Updates from October, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 12:38 on 2019-10-26 Permalink | Reply  

    Public consultations are considering what to do about the Publisac. It’s alleged in this Gazette piece that Publisac accounts for 11% of the material sent to recycling. That’s a lot, but the piece also considers the downside of outlawing the delivery of menus, coupons and local papers which are included in the Sac.

    • Michael Black 12:49 on 2019-10-26 Permalink

      I suspect many who don’t like the flyers ignore them in the first place, so it’s easy to want them banned. Others count on seeing the sales. Even without a car, I can afford to walk to various stores to get the best deals.

      But that 11% figure is probably leverage, someone who doesn’t recycle much. A week’s worth of Gazettes will take up more space than a publisac. A week’s worth of crushed cans and plastic containers is more than a publisac.


    • YUL514 13:35 on 2019-10-26 Permalink

      The issue is, where do you draw the line? Do we also ban advertising delivered by Canada Post? It’s still an effective method of advertising, there’s a reason it is still often used and along with parcels it’s what keeping CP in business these days.

    • Bill Binns 15:56 on 2019-10-26 Permalink

      The little sign on my mailbox saying “pas de publicite” has been 100% effective for over 3 years. If it’s that easy for everyone, I don’t see any reason to ban the Publisac. I only wish junk mail was as easy to prevent. Feels like more environmental directionless flailing about.

    • Chris 21:37 on 2019-10-26 Permalink

      TFA says they want to make publisac opt-in, not opt-out. That’s a great idea, because there’s no ban exactly.

      Transcontinental argues that it’s they, not the City, that ultimately pays the cost of recycling. It’s irrelevant who pays: it wastes energy and CO₂ recycling, reprinting, retransporting, and retossing those things.

      As for the newspapers, they are in desperate need of reinventing themselves anyway, for many more reasons.

      Politicians, governments, media, scientists, academics, just about everyone say we’re in a climate emergency. If that’s so, then we should at the very least make a lot of that wasteful crap opt-in, instead of opt-out.

      Great grassroots activism work by Montpetit, forcing application of current bylaws.

    • DavidH 14:44 on 2019-10-27 Permalink

      I keep hearing the argument about the local press needing the publisac for their distribution. My publisac hasn’t come with the local paper for years. (I think that paper went 100% online but in other places the paper simply shut down). If that’s the argument, ok fine, keep the opt-out system for those very specific places on the island where they do render that service. But, only for those places and only for the time that they keep doing it (not much longer I would guess). Why keep the opt-out system everywhere else?

      The other argument I hear is about the poor needing their rebates. Yet, the rebates apply whether you get them on paper or not. We use coupons in online form (through our grocer’s app but also through a digital publisac-type app that aggregates online flyers). The publisac is not necessary the learn about specials or get coupons.

      While on a walk some time ago I saw a police officer berating a local cuban sandwich shop owner for putting flyers in people’s windshield. It’s against the bylaws and rightly so. Why does publisac get a pass? The harm they do is so much worse.

    • Chris 14:55 on 2019-10-27 Permalink

      DavidH, why keep it opt-out even for them? Why should a corporation’s “right” to litter on private property trump everyone else’s right to have a cleaner environment?

  • Kate 12:29 on 2019-10-26 Permalink | Reply  

    Five individuals accused in the Fronde inquiry that caught Frank Zampino in its clutches now want a stay of proceedings based on the same reasons Zampino received one, a month ago. A high city fonctionnaire and four engineering firm executives are accused of fraud and corruption, and apparently see no reason they shouldn’t walk away scot-free.

    • Kate 12:21 on 2019-10-26 Permalink | Reply  

      There was a vigil Friday evening at the Tétreaultville corner where Jonathan Pomares killed his kids and then himself. Although the CTV headline says the community is searching for answers that’s straight out of Journalism Clichés 101, because there’s no secret here. We’ve seen the storyline before: a marriage is breaking down, one of the parents goes off the rails and punishes the other by killing the kids – suicide optional. It’s atavistic and shows a side of human nature we’d rather not contemplate, but it is not a mystery. CTV piece mentions support groups and gives some links and phone numbers.

      • Kate 10:41 on 2019-10-26 Permalink | Reply  

        CBC has an item about some Rosemont folks undertaking a zero waste challenge. I’m all for the aspects involving re-using clothing and toys and furniture, but I have several reservations about this as a goal. One is the assumption that people’s time is valueless, and another is the sad fact that this is still an elite choice.

        A zero-waste bulk grocery, Loco, is handy to my place. Last time I emptied a bottle of laundry detergent (La Parisienne unscented, listed by IGA at $5.29 for 1.52L, but which I can usually find at Jean-Coutu for under $5) I brought the bottle to Loco and bought some of their cheapest laundry stuff (they have 3 options). I didn’t even fill the bottle, but it was evident that the product was going to cost me nearly twice as much as the La Parisienne. Can’t imagine how the priciest would compare.

