Updates from January, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:18 on 2020-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Global says recyclables are piling up outside an east-end sorting centre, while Quebec promises to bridge the gap left by the French company Tiru, which is pulling its operations out of North America.

    The Gazette’s Allison Hanes summarizes the crisis while, on La Presse, Ariane Krol looks at the difficulties besetting plastic recycling in general and, by way of background, the New York Times looks into why that city can’t make a success of recycling.

    We’re going to have to face it: we produce too much waste, mostly plastic, and we’ve run out of places willing to take it in. Now what?

    • Chris 22:08 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

      Well, right now, the cost of recycling plastic is borne by the government, it’s an externality for the plastic manufactures/sellers. A ‘plastic tax’ analogous to the carbon tax could be used to pay for plastic recycling and reduce use by making it more expensive.

    • Ephraim 22:37 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

      There are plastics that are easily recyclable… but we are trying to recycle all. At one point, we should tax plastics, but those that are harder to recycle. Number 1 and 2 are easily recyclable. Maybe a tax on those that are hard to recycle will be enough to get some manufacturers to switch.

    • Spi 11:50 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

      Frankly, I’m baffled that a government hasn’t passed legislation so that all packaging should be easily recyclable and made of entirely recyclable material (where food safety allows). There was a time when packaging conveyed the quality of your product and served a marketing purpose that’s hardly the case anymore. Why does the box in which my pasta comes in need a plastic slit for me to see that it is indeed filled with pasta? These mixed materials packaging only complicate the act of sorting the recycling.

    • Kevin 11:59 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

      Because of food price inflation, that little window lets you know if the package is half-full, even if the box is the same size as last week.

    • Dhomas 19:32 on 2020-02-01 Permalink

      All packaging has the weight written on it. It renders the window argument moot. I actually mostly shop by looking at $ per . I think there is a law that came into effect some years ago that mandated grocery stores to list the price in this way, too.

  • Kate 13:20 on 2020-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

    I don’t usually do Longueuil stories, but this is a public service thing. A woman was found Monday on the ground on Marie-Victorin in that suburb with a serious head injury, but has no memory of why she was there or how she got injured. The Longueuil police are seeking witnesses. Specific details on time and place are in the linked items.

    It’s not clear from reportage whether the woman had I.D. on her or if the police know who she is. They mention a possible incident with a vehicle, or that she could have slipped and fallen, but I hope they’re also considering the possibility she fled from a building where someone had assaulted her. Or maybe someone threw her out of a vehicle?

    • Blork 18:59 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

      I approve of this MTL City Blog expansion into Longueuil. After all, Longueuil is the next Plateau.

    • Kate 20:20 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

      Blork, OK, but the one thing I don’t think I will be able to follow is Longueuil’s complicated city hall shenanigans.

    • dwgs 11:51 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

      I nominate Blork to head the Longueuil desk as foreign correspondent.

    • Blork 14:33 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

      How’s the pay?

    • dwgs 14:36 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

      We’ll give you 75% of what Kate makes.

  • Kate 13:16 on 2020-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

    TVA says the Pie-IX bus lane has fallen behind schedule, with only three quarters of the expected work done by this date, and some of the remaining work not possible in wintertime.

    • qatzelok 18:41 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

      The amazingly long time that it’s taking to complete ‘a bus lane’ suggests that the entire project has been marinated in simmering UPAC sauce.

    • Ian 19:39 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

      I think that’s a pretty safe assumption for any roadwork project on the island of any scale, but I have noticed that one in particular is progressing with almost comical slowness.

  • Kate 13:14 on 2020-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Eight households are in the street after a four-alarm fire in Pointe-aux-Trembles Tuesday evening. Nobody got hurt but the building was pretty much destroyed, as the La Presse photo shows.

