Updates from June, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:09 on 2019-06-26 Permalink | Reply  

    Work on the Mercier Bridge, closing one lane in each direction, is causing alarm and despondency and, of course, monster traffic jams.

    • Kate 18:07 on 2019-06-26 Permalink | Reply  

      Uber’s red JUMP e-bikes have arrived. Don’t forget your helmet.

      • Roman 23:19 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

        Took a few rides today. They are super fun but $ adds up quick.

      • Ephraim 14:27 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

        Do it without a helmet and you can add $60 to $100 in tickets too 🙂

        Some days I like to daydream that our cops actually do their work….

      • Ian 21:29 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

        I saw 2 people riding them without helmets in my neighbourhood just today.

    • Kate 18:04 on 2019-06-26 Permalink | Reply  

      Via Toula Drimonis, a Globe & Mail op-ed from a writer well versed in France’s secularity laws and their effects. “Rather than repel the demands of the far right, laws prohibiting religious coverings in France have only emboldened them.”

      Education minister Jean-François Roberge is blowing off concerns from the CSDM saying that applying the law shouldn’t cause it aaaaaaany trouble at all.

      • Hamza 00:44 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

        Can the government or any of its supporters produce examples of religious persons prosletyzing to their students, who *weren’t* Christian in Quebec?

      • dwgs 08:14 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

        A few years ago my son got in trouble in class for talking about zombies eating people. Fair enough. He came home two weeks later traumatized by the same teacher’s lengthy and detailed description of the crucifixion of Christ (it was Easter), including a grisly account of the nails being driven, the spear wound in the abdomen, slow agonizing death and the (zombielike) resurrection. 🙂

      • Kate 12:43 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

        I never experienced that, but a friend of mine got the whole story, and – get this – it was from a woman with a scarf over her head! For religious purposes!

        The teacher was a nun.

      • Ian 13:18 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

        My kids got indoctrinated into the angels and Jesus stuff as early as garderie, I made sure to tell them about vampires, ghosts, the Norse Gods, Leprechauns, and Solstice celebrations that they could bring back to their class, just for balance.

        This year one of my daughter’s friends informed her that he doesn’t believe in Santa but he does believe in Moses. He’s Jewish. Wasn’t too sure what to do with that. I told him that people can believe what they want but if you don’t believe in Santa then yeah, all your presents come from your parents because Santa won’t bring anything to children that don’t believe in him – and we always get presents from Santa.

        TBH my kids only learned about religions because of the mandatory ERC classes in school, I wish they had a segment on atheism and humanism, but they don’t and aren’t open to it.

      • Chris 20:50 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

        Kate, interestingly, when I first read your summary/quote I parsed “far right” as “Islamists”. (I suspect they too are emboldened by these kinds of bans. It no doubt makes great propaganda for ISIS types.) It’s an interesting thing about this whole topic: it’s the religious right pushing veiling, and it’s the (Western) right that’s most against it.

      • Michael Black 21:19 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

        I remember grade one abiut 1966 at tge PSBGM, and we began the day with hymns. I don’t remember them after that. I never sang, just mouthed the words to avoid trouble. Religion was never part if family life, so I coukdn’t be influenced. Sure I know bible stories, but more like proverhs or something, not real history. They are colorful, Noah’s Ark is a good story, but I never saw it as other like the story of the Trojan Horse.


    • Kate 12:41 on 2019-06-26 Permalink | Reply  

      The city is promising to build a tram from downtown to Lachine, after agreeing to hand over transit millions it has in the bag for Quebec City’s tramway first.

      • Jack 13:03 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

        Great deflect, especially after the CAQs environment ministers spokesperson said the ” Plan Vert ” money could be spent on the troisieme lien.

      • nau 13:38 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

        Pretty sure I suggested a while back that under the CAQ maybe the Lachine part of the Pink Line would get done first. Good to see something happening, and Lachine certainly deserves to be better connected to downtown.

      • Ant6n 14:14 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

        This is confusing. The pink line was supposed to be a metro (heavy rail), not a tram. Is Montreal heading towards a weird hodge podge of disconnected, random transit systems?

      • mare 15:14 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

        Yes, because changing from one mode of transport is fun for the passengers. Also, transfer stations are expensive to build so better for the construction and engineering firms.

