Updates from June, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:37 on 2020-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Various notes on roads to avoid this weekend.

    • Kate 20:38 on 2020-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

      The city ombudsman has launched an investigation into the corridors sanitaires installed here and there all over town, on the basis they may not be fully accessible to the disabled.

      Meantime, city opposition is fighting everything the administration is doing, while – as usual – not suggesting anything useful itself.

      No mayor would choose to have a pandemic bust out during their term in office. But just as the opposition second-in-command says here, “It’s quite abnormal that this administration is putting everything on the back of COVID to be able to do some ideological changes and dogmatic changes simply to fight cars” – it’s even more abnormal that the opposition is using its golden idol, the car, to fight measures that are simply meant to make the city safer and more livable over a summer the like of which we’ve never seen.

      Ensemble may see a clever maneuver in caressing the feelings of people still mentally living in the 20th century, but if there’s a moral to the pandemic, it’s that change comes whether you want it to or not.

      • Ephraim 07:41 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        The accessibility of the city for the disabled has plummeted since this happened. No one is giving any thought to this at all. For example, a handicapped spot needs to be created on the cross street, near the corner, when you take away all parking on a main street, otherwise, the entire street becomes inaccessible to many of the handicapped. Not just those in wheelchairs, but also those with limited distance mobility.

      • Kate 10:35 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        I can see that, Ephraim, but the measures are temporary. I may get shouted down for this, but I can’t grasp the theory that because they inconvenience a minority of disabled people, that nobody should have them.

      • Alison Cummins 11:01 on 2020-06-06 Permalink


        Why can’t the temporary measures include creating temporary disabled parking spots on cross streets?

      • DeWolf 11:36 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        The corridors sanitaires were put up ad hoc when the epidemic was at its worst. Shops only reopened a week ago. Why do so many people assume those plastic bollards and metal fences are permanent and cannot possibly be rearranged?

      • Kate 12:09 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        Alison, they might. This is all being improvised on the fly and will undoubtedly be rearranged over time and improved if it has to be kept in place after the summer.

      • Ephraim 15:44 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        Kate, that means that the handicapped are going to have to go further to get their needs met. So instead of going to Rachelle-Bery on St-Denis, they will have to go to the suburbs, where there is parking. Think of all the little needs that you have and limit yourself to walking 50m or less, if possible each time. Pretty difficult. Someone should have been in there and said, okay, can we do something to make this essential business more accessible to the handicapped.

      • Kate 15:54 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        Ephraim, now it’s being discussed, so I hope for your sake and all the others’ that it can get fixed.

        Meantime, would you prefer the city removes all the corridors sanitaires?

      • EmilyG 16:37 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        Disabled people are inconvenienced all the time. They’re tired of it.
        The fact that most (able-bodied) people don’t realize that, and don’t realize their own privilege, is part of the ableism inherent in society

    • Kate 16:38 on 2020-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

      CBC also has a piece on black-owned businesses Friday, with a link to a chef offering a Google spreadsheet of restaurants, which looks like an extension of the one listed below by Zeke.

      Nobody’s listing the Jardin du Cari on St-Laurent near St-Viateur. I hope it hasn’t closed – I’ve always liked their food.

      There’s also a list of anti-racist groups in the city,

      • Matt 20:26 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

        Jardin du Cari is still open! At least it was when I walked by a few days ago.

      • Kate 20:29 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

        Good to know, thank you!

      • Brett 20:33 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

        Because, uh, there’s a corresponding list of racist groups in the city? Or are those groups not featured on the list going to be implicitly branded as racist?

      • Kate 21:45 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

        Brett, quietly read your comment over to yourself a few times, and it may sink in just how stupid it sounds.

      • Brett 21:52 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

        Kate, vegans proudly present themselves as the true defenders of animal rights. So we could make a list of vegan restaurants and imply that all other restaurants which serve meat are not doing anything to prevent animal cruelty. But anyway it’s time I stopped wasting my time writing stupid sounding comments in this thread.

