Updates from November, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:44 on 2019-11-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Cell service in the metro is getting there, with Assomption and Cadillac now online. Only 3 stations at the eastern end and 7 stations at the western end of the green line remain to be hooked up. All the other lines are done.

    • steph 01:22 on 2019-11-05 Permalink

      never understood why the Lionel-Groulx to Angrignon section was the least priority.

    • qatzelok 13:22 on 2019-11-05 Permalink

      might be because there is a perception that people who live in Lasalle and Verdun have very little to say or text to one another. orange line to montmorency, on the other hand… non-stop inane phone conversations to “anyone who cares.”…

  • Kate 21:18 on 2019-11-04 Permalink | Reply  

    The only local recount in the federal election confirms the Liberals won Hochelaga as the Bloc conceded defeat part way through the count. Hints of “irregularities” by Yves-François Blanchet have not been substantiated.

    Having worked elections myself, I can tell you it’s virtually impossible to introduce “irregularities” into an election. Before the poll opens, two people have to count out how many ballots the station has, and write that down. Voters mark their ballot in private, but it goes into the box in front of the poll workers, and you could not get away with cramming two or three extras in there, presuming you somehow got hold of convincing fakes in the first place, which is vanishingly unlikely, and would be noticed during the count anyway.

    At the end, the count is carried on in front of several witnesses (parties can send observers if they like, and they do) and the damaged ballots (if any), the used and the unused ballots have to add up to the same number you had at the beginning. (They’re not kidding. I once made an error over 1 ballot in an election and was called in more than a week later to go through the whole box and account for it. And it was not a close race.) And then you have the counterfoils as a backup if the count somehow looks wrong. All this stuff is kept and sealed down and initialed in the box after the poll closes. Nothing in the process is done by one person alone.

    And this isn’t even to mention how we now have to identify ourselves at the polling station, a thing we didn’t used to have to do (and which is still being resisted in other democracies, I’ve noticed).

    People like Blanchet, but casting unspecified doubts over the basic democratic mechanism of voting isn’t smart.

    • Tim S. 22:36 on 2019-11-04 Permalink

      Having been one of those party observers, it’s also true that there are many possibilities for mistakes by tired, undertrained workers supervised by Deputy Returning Officers who don’t really know what they are doing. The count in particular can be very haphazard, and workers are not instructed in how to count systematically (or, if they are, there’s usually no follow-up on the night itself, as the DRO is busy with their own paperwork). Keep in mind that by the time of the count itself, the poll workers, many of them first-timers, will have been on the job for about 13 straight hours. Yes, there are various checks and failsafes, and we should be proud that we have a system where citizens of goodwill usually ensure that things come out as they should. But it’s also important to keep an eye on the process and not be too complacent.
      All that to say, in this case it’s possible that the BQ’s observers did spot something. Or think they did, at least.

    • Kate 22:42 on 2019-11-04 Permalink

      Well, that’s what recounts are for.

    • jeather 10:22 on 2019-11-05 Permalink

      I think “mistakes” have a very different feel than “irregularities”. Can there be a mistake in counting votes? Sure. There are only two people there counting, and despite the best of intentions people make mistakes, and by 9:30 you are ready to LEAVE. Irregularities suggest something a bit more deliberate.

    • Bill Binns 12:49 on 2019-11-05 Permalink

      This is why I like paper ballots and believe they should be the only method of voting forever. Counting pieces of paper is a non-mysterious process that anyone can understand or independently verify. The only things to worry about are verifying that people are who they claim to be and that everyone can only vote once.

    • Tee Owe 13:12 on 2019-11-05 Permalink

      With Bill Binns on this one 100%

  • Kate 13:34 on 2019-11-04 Permalink | Reply  

    CTV reports that the bus shelter on Van Horne at Côte-des-Neiges has been hit by vehicles at least twice before although its headline that the recent smash put seven people in hospital is at odds with the text saying only two were injured.

    As with the St-Henri tenant recently experiencing a fourth incursion into her home by a vehicle, if this kind of thing happens repeatedly at one spot it’s a clear indication that there’s something wrong – a distraction, unclear signs or signals, or simply poor urban geography.

    • Kate 09:03 on 2019-11-04 Permalink | Reply  

      While people are fussing about the suggestion to move trick-or-treating one day because of weather, CDN-NDG held its Remembrance Day ceremony on November 3. What?

