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  • Kate 19:36 on 2019-11-30 Permalink | Reply  

    This week will mark the 30th anniversary of the Polytechnique massacre, and Le Devoir has a sheaf of pieces this weekend: what it was like to get the story as a rookie journalist, and a new book by Josée Boileau, who was on duty that day at the paper; an elegy published on December 8, 1989 which still rings true today.

    Allison Hanes has more details about the origin of Boileau’s book in a request from Comité mémoire, a group determined not to let the killings be forgotten.

    There’s bound to be more coverage this week, given it’s the 30th anniversary. The issue of gun control is also bound to follow this story.

    Some thoughts from Francine Pelletier, whose name was found on the list (still unpublished) of prominent Quebec women Marc Lépine dreamed of assassinating.

    • Kate 19:18 on 2019-11-30 Permalink | Reply  

      A woman in her 70s is in critical condition after an SUV hit her at a corner, Saturday afternoon.

      • qatzelok 10:38 on 2019-12-01 Permalink

        “a male driver in his 30s”

        Watch out for these!

    • Kate 11:28 on 2019-11-30 Permalink | Reply  

      The SPVM plan to beef up its arsenal has sparked demands from 25 diverse groups including the Ligue des droits et libertés, unions, indigenous and LGBT community groups and others, for debate and discussion over what the police think they’re up to.

      At the same time, the force has suspended the purchase and distribution of tasers, after technical difficulties with the ones they have.

      In other police news, the force has signed up a larger proportion of women over the last couple of years compared to previous numbers.

      • Kate 10:05 on 2019-11-30 Permalink | Reply  

        Analysis of why the handrail ruling matters: there must always be a legal basis for police actions, people can’t be punished for failing to obey random orders given by police.

        • js 10:26 on 2019-11-30 Permalink

          “…in Laval on Montreal’s north shore…” – ???

        • Kate 12:41 on 2019-11-30 Permalink

          I see that the CTV writer of this piece is based in Toronto – on the east side of Mississauga over there.

        • Blork 13:19 on 2019-11-30 Permalink

          “… there must always be a legal basis for police actions, people can’t be punished for failing to obey random orders given by police.” That’s the best thing I’ve seen in a long time, and it goes against the current trend of abandoning principles in favor of reacting to personal indignation.

      • Kate 09:59 on 2019-11-30 Permalink | Reply  

        Plateau borough has begun a system of tailoring the cost of a parking vignette to the horsepower of the vehicle engine, so that owners of SUVs and the like will have to shell out more.

        • Faiz Imam 11:40 on 2019-11-30 Permalink

          And more importantly IMO, the 20% of residents that own of EVs or small engine cars benifit from no increase to their rates.

          This is the sort of thing that can change buying choices. Ideally we would have this as part of vehicle registration province wide.

        • Faiz Imam 12:50 on 2019-11-30 Permalink

          Hey wait. Is this something new or something old that I was unaware of?

          Turns out saaq does charge higher registration fees for vehicles with cylinder capacity above 4L


          That’s pretty huge though. Plateau lowering that cutoff to 3.5L is actually a big deal.

        • Dhomas 14:37 on 2019-11-30 Permalink

          This is another issue, like the Camillien-Houde one, that has people (who are affected zero percent by this change) up in arms, based on principle alone. Some folks I know have already started with the ridiculous claims like “as if we don’t get taxed enough! Soon they’ll tax the air we breathe!” The irony of that statement was completely lost on them…

      • Kate 13:37 on 2019-11-29 Permalink | Reply  

        TVA’s headline “Montréal accusée de faire du pavage électoral” is, of course, about the official opposition accusing Projet of mostly doing paving contracts in boroughs where it’s in the majority.

        I can see two obvious flaws here, although there may be others.

        One, Projet’s heartland is in the older parts of town, which are inevitably going to need more infrastructure work than the newer parts and the demerged cities, so it’s a given that more work has to be done there.

        Two, if Projet wanted to blandish new territory under its sway, it would trumpet how it’s doing work in non-Projet areas. But instead it’s getting on with business.

