Updates from June, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:46 on 2020-06-20 Permalink | Reply  

    Three people got shot Saturday evening on an obscure little street in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. No fatalities.

    • dwgs 09:04 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

      That’s a pretty short walk from the hotel where shots were fired in the parking lot last week. Things that make you go ‘hmmm’

  • Kate 23:33 on 2020-06-20 Permalink | Reply  

    A McGill professor is out there stoking rumours about how 5G is part of a conspiracy with the WHO and is somehow entangled with Covid-19 and how future vaccines for the virus are meant to control the populace – if I understand the “ideas” properly. McGill isn’t answering the phone when journalists call up to ask about him.

    • Phil M 05:58 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

      They aren’t rumours, they’re lies.

    • Kate 06:13 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

      A thing can be both. A lie being circulated in the way this lie is being circuated is also a rumour.

    • Orr 13:29 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

      I don’t think he cares if he is right or wrong. I think what he cares about is generating FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, & Doubt.
      It has zero to do with facts, it’s all about influencing people’s opinions, a.k.a. PR 101.

    • Phil M 16:28 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

      Yes, a rumour can be a lie, or it can be true, but this is the same conspiracy BS we’ve seen for years, regarding wireless transmission, that has been widely debunked. In this case, he’s either wrong, and needs to be corrected, or he’s lying, and his lies shouldn’t be spread.

      I was initially going to put that distinction in my original comment, but felt that these conspiracy theories aren’t worth pointing out semantics.

    • Kate 16:32 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

      Yes, but a) why is he doing this and b) should McGill be putting up with this nonsense? He really is a professor, although he claimed on Reddit that he’s Professor of Toxicology and Health Effects of Electromagnetism which I don’t think is a thing.

      Point taken re hair-splitting on rumours and lies. Not really the issue here.

    • Phil M 03:58 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      The fact that he teaches at McGill is F’d up…

      But my point is about not obscuring objective truth (we know 5G doesn’t cause covid, or whatever his particular conspiracy is) behind the predilection for news media to show “fairness” or “both sides” above all else, when one side is demonstrably false. Hence, calling them lies, or conspiracy theories (which is most accurate, since we don’t know his state of mind), is far better than couching them in a hands-off way with “rumours.”

      (I may be overreacting after four years of the news media doing nothing to challenge Trump on his lies, but there it is.)

  • Kate 23:26 on 2020-06-20 Permalink | Reply  

    Longtime heritage activist Dinu Bumbaru is publishing a new book of sketches done from the 80 bus and as a habitual walker elsewhere in town.

    • Kate 20:26 on 2020-06-20 Permalink | Reply  

      Place-des-Arts station is patched up and reopened.

      • Kate 20:22 on 2020-06-20 Permalink | Reply  

        A crowdfunding initiative has raised $110,000 for the family of a man who died of Covid after his wife, working in a CHSLD, unwittingly brought the virus home. There are three Gofundme pages for the family (search “Amoti Furaha”) and the two others have each raised in excess of $7K.

        • Kate 13:10 on 2020-06-20 Permalink | Reply  

          I blinked when I read this fresh CBC headline: … crack discovered at Place-des-Arts station. Did a cleaner find a shipment of drugs hidden under a bench, or people hiding out in one of the station’s mezzanine corners, smoking it?

          Nope. “Service on the Metro’s Green line has been restored, for the most part, after a crack was discovered in a structure at Place-des-Arts station.”

          Oh. Well, not good. But different.

          • thomas 15:43 on 2020-06-20 Permalink

            I wonder if all the construction projects in the immediate vicinity (including immediately above) are the cause.

          • dwgs 09:09 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

            @ thomas, I can tell you that the pool at Complexe recreatif Gadbois on Cote St. Paul has been closed for quite a while due to cracks forming as a result of nearby work on the Turcot. A few of their gyms too. Rumor has it that Turcot will now be footing the bill for new construction to replace the damaged facilities.

        • Kate 12:22 on 2020-06-20 Permalink | Reply  

          This isn’t the first time it’s been proposed to rename Lionel-Groulx station for Oscar Peterson, but now there’s a change.org petition – link in the story.

          I like the idea in theory, although changing the name of a key station is expensive and can be confusing. Anyone who’s used LG from street level knows that a lot of tourists (during non-pandemic times) get off the 747 bus there. You see a ton of folks dragging suitcases into the metro. That means the name is in circulation in a lot of places out of the STM’s reach to change.

          There will also be resistance to losing the name of Lionel Groulx, a staunch Quebec nationalist (and priest). Some have asserted that Groulx was an antisemite: his Wikipedia entry says, “hostility to the influence of Jewish people as a nationality or culture while rejecting the idea any people are inherently wicked or inferior was not uncommon for Catholic priests or other Christian clergy of the time.”

          • Chris 12:57 on 2020-06-20 Permalink

            change.org petitions are a dime a dozen. Here’s one against a Mahatma Gandhi statue in Ottawa. They currently have about the same number of signatures.

