Updates from September, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:46 on 2022-09-16 Permalink | Reply  

    A 14-year-old boy was stabbed Friday afternoon in a school parking lot in Anjou. There have been no arrests; his life is said not to be in danger.

    • Kate 19:44 on 2022-09-16 Permalink | Reply  

      Montreal’s public health director Mylène Drouin is pressing the Quebec government to do more for seniors to keep them alive and kicking longer. It’s pragmatic advice, with an aging population – the longer we can keep people out of CHSLDs and hospital beds, the better.

      Meantime, some boroughs are looking at limits on the conversion of buildings being used as seniors’ residences, to stop the trend of such buildings being bought, flipped and turned into condos.

      • Kate 19:28 on 2022-09-16 Permalink | Reply  

        Christopher Curtis writes about what’s likely to happen if Montreal indeed gets 450 more police – giving it the highest per‑capita police representation in Canada – yet the court system is already heavily bogged down with minor crimes. Add more police and they have to have something to do in a town with relatively low serious crime (we had our 24th homicide of the year Friday) so vulnerable people are likely to find themselves more criminalized with more cops around.

        • Tim S. 21:35 on 2022-09-16 Permalink

          I guess better traffic enforcement is just out of the question.

        • Ephraim 03:44 on 2022-09-17 Permalink

          Why are we using police for traffic enforcement? Have you seen a cop actually happy to WRITE a ticket? Besides, when they had out tickets, they will be asked why they are handing out tickets to THIS particular type of vehicle and not THAT particular type of vehicle. When what needs to happen is going after the most egregious violations… which are so often just allowed to happen.

        • Kate 09:13 on 2022-09-17 Permalink

          Ephraim, we use police for traffic enforcement because the Brotherhood doesn’t want its members to lose those sweet, easily earned overtime hours.

        • Kevin 10:09 on 2022-09-17 Permalink

          Who besides a cop is allowed to stop a driver and hand out a ticket?
          Just having a cop car driving around automatically slows down other drivers…

          Now having cops or cadets manning stop lights in a construction area, that’s a waste of time and money

        • Ephraim 13:16 on 2022-09-17 Permalink

          It’s a job that should be almost automated. The policeman should need to photograph your plate, scan your driver’s licence, scan your car registration and enter the codes for the transgression. A GPS coordinate should print along with the ticket. And bicycle drivers over the age of 16 should have to have a licence that could be scanned as well. The only exception should be pedestrians, who don’t really use the street, but the sidewalk… and children, who are entitled to use the sidewalk for their bicycles.

          The brotherhood wants a lot of things, including respect. All of which should be earned, not expected.

          We need enforcement and solving of crimes…. neither of which the brotherhood is actually doing. But then, we can’t expect them to actually solve crimes… the solve rate is pitifully low. Not to mention that asking most police to solve a crime that involves a computer is equivalent to asking a 90 year old for tech support.

        • Ephraim 13:18 on 2022-09-17 Permalink

          But, to make the point, at the moment a speeding ticket is nothing more than simply a random occurrence. There is no rhyme or reason for why you get a speeding ticket in Montreal… just some magic quota and someone who decides it should be enforced right there, right now. Rather than data based where accidents occur, because well… they don’t even have the data on where accidents occur because we don’t have to register an accident.

        • Kate 15:09 on 2022-09-17 Permalink

          Ephraim, there are some records about accidents, or at least about the ones that cause injury and fatality. I know this because I once interviewed Patrick Morency of the public health department, who told me about it. They do know where accident hot spots are, but there’s always been such pressure on the idea of keeping motor traffic moving at the expense of everything else, that it’s been difficult to institute traffic calming measures in many of the worst spots.

        • Ephraim 13:00 on 2022-09-18 Permalink

          That’s “sort of” true. But there are plenty of changes that haven’t been tried. For example dividers that do no real damage around entries to the highway so that cars don’t “push” their way in and entry is orderly. Changers to require jug handles in some places where left hand turns should not be allowed. For example, they moved the left hand turn on Berri at Viger and now it’s at de la Gauchetiere. But it didn’t work at Viger because they never installed a clear way to keep people from being in the right lanes and FORCED to flow with the traffic. It still doesn’t work at de la Gauchetiere, but at least you don’t have the left turn lane and then two lanes that move left as they go across the intersection. We don’t have enough control lanes in Montreal. A lane that has no continuation and moves to the right or left to signal to people that a lane disappears.