      • Michael Black 22:19 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

        I don’t want to get a stray bit of meat. So a list of vegetarian or vegan restaurants is useful to find where I could eat safely. “For” isn’t always symmetrical with “against”.

        That list wasn’t “anti-racist”, it was pro-black. A variant of a “buy local” local. It’s for people looking for resources, whether they are black or not.

        The history books say my great, great grandfather in Red River got flack for “those blacks” in the front row of his church. Not black people, but my Syilx great, great, great grandmother and her children. We became white, but for the cousins the racism remains. Discrimination is assymetrical too.

      • Myles 13:14 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        I’m not sure why making a list of vegan restaurants would be a problem. It would seem pretty useful for vegans. Likewise, making a lit of anti-racist organizations is useful for people who would like to make local donations. Why the negativity?

      • Kate 13:41 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        Myles, indeed, I have kept a list of veg*n restaurants on this site for a long time, even though my experiment with being vegetarian lapsed long ago. It’s not meant to be judgemental, obviously, nor, I believe, are the lists of black-owned restaurants and anti-racist organizations. They’re being circulated now in a spirit of helping people figure out, if they’re going to be supportive, where they can direct their support.

      • Chris 14:50 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        I guess if one makes a list of anti-racist organizations, the problem is what if you’re not on the list? Does that make you a pro-racist organization? Or just neutral on racism? Or is the list just not complete? How could you ever make an exhaustive list? (Most organizations are not racist after all.)

        The veg*n restaurant comparison breaks down, I think, because being vegetarian and being meat-eating are *both* socially acceptable to society at large. So being either on or off such a list is no big deal. But racism is not socially acceptable to society at large so being on or off such a list is meaningful.

      • Kate 15:23 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        If a list says that, for example, CRARR is an anti-racist organization, it doesn’t imply that e.g. Vélo-Québec is a racist organization! Some organizations exist to fight discrimination. Many organizations have other aims, but that doesn’t make them racially discriminatory by default. It is simply not what they were brought into existence for.

        Why this defensive posture?

      • MarcG 15:25 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        As I understand it, an anti-racist organization is a group that is explicitly fighting against racism. And if you’re looking for a list of pro-racist organizations, here’s a start: https://montreal-antifasciste.info/en/2020/05/09/2019-in-review/.

      • GC 19:38 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        I didn’t visit Le Jardin until I started working in the area, but I would also be sad to see it go. When I walked by this evening, the “ouvert” sign was definitely on and flashing.

      • Michael Black 20:18 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        All lists discriminate, they wouldn’t be useful if there was just one giant list. The comments have taken a weird path, invoking vegans as if vegans are monolithic. Is this deliberaye misdirection?

        All groups are “discriminatory” in that they form around something. You won’t find much place unless yku share that interest. Of course, if you do and they still don’t want you, then it may be a matter to take issue with.

        Black Lives Matter is at times dismissed as being racist since it “excludes” others. That thinking seems to be at play here. It’s really “Black Lives Matter, too”.

        The only thing wrong with this list is the label, “anti-racist”. It’s a resource list, it won’t be of much use to racists. It’s about organizations, but business and groups, and things to read at this particular time. It’s for black people, and others who care.

        Segregation was kept in place by threats of violence, and outright violence. Segregation was broken whe black people decided to stand up to power, they decided that the risk of violence was less important than a better world.

        Black people spoke, and they got better distribution for what they were saying. There is a big difference between “this hurts me” and third parties saying something is wrong. This is the notion of “allieship” that’s been circulating in recent years, that white people can help, but it’s a secondary role.

        Black or native people have other things to say, their concerns aren’t always what white people think matter.

        Thus for real change the voice of the “oppressed” have to be loud, and heard. This list is about that. You can’t really say much until you’ve !istened.

    • Kate 16:35 on 2020-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

      I haven’t kept count of the number of times the SPVM has promised to reform its ways in dealing with cultural communities and people of colour, but it’s been a recurring theme since I’ve been doing this blog. Maybe Projet Montréal can push them a little harder than Coderre or Tremblay did – we can only hope so.

