Updates from July, 2021 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:36 on 2021-07-12 Permalink | Reply  

    The federal government is putting in $2.5 million for food security in the city, with a quarter million going to a community kitchen in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and the rest going to 30 other organizations that distribute food.

    • david477 10:22 on 2021-07-13 Permalink

    • Kate 12:04 on 2021-07-13 Permalink

      Food delivery to people who’ve ordered out is a different thing from running food banks or soup kitchens. Even bringing food to people who are shut in for reasons of age, disability or illness would be tricky – here you’d have to have a robot that could manage our spiral stairs, and get inside locked-up apartment buildings.

    • JP 18:28 on 2021-07-13 Permalink

      Not to mention, community kitchens and meals-on-wheels also have a role in helping to reduce social isolation…something a robot might not be able to help with…at least not yet.

  • Kate 18:35 on 2021-07-12 Permalink | Reply  

    This isn’t the first time Quebec has chipped in to restore church buildings but at least two of the churches mentioned have already been in the news for having wobbly steeples. St‑Édouard (on St‑Denis at Beaubien) and St‑Esprit‑de‑Rosemont (on Masson) have both caused sidewalk closures and emergency work over the last year. I suppose either you have to spend money to shore them up, or you have to bite the bullet and take them down.

    • Spi 19:41 on 2021-07-12 Permalink

      Not only do they not pay taxes, but now they’re milking the state for subsidies to fix their tax-exempt real-estate? How about they sell some of their churches and pay for their own repairs?

    • Kate 20:48 on 2021-07-12 Permalink

      Spi, the buildings don’t belong to a central organization. Each one belongs to the “fabrique” constituted of the parishioners in some legal manner I’m not clear on, but it isn’t straight-up normal property ownership. The parishioners don’t individually cash in if the building is sold, but where the money goes I’m not sure. Probably most of it would go into the money pit each of those buildings must have dug itself for maintenance and repairs as their congregations have dwindled over time.

      As I said in the post, either you fix these buildings, or they fall down and kill somebody. Unfortunately, there are limited uses for old church buildings. If it were up to me, there’d be a consultation and maybe a vote to choose the half dozen architecturally interesting church buildings, and raze the rest. Re-use the land and some of the stone and other materials toward social housing.

      But here’s the thing: most churches actually serve as social assistance hubs now more than as religious foci. I’ve talked about this here before. The big church near me on Jarry took over services for the deaf, when the religious order that owned 7400 St-Laurent sold it for condos. Other churches around here hold used clothing sales. Some have food banks. A lot of quiet local support for low-income folks comes out of those church halls, and not on a religious basis.

      Yes, it shouldn’t be necessary; yes, these groups shouldn’t rely on a religious infrastructure to function – but the buildings are there, they already exist, and it works to use them rather than to wait around while the government builds a whole new bureaucracy that wouldn’t work as well and would be tied up in more rules and restrictions – even if it saw the need to replace these grassroots initiatives.

    • MarcG 09:29 on 2021-07-13 Permalink

      I got my Covid vaccine shots in the basement of a falling-apart church basement.

    • walkerp 10:22 on 2021-07-13 Permalink

      One more way that the Catholic Church shields itself from financial responsibilities. The local church is our landlord and the fabrique is deathly terrified to ask the archdiocese for money. They talk about it like The Eye of Sauron and they really don’t want it turned in their direction.

      I also learned the term marguiller or marguillère which I believe means churchwarden in english. They are the members of the fabrique.

    • Spi 12:20 on 2021-07-13 Permalink

      Kate, I remember reading that the real-estate/buildings are actually owned by the Montreal diocese, although functional churches (that still function as them) may belong to fabriques. Once a church is closed it is the diocese that sells them or approves tearing them down. The Vatican even has a set of directive as to what the preferred functions for a disused church would be; giving priority for other catholic buyers then other religious services above community and real estate interests.

      That abandoned church on Cremazie in Saint-Michel finally found a buyer this year after being abandoned for the better part of a decade. The diocese has the assets and means to raise the money they need.

