Updates from April, 2021 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:13 on 2021-04-05 Permalink | Reply  

    The mayor of a town near Quebec City is complaining of incoherent messaging from the Quebec government over Covid restrictions. Are they causing confusion? The premier is calling another presser Tuesday at 5 p.m.

    • jeather 09:38 on 2021-04-06 Permalink

      I can’t really disagree with this. Montreal has not been cycling so much, but there is some yoyo effect when they loosen restrictions way too early (because hospitalizations aren’t bad, and we are pretending that this is not a 2 week lagging indicator) and then suddenly have to tighten right back up.

      Fine, Montreal is not getting as many doses as before because for a while we got extras and now other areas need it more — but why is the Capitale National region still 65+? Was Easter Sunday’s alarmingly low vaccination rate just an artefact of the holiday?

      I saw someone say to expect a 3 week full lockdown again, though that’s heavily into rumour. I’m hoping we will discuss what preexisting conditions count.

    • mare 11:10 on 2021-04-06 Permalink

      At least there’s talk of vaccinating not only people with pre-existing conditions but the essential workers too.

      According to my brother-in-law, ER doctor in Vancouver, that’s were the cases he sees are coming from in BC. People who work inside —store clerks, factory workers, cleaners— and who encounter many strangers and even though they wear masks, get infected. Often younger people and they present very different than previous, mostly older Covid patients infected by classic Covid. They come into the ER later, after 10 days or so, and with symptoms that resemble appendicitis or other abdominal issues. And then they get worse rapidly. Schools are closed in BC, but they might become a big vector here if we keep them open. It will be hard to “sell” another lockdown though, with the long lag between infection (and infectious) and developing symptoms. Especially in Quebec now spring is finally here. These variants, and especially P1, are a whole different beast altogether, so let’s try to be ready for them by vaccinating not only the vulnerable, but also the spreaders.

  • Kate 21:07 on 2021-04-05 Permalink | Reply  

    UQÀM is negotiating with their grad who posted nude or scanty shots that included the university branding, attempting to arrive at a settlement out of court. No pictures, but a description: “relevant sa toge de finissante de manière à exhiber ses seins, diplôme en main.”

    • Kate 19:29 on 2021-04-05 Permalink | Reply  

      The city needs a proactive lockdown as a firebreak before Covid variants ramp up, according to various experts quoted here.

      • Meezly 09:11 on 2021-04-06 Permalink

        They are talking about the UK B117 variant being already here, but the P1 variant (Brazil) is also spreading from BC and AB.

    • Kate 19:26 on 2021-04-05 Permalink | Reply  

      The OSM is preparing its first live show in six months to be held in front of a properly distanced audience, and with no intermission.

      • Mr.Chinaski 22:04 on 2021-04-05 Permalink

        Unfortunately the OSM (or any orchestra) is still unable to play most of the classical repertoire as there is a limit of players you can have on stage with the 2m limitation. At the Maison Symphonique it’s around 75 in the depth version of the stage, which unfortunately takes a lot of front rows.

      • Raymond Lutz 06:49 on 2021-04-06 Permalink

        Tabarnak! Le 2m n’est pas suffisant (ni même nécessaire). La covid est transmise par aérosols! Probable airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in a poorly ventilated restaurant C’est une ventilation adéquate qu’il faut imposer.

      • Mr.Chinaski 18:51 on 2021-04-06 Permalink

        S’il y a quelque chose que la maison symphonique est bonne pour, c’est la bonne ventilation adéquate. Il y a des trappes sous chaque sièges.

      • Raymond Lutz 09:32 on 2021-04-07 Permalink

        Merci pour la précision, Mr. Chinasky. Mais la présence de multiples évents ne garantit pas une ventilation adéquate car cela dépend de la gestion du système de ventilation: pour réduire les coûts de chauffage (ou de climatisation) de nombreux administrateurs imposent aux techniciens de principalement recirculer l’air du bâtiment plutôt que de le changer par celui de l’extérieur.

