Updates from November, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:34 on 2022-11-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Several people threw their hats in the ring for the job of police chief at the SPVM, but it’s now down to two: interim chief Sophie Roy, and her second in command, Vincent Richer. We’re supposed to hear the decision this Thursday.

    It would be a kick in the teeth for Roy if her henchman were promoted over her, but is the SPVM ready for a permanent woman chief? We’ll see.

    • JaneyB 13:35 on 2022-11-20 Permalink

      My bet is on Roy: a woman police chief sparring with woman mayor looks better than a man would, at least in the minds of the police association. And since she’s already interim, it’s less of a snub against Richer. I guess we’ll see.

  • Kate 20:27 on 2022-11-19 Permalink | Reply  

    There was uncertainty this week whether McGill students would vote to continue funding their French‑language student paper, but they eventually did opt to keep it going. The McGill Daily was founded in 1911, and its French spinoff Le Délit in 1977.

    • Kate 20:20 on 2022-11-19 Permalink | Reply  

      Radio-Canada asked several Italian‑Montrealers how they feel about a World Cup with no Italy team and asked which team, if any, they would support instead.

      The first match is Sunday between Ecuador and host team Qatar.

      • dhomas 23:03 on 2022-11-19 Permalink

        I’m of Italian origin (both parents born in Italy). I’m not what you would call a sports fan, but I do usually enjoy the excitement around the World Cup. That said, maybe I’m starting to pay closer attention as I get older, but FIFA as an organization seems to be getting more and more difficult to support with a clear conscience. Qatar was responsible for despicable human rights violations leading up to this World Cup, basically using slave labour to build their stadiums. The last World Cup in Russia was also questionable. The one prior in Brazil was just as bad, with the government building stadiums while people right next to them were starving.

        Even if Italy had qualified, I don’t think I would watch many matches, just not to give my support to this corrupt organization and nation. For the record, I would support Canada and Portugal (my wife’s nation) for this World Cup.

      • Kate 10:54 on 2022-11-20 Permalink

        dhomas, is your wife a keen supporter?

        I remember street honking and festivities for various Portugal wins when I lived in the Plateau at the edge of the Portuguese neighbourhood, but nothing to equal the sheer exuberance in Little Italy when that team won the World Cup in 2006.

        I’m not a huge fan myself. Might watch a highlights reel sometime. I don’t expect the Canada team to get very far – the team’s first outing is on Wednesday against Belgium, whose team came third in 2018, then Croatia on November 27 – and the Croatians came second that year. My ancestral teams would be Ireland (not in it – people there are more into rugby and hurling than soccer) and England, who haven’t won a cup since 1966.

      • Tim S. 12:44 on 2022-11-20 Permalink

        I won’t jinx the Canadian team by making any predictions about results, but having watched some of the qualification games I can say they will be fun to watch. They’re also a very likeable group of personalities, a combination of humble stars and squad players getting their 15 minutes of fame.

      • Uatu 15:01 on 2022-11-21 Permalink

        I saw a report on the construction of the stadiums on PBS. The workers were basically treated like slaves. They were working in the desert in extreme heat. The company gave them water- in the form of blocks of ice. When the workers said they couldn’t drink the water in this form the employers told them if they gave them liquid water the employees would be drinking all the time. Bullsht like this is why I can’t watch the world Cup

    • Kate 11:10 on 2022-11-19 Permalink | Reply  

      Business guys are coming to terms with the fact that office life has changed forever.

      • Uatu 20:03 on 2022-11-19 Permalink

        For guys that like to say that the market dictates business they sure hate it when the market dictates business that doesn’t work out for them

      • Mozai 10:29 on 2022-11-21 Permalink

        Office workspaces were cheap crap because employees didn’t have a choice; now we do.

      • Ian 10:35 on 2022-11-21 Permalink

        This is also a good point. It’s not just “nobody wants to commute”, many people don’t particularly miss open concept floor plans and hotdesking, either.

