Updates from March, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:43 on 2020-03-31 Permalink | Reply  

    CDN-NDG mayor Sue Montgomery has been charged with multiple ethics violations by Quebec’s Municipal Commission. Some details are given here, but as has been true throughout this story, there’s a strong sense of an unrevealed drama that journalists either can’t or won’t report.

    Also, as with many pre-pandemic story lines, there’s also a strong taste of “who the hell cares” about it.

    • MarcG 19:59 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      I miss posts like this

    • walkerp 20:46 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      Damn, they are really going after her hard. Please somebody suss out the back story here!

    • Jack 14:00 on 2020-04-01 Permalink

      “…including harassment, lack of respect and failure to maintain a harassment-free work environment.”
      This can mean something as simple as saying “…do your job…” to a unionized civil servant.
      Can anyone find out if there has been more than these three cases? Sue Montgomery, Giuliana Fumagalli and Tamara Thermitus.
      Something more is going on here.

    • Ian 08:23 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      It does seem to have an air of familiarity to it, and I find it interesting that it always seems to be women getting hung out to dry…

      Even if Projet isn’t trying to allow “business as usual” to the extent of allowing corruption to flourish, this kind of behaviour certainly gives that impression. Since we can safely assume every administration before them was on the take, it would serve Projet well to be more careful about their optics, to say the least.

      I have always said that I vote for Projet because they are the only party that isn’t obviously on the take, but I certainly don’t trust them unconditionally any more.

    • Mark Côté 16:21 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      “I have always said that I vote for Projet because they are the only party that isn’t obviously on the take, but I certainly don’t trust them unconditionally any more.”

      Same, and even though I’ve long believed that our system doesn’t let real progressive change get too far, I’m still disappointed (yet again). So hard not to let the disillusionment overwhelm me.

  • Kate 17:16 on 2020-03-31 Permalink | Reply  

    The city will shortly be opening three new homeless shelters as well as new day centres in parks. If this seems like a lot, remember that the homeless now have to be sheltered individually, not bunked in together as they usually are.

    CTV looked into how the Douglas Hospital has had to help its patients face the extra stresses of a pandemic, on top of whatever demons they already cope with.

    I see completely conflicting advice on wearing a mask if you have to go out. During the 1 pm press conference, quoted here, Horacio Arruda said it couldn’t hurt, but don’t let a mask make you feel invincible, and keep washing your hands.

    Current list of confirmed cases by borough and suburb.

    • qatzelok 23:05 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      Did it really take a global virus pandemic to make us (society, the community) care about homeless people enough to give them proper, private homes?

      Maybe we have been sick for a while with a much worse virus than COVID-19.

    • jeather 13:38 on 2020-04-01 Permalink

      Oh, I don’t think this proves suddenly everyone cares about homeless people, it just proves that everyone is scared that if homeless people are around, outside, they will infect others.

      (I do hope that this changes our long-term plans for homelessness — giving housing helps, and it’s also the right thing.)

    • qatzelok 15:59 on 2020-04-01 Permalink

      jeather, what I was getting at is that our new generalized precarity might inspire people to give up on the “Culture of Punishment” that we have been living under for centuries. Virtually every minority or person in trouble is punished, as if this can improve them.

    • jeather 19:38 on 2020-04-01 Permalink

      Oh, I get it, I just am more pessimistic about whether we will move in that direction after this is over.

  • Kate 08:48 on 2020-03-31 Permalink | Reply  

    A homeless man has died after testing positive for COVID-19. His actual age is not given, but he’s described as elderly. But in another story about a different homeless man suspected of being positive, it turned out he was not.

    There’s been one death and eleven more confirmed cases at a CHSLD in Lasalle.

    Radio-Canada reports on how traditional funeral rites in the three Abrahamic religions are now impossible.

    The Journal de Montréal speaks to a man who is living in his car on quarantine because he got back from a trip after a breakup, and has nowhere to live.

    Read xkcd on pathogen resistance especially the cursor popup.

    • Alison Cummins 09:27 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      The article on the homeless man mentions another reason not to restrict cigarettes: when supply is limited, people share them.

    • Tim S. 12:43 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      Thanks for the laugh, Kate.

    • Chris 10:59 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      Alison, or an alternative way to look at it… (as a thought experiment, not saying I’m for/against)

      The CDC’s worst case estimate is that 2 million could die in the USA from COVID. To prevent that, we self-inflict mass unemployment, limitations of civil liberties, etc., etc. Think of the lives it will save! How could we do less?!

      The CDC also says 0.5 million Americans die from cigarettes *each* year. To prevent that, we should make them totally illegal. Think of the lives it will save! How could we do less?!

  • Kate 17:38 on 2020-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro trains and buses are reported to have been crowded intermittently since the reduction in scheduling that came into force Monday.