      • Joey 19:25 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

        Projet Mtl that abandoned body cams and ten days ago allocated 400K for new assault rifles? Sure.

      • Kate 21:28 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

        Joey, that’s a point, but I’ve never been entirely clear what the relationship is between Quebec, Montreal and the SPVM. I’m fairly sure the city police are not directly answerable to city hall. What Projet can do is focus moral force on the police, at least.

      • Joey 22:14 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

        It could also not buy them new assault rifles.

    • Kate 16:32 on 2020-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

      Voir, which began publishing in 1989 and went online-only years ago, has announced its closure.

      • Kate 13:30 on 2020-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

        Ricochet has a long report on police intimidation of journalists during demonstrations, from 2012 till today.

        • Kate 10:40 on 2020-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

          The Royalmount project is going to offer a drive-in cinema and other forms of presumably car‑based entertainment this summer.

          • Alex L 10:46 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

            Well, I guess some people are stuck in the past.

          • Jonathan 13:28 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

            I wouldn’t expect any less of them.

          • Faiz imam 14:06 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

            A drive-in cinema is basically a parking lot with a screen, its easy to put up and easy to take down. Seems like a fine temporary feature, its not like there’s much else to do.

            Im more interested in what the long term future of malls, and Royalmount in particular, is.

            So many activities in those places rely on dense crowds and closed spaces. all of it will have to be rethought. We wont have much of that for years.

            I suspect many of royalmounts luxury activities are no longer viable. Ditto the office space. I’m hoping they will turn that into more residential and social uses, and make it a better more organic community. This is a huge chance at reimagining the site, if they want to do it.

          • Brett 21:16 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

            What are the chances that they just give up on the project entirely?

          • Michael Black 22:25 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

            I thought this was about a future drive-in, but it’s opening in a few weeks. It’s about the now, something people can do safely now. No different from interest in drive-ins that still exist, or a temporary drive-in set up.in Dorval.

            And yes, it’s happening because it doesn’t require much, so itcan open now when it’s needed, and taken down later if things change.

          • david33 11:11 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

            “So many activities in those places rely on dense crowds and closed spaces. all of it will have to be rethought. We wont have much of that for years.”

            This is common wisdom at the moment, but I’m very skeptical.

            The Asian cities that have suffered past viral outbreaks didn’t really change all that much beyond hygiene practices, etc.once the threat had passed. Malls and markets are as popular as ever, nobody bats an eye about attending rock concerts and sporting events, people cram into the metros. Even the reopened post Covid-19 cities in Asia and elsewhere dumped even basic social distancing pretty quickly – they’re not even wearing masks on the crowded Tokyo metros.

            If you think that North Americans in particular will react differently, probably the answer is that they will, but in the opposite direction. Look at all those protesters completely ignoring social distancing – and aside from all the looters, they’re in the cohort most likely to take the threat seriously. They simply burst out of doors, decided the Covid-19 was old had and that they wanted something more exciting to do, namely, protesting. And if – as many suspect – we see no significant uptick in cases tied to protesting, precautions such as mask wearing will likely go right out the window pretty shortly. For young people, these protests are sort of like a religious/social thing, and they’re great opportunities to meet people – Covid-19 protocols get in the way.

            Citiy Lab has a good rundown of the effects of past outbreaks in an article published in May, and there’s a der Spiegel one too. Aside from certain traumatized people, there’s no indication that people avoided “dense crowds and closed spaces . . . for years.” The City Lab article mentioned that in HK with SARS, the masks were gone just a month after the pandemic was declared “over.”

            Anyway, we’ll see what happens of course.

            I’d love it if this Royalmount mall project was killed, but I don’t see that happening because people are permanently scared of malls. Malls might die for other reasons – online shopping, changing tastes, etc.

