Updates from June, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:55 on 2020-06-24 Permalink | Reply  

    Here’s Aaron Derfel’s Twitter thread on Quebec’s decision to discontinue posting Covid case and fatality numbers as of Friday – and why he thinks it’s a bad idea.

    I’ve been updating the basic numbers daily in the column on the right of the main blog, for several months. After Friday I may have to take that feature down.

    • DeWolf 11:04 on 2020-06-25 Permalink

      Things like this (not to mention Bills 21 and 61) make it seem like the CAQ is pushing us towards a new Grande Noirceur. Keep the public in the dark, promote a kind of conservative nationalism, undo checks and balances, pave the way for big business, all while the premier plays the role of a good-natured mononcle.

    • Ian 11:09 on 2020-06-25 Permalink

      If I thought Legault was modelling himself after anyone, Duplessis would be the first person to come to mind. Populist, paternalistic bigot looking to keep Quebec from evolving? Check, check, check and check.

    • Myles 11:28 on 2020-06-25 Permalink

      Absolutely, Ian. One of the CAQ ministers (McCann?) saying Quebecers needed to stay docile was one of the best examples I’ve seen of a politician accidentally saying how they really feel out loud.

    • Kate 22:52 on 2020-06-25 Permalink

    • Kevin 09:51 on 2020-06-26 Permalink

      Most of the data is still coming in on paper and fax, so I’m of the opinion that a bunch of bureaucrats have decided it’s just too hard to keep doing this when many people are on vacation.

      I mean, it’s not like anyone has ever heard of a group email or anything /s

    • DeWolf 15:29 on 2020-06-26 Permalink

      Looks like public and media pressure worked: the new health minister just announced that daily updates will resume on Monday.

  • Kate 12:12 on 2020-06-24 Permalink | Reply  

    I linked this story last week, but Le Devoir is still headlining the story that Quebec is promising $400 million to support public transit as ticket revenues have been scrapped by months of low ridership.

    Every time I see fulsome promises from Quebec on transit I’m reminded of this story from 2014, in which Robert Poëti, transport minister at the time, blurted out that for five years, 40% of the money Quebec had earmarked for transit had not been used for that purpose. I didn’t see much followup on this and it’s still tagged in my memory. Talking big is cheap.

    • Kate 11:57 on 2020-06-24 Permalink | Reply  

      Metro says the pedestrianization of Mont-Royal is dividing the opinions of residents, some finding the bus detours inconvenient.

      QMI emphasizes how some Wellington Street merchants dislike the pedestrianization of their street.

      • JaneyB 12:43 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

        Wellington has far more people milling about now that it has been shut to cars. Yesterday, huge terraces opened so it’s really nice now.

        Any merchant opposition to the pedestrianization is not thinking clearly: there is parking on all the perpendicular streets west of De l’Église, which is more than half of that strip. There are big ‘parking help’ signs too. If someone parks at the side street corner, there is no difference from parking at the corner on Wellington. Basically those merchants want parking directly in front of their business but…only one or two customers can ever do that, at best. For deliveries, two-thirds of businesses have back lanes. The excellent cycle shop mentioned, Atelier Wellington, is 50ft from a major artery (de l’Église) and a metro station and has a lane so not sure where the impediment is.

      • Mr.Chinaski 13:55 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

        It’s also a block from the big concrete mult-story Ethel parking. You would be better going to Cycle Campus anyways instead of *his* gentrified store selling multi-thousand-dollar-bikes

      • Ian 22:05 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

        After having had the same bike for a long, long time and find it increasingly falling apart, I am in the market for a new one. The big bike store I used to go to on Parc closed down some time ago, and while I like Kijiji in principle, I am worried about buying a stolen bike. I don’t have the budget for a lycra warrior bike but I don’t especially want to get a cheapo clunker from Canadian Tire. Can anyone here suggest a decent bike store with okay bikes under 500 bucks somewhere around the Mile- End area?

      • Kate 22:24 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

        Ian, the last time I bought a new bike, a friend drove me to Cycle Paul in Pointe Claire village. They had a range of prices and seemed pretty together. But that means if you needed to get anything fixed while it’s on warranty, you’d have to schlep it back out there.

        I can’t quite believe ABC is gone, but the one time I shopped there the salesguy was kind of rude to me, so I wasn’t keen on giving them my business.

      • Ian 22:28 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

        I bought my last new bike at ABC and my last used bike at the used store on Bernard – both are now gone. ABC was full of the classic incredibly pretentious bike bro stereotype, I’m not surprised they were rude to you. They did have great prices, though.

