Updates from June, 2021 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:44 on 2021-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Mayor Plante said this week that Sue Montgomery should do her job and look after the residents of her borough rather than focusing on the claims made against her, now that the Municipal Commission has made its ruling.

    Who made it difficult for Montgomery to do her job, though?

    • Mary 21:59 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

      Honest to good. This shitshow is not making the mayor or her party look good.

    • David659 23:33 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

      Plante sees the danger in the lawsuit more clearly than any columnist reporting on city matters, at least as far as I’ve seen. Ideal scenario for city chroniclers is a Montgomery re-election, and then Coderre returning to power and ordering his staff to comply with all discovery requests as maximally as possible. Montgomery’s revenge tour could give us the best insight into the operation of the modern City of Montreal that we’ve ever had or ever will have. (All those corrupt guys were.actually real outliers, whereas what Montgomery hates is the core functioning of the bureaucracy.)

    • Kate 00:24 on 2021-07-01 Permalink

      I can’t think why the next administration – whoever it is – will want to dig into that mess. Nobody committed any serious crime, it’s just an office drama that made it to the front pages because the people involved are running part of the city.

      Too big a part. I have no idea how it could be done, but that borough needs to be broken into two, and its bureaucracy also split up somehow. That might be the only way of letting some light into what sounds like a very unhealthy culture in that place. But it isn’t going to happen.

    • David659 00:39 on 2021-07-01 Permalink

      To clean house. Coderre is much more confident in his ability to target, toss, and replace bureaucrats, whereas PM was captured by them. And PM is not the mayor, it’s a real party, I’m even still a member. He could really harm them by allowing Montgomery access to emails, diktats, etc. Maybe in the end it’s targeted by Coderre at certain folks he wants out, but no question that the best result for us outsiders is if he gives carte blanche to Montgomery to go nuts.

    • John B 11:16 on 2021-07-01 Permalink

      > it’s just an office drama that made it to the front pages because the people involved are running part of the city.

      But it’s an office drama that appears to show that bureaucrats can ignore their elected bosses and get them removed from power by alleging “abuse.” Bosses, (even elected ones), shouldn’t be able to abuse their employees, but if an elected official is going to be treated the way Sue Montgomery has the information behind it shouldn’t be kept from the voting public.

  • Kate 19:57 on 2021-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s planning to abolish late fines in its library system. It had already suspended fines during the pandemic and now plans to make this a permanent policy, but it won’t be till October that all the boroughs adapt to the new rule.

    Note that the Grande bibliothèque isn’t part of the city network, so it still collects some fines.

    • Joey 22:10 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

      You still can’t access your BANQ account online… think they are suspending fees until their system is back up.

    • David659 23:35 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

      There should be real data out on whether this is dumb or not – SF did it a couple years ago.

    • Kate 09:15 on 2021-07-01 Permalink

      Radio-Canada notes that there’s a movement. If you Google for “fine free library” you’ll see it has become quite widespread.

  • Kate 19:52 on 2021-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Hôtel-Dieu is opening a homeless shelter with 100 places to start with, although it may expand to 150. This one will be open 24/7 and allow pets.

    • Marckenson 21:19 on 2022-01-09 Permalink

      Hi There I’m in the street of Montréal and I’m looking for a place to stay temporarily someone told me Hotel Dieu it’s possible for a to book before I get there

  • Kate 19:47 on 2021-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The Lakeshore General has refused to turn over the medical records of a woman found dead on the floor in a room in its ER in February. There’s wording in the health act which allows hospitals to put up a barrier to handing over records, although the CBC article goes on to say that it’s possible to fight their resistance.

    • Kate 19:43 on 2021-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

      Lyme disease from ticks has been declared endemic in the West Island. The spread of these ticks is yet another of the delights being brought to us by global warming.

      • Kate 10:51 on 2021-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

        Notes on what’s open and closed for Canada Day.

        • Kate 10:49 on 2021-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

          A man was stabbed in the back – non-metaphorically – on Tuesday in Ahuntsic.

          A little later, another man was shot in Ville‑Marie.

