Updates from May, 2021 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 15:48 on 2021-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

    Cinéma L’Amour is turning to crowdfunding to stay open.

    • Kate 15:45 on 2021-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

      Kevin linked this story a few entries down, but I want to do a post about it because I don’t want it to be overlooked. La Presse compares the elevated trains of several other cities (including the one in The Hague that I referred to a few days ago) with the planned track bisecting René‑Lévesque.

      • david629 15:22 on 2021-05-27 Permalink

        It would be awesome if they would rethink this and use the opportunity to properly cap that god-forsaken thing: Un tunnel au niveau de l’autoroute 720. Selon la Caisse, cette option forcerait une réduction importante de la capacité de cette artère, en plus de mener au sacrifice de la station Cartier.

    • Kate 15:41 on 2021-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

      Ensemble’s Lionel Perez will be running for borough mayor in CDN-NDG against Sue Montgomery. Projet Montréal hasn’t yet named a mayoral candidate there.

      • Kate 15:39 on 2021-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

        Commenters here have insisted on the safety of outdoor get-togethers, but nine recent Covid outbreaks have been traced to city park gatherings.

        • DeWolf 18:38 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          Which represents 4% of total outbreaks in Montreal. Given the over-the-top nature of certain park parties, I’d say this demonstrates just how safe outdoor gatherings are, relative to indoors. It’s about harm reduction, not abstinence.

        • Blork 18:53 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          I agree with DeWolf. It’s a mistake to think simply “outdoors=safe,” but the world is full of people who make mistakes, including all those people at the large outdoor gatherings we’ve seen where big clusters of people hang out for hours on end, on windless days, with no distancing at all.

        • mare 20:55 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          I walk through a busy park every day and I can report that welcome kisses and hugs to everyone of the group are back. And some groups are very large and very close together.

          But most people keep their distance even although virtually no one wears a mask.

        • Chris 22:25 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          “safety” is not binary. Some seem to think we should keep all restrictions until we have 100% safety. But we don’t have 100% safety against influenza, car crashes, air pollution, etc, etc.

          The risk from covid outdoors is now “low enough”.

        • Raymond Lutz 06:50 on 2021-05-27 Permalink

          Armchair epidemiologist here. For outdour gatherings to be a low risk activity, it must be windy for creating a turbulent airflow. Think of a friend smoking near you: even outdoor the smoke can float right to your nose if it’s a calm day. Also, I doubt that R zero for people hanging outside is high enough for the epidemy to keep on.

        • Blork 09:27 on 2021-05-27 Permalink

          Well, there’s “lower risk” and there’s “low risk.” Wind is definitely an important factor, and the smoking analogy is a good one. But let’s extend it a bit. On a windless day in the park you will get whiffs of the smoke from a smoker sitting next to you, but the smell won’t linger. Compare that with a smoker sitting next to you in your dining room; the smell will linger for hours. Considering the size of the exposure dose is a key factor in whether or not you catch the viddy from an infected person, and prolonged exposure means a larger dose, it follows that the dose you get outside will almost always be smaller than the dose you get inside. Thus the risk is “lower” but not necessarily “low.”

        • Chris 09:46 on 2021-05-27 Permalink

          Interesting analogy, but it’s equating the ability to merely smell smoke with catching a virus. Smelling is easy. Catching a virus, especially when most people are both non-carriers and vaccinated, is substantially harder.

        • Raymond Lutz 09:50 on 2021-05-27 Permalink

          Well… it’s complicated. Don’t have the time to find the relative risk of indoor vs outdoor contamination. As I wrote, it’s not impossible to catch covid outside but there would not have been a pandemic if only outdoor transmissions were present. Covid is exclusively an indoor pandemic (true). Covid is exclusively an indoor disease (false).

        • mare 11:25 on 2021-05-27 Permalink

          People gathering in parks and not following precautions (masks, distance, bodily fluid sharing) also tend to be younger and not yet vaccinated. Even one dose offers quite a lot of protection, and if most are vaccinated the chance that any of the group they’re hanging out with is infected becomes lower too.

