Updates from October, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:16 on 2022-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

    Carey Price held a presser Monday and said he has no plans to retire but can’t play right now because he’s in too much pain. Twitter commentators are not sanguine.

    Tuesday, media are talking about Price’s admission over his troubles with alcohol.

    • Kate 21:13 on 2022-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

      The federal government is dishing out $69 million for the renovation of 4700 housing units belonging to the SHDM. I hope this actually gets done and that Quebec doesn’t throw a wrench into it.

      • Ephraim 21:58 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

        The fact that the SHDM couldn’t keep the apartments in good repair doesn’t bode well for the usage of their money for these repairs and the long term on these housing units.

    • Kate 21:05 on 2022-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

      A new report from a consulting firm hired by the downtown merchants’ association says downtown is at risk of a spiral of devitalization if more is not done.

      There’s a lot of talk here, but it inevitably comes down to forcing people back to the office, to generate fodder for downtown businesses. This is thinking the wrong way round. Downtown grew up around certain kinds of business, and businesses clustered there as a result. But that all happened a hundred years ago! The pandemic has simply accelerated a trend of decentralization that was already well under way. The city is always going to churn, and – like the Wheel of Fortune in the tarot deck – some will rise and some will fall with it.

      • Kate 20:52 on 2022-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

        Five years ago, a couple on Île Bizard called police when their son was intoxicated and distraught and threatening to drive away. In the ensuing events with police, the young man died of heart failure. Now his parents are boycotting a coroner’s inquest into his death, saying the situation is too biased in favour of the police.

        The BEI already cleared the police officers of wrongdoing in 2019, and prosecutors elected not to lay charges.

        • Kate 20:41 on 2022-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

          The question about the location of the village of Hochelaga that Jacques Cartier reported seeing in 1535 is once again hashed over by Taylor C. Noakes, who comes to no conclusions.

          Because the answer is: it doesn’t matter. It was on the island of Montreal, and if it left any traces, they’ve almost certainly been paved over or otherwise obliterated by now. Even finding a few indigenous artifacts would never be conclusive. Pinning down exactly where the people Cartier met were living wouldn’t provide any information that we don’t already have: indigenous people lived here, where we live now.

          • Taylor C. Noakes 21:19 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

            Thanks for posting this Kate, but I don’t think the point of the article was to come to any conclusions about Hochelaga’s actual location – I didn’t set out to do that and never mentioned that as an aim of the article itself.

            Rather, the effort was to explain how monuments can occlude historical reality even as they try to illuminate it, something I think I did rather well. I explained the whole history of how the monument came to be where it is and say what it says, and the associated game of historical broken telephone that went with it.

            And as a historian I would say the location of Hochelaga, were it ever to be found, would indeed provide a wealth of potential information. Yes, we already known Indigenous people lived here, but there is so much more to learn about how they lived, who they traded with. And yes, it could still be found… it’s why we mandate archeological surveys for every new construction project. New evidence is found all the time, and each new finding adds important new information to our narrative.

            Assume for a moment that evidence was found that then led to an excavation which demonstrated the full size of the community… its tools, its goods, what (and with whom) they traded… a community of 1500-2000 people, that would be a massive site. It would change how we view Indigenous people quite a bit.

            Just a year or so ago I wrote a rebuttal to Conrad Black, who argued in the NatPo that Indigenous people were at the level of stone aged people at the point of contact. Cartier’s relations, and what we know of the ‘Hochelagans’ already, disproves his unlettered assertion.

            But make no mistake, there are a lot of people who think like Black.

          • Kate 08:30 on 2022-10-25 Permalink

            Taylor, if they think like Conrad Black, facts will not change their minds.

            Also, does it matter what the technological level of the St Lawrence Iroquoians was? I’m not saying it wouldn’t be interesting to know more about those residents of the original Hochelaga, but it shouldn’t have any ethical weight when considering the argument that white people had the right of domain over these lands. The value of the Iroquoians as human beings and as a culture doesn’t depend on their level of technological sophistication.

            Whatever their technology, those people managed to live here, in our climate, for generations, and do it hardly leaving a trace. We don’t know how to do that!

          • Uatu 10:36 on 2022-10-25 Permalink

            Right. Those “primitives” saved colonists from scurvy and showed them the awesomeness of maple syrup. Maybe not so primitive after all…

          • Taylor C. Noakes 16:03 on 2022-10-25 Permalink

            Kate –

            I think we’re having two very different conversations. My article was primarily about the inherent irony in monuments tending more to occlude historical reality than illuminate it, something I think is doubly ironic when we consider that the Hochelaga Rock was a) the first of the new ‘living history’ series of monuments commissioned by the HSMBC after WW1, and b) that the Anglo-Franco culture wars of the early decades of the 20th century played a larger role in determining the monument’s location than even what was known of the Dawson Site.

            It’s stranger still that, in McGill’s effort to accomplish their reconciliation goals and make Indigenous history (and their presumed connection to it) more visible, they actually moved the monument farther away from where artifacts were found. It stikes me as odd that McGill didn’t even seem to be aware of the work of Bruce Trigger, who had been a ‘James McGill Chair in History’.

