Updates from October, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 16:33 on 2019-10-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec wants to find a way to make it illegal to say “Bonjour-Hi” in a commercial setting.

    • jeather 18:04 on 2019-10-04 Permalink

      I love all the quotes saying how they want people to say “bonjour” as if that were not the actual first word spoken.

    • Dhomas 18:22 on 2019-10-04 Permalink

      I guess there is absolutely nothing at all more important to spend government resources on. Nothing at all.

    • ProposMontréal 19:52 on 2019-10-04 Permalink

      As one of the frenchy-separatist on this site, I must say that this is one of the most stupid idea I,ve seen in years!

    • Kevin 19:58 on 2019-10-04 Permalink

      Do MNAs know how much we laugh at them for this kind of talk?

      Nothing makes English more attractive and makes the French language less desirable.

    • qatzelok 07:46 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

      It was the “bonjour-hi” crowd that lead to the construction of condo towers overlooking Cabot Square, and this project has so far killed more than one first nations woman.

      Not to mention the genocide of 110 First Nations a few hundred years earlier by the same crowd.

      Actions have consequences. Say “No” to “Bonjour-Hi.”

    • Kate 07:51 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

      qatzelok, that’s hysteria.

      I’ve said this before on the blog: all “bonjour-hi” does is tell a prospective customer in your store that you’re happy to serve them in either language. It is not fair and not realistic to try to make retail workers alienate potential customers by stubbornly refusing to speak English, especially in parts of Montreal where there’s an anglo presence and in areas with tourism, notably downtown and Old Montreal.

      If I have the prospect of saying “bonjour, hi” and keeping you in my store vs. just saying “bonjour” and having you leave, what do you think I’m going to do? Every instinct says I should be inclusive and adaptive because that’s how retail has worked for 3000 years.

      The CAQ has come in at least partly on a right-wing, pro-business platform. This is one area in which they could use a little more common business sense.

    • qatzelok 07:53 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

      Kate, I was being comically obtuse above. But in all seriousness, our many Ameircan tourists prefer “bonjour” because it makes them feel like they’re somewhere interesting and different than suburban Milwaukee.

    • Kate 07:56 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

      They may enjoy a bit of “bonjour” but for years now I’ve read variations on this kind of thing: “I’d love to visit Montreal but I’m afraid people will be rude or difficult because I don’t speak French” followed by a chorus of replies saying not to worry, anywhere a tourist wants to go, English will not be snubbed.

      They want the bonjour, just maybe, but they need the hi.

    • qatzelok 08:36 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

      Kate, are you suggesting that Americans don’t understand what “bonjour” means? Or that they are cowering in fear worried about the Frenchness of Montreal?

    • Kate 08:53 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

      I am saying that my experience shows that a lot of Americans are nervous about being embarrassed or shamed over not knowing French if they come here. I have not collected examples but I’ve seen it over and over again in local forums of various kinds. I’m not making it up.

    • JaneyB 09:55 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

      The ‘Hi’ is indeed very important for American tourists. On forums and in person (abroad), they worry visiting will be hard because they don’t understand French. It is a key concern.

      When I first moved here from English-Canada, I heard the ‘Bonjour-Hi’ downtown and just responded back with ‘Bonjour-Hi’. I figured it was a wacky Montreal thing not a language cue. So, there’s that. Most of younger English-Canada is unaware that English is spoken at all in Quebec. The CAQ needs to take a nap.

    • Kevin 10:29 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

      The ignorance is not limited to the young.
      I lived outside this province for 10 years and as soon as people learned I was from Quebec they immediately wondered how I spoke impeccable English.
      Unless they have family here, nobody on this continent understands the linguistic split of this place.

    • Ephraim 18:52 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

      What we need is a law that allows us to SLAP those people who, when you speak to them in English in Montreal immediately ask you “Where are you from in the United States?” As if no one in Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, etc. speaks English.

    • EmilyG 19:47 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

      My idea:
      Say “Allo” in such a way that it might also sound like “Hello.”

    • Kate 20:15 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

      Ephraim, I get asked where I’m from. I was born here. My great-grandmother was born here. It makes me tired.

      Anyway, the Gazette talked to some downtown business folks, and these points were cited: “The instinct is to accommodate the guest” – “Why wouldn’t we reach out to more people?”

    • Uatu 00:50 on 2019-10-06 Permalink

      I like the connection that the expenses that keep the ministers in QC city happy are paid by tax revenue from sales made by businesses catering to clients who might spend more if made comfortable by being served in their language (sometimes a language other than English). You’d think a businessman like Legault would know this.

    • Chris 15:42 on 2019-10-06 Permalink

      Or perhaps it’s all a deliberate diversionary tactic, get people distracted talking about this, and not other issues.

    • jeather 21:00 on 2019-10-06 Permalink

      And there will soon be a new cafe called Cafe Bonjour/Hi.

  • Kate 12:53 on 2019-10-04 Permalink | Reply  

    A TVA journalist went to look at the remaining snow in St-Michel quarry.

