Updates from November, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:41 on 2019-11-08 Permalink | Reply  

    Exo is promising nervous commuters it will keep the Mascouche line running and use a detour around the Mount Royal tunnel, scheduled to close for an indefinite (but fairly long) time at the end of the year. The more numerous users of the Deux-Montagnes line will have to undertake a more tedious route, with a bus navette taking them from Bois-Francs to Côte-Vertu metro and thence downtown.

    • qatzelok 13:43 on 2019-11-09 Permalink

      I guess this means that cyclists should cycle betweent Côte-Vertu metro and Bois-Francs train station, outside of rush hour. Not the end of the world for cycling-enabled humans. I realize that’s not everyone.

  • Kate 19:37 on 2019-11-08 Permalink | Reply  

    Protesters demonstrated at the office of Simon Jolin-Barrette Friday against the changes to the PEQ program and they got their wish: the CAQ has backtracked and cancelled the plan.

    • walkerp 20:19 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

      I wonder if all the media stories showing white, french people from France, suffering from the CAQ’s policy is what really forced Legault’s hand. Or are they really just this incompetent and misinformed?

    • Michael Black 20:29 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

      I thought that was the main thrust of the program. Anyone can move to Quebec after immigrating through Canada, this is about Quebec’s needs and allowing a fast track for Quebec. Obviously French language skill ranks high, but surely it’s mostly about skimming well educated people.

      It was silly to see that story of the woman from France who failed because of a bit of English was absurd. She’s exactly what is wanted.

      And it’s not fair for people who’ve made a choice to move here to see the rules changed after they have been here for years. It’s not like a criminal past is suddenly revealed, or they break a significant law here.


    • Marc R 00:29 on 2019-11-09 Permalink

      This seems to be pre-saging the eventual reversal on the plan to limit access to English services to “historical anglos” (I believe previously mentioned on this blog).

      I was born in the UK, grew up in Canada, then moved to Montreal at age 22. I married a bilingual anglo-quebecer, and our children are eligible to attend English school (they don’t, of course, we want them to be fluently bilingual, as my wife is). I did my elementary and secondary education in English, my undergrad bilingually, then my graduate studies in French. I work in French, but speak English at home (frankly, Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig lose a lot in translation…) I’m in the bizarre situation where under the mooted reform my wife and children will be eligible for services in English, but I won’t be (as my parents didn’t attend English elementary/secondary in Canada).

      I can’t help but think the CAQ have bitten off more than they can chew with the identiarian lilt to their immigration/French language reforms, and will need to backtrack shortly in order to go into the 2022 election without this sort of low-hanging fruit of bureaucratic incoherence dogging them (and aggravating the business community). Has Jolin-Barette overstepped his brief?

    • Kevin 10:32 on 2019-11-09 Permalink

      @Marc R
      The secret about Quebec is that “English school” is a misnomer. We should abolish that term because they are actually Schools that are administered by the Anglophone community.

    • Chris 12:47 on 2019-11-09 Permalink

      Marc R: why do you feel that your kids wouldn’t end up fully bilingual if they attend an English school?

  • Kate 14:02 on 2019-11-08 Permalink | Reply  

    Two years ago, a man died while rappelling down the Maison du développement durable downtown, as part of an official fund-raiser. I didn’t know there were companies who provide people to do this, but there are, and the one that sent the man who fell fatally from the fifth floor has been found guilty of negligence.

    • Kate 13:58 on 2019-11-08 Permalink | Reply  

      The oldest profession is still wiggling out of police control. Despite an intention announced by the SPVM awhile back to crack down on massage parlours, guess what – it’s not working.

      • Ephraim 15:30 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        The police constantly miss the mark with sex workers. What is needed here is social work, something that the police aren’t trained to handle. Are they being exploited or is this work they have chosen because it means they can spend time with their children? Do they need or want help? Do the people who use sex workers need or want help? Remember, prostitution isn’t illegal in Canada.

        Honestly, I wish they would just build a sex worker hotel on St-Helen’s island… we already have the casino and La Ronde… why not just one more amusement park. Cops on the spot in case of trouble, medical staff, testing, parking, social workers, daycare for the kids….

    • Kate 10:50 on 2019-11-08 Permalink | Reply  

      La Presse sent a researcher to test microbes on surfaces in the metro. The upshot: wash your hands after taking public transit and before doing anything else.

      • EmilyG 11:02 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        It’s quite a problem. I’ve seen people eating greasy/salty foods, then licking their fingers, then touching the metro poles. Though even without that, you get a lot of people touching the poles in general, especially when the metro’s crowded. And contagion can be increased if people are holding a pole with one hand, their bag with another, and having almost nowhere to cough.

        The article suggests to wash your hands after taking public transit. There are many metro stations that are not near a public washroom or other place to wash your hands. I bring hand sanitizer with me.

