Updates from October, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:36 on 2019-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro says Lionel Perez is claiming that Projet’s law mandating some amount of social/affordable housing in new projects (that link is from June) will be disastrous for the middle class and send more people fleeing to the suburbs. La Presse, which usually has less biased headlines, says one professor’s theories destroy the city’s law in flames.

    • Filp 23:50 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

      The professors theories regarding this law reflect my thoughts exactly, so I’ll save myself the effort of repeating those exact points. But at what point in time did the government fall so far off the social housing rythme that the only viable solution is to handicap the private housing market with the burden of construction? The late 90s I’m assuming? It would be unimaginable today to match the quantities of social housing constructed in the past, (in eras which I doubt had the multi billion dollar budgetary surplus Quebec has these days). Instead we have a public sector with skeletal funding and construction, and and a soon to be overburdened private sector. As if we needed something on top of nimbyism to restrict construction further.

      Voters haven’t shown concern for the governments gradual disinvestment in society it seems. Or at least it happened too slowly to notice. Until there is a 20 thousand person waiting list for social housing!!

    • mare 08:34 on 2019-10-25 Permalink

      The problem can be “easily” solved. Instead of building more HLMs the government could just subsidize part of the rent of people with low income, with a sliding scale. They do it in Ottawa that way (and probably in other cities too) and it seems to work. It’s analogous to subsidizing day care, and why is making babies more important than making rent? The government didn’t start their own day cares, they just give money to companies and thus create an incentive to start CPEs. When landlords get part of the rent from the government, building cheap rental apartments with a more or less guarantee return might suddenly make economic sense for developers.

  • Kate 21:31 on 2019-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

    The official line is that the REM is on schedule despite setbacks.

    A year from now, trains are supposed to be tested on a 3.5-km track in Brossard.

    • Kate 21:13 on 2019-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

      A group of men with Irish accents – or affecting them – has allegedly been going around the West Island taking cash up front for paving work they never do. Photos of the suspects are shown in both items.

      Neither item mentions that it’s likely these guys were offering a deal where the homeowner would pay cash to avoid paying tax, so reserve your pity.

      • Kate 19:43 on 2019-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

        The Crown is appealing the stay of charges that spared Frank Zampino from going to trial last month. This wasn’t based on delay of justice, but on a question of police wiretapping the phone chat between the big Z and his lawyer. Now he may still have to face the music.

        • Kate 12:56 on 2019-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

          The EMSB is set to challenge the Loi sur la laïcité de l’État.

          • Jack 19:51 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

            Incredible how focused the EMSB got after reading Bill 40, too little to late.

        • Kate 12:53 on 2019-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

          Media continue to cover the double homicide and suicide that took place Tuesday in a little house in the east end. (Have a look at the house on Streetview. It’s at the corner of Curatteau and Pierre-de-Coubertin, sitting alone on a corner, facing a dead wall that protects it from autoroute 25. Far be it from me to blame feng shui for a person’s state of mind, but that there is an invitation to depression.)

          The recent history of the father, who to all appearances killed his kids and then himself, is being dissected, TVA canvasses opinions from neighbours and a colleague of the father, who worked at the Biodome, and the impact on police who had to deal with the scene is considered, although some people sent in supportive words to the force, according to CTV.

          The story is being reported in some French media, because the family is originally from Toulouse.

          • Dominic 17:08 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

            Counterpoint: Maybe it has a breakfast nook 😉

          • denpanosekai 17:12 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

            There are a few houses on corner lots like that in Crawford Park that are 100% front yard — no backyard. But facing the highway noise barrier too? Damn.

          • Chris 19:51 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

            Cumulative noise pollution can make people snap. See for example http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/event/noise-pollution-and-violence-timo-hener/

          • Kate 19:52 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

            I think the Crawford Park houses and these ones are the same vintage – what they called Victory houses, following the return of soldiers from WWII, ready to marry and settle in.

            I wonder if that house has lead pipes in the water entrance…

        • Kate 12:32 on 2019-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

          A minor train derailment at Central Station has stopped the Exo trains that use the Mount Royal tunnel. Trains on the Mascouche and Deux-Montagnes lines can’t leave the station until this is cleared.