    • Kate 12:51 on 2019-10-04 Permalink | Reply  

      NDG borough came around to plant trees on some residential streets, but some residents were mad enough to stage a sit-in.

      • mare 14:40 on 2019-10-04 Permalink

        A clear case of NIMFY-ism.

      • steph 18:44 on 2019-10-04 Permalink

        I would LOVE a new tree in my front yard. The last one got cut down because it was too big for the hydro lines. 🙁

      • Kate 07:44 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

        The tree in the sidewalk out front of my place was taken down last year because of ash beetle damage, and hasn’t been replaced. City workers came along in the summer and enlarged the hole in the sidewalk, but nobody has come by yet with a new tree. I think I’ll email my councillor and ask what up.

      • Chris 13:09 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

        Kate, best to call 311 first then give the dossier number to your councillor.

    • Kate 08:00 on 2019-10-04 Permalink | Reply  

      The Gazette has a brief bit of video inside the grounds of Hôtel-Dieu and a statement from Benoit Dorais about the city’s ownership of the site, and its quest to find some way to make it accessible but preserve it from damage. (Dorais is not so blunt, but it’s clear that’s an issue.)

      I’m afraid the only way might be to have a charge to go inside: the closest equivalent is the botanical gardens, which if anything is now too expensive for a casual visit, but at least its fences and gates protect it from vandalism.

      Which reminds me – speaking of green spaces in the Plateau – does anyone know about
      a) what’s happened with the other religious site, the Carmelites, up near the tracks at St-Denis? Years ago there was talk about the city pushing back against seeing it turned into a private gated community, but I’ve seen nothing about it being opened to the public in a long time
      b) the green space behind Notman House? It’s well fenced, and I had a peek inside it a couple of times this summer. Since it’s protected maybe the best thing is simply to allow it to be a small block of preserved forest for cooling the area in summertime, but I’ve seen no mention of it in the media for awhile.

      • fliflipoune 10:04 on 2019-10-04 Permalink

        Le terrain des Carmélites est privé, et le gouvernement du Qc prend très au sérieux l’isolement du jardin par son status historique. Par exemple: l’édifice au coin Maguire/Henri-Julien a un mur sur sa terrasse pour éviter le regard vers le jardin (imposé par me ministère de la culture). La forme des balcons du nouveau projet de condos en construction sur Henri-Julien contient des écrans vers le jardin. Un nouveau projet est en développement sur le dernier terrain sur Henri-Julien, face au monastère, et il est actuellement dans les mains du ministère de la culture… Sa volumétrie sera très sûrement influencée par cette politique. À mon avis, ce jardin sera ouvert le jour où l’ordre religieux disparaîtra, pas avant.

      • JP 12:43 on 2019-10-04 Permalink

        For the Botanical Gardens, I bought the Access Montreal card. You can enter the grounds (excluding the greenhouses) by showing your card. https://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=9397,112551576&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

      • Kate 12:55 on 2019-10-04 Permalink

        JP, I thought the card got you a reduced price, but you still had to pay. Really, it’s free?

        I used to have a card, but it lapsed some time ago. Might be worth getting a new one if the gardens are free with it.

        fliflipoune, merci pour les informations.

      • John B 13:34 on 2019-10-04 Permalink

        I just went digging, and it’s buried near the bottom of this pdf: http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/CARTE_ACC_FR/MEDIA/DOCUMENTS/BROCHURE_CAM_2019_20_EN.PDF But yes, outdoor gardens are free with the card, except for the Lantern festival.

      • JP 13:35 on 2019-10-04 Permalink

        The last time I went, earlier in the summer during June, there was no extra cost. It’s pretty much the only reason I got the card!

      • qatzelok 07:51 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

        With the addition of that large green space to Jeanne-Mance Parc, there would be enough room to add a public swimming pool near the volleyball courts, and this would be very popular and take pressure off the Laurier, Jarry and Baldwin pools (the orange line pools are very congested on hot days).

      • Kate 08:24 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

        The whole of Jeanne-Mance park and beyond, I’ve been told as far as Bernard, used to belong to the sisters, and was farmed by them, but I don’t think there are plans to remove the stone walls around the remaining Hôtel-Dieu gardens. There are fruit trees in there, and some fancy garden planting and herb gardens, also a tiny beautiful chapel. Stuff you don’t want to pave over casually even for a deserving purpose.

    • Kate 07:51 on 2019-10-04 Permalink | Reply  

      The federal government has been waving billions in social housing funding at Quebec, starting during the Couillard administration and continuing under the CAQ, but Quebec has stubbornly resisted the terms under which the feds would have something to say in how it’s spent, so nothing gets built.

      • Kate 07:43 on 2019-10-04 Permalink | Reply  

        The French expression saillies de trottoir is so much prettier than sidewalk bulb-outs, which sounds like a disease. Either way, downtown will be getting more of them, in an attempt to make things safer for pedestrians.