    • Kate 11:00 on 2022-11-19 Permalink | Reply  

      Communauto is coping with cars in short supply, but this article is actually more about its difficulty in getting dedicated parking spaces, which have to be wrested from each borough one by one.

      • DeWolf 11:34 on 2022-11-19 Permalink

        I’ve been a member since moving back to Montreal 4.5 years ago and it’s definitely worth using – it’s still way cheaper and more convenient than owning a car or even renting one for road trips. But it’s a victim of its own success. The huge surge in membership since Car2Go shut down, and especially since the pandemic started and rental car prices exploded, has really led to some serious growing pains.

        There are some big issues that Communauto has been a bit slow to deal with, like reservation hogging (people who make “just in case” reservations for every single weekend) and the imbalance of Flex cars, which means there’s always a shortage in high-traffic areas and an abundance in low-traffic areas near the edge of the zone.

        The Facebook group dedicated to Communauto is full of people who say they’ve been pushed to buy a car for the first time because the service has become so frustrating. I find that a bit mystifying because the only way it makes sense financially is if you’re driving nearly every day, but I suppose some people are very heavy users. I use the cars as much as I need, for short local trips or longer road trips (I just got back from a week in New York with Communauto, for instance) and I end up paying an average of about $150 per month. That includes gas and insurance, so there’s no way a personal car would be cheaper.

      • MarcG 14:21 on 2022-11-19 Permalink

        They have 2 stations in parking lots near me that are planned to be turned into housing. One of them is actually an interesting social housing project. They’ve added a ton of cars to the “downtown” Verdun parking structure which makes up the loss. I’ve considered buying a car recently myself because of how hard it is to get cars on the weekends and also because of the condition the car is left in (either full of garbage or no gas or no wiper fluid or dog hair everywhere, etc, etc).

      • Kate 15:28 on 2022-11-19 Permalink

        Oh man. The tragedy of the commons.

      • John B 15:48 on 2022-11-19 Permalink

        Also in Verdun, also often find cars full of dog hair & garbage.

        They have added a “report” option to the app, which I have started using, especially for the two trips I took over the past week, where there were Timmy’s wrappers in the cup holders, Doritos in the back seat, and almost no gas, (1 car), and the car smelled like smoke and someone had left their cigarette pack plastic in the cup holder, (second car).

        And forget about getting a car on the weekend unless you book as soon as you’re allowed 31 days ahead of time. No last-minute trips or changes of plan requiring a car are possible.

        I spent almost $300 on Communauto in October, but that’s high for me. If I end up averaging $300/month I’ll be looking into what it would cost to become a car owner again. Maybe offsetting some of the costs through Turo or Locomotion.

      • DeWolf 18:53 on 2022-11-19 Permalink

        The dog hair is a common issue, but having travelled with a dog before I can understand that it’s hard to avoid. In this case Communauto really needs to promote the fact that they’ll compensate you for the $2.50 gas station vacuum. If anything they should give you a $5 or $10 credit for cleaning the car.

        The trash problem has become much better since they’ve made it easier to report issues. At the beginning of the pandemic I made some complaints about particularly dirty cars, but in the past year all the cars I’ve taken have been pretty tidy.

      • Spi 20:36 on 2022-11-19 Permalink

        Since the start of the pandemic I’ve hopped into more than one Communauto with used masks on the seat, that’s more than enough to keep me away for a while.

      • dwgs 08:29 on 2022-11-20 Permalink

        I have been checking out Communauto and was considering getting a membership. A monthly run to Costco would probably cost between $20 and $25, which isn’t too bad but if we wanted to do an all day outing away from the city it gets pretty expensive. I have to travel next weekend and just checked Kayak for rental cars, cheapest option is $22 per day with unlimited mileage and plenty of availability. Doesn’t make Communauto look so attractive.

      • GC 10:16 on 2022-11-20 Permalink

        If you’re going to run numbers, keep in mind that the Communauto price includes all the fuel and the traditional rental does not. That being said, the traditional rental is sometimes still going to be cheaper.

