Updates from February, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 13:26 on 2020-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

    The lede has been a little buried in this update on the man accused of the assault at Beaubien metro a few days ago: Simon Coupal Gagnon has also been charged with two other similar attacks in recent months.

    • Ian 19:28 on 2020-02-21 Permalink

      This was also reported on CBC Radio this morning with the addendum that he is being psychiatrically evaluated.

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

      Not surprising. He was noticed in the station because he was behaving bizarrely on the platform.

  • Kate 09:07 on 2020-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

    The Daniel Weinstock affair continues: La Presse’s Yves Boisvert and Paul Journet weigh in. Richard Martineau has deliberately worded his brief retraction (picture him writing this with two QMI lawyers standing over him) to sustain the implication that Weinstock mentioned allowing excisions symboliques on young women as a legitimate possibility.

    There’s more on Twitter, but I haven’t found any commentary on other news sites. Maybe I’ve missed them?

    Update: Daniel Weinstock has been kicked around the block this week. He was invited to that Quebec ethics forum, disinvited, partially reinvited with a bad grace, then the premier told media that it wasn’t a good idea for Weinstock to attend. So he stayed away. Facebook statement from the professor, who describes himself there as a “philosopher teaching law” at McGill.

    Sunday update, via Jonathan Montpetit’s twitter feed: education minister JF Roberge has re‑extended a full invitation to Weinstock, with apologies.

    • Jack 11:27 on 2020-02-21 Permalink

      “Mais on l’a humilié sans raison. On a officiellement jugé « controversé » sous des prétextes erronés un homme à la réputation impeccable, qui a passé sa vie adulte à réfléchir aux questions éthiques et qui s’est toujours fait un devoir de s’engager généreusement dans les débats de son époque.”
      We are living in an era where people like Martineau have real power. Thats what I find so troubling.

    • Ian 19:32 on 2020-02-21 Permalink

      Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.


    • Ian 20:26 on 2020-02-21 Permalink

      I vote we start referring to JdeM as le piano

  • Kate 08:47 on 2020-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

    The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from the city of Montreal over paying the creditors of the defunct Société de vélo en libre-service, which operated Bixi until 2014. Now it has no choice but to hand over the $16 million.

    • Ian 08:57 on 2020-02-21 Permalink

      I guess it’s no coincidence all the borough parking stickers doubled in price.

      Yeah yeah I know that people keep floating that magic “it costs the city 10k a year to maintain a parking space” but let’s be honest here, those spaces exist whether people are billed for them or not, and we don’t actually know if that 10k is a real number or just a specific use case that is being recycled infinitely – or instance from the recent debacle with Sue Montgomery we know for a fact that the CDN/NDG budget spend isn’t actually specifically tracked, we literally have no idea how much a parking space costs to maintain in the largest borough in the city.

      Anyhow my point being those spaces would exist regardless so if the city doubles the price (or more depending on your vehicle’s engine capacity is like that’s an actual measure of anything worth noting) so getting more money for parking stickers is effectively free money.

      In the end paying to maintain parking spaces probably ended up being cheaper than the 52.9 million wasted on SVLS. I know that’s not the current administration’s fault but I bet you dollars to doughnuts a lot of the unelected decision-making city workers that were around in 2014 are still on the payroll.

    • Ephraim 09:36 on 2020-02-21 Permalink

      The chamber of commerce keeps on screwing us over… again and again and again. The only thing we are missing are indictments.

    • Chris 11:41 on 2020-02-21 Permalink

      >I guess it’s no coincidence all the borough parking stickers doubled in price.

      What happened to “Correlation doesn’t equal causation…”?

      >people keep floating that magic “it costs the city 10k a year to maintain a parking space”

      Magic?! Urban planners study this kind of thing. No time now, but can find you references later.

      >like that’s an actual measure of anything worth noting

      It’s a proxy for measuring how much the vehicle pollutes. An approximation. Sure a formula summing gas emissions plus tire particles plus brakepad dust all per distance travelled would be more accurate, but difficult to tally, validate, and enforce. It’s the ‘polluter pays’ principle. You choose a car that pollutes the public more, the public charges you more to park on public land.