          We also need to fix pedestrian lights to turn red when you won’t have enough time to cross, when they turn red from green with no intermediate period. And stop bicycles from using pedestrian crosswalks as a way to turn to avoid traffic lights. Bicycles should be strictly kept out of pedestrian crossings, required to be to the right or left of them. And pedestrian crosswalks should be moved in about 50cm from the corners, moving the stop line further in, so that cyclists would have difficulty using/being in them at all.

      • Kate 16:32 on 2022-09-16 Permalink | Reply  

        A woman was found dead in her Montreal North apartment and police say she was stabbed. La Presse tells us about her troubles with her ex, who’s suspected in the murder.

        Saturday morning an arrest was reported.

        • Kate 13:25 on 2022-09-16 Permalink | Reply  

          At the risk of sounding philosophical here, I’ve been curious what people mean by freedom.

          This popped up for me yesterday when, walking around the ‘hood, I spotted a Quebec Conservative poster with its “Libres chez nous” tagline, and within a few steps, in the window of an odd little café which has flaunted several anti‑Covid‑mandate items, a sign saying MANDATE FREEDOM.

          What do these people mean by liberté, by freedom? In Quebec, in Canada, is this just a kneejerk reaction to the rules imposed during the pandemic, which some have stubbornly refused to understand as necessary for public health and insist on interpreting as personal affronts?

          If not, what’s being done to these people that they feel as limits on their freedom? Taxes? Speed limits? Laws forbidding theft, assault and murder? What?

          • Tee Owe 14:31 on 2022-09-16 Permalink

            At the risk of trivializing the issue, I repeat the immortal line ‘Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose’. Always made sense to me

          • Tee Owe 14:36 on 2022-09-16 Permalink

            Anything outside that invokes responsibility – just being philosophical

          • Kevin 14:41 on 2022-09-16 Permalink

            Tom Nichols calls it The Revenge of the Lost Boys.
            Article appeared in the Federalist before its publishers, themselves, became Lost Boys.


          • steph 15:21 on 2022-09-16 Permalink

            It’s just an old man yelling at a cloud “back in my day I could….”

          • Joey 16:00 on 2022-09-16 Permalink

            I often think about this comment on Crooked Timber, from Frank Wilhoit: “Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition …There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.”

          • azrhey 16:02 on 2022-09-16 Permalink

            I saw such poster in my hood too. It really bugs me the “freedom bandwagoning”
            If I recall my Rousseau “Le contractualisme (ou théorie du contrat) est un courant de philosophie qui pense l’origine de la société et de l’État comme un contrat originaire entre les humains, par lequel ceux-ci acceptent une limitation de leur liberté en échange de lois garantissant la perpétuation du corps social.”
            AKA, you CANT have absolute liberty if you want to live in society.

          • Meezly 16:14 on 2022-09-16 Permalink

            It seems that people who claim to be fighting for our freedoms don’t really understand what freedom means in a democratic society. They confuse rights with privileges. They speak of freedom as if in absolute terms, and don’t seem to grasp that if you want to live in relative harmony with others, our freedoms have always been conditional or limited.

            I can only guess that when people talk about taking their freedom back, they mean they want things to be back to the way they were before Covid ruined everything. This was the first pandemic for everyone and one would think this would’ve been a great opportunity for people to learn more about how viruses get transmitted and how herd immunity works to protect the vulnerable. Yeah, right!

            Unfortunately, the pandemic also coincided with the rise of the anti-vaxx movement, conspiracy theories and fake news. Women’s rights slogans like “My body, my choice” got distorted and coopted by these so-called freedom fighters. And meanwhile, whatever social progress that was achieved by true freedom fighters, ie. abortion rights, are being stripped away (at least in the States). It’s quite brilliant, really! The backwards people seem to be winning this ideological war.

          • Kate 18:11 on 2022-09-16 Permalink

            I wonder what dream they feel they’re being offered – the people to whom this stuff is pitched. What would “liberty” be like?

