Updates from June, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:05 on 2020-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

    Another big plane, an Airbus A380, has touched down in town with medical equipment aboard.

    • Kate 18:45 on 2020-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

      Joseph Facal, writing in the Journal, explains why Quebec should refrain from financing a new pavilion at Dawson College, because it attracts too many young people to education in English. This is also the PQ view of the matter.

      I don’t see anything about where this new Dawson pavilion is meant to be built. With so much education going online now, wouldn’t it make sense to focus on improving that, rather than putting up new buildings?

      • Douglas 23:38 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

        Without a doubt this dinosaur writer voted yes to separate both times and has been living in bitterness about it since.

        Montreal is a multinational city in a continent and country that speaks English.

        More of his brethren and him need to learn English.

      • Uatu 07:34 on 2020-06-12 Permalink

        Dawson wouldn’t build unless there’s a demand and that is coming from Franco youth since like Facal says the Anglo population is diminishing. No one is forcing anyone to go to school in English. It’s their choice and I wish Facal and the PQ would have faith that young people aren’t weak minded idiots who would abandon who they are at the drop of a hat. You can go to school in English and still be a proud francophone.

      • Margaret Black 07:51 on 2020-06-12 Permalink

        There are many classes, especially in the health care programmes, which cannot be done online, They require labs and simulation clinics. This is the training for the next wave of front line medical workers. Also, this is space needed for students in the existing, crowded enrollment structure – not for any proposed expansion of numbers.

      • Kate 08:00 on 2020-06-12 Permalink

        Margaret Black, this is what Dawson has replied Friday: it needs the new space for the existing student numbers, not to expand and educate more people in English.

      • Ian 08:00 on 2020-06-12 Permalink

        These are unrelated matters, the Ministry limits the number of classes a CEGEP can offer and is historically unlikely to grant new programs or program expansions to an English CEGEP. This is why students get turned away – the CEGEPs would be happy to expand the course offerings to meet demand, it’s the Ministry saying no. New buildings aren’t so there is room for new students, new buildings are required to accommodate existing students – space is always at a premium in any school. That, and you should see the state of some of the older buildings – bad ventilation, patchy floors, walls, and ceilings, water infiltration…

      • Ian 08:09 on 2020-06-12 Permalink


        Darnit, too slow. Like Margaret & Kate said, this isn’t about expansion. As a former university lecturer Facal should be well aware of this, this is rather intellectually dishonest of him. I wonder if he went to CEGEP?

      • steph 08:39 on 2020-06-12 Permalink

        Why does the ministry limit the amount of people the CEGEP can educate? Isn’t an educated population a better population?

      • Michael Black 08:51 on 2020-06-12 Permalink

        Maybe a better question is whether there are limits on the French language CEGEPs? I don’t know.

      • JaneyB 09:16 on 2020-06-12 Permalink

        Indeed, why must they build? There’s plenty of empty retail and office space around there and more to come thanks to covid. Everybody wants to wear a hardhat and cut a ribbon.

      • dwgs 10:44 on 2020-06-12 Permalink

        Speaking as someone who runs a lab at a university, there are plenty of reasons for a custom built facility. There may be specific electrical, plumbing, ventilation, lighting or space needs. Doors might need to be oversized, you might need specialized fire suppression systems for sensitive equipment, freight elevators, a loading bay, everything needs to be universally accessible for the handicapped… When you try to retrofit an existing space, especially something designed for retail or commerce you often end up with a dog’s breakfast that costs more than building from scratch. Trust me when I say that admin people in education squeeze a penny harder than most.

      • Daisy 12:34 on 2020-06-12 Permalink

        Yes, there are limits on French cegeps too. Every cegep has what is called a “devis” which they aren’t supposed to go over. This is mentioned in the TVA article linked by Kate in the comments.

      • Alex L 14:47 on 2020-06-12 Permalink

        @Douglas: Facal is indeed a dinosaur, I agree on that.

        But if we expand your categories, at one end, and take your words at the letter, the most spoken language in the Americas is spanish, and the most spoken language in the world is mandarin chinese. Should we all then learn spanish and mandarin?

        Diversity is a positive thing and hegemony should be avoided, even in languages.

    • Kate 15:33 on 2020-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

      High winds have knocked out power in several parts of town. It’s been nice around here, although I’ve been hearing balcony furniture and other loose items being chucked around outside. The wind seems to be keeping the high temperature from being too oppressive.

      • Michael Black 17:40 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

        When I came out of the Jewish General at 12:30pm, there was a surge of wind that I feared would blow me away. It happened a few more times on the way home. But by the time I got to Cote des Neiges, it was over.

        I did see more branches on the ground than usual.

        It did seem warmer today than yesterday, maybe the humidity.