          • Kate 14:05 on 2021-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

            I’m not sure what we’re supposed to feel about this CBC piece by a guy who sold a family house and then, surprise, found out he’d lost all control over what became of it afterwards. He seems to be asking for a code of ethics over house flipping, but real estate sales are a grabby business, and you simply can’t expect to have any input into the fate of a building once you’ve sold it.

            • jeather 14:51 on 2021-06-29 Permalink

              I felt very eyeroll-y. You should not sell your house under market value based on a well-written letter.

            • Dave 15:30 on 2021-06-29 Permalink

              Agree. If he sold it below market value, he’s a fool to shortchange himself a windfall inheritance. If he’s upset purely for sentimental reasons, any new owner would’ve renovated a house that hadn’t been changed in decades. My grandparents’ house sold for probably $30-40K less than it “should’ve” given it’s size / location (and took quite a while), because the kitchen was a disaster.

            • dhomas 15:32 on 2021-06-29 Permalink

              If they wanted to keep the house in the same (or similar) state it was in, they shouldn’t have sold it. They could have rented it out and had one of their family members buy out the rest (at whatever price they wanted for it) when they were ready.
              Once you sell, the new owners can do whatever they want with a home. I’m not quite sure what he expected. And I really don’t know why this is a news story at all.

            • Blork 15:49 on 2021-06-29 Permalink

              I think you folks are missing the point of the story, which is a cautionary tale about the ruthlessness of real estate developers and house flippers. Obviously, the owners were duped by unscrupulous people willing to play on their sentiment towards the house to seal the deal.

              So it’s not about “oh gosh, they renovated Grandma’s house,” it’s “FFS, they scammed me into selling low on a false pretense that the house was passing to a couple who would feel attached to it.”

              I doubt there will (or even can be) any sort of code of ethics for things like this. Instead we can only expose the scammers and bullshitters as well as we can, and that’s the purpose of the article.

            • Ephraim 15:57 on 2021-06-29 Permalink

              You can’t control things from the grave. In fact, in Quebec, we have laws that specifically stop that… it has no bearing if you write it in the will.

            • DosgruntledGoat 16:53 on 2021-06-29 Permalink

              A cautionary tale of naïveté for sure

            • Blork 17:20 on 2021-06-29 Permalink

              Naïve, yes, but things like grief and family sentiment can cloud one’s judgment. And with a case like this, which is some level of scam but not enough to be illegal, the sense of betrayal can be enormous. (Remember, the sellers were not “cashing in;” rather, they were happy to provide an affordable home to a young couple based on how the buyer presented himself. So it’s not just the change in the house that’s at issue here, it’s the twist of the knife from that in-your-face betrayal.)

              What I find interesting is that the flip — which apparently involved extensive renos — only put the price up by “tens of thousands” of dollars. That sounds like chump change, especially if you’ve put time and money into the renovations.

              I’ve seen a bunch of flips in my neighbourhood over the past year, and it’s more like “buy for $280,000, gut it, rebuild it, sell for $500,000.”

            • walkerp 18:30 on 2021-06-29 Permalink

              That is really gross. I am with him. Yes, you can’t control what will happen to something when you sell it, but often when selling a house in a seller’s market, you pick ultimately based on feeling as everybody is throwing money at you. That is pretty duplicitous of the buyer.

              Renovations are just a perfect example of how stupid our society is. People buy homes the way they buy clothes now, complete prisoners of the moment and preferring the short-lived illusion of white cleanness over quality materials that have already stood the test of time because “old” or something. It’s just insane to see 100-year old pine beams, straight and dry being thrown out for metal studs, gyproc and generic tile that is going to look like tired shit in 3-5 years.

            • dhomas 21:40 on 2021-06-29 Permalink

              I’m with you on that last bit, walkerp. When I was looking to buy a house, I would l pass through HoMa to see if I could find any properties for my family. It was gentrifying at the time, and people were buying fixer-uppers to renovate and resell. The number of times I saw solid wood furniture on the curb with IKEA boxes next to them… it was sad, really.