    Monday, François Legault announced Sunday closure for stores throughout April, intended to give workers a rest. The only exceptions are deps, gas stations, pharmacies and restaurant takeout. Supermarket chains have welcomed this order.

    A Quebec couple who fled to a remote village in the Yukon were quickly sent packing.

    A man under strong suspicion of being a gangster, held awaiting trial, has pleaded for release from Bordeaux Jail before the virus gets there. Although some suspects awaiting trial in Ontario have been freed on similar pleas, the prosecutor here is quoted saying if anyone’s going to be let go, it won’t be a suspected drug lord. But the judge will decide.

    • qatzelok 23:14 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      -“Hello, kind people of Yukon. We have brought Hudson Bay blankets as a gift.”
      -Back on the plane! *purells airport*

    • Michael Black 23:32 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      Infected blankets were never needed. Anyone who came over from Europe was a potential carrier, that’s the real vector. And that’s why the population was devastated. I suspect everyone had a loss to disease from Europe. And surely it happened with early contact so when settlers actually spread out they soaw such small populations that they never gave it thought. Any infected blankets were just twisting the knife.

      So there’s a collective memory, which is why blockades are going up. They don’t want rampant disease again.

    • Raymond Lutz 08:49 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      Mask or not? Going in crowed places and still unsure about wearing some kind of protection? More data and analysis review by kottke: You Probably Should Be Wearing a Face Mask if You Can.

    • Kevin 09:47 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      Banning Sunday shopping is stupid.

      With stores closing early, the only time essential services workers can do their groceries is on the weekend.

      Forget online delivery or ordering for pickup: they’re swamped. Lufa sent out an email yesterday saying they were now first-come first-served. By the time doctors got home and tried to login, everything was booked.

    • Meezly 11:21 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      That Quebec couple. So many adjectives going through my mind after hearing about them. You really can’t make that sh*t up!

    • Tim S. 12:42 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      They drove from Quebec to Whitehorse. They had a lot of time to think about whether that was really a good idea and turn around, and yet they didn’t.

    • Michael Black 13:00 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      The amusing thing about their decision (their action isn’t amusing) is that they feared getting the virus, but in travelling tyat distance, including flying, they probably risked more contact than if they’d just stayed home with the doors and windows locked.

    • Chris 11:13 on 2020-04-02 Permalink

      >Supermarket chains have welcomed this order.

      Could they not have closed on their own if they wanted/need to? Is there a law requiring them to be open Sundays?

  • Kate 16:54 on 2020-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Here’s the Montreal public health page: we have 1612 confirmed cases in town, with a clear bump in CDN-NDG and Côte St-Luc. For once, Montreal East is a healthy place to be, although if you can afford Senneville you’re even more fortunate. Steve Faguy tweeted a graph showing the per capita numbers, which shows Hampstead and Outremont also up there. Despite claims I’ve seen about Park Ex, ViSaMiPex borough is not doing badly.

    • mare 17:50 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      Steve Faguy’s tweet has been deleted because it showed cases per million, and suddenly neighbourhoods had 1000s of cases. New graphic is here

    • Kate 18:16 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      Thanks, mare. I’ve replaced the link I had with your new one. (I also stripped out the code that was making it tiny.)

    • Anon1984 19:33 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      I wish they would separate NDG from Côte des Neiges for purposes of counting COVID infections..my feeling is that it’s much more concentrated in certain areas of NDG and would mean #s of infection per thousand much higher and could hopefully help with containment strategies..I live and work in Monkland Village a population of very affluent,well-traveled people (also lots of Doctors)..first sign we might have been in potential future hot spot was case at NDG Library..I really wish Sue Montgomery was more pro active

    • JP 20:03 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      If that were true…it might also help with reducing the xenophobic comments being thrown around. NDG doesn’t quite have the stigma that CDN does. Just read a LaPresse article on FB where the headline was about lots of cases in CDN. The comments section was full of ignorant and xenophobic comments.

    • nau 07:40 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      Yeah, would be nice to see the île des Soeurs and “mainland” Verdun cases separately for the same reason.

    • walkerp 08:12 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      Why are Cotes-des-Neiges and NDG the same borough in the first place? They are barely contiguous and each is almost as big as the biggest boroughs in the city.

    • Kate 09:53 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      Bad decisions were made after the merger-demerger debacle, walkerp. Areas were smushed together for political expedience. NDG and CDN have different needs and problems and are, as you point out, each big enough to deserve their own administrative structure. Whether the city had been told to limit the number of boroughs, or whether Quebec was cannily creating a large borough it hoped would chronically fight with city hall, I don’t know.

      On a smaller scale, I live in an equally misconceived borough. Villeray, Park Ex and St-Michel are all distinctive areas, with different histories, demographics and issues. But here we are with them all smushed together into one administrative unit.

