Updates from July, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:28 on 2019-07-22 Permalink | Reply  

    The first policeman on the scene of the Guy Turcotte child murders has killed himself. Patrick Bigras was an officer with the Sûreté du Québec, and that force is in mourning; the mother of Turcotte’s kids has also made a statement.

    • Douglas 23:50 on 2019-07-22 Permalink

      So sad. 10 years ago I once passed by a house with strange note written in front. I came up to read it and it was a suicide note. I called the cops right after and they broke into the house after reading the note.

      1 min later the police leaves the house and tells me to leave the area. Police officer told me the man inside hung himself in his bedroom.

      Police officer was clearly distraught and I can’t imagine what it is like walking into a scene like that and living with those images years later. And in this case 2 dead kids.

    • Bill Binns 09:12 on 2019-07-23 Permalink

      Yet Turcotte himself had breakfast this morning, probably read the paper and checked another day off his wait to be paroled in a few years. He has also enjoyed quite a bit of out on the street freedom (and bike rides) since murdering his children and damn near got away with the whole thing. It’s enough to make me hope I’m wrong about religion.

    • Kate 09:37 on 2019-07-23 Permalink

      We’re not in Turcotte’s head, thankfully. He killed his kids, and he’s lost a profession that required years of intensive study, and he knows he’s done. I don’t imagine anyone is especially friendly to him in prison, either. There’s nothing else we can do to him that he hasn’t already done to himself.

    • Bill Binns 09:47 on 2019-07-23 Permalink

      Don’t think for a minute that this monster lives in daily torment, haunted by the things he has done. If he did we would have received the welcome news that he found a way to off himself in his cell by now. The least we could do is reduce the chance that he will do this again to 0% by locking him up forever.

      As it is, there is a very real chance he could be living with children again in the not too distant future.

    • Ian 11:45 on 2019-07-23 Permalink

      Bill, I don’t think you understand that prison in Canada is meant to be rehabilitative, not punitive.

      Whatever Turcotte’s psychological damage is, he’s still a human being capable of being helped. We’re not talking a clearly demented, manipulative person who has scammed the system like, say, Karla Homolka.

    • Ian 11:49 on 2019-07-23 Permalink

      P.S. : A ham is hung; a man is hanged.

    • meezly 15:55 on 2019-07-23 Permalink

      Turcotte had the gall to appeal for an earlier parole because the judge gave him an extra long sentence due to the paritcular heinousness of his crime, which I feel is worse than anything Homolka (is known) to have done. I’m no psychologist, but I cannot see how such a person can be rehabilitated.

    • Blork 17:48 on 2019-07-23 Permalink

      Oh FFS. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the two cases can see a significant difference if they choose to think beyond the first level.

      Turcott’s crime was indeed heinous, but there is significant evidence that he was literally out of his mind when he did it. As in, he was insane, suffering mental collapse.

      Homolka, on the other hand, was completely sane and rational when she (a) participated in the drugging and rape of her own sister, and (b) participated in the kidnapping, rape, murder, and dismemberment of at least two teenagers.

      One person was out of their mind. That person can possibly be rehabilitated. The other person was sane but likely socio- or psychopathic (which is not the same as being “insane”). Not so clear that can be rehabilitated.

    • Ginger Baker 19:36 on 2019-07-23 Permalink

      Vengeance isn’t justice.

      Eye for an eye thinking literally dates back to the Code of Hammurabi… have we not evolved since Ancient Mesopotamia?

      Nothing can undo what Turcotte or Li or Homolka did. The idea having the state kill them will somehow set everything right is naive and foolish.

      The death penalty does not prevent crime; if it did America would have no prisoners, no criminals.

      The conservative estimate is that 4% of Americans on death row are innocent.

      This means that since the death penalty was brought back forty some odd years ago, it is entirely likely that completely innocent people have been murdered by the American state, and the truth will likely never come out.

      Bringing back the death penalty appeals to our lowest and basest instincts, and the likelihood of it being used inappropriately is far too high to be tolerated.

      It is always better to let a few undesirable people live with their guilt and the effect of group hatred than to open the door to state-sponsored murder. Innocent people have a greater right to life than the vengeful have to their naive and myopic sense of justice.

