Updates from July, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:48 on 2019-07-12 Permalink | Reply  

    Cinema Guzzo in the Marché Central was the site of a demonstration on Friday because it’s showing an anti-abortion movie called Unplanned.

    • Chris 07:37 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      Seems these days people have a depressingly low tolerance for different viewpoints. Be pro- or anti-abortion as you wish, but to even be against public airing of a view you disagree with… quite shameful in my view. (I am pro-abortion.)

    • Kate 07:58 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      Showing a movie like this is not a neutral decision on the part of Vincenzo Guzzo. Women know that access to abortion was hard-won and that there are still powerful forces poised to push public opinion in the direction of rolling it back. Anything that militates on that side is bound to be felt as a move in a dangerous game, not just a “different viewpoint.”

    • Orr 08:01 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      Yes I have a low tolerance for a group that thinks forced-birth is how society treats women in the 21st century. And so should everyone else with an ounce of human decency.

    • Uatu 09:44 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      Is it that slow of a movie season that they can give up cinema space for some laughable, ham handed message movie you’d see in an evangelist’s living room? Well good luck trying to feel moved while hearing Spiderman fight Mysterio in the next room…

    • Chris 10:02 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      Kate, Vincenzo Guzzo has said he is pro-abortion. One can be both pro-abortion and pro-free spreech. Yes, many want to push public opinion against abortion, as is their right. By airing their agruments, you can better argue back.

      You may already know this, but since you mentioned specically that *women* “know that access to abortion was hard-won”, I’ll just mention that, in the USA anyway, pro/anti abortion views are basically the same between men and women: https://www.pewforum.org/fact-sheet/public-opinion-on-abortion/. Religiosity is much more correlated.

      Orr, tolerance for views you despise is required for peaceful coexistance. Should theatres not show films about, I dunno, BBQing because it is morally outrageous to vegans?

    • GC 10:07 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      I’m 100% pro-choice, but I don’t see the need to protest a film that I can–and will–choose not to watch.

    • Michael Black 11:16 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      Was the protest because Guzzo showed the film, or more just to make sure the film wasn’t shown without a reaction? There’s a difference.

      If people are worried, Guzzo has its name on some of the expansion at Selwyn House School. It’s not uncommon to see a Guzzo labelled vehicle near there in the afternoon. I assume someine getting their child, but maybe more deliberate?

      An all male private school would seem to be a better vector for pro-abortion than showing a movie somewhere.


    • Kate 11:27 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      Chris, it’s naive now in this era of online hate and polarized discussions to assume “by airing arguments you can argue back” because nobody is listening. I used to think the same way but I can see now it’s hopeless. You cannot reason with someone who doesn’t base their opinions on reason – you, as a holder of strong anti-religious views, must know that.

      GC, I agree. I posted this because it’s news, not because I’m implying full support of the idea of protest. I can understand why some people felt motivated to protest but I tend to think that kind of thing ends up bringing such a movie a bigger audience than it would get otherwise.

      Michael, I believe Guzzo was interviewed saying he shared the anti-abortion bias, but I can’t find a link now. If I find one, I’ll add it to the post.

    • GC 21:43 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      Kate, just expressing my opinion. I also support their right to peaceful protest, if they feel it’s a worthwhile use of their own time. And, yeah, there is the whole Streisand Effect. I did not even know this film existed until the protested against. Not that it matters, in my case, but for those who might support its position…

    • Chris 09:30 on 2019-07-14 Permalink

      Michael, the protest was against the *showing* of the movie.

      Kate, what’s your alternative proposal then? Who gets to decide what topics we can show movies about?

      Kate, on CBC radio i heard Guzzo say he is pro-abortion.

    • Kate 11:21 on 2019-07-14 Permalink

      Chris, the non-trolled answer to your question is, of course, the Régie du cinéma.

      This movie is fiction. It apparently supports a point of view, but although it’s not a polemic, enough people are calling it propaganda that I suspect that’s what it is. The Régie du cinéma isn’t there to weed out propaganda, that’s for observers and critics to point out – which they have done.

    • Kate 13:23 on 2019-07-14 Permalink

      Incidentally, Mr. Guzzo’s twitter feed makes it clear he’s a true blue Tory. And we know the current Conservative party chief is anti-abortion although he has promised not to reopen the debate formally if elected.