        La seule filtration de l’air recirculé n’est pas suffisante car les bâtiments (hors les hôpitaux) utilisent communément des filtres MERV 8 et peuvent difficilement accommoder les MERV 13 imposés par la pandémie vu leur restriction supérieure qui sollicite d’avantage les soufflantes (et ils coûtent 10x plus chers). Pour les geeks: Effects of building ventilation on SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

    • Kate 13:23 on 2021-04-05 Permalink | Reply  

      Paul Journet continues his theme comparing Plante and Coderre, this time in terms of how they deal with the provincial government.

      • Kate 09:47 on 2021-04-05 Permalink | Reply  

        An immigrant from France failed the immigration French test – “un examen qui est fait pour être raté” he says – but in his case it was the oral test he messed up.

        I’d love to see journalists administer the whole test to a randomly chosen group of Quebec francophones. I’m willing to bet 35 to 40% would lose the right to live here, if they did.

        • Jack 11:32 on 2021-04-05 Permalink

          This will be international news, pizzagate IX.

        • david77 12:16 on 2021-04-05 Permalink

          This Frenchman would have been exempted from the exam had he graduated from high school back in his country. While a Frenchman failing a French exam is a little humorous, it’s not hard to imagine a high school dropout failing to get a B2 level (minimum professional competence) on the TEF. With that perspective, his whining is pretty entitled: the entire purpose of language exams for immigration purposes (Canada has too) are to ensure that we’re letting in the right sort – the type who speaks the language, but also the type who’d get to work and study for an exam.

          This bonehead is possibly the only French in all of Quebec to fail this exam, because basically the only way to fail is by not having a French schooling background, AND then to actually be so bad at your native language that you can’t reach a score of minimum competence.

        • david77 12:47 on 2021-04-05 Permalink

          Again, this is the sort of shocking entitlement that really only a French could pull off with this type of aplomb. You drop me in Russia oe even in France, you’re not going to see me complaining about the steps I have to take to immigrate, going to a newspaper to complain that it’s too hard.

          Hopefully, instead of provoking a discussion about whether minimum competence in French should be a requirement to immigration, this episode will make the media rounds as a story about the peculiar centrality of complaining to the French national character.

        • jeather 13:35 on 2021-04-05 Permalink

          Oh, I got pretty pissy when I was in the US and I had to fight to not have to take some test of my English skills. (They finally decided that even though they didn’t understand the high school details, the fact that I’d gone to McGill would be good enough, but it was a pain.)

        • Phil M 16:16 on 2021-04-05 Permalink

          I graduated Emglish high school in Quebec with a certification of “Francais langue maternelle” and also did French courses at an English cegep, and I still had to take a French proficiency exam to go to a French university here, because bureaucracy.

          Not sure if it was the same test as for immigration, but it probably was. And, honestly, the only reason I passed the oral exam was because I would look at the multiple choice options before hearing the question, giving me enough of a frame of reference for the question so that I could answer quickly enough before the next question was posed.

          It’s not an easy test, by any means, and in my opinion it is designed to keep people out as much as possible, which is par for the course in la belle province…

        • CE 16:34 on 2021-04-05 Permalink

          Have any of you ever done the English tests like IELTS or TOEFL? I used to teach them to students who were planning to take them for immigration or to get into universities. They are incredibly difficult! My classes were designed to learn tricks to pass the test, nothing related to grammar, pronunciation, spelling, etc.. Even though I knew the tests inside out and am a native English speaker, new example tests often tripped me up. These tests are difficult across the board, no matter the language.

        • ant6n 18:43 on 2021-04-05 Permalink

          I had done TOEFL in order to be allowed to go to university in Montreal. I didn’t find it too difficult. I think when I signed up for the test they gave me a CD with some practice questions, and I spent an afternoon going through that. That was back in 2005 tho, and maybe I was lucky, maybe things changed. At the university, I often came across other foreign students (especially Asian ones), who seemed so incapable to communicate in English that I kept wondering how they passed the test.

        • CE 21:19 on 2021-04-05 Permalink

          I’ve heard that there’s a lot of cheating. People will hire other people who speak English well as look like them to take the test. Or they simply bribe the person administering it (a friend of mine who marked tests and did the oral evaluations was offered bribes quite often).

