Updates from August, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:00 on 2019-08-11 Permalink | Reply  

    Rafael Nadal won his 5th Rogers Cup Sunday afternoon – his second in Montreal – and the event saw record attendance.

    • Kate 10:41 on 2019-08-11 Permalink | Reply  

      An injury meant French tennis player Gaël Monfils forfeited at the Rogers Cup semifinal Saturday evening, disappointing fans and depriving the tournament of half a million in revenue. The final is Sunday at 4 p.m. between Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev.

      (It’s news, but it’s also to note to anyone in the neighbourhood: if you’re going anywhere today, beware of the crowds on buses and the metro.)

      • Joey 11:45 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

        They’ll get that half million back, since they took out forfeit insurance.

    • Kate 09:56 on 2019-08-11 Permalink | Reply  

      As I blogged recently, the youth wing of the Quebec Liberals is said to be moving away from multiculturalism, much to the delight of Mathieu Bock-Côté, who continues to believe in a legendary golden age when everyone in Montreal spoke only French and shared a single culture. I read somewhere (will find link) that multiculturalism was never the Quebec Liberals’ official line anyway: it was more that they assented without discussion to the federal line on the matter.

      It’s not only the youth wing: Gaétan Barrette is quoted as being on side with the more nationalist side of the party now.

      Le Devoir’s definition of the term interculturalism is interesting: “l’interculturalisme […] reconnaît la « présence, au Québec, d’un groupe majoritaire francophone » et l’existence d’une « culture commune [qui] doit servir de socle pour l’intégration des immigrants », la culture québécoise étant « source de cohésion sociale ». In other words, we’re all equal, but some are more equal than others.

      The Wikipedia entry on interculturalism defines it thus: “Interculturalism involves moving beyond mere passive acceptance of a multicultural fact of multiple cultures effectively existing in a society and instead promotes dialogue and interaction between cultures.” It goes on to say that multiculturalism was criticized because it “failed to create inclusion of different cultures within society, but instead divided society by legitimizing segregated separate communities that have isolated themselves and accentuated their specificity.”

      So far so good. But nothing in the standard definitions goes so far as to say that interculturalism means everyone agrees there’s a single dominant culture, precious and most important, and that everyone needs to agree on preserving it, even the sacrifice of their own. It’s more that there’s a negotiation among equals to arrive at a new collective culture. But does that ever work out in practicality?

      Update: Le Devoir says the Liberals’ nationalist swerve is only moderate. Also this weekend, an amusing story about sloppy French coming from none other than Simon Jolin-Barrette’s ministry.

      • Jack 13:54 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

        Multiculturalism simply means no state culture takes precedence over any another. Interculturalism posits there is only one culture of assimilation. So it’s just a UQAM made up word to enforce the majorities domination in the public sphere. With of course the always included “historic English Speaking community” what ever that means.
        To see how successful each integration strategy has been, the easiest way is to look at the two highest elected bodies in Canada and Quebec. Take a look at who sits in the House of Commons, then take a look who sits in the National Assembly.
        In the House of Commons 57 of 338 seats are held by visible minorities, 10 First Nations MPs , 10 Muslim MP’s etc. So in essence the strategy of multiculturalism as contributed to some measure of the House of Commons looking like Canada, so the strategy has been successful.
        Take a look at the National Assembly . Of 125 MNA’s 7 are visible minorities and 114 are “veille souche”,so I would argue Quebec’s strategy has also been an overwhelming success. With 78% of Quebec’s population the over representation of the majority community in the public sphere is quite incredible.

    • Kate 09:04 on 2019-08-11 Permalink | Reply  

      The headline here talks about a temporary agricultural project to be built at Blue Bonnets, but details are scanty, besides the mention of a few beehives and raised beds at the moment, and the timeline of any such project left unmentioned.

      • Kate 08:37 on 2019-08-11 Permalink | Reply  

        Some history pieces for a quiet Sunday. (At least it is, around here. Early summer it’s all power tools as people resume projects left unfinished over the winter, and come September they’ll start up again as they realize summer won’t last forever. But for now it’s great. We don’t have lawns and hedges in Villeray.)

        The Journal looks at the highs and lows of the long reign of Jean Drapeau, twenty years after his death. Radio-Canada also has a piece about Drapeau.

        Radio-Canada notes the 300th anniversary of the windmill in Pointe-aux-Trembles. There were once 240 mills in Quebec and only 18 remain. Text and audio.