          • Tee Owe 11:34 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

            David – ‘these protests are sort of like a religious/social thing, and they’re great opportunities to meet people’ – this is trolling. Any meaningful points you make are lost as a result, we only see the provocation. If you want to be taken seriously, then be serious.

          • david33 11:48 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

            Well, these things are like a church gathering, I was thinking.

            But if you want serious, the idea that anti-racism is the latest American revival movement – what Yglesias calls The Great Awokening – is hardly scoff-worthy. It’s probably best articulated by an African American philosophy professor out of Columbia University in NYC: https://www.thedailybeast.com/antiracism-our-flawed-new-religion

          • Michael Black 12:15 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

            The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 took place at the tail end of the 1918 Flu epedimic.

            I saw a story about it last year, maybe at the CBC. Or maybe The Walrus.

            Apparently one rallying point was on land the cousins had sold to Winnipeg on condition that it be used for public good.

          • Chris 14:52 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

            david33, that McWhorter article was a great read, thanks for sharing.

          • david33 19:25 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

            Yeah, the closing paragraphs drive it home, especially for Canadians, who are masters of this:

            “And too often, Antiracism doctrine loses sight of what actually helps black people. Ritual “acknowledgment” of White Privilege is, ultimately, for white people to feel less guilty. Social change hardly requires such self-flagellation by the ruling class. Similarly, black America needs no grand, magic End of Days in order to succeed. A compact program of on-the-ground policy changes could do vastly more than articulate yearnings for a hypothetical psychological revolution among whites that no one seriously imagines could ever happen in life as we know it.

            Antiracism as a religion, despite its good intentions, distracts us from activism in favor of a kind of charismatic passivism. One is to think, to worship, to foster humility, to conceive of our lives as mere rehearsal for a glorious finale, and to encourage others to do the same. This kind of thinking may have its place in a human society. But helping black people succeed in the only real world we will ever know is not that place.

            Real people are having real problems, and educated white America has been taught that what we need from them is willfully incurious, self-flagellating piety, of a kind that has helped no group in human history. Naciremian Antiracism has its good points, but it is hopefully a transitional stage along the way to something more genuinely progressive.”

        • Kate 10:27 on 2020-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

          Le Devoir reports on the demolition four years ago of older industrial buildings in Ahuntsic and how nothing’s been done with the site since then. The address is on the Main but that’s odd because the buildings never fronted on it: they were really along Louvain. If you go to this Google maps link you can see the empty space there now, and if you take it back before 2016, the buildings that are now gone.

          Last summer a sort of ravey outdoor coworking and event space called Green Haüs was created on the western edge of the lot toward Esplanade, away from the area used for STM parking; their Instagram says they’ll be back in 2021.

          • Kate 09:24 on 2020-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

            Silo 57 produced a list of black-owned restaurants this week, as did Radio-Canada.

            • Zeke 10:49 on 2020-06-05 Permalink


              Both are picking and choosing this list that was compiled by Sophie Watts. Which despite listing 104 places, still does not have Marcus on it.

            • Zeke 11:03 on 2020-06-05 Permalink


              Apologies for the missing punctuation.

            • Kate 12:13 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

              Who is Marcus?

            • Michael Black 12:32 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

              Surely a reference to Marcus Garvey, but I don’t know.

            • dwgs 12:44 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

              Michael, there is more than one black man named Marcus. I myself know at least two. Neither of whom is Marcus Samuelsson, chef at…https://www.fourseasons.com/montreal/dining/restaurants/marcus-restaurant-and-terrace/?seo=google_local_mqu2_amer

            • Kate 13:32 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

              I know Marcus Samuelsson is a big noise chef, but surely he doesn’t own the Four Seasons.

            • Jonathan 13:50 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

              Seems they are more focused on ‘black cuisine’ than black-owned, but a nice attempt at giving us white people some way to assuage our guilt.

            • david0002 19:58 on 2020-06-07 Permalink

              If you’re ‘trying’ to feel guilty, then you’re a true moron.

