Updates from August, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:17 on 2022-08-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Two PLQ candidates have been targeted in different ways since the campaign started. Enrico Ciccone, incumbent in Marquette, which bridges Lachine and Lasalle, had his office burgled and vandalized Tuesday night. Worse, if possible, is the threats that have been made to Saint‑Laurent incumbent Marwah Rizqy over several weeks, culminating in police being told where to find her body. Ciccone also found messages on his phone saying Rizqy was dead.

    The man facing charges over these threats has been released, and Rizqy was told to stay home.

    Rizqy is eight months pregnant; she’s married to fellow MNA Greg Kelley. She is not dead.

    • Kevin 08:35 on 2022-09-01 Permalink

      Seems like a perfect candidate for the ankle monitors being used for those charged with domestic violence.

  • Kate 20:06 on 2022-08-31 Permalink | Reply  

    The Guardian is already running pieces on Cop15 and why it matters. The gathering, to be held here from December 7‑19, will draw a lot of attention to the city.

    In tangential news, the city will be signing the C40 Urban Nature Declaration, committing to making one third of the city green or natural space. What’s interesting here is that this is a movement at city level, driven by mayors.

    • Kate 19:57 on 2022-08-31 Permalink | Reply  

      Ted Rutland has a sharp piece on Cult MTL about magical thinking about police and gun violence.

      • Kate 16:35 on 2022-08-31 Permalink | Reply  

        Four people have died in an outbreak of Streptococcus A in two seniors’ homes in Lachine and Lasalle.

        A case of monkeypox was diagnosed in a toddler in Montreal, but they’re not giving out anything more specific about location.

        Covid? Santé Québec notched up another 29 deaths over the last 24 hours, but that’s not news any more.

        • Kate 11:40 on 2022-08-31 Permalink | Reply  

          Mehdi Douraid, 28, was shot dead six months ago in the Place Versailles parking lot. He had no criminal history and there are no suspects in his murder. The assumption is that it was mistaken identity. La Presse talks to his family about their loss, as they prepare to leave Montreal North for the suburbs.

          Another story in this category: the family of Jayson Colin, shot in Montreal North earlier this month, say their neighbourhood is suffering from neglect. Colin – who, like Douraid, had no criminal history – was shot outside a high school building, and – as in Douraid’s case – no arrests have been made.

          • Robert H 14:35 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

            Le Canada doit partager le continent avec un voisin du sud en proie à la violence armée. Malheureusement, la frontière n’est pas une barrière, et les conséquences se manifestent dans les rues d’ici. C’est pourquoi je dis que ces conflits ne doivent pas être considérés comme une simple bande de voyous qui se tirent dessus. Le grand public n’est pas exclu de la menace. Je ne voudrais pas devenir une victime collatérale de l’erreur d’un idiot meurtrier, ou être trouvé au mauvais endroit, au mauvais moment. Si, en examinant le cas de Mehdi Douraid («…not known to police services,» «…aucun antécédent criminel.»), c’est ce qui s’est passé, ce serait la définition même du tragique. Que pourrait-on dire à sa famille au cœur brisé, si ce n’est que nous ferons tout notre possible pour trouver son assassin? La seule consolation restante à laquelle je pense est la croyance en la providence ou le karma. J’espère que la mère, le père et la sœur de Medhi pourront trouver la paix, sinon la justice.

          • Kate 16:39 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

            Bien dit, Robert H.

        • Kate 10:48 on 2022-08-31 Permalink | Reply  

          A woman whose pimp forced her to get breast implants can have them removed on the RAMQ. I’m guessing from her photo that these were not the only unnecessary surgeries the pimp demanded.

          • Kate 09:40 on 2022-08-31 Permalink | Reply  

            A lot of business entrepreneurs have signed a petition against Bill 96 (properly the Loi sur la langue officielle et commune du Québec, le français) because it hampers their ability to hire outside the province. But we all have to suffer to preserve French, and businesses should be no exception.

            Update: François Legault said pretty much exactly this on the campaign trail Wednesday.