        I work in Ste Anne (when in-person teaching is a thing anyhow) so Pointe Claire isn’t that much of a schlep, I’ll check them out – thanks for the tp.

      • Kate 23:21 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

        You might also have a look at what Dumoulin (Jean-Talon near the market) have got. I just had a look to see the top 5 bike shops on CultMTL’s best-of list, which are: 514 BMX, C&L Cycles, Bikurious, Recycle Cycle and Bicycles McW (which used to be McWhinnies).

      • Dhomas 04:54 on 2020-06-25 Permalink

        I needed to buy a bike last year and looked at local bike shops because I really wanted to support them. But their prices were really high, much higher than my budget. I ended up hanging onto my own falling-apart bike until closer to the end of the season. The bike I settled on was a Louis Garneau that retailed for about 700$, but that was being liquidated at 380$ at Sports Expert. It was a previous year’s model and an unadvertised, in-store only price. If you don’t have a specific model in mind and can wait for clearance pricing toward the end of the season, this worked out pretty well for me. The only downside is that you’re “wasting” a couple of months of warranty as your bike will mostly only get used the next season (thankfully, LG bikes come with a lifetime warranty). Not sure if you can wait that long, though.

      • Ian 08:03 on 2020-06-25 Permalink

        Actually this is what crossed my mind, to be honest. I would like a new (or decent used) bike for this year but I do know clearance sales mean good deals. I was kind of thinking about driving out to the Sport Chek in Cornwall as their prices seem much better than anything I’ve seen in Montreal, mostly because of sales – but their inventory like most bike stores is super low right now, too.

        I will check around in Montreal first, though – thanks for the tips, everyone.

      • dwgs 09:02 on 2020-06-25 Permalink

        Dhomas gives good advice. I live around the corner from McWhinnies and I literally go out of my way to shop elsewhere. My bike mechanic, who strikes me as a pretty ethical guy, recommends ReCycle.

      • Joey 09:42 on 2020-06-25 Permalink

        @Ian my friend got a nice bike recently from at Tout Terrain in Outremont – maybe a little more than $500, but he was very pleased. Inventory is likely very low so deals will be hard to find. Velo Montreal on Rachel near the Big O had some promos in mid-April – check them out. In the hood there’s also Samir at Mon Velo on Parc facing Cocoa Local. He might have something secondhand and is a nice guy. Maybe you can trade yours in for some credit…

      • Mark 09:48 on 2020-06-25 Permalink

        Since we’re on the topic, if anyone is in the Sud-Ouest, go to Bicycles Eddy. Helpful, friendly, knowledgeable, good prices, great service, and they’ve been around forever.

      • Marky 12:34 on 2020-06-25 Permalink

        “I live around the corner from McWhinnies and I literally go out of my way to shop elsewhere.” – this opinion is valid. I’ve had nothing but terrible experiences with this business, avoid them at all cost.

        +1 for Bicycles Eddy, Cycle Paul and Cycle Neron in Lachine (also in Montreal on Courcelles). I’ve purchased bikes & parts from all three and have had nothing but outstanding service and support.

      • Ian 16:17 on 2020-06-25 Permalink

        I went to a few places in town but stock was super low… fortunately Vélo Urbain on Papineau had a decent hybrid in my size and price range. I went to écovélo and the told me they would be out of stock for three more weeks! Thanks again for all the suggestions.

    • Kate 11:02 on 2020-06-24 Permalink | Reply  

      Some representatives of the Irish community are vowing to fight the Bernard Landry REM station naming; CTV says the city’s never going to rename Lionel-Groulx station after Oscar Peterson despite the petition.

      Obviously neither of these fights can be won today, but they may yet bear fruit in another generation.

      • qatzelok 18:16 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

        Even more urgent to change the names of Sherbrooke (Sir John Coape) and Metcalfe (baron Charles Theophilus), because neither of them ever bothered – to cough or sneeze into their elbows or wash their hands regularly – during pandemics that happened during their lives.

    • Kate 10:59 on 2020-06-24 Permalink | Reply  

      Was the real estate bubble a good thing? Journalists who take the part of the real estate business tend to write as if it was, for example this Journal piece reassuring us that prices will be even higher by 2022. Why is this good news?

      This is a serious question. Is it good for an economy to have the cost of ownership out of reach for many people, forcing rentals also out of reach?

