Updates from April, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:16 on 2020-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Sikh truck drivers who didn’t want to have to wear hard hats when working in the Port of Montreal had their case turned down by the Supreme Court Thursday. The highest Quebec court had ruled that safety trumps religious freedom in this situation, and that ruling now stands.

    • Chris 13:15 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

      Fitting that this ruling came now, a period where safety trumps not only religious freedom, but the freedom to assemble, the freedom to travel, the ability to sit in a park, to have a job, to earn a living, to go to school, etc. Something poetic there. 🙂

  • Kate 21:13 on 2020-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

    In lighter news, a body was pulled out of the river near the clock tower, Thursday afternoon.

    • Kate 21:04 on 2020-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

      A third CHSLD patient attendant has died of Covid, this one in Cartierville.

      The Jewish General is dealing with two distinct outbreaks.

      Georges Laraque has been hospitalized with the virus.

      Some people have actually proposed deliberately catching Covid in the spirit of the old chickenpox parties people held before a vaccine was developed. There are five good reasons not to do this.

      Aaron Derfel’s twitter thread of the day looks at outbreaks in hospitals.

      Here’s an upside to the lockdown: people say they’re getting better sleep because they can match their own sleep cycle, not the boss’s.

      • Ephraim 22:23 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

        Two more good reasons, they have noted a small percentage of younger people having a stroke. And there is at least one report of a lady in Italy who has tested positive for over 60 days… an inadvertent typhoid Mary. From what I understand, they won’t let her out until she tests negative. See https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/the-italian-model-who-keeps-testing-positive-to-coronavirus-two-months-after-diagnosis-c-996498

      • Brett 07:29 on 2020-05-01 Permalink

        The Covid party article is clearly clickbait. Seriously is anyone seriously suggesting this? If anything, from now on it will be morally unacceptable to let either yourself or your child out of the house if either of you are sick. Expect absences due to colds to go way up. Not sure if universal sick pay will follow, though.

      • Kate 09:06 on 2020-05-01 Permalink

        Brett, if you google for “coronavirus party” or “covid party” you’ll see there are people doing this. There’s even a wikipedia page.

    • Kate 20:53 on 2020-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

      Community gardens will open gradually starting May 4, and the city is gearing up to encourage more urban gardening generally, plus a practical vegetable plot at the botanical garden.

      • Chris 13:17 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        Too bad the legacy of the automobile has left most of the soil in cities too contaminated with lead (from when it was a gasoline additive for decades) to grow food in.

      • Ian 17:45 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        Asphalt leaching is a big issue too, and is ongoing. For stuff like tomatoes unless you are doing container gardening the whole city is basically brownfield.

    • Kate 20:49 on 2020-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

      François Legault is already hedging his bets that Montreal is ready to reopen.

      • Kate 10:35 on 2020-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

        CTV has some striking video of a motorcyclist speeding on a ramp, hitting the side railing and flying over it. He didn’t die but he’s probably not feeling great this morning.

        • Blork 14:34 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

          “Speed may have been a factor…” Yeah. And dumbassery was most definitely a factor.

        • Alison Cummins 14:38 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

          I love that the bike just kept going as if nothing had happened. Like a horse that goes under a low tree branch to scrape off its rider.

        • MarcG 14:59 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

          They’re lucky they didn’t hit that sign. Does anyone have a psychological profile for these people? Death wish? Need attention? Some chemical imbalance that makes it hard for them to find excitement? I can’t relate.

        • Blork 15:12 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

          Actually, if he had hit the sign he might be less injured because it would have ba-doinged him back onto the road instead of going over the edge. (I think those signs aren’t very rigid so there’s a high boing factor.)

        • Kate 15:17 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

          If you keep watching, you’ll see one of the cops hop over the barrier not too far past the spot where the guy went over. So he must have hit hard, but he didn’t have too far to fall.

        • Alison Cummins 15:18 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

          Yeah, need for stimulation seems to be there. Lots of young men get really antsy. I don’t begrudge it them: it takes all kinds. That’s why humans stated doing so well when we started living in larger groups and could pool our strengths.

          Possibly also a reaction to confinement. And if someone’s taking their bike out for the first time in the spring they may not realize how out of shape they are.

        • Blork 15:32 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

          Kate, where he went over it was high enough for there to be a lane passing under. But the second part of the video is from about 30-40 metres ahead, where the embankment comes up to the same level as the road he went flying off of. But were he went off was definitely farther back, over a road.

        • Blork 15:34 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

          According to the article the guy had no license or registration for the bike, so this was higher on the dumbassery scale than just Covid-cabin fever.

        • Jack 17:07 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

          I always crack up when motorcyclist complain about how much their insurance cost.

