Updates from April, 2021 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:11 on 2021-04-09 Permalink | Reply  

    Weekend driving notes from La Presse.

    • Kate 18:22 on 2021-04-09 Permalink | Reply  

      Birds have been singing outside my window all day – a different bird this morning from the one I’m hearing now after 6. The scarcity of planes going over is either making them sing more, or is making me notice it more.

      • EmilyG 18:54 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

        The house finches and song sparrows have been singing.

      • Blork 19:12 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

        It’s bird-crazy over here! Yesterday I watched a Battle Royale between one badass cardinal and another cardinal plus two blue jays. Territorial MF! Plus a bunch of birds that I don’t even recognize are showing up and yelling their heads off. And a couple of days ago there was a swarm of turkey vultures circling over the boisé du Tremblay.

    • Kate 15:21 on 2021-04-09 Permalink | Reply  

      Three men in what’s described as a “luxury gray car” were arrested Thursday evening after someone was spotted with a gun at Cabot Square.

      • Kate 15:17 on 2021-04-09 Permalink | Reply  

        SAQ employees will be helping with the vaccination effort, either as welcoming staff, IT assistants, or even wielding the needle if they’re qualified.

        Firefighters will be paid 3 hours’ overtime to get vaccinated. It’s noted here that this wasn’t a demand of the union, but an arrangement so that fire stations will remain properly manned while colleagues are off getting their shot.

        Notes on when the mask must be worn outside.

        • dmdiem 16:52 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

          I started typing out a lengthy rant about the stupidity of the outdoor mask rules and how they don’t reflect our current knowledge of how the virus transmisses but I got a headache, my nose started bleeding and a little piece of brain fell out of my ear.

          So instead I’m going to pour a glass of wine and enjoy the evening.

        • DeWolf 18:01 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

          The only way to effectively enforce an outdoor mask mandate is to require everyone to wear one at all times when outside the house. That’s the case in many countries. But I’m not aware of any evidence that this is actually necessary, even with variants. The UK does not have an outdoor mask mandate and they have managed to get their cases under control. Most of continental Europe requires masks outdoors and it certainly hasn’t helped anything.

          As it stands this is just another example of a half-measure that confuses everyone and doesn’t do anything to help the situation.

        • MarcG 18:01 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

          It seems like the province is focusssing on the wrong things like curfews and masks outside – why?

        • Kate 21:17 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

          The obvious thing is they want to distract from workplace transmission.

        • MBlack 08:02 on 2021-04-10 Permalink

          I wear a mask outside, in town, because, out of nowhere it seems, people will come up very close to you without warning. I got tired of lifting it up and down and hygiene-wise, you aren’t supposed to anyhow. At intersections especially when waiting for a light to change.

      • Kate 10:11 on 2021-04-09 Permalink | Reply  

        The REM is well on its way in the West Island, and only now is anyone asking whether it’s an eyesore. The answer is: basically, not so much. It fits right in.

        • Matt G 10:11 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

          Not much beauty out there, honestly.

        • Bill Binns 11:11 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

          I’ve been all over the West Island in the last few weeks and most of the REM construction seems to be along highways. It’s kind of hard to screw up the asthetics of a highway corridor. If they can manage to keep the structures free of graffiti and prevent them from looking like the area around the Mega Hospital I don’t think it’s so bad. I’d buy a home near the tracks.

        • DeWolf 11:34 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

          It’s a nice distraction from the endless procession of big box stores, shopping malls and industrial parks along the 40.

        • MarcG 12:29 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

          I’ll never understand the aethetic appreciation of bare concrete infrastructure; the city should be paying the kids who paint it.

        • MarcG 12:53 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

          Bill and I both managed to mangle the spelling so here it is: aesthetic.

        • Blork 13:50 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

          I drove along the 40 a couple of weeks ago and was pretty surprised to see how far it’s come along, and how big and imposing it is. I regret not grabbing some photos because it’s a pretty spectacular scene, especially when you see that massive gantry they’re using to build it. It’s like a deep sea oil rig that slides along building the line. And all those pilons are an impressive sight. In places it’s fairly low, but whenever it comes to a major intersection like Sources it goes way, way up — like as high as a 10-storey building — because it needs to pass over the existing overpass.