            • Mark Côté 10:22 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

              I figured the CAQ was always business-first; at least, that’s how they came across originally. I guess the winds of populism have led them to re-evaluate their priorities.

          • Kate 08:47 on 2022-08-31 Permalink | Reply  

            The name of the new professional women’s hockey team has been unveiled: La Force de Montréal, with kit in burgundy, black and white. But the team will be playing all over Quebec – I’m seeing excited pieces from Rivière‑du‑Loup, Rimouski and Sept‑Îles about the team playing matches in those places.

            • Josh 11:51 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

              Kate, my understanding is that this arrangement with the team playing all over the province is that it is only meant to last for the first season, and after this year the team hopes to have a permanent home in Montreal.

            • Kate 11:59 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

              If it lasts. This city has bad luck hanging onto any hockey team that isn’t the Canadiens.

            • denpanosekai 13:50 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

              Wasn’t a women’s hockey team supposed to have a permanent home in Verdun?

            • Kate 18:17 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

              I think that was the Canadiennes.

            • PatrickC 18:24 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

              Burgundy? A nod to the old Montreal Maroons, perhaps? But colour names are problematic nowadays. Also makes me wonder, what sounds stronger, “force” or “impact” ?

            • Josh 18:27 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

              Bad luck, or the city is a Canadiens city rather than a hockey city?

            • dwgs 21:01 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

              To be fair, the Canadiennes folded because the league folded, it wasn’t a Montreal thing.

          • Kate 08:42 on 2022-08-31 Permalink | Reply  

            The popular pedestrianization of Avenue Mont‑Royal is about to end for the season with cars coming back after the long weekend.

            • DeWolf 11:06 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

              Last week I was walking along Mont-Royal and it felt a giant public living room. There were many different places to sit and they were all full of people reading books, chatting with friends or just sitting idle, watching the scene. All ages and abilities. And in the meantime, the terrasses were full and there were plenty of people going in and out of the bookstores, clothing stores, etc.

              Next week will be a bit of a shock. All that human life will be replaced by machines belching out noise and pollution. People will once again be forced onto overly narrow sidewalks. I really hope the SDC comes around and realizes that the pedestrianization needs to last the entire warm season, because it is a really wonderful thing for the Plateau and the city as a whole.

              Eventually, I think the entire street needs to be rethought. There should be a few blocks that are permanently pedestrianized — from St-Hubert to Henri-Julien would make sense — and the rest of the street should have less parking and wider sidewalks. The SDC’s own studies have shown that only 10% of customers come to the street by car, and it’s too narrow to be a good thoroughfare. In terms of transit, the 97 and 11 are probably much more efficient on St-Joseph, where they can benefit from reserved lanes and aren’t constantly stuck in traffic.

            • Robert H 14:57 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

              Je ne pense pas que les Montréalais réalisent la chance qu’ils ont d’avoir une culture de rue aussi dynamique. La plupart des autres villes nord-américaines consultent des urbanistes, créent des incitatifs gouvernementaux et dépensent des millions de dollars pour tenter de recréer dans leurs propres villes ce que Montréal possède en abondance. Wellington, Mont-Royal, Sainte-Catherine, Saint-Paul, Saint-Denis, Masson, Monkland, Sherbrooke… les choix sont si nombreux qu’on pourrait oublier que le boulevard Cure-Labelle et le boulevard Taschereau sont la norme dans la plupart des endroits.

              Merci, Dewolf. J’envie d’une balade.

            • Blork 16:11 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

              I’ve been to the pedestrianized Boul. Mont-Royal a few times this summer and it is nice. The fact that it runs all summer and not just for a few weekends makes it even better, as it’s not just sidewalk sales and whatnot. When it’s like that every day (and much better, with the things DeWolf describes), then people get used to it and it becomes more of a quotidian destination (I mean that in a good way) and not just a “scene” for a weekend.