    • Kate 09:06 on 2020-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

      La Presse is optimistic here about the renovation of the old Banque Laurentienne building on St-Denis at Rachel, although there’s no tenant yet and the upstairs is going to be an Airbnb hotel. I didn’t realize the building had also had a fire since Mexx abandoned it in early 2015.

      • JoeNotCharles 09:54 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

        If the upstairs is PLANNED to be an airbnb, that’s no different from any other hotel or bed and breakfast. The problem with airbnb comes when people rent out supposedly residential units without any oversight.

        It will be nice to get something in the Mexx building again, but there are several other large noticeable corner locations still abandoned (the old Rapido for instance) that contribute to the street looking abandoned. Hopefully getting a tenant in one of them will start a snowball effect that gets the others occupied again too.

      • Kate 11:04 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

        Granted. Upstairs was originally office space, as it was over all these corner banks.

        I’m wondering, though – what happens to neighbourhoods when a tipping point is reached, and a certain percentage of the people sleeping there on any given night are transient, not resident? Who actually speaks for the neighbourhood or cares about its future?

      • Blork 11:05 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

        Speculation here, but I suspect the “Airbnb hotel” bascially means a handful of hastily built studio apartments that will be managed by someone via Airbnb. Different from a “hotel” in that there will be no 24-hour reception, no daily maid service, none of the other things you get from a hotel. The advantage to them is that if it fails (or if Airbnb gets outlawed or whatever) they can just switch to renting them long-term without having to make any other renos or changes.

      • Ephraim 11:10 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

        The only streets in the Plateau where you can get an STR permit now are St-Denis and St-Laurent. (Unless you were grandfathered in and already have your permit.) So this one can at least be legal, get it’s permits and pay the commercial property tax. This isn’t the problem…. those on residential streets that aren’t owner occupied are the problem.

        @Kate – Maybe it’s about time we passed a law requiring Revenu Quebec to actually do their job. They asked for the portfolio and NOTHING. From the court cases, I have seen that some municipalities (Quebec city in particular) actually make reservations and send in the fines. We need to make Revenu Quebec do it’s job and publish documents showing that it is doing it’s job. And maybe a journalist asking Revenu Quebec why it isn’t doing it’s job, the minister being asked why they asked for a portfolio and aren’t actually doing what they said they would do.

        There was one change as of this month, and the 3.5% that is collected by all parties is paid directly to RQ. It’s SO WEIRD… so if you book a hotel on Expedia and they collect the payment, they are required to pay RQ the 3.5%, but the hotel is requires to pay the GST/QST to the government… but if you pay the hotel, the hotel is required to pay the 3.5%. This is an accounting NIGHTMARE.

      • Ian 13:15 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

        Hm, It’s almost as if simply removing or gluing their stupid lockboxes is a better solution than waiting for the RQ to get off their asses.

        Yes, I know that’s illegal, but so are AirBnbs on residential streets and I’m tired of rents doubling every 5 years.

      • DeWolf 13:49 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

        The Rapido corner (along with the old Boîte Noire building) is meant to become a residential development that many are speculating will be an Airbnb hotel, given it is made up of many small studio apartments. And then there’s the old Guérin textbook factory at Mont-Royal/Drolet that is becoming a Sonder, which is a self-service hotel brand that competes with Airbnb.

        To my mind it’s only natural that this area would begin attracting more hotels. Most cities in Europe and Asia have a sprinkling of hotels throughout the city – they aren’t just concentrated in the downtown area, as is the case in Montreal. People want to stay on the Plateau but at the moment there are few options other than illegal Airbnbs, a few B&Bs and a couple of icky roach motels.

        The trick is managing visitors and accommodations so it doesn’t become a nuisance, which is unfortunately something the municipal government has proven itself incapable of doing.

      • Ephraim 22:41 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

        Ian… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFMLD6SonZg might help you deal with the problem.

        DeWolf… there is a major difference between these. The STR full apartment is generally the absentee landlord, dumping the problems on the neighbourhood (they should be paying commercial tax, they should be taking care of their garbage, etc… but don’t). The B&B is owner occupied and become the vigilant soul who watches over the street because they have an interest in it. And the hotel is the commercial bringing more money to the city.

