Updates from June, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 17:59 on 2020-06-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Mayor Plante announced a $22-million economic recovery plan Wednesday that includes existing plans like extending the blue line to Anjou and previously suggested ideas like taking the orange line up to Bois-Franc, and turning the old Institut des Sourdes-Muettes on St-Denis into social housing. It’s a lot for $22 million to do, but she has to be seeing that as seed money to get things rolling.

    • Kate 16:50 on 2020-06-17 Permalink | Reply  

      The white girls who made the notorious racist video will not be facing charges. The SPVM says there was no incitement to hatred.

      • JP 22:28 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

        Disappointed, but not surprised. I do see this as white privilege at play.

        I should preface this by saying, I’m not a lawyer nor do I have any details about the story beyond what’s being reported.

        I understand that charging someone with a crime is likely a very nuanced process. I also get that they’re minors.

        Presumably, if it was sent to a black person, I would think that would constitute some sort of harassment. It might not say “I would like to kill you” but the existence of the video in and of itself is suggesting life be made very, very unpleasant for black people. So, there is no “incitement to hatred” according to police. So I guess the video is an incitement to dislike? An incitement to perpetuating defamatory stereotypes? An incitement to creatively expressing ourselves? It sure looks and feels like an incitement to hatred to me.

        Part of the concept of systemic racism is that acts are not explicit. It’s almost a more insidious form that’s hard to point out, but as a person of colour, you feel it when it happens and you notice the patterns. This wasn’t even implicit. This video was explicit. It wasn’t a “Which Harvard did you get into?” This was full of explicit, derogatory depictions (and I only watched the first minute).

        The video is an example of racism The police’s response, in not charging because there’s no “incitement to hatred”, to me, is an example of systemic racism. And these things, unchecked in a society lead to things like the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and numerous other black men and women.

        Racism (both the obvious and systemic kind) are very much present here in Montreal, despite what some like to think. I obviously realize (and hope) the majority of us find this revolting, but I’m sure there are lots of other things lurking out there that we’re not even aware of.

      • Douglas 09:53 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        I’m glad the mob pitchfork doesn’t get to hang a bunch of dumb teenage witches.

        They need to be spanked. Not prosecuted.

      • Kate 10:12 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        I suppose you’re volunteering, Douglas?

      • Bill Binns 11:10 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Don’t worry. We will be tossing people in jail for tasteless jokes any day now. These kids just benefited from Quebec’s unofficial “amnesty for any crime perpetrated by a person under 25” policy.

        If they were 10 years older they would have been punished with unemployment by now.

      • steph 11:16 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        I don’t like to advocate for vigilantism, but the way these girls have been doxxed far outweighs the possible legal punishment.

      • Kate 12:30 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Yes. I’ve been thinking they’ll be wise to change their names when they reach 18, and maybe leave town as well.

      • Alison Cummins 09:48 on 2020-06-19 Permalink

        The problem with “vigilantes have done the job for us so the law can step back” rationale for not prosecuting is that it promotes vigilantism.
        1. If the law isn’t going to do the job, then vigilantes have to.
        2. If we explicitly say, “after the doxxing these minors were subject to, it’s okay if we don’t engage formal legal structures,” then we’re telling vigilantes that they are a money- and bureaucracy-saving part of the system.

        That’s not what I want from my society.

    • Kate 16:46 on 2020-06-17 Permalink | Reply  

      Cafés in several parts of town were raided this week for selling illegal cannabis products “tels que des brownies, des biscuits, des jujubes et des muffins.”

      • walkerp 07:43 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Basically, force used to enforce control of a market.

      • Kate 09:23 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Indeed. If cannabis is legal, it should simply be legal. The only concern government should have is that products are safe and unadulterated, as with any food or drug product. But no, now they have to protect the SQDC.

      • Ian 10:00 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Well alcohol is legal and we can see clearly the system is rigged to protect the profit margins of the SAQ…

      • Kate 10:13 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Exactly. But even then you can get beer and sub-par wine and, God knows, spritzers of dubious quality, at the dep.

      • Ephraim 10:32 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Kate, Quebec outlawed items that will appeal to children. Now cannabis infused chopped liver, using cannabis bought from the SQDC… is different than cannabis infused brownies using home grown cannabis or imported cannabis.