        The Gazette’s “through our eyes” is a daily feature, this week looking at the first airmail arrival in 1939, a perfect game pitched by the Expos’ Dennis Martinez in 1991, and other incidents.

        In the Gazette, Marian Scott also writes about the 150-year history of the SPCA.

        • Kate 08:16 on 2019-08-11 Permalink | Reply  

          Lime electric scooters are due to launch Monday. I was interested to read that three riders of the little vehicles have been killed on roads in Paris in the last four months.

          • Baru 09:32 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

            oh wow, i just rode these in paris a couple of weeks ago. embarrassed to say i really enjoyed the experience. I tried to avoid it since it just reminded me of those dorks on segways in the old port. i could see lime being a huge hit in mtl.

          • Faiz Imam 10:52 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

            Saw this picture from Nashville of designated scooter storage in parking spaces.


            There is a lot of things that could work to integrate these vehicles with less chaos and disruption.but up front I suspect we’ll have plenty of stories of conflict.

          • Chris 11:03 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

            Baru, why embarrassed?

            Strange how a handful of deaths are used to argue for banning these things. Automobiles kill way way way more people, but if one advocates for even partial automobile bans, one is thoroughly disparaged.

          • Kate 11:18 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

            The main thing that makes me sad about these powered vehicles is here we are talking about making more inhabitable cities, about people needing to be more active, we finally get Bixi working well, we get a few pedestrianized streets, and then along come some “disruptors” and put motorized vehicles back in the mix that make it easier again for people to putt-putt along instead of pedalling or walking.

            Since it seems to need to be said: I don’t begrudge powered assistance to anyone who needs it, but I dislike seeing these things portrayed as progressive and as an unmixed blessing. We all know they’ll be used on bike paths and sidewalks, we all know people will use them who don’t need them. Yes, they’re better than having someone use a car. But they’re also potentially a blight. Let’s watch.

          • dwgs 11:21 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

            I was in Nashville this spring. When you are out of the downtown core the scooter parking is generally pretty good but when you’re strolling around the core you have to keep one eye on the sidewalk to make sure you’re not going to trip over one that has been dumped. Mind you downtown Nashville is pretty crazy to begin with.

          • Chris 11:30 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

            Kate, it’s been about a century since automobiles have displaced cycling. With effort, we could probably get ourselves up to Amsterdam or Copenhagen levels, or maybe a bit beyond, say 40% mode share levels. But what about the other 60%? You’re just never going to convince most people to use active transport. I wish it weren’t so, but it is. If we can get some of them to use less-polluting motorized transport like these scooters, then great. Maybe it can help uncrowd the metro.

            These things shouldn’t be on sidewalks, I certainly agree there. (99% of the time anyway.)

            And, yeah, before Ephraim says… of course not everyone is capable of biking, or scootering, and they need to be considered too of course. I’ll also point out that not everyone is capable of driving a car either! It’s not an argument against having cars, bikes, or scooters.

          • Ephraim 11:36 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

            Chris, wasn’t going to say it. Besides, I live in a pedestrian area of the city. We walk.

          • Chris 13:35 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

            Relatedly, on another site I read, just saw this study saying ebikers actually get quite a bit of exercise: https://electrek.co/2019/08/11/electric-bike-riders-more-exercise-than-cyclists/

          • Marco 14:04 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

            I was just in LA and these scooters are all over the place. There are piles of them on the sidewalk in busy areas. Get used to scenes like this: https://assets.change.org/photos/0/mg/ro/KsmGRoKOhwYQcmp-800×450-noPad.jpg?1559155846

          • Blork 14:35 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

            Chris, you’ve said “it’s been about a century since automobiles have displaced cycling” and I’ve called you out on it before, and I’ll do it again.

            Automobiles did not replace cycling. 100 years ago, nobody cycled in the city aside from a few people in parks and out in the countryside. The streets were full of horse shit, cobblestones, and tram tracks, and were very uncyclable. Plus, the bicycles of 100 years ago were heavy and hard to ride. Cycling then was just a recreational activity undertaken by a few oddballs.

            Cars did not replace bicycles FFS. Cars replaced horses and trams, not bicycles.

          • Chris 18:11 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

            First, i said displace, not replace.

            Commuter cycling was a thing since the beginning of cycling: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_cycling#Commuting

            Cars certainly displaced horses and trams too! And walking and public transit too.

            Point is Kate’s lament for active transport is a century late. The automobile was the great disruptor. We’ve had active transport options for a century, most people just don’t want to.

