Updates from April, 2021 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:49 on 2021-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Like our premier, the big landlords’ consortium refuses to admit there’s a housing crisis and is denying it in the face of logical points from Mayor Plante.

    • david288 22:30 on 2021-05-02 Permalink

      CORPIQ is taking 100% the wrong position here. Instead of denying, they should be wholeheartedly agreeing and planting the blame where it belongs: all the anti-housing groups, Project Montreal, the CAQ, and the entire super-structure that prevents housing from coming to market and taking some of the pressure off of renters and buyers both.

  • Kate 15:01 on 2021-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The little green space informally known as Pigeon Hole Park – named after the old automated parking structure that used to stand there on Notre‑Dame at St‑Jean – has been landscaped over the last few years but is not public land, and is scheduled to be built up with condos soon. Some people want to save it as a bit of necessary parkland.

    • SMD 22:40 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

      I was just there yesterday and marveled at what a necessary oasis it is.

    • DeWolf 11:25 on 2021-05-01 Permalink

      It’s a lovely place but because the development fits within the existing zoning parameters, there is no legal means to block the development – and the city has no leverage to get the developer to modify its plans. Part of the property is a parking lot. It would have been nice if that portion been developed while leaving the existing park as it is.

      Apparently it was Gérald Tremblay who sold off the land for a pittance.

    • DeWolf 11:31 on 2021-05-01 Permalink

      Incidentally, I wish more people would follow the urban development forums we have (MTLUrb and its more progressive counterpart, Agora MTL) because community opposition to certain projects always comes way too late. It’s usually in response to coverage from mainstream media, which are never the first to break the news about upcoming developments.

      Pigeon Hole Park was a private initiative, billed from the get-go as a “parc éphémère,” so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it is finally being developed. But if the neighbours hadn’t waited until the absolute last minute to launch a campaign to save it, they could have maybe had some success in getting the city to do something to mitigate its loss.

      It reminds me of the petition to block the hotel being built next to the Chinatown gate. The campaign began only after the building was already under construction. I’m not sure why those activists waited years after the development proposal was filed with the city to start their campaign.

    • JaneyB 14:18 on 2021-05-01 Permalink

      @DeWolf. Thanks for the info on those forums. I somehow knew nothing of them until now!

    • DeWolf 15:27 on 2021-05-01 Permalink

      I strongly recommend Agora over the other one… no ads and a better atmosphere.

    • david288 22:32 on 2021-05-02 Permalink

      MTLURB is – by far – the one where you’ll learn more about what’s actually going on. Actual real estate and development professionals are on there, and it’s very very active.

    • david288 22:47 on 2021-05-02 Permalink

      In fact, I’d also add one more think about Agora MTL – It’s a very hardcore conservative gang that posts on there. Very frequently, the attitude is to identify development, and find the ways that it doesn’t comport with the look of a neighborhood, the way that it increases use/density/traffic, the various ways it could be blocked, etc.

      I’m very surprised Chris DeWolf is recommending it, and look forward to hearing more from him on why (started it?) but, generally, so far, it seems to be more where you go to gripe about a project, or if you’re banned from MTLURB, rather than an affirmatively interesting place to exchange info about how our city is growing and what we can contribute, and so forth.

    • Jessie 11:38 on 2021-05-03 Permalink

      Citizens should not have to go on obscure forums to learn about real estate that is THIS huge and controversial. The city and dev were both shady in their discretion…. trees have already been taken out when the culture minister has not even given her final ok come on!

    • denis.lafronde@gmail.com 22:17 on 2021-05-17 Permalink

      @david288 Si je peux avoir une réponse tard à cette interrogation. Mtlurb retire tous les projets concernant les pistes cyclables et les trottoirs élargis, sous prétexte qu’ils sont controversés (et ils sont progressites selon vous?). À cause de cela, la plupart des membres contributeurs sérieux (ceux qui vont éplucher les CA) sont partis. Les nouveaux projets sont plus souvent sur Agora et l’activité sur Mtlurb a beaucoup baissé, rien à voir avec il y a un an. Il n’y a jamais eu de promoteurs ou de pros de l’immobilier actifs dans toutes les années que j’ai lurké là, un ou deux quelques fois par année, ça n’apporte pas grand chose.