    • Chris 19:35 on 2019-07-14 Permalink

      After 10 years of Harper, it seems likely the Cons again won’t change the abortion status quo. Meanwhile, for all their scaremongerings, what have the libs done? Did they finally introduce legislation to formalize our right to abortion? No. Did they increase funding or add new clinics? No. They just play cynical partisan scare games.

      Of course the movie is propaganda. There are left wing propaganda movies too, say, anything from Michael Moore. That’s free speech. You don’t have to watch. You can argue against it. But you ought to tolerete the right of others to express views you strongly disagree with, not protest to take away their free speech.

    • Kate 22:26 on 2019-07-14 Permalink

      Chris, I don’t think anyone protesting at the cinema expected to get the film taken off the program. They were there to basically say “I don’t like this!” and that is their right too, if you’re going to fuss over free speech.

    • Chris 07:04 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      Protesting to say ‘I don’t like this’ is fine, it’s protesting to say ‘you shouldn’t show this’ that irks me.

  • Kate 17:46 on 2019-07-12 Permalink | Reply  

    Various headlines have mentioned other cities’ changing climates according to a Swiss-based study – London to Barcelona, Paris to Canberra and so on. So Montreal can expect the climate of Washington DC by 2050.

    • ant6n 00:56 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      For all Quebecers pride about hydro power, let’s remember that Canada overall produces 3x more per capita Co2 than the G20, and in terms of emissions is heading towards a 3-4C increase.

    • Tim F 05:43 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      I’d be interested in seeing a provincial breakdown of per capita emissions. I’d still expect us to be above average, but by how much?

    • Kate 08:27 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      There are various sources, Tim F, but here’s a page with a graph comparing the provinces and territories in 1990, 2005 and 2015. A couple of interesting trends, including that while Quebec and Ontario managed to marginally reduce their emissions by 2015, Alberta’s are insane.

    • ant6n 09:27 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      Huh, according to that, Alberta has about 6.4x the per-capita emissions of Quebec (63T vs 9.8T). Quebec, despite relying almost exclusively on hydro and not having much manufacturing, isn’t doing all that great, being in line with some of the worse EU countries (e.g. Germany 9.7T). Alberta, as a country, would tie for first place on the global emissions list (with the Pacific island nation of Palau), and be 3x worse than the critically insufficient countries of Saudi Arabia (20T) and 4x as bad as the US (16T).

      Canada overall emits 17T per capita.

    • Alex L 09:39 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

  • Kate 17:40 on 2019-07-12 Permalink | Reply  

    The temporary winter homeless shelter set up for three months at the old Royal Vic counted 7000 visits in that time, from 1,585 individuals. Only ten percent of the users were women.

    • Uatu 09:29 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      I’m glad to see the Vic continue to serve the community at large instead of turning into exclusive condos for rich d-bags.

  • Kate 08:02 on 2019-07-12 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro looks into a building on Sœurs-Grises where a landlord is illegally renting on Airbnb and making life miserable for neighbouring tenants as party after party of stag and frat groups come through. There are supposed to be laws limiting this kind of rental to main streets, but it seems they’re not being enforced.

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

      They need a licence from the city…. a “Certificat d’Occupation” and the city needs to enforce that. If they aren’t living there and renting the entire apartment, they need a certificate from the CITQ and a sign posted outside. The CITQ does the inspections, but it’s RQ that is responsible to enforce that you have your CITQ certificate, your insurance and your Certificat d’Occupation.”

      These people need to get on the Minister of Revenue’s ASS and ask them why they aren’t enforcing the law as they are required to do. But the city can send in it’s own inspector. The city can also reclassify the apartment and send them a 100% commercial tax bill… and at that point, the shock of it might help. It’s 5x the standard rate.

      The city isn’t enforcing their laws, the province isn’t enforcing their laws. Let’s hope that in September, they will start to do their job, as you have to list your permit (new number) on every listing everywhere!

    • j2 13:34 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      I haven’t noticed as big a problem this year in my out of the way corner but knowing it could be Airbnb makes it a lot easier to call in a noise complaint. I don’t need to make nice, reciprocally, with tourists.

      I do believe that Airbnb, the landlord AND the tourists should pay any fine during a visit, however. At least including the landlord.