    • Kevin 09:57 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      Most analysts I’ve spoken to say it was done for the same reason the PQ rammed through the municipal mergers.

    • Kate 11:27 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      Kevin, how would you characterize that reason?

    • Kevin 22:47 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      To reduce political power

  • Kate 10:00 on 2020-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Mayor Plante says the city will requisition a hotel to house the homeless, but she hasn’t said which one yet. The state of emergency has been extended.

    In general, police are going to be stricter about breaking up gatherings and making sure nonessential businesses stay closed.

    Further measures, such as asking people not to stray more than one kilometre from their homes, or for only one person in a household to go out shopping at a time, haven’t yet been put in place.

    The Orthodox Jewish community in Boisbriand has been placed under quarantine. There are 4000 people in that community and anywere between ten and twenty have tested positive – numbers differ.

    • Alison Cummins 13:15 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      I’m glad about the hotel.

      Since this is a long-haul project, what about people with tenuous housing situations – say, people with small children living with a violent alcoholic?

      It might be better for people who have the space to take a roommate, rather than require single people to live alone in permanent lockdown. (I wouldn’t mind taking in a roommate in theory, but in practice I would worry quite a bit if it wasn’t someone I knew well.)

    • Ephraim 14:31 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      Wouldn’t it be easier to requisition a dorm… Concordia cleared theirs. McGill has encouraged people to leave. And UQAM should offer them to CHUM staff that don’t want to go home and put their family at risk.

    • Spi 16:28 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      I’m not familiar with the state of each institution’s dorm, but hotels make sense because they all have individual bathrooms and don’t have shared amenities like kitchens and living space. I know the new rez at McGill could meet those criteria (being a former hotel). Putting a lot of people in a space where they share a lot of the basics (bathroom/kitchen) defeats the purpose of social isolation.

    • Ephraim 18:03 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      Most dorms are a lot more robust, furniture and fixture wise. I’m sure some of them must have their own bathrooms. Remember, the city will be responsible for damages. So maybe a hotel that is looking to refurb… because they are going to be hard on the property.

    • Joey 08:42 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      @Ephraim recall that the dorms had to be shuttered because they were too conducive to gatherings. Anyway, I’m not sure why it would have been “easier” to requisition a dorm than a hotel. I say put the homeless up in the fanciest hotels until the pandemic is over. Let’s start with the renovated Queen E.

  • Kate 08:53 on 2020-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The new Champlain bridge was lit up like a Christmas tree overnight as a symbol of hope.

    TVA even spotted someone walking around in a rainbow costume. This use of the rainbow symbol began in Italy with the slogan “andrà tutto bene” and has been adopted here with “ça va bien aller” under it. It must derive from Genesis 9:12-16.

    • Dominic 10:07 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      Saw the bridge. It had been a while since it was lit up. I didnt realize it was for this. It looked great!

    • CE 16:29 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      I can see the UdeM tower from my balcony and saw that it was lit up with rainbow colours last night.

  • Kate 18:08 on 2020-03-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Everyone held a press conference Sunday. The good news from François Legault and Horacio Arruda is that although COVID-19 numbers are up, they’re not rising as fast as they have in some other places, and there were no new deaths since Saturday.

    The mayor said there will be more police patrols and potentially more fines if people break public health orders.

    I’m a little confused by the CBC piece, which quotes top public health honcho Dr. Mylène Drouin as saying “there are currently six areas with 50 or more confirmed cases. They are Côte Saint-Luc, Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, Plateau-Mont-Royal, Ville-Marie and LaSalle.” But then later it says “Côte Saint-Luc is considered by Montreal public health officials to be among the “hot zones” in the city, along with Côte-des-Neiges, LaSalle and Parc-Extension.”

    • qatzelok 19:09 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

      Perhaps it’s because Cote-Saint-Luc has a much smaller population than the arrondisements mentioned, that 50 or more cases translates into a much higher rate? Anyway, who in the world goes there that doesn’t live there?

    • Kate 20:26 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

      qatzi, some people may go there to attend religious services.

      I was mostly concerned about Park Ex being named in the second passage, although not the first. It too has some religious establishments. I’ve heard of events being held at one of the Greek churches until fairly recently.

      Normally if someone’s religious beliefs cause them to forego medical care I figure it’s their funeral, but with a disease like COVID-19 it endangers everyone if people ignore social distancing rules. Right now it’s especially dangerous if religious ceremonies attract people from different parts of town, and then send them back home possibly with viral hitchhikers.

    • qatzelok 20:36 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

      How is it possible to police this? Are the police going to be breaking down the doors of religious buldings to catch worshippers “in the act” of not social distancing? Seems like it would create a huge backlash.