          Update: The service is back.

          • Kate 12:29 on 2019-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

            This morning I forgot to hit post on an item about CSDM head Catherine Harel-Bourdon’s anger at her board’s exclusion from Quebec government discussions on the school board reform bill. News now is that the CSDM will be heard after all.

            We have a discussion below about the possible power of protest. Maybe this is an example.

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

              People are planning to march this Sunday in Park Ex against the Loi sur la laïcité de l’État (Bill 21). It’s pointless. A huge majority in Quebec is strongly for this law and it is not going to be repealed until there’s another turn of the zeitgeist, which might not be for a generation or more.

              • walkerp 08:55 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

                Seriously? Pointless? So we just sit and let the tide of nationalism and xenophobia grow? You may equate this with struggles for anglos rights here in Quebec, but the scale here is far different and the potential outcomes far scarier.

              • Kate 09:08 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

                Two thirds of Quebec’s population supports that law strongly, walkerp. Every gesture from people outside of Quebec (or from “aliens” in Montreal) serves to strengthen it, not weaken it. Legault is making it the bedrock of Quebec’s life and existence, just as the Charte de la langue française was a generation ago.

                I’m not saying I support it – far from it – but I can see when something like this cannot be moved until attitudes evolve. Pushing back against it is only going to make Quebec more determined to keep it and, if anything, strengthen it over time.

                Toula Drimonis, who’s strongly against that law, wrote a post-election column this week, in which she says “it’s legislation that I’m convinced 50 years from now future generations will be studying in school and cringing at, the way we look at Potlatch laws, the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Colour Bar in the Canadian Forces today as shameful chapters in in our history.” But the key thing here is 50 years from now. It can take that long.

              • jeather 09:34 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

                I found this interview with the CAQ MNA who is involved with anglo relations interesting.

                And what I love about the opportunity of the Secretariat, in its infancy, my job is to give Quebec back to English-speaking Quebecers who, I think, over the past 50 years have lost touch with it.

                I don’t love all of it, and I’m curious what he says when speaking to francophones, but he’s pretty explicitly saying anglophones are also Quebecois, which is not something I often hear from anyone.

              • Chris 09:38 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

                I think one could make a good case that Bill 101 is more egregious than Bill 21. It certainly affects more people. And yet, by now, 101 is accepted and fact-of-life. 21 will end up the same, I wager.

                It’s also possible that in the future, in retrospect, 21 will be viewed as a reasonable compromise. It affects very few, and placates very many. Nobody is pushing anymore for full public bans of veils.

                Only time will tell.

              • Jack 10:20 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

                Kate one poll commissioned by the CAQ run by Leger ( Quebecor’s house pollster) is all the empirical evidence we have that an overwhelming majority of Quebecers support this. The poll was released 2 days before the bill was introduced and was used for volume by every single Quebecor columnist to provide sanction.They simply repeat this assertion over and over, as does the entire CAQ . This is the most obvious manufacturing of consent I have seen and it has has an impact.
                I think all form of protest is necessary. This is struck home even harder by some of the MP’s the Bloc elected ,here is Carole Desbiens heading to Parliament. “Elle a écrit sur Facebook en 2013 qu’il fallait faire avancer la loi sur la laïcité du Québec pour « éviter le pore [pire]… Soit que dans quelques années, vos filles, petites filles et arrière petites filles soient obligées de se mettre un voile sur la tête pour aller faire des courses chez IGA sous peine de se voir jeter en prison ».”
                We have to challenge this in anyway we can it is poison.

              • Michael Black 10:31 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

                Protest isn’t about getting your way, but about speaking out about things that are wrong.

                Freda Berrigan recently wrote that her mother is planning to get arrested again for opposing nuclear weapons. Virtually nobody speaks against nuclear disarmament now, yet people sit in prison for smashing nosecones or other civil disobedience. They are our customers conscience.

                You didn’t say the students in 2012 had no chance, yeto e reassure n I didn’t like that protest was that they believed if they were big and loud enough they’d have their way. What did that say about democracy?

                So you stand out in the rain because you can’t tolerate a law, unwilling to let it just happen, wanting other people to know why, and hoping they will change their minds.