      • Michael Black 10:42 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Besides, what kid would eat liver without prompting? Brownies are xactly what they want, “special” or not.

      • Kate 10:44 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Ephraim, I know, it’s a pearl-clutching rule, but by and large adults can keep their drink out of the hands of their children, so they should keep their brownies and gummy bears out of reach as well. Journalists have pounced on the occasional “Child eats six gummies, ends up in hospital” story, but I bet most kids don’t get their sticky little fingers on the special adult candy. It’s too expensive, for one.

        In addition, a lot of us don’t have children, so why should we be penalized?

        Michael Black, I think that was Ephraim’s point. Chopped liver has to be one of the most horrible things I’ve ever eaten.

      • Ephraim 12:14 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Getting alcohol underage was pretty easy, but pot must not just be easier, it must be easier to hide. And the SQDC has the prepared oil available, if you really want it. There have been a lot of cases of kids getting into their parent’s gummies…. unfortunately.

      • Mark Côté 12:21 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        What’s “a lot” of cases? How does it compare with, say, kids drinking their parents’ tasty wine or vodka coolers?

      • Ephraim 18:02 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Unfortunately, I’m not seeing any real statistics, but I am seeing articles talking about errors and children getting them. As I said, Quebec’s decision was nothing that would especially appeal to children, so no gummies or brownies. But the SQDC sells teas and energy drinks. (Though I have read at least one article that discusses the reaction between pot and aluminium.) And as I said, you can buy the oil at the SQDC to make your own brownies at home. But no one can sell gummies in Quebec. I’m not sure what the law says about third party sales, yet. I do wonder if they could have cannabis butter/margarine, so you can spread it on bread. There is talk about muffins, but not brownies.

      • Mark Côté 18:49 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        I’m positive third-party sales are forbidden of anything containing cannabis. The SQDC wants total control of the trade.

    • Kate 16:44 on 2020-06-17 Permalink | Reply  

      City council speaker Cathy Wong will take up a new executive committee role to focus on fighting racism. The formal title is “responsable de la diversité, de l’inclusion en emploi, de la langue française et de la lutte contre le racisme et la discrimination.”

      The Gazette notes that Wong is about to go on maternity leave.

      • dwgs 06:28 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        She knew she was going on mat leave and still accepted the position?

      • Kate 09:51 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Apparently so. But that’s how mat leave works – it’s not meant to interrupt your progress in your job.

      • dwgs 11:51 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        I’m a strong supporter of mat leave but I think time is of the essence in the anti racism movement so why accept that position if you know you won’t be around for the first 18 months or more?

      • Michael Black 12:09 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Do they have many choices if they want a non-white person?

        I’m assuming the pool is elected officials, rather than picking someone at random.

      • Kate 12:46 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Michael Black, also elected officials with Projet, I should imagine. Which rules out Alan DeSousa and Josué Corvil. It depends where you draw the line – there are also a couple of city councillors with Arabic-sounding names but they too are with Ensemble.

        dwgs, it does seem a little odd, and you are not the only person to notice this. Plante needs to be cautious though after the debacle with the soi-disant “indigenous” councillor who turned out not to be (although I’d still like to know who turned the genealogical researchers loose on her family history). We discussed her case last November on the blog.

      • Chris 15:04 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        >Do they have many choices if they want a non-white person?

        So certain job candidates should be excluded because of their skin pigmentation?

      • Kate 15:08 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Chris, you’re doing your disingenuous pose thing again. You know as well as I do how it would look if Plante put someone snow-white in charge of fighting racism.

    • Kate 11:29 on 2020-06-17 Permalink | Reply  

      A system of same-day delivery from downtown Montreal to a wider section of the city is being fulfilled by an outfit called Génie. Maps of where you can order and where it will be delivered are here. Delivery is free for a short time.

      Article mentions that food will be delivered, but also that you have to allow four hours, so that’s less appealing. But still, if you wanted to get something brought to you from any downtown retailer, without going downtown, this might work out for you. (I might buy a book this way, but not a laptop…)

      Another idea for bringing convenience close to city-dwellers is an idea from Coop Berri-UQÀM which brings computer repair and zero-waste groceries together in the space at Berri-UQÀM that, till recently, was occupied by Librairie Parchemin.

