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  • Kate 20:14 on 2019-10-07 Permalink | Reply  

    Culture Montreal – which has a fairly spiffy website but I’m not sure what it exactly is – is trying to figure out what we should do with monuments of once honoured figures who have since become regarded as controversial. The item is illustrated with a photo of the Macdonald statue after one of its red-paint decorations.

    Amusingly, this follows Andrew Scheer’s plan to do more for the memory of Sir John A.

    (Frankly, they can have Macdonald, if they’ll let me light the fuse to blow the bust of Camille Laurin sky high at the corner of Sherbrooke and St-Urbain. No? Too soon?)

    • Faiz imam 20:39 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

      Move them all to pointe à callière with documentation explaing their historical context.

      They are important historical artifacts, but they don’t belong in positions of privilegeiin the centers of our public life.

    • Kate 21:14 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

      The Macdonald statue is quite big. I don’t know who else is on the list. The Metro piece mentions the removal of a piece of sculpture dedicated to Claude Jutra (it was a nice piece but it had to go) and a couple of years ago this plaque was removed from where it had been on the west side of the Bay downtown, since time out of mind.

    • Chris 21:47 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

      And which once-honoured figures are woke enough through today’s lens? Shall we rename Parc Mahatma Gandhi? They are tearing down his statues elsewhere: https://www.npr.org/2019/10/02/766083651/gandhi-is-deeply-revered-but-his-attitudes-on-race-and-sex-are-under-scrutiny

    • MarcG 09:16 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

      Maybe Slipknot had it right that People=Shit?

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

      But Kate, does Toronto have a statue of Camille Laurin in its most prominent public square? You know, because of all he did for francophones?

      (Answer: it certainly does not!)

      Why are fancophones forced to host, in the same honorable place, one of the prime racists who tried to destroy both francophone and First Nations culture?

      Talk about NOT being woke.

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

      Why are francophones the only ones being forced? All Montrealers have to look at the statue of Macdonald (the person to whom I assume you refer) in the square.

      Also, don’t “woke” me, buddy.

    • qatzelok 12:56 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

      Sorry, Kate. I wasn’t suggesting you were not woke, but that WE were not being woke (by hosting a John A MacGenoide statue in our public square).

    • Michael Black 13:21 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

      I’d like to know if the cousins find John A. a big issue, or if they’d put some other things furst.

      In February of 1869 Annie Bannantyne horsewhipped Charles Mair for writing thihgs about the mixed women of Red River. She’s a relative, and one place suggests her action got Louis Riel to act. We are about to hit the 150th anniversary of the start of tge “Rebellion” either on Louis’ birthday, Oct 22nd, or the day before. It wasn’t as black and white as popular history suggests. But my family was on the other side from Scott and MacDonald. I personally would prefer that popular history tell a more realistic story of the events than see a statue disappear. How could people be “traitors” to Canada when they had little attachment? My great great grandmother Henrietta (seen at the Museum of History’s website) wouldn’t even visit Canada. Someone torched her brother’s house after the expedition got to Red River. Like Louis, he got out of town because he expected the worst. That is real history.


  • Kate 19:26 on 2019-10-07 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s sadly not surprising that a new report shows that our police force stops black and indigenous people and Arabs, particularly younger male Arabs, far more often than white people. (It’s not clear how they identify or define “Arabs” because there’s a whole continuity of peoples all across the Maghreb and the Middle East right through central Asia who might be roped into that category, but that’s what the item says.)

    The investigators still hold off from calling this tendency racial profiling, splitting hairs by calling it systemic bias.

    The SPVM is promising to act swiftly. If I had not seen promises made on this matter in several waves already since this blog began in 2001 I’d hail this as an improvement, but, despite many vows by previous police chiefs and mayors, there is still no explicit SPVM policy on good reasons for stopping and questioning individuals who have no warrant out and who are not proximate to the commission of a specific crime.

    Update: North-end councillor Abdelhaq Sari was apparently barred by police from attending the media conference about the report. The man is not a journalist and, as a member of Ensemble, may not have been on the list. I don’t think this can be put down to police racism.

    • Kate 12:30 on 2019-10-07 Permalink | Reply  

      Simon Jolin-Barrette has decided he won’t launch a bill to make it illegal to say “bonjour-hi” although he may put out some PR to try to squelch it.

      I don’t actually know whether it’s possible, in our legal framework, to legislate what people say. Possibly it is, in a commercial setting.

      I’ve told this anecdote before, but for example:

      I was in an Italian grocery store on St-Viateur. Waiting at the cash, I noticed the two cashiers speaking together in native English, so when I got to the cash, I addressed the cashier in English. She replied in French. No problem, I switched to French. Then she turned and said something again to the other woman in English.

