Updates from October, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 12:32 on 2019-10-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Workers at the contemporary art museum are picketing Wednesday against what they call a pathetic salary increase. Most of the workers are women and are siting the issue in line with underpayment of women generally.

    • nau 08:54 on 2019-10-31 Permalink

      But I just heard François Legault on the radio this morning trumpeting that in Quebec women and men are equal, so surely women get paid the same as men here. /s

    • Kate 11:14 on 2019-10-31 Permalink

      Then he owes me, nau. I have consistently been paid less than men for the same work throughout my working life, when I was able to find out the relative pay rates.

  • Kate 12:11 on 2019-10-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec’s economy is booming against a backdrop of a more sluggish world economy. Meantime the CAQ is reducing immigration levels and putting in a new “values” test clearly meant to tamp down on the range of possible immigrants here.

    This is when working people can make demands: better conditions, higher minimum wage. Ever since the population fell after the Black Death, working people have had the upper hand when the economy needed them most. But I don’t see much movement in that direction here.

    • Jack 14:40 on 2019-10-30 Permalink

      It is truly amazing how productive “immigrants” are for Legault and the CAQ. They are the gift that keeps on giving.
      Because as we all know immigrants do not believe in Quebec values, like targeting minority groups for electoral gain.
      This quote is particularly rich and frankly I think I could have heard this 50 years ago from an uncle who had too much to drink. “« Je pense qu’après 24 heures de cours [les immigrants] vont connaître les valeurs qui sont dans la Charte », a lancé M.Legault”
      I would bet a thousand dollars that 98% of white Quebecers wouldn’t be able to tell you two things in that Charter.

    • Chris 20:42 on 2019-10-30 Permalink

      Reducing immigration levels? The last paragraph of this https://nationalpost.com/news/quebec/quebec-imposing-values-test-for-new-immigrants says Quebec is (slightly) increasing them.

      This test will probably be mostly useless, I mean, any die-hard Islamist trying to sneak in here will just study, lie, and pass. Then again, is it really any more egregious than the existing federal citizenship test? It’s also easy to lie about pledging allegiance to the Queen.

    • Kate 07:43 on 2019-10-31 Permalink

      Chris, you’re quite the CAQ apologist. They squeezed immigration down before letting up again, is what they did.

      is it really any more egregious than the existing federal citizenship test?

      It is, because the federal test is about facts: facts about Canadian history and government. The Quebec test is intended more to probe how people feel about the facts – if we can even call our precious laïcité “fact” when our supposedly nonreligious schools have names like Christ-Roi, Coeur-Immaculé-de-Marie or Saint-Enfant-Jésus.

      Can you really judge someone’s attitudes by a written test? No. But it buys a lot of regional votes for the CAQ.

    • Chris 09:58 on 2019-10-31 Permalink

      CAQ apologist?! ROTFL! Please don’t confuse dispassionate analysis with support.

      Yes, they squeezed immigration down before letting it up again. That’s _exactly_ what the paragraph I linked to said. Your summary says nothing about it being up again, in fact it says the opposite.

      I don’t believe the exact questions are known, but it seems this new test is _also_ about facts. Things like: who has the right to marry? Knowing that the answer is “two people, regardless of sex” does not mean one agrees with the answer. It does not appear that this ‘values test’ asks one to affirm agreement with anything. That would be another matter. By contrast, the federal citizenship process not only requires you to know facts about the Queen, but to pledge allegiance.

      This new test seems designed to be basically impossible to fail. As such, it’s not going to actually reject any prospective immigrants. Therefore that can’t be it’s actual goal. It’s goal is political. It’s a signal to the many people uncomfortable with immigration. Of what? Optimistically, they’re trying to manufacture consent to now increase immigration (as business wants, remember CAQ is right-wing pro-business) by saying ‘look, we’re screening out baddies’ (even if they’re not). Pessimistically, they’re signalling darker things, which I needn’t elaborate on.

    • Jack 10:12 on 2019-10-31 Permalink

      @ Chris you are not addressing what is fundamental here. The values test, immigration levels are a ruse. CAQ is using immigrants and religious minorities as targets and easy binaries to bulwark their support in the majority community, amongst those who are ethnic supremacists. This is not at all about immigrants it is about our collective stupidity. This is my passionate analysis.

    • ant6n 13:02 on 2019-10-31 Permalink

      The Canadian citizenship test isn’t just about knowing facts, it comes with a book, “Discover Canada”, that’s does include some folklore and talk about the greatness of democratic values and some such.

