Updates from October, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 12:32 on 2019-10-16 Permalink | Reply  

    I have fond memories of watching election returns at the long-gone Skala. Do people still do this anywhere within hail of Villeray/Rosemont/Mile End?

    So, here’s my thoughts on the latest polls.

    Justin Trudeau didn’t live up to the hype, but few could’ve done. He doesn’t have the intellect and hard edge of his father, but he’s coping with a very different world.

    It’s very cool, very trendy to sneer at Justin, and it’s been reminding me of all those high-minded, well-intentioned U.S. lefties who wouldn’t vote for Hillary because she wasn’t perfect – and look what happened there.

    I will have trouble forgiving all the Dippers and Green voters if their stubbornness and perfectionism brings us a Tory government next week – even a minority one. When it comes to the crunch it doesn’t matter if Jagmeet Singh makes better promises and has higher ideals. What matters is not to let Andrew Scheer run Canada at a time when this country is one of the few offering a gleam of sanity. Both the US and UK are foundering under leaders who are incompetent at best and absolutely evil most of the time. We don’t want to elect them a little Canadian brother who’ll lead us down the same dangerous path.

    It matters not to let the Conservatives run this country when it’s been shown there are fascists pulling some of its strings, especially not now with fascism on the rise in many places. It matters not to put climate change deniers into high places.

    There you have it. Please vote carefully.

    • Michael Black 22:07 on 2019-10-16 Permalink

      But if people always vote out of fear, no change takes place.

      I think I’ll vote NDP because I’d like to see Jagmeet Singh as prime minister. By being himself, he challenges the anti-religious symbol law, and challenges those who think it’s a good idea. Just by himself, he represents people often left out.

      There’s a lot more going on against Trudeau than than that he’s not a great leader. Lots of the cousins are disappointed about what happened to Puglaas, and things that aren’t really getting attention. It does seem that he doesn’t live up to the image he presents.

      The fact that he made promises about electoral reform, and didn’t keep them may be a good reason you had to suggest “better Liberal than Conservative”.


    • ottokajetan 22:48 on 2019-10-16 Permalink

      Kate, when would there be a Conservative leader situation where it would be OK not to vote Liberal? They’ll always be bad. But it’s an argument designed to keep Liberals in perpetual power. We can’t let fear stop us from voting for the more progressive choice.

    • Kate 23:03 on 2019-10-16 Permalink

      Damn straight it’s voting from fear! I am afraid: of four years of regressive legislation, four years of (at best) inaction and (more likely) damaging changes on the environmental front, four years of gritting my teeth while watching Scheer.

      Is it brave to vote in a high-minded way that leaves you feeling you did the right thing, even while the country slides down the tubes?

      Go be brave then. Knock yourself out.

    • Patrick 01:21 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      Kate, I agree with you. The election is too close not to vote strategically in those ridings where a split progressive vote would let in a Conservative (or a Bloquiste, for that matter, if any of those ridings are competitive. As it happens, the riding in which, thanks to the new election law, I can now cast my ballot from outside the country, is solidly Liberal, but even so, I am not inspired enough by today’s NDP to vote for them, as I did years ago. Their position on Bill 21 is a big disappointment–not that the Liberals aren’t treading carefully too, but Singh’s contortions are embarrassing. Plus Jason Kenney needs a comeuppance. As for the energy question, there is no easy answer in a federal system in which the provinces pull in contradictory directions. Trudeau has made mistakes, but could any PM who doesn’t want to split the country really do better in these circumstances? If so, I’d like to hear how.

    • Tim 08:57 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      Kate, what evidence do you have that “fascist” money is behind the Conservatives? Or are you casually throwing around that loaded term to reference the Oil and Gas lobby?