      Also: if the City’s parking prices are so outrageously high, where is the private free market competition that can do it better/cheaper? Parking lots are transforming to buildings, in part because parking prices are so low that it’s more profitable for landowners to transform their parking lots into buildings. This is partly because the City’s subsidization of parking undercuts what would be the true market price.

    • DeWolf 13:12 on 2020-02-21 Permalink

      $175 for a vignette is a steal. If it was up to the free market you’d be paying that price every month.

    • Ian 16:11 on 2020-02-21 Permalink

      DeWolf, you jumped the shark. Even the most reactionary doctrinaire should realize that assertion is just silly.

      Chris… well, whatever.

      If nobody even knows how the CDN/NDG bufget breaks down in any meaningful detail, there is no way you can possibly claim that you know with any certainty how much a parking spot costs to maintain or is worth. …

      But that’s not the point. The point is that the city needs to make more money, because it spends it in stupid ways like the SVLS debacle. THAT is why parking sticker prices, jaywalking tickets, and yes, commercial taxes keep going up – not for any altruistic reasons, despite what the politicians (and apparently those that believe their bunkum) might say. 52.9 million is a lot of money, especially with nothing to show for it.

    • CE 16:48 on 2020-02-21 Permalink

      I think anyone who has driven a car in central Montreal can agree that it’s difficult to find a parking space. That means demand has outstripped supply. How is that usually dealt with? By adding more supply or raising prices to lower demand. Since there’s little desire to tear down buildings to build more parking and streetside parking is pretty much maxed out, the only thing left to do is lower demand with higher prices. This is done with pretty much every single thing that is bought or sold in our economy. I don’t understand why it’s controversial when attempts are made to subject parking prices to market forces (especially considering all the negative externalities created by parking and car use).

    • Ian 18:07 on 2020-02-21 Permalink

      Funny, those same excuses are what gentrification apologists say about rising rents.

      But of course you are right, this is effectively a sin tax, an easy source of revenue like when other levels of government raise taxes on alcohol or cigarettes – nobody will complain, and if anyone does have the nerve to so much as cock an eyebrow at our beloved overlords there are plenty of good little holier-than-thou citizens who will happily tut, tut them into silence.

      Still, I say it again – why are all these things mysteriously getting their pricetags rung though all at once and at the same time? Why is the city mysteriously powerless to prevent property taxes and commercial taxes from rising? Why can the city do so little to create social housing in the face of big development $$$?

      There are, for example, 52.9 million reasons.

    • CE 18:26 on 2020-02-21 Permalink

      “Funny, those same excuses are what gentrification apologists say about rising rents”

      There’s a difference between affordable housing and cheap parking. One is absolutely necessary for a functioning city, the other contributes to lowering the quality of life for everyone in the city, including those who benefit from it. It’s a good comparison to make though, it’s insane that we’re currently subsidizing parking (by offering free or undervalued streetside spaces or requiring developers to provide it) while the vast majority of housing is subject to market forces with only some flimsy protections to keep prices and landlords in check (and a small percentage of public housing).

      Your questions answer themselves. We’re in a situation where the city is trying to correct some the problems with affordable housing and are seeing that municipal taxes are too high. Why not raise money by raising the prices on a service that the city has been basically giving away for decades? Especially when this service has so many direct and indirect impacts on everybody’s quality of life.

    • Ian 19:37 on 2020-02-21 Permalink

      How charmingly naive – In no way does raising parking fees somehow prevent rents from rising or renovictions from happening, as usual you are comparing apples and oranges.

      How dos raising the price of parking in Ville Marie, the Plateau, and Outremont help low income people getting renovicted in Mile End and HoMa? I’ll help you out here: it doesn’t.

      What do all these elements have in common? They bring more money in to the city coffers. As usual, when trying to understand the motivation for these sorts of things one only has to ask, “Cui bono“?

    • Chris 20:35 on 2020-02-21 Permalink

      CE: all very well said!