        I’m about to run out of dish detergent and am not sure whether to experiment with the Loco product, since it’s also very likely to cost twice as much as the usual stuff I get (Biovert, listed by IGA at $2.49 a bottle).

        I’m not knocking Loco, which is doing a good thing, but it’s irrational that we should pay twice as much for a product without a container as with one. Zero waste will never be a generally viable concept till people can save money by doing it.

        My main concern, however, is that damage to the ecosphere is carried out on a grand scale by corporations. Getting individuals to pursue zero waste is not completely pointless, but it’s a drop in a very big bucket when keeping pressure on politically is what’s called for.

        • John B 11:25 on 2019-10-26 Permalink

          The products at places like Loco are often local/organic/ethical/whatever in addition to being zero-waste, which can really drive up the cost, (look at oils for sticker shock – Canola oil is about 10X more expensive at Loco as buying a bottle from the bottom shelf at Metro). There’s a hole in the market for “normal” products without packaging. Bulk Barn helps fill the hole if there’s one available.

          Loco & Bulk Barn are great for people who really want to change their lives, but for most of the world incentives need to change on the supply side. When it’s cheaper to buy a kilo of pasta in plastic than it is without, people are going to choose the no-cleanup plastic-wrapped pasta almost every time.

        • Michael Black 11:33 on 2019-10-26 Permalink

          It seems like a lot of these things are stunts, or fodder for a book. It’s easy to live with a limitation for a limited time, harder if it’s forever. We hear about people living without electricity or garbage or buying nothing or eating within 100 miles, and it makes for a good book or tv show. But how much do they keep after the period? Do they revert to old habits? More likely it’s somewhere in between.

          It may set an example, but I suspect most people can’t meet such standards.

          I suspect also that people involved may have different philosophy. If they already think “clutter” is a bad thing, it’s easier for them to limit what they buy, or tell people their children don’t need more toys.

          We can look at the past. Fifty years ago food coops were big, in part because whole foods were hard to get at the time. So it was more like buying in bulk, and dividing it up to members. Membership required participation. But with time, people didn’t want to participate, so the rise of natural food stores.

          Those started out as a for-profit version of the food coops, but with time the bulk buying went away. Health codes came along, so no more scooping yourself. And people wanted less effort, so the stores would prepackage, though usually just a plastic bag rather than multiple layers of packaging.

          If people change “because I should” they may revert. How many people go back to eating meat over time? I’ve seen people who think they need to live a certain way, and hate it.

          People need to change for their own reasons, so when they start to do it, they keep with it. That’s why I’ve never driven a car, and haven’t eaten meat in forty years. I do both for my own reasons, and thus never felt like I was missing something. I knew when I stopped eating meat I’d never go back.


        • Tim S. 22:17 on 2019-10-26 Permalink

          I think the time issue Kate brings up is really under-discussed. Just as an example, when my wife was unemployed for a few months, she found all kinds of great clothes, for practically nothing, in church basements. Now that she’s working 40 hours a week, it’s back to online shopping, with all the attendant packaging and delivery trucks and so on. There can’t be a serious reduction in waste and consumption, never mind degrowth, without a reduction in the work week, or the return of individual salaries that can support a family.

        • CE 11:37 on 2019-10-27 Permalink

          @Kate, do they not have Biovert in bulk? They were one of the first companies to offer it so I’m surprised that they wouldn’t.

        • Chris 15:04 on 2019-10-27 Permalink

          It’s all further illustration of how our entire economic system needs major reform.

        • Kate 22:09 on 2019-10-27 Permalink

          CE, Loco didn’t have Biovert last week. I didn’t see the brand name on any of their stuff.

          I might go by the Maison Ecolonet on Bélanger and see what they have, sometime.

        • EmilyG 22:16 on 2019-10-27 Permalink

          I try to cut down on waste, but often gluten-free food comes in rather extensive packaging.

      • Kate 09:56 on 2019-10-26 Permalink | Reply  

        The police tactical squad was called in Saturday morning to handle the holdup of a Couche‑Tard in Lasalle in which the clerk was tied up. No news of any arrests.

        • Kate 09:11 on 2019-10-26 Permalink | Reply  

          More details have been made clear about the four shootings in Montreal North this week, including the stock line that the victims were known to police. Of the four victims, one died at the site and the other three are expected to recover, and police now think all four shootings are connected. No arrests have been made.

          • Kate 09:07 on 2019-10-26 Permalink | Reply  

            The archive of Jean Drapeau, mayor of Montreal from 1954 to 1957 and then, epically, from 1960 to 1986, have been made public, 20 years after his death. Seven hundred boxes of material can now be studied, although I imagine it will be some time before Archives de Montréal can make it available online.

            Update: I was wrong about the last point: the archive is online now.

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