              It’s a popular idea that’s catching on I think. Even wee Rue St-Charles in Longueuil was pedestrianized this summer (and I think it will be until about October). Not quite the same as Mont-Royal, because it’s much smaller and doesn’t quite have the attractions nor the mentality among the neighbours, but it’s a nice try and I hope they do it again next year.

              They even put in a pétanque court on the street, which cracks me up because it’s on such a slope that I think of it as playing pétanque on a sinking ship.

            • Blork 16:13 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

              Correction: it’s on such a SLANT. The street is flat, but it slants sharply towards the curb.)

          • Kate 08:30 on 2022-08-31 Permalink | Reply  

            Adding 450 cops to the SPVM may be a political talking point, but it won’t be easy: for starters, you have to replace a cohort of people on the brink of retirement first, and then a lot of young cops don’t want to work in Montreal because it’s more challenging than a gig wandering around a peaceful town or suburb somewhere in a cruiser. And police are quitting, too.

            But if we can force doctors to work in the regions, blocking them from building a practice in the city, why can’t we do the opposite with police? Force them to do years of work in the big city before they can accumulate the seniority needed to go eat donuts and chivvy missing cows in St‑Glinglin?

            • steph 09:08 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

              I assumed policing attracted people who want action. City policing is probably also VERY boring with endless hours sitting in a cruiser.

            • Kate 09:37 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

              I wonder. Some proto-cops may be attracted by the possibility of action, but a lot more may be focused on the good benefits and pension.

            • Em 09:42 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

              I’ve heard anecdotally that part of the reason cops don’t want to work in Montreal is the prevalance of calls involving homelessness, addiction and mental health, which isn’t really what they trained for. City cops also face a lot more scrutiny and probably hostility.

            • Ephraim 10:58 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

              We really should look at taking away the jobs that shouldn’t be done by police.

              Traffic control can certainly have a civilian counterpart… never mind that the lights should be put on an automated learning system.

              Social workers to handle everything beyond the basics where the cops are needed… a domestic dispute, separate them if there is abuse, hand them over to social workers. Same with the homeless. I’m sure most police don’t really like to deal with this anyway.

              Finally so many of the useless police reporting can be PDF files. Robbery… you aren’t getting your stuff back, here’s a PDF for your insurance company that we will send out to all the pawn shops that are going to buy your stuff and make you pay them to get it back anyway.

              And then bring back some community policing so that police get to know the people in the neighbourhood and some damn sympathy. If the police knew the people of Montreal North, they would have the connections to better understand what’s happening… and shoot less people, because it’s hard to shoot people you think of as friends and realize that their colour, their sex, their race disappears when you know them as people.

              And squads like IT should be provincial, where you can afford to have money involved from all over the province. Maybe even drug squads and gangs should be provincial police territory.

          • Kate 08:25 on 2022-08-31 Permalink | Reply  

            A man was shot in an apartment in Snowdon Tuesday evening, but is not expected to die.

            • Kate 16:49 on 2022-08-30 Permalink | Reply  

              The Gazette has published an editorial cartoon by Boris, reproduced here in a reaction piece by Petit Petit Gamin and condemned by, among others, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, who has called on the other party leaders to condemn it.

              Isabelle Hachey spoke with the artist, who says his intention was entirely the opposite of how it has been widely taken. He didn’t intend to besmirch the memory of René Lévesque, whom he admired, but to mock the anglos who chose not to join in with the Quebec independence movement or to honour Lévesque.

              Why the Gazette is pissing in its own cereal is for anyone to guess.

              • Emily 21:03 on 2022-08-30 Permalink

              • Kate 23:19 on 2022-08-30 Permalink

                Bert Archer has not learned to read the room. Thanks, Emily.

              • H. John 08:46 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

              • Kate 09:09 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

                Thanks, H. John.

                Toula Drimonis sums it up: This is not a good cartoon.

                Is Bert Archer fool enough to think that being talked about is better than not being talked about? During an election campaign, to boot? The Gazette has never done any favours to Quebec anglos, so I guess it’s continuing that tradition, at least.