      >DeWolf, you jumped the shark. Even the most reactionary doctrinaire should realize that assertion is just silly.

      How do you figure DeWolf is wrong? Actual market prices for monthly parking are around that much a month, ex: https://www.kijiji.ca/b-entreprosages-stationnement/grand-montreal/downtown-parking/k0c39l80002

      >If nobody even knows how the CDN/NDG bufget breaks down in any meaningful detail, there is no way you can possibly claim that you know with any certainty how much a parking spot costs to maintain or is worth

      Non sequitur. These numbers are studied by urbanists across different cities and over time. Land values are well-known, construction costs are well-known, the costs of repaving, snow clearing, leaf clearing are known. This topic has been studied extensively, for example flip through: https://www.vtpi.org/tca/tca0504.pdf

      Shenanigans in a particular borough does not mean we don’t have a good estimate of what parking spots cost to maintain.

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

      Gee, Chris, it’s almost as if you don’t understand the principle of value based on demand/location. Do you really think Ville Marie parking is worth the same as parking in, say, Outremont? Or for that matter, do you honestly think the cost of parking in Victoria has anything to do with Ville Marie? There are a lot of factors at play. You can estimate all you want.

      That you support DeWolf’s arguments with kijiji posts is absurd, I see kijiji posts that are well over double normal rates for all kinds of rents – posters assume people don’t know the normal prices for things, I guess you don’t understand how kijiji works… but besides that you are quoting prices for reserved indoor parking spots vs street stickers – again, classic apples and oranges.

      The point you are making, however, is moot – this isn’t about the cost or value of parking, it’s about the city raising all of its revenues however it can. That people like you exist to foolishly snipe about how parking should cost the maximum possible only serves those interests that want us to be distracted from the fact that the city has almost no idea how our money is spent and makes stupid decisions that cost tens of millions of dollars for zero benefit.

      If you aren’t familiar with the principle of misdirection, I suggest that you look into it. Allow me to reiterate:

      52.9 million wasted on SVLS.

      You may as well argue that the solution to underfunding of the health system is that cigarettes should cost a thousand dollars each.

    • Dhomas 05:23 on 2020-02-22 Permalink

      A few questions for Ian:
      1) where are you getting that 52.9 million dollars number? I see no sources.
      2) how is it in any way related to borough parking prices?
      3) how does Montreal have “nothing to show for it” when we have quite possibly one of the world’s best bike-sharing systems?

    • Ian 09:28 on 2020-02-22 Permalink

      a) I guess you didn’t read the TVA article, the numbers are above the fold
      b) I just find it interesting all these prices are going up all of a sudden and think it isn’t coincidental
      c) That is unrelated, the money was paid to SVLS and their creditors, the current iteration of Bixi has its own funding

    • Kate 09:46 on 2020-02-22 Permalink

      Sweethearts, can we be a little less snarky to each other when commenting here? Thank you.

    • Joey 11:00 on 2020-02-22 Permalink

      I don’t understand how “the city needs to raise revenue to keep up with rising expenditures” and “on-street parking is underpriced” are in any way in opposition to each other. Ian, you’ve dug your trench on this one, we get it 😉

  • Kate 08:44 on 2020-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

    This week, city hall doubled its financial assistance to landlords making residential buildings more accessible for the disabled.

    • Ian 19:40 on 2020-02-21 Permalink

      Giving money to landlords again for stuff they used to simply be legally obligated to do on their own dime, interesting. Last week it was up to 500k apiece for renos.

      Somebody’s lobby group is busy stuffing recyclable brown envelopes, I suspect.

    • Kate 09:48 on 2020-02-22 Permalink

      Were landlords ever obliged to put in ramps and so forth on their own dime if asked?

      I think this is the city being realistic about rent levels vs. landlord expenses, also realistic about the older buildings in the city’s rental pool and how they were never originally designed to be accessible in the modern sense (structurally, I mean, not economically).

  • Kate 08:37 on 2020-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

    Notes of weekend road closures.

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