    • Kate 13:04 on 2019-10-31 Permalink

      Thanks ant6n. Having been born here I never had to undergo the procedure. I just looked things up quickly on the government site before I posted.

  • Kate 08:10 on 2019-10-30 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse has journalists turning over the pages of the Jean Drapeau archive, finding details like his idea to have a “village gaulois” at La Ronde and a metro red line using the Mount Royal tunnel – this has been seen before on early layouts of the system. Metro has some pictures and further details. The fascination is that Drapeau reshaped the city, and it’s interesting to see how things could’ve worked out differently if his plans had gone in other directions.

  • Kate 08:06 on 2019-10-30 Permalink | Reply  

    A patient stabbed a staff member in the Sacré-Cœur Hospital psych ward on Tuesday. I wonder why the victim was brought to a different hospital: you’d think one of the benefits of working in a hospital is they’d patch you up if you got hurt there.

  • Kate 08:00 on 2019-10-30 Permalink | Reply  

    A suspect has been rounded up in the Lasalle dépanneur robbery last week in which the clerk was tied up. Bets Tyson Ruggles is also the guy who tried to set fire to another Lasalle dep a month ago, because he’s accused of a string of other holdups around Lasalle recently.

  • Kate 07:50 on 2019-10-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The headline here mentions public markets, but this is about the enforcement of rules only at Jean-Talon where there have been fake farmers reselling commercial goods, stall-holders illegally subletting their spaces and other irregularities. These things have been discussed before on the blog, but it’s unclear whether this housecleaning will create a better market for the customer. Some of the sellers are worried that the market is already too empty.

  • Kate 07:46 on 2019-10-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Thirty shots were fired Tuesday evening in an obscure corner of St-Michel just south of the 40. Nobody was hurt, although cars were dinged up, and nobody has been arrested.

  • Kate 20:34 on 2019-10-29 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is going to give pedestrians a little more time to cross certain streets, although which ones are not yet announced. This is in response to the fact that pedestrians die, and many of them are over 65.

    The city also wants drivers to take particular care with the clocks going back this weekend and night falling earlier. Another recent bit of PR, from the SAAQ, raised a few hackles when it blamed pedestrians for wearing dark clothing. (I was looking for this story, and am amused to find that it’s preceded on La Presse by a commercial for a Lexus, driving fast on a mountain road.)

    • DeWolf 01:17 on 2019-10-30 Permalink

      Better put on that high-visibility vest and orange safety flag next time you walk down the street to buy groceries at 5pm.

  • Kate 19:49 on 2019-10-29 Permalink | Reply  

    A woman narrowly avoided getting beaned by a collapsing brick wall in Ahuntsic on Tuesday afternoon, on the opposite corner to the Patate Rouge. The building used to be a funeral home but seems to have been sitting there empty for awhile. Do buildings adjoining autoroutes suffer from more vibration than average? I’d think it likely.

  • Kate 19:35 on 2019-10-29 Permalink | Reply  

    The Bloc québécois is challenging the Liberal win in Hochelaga last week, which came in with a difference of 328 votes. It’s not just a recount: the Bloc is alleging “irregularities” took place around the poll.

    • Douglas 22:01 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      Too many immigrants voted for the bloc?

  • Kate 12:17 on 2019-10-29 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s almost a comedy script: gangster Francesco Del Balso is on his way back to jail after breaking parole conditions for at least the fifth time.

  • Kate 09:11 on 2019-10-29 Permalink | Reply  

    It seems that to skirt the rules, pawnshop folks have been making deals out in their parking lots. The city is cracking down on this dubious behaviour to cut back on the fencing of stolen goods that happens this way.

    • Ephraim 10:24 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      Break the law, get a slap on the hand. When you look at the fines, it certainly isn’t enough to discourage it. Want to really discourage it? When you are found to violate the law, your inventory needs to be checked, with an hour charge for the person who is doing the checking. Any stolen goods are seized, on the spot, with no remuneration. So, they are fined, have the store checked at their own expense and lose the stolen merchandise…. and the manager or owner, who bought the goods, should be charged with receiving stolen goods…. you need to make it unprofitable to even contemplate buying fenced goods. (Pawn shops are already one of the most abusive businesses around… you don’t need to make them more profitable by letting them commit crime).

    • Michael Black 11:08 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      I recall reading a long time back that pawnshops pretty much disappeared in Montreal. I think a Gazette article was about the one that remained. So if I remember that right, they’ve obviously made a comeback.

