Updates from September, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:51 on 2022-09-30 Permalink | Reply  

    A march was held Friday in support of indigenous reconciliation.

    • Kate 19:47 on 2022-09-30 Permalink | Reply  

      Despite losses of trees to the ash beetle, the city has reached a level of 25% tree canopy three years sooner than expected.

      • Blork 20:50 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        Typo: it’s 25% not 245%.

      • Kate 07:33 on 2022-10-01 Permalink

        That would be intense. Thanks!

    • Kate 17:29 on 2022-09-30 Permalink | Reply  

      The city, which migrated its operations onto Google in 2019, is migrating back to Microsoft and while there’s a lot of blither here, I’d love to know the actual reason why. It can’t simply be an irregularity in the contract from the company that bid to get the support job on Google, and the thing about everyone else using Microsoft and not being able to open Excel or Word files in Google’s online apps is plain and simple bullshit. Somebody stands to gain big from this shift and they’ve sold a bill of goods to the city.

      • Blork 18:44 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        I recall I was against the move to Google back then, as it seemed like trend-following with no eye on consequences. Google is far more evil than Microsoft. They exist only to lure you in with free stuff then scrape your data and enrich their profiles database. I can’t see why their enterprise systems would be any different.

        I personally hate using Google docs and spreadsheets. I hate the way files are handled (e.g., sometimes you look at a Google doc and it ends up embedded in your personal Google account, but why? How?). And even if you can open and work on MS files in Google, going back and forth a few times can complete wreck the underlying structure, so imagine hundreds of people doing that every day with vendors and other third parties.

        I am no fan of MS, but comparing the use – in particular in an enterprise environment – of Word or Excel with the Google versions is like comparing a new iPhone with a 10-year-old off-brand Android phone. MS Teams vs. Google Meet is like comparing a Tesla with a Lada. (True: I’m vetting some vendors for a service buy at work right now and the lowest-ranking candidate so far is the one that insists on meeting via Google Meet – and that’s part of the reason they’re lowest ranked.)

        So if you ask me, they’re making the right move.

      • dhomas 21:00 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        At least they’re only paying for one of them. I know for a fact that other public organizations (ex: the EMSB) are paying for both Google and Microsoft services. There is a complete duplication of services. You can save your files to Google Drive or OneDrive, Google Docs or Office 365. It’s completely ridiculous.

        That said, there is a lot of weirdness in that story. I know from experience that price stability is not given with Google. My Google Workspace price has increased without me being able to do much about it without a costly migration. They bank on lock-in to squeeze more out of their customers. Google also employs a shady “high watermark” pricing model. If you pay 10$ per user per month and you have 200 users, it costs 2000$. If you reduce your number of users to 100, you would expect to pay 1000$. Nope! You can never decrease your fee; you always pay for the highest amount of users ever registered on the platform. I’m not sure if Microsoft works the same way. The thing about opening word documents is a load of shit, I agree. But the data privacy issue is especially strange. First off, we are not in the EU where GDPR is a thing. But even if it were a requirement to store data locally, Google offers datacenters in Montreal and Toronto. Microsoft has datacenters in Quebec city and Toronto. Both offer the option for Data Regions. Plus, there are no cost savings. Google’s service would have cost between 73 and 105 million (I assume the unpredictable cost is due to unknown price increases). Microsoft’s will cost 121 million. This may or may not include migration costs, which are not negligible and prone to ballooning. My verdict as a seasoned “IT Guy”: someone’s getting a big commission/payoff. It reminds me of how Microsoft won back the public sector in Munich some years ago (by promising to move their German headquarters to Munich).

      • walkerp 21:15 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        The backend of MS is a freaking nightmare compared to Google. That will only matter to the poor souls who have to administer it, though given that it is government it is possible there is a core of old school Active Directory experts who are very happy right now.

        But dear gods the poor staff will have to start using MS Teams! That is going to hurt.

      • walkerp 21:22 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        I just read the article and I don’t think there is any big scam at the municipal level. The major factor here is compatibility with the provincial system. Now it is entirely probably that there are some kickbacks and pork going on with the contract at the provincial level that just got fatter, but it seems pretty apparent that what the mayor says is the truth. Now that both levels of government have been forced to go way more digital, it makes sense for them to be on the same systems. Probably can share support contracts, even backend infrastructure.

