Updates from February, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:59 on 2020-02-06 Permalink | Reply  

    A woman is in critical condition after an attack by a young man, described in both these pieces as her son, in an apartment near Lionel-Groulx. The young man has been arrested.

    • Kate 21:55 on 2020-02-06 Permalink | Reply  

      Google is set to build new offices in three Canadian cities including Montreal. This item says, tersely, the office will be on Viger. But it does say build, so it doesn’t sound like they’ll simply move into the old Viger Station building.

      Update: The Journal says Google will be hiring a lot of people here.

    • Kate 14:07 on 2020-02-06 Permalink | Reply  

      Keep your eye on this one. François Legault wants to reform the whole parliamentary system. The tradition of discussion, debate, analysis of proposed laws, which works in various forms here and throughout the world, and which delivers a form of democracy (flawed, as always, but it will always be flawed) to the electorate, is a pain in the ass to Mr Legault. It’s not efficient. That’s why he’s about to invoke closure – for the fourth time since his election – to push through the school boards bill, which the people concerned think is unwise.

      Also: “Le premier ministre a mandaté son leader parlementaire, Simon Jolin-Barrette, de préparer une réforme du parlementarisme.” Oof. He’s got his attack poodle on the job now, too.

      • Ian 15:11 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

        We can safely add parliamentary democracy to the long list of things Legault thinks are a threat to Québec’s culture, I guess.

      • Kevin 18:59 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

        The commentariat will love it, because there is nothing they like more than a strongman.

      • Ephraim 19:20 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

        Seriously… when it’s unicameral, what difference does it really make? It’s going to pass anyway, smart or stupid.

      • Raymond Lutz 20:29 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

        Et j’attends toujours une réforme du mode de scrutin… aux dernières élections provinciales, la CAQ N’A RÉCOLTÉ QUE 1.51M de voix, alors que 6.33M n’ont pas voté !!! (lassés par le scrutin majoritaire uninominal à un tour?)

      • Raymond Lutz 20:34 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

        this can’t be true… I’ll have to check my numbers again, but the http://www.stat.gouv.qc.ca is currently down… I probably dIdn’t substract people aged 0-17… about 2M?

      • Raymond Lutz 09:10 on 2020-02-07 Permalink

        In case someone is interested in those numbers, here they are (in millions). Quebec pop in 2018: 8.39; minors: 1.58; valid votes: 4.03; CAQ votes: 1.51 (sources: population, election results).

        So 2.78M didn’t vote at all and 5.3M didn’t vote for the CAQ (vs 1.51 for…). Again, a solution: BC-STV!

      • Joey 09:17 on 2020-02-07 Permalink

        Raymond – according to Wikipedia, there were 4.099 million votes, out of a possible 6.169 registered electors. I think it’s safe to say that at least 2 million Quebecers didn’t vote, since the number of potential voters is greater than the number of registered electors, but probably not by a huge amount. The CAQ’s 1.51 million votes represent 37% of all votes, but just under one-quarter of all registered voters. The number of registered voters who didn’t vote was larger than the CAQ’s total number of votes.


    • Kate 13:51 on 2020-02-06 Permalink | Reply  

      Although only a dusting has fallen so far, news people are talking about snow removal, giving advice about snow removal, and visiting city workers preparing for the campaign. Text and video on those last two links.

      • Ian 00:05 on 2020-02-07 Permalink

        CSDM has already declared it will be closed Friday

    • Kate 13:45 on 2020-02-06 Permalink | Reply  

      Excellent analysis by Patrick Lagacé of l’affaire Sue Montgomery in which he clarifies exactly why Montgomery will never see the comptroller general’s report that led to her being told to fire her chief of staff.

      • Jack 14:42 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

        I like Lagace but I couldn’t get over this sentence.
        “À titre de chef de cabinet, Annalisa Harris n’est pas une employée comme les autres. C’est une contractuelle qui est jetable.”
        I believe in unions and in their benefits, this in my mind is something different . A political party with a mandate for change is elected in a borough that truly needed it (see Applebaum).
        The new mayor appoints a person that has her trust and says go to work in the direction we were elected to go. That person is confronted by civil servants with union protection. They dont like the direction or tone of the newly elected officials, they claim harassment….
        This process seems very slanted and frankly abusive. It is also a process that has been used before and oddly seemingly more often against woman. Something her doesn’t sound right no matter how Mayor Plante spins it.