    • Bill Binns 08:59 on 2019-07-24 Permalink

      There is a hell of a big gap between the death penalty and taking unsupervised bike rides through city parks or being pronounced “cured” by activist mental health professionals and simply set free with a prescription that’s supposed to keep the bad thoughts from coming back.

      Personally, although I have no moral qualms about it, I am not a big booster of the death penalty. I don’t think it’s worth all the whining and endless appeals. Criminals can be just as disappeared by a real life sentence as they are by the death penalty. If only real life sentences were ever handed out.

    • meezly 10:02 on 2019-07-24 Permalink

      Hmm, I keep thinking how many knife stabs you need to inflict on your two kids in order to plead insanity, 4? 47?. Witnessing the murder scene was enough to traumatize a police officer for years, yet Turcotte seems unfazed. When he was hospitalized, there was the nurse who said that Turcotte admitted he did this to piss off his wife – that must have been a few hours after his massacre – was he still out of his mind then? There were other smaller details like how he may have drank the windshield fluid after the murders if he really wanted to off himself, he would have drank bleach). So FFS, there is also evidence showing cold-blooded calculation in his motive which was to punish his wife and make her suffer, and their kids were a means to that end. Of course he would try to plead temporary insanity for a reduced sentence. And he almost got away with it if not for the second trial where the judge was not so sympathetic, who noted that Turcotte was more concerned with whether he had enough funds for his defense rather than deal with the consequence of committing infanticide.

    • Ginger Baker 12:24 on 2019-07-24 Permalink

      Bill –

      You might not like the end result, but real life isn’t Law & Order.

      This idea of ‘activist’ mental health professionals is nonsense. Nothing is gained by rehabilitating someone who isn’t ready for it. Think about what you’re saying.

      The shrink(s) involved would never be allowed to work again, they would do permanent, irreperable damage to their entire profession.

      As medical doctors, they have a responsibility to do no harm. Some are considered officers of the court on top of that.

      You honestly think PhDs and medical doctors are going to play fast and loose with their careers/professions knowing if they’re wrong they’ll never work again, and potentially set their entire profession back?

      No way.

      How many murderers released early went on to kill again in Canada?

      Can you think of even one person?

      Don’t drink the koolaid of the prison industrial complex… crime rates are in constant decline, violent crimes are in constant decline, Canada has a low recidivism rate and it’s entirely likely we’ll soon have to start closing prisons. Rehabilitative systems work far better than all other prison system types.

      As an adult, it’s important to understand sometimes bad things happen to good people and there’s no satisfactory explanation. If a prisoner can be rehabilitated, then they ought to be. Otherwise they are a (furhter) burden to the state.

      Spending $100,000 per annum to keep a prisoner incarcerated makes no sense when we’re having a hard time providing the poor with a living wage.

  • Kate 20:08 on 2019-07-22 Permalink | Reply  

    The feds have given $900K to the Old Brewery Mission specifically to provide housing for homeless veterans.

    • Kate 20:01 on 2019-07-22 Permalink | Reply  

      Serge Losique has announced there will be no World Film Festival this summer. Losique says he wants to regroup and mount a festival again in 2020. The linked items summarize the financial tribulations faced by the festival since at least 2010.

      • Kate 12:01 on 2019-07-22 Permalink | Reply  

        Had a look at the St-Hubert Plaza street sale Sunday. The street is more or less filled in from St‑Zotique up to Jean-Talon, although this means quite a leap from the new sidewalks down to the as-yet-unpaved roadbed. All the trees have been removed from that segment of the road, which CE commented recently made it feel like a Latin American street fair.

        I took this photo at St-Zotique facing south, where the big old trees are still in place, but presumably not for long. The vibe of the street is totally different where the trees still are. According to what I read last week, after a couple more weekends of street sale, roadwork will begin on the southern segment between Bellechasse and St-Zotique, so it’s goodbye to those trees and hello to a year of excavation for the businesses on those blocks.

        As for the street sale – it was kind of dull. Unless you want a spangled ballgown or cheap wedding dress, but that’s nothing new. Fewer diverse offerings though, because a lot of businesses have closed and gone away.