      There’s that one on St. Lawrence that sells DVDs outside during the street festival, that seems less like a pawnshop as we know it. More a line of used items. From the looks of it, same with one near Guy.

      There was a recent CBC story where a musician’s car was broken into and they stole her guitar. She found it in a pawnshop, but had to buy it back “because the owner bought it in good faith”.


    • walkerp 11:54 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      How can you tell if a pawn shop is legimately selling used items or stolen ones? I bought a jigsaw from the one on St-Laurent years ago and then a contractor I know said you never should buy tools from those places as they are almost always stolen. I haven’t been back since but they have some tempting things in the window…

    • Michael Black 12:21 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      I have no idea. Just avoiding those places would work. Maybe the thing to do is avoid expensive items. Those might not be stolen, but you don’t reward someone if they are. Things with low prices might be stolen too but are less likely to be missed. Not that that legitimizes something, but buying it won’t take it out of view like expensive items where the owner might go looking for it.

      Pawnshops of course used to have a legit purposs,providing a small loan in return for some collateral. After a certain time, if the owner didn’t reclaim it, the store could sell the item to get their money back. Of course that was abused, even decades ago tv shows had pawnshops as places to fence goods.

      Buf my impression, I’ve never gone in one, is that they’ve become more !ike used stores, nobody ciming back to reclaim the items, just a source of fast cash. That may increase the number of stolen items.


    • Kate 12:22 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      Michael, the old pawnshops along St-Antoine went away when the Palais de congrès was built, but there are ones on a lot of corners around town. Yellow signs, as a rule. You won’t see them in Westmount, mind you.

    • Ephraim 15:44 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      There are plenty of them. They basically charge about 20% or more for a month and give you less than 50c on the dollar, unless it’s gold… they love gold. And you can buy your stuff back for up to 30 days, and can pay just the interest to keep it held for another 30 days.

      They have a special booklet where they have to write down the serial numbers and description of goods for the police. If it’s stolen, they still get paid something. And they are supposed to keep legal IDs of everything they purchase. Hence the parking lot thing… to get around IDs, holding the items, reporting them, etc.

      They buy those DVDs from people in stacks for almost nothing. But then again, what am I to say… I don’t even own a DVD player.

    • Mr.Chinaski 11:21 on 2019-10-30 Permalink

      I have to say… pawnshops are pretty much the only place in town to find used left-handed guitars 🙁

  • Kate 08:16 on 2019-10-29 Permalink | Reply  

    The Grande Bibliothèque has been a success story since it opened, but the underfunding that started with the financial crisis in 2008 has not let up and has cut into its events and the renewal of its collections so that public usage of the library is down. For example, it wasn’t so long ago that the library announced it would no longer be holding exhibits, preferring to focus its reduced efforts elsewhere.

    If the CAQ ever has thoughts of trying to make nice with this city, putting funds back into the GB would be a great place to get obvious bang for its buck.

    • EmilyG 08:33 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      Public usage of the library is down. Though the reason I stopped going to that library is that I’m not sure they’ve gotten rid of all the bedbugs from their latest bedbug invasion. Or maybe that could be fixed with more funding?

    • SMD 08:48 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      Good news on that front:

      L’infestation médiatisée de punaises de lit dans certains fauteuils de la Grande Bibliothèque, à l’été 2018, a également joué sur l’achalandage, ajoute M. Roy. […] De nouveaux fauteuils mieux protégés contre cette vermine devraient être installés d’ici la fin de l’année.

    • Kate 09:13 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      SMD, they have already put some hard chairs in to replace the semi-padded ones they had since the beginning. I don’t know what’s happened upstairs in the nice reading areas by the windows. Where there’s upholstery, there are places for bugs to hang out.

      I admit the bugs story has kept me away from the place.

    • Joey 10:34 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      The ebook selection is pretty good, though – even in English.

    • Ephraim 10:36 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      BB like soft furnishings…. so metal and plastic leave them no where to go.

    • EmilyG 20:54 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      Yeah, I know they have new furniture there, but that doesn’t in itself get rid of the bugs. But I understand the difficulty in getting rid of them – I heard they can hide inside books, and people can’t just look inside every page of every book in the library to try to find them.

  • Kate 08:08 on 2019-10-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Police cars drove onto a patio at the MUHC hospital on Monday and broke through it (although the lede is buried in this story, the reason for their presence being mentioned in the fifth ‘graph: “The police, however, were able to retrieve the patient and return the individual back to the hospital” raising more questions than are answered). Anyone who’s seen cops driving over grass in parks and so forth will know the SPVM never walk if they can drive somewhere, however unsuitable.