    • Daniel D 13:12 on 2021-07-13 Permalink

      It’s interesting you mention the church on Masson. I recall there were plans to pedestrianise Masson this Summer, but that doesn’t seem to have happened (yet). I’m wondering if the change of plans is due to the impact of the work on the church, which seems to involve closing off a side-street.

    • Kate 16:13 on 2021-07-13 Permalink

      Daniel D, I believe I read something suggesting you’re right, and will look it up.

    • Kate 20:46 on 2021-07-13 Permalink

      I may have linked to some of these stories earlier:

      Journal Métro, January 5, 2021: Work begins on St-Esprit-de-Rosemont church, whose façade is not in good shape.

      Le Devoir, March 21: Work is suspended when the bell tower is found to be unstable, and a perimeter is put up around it.

      Journal Métro, April 12: Masson to become semi-pedestrianized this summer. The SDC Masson website explains exactly what that means: the south side of the street will have no motor traffic. This is an odd solution but, since the church is on the north side, it’s probably the reason why. The church isn’t mentioned in the SDC article.

      Journal Métro, May 12: Church launches a funding drive.

    • H. John 00:09 on 2021-07-14 Permalink

      Under Quebec law Bishops and parishes are “legal persons” (i.e. corporations). Bishops are “corporations sole”.

      Corporations being legal persons always makes me think of the pundit who wrote “I’ll believe a corporation is a person when Texas puts one to death.”

      But for those of you who want more info:





      Corporations sole:


    • Kate 08:32 on 2021-07-14 Permalink

      Thank you, H. John.

    • H. John 09:31 on 2021-07-14 Permalink

      My mistake parish is not the same as fabrique: “Under Quebec law Bishops and parishes are “legal persons” should have read bishops and fabriques. The fabrique is a committee within the parish.

      In her 1976 Masters Thesis about Quebec City’s Saint Patrick’s Marianna o’Gallagher wrote:

      “The institution called “La Fabrique” is as old as New France.

      …material goods were administered by the lay group called “la Fabrique”, the administrative board or corporation.

      The “curé”, or pastor, appointed by the Bishop always remained the spiritual leader of the parish, but the Fabrique took care of temporal affairs and material goods, an indication of the importance granted the laity in the administration of the parish even in those early days.”

      She mentions in a footnote:
      “”Fabrique” has been variously translated as vestry or “the trustees”. Since the word was not translated in most of the Irish correspondence, it will be used untranslated here. The law of the province of Quebec does not translate the term either.

    • Daniel D 19:31 on 2021-07-19 Permalink

      I can confirm from the ground, Masson is semi-pedestrianised as of today.

  • Kate 12:07 on 2021-07-12 Permalink | Reply  

    The city will be forking over $3 million to Formula E to end the obligations created by Denis Coderre’s flirtation with the event.

    • Bert 14:07 on 2021-07-12 Permalink

      While the obligations were created under DC’s reign, it was VPs that caused to obligations to need to be respected. Of course, history is written by the victor.

    • Daniel D 14:22 on 2021-07-12 Permalink

      This older article (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/formula-e-race-cancelled-financial-picture-1.4453864) seems to indicate each Formula E event would have cost “up to $35 million” for the second event, with inflation presumably kicking in for subsequent events.

      Given the amount they were trying to sue VP for, and the fact she negotiated it down to just $3 million, sounds like it was the right call.

  • Kate 07:55 on 2021-07-12 Permalink | Reply  

    A man was shot in a car in St-Laurent on Sunday evening, non-fatally.

    • Kate 07:37 on 2021-07-12 Permalink | Reply  

      Following studies that confirmed widespread systemic discrimination against Black city workers in Montreal North, some are seeking compensation for years of being kept down and given menial jobs while white coworkers were promoted past them.

      • Kate 07:29 on 2021-07-12 Permalink | Reply  

        More reports on public exultation over the Italy win. Photo essay from Global.

        • Jeff 08:16 on 2021-07-12 Permalink

          My one complaint would be that there wasn’t enough honking

      Compose new post
      Next post/Next comment
      Previous post/Previous comment
      Show/Hide comments
      Go to top
      Go to login
      Show/Hide help
      shift + esc