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  • Kate 20:52 on 2021-04-24 Permalink | Reply  

    Marches were held in various Quebec towns Saturday in support of real rent control.

    • david344 13:45 on 2021-04-25 Permalink

      Rent control is an important tool in our arsenal to keep housing costs down, but people should understand that the real reason that Quebec’s rent control laws aren’t strictly enforced is that they’re far too exigent. The super exigent rules (by far North America’s most pro-tenant) but loose enforce hits a sort of sweet spot that keeps rents from shooting up too much, but keeps the incentive (of potentially greater profits with a move-out) there for landlords to enter the market and do proper upkeep.

      The literature is pretty clear: the strict enforcement of rent control laws like ours would result in a lot less rental housing, as we experienced a crash in the value of property as an income generator and, consequently, a flood of people exiting the landlord business. This would be fantastic for anyone wanting to buy a home – with a huge of wave of small time landlords exiting the market, it would be the best time to buy since the run up to the last referendum.

      As someone who rents, I’d love the opportunity to score a grand old former rental, maybe on Laval Street off Square Saint Louis. Hey, and since the city/boroughs still haven’t prevented unit combinations, if the prices came down, maybe I could score an entire rental building and convert it into a single family home.

      On the other hand, we’d probably be looking at the end of most new condo construction for at least a decade until housing prices recovered, which would bum me out, as I work in construction.

      Plus, my broader project of keeping rents would take a big hit: as units permanently left the rental market as owner move-ins, you’d see more new construction of purpose built rental with higher rents for people still on the rental market, and this would be more expensive than pretty much any equivalent in the existing stock. Plus you’d see a jump in homelessness, which I guess we would just put in tents, since that’s the new position.

      Anyway, there’s a reason it is the way it is, and the way it is isn’t all that bad.

  • Kate 20:43 on 2021-04-24 Permalink | Reply  

    Festivals are adapting in various ways to a second pandemic summer.

    • Kate 11:41 on 2021-04-24 Permalink | Reply  

      Karel Mayrand writes briefly in La Presse about a new fund called the Fonds Collectif pour le climat et la transition écologique meant to help the Montreal area transition to a greener mode of life.

      Mayrand only touches briefly on one of the injustices necessary for this shift: young people will have to lead a simpler and less wasteful way of life than their immediate forebears, which is a difficult sell. It’s not unlike wealthy countries in the West having to convince poorer countries that, too bad, but they can’t have all the amenities we do, for the sake of the planet.

      Will this new foundation do any good? I admit to cynicism, and a belief that foundations like this mostly serve to pay a few salaries for approved individuals. But maybe it will help a bit.

      • Kate 11:23 on 2021-04-24 Permalink | Reply  

        The city has approved the construction of a 63-storey tower, 200 meters high, at St‑Jacques and Mansfield.

        I’m fascinated by the economic fact that, no matter how many condo towers are built, we will still have a shortage of residential housing. Montreal hasn’t been experiencing a net growth of residents, so who are all these people moving into these tiny, tiny condos?

        • DeWolf 12:37 on 2021-04-24 Permalink

          Montreal *has* been experiencing net growth. All those stories of people moving to the suburbs were misleading because they gave the impression that Montreal’s population was in decline, but the loss of those residents was still offset by interprovincial migration, natural growth and the few immigrants that were able to come in despite border restrictions.


          Also, despite all the talk of condos, a large part of new construction up is rental, which is the case with 900 St-Jacques as well as several other large towers currently going up.

        • Kate 13:13 on 2021-04-24 Permalink

          I wasn’t really tackling whether these spaces were condos (sold) or apartments (rented) – either way, in theory they’re adding living spaces to the city, but no matter how many towers go up, the problem remains.

        • steph 18:29 on 2021-04-24 Permalink

          Everyone is feeling the covid cabin fever effect. Being locked up with the same people can grind at your spirits. As some people are looking for bigger places, others are opting to live on their own instead.

        • Max 19:03 on 2021-04-24 Permalink

          Funny that they’re only announcing the project now. Preliminary work has been under way for months per this web site:


          I imagine it’ll be a lot of Chinese investors scooping these up. That seems to be the trend with the recent buildings on Rene-Levesque and around the Tour des Canadiens.

        • denpanosekai 19:50 on 2021-04-24 Permalink

          Amazing project for this lot.

        • Phil M 06:44 on 2021-04-25 Permalink

          Imagine all you want, Max, but there won’t be any “Chinese investors scooping these up.” This is a Canvar project, so it’s almost certainly hotel on the lower floors, and rental apartments on the higher floors, as are all their downtown buildings so far. Their projects go up quickly because they don’t have to wait to pre-sell the condos before beginning construction.