          • Kate 13:08 on 2020-06-20 Permalink

            True, but this one seems to be striking at the right time. It won’t get anywhere, I’m afraid, but the Oscar Peterson idea is percolating and may come to fruition in the future. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from occasional perusal of Gazette front pages from the early 20th century, it’s that a good idea often has to be proposed, then proposed again and again over decades before its moment comes.

            Footnote: I am not sure how I feel about Gandhi. We seem to be requiring historical figures to have risen above common beliefs and feelings of their time, and criticizing them for not, in some sense, having taken on the zeitgeist of our time, although they did not live to see it.

          • Ginger Baker 13:08 on 2020-06-20 Permalink

            Said it before and I’ll say it again, the STM should enter into agreements with companies to re-brand stations entirely to generate new revenue streams (like Fanta station, IBM station, Ford station, Standard Oil station, Chase Bank station, etc). But, they should only choose companies that supported the Nazis.

            By the time people figure it all out it’ll be too late, we’d have made some serious bank to invest in public transit and those companies will likely want to break contracts that would then provide greater revenue.

            My guess is it’ll be 3-5 years before their lawyers realize what’s happening… then they’ll have to admit why they no longer want sweetheart promo deals.

          • Ginger Baker 13:45 on 2020-06-20 Permalink

            ^ From what I’ve read Gandhi thought Blacks were inferior and slept nude with girls (relatives actually) to test his chastity.

            The issue here points to the inherent problem with commemoration – the process is rooted in power dynamics that traditionally didn’t involve much of any scrutiny of those commemorated and reflect a generalized historical inflexibility. People putting up statues of Cecil Rhodes 100 years ago didn’t think the sun would ever set on the British Empire, or that anyone in the future would question his (and others’) legacies.

            The effort to commemorate that led to monuments to Gandhi was a partial effort to correct the deficiencies of earlier commemorative efforts, but it still fell within the already established confines of commemoration established by earlier generations.

            The best way to solve this problem is to build monuments to concepts – like liberation, freedom, emancipation (etc) – rather than people from long ago who (for the most part) will only ever grow to have less in common with present-day values.

            Someone else made this point but it’s worth considering: one hundred years from now owning an iPhone or buying a chocolate bar might be considered morally reprehensible because of the conditions under which those products are made. I expect the statue of Justin Trudeau will be gleefully toppeled by my great grandchildren when they become aware Canada once sold military equipment to Saudi Arabia.

          • Michael Black 13:52 on 2020-06-20 Permalink

            Gandhi always had his quirks, they were in books about him forty years ago, though I don’t remember racism.

            But toppling statues is easy, real change takes way more work. There’s danger spending effort on symbols, rather than real change, and it’s easy for governments to take down statues rather than real change.

            Those three parks in Cote des Neiges have the problem of being placed where “ethnic” people are, rather than prime places. They all three matter for everyone.

            People don’t know history, and now suddenly they do. A bad reason to erase symbols.

            WWII pacifists were influenced by Gandhi, and in turn they built on his work. When people like Jim Peck landed in prison instead of going to war, they organized campaigns to desegregate the dining rooms. When they were released, they used nonviolence against segregation and nuclear weapons. Bayard Rustin did time, and about 1948 he went to India to learn from Gandhi, except Gandhi was assassinated before he got there. Bayard was black, and was kind of erased himself for being gay.

            It’s those pacifists that brought nonviolence to the civil rights movement.

            Even the ANC in South America followed Gandhi, until they decided to go to violence.

            There’s a whole sect of Buddhism in Japan that was greatly influenced by Gandhi.

          • Chris 14:48 on 2020-06-20 Permalink

            >…common beliefs and feelings of their time, and criticizing them for not, in some sense, having taken on the zeitgeist of our time

            Exactly. McGill, Gandhi, Macdonald, etc. don’t meet today’s standards, but they nevertheless made important contributions, despite being flawed humans (like us all). Remembering them and their positive contributions, along with their faults, seems entirely fine to me.

            >The best way to solve this problem is to build monuments to concepts

            Hmmm, interesting idea. Though concepts fall out of fashion too. Communism, consumerism, capitalism, I could see them all getting toppled too.

            >Someone else made this point but it’s worth considering: one hundred years from now…

            That was me.

            >But toppling statues is easy, real change takes way more work

            Yes! This! This obsession some have with toppling monuments I think hurts their cause overall. Reducing racism is an important and noble goal, but this holier-than-thou perfectionist history-shaming does not help. IMHO.

            We can’t change the past, but we can learn from it and change the future.

          • Ginger Baker 15:30 on 2020-06-20 Permalink

            Right but:

            The so-called positive contributions need to be re-examined as well

            Consider McGill: the positive contribution was itself a by-product of McGill’s involvement in slavery. It’s not just that he enslaved people himself and participated in slave-trading, his commercial interests involved a mercantilist system based on slavery.

