Updates from December, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:25 on 2019-12-12 Permalink | Reply  

    Some weekend driving notes from CTV. Updated later.

  • Kate 19:00 on 2019-12-12 Permalink | Reply  

    Although all three judges of Quebec’s top court agreed the secularity law (aka Bill 21) does irreparable harm, especially to Muslim women, the court declined to suspend the law, because of the notwithstanding clause, and because the court has to assume the law serves a valid public purpose. Quoting several commentators on Twitter but mostly CBC’s Sarah Leavitt.

    • Kate 14:16 on 2019-12-12 Permalink | Reply  

      Montreal will experience the largest rent house price hikes in Canada next year.

      • Brett 19:02 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

        It seems the article is about the increase in the sales price of real estate, and not increase in rents(which are controlled by the rent board)

      • Kate 21:28 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

        Yes, you’re right. Blogging in too much haste. Although inevitably this heated market will rebound on rents, and the rental board can only do so much.

    • Kate 14:12 on 2019-12-12 Permalink | Reply  

      The city has to kick in for air quality tests in the east end, which is apparently not as simple as it sounds.

      • Kate 14:10 on 2019-12-12 Permalink | Reply  

        I had no idea this existed, but apparently it has for 20 years: if the STM makes you late for work you can get a late note from its customer service.

        • Kate 09:15 on 2019-12-12 Permalink | Reply  

          Architects are strange, giving out awards for building sketches that haven’t been built yet: the new bus garage at Bellechasse and Rosemont has been given the nod by Canadian Architect.

          Speaking of new projects, construction of the Royalmount complex has begun but a coalition of groups is begging Quebec to impose limits on Carbonleo’s plans.

          Radio-Canada also visited the construction site of the REM’s Édouard-Montpetit station near the UdeM. I remember on the blog a couple of years back snickering at the idea of having a crossover station there between the metro line and a train going under the mountain. And now look.

          • Mr.Chinaski 11:22 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            3 projects by the same single architectural firm (Lemay).

        • Kate 09:03 on 2019-12-12 Permalink | Reply  

          On his official visit to California, François Legault made one of those statements that will be remembered: all French-Canadians are Catholic.

          CBC radio noted this morning that in Quebec, about three quarters of the populace claim to be Catholic, but I wonder how many actually practise the religion any more. People say they’re Catholic meaning their parents or grandparents were Catholic, or maybe because they’d find it too difficult to admit they have no beliefs. They’ll check a box on the census, but almost nobody lets the Catholic church tell them how to live.

          The governor of California refused to be drawn into a discussion about religious symbols, too.

          • Tim S. 09:36 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            I chatted with a Protestant pastor once, who had a congregation out in the suburbs, who thought that since the decline in Catholicism in Quebec people had developed a spiritual emptiness, and some were filling it by turning to evangelical groups – a process that’s also taking place in South America. To be seen.

          • Chris 10:04 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            Do you have to “practise the religion” to “claim to be Catholic”? Perhaps you imply a contradiction where none exists? One is Catholic if one says one is, and that’s it. It’s just a matter of self-identification.

            At least, that’s kinda the flip side of what was argued against me here months ago when I said there are many more atheists than it seems. The retort was ‘people say they belong to religion x, so we must assume they aren’t atheists’.

            Being generous, perhaps Legault meant “Catholic” in the same way a lot of people say they are “Jewish”, i.e. in a cultural sense, but atheistically. I’m noticing this more and more with “Muslims” too: people that eat pork, drink booze, don’t pray, shave, etc. but still have a sorta ancestral group identity. If such people can still be “Muslim” then people that don’t attend church to cannibalize wafers can still be “Catholic”.

          • Clément 10:14 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            That’s a stupid statement, even coming from a stupid politician.
            First, he’s ignoring the fact that these days, a significant proportion of practising religious French-Canadians are likely muslim or some other non-christian religion. Mosques are much busier than churches these days.
            Furthermore, how is being catholic defined?
            Somewhere in some database, I’m probably counted as catholic since I was baptized in the 60’s and never officially apostated (is that a verb?).

