Updates from April, 2021 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:21 on 2021-04-13 Permalink | Reply  

    More than 14,000 cyclists and pedestrians crossed the Jacques‑Cartier between mid‑December and mid‑March, the first year the path was kept open all winter.

    • Kevin 22:53 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

      That’s about 77 round trips per day.

    • Alex L 14:52 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      @Kevin, if we were to justify all public infrastructure only with numbers, a lot of things would have to be closed. The main goal here is to encourage non-motorized transportation. That being said, I don’t think these numbers are that bad for a first, during a pandemic.

    • Blork 15:06 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      I was skeptical about opening the bridge in winter, but this seems to show I needn’t have been. 77 round trips per day is a straight average. If you factor out holidays and extreme weather days, and assuming there was very little weekend traffic (i.e., this was mostly commuters) then we’re probably looking at well over 100 a day for weekdays.

    • Bill Binns 18:55 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      It would be interesting to know how much it costs to keep the sidewalk plowed and salted for those 77 daredevils.

    • Kevin 19:32 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      It was $250,000 for snow removal, another half million for administration.

    • MarcG 20:50 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      If you’re very rich you can pay people to keep you from going to jail. Some public services operate at a loss but they provided a service to those that need or enjoy them. The world is a crazy place – what makes you angry? Ask yourself why.

    • Ian 22:20 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      Breaking my silence – this is maybe the most intelligent comment I have read here in forever.
      What does your anger tell you about what you care about? How does knowing this help you make your life better? How does it help make the lives of others better?

      / exeunt

    • Bill Binns 10:03 on 2021-04-15 Permalink

      @Kevin – Holy shit, I hope that’s a joke. Do you know how many gazebos we could restore with that kind of money?

  • Kate 20:16 on 2021-04-13 Permalink | Reply  

    An expert group will be pondering the blue line extension and how to make it feasible within the already quite large budget as projected costs continue to grow.

    I have a creeping suspicion that what they’re actually meant to do is find a way to tell us the extension is cancelled in favour of the REM. Anyone want to bet against me?

    • Mark 09:46 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      “On a un métro à cinq stations autour de 1 milliard par station, aujourd’hui, alors qu’il y a un Réseau express métropolitain (REM) qui va se construire avec 23 stations pour 10 milliards. Il faut rétablir les choses”

      I’m all for keeping the blue line costs down, but let’s be real here. 10B only demonstrates construction costs and doesn’t include what is needed to be paid to the Caisse to meet their investment. I’m simplifying here, but that’s like saying: here’s is house 1 (metro), it costs 300k, but it’s yours after. Here is house 2 (REM), it costs 200k! Ok let’s go with house 2 then…..oops, we forgot to read the fine print: we need to pay 7% a year for 20 years…damn….and 750k later, you’ll still making payments on house 2.

      CDPQ spent 3B on the first REM. To get a 7% (8?) annual return, we need to find 11B over 20 years (which is the typical timeframe of a PPP). That 11B has to come from somewhere: fares, municipal royalties, etc. Let’s add in the fact that ridership will likely be lower due to WFH and it seems obvious that the cost to the public is going to much higher. That’s how I understand the model, but if anyone has other info, please correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Ant6n 12:19 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      Actually its worse. The REM isn’t a typical PPP, the timeframe is infinity.

    • Bill Binns 12:53 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      It’s easier for them to throw another token 7 figure amount of money at the Blue line for more studies. Will the Blue Line extension make the wind smell any different? We’ll, we better find out before putting a shovel in the ground!

  • Kate 19:26 on 2021-04-13 Permalink | Reply  

    Shots rang out in Longueuil Tuesday afternoon as police fired on an armed man involved in a family dispute. Four people ended up in hospital.

    • Bill Binns 19:58 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

      Cops better start learning how to use their words to disarm pshycos if Projet gets it’s way.

    • SMD 20:40 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

      Yes, exactly. Note that he was “armed” with knives and the police shot four times… and missed all four times.