          While I don’t see the big deal about having that running along the 40, go take a look and then think about that running down Boul. René-Lévesques. Then you’re like oh. Oh crap.

        • ant6n 14:30 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

          But it is a funny discussion when we say the REM doesn’t matter along the A40, because nobody wants to be in that area anyway…. because, you know, in general it’s a good idea to build transit where people actually want to be.

        • Blork 19:18 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

          Yeah, but it’s bogus to say nobody wants to live there. Hundreds of thousands of people happily live there. The main thing is that along the transit corridor (the 40) it’s not such a big deal to have an elevated train line because it’s just highway and strip malls. Cutting straight through downtown? That’s a whole other thing.

        • Phil M 22:20 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

          New York, Chicago, Vancouver, Berlin, Paris, Tokyo, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, and on, and on… Many cities much nicer than Montreal have elevated metro systems, and they’re all fine. It certainly won’t hurt the West Island, where it’s almost entirely running along the highway, and, honestly, I doubt it’ll be such a blight on Rene-Levesque, which is hardly the most beautiful street in the world, let alone the city.

        • Ant6n 04:28 on 2021-04-10 Permalink

          I guess we have different definition of of “there”. It’s true that about 200K people live in the West Island – but that’s within like 8km of those REM stations. But that isn’t really living within walking distance of those highway stations.

        • Kate 09:24 on 2021-04-10 Permalink

          Phil M, Montrealers don’t tend to have sentimental feelings about René-Lévesque, but it really is one of our few big-city boulevards with lots of grandiose buildings and more recent skyscrapers. Putting a huge concrete track down the middle is totally going to mess with the ambiance.

        • Uatu 10:46 on 2021-04-10 Permalink

          Rene Levesque is already serviced by the green and orange lines so I don’t know why there needs to be an elevated train track running down the middle. I’m also wary about maintenance when stuff breaks down which means closing down the street, but hey it’s cool and like the Jetsons right?

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

          Its ruined Kirkland !

        • Ant6n 20:30 on 2021-04-10 Permalink

          Putting another line downtown isn’t about “serving” that area, it’s about getting people to work. The other lines are fairly saturated, and it using them to to connect to new areas would mean more transfers.

          But if they put another line downtown, it should actually have high capacity – otherwise what’s the point. The REM1 is already a waste of a difficult to build infrastructure by building a medium capacity line (ironically now the cdpq ppl keep talking about how impossible it is to build new downtown tunnels..). The REM2 would probably have half the capacity of the REM1, and a quarter of a high capacity line.

      • Kate 10:04 on 2021-04-09 Permalink | Reply  

        Le Devoir looked at Montreal rental offers on Kijiji and plotted the averages on a map. Rents have risen far beyond average income levels, but the Quebec minister of municipal affairs is quoted as saying “Crisis? What crisis?”

        • steph 10:24 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

          I can’t make out where Verdun rents are at with this map. The boundaries are awkward.

        • MarcG 10:28 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

          We’re in with the Sud Ouest. And they were smart enough to put Ile-Des-Soeurs with downtown, unlike the usual political designations, since it has pretty much nothing in common with “mainland” Verdun.

      • Kate 09:36 on 2021-04-09 Permalink | Reply  

        Interesting that on Friday morning it’s the franco media that have the biggest headlines on the death of Prince Philip at 99 years old. The Gazette notes that Philip visited Quebec more often than his wife did, and Andy Riga looks at the declining popularity of royal visits here over the decades.

        • PatrickC 15:26 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

          I can remember lining up in uniform with my Dominion Douglas Wolf Cub pack on a Westmount street in 1959, to salute the Queen as her motorcade went by. Union Jacks everywhere, and lots of veterans wearing their medals. We really were inside the Empire bubble, even though at the same time I was attending a francophone public school in a very different cultural bubble, with flags of blue and white only.

        • Kate 10:40 on 2021-04-10 Permalink

          The only connection I was ever made to have with royalty was the Brownie oath, “I promise to do my best, to do my duty to God, the Queen, and my country, to help other people every day, especially those at home.”

