Updates from June, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:00 on 2020-06-28 Permalink | Reply  

    Latest studies show there’s no lasting antibodies from Covid, although there’s still some hope that other elements in our immune systems might step up instead.

    Groups protecting the homeless are expecting a second wave as our emergency rooms are near capacity.

    Can gay saunas actually operate while respecting distancing rules? It’s in doubt.

    • EmilyG 22:04 on 2020-06-28 Permalink

      I thought the lack of antibodies thing was much more common in asymptomatic people than those who had symptoms?
      At least, I think I read that in an article, but I’ve seen a lot of articles lately and I don’t remember quite where it was.

    • Ephraim 22:05 on 2020-06-28 Permalink

    • mare 22:56 on 2020-06-28 Permalink

      The CBC “no antibodies” article has a not so subtle slight of Quebec.

      “Some countries such as Sweden and at least one Canadian province have previously suggested that one way to control the spread of COVID-19 is to allow most of the population to get infected in a controlled fashion to generate “herd immunity.”

      We won’t name Quebec, but we all know which province we’re talking about, don’t we? The link of course goes to an old article about Quebec.

    • ant6n 04:49 on 2020-06-29 Permalink

      Well “at least one” means there could be more provinces 😉

    • Kate 09:41 on 2020-06-29 Permalink

      mare, you may have become un vrai québécois if you’ve begun to feel it’s a slight to Quebec to simply state a detrimental fact openly in the media.

    • John S 06:12 on 2020-06-30 Permalink

      To follow up, a recent preprint from a group in Sweden has reported robust T cell responses (different from antibodies) in asymptomatic contacts of patients who had COVID. Many of these responders had no antibodies at all. Antibody measurements may not be the best measure of immunity, They’re just easier to do than T cell studies so they have had more press. Immunity post COVID19 exposure may indeed be a reasonable expectation.

    • JaneyB 14:49 on 2020-06-30 Permalink

      @John S – very interesting. It’s hard to stay aware of just how fresh this research is. We’re basically seeing the expert debates in real time and trying to make sense of it with the average person’s limited biology knowledge. I will stay hopeful 🙂

  • Kate 10:45 on 2020-06-28 Permalink | Reply  

    SPVM officers of colour have written to their own police brotherhood asking them to stop their denial of systemic racism.

    • Kate 10:43 on 2020-06-28 Permalink | Reply  

      A sociology student writes a Le Devoir op‑ed defending Lionel Groulx with the heady introductory statement that the movement to rename the metro station for Oscar Peterson issu de l’anglosphère.

      • david282 11:33 on 2020-06-28 Permalink

        Oscar Peterson was great, but he was an anglophone jazz musician, whose family immigrated from the Caribbean, and who lived 2/3 of his life in the US and Ontario.

        Lionel Groulx was a towering figure in the historiography/myth-making of the quiet revolution and modern Quebec, an intellectual giant in that realm.

        It makes perfect sense that a bunch of people invested in the intellectual firmament of the Quebec state would consider re-naming Lionel Groulx station in favor of Oscar Peterson to be coming from a totally anglophone place. Just as it makes sense that anglophones – especially transplants from Canada – who have no idea who Lionel Groulx is but read something in the Gazette about how he was anti-semitic, would call for him to be canceled, and replaced with someone they do know about, and rather like.

      • Jack 12:36 on 2020-06-28 Permalink

        Lionel Groulx was Quebec’s first professional, credentialed historian. He produced an enormous corpus and founded Universite de Montreals history department. He was an important historic figure.
        This is what is named after him in Quebec…a mountain, a college, a Theatre, High Schools, Elementary schools, countless streets etc. I think their is a probably a hundred markers of this mans existence all over Quebec.
        Oscar Peterson born and raised in Little Burgundy, recognized world wide as one of the greatest jazz artists of all time is celebrated in official Quebec with a small park.
        The reason why is as david 182 put it “Oscar Peterson was great, but he was an anglophone jazz musician, whose family immigrated from the Caribbean,” That but is crucial in understanding how this debate will be joined.

      • Benoit 23:19 on 2020-06-28 Permalink

        I think it would be much less controversial if the sections of Saint-Jacques or Saint-Antoine st. that are in Little-Burgundy were renamed Oscar-Peterson instead of the metro station.

    • Kate 10:36 on 2020-06-28 Permalink | Reply  

      The city’s state of emergency has been renewed for another five days, giving us a solid emergency state dating from March 27.

      Le Devoir created a photo essay inquiring into whether we’re keeping our distances, but – for legal reasons, I assume – the photos have all been run through a Photoshop paint daubs filter or the like to anonymize the subjects.

      • Matthew H 13:00 on 2020-06-28 Permalink

        That photo essay… wow. It’s some kind of crime against photojournalism. There are ways to anonymize photos that don’t involve running them through an impressionist Photoshop filter from 1995….