        But I doubt this gets ever built, by the time the million dollar feasibility studies are finished the earmarked money will be spent on something else, and another government is in power.

        And that tramway in Quebec City won’t have many passengers per spent dollar.

      • ant6n 17:09 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

        As part of their “structuring network” consultations, I also proposed a tram with a downtown tunnel, which works well in many mid-sized cities. But other cities connect the expensive downtown tunnel to multiple branches outside of downtown to actually make a good network. As far as I can see for Quebec City, it’s just a single line.

      • Michael Black 17:13 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

        Maybe this is the best she could leverage. As I recall, people here have liked trams,nwhike I’ve wondered whst improvement they are over buses.

        But maybe it gets more transport towards lachine. Yes switching transport slows thing down. But if this gets you out of the main poulation, maybe it’s a good thing.

        Lionel-Grioux to Dorval can take as much as an hiur, as Ian always reminds us, on the 211. But then the rest of the way to St. Anne’s is shorter and rarely slowed down. Maybe getting to Lachine by a different route will speed things up.


      • ant6n 17:14 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

        (I was replying to mare’s point about Quebec City … it’s true that they won’t have many passengers per spent dollar, and I think it’s cuz they don’t maximize the utility of the expensive tram tunnel)

      • ant6n 17:19 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

        A tram to Lachine sounds like a glorified 90 bus. In previous proposals, the Lachine tram was often to go via the Turcot yards. That would make very little sense: The pink line envisioned going to Lachine via NDG, parallel to the very full 105 bus, and it also meant a direct connection downtown. Without connecting to NDG, where there’d be more passngers than from Lachine, and without a good connection into the network and the requirement for extra transfers, but also possibly as a slow surface tram, this line won’t make sense.

        …one can only hope that in the budgets this money will be made out for a “Lachine connection”, and then spend it more wisely. After all, the REM didn’t exactly follow what was originally proposed (although we don’t know what the initial project agreement between CDPQ and government was, because they afaik it’s not public).

      • Kate 18:01 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

        Ant6n: Is Montreal heading towards a weird hodge podge of disconnected, random transit systems?

        Yes. Patched together from political expediency and weird deals about money, and not designed in response to users’ needs as it should be.

      • Joey 22:05 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

        Seems like it may be premature to draw too many conclusions about what precisely will be built. From La Presse:

        « Aujourd’hui, je célèbre », a dit Mme Plante. Pendant la période de questions avec les journalistes, elle a admis que le projet final ne serait pas nécessairement un tramway, mais pourrait prendre une autre forme. Tous les élus ont refusé de s’avancer sur une date d’inauguration.

      • Faiz Imam 01:27 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

        See, this is a Mayor doing their job very well.

        It’s not about the plans per se, it’s about taking the hand you are dealt, and doing the horse trading necessary with other parties to get resources to actually advance the cause, even if you have to shovel money from one imaginary bucket to another.

        It takes a very strong understanding of the institutions of power, and very good inter-personal skills to make this sort of deal happen. It’s super rare.

        Now of course that also means its very fragile. There is a lot of trust in place that the quid pro quo will actually be honored. But if at the end of the day this actually gets shovels in the ground sooner (and of course assuming the actual project is not overly compromised) then this is a real win.

      • Ant6n 13:50 on 2019-06-27 Permalink


      • Ian 17:43 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

        Oh great, a streetcar to Lachine. What a fantastic transit win for the city. Ha, ha, ha.

      • Michael Black 17:52 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

        “A Streetcar named Desire”? The mayor desires more, this is what she gets?


    • Kate 12:38 on 2019-06-26 Permalink | Reply  

      Entomologist Georges Brossard, key in the creation of the Insectarium, has died and not of a bug bite either. He was 79.

      • Kate 07:46 on 2019-06-26 Permalink | Reply  

        Real estate valuations are poised to take a bound in most parts of the island.