        I think that was always the goal and then they probably came up with justifications, probably true about the costs going up as Dhomas notes which they say was in contravention of the contract, but utter bullshit (as Dhomas also notes) about the server location. We really are using the SPVM to vet our city’s digital security criteria, that’s a laugher.

      • Kevin 21:40 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        Having gone through similar transfers with proprietary tools in the past, I know that the people making decisions are not the ones actually using the products, and that the deciders frequently completely misunderstand what is being said/promised/feasible/required for said software.

        This sounds like a whole bunch of power MS users have spent 4 years screaming that Google doesn’t work the way they need it to.

      • dhomas 07:38 on 2022-10-01 Permalink

        Disclaimer: I work in IT, so I have a lot to say on this topic.

        As walkerp mentioned, Microsoft’s backend is a disaster. Since there is so much legacy tech that’s been forcibly put online, it’s just a mess. Everything just feels “heavy”. You need a Teams client installed to get the most functionality out of it (like screen sharing). Same for Office. Teams file sharing is really just a paint job over SharePoint, instead of using the more modern OneDrive. Sharing files is a nightmarish experience. It’s difficult to share with other MS users (from other organizations) let alone someone using a non-Microsoft account. But I think this might be where the city wants to standardize. To share files, it is much easier to do so if everyone is on the same system. For work, I need to maintain a Google account and a Microsoft account associated to the same email address to be able to send and receive files across multiple organizations. It’s easy for me, but I suspect it might not be for someone less tech savvy.

        Google’s system, on the other hand, seems much more streamlined. Everything runs in-browser, no need to install anything. If you’ve never used MS Office before, Google Docs/Sheets/Slides are much more intuitive, not to mention a LOT easier to collaborate on. And compatibility has come a long way with MS Office, compared to what it was just a few years ago. There’s still the occasional formatting issue, but I get that on Office now too (a custom font won’t print from Word Online, I need to download it to open it in local Word to do so. Why?).

        My main issue with Google, other than the data mining, is that I don’t really own anything and lose control (to Google) over all my data. MS is pushing hard for cloud- and subscription-based everything, but still allows for on-premise installations where your data/files are yours and on your systems.

      • Kate 08:25 on 2022-10-01 Permalink

        dhomas, if you have documents in Google, you can always download them as familiar formats, .doc or .xlsx or .csv or whatever. So it’s not as if you’re stuck. I’ve been in situations where I’ve had to migrate a document among Google, Microsoft and an Apple app like Pages or Numbers, and haven’t dropped a thing.

      • Joey 09:46 on 2022-10-01 Permalink

        @Dhomas I would imagine that most city employees were weaned on MS Office…

        Anyway, while you can certainly open an MS file in the equivalent Google app and vice versa, don’t expect all the functionalities to carry over. You won’t get far trying to work with a mildly complex Excel file in Google Sheets without having to abandon certain elements or spend time on Reddit looking for hacks.

      • dhomas 11:38 on 2022-10-01 Permalink

        @Joey agreed. I have to use both Excel and Sheets. And some complex formulas don’t carry over. Google has gotten pretty good at fixing most of these incompatibilities (Pivot Tables used to not work, for example). Then again, I also had to upgrade an Excel version to be able to use XLOOKUP; a paid O365 version could use it, whereas a “basic” account could not. So there are compatibility issues even within Microsoft’s own ecosystem. You don’t really get this with Google as it’s pretty much a “one-size-fits-all” solution, with no differing versions for different customers.

        @Kate: yes, downloading and sending files is definitely possible. But it’s a bit of a workaround when the default (for workflow or security purposes) might be to share a link to a document via Google Drive or O365. By the time the recipient receives it, tries to open it and fails, you’ve wasted time that can add up. In my case, since I work with European customers, this can mean wasting a full day to get a response. Productivity can definitely take a hit.

      • Kate 11:46 on 2022-10-01 Permalink

        OK, granted everybody.

        I really dislike the name Office 365. It’s like you’re supposed to be working every day of the year.

      • Ephraim 14:34 on 2022-10-02 Permalink

        BTW, if anyone is looking for MS Office at a discount (legal) see https://stacksocial.com/sales/microsoft-office-professional-plus-2021-for-windows (no, I don’t get affiliate money, it’s just a damn good deal) but it is for 2021… not 365.

    • Kate 09:13 on 2022-09-30 Permalink | Reply  

      The owner of a dépanneur in Lachine is trying to fight renoviction and demolition of the store that’s been his only job since coming here from China 14 years ago.