              • Tim 09:31 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

                The dog is wearing a Canadian flag. The rest of Canada generally reviles Lévesque; he’s known, rightly or wrongly, as the man that tried to breakup Canada, didn’t sign the Charter and collected a Federal government pension along the way. The nuanced view of him from Quebec anglos does not extend past provincial borders. This obviously offends many in this province, but the cartoon accurately captures the sentiment of those outside of Quebec.

              • Kate 09:35 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

                Yes, but the Gazette is not (in theory) produced for the ROC, but for Quebec anglos.

              • Kevin 11:32 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

                Boris should have used labels, like Stan Kelly of the famous “Sickos” meme.

              • Kate 18:19 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

                Those labels feel so early 20th century. If you have to include footnotes, your drawing is not doing its job.

              • Orr 10:32 on 2022-09-03 Permalink

                As someone with 12 feet of shelf space of the many great Quebec/Canadian/American/British/French op-ed/political cartoonist’s books, I have never regarded Boris as a particularly talented op-ed cartoonist. Boris doesn’t seem to hit his target very well, and/or chooses his targets poorly.
                On the other hand this week we learned that PSPP reads the Gazette every morning.

            • Kate 13:47 on 2022-08-30 Permalink | Reply  

              A commission is looking into why Montreal’s municipal elections have had such low participation. Only 38.3% of eligible voters turned out in November 2021, down from an already pitiful 42.47% in 2017.

              As Jeanne Corriveau writes, interest in last year’s vote could have been weakened by Covid, by the federal election that closely preceded it, or by the narrow restrictions on voting by mail, but none are complete explanations. But how do you get people to feel more involved, at least to the extent of feeling it’s worth casting a vote?

              Two things are not raised in the item, which have been mentioned before on this blog, but are worth considering:

              1. Educating people on the functioning of city government and making clear what’s done for them by city hall and what’s done by the borough. People are amazingly vague on the domains of operation of the levels of government and, I think, often don’t realize that the quality of life in their surroundings is largely a municipal realm, so if you want a say in how things look and feel in your neighbourhood, go vote in the next municipal election.

              2. Find some way to allow permanent residents to vote. I don’t know how deep this would have to go in changing Canadian or Quebec law, but there must be some way to do it. Or even, to get around that, have an election in which permanent residents could choose a parallel council that would have some participation in city hall decisions! If this worked right, I bet actual citizens would take more interest, but I don’t have any idea whether it’s workable.

              • Dominic 13:51 on 2022-08-30 Permalink

                Two excellent ideas.

                Additional ones would be to lengthen the voting period. There is no reason why the election can’t be a week, or two, and have drop-off boxes at metro stations, malls, major locations, etc.

                Another thing since its somewhat low-risk, start to explore the potential for secure online-voting. It can be done, but no one wants to be the first to try to figure it out.

              • MarcG 14:24 on 2022-08-30 Permalink

                It could also be that representative democracy just isn’t satisfying to a lot of people. Implement Universal basic income so that people can have some free time and set up neighbourhood committees – I bet participation would be higher.

              • Chris 19:03 on 2022-08-30 Permalink

                >…secure online-voting. It can be done…

                No, it can’t. Especially when your adversary has state-level resources, which is exactly the kind of adversary that would attack an election. Secure against script kiddies maybe, but secure against the NSA and its like: No.

              • Tim S. 08:51 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

                I once took a Canadian history course that turned out to focus almost entirely on the evolution of the voting system. It was really fascinating, and the upshot is, every single thing about how we vote, from the thickness of the ballot paper to the location of the polling station, is there because in the past someone tried to take advantage from the slightest opening in the system. I won’t completely rule out online voting in the future, but it would be much, much more difficult to implement than most proponents imagine.

                Another thing that came up in that class is that in systems which have mandatory voting, say Australia, it turns out about 10% of the population just ticks off the name at the top of the list (which in turn led parties to try to recruit candidates with names from the beginning of the alphabet). So I’d like there to be a more informed, active citizenry, but be careful about assuming a high voting rate necessarily implies engagement.

