Updates from October, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 17:55 on 2019-10-08 Permalink | Reply  

    Samantha Higgins, mother of two small kids living with her partner in Lasalle, was found dismembered in July 2015 in a small town near the U.S. border. Partner Nick Fontanelli pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Tuesday – also, to committing an indignity to a body. He’ll be sentenced later.

    • Kate 17:42 on 2019-10-08 Permalink | Reply  

      A demonstration by Extinction Rebellion, determined to make their concerns very clear this week, is currently happening on René-Lévesque. The relevant city camera is here. A lot of police are on site.

      I just had CBC radio on, and they were explaining that people would have to go around the area, yadda yadda. Someone here commented recently – I’m trying to find it – about who the media are talking to. Obviously the CBC crew does not feel they’re talking to climate activists, but to the silent majority who simply want to get home from work.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m generally pro-CBC, but all the media will be talking in the same way this evening. Nobody is going to be saying “If you want to join this important protest, get off at Peel or Bonaventure and walk over.” They’re going to be saying “Get in your car and drive around it to avoid it.”

      This tendency to normalize is what’s going to kill us eventually.

      • Tim S. 19:00 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

        To be fair, I suspect much of radio’s audience is drivers. And maybe people listening at work who will eventually have to get home.

      • Lawrence Joseph 19:19 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

        I think the point is that these same drivers are a main part of the problem. So rather than just being told how to “drive around the nuisance,” it might help to also drive home the problem being raised by Extinction Rebellion.

      • Faiz Imam 19:44 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

        The take that annoyed me the most today was the idea that “these blockages are causing so many cars to idle and create more pollution, isn’t that defeating the point of the demonstration?”

        I saw it EVERYWHERE, and its nonsense. Its basically the same as the criticism of environmentalists who drive or fly anywhere.

        Yes doing so causes *some* pollution, because we live in a society, but the hope is that the wider systemic changes we can encourage would more than make up for the small effect.

        A thousand cars idling for an hour is nothing compared to the long term effects of reducing sprawl development, or stopping a new highway, etc.

      • Daniel 08:04 on 2019-10-09 Permalink

        This is a really good point that I haven’t heard made before. Thanks, Kate.

      • Daniel 08:48 on 2019-10-09 Permalink

        I should say: Thanks to the original commenter for making the point and to you, Kate, for highlighting it. 🙂

      • Hamza 09:36 on 2019-10-09 Permalink

        let it come down .

        the media/anglosphere’s buried what happened in this city and province in 2012. the capitalist-class somehow thinks everyone ‘forgot’ 2008 and 2012.

        we don’t forgive. we don’t forget.

      • Chris 20:05 on 2019-10-09 Permalink

        Faiz, yeah, that bugs the hell out of me too. Why are those cars idling?! If you’re immobilized because of protest (or whatever) turn your fucking engine OFF!

    • Kate 12:19 on 2019-10-08 Permalink | Reply  

      A study done by La Presse and the UdeM found too much lead in the water coming from drinking fountains in one out of six grade schools in Montreal, but they say Quebec is blasé about the issue.

      • Charlesetta Creegan 05:57 on 2019-12-07 Permalink

        I spent a couple of minutes studying and checking the facts.

        Everything is crystal clear and understandable. I like posts that fill in your knowledge gaps.

        This one is of this sort. Moreover, I enjoy how the author organized his thoughts as well as the visual component.

    • Kate 12:14 on 2019-10-08 Permalink | Reply  

      A dump truck on fire on Decarie near Isabella caused alarm and despondency Tuesday morning.

      • Kate 08:02 on 2019-10-08 Permalink | Reply  

        Another REM story: because of the closure of the Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche lines, Quebec is considering moving some downtown offices to the couronne nord and encouraging private businesses to follow suit.

        Was it not for Quebec government offices that half of the lower Main was demolished in recent years? Is this a beneficial gesture to spare commuters, or a nifty way to transfer Montreal activity into greener CAQ pastures?