          My take, it will slowly get better, until there will be variants introduced that emerge in parts of the world where the virus is still running rampant that can circumvent the current vaccines. Even then there’s still base protection by activated T-cells and B-cells according to a new, not yet peer-reviewed study.

          mRNA based booster shots can be developed and produced relatively fast compared to traditional vaccines, but will likely increase the difference between safe and unsafe countries.

          Even though getting the whole world vaccinated will be the best defence to get this under control, its unlikely to happen with current scarcity and prices of vaccines, and serious vaccination hesitancy in some parts of the world. Travelling internationally will get harder and more expensive.

      • Kate 09:44 on 2021-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

        The leader of the rescue that captured the West Island bear is bitter that the authorities put it down. People are angry with the Quebec wildlife ministry which ordained the killing of the young bear.

        • Meezly 09:53 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          I signed the petition.

        • Clément 10:30 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          The ministry or the minister? I doubt the minister himself ordered the bear to be put down.

          Also, dammed if you do, damned if you don’t. If a kid got attacked next week when the bear returned, people would also be asking the minister to resign as well.

        • Kate 11:12 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          Clément: Thanks for the clarification. I’ve changed it to the ministry.

          Is it reasonable to think the bear would come back? Nobody knows how or why it got onto the island, and if it had been brought to a wooded area off-island, would there be any likelihood it could (or would want to) find its way back here?

          It’s not like there are a lot of stories about people living in southern Quebec getting savaged by black bears.

        • Clément 11:19 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          If the bear found easy food (garbage, compost pile, etc), it will definitively come back, unless they ship it out hundreds of miles into the wilderness, where it will likely compete for territory with an established and stronger bear, and possibly suffer a similar fate, as it was just a one-year old bear.

        • walkerp 11:31 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          Black bears aren’t going to attack anybody. Would rather it be left to survive in the wild and perhaps die or perhaps not than just have it shot by humans because we are too lame to be able to co-exist with creatures whose space we took over.

        • steph 11:32 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          How did it get on the island in the first place?

        • Kate 11:40 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          steph, there’s no knowing. I saw one item where a wildlife guy surmised either it swam across at one of the narrower water channels, or it boarded a vehicle from curiosity and was driven into town, although you’d think the driver would’ve noticed, when the vehicle was opened, that he had a bear aboard.

        • su 11:43 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          I wish the rescue group had just left the ministry out of it, and taken the little displaced bear to the sanctuary themselves.

        • Spi 12:32 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          It had been reported that the bear was no longer scared by loud noises or humans, if that is the case then it would only be a matter of time before it finds itself near human habitat looking for food.

        • John B 13:53 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          Some notes from the story that don’t appear to have made it to the comments here:

          The animal rescue folks say they had multiple sanctuaries lined up if the bear couldn’t be returned to the wild.
          For su: It appears that the ministry must be notified for bear incidents. The animal rescue folks had to wait for several hours to deal with the bear because a Ministry officer hadn’t shown up yet. When the officer showed up he/she wasn’t equipped to deal with a bear.

          IMO the ministry dropped the ball here. Literally all they had to do was give the animal rescue group the OK to place the bear in a sanctuary. Instead they decided to take the bear away and kill it.

        • Meezly 16:40 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          From the article:

          The bear was secured and placed in a cage in a ministry pickup truck. Rescue groups were told it would be released in a secluded area.

          “If this was not possible, we were okay with that,” Dussault said. “But we had lined up several refuges who were willing to take the bear, and let it live out its days in captivity, but in a suitable, large environment.”

          Since bear captures in Montreal are a rare event, the saving of one bear would not have required many resources, Dussault said. He suggested ministry officials couldn’t be bothered to handle the situation on a holiday long weekend.