          • Chris 19:15 on 2022-09-16 Permalink

            >At the risk of sounding philosophical here…

            And what’s wrong with that?! 🙂

            I think a lot of it is simmering class conflict boiling over due to covid.

            >…just a kneejerk reaction to the rules imposed during the pandemic, which some have stubbornly refused to understand as necessary for public health and insist on interpreting as personal affronts?

            Those aren’t mutually exclusive. They were (mostly, let’s say) necessary but still disproportionate in impact.

            Working class Joe Average couldn’t go to his local bar, but Mr Rich Socialite could easily sneak off to his country cottage and share his wine cellar with friends. Sure, the latter was technically forbidden, but trivial to get away with; the bars were literally shuttered.

            Joe Average had to wear an annoying mask schlepping on the bus. The rich own private cars and had a reprieve of masklessness.

            Joe Average has a manual or other kind of job where you have to be at work (construction, service, plumber, nurse, etc.) The elite have computer jobs they can do in their comfortable fancy houses on their fast MacBooks with fibre internet. (And again a masked vs maskless disparity.)

            Joe Average lives in a small apartment and went stir crazy. The rich have a backyard, a pool, a big TV, etc. and were entertained locked in their gilded cages.

            Joe Average’s wages, adjust for inflation, have not increased in forever. The top 1% have made a killing in the stock market these last few years.

            etc. etc. etc.

            Do you not see how all that can be taken as a personal affront?

            Occupy Wall Street failed. The Left failed the 99%. So they are trying something different now. Alas, most middle class liberals (i.e. probably most commenting here) deride them, and once again the 1% have successfully divided and conquered, as always.

          • Kate 20:39 on 2022-09-16 Permalink

            Joe Average’s falling purchasing power has nothing to do with freedom – not in the sense I think is meant, unless freedom means being able to break store windows and take what you want.

            I find it funny to think of myself as an elite because I work on a computer in my comfy but far from fancy Villeray apartment, making a good deal less per annum than a nurse or a plumber.

          • Uatu 09:16 on 2022-09-17 Permalink

            The people who put up those signs have no idea of real oppression. The fact that you can post the sign without disappearing is a reflection of freedom that other countries don’t have. Some perspective is really needed here.

          • Kevin 10:29 on 2022-09-17 Permalink

            At the risk of attempting to reason with a position that is emotional…

            Construction workers don’t take the bus. They drive F150s to job sites because they start early and have tools.

            40% of Canadians at the start of the pandemic had jobs they could do remotely. That number increased during the pandemic.

            And it was the WFH crowd living and working in small apartments that went crazy and blew up the housing market, moving to larger spaces where they could set up home offices.

          • Daniel 11:56 on 2022-09-17 Permalink

            God help me, I think Chris has well laid out — broadly — how the pandemic affected different income strata unequally. Of course there are exceptions and edge cases, but it’s hard to say that some money didn’t insulate many people from the worst of the pandemic and its knock-on effects.

            It does take several big leaps to equate this with freedom and I don’t think those leaps hold up. But I can see how a person might make those leaps if they’re feeling screwed by the situation and politicians.

          • Tim S. 12:47 on 2022-09-17 Permalink

            As far as I can tell, the people who seem to be most protesting in favour of freedom are not living in downtown apartment towers, but suburban/rural houses. The whole convoy movement was explicitly a protest of vehicle owners! No one blockaded public transit because of masks. Also, including nurses as people demanding more freedom? Certainly, there have been a handful, but I’d love to see the overall numbers.

            So yes, obviously the pandemic hit some groups harder than others, we’ve been discussing that point since the very beginning, but I don’t see it mapping on to frustration with the measures. The class analysis is tempting, but I think misguided. As far as I can tell from my personal circle, it was a deeply individual thing – wearing masks and the other measures bothered some people way more than others, among the same social/work groups. I suspect there are more answers in psychology than economics. In the meantime, let’s see if the Conservative (Freedom!) party gets more support in say, Acadie or Beauce Nord.

            Slightly beside the point, but one thing I’ll repeat over and over: Quebec may have had strict restrictions on adults, but we also kept schools open more than many other jurisdictions (certainly Ontario). That trade-off was a huge, huge win, in my opinion.

