Updates from June, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:06 on 2020-06-21 Permalink | Reply  

    The ban on evictions is about to be lifted as a wave of greed prepares to break over the city’s tenants.

    • david742 21:19 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

      I’m certain that this space is sick of my theories, but why not toss out another one: I have the grave sense that there will be an enormous backlash against these lockdowns once the full scale of the economic harm becomes clear.

      It’s all fun and games to work from home, or sit at home and be paid not to work, but there’s this rendezvous with reality that’s most likely going to shock, with the result that people become very very bitter about how much sway the public health professionals exercised in this scenario, and how berk-like the media and population were. It’s one thing not to care that your boss lost her business, but nobody wants to live on 560/month or whatever welfare is these days.

      That reckoning, of course, will probably stoke more anger against capitalism or Trudeau or Legault for not simply seizing wealth and handing out even more money. But no matter what side of the political spectrum you’re coming from, the next public health crisis will not be managed this way. This is a one-and-done thing.

    • JoeNotCharles 22:06 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

      Dying’s also not very fun.

    • Myles 07:17 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      The economic damage was going to happen either way. We did it the controlled way; the other option was a crash caused by huge numbers of people being too sick to work at the same time and panic over a much higher death rate. We may have actually escaped worse economic harm in addition to saving millions of lives.

    • Ephraim 08:50 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      This is the stuff you have to hear when you haven’t taken a statistics and advanced mathematics class. Without the pause, the US was in line for 2 million dead in a matter of weeks. Instead, they got it down to under 100K. What kind of economic difficulty would you have been losing 2 million people? Not just the job losses, the insurance payouts and the medical system, but the glut of houses for sale, etc.

    • PK 09:17 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Ephraim, what you say is false and based precisely on bad statistical and mathematical modelling in a pre-published, non peer-reviewed paper put out by the Imperial College of London on March 16. The ICL paper and modelling that it used (from where you unknowingly draw your 2 million figure for the USA) have been roundly criticized as without merit by preeminent epidemiologists.

      There is absolutely no data to show that millions of lives were saved by the lockdown measures and, on the contrary, we’ll be facing a reckoning of record child poverty and death because of the economic devastation from the lockdown in the developing world.

      As for the topic at hand, to my knowledge, there was no pause for landlords with mortgages pay and building upkeep.

      We need to have measure in place to protect tenants from being evicted abusively, but the polarizing evil landlord vs victim tenant narrative isn’t the best approach to the problem, IMHO.

    • Ephraim 09:54 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      PK, not from the number of articles that I saw, nor from the data that I saw (some of which I had to recrunch). The problem wasn’t the number of cases, but in fact the number of beds/ventilators available. Reaching that limit would have caused doctors to go to the triage methods used in Italy. The point of the pause was two-fold, one to limit the cases to what hospitals can handle and two to get people into new habits. Not that people seem to have listened much about the new habits.

      Quebec ruined their datapoints at least twice, which was annoying as hell. Changing methods and counts doesn’t help.

    • PK 10:07 on 2020-06-22 Permalink


      The Italian case has its own particularities from which you can’t extrapolate to apply broadly. Lockdown didn’t help Italy, where recent studies on wastewater show that the virus was present in the population since December 2019.

      For a more critical and preeminently erudite view on the lockdowns and why they aren’t necessarily effective, check out what the following people have to say:

      Dr Johan Giesecke, former Chief Scientist at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (2005 to 2014) and current member of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Infectious Hazards of the World Health Organization;
      Dr John Ioannidis, Stanford University;
      Dr Sunetra Gupta, Oxford University.

    • Kate 10:21 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      PK, who are you and what are your credentials? You speak as if you understand epidemiology, but your underlying motives appear to be far from objective, and are, I suspect, political.

    • Ephraim 10:40 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      We also know that it was present in Quebec in January. Of course, we haven’t done any real antibodies testing in this province. In fact, most of the testing is lacking testing, because we tested only those who are knowingly sick, or sick enough and many who were sick, never bothered to be tested.