        • Francesco 22:17 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

          Your last line is the kicker. The same way extending REM, a *METRO* to Mirabel, Blainville, Chambly or St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu through km after km of farmland is utterly ridiculous, so they’re considering it — before the Pink Line, Orange Line extension period even the eminently logical REM extension to the Dorval Circle. Smfh

      • Kate 07:58 on 2019-10-08 Permalink | Reply  

        Only 12 of our 68 metro stations have no cell coverage now, a few at each end of the green line, but those will be completed by next year.

        • Kate 07:49 on 2019-10-08 Permalink | Reply  

          Some may remember the broken water main that flooded several McGill buildings in January 2013. The university has launched 15 court cases against the city, which has just offered $5.3 million to settle them all.

          • Kate 07:46 on 2019-10-08 Permalink | Reply  

            Hampstead has set a November date for a referendum on demolishing two apartment buildings on Côte St-Luc for the construction of a much larger condo building. Is it just me, or does CTV’s illustration of this news with a convincing rendering of the building, plus the wording “The development, a 10‑storey building with 90 units, will be built on Cote St. Luc Rd.”, betray a mild bias?

            • Chris 07:59 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              Did you miss that it ends with “if approved” or did they really add that in so fast?

            • Kate 08:04 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              I did not, but there can be hints in the choice and order of words sometimes, Chris. The proper form of that verb is conditional.

            • MarcG 08:40 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              “would occupy a space” under the illustration also implies that it’s currently an empty lot.

            • Kate 09:09 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              Ooh, good analysis, MarcG.

            • Chris 09:17 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              Kate, fair enough, but your omitting two words in your quote is a bit misleading too, no? Especially with you ending the quote with a period, implying the end of their sentence (yeah, the period is for the abbreviation I guess). I honestly though they amended their sentence after reading your comment.

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

              Chris, my only point (bolstered by MarcG’s observation) is that an inattentive reader might take this project as a fait accompli.

            • Uatu 10:30 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              CTV News are a bunch of shills. More of a pr agency than news

            • Kate 11:16 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              To be fair, Kevin, who participates here, is not a shill. But the overall tone of CTV’s news can be somewhat passive and uncritical.

            • Kevin 12:33 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              Thanks Kate, but there’s no point talking to Uatu. She closed her mind a long time ago.

            • Uatu 18:54 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              As much as I hate to admit it, Kevin is right. I’m still bitter over the lack of critical coverage of the superhospital and mitz as face of the muhc . As employees we were let down. And it burns me every time a stranger comes up to me at work and asks why the hospital is the way it is. It’s because everyone was sold a load of goods reassured by the smiling face of Montreal’s most trusted news anchor. Maybe that’s not what was intended, but that’s how it appeared to me

            • Kevin 09:35 on 2019-10-09 Permalink

              Arthur Porter swindled everyone.

            • Uatu 10:47 on 2019-10-09 Permalink

              Yes he did, but maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if the Montreal press had kept an eye on the project. It’s not like this city hadn’t been burned in the past by megaprojects. Like i mentioned before, the day Porter was hired the union put up posters talking about his questionable tenure at the Detroit medical center and that the hope would be that this isn’t the future of the new superhospital. But it was, and everyone was conned even though there was a precedent. Hindsight is 20/20 but I hate being reminded of it every day at work…

            • Kate 12:56 on 2019-10-09 Permalink

              I was very marginally involved in some PR stuff when the superhospital was in development. I never met Arthur Porter or any of the bigwigs – my role was very external and very minimal. However, even then, I was aware of Porter and picked up a vibe that he was a con man. I couldn’t tell you how I knew, but I knew.

              I still want an explanation why Stephen Harper chose to put Porter in charge of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, which oversees CSIS, back in 2008.

              …And, I admit, I’ve never been 100% convinced that Porter really is dead.

            • walkerp 18:08 on 2019-10-09 Permalink

              Arthur Porter was the symptom, not the disease. He was able to operate because politicians, media and especially corporate elites allowed him to operate. Let’s not brush off the super hospital theft on the shoulders of one bad apple. This kind of behaviour is still going on today.