      • Uatu 11:31 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        Actually I learned in my hygiene course at work that cellphones are apparently covered in fecal matter since people don’t wash their hands properly and rarely clean off their phone screen. Think about that during your commute. Everyone is on the phone and touching everything… Ewwww….. ;p

      • Ephraim 16:25 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        Emily… hand sanitizer doesn’t do a good job on viruses and of course require people to actually follow directions. In most cases, this means keeping your hands wet and moving for 10 seconds. But they are useless for C. difficile, Norovirus, and Cryptosporidium. Norovirus is one of the most common… they make cruise ships disclose cases, but it’s in every shopping centre, every metro, bus and senior centre. The sanitizer needs to be alcohol based and with a concentration over 60%. Triclosan is banned in most countries, but NOT Canada… and it doesn’t work in hand sanitizer.

        Nothing beats soap and water. In fact, we should consider putting out more sinks with soap all over the place.

      • Chris 18:26 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        I bet hand sanitizer gel is one of those things we’ll look back upon as a stupid idea one day.

      • Ephraim 18:57 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        @Chris – It’s better than nothing… which isn’t saying much. Running your hands under water while rubbing them actually works better…. even without soap.

      • walkerp 19:02 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        How much of this is just hysteria? What are the real impact of these microbes? Do we really think we can avoid getting sick altogether? Are we really getting any fewer colds and flus in the winter because of a plastic bottle of gel that ends up in the landfill?
        Just wash your hands every now and then. I think the stress of obsessing over other people’s germs is probably a lot more harmful for your long-term well-being than touching some cooties on the metro.

      • Chris 19:05 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        Ephraim, it’s probably worse than nothing (when used too often). Of course it’s great if you just took a shit in the forest and have nothing else, but the germophobes that use it multiple times a day are doing themselves harm. If you have no idea what I’m referring to, start here: https://time.com/96112/why-im-breaking-up-with-hand-sanitizer/

      • Ephraim 21:58 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        @Chris – The antibiotic resistance is about the non-alcohol stuff with triclosan, not the regular alcohol stuff.
        @WalkerP – The Norovirus is a real concern… it’s often seen as a 24-72 hour stomach virus. Because it’s pretty rampant.

        @Kate – You should wash your hands when you come home, even if you don’t take public transit. You’ve touched so many things.

      • js 00:07 on 2019-11-09 Permalink

        I’m pretty sure if you can resist the at-times overwhelming compulsion to lick the poles, windows, seats floor, and random commuters’ phone screens you’ll be fine.

      • Kate 09:15 on 2019-11-09 Permalink

        js made me laugh.

        I don’t think there’s reason for paranoia, although I do wash my hands when I get home by bus or metro, and before making something to eat. But I’d wash ’em before handling food anyway.

        Wait till you see what La Presse found on public transit next (see above).

      • EmilyG 19:49 on 2019-11-09 Permalink

        I don’t usually lick metro poles, but I don’t want to touch someone else’s hand-grease/spit combo on the poles.

        (The “usually” was a joke 😛 )

    • Kate 09:19 on 2019-11-08 Permalink | Reply  

      Amazon plans to open a warehouse in Lachine next year, and before anybody rejoices at the new jobs, they should look up stories on what it’s like to work for an Amazon fulfillment warehouse.

      • PO 13:13 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        I worked in an Amazon warehouse for a bit. I’d like to think myself of pretty critical of big multinational corporations, but I had a very good experience. Safety was taken very seriously. No one gave you trouble for running to the bathroom whenever you needed. Some line supervisors were a bit miserable on occasion, but most of the management were very agreeable. Sure, the hours could suck and it would get hot/cold depending on the season, but that’s typical for any warehouse job. The pay was pretty good, considering the tasks being done.

        There have been many damning news stories about peeing in bottles, heat exhaustion, etc. Some of it has been very dishonest reporting, IMO. Some of it is pretty truthful. Overall, my biggest takeaway is that a) your experience at Amazon will probably depend on that individual warehouse – some are very well-run, some are probably pretty screwed up, and b) warehouse work isn’t for everyone.

        Given that labor laws seem pretty thorough in Quebec, I expect that there won’t be as many problems as there are in the USA.

        Whatever jobs it creates, though, most will disappear over time. Especially having seen how they operate inside their warehouses, it’s apparent that in the next decade they’ll be able to get rid of at least 75% of their manpower.

    • Kate 09:11 on 2019-11-08 Permalink | Reply  

      I was skimming the news Thursday, as I do, and when I saw Québec veut le nom des enfants qui fréquentent la Mission de l’Esprit-Saint I thought we were in a far-flung corner of Quebec with some hillbilly messiah. Not so. The Mission de l’Esprit-Saint is mostly located in Anjou. It was founded in 1913 and has a Wikipedia page and Quebec is concerned about 70 kids being “educated” in its religious school. I see on a search that the group also practises their religion illegally in Joliette (this last piece has quotes from ex-members who grew up in it).

      It’s always philosophically interesting to read about good reasons to dismantle cults, because once you get into the inculcation of irrational beliefs in children, any major religion can be damned with the same argument, except I suppose for the key aspect of taking people out of mainstream society.

      • Chris 10:33 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        Yes, it’s an interesting topic. What difference would being a “major religion” make? If this group had more membership, would what they’re doing be any less wrong? No. It’s likewise wrong when it’s a Hasidic school, or Wahhabi madrassa.