      I like how lockdowns didn’t work and yet, we see statistics that show that it slowed growth…. in country after country.

    • Ephraim 10:58 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Here’s a lovely list of studies… https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/05/did-the-lockdowns-work/ pick the ones that you like that support your political views. I particularly like the one about Sweden, who’s numbers have now spiked, which is really interesting consider that they do social distancing to an extreme even before this. Ever seen Swedes wait in a queue?

    • qatzelok 13:45 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      “…t “we’re in the dawn of a high-tech, bloodless Cultural Revolution; one that relies on intimidation, public shaming, and economic ruin to dictate what words and ideas are permissible in the public square.”

      I think “shaming” is a common tactic on commercial media, which is propagandistic.

    • qatzelok 13:55 on 2020-06-22 Permalink


      (here is the source of that last quote)

    • qatzelok 14:15 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      For those who aren’t “ashamed” to read views that are opposed to commercial media’s contrived narratives, there’s a book called “Molecular and Cell Biology for Dummies”:

      -“…So I decided to download Molecular and Cell Biology for Dummies just to check if I’m crazy. I’m pleased to see that it clearly states that there are only two ways to defeat a virus: natural immunity and vaccines.

      The book completely left out the option that almost the entire world embraced in March: destroy businesses, force everyone to hide in their homes, and make sure that no one gets close to anyone else. The reason that the text leaves that out is that the idea is essentially ridiculous, so much so that it was initially sold as a strategy to preserve hospital space and only later mutated into a general principle that the way to beat a virus is to avoid people and wear a mini-hazmat suit. … ”


    • CE 14:24 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      I see we have a lot of extremely skilled and knowledgable medical doctors and epidemiologists here. I just wonder why they’re spending all their time trying to convince the readers of a niche blog that what most of their colleagues are recommending is completely wrong, rather of going out and using their credentials to convince policy makers and their colleagues to change course.

    • Tee Owe 14:27 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      @qatzelok, @everybody – this is a really tiresome debate and I am fed up with it – but, just one more try – qatzi, the point you make about only 2 ways to defeat a virus is indeed correct, in so far as it goes in a textbook. Now, work with me here – imagine there comes a virus that infects human beings and can kill them and – there is no natural immunity and there is no vaccine – whaddya gonna do man? Where you gonna hide? The measures that were taken were not designed to ‘defeat the virus’, they were designed to protect our species from decimation. That’s all. They kind of work, maybe there’s been some over-reaction, but doing nothing was never an option.

    • Tee Owe 14:31 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Decimate : to reduce drastically especially in number // cholera decimated the population

    • qatzelok 14:35 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Tee Owe, my “point” isn’t that I have a strong background or opinions in epidemics or contagion. It’s that our powerful commercial media has been playing games with weazle words like “cases” and hand-picking its sources in order to build some kind of pre-arranged narrative which is false.

      And this is potentially much scarier than any virus out there because it means that perhaps the truth in our social institutions is already dead, and that perhaps all the corporate invastions of governance during my lifetime have left us with… no government whatsoever. Instead of governance, we are left with transactional opportunists working together to rip everyone else off through scams.

    • CE 14:37 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      @qatzelok it must be exhausting to be you.

    • david742 15:29 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Well, I do have a sort of statistics background (economics undergrad), though I’m no statistician and all I know about epidemiology was picked up back in March, when I still followed this virus stuff.

      My point really wasn’t about the contracting the virus or dying from it, it was that my bet is on a huge backlash against these months of lockdown once the economic costs come clear.
      I think that we’re going to get a lot of reporting on how the governments in many cases made radical decisions on very low info public health info modeling, and the severity of the damage of sheltering unplace will, to many and in hindsight, majorly sour people on this whole response.

      Whether it’s justified or not in a person’s view is irrelevant. The backlash will essentially take any future such lockdown totally off the table, regardless of how well prepared we are.

    • CE 16:17 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      “Well, I do have a sort of statistics background (economics undergrad), though I’m no statistician and all I know about epidemiology was picked up back in March, when I still followed this virus stuff.”