      • walkerp 06:59 on 2020-02-07 Permalink

        Very relevant article, Jack. Thanks for linking to that.
        Still don’t know what to believe but the stink is growing stronger.

      • Spi 09:54 on 2020-02-07 Permalink

        Something that hasn’t been reported or discussed nearly enough is the actual structure under which these bureaucrats and elected officials work. Some high-level bureaucrats are employed by the city of Montreal and are then assigned to boroughs like NDG-CDN because that’s the area they are responsible for. Their job does require close work with the borough mayor and those local officials but they don’t report nor are they accountable to them. From my understanding that was the case here.

        So it seems that in all likelihood a young political staffer (and possibly her boss) that wasn’t aware of the structure, was making repeated demands to someone (that they had no authority over) who either chose not to comply or couldn’t and also reprimanding them.

        I can see how some common workplace behaviour (acceptable or not) could be found to be harassment when that distinction is taken into account. I would think that in any workplace you’d get into a world of problems if you were found to be reprimanding an employee that wasn’t reporting to you.

      • Lavigne 15:44 on 2020-02-07 Permalink

        In theory, political staff and elected officials don’t work directly with unionized city professionals. They make their demands through top and mid level managers who then assign employees to the job. Those managers are picked by the borough manager who is himself picked by borough council. There is a pretty clear chain of command and admin-to-political accountability.

      • Kate 23:02 on 2020-02-07 Permalink

        Thank you, Lavigne. This is the kind of institutional detail journalists are failing to convey to us.

    • Kate 13:36 on 2020-02-06 Permalink | Reply  

      The city has made its bad landlord list open to the public.

      • Ephraim 19:23 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

        I think we need to question why the city doesn’t have a lot more open to the public. We need a rating system on restaurants… instead months later, we get them posted on a list… after we have eaten there.

      • Kate 19:35 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

        Ephraim, I was reading something this week where an experienced resto person was saying those ratings mean nothing. Any restaurant can get a bad rating on a bad or under-staffed day, and a bad restaurant can get a good one if they just happen to have tidied up.

      • Samuel 21:10 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

        They probably have no plans to make a bad tenant list as a companion piece.

      • Ephraim 10:15 on 2020-02-07 Permalink

        Kate – No… you either have the habits, or you don’t. Do you label everything in the fridge with date? Do you keep food at proper temperature? Do you clean the grease trap? Do you change the oil enough? Do you clean daily.

    • Kate 13:35 on 2020-02-06 Permalink | Reply  

      A vigil was held Wednesday evening to commemorate Vanessa Primeau, the young woman found dead in a burning garage last month. Police consider the death suspicious but haven’t handed out a homicide number yet.

      • Kate 08:56 on 2020-02-06 Permalink | Reply  

        The mild bit of snow falling as I type is likely to intensify and continue all day so that we’ll be digging ourselves out by Friday. CTV is waving a clickbaity possibly 45 cm number, although CBC radio just said 15 to 20 cm are expected. However, as the old joke goes, snowstorms are like sex…

        • Tim S, 09:12 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          No Stormwatch graphic?

        • Kate 10:07 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

        • Tee Owe 11:16 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          …..waiting for the punchline to the joke Kate ….

        • dwgs 11:59 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          …you never know how many inches you’re going to get or how long it’s going to last.

        • jeather 12:18 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          Everything I read, including the Enivornment Canada alert, says 5-10 today and 25-35 tomorrow, which is 30-45. I sure hope CBC is correct. 45 would be incredibly unpleasant.

        • Tee Owe 12:50 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          Ha ha – thanks dwgs, hadn’t heard it

        • Tim S. 13:42 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          Thanks! Now I know for sure that it’s a maybe crisis.
          Trying to decide how to get my 3 year old home from daycare tonight. On one hand, driving in snow is never fun, on other neither is waiting at a bus stop for a mystery bus in a snowstorm.

      • Kate 08:49 on 2020-02-06 Permalink | Reply  

        Teachers in Outremont are quitting or putting in for transfers after the borough’s new parking rules added up to $1200 a year for them.