    • Kate 15:29 on 2020-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

      Not the first time we’ve heard about popular will to remove the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald from Place du Canada. Obviously he will have to go, then I guess it will be Queen Victoria and King Edward VII.

      Looking these up, I also thought of Vauquelin on the square named after him in Old Montreal. Something of a hero of New France, he continued his career by establishing French colonies in Africa, so he’ll have to go as well. There may be others.

      • Tyler Wood 16:18 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

        What’s interesting about Vauquelin’s statue is that is was put there in the 1930s specifically as a French Canadian response / challenge to the statue of Nelson that it faces. To me, that’s a good example of re-contextualizing one memorial with another piece, like the statue of the girl defying the bull statue on Wall Street a few years ago.

      • Kate 16:21 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

        Oh Nelson, right. He’s got to go. Maybe we could blow him up, like they did in Dublin.

      • Tyler Wood 16:55 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

        Honest question, Kate: how much interaction do you want in the comments section? I do see people responding in detail sometimes, but I always hesitate to voice my thoughts online. I’d love discuss this with you but perhaps this isn’t the place or topic?

        In any case, here’s Héritage Montréal’s Dinu Bumbaru with his opinion on the matter, for what it’s worth: https://www.qub.radio/balado/dutrizac-de-6-a-9/episode/d-boulonner-les-statues-nefface-pas-le-pass.

        Thanks for maintaining this excellent weblog, by the way. It’s my way of staying up to date with all the important stuff.

      • Ephraim 17:10 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

        See, as I said, as long as they were defacing it, it couldn’t be moved, but with an open discussion… off it will go. It belongs in a museum, where they can put a sign that explains his positive and negative aspects, so that people learn from it.

      • MarcG 17:19 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

        @Ephraim: The article clearly states that “the city has no imminent plans to remove it”, whereas statues elsewhere have been taken down by regular people – my take-away from this is that it hasn’t been defaced enough.

      • Michael Black 18:06 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

        A big problem is that too many deal with symbols, but not know the details. Yes, the statue may affect some, but I’m not sure they are the main proponents.

        In August the Wolseley expedition finally arrived in Red River. MacDonald authorized it. I saw a list of things done once it got out there, I read that to mean once the force was there Scott’s gang retaliated. But in the recent “The North West is our Mother”, it said it was the force that did the damage. Like the torching of my great, great grandmother’s brother’s house. That’s how close it is. We weren’t traitors, we had few ties to “Canada”.

        We aren’t spectators, we are particioants. How we participate depends on where we are. The statue is a symbol, but so is the government behind it. Most people who came over benefited from racism. The change needs to come from below, not just people suddenly reacting to a symbol after getting a broad bit of information.

        It is way less painful, but one end of racism is erasure. It can be when a street name is lost from its origins, or renaming that street. Tearing down a statue doesn’t erase the same way that the history from a different view point is erased.

      • Kate 18:37 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

        Tyler Wood, commenting here is fine. I draw the line at people soapboxing their idées fixes here, but that has happened rarely.

        If you submit a comment with more than one link, it’s automatically held by the blog software for my approval because multiple links are also typical of spam. So please don’t assume I’ve blocked you if this happens – it’s just the software doing its job, and I will get to it soon.

      • Ephraim 18:48 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

        The city has at least opened the door to discussing it. Each time it’s defaced, you can’t discuss it, because you are being strong armed. Defacing it means it has to stay up and be cleaned.

        The other thing the city could do is add context to the side of the statue.

      • Kate 18:49 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

        Can we find out anything disgraceful about Robbie Burns, who has a monument in Dorchester Square?

        And that thing with the horse and the Boer War, there’s absolutely no excuse for that one.

      • Tyler Wood 19:11 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

        Thanks, Kate!

      • JaneyB 09:28 on 2020-06-12 Permalink

        Most politicians have done something objectionable, especially the ‘founding types’ and many notables will be found to have some sordid past. I’m mostly on the side of keeping the statues and adding context like a counter-statue representing what was lost or who was wronged. That way the wrong is commemorated. I guess there’s a limit though – tipping that statue of the British slaver into the river must have been profoundly cathartic for many so sometimes the statue really must go.

      • Kate 14:31 on 2020-06-12 Permalink

        JaneyB: Edward Colston was a slave trader, but he got his statue after doing a lot of philanthropic stuff in England. The fact that so much of his wealth came from such a reprehensible source morally negates anything beneficial he may have done, I think.

        Sir John A. is a little more mixed, because whatever else can be said about him, he was the country’s first prime minister. Maybe Place du Canada needs to add a memorial for the loss of native lives and culture, with some explanation about how it’s meant to offset the appalling actions Macdonald took vis-à-vis indigenous peoples.

    • Kate 12:34 on 2020-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

      Data shows that the city’s poorest and most diverse neighbourhoods have been hardest hit by the virus. This piece has some informative maps.