          • Chris 10:24 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            Clément, yes, that’s a verb. The conjugation you want is “apostatized”. https://verbix.com/webverbix/English/apostatize.html

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

            Chris, being Jewish is a cultural thing as well as a religious one. Being Catholic is not the same. Yes, it’s tied pretty closely to some nationalities, but it is not a nationality in itself.

            Clément, from things I’ve seen I suspect the Catholic church uses that database (in which case I would count as well) but realistically the only way to count would be by people’s self-definition in the census. That’s not perfect, as in some families the parents would list their kids as belonging to a religion which they might never practise as adults, but it’s the best we’ve got.

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

            FCs are definitely Catholic in a cultural way. It is a discernible mindset in older people, esp since QC was once effectively a theocracy. I call them ‘anti-clerical catholic’ and it exists elsewhere in Cda too and among Anglophone Catholics.
            @Clément – I very much doubt that “a significant proportion of practising religious French-Canadians are likely muslim”. Not a chance.

          • jeather 10:48 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            I am Jewish in a lot of ways, and also an atheist (I would write myself as Jewish on a census, but only because I don’t believe you can put two answers for religion), but I am not Jewish in any kind of nationalistic way. There’s a lot of history there, but calling Judaism a nationality is often a way to hide anti-semitism (I don’t think you were doing this Kate).

            Not all religions follow the Chrisitan method of being more based on what you believe than what you do.

          • Joey 10:51 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            I think the technical discussion of what defines a Catholic misses the point here, which is that the premier is of the opinion that French-Canadians who are not Catholic (i.e., non-Catholic immigrants, converts, etc.) are not really *French-Canadian* – this message is of course consistent with his stance on the Charter of Values, law 21, etc. Moreover, the implication is that French-Canadians, i.e., those who were raised in the Catholic church (whether they still practice, believe, identify, etc., is kind of irrelevant), are the only “real” Quebecers.

          • Clément 11:08 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            @JaneyB: If someone was born in Tunisia, emigrated to Canada and is a practising muslim, doesn’t that count as “French Canadian”. I define French-Canadian as someone who speaks French and lives in Canada, no?

          • Kate 12:33 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            Joey is right about the political meaning of Legault’s remark and I thank him for snapping this discussion back to the real issue.

            Clément: arguably, French Canadian can also mean those of French ancestry rather than language. You can be French Canadian if you’re living anywhere in Canada, even speaking English most of the time, but your roots go back to France, just as I can fairly be called Irish-Canadian although my Irish ancestry is too far back to qualify for Irish citizenship and I do not speak Irish.

          • Patrick 13:18 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            @jeather, ironically, Trump’s new executive order on anti-semitism defines (at least that is how it is being interpreted) Jewishness as a nationality precisely in order to increase protections against perceived discrimination against Jews on college campuses.
            @Tim S., I don’t know if the evangelical thing is a trend, but I was surprised to see a francophone evangelical baptist church planted in the middle of Rosemont, corner of Saint-Michel and Saint-Joseph. Check out the Google reviews…

          • Blork 13:31 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            There is a huge evangelical church in Longueuil, and apparently it’s well attended.


          • Clément 14:03 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            @Kate It comes down to opinion, and I suspect you and I would probably disagree with most Caquistes and other meutistes. I tend to think that French Canadian are Canadians who mostly speak French, whether they were born in Saskatoon, Lyon, Baie-Comeau or Casablanca and live in Chicoutimi or Whitehorse, just like I tend to think of English Canadian as Canadians who mostly speak English, whether they were born in Montreal, New Delhi, Beijing or Vancouver and live in Quebec city or Toronto.
            But yes, I realize many people prefer to use a “shortcut” definition of French Canadian as “Pure Laine”, whatever that means.

          • Kate 14:21 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            Clément: yes, it’s not a hard and fast definition. I’m not totally sold on mine, just it’s what comes to mind first.