    • Ephraim 13:42 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      I just don’t understand RQ. Someone renting an apartment like this is subject to a minimum fine of $2500 per day… that’s $17,500 for a week. Check that they don’t have a licence… make a reservation, send in the fine… find out how quickly the situation gets remedied.

      If it’s commercial, it’s $35,000 for a week…. plus in either case, you check out if they have paid their GST, QST, hotel tax, Quebec Income Tax and Federal Income Tax. And those last two are REALLY easy to fix… you just send in an assessment for what you think they made, for the last 7 years… if you are under, they just pay it, if you are over, they will bring their bank statement to show you how much AirBnB transferred to their account. With the fines for not having paid or declared it. It will clear up really quickly.

    • Chris 15:24 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      They don’t enforce those rules because lots of people love Airbnb. Just like they don’t enforce particulate emissions on bagel shops because lots of people love bagels. If there are too many Airbnbs in your hood, move! 😉

    • Ephraim 19:56 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      Lots of people like prostitutes, lots of people like meth, lots of people like crack, lots of people like Gays, lots of people like straight people…. There are a lot of things people like… AirBnBs are fine, if run legally and attentively… not as tax cheating absentee landlords who let the responsibility fall on their neighbours.

      Like everyone else, we live in a cooperative society… we need to live with others. For the same reason that I don’t turn my music up at midnight…

  • Kate 07:59 on 2019-07-12 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC has a look at the phenomenon of Shiller Lavy disease gutting neighbourhood commercial streets as landlords hike rents and allow vacant storefronts to fester.

    • david100 12:06 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      Ban chain stores, prohibit combining smaller commercial units to form a larger one, implement an empty storefront charge.

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

      Ooh all the horses have escaped, best close those barn doors. PM had the power to ban new restaurants in Little Burgundy yet they are powerless to stop this? I call bullshit.

    • Ian 12:08 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      Arahova and Saint V Bagel are chain stores. Careful what you wish for.

    • david100 12:13 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      San Francisco’s policy is good: 11 stores or more and it’s triggered. Also protects homegrown chains because they establish themselves before they hit the number to trigger restrictions. And, of course, any existing chains are grandfathered in. Not all neighborhoods are included, so Ville Marie would be mostly excluded, but places like Mile End, the Plateau, Saint Henri/Little Burgundy, Old Montreal, Park Ex/Jarry/Villeray/whatever they’re calling it these days, Hochelaga maybe, etc – all these could be protected from chains, which would decrease demand for the commercial spaces and improve/preserve the neighborhood character. It works!

    • david100 12:16 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      People forget, but Montreal used to be a real hive of entrepreneurism – shops were opening all the time. It’s only in the last decade or so that the city has become more like the Canadian cities, with low levels of entrepreneurism and high levels of chains. I think the reason is that it’s just too risky and expensive now. The city should clamp down on rising commercial rents to bring back that culture of small business.

    • Ian 12:17 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      So the Pizza Pizza, Starbucks, Copper Branch, Renaud Bray, Lululemon, David’s Tea etc are all grandfathered in. Too little too late.

    • DeWolf 12:44 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      If you prohibit businesses from combining multiple storefronts, you would be strangling successful independent businesses like Vices & Versa (three storefronts), Moustache Café (two storefronts) and Fruiterie Mile-End (two storefronts before it moved to its new location). Even Le Cagibi occupied two storefronts before it was forced out.

    • david100 12:48 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      Fine, then make combining storefronts a conditional use that requires overcoming a presumption against. The issues are that larger spaces are more expensive, they mean fewer shops – which means less activation by variable hours, etc and less variety – and they decrease in-neighborhood competition, with inflationary effects.

    • Ephraim 13:50 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      It’s called Formula Business Restriction and it’s an interesting idea. I’m not sure how the city could implement the idea, but it’s interesting. The city should implement a separate tax rate on unoccupied premises or a speculative tax as it’s called in some ares. The money could go to provide subsidized housing in the area. Or a requirement that a pop-up be allowed to use the premises at no cost if the space is unlease/closed for 60 days. There are a number of ways this could work, including a tax on commercial “For Rent” signs on unoccupied premises. For example, a property that is unoccupied or has a “for rent” sign listed is subject to a tax rate that is 5x the standard commercial property tax rate because it affects the character of the street.