    • nau 09:03 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      Kate, are you suggesting that there is a riding in Montreal that the Liberals could lose to the Conservatives? If so, which one? As far as I can tell, there aren’t any. Are there even any where the Cons are second outside of the far West Island where the Liberals already have more than 50% of all the votes? There seem to be a couple where the Bloq could beat the Libs, so perhaps there your vote Lib to keep the Cons away from power advice makes sense since the Bloq is the only real (if unstable) partner for the Cons. (beside the Libs themselves of course on all those center right issues where they agree). Of course, there’s at least one riding where it seems to be between the NDP and the Bloq, so there your advice could help the Cons. Plus another where it’s likely a three-way race Bloq, Lib, NDP race, so who knows which is closer to defeating the Bloq. Strategic voting is complicated and requires clear-headed reasoning and a lot of best guesstimating. Fear is not conducive to either of those.

    • Kate 09:21 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      Tim, I didn’t say money. I was thinking of news stories like this. People known from far‑right entities have filtered into the Conservative party and it’s been documented, but I have not kept links to the trail nor do I have time right now to seek them out.

    • JaneyB 09:58 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      I’m not sure what’s going on with this idea that JT is ‘not what he presents’. His government, with all its inadequacies, has presided over the second-best Indigenous-friendly govt in Canadian history. (Paul Martin’s was the most inclusive with the Kelowna Accord but it didn’t get passed in the end). Likewise, JT’s govt is the most environmentally ambitious in Canadian history, by far. By far! Seriously people, this imperfect progress – though serious progress nonetheless – could slip away in a blink. Strategic voting is key! Young voters: I’m looking at you.

    • Tim 10:07 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      I’m much more concerned about the influence of the Chinese Communist Party in our political system and in everyday life than some statistically ignorable number of fascists.

    • Mr.Chinaski 10:10 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      It’s like you never learn Kate before every federal/provincial election : that it’s not related to Montreal news. There’s enough political places on the web to talk about all this. Look at the above discussion, it’s goes nowhere and only brings the worse out of people.

    • Kate 10:35 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      Mr.Chinaski, the attention of journalists is inevitably focused on election campaigns as they hot up, so there isn’t as much interesting municipal-level news as usual, and I refuse to shut down the blog for these periods.

      But more importantly, as Montrealers we need to foresee the consequences to our city of choices made at the federal or provincial level. The interaction of government levels can’t be neatly segregrated, but especially not during an election campaign. Housing, transit, environmental issues generally, have been subjects in this campaign and all have direct impacts on city life, and that’s not even mentioning the whole laïcité scrum that entangles all three levels of government.

      With all this going on, you want me to restrict my blog to potholes and teenagers stabbing each other in the suburbs?

    • JoeNotCharles 11:28 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      Remember that you’re not voting for Trudeau or Singh or Scheer unless you happen to live in their riding. You’re voting for your local elected representative, and all that matters when strategically voting is what other people in your riding plan to do. calculatedpolitics.ca and 338canada.com both have riding-by-riding breakdowns (which don’t always agree with each other!) so I’d suggest checking both before making a decision.

      If you’re in a riding where the NDP has a 5% chance and the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck, voting for the NDP is useless and might hand the Conservatives a victory. But if you’re in a riding where the Conservatives have a 5% chance and the NDP and Liberals are neck-and-neck, you have a choice to make, whether to support the NDP (assuming that’s your preference) and hope the Liberals get a minority without your seat, or play it safe and support the Liberals.

      As nau says, I don’t think there are any ridings in Montreal where the Conservatives actually have a chance, but better to check your riding on the two sites I mentioned to make sure first.

    • jeather 11:49 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      I have never yet voted Liberal and Marc Miller, old high school friend of Trudeau, is not the candidate to make me change my mind. Might I vote differently in a different riding? Perhaps, but so what? And I won’t feel bad if my riding goes green or orange (all projections have it an easy Liberal win at this moment).

    • thomas 11:55 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      Of primary importance to me is not the local representative, but who obtains the most seats and gets to form the government. The first stated priority of a Scheer government would be to scrap the carbon tax which I view as regressive to the most important problem facing us. Talk of a Liberal/NDP coalition seems implausible since they would likely not be a majority, given the strength of the Bloc.