        Recently Kevin said it seemed I felt Ensemble have, and I quote, pissed in my cornflakes. No. I watch the headlines and call ’em as I sees ’em. The Projet administration does seem to me to be doing its job, in an even-handed, non-flashy, logical manner, but Ensemble has no other game than to find stupid angles to make people hate them – and some media eat it up, notably but not only Quebecor.

        Anyway, I don’t eat cornflakes.

        • Kevin 15:18 on 2019-11-29 Permalink

          That’s the only angle Projet had for many years too. I recall a certain leader complaining that boroughs had their budgets cut when spending was actually increased.

        • Kate 09:35 on 2019-11-30 Permalink

          Kevin, I’m not sure that’s true. Projet built up grassroots support from people interested in urban livability issues, they didn’t simply sit back and take potshots at Tremblay and then Coderre. They were interested in creating a coherent plan, something I don’t see from Ensemble.

        • Kevin 08:57 on 2019-12-01 Permalink

          While it often did not make headlines, projet spent years sending out news releases denouncing many acts of those administrations. The difference is that Perez’s team does whatever it can to meet the press.

        • Kate 09:27 on 2019-12-01 Permalink

          Kevin, what always bugs me about Perez’s “meet the press” efforts is this: Journalists never seem to challenge him with the question “So, how would an Ensemble administration handle this?” Anyone can pick holes in decisions made by city hall, but coming up with a coherent answer that fixes defined problems while staying within budget is the challenge, and it’s not so easy once you’re actually doing it vs. armchair carping about how someone else is doing it.

          But I’m not seeing that question asked – or, if asked, seeing the answers reported. If Ensemble were serious, they’d make a shadow budget showing us just how they’d distribute the money (or, in fact, how they’d fix problems with less money, since in Ensemble-land they’d never, ever increase tax rates). Then we’d see.

      • Kate 13:24 on 2019-11-29 Permalink | Reply  

        Bela Kosoian has won her case at the Supreme Court, and the STM and the individual police officer who arrested her and initially fined her ten years ago for not holding an escalator handrail when ordered (and for “obstructing the work of an inspector”) each have to pay her $10,000. We discussed this case earlier this year when news first broke that Kosoian would take her case to the Supremes.

        • Bill Binns 22:55 on 2019-11-29 Permalink

          The cop that arrested her has the truly amazing cop name of “Fabio Camacho”. I read that earlier today and it was driving me crazy where I knew that name from.

          I took a few hours but then I remembered, in the movie that has influenced many of my political opinions over the last decade or so “Idiocracy”, had a character named “President Camacho”.

        • MarcG 11:15 on 2019-11-30 Permalink

          Idiocracy was prophetic

      • Kate 09:14 on 2019-11-29 Permalink | Reply  

        A grubby-looking building on Centre Street in the Point, from which regular tenants were evicted last year on the claim that it was unclean and unsafe, is now an Airbnb. The rental board ordained that the evicted tenants should receive an indemnity from the landlord, but they’ve never received a penny.

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

          The Town of Mount Royal is going to endure traffic hell next year as the REM site means they’ll have to see two of their main roads, which are basically bridges over the tracks, rebuilt to code. One of these roads is Jean-Talon.

          Given the chaos TMR is choosing to inflict on the whole city with the Royalmount project, I find I do not have a violin small enough for this story. 🎻

          • Bert 18:42 on 2019-11-29 Permalink

            What they could do is open up the level crossing that is currently pedestrian and-or build a temporary bridge, using back-fill. There are no trains to interrupt.

          • mare 21:56 on 2019-11-29 Permalink

            @Bert They might use the rails to transport building materials and equipment. At least I’d do that.

        • Kate 08:53 on 2019-11-29 Permalink | Reply  

          What philosophy is behind the SPVM’s purchase of military-grade weaponry? It’s implied in this piece that, since the SQ and some suburban police forces have tooled up to heavier grade military assault rifles, the least the SPVM can do for its guys is give them equivalent toys.

          • Joey 09:49 on 2019-11-29 Permalink

            It really casts Projet’s recent grandstanding on handguns in a different light.

          • walkerp 09:55 on 2019-11-29 Permalink

            I am not seeing the connection there, Joey.