      Vous exagérez beaucoup l’opposition à des projets sur Agora. Vous parlez d’exceptions pour un ou deux projets controversés, sur des centaines. La quasi-totalité des projets sont enthousiastes. Il n’y a pas d’engueulade entre les membres. Il n’y a rien de conservateur à connaître les outils démocratiques de la ville à mon avis. Il n’y a rien de progressif à penser qu’on ne devrait jamais bonifier un projet et laisser faire n’importe quoi. On fait ça depuis les 50 dernières années! Beaucoup plus d’employés de la ville ou d’architectes sont actifs sur Agora.

      Voilà les raisons pour moi.

  • Kate 13:13 on 2021-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The Liberal government is poised to break the strike at the Port of Montreal, having rounded up Conservative support for the legislation. The union is demanding that, if they work under duress, it won’t be to the longer hours the employer has been determined to enforce.

    • Bill Binns 14:54 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

      I finally found a union grievance I can empathize with. I worked under “mandatory overtime” bs at a defense contractor years ago. The money is fantastic but you have no life to spend it on.

      But….I wonder why the port chooses to pay people quadruple golden overtime or whatever rather than simply add more employees? Is it because they know whomever they hire they are stuck with forever? Something is missing from the story.

    • Tim 15:30 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

      Bill, paying overtime can actually be cheaper than hiring another employee when you factor in all the costs (health insurance, vacation pay, retirement, office space, equipment, CPP premiums, training, etc.) that come with a new employee. Overtime pay is not that much of an expense or effort on the part of the employer.

    • Uatu 09:00 on 2021-05-01 Permalink

      What’s the most depressing thing after working overtime is the realization that the big pay goes mostly to taxes and you feel like you’ve worked for free

    • PatrickC 09:28 on 2021-05-01 Permalink

      @Uatu, I get the part about taxes, but does overtime help accrue higher pension benefits or vacation time?

  • Kate 13:09 on 2021-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Plans by protesters to hold an anti-science, anti-lockdown, anti-curfew protest at the Olympic stadium Saturday at noon have forced the rearrangement of vaccination procedures there.

    Jaggi Singh has a thread on May Day protests, the good and the bad.

    • Raymond Lutz 18:11 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

      Please, don’t click on J.Singh and follow his reference to xaviercamus site describing the Québecois anti-mask-vax crowd, moi ça m’a décrissé.

  • Kate 13:05 on 2021-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

    So many people have adopted pandemic pets that Montreal’s veterinarians are overwhelmed with new customers and patients.

    • Kate 10:42 on 2021-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

      Two Montrealers have been identified as victims in the crush disaster at a Haredi event in Israel that has killed at least 45 people.

      • Bill Binns 11:11 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

        They died doing what they love. Being batshit crazy.

      • jeather 11:52 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

        Crush disasters are due to poor planning by organizers, not people who are bad people who deserve to die quite horrifically. Do you also mock people who get killed in a similar manner at clubs, or sports games, or anything else that is not strictly necessary according to you?

      • Chris 13:00 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

        It’s more than “not strictly necessary”. International travel is highly discouraged, gathering in a group of 30000 is likewise just about illegal almost everywhere on earth right now. The organizers can take some blame, but the individuals involved were behaving irresponsibly and detrimentally to their fellows.

      • jeather 13:09 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

        As you know, Israel has vaccinated a lot of people and has reopened very significantly — outdoor events that use the pass have massive numbers allowed legally. I don’t follow it closely enough to know if this is safe on pandemic terms, but then, the problem isn’t that this was a super spreader event, so we don’t really need to bring up what if and blame them for poor logistical planning when the disaster was not about covid at all.

      • Bill Binns 13:15 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

        They weren’t exactly escaping a burning theater were they? A bunch of people got themselves sufficiently lathered up howling at the moon over a 2nd century rabbi that 40+ people were killed. People can’t be crushed to death unless someone at the back is pushing.

        And yeah, when it happens at sporting events it’s usually stupid too.

      • jeather 19:39 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

        Not sure why leaving a theatre or club — it’s not generally because of a fire — is a sympathetic thing but leaving a religious festival or sports game isn’t. Also perhaps look into human crushes, because the cause is generally poor planning by authorities, either by allowing too many people in too small a space or by not having enough exits, not stupid people in a crowd.

    • Kate 09:07 on 2021-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

      Claude Jasmin, who baptized part of town with the name Petite-Patrie, has died at age 91. Lots of elogia in Friday’s media.

      • Kate 07:23 on 2021-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

        Police, as well as Ubisoft itself, are pretty sure they know who called in the large swatting incident at their offices in the Peck Building in November, as well as two subsequent less publicized attempts to lure police into fake crises at the same location. But the man in question is French and is not going to be extradited to face charges here.