      Something like this happened in my neighbourhood too, as we gradually lose corner deps in favour of profitable condo developments.

      • Joey 11:59 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        Ironically, access to a nearby depanneur is a huge selling point for real estate developers looking to woo buyers.

      • DeWolf 12:19 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        I’d be curious to hear more details on this:

        // Vodanovic says the borough is looking into amending bylaws to help protect small businesses with commercial leases in the future. //

      • Ian 12:19 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        Most of the deps on Saint-Viateur have been turned into lunch counters.
        When the deps are disappearing it’s a sure sign of gentrification – the money is no longer in providing commercial infrastructure to the neighbourhood’s residents.

      • Ephraim 12:59 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        There are different competing trends at the moment.

        Supermarket consolidation, larger supermarkets that have more choice and more prepared foods (because less people cook).

        Replacement deps with a wider variety… for example food departments inside of some pharmacies as a way to get people into the store more often, like with post offices.

        Drive to Convenience – Which is in itself dying and even Couche Tard knows this, because gas stations are dying as people move to electric cars.

        Death of the Traditional Convenience Store – They don’t serve the same need anymore. you can order groceries delivered, but they also generally are too small to carry and turn over fresh produce anymore. There are just too many of them to be viable for produce. The shelves are often stocked with expensive staples.

        This is really an area of flux. Anyone seen what a convenience store looks like in Northern Europe? When you walk into a convenience store in Europe you may have entire counters of prepared foods, salads and even sandwiches. See a picture at https://uploads-ssl.webflow.com/6023f82caabbc9e86dbc9470/6039308766f4e72236c091ad_7-eleven-hero.jpg This is the future and even Couche-Tard realizes it, they had a press release recently about the need to increase sales in prepared foods and take-home meals and less reliance on gasoline sales. (And installing electric chargers).

      • Ian 13:03 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        Bodegas in NYC are like that, too. Midnight pastrami is one of my favourite things when I’m visiting.
        They definitely still have that old school groceteria/deli counter feel.

      • Joey 15:30 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        @Ian love a good dep but there is such thing as too many (unlike, of course, chicken restaurants). How many deps does St-V need? There used to be three on/around Villeneuve – one on Parc and one on St-Urbain, plus the remaining one at the corner of Jeanne-Mance + the Ultramar on Parc. I don’t know that 2/4 closing made a meaningful difference…

      • Blork 15:42 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        Ephraim raises good points, in that disappearing deps is not not just a sign of gentrification; it’s a sign of a number of overall trends in how people shop. We simply don’t need a podunk little dep on every second corner the way we used to.

        Side note (or to be truthful: side anecdote) sparked by the convenience stores in Europe reference: Back in the 90s I was walking around Vienna on a hot day, totally parched, and it was impossible to find a convenience store (or even a grocery store) where I could buy a bottle of water. I had to go to a café and order a glass of sparkling water. It was about 200ml and cost the equivalent of five bucks, and I could have drank six of them easily. I hope things have improved for the fair people of Vienna, but I don’t think we’ll ever have that problem here.

      • Kate 17:22 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        You can say podunk, Blork, but our corner dep here was more than that. I wrote about it here almost a year ago when I heard it was closing: I’ve bought toilet paper at mine (not all the time, but it’s been handy in the depths of winter), cat food (ditto), occasionally chips, soda or beer, I’ve put STM tickets on my Opus card, I once bought the best ramen I ever had there (and stopped buying it when I noticed how much sodium was in the flavour packet), I’ve had things printed out off their computer, and once when I was feeling strangely dizzy and weird I left my spare house key with the dep lady so someone could pick it up and feed my cat if I was in the ER a long time (I wasn’t, and I was fine).

        That’s the thing about the independent corner dep – you’d know the people, unlike a Couche‑Tard where the staff changes all the time, understandably so, but obviously Couche‑Tard staffers don’t have the same sense of investment in neighbourhood good will.

        I still miss my corner dep. I liked the owners and I trusted them. They were a good thing in this neighbourhood.

        The location has gradually been sort of cleared out but the entire building (which had two or three living spaces in it as well) looks empty now, and I would not be surprised to see it torn down for a new condo building.

      • Ian 17:49 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        One thing I noticed when my family was in quarantine with covid a couple of weeks ago – since you can’t call deps anymore, things are a bit different.