      • Phil M 17:18 on 2020-06-28 Permalink

        In Quebec, there is a right called “Droit de l’image,” which states that a person’s likeness or image cannot be used without their consent. I’m not sure how far it extends in news media, but in order to avoid potential law suits, you’ll often see photos and videos of people in public that crop crop below the neck. At least this is a little bit more creative.

      • Philip M 17:20 on 2020-06-28 Permalink

        This is also why you’ll very rarely, if ever, see paparazzi photos of celebrities in Quebec. And considering how many big movies shoot in Montreal (pandemic notwithstanding), you’d expect to see plenty of them, but it almost never happens, unless they’re posing with fans, or someone randomly snaps a shot with their phone.

      • Kate 17:46 on 2020-06-28 Permalink

        The test case was Aubry vs. Éditions Vice-Versa in 1998. A woman challenged the publication of her image in a magazine, for which she hadn’t given permission. There are well defined exceptions, like being caught in a crowd scene in public – they’re explained here.

        Many people here have come to think it’s illegal even to take pictures of other people. I’ve been caught out doing this a couple of times and there have been scenes – people don’t listen when you explain it’s perfectly legal to take a photo. Of course the definition of “publication” has changed a lot since Aubry vs. Éditions Vice-Versa, and I don’t know whether that’s been challenged yet in court.

      • Blork 18:11 on 2020-06-28 Permalink

        Here’s the law explained in English, for our Toronto readers. 🙂 https://educaloi.qc.ca/en/capsules/your-right-to-control-photos-and-videos-of-yourself/

        Odd note: in the first example of exceptions, it says (in both EN and FR versions), “You are in front of a historic monument or public place, such as the Eiffel tower…”

        Why invoke the Eiffel tower? If this is a Quebec law, then what happens in another country is irrelevant. Why wouldn’t they use a local reference?

    • Kate 10:12 on 2020-06-28 Permalink | Reply  

      La Presse has a list of more obscure features of interest around town, since most of us won’t be travelling this summer.

      Radio-Canada looks at downtown Montreal and its situation, including a vast new building under construction for the Banque Nationale.

      Another site under transformation (for the second time) is the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde which is slated to get a whole new glitzy frontage.

      Small towns are cringing from having Montrealers visit en masse. One day we’re told that people want tourism back, the next, that the idea frightens them.

      • Kevin 14:26 on 2020-06-28 Permalink

        Ah, there have Always been people in small towns afraid of Montrealers. Nothing new there.

    • Kate 09:27 on 2020-06-28 Permalink | Reply  

      Fires caused by smokers using flowerpots as ashtrays are on the rise. Incredibly, since January this year, 125 fires have been started here in this way.

      • Kate 09:25 on 2020-06-28 Permalink | Reply  

        Two people were shot Saturday night in Little Burgundy, a man and a boy of 13. Neither is expected to die.

        Update Sunday: a third shooting victim turned up at hospital Sunday. There’s some evidence the shootout followed a video location shoot that turned to verbal arguments, whereupon the guns came out.

        • Kate 09:20 on 2020-06-28 Permalink | Reply  

          A protest was held Saturday against changes in Quebec’s experience program for immigrants. This program has already been a hot potato that made the government backtrack on plans announced last fall. A new version was proposed in May, but this item doesn’t exactly get into the aspects still felt to be unfair. In Metro, there’s more of an explanation about the much longer waiting periods being required by Simon Jolin-Barrette’s newest vision of immigration.

          • David656 11:54 on 2020-06-28 Permalink

            The system as it currently exists is possibly the easiest immigration path of any western country. Essentially, you graduate, you get three years of work permit with which you can work any job. During that time once you have a year of work experience in a certain professional category determined by the government to be in short supply, you apply and then Quebec nominates you (awarding something called the Quebec selection certificate) to the Canadians to be a permanent resident, and the Canadians always grant it, by special agreement. Three years after that, it’s citizenship.

            This path is behind the huge jump in French we’ve seen over the past years – they paid Quebec resident tuition until very recently. Now they pay Canadian tuition, which is still much cheaper than international. And, of course, most of the people protesting are french.

            The changes would lengthen the number of years until permanent residence.

            The French (and others) are incensed because under the proposed changes, their post graduate work permit time would expire before they could meet the minimum requirements for the selection certificate. This would mean they’d need to find some other bridge visa status until they meet the minimum requirements, likely employer sponsorship. Challenging, and only the most in demand people would get that.

            The net effect will be to reduce the number of students who can stay.

            Personally, I think this is dumb. It’ll reduce the number of French, which would make the city less annoying, but these educated types are precisely the ones we want. Especially when we’re talking about 2nd and 3rd cycle graduates. Also, there should be carve outs for STEM like the Americans and others have.