          • Kate 07:38 on 2019-10-08 Permalink | Reply  

            Three Extinction Rebellion adherents scaled the Jacques-Cartier bridge Tuesday morning and unfurled a banner, while others chanted below. The bridge has been closed in both directions, and is still closed as I post this.

            Update: Both sides are reopened around 9. Three arrests were made.

            • Kevin 10:30 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              Greenpeace The Next Generation: Doing the same stuff environmental activists have been doing for my entire life and hoping this time it will actually change something.

            • nau 11:38 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              Well maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll live long enough to see them lose all hope. I imagine you’ll enjoy being snide about that too.

            • Michael Black 11:42 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              To be fair, when Greenpeace sailed to Amchitka in the fall of 1971, their intent was to stop the atom bomb detonation by being in the way. When they went out to stop whaling, they did get between the whalers and the whales.

              But yes, a key component was getting press. They had Bob Cummings, of the Georgia Straight, Bob Hunter, I guess it was the Vancouver Sun, and someone from the CBC I think, on board.

              But with time, Greenpeace grew, and became more about stunts to get press. They broke secondary laws, not directly connected to the cause, to get the publicity. So climbing a bridge or tower to raise a banner often resulted in arrest, but it was incidental to the goal of raising a banner. You don’t hear about the arrests being challenged in court. I don’t know but suspect fines are paid by the organization, rather than serving time. Even in 1979 when some parachuted into the construction site for the Darlington,Ont nuclear power plant, it was more about getting press.

              That said, this did seem more !ike Greenpeace, where climbing ability comes before non-violence training. Considering I saw two articles last week about non-violence training, I was surprised this new group went with climbing the bridge that requires existing skill, rather than a blockade using recently trained people.

              I’d say it’s the willingness to be arrested that has the potential to change people, not making things inconvenient to others. Things get muffled with the change from breaking an unjust law to breaking a secondary law. If you get served at that lunch counter, you’ve changed things, if you don’t get served the arrest may change others. But if you blockade the Litton factory in Toronto, you may not be effective at shutting it down, even briefly. Though your willingess to be arrested may change people’s minds about nuclear weapons. But if you get arrested for climbing a bridge, and inconvenience the public, you may not change anyone, especially if the trial is out of sight, an incidental to the banner raising.


            • Kevin 12:26 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              I have no interest in people losing hope.
              But protests and stunts are not effective means of creating change. They’re attention-grabbing, but they don’t do anything.

              Come up with concrete ideas to reduce the usage of greenhouse gases and with ways to implement them, or with ways to alter the environment so that we can cope with the effects of climate change.

              For example, the government could alter fuel efficiency requirements by testing at real highway speeds (not 97 kmh), or require better fuel efficiency for individual makes, and not give companies an ‘out’ by judging fuel efficiency by the fleet of vehicles. (Because a hyper-efficient Ford Fiesta doesn’t offset the most popular vehicle in Quebec: the F150 pickup truck.)

              How about going after coal? Saskatchewan, Alberta, and New Brunswick are still burning COAL to make electricity. Change that and 10% of the country’s GHGs will be eliminated.

              So I’m not being snide. I just think the activists are not looking in the right place.

            • Kate 12:34 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              Kev, New Brunswick, really? Don’t they have enough space and running water to do hydro?

              Doesn’t all of Canada?

            • nau 12:50 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              I know a guy who works at a enviro think tank in the States that was pointing out the emission reducing benefits of mandating better fuel efficiency approx. 15 years ago and I doubt the idea was new then. People have been calling for an end to coal power for a long time as well. Enviromentalists have been coming up with concrete ideas for your entire life (or most of it) and hoping it will actually change things and I think you probably know that. So colour me unconvinced that you really intended anything other than to snark at the youthful activists. I don’t think you have any interest in them losing hope, but they will and when they do, the resulting nihilism might leave you nostalgic for the days when they used to annoy you by climbing bridges and droppng banners.

            • CE 12:55 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              @Kate, your question re New Brunswick can be answered with the name of one incredibly rich and influential family: Irving.