        • Chris 08:58 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          Aawww, they’ve lost a taxpayer subsidy and are upset. Cry me a river.

        • Kate 08:59 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          Nonetheless, Chris, Outremont could easily adjust the rule: if someone can show that they work full time in the borough maybe they should be allowed a vignette. Outremont doesn’t have so many big workplaces that this would make a serious dent in revenues.

        • Ian 08:59 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          Easy to be smug when it doesn’t affect you, Chris.

          Sounds like they were only talking to teachers with permanent postings who could ask for a transfer.

          if you work for a school board, you are not posted to a specific school until you have seniority, so you can be posted to any school within that school board. You don’t get to choose, you are assigned. That’s why schools in the Plateau all have parking lots. Up until now, Outremont schools didn’t have to so if you get posted to an Outremont school or, as happens for some, get posted to more than one school, you will now have to pay for parking.

          Listening to CBC radio earlier today they said Tomlinson’s response was that the school boards had lots of property so they should be able to figure out employee parking on their own. Sounds a bit arrogant to me.
          This of course does not take into consideration that many of the schools in Outremont are independent or private schools, and in any case all schools planned out their facilities with the expectation that they would not have to include parking, and certainly won’t be able to acquire parking within one year as anyone who has ever dealt with school budgets and planning knows.

        • Ian 09:10 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          Worth noting Outremont’s school board is Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys.
          The territory is vast, including most of the entire western half of the island from Lasalle to VSL, from Outremont to Pierrefonds.

          See page 7 of this pdf – http://autisme-montreal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/R%C3%A9seau-scolaire-public-et-priv%C3%A9-Mtl-janvier-2016.pdf

          As a new teacher in that board, you could be posted to any of those areas, most of which do not charge for parking, and given the immensity of the school board a car is pretty much a given. Some school psychologists are posted to 5 different schools a week, for instance.

        • Chris 09:19 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          Kate, of course they could, but they shouldn’t. If you use a thing, you should pay for it. Especially a thing with massive catastrophic environmental externalities. They are using public space. Their use is a lost opportunity cost. That public space could be used for other things if it wasn’t for parking: bigger sidewalks, bike lanes, green space, etc. etc. The very least we must do is charge for the use of the space. We’ve been conditioned to think free/cheap parking is some kind of god-given right. No one should get parking subsidies. Do we give teachers bus pass subsidies? No. But that’d be preferable. A year of bus passes is about $1000, if we’re going to subsidize them, give them free bus passes instead.

        • Douglas 09:41 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          Chris hates people that have cars so much that even teachers on not so great salaries deserve to be punished because God forbid they use a car.

          If we charge cars just because they use public space like Chris said, Chris should be ok charging bikes for their use of public space too. No free pass he said.

          Bike lane? Start charging for that!

        • Tim 10:41 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          I have a lot of sympathy for the educatrices at my daycare who have to find $1200 after tax. They probably only make $30k-$35k a year and none of them can afford to live in Outremont.

          Hardline (and unsympathetic) views, such as Chris’s, will only serve to stigmatize and ostracize those who cannot meet the lofty objectives of the pious and Good environmentalists.

        • fliflipoune 11:13 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          Il n’y a aucune obligation morale de subventionner à 100% le stationnement. On ne le fait pas pour le transport en commun, beaucoup plus désirable.
          La voiture est le mode de transport le plus luxueux et cher autant pour l’individu et pour la société. Si celle-ci a le devoir d’être subventionnée pour aider les travailleurs, on devrait carrément payer le monde à prendre l’autobus. Simple justice sociale et fiscale.
          En passant, être pro-environnement, ce n’est pas une religion, c’est le gros bon sens. Le monde qui ne font aucun effort sont toujours les premiers à ridiculiser les gens qui font, objectivement, la bonne chose. Oui, faire attention à l’environnement c’est mieux. C’est plus désirable, c’est la simple et concrète réalité.

        • Spi 11:13 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          I have a lot more sympathy for the childcare workers that earn substantially less and are much less mobile career-wise than the teachers. Is it unfair to just all of a sudden incur a $900 additional cost to work (because teachers aren’t teaching 12 months a year)? Absolutely. It’s not like the teachers lost their jobs and won’t be able to find a new one, these are decisions they’ve made for themselves based on changing circumstances. I personally know 2-3 teachers that live in Mile-End and work for CSMB they would be more than ecstatic to take a position at any of the Outremont schools, being able to walk to work instead of the ridiculous public transit commutes to VSL or having to drive.

