Updates from September, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:10 on 2019-09-13 Permalink | Reply  

    Three men about to do some work on a repossessed house on Île Bizard were attacked by a man with a machete, presumed to be the dispossessed owner. Police have the suspect in custody; nobody was seriously hurt.

    • Kate 20:03 on 2019-09-13 Permalink | Reply  

      Four cars and two pedestrians were involved in a crash in the north end on Friday afternoon. It’s so sad to read that a ten-year-old “sustained severe injuries to her face and upper body, but is expected to survive.”

      A bit more description from La Presse. As noted in Tim S.’s comment below, the driver who caused the crash is 76.

      • Tim S. 21:42 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

        The driver was 76. As the boomers age, we really need to start implementing more frequent testing, including road or simulator testing.
        So many driving problems that need to be fixed. I’m sometimes hopeful for driverless cars, and sometimes think it’s a crazy idea that will just lead to rich people using robots to kill others.

      • Kate 08:48 on 2019-09-14 Permalink

        Lots of people older than that are still driving and not making mistakes. Maybe doctors should be made more responsible for taking note of older patients whose fitness to drive is becoming doubtful, and be empowered (if they aren’t already) to send them for a re-test to keep their licence?

      • Kevin 08:57 on 2019-09-14 Permalink

        At age 75 the SAAQ requires a vision test and a doctor’s certification that a driver is medically fit.
        Repeat at age 80, and every 2 years after that.

        I’d like to see all drivers restested every decade or so.

      • Meezly 10:18 on 2019-09-14 Permalink

        How can you mistake the brake for the gas pedal long enough to plow into 3 vehicles, one with enough force to hit 2 people, then continue to hit a 4th vehicle, unless you weren’t in control, ie. suffering from a stroke or seizure?

      • Tim S. 10:19 on 2019-09-14 Permalink

        Yeah, but a vision test doesn’t really account for reflexes or judgment, and I don’t see how well a doctor can observe those things during an office visit. They may also be reluctant to give such bad news to their patients face to face.
        Walking around town, I see many elderly drivers who haven’t yet made mistakes with such catastrophic results as this one, but who really don’t inspire confidence – excessive hesitation at very simple tasks like turning, slowing down at green lights, parking on sidewalks, confusing driveways and streets, etc. My own grandfather totaled 2 or 3 cars in the last decade of his life. Nobody took away his license, alas.

      • Kevin 10:43 on 2019-09-14 Permalink

        I talked with my wife ( a new MD) and the SAAQ medical test is lame.

        Does the patient have diabetes, cardiac issues, vision problems, musculo skeletal issues? Do they need to be seen by a physiotherapist or occupational therapist?

        That’s it. It does not provide any concrete way to say a person is unfit to drive, and doesn’t have any way of recommending a reflex test, which the SAAQ doesn’t have anyway.

      • Chris 12:31 on 2019-09-14 Permalink

        Tim S. doctors give bad news to patients daily, doing so for drivers licences is not a problem for them.

      • thomas 14:04 on 2019-09-14 Permalink

        Once a driver reaches age 80 in Ontario, besides a vision test, one must under go an interactive cognitive exam that measures short term memory and reaction times.

      • qatzelok 18:27 on 2019-09-14 Permalink

        At the same time, a lot of older boomers live in car-dependent suburbs. Some car-dependent suburbs (of many North American cities) are majority seniors.

        What are these millions of dementia-approaching seniors supposed to do? Abandon their homes en masse?

        For me, this story, of seniors plowing into people, is another hideous side-effect of suburban sprawl.

        Seniors are also incredibly isolated behind their lawns.

      • Michael Black 08:39 on 2019-09-15 Permalink

        People shouldn’t be dependent on cars.

        But if you have, “old age” is not the time to give up a car.

        The older people get, the less mobile they are, while the need to get around is the same, or greater. I have always walked, but five weeks before I turn 60, I am the least mobile I’ve been since I started walking as a baby. I started off in great shape, leg muscle wise, but I see people here in rehab who look older, and were either more sedentary, or had a broken leg so it’s more than regaining muscle. I’ll finally be out this week, but I won’t be very mobile for a time, and suddenly I’ll have to be more mobile for doctor’s appointments than in the past.