    In other news of cars being where they shouldn’t, a woman in St-Henri has had a car crash into her ground-floor flat for the fourth time in six years, which strongly suggests there’s a flaw in the street layout. The borough is promising to look into it.

    • Simon 09:41 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      Amazing, I remember this place from a previous time this happened. There’s lots of speeding on Saint-Antoine round there.

    • MarcG 09:52 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      Is it the building on street view that’s blurred out? https://goo.gl/maps/GTgBW6SMsvvKDWjt9

    • Ephraim 10:33 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      There was a famous turn at Pike River https://goo.gl/maps/DsqHM5QtCFphWkpm6 where so many people (often drunk) drove through the business that the government had to redesign the whole turn… not so sure that making a floral sign that could be a ramp was a good idea, though… but it used to be a 90 degree turn and people would just continue.

      If people keep on skipping on the turn there, the easiest thing to do is put up a bollard at the sidewalk just before the dip for wheelchairs, on both sides. You clip the turn, you lose your car. No one to blame but yourself. If you don’t like a plain bollard, put up a bollard flowerpot (aka a concrete planter). Looks decorative and spruces up the neighbourhood, but really protects the corner.

    • dhomas 12:32 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      @MarcG from the aerial view of the area, it does not appear that the blurred out house is the one that was hit by the car. In the photos of the damage from the article, you can see that the brick wall does not form a 90 degree angle, whereas the blurry house appears to (from the aerial view). You can also see that there is a small concrete portion at the bottom of the brickwork (like a “crépi”) that the blurred out house does not appear to have. As far as I can tell from these two details, it would be the house across the street from the blurred out one.

      I’m now curious, though, to know why someone would blur out their house.

    • Kate 12:50 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      dhomas, I have not investigated this in detail, but I believe Google is obliged to do so if you make the request on privacy concerns.

      I used to often take a break on that site which is a sort of game, it shows you a random Streetview scene and you have to guess where it is. I discovered that a surprising number of buildings in Germany are blurred, and assumed it had been a thing there. Most places that allow Streetview don’t have so much blurring, although I’ve found a few places around Montreal that do. I don’t know how you apply for it.

    • mare 15:35 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      It used to be that streets that had a battered persons shelter would not be included in Streetview. The whole area was left out, not just the actual building. (Can’t check, this old iPad can’t do Streetview.)

    • Michael Black 15:59 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      I thought the concern was about people not buildings. So you could be blurred out if you complained that you were in the photo.

    • MarcG 16:02 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      It’s crazy that cars crash into that building – they would have to be driving pretty far over onto the sidewalk.

    • Blork 16:24 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      Google will blur out buildings if asked. I’m not sure why people would ask for this, but plenty of people do. For reference, drop your Streetview marker down anywhere in Germany; it’s like every fourth building is blurred out.

    • Alex L 18:37 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      Drivers often get crazy along that stretch of Saint-Antoine and on Saint-Jacques. Last year, I was almost hit by someone driving super fast on the protected path that runs between Saint-Jacques and Notre-Dame. I only transit through there: I don’t know how people that live in northern Saint-Henri can cope with this constant madness.

    • Roman 19:10 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      The house that was hit is squarely in the corner of the street in the direction of traffic.

      I’m driving through this exact turn very often. I’m failing to see how it’s any special than any other turn. Why aren’t cars smashing into other corners?

    • Roman 19:11 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      This is the corner that was hit


    • Michael Black 19:14 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      I’ve seen at least story like this before. I think in NDG, but maybe others. The house gets hit more than once. So likely something wrong, either with the intersection, or some reason drivers are careless at that point.


    • Kate 08:03 on 2019-10-30 Permalink

      dhomas, you’ve evidently never spoken to a serious privacy fanatic, have you. Of course the irony is that having one house blurred on a block will, if anything, spark more curiosity about it than had it been left alone.

  • Kate 07:47 on 2019-10-29 Permalink | Reply  

    STM inspectors wearing protest camo pants were sent home from work Monday, and police were called in to do the work. Note that the SPVM has a “metro section” according to this. Inspectors are protesting a new work schedule eating more of their lives; the union says there’s nothing about the protest clothes that endangers the public as the STM has claimed.

    • SMD 08:51 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      The greatest danger to the public is the STM inspectors themselves.

    • Ephraim 10:35 on 2019-10-29 Permalink

      The city could argue that the accessibility of camo pants makes it easier for someone to pose as an inspector for nefarious reasons.

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