        I wanted some beer and none of the big grocery stores would deliver anything that wasn’t 0 alcohol. Not even any of the local stores like PA. Since there are no deps to call anymore I was at a loss. A few restaurants would send you beer but of course at restaurant prices, through the mobile app food delivery services.

        Finally I checked the website for Lipa’s, one of the big Jewish stores in my neighbourhood that delivers. The catch is you had to make a $50 minimum order for delivery. I did my whole grocery there out of sheer gratitude.

        Back in the day I’d call my corner dep, they would recognize my voice, and they’d send over a kid on a bike with a loaf of POM, a can of beans, a pack of smokes, and a case of beer – no questions asked and within the hour. Cash only. The kid would take back your empties as a tip. That was fantastic.

        Now, this is me as an able bodied adult temporarily inconvenienced, but If I was a feeble pensioner not wanting to go up and down my stairs, I would be missing those delivery kids big time.

      • Blork 17:53 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        I should clarify that I’m not against the independent deps on every corner; just acknowledging that it’s a different world now, with different shopping habits and more alternatives (i.e., grocery stores staying open later, pharmacies carrying a broader selection, etc.). So there’s less need and less support for the wee independents. Edge cases notwithstanding.

      • DeWolf 20:22 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        It’s strange to think that most deps used to offer delivery services a few decades ago but not anymore. It seems like an obvious edge, especially since many supermarket delivery platforms are actually kind of crap.

        That said, Ian, if you’re ever in the situation of needing booze but are unable to leave the house, Veux-tu une bière delivers, as does Boutique Cheers.

      • Blork 20:57 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        Regarding delivery, a few decades ago it was no big deal to have some kid hang around the dep all day getting free Pepsis and smokes and the occasional delivery tip. That’s what offspring were for. But nowadays try to convince your 15-year-old kid to spend their evenings at the dep illegally delivering beer (most likely you need to be 18+ to do that legit) for the sake of what, $20 bucks a night? I don’t think so.

      • MarcG 08:51 on 2022-10-01 Permalink

        @DeWolf: Cheers closed about a month ago.

        @Ian: That non-alcoholic-beer-only thing sounds like a bug, or maybe you need to login and verify your age.

        Some deps still offer delivery on the bike with the wooden box, at least in Verdun.

      • Meezly 09:35 on 2022-10-01 Permalink

        My 9yo has become a regular at the dep (corner Villeneuve & JM) as she likes to buy the occasional treat there with her spending money. She even treated her friend and little brother to popsicles when they helped out at her yard sale. When she has friends over, they pop over to the dep to get a treat. I never really appreciated that dep until recently as it’s become a great little spot for the neighbourhood kids.

      • DeWolf 10:39 on 2022-10-01 Permalink

        @MarcG, thanks for the update, I completely missed that. I knew they had closed the Plateau shop but I had no idea the entire chain (as well as the brewery!) went out of business.

      • Ian 12:21 on 2022-10-02 Permalink

        @MarcG I actually created an account for Provigo before placing an order – it has such poor ui/ux you can’t browse their stock unless you have an account. Presumably to determine what the closest Provigo is to you, but yeah. No alcohol. I already had an account with PA – they at least know I have a credit card, which makes me at least 18, I don’t recall being asked to tick off a confirmation of that anywhere. I am using Chrome on a Mac though so maybe if I try again with Safari I would have more luck. I tried on my phone too (Android, Chrome) as I thought location services might be a factor, but same deal.

        @deWolf Veux-tu une bière won’t deliver where I am – I am on Hutchison now, still Mile End but right on the Outremont border – a lot of delivery services have Parc as a border so that may be why.

        Interestingly both Lipa’s and Fooderie use the same shopping interface. Of the two only Lipa’s stocks alcohol, though.

        As I mentioned several restaurants will deliver alcohol through the various uber-skip-dash triumvirate, but at restaurant prices, not grocery store prices.

      • Kate 13:37 on 2022-10-02 Permalink

        Lufa has beer (also wine and cider) but only organic and local. I’m a regular client (once‑weekly delivery), so I haven’t tried only ordering e.g a dozen beers.

      • MarcG 18:28 on 2022-10-02 Permalink

        @Ian I would call them and find out what’s happening, it doesn’t sound like a browser issue. We started ordering groceries online from Metro at the beginning of the pandemic and about a year into it, I suddenly only saw non-alcoholic beer in the catalog. I spoke to an agent on the phone who explained they had just opened a new warehouse to deal with all of the demand, that I was now going to my deliveries from that “store”, and that they were still waiting for the permit to sell alcohol; a month or so later the beer was flowing again.