        Incidentally, pedestrian deaths have been rising here, on trend with the rest of the world, according to a Guardian piece this week. Unfortunately, the Guardian piece doesn’t answer the question asked in its headline: Why? It looks at technological solutions and the advent of driverless vehicles, but not much at human inattention, which is not so easily dealt with.

        • Meezly 09:43 on 2019-10-04 Permalink

          Would be interesting to know if the trend coincides with the rise of device addiction.

        • Michael Black 09:54 on 2019-10-04 Permalink

          Maybe thirty years ago they put in a lot of those sidewalk things, and drivers missed tge point. Too often I’d find cars with one side of wheels on those sidewalk things, and that was worse since they were at corners. And withiut any fanfare they disappeared, I remember no commentary on their removal, but then I don’t recall anything before they were installed.

          Now years later they return.


        • fliflipoune 10:01 on 2019-10-04 Permalink

          Les nouvelles saillies sont différentes, avec des bollards et des plantations. C’est pas juste une protubérance de béton vers la rue. L’UdeM a fait une étude sur celles-ci il y a un été ou deux, et il y a une réduction claire des accidents (en plus d’être jolies et de réduire les îlots de chaleur).

        • Phil M 15:54 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

          I read that the increase in pedestrian deaths appears to be due to the increased popularity of SUVs. The higher front-end of SUVs hits a pedestrian in the upper torso, rather than at the legs, like a regular car would. Obviously, a severe chest or head impact is a lot more dangerous than a broken leg. The decrease in visibility from inside an SUV is also a contributor.

        • Orr 17:09 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

          Sidewalk bulb-outs are also called horizontal deflections.
          Speed bumps are vertical deflections.

        • EmilyG 19:49 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

          And I’m not sure how true this is, or where I read it, but I heard somewhere that one reason SUVs are popular is because they’re “safer” if the driver gets into an accident.
          (Though I don’t have a source.)

        • Kate 08:56 on 2019-10-06 Permalink

          EmilyG, I’ve heard people explicitly say they “need” a four-wheel drive SUV to be safe in traffic in all seasons.

        • CE 16:31 on 2019-10-06 Permalink

          The NYTimes just ran this article with lots of statistics about how cars are getting more dangerous and killing more people. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/10/04/opinion/self-driving-cars-safety.html

      • Kate 07:36 on 2019-10-04 Permalink | Reply  

        There are a lot of road closures this weekend, so I’m linking two different reports.

        • Kate 07:35 on 2019-10-04 Permalink | Reply  

          A woman whose German shepherd killed someone else’s Yorkshire terrier in a sudden attack in an alley says her dog should not be put down, as mandated by the city animal bylaw, even though, a few days later, it attacked another dog. The owner of the shepherd is defended by Anne-France Goldwater, who has form saving problematic dogs from death.

          • Dominique 07:55 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

            Tolérance zéro sur un chien qui a tue un autre chien! La prochaine victime risque d’etre un enfant qui se serait approché tout proche de ce chien. La propriétaire de ce German Shepherd à t’elle des assurances protection civile pour son chien dangereux? A t’elle déclarée son chien à sa police d’assurance? Mme Goldwater quand allez vous défendre les victimes humaines qui se sont faites attaquée par des chiens?

          • Anne Castaigne 09:14 on 2019-10-05 Permalink

            Déjà deux incidents avec ce chien, attendrez-vous qu’il s’en prenne à un humain? De plus, son propriétaire a clairement fait preuve de négligence en laissant un deuxième incident se produire. Quand est-ce que la justice va condamner les propriétaires négligents? Connaissez-vous les conséquences d’une attaque de chien Mme Goldwater? Je vous invites à rencontrer des victimes pour vous en faire part.

          • Kate 09:00 on 2019-10-06 Permalink

            Mme Castaigne est la fille d’une femme mordue par deux chiens à Saint-Césaire en mai dernier. Sa mère s’est échappée de peu avec sa vie. Le contrôle des chiens dangereux la préoccupe évidemment beaucoup.

          • Lise Vadnais 12:37 on 2019-10-06 Permalink

            Un chien qui tue un autre chien est un chien dangereux. Le deuxième chien a eu un peu plus de chance même si on sait qu’il sera marqué à vie. Vouloir sauver ce chien, c’est prétendre que sa valeur est supérieure aux autres chiens et aux humains. Inévitablement, un jour il attaquera une personne. C’est une évolution fréquente des comportements agressifs des chiens. Comment peut-on prendre un tel risque? Personne ne peut garantir que ce chien ne recommencera pas. Au contraire les probabilités sont fortes. Notre sécurité est plus importante que n’importe quel chien.

          • Leo 14:14 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

            Kate, as it should you too.

        • Kate 07:25 on 2019-10-04 Permalink | Reply  

          McGill University has admitted to receiving donations from the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma and promoters of OxyContin, as recently as 2016, but – the university says in its defence – before the lawsuit over opioid deaths from the drug.

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