Updates from May, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:04 on 2019-05-14 Permalink | Reply  

    Valérie Plante will go down in history as one of this city’s great mayors. One reason is her statement on individual rights and secularism.

    • MtlWeb 23:36 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

      Made all Montrealers proud today.

  • Kate 21:30 on 2019-05-14 Permalink | Reply  

    Sue Montgomery is making a concrete visualization of the speech of women vs. men in city council by changing the colour of her knitting wool, red for men, green for women. To date, the scarf is more red than green.

    • SteveQ 23:39 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

      Too many city councillors and/or borough mayors that have nothing useful to do and that’s what we get, a lot of energy and wasted time.

    • Kate 06:11 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Montgomery has to sit through a lot of sessions, and knitting is not a bad way to stay alert. She’s taking the opportunity to make a sly statement at the same time.

  • Kate 18:24 on 2019-05-14 Permalink | Reply  

    Luc Ferrandez announced Tuesday that he’s quitting politics.

    Ferrandez says his main issue with Projet is its inability to act firmly enough on environmental issues.

    Update: There will have to be a byelection to choose a new Plateau mayor within 120 days of Ferrandez’ official resignation.

    • Ian 19:45 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

      I’m glad for him that he got to go out on a noble note. The cynic in me says “fuck you” was a last straw in a series of bad optics. The even more cynical part of me thinks he was finally too much of a doctrinaire moron and Plante needed to cut him loose since she now needs to woo the CAQ and has to be seen as a team player. Welcome to politics, folks.

    • Douglas 20:47 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

      “100% tax on on-street and off-street parking, taxing cars entering the downtown area, reinventing trucking plans within the city, taxing foreign investments, taxing waste, lobbying to prevent the expansion of the airport, limiting the development of the oil activities in the port and taxing meat.”

      Good riddance. Good thing Plante was practical about running this city and didn’t give this guy more power.

    • Kate 21:22 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

      Douglas, that’s exactly the kind of commonsense realpolitik that will doom us as a species. Ferrandez is right. You are wrong.

    • Tim S. 21:31 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

      It’s a pretty good list Douglas quotes. Whenever Project calls me ask to me to renew my membership or donate or whatnot, my answer is always that I’m disappointed they haven’t done more (anything) to improve traffic safety and discourage the SUV takeover of my neighbourhood.

    • CharlesQ 22:39 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

      @kate thanks! It’s exactly what I wanted to say. I’m still baffled by the narrow mindedness and short sightedness of so many fellow citizens. Cars are just a symptoms and they don’t make sense on so many levels (all the space taken up by roads and parkings, heat island effect, air pollution effects on health, greenhouse gases, etc), especially in central neighbourhoods. I don’t understand drivers who think they should be able to drive anywhere anytime when there are thousands of other drivers who also want the same thing… it doesn’t add up.

    • Douglas 00:07 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Fellow citizens like me are just not falling over their heads believing that if Montreal was to eliminate all cars on the road the world will magically turn into a paradise utopia.

      I’m glad Plante runs into the reality that in order to govern responsibly you don’t let the extremes of the spectrum run the asylum.

    • Jack 04:28 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Douglas you are now the extreme, your shortsightedness is a danger to my children.

    • walkerp 06:59 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      I second what Jack said. We are in a global crisis. If anything is extreme its the fact that people think owning a gigantic box of plastic and metal that is killing them and the planet is normal.
      Especially when the alternatives are viable and make for a much more pleasant life for everybody. Car owners are going to become very similar to gun owners in the U.S.

    • walkerp 07:12 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      On a side note (and perhaps somewhat petty at this point), I wonder if the truth will come out about the North Field now.