          “And now we have this sad ending. If they just could have taken the hand we offered them, it would have taken just a few minutes.”

          The petition calling for the resignation of Dufour cites the ministry’s decision to euthanize deer rather than put them in reserves, the euthanization of the bear, and the ministry’s refusal to fund animal rescue organizations as reasons for his removal.

      • Kate 09:42 on 2021-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

        Quebec and Montreal are agreed that Chinatown has a ‘special character’ and something needs to be done to save it. Remains to be seen if this will hold back demolitions and condo construction.

      • Kate 09:40 on 2021-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

        Montreal and Laval are remaining Covid red zones as of May 31. Nonetheless, some cinemas are reopening this Friday.

        • Ephraim 10:13 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          And regions with worse case counts are going orange while Montreal and Laval aren’t. Wonder if this is a good political move, indicating that you hate Montreal and Laval and hoping that we will vote for you in the future.. or hate you more and vote against you. (Versus paying $7 billion for a useless tunnel to try to sway votes.)

        • Clément 10:37 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          Or maybe it’s just the right decision based on the fact that population density is higher in Montreal than in other region and the curves seem to level in Montreal while decreasing rapidly elsewhere.

          Also, hot MRC’s in Chaudière-Appalaches, where CAQ support is highest, also stay in red. What are they punished for?

        • mare 11:04 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          All cinemas, big and small, have been open since February, only Guzzo refused to open because it opposed to the restrictions which limited capacity and forbid food sales. Cinemas make a lot of their income at the concession stand.

          Apparently he caved now, and drummed up some free publicity.

          Despite SARS-CoV-2 being an airborne transmitted virus, taking off masks indoors to eat was not a good plan. With higher vaccination rates and lower case rates that is becoming less of a risk.

        • Ephraim 11:20 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          Clement – They did the same thing with the curfew, keeping it lower in Montreal and Laval while relaxing it for other regions. Did the curfew come down to 8PM in Bas St-Laurent? Nope.

        • DeWolf 12:03 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          I find it hard to get mad over the decision to keep Montreal and Laval in red zone until June 7. The trends are looking good but we’re still lagging in terms of vaccinations, so an extra week seems wise to make sure things keep getting better.

          At least the curfew is still being lifted on Friday. Can’t wait to finally take a late night walk.

        • Blork 12:21 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          Yeah, easing into opening up is definitely better. Just dropping the restrictions in large moves is an invitation for a turnaround (in a bad way). We very quickly forget to be cautious, given the opportunity or a small change in circumstance.

          Example: yours truly is perhaps the most cautious person within a 100km radius when it comes to COVID (I got my vaccine a month ago and I’m just now weaning off double-masking), yet a few days ago I was down in The Hank and ordered some burritos from Tejano. Double-masked while ordering, then waited outside. The person brought the order out. I noticed there were no napkins, so opened the door and asked for some. The person grabbed some and started walking towards the door and I just instinctively came in and marched across the space to meet them half way. The guy froze and looked at me like I was about to rob him at gunpoint. That’s when I realized I had forgotten to put my mask back on. D’oh! Ultimately such a brief exchange is very low risk, but I felt like an absolute ass afterwards.

        • Ephraim 12:39 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          @Blork – You are taking your mask off outdoors? I would have been wearing it outside while waiting. I won’t take it off unless I’m at least 5m from everyone. I wear it while walking on sidewalks. Anywhere I could cross someone else.

        • jeather 13:05 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          Blork, I decided at the last minute to step into a depanneur to get some milk and forgot my mask and when the lady at the cash asked me to put it on (I had lots in my purse) I felt like a huge asshole.

          I also don’t wear a mask outside unless I am with someone who wants me to, or I suppose if there were some kind of a crowd — a line to get in somewhere — I would. Also about one month past my first shot, but I was not an outdoor masker as a rule before that.