      So… basically you know about as much as any other lay person who follows the news. I guess that makes you and everyone else uniquely qualified to comment on and dispute the recommendations and guidelines being put forth by medical professionals and (real) epidemiologists.

    • Ian 08:12 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      Holy cow I took a stats course in university too! And here I thought I didn’t know anything about epidemiology and should listen to health officials!

      whips off mask IN YOUR FACE BIG QUARANTINE

    • David755 09:48 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      Very droll. But instead of doing a stats course in college, you should have focused on reading comprehension. I’m not arguing about statistics – as I said, I’m not an expert, just a very smart layman. I’m just saying that I believe a backlash is coming, rght or wrong, because of the scale of economic damage we’re staring at.

    • CE 10:09 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      I’ve never met a very smart person who has referred to themselves as “very smart.” In fact, my experience has always been with the opposite.

    • david633 12:01 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      Well, now you’ve met one. Tant mieux for you.

    • Ian 12:55 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      Ah yes, your famous powers of analysis. It’s always such a great opportunity when one meets a smart person, maybe you can help me out here – Are we sure people aren’t catching this virus stuff because they eat too many hotdogs? What part of town are they from again?

    • CE 13:08 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      A very stable genius.

    • Alison Cummins 13:09 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      The US has had very stable genius presidents, but none of them called themselves that. Doubling down is not going to convince anyone no matter how true it is.

      Not only that, being “very smart” is actually a point against you. Since you have no broad knowledge of the subject matter at hand, being “very smart” just means that you are particularly convinced by your own motivated reasoning and therefore less credible.

      Just so you know how various claims are being processed by your readers so that you can make more informed decisions about self-presentation going forward.

      A credible person has a broad knowledge of the subject matter and has a deep knowledge of the relevant science. You don’t have that, so if you want to be taken seriously you should seek out people who are and quote them without cherry-picking. You should also understand the background to whatever you are quoting so that you can respond to challenges.

      The people you seek out should not be just other “very smart” people. They should have post-docs in epidemiology or community medicine. If they cite references, follow up those references and understand them.

      Otherwise you will be perceived as a ranting crank, even if you’re right.

    • Alison Cummins 16:18 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      Another reason that being a self-declared very smart person is a point against you.

      People who are very smart in ways that matter to other people surround themselves with people who are even smarter than they are. As a result they don’t *feel* smart.

      That’s what the Dunning-Kruger effect is. Ignorant people don’t know what they don’t know so they think they know it. Educated people know how easy it is to be wrong even about something apparently simple, so they are much more hesitant to assert that they are right. When you claim to be very smart – which I have no reason to doubt – I immediately conclude that you are profoundly ignorant. Probably not what you’re going for.

      See also:
      (Physicists are very smart.)

    • David743 17:54 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      I am the very smart layman, I am the logit function that keeps you up at night, I am the shield that guards that progress of affordable housing, I am the watcher on the wall.

  • Kate 18:02 on 2020-06-21 Permalink | Reply  

    This heat wave isn’t budging, so the city is going to intervention mode which means extended hours for swimming pools, water parks and beaches, and air conditioned spaces being opened to the public. The map is here.

    There has also been a dry spell, bad for farmers and rough on parks and gardens.

    • david742 21:03 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

      Feel like there’s going to be one of those crazy super storms, where the rain falls in sheets, with lightning and the rest.

    • DeWolf 10:18 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      The forecast is calling for another high of 30 degrees tomorrow (Tuesday), and if that’s the case I believe this will have been Montreal’s longest consecutive stretch of 30+ highs on record – seven days.

    • Kate 10:22 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      I’m beginning to feel an almost physical need for rain.

  • Kate 16:43 on 2020-06-21 Permalink | Reply  

    A largely unknown park(?) in town is the small but dense Boisé de Saint Sulpice, visited here by Roger Latour, who knows a lot about plants and trees.