            You don’t get university endowment money from beaver pelts alone.

            What needs to be questioned is the entire colonial era… dispossession goes hand in hand with enslavement. Communists and socialists have critiqued the economic foundation of our nation, but the institutions of the society would rather ignore this entirely. Thus, McGill was simply a man of his time and ‘don’t forget the positive contributions he made’.

            To that latter point, I can think of maybe a dozen McGill students/scholars who have made epic contributions to their field of study. James McGill never made any kind of positive academic contribution. The university of today bears almost no relation to James McGill. Moreover, today it’s a public institution receiving taxpayer money from a province with deeply engrained racism it too refuses to acknowledge.

            At a certain point we need to recognize McGill is so named at least in part because the image of a tricorner-hat wearing ‘enterprising’ Scot who turned beaver pelts into university seed money appeals to people who believe in the myth of the self-made man (particularly Americans). That it’s largely a fiction is an issue any self-respecting modern university needs to contend with.

            Would we be as forgiving about where the money came from today? If the Hells Angels set aside some cash and land to start a university, would we want to focus on their positive contribution to society?

            I think not.

          • dmdiem 16:08 on 2020-06-20 Permalink

            “It’s my estimation that every man ever got a statue made of him was one kind of son of a bitch or another.”

            -Malcolm Reynolds

          • Kevin 18:08 on 2020-06-20 Permalink

            I have entered or exited that station several thousand times, and I have never ever seen the street that it is named after.

            Which really show just how political that name choice was.

          • Kate 20:14 on 2020-06-20 Permalink

            Kevin, the street t-bones into Atwater around where the station is, but it doesn’t continue past the station, so unless you have any reason to be over on the east side of Atwater, you never see it. Les rues de Montréal says the street name was changed in 1973 and it was previously rue Albert. Ultra political name change – no idea who Albert was.

          • CE 20:52 on 2020-06-20 Permalink

            I’m imagining a reality where the second most important metro station in the city is just called “Albert.”

          • Kate 00:23 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

            Ginger Baker, I’m just pondering stuff here, this isn’t a position. James McGill did leave land and money to start a university. Endowing in this way continues, with buildings like the Schulich School of Music being named after key patrons. Unless we change the whole system (how?) that’s sort of inevitable, and I don’t see how a major university can make sense of changing its name now – although I wouldn’t be surprised to see some try to do it over the next year or two.

            It is history. Yes, not everyone who did things in history is a thoroughly admirable person. But there are gray areas.

            …Actually, if you read the Wikipedia on McGill University, what the money and land were left to was the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning, which still exists and administers the university. I did not know that till just now.

        • Kate 11:49 on 2020-06-20 Permalink | Reply  

          Which swimming pools will be open on Saturday? Which malls are open and what will their requirements be? The Journal finds that people have not been rushing in to newly reopened malls and the Gazette that even Fairview is not its usual popular self.

          • Kate 11:24 on 2020-06-20 Permalink | Reply  

            Radio-Canada says some businesses along St-Denis will have to remove their terrasses so the city can put in the Réseau express vélo. Romain Schué talks to angry business owners.

            On the other side of the coin, Le Devoir finds that many motorists are ignoring the new temporary pedestrianized areas and driving through anyway.

            On the whole, François Cardinal is in favour of pedestrianization of local commercial streets.

            • DeWolf 12:29 on 2020-06-20 Permalink

              It seems like most of the streets mentioned in the Devoir article are “rues familiales et actives” which ban through traffic but not all cars. I live on one of them and even though there are clearly lots of people who still use my block as a through street, there’s been a noticeable reduction in the volume and speed of traffic. It’s a nice initiative and I can see it coming back in future summers because it doesn’t restrict access or parking, but it does seem successful at calming traffic.

          • Kate 09:13 on 2020-06-20 Permalink | Reply  

            Linda Gyulai tells one of her intricate tales of city dealings with a piece of land in Pointe-aux-Trembles, including ghost streets, alleys and sewers that never existed, retroactive demands for tax, silent repossession by the city, and uncertain purposes in the long run. Does the city mean to develop this field in the east end? Does it intend to annex it to the nature park? Nobody knows, or if they do, they’re not telling.

            • qatzelok 10:28 on 2020-06-20 Permalink

              Hopefully, that parcel will be added to the park. There has been a chainsaw massacre of both dead ash trees and the invasive buckthorn trees in the Point-aux-Praries nature park this year. The buckthorns are a non-indigenous plant that can kill a forest ecosystem by aggressively taking over, and they apparently provide nothing to other species and have no natural predators.

              Suburbanites cause a lot of damage with their non-indigenous plants and greed-based hoarding of prime natural land.

          • Kate 09:04 on 2020-06-20 Permalink | Reply  

            The metro’s green line is down till noon. TVA clarifies that it’s the downtown section that’s not running.

            Update: around noon, the line is back but not stopping at Place-des-Arts.

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