      • dwgs 10:17 on 2019-11-04 Permalink

        What indeed. And I live about 6 short blocks from there and never heard a thing about it before this second.

      • Michael Black 12:03 on 2019-11-04 Permalink

        The smaller ceremonies often happen earlier so people can also attend the big downtown one.

        I’m not sure why this was 8 days ahead, but likely some reason. It’s not the Sunday before Remembrance Day,but only one more day than last year when a quick check shows at least one smaller event on the fourth. Though last year Remembrance Day was on a Sunday.

      • Mr.Chinaski 14:34 on 2019-11-04 Permalink

        Souvenir Parades are *always* the first sunday of November. It was also held in Verdun yesterday.

    • Kate 08:56 on 2019-11-04 Permalink | Reply  

      The city has its eye on some of the space behind the old Royal Vic to add to Mount Royal park while McGill wants to turn the original grand old baronial building into a research centre. That leaves several buildings as yet unclaimed. The Société québécoise des infrastructures says it wants the whole complex to be used for the public good, and we already know that the winter shelter is coming back this season although it’s probably not clear yet whether this will be a permanent facility.

      • Spi 13:29 on 2019-11-04 Permalink

        The city should focus more on the cutting down of Ash trees that are within the park and look into the possibility of creating green space in the spaces vacated by dead trees if it makes sense.

      • Kate 21:36 on 2019-11-04 Permalink

        The city can do both, Spi. Anyway, “green space” is not just lawn, it’s trees too.

        The old Vic is eventually going to be parted out, and it would be good if the city had its claim in on the disused parking lots. There’s a swimming pool up there too.

    • Kate 08:51 on 2019-11-04 Permalink | Reply  

      The city is putting up a new sign in the memorial park on Côte-des-Neiges, the place du 6‑Décembre‑1989, to call the incident being remembered an antifeminist attack. The initial signage used more neutral wording, but going back to the original stated intentions of the killer, it’s not a stretch to reword it more accurately.

      • Kate 08:43 on 2019-11-04 Permalink | Reply  

        Now that the new Université de Montréal campus is open, the long foreseen gentrification of Park Ex is happening fast, with tenants being evicted or priced out of their homes.

        • Kate 08:37 on 2019-11-04 Permalink | Reply  

          CTV tells us the city has retirement plans for the calèche horses which will be put out to pasture at the end of this year, but buried in the story is the fact that only half of the horses have been found places. TVA has more photos of the mare Sissi who has already gone to live in the Eastern Townships.

          • mare 15:22 on 2019-11-04 Permalink

            Race horses are put down when they’re not useful anymore (after an injury and/or when they’re done reproducing). Cows, goats and sheep are slaughtered after they stop giving enough milk after having offspring. I don’t really see why these horses need to be ‘saved’. Because someone decided they can’t work anymore?

            Just my opinion, but I had to comment anyway. (Also not a sissy.)

          • Michael Black 16:05 on 2019-11-04 Permalink

            It was the glue factory in the past.

            I don’t know if the change is new rules, or simply that third parties have stepped in to take care of retired working animals.

            Often they are precarious, surviving on donations and often not a lot. There was a story some years back abiut a Quebec farm that did this, needing money ir maybe they had to close.

            In this case it makes a certain sense, people disliking the working conditions, so why terminate the horses as a result? It makes.sense to send them to the country to have restful retirement years.

          • Kate 16:31 on 2019-11-04 Permalink

            mare, Michael, the calèche business was ended largely as a humane effort by the SPCA and others. It wouldn’t look so great if the horses were shot in the head (as damaged horses used to be, right in view of everyone in the street, back when they were transportation, not tourism) and carted away. There are only a few of them and people have feelings. So they will be put out to pasture.

            After this, city people will rarely see any animal larger than a golden retriever.

          • Michael Black 17:04 on 2019-11-04 Permalink

            Police horses. A year or two ago the dog saw two on the street, and as they walked away he looked at them. He seemed to be thinking “look at the size of those dogs”.

          • Chris 21:58 on 2019-11-04 Permalink

            mare, I wholeheartedly agree. The explanation is simple though: people mentally compartmentalize food animals. It’s ok to slaughter them, but not other animals. In my view this is irrational, but I’m a minority there.

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