    • Kate 09:00 on 2022-09-30 Permalink | Reply  

      Clic Santé is offering more and more private solutions to medical needs, which some feel is not justified.

      But socialized medicine here has always been such a patchwork. Over the last year, I’ve had to spend money on dental, dermatological and vision issues. I have no private insurance. But why are teeth, eyes and skin not considered part of the whole human package?

      • Ephraim 11:23 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        I’ve never paid for dermatological. Vision used to be covered, at least the exam, but was cut to “save money”. Did it really save money?

      • Kate 11:39 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        I wonder whether that’s gendered, and women are expected to want dermatology treatments from vanity.

        I’m a redhead, so I’ve necessarily never been a sunbather. But simply existing on this planet has exposed me to the sun, so I have to be wary of skin changes.

        I saw a dermatologist a few months ago. She froze off a few skin irregularities, then said “OK, those ones were covered, these are not. It will cost $85 for me to do the others.” So I said yes. It seemed weirdly arbitrary, since it took only a couple of minutes and was the same treatment for all of them.

        Very recently I had some eye floaters and visual effects and I know these can be warnings of serious damage. The neighbourhood optometrist had an availability the next day. He looked at my retinas with some blinding lights and said it was not serious. (Had it been serious, he said, he would have sent me immediately to the ER.) Ka-ching, $135. But it was my eyes, and if it had been a retinal detachment, my working life could be over if I neglected it.

        But if people do neglect their eyes, it really can make them unemployable, never mind unhappy. I don’t think this saves society money in the long run.

        Let’s not even talk about teeth.

      • Ian 12:22 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        Agreed, mild optic nerve scarring n one for me from sun damage – never even would have known about it if my wife’s insurance didn’t cover the exam, because I thought my eyes were “fine” and just took the exam because it was “free”.

      • mare 12:58 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        @Kate, In my experience this is not specifically for Dermatology. I think in Quebec injectables aren’t covered by the RAMQ. I too had to pay cash for the lidocaine when removing some warts at a dermatologist, for several steroid injections in my wrists and elbows and even for the salt solution injected by a radiologist. All in private practices, in hospitals sedation is fortunately included. It is weird, I don’t know where this practice originates from. Most vaccines (unless paediatric or epidemic) and even varicose vein treatment aren’t covered either.
        Eye care, dental care, physiotherapy and mental healthcare (outside of hospital situations) aren’t covered either. It’s cheaper short term, but many people won’t or can’t afford to get care, and risk more severe conditions, at a greater cost to society, later on.

      • Kate 13:08 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        I’ve been advised to get the shingles vaccine, but it costs around $150 and my doctor says this does not become cheaper or free once you hit 65.

        All very short sighted. If they want to keep older people in the job force they need to think about a lot of this stuff.

      • Ephraim 13:13 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        Eye care should be covered if it’s not a simple eye exam. I had eye surgery once to remove something on the lid.. free… okay, the 8 students that they had to bring into the room and show them was a little embarrassing, but still, free. And cataract surgery is free, you only pay if you want the better lens (pay for it, it’s worth it). But that is all at the hospital.

        Most vaccines are covered if required for public health. Preventative and travel vaccines aren’t. Kids today get Hep A and Hep B, but as an adult, you have to pay for them unless you MSM, whereupon it’s free because it’s an STI. The malaria vaccine is new and is only for travel. Yellow Fever, when not in short supply is only for travel and is now once in a lifetime and you have to pay for it. It’s expensive. There are rumours that they will cover the shingles shot, but it’s not covered yet and I’m at the starting age to get the shot… I hope they cover it soon… because I definitely want it. It’s only needed for three more generations, if I understand correctly, since kids are regularly vaccinated for chicken pox today. What is covered for adults is Pneumonia at age 65, Diphtheria and Tetanus at age 50, Flu over 75 and whooping cough for women. Everything else is on a needs basis. For example, I had the pneumonia vaccine a LONG time ago, because of bronchitis. Though, I still think we should be giving adults the Hep A/B vaccinations if they work in an industry dealing with food.

      • CE 13:43 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        From what I’ve heard about shingles, getting the vaccine would be $150 well spent. It sounds terrible. The other way to look at it is that if you get it, you’re definitely going to miss more than a day of work which should cover the $150. I really don’t know why it’s not covered.