      “Forgive me for asking,” I said. “You two are talking in English, but when I spoke to you in English, you replied to me in French, and I’m curious why.”

      “We have to. The boss has had formal complaints about us speaking English so the policy is we always speak French to customers.” (She said this in English.)

      “Even if they begin by speaking English to you?”

      “Especially then. People have tricked us into speaking English that way, and then they complain we spoke to them in English.”

      I don’t know whether a store can be fined for having staff who switch to English when it seems natural to do so, but this suggests they can.

      Some thoughts on this from the ever-cromulent Toula Drimonis.

      Meantime, three quarters of Quebec residents polled said they think Montreal is a bilingual city.

      • Kevin 14:43 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        I know that kind of manager: they don’t support their employees and they don’t like dealing with complaints, even if complaints are not grounded in reality, so they make up stupid rules.

        Last time I checked, 95% of complaints the OQLF investigated were not violations of any law., but as long as the crown corporation accepts anonymous complaints, they’ll keep coming in, and the bureaucrats get to continue to justify their existence.

      • Chris 18:28 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        “I don’t actually know whether it’s possible, in our legal framework, to legislate what people say” -> well, we have “hate speech” laws, so I guess, yes, it is possible, in general.

      • Kate 19:27 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        Chris, it would be a stretch even for Simon J-B to declare “Hi” to be hate speech.

      • Chris 19:33 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        Kate, obviously. I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying that we have laws to limit speech for reason X, so we could potentially have laws to limit speech for reason Y.

      • Kate 19:47 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        I realize that, Chris. But it would have to be an awfully fucking compelling reason. I’m glad even the CAQ could see the impossibility of trying to control casual speech in a public setting.

      • Chris 20:20 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        I’m glad too!

      • EmilyG 22:41 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        I have seen some businesses with reward certificates on their walls (from the OQLF? or a similar organization?) praising them for using French, or for being a French-speaking business, or something along those lines.

      • Filp 01:45 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

        I’m curious about the relevance of that poll, given the odd sample demographics. Out of 1937 Quebecois, 1019 were Anglos, 773 Franco and 144 other? I don’t understand how that can paint an accurate picture of the province when Francos are so extremely underrepresented in the sample.

    • Kate 08:07 on 2019-10-07 Permalink | Reply  

      Not specifically local, but relevant to a recent discussion about pedestrian deaths in traffic: Should we ban SUVs from cities?

      • walkerp 08:36 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        Yes. From the planet, actually.

      • Mr.Chinaski 09:42 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        Meh. What is a SUV nowadays? Is a Crosstrek one? What’s the difference between a CRV and a Subaru Outback… A couple of inches of clearance and that is all. So would it be ok to drive a Tesla X?

      • MtlWeb 10:04 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        Would love to see trucks and SUVs prohibited from parking at street corners. Whether driving or cycling, they always seem to be at an intersection corner (even with the yellow-painted curbs) which makes seeing oncoming traffic (cars, pedestrians, cyclists) difficult. Son is learning to drive and that is one of his comments re: which situations does he find driving risky.

      • Spi 10:48 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        SUVs have simply become a symbol for car pollution. Truth is there are 15+ year old cars on the road with rusted out catalytic converters that consume more petrol and pollute more than some modern SUVs.

      • Tim S. 10:50 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        I got a fundraising email from my Project councilor, and having just read this article, responded by saying that my future support would be contingent on measures to protect pedestrians, including restrictions on SUVs and trucks. The response? “Noted.” (to be fair, an earlier email included a list of new stop signs they were thinking of putting up).
        I would move heaven and earth to get them re-elected if I thought it would make a difference to the safety of me and my family. Two years in, at both borough and city levels, and I’m still not convinced.

      • Tim S. 10:52 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        Spi: one the most depressing moments of my life was when I went to a panel with noted local environmentalists about the future of the green economy. They were super enthusiastic about the progress being made with electric cars, and I left thinking, great, my fate is to run over by an electric SUV driven by a morally virtuous asshole.

      • jeather 11:35 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        There are a lot of reasons I want to ban SUVs but the driver side is “they all blind you from behind because they are up so fucking high the lights go right in your back windshield”. I used to just want to list them as trucks so they had to follow truck rules, but now they’re a weird evil hybrid.

      • Spi 11:43 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        Tim: There are so many common-sense solutions to protecting pedestrians that don’t really involve any additional inconvenience for anyone. Some intersections need a larger no-parking exclusion zone beyond the yellow-painted curbs. The new mayor of the plateau that promised more bicycle parking should install angled bicycle racks where the yellow curbs are, that way it would be clear at all times and frankly the yellow paint starts fading if you look at it long enough.