        My mother ‘s world kept getting smaller the more she couldn’t move as much, which in turn meant she was less active. She stopped having the temporary use of a car, so she gave up her license before she was forced to.

        So yes, there probably should be a structure in place to make better sure that older drivers still are capable of driving, but this shouldn’t be about getting more cars off the road. One has to understand in order to make decisions.


    • Kate 19:53 on 2019-09-13 Permalink | Reply  

      A woman who lost both legs in an unfortunate mishap with a train in the Old Port, back in 2013, has won an appeal brought by port management keen to shake off responsibility for her accident. She had tried to clamber over what she took to be a stationary train, only to fall under its wheels when it started to move. The judge sided with her case that more care should be taken about freight trains running right through a tourism district.

      • Kate 12:07 on 2019-09-13 Permalink | Reply  

        A government report saying management at the English Montreal School Board is so bad that it has reportedly shocked education minister J-F Roberge. The report suggests removing the existing commissioners and putting it under trusteeship.

        • walkerp 14:10 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

          That required a report?! I mean Mancini basically somehow abdicating her duties and disappearing while at the same time being totally toxic wasn’t enough of a sign?

        • Jack 15:18 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

          I have to say that report is about as damning as it can be. Wink construction contracts, credit card abuse, foreign student fees and a culture of entitlement from Mancini and Mattheson. Where are the students in their decision making…no where. If these two people had any personal pride they would resign.

        • Ephraim 15:48 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

          The EMSB has been corrupt for over 2 decades, they just discovered it now? Should have been in trusteeship a long time ago… hand it over to Pearson…. let them run it.

        • Jack 16:15 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

          This from the Pearson Board, “Six months after she took a leave of absence, Susanne Stein Day is resigning as chair of the Lester B. Pearson School Board. Stein Day said she is resigning due to health reasons.
          One year ago Stein Day acknowledged that the ethics commissioner had found she violated the board’s code of ethics, but refused to admit she did anything wrong.” She used Board lawyers to intimidate critics and was found to be in violation of three other ethics complaints.
          “In late 2016, vocational programs at the Lester B. Pearson and English Montreal school boards came under investigation by auditors from the Quebec government and the province’s anti-corruption force UPAC for financial irregularities.” I’ll stop, our communities school boards are an embarrassment.

        • Ephraim 17:01 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

          Jack, and I can tell you what they irregularities were… because the teachers were complaining for years. And the government either knew, or turned a blind eye. One part was moving money around from department to department. The other… changing attendance.

      • Kate 09:17 on 2019-09-13 Permalink | Reply  

        Again, a little off trail, but does it surprise anyone that, after promising changes toward proportional representation to elect the next Quebec government, the CAQ’s Sonia LeBel now says there just isn’t time to tackle it before the next election. So that’s both Trudeau and Legault who have held out proportional representation as a bait to voters, then whisked it away once in office.

        • thomas 09:30 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

          Trudeau never promised proportional representation — it was clear that he favored a ranked ballot system. Trudeau’s specific promise, which he broke, was to end first past the post elections.

        • Kate 10:25 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

          Thanks for the clarification.

        • ant6n 11:14 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

          This was the literal, official promise:

          “We will make every vote count.
          We are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system.
          We will convene an all-party Parliamentary committee to review a wide variety of reforms, such as ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting.
          This committee will deliver its recommendations to Parliament. Within 18 months of forming government, we will introduce legislation to enact electoral reform.”

          (Arguably ranked ballots does not “make every vote count”, so it would be reasonable to expect the outcome of the above is some sort of proportional Repräsentation)

        • Ephraim 11:46 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

          The system where you rank your choices is called the Hare Method, but the Hare method requires mandatory voting… otherwise it favours the incumbent. Slight variations as well… see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hare_method but essentially an easy change from first-past-the-post and what is used in Australia. Proportional usually requires a minimum, sometimes 3% or 5%, but once you go proportional, you almost never end up with an elected government and subject to blackmail from small parties to get their votes to pass legislation.

        • jaddle 20:58 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

          Never end up with an elected government? What’s happened in New Zealand for the past 25 years then? And in most of the rest of the world? They don’t have elected governments?