            • Ephraim 21:58 on 2021-06-29 Permalink

              @walkerp – Or they renovate based on look and it’s completely unrealistic. White rooms for families.And bathrooms with these enormous impressive sinks, but no counterspace to put your damn electric toothbrush. Sure, an open staircase looks nice, but where are you going to put the luggage when you don’t need it, if you don’t have storage under the stairs? I saw once where they redid the kitchen, but used stock cabinets. There was an empty space of about 30cm on the extreme right of the kitchen…. Why? Who wants that? So everyone calculates their estimate of how much to replace the kitchen with custom cabinets into their offers… you might as well not have done it… it’s going to get ripped out. Look, just sell me the damn house, without the flipping and let me choose the future of the house. I actually won’t buy a house that’s been flipped. It’s overpriced and badly designed.

            • Em 10:18 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

              I agree that the point of this story is about the dishonest tactics flippers are now using.

              In multiple bid situations, some couples have successfully used things like letters to convince sellers to let them buy, even if their bid is a couple grand below the highest, because sometimes the sellers like the idea of helping a young family to get a home. Clearly, the investors won’t hesitate to lie in order to take away the only tiny advantage the non-investors might have.

              It’s not surprising, but it’s sad.

            • Meezly 10:19 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

              Flippers also don’t care about their impact on a neighbourhood. A friend is grieving the loss of a healthy hundred year old tree that was the lungs, shade and centrepiece of her ruelle in the Plateau. It was to make way for a bloody pool in the backyard.

              That tree was right on the edge between the property line and ruelle. Residents of the alley mobilized and tried to stop it but only realized the permit was approved back in April. There was nothing they could do but watch their beloved tree being felled, which was akin to witnessing a violent act.

              Many feel that residents living near a centennial tree should be informed if it’s to be felled because when it’s of that size, it becomes part of the neighbourhood because “TREES are not property of one but rather a COLLECTIVE concern. If we are to lose a tree in our neighbourhood that is this old and this large, we are entitled to know when it will be felled and why.”

              House flippers are parasites and a blight to the community.

            • Alex 11:01 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

              What I don’t understand is that the city forces us to protect building patrimony but not natural patrimony. In order to get a permit to fix our broken bricks on our apartment, we had to re-add a 30k corniche that was taken off over 30 years ago but it is perfectly fine to chop down a tree that was probably there well before the apartments were built

            • Joey 11:11 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

              Real estate developers often add ‘right of first refusal’ conditions to sales such that a buyer cannot flip a new property within X months of the purchase without offering it back to the developer at the initial purchase price. I would assume that anyone can attach similar conditions to a sale. State that in the listing and the flippers will stay away.

              Anyway, I’m not unsympathetic to the author’s plight, and grief manifests itself in many ways. Still, this line gave me pause: “It was hard to shake the feeling that this flipper only ever intended to profit off the death of my grandmother.” The family members also profited off the grandmother’s house. The flippers may have been more egregious, what with their apparent straight-up lying, but at the end of the day everyone walks away with a lot of money. From a certain vantage point, it’s all dirty, we’re just arguing about *how* dirty…

              Last, suppose the flipper sells the house (with what sound like cosmetic “upgrades”) to a nice young family that builds a home there for generations to come. Is that so bad? Presumbly someone “deserving” will wind up living in the house.

              The more I think about it the more I suspect that sellers picking buyers based on compelling personal stories, personal preferences, etc., the more I worry that we’re headed down a slippery slope where unconscious bias and unchecked xenophobia shut people out of the market. Maybe some seller somewhere decides he wants the house to stay in a family just like his, so he doesn’t consider offers from, say, non-white people? Say what you will about unchecked capitalism, selling to the highest bidder at least doesn’t introduce *new* elements of bias into a process (though of course race, xenophbobia, etc., all factor in majorly into who has money to buy an expensive house in the first place).

              And, 100% in agreement with Meezly and Alex – our heritage-oriented permit authorizers have lost the plot. We force homeowners to rebuild their proprerties using technology that’s a hundred years old, adding purely decorative elements that haven’t been around for decades (and often may never have existed in the first place), all the while we fail to protect our common patrimony.