      • Ephraim 15:53 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        It costs more than that, as far as I know… it’s two shots The rumour was that they were going to start to include it in the next few months, only reason I’ve waited.

        I’ve seen one pharmacist listed for the Malaria vaccine for free, which really surprised me… I would have thought that it would be paid… And it’s a series of 4 injections. 77% efficacy. But if you have ever travelled for an area with Malaria and taken the prophylaxis, you will gladly get the 4 injections. That medication is awful! I took the mild medication and it gave me horrible nightmares. And the side effects on hydroxychloroquine are even worse including retinopathy, mania, psychosis, etc. Mefloquine which has side effects of hallucinations, sleep disorders and more. All the medications have weird side effects.

        Incidentally, I asked about the MMR, because I wasn’t sure if I had had it. They told me it was $5 because I was no longer covered. I gladly paid it. I don’t want to worry about measles, since it’s one of the most contagious diseases out there. And I have a booklet from the government to track my vaccinations, in particular, to make sure that I get my tetanus shot every 10 years. And they suggested a Polio booster when I travelled for Africa (Benin) because Nigeria still wasn’t clear of Polio and it’s the neighbouring country. (That was also free).

        But when there are fees, they should be required to disclose it on the clic sante website. Because some places charge over $300 for Shingrix. You have to call or go into the pharmacy to get the prices.

      • Kate 17:09 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        Ephraim, I’ve an acquaintance that had a psychotic break while taking mefloquine on a trip south, and he’s not the only one I’ve heard of in my wider circle.

        My nurse practitioner told me I didn’t need MMR, since I would either have had or been exposed to all three by now. I definitely had measles as a kid, not sure about the other two.

      • Ephraim 19:03 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        They told me that, as well. But did I need to risk it for $5 for a lifetime of coverage? Nope.
        I counted the days until I could get off the Malaria medication… it was the second worst medication I have ever taken… next to the one that gave me suicidal thoughts.

      • jeather 19:24 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        Oh god the malaria medications, that was horrible. I knew someone who HAD malaria, so I know it’s worse, but it felt like it could barely be.

        Before I went to grad school I had to get a second MMR shot because I was in a weird period where it wasn’t assumed everyone got it based on my year of birth, but only 1 shot was standard for kids. It was free. They would have done a blood test and a titer but I thought just getting a shot was easier. And I think they sometimes check if you’re pregnant and will give you a booster because rubella is very bad for a fetus.

        I’m not sure I’m eligible for it, but I’ve been getting free flu vaccines for years.

      • Ephraim 17:43 on 2022-10-01 Permalink

        Officially for flu, you are supposed to have an underlying condition or be living with or helping someone with an underlying condition… but they will generally give it to anyone who asks, especially teachers who are subject to every damn disease because they are teaching walking Petrie dishes

    • Kate 08:35 on 2022-09-30 Permalink | Reply  

      A man was stabbed to death early Friday in the Mile End, counting as the 26th homicide of the year.

      There was another stabbing, just after midnight on the Main, but it wasn’t fatal.

      Update: TVA’s got some details on the fatal stabbing: the 27‑year‑old was allegedly killed by his new girlfriend’s ex.

      • Ian 12:29 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        I’ve been out doing errands in the neighbourhood.

        Van Horne is blocked, Bernard is blocked, Fairmount was already blocked for traffic because of roadwork (again). The only east-west street open between Parc and Saint Urbain north of Laurier is Saint Viateur, so everything is getting funneled through there – STM, city vehicles, garbage trucks, school buses, écolier minivans, a few confused car drivers (mostly out of towners I suspect) etc. As you can imagine the delivery trucks are all freaking out. Parc to Esplanade is taped off from Van Horne to Bernard. You can’t even circle up past Parc on Hutchison because it is having roadwork from Saint Viateur to Bernard.

        Good news is bikes and pedestrians are being let through but if you live in the area and were expecting any kind of delivery today, forget it. Even the Hassidic deli didn’t have any smoked meat today.

    • Kate 08:29 on 2022-09-30 Permalink | Reply  

      It doesn’t come as any surprise that the lede to this L’actualité election forecast begins with a look at how the CAQ doesn’t even have to think about Montreal to have a crushing win on Monday.

      • Ian 13:05 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        Funny how the CAQ stopped talking about electoral reform eh

      • Kevin 14:47 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        The CAQ has been actively campaigning against Montreal for years.
        Given the inequities in seats in this province, it’s a strategy that wins.

