Updates from December, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:10 on 2020-12-14 Permalink | Reply  

    City council is heating up over French with an opposition councillor still angry that the mayor made one speech in English two years ago.

    • Uatu 22:14 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

      Did you hear that the BQ wants to replace”Bonjour-hi” with”Bonjour-Ho”? Hahaha. Sounds like Snoop Dogg trying to pick up french women

    • Kate 22:31 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

      I saw that this morning but my brain refused to believe it wasn’t satire, even when I saw it reported in regular media.

    • Kevin 23:44 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

      Instead of a visit to the dentist, Parizeau should have suggested a therapist.

  • Kate 18:32 on 2020-12-14 Permalink | Reply  

    Still without admitting it has a problem with systemic racism, Quebec is going to appoint a minister for the fight against racism. This was quick, as a report calling for such a role had only been submitted Monday.

    • Kate 18:29 on 2020-12-14 Permalink | Reply  

      That Pornhub has removed all non-verified content from its servers, whittling a collection of 13 million videos down to 4 million, is news worldwide.

      Has anyone investigated whether this change will mean job losses here?

      • j2 20:40 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        It’s possible it’s the opposite, it might reduce costs.

        (I don’t know their revenue model but I wouldn’t think that someone is upset because they’re finally at video #4000001.)

        Strange note from the second, you needed photo ID to monetize the video – does that mean anonymous non-monetized videos can be uploaded and wasn’t that the problem?

      • Ephraim 15:33 on 2020-12-15 Permalink

        Dan Savage, of the Savage Lovecast does mention that a lot of sex workers have seen their income go down by more than 50% because of this.

    • Kate 15:40 on 2020-12-14 Permalink | Reply  

      An announcement Monday afternoon by the premier says the REM will be extended within Montreal to Pointe-aux-Trembles. A part of the lede has been buried here: some of the downtown REM is to be an elevated train.

      • steph 16:31 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        Are they going to use MAGIC to fit another branch through the past capacity TMR tunnel? just HOW and what is their plan????

        The tracks from Bonaventure, through Griffintown, then through the Technopark to nuns island is elevated – they’ve been assembling it for months now. The tunnel from the station to Canora is underground – or did this change?

      • Jonathan 17:03 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        I read somewhere else that it would go via Rene Levesque and Notre Dame. I’d have to look hard at a map to imagine how that would be possible

      • Uatu 17:30 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        Can you see how well it works first then maybe make expansion plans after?

      • ant6n 18:33 on 2020-12-14 Permalink


      • Max 20:33 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        That article raises way more questions than it answers. Hopefully much clarification will be forthcoming tomorrow.

        But yeah, what Uatu said. Financing for the airport station is up in the air, we haven’t committed to servicing Dorval intermodal yet, and already we’re heading off in another direction? What in the actual?

      • Faiz imam 20:40 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        Just to be clear, the new line is completely and totally independent from the current REM. It has nothing to do with the Mount-royal tunnel or any of the debates around the current system. No sharing or track or direct connections.

        It is an elevated line that begins near Gare centrale (I am very interested to see where the exact station will be). It will be elevated all the way to pointe au tremble.

        Also there will be a fork near Viau going north to Cegep Marie Victorin. Mostly elevated, with a underground section in the middle.

        Here is a plan someone made months ago based on some leaked data:


        Calling my shot: They will demolish the terrible parking garage in front of the Gare and build a new station on it, with the line coming behind the Queen E via Belmont.

      • Max 21:21 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        Thanks, Faiz. This seems to be an implementation of the Pink Line then, but above-ground. Makes sense at first glance, finance-wise.

        The Gazoo is calling for a Rene-Levesque approach to town:


        That seems a plausible guess to me. Columns galore could be planted on both R-L and Notre-Dame Est for kms on end without disrupting traffic very much.

        I’m as curious as you are about how the tie-in with the McGill or Gare Centrale stations might come about.