            • Blork 14:13 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

              Um… a few notes to @Joey:

              “The family members also profited off the grandmother’s house.” It’s hardly comparable. The “flipper” SET OUT to profit from their grief and good intentions. The family just did the normal thing of disposing of the property. It’s not like they SET OUT to profit from Grandma’s death by spiking her coffee or whatever.

              “The more I think about it the more I suspect that sellers picking buyers based on compelling personal stories, personal preferences, etc., the more I worry that we’re headed down a slippery slope where unconscious bias and unchecked xenophobia shut people out of the market.”

              While it’s commendable to be concerned about unconscious bias shutting people out of the market and whatnot, I pretty much always balk at any statement that worries about the “slippery slope.” Every choice we make is a slippery slope, including making it mandatory that highest bidder wins, or choosing by lottery. They all have potential for failures and discontent.

            • DeWolf 16:40 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

              I’m with Blork on this one. It’s not a news story, it’s an op-ed (or maybe more accurately a blog-style personal essay) that underlines how the real estate market is infested with dishonest scumbags.

          • Kate 13:55 on 2021-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

            Valérie Plante is promising free public transit for those 65 and over, starting sometime in 2023, if she’s re-elected. Kids 11 and under will have free transit starting this week.

            • jeather 14:52 on 2021-06-29 Permalink

              KIds always have free transit when school is out, iirc.

            • Tim S. 15:37 on 2021-06-29 Permalink

              I was going to make a comment discussing the part of England where my aunt lives, which has free public transit for the over-65s, who fill up the buses so much that it’s difficult for actual workers and students to get around (she advocates a reduced fare, say 1$). Then I realized that the state of Montreal public transit is such that no senior would ride it just for fun.

            • JaneyB 17:54 on 2021-06-29 Permalink

              Oh, but @Time, what about that free stairmaster workout that comes with our transit system? What retiree could resist?

            • Alex 09:23 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

              In England the free transport for over 60s is off peak only, so after 9.30am

            • Mr.Chinaski 09:38 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

              I really wonder if the STM/AMT/REM is going to adjust their price with the half-work/half-home schedule of the future. Full month pass are to become completely useless if you go from 20 to under 15 days per month at the office.

              Perhaps they will introduce 2 or 3-day pass, or something like a 5-6 usage per week.

            • dhomas 14:28 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

              @jeather Kids between 6 and 11 have to pay to use the bus if they’re alone. They pay the reduced fare even without an ID card, but they do pay.
              If they travel with an adult, they did not pay during select periods of the year: Christmas break, semaine de relâche, and summer break.
              As of July 1st, this will be in effect year-round. I think this is the difference they’re discussing in the article.
              Here’s a page that shows both how it was before and how it will be going forward:

            • jeather 17:15 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

              Ah, I didn’t realise it was kids with adults, because no one I know has kids old enough to be on public transit without an adult (I can’t imagine many kids in the single digits taking public transit alone).

            • dhomas 17:43 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

              I took the city bus alone at 10-11 since my family had moved and I wanted to finish grade school at the same school, but that was in the early 90’s.
              I would let my kids do it at the same age, but my wife disagrees. I don’t think she’s in the minority, so I’m pretty sure you’re right in that not too many kids take the bus alone in this day and age.

            • jeather 18:52 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

              I only really started taking the buses here when I started high school, as did most people my age then (also early 90s), but I think there are more protective adults now and kids get driven more at that age. My much younger (15y) sister was allowed to take the bus but none of her friends were, so there wasn’t much she could do with the freedom.

            • Kate 20:07 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

              My family never had a car, so I was allowed to take the bus all over the place on my own from age 9. I think at that point I knew more about how to get around than my parents did.

              We also worked out a totally underhand discount method.

              We lived on a bus route one long block from a main street that had a bus that went downtown.

              My sister and I would take the bus on our street, paying with kid tickets and taking transfers, while my parents walked. We’d get off at the main street and hand our parents the transfers, then pay again with kid tickets on the bus downtown while my parents boarded the same bus with our transfers.