        • Ephraim 11:24 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

          And this is how your house taxes increase, while the city says that they aren’t increasing them…. they increase the value of your home. Of course, this will also increase rents. I’m just surprised that the Plateau isn’t getting the greatest increase…

        • Joey 14:57 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

          True, but these increases are not happening out of thin air. If you are a homeowner in Montreal, the value of your home has likely increased significantly in the last year (whether you’re selling or not). If we are going to fund municipal services on the basis of the value of property, these evaluations should reflect reality. Bidding wars, homes selling X% above asking, etc., which never really existed in Montreal are increasingly common. The fact that homeowners who aren’t selling aren’t realizing any direct financial gain from the hot market is an indictment of the concept of property tax, not the way homes values are calculated.

        • Ephraim 16:02 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

          You don’t get any financial gain unless you sell…. for the rest of us, it increases the cost of living. It shouldn’t be growing faster than inflation, but it does. It doesn’t hurt just the homeowners, it hurts the tenants. If you pay $1 million to buy a house to rent out, someone has to pay the property taxes…. they are just passed on.

        • Ian 08:07 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

          …which, as I like to point out, is why the city actually does very little to curb gentrification. It’s their main source of income, since it increases property values and in turn increases taxes. Somebody has to pay for all the beautification projects, which in turn feed into property value increases…

      • Kate 07:40 on 2019-06-26 Permalink | Reply  

        Valérie Plante says there’s no housing crisis and indeed there have been years when the city has publicized a phone number offering help to people getting close to moving day with nowhere to go, but I haven’t seen that mentioned this year.

        • Gianni 12:21 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

          Eliminate Régie du Logement du Québec (rental control) and you will solve the housing crisis in the Montreal. Nobody wants to build appartment buildings as for La Régie du Logement du Québec will always favor leaser and not owner. Should do as all other provinces in Canada let free market decide not a mayor that does not understand how it works.

        • CE 13:21 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

          @Gianni: It’s pretty obvious you’ve never rented an apartment in another province of Canada. Here’s a small list of all the fantastic gifts the free market gives you: Paying two months of rent before you move in, probably not getting that month of rent back when you move out (landlords are pretty creative or just straight up bullshitters when they give reasons not to give your deposit back), rent increases of whatever the landlord decides, very few options to fight exploitative landlords, high rents.

          From the perspective of someone who has rented with and without the Régie du Logement, getting rid of it is madness!

        • Blork 15:12 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

          Also, the Régie du Logement du Québec is under provincial jurisdiction, not municipal, so it has nothing to do with the mayor, and it’s been there since 1974 (the same year Valérie Plante was born).

        • Ian 17:35 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

          Ah yes, Gianni, the old trickle down approach. Doesn’t work with corporate tax breaks, and it definitely doesn’t work with property development.

          Whenever you see a law in place, it’s because somebody did something awful that the people in charge decided there should be a law against. Similarly, the Régie exists because people were getting screwed by landlords. That said, good luck ever getting a dime out of your landlord if you bring them to the Régie and can’t afford a lawyer.

          We are lucky to have some form of rent control in place but we all know that landlords skirt that rule as often as possible. The price of a 4 and a half didn’t go from 800 a month to 1600 a month in Mile end over 5 years because people moved out so often the landlords were able to make incremental increases to that effect.

      • Kate 07:38 on 2019-06-26 Permalink | Reply  

        The New York Post says the principal owner of the Tampa Bay Rays is reaching out to Montreal in desperation because the team has very low local support. Is Montreal being offered a pig in a poke?

        • Kate 07:33 on 2019-06-26 Permalink | Reply  

          Quebec has an $8-billion surplus and Québec solidaire says some of it should go into funding transit – this as the STM prepares to hike fares on July 1.

          • steph 07:39 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

            That surplus was on the backs of teachers and health workers that have been living austerity cuts for years. Maybe they should get some of it back.

          • Douglas 08:06 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

            Time to cut down the qst 9.975% tax. Such a drain on peoples lives. They won’t do it though.

          • Kate 08:29 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

            Quite the contrary, Douglas. The more you buy, the more you contribute, and we need the funds so we don’t squeeze teachers and nurses down to the bone, among other things. Unless you prefer hiking corporate taxes?

          • Michael Black 09:01 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

            It might be nice to lower the pst by a bit. They raised it a bit at one point.

            On the other hand, I’ve always qualified for gst and pst rebate. I may get more money back than what I spend on gst/pst. Certainly asva quarterly chunk, the rebate means I can spend it, while a bit less gst/pst per item can’ buy much by itself.