            Quebec can’t control family immigration, unfortunately, so they’re stuck tinkering with this, where there’s no real problem, unless you’re legislating for the plateau.

          • david656 12:09 on 2020-06-28 Permalink

            Ah, cool, hadn’t read that Metro article. It seems the government made just the changes I want, namely, a carve out for professionals:

            Ils demandent notamment l’annulation des prolongements d’années d’expérience de travail, de *l’exclusion des travailleurs de catégories C et D occupant des emplois peu ou non qualifiés,* de l’allongement du délai de traitement des demandes et de l’introduction d’exigences linguistiques pour les conjointes et conjoints du demandeur.

            And this insanely entitled reaction (!):

            «On discrimine des emplois, on discrimine des personnes, en fonction de leur statut, en fonction de leur métier pour accéder ou pas à la résidence permanente.», déclare Thibault Camara lors de sa prise de parole.

            LOL! Yeah, of course Quebec would discriminate based on jobs. Immigration is based on the needs of the province, not your needs. We don’t need a bunch of semi-employed french working part time in cafes, who then become eligible for solidarity payments with their permanent residence. We want people who’ll actually contribute and grow the Quebec economy in some tangible way, and professional experience is the best metric for that in this context.

            Still not a necessary law, but if the public wants action on immigration, I guess it does make sense to cut down on handing out permanent residence to a bunch of deadbeats.

          • Kate 12:12 on 2020-06-28 Permalink

            david∞, has it not sunk in with you that it’s not the doctoral students and artificial intelligence researchers that have pulled our collective ass out of the Covid fire, but people with minimal educational qualifications yet a willingness to work – in many cases, doing work most Canadians are disinclined to do?

          • david656 12:18 on 2020-06-28 Permalink

            This process and the changes these french are protesting concern the educated.

            The immigrants in that cohort of “minimal educational qualifications yet a willingness to work” would have come in by family or asylum, or they’re just straight up illegals working under the table. For the most part, that’s all stuff the canucks manage, not Quebec.

          • J 13:21 on 2020-06-28 Permalink

            Does the province not manage all immigration, illegal or not, minimally educated or not, in Quebec?

          • Kevin 09:37 on 2020-06-29 Permalink

            Quebec has a non-exclusive path to immigrate into Canada.
            Because once you are in the country you can go anywhere you want.

          • Kate 10:41 on 2020-06-29 Permalink

            Kevin, I’ve wondered about that. Supposing someone immigrates to another province, then moves here. Can Quebec deny that person benefits if they don’t have a paper trail showing they were initially approved by Quebec?

          • david23 14:59 on 2020-06-29 Permalink

            No, they can move to Quebec the day after “landing” in Ontario or one of the Atlantic provinces, wherever.

            Here’s quick primer on how Canadian immigration works.

            There’s a bunch of different “streams,” you have family-based, you can bring people in with certain job offers, there’s a NAFTA visa, all sorts. Then you have the points-based visas. Basically, you can get permanent residence by scoring high enough points in a pool, and points are awarded for a variety of factors. Education and professional experience are greatly valued in this scheme, and Canadian education and Canadian professional score significant bonuses (boni?). The entire point of this is to bring in workers to build the Canadian economy.

            Within this scheme, provinces can award bonus points to candidates they nominate, with these nominations coming out of various provincially-administered programs that target workers in short supply, usually nurses, software engineers, etc. but really runs the gamut.

            Quebec administers its version of this points based system for this same class of people – people coming in based on what they can offer the country. Quebec doesn’t control family based immigration, can’t deny asylum, can’t deport anyone, nothing.

            And if a person is admitted to Canada, they can come to Quebec, and vice versa – this is a charter issue and a fundamental right of Canadians residents.

            Obviously, people use the Canadian system to get to Quebec, so as to avoid the French requirements. And the Atlantic provinces can’t keep their people either. But probably the biggest controversy is that Quebec is allowed to run an economic investment program that’s greatly abused by foreign people of means. Essentially, people give an interest free loan to Quebec (I believe the amount is up to $1.2 million now), they’re approved for permanent residence, and they then decamp immediately to Vancouver or Toronto. It’s a backdoor that those places don’t appreciate too much.

        • Kate 08:37 on 2020-06-28 Permalink | Reply  

          Moving Day is getting closer, and with it, the surge in rental costs, well beyond inflation or income levels. The city is waiting for calls for help from households that don’t have anywhere to go on July 1.

          On Twitter, Jordan Bateman – I don’t know him, but he was cited by someone I do know – called back to the 2018 mass eviction of a Plateau building, including the sad detail (which I also remembered) “After handing over their pets to the SPCA, the tenants boarded a bus headed for a hotel on the eastern tip of the island, far away from their now barricaded home.” He notes that the building is now renting out tiny flats with a murphy bed for $1550 and up a month, headlined on the website “Affordable Quality Living”.

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