Updates from June, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 17:06 on 2022-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

    The Théâtre de Verdure on the western edge of Lafontaine Park is reopening this summer after a lengthy closure, with an entirely new stage and seating and a program of events.

    • Kate 10:40 on 2022-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

      Joining the PLQ stampede, NDG MNA Kathleen Weil has announced she will not be running again this October. A new candidate for the riding has already been chosen.

      • Kate 09:40 on 2022-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

        The CMM recently passed a law to protect its remaining natural lands, but a senator who is also a real estate developer is seeking to have the law invalidated. Can’t this action be invalidated in turn as an egregious conflict of interest?

        • Meezly 09:54 on 2022-06-06 Permalink

          Damn well should be! F*ckin real estate developers.

        • mare 10:54 on 2022-06-06 Permalink

          It always amazes me how many real estate developers are or have been in politics here, often without giving up their companies, or putting them in a blind trust.
          Why did they go into politics? Is it because they had so much blowback from politicians and want to ‘correct’ it? Or do they have an urge to shape the city, put their stamp on it, like they shaped their dev projects but on a grander scale? Or do they just have good and influential networks and is it easy for them to get on a ballot?

        • Joey 11:00 on 2022-06-06 Permalink

          I mean, land ownership is a mandatory requirement for appointment to the Senate. Hate the player, not the game!

        • SMD 12:08 on 2022-06-06 Permalink

          This senator is a real piece of work. Convinced the PLQ to sell him Blue Bonnets in 2006 and then ran it into the ground, despite public subsidies of up to $40 million per year. There are some good quotes from a former PQ MNA named François Legault on the subject.

        • qatzelok 12:25 on 2022-06-07 Permalink

          Nice find, SMD.

          “Généreux donateur au Parti libéral du Québec (PLQ), M. Massicotte a remporté la mise en 2006 – cinq entreprises s’étaient manifestées – lorsque le gouvernement Charest a privatisé les hippodromes de Montréal, Aylmer, Trois-Rivières et Québec….”

          Oligarchs giving each other state assets.

      • Kate 08:34 on 2022-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

        La Presse keeps up its theme on how downtown is doing OK except for office space. Once again, the tone veers perilously close to the idea that workers have a duty to go back to the office, giving their employers reasons to rent more square footage, and of course fritter their money in downtown restaurants and boutiques.

        The report being cited is L’état du centre-ville.

        Edited to add another La Presse piece on how public transit use is still only at 60% of pre‑pandemic levels. It seems likely that a lot of habits have changed and it will take time to coax people back onto buses and metro.

        Edited again to add this QMI piece on an alliance to “save” downtown.

        • Blork 09:30 on 2022-06-06 Permalink

          FWIW, I sort of miss the office. More specifically, I miss the social contact (this coming from an introvert) and I miss frittering my money in downtown restaurants. And after-work bars.

          I do not miss the commute.

          Frustrating: in early 2020 (just before the pando) you couldn’t find a decent slice of pizza anywhere near my office (near Concordia). A good slice is one of my favorite lunches. Now that I don’t work there anymore, there are TWO very good NY style slice joints within a couple of blocks. WTF?

          Also: I loved getting the veggie thalie plate or channa samosa at Bhandari on de Maisonneuve. I miss that.

        • DeWolf 11:02 on 2022-06-06 Permalink

          Transit ridership will not recover until the STM restores bus services to pre-pandemic levels – and that’s the bare minimum. Some major routes like the 45 have been cut to half hourly service which is a good way to push away any potential rider who has other options.

        • Em 11:06 on 2022-06-06 Permalink

          I agree with DeWolf.

          Buses that come less than every 20 minutes will be a last resort for people. I usually walk the 3.5 kilometres to work because the bus that would take me there in 12 minutes comes so infrequently that I can’t count on it.

        • jeather 12:02 on 2022-06-06 Permalink

          Channa samosa is the absolute best. Thank you for showing me a new place to get it.

        • Kevin 14:26 on 2022-06-06 Permalink

          I don’t understand why environmental groups are not lobbying just as hard to let downtown change to be more of a live-in neighbourhood, instead of a place you go to work. Lack of vision? Lack of organization? Pandemic fatigue?

        • Kate 14:59 on 2022-06-06 Permalink

          DeWolf, I went out to take a bus the other day for an appointment, not too far away but I wanted to save time.

