Updates from May, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • 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.

  • Kate 08:37 on 2019-05-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The CAQ is changing how management of the Olympic park works to make it more responsive to business proposals. Part of this plan involves putting a new retractable roof on the thing in time for the World Cup matches that may be contested here in 2026. It’s a laugh to read the Gazette’s deck “Much-maligned stadium is getting a new lease on life” because they’ve led the loudest malignity against the structure for years.

    • Kate 07:48 on 2019-05-30 Permalink | Reply  

      The CAQ now seems to be considering an extension of the orange line from Côte‑Vertu to Bois‑Franc, to link the metro to the REM in an effort to mitigate the motor traffic expected around Royalmount.

      It’s sort of amazing to watch a trash fire like Royalmount happening. Everyone knows it will damage the city and cause chronic traffic bottlenecks, but it seems we can no more stop its progress than a natural disaster like a tornado.

      In other REM news this morning, residents in TMR are heartily sick of construction noise but it gets worse: a chunk of Jean-Talon where it goes over the tracks at Canora is going to be demolished and rebuilt in stages throughout next year.

      • Tim S. 08:22 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        I’m actually surprised the outrage is coming from Montreal and not the West Island and Laval, because it’s the car commuters who live there who will be most affected (and who already have access to similar malls anyways).

      • Myles 09:08 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        Seeing as cities apparently don’t have to consider negative impacts on other cities, Montreal should just threaten to close every road into TMR if they don’t drop the Royalmount project.

      • JaneyB 19:25 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        @Myles – agreed. Obviously juvenile but it does get the point across. I just don’t get all the handwringing. Montreal has the power to make TMR change its mind. Seriously, Mtl should be thinking: ‘What would Westmount do?’ Montreal could and should really make life difficult for TMR in return for the certain Royalmount madness.

      • Chris 19:56 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        There’s various precedent too, like Montreal West blocking access to Ville St. Pierre.

      • Kevin 07:53 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

        There really aren’t that many roads from Montreal into TMR. You’ve got Jean Talon and Laird (near Jean Talon and Cote de Neiges).
        Almost every other access point is controlled by the provincial government.

      • Kevin 07:55 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

        *I suppose Lucerne too, but only the south end.

    • Kate 07:37 on 2019-05-30 Permalink | Reply  

      It’s been such a chilly damp spring that it’s almost a surprise to find May is nearly over and the Tour de l’Île is this weekend.

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