      • Alex 12:14 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        Further to Spi’s comment, I think we also need to look at standardizing the pedestrian crossings. Sometimes you are looking out for a Green Light, sometimes its a Walking Man icon and for some it is confusing. In most countries the signing is exactly the same at every crosswalk

      • Kate 12:34 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        Alex: this is very true. The cycle of walk, turn, wait is also different, so people are not sure which is next.

        Also, some may remember I was nearly hit by a car a couple of years ago – the post is no longer online – when a huge black Mercedes SUV was parked right at a corner, and another driver did not see me as he turned. I was lucky that driver had good reflexes (and I still regret swearing at him after realizing the bad visibility was not his fault – he had no view of the crosswalk with that thing in his way).

        People like being higher up in traffic and they feel safer in a big tank. I get it. But there’s a sort of arms race on, to create the biggest and most impregnable vanity truck. I was hoping there’d be another oil crisis to rein back car size, but apparently not. Meanwhile, pedestrians take an increasing number of hits.

      • CE 13:31 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        I posted this yesterday, but on a post that was already on page two. Lots of statistics showing how cars are increasingly making cities and streets more dangerous for pedestrians:


        During the climate strike, I split off at Sherbrooke and walked west for a while to get something to eat. I was struck by how pleasant the street could be without all the car traffic. It as nice and quiet, people were walking down the middle of the street, and enjoying the nice weather. My girlfriend mentioned how she had never noticed how beautiful many of the buildings are along the street (and she went to McGill so has walked on Sherbrooke many times). I really look forward to the day we can get these things off our streets!

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

        I am not a fan of large SUVs (in fact I hate them for various reasons) but I don’t know how you could ban them. For one thing, how do you define them? “SUV” is a very broad category and it includes everything from small vehicles like the Honda HRV, which is basically just a Honda Fit (very small car) with a higher ground clearance, all the way up. The term “crossover” is used for smaller ones but I don’t know if that’s an official designation.

        So if you ban them based on size (height, wheelbase) then you also have to ban mini-vans and pickup trucks, and there are plenty of legitimate uses for those. How can you tell the guy with a gardening business that his truck is illegal and he can no longer work in the city? What about the hobbyist who needs a pickup truck to move his gear around?

        How do you tell the family that has four kids that their primary mode of transportation is now illegal? What about an unofficial co-op in a neighbourhood that has a lot of kids where one or two of the families has a mini-van that they use for driving loads of kids to hockey practice or summer day camps?

        I just seems silly to focus on one particular type of vehicle. It comes off as moral indignation posing as progressive policy making.

      • Tim S. 14:44 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        Blork: I worry about the height of the front. If the vehicle’s hood is higher than a six-year old child, then that vehicle shouldn’t be allowed in a city or residential area. Of course, maybe there could be special, stricter licenses for commercial vehicles.
        Most of the uses you describe could be met with a station wagon. A Subaru Outback, I believe, has more interior space than a Forester, for example. However, an Outback has a considerably lower front.
        (Full disclosure: I own a Mazda 5. Room for 6 people, if some of them are small, or 4 + plenty of cargo space. Low to the ground)

      • Kevin 14:52 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        @Tim S
        The Outback is no longer a station wagon: it is a very large SUV. My brother and my brother-in-law both have them, and they are large vehicles.

      • Ephraim 16:34 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        Not sure where I saw yet, yesterday, but the city had put up a large sign saying no parking because of parking visibility. I just don’t remember where it was, but it was definitely around here in the upper Plateau.

        In fact, we went to vote yesterday and it was a disaster from the get-go… we had three polling stations within 2 blocks of us, but instead they had us go to one that was maybe 14 blocks away. And it was blocked because of work being done by Hydro, so not very handicapped accessible. The city should be embarrassed.

      • Tim S. 16:34 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        Kevin: oh well then. Nonetheless, in this fantasy world I’ve been sketching out today, I’d still be willing to accept it as the upper end of what should count as a passenger vehicle. At least the models I’ve seen on the streets.

      • Chris 18:47 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        Blork, I take your point, but if we can’t tell those people to give up SUVs, can we tell the travel-lover to give up flying?, the steak-lover to give up meat?, the lawn aficionado to give up watering her lawn?, the coffee-lover to give up his disposable cups?, etc. etc.

        Nobody wants to voluntarily give up anything, and nobody wants to be forced to give up anything, and so here we are decade after decade with the world just getting hotter and hotter.

      • Francesco 23:00 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

        Agree with Spi about new cars in general. I drive a cream puff 94 Corolla (seriously, it’s got 75k on it and is *mint*). My contention is that a) keeping an old car out of the scrap heap and b) not having Conglom-o-Corp build me a new one to replace it are two net benefits to the planet (ie “the greenest car is the one you already own”). But my Crapolla with wind-up windows and no aircon averages 10.5 l/100km city and highway. My wife’s 2018 Crosstrek has better carrying capacity, air conditioning, all mod cons and is all-wheel drive, but we haven’t had a tank yet that was worse than 10 l/100km, and often significantly lower — on the highway at 100 km/h it hovers around 5.5 l/100! NB the car it replaced was a 17 year old four-cylinder Honda. Living where we do and working where we work and the oddball schedules of our jobs, going car-free isn’t an option — though that may change for me when REM starts running.