          As it turned out, no bus was due for half an hour, so I walked, and got to my destination before the bus did.

          It’s obvious that busy people have lost patience with the bus.

        • Kate 15:00 on 2022-06-06 Permalink

          Kevin, it’s going to change regardless. Downtown is there to serve society as it is, not society as it was 20 or 40 years ago, no matter how much talk there is.

        • DeWolf 22:22 on 2022-06-06 Permalink

          Kevin, I’m not really sure what you mean. There’s nobody stopping downtown from changing. Property developers will inevitably transform obsolete office towers into apartments and there’s nothing standing in their way. It’s just a matter of time.

        • Kevin 09:30 on 2022-06-07 Permalink

          Kate, DeWolf
          There have been ‘make workers commute to the office’ announcements ad nauseum for the past 18 months.
          There have been many ‘build new social/affordable housing’ announcements.

          I have not heard groups lobbying to keep people working remotely in order to fight climate change, nor have I heard groups lobbying to alter zoning to transform office space to housing.

          I just find it odd that there’s a huge push for the status quo ante, but no voice calling for a radical, urgent change to how we use downtown. It’s as if the groups advocating for a 15-minute city are missing a giant opportunity.

          Eg. The REM de l’Est. There was a lot of opposition, but I didn’t hear anyone saying that it was a pointless project because by the time it would be finished, housing and facilities would be altered so the Ville Marie borough’s population could double or triple.

        • Cadichon 11:36 on 2022-06-07 Permalink

          @Kevin, housing can already be built as of right anywhere downtown.

        • Meezly 12:28 on 2022-06-07 Permalink

          Probably because the WFH trend has produced a negligible effect in the improvement of carbon emissions (from googling a Harvard Business Review article) as there are many factors at play. I’m sure there are local community groups advocating for more sustainable urban planning, but with finite resources, environmental organizations do their research and target issues that have a direct cause and effect on climate change. There are probably bigger fish to fry than making downtown more livable.

        • DeWolf 11:51 on 2022-06-08 Permalink

          Kevin, I think the reason for that is that everything you describe is already underway. There is a huge amount of residential construction downtown (25% increase in population over the past 5 years, with a similar increase to come), there is work underway to revamp and improve public spaces (Ste-Catherine, Peel, St-Antoine/Viger REV, new plazas like the Esplanade Tranquille and rebuilt Phillips and Viger squares, all the streetscape work and new parks under construction in Griffintown), and some very ambitious projects in the works (Molson Brewery, Radio-Canada, Esplanade Cartier). A 14-storey co-op just opened next to the Tours des Canadiens and it’s far from the only social housing being built. Maybe there should be a big PR campaign, but it’s not really needed to get the ball rolling.

      • Kate 08:25 on 2022-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

        In the first thing the CAQ has proposed that I like, they’re promising to review the minuscule fees charged to water bottling firms to extract water from our aquifers.

        So far it’s only an idea the environment minister says can’t be passed into law this session, but at least they’re admitting it’s a problem that has to be dealt with.

        Unfortunately, the CAQ has also decided not to limit greenhouse gas emissions on big projects, demonstrating that they still feel the economy is real in a way that the environment is not.

        • dhomas 12:05 on 2022-06-06 Permalink

          The CAQ like to talk big about their green bona fides, but then they subsidize every citizen’s air travel. Up to 3 subsidized flights per citizen per year. Take that money and invest it in infrastructure that doesn’t produce such ridiculous amounts of pollution!

        • Blork 11:02 on 2022-06-07 Permalink

          I was going to ask if it’s actually coming from the aquifers (vs. the river) but the article implies it comes from surface and underground sources, so I guess both.

          They should definitely pay more, and there should be a premium for taking it from the aquifers vs. the river. Like, a really big premium. We know that the aquifers are suffering, especially south-east of the city. But as I pointed out recently (https://mtlcityweblog.com/2022/05/30/quebec-running-short-of-water/#comment-178967), something like 36 billion litres of St. Lawrence river water flow by the city EVERY HOUR.

          That doesn’t mean we can just fling the river water around willy-nilly, but I’d rather see the industrial users take it from the river, where it’s more abundant, than from the aquifers which are known to be limited and shrinking.

          So they should make it much more expensive to use the aquifers. The difference needs to be significant, as using river water has the added expense of needing to treat it.

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