Updates from December, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 13:14 on 2019-12-20 Permalink | Reply  

    The last hope attempt by calèche operators to save their business has failed, as Superior Court has refused their request for an injunction against the law which will end their activities at the end of this year.

    • ant6n 19:49 on 2019-12-21 Permalink

      On Facebook I’m seeing posters of a sad-looking horse, noting the end of the caleching, labelled “une victoire pour leur bien-etre”.

      Call me cynical, but my first thought was “off to the glue factory!”

    • MarcG 22:07 on 2019-12-21 Permalink

      Yeah vegetarianism and animal rights points of view are really too focussed on optics. What would really happen if you let a cow run free? How ethical is your rice monoculture? Follow things a bit further down the line and they all end at the same place.

    • Chris 09:15 on 2019-12-22 Permalink

      MarcG, in other words, if it’s not perfect, don’t bother?! Don’t let the perfect get in way of the good!

    • Kate 09:55 on 2019-12-22 Permalink

      I have a dual philosophical inquiry on this matter myself, but I have no way to untangle it.

      First, most horses would not exist unless we had bred them. They’d still be a species of creature living in herds in central Asia, along the lines of a deer or a moose or something, and very likely endangered from loss of habitat, hunting and so on.

      But it’s unlikely that horses could have been left to themselves. Horses fascinated man for millennia: I read a piece recently about how people were drawing horses on cave walls long before evidence of their domestication. People and horses were going to converge at some point and do things together, and we did. The aristocratic lines of many traditional societies are descended from those defined as horsemen (“chevaliers”).

      So none of these creatures would exist – at least in North America – unless humans had brought them here and bred them for specific purposes. Instead of running free on the steppe, they were given food, shoes and veterinary care and put to work, which in many cases only means having rich kids ride them on weekends, since we no longer need them for practical purposes like farm work and transportation.

      Secondly, we all have to work, unless born into riches. Every creature on the planet has to make efforts to ensure itself (and its offspring, if any) food and shelter. We all have to do some kind of economic labour. The current “correct” view on horses seems to me unbalanced. Horses aren’t companion animals like cats and dogs whose mere presence is sufficient for us, in most cases. Horses need space and they need looking after, which costs money. You can’t simply take a calèche horse out to the country and let it go. Not even on the steppe. It is of us, this beast. We made it, so we have to look after it.

      Why should horses be exempt from working? Is it cruel to ask a horse to pull a cart for a few hours a day in return for food, shelter and care? Is that not what most of us have to do?

    • MarcG 10:19 on 2019-12-22 Permalink

      Chris: Who said anything about “the good”?

    • Chris 14:59 on 2019-12-22 Permalink

      Were you not saying that because rice monoculture has its problematic aspects, that there’s no point in reducing/avoiding (the even more problematic) cow farming?

    • MarcG 12:17 on 2019-12-23 Permalink

      I guess I’m saying that just because rice/soy/corn monoculture doesn’t directly spill the blood of innocent creatures doesn’t mean it doesn’t kill them via ecology ruination. The person who thinks they’re not participating in the apocalypse by eating tofu instead of beef is fooling themselves. (I’m speaking from personal experience.)

    • Bill Binns 12:36 on 2019-12-23 Permalink

      I’m torn on this subject as well. My major concern is for the current, soon to unemployed horses. I’m afraid their only chance is to get sold off and shipped someplace else that still allows carriage horses. If so, the city has done absolutely nothing positive for these horses they claim to care so much about and has quite possibly doomed every one of them to a terrible death.

      It’s hard to imagine anything good happening to these horses unless some of them have greatly endeared themselves to their owners. The thousands of dollars a month required to feed, house and provide vet care for these animals is a lot to ask for even a beloved pet. Remember, Quebec is the last place in North America with a functioning horse slaughterhouse.

      I don’t see why the city couldn’t have registered all the existing working horses and simply said “no more”. When these horses retired or died off the trade would end.

      From the beginning, this whole thing has felt like it’s not really about the horses at all. I wonder who benefits from the disappearance of the carriages from Old Montreal.

  • Kate 09:00 on 2019-12-20 Permalink | Reply  

    Plateau borough has embarked on a new snow-clearing method for bike paths, involving spraying brine, a method pioneered in Rosemont borough. Unfortunately for pedestrians, it doesn’t work so well on light-coloured sidewalks.

    • qatzelok 11:34 on 2019-12-20 Permalink

      I am so happy to see the brine method becoming the default.

      Bike path snow-clearing is very uneven from arrondisment to arrondisement. Sometimes, you can bike through Verdun on the River Bank bike path, perfectly cleared, and then you slide on a slab of hiden black ice right after the Lasalle border. Sometimes this happens in the reverse direction. As a cyclist, I know EXACTLY where this border is now.

      To make winter biking safe and more popular, bike paths have to be cleared more quickly after snow and icing events, and throughout the city and major paths through some of the burbs.

    • Chris 12:35 on 2019-12-21 Permalink

      True enough, but this unevenness also occurs for pedestrians and motorists too.

    • qatzelok 20:11 on 2019-12-21 Permalink

      Chris, I’ve never been cruising along clear asphalt on the 20 between Dorval and Lachine, and suddenly hit glare ice after the border between them. Have you? This must have caused quite an accident.

      If this has happened to you, it would certainly be an interesting story for a comment (about snow-clearing methods for cars.)

  • Kate 08:51 on 2019-12-20 Permalink | Reply  

    QMI is listing the top ten memorable local news stories of the year (what, no alligator on Jarry or tiny horse in Jean-Drapeau park?) as well as what it calls four municipal faux pas although one of them involves William Steinberg, who has nothing to do with the city of Montreal. And I still would like to know who paid the genealogists who dug into the family history of Marie‑Josée Parent.

    • Jack 10:10 on 2019-12-20 Permalink

      Biggest demonstration n Montreal’s history….8 . Taking the crucifix down….2. The Journal de Montréal and its editors never fail to disappoint, what a joke.

    • Kate 11:02 on 2019-12-20 Permalink

      They didn’t get into the “Halloween is moved” thing, at least.

    • Chris 14:45 on 2019-12-21 Permalink

      Jack, their #2 wasn’t “Taking the crucifix down”, it was “Taking the crucifix down *AND* Law 21”. Love it or hate it, 21 was certainly in the top memorable local news stories.

  • Kate 08:43 on 2019-12-20 Permalink | Reply  

    Francophone media are mourning the death of Antoine Desilets, who had been considered the doyen of press photographers here.

    On the anglo side the death of Neil Cameron is being noted. Cameron was an Equality Party MNA, a history lecturer at various anglo institutions and a commentator in the media.

    From doing this blog I can add: nothing differentiates the anglo and franco media so much as the deaths they take note of.

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