    • Kate 21:34 on 2022-09-29 Permalink | Reply  

      Salaries are said to be soaring in Montreal as employers are finding it difficult to fill job openings.

      • Blork 09:57 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        The only examples cited are for executives and senior software engineers. Are salaries at Jean Coutu or Provigo soaring? What about for fire fighters or librarians? Teachers? Nurses? PEOPLE WHO DO MY JOB?

    • Kate 21:23 on 2022-09-29 Permalink | Reply  

      Candidates in NDG and Westmount are causing concern by having some campaign material in English. Seems it’s not actually illegal to do this – yet.

      • Ian 12:32 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

        Wait until the powers that be find out about what languages we speak at home, in private

    • Kate 09:39 on 2022-09-29 Permalink | Reply  

      This Friday is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which Quebec does not officially observe, but there are some events planned around town.

      • Kate 09:30 on 2022-09-29 Permalink | Reply  

        Anne-France Goldwater was in court this week trying to make Longueuil back off on a plan for a deer hunt in Michel‑Chartrand Park. She thinks the public have been misled; the municipality says damage to the park by the growing herd is becoming critical. The judge has promised a quick verdict.

        • Joey 10:48 on 2022-09-29 Permalink

          Hard to see how the city will lose here… (IANAL)

        • Blork 16:48 on 2022-09-29 Permalink

          Sad to see them go, but go they must. https://flic.kr/p/2nPR56h

        • Kate 10:38 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

          Blork, are the deer basically trapped in the park because of surrounding roads and development? In nature, presumably the animals would move along iooking for new sources of food, and evolutionary pressures would come into play as the weaker animals died of hunger or predation. But I guess there aren’t any wolves in Michel‑Chartrand park, and nowhere for the deer to go.

        • dhomas 13:30 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

          If those deer have been trapped there, it’s been generations (in terms of deer’s lifespan, which is roughly 5 years). According to historical satellite data (thank you Google Earth!), the adjacent golf course was developed some time in the late-80’s. This would have effectively cut them off from getting to the nearby Boisé du Tremblay. It is still possible to get to that boisé, but I suspect the roads separating the different green spaces have become much more developed and busy than they had previously been and so, the deer can’t really “escape” the park. The park is pretty big, so they’ve probably been able to live there for all these years without issue, until their numbers grew too large.

          If they really don’t want to kill the deer, maybe the can consider wildlife crossings so they can migrate a little more freely without getting run down by cars? I’ve seen these in some places I’ve visited. It would take a few of them to allow the deer to get through the golf course and out into the Boisé, but it’s not impossible (probably only very costly).

        • Blork 10:18 on 2022-10-01 Permalink

          The park is surrounded by streets, but that doesn’t really confine the deer. They wander about the surrounding neighborhoods pretty regularly.

        • Kate 11:19 on 2022-10-01 Permalink

          If the deer could be herded safely along to Boisé du Tremblay, would that only move the problem to a different location?

        • Blork 15:55 on 2022-10-01 Permalink

          I don’t know. Probably. Also, it’s probably really hard to corral and herd 100 deer! Apparently they’re very jittery and just fall over and die if you stress them too much.

      • Kate 09:23 on 2022-09-29 Permalink | Reply  

        The mayor of Montreal East says her town doesn’t want the kerosene terminal that was planned in 2019 but has not yet been built. The installation was meant to produce airplane fuel for the Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa airports. Mayor Anne St‑Laurent says it goes against her environmental principles.

        • Kate 09:04 on 2022-09-29 Permalink | Reply  

          The Longueuil and Laval police chiefs and the interim Montreal chief were all in agreement Wednesday on Radio‑Canada, saying that community groups must have long‑term funding to create an atmosphere that works against violence, and to have people who would be aware of hostile situations brewing both online and face to face.

          • Kate 14:19 on 2022-09-28 Permalink | Reply  

            Atlas Obscura notes in an item published Tuesday that the Paris Métro sign on Victoria Square is the only remaining one with the original Art Nouveau glass globes, Paris having replaced theirs with plastic ones.

            Atlas Obscura has a collection of other items in town, many of which aren’t exactly obscure.

            There’s hardly any local news at the moment – everything’s focused on the impending election.

            • Blork 15:12 on 2022-09-28 Permalink

              So those glass globes are rare, and now we know they’re rare, so it will just be a matter of days before someone steals them.