          Maybe you mean “almost never end up with a majority government”, which is certainly true in most countries. How often does a majority of any country share enough of the same views that a majority government actually makes sense? Almost never. Minority governments with their negotiations and compromise are usually *better* governments.

          So much for the one redeeming policy of this CAQ government…

        • Chris 22:14 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

          jaddle, also, minority government is not the only alternative to majority government, we can also have coalition governments (which too can be minority or majority). Coalitions are neither weird nor undesirable. After all, political parties themselves are also coalitions.

        • Ephraim 13:19 on 2019-09-14 Permalink

          Jaddle, the popular vote last time was: Liberal, 39.47%, Conservative 31.89%, NDP 19.71%, Bloc 4.66% and Green 3.45%. Assuming we used a low 3% minimum, the 338 seats would have been… 12 for the Green, 16 for the Bloc, 67 for the NDP, 109 for the Conservatives and 134 for the Liberals, approximately. You need 170 to elect a government… anything less is a coalition and coalitions are NOT elected governments, they are parties making arrangements…. Almost all proportional representation governments aren’t elected. And to get the NDP to sit with the Liberals, for example, the NDP will make demands… or if you prefer extortion or blackmail… they want something for their principles.

        • Chris 15:08 on 2019-09-14 Permalink

          “coalitions are NOT elected governments”. Does your dictionary define “elected” differently than mine? Also, technically, the government isn’t elected at all, the parliament is. “or if you prefer extortion or blackmail” of if you prefer: compromise or negotiation. Minority parliaments are perfectly normal in many (functional!) countries, they could be here too.

        • mare 15:55 on 2019-09-14 Permalink

          Many more people would show up at elections if they knew their vote wasn’t “wasted” because the incumbent would get first past the post anyway, sometimes with just 25% of the votes of the 60% of the population that shows up at the election booth.

          I personally think a government that consists of MPs that won their ridings (which have different amount of constituents, so rural areas have more clout) is not elected. If we had proportional voting a coalition of Tories with Libs is more likely, the Liberals are a neocon party as well. No ransom and blackmail necessary.

        • Ephraim 16:39 on 2019-09-14 Permalink

          Chris: Two terms, elected government and ruling government. For a government to be considered elected, it must have enough parliamentarians to control parliament and win a vote of no confidence. But a coalition isn’t elected because they aren’t chosen ahead of time as a coalition. We didn’t vote for the NDP/Liberals, we voted for the NDP or the Liberals. Hence they aren’t considered an elected government, but instead a ruling government. I didn’t vote for the NDP/Liberals, I voted for only part of them.

          Take a look at Germany, if the Christian Democrats were to have 50% of the seats, they would be elected, even though they are a coalition, because they run together as two separate parties. The CDU/CSU is a single slate. In Israel where the Likud is a single slate even though it’s actually the merger (which is the meaning of the party name) of the Herut (Freedom) party and the Liberal party and a few others over the years. And so is Labour-Gesher (though to truthful, Labour itself is a merger, but then this will all get to complicated. Of course the worst fact is that both of Israel’s main parties at one time were synonyms of each other running under the name “merger”, if it wasn’t confusing enough.)

          So basically prearranged marriage, run as one list and win, elected government. Coalition by fire, ruling government. Almost all countries that use percentages have ruling governments. And they tend to move towards smaller, more ideological choices. So, parties like the NDP and Greens win… but the downside is that you have to find a way to govern. In Israel, under Begin, they had to get the votes of the ultra-religious to be able to govern…. so you got a whole bunch of religious laws enacted, like ElAl not flying on the sabbath.

          Oh and let’s not even talk about the “lists”. Because the fights over them in some countries and parties are cutthroat. Essentially the person at the top gets elected, but then everyone is fighting daggers to make sure they are high enough on the list to get elected.

        • Chris 19:25 on 2019-09-14 Permalink

          Ephraim, all we vote for is our local MP, nothing more. We elect a Parliament, Parliament forms a government. There may be better ways, but that’s our system.