        • walkerp 09:18 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          This is great that they found him! This asshole should do time, but how the hell can Ubisoft say they lost 1.7 million dollars in productivity. What a joke.

        • A 09:22 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          Ubisoft have 26 studios, I don’t think that any of them did any work that day

        • david104 10:33 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          Yet another incident involving the French.

        • Kate 10:45 on 2021-04-30 Permalink


        • david104 22:33 on 2021-05-02 Permalink


      • Kate 07:10 on 2021-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

        Two restaurant owner groups want permission to reopen for the vaccinated. The problem is: how does anyone know you’ve been vaccinated? And what about the many people (like myself) who’ve had one shot, but won’t see the second for months yet?

        • Joey 09:11 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          A digital vaccine passport of some kind seems inevitable – in the meantime you can show the vaccination card you received. I would be comfortable eating in a restaurant of everyone inside has received one dose.

        • Kate 09:18 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          I didn’t get a card, just a scribbled bit of paper with the date of my second shot on it.

        • Mark 09:21 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          Kate, it’s normal that you didn’t get more than a scribbled paper after the first shot. I have staff in Nunavut who have gotten the second shot and it’s more of an official paper. So you could use that paper. Some countries (Estonia) have gone the tech route with this, giving you a QR code (like an e-ticket) and you use your phone, sort of like when you board a train or go to the Bell Center. It could be a combination of both.

          There are plenty of issues to consider here, other than the obvious one of civil liberties: fraud, privacy, unequal access to vaccines, duration of protection. How about data standards? Not everyone got the same vaccine, so is it up to the business to decide who to let in? Scene: It says here your AstraZeneca vaccine is 9 months old, you may not enter. Your friend here has a Pfizer vaccine that 6 months old, he may enter. It gets messy.

          But the cost of figuring that out is orders of magnitude lower than keeping the whole economy closed, so governments are working on this. We’ll see.

        • Daniel 09:33 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          There might be something to the approach of dangling a carrot to reward vaccination, but it might be better to save whatever incentive for after the second dose. We’re going to have enough trouble making sure everyone who had the first shot gets the second. We’ll need all the help we can get.

        • Ephraim 10:41 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          We definitely got a card, with the batch number. We also walked in with our vaccination booklet, because we need to keep track. Tetanus is still every 10 years. When you take Hep A and Hep B, they are 2 or 3 shots. It helps to keep it in order.

        • Bill Binns 11:10 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          Couldn’t it be something as simple as one of those non-removable (without cutting) bracelets that every patient receives in the hospital with a QR code. Maybe yellow for your first shot and green for your second?

        • Joey 11:20 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          The vaccination card is an interim solution. Implementing a digital passport via the provincial Carnet Santé seems the easiest medium-term route. My guess is that two months from now we won’t need this as vaccination rates soar and new cases/deaths plummet.

        • steph 11:34 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          I don’t want to eat in a restaurant with people who haven’t had their measles, mumps, rubella, or chickenpox, vaccine either. Maybe we can get people to wear an armband as an idicator. Lets also do cavity searches at street corners.

        • Kate 13:23 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          steph, the thing is, we’ve all acquired immunity to those things either because of vaccination or earlier exposure, and it’s a fair guess we do have herd immunity to all or most of them. They don’t pack the punch of an entirely new virus.

        • Ephraim 14:11 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          @Kate – Measles is the BIG guy. The vaccine is 97% effective. but measles is so contagious that one person will infect 90% of the people who aren’t vaccinated around them. It stays LIVE in the air for 2 hours. And it still spreads from 4 days before the rash appears to 4 days after it’s gone. In fact, if a person with measles walks through a room with 100 immunized people, at least 2 will likely get measles. Rubella’s vaccine is just 88% effective. And the first treatment for exposure to measles? Revaccination… reteach the body to fight it, faster. Death is 1 to 2 per 1000 from measles.

          Incidentally, vaccines are more effective on children than adults. Which is why it is stressed to get them as children.

        • Kate 14:28 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          Ephraim, I don’t doubt it, but how many people do you know have actually had measles, as adults?

          I had measles, as a kid. A guy I know also had it as a kid, and has been deaf on one side ever since, so I know it can have consequences. But when I finally got a GP assigned to me I asked a bit about immunizations, and they said they don’t give MMR to adults, as the assumption is either we had them, or we were at least exposed to them enough that our immune systems know what they are.