        These children have a human right to a proper education. Their parents are denying it to them, which is basically a form of child abuse, so the state should help.

      • Kate 11:15 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        Chris, as I said, a major religion generally does not require that you leave mainstream society. A cult generally does.

      • qatzelok 13:47 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        At the same time, Kate, in multi-cultural societies where religious identity predominates like Lebanon, there is no mainstream society. Everyone gets polarized into their own isolated social-status cliques.

      • Kate 14:22 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        qatzelok, that’s as may be, but it’s not true of Anjou or even Joliette.

      • Chris 19:01 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        Kate, the difference between religion and cult is one of degree, not kind. But I agree the amount of self-separation from ‘mainstream society’ is one of the fuzzy dividing lines. (This of course puts Haredi Judaism more on the cult side.) Then again, once you get big, there’s less need to self-separate because the things you would need to self-separate for become more widespread everywhere in society. ex: there are enough Muslims here now that getting halal meat is pretty easy in many neighbourhoods, so Muslims have one less reason to concentrate into their own bubbles.

      • Michael Black 20:21 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        No, “cult” is not about belief, but used for groups that use other means.

        So years ago when Josh Freed’s friend Benji joined a cult, they were worried about brainwashing.

        That caused a group to form about cults, a long existing resource centre.

        Other cults have the leader expecting sexual favors, and whatever.

        The degree is way larger than you want in your vendetta against religion.


      • Chris 15:09 on 2019-11-09 Permalink

        Michael, not sure I follow you. Are you saying ‘expecting sexual favours’ is a dividing line between religions and cults? What about all the Catholic clergy (leaders) sexually abusing kids? What about all the imams (leaders) selling pleasure marriages? Heck, if you’re worried about “the leader expecting sexual favors” what about prophet Mohamed marrying a child?!?

        Anyway, kids have human rights. Parents can’t do whatever they want to their children. ex: They can’t beat them. It doesn’t matter the reasoning. If they want to beat the kid because of reason X or because some old holy book says so, it makes no difference. Likewise kids have a right to a proper education. If a parent denies it, whether for religious/cult reasons or otherwise, it’s wrong.

    • Kate 09:01 on 2019-11-08 Permalink | Reply  

      It may be snowing already but the city tree planters are in a push to plant 22,000 more trees before the end of the year.

      • y 09:54 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        The story about the old man in NDG who sat in his yard to keep the city from planting a tree (mentioned briefly in this piece) still makes my blood boil! My block in Parc-Ex has a grand total of three mature trees and maybe 6 smaller trees. If you look at the map showing areas most at risk from heatwaves, my block is the deepest red. Add to the fact that very few people have air conditioners and there are lots of elderly people, we’re in trouble if we have a sustained heatwave! A few trees would go a long way here to make it more liveable. Send those old man’s trees to us!

        Meanwhile, on the other side of the wall, I saw the other day that TMR is planting even more trees.

      • walkerp 11:03 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        Does anybody know if there is a process to request trees to be planted in a specific spot?

      • Kate 11:15 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        walkerp, I don’t believe so, but nothing stops you emailing your councillors to ask. I plan to do the same about the empty sidewalk square outside my place.

        Update: I did email her, and she has promised me a new tree in the spring!

      • walkerp 20:23 on 2019-11-08 Permalink

        Oh nice! That was more effective than me waiting on hold on 311 during my lunch this afternoon and finally giving up.

      • CE 12:49 on 2019-11-09 Permalink

        @Kate, what did you ask to get a promise so quickly? I’ll do the same thing for my street!

      • Kate 00:59 on 2019-11-10 Permalink

        CE, I have emailed Mary Deros previously and she has always replied, so this time I simply gave her my address, described how the previous tree outside my place had been taken down, and asked for a new one for the space. And she said she’d make sure it was on the list when they put new trees in this spring.

      • Kevin 12:50 on 2019-11-09 Permalink

        It is usually not a question of not wanting a tree, but rather being pissed off at yet another act undertaken by a bureaucracy that mistakely believes that it knows best.

        E.g. Detroit https://www.citylab.com/environment/2019/01/detroit-tree-planting-programs-white-environmentalism-research/579937/

      • CE 16:53 on 2019-11-10 Permalink

        Thanks Kate. I’m going to send her an email today and see what she says for my situation.

    • Kate 08:59 on 2019-11-08 Permalink | Reply  

      Your weekend driving notes en anglais et en français. Please do not access the English version unless you’re a historic anglophone.

      • denpanosekai 10:52 on 2019-11-09 Permalink

        I saw a crazy scene yesterday at Canadian Tire of all places. Two women were violently arguing over language — the older one telling the younger one to get out of Quebec and the younger one telling the other to drop dead. Guess it started because of a Bonjour Hi from the cashier.

      • Kate 21:38 on 2019-11-10 Permalink

        Jeez. Neither of the people fighting was the cashier? How did it pan out?

    • Kate 08:54 on 2019-11-08 Permalink | Reply  

      Further examination of the Drapeau archives shows the mayor writing schmoozy letters to the celebrities of the day and offering to show them a good time if they visited Montreal.

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