    • Blork 12:06 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      Also remember that you are not electing a friend or neighbour; it should matter little whether or not you “like” the candidates for PM. You are electing a government with a policy platform. Ignore all the ad hominem complaints and please only pay attention to policies and platform.

    • Mark Côté 12:48 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      Voting for someone you know are very likely not to get in can be a vote for the future instead. Many people will only vote for a party that has some sort of national support. That national support usually grows slowly, election by election.

    • Michael Black 12:59 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      Marc Miller at least learned Mohawk since he was elected, even gave a speech in the language in Parliament. I don’t think any other non-native has done that. Maybe a minor thing, but it matters to some.


    • jeather 13:19 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      I agree, he has done one really excellent thing. But he was parachuted in for the seat, I haven’t seen or heard of him other than the speech in Mohawk, and he was carefully silent throughout the brownface/blackface thing, which, given that some of the story was while JT was in high school, seemed meaningful. I was initially positive when the Libs were last elected but have been significantly disappointed with them since, and this MP hasn’t amazed me so much that I would vote for him despite not liking the party as a whole.

    • Chris 13:49 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      Everyone votes strategically, we just have different strategies. Mine is to let others vote for who they want, and for myself to vote for who I think is best. Definitely won’t be for Liberals. Breaking their electoral reform promise is enough of a reason for me.

    • Faiz Imam 16:04 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      I think keeping Sheer out of power is a laudable goal, but that does not mean “vote liberal no matter what”

      We are in a parliamentary democracy. We do not elect leaders, we elect MP’s.

      Its pretty clear that we are heading to a minority government situation. And its clear that even if the Conservatives have the most seats, they will not have a coalition that is able to govern.

      If ridings go ndp or bloc instead of Liberal, that does not nessessarliy mean Sheer benefits.

      I’m in a riding that is a fight between the Liberals and the Bloc, and I voted in advance polls last week.

    • DLA 16:29 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      HI everyone. This doesn’t pertain to the topic at hand but I was curious if anyone could answer this question for me: Do parties receive any type of funding as a result of votes cast for their candidates in an election? I’ve had this told to me numerous times by different people but I’ve been unable to find sources to confirm it. Thanks.

    • Alex L 16:40 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      Hi DLA, your question is quite relevant to the topic. The Conservatives abolished public funding of political parties back in 2011. So now, the parties that have fans with the deepest pockets (you can give up to 1600$ during an election year) are privileged. Curiously, this decision hasn’t been reversed by the Liberals.


    • ant6n 17:49 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      Nowhere in Montreal do the Conservatives have any chance, voting Liberal does not prevent a conservative government. And let’s say a riding swings NDP instead of Liberal: if the conservative have a majority, then any Montreal riding won’t make a difference. If they have a minority, and the Liberals get a smaller minority than the Conservatives, well, then there’s always the chance of a Liberal-NDP coalition. In any case, a Conservative minority government would be ineffective. The main undesirable outcomes are a Conservative or a Liberal majority government.

      In Montreal, voting strategic does not make any sense. And besides that, it’s essentially rewarding the Liberals for not getting rid of strategic voting by not implementing electoral reform.

      “rudeau has made mistakes, but could any PM who doesn’t want to split the country really do better in these circumstances?”

      Trudeau could’ve implemented electoral reform as promised, instead of scuttling selfishly scuttling the process when it didn’t go his way.
      He could try to prevent the privatization of public transit infrastructure (REM), instead of nationalizing oil infrastructure (pipelines).
      He could do proper carbon pricing instead of this watered down program the Liberals came up with.
      He could definitely treat first nations people better.

    • Faiz Imam 19:18 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      Absolutely, and in fact this minority government situation gives us a historic opportunity. Having a minority liberal government, backed by the NDP, opens the door for many key policies that we had been promised but were never delivered.

    • Michael Black 20:44 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      I could vote for the first time forty years ago. I voted NDP, who actually was the father of someone I sort of knew. Nobody talked in terms of “strategic vote”.