    • MarcG 20:44 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

      It’s not “Projet” pushing to disarm police it’s their victims and the sympathetic forcing them to take the position.

    • Bill Binns 09:37 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      @SMD – Why the scare quotes around “armed”? You don’t consider a knife to be a deadly weapon? Are you ready to go hand to hand with someone brandishing a knife? That’s what we are asking cops to do.

    • Chris 09:38 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      >and missed all four times

      Do we know they were not warning shots?

    • Chris 09:51 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      Bill, I was going to say the same, but interestingly the OED defines ‘armed’ as “equipped with or carrying a firearm or firearms.” OTOH, Merriam-Webster defines it as “furnished with weapons”.

      It really depends on the scenario, but there are potentially better ways for cops to deal with crazies with knives. Notice in that video though, that there are no innocent bystanders around at risk. It really depends on the details, which are hard for us armchair warriors to judge.

    • Blork 10:18 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      It’s really easy for us to sit here in our stuffed chairs smoking our pipes and to muse over how cops should be able to disarm a knife-wielding man without firing a shot, but take a look at the video in the La Presse article that Kate linked to. The guy had a pretty big knife and he was enraged. He was actually running at the cop who fired her gun, and she had about two seconds before he would have been on her and likely overpowering her. The first two shots stopped him in his tracks but then he came at her again walking very aggressively and she fired two more.

      These might have been warning shots. I’m not sure what the protocol is, but you don’t just fire at nothing, nor do you fire in the air, so those bullets went somewhere; likely into a parked car if she was very controlled and watching her background. (The only thing worse than shooting an assailant is accidentally shooting a bystander.)

      OTOH she might have missed because it was a panicky situation; for the first two shots the thug was moving quickly and she was moving backwards; that’s not an easy shot. The second shots were technically “easier” but by then she would have been overwhelmed with adrenaline so shooting straight might not have been so easy.

      You can talk all day and all night about training, but being in an actual hot situation like that, with guns drawn, is not something you can easily simulate, so there’s no guarantee that it will go as expected the first time it actually happens to you.

    • Bill Binns 12:38 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      I always thought that they should train cops to shoot people in the legs in certain situations. Nothing removes all the aggression from a guy like having his knee exploded by a 9mm. The benefits include the assailant surviving the incident but possibly being sufficiently hobbled to not be a danger to anyone in the future.

    • Blork 15:09 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      Sounds OK in theory, but in the moment, when you have a crazy guy with a knife running at you and literally have only a few seconds, getting a clean leg shot isn’t all that easy and you run a higher risk of missing and taking out a bystander with a ricochet.

    • MarcG 20:18 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      The person experiencing a mental breakdown is not a “thug” (or the person super stressed because they’re poor as hell or addicted or, or, or). People lose their shit all the time, it could easily be you. I wonder if some readers would actually be upset if our society helped people in distress – it seems like you just want to hate them so you feel better about your own totally-fucked-but-at-least-i’m-sorta-keeping-it-together lives.

    • Blork 20:58 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      Good point, MarCG, and you’re right that anyone can lose their shit, and it would be good to take a different approach to such interventions.

      Losing your shit does not make you a thug, but there is such a thing as a thug losing his shit. If you look at the way that guy was going after the cops and other people, you’ll recognize this as more than just someone having a breakdown – in this particular case. I mean when a highly aggressive guy with a 10-inch knife is literally running at you and is only 10 metres away it’s not really the time to be thinking about offering a shoulder to cry on.

  • Kate 19:23 on 2021-04-13 Permalink | Reply  

    Two incidents in crowded parks over the weekend are raising more questions about police response to visible minorities and their apparent willingness to punish people of colour while giving white people a pass.

    Meanwhile, community groups are calling on the city to strengthen the police hate crimes unit, which currently has only 4 members. Since the pandemic, Asian Montrealers have faced a lot of bullshit, although I don’t know where the line is drawn that makes it criminal.

    • Joey 20:56 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

      ‘ Plante says that’s why she supports body cameras for police officers: “Where we can also have the beginning, the middle and the end. I think this is very important.”’