      • Faiz imam 21:49 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        Whatever it is, a lot of people are going to hate it.

        I personally thing RL is wide enough to have the line and not be overwhelmed to much. Comparisons to Chicago or NYC’s overhead lines is misplaced.

        But also, I think the view coming into downtown in RL 10m in the air will be super cool.

      • Kevin 23:51 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        I’m calling it now: if this goes along René Levesque, within five years someone will demand the street be renamed because it’s gonna be ugly.

      • ant6n 05:27 on 2020-12-15 Permalink

        It´s nice that they want to build more transit capacity and all. But…

        It´s more privatization of our metro system and more silly, piece-meal, suburban-centric planning between a prime minister and a pension fund. With this new plan, the “original” REM may have been planned somewhat differently. Anyway, a project like this should be centered around an East-West downtown tunnel connecting the CP Commuter rail ine line around Guy and somewhere East of downtown downtown. Along Rene-Levesque. That would mean an expensive downtown connection, but something that can actually take on multiple branches later on, including going West. Also, it could have a lot of utility besides suburban-downtown connections. And still, it would only be a couple of km.

        The plan Faiz posted looks similar to some plans that have existed way back when, going along/near Notre-Dame. It allows cheap construction and going pretty far quickly, but it bypasses a lot of populated areas along the way.

      • Phil M 05:35 on 2020-12-15 Permalink

        ant6n, it appears that going through unpopulated areas is the whole point, as they will likely be the focus of redevelopment plans for the Caisse, according to Radio-Canada (who also provide a helpful map, unlike every other media outlet who don’t believe in useful graphics, apparently…):

        “Ce tracé permettrait notamment de connecter au centre-ville le futur système rapide par bus (SRB Pie IX) et de désenclaver l’est de Montréal, dont plusieurs friches industrielles doivent faire l’objet d’un redéveloppement dans les années futures.”


      • ant6n 07:13 on 2020-12-15 Permalink

        “it appears that going through unpopulated areas is the whole point,” …. le sigh. Ever since the CDPQ is planning out transit for the sake of making money and election strategies of the PM, basic transit planning concepts have been turned upside down.

      • dhomas 07:49 on 2020-12-15 Permalink

        I’m with ant6n on this. “Going through unpopulated areas” might be the point for the CDPQ, but it is not the point of public transit! The CDPQ is using this project for their own ends, specifically, to generate income for their real estate divisions.

      • Uatu 11:22 on 2020-12-15 Permalink

        It’s like the Disney monorail. Just a way to get to different condo devs. Who cares if it actually makes any transit sense as long as people can get from Tomorrow Land to the Polynesian Village in record time

      • su 13:01 on 2020-12-15 Permalink

        Couldn’t the Honore Beaugrand line be extended further East?
        Lots of unexplained infrastructural redundancy going on here. I guess things will be clarified during the upcoming public consultation events?

      • dwgs 13:15 on 2020-12-15 Permalink

        All that land the city is expropriating in PAT just increased in value. It looks to be about the distance of one more stop of the proposed terminus.

      • Daniel D 13:34 on 2020-12-15 Permalink

        Assuming the leaked map Faiz posted is still accurate (I’m sure it is), as others have pointed out already, there could be several motivations for choosing the route along the river rather than the diagonal Pink Line route via the Plateau and Rosemont:

        • Going through less populated areas provides real-estate development opportunity. Going through the populated areas of the Plateau and Rosemont wouldn’t provide such opportunities for profit.
        • Elevated rail wouldn’t be feasible going through the heart of Rosemont, which is pretty dense. It’s not clear to me how they would be able to implement an elevated route without demolishing lots of houses or just ruining the area in general.
        • Tunnelling would make the most sense for the original Pink Line route. But it would be expensive and it’s clear the CDPQ want to do this on the cheap to maximise profit.
        • There is (I think?) existing rail infrastructure along the river which could be expropriated for the route.
        • Speculation: There could be a political element. The areas the Plateau and Rosemont the Pink Line was planned for are Projet / QS strongholds. The areas this new route will serve I believe voted for the CAQ in the last election.

