Updates from February, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:56 on 2020-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Sue Montgomery has been abandoned by the other three Projet Montreal councillors on her borough council. They’ve also issued a statement ahead of Monday evening’s council meetings.

    All these stories dance around the unanswered question: was the chief of staff really a monster, or is this someone’s office politics standoff blown way out of proportion?

     
    • Ian 21:45 on 2020-02-03 Permalink

      While I do respect the office of the comptroller and see the importance of separation of powers, I think this whole affair has been handled terribly. I’m with Montagano. We all elected a PM majority with a lot of hope and goodwill but they seem to mostly have squandered it only partway through their term.

      Montgomery has gone against the party orthodoxy and has been hung out to dry, just like all the others this happened to before her. Strangely, almost all women get to be the scapegoat for whatever political game du jour there is demanding sacrifice. I thought seeing Plante as mayor might change that but apaprently I was mistaken.

    • Tim S. 08:38 on 2020-02-04 Permalink

      I think it’s telling that the three PM councillors, who have to work most closely with her, are refusing to support her. If it was really an issue of bureaucrats getting in the way of the will of the citizens, I suspect Montgomery would have the full backing of Peter Mcqueen et al. As it is, I suspect this is a case of an inexperienced politician not being able to distinguish the personal from the professional.

    • Ian 09:07 on 2020-02-04 Permalink

      …or maybe those three are afraid of getting hung out to dry too. Unless you know something we don’t, Tim?

      Listening to CBC radio this morning, they said that In the meeting last night, Montgomery said Plante had told her she knew the report was bulsh*t but to just fire Harris anyhow. Of course Plante denies this. McQueen et al had a canned statement that was read in the meeting I’m pretty sure none of them wrote. There is definitely more going on here than meets the eye.

    • Tim S. 09:30 on 2020-02-04 Permalink

      It’s a murky story, no doubt. But 5 councillors, from 3 different partisan affiliations (and two genders), support the City’s position. I find that notable.
      As for the idea of a stubborn bureaucracy, I’ve several times written to my local councillor here in NDG with various requests – signage and so on.. He forwards those requests to the relevant civil servants, and, much to my surprise, the requests are often implemented. It’s just a few minor examples, but the notion that only Sue Montgomery can save the citizens from an incompetent and possibly corrupt bureaucracy doesn’t hold up, in my eyes.

    • dwgs 10:03 on 2020-02-04 Permalink

      McQueen talks a good talk but will go whichever way the wind blows. I don’t know the other two PM councilors but are you honestly surprised that Rotrand and Perez are seeing a chance to make hay with this? “I’m making an appeal for calm…” says Perez. Uh huh, sure you are.
      I don’t know what the truth is in this but the only person who doesn’t seem motivated by self interest in this is Montgomery.

    • Mr.Chinaski 10:11 on 2020-02-04 Permalink

      Who paid for that bus?

    • Spi 11:07 on 2020-02-04 Permalink

      @Ian, what other scapegoats are you referring to? The only other example of this is the mayor of villeray-park-ex-saint-michel, who in a similar (if not identical procedure) was found to be harassing her staff, she was also excluded from the PM caucus but accepted and apologized for her actions.

      It seems that procedurally the exact same steps were followed and we’re talking about the same Comptroller, Alain Bond, so why are his findings being put into doubt this time if everyone was fine with them when it came to Giuliana Fumagalli?

      What does them being women have to do with it? Are women incapable of harassment?

    • walkerp 15:06 on 2020-02-04 Permalink

      This is an interesting comment on the CBC article:

      “When I [sic] Director General of a municipal government can’t or won’t produce key documents about how municipal contracts are awarded, it wiffs of deep corruption”

      I remember hearing this before, that Harris was requesting some documents and was getting stonewalled and that’s where the harassment charge came from. I had forgotten this was Applebaum’s fiefdom previously, so there could be some hidden corruption in there that long-term bureaucrats didn’t want to be seen and now for some reason Plante is doubling down to protect them.

      Pure speculation, but I still do not understand why Plante is going full nuclear here when the harassment claims are so insubstantial. Would we not be hearing a lot more scuttlebutt about a toxic office culture if Annalisa Harris was some monster of a boss? Why is firing the only option?

