Updates from August, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 12:16 on 2019-08-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Despite the negative reports on Berger Blanc a few years ago, municipalities are still doing business with them. Case in point, a woman whose cat went missing found out it was euthanized after a mere three days, even though she had sent them a description and was waiting for it to turn up. Although impending obligatory chipping of pets is mentioned in the final paragraph, it’s not clear whether the cat in the story was chipped or whether that was a factor. At last report, Berger Blanc didn’t even have a chip reader, although that may have changed in the meantime.

    • Tee Owe 12:24 on 2019-08-24 Permalink

      Cats and chip readers – so much I could rant about but it’s there in Kate’s post – almost nobody has a chip reader, so what’s the point in getting them chipped – ? Where I live cats get ear tattoos with a number that you can look up on a website, so when you find a cat (alive or dead) you can identify it and its owners can know where it is. No reader needed.

  • Kate 12:11 on 2019-08-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Cycle police have new technology enabling them to measure the space left to cyclists by motorists and, in case it’s too much of a squeeze, to issue tickets.

    • Bill Binns 18:11 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      Once again the invisible hand of Velo Quebec effortlessly manipulates the rules of the road.

    • Dhomas 18:25 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      The law already exists. This is just a means to enforce it. Doesn’t make sense to have a law on the books if it’s unenforceable.

    • Ephraim 18:51 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      Dhomas, if they required to remove all the unenforceable laws on the books, we’d have a pamphlet instead.

    • Dhomas 19:16 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      I’m saying unenforceable as opposed to “not enforced”. For example, I see people speeding on my street every day and the law is not enforced. But, radar guns exist so it is enforceable.

    • CE 20:22 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      As a cyclist, I really wish Vélo Québec was as powerful and influential as Bill Binns seems to think they are!

    • Ephraim 21:04 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      Dhomas, I don’t think it’s enforceable in the long run… we will see if this equipment holds up, but the questions of measurements, how it’s measured, did they know where it was measuring from, etc. Are going to end up with a LOT of time wasted. But then the question of if the policeman saw them approach the bicycle or the cyclist drove up beside the car… it’s going to be a boondoggle in the courts. The officers are going to have to appear in court for these tickets.

    • Chris 21:09 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      CE: exactly!

    • Blork 21:16 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      My understanding is that they only have a few of them and they ONLY measure the distance between the cop on the bike with the device and cars passing that bike. It won’t measure the distance for third-party bikes.

  • Kate 12:10 on 2019-08-23 Permalink | Reply  

    QMI is directing another salvo at English in Montreal, with Sophie Durocher’s When Montreal Speak English, the Journal de Québec’s Jonathan Trudeau’s screed against Bonjour, Hi and the inevitable MBC preparing the ground with a big piece on hatred of Quebec, placing himself heroically with René Lévesque, Camille Laurin, Lucien Bouchard and other prominent nationalists, as bearing the hatred of the anglos for his people.

    As a sort of counterweight, I offer Martin Patriquin on the new Quebec history textbook.

    • Jack 14:01 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      The thing I found fascinating about this whole history textbook kerfuffle is the fact that the English School boards and all of the English educational apparatchiks rolled over for this program. A program that was essentially written by Jacques Beauchemin ( Mathieu Bock Cotes mentor and thesis adviser) a Sociologist from UQAM who was also deputy minister of Culture during Pauline Marois reign. So English speaking kids take a two year course that absolutely alienates them from this place. A course in which essentially they act as a convenient binary for the majority community. My question is why did the people tasked with administering english language education acquiesce. If any one wants to nerd out an expert group of historians trashed the program, its on the EMSB website. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-history-high-school-emsb-1.4926499

    • Michael Black 14:25 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      To be fair, is this new textbook all that bad compared to the past? That’s not an excuse, but my vague memory of high school history from about 45 years ago says things weren’t enlightened back then. Louis Riel I think was presented as some French Canadian hero, and that ignores whatt he was really doing, and the fact that I’ve found three relatives who were part of the Red River provisional government who had native and/or Scottish ancestry.

      Yes, they need new textbooks, but they did decades ago too.

      I would think that teaching isn’t just the textbook. Circa 1974 I had teachers who insisted on being “Ms” and I think they made a bigger impression on me than the course they were teaching. There are ways to get around bad textbooks, though I guess if the government insists on teachers being the same, it’s harder for other voices to be heard.


    • Jack 16:15 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      You are perfectly right and contexts do change. The problem with this course are well documented, what makes it doubly tough is you can not not teach it. Their is a province wide exam that is translated from French and its worth 50% of the final grade in Sec.IV. If you dont pass that exam you cant get a High School leaving.

    • qatzelok 19:09 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      Virtually every Quebec-politics opinion piece published in English in the last 40 years has mentionned that “support for independence is dropping.”

      It must be down to about .001 % by now. Or maybe even in the negatives.

      Or this is just tribal propaganda.

    • Uatu 12:40 on 2019-08-24 Permalink

      Frankly, I barely remember anything I learned in highschool history. I’m guessing most students are the same. So the changes will just be another set of facts to be memorized and then forgotten after the exam.

      I guess it’s supposed to enforce the narrative of victimhood, but, the world has changed since the 60s and 70s and I’ve met some students from immigrant families that think that this narrative is just a bunch of whining compared to the crap their families have and in some cases, continue to experience. Their perspective kinda makes the effect of the text the opposite of what the government is trying to achieve.

    • JP 21:46 on 2019-08-24 Permalink

      The Martin Patriquin article is interesting.