            • Orr 16:16 on 2022-09-28 Permalink

              The Rutherford Physics Collection have been on my radar for years. Rutherford made one of the greatest discoveries of all time, and is among the greatest experimental physicists. Did not know about the McPherson collection next door. Will make an appointment shortly.
              There is not a lot of Art Nouveau in Montreal. I suspect there must be some original interiors (Westmount is the right age for this) but they must be hidden away behind closed doors, as so much of Art Nouveau was of an interior nature.

            • DeWolf 19:19 on 2022-09-28 Permalink

              There’s so little Art Nouveau in Montreal (at least visible from the outside, as Orr notes) you could probably make a list:

              Godin Building at St-Laurent/Sherbrooke
              Square-Victoria metro entrance
              3849 St-Hubert (corner Napoleon)

              This blog post notes some individual details here and there, but no other buildings:


              There was also this apartment building on Christin just west of St-Denis, a lesser work by the same architect as the Godin Building, but it was demolished in 2019. It had been used as social housing and was in bad enough shape that it was considered unsalvageable. It’s being replaced by an even bigger social housing block but unfortunately the architects didn’t see fit to make any references to the original architecture.


            • Meezly 19:53 on 2022-09-28 Permalink

              Why is there so little Art Nouveau here?

            • Kate 20:27 on 2022-09-28 Permalink

              That’s a good question, Meezly. I think Montreal was more in love with the classic French stuff, Gothic for most of its churches, Second Empire for the original city hall. The Monument-National, just north of Chinatown, was built between 1891 and 1894, and in a European capital it might have had Art Nouveau flair, but it’s solidly Renaissance Revival in style.

              About the only building I can think of that’s really Art Nouveau here is the Godin building that’s now part of the Opus Hotel at St‑Laurent and Sherbrooke. J.A. Godin also designed the Appartements Riga building which was lightly A.N. in feeling, but was demolished in 2019.

              You can see on Alexis Hamel’s page about Godin that he designed several other buildings here that haven’t any A.N. feel about them at all. The vibe just didn’t land here. We did better with Art Deco.

              (Oh, I see DeWolf also answered some of these questions before I did!)

              DeWolf: whoever put up that dismal gray brick box next to 3849 St-Hubert ought to have had their architecture licence taken away.

              Meezly, another interesting question is why there are Art Nouveau buildings in Latin American cities, but almost none here.

            • jackruttan 11:29 on 2022-09-29 Permalink

              There’s also the Herboristerie Desjardins Inc. at 3303, rue Sainte-Catherine E. I’d post a link to an image, but worry about violating some obscure internet rule.

            • Kate 14:29 on 2022-09-29 Permalink

              The only rule, jackruttan, is that new commenters can’t post links – this is to exclude spammers. It’s a rule that’s default in WordPress.

              But that’s an interesting building, especially since the second and third floors are quite plain. Here’s a Streetview link. Thank you.

            • thomas 18:11 on 2022-09-29 Permalink

              Architecture in USA and especially Canada was fairly conservative at that time and so it took a while before trends in Europe caught on. Furthermore, Art Nouveau as an architectural movement was cut short by the advent of WWI. Shortages and lack of capital resulting from WWI are the reason the art nouveau buildings of Godin used such cheap materials and didn’t age well. Argentina was a different case because at that time it was one of the wealthiest parts of the world with excess money to spend on such projects.

            • Ian 19:30 on 2022-09-29 Permalink

              Perhaps a big part of it was that at the time that Art Nouveau was popular, the “big” Montreal architects were into Beaux-Arts style a lot more. Think Ross & McFarlane/ Ross & McDonald or Cormier.

              There was some Arts & Crafts stuff going on too but the Art Nouveau jam wasn’t super present here. Maybe part of it is the materials, too. Godin was experimenting with concrete but a lot of the famous Art Nouveau is wood and metalwork that might not be super appropriate to our climate.

            • DeWolf 12:30 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

              I was reminded yesterday that the Archambault building at Berri/Ste-Catherine has an Art Nouveau entrance at the corner. Interestingly, the building opened in 1930, so it’s a good example of Montreal (and Canada generally) being way behind architectural trends.


          • Kate 11:58 on 2022-09-28 Permalink | Reply  

            The STM was so short of drivers in mid-August that they had to disallow able companions from riding with passengers in adapted transit. They’re now allowing them again with the warning that there may be delays.

            There’s also news this week that Exo is coping with a shortage of drivers that’s messing with its bus schedules off-island.

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