      I keep going back and forth, but this is smelling fishy more and more to me.

    • Ian 21:14 on 2020-02-04 Permalink

      Spi, I’m talking about Piper Huggins. PM hasn’t changed that much.

    • Alexander Montagano 22:56 on 2020-02-04 Permalink

      I paid for that bus. I am an activist in CDN-NDG. My name is Alex Montagano

  • Kate 19:51 on 2020-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Steven Guilbeault, the federal minister of Canadian Heritage, floated the idea of federal licensing for news reporters during a CTV interview, but he’s since backed away after a chorus of boos.

    I did wonder, since podcasts were mentioned in the piece, whether a blog like this one might also require a permit.

     
    • Charles 21:22 on 2020-02-03 Permalink

      Another article tells a very different story—that he never suggested such a thing (so didn’t back away from anything), but rather that it was a misinterpretation of a report.

      “Selon lui, si la confusion s’est installée, c’est parce que « des gens ont peut-être lu le rapport trop rapidement et pensé que la question des licences s’appliquait aux médias ». Or, le rapport est « très clair » sur le fait que cela ne s’applique pas aux médias, a insisté le ministre.”

      https://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/politique/202002/03/01-5259383-propos-de-steven-guilbeault-on-se-croirait-en-coree-du-nord.php

    • Kate 21:42 on 2020-02-03 Permalink

      Thanks for the clarification, Charles.

    • Kevin 00:11 on 2020-02-04 Permalink

    • JaneyB 14:12 on 2020-02-04 Permalink

      I’m guessing that’s mostly about the obnoxious people/conspiracists of Rebel News posing as reporters. It’s a tricky area but with bots, deepfakes and the eventual death of the generation that grew up with fact-checked rigorous news (à la NYT etc), something like this will need to happen. I’m not sure how democracy could work without it. We’re really on the edge right now; five years from now it will be a real problem. Maybe permits could be issued by a non-partisan body like the Auditor-General or an international organization.

  • Kate 19:32 on 2020-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Sorry if the blog has seemed sluggish the last couple of days. Despite having had a flu shot, it appears I’ve been hit with some flu-like affliction. Regular service will resume soon.

     
    • Charles 21:25 on 2020-02-03 Permalink

      I read in an article (don’t remember if it was La Presse or Radio-Canada) that there were, unusually, at least three simultaneously active strains of the flu this year, only one of which (H1N1) was covered by the quadrivalent flu shot, so the efficiency of the flu shot this year is not expected to be very high.

    • Ian 21:39 on 2020-02-03 Permalink

      I feel it too, boss. My youngest was home from school all last week and now I have that ache in my knuckles and a scratch in my throat that only means one thing.

    • Kate 21:43 on 2020-02-03 Permalink

      Charles, I recall seeing something to that effect as well. The flu shot has to be selected and propagated so far in advance, it’s bound to be a tossup.

      Ian, yep. Achy bones and a cough. Not much fun.

    • Hervé 07:00 on 2020-02-04 Permalink

      Get well soon Kate

    • CE 09:30 on 2020-02-04 Permalink

      I’ve got it too. Feel like I’ve been thrown down a flight of stairs! Get well Kate!

    • Kate 10:50 on 2020-02-04 Permalink

      Thank you Hervé and CE.

      I could handle the thrown-down-the-stairs stuff if it wasn’t that my brain also feels all fuzzy and unfocused too.

  • Kate 19:26 on 2020-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

    A coalition of community groups want the police to collect racial data on people they’re stopping, to make it easier to compare statistics on police behaviour. I can see how this is expected to work, and I’ll have to be forgiven for also seeing how this could fall down or backfire if done badly.

     
    • Kate 19:22 on 2020-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

      The ARTM (Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain), a bureaucratic entity dreamed up by the Quebec government in 2017, is facing a rebellion from the four main transit corporations placed under it. Inevitably, the ARTM has added to the paper pushing and other time-wasting nonsense the transit corporations have to do, as bureaucracies always will.

