Updates from December, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:33 on 2020-12-17 Permalink | Reply  

    As I’ve done in previous years, I’ve made a calendar for next year and have put up a preliminary version for comment. Many of the dates are carried over from last year, but I’ve added some new ones. Clicking on the image above will get you the low-rez preliminary final PDF. The pages are 11×17.

    • Nathaniel Herz 10:22 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      I’d add “Blue Monday,” October 19, 1981, when The Expos lost their only playoff series to LA. See https://nationalpost.com/sports/baseball/mlb/blue-monday-still-haunts-montreal-expos-fans-35-years-later-dont-even-mention-rick-mondays-name

    • Kate 11:10 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      Thanks. I’ve added that and it made me think of another Montreal “sports” incident, which I’ve also added in November. I’ve made a couple of minor corrections that were needed and replaced the file, which can now be downloaded at the same link.

    • mare 11:16 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      From the included quotes you would think we’re a bunch of curmudgeons and nothing is right in Montreal.

      Also, but maybe just to me, the typeface you use looks very similar to a German Fraktur. Intentionally?

    • Kate 11:43 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      It’s a bit more decorative than most fraktur, but no, it’s not a deliberate reference to anything Germanic. If you think it could be read this way, maybe I should substitute a different display font. (Update: I’ve redone the cover and changed the fraktur to a different font.)

    • MarcG 12:12 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      Yeah the Germanic font might be badly timed given the white supremacist resurgence going on (although it is Christmassy). The quote at the bottom of the November page is obscured by grey numbers from the following month.

    • Kevin 12:13 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      I love it. Ian’s clown quote is my favourite and has become a workplace mantra.

      There’s a typo in one of Blork’s comments (unless he be adopting a Scottish accent).

      There’s a part of me that would NO mind seeing this city and others go back to being just cities instead of being tourist playgrounds full of gimmicks. – Blork

    • Jack 12:22 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      Great work ! The pictures are so cool.

    • Mark Côté 13:40 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      I made the calendar! One more off the ol’ bucket list.

    • Ant6n 13:55 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      “ From the included quotes you would think we’re a bunch of curmudgeons and nothing is right in Montreal.”

      Maybe we should think about being more thoughtful…

    • Tim S. 14:00 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      Very nice! I often print some out to send to various emigrant friends and relatives, but this year I’ll pass on the various lineups involved, sadly.
      I thought the quotes were generally optimistic takes on gloomy subjects. In any case, the awesome pictures make up for any misleading impressions of our city.

    • nino.jr 14:41 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      Hello, I loved your calendar.
      I just have a small suggestion to make, the “weblog” part of the title (montreal city weblog 2021) could be a little bit more legible. It took me a while to figure out the word in the thumbnail, which can sometimes happen when using “expressive” fonts.

      If you wish to do so, here are some small things that could improve the legibility :
      a) add some kind of outline around the fonts to make them stand out from the background a little bit
      b) if you are using a shadow below the fonts, perhaps you could change the color of the shadow, that also would make it stand against the background.

      (if the intention is for the letters to merge with the picture, instead of standing out too much)
      c) move each phrase a little bit, so that their “placement on the steps” is consistent (notice that “2021” seems to be sitting just on top of the step, but “weblog” seems to be in-front of the step)

    • Matthew H 15:05 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      Haha, I’m thrilled to have made the calendar! Thank you for correcting my spelling of “hygienic”, which I just realized I’ve been spelling wrong for my entire adult life.

    • Kate 15:23 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      Kevin, MarcG: thank you for the corrections.

      nino.jr, mare: thank you for thoughts on legibility and fonts.

    • GC 19:23 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      Thanks, Kate. Looks good, as usual.

  • Kate 19:16 on 2020-12-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Christine Gosselin, city councillor from Rosemont-PP, has quit Projet Montréal with some harsh things to say about the alleged autocratic style of Mayor Plante. Gosselin had already announced she would not be running again next November.

    Update: On Facebook, but I think open to everyone: Christine Gosselin’s statement.

    • Ian 20:19 on 2020-12-17 Permalink

      I recall not that long ago that I was accused of sounding like a “Russian bot” for making these same accusations.

