Updates from June, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:40 on 2020-06-09 Permalink | Reply  

    Jonathan Montpetit writes about the fight against the virus at the Jewish General Hospital.

    Christopher Curtis writes about how the Armed Forces saved the day at a CHSLD.

    • Kate 18:26 on 2020-06-09 Permalink | Reply  

      Urbania has some thoughts on the passing of Voir including a mention of “Richard Martineau, qui a passé 20 ans de sa vie au Voir et les 15 suivantes à se défendre de ne plus écrire comme au Voir.”

      • Kate 18:09 on 2020-06-09 Permalink | Reply  

        Tear gas used at protests could spread Covid viruses around as people cough and sputter when gassed.

        Quebec passed 5000 deaths from Covid officially on Tuesday.

        • Kate 11:47 on 2020-06-09 Permalink | Reply  

          This is not exactly a Montreal question, but I don’t know where else to post about it.

          In my neighbourhood, mailboxes are all about the same size. Mine is about 5 inches wide, designed to accommodate a standard #10 business envelope with a little clearance. So are almost all the ones I’ve noticed around here (since thinking about this matter).

          A lot of the mail I still get comes in bigger envelopes now. My RQ tax assessment and my Visa bill both arrived today in envelopes 6 inches wide. I knew I had mail just now because I could hear the letter carrier struggling to put the envelopes into a mailbox not wide enough for them.

          What, I am asking, was the point of shifting from an envelope meant for letter-size paper folded twice to an envelope meant for folding it once? You don’t save paper. You only create a chronic minor hassle on the receiver’s end for many people, and no doubt an ongoing problem for letter carriers trying to deliver mail without tearing or damaging it.

          Is there some benefit to the bigger envelopes that I’m not getting?

          Update: I guess this is just me. Nobody else minds having their mail necessarily bent or folded? Everyone else has a huge mailbox?

          • MarcG 11:57 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            Just a guess, but maybe flatter, taller envelopes are easier to manage in a carrier’s mailbag.

          • MarcG 12:02 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            I feel like I’ve misunderstood your question. Are you talking about the width of the envelope (“Mine is about 5 inches wide”) or the height (“an envelope meant for letter-size paper folded twice to an envelope meant for folding it once”)?

          • Kate 12:35 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            The standard business envelope, the #10, is typically 4 1/8″ x 9½”.

            Many outfits have shifted to a 6″ x 9½” envelope, which is the size I’m kvetching about.

          • MarcG 14:24 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            Aren’t 2 dimensional objects generally expressed as WxH? If so, I think my original guess might be valid. It also saves them a fold, which maybe saves them some peanuts when doing a run of millions?

          • Kate 16:49 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            Sheets of paper are WxH, like 8½x11 or 11×17, but envelopes seem to be specced differently.

          • Blork 21:35 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            Speculating, but I suspect the larger (and flatter if there are multiple pages inside) are easier to process and carry.

          • Bryan 22:51 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            Alternative theory: this newer size is less labour-intensive in terms of folding and envelope stuffing. The pages are just folded once in half rather than the typical trifold, which takes some guess work. So, large-volume mailings can be done faster and cheaper.

          • Alison Cummins 22:58 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

          • mare 16:14 on 2020-06-10 Permalink

            Bigger envelopes are thinner when there are more than one sheet. (6 versus 8 layers, for two sheets)
            Thinner envelopes take up less space in shipping/sorting boxes, and in letter carriers’ bags.
            More square envelopes might be easier to rotate to the same orientation.

            Because of one or more of these reasons the large-volume rates might be lower.

            [pure speculation, I’ve never worked in the mail industry]

        • Kate 10:27 on 2020-06-09 Permalink | Reply  

          Sunday, while an anti-racism protest was in progress, a family went for a picnic in the Old Port. The mother, seeing protesters and police coming their way, tried to get her kids into her car, but she was stopped and roughed up by police in view of her kids. Natasha Skeete is black, and as told here, it’s yet another data point showing that being black is enough for some cops to assume wrongdoing.

          This week, Neil deGrasse Tyson posted a statement on Facebook about being black in America. This is the soundbite: “I’m just trying to learn all I can about the universe. I hardly ever think about the color of my skin. It never comes up when contemplating the cosmos. Yet when I exit my front door, I’m a crime suspect.”

          • qatzelok 12:30 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            Jaela Bernstien’s job was to go out and find something that would pit one half of the working class against the other half. The last thing that our oligarchs want right now is working class solidarity – and that’s who she works for: oligarchs.

          • Kate 12:57 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            qatzelok, are you off your meds again?