                Personally, I think the problem lies in the media which focuses more on national/provincial events. A good start would be re-invigorating local news, but that’s preaching to the choir here.

              • Kate 13:14 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

                Tim S.! “Arnold A. Aardvark, Australian Communist People’s Front”!

            • Kate 11:08 on 2022-08-30 Permalink | Reply  

              It’s a foregone conclusion the CAQ will win the October election. The remaining questions are: by how big a majority, and who will come second?

              • MarcG 09:50 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

                I heard a francophone speaking English on the radio yesterday and he pronounced it “The Cee-Eh-Kew” – does anyone else do this or are we all saying “KAK”?

              • qatzelok 17:58 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

                What is interesting about CAQ’s “populism” is how they have promised to rob the Fond des générations in order to pay 70 year olds 2000 dollars and to cut taxes for boomers and other old people. In our democracy, robbing future generations has elected many politicians, wheither that’s with our annual deficits (even in good times) or environmental destruction.

                But with this promise of taking from future generations, the CAQ (and Liberals) have shown where the votes are (old people) and whose lives are being sold down the river for votes (young people).

                Not only does this look like garbage politics, it makes us look like a garbage generation of voters.


            • Kate 11:05 on 2022-08-30 Permalink | Reply  

              Cops on the Centaure squad talked to people representing organized crime – the Hells and the old mob – on the weekend and they said the outbreak of shooting isn’t their doing, but blamed loosely grouped street gangs and rappeurs. But as Daniel Renaud points out, it takes organization to import so many weapons.

              • Blork 11:59 on 2022-08-30 Permalink

                Does it though? I find a lot of flawed reasoning in the piece.

                It mentions that half of the firearms murders in the past year are linked to organized crime, but that means that half of them were NOT linked to organized crime. If the firearms murder rate has doubled, but the rate of organized crime firearms murders is stable, then all those other firearms murders might have no connection to organized crime.

                Also, and perhaps more important: basing one’s thinking about this just on firearms MURDERS is missing the point. The vast majority of illegal firearms usage does not result in murder. There are all those non-fatal shooting (numbers are way up) and in particular all those shootings where no one was injured (shooting at cars, at buildings, in the air, etc.) which (AFAIK) has gone way, way up. Those are the numbers you need to look at if you want to know how much firearms use has increased, not just the murder rate.

                One needs to consider all forms of gunplay. Organized crime people don’t tend to go around shooting things up for kicks. That’s really the domain of excitable and disorganized kids.

                As to where are the guns coming from; much has been written in the past year about ghost guns made from parts ordered from the internet and made with 3D printers, plus there’s that case of a bag of guns being flown by a drone across the St. Claire river near Detroit getting snagged in a tree on the Canadian side.

                That begs the question of how many drone-loads of guns have NOT been snagged in a tree. There are literally hundreds of places along the New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine border where drones can fly across undetected. That doesn’t require organized crime (at least not in the traditional sense.)

                I think the big shift has been that drone technology has emboldened people to smuggle things more than ever before.

              • Ephraim 13:17 on 2022-08-30 Permalink

                Can someone send the cops a copy of https://www.amazon.ca/Blood-Gun-Money-Firearms-Trafficking/dp/1635572789 so that they can shut up and stop wondering where the guns come from?

              • Kate 13:49 on 2022-08-30 Permalink

                Tsk tsk, Ephraim, no no. There’s no French version of that book.

              • Ephraim 17:24 on 2022-08-30 Permalink

                Doesn’t make it less relevant… just harder to read… It also comes in an audiobook… since most of them can’t read….

              • Blork 20:23 on 2022-08-30 Permalink

                Doesn’t make it less relevant to human beings who want to learn about the situation, but it makes it less relevant to CAQbots who simply wave off anything that’s not available in French.

              • Ephraim 10:59 on 2022-08-31 Permalink

                @Blork – There is 2 part interview of the author on Jordan Harbinger’s podcast

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