      Didn’t Projet decide body cameras aren’t worth implementing? I recall Alex Norris getting into it on Facebook with someone (as usual).

    • dominic 21:08 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

      @joey: I think the SPVM said it was a “bad idea” and everyone just went with it.

    • DeWolf 09:50 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      Plante originally said body cameras weren’t worth the added expense.

      Many defund-the-police types are against body cameras because they are just another way of inflating police budgets without doing anything to change police behaviour. As we’ve seen in many places that do have them, police officers turn off their body cameras even when they aren’t supposed to, without any repercussions. And it certainly hasn’t stopped police shootings from happening, as we’ve just seen in Minneapolis.

    • Ephraim 15:55 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

      Body cams should be used as a teaching tool and a way to cut down on the court expense and have people plead, knowing the data is there. In reality, the real functionality of a body cam is actually a cooler. It cools down a situation from all sides. Citizens as well as cops.

  • Kate 19:15 on 2021-04-13 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s five CIUSSSes are appealing to the public not to bring minor problems to hospital ERs which are all overcrowded at the moment.

    • Kate 14:52 on 2021-04-13 Permalink | Reply  

      Plateau mayor Luc Rabouin has announced on Facebook:

      • Mont-Royal Avenue will be fully pedestrianized between St‑Laurent and Fullum from June 20 to September 15.
      • St-Laurent will be partly pedestrianized between Sherbrooke and Mont‑Royal from July 2 to September 6 – wider sidewalks with one traffic lane in the center.
      • Duluth will be pedestrianized weekends only between St‑Laurent and St‑Denis from July 2 to August 22.
      • Joey 15:48 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

        Mont-Royal and Duluth seem obvious. St-Laurent will be interestig… curious to see if the lane of traffic ruins the vibe…

      • Tim S. 15:55 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

        Given the weather now, in April, I’m not sure why they think people will only want to be outside in July and August.

      • DeWolf 17:21 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

        I’m a little perplexed by Duluth. I thought the shared street arrangement last summer was perfect. It’s how the street was designed to be, anyway…

      • Spi 18:45 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

        So this means that through the entire territory of the Plateau, the only roads that will have more than 1-lane going north without taking a convoluted zig-zag route will be Parc and Frontenac/Iberville.

        PM sure loves giving their critics more ammunition to feed the “anti-car” narrative.

      • Kate 09:15 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

        Papineau? De Lorimier? It’s probably more a Plateau idea to not have their roads be de facto mini-highways. If drivers are in such a rush to get out of the city northwards they can go west to Decarie or east to the 25, no?

      • Chris 09:23 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

        Spi: it’s funny how so many people (on this blog and elsewhere) advocate for strict anti-covid measures, curtailment of civil liberties, etc. to fight the pandemic, which has killed about 3 million so far, but loosing a few km of car space, to help fight against the 1.4 million who die by car collisions and the 8 million that die from air pollution **every** year, well, that’s just too much.

        So many of us are accepting these limitations to freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, but god forbid we accept a 1% reduction in the allocation of space to cars!

      • DeWolf 09:58 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

        One lane of moving traffic is still one lane of moving traffic. If it takes 20 minutes to drive across the Plateau instead of 15, so what? Why do we expect people living in central boroughs to be okay with living next to racetracks? Suburbanites don’t have a god-given right to speed 60km/h down densely-packed residential streets.

      • Kate 11:26 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

        Chris, you’re equating apples and oranges, as is your argumentative approach in general.

        Deaths in traffic are a side effect. Like it or not, our society is based on moving people and stuff around in motor vehicles. For good or bad we accept the collateral damage as an ongoing social cost.

        Deaths from an illness are not comparable. We didn’t create the illness, it has no upside, and it has nothing personal against us. But we also cannot negotiate with it. You can’t make deals with a virus, you can only plan around it, make adjustments to limit the damage it can do.