    • Kate 20:45 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

      Cops will have to talk to the communities. In Côte St-Luc they’d have to cast an eye on synagogues on Saturdays and holy days. Passover starts April 8 – I’ve seen pieces about how people will only be able to hold a seder with the people they’re already in the house with. Easter is on April 12 and Greek Orthodox Easter is a week later. I have no idea when Hindu and Sikh holy days are, but those affect Park Ex too, they’d have to know, and keep an eye on the temples and make sure people weren’t gathering.

      Nobody wants to be the boss man who breaks up a religious service, but it’s got to be done.

    • Brett 20:46 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

      I’m wondering if the police will enforce this using the same technique they used with the rail blockades.

    • JP 01:05 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      I’m Hindu and my family goes to one of the temples in Parc Ex. As far as I’m aware, the temple is closed and has been for a while now. There are no official gatherings or events taking place.

    • Kate 08:22 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      Thank you, JP.

      Brett, the situations are not comparable.

    • Brett 09:43 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      I’m not so sure the situations are that different, Kate. We know that this virus came from overseas, and we also know that the hotspots in Montreal for this virus are in neighbourhoods that have a higher proportion of immigrants (Park Ex, CDN). What if, when confronted with a large gathering of minorities for religious or other reasons, the police let it slide for fear of being accused of racism?

    • Kate 09:55 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      They will not. There is no basis of comparison for a pandemic vs. the supposed importance of a pipeline.

    • walkerp 11:01 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      Brett, where to begin. Are you trolling, because that is some serious bullshit question you are asking on many levels.

    • vasi 11:03 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      The synagogues in Cote St Luc have also been closed for quite awhile. I think we’re seeing echoes of the large get-togethers from before the quarantine. Combine that with the return of a lot of snowbirds, and the very high number of seniors….it’s not a good recipe. But as far as I know, nobody there is insisting on having religious meetings despite the risk.

    • Brett 11:44 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      Not a bullshit question. The rail blockade in St Lambert was kept despite being illegal and the only reason the protesters left was because of extremely cold weather. Why were the protesters there so sure they weren’t going to face consequences from the police? And what’s to stop people from ignoring the police in this situation?

    • Mark Côté 14:34 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      Why do you think they were sure they weren’t going to face consequences from the police? Activists get arrested all the time. And groups of people of colour get broken up and arrests made all the time as well. I can’t even believe I had to type that…

    • walkerp 14:34 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      Brett, you seem to really believe what you write, so I will take the troll bait. All of your assumptions are wrong. The protestors chose to leave because they felt their message had been sent. They were not sure at all that they weren’t going to face consequences. They were scared as shit about the police. We still don’t know why the cops didn’t come in and crack heads and kill people like they did at Oka, probably because it was a very tenuous and complex political situation and for once they realized it would make things worse. Do make an effort to understand the history of the First Nations in Canada, particularily the violence they have and continue to suffer at the hands of the police.

      And then what does any of that have to do with this situation? Are you suggesting that it is only non-white people who would be breaking the rules of the lockdown? And that then the police would be too scared to bust up a bunch of immigrants doing some weird ceremony because of being called racist?

      Who do you think is most likely to be breaking the rules? Who do you think is most responsible for the community spread?

    • Chris 15:40 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

      >Nobody wants to be the boss man who breaks up a religious service, but it’s got to be done.

      It’s interesting to observe Israel’s reaction. Over 50% of the cases there are ultra Orthodox, even though they represent just 10% of the population.

      See for example: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-s-ultra-orthodox-jews-face-coronavirus-devastation-they-need-face-masks-1.8728283

      Choice quote: “… Yaakov Litzman, Israel’s minister of health, believes that this is going to end with messianic intervention.” We shall see! 🙂

  • Kate 10:17 on 2020-03-29 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse talked to a selection of people whose work continues despite pandemic controls. Urbania describes how Dollarama was declared an essential service.

    The city has closed its dog parks till further notice, and Quebec has closed bed & breakfasts and other tourist facilities. Hotels are still open.

    Radio-Canada notes the first Cree COVID-19 patient, who’s isolated in a downtown hotel often used to house Cree people who come to Montreal for medical treatment. He hadn’t been home to the Cree territory in awhile.

    Four men in the immigration detention centre in Laval are maintaining a hunger strike begun by 30 inmates some days ago. They want to be released, although there’s no specific news saying they’ve been exposed to COVID-19. (Nobody wants to be locked up, but if there’s no virus in that place, wouldn’t it be safer to stay inside for the moment?)

    • LJ 11:10 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

      Closing the dog parks has resulted in some people letting their large dogs run amok without leash in other parks. While I have some sympathy for their plight, it can be annoying or intimidating to others (for example, those with small kids or those who walk their cats through the parks). It is amazing how temporarily blind these dog owners can become when they do not want to be considerate to others.