            Blork: I work in a small firm, most of whose employees are Muslim, but of the people with typical Québécois names one is an evangelical. (This came out one lunchtime when the Muslims were talking about their ban on alcohol, and he was insisting Christians are not allowed to drink except maybe one glass of wine with dinner, and – channeling my Irish Catholic ancestors – I was like, where did THAT come from?!

            Mostly I try not to get involved in the religious debates at work, but that was just silly.)

          • Thomas H 14:27 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            Let us not forget that Legault has also said that he is not practicing and is agnostic (“I hope God exists”): https://montrealgazette.com/news/quebec/premier-francois-legault-says-he-hopes-god-exists-but-cant-confirm

            Many people (myself included) identify as Catholic (and other religions) even when their beliefs change, as has been noted above. I think that’s what Legault was getting at, even though he was also implying something a bit more nefarious about identity, intentionally or not.

          • Kevin 14:48 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            I bet Legault will be in church this Christmas with his mother, and the parking lots and fields and sidewalks around churches will be packed on Christmas Eve.

            That most definitely is not the definition used by anyone else.

            If you want to define people by the language they speak, do that. If you want to define them by ethnicity or regional background, do that — but don’t try to go Through the Looking Glass on us. That way leads madness and misunderstanding.

          • Chris 20:50 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            @Kevin, honest question, what’s your point re: betting Legault will be in church this Christmas? Is that supposed to contradict his being supposedly non-practising and agnostic? Christmas is barely a religious event anymore, it’s mostly a consumer holiday.

          • Clément 21:11 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            @Kevin: I’m sorry to be a disappointment to your stereotype.

          • Kevin 22:39 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

            Because I think French Quebecers are much more religious and conservative and tribal than is commonly admitted in our provincial commentariat. Even if it doesn’t necessarily translate into going to church as often as in the past.

            And I know Legault is playing to people’s fears.

            There are standard definitions for these terms. But I think you missed my literary reference.

        • Kate 08:57 on 2019-12-12 Permalink | Reply  

          CTV has a background on the woman and kids found dead this week including a history of domestic violence and a peace bond intended to keep the man away from his partner and children. The man also killed himself.

          More from TVA who also talked to the neighbours.

          And yet more background including details on the couple’s troubled history and the failure of society to intervene.

          • Kate 08:46 on 2019-12-12 Permalink | Reply  

            Mile End has several vinyl record shops, but maybe not for much longer. They stayed open late the weekend of April 13 and were visited by government agents who have slapped them with high fines for doing business out of hours. They’re hoping for mercy based on the Mile End being a tourist area now (where business hours laws are relaxed) but this will take tme.

            • dwgs 10:49 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

              Can anyone give me one reasonable explanation as to why a record store shouldn’t be open past 5 pm on a Saturday? This sounds like one of those morality laws from days gone by.

            • Brett 11:15 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

              And people wonder why there are empty storefronts.

            • Douglas 11:29 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

              Does the city have power over this or is this a Quebec province thing?

            • Tim 12:41 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

              It was noted in a story in the Gazette that bookstores in the neighborhood, such as Renault Bray, who also sell records, are exempt from this rule. Somebody needs to step up and fix this.

            • Meezly 13:20 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

              My bet is that this law has a historical basis with the Catholic church, hence the fact that businesses must be closed on Sunday, etc. and has never been revised to keep up with the times, as the provincial gov’t is more concerned with other matters, like imposing restrictive secularism laws and coming off as hypocritical asses to the rest of the world.

            • david100 13:43 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

              ^ It’s just as likely to be a labor/protectionism thing, or a rule to appease neighbors by keeping “off hours” commerce out of the neighborhoods.

            • jeather 13:59 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

              I certainly remember when no stores could be open on Sundays, except in December.

            • Kevin 14:53 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

              It’s a provincial law, and when it was passed it was all about allowing grocery stores to stay open past 5 on weekends.

              I remember this law being passed (in 1990!) and the debate at the time was about making sure workers weren’t being exploited by business owners.

              Obviously a law that’s obsolete.

            • Kate 16:34 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

              Kevin, if I recall correctly this law is why even the biggest grocery store can have a staff of no more than 4 or 5 people at certain points. The theory is to allow workers to have family lives.

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