          • Orr 22:42 on 2022-09-17 Permalink

            I think this applies and team freedom knows which side it expects to be on.
            “Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.”

          • Meezly 13:07 on 2022-09-18 Permalink

            Yes, further to Tim and Orr, class analysis is tempting, but misguided as this issue is happening throughout all socio-economic classes. Look at the strange bedfellows of well-to-do navel-gazing new agers aligning themselves with working class trucker convoys. The common theme of conservatism, neoliberalism, libertarianism, anarchism, etc. is for less centralized government and more individualism. Government will always be flawed and biased, but so many of these people take for granted how much our relative safety and stability is due to some form of governmental intervention, or how much of the “for the greater good” policies have benefited them. They perceive mandates for health measures and vaccinations as the government interfering too much with their individualism and will use tactics to push propaganda to the public, which is so easy now with current technology.

        • Kate 08:48 on 2022-09-16 Permalink | Reply  

          Ensemble knows they’re onto a good thing because complaining that there are too many road repair sites is bound to get some people on side. The Gazette merrily dogpiles on with a cite from the venerable Rick Leckner about how he would manage the information about roadwork. It’s the most important thing about any city, after all: make sure people can drive through it without obstacles.

          Here’s this weekend’s roadwork crises.

          • Joey 10:41 on 2022-09-16 Permalink

            Kate – road closures affect transit users, cyclists and pedestrians. If you’re gonna have a road closure map, it might as well be accurate. Otherwise what’s the point? Weren’t all construction projects supposed to be integrated into Waze?

          • mare 10:54 on 2022-09-16 Permalink

            Montreal is especially bad in *abandoned* signs for non-existing road works. Signs that say “local traffic only”, while there’s no obstruction for 6 blocks. Yet, or anymore, often that isn’t even clear. Also random detour routes that end nowhere, and the opposite, fin detour signs far away from an actual detour.

            (I say this as a cyclist, and I often go there anyway, especially after 3 when they have stopped working, because even when there *is* construction there’s most of the times a small gap you can squeeze through. Construction workers need to get to their own parked F150s. Not when there’s large machinery working though, don’t want to get near those.)

        • Kate 08:19 on 2022-09-16 Permalink | Reply  

          I love this. Since it won’t include any social housing, there’s no need for the sixth tower at Square Children to have more than four floors, so the city’s going to limit its permit for that building to exactly four floors.

          • Blork 08:56 on 2022-09-16 Permalink

            I will never get used to “Square Children.”

          • Joey 10:44 on 2022-09-16 Permalink

            Am I reading this wrong (have not been following this saga) or is the city punitively restricting the size of this building because the asshole developers won’t meet them partway on funding “affordable” housing? As a result, the growing downtown area will lose out on, what, dozens of new housing units – how does this help alleviate the housing crisis? Seems like a major missed chance to increase the supply in that area.

          • Kate 11:56 on 2022-09-16 Permalink

            Not saying there isn’t a smidge of retaliation here, but it’s not great if the city rolls over to any demand by developers either.

          • Tim 12:56 on 2022-09-16 Permalink

            Let’s see if the action gets the city sued again. My search turned up nothing, but I remember discussing a lawsuit here on the board years ago that appeared to come about when the city retaliated against a company who used a clause in a contract to buy out the affordable housing which they were supposed to build. I’m guessing the lawsuit is still before the courts.

        • Kate 08:12 on 2022-09-16 Permalink | Reply  

          Anyone reading news or commentary Friday will see a lot of mentions of Thursday night’s debate. Most observers are saying some variation on the La Presse headline here: Legault was attacked from all sides and didn’t make a very good case for his leading ideas.

          With five party chiefs debating, each from a party with a distinct position on the issues, you can feel the crying need for proportional representation. The CAQ is going for a big majority because of FPTP, while it’s clear there’s a wider range of opinion throughout Quebec than his party’s Duplessis‑style reductive view of Quebec society.

          • Kate 08:05 on 2022-09-16 Permalink | Reply  

            Chez Doris has opened a new night refuge near its existing day shelter, but already the facilities are not sufficient to help the number of homeless women.

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