        Either way, it’s frustrating there’s no motivation to improve transit in the already populated parts of the city. Let’s be honest, much of this route parallels the Green Line as well. I’m all for transit orientated development, but let’s ensure the densest neighbourhoods of the city where people already live are properly served first.

      • Phil M 15:46 on 2020-12-15 Permalink

        This link was posted by Kate today, and shows the proposed new route, and also outlines that the it is intentionally a “if you build it, they will come” plan to revitalize the east of the island, which, naturally, is a CAQ stronghold at the moment.


        That being said, and I can’t believe I agree with him, but Legault has a point that there’s a lot of unused, post-industrial land, some with nice views of the river, that would benefit from catalyst of a new public transport project through the area, which has the added benefit of being ON the island, so a new bridge or tunnel isn’t needed. It’s also a lot easier to build a track along a highway, or use existing infrastructure, than digging diagonally across the island, under the famed Plateau, and meeting political and nimby resistance at every turn.

        Obviously, there’s the question of who benefits, but it’s always the people in power, so that’s not a surprise. And if it wasn’t private money developing the project, it would be left to languish for another thirty years.

        Is it the best proposal? No. Is it the only one that will actually happen? Looks like. Is something better than nothing? We’ll have to wait and see.

      • ant6n 18:08 on 2020-12-15 Permalink

        Well, I don´t mind too much that they´re going along the Notre-Dame corridor to build a line. But the whole thing doesn`t have much system thinking yet again. This is not a pink line, but it will prevent a pink line, and has a fraction of utility of it. So I guess it`s nice to have that fraction of utility, but the whole story is kind of sad again – given how much money and clout is behind the project, we´ll again have project that has as it`s primary objectives what is perhaps on #4 (develop on-island brownfields), #12 (rapid transit to Pointe-Aux-Tremblex, #999 (goodies for CAQ) on Montreal’s list of transit needs.

      • DeWolf 18:38 on 2020-12-15 Permalink

        Beyond what everyone has already said, I’m concerned that these new lines would only have 40-metre trains and platforms, half the length of the REM lines currently under construction. This mirrors what happened in Vancouver where the Canada Line was built with 40m platforms that can’t be expanded. It is already nearing its maximum capacity just 10 years after opening.

    • Kate 15:19 on 2020-12-14 Permalink | Reply  

      View west from Peel and Ste-Catherine on the city traffic cam. As mentioned here, possibly, various installations are going up downtown. I’m not sure what those soldiers have to do with Christmas, but presumably they’re part of the decor.

      • Tyler 15:34 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        I would guess they are nutcrackers.

      • Kate 15:44 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        Oh, a thing from that ballet? How odd. But I guess it’s nondenominational at least.

      • PatrickC 16:08 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        Reminds me of “The March of the Wooden Soldiers,” the Laurel and Hardy movie that used to be on TV every year around Christmastime.

      • Blork 16:13 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        The Nutcracker has been associated with Christmas since the beginning, as the story takes place on Christmas Eve. Still seems odd to me in some ways. Sort of a reference to a reference.

      • Daisy 17:03 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        The story, although even more famous after being made into a ballet, in fact predates the ballet. It was written by E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1816.

      • ant6n 18:38 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        Apparently, decorative nutcrackers are much older from like the 15th century on. It´s associated with xmas, but it´s kinda German.

      • Kate 18:41 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        Daisy, I didn’t know that – thanks.

        Other years I would’ve assumed this to be PR for the yearly ballet, but this year?

        ant6n, I wonder if it’s another German thing Prince Albert brought to the UK (and thus the Empire), like Christmas trees.

      • Nick D 21:15 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        I was once in Paris at Xmas time and learned that the Nutcracker (Casse-Noisette) is a big part of the Xmas imaginaire there (too) — but it was never part of it in my English childhood. Probably some of that is being channelled here.