      See, this is the sort of reason I thought last week’s “passenger bill of rights” was bunkum. The more man-hours devoted to servicing paperwork and lip-service, the less are left for running buses and metros.

       
      • Kate 19:06 on 2020-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

        The French company that’s been operating recycling centres here, has declared its Canadian operations bankrupt but the city says this was expected.

         
        • Kate 14:17 on 2020-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

          Sounds like the old Cagibi space at St-Laurent and St-Viateur has been rented out at last. But there’s this:

          The Valiante piece is here and the relevant comment by FNoMtl is this:

          Sorry to simply link to tweets, but that’s where the news is sometimes. And thanks to the anonymous @FNoMTL.

           
          • Ian 14:24 on 2020-02-03 Permalink

            Yeah Shiller Lavy are the worst kind of weasels, the kind that pretend to be simple kind hearted businessmen whose hands are simply tied by external forces, only doing horrible things to the neighbourhood that they love, no really, because they have no choice. Like creeps who beat their girlfriends “because they love them”.

          • Ephraim 16:53 on 2020-02-03 Permalink

            @Ian – Rumour has it that they are supposedly illegally in the STR business as well.

          • qatzelok 18:29 on 2020-02-03 Permalink

            You can’t blame the landowners for playing the game of capitalism well.
            Love the capitalist, hate the capitalism, my socialist priest used to say to us.

          • Ian 21:36 on 2020-02-03 Permalink

            No, Qatzi, I do reserve the right to hate them for the insultingly disingenuous attempt to not only reap the rewards of capitalism, but be forgiven and sympathized with. As s Lt. Whorf said on Star Trek, “The transparency of your lies is insulting to both of us”.

            @ephraim I’ve heard the same on many occasions, it’s one of those open secrets like how the guys who own saint viateur bagel also run illegal AirBnb hotels. But then again they are arch-capitalists so there’s no real surprise there. Asking the public to feel bad for them though, that’s a laugh. In another time their heads would be paraded through the neighbourhood on pikes.

          • Dominic 06:50 on 2020-02-04 Permalink

            @FNoMTL is a real treasure that has popped up in the last year or so. They’re great on Twitter and Instagram. Thanks to their interns!

        • Kate 10:55 on 2020-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

          Is this the longest smog warning we’ve had? It’s going on for four days now.

           
          • EmilyG 12:57 on 2020-02-03 Permalink

            Yeah.
            I have bad lungs. With the smog, and with that jerk who thought it was okay to smoke inside a bus shelter yesterday, my lungs were extra-bad.

          • Mark Anto 15:02 on 2020-02-03 Permalink

            It’s up there, but we had 3 days around or above 100 around February 22-24 2017 (https://aqicn.org/city/montreal/) so this isn’t unheard of.

            If you look at this website (which I share as much as possible in case people haven’t seen it), it shows a clear temperature inversion in Feb 2017 around those dates. If you click at the temperature at different altitudes, you’ll see 1C and no wind at 2m and 5C and lots of wind at 1500m. The polluted air has nowhere to go, doesn’t rise, doesn’t blow away, it’s trapped at ground level and accumulates.

            https://www.ventusky.com/?p=45.61;-73.67;8&l=temperature-2m&t=20170223/0600

            This time around, not as much a temperature inversion as a complete lack of wind at ground level for the past 3 days. No wind=no clearing out of pollutants.

            https://www.ventusky.com/?p=45.61;-73.67;8&l=wind-10m&t=20200203/0000

            Just for fun, the last time the air pollution index was over 100 was Feb 11 2018. Have a look at the wind and weather at ground level and 1500m. Windy and warm above the city, stale and cold at street level.

            https://www.ventusky.com/?p=45.61;-73.67;8&l=temperature-900hpa&t=20180212/0000

            m

          • Kate 16:22 on 2020-02-03 Permalink

            Thanks for all the data, Mark Anto!

        • Kate 10:50 on 2020-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

          I know, I know, it’s big news that a Montreal player was on the winning Super Bowl team, and that he’s a doctor as well.

          There’s also pieces Monday about a Montreal company that had some part in lighting the halftime show, which only tells me that somebody in the company has done PR with the media.

           
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