          At 63 floors, this appears to be their tallest building yet – nearly double the height of their next tallest building, as far as I’m aware. In terms of adding living space, taller is the only way to go. And yet we have limits on allowed heights, because of the mountain. Now, whether that’s good or bad is not for me to say, but are we trying to increase living space, or not?

          The Plateau is off limits to new construction, and certainly no high-rises are allowed, while its sacred borders must never be crossed by the ghastly commuters from the suburbs. Meanwhile, developers are maligned for trying to make a profit, but why else would they invest in new buildings if they don’t see a way to make money from the venture? And while I have no love for greedy landlords, I find it amusing that some people think we live in some magical land where rent isn’t based on the laws of supply and demand.

          Montreal is by no means immune to NIMBYism, either. “Oh no, an elevated train on Rene-Levesque!” Well do you want more mass transit, or not? “But they’re just going to route the lines to the developers new developments!” Didn’t you just say we need more living space?

          So which is it? Build more and complain there still isn’t enough, or build nothing at all? Is it going to be perfect? No, but some people are proposing solutions, and some are not.

      • Kate 10:38 on 2021-04-24 Permalink | Reply  

        It was reported around the media that the STM was calling in an external expert to investigate the video from last weekend showing several of its security goons dogpiling on one woman, one of whom punched her repeatedly in the head. She had entered the metro without paying.

        I’m excerpting here from Alexandre Popovic, who posted this information to Facebook, noting that no francophone media had mentioned it:

        Les médias rapportaient que la STM avait embauché un « avocat spécialisé en déontologie policière » pour agir à titre « d’expert indépendant » dans ce dossier :

        Or, le soi-disant « expert indépendant » est un avocat du nom de Marco Gaggino spécialisé… dans la défense de flics cités devant le Comité de déontologie policière.

        J’ai appris que Gaggino avait défendu les intérêts de policiers dans pas moins de 84 dossiers en déontologie policière.

        Bref, les médias mainstream sont complètement passés à côté du fait que le pseudo « expert indépendant » engagé par la STM défend depuis plus d’un quart de siècles des flics qui ont des démélés avec la déontologie policière. Seul CTV a relevé que Gaggino avait représenté la police québécoise à différentes occasions. Ainsi, la STM s’est bien payé la tête du public avec son histoire d’expert indépendant. Mais ça, vous ne le saurez pas en vous informant auprès des médias mainstream francophones.

        In short, the “independent expert” has a long, well attested track record in getting cops out of ethical jams. He’s a friend to the police, hardly independent, yet only CTV mentions that he’s previously represented police on many occasions.

        • Tee Owe 12:57 on 2021-04-24 Permalink

          Let’s not forget the severity of her crime, failing to pay her fare on the Metro OMG put this woman away forever, and all credit to these STM officers for protecting society from this horrendous offence – what’s a few punches to the head when we’re looking at a Metro fare. People need to understand how difficult it is for them —- he’ll do a great job

        • Ephraim 17:58 on 2021-04-24 Permalink

          Why is it that police still haven’t figured out that they are now always under surveillance. (And you should NEVER go anywhere with a policeman who isn’t under surveillance.) Go through a red light, a Tesla hits their horn and the video is saved, ready to be sent to the commission. There are doorbell cams watching what happens. Cams inside people’s home. And phones everywhere. How long will it take them to realize that they can’t get away with this shit anymore?

        • ant6n 04:45 on 2021-04-25 Permalink

          Well, we’ll see whether they won’t get away with playing robocop.

      • Kate 10:12 on 2021-04-24 Permalink | Reply  

        A new homeless camp is gathering in Hochelaga, the mayor saying she wants the situation approached with tolerance.

        The Cabot Square tent shelter, put up this winter with some help from indigenous communities around Quebec, and which is credited with saving people from dying of exposure as Raphaël André did in January, has to be packed up and carted away at the end of April, leaving people in that end of town with nowhere to go at night. This is a good Christopher Curtis piece.

        • Kate 09:35 on 2021-04-24 Permalink | Reply  

          Some SPVM cops have been noticed wearing ‘thin blue line’ patches, an idea imported from the U.S. along with Blue Lives Matter (although named in imitation of a British regiment), and forbidden by some police forces.

          • Ephraim 17:59 on 2021-04-24 Permalink

            And it should be here. That thin blue line is actually a CRIME. It’s aiding and abetting in a crime.

          • steph 18:35 on 2021-04-24 Permalink

            all those cops should be fired.

          • Kevin 19:23 on 2021-04-24 Permalink

            Bill 133, passed in 2017 in Quebec, prohibits police officers from modifying their uniforms.

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