Updates from June, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:07 on 2019-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

    The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation says households that leave the island of Montreal save money because the cost of commuting is more than offset by cheaper real estate.

    • qatzelok 22:24 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

      As a child of the suburbs, I’m happy to know that my parents saved money by raising children in social isolation with no services or community.

      CMHC makes money off of mortgages, so they have an incentive to manipulate rather than inform.

    • Roman 06:45 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

      I’m sure they didn’t consider/value time. Most middle class professionals are probably valued at at least $100/h (that’s not the same as salary or hourly rate). If your commute is even 1h/day then you’d lose $2,000/mo.

      Then there are unquantifiable things like enjoyment, stress from sitting in traffic, lack of social support.

    • Ephraim 08:13 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

      CMHC has no agenda. While it insures mortgages for those who can’t manage the 20% down, it also works on affordable housing and fixing affordable housing. Usually to the tune of $2 billion per year… from those mortgage insurance proceeds.

    • qatzelok 18:56 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

      CMHC has an agenda.

      Ex. In 2008, after all those mortgages went bad and Obama gave a years worth of taxes to crooked banks, CMHC bought up billions of bad Canadian mortgages from private banks so that the taxpayers would absorb the losses that private entities created.

      Look it up.

    • Ephraim 19:10 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

      CMHC buys and sells mortgages, doesn’t matter to them if they are for suburban or urban properties. Doesn’t matter if it’s young people or old people. And it’s an insurance company and a crown corporation. It’s holding on to over $200 billion in assets. It’s NOT the taxpayers, just like the SAAQ isn’t the taxpayers and the CDPQ isn’t the taxpayers. That’s the point of crown corporations, especially profitable ones.

  • Kate 21:51 on 2019-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

    The city reports that its woodstove ban, which came into effect as of last October, has reduced the amount of smog.

    • Ian 12:02 on 2019-06-07 Permalink

      Of course they did. I guess not monitoring wood smoke particles near wood fired pizza joints helped too, but of course when the city fluffs themselves up correlation always equals causation.

  • Kate 21:49 on 2019-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

    TVA (where people may not be so happy themselves at the moment) says Grand Prix weekend isn’t great for every downtown business and finds some people with storefronts on Crescent to give disgruntled quotes. Meantime, Peel Street is thriving on GP festivities.

    • Clee 01:14 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

      If I need a haircut, I’ll just get it the week after, no business is lost lol

  • Kate 18:54 on 2019-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

    The Office municipal d’habitation de Montréal has received twice as many requests so far this year for help in finding an apartment, compared to last year.

    • Kate 18:52 on 2019-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

      The city will be extending services to non-status residents. A mechanism has been worked out so people without clear immigration status will be able to use city libraries and sports facilities without being questioned. This stops short of making Montreal a sanctuary city because police can’t be included: if a person is investigated on suspicion of a crime and it comes out they don’t have papers, they can be deported.

      • Kate 10:36 on 2019-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

        A big, desirable piece of land is being vacated by Molson. While private interests will take most of it for development, the city is getting a piece for a park and riverside walk, and eventually a school and community centre. Piece explains that the developer accepted this deal because the city refrained from acquiring the whole thing, its right under a recent law.

        • Kate 09:00 on 2019-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

          The city is walking the talk by buying electrically powered sidewalk cleaning vehicles.

          • Ephraim 12:35 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            And the part that they aren’t telling you… the reason that they can do this is because MadVac/Exprolink is in Quebec and makes an electric version. If they didn’t make one, they couldn’t buy it from another company because of the Quebec first clause…. which also likely means that MadVac/Exprolink is likely gouging the city on the price as well… because there is no one else we can buy from.

          • Jonathan 19:54 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            I’m not so sure that is the case, Ephraim. If the city criteria is that it be electric and the savings if purchasing one manufactured outside Quebec was significant they should be able to justify it. I’m not sure what the threshold is, but it’s not just Quebec first above all.

          • Ephraim 21:25 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            Jonathan, if MadVac didn’t have one of their own, they could repackage one and slap their name on it. But they can just price gouge… Montreal can’t buy from anyone else as long as they have one that meets that criteria and is made in Quebec. Which is exactly the problem with the law.

            I remember Dell setting up a company here just so that the schools could order from them. Before that, they couldn’t order from Dell. This clause hurts more than it helps.

        • Kate 08:47 on 2019-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

          The Gazette claims that a Rosemont intersection named and shamed by Valérie Plante during her election campaign has become even more hazardous as the crossing times for pedestrians in both directions have been reduced.