      This, in combination with the other PM defections and the Quebec Superior Court siding with Sue Montgomery is proving the points I was trying to make – PM has run through the massive goodwill that existed an they are very much at risk in the next election for this and many other reasons. t

      They are clearly not much better in terms of honesty & transparency than previous administrations and very probably on the take or at least allowing corruption by trying to maintain status quo for political reasons.

      I have been avoiding this site as I find myself arguing the same points and I know there is a rule against des idées fixes, but this story in particular paints such a clear picture that I can’t help but say YO ELEKTRA OVER HERE

    • Kate 22:02 on 2020-12-17 Permalink

      Ian, I’m glad you’re back, even if it’s temporary. Did I accuse you of sounding like a Russian bot? (I don’t find the phrase anywhere on site.)

    • Kate 22:47 on 2020-12-17 Permalink

      To add: I like what I know of Christine Gosselin – we’ve exchanged occasional general remarks on Facebook and so on. So I tend to credit her. Then I go back on Facebook and there are so many people calling Plante stupid, blaming her for all kinds of things that are not within her power to change or fix – things that are only within federal or provincial jurisdiction, or that are accidents of history, the most obvious being the pandemic, but also poverty and homelessness, inequality, differences among the city’s boroughs, the inconveniences caused by catching up with decades of neglected infrastructure, on and on.

      And yet I still have to say that as a resident I still feel Projet is more attuned to how I want the city to be run than any other administration I’ve known. As a resident I don’t have to deal with the internal problems of city administration. So I find myself, even now, defending Plante at times, reflexively.

      And to add again: I don’t recall people deriding Coderre, Tremblay, or any earlier mayors in quite such belittling terms. And yes, I think it’s because she’s a woman. (And women do it too – if anything, their wording is harsher and more vicious.)

    • J 07:53 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      Those with longer memories than I: are we experiencing a normal rate of attrition from a municipal party in power, or is the rate under Projet Montreal unusually high?

    • su 08:10 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      I wonder why Christine Gosselin was removed from the executive committee.

    • Tim S. 09:24 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      I haven’t run the numbers, but at the federal level it’s common to lose a few MPs at the end of a term, and it generally doesn’t seem to harm the governing party as much as the media coverage makes out (remember JWR, Jane Philpot and a couple of others whose name I forget at this time of the morning?)
      I suspect PM has a problem because councillors have divided loyalties to the borough and central government in a way that doesn’t exist in any other form of politics, as far as I’m aware, and because they specifically attracted people who wanted and expected to make a difference – which probably wasn’t a big recruiting priority among Coderre’s team. People who care are a lot harder to manage than those who are happy to do what they’re told in exchange for a title and some perks.
      But yeah, maybe I will grudgingly concede to Ian that Plante and her advisors aren’t handling these cases well. Disappointing. I would still be very surprised to find that they’re on the take, and I’m with Kate that they’re our best hope for a livable city.

    • Joey 10:26 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      IIRC, one of the main issues for PM in general and Valerie Plante in particular was allowing the boroughs to have more control of day-to-day management. In practice, it seems that, as always happens regardless of who’s in power, what their political orientation is or what level they’re at, the person at the top wants to exert as much control as possible. To the extent that a handul of councillors/borough mayors have tried to stand out or pursue their own agendas instead of the central Plante/PM line, they have been shut down with extreme prejudice. I think the disappoinment and frustration for Plante/PM supporters/voters is that this this party, explicitly, was supposed to be different. None of us would have been surprised if, say, Mayor Melanie Joly chose to run the city in this manner; PM was supposed to be different, specifically so that the “quality of life” issues could be best addressed at the hyper-local level. There seems to be a tendency among some of the core PM people to “eat their young” and shut down debate from other party members/wings who don’t drink all the kool-aid all the time. Par for the course for an ideologically-driven political entity, I assume, but it gets messy when you’re also into local democracy promotion, etc.

      Hopefully some of the really positive achievements of this administration (REV, protecting island biodiversity, etc.) will last beyond what looks like will be one short term in power.