          I was a terrible Brownie.

        • Tee Owe 13:10 on 2021-04-10 Permalink

          My sister was a Brownie so from her I know Dyb Dyb Dyb Dob Dob Dob (hope I have that right). If you forget about God and Queen then I think you are being a wonderful blog-Brownie – please keep it up.

        • Mark Côté 21:34 on 2021-04-10 Permalink

          Thankfully modern Girl Guides have excised most of that language (as well as becoming generally progressive).

      • Kate 09:26 on 2021-04-09 Permalink | Reply  

        Not surprisingly, the pandemic has whacked city revenues along with other things, so the city is looking for ways to save money in its next budget.

        • Kate 09:17 on 2021-04-09 Permalink | Reply  

          Jérémie Fortier-Grenier fights with his father because he thinks his dad should give him the family cottage. So he murders him and tries to hide the body in a ditch in the Technoparc. He’s caught, put away for 25 years minimum before parole, and now he says he should get out sooner. Some people have a feeling of entitlement woven right through them, but Grenier is only entitled to a cell and three plain meals a day, till he’s an old man.

          • Bill Binns 07:47 on 2021-04-10 Permalink

            Again with the same old “lock em up forever” rhetoric huh? So cruel.

            People make mistakes Kate. Destroying this young man’s life won’t bring his father back. Doesn’t he deserve a chance at redemption? What if he writes a children’s book? What if he’s an extra special good boy in prison? Couldn’t he at least be allowed to take some weekend bike rides through the park to reflect on his rehabilitation journey?

            Remember kids, if you decide to execute some of your family members or the general public, be sure to “hear some voices in your head” and/or take a little sip of anti-freeze when you’re done. Quebec justice will forgive just about anything but you have to give your lawyer something to work with.

          • Kate 10:22 on 2021-04-12 Permalink

            Bill Binns, those bike rides really stick in your craw.

        • Kate 08:59 on 2021-04-09 Permalink | Reply  

          Ridership in the STM fell by nearly half last year by comparison to 2019, after a brief rise in January and February before all hell broke loose.

          The Canadian Union of Public Employees is demanding that bus drivers be prioritized for vaccination.

          • dwgs 09:38 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

            Why in the world wouldn’t they be on the priority list?

          • Bill Binns 12:46 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

            I seriously wonder if collectively, all of the various and competing “priority” groups aren’t bigger than the remaining non-priority groups. I’ve seen demands for priority status based on job, ethnicity, exposure to historical racism etc. Out west you can be vaccinated at 18 if you have a priority skin tone.

            Imagine if this was a “drop dead in the street” type Pandemic. We would be fighting a civil war over whom gets priority.

          • jeather 15:21 on 2021-04-09 Permalink

            I assume you are complaining that First Nations and Metis people are on the priority list, Bill Binns? I don’t think the stats here are being kept as well, but exposure to “historical” racism (that is somehow still ongoing right now) is related to a higher chance of getting sick and worse outcomes.

            Bus drivers are apparently not on the list because there haven’t been big outbreaks from buses, and they aren’t getting sick that often. Of course we don’t have THAT data, either. The list of essential jobs is very, very weird. Pharmacists who didn’t work in hospitals weren’t included at first.

          • Bill Binns 07:54 on 2021-04-10 Permalink

            @jeather – Well I know it’s probably terribly racist to say so these days but distributing scarce, life-saving medication to people based on skin color seems kind of wrong.

            Please forgive me. I’m “set in my ways”.

          • JaneyB 12:55 on 2021-04-10 Permalink

            @Bill Binns – Out West, Aboriginal people have priority because they are consistently in poorer health than everyone else. I doubt anyone would want to trade places with them to become eligible for the vaccine sooner.

            Bus drivers should be on the priority list. I’m surprised they’re not. Good grief.

          • jeather 14:52 on 2021-04-10 Permalink

            It is based on skin colour because skin colour is associated with higher risk. Do you want it done by lottery, it should risk be based only on factors that aren’t associated in any way with race?

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