    • Alison Cummins 11:14 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

      Large dogs really do need to be walked, and young dogs really do need to run whether or not dog parks are closed.

      There’s a way to make this work. Time-based rather than space-based restrictions.

      Dogs can run around in the park off-leash between 6h and 7h30 (for instance). Otherwise, nope. The rest of us make our decisions.

    • David100 12:35 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

      Release them back to their home countries.

    • dwgs 13:44 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

      Hear hear! Wolfhounds back to Ireland, Bulldogs to old Blighty, Malinois to Belgium…

    • Michael Black 14:59 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

      Wait, dogs have been here since time immemorial. They took over when horses disappeared. I’ve read some doubt, but the claim is that horses came back when they immigrated with the Spanish. But no similar story of dogs coming over with Columbus or the Mayflower. You can’t send them back if they have no ties to the old country.

      Besides, dogs wouldn’t do well on their own. They have no sense of wilderness, and are too nice to compete with wild dogs and wolves.

      But I think dogs are having their own problems, and not just the closing of dog runs. They gave up the pack a long time ago, so their “pack” becomes people, but they still need dog contact. Suddenly all they can do is glance across the street at other dogs. At the best of times, there are people who will cross the street with their dog, it’s never clear if they worry about their dog or the other dog. Now it’s the norm, are they avoiding people or the dogs? And dogs can be oblivious to some things, they know they afen’t getting that needed dog contact, but don’t know why

    • Kate 18:00 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

      Michael Black, I believe dwgs was doing a masterful détournement of David100’s xenophobic barb and not seriously intending that dogs be sent back.

      Is there actually evidence there were horses here before Europeans came? As I understood it, horses were domesticated on the Eurasian steppes a few thousand years ago, but didn’t come to the Americas till the Spanish brought them. Dogs, however, or so I’ve read, accompanied the first humans who came over from Siberia, so they were already here when Europeans showed up from 1492 onwards.

    • qatzelok 20:39 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

      About dogs, Michael Black: “They have no sense of wilderness”
      That’s because their instincts were bred out of them through inbreeding to create decorative toys for humans.
      I find this sort of parallel to what modern man has done to nature generally.

    • Mark Côté 21:19 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

      There’s a lot of evidence that dogs basically domesticated themselves, that the less fearful wolves hung around human settlements for the scraps and eventually were integrated into human society. That is of course not to say that we haven’t done quite a number on the species through inbreeding (and other terrible things), but a lot of the particularly weird and unhealthy breeds are fairly recent, comparatively.

    • Mark Côté 21:27 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

      And TIL that, yes, in fact, horses actually evolved in North America.

      “1-4 million years ago, Equus, the modern horse, debuted in North America. It stood approximately 13 hands tall with the features of a standard horse. Equus had a long neck and legs, with a single toe.

      Equus originated in North America and spread throughout the world. Equus fossils have been discovered on every continent except Antarctica and Australia.

      Evidence suggests that Equus migrated to Asia a million years ago. They went extinct in North America about 11,000 years ago but survived on other continents and many years later returned to their continent of birth.”

    • Kate 23:00 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

      Very interesting! But they were gone from North America before people arrived.

    • Alison Cummins 02:14 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      Horses were gone 11kya but people started arriving about 16kya — or possibly even earlier, it’s hard to tell. There was overlap.


    • dwgs 08:42 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      I have two dogs and taking them for one very long walk each day is what is keeping me sane. Most dog walkers are crossing the street to avoid contact but every once in a while we meet someone who will let the dogs say hello. Most leashes are about 1.5 metres long so the owners maintain a 3m distance while the dogs socialize.
      qatzelok, it sometimes seems as though there is no joy in your life whatsoever.

    • Kate 11:46 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      Alison, it seems (after a cursory look around) that the issue of whether people interacted with those archaic horses is not settled archaeologically, but that some folks are making the claim they did, from cultural nonscientific motives. However, it’s a provable fact those horses died off with a lot of the other American megafauna around 10,000 years ago.

      My guess is that if people interacted with those horses at all, they ate them, they didn’t ride them. But that may not be provable either way.

    • Alison Cummins 12:15 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      Agreed. Horses weren’t domesticated until 6kya, and they were milked and bled, not ridden.

      Michael Black,
      Dog contact is one of my reasons for having two dogs.

      My little dog is good with dogs and I let her approach as much as she wants and as much as the other dog and dog-boss are comfortable with. Dog contact is good!

      My big dog is not good with dogs. Or rather, she is fine with dogs at an appropriate social distance who are ignoring her. I do not allow other dogs to approach her. She sits, I place myself between her and the other dog, and I explain limits to the owner.