    • DeWolf 15:22 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      For me it comes down to alternatives. What other option is there but PM? Denis Coderre and Ensemble Montréal.

      Coderre’s record is clear: he cut bus service with disastrous results, did not improve metro service, wasted most of his time and energy on boondoggles like the 375 anniversary, Formula E and paving over a huge chunk of St. Helen’s Island, and was even more of an autocrat than what Plante is being accused of. He literally had the police surveil a journalist who had been critical of him!

      Then when he didn’t win a second term he quit politics in a huff, only to constantly insinuate that he will make a glorious comeback. Since his departure, the dregs of his old party have failed to propose any sort of vision for Montreal, but their political positions suggest they would not invest in social housing, would slash transit funding, rip out controversial bike infrastructure and generally lead a very pro-developer, pro-car, anti-tax kind of government. Make Montreal more like Toronto, in other words, except with all of the usual corruption and collusion we have here.

      If disillusioned PM supporters would rather have a retrograde suburban party in power, just because they can’t hold their noses and vote for the lesser of two evils, I’m not sure what to say.

    • nau 15:59 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      Thank you DeWolf for making the case I wanted to, but better. Am I going to vote against PM for their internal human resources problems when I’m relatively happy with the progress they’ve made in my borough and city-wide to correct the imbalance that favours people who move around the city in their cars over everyone else? Hardly.

    • Brett 18:11 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      Projet is now down to 50 members. Forgive my ignorance but does this now mean they form a minority government in city hall?

    • Jack 10:51 on 2020-12-19 Permalink

      She said the way Sue Montgomery was treated was part of her decision. The judge who decided in Montgomery ‘s favour confirmed something I already thought. “ À l’origine de toute cette affaire se trouvent les plaintes répétées d’Annalisa Harris concernant l’indifférence de Stéphane Plante lorsqu’elle lui demandait des documents ou de l’information. L’insistance de la directrice de cabinet a été perçue comme du harcèlement psychologique par le directeur de l’arrondissement. “ I have to say this pisses me off and shows how many of these entrenched bureaucracies have contempt for the elected, which in essence is us. I will also bet you that Stephane Plante lives in Blainville.

    • Kate 10:53 on 2020-12-19 Permalink

      Jack, thanks for pointing that out.

  • Kate 19:06 on 2020-12-17 Permalink | Reply  

    The ARTM is getting $20 million from Quebec to study transit possibilities — the pink line — between Lachine and downtown.

    • Ant6n 14:12 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      We can’t we Integrate our planning. Also why do the REM money makers build random unstudied stuff, and the actual transit authorities don’t get to build anything but just study stuff. Also, isn’t Plante selling the REM2 micro metro at the pink line?

    • Jebediah Pallendrome 15:37 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      I’m going to try to add up how much money has been spent on studying transit projects over the last 30 years.

    • ant6n 18:43 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

      Be my guest. 90% of the work has been done here, if you start with this compilation of all the AMT capital projects until 2019 that I have assembled out of 25 years of AMT Capital spending plans. (I used it to figure out the total spending on the Deux-Montagnes line, to show that the REM people only paid a fraction of what the AMT had invested int he line): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1UISQmyamKgSW0mEgO6NYGxA15DuJ9u0Dp9aiKryOCs0/edit?usp=sharing

      (BTW, back between 2000-2004 or so, the AMT spent like 10-13Mio on a project called Viabus, line 572 in the spreadsheet. The idea was to build an SRB along the former CN-right-of-way in the East. I think the AMT or the province had actually purchased the right of way. It would likely be used by the REM elevated rail line, and I bet CDPQInfra will get that land basically for free)

  • Kate 12:55 on 2020-12-17 Permalink | Reply  

    As Covid vaccine arrives in town, the health authorities have to work out how to deliver it. For now, it’s the CHSLDs which will be the distribution centres.

    Also mentioned here is that crooks are already at work, offering to sell you the vaccination at a price. Whatever those guys are injecting, you’ll be lucky if you get sterile saline. The vaccine is not for sale.

    • Kate 12:38 on 2020-12-17 Permalink | Reply  

      QMI journalist Louis-Philippe Messier spends a night at the Place Dupuis “hotel” shelter and describes just how spartan it is.