          (They did give me a Tdap shot because I couldn’t recall when I last had a tetanus shot, and told me to consider getting the shingles vaccine, but it costs like $150.)

        • Daisy 14:39 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          I had measles as an adult, following a trip to France, despite having been vaccinated as a child (only one dose though).

        • Kate 15:19 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          Wow. How was it, Daisy? I can barely remember measles, I was about 5, and my parents later said I was quite sick and feverish for some days.

        • Daisy 15:35 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          At first I thought I was just overtired from too much training for an upcoming race, but when I got swollen lymph nodes and some other symptoms, I googled and got suspicious. This was before the rash appeared. I phoned Info-Santé, the nurse said she would warn the hospital I was coming. They checked me out, confirmed measles and sent me home with some masks in case I had to go out.

          Eventually I was itchy and extremely tired and spent all day lying under the ceiling fan in my non-airconditioned apartment in the heat of summer. Public Health phoned frequently to follow up. They also put up a warning notice at my workplace entrance that an infectious person had been there. (I had also been taking the metro back and forth, but I guess it’s harder to warn the right people.)

          One day I stood up for 15 minutes or so while talking on the phone (I knew I didn’t feel good but I couldn’t even sum up the energy to tell the person I needed to go lie down) and ended up passing out. When I told Public Health about this, they sent an ambulance. They said measles could have severe complications for adults and I needed to take some tests or something. The paramedics were all wrapped up as if I was radioactive. I was taken extremely directly into a separate room in the ER. Nurses entering had to put on protective gear and then throw it out when they left. I was feeling pretty out of it and I don’t actually know what they were testing or monitoring for, but after a number of hours they sent me home. Because I was infectious and car-less I had to walk home (15 minutes) but at least I had someone to accompany me. Fortunately they gave me some anti-itch pills and the next week or so was easier. Even after I felt just fine I wasn’t allowed back to work. I had to stay at home for a full 14 days.

        • Kate 16:40 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          Thanks for the vivid descriptions, Daisy! I didn’t realize measles also itches. Chickenpox does, and I remember that well. I hope you recovered with no side effects.

        • Ephraim 17:01 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          @Kate – I actually asked about MMR and they vaccinated me, but they CAN charge you… it’s $5… $5 for peace of mind… yup, I’m in. In fact, anyone born in the 1960s might want to ask if they were vaccinated, because it wasn’t standard at the time. If you were born in the 60s, you were definitely vaccinated for Smallpox and Polio. Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis are given together and are repeated every 10 years. They tested you for TB (which is easy to remember, because it was a set of 4 dots on the skin). But Measles, Mumps and Rubella were added towards the end of the 60s and only became standard in the 70s. So some people didn’t get them. No shame in asking for them… especially if you are going to travel. Hep A&B are suggested for travel to third world countries, but in some places, you are required for certain service jobs, including people working in restaurants and sexually active people. In fact, when we went to Africa, they strongly suggested a booster for Polio… though it’s finally eradicated in Africa, it’s still a concern in Pakistan and Afghanistan (in case someone is planning on going).

          Measles was almost eradicated. WHO actually declared it eradicated in Canada the US… until the antivaxxers. They brought it back! Now we have outbreaks.

          There is a good news. Just before COVID, they were already close on the first vaccine for Malaria with a 75% efficacy. And the technology used by Biontech (the tech is owned by Biontech, Pfizer is trying to develop their own) and Moderna means that we are closer than ever to other vaccines, and in particular a vaccine for HIV. The closer we come to eradicating. The biggest vaccines missing are Malaria and HIV. And more coverage for pneumonia. BTW, some countries vaccinate for TB, but if you are vaccinated for TB, you show up positive for TB in tests and then have to do chest X-rays to prove that you don’t have TB. Ask anyone who’s immigrated from Iran, for example.

        • Ephraim 17:05 on 2021-04-30 Permalink

          Hep A & B vaccinations for adults are paid… with some groups getting it free… ask and they will tell you the groups. It’s a course of 3 shots over time.

        • Kate 11:21 on 2021-05-01 Permalink

          Ephraim, I’ve gathered that, had Covid not been such a big story, the news of a malaria vaccine would’ve made much more of a splash.

      • Kate 07:08 on 2021-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

        Bell has bought Octane, the local promoter of the Grand Prix, and the contract says they’re committed till 2031.

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