        • Kevin 22:50 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

          No licence, unregistered bike. Jack it’s your taxes paying for his recovery, not the piddly $300 a year I spend insuring my motorcycle.

        • dwgs 07:53 on 2020-05-01 Permalink

          My first thought was ‘stupid young guy’ too but in the report they say he’s 35. No licence, unregistered bike tells me that there’s a very good chance that he was inexperienced. I drive that ramp regularly and the curve on it is not well designed, it’s pretty sharp and the roadbed isn’t banked into the curve as you would expect. Changing lanes from the inside to the outside on any curve can be tricky as well. I’m also not convinced he was trying to cut the truck off, I think he went into the curve with too much speed coupled with inexperience and he just missed the turn. He’s lucky he wasn’t a half second later, he would have driven into the semi.`

      • Kate 10:34 on 2020-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

        A beautiful house dating from 1916 was demolished this week in east-end Mercier, near Parc Bellerive. Item says it was too decrepit to be saved. I don’t doubt the trees on the property will also be razed so something more profitable can go up on the lot.

        • Alison Cummins 15:09 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

          My grandparents’ house in upstate NY was built in 1916. They moved into it in 1947 and my grandmother was disappointed from the start—she’d have preferred something more modern and convenient. (My great-grandmother chose it when my grandmother was in the hospital, probably having a baby.)

          It was a wonderful house to visit as a child. There were high ceilings, a banister to slide down, spooky rooms to visit (attic, old servants’ quarters, coal/root cellar).

          There was one downstairs bathroom leading off the kitchen with a bathtub that was added in a 1950s renovation, an upstairs bathroom with bathtub shared between the master bedroom, the kids — of which there were 11— and my great-grandmother. There was also a toilet and shower in the servants’ quarters.

          When my grandmother died and my grandfather moved in with one of his eight sons—early 2000s—he had been paying $900 US per month to heat the place.

          It had wood clapboard that had to be regularly repaired and painted. It was gorgeous—brown with pink, blue and cream detailing.

          There was no room on the lot for more than two cars, so it was hard to sell as student housing: all those students would have had lots of cars.

          So I agree it’s a beautiful house, but I get that it had done its time. Some beautiful things are ephemeral.

          The sad thing will be when it’s replacement is ugly.

        • Jack 17:05 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

          By the way Parc Bellerive is beautiful. Well served by a bike path that isn’t too trafficked. Which is of course understandable seeing as about 5 km is oil tankers and a refinery.

      • Kate 09:45 on 2020-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

        Six vehicles were put to the torch overnight in an industrial part of St‑Léonard. Police find it suspicious.

        • Kate 09:12 on 2020-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

          People are worried about the general reopening in Montreal North, where the number of virus cases has been rising fast. There are also outbreaks in hospitals, sometimes in sections previously judged to be free of infection. Other medical procedures are getting sidelined in the panic.

          Le Devoir looks hard at how poorer people are more at risk for complex reasons and editorialist Michel David examines whether people will maintain a right to distance themselves if jobs open again in places they judge unsafe – for example, high school teachers in Montreal North ordered to show up for work, even though there will be no students to teach.

          La Presse says (in a piece not framed as an op-ed) that Quebec is not ready to reopen, based on WHO guidelines.

        • Kate 23:26 on 2020-04-29 Permalink | Reply  

          Another good local Covid summary from Aaron Derfel, who also points to a Gazette story about an outbreak at Bordeaux Jail.

          • Kate 19:36 on 2020-04-29 Permalink | Reply  

            The closure of the Mount Royal tunnel has been put off at least twice, but it’s now scheduled to close on May 11 as work resumes on the REM.

            • Kate 18:49 on 2020-04-29 Permalink | Reply  

              Fella announces on Twitter that the AN-225 will be landing Thursday at 20:45 at Mirabel. He links to another Twitter feed with video of the takeoff from Tianjin.

            • Kate 17:28 on 2020-04-29 Permalink | Reply  

              Public security minister Geneviève Guilbault suggested that Quebecers should be docile in her part of Wednesday’s briefing, acting as vice-premier in François Legault’s absence. She’s had to back-pedal and apologize for her choice of word.

              • Myles 18:07 on 2020-04-29 Permalink

                It’s kind of fun when they accidentally reveal their paternalist condescension in public.

            • Kate 10:27 on 2020-04-29 Permalink | Reply  

              Tax havens have undermined social justice worldwide for decades, so I’m pleased to see that the federal government plans to withhold financial aid from corporations that use them.

              • qatzelok 12:04 on 2020-04-29 Permalink

                The article provides no list of companies that use tax havens, and I hope this list is made public soon. Otherwise, it’s just empty words from our PM and a feel-good article from commercial media.

