Updates from November, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:35 on 2022-11-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Many of those who make complaints to the OQLF are unsatisfied with the results according to a recent survey.

    It mostly seems to be about how the OQLF doesn’t communicate much with the complainers to follow up on their complaints or explain how they’ve acted on them.

    I wonder how many of them are vexatious complainers.

    • Spektor 22:52 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      All of them.

    • Elene 01:49 on 2022-11-06 Permalink

      With a whole Ministry of Language and entire political culture behind them, who woulda thought such lifelong busybodies would be perpetually unsatisfied?

    • Ephraim 08:52 on 2022-11-06 Permalink

      What a giant waste of taxpayer money, for people who think that adding the word entrepot on a Costco store is going to somehow save a language

    • steph 09:12 on 2022-11-06 Permalink

      Thanks to their efforts, more people in quebec than ever speak, work, shop & live in french.

    • Kate 09:50 on 2022-11-06 Permalink

      Is it the OQLF that’s credited with that, steph? Or is it the provisions about education in the Charter of the French Language?

    • Blork 10:34 on 2022-11-06 Permalink

      …and aren’t we constantly hearing the alarm bells that fewer people in quebec than ever speak, work, shop & live in french? That is, after all, how they justify their existence.

    • CE 10:41 on 2022-11-06 Permalink

      People seem to focus a lot on the complaints and enforcement side of the OLQF but they do a lot of interesting and useful things behind the scenes. For example, their Grand dictionnaire terminologique is extremely useful. They also help organizations and businesses with issues they may have around working in French. One thing I’ve seen from them is a poster they made with all the parts of a bike bike in French which I’m sure would be very useful for a non native French-speaker working in a bike shop who needs to communicate with customers or other employees about the work they’re doing.

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

      CE makes a good point. We tend to see the OQLF as some kind of language gestapo (“tongue troopers!) because that’s what makes it to the news. But at its core it’s a bunch of linguists and language nerds doing work like CE describes, and creating and maintaining various technical dictionaries (you can find them online) and whatnot. I also know from an inside source that plenty of people who work there have no interest in the “tongue trooper” angle, and they get very demoralized over things like “pastagate” which was badly covered in the media (accounts varied widely from what really happened) and puts them all in a bad light.

      That said, they do have a militant enforcement arm that does tend to put them in a bad light. If I were the king of Quebec I would happily fund the linguistic side of the OQLF and put the rest of it out with the trash.

    • dhomas 11:15 on 2022-11-06 Permalink

      I strongly dislike the hugely unnecessary (IMO) aspect of “language policing” the OQLF does. However, I do regularly use their “Banque de dépannage linguistique” and “Grand dictionnaire terminologique”. Since I work for a French company, I try to translate everything to French, so I don’t look like “l’Américain” or “le cousin canadien”. More often than not, I get told that they would simply use the English term for whatever I’m trying to say (but with a French accent, ;p). Still, they are very useful resources.

    • jeather 12:55 on 2022-11-06 Permalink

      Never used the Banque de dépannage linguistique (never even heard of it! Thank you for the reference), but I use the Grand dictionnaire ALL THE TIME. It does have some issues with how it does search but it’s incredibly helpful.

    • mare 18:29 on 2022-11-06 Permalink

      @CE any idea how/where one could procure such an affiche vélocipède?

    • CE 18:55 on 2022-11-06 Permalink

      @mare Unfortunately no. When I used to see it regularly at Right to Move, I always meant to drop by their office to see if I could get one but never did. That would probably be your best bet although it’s possible that they did a run of them a while ago just to be distributed to bike shops and the such.

  • Kate 12:44 on 2022-11-05 Permalink | Reply  

    The contentious Ray-Mont logistics hub will be allowed to operate, but only using 8% of the land it owns in east‑end Montreal, and only between 7 am and 7 pm. The politicking around this project is summed up toward the end of Radio‑Canada’s account.

    • Faiz imam 13:17 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      That’s…. Actually pretty good.

      I was expecting no restrictions.