          In another dicey intersection story, the city is going to try to make sense of St-Joseph and Hutchison, not a major corner but apparently the location of some unspecified number of incidents. It doesn’t take much for a road location to be tricky – a bit of bad visibility, unclear signage, a motivation for pedestrians to want to cross where drivers are just speeding up, and pow.

          • walkerp 09:10 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            I think part of the issue with Hutchison and St-Joseph is that Hutchison shifts to the west above St-Joseph, so it is not a straight intersection. People prefer to bike there than Parc because it is way quieter, but you have to ride against traffic on St-Joseph when crossing. It is a little hairy, though I didn’t realize there were actually incidents.

          • Spi 12:07 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            That part of St-Joseph isn’t particularly busy, so I’m not sure that removing a traffic lane would increase visibility, The main problem used to be that drivers coming south on parc and that wanted to go east on st-joseph couldn’t turn left so they’d turn right and pull a U-turn at Hutchinson (effectively going in the opposite direction of a one-way street). There’s new signage indicating that you can only go straight, not entirely sure if that’s made things any better.

        • Kate 08:41 on 2019-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

          The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp says the creation of the REM and the constant inflation of housing prices on the island may encourage more young families to flee to the suburbs.

          • Faiz Imam 10:06 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            Sigh, I get that this isn’t their primary area of expertise, but I would have hoped for some less simplistic analysis. Or perhaps I just have a problem with the headlines.

            At a fundamental level, they are correct. If you make mobility cheaper (in time, money) more people will move further away as their “budget” increased.

            But there are solutions and mitigations that can manage the manner in which that expansion happens.

            First of all, we just had a wave of contreversy last month over the lack of parking at rem stations. Where are these new ex-urban residents suppose to drive their cars *to*?

            The station design are centered on bus stops, drop off zones and year round bike use. Basically it’s as inhospitable to auto-commuters as possible, in essence to add “costs” back in for users we do not want to promote.

            All to say, with all the high density projects going on inside existing suburbs, “suburban population growth” does not have to mean ” suburban sprawl”.

          • Clee 11:31 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            Nope, house price is.

          • DeWolf 12:27 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            One of the things that always surprises me about Laval is that the older neighbourhoods like Pont-Viau and Laval-des-Rapides, or even Chomedey, are relatively dense with a lot of multi-family housing and a walkable street grid. The same is true in Longueuil.

            With a concerted effort to improve transit, densify these areas even further and make them more pedestrian-friendly, they would end up resembling a city neighbourhood more than a suburb. They’re hardly the irredeemable spaghetti bowl, cul-de-sac, 100% car-oriented kind of suburban areas you see further out.

          • Faiz Imam 01:04 on 2019-06-07 Permalink

            Definitely., especially since these inner suburbs don’t have any empty plots left. So the only way they can continue to grow is to build up.

            Some of the best analysis i’ve seen is ones that define urban/suburban/exurban as a factor of their mobility. If there is a lot of active modes, its urban, if its a lot of transit and less active, its inner suburb, if its majority auto, some transit and no active, its ex-urban.

            Under that sort of categorization, I am hoping we see places like St-leonard, St laurent, Longeuil, Brossard etc become urban as they proceed with massive redevelopment plans that are underway.

            And if we are lucky, this will also help urban affordability, since if we have tens of thousands of new people living in high quality spaces outside the core, it means less demand on the existing areas.

        • Kate 08:38 on 2019-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

          Some CSDM schools are taking funds meant to enliven the student experience with field trips and other enrichments and using them for remedial services instead, and the school board is fine with it.

          We easily scare up half a billion dollars to shore up a tunnel, while education has to juggle its needs like this. But it’s not just us, it’s endemic. As a species, we’re terrible at envisioning the future.

        • Kate 08:25 on 2019-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

          The big story in Canada this week is the report on missing and murdered indigenous women. I’m not ignoring this news, but it’s not specific to Montreal and now people are mostly arguing over the genocide allegation, a description which Justin Trudeau has acknowledged. It’s a horrible word, but in context it makes sense. I don’t have anything to say beyond that.