    • Tim S. 08:15 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Well, perhaps there’s some sort of middle ground between “all cars are evil” and “I need a range rover to get to my yoga class 8 blocks away”

    • John S 08:30 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      As a local I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see him go. And its not the “anti car” stance as much as his “my way or the highway” approach to local politics (irony intended). He really seemed like he wanted all aspects of life in the Plateau to conform to his vision of how people should live in general and F-you if you don’t like it. I’m thinking of his reactions to noise complaints re: bars on St Laurent and St Denis, the killing of the baseball field, and while I generally support a lot of his traffic calming measures there were a lot of ways he could have sold them better to outsiders – its not as if the Plateau has become THAT hard to visit. He just rubbed me the wrong way and I think in his later career he’s done that to a lot of people.

    • Kevin 08:54 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Ferrandez’s list, as noted by @Douglas, is something I frequently vent about when it comes to life in Quebec.

      The instinctive reaction in Quebec’s Francophone political class is to use the stick. I don’t know if it’s because they all had their knuckles rapped by their teachers, if they were terrorized by nuns, or have a big Catholic fear of hell, but the first reaction is always the threat.

      And it fails. A lot. Which Ferrandez found out in spectacular fashion when the people looked at his pet project and firmly rejected it.

      Seduction works a lot better, but Quebec’s elites don’t understand that concept. They could take a lesson from A&W.

    • Myles 10:35 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Even making a dent in the problem of climate change and giving ourselves a decent chance at maintaining a functioning civilization is going to require collective mobilization and sacrifice on the level of World War II. Ferrandez’s proposals were the barest beginning of what we need to accomplish in the next 10 years, and even that was too much for people. It’s honestly getting terrifying to be stuck in a society that just doesn’t get the seriousness of this.

    • YUL514 11:20 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Thanks Douglas, what we need to be focussing on is more electric/hybrid cars, much better fuel efficiency on current combustion engines. Cars will not disappear, especially with the cost of housing on the island. Families will continue moving to off island areas, for better or for worse. Cars aren’t going anywhere which means EVs are the solution.

    • Jack 11:42 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      YUL514 that ship has sailed. When you talk about housing are you talking two car garage, thermo pump , extremely low density, huge cost per citizen for sewage, water, roads, plowing etc.etc.
      Because we all subsidize this “cheap” housing so developers can make a killing and destroy more.

    • Douglas 11:47 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Jack, car drivers pay the vast majority of municipal taxes collected in this city, not only am I not a danger, you should be thanking me for my contributions. You are welcome. Your kid too.

      USA and China combined add 2-3 Montreals every year to their economy population wise and consumption wise. Us putting a rock in our shoe will do absolutely nothing to slow down pollution globally.

    • Jack 11:56 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Rock solid logic , so essentially just stand around and play the fiddle.

    • Ian 12:52 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Kevin is right when he says “The instinctive reaction in Quebec’s Francophone political class is to use the stick.” This is why Ferrandez was unpopular, he was seen as an authoritarian disciplinarian. His solution to too many cars on the road is to increase the cost of parking and hike taxes – Plante’s is to improve transit. Plante’s approach is more humane, forward-thinking, and ultimately effective – and will result in a more liveable city where Ferrandez’s plan is just to punish everyone for not immediately doing what he thinks is best. Honestly I think half his reason for quitting is the Camilien-Houde debacle, which is pretty much a slap in the face for him.

      In truth though, you know what will solve the climate crisis? If about half the world’s population dies and the rest is forced to return to a pre-industrial largely agrarian lifestyle. Everything else is wishful thinking, there is no way the world can support human population on this scale. Even if everyone in Montreal stopped using plastic, driving, and eating meat now and forever, billions of people are going to die of flooding and famine. The real problem is large scale globalized industry, and even Ferrandez knows all our efforts as citizens of Montreal are a misdirection, like making people give up their wrought iron fences in WW2 to support the war effort. All this green citizen brigade stuff is to keep us docile and feeling good about doing “something”. The heads of a few fortune 500 CEOs on pikes would do immeasurably more for the environment than any amount of citizen eco-consciousness, but nobody wants to address THAT harsh reality. We don’t need the three R’s, we need revolution – or catastrophe.