    • dhomas 11:01 on 2022-11-06 Permalink

      It’s a start. Unfortunately, I think it’s a start for Ray-Mont logistiques, and not for the people protesting the project. They’re allowed to use 8% of the land, but I’m pretty sure that will grow over time. These guys did not back down when challenged by the government and the community, so I don’t think they’ll give up because it’s more trouble than it’s worth for them. We’ll see how it progresses.

  • Kate 12:40 on 2022-11-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Reserved bus lanes are coming soon along Queen Mary, Jarry and Henri‑Bourassa West.

    Complaints have been made before about the Queen Mary lane displacing parking spaces. Haven’t seen any kvetching yet about the other two, although, living near Jarry, I wouldn’t have said it carries enough traffic to rate a bus lane. But I suppose studies have been made.

    • Joey 13:36 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      I’m all for bus lanes even where traffic isn’t heavy – why not have routes where the bus moves fast, not just less slowly than the rest of traffic?

  • Kate 11:57 on 2022-11-05 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s not surprising to learn that Friday hit a record high for November 4 and we’re currently reaching a record high for November 5.

    A tweet from a guy at Greenpeace: This clock change will go down in history. Tonight the thermometer will probably stay above 20° in Montreal, a night-time low considered warm in July.

    I brought in my potted plants and outdoor furniture weeks ago, when the night temperatures were flirting with zero. Now I regret not being able to eat outside (the table and chairs are heavy, not going to shift them again this year).

    Update: A very mixed bag outside. Summer temperature, but trees nearly bare. Feels like summer, smells like autumn. Some folks in shorts and t‑shirts, others in puffy coats. But the real moment of disorientation was the displays of panettone and pandoro at the espresso place.

    Saturday is the warmest November 5 since records started being kept here in 1871.

    • Ian 18:29 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      Went for a walk on île de la visitation today. Incredible how low the water is. Smelled kind of funky, too. The birds seem to be digging it, I saw lots of Canada geese, mallards, and even a couple of herons.

      It was very, very warm though – I realized I’ve never been up there at this time of year because it’s usually cold and wet now.

    • Emily 19:32 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      I ate lunch outside today while wearing a T-shirt and no jacket.

    • Blork 23:48 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      When I got up this morning (Saturday) I did not expect to end the day having dinner on a terrace on St-Denis in my shirtsleeves. And yet there I was.

  • Kate 10:58 on 2022-11-05 Permalink | Reply  

    A man who “not only was […] driving without a driver’s licence at the time but had never taken driving lessons at all” was sentenced to one year over two episodes in 2021 in which he was fortunate not to have killed or injured someone else, or himself.

    • Tim S. 15:56 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      I have no opinion on whether one year in jail is sufficient, but a two-year ban on driving? I wish endangering another person with a vehicle was an automatic lifetime ban.
      Also, glossed over in the story, all this started with a domestic violence incident. Seems like it should be relevant in the sentencing.

    • Emily 19:35 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      Barred from driving for 2 years?

      Isn’t someone who has no license, and never even taken driving lessons, already barred from driving?

    • Kate 20:25 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      Emily, that is a very cromulent point.

    • John B 22:53 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      The article weirdly doesn’t say if he’s ever had a license. I don’t think you’re required to take formal driving lessons to get one, you just have to pass the tests, so maybe a bunch of video games and some time spent driving a friend’s car would suffice. However, since he didn’t have a license at the time, and was 19, and had no previous record, it seems unlikely he ever got a license.

      The 2 year driving ban would probably prevent him from even starting the process to become properly licensed, though.

    • Ian 11:22 on 2022-11-06 Permalink

      Quebec has required driving school for many years, you are very much required to take formal driving lessons. Roughly 6 months in class before you are allowed to take the test for your beginners permit then 15 hours of in-car lessons. THEN you are allowed to take a road test.

  • Kate 10:54 on 2022-11-05 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has bought the Million Carpets and Tiles building off St‑Laurent near Bernard, with the intention of constructing 40 social housing units there.

    • shawn 11:32 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      This is great. Of course the skate park is behind so might be a bit noisy for north-facing units but a great location for more housing.