        • Clément 13:15 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          Ephraim, I happen to live in Quebec City and we had the 8pm curfew and the dark red restrictions longer than any other regions in Quebec. So while all stores in Montreal were opened, we could only get basic necessities. Also, Quebec City: CAQ bastion.

          Not everything is an evil CAQ ploy aimed at oppressing the Montreal ghetto. Yes, they are mostly incompetent as legislators, but the “government” is much more than a few politicians.

        • Blork 13:34 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          Ephraim, despite my double-masking indoors I generally don’t wear a mask outdoors unless I’m in a crowded place. In this case it was me, my sweetie, two friends who kept their distance, and a pretty brisk wind (and everyone vaccinated) so pretty low risk.

        • Blork 13:38 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          Here’s a weird one: had to go into the Montreal General Hospital one day last week to pick something up. At the entrance they make everyone put on a fresh mask (which they provide). So there I am with my double-lined cloth mask with paper filter, plus a paper surgical mask, and I have to TAKE THAT OFF and put on a single disposable paper mask. That means standing inside the door of the hospital, maskless, while you make the switch. I have seriously never felt more naked in my entire life!

        • MarcG 14:15 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          @Blork: That happened to me when I got the regular flu shot, covid test, and the covid vaccine. Pretty frustrating but it makes sense since most people’s masks probably haven’t ever been washed and they’re made of an old pant leg or whatever so they need to make a single, easy to follow policy “everyone who comes in gets a fresh mask”.

        • MD 19:50 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          In cases like that, you can gently insist to keep your mask on while putting the newly supplied one on over it. That’s what I did when I went in for my 1st shot and was asked to remove my KN95 mask to put on a thin paper one instead. They just want to make sure that they can depend on a guaranteed minimum base protection level mask being worn, since some are showing up wearing hand-made garments or worse that wouldn’t be effective at blocking particle spread.

      • Kate 08:54 on 2021-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

        It’s not surprising to read that Old Montreal’s souvenir shops lost 95% of their sales over the last year.

        • dominic 11:24 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          I did my duty and bought something at one of the shops, but there’s only so many keychains one person can buy 🙂

      • Kate 08:31 on 2021-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

        Topnotch piece by Jonathan Montpetit on why public sector negotiations matter to all wage earners in Quebec. Basically, real wages stalled between 1978 and 2015. “The buying power of salaried workers in the province flatlined for nearly 40 years.”

        So if you’re wondering how an ordinary working joe in Quebec could expect to buy a house back then, this article goes a long way to explaining it.

        “Between 1983 and 2017, the productivity of the Quebec economy increased by 34.5 per cent. Hourly wages, though, increased only 9.5 per cent during that period, while the salaries of unionized workers increased even less.”

        “Between 15 and 20 per cent of salaried workers in Quebec collect their paycheques from the provincial government. By forcing public sector wages downward, the government may have brought other wages in the province down with them.”

        But read it, I could quote it all day.

        Public sector workers held a demo Tuesday afternoon inside the World Trade Centre building.

        • Tim S. 08:44 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          I’ve posted about this before, but one inaccuracy in the article: Legault “isn’t willing to offer pay increases beyond inflation: five per cent over three years.”
          There’s no guarantee that inflation will stay at or below that, and already this year looks to be around 4%, depending on how you calculate it. A big part of the union demands is actually to just keep increases adjusted to inflation.

        • mare 10:40 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          “Quebec has an unusually large number of unionized public sector workers by Canadian standards”

          Why is that? Maybe because we tend to replicate all federal functions and end up with a lot of bureaucracy? Because we have very strong public sector unions so underperforming workers are impossible to lay off, and efficiency gains are blocked?

          I have no answers, just suspicions.

        • thomas 15:40 on 2021-05-26 Permalink

          Bureaucracies are larger in Quebec at all levels of government. For example, The city of Montreal employees 30,000 people compare this with the City of Toronto (with a population 1.7x larger ) with 34,000 employees and the City of Vancouver (a population 0.4x Montreal) with 7,000 employees.

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