        • Dhomas 05:53 on 2019-09-15 Permalink

          I know I would probably vote differently if we weren’t using a first-past-the-post system and I’m sure I’m not alone. I will often times vote not for who I most agree with, but for who I think has the best chance of defeating who I most disagree with. It would be refreshing to be able to vote for who I like, without feeling like I’m wasting my vote.

        • Raymond Lutz 08:05 on 2019-09-15 Permalink

          “There may be better ways, but that’s our system.” AND IT DOES NOT WORK, sapristi! In Quebec or Canada, election after election, it’s the same pattern: there’s more people that don’t vote than people who vote for the elected party. Pure proportional doesn’t cut it, neither… Single Transferable Vote for everyone! https://www.fairvote.ca/stvbc

        • Chris 12:29 on 2019-09-15 Permalink

          Dhomas, yes, voting strategy would change, but it wouldn’t go away. A different system will result in different voting strategy, that’s all. Which is fine.

          Raymond, favourite system aside, all those people that don’t vote can’t blame the system, they can only blame themselves. Even with our current flawed system, there are so many non-voters (as you said), that their votes would make a big difference. It’s on them if they don’t like the results.

        • Raymond Lutz 14:17 on 2019-09-15 Permalink

          Yeah, let’s blame people rather than dysfunctional economical, electoral, political, educational, pharmaceutical systems. Blame the poor! The ignorant mass! The fat people who don’t exercise. Opioid crisis? Meh, good for them, junkies. Have you ever heard about the 2005 french european constitution referendum? Democracy? We’re living in a system best called inverted totalitarianism… Here’s a french interview of a Montreal writer and political scientists intitled “Démocratie : Marketing politique pour les pauvres?” for those interested https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wF5FMUtHDM

        • Ephraim 15:34 on 2019-09-15 Permalink

          Chris – When you change the electoral system, you change how and who you vote for. For example, in pure proportional representation, you don’t have a local MP anyway. In modified, you do, but then only about half and the rest are from the list, so the ridings get bigger and the national list is used to “correct” what the local ridings did. You may not have a local MP at all…. or you may have an MP for ridings that are triple the size.

          The Hare method requires voting. The fine in Australia for not voting is a measly AUD$20. They allow “sick” as a reason, with no real proof, so my guess is that few people ever pay the fine… but you do have to answer their email with a reason.

          The strategies for voting will change. In Japan, one of the parties even suggests where it’s members should move to, to maximize it’s seats in the Diet.

        • Michael Black 16:01 on 2019-09-15 Permalink

          The star independent candidates this election, Puglaas and Jane Philpott, are making the point that the party system means people may nit get goid representation. If members have to vote the party line, that may not be best for their constituents.

          When I was about sixteen, before I could vote, it struck me that voting seemed like abdicating power. Vote every few years, and let someone else take care of things. You’ve done your bit. What’s really needed is for voters to get involved more than every few years, and make the politician responsible to them. Maybe some things should be directly voted. But definitely a mechanism where an MP is more responsible to their constituents.

          “If yiu don’t vote you can’t complain” is a mantra people who vote repeat, I suspect many stop after voting. Lots of people have issue even when they can’t vote. Kids speak up at local city council meetings, they are iften listened to even before they can vote. Someone heading towards citizenship can’t yet vote but there may be issues they have because they live here. You can contact an MP and nobody will ask for proof of citizenship. You shouldn’t get absolute say, but the way democracy often works makes you only one of many with influence. But it shouldn’t just be about numbers. Politicians are there to represent people, not lead.


      • Kate 08:07 on 2019-09-13 Permalink | Reply  

        The phrase coûtera plus cher que prévu is one I see fairly often while doing this blog. This time it’s the long-awaited renovation of the Théâtre de la Verdure in Lafontaine Park, where it was discovered the concrete seating area has sustained serious damage from a broken pipe beneath it, so has to be rebuilt. Item also mentions some necessary work on the fountain in the pond, which I wouldn’t have considered properly part of the theatre, but I guess was included in the contract.

        • Mr.Chinaski 10:15 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

          The mecanical building of the fountain is situated inside the project of the theater

        • Kate 10:26 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

          Makes sense.

      • Kate 08:03 on 2019-09-13 Permalink | Reply  

        Your driving notes for the weekend.

