Updates from June, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:37 on 2019-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

    Several hundred mature trees must be cut down to create the Pie-IX rapid bus lane. One man is trying hopelessly to protect an exceptionally handsome tree in front of his building.

    • Faiz Imam 15:00 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      I think one important point is that the initial plan had them cutting down over 400 trees, and they’ve reduced it to 172.

      And just by parsing the language, it seems like most of the cut trees are not *that* huge.

      It is indeed too bad about the handful of bigger ones they have to cut. At this point I have to imagine they tried to save as many as possible and that that part of the route doesn’t leave them with any alternative.

  • Kate 21:28 on 2019-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

    Toula Drimonis! She has skewered Bill 21 brilliantly here on Cult Mtl:

    It’s glorious when state-appointed discriminatory secularism targets only minorities, allowing the majority to pretend that they took an important step forward towards self-determination and the separation of church and state, when all they really did was find themselves a convenient loophole to discriminate against people who don’t look or live like them.

    But it’s all good. Read it.

    • Spi 22:24 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      The Minister Simon Jolin-Barette, has just introduced an amendment to his proposed law that defines what a religious symbol to be

      “Serait ainsi défini comme signe religieux « tout objet, notamment un vêtement, un symbole, un bijou, une parure, un accessoire ou un couvre-chef », qui serait « porté en lien avec une conviction ou une croyance religieuse » et « soit raisonnablement considéré comme référant à une appartenance religieuse ».”

      So if I’m reading this correctly, you can get a Catholic cross prominently tattooed on your body and be a police officer or teacher (let’s be honest there are probably many more real-world examples of this than police officer/teachers wearing a hijab or a Dastar).

      We went from “signe religieux” which would presumably include tattoos to “objet religieux”, strikes me as an interesting line to draw, I’m not sure there is much neutrality left in this proposed law.

    • Jack 10:50 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      Read it and recognize what an absolute cancer Quebecor “opinion” makers create. This cancer has metastasized in the minds of many and we will live with the consequences.
      One of the odd blowbacks will be for the English speaking community. The Conservative nationalist ideologues who promoted this project, Bock Cote, Martineau et al., didn’t realize it, but they have guaranteed our communities long term health and prosperity, why?
      We will never apply Bill 21, we will never allow people to come to our institutions and tell people what they can or can not wear. We will welcome those minorities into our institutions and communities, where they will help our entire collective. Their children will understand when their folks needed help we stood with them. So thanks Mathieu and Richard your desire for supremacy and obedience has created a context in which our community can grow and prosper.

    • jeather 11:14 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      There’s a reason the Jews in Montreal joined the anglo schools way back when but made their own institutions (hospitals, etc), so nothing new here.

    • Kate 11:33 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      I interviewed an Italian Montrealer a couple of years ago who said her grandparents initially went to register her father with the closest French grade school, but he was turned away because he didn’t speak French. After he went to English school the whole family trended to the anglo side, and that’s a story you’ll hear repeated in variations until Bill 101 came in.

      Every couple of weeks I skim the obituaries. Even now, a lot of our older allophone communities publish their obits on the Gazette rather than La Presse – Greeks, Italians, Jews, Portuguese, Asians, people from the Caribbean…

    • jeather 12:00 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      Oh, Jews were turned away for religious reasons. And then at some point, well, the Jewish community — at that time mostly Ashkenazi/Eastern European — was English, so new immigrants into that community learned English first. (Many many of the Jews here who are dying of old age around now were born here btw, not just WW2 era immigrants.)

  • Kate 21:22 on 2019-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

    Airbnb is calling Quebec’s attempt to limit its economic damage an error and is encouraging recipients of a mass email campaign to contact the ministers responsible in order to condemn the bill.

    • Tim S. 22:57 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      I, for one, welcome this glorious new era in which gig economy companies use the contact info of their users in order to crowd-source the lobbying of governments!

    • Ephraim 07:28 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      In other words, the law is probably a move in the right direction… since AirBnB is a tax evasion scheme that is leaving more and more people homeless. AirBnB has plenty of tools in their possession to help to make it run legally but they specifically use them to help people avoid taxes and the laws. There is NO ONE to blame for this problem more than AirBnB themselves.

    • JaneyB 09:12 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      Ditto Ephraim. When Airbnb, Uber, and Walmart complain about our policies, it’s a good sign. I didn’t think about the mass emailing Tim S – we need a law against that kind of corporate lobbying measure.

    • Ephraim 11:10 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      What the CEO of AirBnB does is exactly what Al Capone in jail, aiding and abetting in tax evasion. Why is it when a corporation engages in racketeering we don’t charge the CEO?