          • JaneyB 10:41 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            Like other critics, putting 4000 similar people killed by unorganized criminals over decades in the same place as slaughterhouses like Rwanda, Cambodia or Bosnia really does not work. It just seems rhetorical. I don’t see the need to resort to the G-word for odiousness; the C-word (Colonization, Conquest) is plenty awful, in a different way. Mostly though, I see the MMIW crisis as the intersection of a seriously under-protected general transient population with the legacy of evil colonial policies specifically targeting Indigenous people. Due to those policies, Indigenous people are over-represented in the transient population with its addiction, mental health, and poverty issues so negligence/willful blindness toward the transient affects those communities more and functions as systemic racism (no matter the intention). Criminals take full advantage of this visible vulnerable population knowing that the services system will not notice or check. That’s a social/political failure on a dozen counts but it’s not the swarming blood-fest of a genocide. I’d like to see real work on how to fix these failures eg: what about that Vancouver (woman) cop who suspected Pickton years before they got him – why wasn’t she listened to? Why don’t we have police services that are specifically dedicated to protecting transient people, especially Indigenous women? The current arrangement cannot continue.

          • dwgs 11:04 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            JaneyB, that comment should be sent to all public officials, it’s gospel.

          • walkerp 11:14 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            The term genocide is important for the victims and proponents of change, because (among other reasons), it forces lawmakers to recognize that the problem is ultimately due to the racism of its colonial roots, where an entire group of people is considered less than human and thus acceptable to be murdered. Root causes is the thing these days.

            That being said, it is a semantic argument and not really worth discussing at any length. I suspect the biggest motivation to pick at the use of the term comes from those who are fighting against any real change. Classic oppression technique to get obsessed with language.

            As you state so well, JaneyB, the current arrangement cannot continue. How to change it? We have to recognize that deep down, we came to this land and decided that the people living here could not remain as they do and we have put them in situations that are inhumane. In order to change that, we will have to make real sacrifices about our way of life and thinking. That is going to be hard and we will see post-election where the Liberals were all talk (most likely) or if they will actually make some hard changes. Notice already very little criticism of the RCMP.

          • Tim 11:28 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            “That being said, it is a semantic argument and not really worth discussing at any length. I suspect the biggest motivation to pick at the use of the term comes from those who are fighting against any real change. Classic oppression technique to get obsessed with language.”

            Completely disagree that this is a discussion of semantics. I do not oppose changes that will result in better outcomes for native people, but I do not agree with the use of the term genocide. I’m fine with sharing the same position as Romeo Dallaire.

          • walkerp 12:20 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            Recognizing that this is an ongoing and systemic genocide is what will lead to better outcomes for native people. That’s the whole point. Otherwise we get the same cosmetic changes that look good on paper (like increased budget to departments whose entire existence is based on colonial racism) but actually do nothing to change lives and generations for the better.

          • Michael Black 13:47 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            My family never suffered, but there are hints. Even the fact that great, great, great grandma Sarah moved away from her family is a hint, but I believe she was loved. It’s hard to tell about the “Rebellion”, wad Thomas Scott just annoyed by people.in the way, or didn’t like natives?

            I remember years back seeing women “fighting” with men near the old forum, not sure what was going on.

            Last summer, an Inuk woman took a place on the western side of Westmount Square, never noticed that before. I have her a donut, and the next time I saw her her faced out up. She.must have been the woman with a similar smile for me some months earlier in the Atwater metro. I took cold drinks by after thar, but she disappeared from the spot.

            We have to see them as people first.

            As I think I’ve said, the Inuit were the last to see change. Some probably remember. Suddenly their lives different, but had housing and expensive food.


          • walkerp 16:00 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            A question we might want to ask ourselves is why do we care whether or not the term genocide is used in this case? If the victims themselves consider it a genocide, why is it important for us to argue against that definition? If you really want better outcomes for First Nations people and one of the outcomes they request is that we consider what happened to them and what is happening to them a genocide, why can we not grant them that?

          • Tim 16:46 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            This piece does a good job of explaining some of the negative consequences that may come as a result of characterizing Canada’s treatment of indigenous women as an ongoing genocide:


          • qatzelok 18:55 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            I don’t know how much of a “teaching moment” this is.

            Canada continues to kill innocent women (and men, and children) in all the war zones that it operates in. And like in the past, many of these “war zones” are rich in resources that our industries covet. Rail routes and wheat from the praries has been replaced by pipeline routes in Syria and lithium and other minerals from several African nations.

            Sure, our PM can apologize for past sins, but what good is this when an equal number of future sins of the same kind await him on the road to success?

        • Kate 08:19 on 2019-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

          I don’t think this is the first time a journalist has asked whether the Grand Prix is the economic windfall we’ve been led to believe, but in even this short piece you can see the conflicting points of view that make this an unanswerable question as posed.