        • Kate 08:01 on 2019-09-13 Permalink | Reply  

          Not Montreal, but it’s sad to open the CBC news site and find on top both woman killed by dump truck on Quebec City sidewalk and teenager killed by school bus in the Laurentians. Can you imagine if a new technology demanded this ongoing sacrifice of human life?

          • Tim S. 08:38 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

            The woman in Quebec city was killed by a dump truck driving on the sidewalk. I consider vehicles on sidewalks -SUVs, delivery trucks, cops, construction trucks – to be one of the biggest threats to my safety, yet it’s one of those things that is almost never enforced, ever.

        • Kate 07:54 on 2019-09-13 Permalink | Reply  

          Ten cyclists each got a $128 ticket this week for riding in the bus lane on Sherbrooke East. One outraged cyclist here says the law means cyclists need to ride in the centre lane with motor traffic, which makes no sense – but that’s what it says.

          • Joey 08:27 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

            I’m not sure what the ideal solution is – probably that cyclists should be allowed to ride in reserved lanes, since the effective alternative is that they are banned from major streets. I do know, however, that the worst possible solution is to issue mega tickets en masse and keep the vague and contradictory rules in place. Projet Mtl needs to take a break from social media boasting about ruelles vertes and come up with a legit standard.

          • LJ 08:38 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

            The police need to be more consistent too. I was riding in the center lane and was honked and yelled at by cops to move to the curb “where cyclists are supposed to ride.”

          • dhomas 09:41 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

            Close to Viau metro, they had this neat shared bus/taxi + bike lane. You can kinda see it here (if you zoom in, you can even see the street sign announcing it):

            I wonder why it didn’t catch on elsewhere? I mean, it’s not as nice as a full on bike path, but it seemed like a good compromise for exactly this type of situation.

          • kb 09:49 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

            I saw this happening yesterday morning. There were cops on Bordeaux and Dorion on Sherbrooke giving out the tickets.

            As usually happens, cars going west on Sherbrooke try to get across on a yellow and end up having to stop completely on the crosswalk. One cyclist (not one who was getting a ticket, but one who had a kiddie trailer attached to her bike and had to manoeuver out into traffic to avoid this car) mentioned this to the cops giving the tickets. Out of the three cops there – not one cared to even say something to the driver.


          • Chris 22:29 on 2019-09-13 Permalink

            Joey, sometimes the issuing of ridiculous tickets can be used by activists to get things changed.

            They may have luck in front of a judge. After all, the Highway Code section 487 says “A cyclist must ride as close as possible to the edge or right side of the roadway”. It says roadway, not lane.


          • CE 10:07 on 2019-09-14 Permalink

            I remember there was talk about this being the rule years ago so I tried to ride on the right of the car lane beside the bus lane on Parc. The experiment lasted about two blocks before I went back to the edge of the bus lane. The car drivers were honking and going crazy and the buses refused to pass me on the right. I’ve been riding against the curb in the bus lanes ever since.

          • MtlWeb 15:20 on 2019-09-14 Permalink

            @dhomas City announced Viau lane as a bold pilot project in July 2014; Gazette had a story on it. Have tried it and cannot compare vs riding on Parc.

        • Kate 07:41 on 2019-09-13 Permalink | Reply  

          Michael Applebaum, who hasn’t made much of a success of his recent career as a real estate agent, has sold his own house for nearly a million bucks. The city is held back from seizing any of the cash directly, but it is about to sue Applebaum to claw back the quarter-million golden handshake he received for being mayor for a brief time.

          • Joie Joseph 12:00 on 2019-11-29 Permalink

            I found something like a couple of weeks ago,
            but you did detailed study, and your article appears to be much more compelling than the others.
            I am amazed by the arguments you supplied as well as the manner of your article.

            I like when articles are both informative and interesting, when even dull details are presented
            in an interactive way. Well, it is absolutely about your article.

        • Kate 07:30 on 2019-09-13 Permalink | Reply  

          The question is what a can of bear spray was doing in a Rosemont schoolyard where a curious kid picked it up and inadvertently set it off. Four kids went to hospital and the rest had to be treated on site.

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