        Anyone who feels that sanitary rules are an attack on their freedom is an idiot. The opposite is true. We need to adapt in the short term to ensure that the largest number of people remain alive and free of illness until enough of us are vaccinated, or the pandemic burns itself out as they are known to do.

      • Chris 14:12 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

        >Chris, you’re equating apples and oranges

        I’m not saying they are equivalent, I’m saying there are things to learn from the comparison.

        >For good or bad we accept the damage as an ongoing social cost.

        Indeed. We *could* similarly choose to accept the damage from the virus as an acceptable cost of having open businesses, freedom of movement, etc. (I’m not personally advocating this, though some do; I’m saying there are pros and cons here too.)

        >Anyone who feels that sanitary rules are an attack on their freedom is an idiot.

        I wouldn’t say “an attack” but the measures *do* impact our freedom. That’s not to say they aren’t justified, especially as they are promised to be temporary.

        My point is not that the tradeoffs we’re choosing for the pandemic are wrong. My point is that the tradeoffs we’re choosing for air pollution, global warming, and motor vehicle crashes are wrong. So many people advocate doing *so much* to reduce covid deaths as much as possible, but so few people are willing to do 1% as much to reduce environmental deaths. There’s a hypocrisy and shortsightedness there that really irks me.

      • Blork 15:18 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

        I have no skin in this game, so nothing I say on this topic is anything more than noting of facts. That said, DeWolf’s comment is a bit off the mark in terms of the numbers. Cutting down to a single lane would not add five minutes to a 15-minute cross-Plateau ride, it would probably add 20-30 minutes to it on busy days, because that’s the way congestion works. If it takes 10 minutes to go from A to B with two lanes, it doesn’t take twice as long when you remove a lane, it takes three times as long because now every variable (people stopping to load/unload passengers, people stopping for pedestrians, people stopping to park, etc.) affects all traffic, not just the lane they’re in, and there is no “go around” option.

        I worry that this plan will cause a lot of traffic backups, making drivers irritable and thus (in many cases) less cautious. It will also divert a lot more cars down side streets that normally don’t get much traffic, and many of those cars will be racing to make up lost time or just because douchebag.

        I’m not saying this to be car-positive; I’m just pointing out possible hazards.

      • Ephraim 15:58 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

        Chris… the numbers would be VERY different if we didn’t have these measures. In the US, the death rate is over 1700 per million from the pandemic. It’s over 1900 per million in Italy. Imagine if no measures were taken.

    • Kate 14:10 on 2021-04-13 Permalink | Reply  

      Business magnates are worried about the longshoremen’s union and their impending partial strike at the port, even to asking the feds to pass a special law. The workers aren’t threatening a walkout, but they will refuse overtime and weekends. I heard one of them saying on radio that if there’s so much work, they’ve got to hire more hands, not push their workers so hard – which seems reasonable. People are often glad to get a few extra paid hours, but there’s a limit.

      • Kate 09:55 on 2021-04-13 Permalink | Reply  

        Workers at the U.S. consulate have been warned to avoid downtown and Old Montreal in the evening all week this week, because of the likelihood of protests possibly boiling over into riots.

        Some Old Montreal store owners are keeping their windows boarded up for the nonce.

        • David564 17:59 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

          Ugh, she’s making it easy for Coderre.

        • Chris 09:25 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

          Will make a good attack add photo.

        • Kate 11:57 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

          I don’t understand what you guys mean here. Plante did not ordain the curfew or any of the measures against which these folks are protesting. Why do you think these riots will tell against her?

        • Chris 13:58 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

          Because attack ads work on emotion, not logic. An image of a boarded up store with fires around, viewed months later after you forget the details, can come with a caption like “Montreal went to shit under Plante”. It doesn’t have to be true to influence.

        • Blork 15:38 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

          Chris does have a point. OTOH I think that kind of thing mostly just reinforces prejudices that already exist.

          And they do exist. I recently saw a picture on FB that showed a Streetview image of a vacant lot in PAT that leads to the river, labelled “2014” and next to it a picture of the same site that says “now” that shows a bunch of condos being built. In the comments, people were blaming Plante and they were complaining that this blocked access to the river so “the rich” could have condos.