            • Kate 09:25 on 2020-04-29 Permalink | Reply  

              Despite a lockdown lasting weeks, COVID-19 continues to spread and the health authorities don’t know why. There are outbreaks that haven’t been controlled, and Montreal North is, as Le Devoir puts it, a red zone, along with St-Michel and RDP.

              La Presse summarizes the reopening rules and the risks involved in reopening industry.

              As Jonathan Montpetit says in his analysis of Legault’s decision to reopen schools and businesses, “there is an element of cognitive dissonance for the public to hear the premier say things are under control when every day somewhere between 50 and 100 people die of a disease that is running rampant in government-regulated facilities.”

              I’m adding here Michel C. Auger’s analysis: Translating, “A reopening could no doubt be justified if the Quebec dossier put it in the top class in the fight against COVID-19. But this is not the case: with 23% of the population, Quebec has more than half of the COVID-19 cases in Canada and more than half of the deaths.”

              • Daniel 10:05 on 2020-04-29 Permalink

                In general, Legault’s handling of this all has been admirable. But this just feels like we’re opening things back up according to some alternate timeline in which things went well, testing was readily available and widely in use, and the virus was well understood and beaten back. I wish those things were true, but they’re not exactly.

              • DeWolf 12:19 on 2020-04-29 Permalink

                Legault has talked about “two worlds” but there’s more than that. In Montreal, there’s the horror show at the CHSLDs and the relatively flat growth in the rest of the city. And in Quebec generally, there’s a big difference between Greater Montreal and more outlying regions. Places like Bas-Saint-Laurent and even Quebec City have low case numbers and little new growth. It’s hard to see why de-confinement isn’t the best option for them. I haven’t seen any announcements about inter-regional travel so I can only imagine it is still discouraged and police will still be maintaining road blocks or doing spot checks.

                People reacted to the news as if everything was being thrown open tomorrow but there’s plenty of time for things to evolve. At the moment there’s only a one-week lag in the plan to open up retail businesses Montreal, but there’s nothing stopping the government from pushing it beyond May 11 if things don’t improve in the next two weeks. And there’s another week beyond that for primary schools – that’s three whole weeks of change. Think of how different the landscape was three weeks ago. If things don’t go well—if Quebec can’t ramp up its testing or if case growth continues to be alarming—there’s no reason it can’t be pushed back even further.

              • JaneyB 13:23 on 2020-04-29 Permalink

                I’m with Arruda and Legault on this. The ‘opening’ will be geographically appropriate, gradual, carefully watched, with distancing measures, expanded testing, and importantly, retracted if the numbers warrant it. It is also important that an ‘opening’ is begun now because waiting until the fall season risks opening at the same time as flu season begins. At least now, ERs can manage a temporary surge better. Waiting until zero cases is impossible; there will continue to be cases and deaths for the next several years. It is even (god forbid!) possible that a vaccine may only be slightly effective for this kind of virus.

                I notice Legault is being targeted as irresponsible for this plan. I’m no Caquiste so I’m happy to fault him as necessary but in this case, Legault is taking his numbers from the politically neutral public health system, including Arruda and all the experts behind him.

              • Ian 08:07 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

                The Institut national de santé publique du Québec is publicly speaking out against the “herd immunity” theory. Legault has been fooling us with his smooth paternalistic vibe but let’s not forget, he’s a money guy at heart and the economy is way more important to him than Montreal’s infection rates. Let’s face it, the CAQ hates Montreal anyway, they probably see our death rate as collateral damage.

                But really, Montreal primary schools reopening on the 19th? This is not appropriate, gradual, careful etc…
                The Institut national de santé publique du Québec says “Une stratégie où on laisserait les jeunes s’infecter risque d’entraîner une forte augmentation de la maladie chez les adultes et de besoins en services hospitaliers et en soins intensifs sans atteindre la cible d’immunité de groupe recherchée.”

                Beyond the utter joke of sending Montreal kids back to school on the 19th as anyhting approaching appropriate, gradual, or careful, Roberge is proposing classes of no more than 15 in primary schools, and using empty high schools to accommodate overflow. They have given the schools 2 weeks to figure this out. Note that earlier this year the CAQ eliminated school boards, who would have been the institution actually capable of carrying out this ludicrous “plan” if anyone was. 2 weeks!

                …and now, on top of it all, I see a headline in La Presse today: “Une maladie inflammatoire grave touchant des enfants fait son apparition” A serious cardiac inflammation that affects children specifically, related to COVID-19 but nobody knows what it is… but yes, Papa Legault says it’s ok to send kids back to school, ça va bien aller.


                I call bullshit on this “plan”, I’m keeping my kids home.

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