          • Mark Côté 13:26 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            Who is being pitted against whom here? Genuine question.

          • Max 18:24 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            From the sounds of it (“As we threw them in the car, I ran a few cars up to tell the riot police to stop”) this appears to have been a lapse of judgement on the woman’s part. The police likely took it as provocation or non-cooperation that she ran up to them. Had she just gotten into the car along with her kids nothing would likely have happened. But I’m just speculating.

          • Michael Black 18:58 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            Admittedly this was a riot, but one of the issues is that some people are treated differently because of how they look. Don’t look to killings by cops, look to day to day treatment. Someone loading her car in her own house and the cops arrive, someone sitting on a bench waiting for the bus, someone knocking on a cop car window because someone she knows has been arrested, and she gets arrested too. Me crossing the street a block from home and riunning when the light changes.

            If these were white, well dressed people would it happen to them?

            The question is always there, And often it’s not one time but multiple times. That’s the context. That’s what needs to be understood before change can happen.

          • walkerp 19:41 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            It wasn’t a riot. The march was completely peaceful. There were some young people still running around and the cops were out looking for trouble. And when they couldn’t find it, they manufactured it.

          • Alison Cummins 20:58 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            “From the sounds of it (“As we threw them in the car, I ran a few cars up to tell the riot police to stop”) this appears to have been a lapse of judgement on the woman’s part.”

            No, it doesn’t work that way. You don’t get to single out a nonwhite group for special/violent/lethal treatment and then blame individual members of that group for attracting that treatment by acting afraid.

          • Kate 20:59 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            Michael Black, there were no reports of a riot after the march on Sunday (June 7).

          • Natasha annoyed skeete 00:10 on 2020-06-12 Permalink

            Actually Max, if you were there you would see the entire incident took LESS than 2 minutes. The kids were thrown into someone else’s car because we couldn’t even get to our car and the officer was yelling at me by the time I ran to the driver side. Also we would have seen that the officer looked into the car at the children and continue to yell at me to leave the area and then tried pushing me up the street. I dont regret getting out of character because there is no way in hell I was leaving my kids alone. And fyi out of fear the kids had locked the door, did you want us to smash the glass to get in the car?

            You are right Kate, there was no riot in the area nor did we hear of any.

        • Kate 09:29 on 2020-06-09 Permalink | Reply  

          The idea of defunding the police started in the U.S., but has enough weight that Mayor Plante has spoken up, albeit cautiously. Taking money from constabulary forces to support less macho methods is an idea that’s been begging to be suggested after years of seeing people like Alain Magloire, Pierre Coriolan and Farshad Mohammadi killed by police who had no other idea when faced with disturbed and potentially dangerous men. But a society like ours should be able to conceive of better ways.

          • qatzelok 11:58 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            Yes, after we stop funding the public police, the rich can hire their own private protection forces and the rest of us will just fend for ourselves. Sounds perfectly neo-liberal.

            Let’s also get rid of schools and pensions while we’re doing away with things that cost our oligarchs money.

            (mass media narratives are often gifts to the oligarchs in disguise)

          • MarcG 12:23 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            qatzelok: Does your convoluted paranoia know no bounds? “The idea behind defunding police is to reallocate those funds to non-violent, community-oriented services specialized to situations where police would normally respond.”

          • Kevin 13:55 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            Defund the police is a terrible slogan. It’s a preach-to-the-choir attitude that gets everyone who’s not already onside confused and scared.

            My imagination’s lacking at the moment, but I can’t think of a worse slogan to suggest what people actually want. It’s so bad I suspect it’s a Russian inspiration.

            How’d they miss “Reform the police”? It has the same number of words and actually explains what people want.

            They could have come up with:
            Train the police;
            Make police care;
            A friendly force, not a show of force;
            and so on and so on.

          • qatzelok 15:14 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            “Defund the police” is a fantastic slogan if you are an oligarch who wants the police to side with the rich and not with the 99%. That’s why it’s in commercial media which is owned and controlled by oligarchs.

          • MarcG 15:53 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

          • Blork 16:50 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            I agree that “defund the police” is a bad slogan, but that’s why it might be the right one. Slogans like “reform the police,” or “train the police” just sound like weasel works and they’d provoke no more discussion than a “yeah, yeah, sure, whatever.”

            It’s because most people don’t understand what “defund the police” actually means that it’s actually being discussed. Many of those discussions are infuriating due to the levels of bias and ignorance, but at least it’s being discussed – a lot.