            • nau 14:59 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              I think we can be pretty sure that if other provinces had the same opportunities to develop large-scale hydro as Quebec, BC and Manitoba, they would already have done so. NB has several hydro power facilities (though only two over 100 MW) but apparently hasn’t built one since the sixties. While I’m all for highlighting the malign influence of the Irvings, I suspect that as far as large-scale hydro goes, NB probably doesn’t have any more resources to tap (and didn’t have any genuinely big ones to begin with). NB, Saskatchewan and Alberta are all too flat for the size of the rivers they have.

            • Kevin 15:07 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              Yup. Alberta leads, but NB is third.
              But our weak federal government doesn’t do much to run hydro lines east-west.

              Allow me to repeat myself since you missed my point.
              Come up with concrete ideas to reduce the usage of greenhouse gases and WITH WAYS TO IMPLEMENT THEM.

              That’s what the movement fails at. It’s been failing at that for decades. Rallies and protests have one goal: awareness, but they never take the next step and make actual changes.

            • Michael Black 15:09 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              On the other hand, the Grand Coolee Dam in Washington state brought water to dry areas, and power so Seattle could become industrial. The sc’win have never fully recovered, the dam making it hard to get upstream.

              And it caused a burial site to be moved. If I’m reading things right, that ncludes some distant relatives.

              Ecology is about how things interact. Do this and there’s always impact.


            • Kevin 15:48 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              Police are recommending charges of mischief and conspiracy. They’re due in court Oct. 24.

            • Kate 17:43 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              Thanks for the update, Kevin.

            • nau 16:40 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              @Kevin You wanted to make the point that the enviro movement needs to move on to implementing its concrete ideas, so you posted “Greenpeace The Next Generation: Doing the same stuff environmental activists have been doing for my entire life and hoping this time it will actually change something”. In the spirit of interpretive generosity, I’m going to characterize that as magnificiently (not to say absurdly) subtle.There are certainly clearer, politer ways you could have proceeded.

              On the off chance you are serious about advocating that the movement move on to make actual changes, it can’t really have escaped your notice that they don’t have the necessary power to do that, so I’m not sure what you’re really suggesting they do. If it’s follow the electoral route, note that the Green Party has existed in Canada for most of your adult life without changing much of anything either. Maybe if we had another 30 years, they could actually form the government and start doing things, but we don’t. The reality is that the enviro movement has been ineffectual because people don’t want to make the necessary sacrifices now to prevent dire impacts in the coming decades and centuries.

            • Chris 21:41 on 2019-10-08 Permalink

              nau said “the Green Party has existed in Canada for most of your adult life without changing much of anything either” -> are you sure about that? interesting that you chose a chunk of a lifespan as your timescale. It indeed takes humanity that kind of timescale to turn the ship. Perhaps the Greens banging at it for a couple of decades is part of why climate change is so at the forefront now.

            • JaneyB 08:56 on 2019-10-09 Permalink

              Side note: Ontario tapped out their hydro dam options by the 60s. Coal has finally been shuttered there with the closure of Nanticoke under McGuinty (15% of Ont’s power). They basically need massive nuclear expansion especially if electric cars become dominant.

            • nau 09:09 on 2019-10-09 Permalink

              @Chris Well, as sure as I am about any “fact” I get from Wikipedia (which says 1983) and about my educated guess as to Kevin’s age. If you re-read Kevin’s original comment, you’ll see why I used that timescale. I agree that the Greens have made progress since 1983 (sadly, it’s been insufficient), but then perhaps one could also say that a couple decades of Greenpeace-style activism is part of why climate change is at the forefront now (though really I think it’s because people are no longer able to entirely deny the impacts staring them in the face).

            • Michael Black 09:46 on 2019-10-09 Permalink

              Elizabeth May gave a speech aginst nuclear power in June of 1979 at tge Darlington nuclear power plant construction site. She was young, but she was already known for speaking out against aerial insecticide spraying in Nova Scotia.

              The concept of the Green Party existed in Europe by 1979, though I gather not quite tge same form as when it showed up in Canada. I can’t remember when The Green Party first ran in Canada.