                “There’s no hope’ means nothing to them since they aren’t operating in that sphere.

                Once again, the law affects people who don’t deserve the law, it doesn’t matter how few or how you can justify the law, it is wrong and I’m opposed to it.


              • Kevin 10:43 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

                A march in Park Ex against Bill 21 is pointless.

                A protest in front of a church in rural Saint-XXX on Sunday morning would be much more effective — especially if they shamed those supposedly ‘laicité’-supporting worshippers.

              • ant6n 11:53 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

                Well, organize it!

              • Blork 12:46 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

                I cannot see how yelling at a handful of rural church ladies while all around them thousands of non-church going pro Law 21 Quebecers sleep is going to be even remotely effective.

              • Brett 13:08 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

                Yelling at people and waving a placard is never effective in bringing people over to your side

              • Tim S 13:09 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

                In line with what the others are saying, I think the importance of protesting is less to overturn the bill than to deny consensus – the manufacturing of consent, as Jack put it.
                I was thinking recently, reading the commentary about Jagmeet Singh’s turban, about how the debate has shifted over the past 10 years or so. When it started, it was about “reasonable accommodations” – the premise was minorities should be accommodated, the question was over to what extent. As far as I remember there was little discussion of secularism/laicité. Then in the past few years Quebec, or certain portions of it, adopted the idea that Quebec was secular, and in fact has been ever since the 1960s. This is revisionism, obviously – the Catholic Mass is still broadcast on Sunday mornings after the cartoons. But it allows its proponents to sidestep the whole premise of accommodation by simply saying that in a secular state there’s no need to accommodate minorities at all.
                So yeah, protest, if not to change the bill, to at least point out that this “historic consensus”is made up.

              • Michael Black 13:36 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

                Students stomping around is just one thing.

                You can have a handful of people with signs standing still in one place. One group did it on a weekly basis back in the early eighties against nuclear weapons. Indded, an argument can be made tgat whike massive demonstrations can be a goid organizing tool, a handful of people say the message better.

                Look at tge sixties. Small groups protested against war, but when it became a popular cause, in part because of the draft, some of it became over the top, and the larger the protests the more they needed larger numbers the next time.

                One this about the anti-Bill 21 protest is that it seems organized by those affected, certainly they appear in greater numbers. They don’t have to be loud, they are living the results of the law. Other people often become !oud about things that don’t directly aftect them. Gandhi called it “truth force”, but third parties often don’t carry the leverage that someone directly affected has, so loudness becomes a substitute.


              • Jack 20:27 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

                With Tim S

              • Chris 09:04 on 2019-10-25 Permalink

                Jack, I’m trying to fact check your claim that:

                “one poll commissioned by the CAQ run by Leger ( Quebecor’s house pollster) is all the empirical evidence we have that an overwhelming majority of Quebecers support this. The poll was released 2 days before the bill was introduced”

                Do you have a citation?

                A quick search finds several polls:

                Leger poll in April https://thewalrus.ca/our-national-silence-on-bill-21/
                Leger poll May 3-7 https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/poll-shows-english-speaking-quebecers-are-against-bill-21-1.4435093
                Forum Research July 26-28 https://montrealgazette.com/news/quebec/majority-of-canadians-disapprove-of-bill-21-but-quebecers-are-in-favour-poll
                Ipsos September https://globalnews.ca/news/5918203/bill-21-quebec-federal-leaders-poll/

                So in fact, there is a lot of evidence Quebecers support Law 21. And in fact polling shows almost half of other Canadians do too!

              • Chris 09:30 on 2019-10-25 Permalink

                Jack, I’m trying to fact check your claim that:

                “one poll commissioned by the CAQ run by Leger ( Quebecor’s house pollster) is all the empirical evidence we have that an overwhelming majority of Quebecers support this. The poll was released 2 days before the bill was introduced”

                Do you have a citation?

                A quick search finds several polls:

                Leger poll in April
                Leger poll May 3-7
                Forum Research July 26-28
                Ipsos September

                So in fact, there is a lot of evidence Quebecers support Law 21. And in fact polling shows almost half of other Canadians do too!