    • shawn 11:34 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      … not to mention the overpass!

    • mare 11:45 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      That’s why they’re social housing units. Condo developers passed on that lot.

    • shawn 12:09 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      Indeed. And the Ultramar station across the street but still a location close to everything including the underutllized (it seems to me) Champ des possibles park.

    • DeWolf 12:38 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      @mare Are you sure? The city exercized its (relatively new) right of first refusal in this case, so no developers would have had a chance to make a bid.

    • dhomas 16:14 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      So, I’m glad that the city is getting land for social housing. But… Isn’t 4 million dollar a helluva lot for that piece of land? I mean, the building will need to be torn down, right? The city valuation for that plot, according to Evalweb, is 1.1 million dollars. The building is just over $700k. Why are we paying 4 times the value for this?

    • Kate 17:31 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      I’m going to guess that city hall knows that if they pay only the valuation prices for land or buildings, it won’t be long before its right of refusal gets challenged in the courts.

      That price was probably arrived at after negotiations, and the city might have its reasons for keeping the owner happy.

      I certainly hope the building gets torn down. It would cost more to renovate and extend that building than to start from scratch with modern standards in mind.

    • Spi 17:41 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      Ok so without digging up the information, I’ve fairly certain the city’s right of first refusal is to match any other offers on the table. Meaning if the seller comes to an agreement with a buyer the city has the right to purchase it for the same price. That’s my vague recollection of it when it was presented.

    • Kate 20:19 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      Spi, I wonder how easily that could be subverted. If you had a property, and the city wanted it, could you get a pal to make a generous offer and force the city to equal it?

    • steph 09:20 on 2022-11-06 Permalink

      The last few years, with overbidding, the realestate market has worked in that screwey way. “I know the sellers agent and your offer is just short 25k…. if we bump it up with a new offer we’ll win”. There’s no policing if these “other offers” were ever real.

    • Spi 10:48 on 2022-11-06 Permalink

      @Kate that thought had crossed my mind when it was first announced, but I believe the procedure requires the city to signal their intentions before a building ever comes up for sale. So they have a list of buildings (that is public I believe) and they notify the current owner of their interest should it ever go up for sale. They can’t just swoop in at the last minute on any and all transactions.

      The opportunity for collusion is certainly there but the right of first refusal is only an option not an obligation. So two parties could bid up the price but if the city doesn’t choose to buy it at that price you’ve accomplished nothing and have excluded other buyers that might have paid a lower one, if they re-list and attempt to sell at a lower price then presumably the right of first refusal is still valid. The city never ends up paying more than what it deems reasonable.

  • Kate 09:32 on 2022-11-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec health professionals are flummoxed by the public health decision to end mandatory isolation for Covid patients, because it comes as three epidemics hit our hospitals: Covid, flu, and RSV.

    The latest numbers from Aaron Derfel show that the Covid BQ.1.1 variant is on the rise, a variant with “marked immune evasive properties.” Even Ontario public health is talking about maybe reinstating a mask mandate.

    • DeWolf 10:55 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      As a counterpoint, New York Times science writer David Wallace-Wells argues that BQ.1.1 and other Omicron subvariants haven’t really made a difference and that the pandemic has been “remarkably flat.”


      “Each new subvariant (XBB, BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, to name three recent ones of note) has produced a small flurry of worried coverage about immune evasion and transmissibility, with some producing small surges in infection as well. But all of them are part of the same family, and though some are quite distant relatives of the original Omicron subvariant, none have meaningfully changed the big-picture story of the disease.”

      Deaths are strikingly high, which has been a bit of a mystery to me because the number of people in ICUs is quite low in proportion to the amount of Covid going around. The CBC explained the phenomenon recently: nearly all the people dying of Covid these days are extremely old or very sick (or still completely unvaccinated). Which doesn’t make their deaths any better, but it does mean that the era of unpredictability is ending, and the days of healthy people being struck down are probably over.