    • Kate 14:53 on 2020-06-21 Permalink | Reply  

      A solid but rather grim portrait this weekend in Le Devoir of how Quebec is doing after 100 days of pandemic. Short version: nothing to write home about.

      • Kate 10:15 on 2020-06-21 Permalink | Reply  

        The weather page has a smog warning Sunday in addition to the heat wave warning. This is smoke coming from a big brush fire around Kamouraska, a long way downriver.

        With any luck, the giant dust plume from the Sahara will miss us entirely.

        • Su 13:02 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

          Actually this is a peat bog fire burning in Kamouraska. As peat bogs dry out due to drought conditions they become tinderboxes in the same way as plant pots on balconies.

        • Kate 14:51 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

          I never think of peat being something we have, but of it being an old world thing – Ireland, Siberia, places like that. But no reason why not. I do know it releases a lot of carbon when it burns.

        • Blork 15:01 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

          Yeah, I didn’t know we even had peat bogs around here.

          BTW, that Sahara dust storm story is so very 2020, isn’t it? (What’s hiding in that dust cloud? Bacteria? Viruses? Locusts?)

        • mare 15:33 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

          @Blork is angling for a tenured position at McGill.

        • Raymond Lutz 16:04 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

          Des tourbières au Québec???

          @Blork, according to the ‘Find the nearest peat bog’ android app, there’s even one 10 km from le parc Michel-Chartrand! https://famille.lutz.quebec/index.php/s/gHe7Z9XimN2oCAL (it’s at the 20 and 30 intersection)

          Peat bogs are fascinating ecosystems and some are well ‘mises en valeur’ for the casual tourist. I highly recommend visiting “Le petit monde de la tourbière au parc national de Frontenac” (Le Devoir)

        • Kate 16:15 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

          In Ireland, people can buy peat at the corner store and bring it home to burn in their fireplace. I don’t think we have that here.

        • Blork 10:36 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

          Certain single malts only taste right if you sip them in a damp cottage on a rainy evening in front of a smouldering peat fire.

        • Ian 08:18 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

          @Kate considering we aren’t even allowed to have fireplaces anymore I can only assume that your chances of sitting in front of a peat fire in Montreal are pretty much non-existant unless you do it on the sly in a barrel in your backyard and hope nobody calls the fire department. Not quite as romantic as a cottage on a rainy day with a peaty single malt.

      • Kate 07:15 on 2020-06-21 Permalink | Reply  

        CBC’s Joanne Bayly tells the story of a Black Canadian WWII vet beaten 72 years ago by police who died in Bordeaux Jail with little notice taken at the time. His family want the story told and their ancestor’s name cleared.

        • Kate 07:13 on 2020-06-21 Permalink | Reply  

          La Presse’s Vincent Larouche talks to Stéphane Wall on his retirement from the SPVM. Wall had to shoot a hostage-taker dead in 2000, and never quite recovered from it. Spent the rest of his career coaching other cops in how to de-escalate situations. Good story.

          • Kate 07:07 on 2020-06-21 Permalink | Reply  

            Police chased a man on foot Saturday night in Ville-Marie, and then pepper sprayed him, upon which he died. The BEI will investigate.

            • david85 08:28 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

              Odd one.

              51 year old guy is engaged in some sort of domestic situation as a result of which the cops are called. When he sees the cops, he makes a run for it, gets about 300 meters, when he stops or is caught. Some sort of exchange occurs during which the guy said that he was armed, the cops give him a (my guess is probably quite generous) dosing of Agent 728’s finest cayenne seasoning. The guy drops and proceeds to croak.

              Stroke? Heart attack? Anaphylaxis brought on by the pepper spray?

              If he’s asthmatic so that anaphylaxis could have killed him – he had just run 300 meters, so he’d be in rough shape already. In that part of town, a 51 year old is surely going to be overweight, bordering on obese. That he ran for it when it was essentially pointless suggests he was drunk or drugged up.

              I’m guessing that the policing issue here won’t be about whether they did anything wrong in the pursuit or use of force, it’ll be about whether/how they administered first aid once the guys dropped.