    • david100 14:05 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      Implementation isn’t too tough. San Francisco doesn’t bar formula retail outright, it makes all formula retail in the designated areas subject to conditional use approval, which is rarely (but not never) granted. For instance, a Jean Coutu type shop might be approved where a smaller one closed, etc. So, you’d create the new conditional use process for formula retail, then you’d cover whatever areas were appropriate. I’d say you should blanket pretty much all of the city, with the exclusion of Ville Marie or maybe some shopping centers where it wouldn’t be an efficient use of the city’s time to be considering request for Foot Locker or Apple in the Loews mall or whatever. But everywhere else? We should stop dead any more flattening of the culture, ere before long Montreal will be just as soulless as Toronto or an airport.

    • Spi 14:07 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      Sure it does mean fewer shop but probably means better shops and more importantly more variety of shops. How many bakeries does Mile-End really need? There are probably half a dozen maybe even close to 10 (Without counting bagels) if you include the chain one’s like Premiere Moisson and Au Pain Dorée and let’s keep in mind the 2-3 that have closed in the past years.

      Mile End really does feel like it’s heading up-market and businesses are catering as much to tourist and residents.

      There’s a mirrored effect on the residential side, on Esplanade (between Mont-Royal and Villeneuve) There’s a stretch of 3 triplexes that have been completely gutted and renovated from the foundation up, I doubt they’ll be airbnb’s (I don’t think sinking that much money into Airbnb’s make sense) and there are 2 more triplexes a few doors down that are also undergoing complete remodels and one on Jeanne-Mance along the same stretch that finished.

      I’ll give you one guess as to how outrageous the rent is.


      Wealthy residents will inevitably demand fancier and more compelling businesses. But if the current trend keeps up commercial streets in mile end are going to be a wall of restaurants and bars

  • Kate 07:30 on 2019-07-12 Permalink | Reply  

    Moisson Montreal says it needs to raise extra funds to get food to kids who go hungry over summer when they don’t get subsidized food at school. Given that we’ve had stories this year about how gentrification in poorer areas has made some schools ineligible for food aid, we’re looking at a wealthy city where a segment of kids is going to be hungry a lot of the time.

    At the same time, while there’s concern about old lead pipes in school plumbing, François Legault doesn’t plan to do anything about it.

  • Kate 07:09 on 2019-07-12 Permalink | Reply  

    Starting Friday afternoon and running all weekend is the Ste-Catherine street sale, always described as the biggest one in Canada. The street is closed from Guy to University.

    • Jonathan 15:29 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      I prefer to consider this as Ste Catherine Street “opening” for the street sale.

    • Kate 20:02 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      Good point.

  • Kate 07:02 on 2019-07-12 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal is rubbing its hands over getting to tell about how Benoit Dorais, whom it describes as the city’s No. 2 and le bras droit de la mairesse de Montréal, was ticketed for $1378 and 14 demerit points on some highway outside of Montreal in April, writing as if this one error invalidates Dorais’ work on calming traffic in St-Henri and makes mockery of his visit to see the cars at the Grand Prix a few weeks later.

    • Tim S. 07:41 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      He was doing 171 km/h in a 2 ton SUV. He deserves public shaming, and it’s normal to be upset at public officials who don’t practice what they preach. I don’t usually support Peladeau & Co’s editorial line, but I really don’t think this kind of behaviour can be hand waved away. And given the state of traffic enforcement in Quebec, I usually assume drivers commit dozens or hundreds of violations for each time they’re actually caught, so I would hesitate before calling it one error.

    • Kate 07:49 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      OK it’s news, but it doesn’t invalidate the work Dorais has done in St-Henri, and him and Plante visiting the Gilles-Villeneuve track is not relevant either.

    • Jim 08:13 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      Maybe not, but the behavior was excessive. He put people consciously in danger. It says a lot about his personal judgement.

    • Blork 10:12 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      Well, you can’t really blame them. After all, going 171 in a 100 zone is a pretty serious mistake, and the irony is pretty rich even if it’s a win for opinions we don’t like.

      (That said, it’s pretty easy to speed on that stretch of highway 35, as it’s flat as the Prairies and straight as an arrow for 10 km.)

    • CE 10:21 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      I’m not sure I’d call 71 km/h over the speed limit a mistake. You really have to put the pedal to the metal to go that speed, especially in a Buick!