      • Kate 09:34 on 2020-06-17 Permalink | Reply  

        Montreal faces a summer without tourists although in a sense the whole world is having a year with little or no tourism, so it’s not like we’re singled out.

        What struck me in this report is the cite from one Paul Arseneault, who holds the Transat Chair in Tourism at UQÀM: “Montréal n’est d’aucun intérêt cet été.” With friends like that, you don’t need enemies.

        But it’s not just a question of having no festivals to attract people. Worldwide, people have lost their jobs and must tighten their belts. People aren’t keen to board planes. People are staying close to home, and with good reason – I believe I’ve now spent the longest period of my life without setting foot on Ste-Catherine Street.

        Also, Montreal is probably at its peak prettiness right now. I might even take the chance of visiting an adjoining borough this week!

        • CE 10:03 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

          As someone who was supposed to be starting a career in the tourism business, I can’t say I’m super happy about the lack of tourists. However, to say that the city “n’est d’aucun intérêt” is dead wrong. Montrealers are interesting people and we now have a city that is full of Montrealers, and only Montrealers. We’ll find ways to make this city fun. While St-Laurent and other such streets might be dead at night, I rode my bike through Parc Lafontaine last night (a Tuesday) and it was wild. The place was packed full of people doing lots of things, playing petanque, having bbqs, a dance party right in the centre of the park, far from boring. People are being tourists in their own city too. I met up with some friends in Parc de Dieppe and not one of us had ever been there before. We all agreed that it’s one of the better parks in the city.

          I think we’ll manage to have a good time without tourists and for the Montrealers who normally leave in the summer, this is their chance to really discover the city.

        • MarcG 10:09 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

          @CE: It sounds like you’re onto a new tourism concept, perhaps it will be your career after all?

        • MarcG 10:25 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

          I looked up Parc de DIeppe and I don’t understand where the actual park is, the lawn is covered in No Trespassing signs. https://goo.gl/maps/RnnHnsDnnmR3B81r6

        • CE 10:34 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

          I’M not sure what’s up with the lawn. The signs are there but a few people had set up picnics and were playing frisbee. The real park is on the other side of the bridge to the north.

        • Kate 11:08 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

          This op-ed in Le Devoir is considerably more sanguine about this summer, and about people re-occupying parts of their own towns (Quebec and Montreal) typically overrun with visitors in summertime.

        • Meezly 15:29 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

          “we now have a city that is full of Montrealers, and only Montrealers”

          @CE, that is a lovely and positive way of looking at it. I noticed that homes in my hood are looking nicer than usual as people have more time to tend to their gardens, yards and/or balconies. At least the plant and home improvement businesses will be all right this summer.

        • DeWolf 16:12 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

          I will miss outdoor music but it’s a big relief to know that Montreal still feels lively and energetic without the festivals and tourists. My neighbourhood feels especially alive this year as everyone is hanging out on their balconies and terraces, and as CE noted the parks are even more happening than usual.

          I’m also eager to see what the touristy parts of town are like when they’re reclaimed by locals. I was down at the Old Port a couple of weekends ago, trying to spot the whale (RIP), and it felt great. People were picknicking by the water, enjoying the sunshine, eating ice cream, only for once I didn’t have to dodge packs of tourists wobbling around on segways and Bixis, and de la Commune wasn’t jammed up by cars with Ontario and New York plates.

      • Kate 09:22 on 2020-06-17 Permalink | Reply  

        Global says Montreal’s Black community is hurting from that racist video (this is a video report).

        I should imagine that the sting partly comes from the young age of the perps: it’s not pleasant when a crabby old person expresses racist views they picked up long ago, but seeing young people so proud of their racism has to be worse.

        • Kate 09:17 on 2020-06-17 Permalink | Reply  

          What could be described as a heat wave (“three or more consecutive days when the maximum temperature is 32°C or more” – Environment Canada) will be settling in Wednesday and expected to linger through the weekend. I think we’ll deserve a good thunderstorm after this. It feels like a long time since we’ve had a real crasher over town.

          • Jonathan 10:55 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

            I feel like that’s a nod to my comment on a previous heat spell. Thanks Kate!