      • Daisy 21:50 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

        I used to have a wooden Nutcracker as a Christmas decoration before I downsized, doesn’t seem unusual to me.

      • Kate 12:18 on 2020-12-15 Permalink

        Oh OK. I guess to me, soldiers standing at attention in the street doesn’t really have that festive feel. But if it works generally, fine.

        I haven’t set foot on Ste-Catherine Street since March, anyway.

      • DeWolf 13:22 on 2020-12-15 Permalink

        Just chiming in to say that my family also had plenty of nutcrackers that would go up on display during Christmas. It was also a bit of a family tradition to go see the ballet which was staged every year in December and very Christmassy in feel.

      • Kevin 17:35 on 2020-12-15 Permalink

        I never would have pegged Kate as someone who’s never even *heard* of a famous ballet.

      • Orr 19:19 on 2020-12-15 Permalink

        The Nutcracker is a tradition for Montreal children not just to see, but to actually be in the performance.

      • Kate 22:05 on 2020-12-19 Permalink

        Kevin, of course I’d heard of it. They normally do it every year around Christmas and – as I said above – in a normal year I’d probably have assumed these figures were something to do with advertising it. But not this year, obviously, so I was somewhat puzzled why anyone would put these things up.

    • Kate 11:26 on 2020-12-14 Permalink | Reply  

      Radio-Canada tells us about an impending CBC series on the railway porters of Little Burgundy, a key piece of Black history in Montreal. Notably, The Porter is the most major series made in Canada to date exclusively by a Black production team.

      • Kate 11:23 on 2020-12-14 Permalink | Reply  

        We’ve had a fairly mild early winter but are about to get some chilly days as the temperature starts a plunge after midnight Monday.

        • DeWolf 12:56 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

          It will be cold… but sunny! It feels like it’s been about three weeks since we last saw the sun.

        • Uatu 13:55 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

          Cold and sunny> wet, cloudy and slushy

      • Kate 11:19 on 2020-12-14 Permalink | Reply  

        The city has struck a deal with the NDG YMCA to buy its land, in return for which the YMCA promises to provide services for seven years. Some of the land will be used for social housing, the rest for a park.

        What recourse the city would have against the YMCA if it failed to meet its obligations isn’t clear. Recent history shows the organization isn’t doing so well.

        • Su 12:35 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

          I wonder who will end up paying the maintenance bills on that decrepit old building during the seven year promise.

      • Kate 10:37 on 2020-12-14 Permalink | Reply  

        The Lachine water filtration plant that’s been awarded for producing the best municipal water in Quebec is slated to be shut down within the next ten years because it’s decrepit. Maybe before they close it, the authorities should study what it’s doing right?

        • mare 11:05 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

          I don’t think there’s a need for such a study (Shhh, they might do one, and another one, and another one), it’s well known how to best treat water. It just cost a lot of money and most municipalities in Quebec just go for the cheap method of using a lot of chlorine. Montreal unfortunately also uses *some* chlorine so it’s not the best tasting drinking water in the world. Still better than in most other cities in NA. Too bad So much of it never makes it to a tap.

      • Kate 10:34 on 2020-12-14 Permalink | Reply  

        The Covid vaccine has landed and will start to be applied Monday in the west end nursing home Maimonides. Some health care workers will get the shot early, but not all of them want it.

        I find it odd that I keep seeing the statement “We can encourage them to take it but not force them to” – why is it not a condition of working in healthcare that you should be vaccinated for flu, Covid and other contagious diseases? When I was a kid, you couldn’t enroll in school without a smallpox vaccination certificate (yes, I am that old). Nobody talked then about “not forcing us to.”

        • Michael Black 10:43 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

          As I recall, the vaccinations were done at school. Refusing was never an issue, though maybe there was an optout.

        • Kate 11:03 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

          Mine wasn’t. I remember being at the pediatrician’s office. The smallpox vaxx hurt, because it’s done with a series of scratches – leaving the scar that everyone over a certain age has on their upper arm.