      We also need a law in Quebec to require all these companies that pay out for anything except to a company account to provide a Releve, so people have to disclose the income. Paypal now supplies the CRA of anyone who receives more than $1K a year. And we need them to explain to people that it is their own best interests to create a company, even if just ENRG so that they can deduct expenses. Can you imagine, your gasoline bills… and you have to pay income tax on them!

  • Kate 21:18 on 2019-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

    The SPVM annual report is in on 2018. There were more murders and attempted murders than in 2017 – 32 homicides, vs. 24 in 2017.

    (I’d just been noticing that we haven’t had a homicide on the island since March, and there have been only six so far this year. So there’s no reason for alarm.)

    Sexual assault numbers were way up last year compared to 2017, but the theory is that the surge of media attention to such incidents may have encouraged victims to make complaints.

    Another part of the report says taser use is up although the word “exponential” in the headline is deceiving. A jump from 236 to 383 incidents is not exponential.

    CTV has a more complete summary of crime stats overall.

    • Charles 03:31 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      Well, technically, it’s exponent ~1.089. 😉

  • Kate 19:26 on 2019-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

    Garnotte, Le Devoir’s editorial cartoonist since 1996, is retiring from a career that included contributions to Croc starting in 1980. Sadly, his replacement, who’s been doing the daily cartoon more and more often lately, isn’t in the same class.

    • Ian 19:37 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      That’s a real shame. Everyone lauds Aislin, but Garnotte is the real champion chez nous. I wish him a happy retirement!

    • CE 20:50 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      When was the last time anyone lauded Aislin?

    • Kate 20:54 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      My fave editorial cartoonist here is André-Philippe Côté, who draws for Le Soleil. La Presse’s Chapleau is also good. None of them are young: these two and Garnotte all worked for Croc, and we don’t have anything similar as a printed comic satire hothouse now.

      Ever notice, editorial cartooning is 100% a male preserve? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a female one.

  • Kate 17:43 on 2019-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

    A woman who wears full niqab says an STM bus driver didn’t stop for her, and she later identified the driver and discovered her xenophobic postings. So far, the union has defended the driver but it’s unclear where the complainant wants this to go.

    • david100 18:15 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      Probably, the first plan was to try to suck some money out of it, but the driver wisely held to the “didn’t see you” defense, so there’s no real legal issue. Dumb for her to have contacted the fundamentalist woman though.

    • dwgs 18:53 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      That’s a helluva leap david100, do you have some special insight into the matter?

    • david100 18:55 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      None. But the actions seem way out of proportion to the purported harm – traveling to a metro station to confront and videotape the person, researching them, etc. Sure, it could just be another muslim activist, but that sounds like evidence collection to me.

    • dwgs 18:59 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      Or it’s just someone who is pissed about being mistreated and wants to make a point to stick up for herself. There’s nothing in the story that says she’s making a financial claim. Also, “just another muslim activist”? One could almost make assumptions about your biases as you have about hers.

    • Dan 19:16 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      Good on her for tracking the driver down and good luck to what will surely be an ugly fight, as evidenced already by those ridiculous comments by @david100.

    • david100 19:24 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      Getting the bus number, come on. That’s not the sort of thing someone does to stick up for herself, it’s the sort of thing you do when you file a Tribunal claim.

      My biases are there in my analysis. Probably the bus driver did deliberately pass her by, probably this woman is trying to put together a Tribunal complaint, it’s a nice encapsulation of the problem: the native right wing is stoking dislike of these types for their own purposes, and some of the muslims are trying to convince left wing people that their hardcore right wing religion is progressive because the native right wing don’t like it.

    • Kate 20:57 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      I can understand why the woman might be angry enough to investigate and figure out who slighted her. By doing it, she’s also proving that a woman in niqab isn’t necessarily the sad passive powerless creature one storyline would make her. I think, david100, you’re folding this whole thing around too many times there.

    • Kevin 22:09 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      Anyone who writes “muslims are trying to convince left wing people that their hardcore right wing religion is progressive because the native right wing don’t like it” doesn’t know anything about the history of Western Civilization.

      All the Abrahamic religions are full of hardcore hate.

      The difference is that we have learned that Judaism and Christianity have many different strains that completely ignore what is in their holy book, and Islamophobes have yet to learn that Muslims have exactly the same tendencies.

    • david100 22:21 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      ^ Fascinating take. You should expound your theory to my transgendered neighbor.

    • Kevin 09:02 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      ^ only if I can bring my Muslim buddy who vacations at the Guinness factory.