          • Raymond Lutz 18:11 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

            Paris? In the twitter thread submitted by Faiz, one can read:”After four deaths in the last three months, Atlanta’s mayor has banned use of dockless shareable scooters/bikes from 9:00pm – 4:00am, and has revoked the planning dept’s authority to permit more of them.”

          • Chris 18:30 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

            Imagine 4 gun deaths and them banning guns. Or 4 car deaths and them banning cars. What’s the real reason they ban these scooters?

          • Michael Black 19:01 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

            My experience with Copenhagen is 55 years old. But I’ve wondered if they have more cycling because of WWII. Things were tough in Europe then, shortages of everything, so whatever level cycling was at, they likely depended in bikes because gas and cars weren’t so available. In 1965 I thought WWII was well in the past, but Europe was still recovering, which perhaps kept bikes in use.

            Of course, things may have developed differently in Eurooe anyway. Denser cities, less parking places, maybe less income, so bicycles had a different chance.


          • Kate 09:15 on 2019-08-12 Permalink

            Michael, I’m not sure about the WWII-bike link. Wartime would’ve made bicycle manufacture difficult, no?

            I can tell you that in the Netherlands cycling was always fairly popular – it’s a flat country, nobody needed special gearing to get around – but it only really surged after protests in the 1970s in response to a spike in pedestrian deaths in traffic. Some data here. There isn’t anything about history in the corresponding article on cycling in Denmark.

          • Tim S. 20:24 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

            I suppose one thing about the deaths – one here, two there – is that they’re extra deaths. Yes, cars kill people, but there’s a fair amount of effort going into reducing those deaths – the activism of people like Chris included. Maybe not enough effort, but still some. And now there’s a whole new way for people to die! And injure others into the bargain. I think it’s fair to say citizens should decide if the cost/benefits are worth it, and not a bunch of businesspeople in California.

          • Blork 23:18 on 2019-08-11 Permalink

            @Chris, I challenge you to find an historical photo (1875 to 1920) that shows even a single bicycle on a downtown Montreal street. Your revisionist history implies there should be copious photos showing vast clusters of cycling commuters from that era, but I doubt you can find a photo that shows even one.

          • dwgs 07:44 on 2019-08-12 Permalink

            Consider your sources Chris ” According to the website Bike to Work, this practice continued in the United States until the 1920s, when biking experienced a sharp drop, in part due to the growth of suburbs and the popularity of the car.”
            Not sure that an obscure website (a search for the website returns iffy results and several different domains) should be cited as authoritative.

          • Michael Black 08:34 on 2019-08-12 Permalink

            It’s relative. “People have always commuted by bicycle” is probably a true statement, though maybe not back to when bikes were new. I can remember seeing people almost fifty years ago commuting along Sherbrooke Street, dressed more for work than exercise.

            But that dkesn’t mean it was common.

            People also rode in winter, bicycles were used for delivery from corner stores, there was a bike boom in the seventies.

            But it was relative, dwarfed by what came later. But the foundatjon has been there a !ong time. Nobody tried to get bike paths in the seventies to get people to give up cars, it was because they wanted to be safe and bike paths seemed like a solution.

            And it’s those decades of activism that got us to today, not because millennials want to ride bikes. The infrastructure is now decades old.


          • Kate 09:25 on 2019-08-12 Permalink

            Blork, William Notman’s studio took a lot of photos of Montrealers on penny-farthings and such, but they’re studio shots, so arguably the subjects could’ve been dilettantes. However, what about this article?

            I’ve read that in many places it was cyclists who first pressed for roads to be paved, not motorists.

          • Blork 11:26 on 2019-08-12 Permalink

            Kate, that article does show lots of bicycles, but most are either (a) not particularly urban settings, or (b) more recent than 1920. I only see one that shows bicycles on the street within the 1875-1920 timeframe. (“Une voiture, un cheval, une charrette et trois bicyclettes sur la rue, vers 1909.”)

            I’m using that timeframe because of Chris’ assertion that cars replaced/displaced bikes about 100 years ago. If that were true, you’d see lots and lots of bicycles in the various urban photos from MORE THAN 100 years ago (i.e., before they were replaced or displaced by cars).

            I’m not saying bicycles didn’t exist then; I’m just saying they weren’t around in great numbers such that the rise of cars resulted from people getting off their bikes and into cars.

        • Kate 08:12 on 2019-08-11 Permalink | Reply  

          There were two reports last week from Employment and Social Development Canada saying that some refugees who come here end up on the street. Some politicians will capitalize on this information for political ends, but the Old Brewery Mission says it actually is a problem and they need more federal help to solve it.

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