      Either way, as George Carlin says, the planet is fine – it’s humans that are fucked.

    • Chris 14:04 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Douglas, “car drivers pay the vast majority of municipal taxes collected in this city” in the same way that right-handed people do: only because they are the majority. In fact, society subsidizes car use and ownership in so many ways: free roads, free parking, etc. etc. My coworker was telling me how he can get thousands in government subsides buying a new electric car, whereas my bike is 1000x “greener” but it’s not even exempt from GST/PST. 🙁

      I for one like Ferrandez, sad to see him go. Plante has been disappointing so far (though not as much as previous mayors, but that’s a low bar).

      The best thing one can do for the environment is not have children. Every human wants to maintain or better their standard of living, and our population continues to grow and grow. Those two things just can’t continue. Government should provide free contraception to everyone that wants it, that would help way more than crap like “turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth”.

    • Joey 14:50 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Sounds like Plante was increasingly fed up with having to clean up after his tantrums. Recall that after his fuck-you Saturday, it was Plante who had to face the media and tell them that he had apologized (to whom? For what? We’ll never know, though I suspect one day he’ll let it be known that he made no such apology):

      Luc Ferrandez a affirmé, en entrevue dans divers médias, qu’il avait été muselé par la mairesse, une critique que Mme Plante rejette. « Au comité exécutif, c’est lui qui avait la plus importante tribune. Je lui laissais beaucoup de latitude, parce que j’adhère à plusieurs de ses projets et à sa vision. De là ma tristesse devant son départ », a-t-elle dit.


      The idea that Ferrandez has been muzzled doesn’t pass the LOL test, though I would be shocked if he didn’t feel it to be true. There is a limit to what a municipal politician, even one at the seat of city power, can accomplish – I think the frustration that did Ferrandez in is the same frustration many Plante supporters feel: decisions about the way the city runs are largely at the discretion of a provincial government that will never really give a shit.

      Anyway, it’s time for some new leadership in the Plateau, which will be PM forever. Perhaps the environmental objectives that Ferrandez is now touting will be more attainable when the borough mayor pushing for revolutionary change isn’t a huge asshole.

    • Ian 15:58 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Well they just named Norris interim mayor, so so much for that.

    • qatzelok 20:17 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      The reasons for Ferrandez’s resignation can be found in the comments of this article on this page: he can’t handle how backwards his own citizens are, and realizes they probably can’t be reformed. Only collapse will change our ways.

      I hope he’s wrong about this, but he’s been front and center fighting our car-addicted dragons for a long time, and there are a lot of them. So I wish him a happy and relaxed retirement with lots of car-free moments.

    • YUL514 10:53 on 2019-05-16 Permalink

      Qatzelok, why not push for more EVs and Hybrids instead of the far fetched notion of getting rid of all cars?

  • Kate 06:53 on 2019-05-14 Permalink | Reply  

    While Bill 21 hearings proceed in Quebec City – Montreal gets a princely 45 minutes to make its case – city council will be holding a debate on Marvin Rotrand’s motion that police should be allowed to wear religious symbols, a resolution that other Canadian cities and the RCMP have made. Interesting sidelights: the police brotherhood favours a ban; the SPVM says the question is theoretical, since no one who wears one has applied.

    Hijab wearers have reported facing increased hostility from harassment to assault since Bill 21 was tabled.

    • Chris 09:57 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

      Meanwhile, just yesterday at Tehran University, there were scuffles at an anti-mandatory-hijab protest. And earlier this month they tossed a lawyer defending the anti-hijab protesters into prison for 7 years. So it could be worse here. I suspect a lot of the (misguided) support for Bill 21 comes from fear of the old “give an inch and they’ll take a mile” saying. But in fact I suspect the opposite. It’ll create a ‘forbidden fruit’ effect and actually encourage more to wear hijab in defiance, like how Iranians defy their rulers by refusing to wear it.