        • Tim 12:07 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          @fliflipone: while there is no moral obligation to subsidize parking, the city is taking away something from people without providing anything in return. I believe that there is an obligation to provide something in return for people who are currently working in the area; some type of grandfather (or grandparent if I wanted to be gender neural) clause. If you start working in Outremont this year, you aren’t eligible for this clause so you will have to balance out for yourself whether you can pay for parking before you accept the job.

          Feel free to make the clause income based so that “high rollers” like teachers making $60k or more aren’t eligible.

        • qatzelok 12:44 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          I’ve been teaching in St-Michel for 10 years, and always to to work on bike or metro. Perhaps there will be a job-opening for someone like me who is more dedicated to teaching than they are to parking their cars within child-killing distance of the school they have been assigned to.

        • Ian 14:16 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          If you’ve been working there 10 years, you have had lots of time to plan your commute and figure everything out. I hope for your sake some smug city fonctionnaire doesn’t mess that up for you as a matter of principle and then casually dismiss your concerns out of hand with some “let them eat cake” style advice.

        • Ian 14:22 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          @Spi the school board covers half the island, what makes you so certain these Outremont teachers actually live anywhere near Outremont? As far as career mobility or whatever I don’t think you understand how teaching works, if you work for a school board you don’t get to decide what school you teach at – how do you know those teachers assigned to the Outremont schools aren’t coming in from VSL or Pierrefonds?

        • Jf 14:35 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          Le maire Tomlinson préfère voir un espace de parking libre plutôt que d assurer la pérennité d’une éducation de qualité pour notre future génération ! Quel manque de vision pour nos enfants, quel manque de jugement pour nos commerces aussi, quel manque de tout il est un contributeur négatif de valeur ajoutée pour nos citoyens, notre province et notre pays

        • Dominic 17:43 on 2020-02-06 Permalink

          How far is “child-killing distance” exactly? Asking for a friend.

        • qatzelok 08:42 on 2020-02-07 Permalink

          At one of the schools where I taught, the bike path surrounding the school is covered with parents in parked SUVs, waiting for their kids to drive home. Virtually no kids bike to that school because ‘it’s too dangerous.’ Teaching obese children whose parents are waiting for them in SUVs each day, to drive 10 blocks….

          And also, ‘modeling’ adult behavior is something else that teachers do. So abandonding your kids because you can’t park for free anymore… is a less than ideal way to model behaviors.

        • Kate 09:14 on 2020-02-07 Permalink

          “Modeling” is a silly idea. Kids don’t see teachers’ lives the way another adult does. A teacher’s there, and then they’re gone. Kid doesn’t know why. Likes the new teacher a bit more or a bit less and it doesn’t matter.

        • jeather 09:45 on 2020-02-07 Permalink

          Everyone in their own individual car could be solved a bit by better schoolbus systems and allowing carpooling.

        • Raymond Lutz 10:12 on 2020-02-07 Permalink

          ah ah ah… elle se bidonne bien, la bourgeoisie, à voir les prolos se battrent entre eux pour garder les quelques privilèges qu’elle leur a octroyés mais qui progressivement disparaissent, faute de ressources éternelles. C’est comme Macron qui a tenté (en vain) de dresser les cheminots contre les profs contre les avocats contre les infirmiers et les pompiers. La fin est (enfin) proche.

        • Ephraim 10:18 on 2020-02-07 Permalink

          Kate – There are good teachers and bad teachers. And while as children, they may not understand, the adults and adult students do. My mother had arguments with my grade 2 teacher because I was much further advanced in that class than the rest and already understood fractions. When I taught, the students were always there when I started class… one of the other teachers seldom had half the class attend.

        • Raymond Lutz 10:28 on 2020-02-07 Permalink

          Know how to spot bad teachers! (hint: they’re dogmatic)

        • Raymond Lutz 10:29 on 2020-02-07 Permalink

          ah crap… my image html tag didn’t pass, ruining my joke 😎


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