            I thought that was the main thrust of the research I did for this article, your reading of it seems to go in a very different direction. I’m legit wondering if I did a very poor job expressing myself. Perhaps you could let me know.

            To your last comment more directly:

            1- People change their minds all the time based on new information and well-reasoned arguments. My NatoPo article revealed there were seemingly a lot of regular NatPo readers who didn’t care for Black one iota.

            2- I’d say absolutely yes, it does matter, but not to determine their technological maturity per se. Concerning Indigenous studies, we’re dealing with the interconnected problems of a) a colonizing power consigning their history to the ash heap, b) multi-generational assimilation efforts leading to an attempted cultural genocide on a mass scale, c) reinforced misunderstanding and misinterpretation of available archeological evidence by so-called experts (which is partly why the stone says what it says, despite the evidence), and d) the physical limitations of the available evidence, in terms of quantity, quality, and that the people who settled this land in particular presumed it had been both unhabited for a long time, and sparsely inhabited at the time of contact.

            So much of what we think we know is based on the description of one man who spent just a few hours in Hochelaga, whose record was then translated, mistranslated, embellished upon (etc). And Cartier wasn’t a journalist or historian, but primarily interested in trade. There’s a lot of potential information that’s missing.

            The ‘what ifs’ could be very interesting. Assuming evidence of Hochelaga were conclusively found, and we then discovered 15th century European goods at the site (something that’s entirely possible), we’d have a vastly different understanding of trade networks. If we found Algonkian cultural artifacts at about the same age-range as mid-16th century Hochelaga (also possible – they cohabitated with the Huron at Machillinac), we might then presume the Hochelagans could have been more closely related to the Huron. But imagine if we found jars of preserved birchbark scrolls with an entire Hochelagan cosmography? Or the Iroquoian equivalent of a Rosetta Stone?

            No part of my argument in the article or above indicates that my perception of the Hochelagans is conditional on their technological evolution, not at all. Quite the opposite in fact, I think reconcilliation means trying even harder to ‘get the histiry right’ and learn just about everything that can be known about all Indigneous nations and peoples. If this means you can’t sink a shovel into the ground in Montreal without a team of archeologists completing an exhaustive survey first, I’m all for it.

            Lastly, I worked with the architect who built the main pavilion at the Meadowcroft Rock Shelter, and he in turn had worked with the archeologist who had conducted the excavation of the objects found at Meadowcroft. It started with one arrowhead. By the end of the project, they had evidence of Indigenous habitation in Southwestern Pennsylvania dating back 19,000 BCE, roughly double the previously accepted estimate of how long Indigenous people had been living in North America.

            Something like that might be right under our feet. Moving an inaccurate monument to serve contemporary socio-political goals without bothering to scan the recent scholarship on the matter seems pretty cavalier for the so-called ‘Harvard of the North’.

          • Paul 09:43 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

            Hi Taylor,
            Thanks for the article and explanation(s).
            You may have been attempting to write about how monuments can often shed light in the wrong direction, but, in my opinion much of the article comes off as a criticism of McGill for (a) not making an effort to validate and change the content of a Federal plaque which isn’t under their jurisdiction, and (2) relocating the stone from an inaccessible location to a more prominent one with the support of the local indigenous community. Even referring to the new location beside the ‘driveway’ is disingenuous IMO, as the main road is a pedestrian thoroughfare accessed by thousands of McGillians, Montrealers and visitors on a daily basis.

        • Kate 12:07 on 2022-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

          Pascal Élie, editorial cartoonist at Le Devoir since 2016, has died. He was 63.

          • Ian 19:00 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

            Wow! Regardless of your politics, beyond the loss of a real gem to the rapidly dwindling editorial cartoonist community, that’s way too young. RIP.

        • Kate 10:23 on 2022-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

          Anjou mayor Luis Miranda’s outburst at a teenager earlier this month is not being allowed to fade away. City council plans to condemn it this week, and demand a personal apology from Miranda to Hocine Ouendi and his family.

          I don’t think Mayor Plante can do anything beyond this. Miranda does not belong to Projet, so she can’t use party discipline on him. But she does have this incident in her back pocket for the next round of municipal elections.

          Update: On Monday, city council adopted a motion to encourage youth involvement in local politics, a deliberate gesture against Miranda’s tirade.

          • DeWolf 14:53 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

            She can shame him relentlessly, which is what she’s doing, and he deserves it.

            I think the only thing more shocking than Miranda’s conduct is the fact that, at least according to internet comments, there are actually a bunch of people who support him over the issue, either because they hate kids, they hate Black people, or both.

          • Ian 19:11 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

            Considering Plante’s own immunity to shame (Montgomery, defunding the cops, etc) I have doubts that this is anything more than grandstanding.

        • Kate 09:59 on 2022-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

          There’s a law against parking closer than 5 metres from an intersection, but it’s rarely enforced. It remains a dangerous practice because it blocks everyone’s view.

          Item says an average of 17 pedestrians are killed each year on our streets, the majority of whom are elderly. I’ve only taken note of six this year (see tote board in the sidebar) so either we’re doing well, or they’re just not being reported much.