          • Kate 11:09 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

            Yes, Jonathan. I decided I’d look it up before using the expression casually again!

          • DeWolf 16:13 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

            It has been astonishingly dry. We’ve had one thunderstorm and barely any rain beyond that.

          • Kate 16:58 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

            I’ve been hauling water to my bits of garden (no hose) every day. Most summers I can count on at least a little rain at night, but not this one so far.

        • Kate 08:53 on 2020-06-17 Permalink | Reply  

          The downtown Bar-B Barn on Guy Street has closed, and it’s been all over my Twitter feed so I guess a lot of folks had sentimental regard for it. The founder, Manny Barnoff, died at the end of last year.

          • Bill Binns 09:53 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

            Oh no! I haven’t been there for over a decade but it was a favorite for years. I don’t know the actual history of the place but it feels like a survivor from the era of theme restaurants in the late 60’s early 70’s. The waitresses wore humiliating polyester uniforms and the placemat was the menu.

          • Joey 09:59 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

            I ate there once about 12-13 years ago out of curiosity. The food was fine, you know ribs and fries. The number of visible rodent traps was… substantial…

          • CE 10:05 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

            I used to bike by that place every day on my way to work and I could never tell if the place was in business or not. It struck me as the kind of place where the entirety of the clientele had subscriptions to the Gazette.

          • Mr.Chinaski 10:11 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

            There’s still one in DDO for those 6 Gazette subscripters

          • Michael Black 11:09 on 2020-06-17 Permalink


            The only reason I know about the Bar-B-Barn is from ads on the radio (well maybe much later on tv). I’m sure Ralph Lockwood would do plugs (I’m sure he was paid), but he read directly on the air) on CKGM in 1972. There must have been ads on CJAD later, though more formal.

            Ads in newspapers generally fade into the background, unless it’s a new ad, or it somehow interests you. So I can’t say if the place advertises in the Gazette.

          • Kate 11:11 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

            Michael Black, you know, I have a ghost memory of a male announcer bellowing “Bar-B Barn” on the radio in the background of earlier phases of my life, too.

          • GC 12:30 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

            I’ve walked by many many times and also wondered if it was even still in business. The combination of the parking–I think–being in the back and the restaurant set back (and up?) from the sidewalk made it unclear if anyone was ever inside. And there didn’t tend to be foot traffic going in the entrance on the Guy side.

            I also wondered if maybe it was a gem with some sort of unpretentious-but-wonderful food, but I never made the effort to try and find out.

          • Blork 14:09 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

            Bar-B-Barn TV ads from the 80s with Ralph Lockwood: https://youtu.be/LyWSYkvA6C0

          • Kate 14:41 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

            CE, GC, I think the Guy Street resto may have failed partly because it never updated its look. That entrance with the faux wood and the canopy over the stairs might have telegraphed something attractive in 1967, but as your clientele ages and dies off you’ve got to do something to make a place look more open and inviting to a new generation of eaters. And they didn’t.

          • Ian 17:57 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

            It was okay but the ribs were too sweet IMO., they did have good fries though. My boss used to drive down and pick up ribs for us when we were pulling an all-nighter working on catalogues back when I was working as a graphic designer for one of the knitting mills on de Gaspé. I appreciated it and have fond memories. It’s no Baton Rouge, though, and I think they never really recovered from the Forum closing down. Why they didn’t become a tourist icon like Schwartz’s is probably because that whole area was pretty gross for decades, same thing happened to Alpenhaus which was also a trendy hotspot back in the day.

          • GC 19:33 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

            Yes, Kate. It always made me think of a Ponderosa from my childhood–the early 80s. Not everything needs to be chalkboards and stainless steel, but maybe they could have updated it a bit in the 21st century.

          • Uatu 23:29 on 2020-06-17 Permalink

            Their ribs weren’t all that great (baton Rouge was better) And yeah the place looked like a dump. I also remembered a commercial which was just a slo-mo close up of ribs while Ralph Lockwood said “mmmmm…” Everytime my friends and I laughed and said “ughhhh” because in our opinion they sucked

          • Ian 15:11 on 2020-06-20 Permalink

            On a side note if you do like ribs and want some really good ones Blackstrap BBQ in Verdun is pretty amazing.

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