        • CE 12:03 on 2019-07-22 Permalink

          Hopefully the city plants more mature trees than they usually do. Both for their shade (you really feel its absence on the streets where the trees have been removed) and to ensure they don’t die over the winter as they often do when they’re too young.

        • walkerp 12:41 on 2019-07-22 Permalink

          Will it have the heated awnings in the winter or is that a thing of the past?

        • Kate 15:04 on 2019-07-22 Permalink

          walkerp, in theory these new awnings will go up on the northern half this season. I don’t know about heating but the article, from last year, says they should support 5 meters of snow (!).

          The old awnings were at a crazy angle. I’ve seen huge slabs come loose on a sunny day and go cascading into the street. An acquaintance tells me she was in a cab once when a section of ice and snow fell like that and buried the vehicle, and she needed help to get out of it. The new awnings look less likely to create that kind of havoc.

        • mare 15:59 on 2019-07-22 Permalink

          I doubt the trees that will be planted will be very mature or big. It’s simply too expensive to transplant big trees from their nursery to a street. Also, the squares that are left in the pavement to accommodate the trees are around 1 square metre. A tree whose root ball fits in that space is approximately 10 to 15 cm in diameter. Not a tiny tree, but not a big one either.

        • Mr.Chinaski 10:47 on 2019-07-23 Permalink

          It feels like a Far West town, with large sidewalks, no trees, and an urban continuity that feels abandonned logically. Most signage is on the glass since the awning kept most places from doing quality signage, it feels like an old historical town in the desert..

          Mare, it is very possible that under the sidewalk, the space is connected between the trees. A lot of places in MTL are like that.

        • Ian 11:49 on 2019-07-23 Permalink

          There’s still lots of great stuff on St H – if you’re a nerd, there is a great medieval stuff store, a really good gaming store, a few excellent manga/anime/related items stores and probably the best aquarium in central Montreal. Of course if you’re into cameras there’s Lozeau, there are a bunch of really nice new fashion stores on St. H south, and a couple of stores that specialize in children’s shoes at good prices.

          It’s not all hooker clothing and knockoffs, bt there’s that too, if that’s what you are going to St H for.

        • CE 22:04 on 2019-07-23 Permalink

          There are also a number of good bookstores including the one with the cats that used to be on Ste-Catherine before it was pushed to St-Laurent where it was also pushed out. Street wear fans also travel from as far as New York for Lopez as well.

      • Kate 10:01 on 2019-07-22 Permalink | Reply  

        The CBC’s Isaac Olson writes about car-free zones around town. We should enjoy these while we can.

        • Kate 09:59 on 2019-07-22 Permalink | Reply  

          A community organizer in Côte-des-Neiges asks why the city has neglected social housing buildings in his area, while making promises about social housing generally?

          • Kate 07:43 on 2019-07-22 Permalink | Reply  

            An architects’ sketch to wrap the Ste-Catherine Street roadworks in a elaborate tunnel was turned down by the Plante administration but has won awards, including a recent one – but isn’t this emblematic of what’s wrong with academic architecture? You can draw anything you like, but there’s no requirement to demonstrate how such a structure would interact when put in place. Maybe this gimmick would have attracted people to the street once, for a look, but had it impeded foot traffic or slowed down the progress of roadwork, people would’ve come to hate it. The city was smart not to buy this thing and try to force everyone to work around it for years, but hey, it looks cool.

            • SMD 09:51 on 2019-07-22 Permalink

              Exactly, the two awards it has won were « le prix “expérimental” dans la catégorie Projets futurs au Festival d’architecture mondial” and « le prix des AZ Awards, dans la catégorie “idées et prototypes.” » In other words, pretty drawings.

            • Paul 12:35 on 2019-07-22 Permalink

              Design isn’t just drawings. The concept needs to be evaluated in terms of the objectives. In this case the objective was to enable extensive streetwork on a major commercial artery to occur while minimizing the disruption to the vendors and users.

              In this case the design, although not implemented (at least in Montreal, but I imagine the concept will be exported elsewhere), was an innovative approach to a complex problem. As far as I am aware, this is the first such design to address the problem, and for that reason alone, it deserves acclaim.

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