        • Ephraim 21:44 on 2021-04-05 Permalink

          I didn’t have an exemption and someone was going to make me take an English class. I looked at them and asked if that was a punishment for me, or the teacher that I will constantly correct. A friend helped “find” my exemption. 😀

        • Mitchell 06:41 on 2021-04-06 Permalink

          I did have to take that test. And was definitely struck by the irony that it is (or was) a test designed by France to make sure the taker is qualified to “speak” French for the purposes of France. The questions (or whatever they are) are not always crystal clear (is a news story about an artists strike in Venice over foreign films international news or cultural news or . . .). And wrong answers are penalized, which is where I got screwed. Fortunately, I passed, but my score was lower than it could have been because of that damned penalization.

        • qatzelok 11:30 on 2021-04-06 Permalink

          The French spoken in Québec has improved so much since the Révolution Tranquille that now, people from France are finding it hard to grunt out enough grammar to pass our tests.

        • TC 14:38 on 2021-04-06 Permalink

          I passed the language test for Italian citizenship, which requires proficiency at a B-1 level. After the interview portion, one of the proctors told me that some of the answers were not clear to her or the other proctor, both of them native Italian speakers. I can see how this guy might fail depending on how things are worded and the test is designed.

      • Kate 09:37 on 2021-04-05 Permalink | Reply  

        What Longueuil will do with its surplus deer has still not been decided. I haven’t seen any recent items on what Montreal’s going to do about the deer frolicking around on both ends of the island.

        Maybe we could combine a Covid lockdown with a release of tigers.

        • MarcG 11:03 on 2021-04-05 Permalink

          Tigers are just big cats and only 98% of the people they maul die of pre-existing conditions.

        • MarcG 11:05 on 2021-04-05 Permalink

          Oops, accidental “only”

        • Kate 11:07 on 2021-04-05 Permalink

          It’s funny, though.

      • Kate 09:02 on 2021-04-05 Permalink | Reply  

        La Presse has good news about Jean-Talon market: a new management style seems to have settled some of the difficulties, even though it goes on being hard to find small local farmers willing to spend a lot of their time in town selling at a stall.

        • Jack 11:42 on 2021-04-05 Permalink

          “la Ville a décidé de mettre de l’ordre dans la gouvernance en nommant une directrice à la main de fer, qui, selon plusieurs, n’a pas su tenir compte de la culture et de la tradition de l’institution.
          À cela s’ajoutaient plusieurs décisions de l’administration Plante qui n’ont pas aidé : restrictions à la mobilité dans le secteur, diminution des places de stationnement, aménagement douteux en béton, près de la SAQ, signalisation déficiente et rues fermées à la circulation automobile. ”
          The reporter listed the Birri talking points from the last decade. He has been opposed to any and all changes forever. Last year he told us he was done , it was over, he was going to Laval…how much you want a bet he will back.
          Another thing to consider is that the previous administration faced threats and vandalism when they tried to clean up some very obvious corruption. So somebody who told the grossistes that they were tenants and not owners of the Market got cross, come on.

        • DeWolf 11:50 on 2021-04-05 Permalink

          The “aménagement douteux en béton” was filled with (responsibly distanced) people watching a bluegrass band perform yesterday. When I look back at old images of the market when that area was still a parking lot, it’s pretty clear to me that turning the market into a more human, pleasant place is exactly the kind of change that is going to sustain it into the future. Anybody can drive to a Fruiterie 440 if they want fresh veg with lots of parking. A true market offers something more.

          At least the article is correct in describing how the market has been reinvigorated over the past year. Not surprising that it took new management with a fresh vision of balancing different types of stalls rather than leaning too heavily to one side or the other. In these pandemic times, the market also has the advantage of being open air, which means people can get their food without having to spend too much time indoors.

        • YUL514 12:36 on 2021-04-05 Permalink

          DeWolf, that part of the article caught my attention too (about it being reinvigorated) but I’m not sure I believe it. Maybe sales were up but all those empty spaces last summer were disappointing. They used to have a bunch of temporary stalls along the “Allée Vert” in previous summers but that last two years have been disappointing. In general I found last summer to be quieter than in previous years and I’ve been shopping there weekly for 20 years, that was my observation.

      Compose new post
      Next post/Next comment
      Previous post/Previous comment
      Show/Hide comments
      Go to top
      Go to login
      Show/Hide help
      shift + esc