      • CharlesQ 14:05 on 2020-12-17 Permalink

        I thought the line “le lecteur moyen de ce reportage ne dort probablement pas sur une surface plus confortable” is very cheap like those homeless people have it so good. It’s QMI afterall, everyone knows what to expect from them.

      • DeWolf 15:01 on 2020-12-17 Permalink

        I disagree, CharlesQ. The entire last paragraph is devoted to all the ways in which it is an ultimately uncomfortable experience, nothing at all like having an actual home.

      • CharlesQ 17:33 on 2020-12-17 Permalink

        @DeWolf the way I read that paragraph is that he’s reassuring his readers that they weren’t too “cuddled”. Like that would be a bad thing. It’s like he’s saying to his readers: don’t worry they are as badly treated as before like his readers would be relieved reading that.

      • DeWolf 18:26 on 2020-12-17 Permalink

        Different ways of interpreting it, I guess. For me it was a clin d’oeil to the bungalow-dwellers but not necessarily written in bad faith by the author.

      • Kate 22:20 on 2020-12-17 Permalink

        Mostly I found it surprising they were bunking two people in together. I suppose it may be necessary but even if you take temperatures that’s no guarantee there won’t be some transmission.

        Also, what’s the thing about taking bathroom doors off? It’s not a jail.

      • Daniel 09:10 on 2020-12-18 Permalink

        Wow. That was an eye-opening read. I had assumed they weren’t getting room service. But I did not picture them with no privacy for the bathroom, no television, no internet, no furniture, topped off with getting roused and tossed out at 630am (with a muffin, yay?).

        Again, it’s not like I expected them to have a breakfast buffet and pay-per-view. But damn — that’s pretty bleak.

      • JP 02:52 on 2020-12-19 Permalink

        I don’t get why they can’t have privacy using the bathroom….they’re human beings….

    • Kate 12:01 on 2020-12-17 Permalink | Reply  

      I’ve begun to grit my teeth whenever I see the word revitalisation in articles and headlines, because what it almost always means is gentrification, as in Revitalisation de l’est de Montréal – a piece on how the REM will do just that to the eastern part of the island.

      Thirty years planning the blue line, a Montreal solution to the problem of lacklustre public transit in the area, and now this. Has anyone even examined what impact this new REM will have on blue line progress?

      Can anyone doubt that the REM is simply how Quebec is shaping the Montreal of the future?

      • Kate 11:48 on 2020-12-17 Permalink | Reply  

        Pornhub is not at the end of its current wave of troubles. Forty women in California are launching a lawsuit claiming it is profiting from videos that were taken without their consent.

        I wonder how many lawyers are on Pornhub’s payroll by now.

        • Michael Black 11:55 on 2020-12-17 Permalink

          I wondered about that. The previous story was about child porn, but if that could land there, how could there be any system in place to ensure anything uploaded was approved by the participants?

        • steph 13:50 on 2020-12-17 Permalink

          I’ve heard that they had a system already in place where victims of revenge porn had to send the websites naked pictures as proof along with take down notices. Making victims add to the shame is abhorrent.

      • Kate 11:46 on 2020-12-17 Permalink | Reply  

        The Quebec Press Council has ruled that Karla Homolka can’t expect privacy after her crimes, while she lives in Quebec.

        I’m mostly mentioning this here because she’s been in local news not that long ago, and we ended up debating whether it was ethical for a journalist to mention her general current location and activities. For the Press Council, evidently it is.

        • dwgs 13:39 on 2020-12-17 Permalink

          Ordinarily I would say that if you serve your punishment you should be left alone. Considering the nature of her crimes and how she gamed the system to get a laughable sentence, well to hell with her. After what she did she doesn’t deserve a day’s peace. I do feel bad for her kids but what was she thinking when she decided to have kids? She must have known what they would have to deal with in terms of her legacy.

        • JaneyB 20:42 on 2020-12-17 Permalink

          I was living in the GTA during the horror of the trial for her unnameable partner. Unspeakable crimes. I’m surprised she’s still alive. If she wants to start over, she’ll have to pick another country. Even then…

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