      I did the history class in the mid 00’s and won the award at our graduation because I scored 100% (mostly rote memorization). One of the things that struck me, even as a 16-year old, was how they completely glossed over and ignored the atrocities that were inflicted upon Indigenous peoples. They made it sound more like there were mutual exchanges of culture and benefits. Yes, I understand there were alliances formed between different Indigenous groups and European groups, but it really ignores the genocides and they barely touched on the residential school systems. I thought those were huge omissions, and I didn’t feel like my teacher filled in the gaps. He just reinforced the same ideas put forth by the curriculum.

      To be honest, I’m not sure the average person has any understanding of the basic context of the issues concerning Indigenous peoples, and it would be helpful if they did. I’m no expert either, but I’ve encountered people who don’t realize at all that there is a deep history there. I don’t know how/if the current government could/has fit this fairly into this new curriculum; One award and almost 15 years later, my takeaway from it all was just how they made themselves look like the victims when it came to the other Europeans, and how they made themselves look like saviours when it cames to the natives.

  • Kate 08:59 on 2019-08-23 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is not best pleased with the chaotic rollout of the Lime scooters, but as I recall, the introduction of Bixi was also attended with worries about its effects on our streets. I retrieved and docked two abandoned Bixi bikes myself in the first season. Doesn’t happen any more.

    • steph 11:17 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      You can’t abandon a Bixi, the meter keeps running until it’s docked. With Lime the meter stops and the client doesn’t have to worry about where he leaves it.

    • thomas 11:26 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      @stetph Not quite true, to end the ride the app asks to take a photo to verify that the scooter is parked in a marked location.

    • CE 11:30 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      What happens when you send the photo and it isn’t left in a designated spot or the photo isn’t sent at all?

    • Kate 12:24 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      steph, everyone knows now that you can’t abandon a Bixi, but back then not so much. I possibly spared two people a big credit card charge by bringing those abandoned bikes back in.

    • Ian 12:29 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      As I recall at first there was some issue with the bikes not properly docking so there were some thefts.

    • Kate 12:45 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      Maybe, but unless the slot recorded the return of the bike, it was still running up a bill with whoever had last slotted it out.

    • thomas 13:29 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      Speaking of Bixi, Isn’t the official roll-out of electric Bixis supposed to happen next week?

      @CE I don’t use Lime so not sure, but I think you must send a photo to end the ride and supposedly one gets banned from the service for repeat offences like improper parking (as what happens with Jump).

    • Blork 13:33 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      Does the Lime app have a map feature that shows you where the designated areas are?

    • Ephraim 15:18 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      Blork, yes, they are blue squares…. but Lime isn’t doing much about the bikes being out of the zones…. they just let people walk away and turn off the meter. At least on Sherbrooke, they are already littering the sidewalk.

    • js 15:59 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      They had a handful of those handicap-blue electrical assistance Bixis last year. They’re useless on flat ground for cyclists with properly functioning legs, but they do make climbing hills easier. One would think that most Montrealers including regular Bixi users would know the city well enough to be able to avoid big hills, which let’s face it there aren’t many to begin with. Who knows? Maybe between Jump bikes and the blue Bixis we’ll see many cycling commuters from the Plateau go up Camilien Houde to get to their jobs across town but I doubt it.

    • ottawaowl 19:02 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      As I recall at first there was some issue with the bikes not properly docking so there were some thefts.

      Vandals used to lift up the bikes from behind at the docking stations to lever them free, but a 2009 upgrade to the docking cassettes solved the problem.
      Too bad Bixi didn’t work out in Ottawa: we have NOTHING at the moment.

    • CE 20:40 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      The only time I ever used BIXI was when that was happening. I spent about 45 minutes looking for a docking station that had a free spot that wasn’t broken.

  • Kate 08:56 on 2019-08-23 Permalink | Reply  

    I’d seen and passed over a few items on a vandalized orchard in Deux-Montagnes, but today there’s news that it belongs to the chairman of Montreal Public Markets who stepped down last week, and this act may well have been perpetrated by malign forces at Jean-Talon. La Presse has an analysis of what’s known about what’s gone wrong in the governance of the market.

    • Kate 07:50 on 2019-08-23 Permalink | Reply  

      CTV greets the news of a new express bus, the 445 Papineau, with the observation that it’s bad news for drivers because one lane of Papineau will be a bus lane. That’s one lane south in the morning, one lane north in the afternoon.

      • jeather 09:55 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

        Seems pretty balanced to me. The article notes it’s good for public transit users and bad for drivers, which is true (in the short term, this is unlikely to turn a lot of drivers into public transit users). I’m not clear if the bus lane is taking from the southbound lanes in the morning and the northbound in the evening, or if it is like the bridge which takes the against traffic lane.(I assume the former but I rarely go there.)

        I think inconveniencing drivers for public transit users is the right choice, all things considered — I take the 435 occasionally and it’s fantastic (I only use the 165 part of it so I have no opinion on the split).

      • ant6n 14:58 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

        What I’d really like to see is one Northbound bus lane on Papineau starting at the metro station, so that the 45 doesn’t have to meander through adjacent streets. Drivers, Radio stations and TV stations will always try to create an outrage, exaggerating possible negative effects on hard-working driving commuters while downplaying the positive effects on scum who takes public transit.

    • Kate 07:47 on 2019-08-23 Permalink | Reply  

      I remember this news story from 2010: a Concordia student was manhandled by police simply because she had been sitting on a bench in the wee hours. The Human Rights Commission ruled on her behalf and decreed that various damages should be paid, but its rulings are not binding. Now, nine years later, the Human Rights Tribunal has thrown the case out over delays.

      Is there any point in having human rights bodies that can make rulings but can’t make them stick?

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