            • Janet 08:38 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

              “In that part of town, a 51 year old is surely going to be overweight, bordering on obese.”


            • Daniel 08:43 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

              I am also curious about the methods and conclusions of this rigorous forensic investigation, david#

            • david85 08:53 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

              Janet: One thing you’ll note about cruising that area of Ontario Street is that it remains very much an old school hot dog-eater neighborhood, at least in what concerns its residents. Sure, there are some youngs sprinkled in, but at 51, the guy was very likely a hot dog-eater, so very likely overweight/obese.

              Daniel: Just idle speculation, I’m not claiming to have any special knowledge. How does a guy drop dead on a street after taking a (we assume) liberal dose of pepper spray? Well, that running could have been a major contributing factor if the guy had heart disease or asthma. Deaths from anaphylactic shock after being dosed with pepper spray are very rare, but do occur with asthmatics (and, I suppose, possibly among others), and most asthmatics suffer from exercise-induced asthma so that this 300 meter run could have been a stressor. And, of course, he could have suffered a stroke.

            • Raymond Lutz 09:27 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

              “There is evidence that certain factors, including Excited Delirium Syndrome, positional asphyxia, pre-existing health conditions, and drug use, are associated with OC spray deployment, and in some cases, injuries or death.” (from a Correctional Service Canada webpage). No where hot dogs are mentioned.

            • mare 10:42 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

              Let me pile on this IANAD speculation and say that running 300m as if your life depends on it* in 27°C weather (after a day of 31°C) might have exacerbated the bodily stress inducing effects of “pepper” spray.

              all those BLM stories do affect people’s view of the police.

            • J. Ryan 10:58 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

              @mare BLM stories!? Nah my guy, those are police brutality, excessive force stories and improperly trained police stories. (REFORM THE POLICE) Which of course leads into Black lives affected in the majority. But I 100% agree with your assessment on what possibly happened.
              @david85 you were on a roll untill you opened up “hot dog” gate, but you as well I understand what you are saying.

            • GC 11:50 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

              Police brutality stories affect people’s view of the police, Mare? Well, yes.

            • Raymond Lutz 12:14 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

              Also, we should call it capsaicinoid spray, not ‘pepper spray’ (as the active agent is frequently a synthetic molecule resembling the plant extract). NB, military can’t use this (neither CS gas): they are classified as chemical weapons. Speaking of language drifts crafted by our overlords: ‘rubber bullets’ are really less lethal impact weapons and ‘harsh interrogation techniques’ is torture.

            • Chris 12:44 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

              >we should call it capsaicinoid spray, not ‘pepper spray’

              Yeah right, cuz that’s so much easier to spell and say. Good luck with that.

            • Bill Binns 13:03 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

              “In that part of town, a 51 year old is surely going to be overweight, bordering on obese.”

              Since I live about 500 meters from that location, I can say with some authority that the prevailing body type for 51 year old dudes in the neighborhood is the underweight ropy muscled “twitchy Golem” type.

              Don’t judge us by the people in line at Chez Phillippe.

            • Raymond Lutz 13:56 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

              @Chris: “OC spray” for short… this is the term used in Correctional Service Canada documents.

            • mare 15:42 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

              I meant that before the BLM protests the stories about police brutality didn’t make it to the JdeM, or many other news sources in Quebec. So more people are informed about this issue, or at least got more exposure to it.

            • david85 16:02 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

              I stand by my semi-informed slur describing the denizens of Saint Jacques as hot dog eaters, though I concede that the man in this case may not, himself, have been a hot dog eater.

            • GC 20:05 on 2020-06-21 Permalink

              Mare: apologies if I misinterpreted your position.

            • MarcG 08:02 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

              Kate, I hope you’re paying attention and harvesting this gold for the calendar

            • Kate 17:08 on 2020-08-25 Permalink

              MarcG, I was looking up something else and spotted this comment for the first time. Calendar fodder indeed!

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