Updates from July, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:07 on 2019-07-15 Permalink | Reply  

    I didn’t know food writer Byron Ayanoglu, but his death on the weekend has been mentioned several times in social media I follow, so I can see it’s newsworthy, and his friends have my condolences.

    On looking him up in the newspaper’s obits, I happened on another obituary, of a woman I was in grade school with. She was a couple of years older than me but still – it’s an awfully nice day for a memento mori.

    • Blork 09:24 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Sorry to hear about Byron Ayanoglu. I used to hear him on CBC Radio a lot 15-20 years ago, and I even have one of his cookbooks (“The New Vegetarian Gourmet”), which is nice for its emphasis is on simplicity and finding the real heart of simple meals.

    • dwgs 09:49 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      I never met the man but I quite liked his work. We have one of his cookbooks that sees regular use and his book about life on Crete, also good. He sounds like someone who lived well.

  • Kate 08:04 on 2019-07-15 Permalink | Reply  

    A reminder we’re building an old-style elevated train system: people in the West Island are unsettled by how close the tracks will run to their houses. “Le bureau du REM […] assure que l’intégration des trains à leur environnement fait partie des préoccupations.” Sure, I bet it’s preoccupying them like maybe ten minutes a week.

    • Mr.Chinaski 10:14 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      Their houses have already increased price by 25% minimum, and for the bungalows really near the stations, people will propose large amount of money so that they can buy and densify the lots. In the end, I can understand CDPQ Infra saying “Shut up and sleep on your money pot”

    • Chris 13:30 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      Money is not the only thing people care about.

    • Kate 15:53 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      Right. If you own a house chiefly as a place to live in, you don’t want a train going past your bedroom window every ten minutes. The fact you could turn the house over for a little more than you paid for it is cold comfort if you can’t sleep.

    • Josh 18:27 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      Is there any sense yet of how often the trains will run, and what times first and last departures will be? Will it be closer to metro-like frequency or AMT-like frequency?

    • Kevin 20:54 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      It was pitched as being every 2.5 to 15 minutes, 20 hours a day

    • Faiz Imam 00:00 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Should be pointed out that the people in question have had heavy 200m long Deux Montagne trains going by their houses every 20-120 mins all day for decades. Those are heavy trains that cause a lot of vibration.

      This same argument has been ongoing in TMR since day 1, and there as in here, the counter argument to frequency is that the new trains are shorter, lighter and quieter. They are also faster, so each disruption should take less time.

      In the end, if it turns out the noise is unbearable, good news is that the vibration frequency profile of the new trains is much easier to build sound walls for than for the previous ones.

    • Chris 06:27 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      So, as with the bagel smoke complainers: there’s always been trains/smoke, now there’s more, but don’t complain, just move.

    • Mr.Chinaski 09:41 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      There *was* smoke, now there will be no more. They’ve exchanged air pollution with frequency. Josée Riopel has been actively against the REM from the start and it shows in every article of her.

    • Chris 13:58 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      There was smoke, then there was even more when they switched to 24 hour (they weren’t always). It’s pretty analagous to there being trains, then there being even more trains. Also like how the airport has always had flights, but ever more.

  • Kate 07:30 on 2019-07-15 Permalink | Reply  

    It was reported earlier this month that Quebec was supporting a new airplane fuel terminal in Montreal East, meant to supply not only Trudeau but also airports in Ottawa and Toronto. Except for mentioning BAPE approval nothing else was said about environmental or public security concerns.

    Now it becomes clear that most of this fuel is intended for Pearson Airport, so a stream of freight trains hauling tankers full of kerosene will be crossing Montreal east to west on their way to Toronto.

    • SMD 10:28 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Some of the fuel will be sent to PET by a rented pipeline, called Trans-Nord. According to Metro, Trans-Nord: was built in 1952; is responsible for 23 of the 31 pipeline incidents identified by the National Energy Board since 2008; spilled twice in 2010; was recommended for closure in 2016 by two National Energy Board commissioners, since Trans-Nord Inc still hadn’t performed necessary infrastructure work as directed; and completely encircles Adélard-Desrosiers primary school in Montreal-North.What could go wrong?

    • Blork 11:08 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      I’m not crazy about pipelines, but I remain amazed at the level of opposition to them in Quebec. Quebec of all places! After all, the risks we’re comparing are (a) a pipeline spill vs. (b) catastrophic fiery explosions like we saw in Lac Megantic. Apparently Quebecers prefer the fiery explosions. WTF?

    • Jonathan 11:20 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      People are asking for more secure pipelines in this case, Blork. The article states that environmental groups are asking that regulations be strengthened and that the reliability of the pipeline be improved before it transports the kerosene.

    • Blork 13:12 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Jonathan, I was speaking in general, not specifically to this case. Last week the CAQ-man (Premier Legault) was telling the other Premiers that “there is no appetite for pipelines in Quebec” which basically means Quebec would rather get trainloads of Saudi oil coming in from Eastern Canada than a pipeline of Canadian oil coming in from Western Canada. Plus anytime you mention “pipeline” around here people automatically go into “no pipelines” mode whether or not they can even articulate their opposition to it.

      It’s become some kind of ingrained reaction, and it surprises me after Lac Megantic, because I would have thought that even would have turned people against rail shipping of oil products.