      What to make of all of this? I don’t know. I guess in theory a completely new variant could sweep in and take over from Omicron, but given the stability we’ve seen since December 2021 — no new variants, only new versions of Omicron — I’m pretty sanguine about the whole thing.

    • MarcG 15:50 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      There are worse fates than death. Seemingly-permanent isolation for the immunocompromised, 1.5 million Canadians with Long-Covid, the continued destruction of public health care. It’s privileged to be “sanguine” right now.

    • MarcG 17:05 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      I thought that sanguine meant “chill” but apparent it means “optimistic” so I take that back – it’s not privileged, but it is ignoring the recent research showing that Covid causes endothelial damage which is a reason to be very pessimistic esp. given the lack of precautions being taken at the moment.

    • jeather 19:50 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      Phlegmatic is closer to chill, if you’re really into describing people by one of the four humours (choleric is angry, melancholic is exactly what you think).

  • Kate 09:13 on 2022-11-05 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gazette’s T’Cha Dunlevy asks why there’s no Michelin Guide for Montreal when both Toronto and Vancouver have one. I’ll spare you plowing through the article: a city has to pay Michelin a sizable bribe, that’s why.

    Nothing wrong with Dunlevy’s article, but I’m finding it nearly impossible to read Gazette pieces now, it’s like picking a path through a swamp, with fragments of article separated by huge, intrusive and often animated ads.

    • PatrickC 13:02 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      Totally agree about the Gazette. You would think the smarter digital strategy would be to create a good experience for paying subscribers (as the Guardian app does; for a modest fee, you get an ad-free version–well worth the money). But no.

    • Blork 14:37 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      Totally agree that the Gaz is becoming unreadable because of the ads and videos. The worst part is the auto-refreshing ads, which makes the text on the page jump while the ad frame zeroes out and then reloads. It’s even worse on a tablet.

  • Kate 08:42 on 2022-11-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Police handcuffed a man in the Marché Central on Thursday and investigated him on suspicion of having stolen an SUV parked there. The man, who’s Black, turned out to be the owner. And then the cops discovered they didn’t have the handcuff key. Items don’t say how long it took for the man to be freed.

    Someone took a video of this incident and has been circulating it on social media.

    CBC and Radio-Canada both quote Mamadi Camara, arrested in early 2021 and accused wrongly of attacking a police officer, then later fully exonerated, saying in polite terms that our police are goof‑ups.

    • carswell 09:44 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      Assuming I heard correctly as I was waking up this morning, CBC Radio said it took about six minutes for another officer with a key to arrive. Guess that means all cuffs use the same key.

      But good thing Quebec is the one place in North America. if not the world, where systemic racism doesn’t exist. Because otherwise this’d stink to high racist heaven.

    • walkerp 10:41 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      Crack investigative work by our professional and well-trained police force. We should increase their budget.

    • Chris 14:18 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      >Guess that means all cuffs use the same key.

      No, it doesn’t mean that at all. There could be a master key, there could be various key copies in various places, etc.

      Not having the key on them is a big fail though!

      >Because otherwise this’d stink to high racist heaven.

      I think it’s premature to cry racism.

      Commonly stolen vehicle model has damage on the lock, police discretely observe vehicle, guy comes up to car. What should they do next? Should their decision be based on the man’s skin colour? What the cops _should_ do at this point is politely tell the man there have been thefts and to please show proof of ownership. Alas, the video doesn’t cover this part, and the articles don’t either. For all we know, the man got incensed, non-cooperative, and threatening. You don’t think that’d get a white guy cuffed? Wouldn’t make the news though, that’s for sure.

    • Uatu 16:15 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      If the cops wore cameras then it’d be clear what happened, maybe even show that the cops were in right to cuff him. But cameras are unnecessary in a province without systemic racism /s

    • Joey 17:32 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      Thanks, Chris, for reminding us (against all evidence about these cops’ basic skills) to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    • Kate 17:42 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      Chris, there may be an opening at the SPVM’s public relations department for you.

    • jeather 17:46 on 2022-11-05 Permalink

      Glad we want to give the cops the benefit of the doubt but not Black people.

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