      But even I, a pro-dog-contact dog-boss, will occasionally cross the street to avoid a dog if I don’t think I’ll be able to give my big dog enough social distance. Sorry, guys.

  • Kate 10:02 on 2020-03-29 Permalink | Reply  

    In response to vandalism at Vietnamese temples, and the temple Huyen Khong in particular, a Montrealer from that background explains how the temple functions in his culture and pleads for help in finding the culprits.

    • Alison Cummins 12:57 on 2020-03-30 Permalink

      In my neighbourhood. Very depressing.

  • Kate 09:15 on 2020-03-29 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM union is accusing the transit commission of making people come to work and put them at risk, when there’s little work to be done.

    • Kate 09:04 on 2020-03-29 Permalink | Reply  

      An earthquake rating 3.6 centred on Mascouche shook the urban area at 3:21 on Sunday morning.

      • Francesco 09:38 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

        We were wondering why we both woke up around then. Normally I hear or feel them and guess correctly but not this time. Thanks!

      • Deegan Stubbs 09:44 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

        COVID19, earthquake, what next? Locusts?

      • Max 10:40 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

        “Minor flooding” started in Sainte-Anne’s this week.

      • JaneyB 11:16 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

        Ah..I felt that over in Verdun. I also thought ‘locusts’.

    • Kate 20:27 on 2020-03-28 Permalink | Reply  

      Two external day centres were launched Saturday for the homeless – at Cabot Square and Place Émilie-Gamelin. Three more are coming soon.

      Certain parts of Quebec are now off limits.

      Most of the Quebecers who have died from COVID-19 have been between 80 and 89 years old.

      Some CEGEPs hope to resume and finish the term using online methods starting Monday, but this may not be as easy as it sounds.

      • Raymond Lutz 07:45 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

        From the linked article: “The solution may seem attractive, but not all (satisfactory skill levels) will be reached, ” said de Repentigny, giving technical training in health as an example. Graduating nurses, for example, who have not had some practical training, could be worrisome.”

        Indeed. You can’t short cut technical formation… for pre-university programs, gaps _could_ be filled in later in the cursus… but not for techs.

      • Raymond Lutz 08:48 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

        Oh and by the way, did you now I can’t harshly criticize here my CEGEP and the MELS decision to resume and finish the term?

        I’m an employee and the Civil Code of Québec article 2088 stipulates: “The employee is bound not only to perform his work with prudence and diligence, but also to act faithfully and honestly and not use any confidential information he obtains in the performance or in the course of his work.
        These obligations continue for a reasonable time after the contract terminates and permanently where the information concerns the reputation and privacy of others.”

        As an example of what this means on the ground, I found the SAQ employees “Code Of Ethics And Conduct”. I’m not a lawyer but I guess it merely explicits article 2088 scope (they cite it in the document) so it should equally appliy to my CEGEP job:

        We must perform our work in a manner consistent with the company’s expectations regarding its mission and refrain from any action that could jeopardize its legitimate interests.
        ACTING LOYALLY MEANS, AMONG OTHER THINGS, in a situation where a customer criticizes our store or company: staying calm; encouraging the customer to address his criticisms to our manager and, if appropriate, to Customer Service; keeping our personal opinions to ourselves; and focusing our efforts on serving the customer.

        By acting in this way, we demonstrate loyalty. Regardless of our opinion of the comments being made, our professional attitude ensures customers receive courteous service in keeping with the SAQ’s brand image. The same is true for social media; we should not comment on debates or share them with others.
        IT ALSO MEANS: not taking advantage of our position to promote a partisan position; rather than voicing our dissatisfaction to the media or on the Web (on blogs, for example), making constructive comments inside the company so we can improve our practices.

        In this way, we will all help maintain the reputation of the SAQ and its personnel.
        Moreover, our obligation of loyalty lasts for a reasonable period of time after we stop working for the company and forever when the reputations and private lives of others are concerned. What is considered a reasonable period will vary depending on an employee’s position and level of responsibility at the SAQ.

        I guess you could replace any ‘SAQ’ mention by CEGEP…

        This is a lengthy comment but a welcome distraction from covid-19… 😎

    • Kate 16:17 on 2020-03-28 Permalink | Reply  

      According to the Journal, new quarantine rules may be announced on Sunday including a one-kilometre limit to one’s excursions from home on foot. They also have a map of hotspots on the island.

      Strong report on reddit of worsening adherence to traffic laws. I haven’t been out, have people noticed this?

      • EmilyG 16:38 on 2020-03-28 Permalink

        Darn. Today was my first day I dared to go out for a walk.

      • Kate 17:50 on 2020-03-28 Permalink

        Well, it’s not yet a rule, and 1 km is not too bad. However, this seems to be based on the Paris model, which is also based on existing French rules that you need to have a piece of paper with you explaining why you have to be outside, and a deeper French concept that you need to have your ID on you at all times. We don’t have that, so police can hardly ascertain where we live, can they?