            Another five years and I can get a senior’s bus pass. That will impact a lot, about when I will likely need it. I’ve never been able to justify the cost of a monthly pass.


          • Ephraim 11:33 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

            We should put down some of the deficit, especially the part in foreign currencies, or put it in the Generations fund for future deficit reduction. And we should lower the most regressive of all taxes, sales tax. It’s a tax that hurts the poor the most. QST brings in about 16 billion a year. While we look to collect more from outside sources that should be paying (like AirBnB, Netflix, etc). we can manage to lower it. Like bringing it down from 9.975% to 7.5% should bring down about 4 billion, but should also lead to a lower amount of rebates and increased spending. Probably would hurt the balance in the range of 3 billion… and be a lot more palatable.

          • Joey 11:40 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

            This one-year surplus, net of promised debt-reduction payments, would be almost enough to fund the entire pink line – restoring some dignity and capacity to our overtaxed transit system, easing road congestion and giving Francois Legault and Valerie Plante long-lasting achievements. And the taxpayer wouldn’t feel a thing.

          • SMD 12:04 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

            @Ephraim $3.48 billion will go into the Generations fund, $371 million more than projected. Like Joey and QS, I wish the rest was going into the pink line and other public transit projects.

          • David100 12:32 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

            1/2 Generations, 1/2 transit sounds good to me too.

          • Ephraim 14:06 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

            The Generations fund does a good job of reducing Quebec’s debt and ensuring that the next generation doesn’t have to pay for the folly of the past. Most of the money is from HQ surplus and water charges… but it’s nice to see some more go in. The lower the debt, the less they have to pay for the excesses of previous generations.

            Would still like to see a gradual reduction of sales taxes towards zero… they really do tax the poor more than the rich. We could at least end the taxation on toilet paper, tampons and tissues and classify them as grocery.

        • Kate 07:24 on 2019-06-26 Permalink | Reply  

          Aw. Global says drivers feel pushed aside as the city adds more and more bike paths. How do you think a cyclist (or a pedestrian) feels when being “pushed aside” by 3000 pounds of steel?

          • Chris 08:57 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

            Aw. “Pushed aside” because now the surface area of roadway dedicated to cars has decreased from 99.5% to 99.4%? Cry me a river.

          • SMD 10:42 on 2019-06-26 Permalink

            In the meantime, Munich is considering a referendum on whether transportation space attribution in the city should be commensurate to the modal share (so if 20% of people ride bikes, 20% of the space should be for cyclists). The whole Le Devoir series from Munich has been worthwhile reading.

          • Ian 08:17 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

            That’s actually a really interesting approach. If it was seasonal, it would make even more sense. For instance, in Mile End one of the big complaints drivers have is that there is a lot of non-resident parking including not only local workers but a lot of tourists, especially since so many of the alleys that used to allow parking don’t any longer and many are being converted to green alleys – which I support. Also, since there are many more cyclists in summer, including bicycle tours, scooter tours, and tourists on bixis, there is a lot more pressure on the bike paths. There is a lot more pedestrian traffic along Saint Viateur and Fairmount, including walking tours.

            Let’s say that in summer all north-south streets were closed to non-residential traffic between Laurier and Saint-Joseph, including parking. Saint Viateur could be no through traffic allowed at all, except delivery trucks – no bigger than a cube van. All stop signs would be enforced for jaywalkers, bicyclists, and deivery trucks, including no stopping zones.

            Replace the stop sign at Esplanade with stop lights, enforced by cops giving tickets – including cars, trucks, and bikes.

            People would go mental at first but I bet it would improve life for residents and tourists alike in the end.

          • Ian 13:26 on 2019-06-27 Permalink

            No bites? How about traffic closed between Saint-Joseph and Bernard except for stickered residents? No bikes except on designated bike paths? No trucks except cube van delivery trucks from Saint Joe to Van Horne, Parc to Saint-Laurent? Cops everywhere? I thought this site was a hotbed of traffic restrictions supporting residents. Strange that nobody’s biting.

        • Kate 07:16 on 2019-06-26 Permalink | Reply  

          Shots were fired Tuesday evening in St-Léonard, no arrests.

          A man was stabbed overnight in an apartment building on Henri-Bourassa in Ahuntsic, and a suspect has been rounded up.

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