      • Kate 12:30 on 2020-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

        The city has announced plans for outdoor amusements this summer, with art and music distributed along the pistes pandémie and some rules relaxed for terrasses.

        • EmilyG 12:48 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

          There are still a lot of things I can’t figure out about going to these activities.
          I still don’t know if I’ll be allowed much farther out of my neighbourhood in the summer. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to take public transit to such amusements if it’s non-essential travel. Quartier des Spectacles and Old Montreal are a bit far for me to walk.

        • Kate 16:23 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

          Early on they were asking people not to go from one part of town to another. I haven’t heard that order specifically countermanded, but they do seem to want us to shop and eat on terrasses and so on, and not everyone can do that without going to a different borough or even downtown.

        • EmilyG 20:25 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

          There’s also an article about how the province of Quebec in general wants people to travel and see the different places/attractions.
          It suggests driving there.
          I don’t drive. I don’t know if it’s safe or allowed or advisable to take a train or bus to other parts of Quebec.
          (The article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-tourism-travel-residents-1.5608505 )

      • Kate 12:02 on 2020-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

        People living in buildings with known lead pipe entries will be getting water filter pitchers free from the city.

        • John B 14:13 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

          Not sure why this is in the news now. It’s been ongoing for a while. We got our free pitcher back when we were talking about lead pipes last year. We got an E-mail saying we could get replacement filters at our local Eco-Quartier shortly before the Eco-Quartiers were all closed because of the pandemic.

      • Kate 11:54 on 2020-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

        The botanical garden is set to reopen Monday with free access for minors till the end of the summer, but the greenhouses and the buildings connected to the Chinese and Japanese gardens will remain closed, and only a limited number of people will be admitted. Given this, I think it should be free for everybody, but I suppose the city needs to get some revenue in somehow.

        City libraries will reopen in a limited way also on Monday, but no browsing will be allowed.

        Restaurants will be allowed to reopen too as of June 22, but with lots of provisos.

        Toward the end of the month, churches, temples and mosques will also be allowed to reopen, but cautiously.

        • MarcG 12:27 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

          Restaurants outside of Montreal this coming Monday, June 22 for Montreal.

        • Kate 12:30 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

          Thank you for the clarification. I’m losing track of days and dates, to be honest.

      • Kate 11:36 on 2020-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

        Some stories from the pandemic:

        A woman working with patients at an east-end CHSLD has died of Covid, the fifth such préposé to die from the virus in Quebec. Marie-Caona Lamitié had hardly any symptoms and wasn’t hospitalized.

        At one CHSLD in the north end, 49 people have died of the virus since mid-May.

        The Journal also asked who has had Covid in Quebec and those who think it’s only an old person disease will be interested to know the typical person with the illness is a woman in her 40s who lives in Montreal and is a health worker. Other numbers are given here.

        • Kate 10:57 on 2020-06-11 Permalink | Reply  

          Two years ago, half a dozen members of far-right militia Atalante invaded the Montreal office of Vice, apparently to intimidate one of their writers, Simon Coutu, who had written some pieces about the group. Atalante leader Raphaël Lévesque was acquitted this week of all charges. There may be an appeal.

          Not mentioned here is that such an invasion would have had an edge because of the echo of the Charlie Hebdo attack. The Atalante people didn’t assault anyone, but they knew a magazine office invasion would contain an implied threat because of that history.

          The Vice Quebec office closed last year.

          • Mr.Chinaski 11:03 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

            Simon Coutu who is, btw, son of Alain Gravel.

          • Kate 11:40 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

            Really? Not mentioned in Gravel’s Wikipedia page.

          • Myles 14:27 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

            I find it pretty disquieting that it appears to be perfectly legal to defraud your way onto private property, throw things around, and act like you own the place.

          • Raymond Lutz 15:52 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

            Godwin point reached in court? From the article:

            La juge Roy avait d’ailleurs explosé, lorsque Me Simard avait évoqué que le logo du groupe Atalante Québec ressemblait au signe des SS du régime nazi. Notons que Raphaël Lévesque chante les paroles suivantes au sein de son groupe de musique : « Déroulons les barbelés, préparons le Zyklon B ! ».
            « Là, vous dépassez complètement les limites [Me Simard]. On va rester au 23 mai 2018. Je n’entrerai pas dans les signes des SS ! J’ai aucune preuve à cet effet-là. Je comprends que vous pouvez le penser Me Simard. Il y a des choses qui ne se disent pas en salle de cour ! », avait tonné la juge Roy.

            Is it right to call out a nazi?

          • Rafal Ganowicz 20:31 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

            Let this be a warning to the perpetrators of garbage media and the press organs of ANTIFA terrorists: we know who you are, where you are, and we will confront within the confines of the law. WE SEE YOU!!!

          • Kate 21:41 on 2020-06-11 Permalink

            Yoo-hoo! We see you too!

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