    • david100 12:02 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      In some North American jurisdictions, doing 70+ over the limit is felony reckless driving punishable by prison. It’s about as dangerous as you can get on the road, short of driving impaired. Traffic calming is great, and the guy is decent mayor (though not sufficiently pro-growth for me) but I hope he’s not allowed to drive again.

    • Ian 12:11 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      My secondhand hatchback starts to rattle above 120, I don’t think it could do 170 haha

    • Kate 12:50 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      Until we raze all the duplexes and triplexes and replace them with high-rises, david100, nobody will be sufficiently pro-growth for you.

    • david100 12:58 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      I’m happy enough with mid-rise (say, 6-10 stories) on arterials for a start. My thing, more than anything, is the kind of culture that exists when rents are low. Many people don’t understand that there’s a direct connection between anti-growth conservatism and the increasing rents. I’m an evangelist for growth to prevent gentrification, to bring down housing costs, to bring up population density to serve businesses (and the street and culture generally), and you’re right that I completely reject the idea that just because a two story building is there means it must always stay the same. The greater good of a better city through lower rents and higher density, that’s my thing.

    • ant6n 17:07 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      And I thought the tickle down theory of affordable housing was debunked (ie replacing old cheap housing with multiple, but more expensive units will create more cheap housing)

    • david100 19:56 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      ^ No, not debunked. Not even a “theory” in the colloquial use of the word, at least not any more than it’s a “theory” that growing more food feeds more people, or a greater population will require a greater number of resources. You may be thinking about some of the research that zoning alone won’t do it, well, yeah, no shit. Building, rent control, use regulations, they all affect the cost of housing. But Montreal/Quebec already has a lot of the pieces in place, the one thing powerful it could do is simply building more housing in areas people want to live.

      I read a threat on reddit yesterday, some conversation among people in Miami, where they were discussing the benefits of renting v. buying. And the overwhelming consensus was that buying was a foolish thing to do, because the cost of housing doesn’t go up, and you’re unnecessarily taking on liabilities. Miami has no rent control, there’s no social housing going it, but there’s a lot of demand for housing – so why can’t you buy an investment property? Because they have a fairly unregulated building regime, and supply comes online to meet demand at a rate sufficient to keep prices low. If you want to buy an investment property, you need to cross the bay to Miami Beach, where they simply aren’t building – that scarcity is what drives up the cost of housing, irrespective of location. It’s not rocket science, and the people who write articles trying to convince you that it’s a lot more complicated than that assume you have this basic knowledge.

      Man, still can’t figure out where people get the idea that shortages push up the price in everything except housing, where prices are magically exempt from demand pressures, and the reason for price increases are exclusively tied to “greedy developers.” Imagine how much worse the affordability situation would be in the neighborhoods if there weren’t a Ville Marie or even just a Griffintown to absorb demand. You’d have owner move-in evictions, unit fusions, hardcore gentrification on pretty much every available unit. All landlords would be encouraged to sell, rents would shoot up even higher, etc. You’d have a steroids version of Mile-End in every inner neighborhood.

  • Kate 06:47 on 2019-07-12 Permalink | Reply  

    Real estate developer Devimco has been chosen to redevelop Silo no 5 and the area around it, but there are no drawings yet of the plans. André Dubuc also summarizes several previous ideas for the site that came to nothing.

    • DeWolf 10:03 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      Great, Devimco, master of false promises and cheap yellow brick.

    • Uatu 10:42 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      And it’ll have a school and low cost housing….. And a unicorn farm…..

    • Ian 12:20 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      At least out there the Airbnbs won’t annoy any neighbours.

    • david100 13:50 on 2019-07-12 Permalink

      Devimco sucks, but these were part of the decision making process, so it’s probably a pretty conservative plan (which should please most people): Dinu Bumbaru, directeur des politiques à Héritage Montréal, Pierre Bellerose, VP à Tourisme Montréal, et Sylvie Vachon, PDG du Port de Montréal.

    • ant6n 00:43 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      “Conservative plan” probably, which here likely means a bunch of condo-skyscrapers in the park without any urbanism, social housing, mixed use, or public facilities.

    • Faiz Imam 01:57 on 2019-07-13 Permalink

      I agree, Dinu is a architecture guy who loves restoration and facadism. We can be sure that the final project will retain and evoke a lot of the current and past look and feel of the silos.

      But they’ve never been particularly interested in the fundamental urbanism and use of those spaces.

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