          • Joey 10:01 on 2019-11-29 Permalink

            If you don’t see an incongruence between “handguns should be eradicated” and “we need to militarize our police,” well, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

          • Bartek Komorowski 11:20 on 2019-11-29 Permalink

            Hey Joey, I’m pretty sure this initiative didn’t come from City hall. The police have a great deal of discretion with regards to their spending.

        • Kate 08:49 on 2019-11-29 Permalink | Reply  

          The city will be tightening its purse strings with checks every 3 months to make sure there are no runaway expenses.

          • Kate 08:48 on 2019-11-29 Permalink | Reply  

            Extinction Rebellion were out early on Friday at the Best Buy on Ste-Catherine, protesting the orgy of consumerism that traditionally takes place on the day after American Thanksgiving.

            Note the angry verb “frappe” used by TVA, and similarly in the CTV headline Protesters crash Black Friday sales. Yet there’s no evidence protesters did anything but carry picket signs.

            Update: some glued their hands to the store windows and some blocked Ste-Catherine Street for a time. But zero violence took place, so the harsh verbs are still misleading.

            • Kate 08:34 on 2019-11-29 Permalink | Reply  

              The city is giving itself till 2025 to figure out what to do about the voie Camillien-Houde.

              • Kevin 10:35 on 2019-11-29 Permalink

                Governments acting on the impulse to Do Something never do the right thing.

              • Bill Binns 12:12 on 2019-11-29 Permalink

                In the 17 years I have lived here I have never seen another municipal issue more infuriate the people that I know than this one. Apparently, there are lots of people who really, REALLY enjoy driving up to the mountain early in the morning to walk around and socialize. I have encountered nothing but great clouds of weary apathy when discussing the riots of 2012, The Charbonneau Commission, various disgraced or arrested mayors, the UQAM Ilot Voyageur financial disaster, Pastagate, the hat law etc. However, bring up the situation on Mount Royal and fists will be pounding the table in no time.

                I’m not surprised Projet has kicked the issue 2 elections down the road. They must really regret opening that particular can of worms.

              • MarcG 15:35 on 2019-11-29 Permalink

                I guess it depends what circles you run in because I haven’t heard a peep about Camillien-Houde outside of this blog.

              • CE 17:09 on 2019-11-29 Permalink

                Same here. Pretty much everyone I know would put this pretty low on the things they care about. Then again, I know very few people who own cars.

              • Dhomas 08:52 on 2019-11-30 Permalink

                I know a lot of entitled drivers (those who think they should be allowed to drive anyplace, anytime and park anywhere, for free). Even though they hadn’t been to the mountain in years, they saw that road closure as an attack on their personal freedoms. They were really pissed about it. They were not alone.

              • Meezly 11:08 on 2019-11-30 Permalink

                I remember when they temporarily shut down voie Camillien-Houde, it created much more congestion on either side of the mountain. During rush hour, I’d be biking home to cut across Ave du Mont-Royal & Esplanade, and it was bumper to bumper at times.

                This impacts me as a non-car owner, as I don’t want exhaust fumes polluting my neighbourhood, not to mention frustrated drivers zooming thru side streets. I didn’t read the article, but I hope they improve the safety of the road but allow limited car access esp. during busy times.

            • Kate 08:32 on 2019-11-29 Permalink | Reply  

              There are two promoters working on the site of the old Children’s Hospital, and one of them alleges the site could collapse because of an aging retaining wall not looked after by the other.

              • Kate 08:30 on 2019-11-29 Permalink | Reply  

                It can’t be too unusual for a bureaucracy to be facing the retirement of a cohort of its workers over five years, but the city’s looking at 25% of its fonctionnaires leaving, and it’s not so easy to hire new ones in this market.

                • Patrick 14:00 on 2019-11-29 Permalink

                  Could this be an opportunity to (further) diversify the profile of this group? Are there statistics on its current composition?

                • Kate 14:03 on 2019-11-29 Permalink

                  I don’t know about the city. The only tangentially relevant recent news is of the almost complete absence of anglophones from the Quebec civil service.

                  If I see any news about this, revealing the stats, I will post.

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