was cleared by a different contractor than last year, Michaudville. They use not chenillettes but small front-end loaders, which are admittedly way faster, but they also took out three garden fences just on my block. They also took out the side mirror on my car – not a street clearing day, just a sidewalk run. Worth noting it was also recycling day and the miniplow managed to tear up a lot of the recycling and spread it up the street, too. Most people I know have at least one story about snowplow jockeys, diploma or not these guys are driving heavy vehicles and need to be more careful, especially since the city routinely refuses to acknowledge damage unless you see it happen AND manage to record the plate number which is kind of an issue since so much of the clearing takes place at night!

      • Kate 06:33 on 2019-05-13 Permalink | Reply  

        Jonathan Montpetit does a masterly analysis here of a moment in the Bill 21 hearings and what they mean about the will of the majority vs. human rights.

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