    • walkerp 14:05 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      We don’t want pipelines or oil by rail. We want to get off fossil fuels altogether.

    • Jonathan 14:15 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Thank you walkerp. I agree. I think we would rather no oil at all. Not by rail from eastern Canada, not by pipeline from western Canada. Not by sea from anywhere.

      But considering that kerosene has to get to PET somehow we would rather have a method that is secure and just and considers there is little future for oil.

    • Blork 14:53 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      “We want to get off fossil fuels altogether.” I agree. But that’s not going to happen overnight. It needs to be phased out, and that will only happen if there’s a specific plan to phase it out. Just wishing it would disappear is pointless.

      I don’t know where rail or pipelines fit in there; I’m only talking about perceptions of danger at this point.

      Side note: a couple of months ago the Green Party announced a plan that on the surface seemed very anti-green; it involves (I think) pipelines and Alberta oil, which seems counter-productive, but the details (as far as I can tell, and I didn’t read up on it extensively) are very sensible. Instead of just complaining about Alberta oil and pipelines, which creates divisions in the population, they proposed a long term plan (30 years maybe?) whereby the oil would be extracted and piped around the country but on a declining production schedule all the way to zero.

      In the meantime, the profits from the oil will be used for R&D into sustainable energy.

      Sounds like win-win, because in the short term, fossil fuels will be burned no matter what; whether we pull it out of Alberta or ship it in from Saudi Arabia. So instead of making Saudi princes even richer, why not keep Canadians working (and thereby complaining less about green policies) and use the money to invest in sustainable energy?

      FFS, I feel like the Green Party has been spying on me, because I’ve been saying that for years. Alberta, instead of going all-in for oil only should instead think in terms of “energy.” They have the workforce and are well positioned in the energy sector already. Freakin’ use that leverage to invest in solar, wind, and other sustainable energy sources. Otherwise they will be dead in the water in 30 years time instead of being Canada’s “energy hub” for the future. Dumbasses!

    • walkerp 15:23 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Fully agree with your final paragraph Blork. They have so much energy expertise in Alberta and they could be leveraging it to get a huge headstart on the future sustainable energy market. Instead, they are just doubling down on what is basically old (and destructive) technology. It’s fear of change at the local level and short-term greed at the political and business level. That’s modern-day conservatism for you. Dumbasses, indeed.

    • ant6n 17:21 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      There’s fewer co2 emissions in Saudi oil than tar sands, thise should indeed be shut down asap.

  • Kate 07:21 on 2019-07-15 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal found people to say that the vélorue on St-André – signage giving precedence to cyclists for several blocks – is very confusing. I haven’t seen it myself – anyone?

    It also reports that people are not happy about the Vélo festif, the weird noisy party bicycle thing. I recall the SAAQ ruled a few years ago that the Vélo is not street legal. Wonder what happened with that.

    • Alex 10:35 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      I used to live on that street and pass by there quite often and see no difference whatsoever in signage, I just figured they didn’t make a signage pass yet as the street is still heavily under construction

    • Jack 11:03 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      Velo festif makes me sad for humanity, like a Hummer.

    • DeWolf 12:32 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      “Même si sa construction n’est pas terminée”

      It’s never too early for the JdM to criticize a bicycle project!

    • Chris 13:31 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      Jack, how? why?

  • Kate 07:12 on 2019-07-15 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC reports cheerfully on a group of people trying to eradicate ragweed from part of town. Media! They can be reporting concerns about butterflies or bees in one section of a site, while noting with oblivious insouciance in another that human beings are crashing around in an ecology making edits likely to be damaging, yet not put two and two together.

    At the same time, Le Devoir notes that Rosemont borough will be allowing wild plants to grow in more places next summer, rather than mowing the grass to create suburban-style lawns. Will people come along and try to edit the plant life then too?

    • qatzelok 08:39 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      I’m happy to hear that Rosemont will be adding more wild plants. I bike to the countryside whenever I can, and southern Quebec’s local wild plants are more beautiful than any lawns I’ve seen outside of Versailles. And maybe even nicer than Versailles.

    • Chris 13:33 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      Lets organize a ragweed planting event in the same locations! 😉

    • Kevin 17:06 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      The previous owner of my home deliberately planted ragweed, earning him the wrath of many neighbours.

      There are many other plants that will attract bugs but planting ragweed is up there with pedophilia and not maintaining your nuclear reactor in terms of public acceptance.

    • Chris 06:29 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      “up there with pedophilia”?! yikes.

    • Alex 08:50 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      An aside: I have noticed a few patches of Japanese Knotweed around the Plateau, where I am from we usually have to notify the city, is that a thing we should do in Montreal?

    • Kate 09:26 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Alex, this is the only page I find on the city website for Renouée du Japon and it says nothing about reporting it. Can’t hurt to call 311 and ask, though.

    • Jonathan 09:26 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      As someone who suffers terribly terribly terribly from ragweed, I would really love for us to find another late and heavy pollen producing plant that causes less harm to the quality of life.

      It’s not like gluten sensitivity, where people can choose whether or not they consume the allergen (by only eating at home, or only eating at GF establishments)… there really is no escape except moving away from temperate climate zones.

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