              Wikipedia in Elizabet May’s entry says she ran with others in 1980 under The Small Party, environmental and anti-nuclear, which I know remember vaguely but had forgotten.


            • Kevin 09:50 on 2019-10-09 Permalink

              Oh I’m deadly serious about wanting them to be effective. One of my kids is a literal poster child for Pour le Futur.

              You don’t need to be in government to effect change (although the Green Party has been inept) but the environmental movement (like all protest movements) is locked into a broken meme:

              1. Protest
              2. ???
              3. Change the world

              If the only thing they’ve come up with step two “make the necessary sacrifices” then of course it will fail.
              Where’s the Greenpeace carpooling app? Where’s the Extinction Rebellion manual for environmentally-friendly and affordable housing and HVAC? Where’s Greta Thunberg’s guide to calculating the most carbon-neutral method of travelling and eating?

              It’s a massive movement, but it’s long past time they stop preaching to the choir.

            • nau 11:30 on 2019-10-09 Permalink

              Well, I’m pretty sure that lots of people would consider carpooling, living in genuinely environmentally friendly housing and travelling and eating in the most carbon-neutral way to be sacrifices, so if “make the necessary sacrifices” is a guaranteed fail, as you assert, then I don’t see how your suggestions would lead us to a better outcome.

              While the specific organizations/individual you mention have not produced the specific tools you mention, if you were to look, I think you’ll find that enviro groups have produced all sorts of such tools over the past few decades; it’s never just been protests. But the tools don’t change anything if people aren’t interested in using them. How does one focus their minds on the problem and its potential solutions? So far, all the methods have been ineffective. If methods that haven’t worked yet are to be abandoned, there’s nothing left to do.

              But, now that we finally seem to be at a point where fear is starting to force people to take the issue seriously, perhaps the previously ineffective methods will fare better at getting people to actually act (perhaps not, I’m not optimistic that people will change before things are already too far gone, but defeatism definitely isn’t going to accomplish anything). If so, then it makes sense to move forward on all fronts, using both the methods you approve of and the ones you don’t, including protests that involve blocking traffic, which however it might be characterized, certainly isn’t preaching to the choir.

            • Michael Black 11:59 on 2019-10-09 Permalink

              In the sixties tge big changes came really when people themselves changed, even if the rhetoric has tge anti-Vietnam war protesters claiming they ended the war.

              Even in the civil rights era, things tipped because black people decided it was better to change than live as tgey had, discriminated against and often held there by fear .

              So people moved back to the land. They became vegetarian. They decided simpler lives were better. The started businesses that were different. And so on. They wanted bicycle rights, because they rode bicycles, and oddly, Commun-Auto, making it easier to live without owning a car, was started by a big participant in Le Monde a Bicyclette if I remember properly. Phillip Berigan left the priesthood, but lived in simp!icity for the rest of his life, a religioys life that included getting arrested many times fkr protesting against war. Many people chose to live a simp!e life so they didn’t make enough to pay taxes, to avoid paying war taxes. Others, like Marty Jezer, got into solar power installing. He’s a good example, since he went from pacifist circles with a connection to tbe Yippies! to living on a commune in Vermont, which was kind of tge birthplace of anti-nuclear protest. One bit about tbat was that it wasn’t just anti, it was supposed to be about less centraluzed power, the interest in solar and wind being great at the time.

              All if this gives decades of foundation for tge ykunger peooke, so it’s way easier for them to taje up tbings like bicycles or not eating meat, or simo!er lifestyles.

              I’ve never driven a car, I’ve not eaten meat in forty years, I live prettty simply and buy a lot of things used. I choose, but it probably has more impact than protest. I know protest and my criticism comes frim observing first hand. I probably know much about human nature because of the people in protest rather than mainstream.

              Once something gets big, it’s very different from individuals or small groups that protest. People can get carried away from being in that bubble of a mass. But it never really matters how big that mass is, but how the “outsiders” percieve it, since those “outsiders” aren’t the “enemy” but the people who need to ve reached.


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