      • Ian 11:51 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

        Thanks for the tip, but glue is faster haha

      • Ephraim 13:19 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

        @Ian – Faster, but not as scary as losing the key and having to worry about someone stealing everything… and of course having to rekey an entire house… each time! And of course having to deal with an irate client who wants access when you are trying to be totally absentee.

      • Ian 17:15 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

        hmm, sounds… disruptive


    • Kate 09:01 on 2020-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

      City hall opposition has succeeded in persuading council to vote for a charter of rights for STM users, something the CBC newsreader said brightly Wednesday morning would make the users feel more like clients.

      Does anyone really think this can be more than PR, obliging the STM to devote time and man-hours to servicing a meaningless concept? The “clients” thing bugs me too, because the STM is not a business. It’s a service. I give the STM the respect to assume it’s doing its best with the resources our society allots to it, given the weather, the traffic and other conditions, so that obliging it to waste its time paying lip service to some bogus “charter of rights” is so far off what’s actually useful that I find it offensive.

      The Gazette also has a piece about making buses run on time and the possibility of penalizing the STM if it falls behind. Now I ask you, what the hell good will that do?

      • jeather 09:55 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

        Please, just have the next bus time work on their website correctly and update the twitter accounts in something close to real time. I don’t need penalties. I have, recently, found bus drivers (primarily 24 and 165) to be very polite both to me and to other clients; I never interact with employees on the metro. (Yes, I am a white woman and I am sure this helps.)

      • Daniel 11:05 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

        “Bergeron said future funding of the STM and other operators will be tied to performance.” I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who did a double take when reading this line. I can’t even fathom the thinking behind this madness. Surely poor performance will equal less funding, which will lead to poorer performance?

      • Kate 11:43 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

        No kidding, Daniel.

      • Ian 13:34 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

        Well to be fair it’s a bit tiresome to hear PM going on about how much everything is improving on the STM when those of use who use it know that bus schedules even in rush hour are more of a possibility than a certainty. Yes, I know Coderre messed it all up when he gutted funding, but PM has been in power a long time and it’s still not back to where it was pre-Coderre. Yes, I know there is a lot of construction and cost overruns and unpredictable factors but even the bus drivers have been saying for years that the schedules aren’t realistic, there just aren’t enough working buses and traffic is too bad.

        The thing is here, I don’t think it’s the fault of the STM unless someone’s got some insight into deep STM culture … I think this is the city admin offloading responsibility onto the front lines, which is a really unfair move.

        Crazy idea but if the goal is just to build goodwill, how about little things like letting people on the bus at the end of the line, especially if the weather is bad? The 80, 51, and 405 are practically training murderers, waiting for the bus to pull up when it’s -20, dark out, windy, and it’s just sitting there 50 feet away idling for 15 minutes…
        Don’t even get me started on the light industrial parts of town where the buses simply don’t show up for a half an hour or more even in “rush hour”, especially in winter. Having to walk to a better bus line through the snow in a part of town with no sidewalks is really the worst… and you’re still going to get home late because the stupid bus didn’t show up AGAIN. In some parts of VSL that happens nearly every single day.

      • Filp 16:32 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

        Penalizing transit agencies for traffic would result in massive padding of all bus time tables to make sure no bus is ever “off schedule”. This is not the outcome we want, but it is guaranteed to happen if they get penalized for what is beyond control

      • Ian 12:18 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

        Considering that many routes seem to arbitrarily get cancelled after a certain hour with no warning or indication I’m not sure the STM could pad the schedules enough… but you are right, that is exactly what they will do.

        The city needs a special office of scam artists whose only job is to analyze reactionary legislation and figure out how inevitably it will be taken advantage of by the unscrupulous, making things even worse in the long run. An administrative red team, if you will.

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