        The past few years, I’ve wanted to default to Communauto after too many experiences with rental agencies that don’t have the car ready anywhere close to my reservation. If I reserve it for 10 AM or whatever, and show up earlier than that, it’s because I have some hope of leaving around then. Maybe not right on the dot, but there are times it’s taken up to an hour or more to me to get in the actual car and get out of there. One time, I complained and got a small credit from Enterprise, but I was still an hour late to my destination. My Communauto has always been there, ready to leave, whenever I booked it. And I can return it at odd times, like 3 AM on a Sunday, if that’s my travel schedule.

        That being said, I will echo DeWolf in that it’s been harder and harder to find a car the past couple of years. I do find that a lot of those “just in case” reservations will usually be cancelled a couple of days before. So availability opens up, but it can be really challenging to find something 1-2 weeks before the day your need it.

      • John B 10:17 on 2022-11-20 Permalink

        The draw of Communauto is convenience and, despite what I said above, flexibility. You can rent a communauto for a few hours, and you’re not beholden to the business hours of rental car offices, (which are often closed on weekends).

        That said, for multi-day or long excursions it’s usually cheaper to rent from a traditional rental agency. Living in Verdun, Globe car rental is great because it’s usually competitively priced, open weekends, and at the forum. That said, for a while pre-pandemic Enterprise was quite a bit cheaper, and since the pandemic Globe wants printed proof of insurance if you don’t take their insurance, which is a pain.

        I think it comes down to Communauto needing competition. If they’re the only game in town why improve?

      • John B 10:20 on 2022-11-20 Permalink

        I’ll push back a bit on the Communauto always being there. I’ve had two instances where it wasn’t there this fall – once the previous person simply hadn’t returned it on time, and the other time it was parked a block away from the station. When your car isn’t there you have to call, then wait 10-25 minutes on hold, and they may or may not be able to help.

        If they at least picked up the phone right away it would be ok, and that’s where, IMO, they need competition to force them to improve.

      • MarcG 10:21 on 2022-11-20 Permalink

        Not sure everyone knows this but Costco delivers basically for free. The online selection is probably limited but if you’re just ordering essentials it’s the way to go.

      • Tim S. 10:39 on 2022-11-20 Permalink

        Communauto was great when I needed to run an errand on weekdays, and a real headache if I needed it on the weekend. One of the reasons I gave it up was because it made visits to family in the suburbs dependent on the reservation grid and kind of stressful as I was always watching the clock.

        I’ve said this before, but as a moderate car user (10,000km/year) owning isn’t more expensive than renting/communauto. This year is my break-even year on the capital cost, so we’ll see how things hold up over the next couple of years. And while I was dreading dealing with garages and maintenance etc, it’s actually probably taken up less time than booking Communautos and dealing with customer service when things went wrong.

      • Maja 15:09 on 2022-11-20 Permalink

        We’re quite happy with Communauto, though the reservation difficulties are indeed a pain.

        We use the Communauto flex cars a lot for the whole weekend because the flex rate maxes out pretty quickly so it ends up not being very expensive to grab a car on Friday and return it on Sunday. (It’s impossible to find a car on Saturday morning though.) Our friends grab a flex on Monday and return it every Friday to haul their kids to and from daycare and that’s still a good price. It depends on what kind of monthly membership you get but it’s worth doing the calculation to see what might work best for you. You can also park Flex cars just about anywhere, including stickered spots.

    • Kate 10:08 on 2022-11-19 Permalink | Reply  

      A man was beaten badly early Saturday by a group of people in a location that makes me wonder why anyone was hanging around Chabanel Street at one in the morning.

      • JP 10:23 on 2022-11-19 Permalink

        It’s not too far from residential streets…and there could also be late shifts at one of the companies nearby.

      • Kate 10:51 on 2022-11-19 Permalink

        I suppose equally he could’ve been driven there and chucked out of a car.

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