      Updated to add: Even though that last piece talks about a slowdown from the pandemic, this piece in Metro says ten thousand new rental units are expected to become available this year, despite which the housing crisis is expected to continue. There’s various discussions in the item about why this is so, one being that the new units will mostly be tiny and thus unsuitable for families. Not quite mentioned is that brand new units are also likely to be expensive for their size and thus, of course, out of many folks’ reach.

      • Douglas 11:14 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

        The higher the values, and the more volume of sales done, the more the city collects in taxes. The city does a lot of good with all those tax revenues. The last real estate boom allowed to city to fund all those construction projects to fix all the infrastructure that was not fixed for decades.

        The negative is that rental prices and home ownership prices makes things unaffordable for many people.

        Pros and cons.

      • Maxim Baru 12:39 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

        The rub with that viewpoint is that the profits / wealth generated from this market far exceeds the funds generated for taxes. monies which are then mobilized towards distorting our formal political systems to favour the few over the many.. meaning that the gov doesn’t do the things we want it to do even if they have more more money to do it with…

      • GC 13:17 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

        I guess it’s great if you’re prospecting or flipping properties, but otherwise… My place has probably gone up a fair chunk, but it’s my home. That appreciation isn’t actual money I can spend. And if I were to sell, then buying a place in the same area would cost me an arm and a leg. It’s only a personal benefit if I want to move to an area with cheaper property prices at some point.

      • Chris 13:18 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

        >…mostly be tiny and thus unsuitable for families

        “families” are the minority these days, single person households are the most common type, so makes sense that most units would be “tiny”, no?

      • Kate 18:31 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

        Chris, you didn’t grasp one of the important points made in that piece: most of the single people were hoping not to be single for long, so there will be an ongoing need for larger apartments. In any case, a single person can live alone in a 6½ (if they can afford it) but a family of six cannot live for long in a 1½.

      • Tim 13:15 on 2020-06-25 Permalink

        I took the time to read through your link Chris and the Stats Can press release (https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/75-006-x/2019001/article/00003-eng.htm). So there are around 4 million people living alone in Canada representing 14% of the population. So how are the other 86% of the population categorized? It is very unclear.

        Additionally, because it talks about households, does that mean that if a household has 4 people, it’s only counted once?

        I would like to know the percentage of the population above the age of 15 that live in a household of more than one person. My belief is that this would dwarf the 14% statistic of people in single person households.

    • Kate 08:53 on 2020-06-24 Permalink | Reply  

      Some notes on what’s open and closed for the St-Jean holiday.

      • dwgs 10:03 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

        From the article,
        “The city will be accepting emails on June 24 but responding to them in the week that follows.”
        Who even writes these things? Is it possible for them to refuse emails?

      • Michael Black 10:12 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

        Maybe they turn off the email server on v!idays.

      • Chris 13:19 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

        dwgs, that is really odd wording. Maybe they mean they will be _reading_ emails, but not responding?

    • Kate 08:38 on 2020-06-24 Permalink | Reply  

      The city has not yet banned glyphosate as promised. Commonly sold as Roundup, the toxic chemical has been suspected of causing cancer, and it gets into the soil and water and generally hangs around the environment.

      • Kate 08:33 on 2020-06-24 Permalink | Reply  

        Police specialists ate are analyzing human remains found somewhere around the NDG escarpment.

        • dwgs 08:42 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

          Sounds like it was on the escarpment beside the Provigo / Rose Bowl. There are or were a couple of homeless guys who lived on the slope right near there.

        • Kate 08:56 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

          I was about to add a second link where it says a city blue collar worker found the remains around 9:30 last night, near the tracks beside the 20.

        • Bert 09:51 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

          Kate, I really hope that that is a typo…. ATE vs ARE?

        • Max 10:04 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

          The escarpment closer to Windsor Station is interesting. Lots of “urban camper” types, and no shortage of historic structural ruins to check out. I must revisit the footpath along the base of the Falaise one of these days. I hope all the highway and rail works haven’t changed it too much.

        • dwgs 10:10 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

          The rail works have changed it greatly. There are now at least 4 sets of tracks through there as well as a dirt service road for (CP?). I had to cross them a month or two ago. I walked up Angrignon from Ville Emard only to discover that after you cross the 20 and get to the roadway that leads up to St. Jacques the sidewalk disappears and you’re at a pedestrian dead end. Seeing as I had 2 dogs with me and turning around would mean a 5 km detour I scooted across the roadway, crossed many RR tracks and bushwhacked up the falaise to St. Jacques. This would have been a couple hundred metres from where the remains were found.

        • Kate 10:36 on 2020-06-24 Permalink

          Bert, ha! Thank you.

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