            I’m normally not in favor of unclear slogans, but in this case it works. It’s provocative, and not clear, so most discussions I’ve heard start with a description of what it actually means. Given that we live in a time of rapid-fire social media, that’s very effective.

          • qatzelok 18:39 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            A better slogan would be “equalize incomes and opportunties.” But can you imagine a billionaire-owned media ever promoting that? They want to continue with increasing inequality, and starving the middle class with a prolonged income interruption and urban riots might be just the thing to help them get their way again.


          • Hamza 20:45 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            The rich already hire private security, to hell with half-measures. Defund and disarm. It’s not about “less racism” or “less deaths”. It’s zero.

            You cannot by right be against the death penalty but for police using deadly force at will in this province.

          • Alison Cummins 21:13 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            « “The idea behind defunding police is to reallocate those funds to non-violent, community-oriented services specialized to situations where police would normally respond.” »

            Yes, and the idea behind defunding hospitals was so that funds could be diverted to home care. Except they never were.

            Does anyone remember the TVQ series in the 90s where a camera crew followed a police officer around? It was lovely.

            “This bank has just been robbed so we have to secure the perimeter before we go in. The robber is almost certainly long gone, but there’s still a risk. It’s my least favourite part of the job.”

            “Oh poop, I just had a fender-bender. This is really embarrassing. With the amount of time we spend on the road it’s going to happen but you still don’t want to be the cop who has an accident.”

            “Hello sir, can you stand up? … Oh I see, your pants are too big and you can’t keep them up. Never mind then. Do you know where you live? … Our social intervention team is going to come and see if they can help you out. We’ll stay and keep you company until they get here.”

            “I’m a gay/ latino/ woman cop, this is what it’s like for me and this is why it’s important for me to do this kind of work despite the challenges.”

            It was an utterly delightful series, clearly intended as both outreach and recruitment at a time when the police force had a different vision of itself.

            What happened to that vision?

          • Ephraim 21:27 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

            I’ll believe we have a new type of government when we start to talk seriously about bodycams and police who are subject to the law. Plante already ruled out bodycams, so basically, nothing is going to change. Take the money from someone where… anywhere else. How about saving the salary of the six cops who gave the man a ticket for dancing next to his car? We can save on uniforms as well… let them wear pink camo pants again, with nice clean pink shirts…. and stop repainting the cars to make them more intimidating. There… money saved.

        • Kate 09:03 on 2020-06-09 Permalink | Reply  

          Brief but informative video from Radio-Canada examines how things are going with the STM, and the extra efforts it’s making in the metro. We don’t see anything about sanitizing buses, but we have some words from a masked Philippe Schnobb.

          • Kate 08:41 on 2020-06-09 Permalink | Reply  

            Restaurants are facing a lot of work and expense to implement the changes required to reopen June 22, and then many will only be able to offer half the seating they had previously. TVA lays out the rules and finds that many people have no plans to eat out anytime soon.

            • Kate 08:22 on 2020-06-09 Permalink | Reply  

              Seems like our whale has come to a sad end in Varennes. Some marine biologists had warned that she was out of her normal habitat and was probably lost, and she didn’t manage to find her way home.

              • Ian 08:25 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

                I know they haven’t explicitly said, but is the whale dead or just beached?

              • Ian 08:26 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

                the CBC article is somewhat more explicit. RIP.

              • Kate 08:34 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

                Thanks for the further link, Ian.

              • Ian 11:54 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

                TBH I’m kind of surprised it wasn’t being monitored. You would think there were a whole range of marine biologists (for example) who would have been all over this once in a lifetime opportunity to help out a whale, and provincial level authorities with the budget to do so… I guess this is beyond the scope of the city’s regular wildlife services patrol but I’m surprised there was nothing.

              • Kate 11:56 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

                Ian, a lot of people were watching it, but I don’t think we can easily see what a whale is doing at night, even now. And, from what I understand, we have no practical way of chivvying such a creature in the direction we want it to go.

              • walkerp 12:29 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

                Brutal metaphor for the environment during the pandemic. The animals finally got to return to their traditional homes while we stayed at home. Now as soon as we start coming out again, they die.

              • Ian 18:25 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

                Your metaphor is heavy handed and problematic. Whales belong in salt water, further upstream. If humans all disappeared tomorrow, forever, hanging out in the port of Montreal would still be not for whales.

              • Emily G 18:37 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

              • dwgs 08:29 on 2020-06-10 Permalink

                *pedant alert* Sorry Ian but the salt water is to be found downstream, upstream is Lake Ontario.

              • Ian 11:51 on 2020-06-10 Permalink

                Haha good point

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