      • qatzelok 10:14 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

        Some of the defensive comments for SUVs here remind me of Bill Clinton’s “Depends on what “is” means” defense of having sex with interns.

        Confronted with the social trend that has adults driving larger, more oil-consumptive vehicles that kill pedestrians and cyclists ay lower speeds…. many die-hard drivers ask “What does “SUV” even mean, for goodness sakes!?”

        It suggests that post-modernism will be humanity’s last trend.

      • Blork 12:46 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

        Chris, bear in mind that replacing a steak with something made of vegetables is something easy to do. Also, flying less is relatively easy to do. But if people already have a large investment in a vehicle it isn’t easy or inexpensive to just get rid of it. Also, what about people visiting the city? You’re not going to sell your SUV at the foot of the Champlain Bridge so you can spend a few vacation (or business) days in Montreal. (And don’t say “rent a smaller car for the visit” because 99% of visitors will not have prior knowledge of the ban.)

      • Francesco 22:40 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

        Before it goes any further – and I’m not defending SUVs or the like – but but my wife’s “SUV” is what’s called a crossover these days. It’s essentially a small hatchback on a raised suspension with taller tires and it enables here to get in and out of the seat more easily. The fact that it gets better economy on the highway than a smart Fortwo throws most anti-car or anti-“SUV” arguments out the window wrt fuel economy or emissions.

        Do I think every soccer mommy in the West Island needs a giant, polluting, full-sized SUV? I can’t think of a single use-case that justifies what I observe there. But don’t lump tall, 4-cylinder hatchback crossovers in with Escalades, Range Rovers and GLSes. A Honda HR-V is closer to a Fit than it is to a Pilot.

        Now, do I think we should have more vehicle-free streets? Yes. Congestion charges? Absolutely. If the recent uptick in mass transit development proposals is a hint at a future with better public transit in Montreal, I can see a day when people who don’t live in town or close to the current metro could be ditching their personal cars en masse.

    • Kate 07:52 on 2019-10-07 Permalink | Reply  

      The new Turcot is gradually opening with one link opening Monday and more expected throughout the rest of the season.

      • Kate 07:49 on 2019-10-07 Permalink | Reply  

        A kitchen fire Sunday evening in Pointe-aux-Trembles has put 10 people out of their homes and sent one firefighter to hospital with injuries.

        • Kate 07:19 on 2019-10-07 Permalink | Reply  

          A man making a delivery in the eastern Plateau Sunday near midnight was shot in the foot by a man as he left the location. A couple of bright boys have been arrested.

          • Kate 07:11 on 2019-10-07 Permalink | Reply  

            Relatives of the MK-Ultra subjects from the 1950s are still looking for justice. The federal government has given out some money, but without admitting anything, and tied up with limits on disclosure and promises to abandon legal pursuit.

            • Dianne Racicot 09:37 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

              Hi my mom had what they claimed would remove her memories of abuse by electric shock treatment at the Ottaws General hospital in 1968 and I do believe iit done her a lot of damage and I’m also a yargeted individual with AI in my body, , does any of this have to do with blood lines?
              And how as Christian’s do we deal with this

          • Kate 04:29 on 2019-10-07 Permalink | Reply  

            Luc Rabouin of Projet Montréal is the new borough mayor of the Plateau, with 67% of the votes in Sunday’s byelection. Only 24.5% of eligible voters cast ballots – 16,000 people.

            • CE 08:40 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

              Not a bad turnout for a municipal byelection.

            • Ephraim 16:36 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

              Very badly run…. the station on St-Urbain at the Multi-Cultural Centre had work from Hydro in front with parts of the sidewalk blocked and no handicapped accessible parking. We had to go to a polling station that was 14 blocks away in spite of being just 2 blocks away from 3 different polling stations.

            • Chris 19:36 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

              Ephraim, that’s not necessarily “very badly run”. If the work had been there for days, I’d agree. Was it? If there was an emergency that Hydro had to respond to, well…

            • Ephraim 20:03 on 2019-10-07 Permalink

              I think LONGER. They should have used another location, or temporarily marked spots for handicapped parking and fixed accessibility. Everyone is supposed to be able to vote… Take a look at https://election-montreal.qc.ca/userfiles/file/Partielle_PMR_2019/arrondissement/Carte_PMR_Jeanne-Mance_20190903.pdf and you will see that purple (12-24) all voted at #2. The yellow (35-43) at #4 and the bright blue (44-51) at #5.

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