    • Chris 09:23 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      Kevin, careful, saying Islam is “full of hardcore hate” will get you called an Islamophobe! 🙂

      But of course it’s true: all the Abrahamic religions are full of hardcore hate (and some good). And yes there are strains of Judaism and Christianity that ignore what’s in their holy book. But the problem with Islamists is *not* that, it’s that they *don’t* ignore what’s in their holy book. They take seriously things like killing apostates, cutting off hands, etc. Now of course Islamists are a minority of Muslims, but not a vanishingly small minority I’m afraid. (And I’m not saying this women is one.) Islam claims that the Quran is the *literal* word of god as recited to the *final* prophet. Contrast with Judaism and Christianity which acknowledge their books were written by man (but inspired by god) and expect a prophet to return. So there’s less room for (re)interpretation in Islam vs the other Abrahamic religions.

      Anyway, I bet the bus driver wishes he had a niqab, that way she wouldn’t have been able to track him down so easily. 🙂

      And good for her for sticking up for herself!

    • nau 10:20 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      I wonder exactly how right-wing you have to be to think that any significant number of left-wingers can be convinced that Islam is progressive.

      The relevant issue here is that it’s not the business of bus drivers to pick and choose who they stop for. One is prejudiced against Muslims, another against transgendered people…

    • Kevin 12:05 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      I’d tell anyone complaining or commenting on my comments to read them in context.

    • Chris 19:20 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      Kevin: obviously. 🙂 You did see my smiley, right? 🙂

  • Kate 17:03 on 2019-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

    Interesting visual mockup of how St-Denis Street could look if there were trams, a bike path and sidewalks, but no cars. Not that anyone’s seriously proposing this – yet.

    • Etienne 18:05 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      Pretty cool, however the place where I would see a tram the most would be St Laurent, from the north to all the way to the south shore!
      Would help revitalize the street and maybe bring some relief to the orange line.

    • Kate 18:23 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      Etienne, I think it would be silly to run a tram on St-Denis because it’s too closely duplicating the orange line. The reason the 30 and 31 buses normally run only twice an hour, all day, is lack of demand. I think it’s more an exercise in making St-Denis more attractive. It really does have too much traffic to be a pleasant walking street, and you’ll notice they never close it for sidewalk sales as they do with Masson, St-Laurent or Mont-Royal.

    • Ephraim 18:36 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      Holy bad design. A sitting place between the trams that you need to walk across the tram line to go to? Why don’t we just set up a lawsuit! And why bother paving it at all? Trams don’t need pavement beneath them. If anything, you can put the trams close together and put up a barrier so that people don’t walk across the tracks, since the can’t stop as quickly.

    • dwgs 18:57 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      Ephraim I don’t know why you’re so intent on not paving the tramway. You can’t leave it like a railbed because wheelchairs, strollers, bikes can’t get over it and it’s a tripping hazard. Leaving it as gravel, earth, or grass would lead to major problems with mud, erosion, etc. What do you propose instead of pavement?

    • Ian 19:40 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      I think maybe we are forgetting that streetcars are really heavy. We aren’t getting lightweight “trams” in Montreal. All the railbeds in Toronto (for instance) are solid concrete on a bed of gravel. I had the joy of living on Queen street when they redid the streetcar tracks one year, and it goes down about 5 feet.

    • Ephraim 19:42 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      You don’t want people, wheelchairs, strollers or bikes to cross over the tramlines, it’s dangerous. You want them to cross at intersections. So you put the rails in, but leave grass between them. It’s an unconscious way of telling people that it’s NOT their zone. The other solution is to pave it, but with river rock, for example, so that it’s rough and people don’t want to cross it. Many European cities do this including Frankfurt, Rotterdam, the Czech republic and Strasbourg. Do a search for trams on grass. Plenty of pictures of them.

    • Ian 20:13 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      That’s very nice. How many of those cities get 3 inches of ice at a time? Streetcar beds need to be built to certain specifications to hold up to the weather. But who are we kidding, the construction here is so corrupt and incompetent they will screw it up anyway so what the hell, plant flowerbeds of cannabis. Who cares.

    • Ephraim 07:31 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      If we can’t do it, that’s fine.. then put in uneven stone underneath. You need something to remind people that it’s not a sidewalk and it’s not a road… that trams come by at any time. Anything other than pavement.

    • Blork 09:54 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      I tend to agree with Ephraim; if it were paved, people would use it as a bike path. Or for pushing baby strollers. Because stupid.

    • Ephraim 11:29 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      Look up Queens Quay Tunnel (Toronto) images on Google Images… and see how many stupid cars, not paying attention go into that tunnel. And yet, they don’t need even pavement underneath a streetcar, so if it was river rock underneath… the vibration alone would stop people. They can also put up a fence between the two directions to keep people from crossing the street… but that doesn’t stop cyclists from driving on it, nor stupid cars… because it’s “clear”. Or, I guess you could narrow the track, so cars don’t fit, but then you need specialized trams.