        If stopped, you could point and say “I live just over there” and they would probably not go to the trouble of demanding anything more official.

        I don’t think they’re going to create such a law, but I think 1 km is a good guideline.

      • Alison Cummins 20:28 on 2020-03-28 Permalink

        Worsening adherence to traffic laws… like walking the dogs down the middle of the street for social distancing?

        That would be me.

      • Ephraim 20:51 on 2020-03-28 Permalink

        They need to do something about assuring people in senior’s homes can get groceries. I can’t find a slot for delivery to get my mother groceries. Leaving me required to pick them up and delivery them to the building. I can do this, but I’m sure that some of the seniors don’t have people to do this.

      • EmilyG 22:02 on 2020-03-28 Permalink

        Yes, Ephraim. There was a piece on the radio recently about that.

      • John B 22:22 on 2020-03-28 Permalink

        We tried to order from Metro, the first delivery date was 10 days away. IGA was only offering pick-up dates, no delivery. This was about a week ago, hopefully it’s improved. I know a lot of smaller shops have got delivery up & running in the past few days.

        When I’ve been out biking on the streets, (where there are few people, as opposed to the bike paths that are full), I’ve seen a few cars, (and motorbikes – it’s spring after all), stomping on the gas, but that’s it.

      • Kevin 22:49 on 2020-03-28 Permalink

        I hit the grocery store Friday because the first online pickup date I could find was April 7.
        And even then, being able to pickup at the latest possible time of 6 to 7 pm would be difficult for me or my wife.

        I was there from 6:20 until 8:20. Madness.

        But I should be able to go weeks without needing anything in case my household needs to go into lockdown.

      • Raymond Lutz 09:15 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

        This is unwarranted … in China they estimates that 75-80% of infections occurred in HOUSEHOLDS (sorry, too lazy to dig up the source). We have to gather at the grocery, and we’ll get infected there… FFS! Why nobody follow South Korea protocols! They closed schools but “did not use draconian lockdown strategies”

        But wearing a mask in public should be mandatory, for both inward and outward protections. South-Korea mantra was ” Test, trace and treat

        I don’t know if they quarantined positive people in special centers… Here we’re 5 in the household, if my spouse get infected at her daycare (where she must work) it will be a rough ride …

      • Kevin 10:17 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

        Raymond Lutz
        Stupid as it sounds, people need training to properly wear masks and gloves.

      • Alison Cummins 11:10 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

        YouTube videos show how to put on a mask.

        We aren’t doing surgery.

        Homemade masks are fine for most everyday purposes. Keep them dry, change the filter (paper towel?) regularly so it doesn’t get damp. Will protect you from doing stupid things like touching your face or for licking your fingers when you’re trying to open a soft plastic bag. Will protect other people from your cooties. Will protect you from a lot of cooties.

        If you’re going into a hospital or doing chest compressions on someone, you can get into a lot of heated arguments about whether a homemade mask is better or worse than nothing. Either way, it will matter a lot whether you put it on right. But for just walking around and doing groceries, it’s a reasonable precaution for protecting OTHER PEOPLE and might even protect you.

        The coolest thing a homemade mask does, and which it does effectively no matter how poorly you put it on, is scare other people into maintaining their social distance.

      • Kevin 11:30 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

        My perspective is different because my wife has a PhD in infectious disease, did pharmaceutical research on a bunch of viruses, then became an MD. She’s currently advising a covid-19 task force for a hospital.

        The stupid stuff she has seen people do while wearing masks and gloves (even last week!) has convinced me that without massive training the only thing that will work for the masses is the simplest solution: stay away from each other, stay inside if warranted, and wash your hands.

      • David100 12:46 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

        I take some small delight in the “Airbnb apocalypse” stories I’m reading coming out of London, and other places. Given Montreal reporters’ stock move of spotting trends in other places/publications, then reporting on the local version (even if there’s nothing to report), I’m surprised that we’ve not yet seen a dive into the woe afflicting Montreal Airbnb “entrepreneurs” at the moment.

      • Alison Cummins 13:23 on 2020-03-29 Permalink


        Masks have helped *elsewhere* when 60%-80% of the people wear them. Possibly The Masses get used to using them properly when it’s the Done Thing?

        Question: if The Masses can’t learn to put on a mask properly, do we really trust them to learn to wash their hands properly, maintain social distance properly and not give themselves improper exceptional excuses for going outside and travelling and visiting their old people?

        Personally I find a mask useful for heightening awareness. MY awareness. I’m more likely to be religious about washing my hands for 20 seconds when I’m wearing a mask. I am definitely a lot less likely to lick my fingers to help open my dog’s poop bag when I’m wearing a mask. Also people give me 3 to 4 m of social distance when I wear a mask outside. I’m fine with that.