          • Ephraim 10:02 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

            The city can’t really enforce it because they have put metered spots closer than the 5M rule. But the easiest way to make the streets and pedestrian crossings safer would be to move them IN from the corners and put them into that 5M zone. With the pedestrian lines draw, cars would stop before them and keep the intersection clear (and as a plus, the cyclists would be outside of the pedestrian crossings as well.)

          • Joey 10:10 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

            First step would be to paint the 5M strip yellow, like some boroughs do. The Plateau solution (curb extensions with beautiful flowers that occasionally grow too large and obstruct views) is lovely but hard to scale up fast.

          • Kate 10:18 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

            A couple of years ago I was nearly knocked down on an intersection near here – I told about it on the blog at the time. A big SUV was parked right up against the corner, so the driver of a car couldn’t see the crosswalk before he turned the corner. I’m lucky he had the reflexes to stop when he spotted me on the crosswalk as he turned.

            I emailed my councillor and a yellow strip was painted there pretty fast. But that yellow paint doesn’t last long. One winter and it was pretty much gone.

          • DeWolf 10:51 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

            This is why curb extensions are so important. They make it physically impossible to park in the no-stopping zone, they make pedestrians more visible when they are crossing the street, they reduce the distance pedestrians have to cross. And as a bonus they can add a lot more greenery to the street, which is not just beautiful, it improves drainage and reduces the urban heat island effect. They’re a pretty amazing tool.

          • Ephraim 11:04 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

            You know what would improve drainage… porous asphalt. And before someone cites the myth… https://www.prestogeo.com/blog/porous-pavements-myth-buster-2-winter-durability/

            In a city where we have had flash floods, we might want to think about letting the earth actually absorb some of the water 🙂

          • Tim S. 11:33 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

            I’m glad La Presse is paying attention to the issue, for starters.

            A couple of years ago I was really excited to see the city finally paint yellow strips along the route I walked my kids to school (my family is used to me being excited about odd things). A day later, I saw a guy trying to power wash one of the strips away because he wanted to park his car right in front of his house. Still not sure what they made of me when I called the SPVM non-emergency line.

          • Ian 19:05 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

            I’ve always found it unnerving that so many intersections in Montreal require you to somehow actually be partially in the intersection before you can actually see what’s coming. Curb extensions are great but not placing parking so close to intersections would be grand along with the cops actually ticketing trouble spots, like all along St. Viateur. Something also needs to be done about the delivery truck immunity to double parking and corner parking rules, I see delivery trucks just stopping wherever, all the time, all over the city center and they are truly impossible to see around.Mostly idling the whole time, too. That they usually stop in bike paths right at the nearest corner doesn’t help.

          • Ephraim 22:02 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

            @Ian – Policing actually doing their work? Wow… quite the optimist

            As I pointed out, many cities have set up the first 2 and last 2 parking spots on a street as delivery only with permit. All the delivery companies have to have a permit (which makes up for the loss of revenue) and there is a multiplier for double parking within a certain distance of a delivery zone. So basically they pay for the privilege of using these delivery zones. Anyone parking without a permit in the delivery zone, even for a second, pays HEAVILY for parking in those reserved zones and anyone double parking pays dearly for double parking when there is a delivery zone.

          • Joey 11:30 on 2022-10-25 Permalink

            I agree with Ian in principle. In practice, I’m a hypocrite – like everybody else these days, I order a bunch of junk for home delivery. Those vans gotta stop somewhere…

        • Kate 09:42 on 2022-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

          A lot of the owners of new downtown condos are Chinese or anglo, so what language do you use for notices and condo meetings? It has become an issue especially with Bill 96 mandating that all business has to be done in French.

          • Josh 11:37 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

            This issue was the subject of a human rights complaint (eventually settled) in Richmond, BC some years back.


          • azrhey 11:43 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

            They can always take the example of my condo association in VSL, French, English, Hebrew, Arabic, Two types of Indic, Hangul and Hanzi. Used to have Thai as well, but not anymore. I find the lack of Cyrillic and Spanish sad really. Part of our condo fees goes in translation fees and everyone is happy with that really.
            Legault would have a fit in my building, but that’s just a bonus 🙂

          • Ephraim 13:47 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

            Ah, but does the language have to be decided by square footage, as voting on condo decisions is supposed to be done? Just to through a wrench into the works

          • Ian 19:06 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

            Sadly no, the rule is as simple as simple blood quantum: a little bit French means all French.

          • jeather 20:34 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

            What languages do you do notices in is an easy solution unless people are trying to cause problems (see: people talk on facebook in English). The AGMs are twice as long because they are bilingual, or some people can’t understand half of it, is not an easily solved problem.

        • Kate 09:40 on 2022-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

          Radio-Canada has a brief video about impending arrangements to work on the tunnel and keep it safe, as does TVA.

          • Kate 08:43 on 2022-10-24 Permalink | Reply  

            CF Montreal was eliminated from the MLS championship Sunday by the New York FC at Saputo Stadium in a 3‑1 loss.

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