          • Bill Binns 09:26 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            The question will be answered quite reliably when one political party or another finally succeeds in killing off the event. We can simply count up the losses in sales tax receipts for the first summer with no Grand Prix or see what Toronto or Vancouver report they made from their newest acquisition from Montreal’s ongoing estate sale.

          • Clee 11:54 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            I don’t agree with the point that local tourists wont spend their money in Quebec City or Sherbrooke if they spend it at the Grand Prix. I can see the Grand Prix competing with other major events in Montreal, like I will attend fewers Habs games this year to afford Grand Prix tickets, but not Quebec City.

          • Blork 12:24 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            @Bill Binns, you’re only counting one side of the ledger. Nobody doubts that the Grand Prix brings in money. The question is whether the amount of money it brings in greatly exceeds the amount of money that flows out.

            F1 races cost a lot of public (and private) money to put on. Everything from security costs to all that infrastructure. The hosting fee alone is around $30 million according to some sources. Total public cost is in the range of $50-$60 million per race. That’s a lot of public money so that a handful of fancy restaurants can have a full house for a couple of nights.

          • Bill Binns 14:37 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            @Blork – “a handful of fancy restaurants can have a full house for a couple of nights”

            That’s the thing right there. I think you could be in Montreal and have no idea the Jazz Fest or Just For Laughs or Osheaga are going on but that would never happen with the Grand Prix. Sure, the $25.00 Martinis will be flowing in Old Montreal but the checkerboard flags will be flying from Little Italy to Monkland Village and just about everywhere else. I have only been to the actual race twice since I moved here but I enjoy the hell out of Grand Prix week for the little pleasures like seeing a 4 million dollar car casually parked on Sherbrooke street.

            Personally, I don’t think the ramp up in city services like Police, Fire, Trash etc should be counted against the ROI of an event but regardless, we should come up with an agreed upon measurement and then apply that same methodology to all events that receive city funds. I don’t think the marathon or any of the various cycling events would appear to be in the least bit profitable taking city services into account.

            I attribute the great majority of resistance to the Grand Prix to the fact that it celebrates the hated automobile and is seen to be geared toward the equally hated wealthy.

          • Blork 14:50 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            @Bill Binns, I agree that a lot of the anti-Grand Prix noise is just knee-jerk anti-car stuff, but the question of whether or not the economic benefit is as big as we think it is, is a legitimate question. And it’s not just the security and infrastructure; it’s that $30 million fee that Montreal hands over to them for the right to host the event.

          • Raymond Lutz 17:39 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            “for the little pleasures like seeing a 4 million dollar car casually parked on Sherbrooke street.” A 4 M$ car, Bill??? Was it a Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita ? If not, the guy lied to you… As for my car porn, I prefer watching it in the privacy of my home… Blork: can one be anti-car without beeing knee-jerk?

          • Blork 21:43 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            @Raymond Lutz, yes, one can be anti-car and not knee-jerk. One can recognize that there are too many cars in Montreal and that many people have them and don’t even need them, and that infrastructure is biased towards cars, but at the same time recognize that cars do have a certain utility, and some people do need them, and not every problem that the world faces is because of cars. So… yes! 🙂

          • Bill Binns 13:46 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

            @Raymond Lutz – Bugatti Veyron. The first year or maybe the 2nd it was out.

        • Kate 08:13 on 2019-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

          Verdun wants to remove 275 parking spots to install a bike path, but some people will fight it; Villeray borough plans to follow suit with Outremont in making motorists pay to park. As usual with any change in parking, there is or will be an outcry.

          • John B 09:54 on 2019-06-05 Permalink

            The Verdun bike lane sucks for the carpet store, it doesn’t look like there’s any convenient location in the back for a loading zone or anything, and the parking is being removed from his side of the street. This is the kind of business that legitimately needs a loading zone, and as a city dweller I don’t want to see it chased to the suburbs.

            I’m surprised anyone drives to the casse-croute, though, and I suspect they could reach a whole new group of potential customers by supporting the bike project and promoting themselves as a place to stop for a beer & hotdog.

            But it’s my side of the street too. Yes, when I rent a car to go out of town it’ll be a pain to load it up if I can’t park in front of my place, (and especially if there’s no nearby parking & everything has to be carried a block), but that means I’ll get to come & go on a bike without dodging as much traffic, and I won’t have to try to fit my bike & kid attachments between parked cars to get onto the street, and maybe the ratio of smiling people to cars on my street will increase.

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