              Quebec blacks – of whom there are ultra few, and most of whom have are immigrants or children of immigrants – are not the subject of these protests, not really.

              You’re going through a crazy American thing you’ve seen on teevee that’s about as Quebecois as the burrito.

              WHY do you feel the need to pretend that American problems are the same as ours, when we have all our own?

              WHY do you want to participate from this distance in the American experience, when you’re not an American?

              WHAT is the attraction??

              You’re not an American. American issues are not ours. Is our anglophone community so weak that it’s just basically been folded into the Canadian community, which is dominated by the US?

              I know the answer, which is why I sort of flipped over to being a francophone sympathizer some years back. But it’s very very depressing to me to see Quebec anglophone culture just go extinct.

            • GC 08:39 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

              David, racial profiling is a very real thing in Quebec. And it’s done based on appearance of the “suspect”. The police don’t stop and ask if the person is an immigrant before they do it. Also, what the hell does it even matter if the person is an immigrant? What SHOULD matter is if they are actually committing a crime or there is *reasonable* evidence of it.

              I don’t identify with the issues of the USA that closely. I identify with our own problems right here in Montreal, and Quebec in general.

            • Michael Black 09:24 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

              If all black people here are immigrants, then what does that say about racism? We only let black people in recently?

              But it’s not true. I knew someone who was as “anglo” as anyone else, but she implied that she had ancestors who were slaves. Ethel Bruneau immigrated here in the fifties, coming up with Cab Calloway and staying, but she came from the US.

              One reason racism happens is because there is a smaller group to discriminate against. “It doesn’t matter, it affects a relative few”. But it matters vitally for those affected, that they are few doesn’t mean a thing to them. How they are treated does.

              I once went to an art exhibit as part of the Asian Heritage Festival. I slowly started feeling uncomfortable, that I didn’t belong there, and soon left. I realized afterwards that I’d been the only white person there. Nobody had made me feel unwelcome, it just felt like I was at a party where I knew no one. And I couldn’t figure it out till afterwards.

              I think that’s what it’s like for “minorities”. Even before any deliberate racism, they often are in that sort of situation. And they handle it better than I did.

              I als remember going to a dance show that was part of the same festival. It was at a Maison de la culture, tickets were free. And during the intermission a bunch of people got up and left. I read it as they were expecting traditional dance and music, but it was bold art that happened to be done by Asian people. A stereotype can affect people too.

          • Kate 08:54 on 2020-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

            Team sports are back as of June 8, but I heard one guy on CBC radio – a sports guy who was obviously delighted at the decision – nonetheless asking how exactly people could play soccer if they had to stay two meters away from everyone else on the field. The answer is clearly that they won’t really be doing that.

            Film and TV shoots can resume the same day, but love scenes will have to be filmed with the individuals standing on opposite sides of a room.

            • j2 14:09 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

              They’ve been playing soccer in the Saint Raymond fields for weeks.

              Wednesday there were easily more than 20 people in there. We’ve seen organized practices.

            • mare 15:06 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

              Imagine soccer matches were players use a stick to reach the ball. Hey, I just invented field hockey!

            • mare 15:20 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

              The love-scene clause reminds me—probably triggered by other current events—of the Hays Code. It provided guidelines for all kind of scenes, and basically forbid interracial love scenes, or even black and white actors touching each other.


            • Michael Black 22:28 on 2020-06-05 Permalink

              I just thought we’d see a lot of scenes of two people talking on the phone. Considering all the non-fiction shows being done at home these days, the actors couid even stay home and talk over the phone.

          • Kate 08:51 on 2020-06-05 Permalink | Reply  

            The EMSB is in hot water over paying recruiters to attract foreign students, mostly from China, for their adult learning programs, between 2010 and 2017. Full disclosure: I taught briefly in the graphic design program myself, but I was only a contractor and had no sense of the bigger picture.

            Compose new post
            Next post/Next comment
            Previous post/Previous comment
            Show/Hide comments
            Go to top
            Go to login
            Show/Hide help
            shift + esc