      I’m thinking we have been influenced by the internet. I never understood the strong split in US politics, until I had internet access starting in 1996, suddenly I at least saw how US posters were so adamant about their side. I do wonder if this existed in Canada, and it was onky in direct conversation, or if we’ve picked up habits from the US. I’d never vote Conservative, and thus pay little attention, but the demonizing I see in more recent tears also makes me think bad habits from the US.

      There’s a limit on how much any party can change while in.power, and between voting and new legislation tge larger changes are often reset.

      And let’s not forget that gaining power often limits how much a part can change, other matters intrude, so being in opposition often may be more effective at bringing new ideas than when a party is settled into power. The MCM were probably more effective when they had few elected councillors, as I recall tgere was disappointment when Dore was mayor.


    • Chris 19:37 on 2019-10-18 Permalink

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

    Eater has a solid piece on the best fries in Montreal.

    • Blork 12:04 on 2019-10-16 Permalink

      FWIW, if you like sweet potato fries — or even if you don’t but are compelled to eat them anyway — the SP fries at Venice on Notre-Dame in the Hank (at rue du Couvent) are exceptionally good. (Probably as good at the other Venice locations, but that’s the only one I’ve been to.)

    • Ephraim 15:44 on 2019-10-16 Permalink

      They forgot Decarie Hot Dog. Though it is nice to see Chalet BBQ on the list, they have an exceptional FF.

    • dwgs 09:44 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      Patate Rouge on Cremazie at St. Hubert has excellent fries as well.

  • Kate 09:42 on 2019-10-16 Permalink | Reply  

    There’s a rainfall warning Wednesday night into Thursday with as much as 50 mm of rainfall expected.

  • Kate 08:59 on 2019-10-16 Permalink | Reply  

    Apparently it’s big retail news that Japanese clothing chain Uniqlo will be opening in the Eaton Centre – but not till next fall.

    • Mr.Chinaski 09:36 on 2019-10-16 Permalink

      Uniqlo falls a little into pret-a-jeter, but it has a more intemporal minimalist style which leads to wearing the clothes longer, especially at their mid-to-low price. It’s the place where when you find your style, you can pretty much go there and keep it alive and fresh for years at a high affordable:quality ratio.

    • Blork 11:49 on 2019-10-16 Permalink

      As I am not rail-thin, I don’t give AF about Uniqlo. (Their clothing is all sized for tiny Japanese people.)

      I’d be much happier if Muji were to open, as it’s mostly about ridiculously adorable zen-like household goods plus a bit of clothes (my Muji demin shirt actually fits me, but I can’t buy socks there because they don’t go beyond about size 9).

      …not to be confused with Miniso (on Ste-Catherine next to Fats Billiard pub), which is basically just a Chinese dollar store made up to look like a Japanese goods store. (Cheap and badly made junk.)

    • Kate 11:51 on 2019-10-16 Permalink

      I like Miniso, Blork. I carry my human chow lunch around in a Miniso glass food box. But the chain hasn’t been doing all that well in Canada.

    • Blork 12:00 on 2019-10-16 Permalink

      I liked it at first, but the second and third time I went in there, after the gloss was worn off a bit, everything seemed really cheap and kitschy. I bought a hard covered blank book and the cover fell off before I even got home.

      (You can get glass food boxes at Winners, and they’re probably better quality…)

    • CE 12:11 on 2019-10-16 Permalink

      As someone who is pretty thin, I appreciate that there are clothing stores like Uniqlo. American Apparel was a bit of a revelation for me when I moved to Montreal as I had no idea that it was possible for a thin man such as myself to buy clothes that didn’t feel like I was swimming in them.

      I’ve bought some jeans and t-shirts from Uniqlo in New York and find that their stuff is of much higher quality than other similar places like Zara and H&M and is just a little bit more expensive.

    • Blork 14:16 on 2019-10-16 Permalink

      Wow, that’s funny to read. As a not thin person, I feel like virtually all clothing stores are designed for thin people. Go through the racks at Simon’s and try to find a shirt that’s not marked “slim fit.” (There are a few, but they’re never the ones I want.)