  • Kate 09:09 on 2019-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

    Some St-Henri rooming house tenants were handed bogus eviction notices based on the design of official ones from the Régie. Makes me wonder why the CBC put the word “counterfeit” in scare quotes in the headline, because this is clearly a fact, not a claim.

    Update: Radio-Canada says the Régie du logement will “agir rapidement et sévèrement” against the owner of the building in question.

    • david100 18:17 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      If I were the person that sent these notices, the owner or property manager, I would not be feeling great right about now.

    • Ian 19:41 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      If you’re the kind of person that feels shame you’re not the kind of person that would have sent these out in the first place.

    • su 21:00 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      “CBC News contacted the numbered company listed on the letter, but did not hear back.”
      Shady money . Should be reported to Fintrac.

  • Kate 09:07 on 2019-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

    As announced last week, the city has plans to fight flooding by building water retention facilities in populated areas. This is the kind of infrastructure thing we don’t tend to notice, but which the city has to get good at over the next half century or so.

    • Raymond Lutz 10:52 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      Voilà pourquoi l’avenir est inquiétant: plutôt que de diminuer notre consommation énergétique, les mesures d’atténuation des bouleversements climatiques nous imposent une dépense énergétique supplémentaire (qui ne pourra pas être assumée par les énergies vertes qui seront toujours marginales). Et ces mesures bloquent des budgets qui auraient pu servir à la décarbonisation de nos sociétés (conjointement à une desindustrialisation et desurbanisation): les low-tech, l’artisanat et une nouvelle paysannerie sont les seules solutions réalistes. #deepecology

    • Max 14:16 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      The Globe and Mail ran an interesting piece on flood response a couple of days back:


      Of course the only rational response is to back away from the shore lines. But we don’t seem to have the stomach for that approach.

    • Ian 19:42 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      Hey Raymond you never know, the Netherlands manages to do both.

    • Raymond Lutz 12:53 on 2019-06-12 Permalink

      Ian, any specifics? This would cheer me up while my neighbour is cutting down its lone 100′ tree 8-(

  • Kate 08:51 on 2019-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

    Mayor Plante wants business owners to show a good example by hiring newcomers, and announced a campaign to start this fall. Immigrant unemployment numbers remain higher in Montreal, although we’re only talking 11.9% vs. 5.3% for people born here.

    • david100 18:21 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      In a tight labor market like today, you have to feel that the difference in unemployment is down to skills differences or really important stuff: no french, no english, too old, wearing a burka, etc. Employers will take almost anyone meeting the basic competencies and willing to work for minimum wage, so if the city wants to improve the immigrants’ employment rate, it stands to reason that doubling down on improving their skulls is a pretty good move, and that encouraging people to hire unqualified applicants, no matter how much it virtue signals, won’t be particularly fruitful.

    • david100 18:31 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      Er, “skulls” = “skills.”

    • Kate 21:03 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      I did wonder.

  • Kate 08:32 on 2019-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

    The education minister has indicated he will be transferring three EMSB schools to the Pointe‑de‑l’Île board. No offer from the EMSB to share premises seems to have been acceptable.

    • Meezly 11:10 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      It’s quite astounding that there are no laws that protect schools from being taken over in such a way due to extreme shortsightedness, or at least to protect a child’s right to attend a perfectly operational school. The government has access to statistics – couldn’t they have foreseen that they would need more CDSM space to accommodate population growth? This does not sound legal, and definitely not ethical.

    • Kate 12:05 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      There seems to have been a disconnect here: demographic studies should have foreseen the coming of a mini baby boom, and that plus the simple fact that most people are obliged to educate their kids in French whether they want to or not, meant more French schools would be needed.

      That the CAQ is not, by and large, supported by anglos, and that some people will actively applaud the removal of schools from an English board, is also in the mix. The CAQ know they are not going to alienate many of their voters by doing this, and will in fact please some of them.

    • Meezly 15:30 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      Yes, the CAQ seem to be reveling in this. Another notch on their human rights track record. I guess as a last resort those affected can try to take it to court, but the CAQ are likely betting they don’t want to deal with the added stress and burden.

    • Ian 19:44 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      It’s like the grand noirceur all over again, don’t vote for the right party? Expect to get screwed. Since anglos are a minority anyway like Kate says, they won’t lose any important votes over this. Any anglo that voted CAQ should be squirming right about now, and I know that plenty did.

    • Kate 21:06 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      Ian, I’m curious, and maybe you’ll know this: what happens to an English-speaking kid who legally can’t be educated in English but who has some kind of special need? Maybe some deficit that would make coping in a second language extra difficult for them, especially doing things like math in that language. Are they given a break, or does the law treat them like anyone else?

    • jeather 22:32 on 2019-06-11 Permalink

      You can get a derogation. It isn’t easy.

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