              • Jack 10:31 on 2019-10-25 Permalink

                Hi Chris,
                The law was introduced on March 28th, 2019.
                This was the “news” that day on
                Here is the quote:
                “Selon un sondage Léger réalisé du 22 au 26 mars pour le compte de la CAQ”
                Watch the journalist frame her questions exclusively from the Leger Poll commissioned by CAQ.
                A lot of our news is manufactured the same way especially when it comes to identity issues.
                You don’t have to know Chomsky to figure this out.
                So Chris thank you for fact checking me and do yourself a favour look a little deeper into why half of Canadiens support Bill 21. Look a little deeper on how these questions are framed and how our political class manipulates those who dont have time to reflect and think about what they are being told.

              • Chris 20:13 on 2019-10-25 Permalink

                Jack, so all the polls by all the companies are a conspiracy to manufacture consent? Do you think this of all polls? Or only when you don’t like the result? Perhaps consider that other people legitimately hold a view different from yours.

              • Faiz Imam 21:57 on 2019-10-25 Permalink

                I’m really not sure what this discussion is suppose to show at this point.

                All I know is I intend to be present at Parc Metro at 2pm this Sunday, and I hope many other people show as well.

                Polling is of little use in the face of injustice. If its wrong, at some point you have to just stand up and say its wrong.

              • Jack 08:47 on 2019-10-26 Permalink

                Chris I absolutely respect people who have different views than me, except when they are racially motivated. Bill 21 is a perfect example of a law that was built in racial animus. The whole “ debate “ surrounding reasonable accommodations was built by Quebecor to sell advertising. Do you remember the fogged window at the YMCA. The sugar shack welcoming Muslims.etc etc This built the necessary zeitgeist to launch the charter of values . Bill 21 is a law that sanctions racism.It is discriminatory and it is wrong, see you Sunday.

              • Chris 14:50 on 2019-10-27 Permalink

                My point is to call out Jack for his false statement: “one poll […] is all the empirical evidence we have that an overwhelming majority of Quebecers support this”.

                In fact, we have many polls, by many companies, over many months, that show the overwhelming majority of Quebecers support this. Wrong as they may be. Maybe they support it because they have been brainwashed, but they still support it.

              • Jack 07:38 on 2019-10-28 Permalink

                Hi Chris,
                Sorry I was busy Sunday.
                You are right I oversold. If I could write it again I would say that the Poll commissioned by the CAQ, manipulated by PKP pollster Jean Marc Leger, was used to manufacture a consensus amongst the Franco majority before the Bill was launched. Which of course is super smart politics, especially in Quebec where a single media dominates 70% of media space.
                I still don’t believe an overwhelming majority of Quebecer support this Bill. If I was polling I would ask different questions and I am sure I would get different results.
                1. Do you believe discriminating against brown women who have no economic, political or cultural power is the right thing to do.
                2. Why can’t Jagmeet Singh teach Kindergarten in Quebec?
                Thanks Chris

            • Kate 07:58 on 2019-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

              There was an accident and damage to vehicles recently when liquid concrete poured down from the REM construction site straddling autoroute 40.

              • Kate 07:55 on 2019-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

                Another snow removal company has been put on the black list for fraud. The accounts say that the company claimed it had added boards to its dump trucks to hold more snow, but it hadn’t. Now the firm can’t bid for city contracts for five years.

                I thought I’d read that collected snow was paid for by weight, but this story, also the related one (recounted in the CBC story) about another outfit charging fraudulently for full trucks that were only half full, suggests not. If the snow loads were being weighed, these simple tricks would have fooled no one.

                • Bert 09:24 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

                  I regularly pass by a dump station and there is no weigh bridge. The volume based calculation seems quick and relatively precise, evening out in the end. Thrown snow has a known density and the trucks have a known capacity. Calculate from there. You will note on the trucks, usually on the box there is a number like 12-3, which I think Identify the zone and the truck.

                  I think it would be impractical to weigh every load. Scales would need to be installed. They are mostly mechanical and winter operation will take a toll. An operator will surely need to be hired. When it goes out of operation they would have to fall back to a manual accounting.

                  If we can install cameras on highways and bridges, a similar setup at depot entries should be simple to setup.

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