    • dhomas 04:59 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Though it seems contradictory, the “fashion” laws in Iran and Bill 21 are actually quite similar. They both limit individual freedoms by dictating what citizens can and cannot wear.

    • Ian 12:39 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      It’s a proud moment for our nation that we finally have a law against funny hats to preserve and protect our culture. /s

    • Chris 18:47 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Ian, well, despite this blemish on our nation’s opinion, I’m sure we’d score better on the question “Is it up to a women to dress as she wishes in public?” In many Muslim-majority countries, a *minority* thinks so, or only very slim majorities. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/01/08/what-is-appropriate-attire-for-women-in-muslim-countries/

    • Ian 18:52 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Well apparently a large majority support Bill 21…

      Sixty-six per cent of Quebecers answered “somewhat in favour” or “totally in favour” when asked: “Are you in favour of or against banning the wearing of visible religious symbols for public sector employees in positions of authority (police officers, judges and primary and secondary school teachers) in your province?”


      …which effectively prevents women (and men for that matter) from dressing how they wish in public if they work in the public sector.

    • Chris 22:46 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Ian, that’s an entirely different question from “Is it up to a women to dress as she wishes in public?” Even if the effect is similar, wording makes a huge difference in polling results.

    • Ian 07:58 on 2019-05-16 Permalink

      If the effect is similar, what does the wording matter? Whether it’s dogwhistle racism in the guise of secularism or religious fundamentalists it still comes down to the same thing – women being told how to dress not only for their own good, but for the good of cultural conservativism.

    • Chris 11:30 on 2019-05-16 Permalink

      Wording of polling questions makes a big difference to the answers you get, see for example:


      We each cited polls that are presumably accurate, but it’s comparing apples and oranges as the questions are very different. The Gazette poll is in tight circumstances, the Pew poll is in broad circumstances. Point being: despite this Bill 21 blemish, Quebeckers are still more liberal than others.

  • Kate 06:47 on 2019-05-14 Permalink | Reply  

    With vacancy rates falling, Radio-Canada says Montreal simply doesn’t have the legal power to limit the spread of Airbnb, and has turned to Quebec for help. Text and audio.

    • Kate 06:41 on 2019-05-14 Permalink | Reply  

      The young woman hit on St-Denis Saturday evening has died of her injuries.

      • Kate 06:29 on 2019-05-14 Permalink | Reply  

        The estimated cost to extend the blue line has ballooned by $600 million because somebody “forgot” to include taxes and underestimated the cost of necessary expropriations.

        • SteveQ 09:05 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

          Whatever taxes they’ll pay will come back in the goverments pocket anyway. It’s not like it’s going elsehwere. It’s with such money that goverments are able to fund metros and highways among other things.

        • Joey 09:16 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

          Not sure that’s quite right – the story says that the cost has gone up by $600M since the initial estimate by the Couillard government last year, an increase of 15%. It says about 1/3 of that increase is due to the fact that the agency that would run the thing at the time (the AMT) was thought to be tax-exempt, whereas the new ARTM is apparently required to pay sales tax. Sounds like the expropriation and borrowing costs make up the remaining $400M increase to the estimate.

      • Kate 06:20 on 2019-05-14 Permalink | Reply  

        An extension of autoroute 19 northwards has been announced for the ninth time since the 1970s, this time in a particularly politically pointed way. It’s the feds this time who have promised $345 million for the project, stepping over the CAQ to do so.

        Where is autoroute 19, you ask? On the island of Montreal the road is simply Papineau Avenue. This is a project northern suburbanites want, but Montrealers have been resisting for years, since it will funnel yet more suburban smogmobiles at highway speeds onto a street never intended for that kind of use. Thanks, feds.

        • qatzelok 08:48 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

          That Dil-bit pipeline that Jusin bought with our money will come in handy.

        • SteveQ 09:07 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

          Yeah, building pipelines and highways, not too bad for someone who is supposed to be pro environment!

        • Alex L 16:00 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

          “Because it’s 1955!”

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