          Where to start…

          In about 90 seconds of research I determined:

          Construction had begun in mid 2017, before Plante was elected (and presumably the plans and permits were done the year before).

          The condos are not “for the rich;” it’s a fairly dense development of middle-class condos. Nothing luxureous.

          The development consists of about 100 units in a string of low buildings, taking up the space of about 10 single-family houses. It’s right in the heart of the “village” (the commercial part of Notre-Dame for that neighbourhood). Basically a by-the-book perfect example of building for both density and human-scale living.

          150 metres south of the site is a beautiful park that is open to the public and provides access to the river.

          150 metres farther there’s a second public park that also provides access to the river.

          400 metres north there’s yet another public park that provides access to the river.

          But all those people in the comments see is PLANTE BUILDING CONDOS FOR THE RICH! But those people have already made up their minds and don’t let facts get in the way of good dumbassery.

      • Kate 07:34 on 2021-04-13 Permalink | Reply  

        La Presse’s writer wants to see the Grand Prix delayed till later in the year, Le Devoir’s, to push it till next year. Holding the expensive event with no crowd isn’t getting any support even if public health says it’s OK.

        • Kate 07:24 on 2021-04-13 Permalink | Reply  

          La Presse’s Isabelle Hachey reveals the role of the far right media in the Old Port riot on Sunday night.

          • Raymond Lutz 07:40 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

            Surprise. And just don’t search for “far right”+”police” … The co-optation is every where: USA, Germany, France, Greece…. But surely not here, le plus meilleur pays du monde! Where is L’aut’journal when you need it?

          • Ephraim 09:36 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

            The question is, should we allow them to be called PRESS/MEDIA when they are affecting the news? We really need a PRESS/MEDIA authority. You shouldn’t be allowed to use the word NEWS if it’s clearly unbalanced and certainly not if you aren’t an observer.

          • Daniel 10:43 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

            We’ve certainly seen the downsides of lies passing for “news,” but I hope we don’t enter a world where the government decides what’s news.

          • Kate 11:08 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

            There’s the Canadian news media council and there’s the Quebec Conseil de presse (to which Quebecor notoriously refuses to belong), which do uphold standards, but anyone (ahem) can run a blog (or, if they have enough cash behind them, a larger media site) that exists outside these bodies.

          • qatzelok 12:18 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

            MSM: “It’s them, the other media – they’re the ones causing all the problems, smashing windows, etc.

            We’re just innocently selling SUVs and weaving oligarch-friendly narratives.”

          • Kate 14:04 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

            Snark all you like, qatzelok, most journalists stick to ethical principles about truth and honesty.

          • Nick 14:12 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

            The line between activist and artist has been blurred. The line between actor and journalist erased.

          • Ephraim 14:29 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

            @Daniel – In the UK, you just can’t label opinion as news. So you can’t call Tucker Carlson news, because it’s clearly not. There is no attempt to show all sides of an argument, to show any type of balance. Essentially Fox News isn’t News.

            @Kate – And that’s the problem. Levant isn’t just reporting, he’s actually intervening and at that point, it’s not news and he shouldn’t have a right to a press pass or to call it news. Youtube demonitized them… sometimes called the Adpocalypse. Last night they posted videos of Sunday’s riot as to suggest that it was another riot. That’s NOT news!

          • Chris 09:28 on 2021-04-14 Permalink

            Don’t worry, I’m sure that in the fairy tale world of defunded and disarmed police, such protests will become smaller, less frequent, and less violent. /s

        • Kate 07:17 on 2021-04-13 Permalink | Reply  

          Ottawa and Quebec have come to an agreement on financing an airport spur for the REM.

          • David564 18:09 on 2021-04-13 Permalink

            Details aren’t clear in this article but, unless something has changed, the deal here will be to build out the tunnel (oh so close to Dorval circle), track, and station box, then to leave it to the feds to build out the station over the next few years.

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