              I’m sure some kind of statute of limitations applies…

            • dhomas 21:23 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

              My uncle used the same bus transfer for months at a time (since he never took the metro). When a driver would call him out about it, he would feign ignorance and say “oh! it’s expired?” and pay for a new ticket. 😀

            • Joey 22:11 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

              It’s weird that the only kids who have to pay are “commuters.”

          • Kate 10:17 on 2021-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

            Robin des Bois restaurant was damaged by fire overnight.

            • walkerp 15:20 on 2021-06-29 Permalink

              Pretty rough. They evacuated the whole building. That is the second fire on that strip of St‑Laurent this summer.

          • Kate 10:10 on 2021-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

            Rents are surging generally, but when a building changes hands is when they’re most likely to skyrocket.

            • Kate 09:19 on 2021-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

              Hampstead mayor William Steinberg’s plan to densify Côte-St-Luc Road by zoning it for ten‑storey condo buildings was defeated by his own council Monday night. Linda Gyulai recaps that story from 2019 in which Steinberg wanted to raze a couple of apartment buildings – full of people who’d lived there for years – to build condos. Gyulai doesn’t touch on the question whether Steinberg has personal interest in profits from this kind of project: there were rumours that one of the developers was a relative of Steinberg’s, but Gyulai doesn’t go there.

              • DeWolf 09:51 on 2021-06-29 Permalink

                CSL Road is already lined by big apartment buildings. This was definitely just a cash grab – give developers an excuse to knock down a bunch of relatively low-rent housing and replace it with something more lucrative. It does nothing to address the real problem, which is that nearly all of Hampstead is zoned for low-density, single-family houses.

              • Ephraim 10:37 on 2021-06-29 Permalink

                And DeWolf, they pay for that privilege. City taxes are sky high in Hampstead, because there are no commercial zones. Having more apartment/condos would mean more taxes for the city.

              • jeather 12:16 on 2021-06-29 Permalink

                The apartment buildings are about 6 storeys, 10 would be a giant change. And Hampstead has had no commerce forever, people who move know what they are getting into re taxes.

            • Kate 08:41 on 2021-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

              A minor detail that caught my attention in the debacle of the Miami building collapse was that the complex was called the Champlain Tower. Turns out the promoter grew up in Montreal and his work is now being questioned, but he won’t be charged with anything because he died in 2014.

              • Kate 08:31 on 2021-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

                Despite the discouraging result of Monday’s match, the second game in the final series will be screened at the Bell Centre Wednesday evening. Outdoor screenings of the local games haven’t been sorted out yet, and may not be possible because of broadcast right issues.

                • Kate 21:27 on 2021-06-28 Permalink | Reply  

                  There was an attempt to set fire to the Montreal Kosher Bakery in St-Laurent early Monday, but police are not ready to classify it as a hate crimes even though, as the item says, another kosher bakery in the area was firebombed earlier this month.

                  • Chris 10:05 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

                    The item also says: no evidence the two are linked, no graffiti or other anti-Jewish messages. Basically zero evidence of any hate crime. Yet somehow the article headline throws it out there. On the other hand, there are 4 catholic churches burnt down in BC, but I’ve not seen any media hint at any hate crime there. Odd.

                  • MarcG 12:22 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

                    Is revenge a hate crime?

                  • Chris 20:57 on 2021-06-30 Permalink

                    If someone torched a mosque after 9/11 as revenge, is that a hate crime?

                    I would say revenge and hate crime are not really related. Something could be both, either, or neither.

                  • Kate 00:26 on 2021-07-01 Permalink

                    Chris, you’re suggesting the people who burned those churches should be found, and charged with hate crime?

                  • Chris 12:34 on 2021-07-01 Permalink

                    Kate, no. I was making a comment on the media, and their inconsistencies and biases.

                    I do think the BC arsonists should be found and charged though. Certainly with arson. There should be some environmental crime too, all that smoke and soil pollution. Hard to say wrt hate crime since the perpetrator’s motives are not known.

                  • Hamza 02:55 on 2021-07-03 Permalink

                    Ftr , if someone did burn down a mosque “after 9/11” or take your pick of more recent events , actually yes that’s exactly what hate crime legislation is meant to protect.

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