      This is all made worse by the dominant style over the past decade, which seems to be “emaciated hipster.”

      Zara is just insane. I once tried to try on a sports jacket there. I chose a size larger than I usually take and when I tried to put it on I couldn’t even get it up to my shoulders. It was like trying to put on a child’s garment.

      (And BTW, I am neither fat shaming nor thin shaming; as a “somewhere in the middle” person I’m just pointing out that most clothing seems to be made for people much thinner than me. This used to be a female-only problem I think, but yay for gender equality!)

    • Jo Walton 15:39 on 2019-10-16 Permalink

      I’m quite fat, but Uniqlo make jeans that fit me and are made of a linen cotton blend that’s lovely, wears well, and isn’t expensive. I liked them so much I bought multiple pairs. I doubt I’ll go to their shop — who shops in shops in 2019? — but they have a great website and definitely are making clothes sized for big people and not just tiny people. Really. I’m wearing them right now.

    • Blork 15:49 on 2019-10-16 Permalink

      Thanks for the tip!

    • Mr.Chinaski 10:15 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      Saying that Uniqlo is only for thin people makes me believe they never went there. In fact it’s probably one of the only place where you can find clothes in every size/type/color/fit, it’s how they became popular around the world, a one stop place.

      Also, Miniso probably hurts MUJI entering the Canadian market as people will think they both are the same. Miniso is the Dollorama version of real MUJI items.

    • Uatu 10:45 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      I’m short and Asian. About fucking time I have a store where i can buy off the rack without going to the tailor.

    • Jack 12:16 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      I’m fat and Renaissance works for me.

    • Blork 16:06 on 2019-10-17 Permalink

      I take back my comment about Uniqlo sizing only for tiny people — it’s true I haven’t been there, and I was basing that only on a few things I read a while ago.

  • Kate 08:16 on 2019-10-16 Permalink | Reply  

    A new city bylaw may soon stop grocery stores from trashing edible food.

    • Kate 08:13 on 2019-10-16 Permalink | Reply  

      That water main to be repaired beside the Ville-Marie is no hosepipe – it’s a major source of drinking water for half the city. City council is to have an emergency sitting Wednesday to vote contracts for it to be repaired before spring. St-Antoine Street will be squeezed down to one lane for months, among other inconveniences – but that’s better than turning off the water.

      Update: Not surprisingly, council voted to award the contract and get the work started immediately. The pipe in question is 7 feet across.

      • Kate 07:57 on 2019-10-16 Permalink | Reply  

        Death, taxes and the stadium roof, three unavoidable facts of life in Montreal. The contract requirements for a new roof have been made public, and involve removing the old roof, assuring good acoustics, and allowing natural light to pass through it. Fifteen years of maintenance are also written in.

        • Kate 07:54 on 2019-10-16 Permalink | Reply  

          Climate protesters took to banging on casseroles Tuesday in the good old traditional manner.

          • Kate 07:49 on 2019-10-16 Permalink | Reply  

            TVA reports that onetime Canadiens winger Donald Brashear is working in a Tim Hortons in Quebec City. Brashear has had various legal troubles since his hockey career came to an end.

            • Kate 07:47 on 2019-10-16 Permalink | Reply  

              Chantal Rouleau is saying so loudly that the REM is on time and within budget that it suggests it may not be so. But even she had to admit that existing commuter trains are going to be a mess for years while the REM is completed.

              • Kate 07:43 on 2019-10-16 Permalink | Reply  

                Five families were put into the street Tuesday by a fire in Petite-Patrie.

                • Kate 07:37 on 2019-10-16 Permalink | Reply  

                  It’s not the first time this has been mentioned in the news, but a lot of fish and seafood is mislabelled in our grocery stores and restaurants. Not surprisingly, cheaper fish are sold as more expensive ones but it’s not just a question of cost: escolar, which can be substituted for tuna, can cause digestive discomfort in many people and should probably not be sold for food. We need to know what we’re eating.

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