          They did give us oral polio vaccine in school.

        • Ephraim 12:37 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

          It’s likely the same rule that doesn’t allow them to force us to do a drug test or alcohol test in Canada.
          What amazes me is that if people actually knew how much vaccinations have prolonged our lives and have kept us from getting other diseases, they would be standing in line.
          And don’t get me started on the misunderstanding involving Bill Gates… it’s clear that almost no one has actually read what he said or bothered to even understand the man. The nonsense they spout about the man and Eugenics is sickening.

        • Chris 13:15 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

          There is far more demand for the vaccine than supply. So it’s silly to fuss about people that don’t want it.

        • JaneyB 13:26 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

          I too remember the compulsory vaccinations for school attendance – and there were no charter schools or anything or religious exemptions etc. Vaccines were an unquestioned good – as they still are. I’m constantly amazed that anti-vaxxers even exist. What is wrong with these people?

        • Kate 14:18 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

          Chris, it’s not “fussing” – it’s only reasonable to ensure that the people working closely around vulnerable patients should be immunized.

        • Blork 16:23 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

          I think it shows a fundamental shift in people’s sense of priority with regard to the personal good vs. the common good. Vaccines are a perfect example of this in that they can and do have side effects that can be quite harmful to some individuals (although this is rare) but on a societal/population level they are most definitely beneficial.

          But it’s a bit like a lottery; imagine if everyone had to stick their head in a box once per year in order to prevent Aliens from nuking the Earth, and every year one in a million people had their heads explode by doing so. How happy would you be when it was your turn to put your head in the box? And what would you do if you had a choice to not do it?

          (Disclaimer: I am not an anti-vaxxer by any means, but that doesn’t mean I am blindly oblivious to the low level risk of taking vaccines.)

        • Ephraim 19:10 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

          Blork are you aware of the other affects of taking vaccines? People who get vaccinations get sick less often, even from diseases not targeted by the vaccine, plus the diseases that you might get while you are fighting the disease. And it also stops immunity memory loss. https://www.forbes.com/sites/tarahaelle/2015/05/08/measles-vaccine-reduces-death-from-other-infections-too-by-preventing-immune-amnesia/

        • Blork 20:19 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

          No need to talk to me like I’m an anti-Vaxxer; I’m not. Just pointing out that some people are wary of side effects and of potentially being the sacrificial lamb for the good of society.

          On the plus side, CBC interviewed one of the people who works at a long-term care home in Ontario and who took the vaccine. She said that some of her colleagues were hesitant to step up but that once she and some others did so most of the hesitation fell away.

      • Kate 10:31 on 2020-12-14 Permalink | Reply  

        In Petite-Patrie, a study shows that 85% of the evictions carried out are bogus and done for profit, not for cause – and the Tribunal administratif du logement (once known as the Régie) doesn’t care.

        • Seb 12:03 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

          Going through the motions right now. Being evicted cause the landlords who moved into the upper duplex year ago and renovated the whole thing now wants to move into our main floor place because they’d be “more comfortable”. Forcing us out during the height of the pandemic, during a housing crisis. Oh, and they are offering us $500 to do so.

        • dhomas 23:29 on 2020-12-14 Permalink

          @Seb: since you’re being kicked out and have no reason to be civil with these people anymore, take them to the Régie and get some compensation. Have them pay for your moving expenses, get as much as you can. It won’t prevent your eviction, but it’ll take some of the sting out. Though the Régie doesn’t often stop the evictions, they will more often than not side with the tenant for damages.

      • Kate 10:29 on 2020-12-14 Permalink | Reply  

        Frank Zampino, once the right hand of Mayor Tremblay, is said to be facing bankruptcy after a large lawyers’ bill and claims against him by the city. But the Journal rounds out the story with a sketch of the wealth held by his family: Zampino won’t be living in a 2½ and eating hot dogs, that’s for sure.

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