        Washing my hands protects me. When I wear a mask it’s primarily to protect other people.

        My father is 78 and has lived a full life. Under normal circumstances I would let him make his own choices. Problem: he has a 38-year-old diabetic wife and a nine-year old daughter. I DO NOT WANT THAT DAUGHTER ORPHANED AND ON MY HANDS. She’s a doll but I am an old fuddy-duddy and live in a province that speaks a different language and have a dog that bites kids. He is hard to educate about social distancing and I need to video chat with him daily to remind him. (He touched somebody the other day and washed his hands like mad.) The entire household needs to act as if they are as vulnerable as he is. That’s a big ask.

        I would be happiest if the nerdy tenant doing my father’s errands and fixing his electronics wore a mask when he’s over at the house, in addition to washing his hands. My father is dependent on that tenant, likes him. and is unlikely to keep 2 m away if the tenant is not flagging him with a scary mask.

        My father is an educated, worldly man. His father and grandfather were doctors, both around for the 1918 flu. He’s disciplined and stopped smoking cold turkey when I asked him to when I was six. He never relapsed. He’s also survived HepB, typhoid, malaria, cancer and probably other interesting things. He wavers between feeling invincible and feeling like he’s stretched his luck.

        He should be easy to educate, but he isn’t. He’s 78 and learning new things is hard.

        I would be glad if his tenant wore a mask to visit him, in addition to washing his hands.

        +++ +++ +++

        Kevin, I know that your wife knows better than I do! I also know that the smarter people are, the better they are at rationalizing and that I am smart enough to rationalize and am therefore a potential danger to self and others.

        My rationalization at the moment is that appropriate public health recommendations are always based on local conditions.
        1. When it’s not common practice to wear a mask, people won’t do it properly.
        2. People around here, in our individualistic society, may believe that a mask will offer much more personal protection than it does and socialize inappropriately or neglect hand-washing. As a general recommendation, masks risk being counterproductive.
        3. Unless 60%-80% of the population wear masks, the public health benefit is quite limited.
        4. When there’s a limited supply of proper medical-grade protective masks, it makes a lot more sense to reserve the masks for health care providers and not encourage The Masses to waste them on themselves.

        Something like that?

        So I rationalize that I am special and exceptional because my personal local conditions are special and exceptional. I make my own masks; I am a lifelong face-eyes-and-nose-rubber-and-scratcher; I’ve never been particularly afraid of dirt and learning new habits is hard; I educate people that a mask is to protect others, not myself or my father’s tenant. I haven’t been tested and am breathing easily, but (like most people) I have no special reason to think I’m not incubating an infection.

        Am I that off-base? Am I a danger to self and others?

      • LJ 16:34 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

        If you have a dog that bites kids, that dog should not be left unleashed outside ever.

      • Raymond Lutz 17:31 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

        Soupir… combien de gens consultent les articles que je réfère.. mon commentaire de 09:15 renvoyait à ‘COVID-19/ WHY WE SHOULD ALL WEAR MASKS — THERE IS NEW SCIENTIFIC RATIONALE écrit par Sui Huang, MD, PhD, a molecular and cell biologist. How’s that for science credo?

        “the only thing that will work for the masses ” is popular education, via tiktok, no less 😎 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5mhUQgP3V8

      • Raymond Lutz 17:33 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

        ‘science creds’

      • Kevin 18:01 on 2020-03-29 Permalink

        I don’t think you’re off-base. I think that there is a whole educational component that our society requires and we’re not there yet. I don’t know if we ever will get there.

    • Kate 10:28 on 2020-03-28 Permalink | Reply  

      CBC inquires into the ethics of snitching on illegal gatherings. Note the advice not to call 911, but to call the non-emergency line for the local police station. These are listed under “police de quartier” on the police website.

      • Bill Binns 11:08 on 2020-03-28 Permalink

        The police non-emergency line is an enduring urban legend. There is no such thing (at least in my neighborhood). It either rings forever or you get a recording telling you to call 911. I have called 911 for lots of petty “a junky just stole my broom” type stuff and I have never been scolded by the operator.

        You can make non-emergency complaints on the police website as long as that complaint fits neatly into the handful of buckets setup on the worse-than-terrible form but I suspect these are never read by a human being ever.

      • MarcG 11:14 on 2020-03-28 Permalink

        I’ve called my local station several times for non-emergencies and they’ve always answered. Most of the time, however, they’ve told me to call 911.

      • Chris 15:24 on 2020-03-31 Permalink

        MarcG, my experience has been the same as Bill. Every time I’ve tried, they’ve just said to call 911 or 514-280-2222.

        What number are you calling? 514-280-01?

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