Updates from November, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:05 on 2022-11-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Ahuntsic borough was planning to shut down a venerable bocce club because renting the building was getting too expensive, but now the ball is in Ensemble’s court for two neighbouring boroughs, controlled by that party, to chip in. It’s mostly very old people who play this game, especially indoors.

    • Kate 18:54 on 2022-11-22 Permalink | Reply  

      Attacked in city council for rising costs, the mayor and her deputy both agreed it’s a problem, but Mayor Plante pointed out that costs for the REM and the renovation of the tunnel – neither of them city projects – are also rising. Sortez de votre bulle et regardez la réalité économique actuelle, Plante responded to the challenge.

      Anyone who’s been buying food lately would have to sadly agree with her.

      • M 19:37 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

        That point is right on. But I do think there’s a severe lack of oversight on projects large and small up and down the administrative spine. A lot of that is just a result of too few people hired to verify whether various in-house and external hires are delivering what they are billing for.

        I suspect we’ve all heard stories.

        For example, the city orders a new vehicle of some sort or the repair of an existing vehicle. The workers given the order to replace a part or buy a new vehicle aren’t given a spending limit so they buy the most costly parts. Or they’re given a work order to contract out some repair but there’s no one whose job it is to verify that the contractor did what he billed for, except unless one of the workers happens to catch it and raises a flag about it.

        the city and province too often strike me as large businesses that used to have social value but where people have lost the point of it all and are quietly quitting

    • Kate 10:29 on 2022-11-22 Permalink | Reply  

      Ensemble has got a story about STM buses being late into most of our media this week. As is typical of Ensemble, they don’t suggest any material solutions, they merely complain.

      Don’t assume I don’t think Projet needs opposition. But it would be better for Projet and for the city if the opposition were more constructively critical, rather than merely finding details to pick at from time to time. We need more creative thinkers on council, not people who simply make lists of weak spots to poke at.

      • Thomas 10:50 on 2022-11-22 Permalink

        I saw this story somewhere, but didn’t realize it was being planted by Ensemble.

        Having recently sold my car and returned to a life of full-on Montreal urbanism, I can say that a late bus — with no indication of when or if it will arrive — really does leave you feeling completely helpless. Real-time information isn’t always available, so you find yourself wondering if it was really early or if it’s just really late. Who knows?

        I live three stops away from the terminus of bus route where the possibility of getting off schedule shouldn’t really exist (so early in the route), but I’ve noticed some drivers will take a cheeky extra 7 or 8 minute break at the terminus and then do 65 km/h in a 40 km/h zone until they get back on schedule. Montreal, am I right? 😉

        But it seems to me that people who think transit isn’t good enough would be more likely to vote Projet Montréal, so I’m not sure about this strategy by Ensemble.

      • Daniel D 11:30 on 2022-11-22 Permalink

        Remember when Coderre cut the STM budget leading to reduced services, increased fares and a stagnation in ridership for the first time in decades? I do, because I would stand at bus stops in the cold with my two-year-old waiting for buses which never came.

        Ensemble have some nerve. It saddens me our local publications will repeat this without much in the way of critical analysis.

      • DeWolf 11:43 on 2022-11-22 Permalink

        A massive decrease in bus reliability over the past year is definitely worth highlighting and I hope all this media attention leads to some change. Bus service has been bad in Montreal for a decade now.

        Of course, the reason it’s bad is because Coderre slashed services in 2013, and he’d probably be doing the same now if he had won the election. So Ensemble can take a hike.

        I’d also be happy to have a real opposition that proposes solutions instead of making cheap shots. Unfortunately, that’s not what we have, because Ensemble is a sad husk of a party filled with failed opportunists who hitched their wagon to Coderre, 20th century relics who want to govern Montreal like a third-tier suburb, and suburban mayors looking to protect their little fiefdoms.

      • Ian 12:01 on 2022-11-22 Permalink

        Another angle worth considering is that while yes, Ensemble should try to be more constructive, blaming Coderre entirely for today’s bad bus service is a bit rich.

        Plante has been on council since 2013 and PM has been in control since 2017… There are lots of factors sure, but PM can’t be simply let off the hook because you like Plante’s brand of rule by fiat better than Coderre’s.

      • Daniel D 12:22 on 2022-11-22 Permalink

        Fair point Ian. I definitely wasn’t intending to let PM off the hook! There’s a lot of room for improvement under the current administration. It just riles me that the framing of the story doesn’t cover the full history.

      • JudyT 18:09 on 2022-11-22 Permalink

        As a Texan who “summers” in your marvelous city, I can say that the difference between 2019 (the last time we were there) and this summer was a pretty shocking decline in timeliness and overall service. The many detours meant I never really knew where we would end up and as one person mentioned, still the problem of ‘did I miss it or is it late?’ persists. Add to that no escalator at Mont Royal metro and it was generally more difficult this summer. I don’t know the ins and outs of STM but it surprises me that a GPS is not a standard feature on all buses.

      • Chris 18:45 on 2022-11-22 Permalink

        Something like half the STM’s revenue came from ridership fees, which are down significant since covid. Worse service upon reduced revenue is exactly what you’d expect.

      • shawn 10:48 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

        Judy, GPS is a standard feature — or at least we all have access to apps that give real-time bus positions and ETAs. I haven’t bothered to check the posted schedule in years.

      • CE 12:12 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

        I’m normally a big booster of the STM and public transit but since I’ve started taking the bus and metro again this year, I’ve been pretty unimpressed by the service, especially on the buses. I think we all understand that, yes, there are reasons that service is reduced but we don’t have to like or accept it.

      • DeWolf 14:03 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

        @Ian, the Plante administration is certainly not blameless. After coming into power, they focused their efforts on improving metro service, but they seemed to think that bus service could wait until the 300 new buses they ordered in 2018 arrived a few years later. It should have been made more of a priority.

        Their biggest mistake was maintaining STM services at full levels when ridership bottomed out in 2020 and 2021. But it would have been hard to justify any cuts politically, because it would have meant essential workers waiting longer for transit and travelling in more crowded vehicles. In hindsight, cutting service temporarily would have saved the STM from the giant hole it’s in now. But hindsight is 20/20.

        @JudyT, you’ll be happy to know the Mont-Royal escalators are back up and running, along with the new elevator.

    • Kate 09:41 on 2022-11-22 Permalink | Reply  

      One in five Montrealers has to devote 80% of their income to rent.

      • thomas 10:25 on 2022-11-22 Permalink

        Doesn’t that seem high? My reading of the report is that 20% of low income population spends 80% on accommodation. For the general population the figure is 5%.

      • Joey 10:29 on 2022-11-22 Permalink

        @thomas yeah the headline implies that 20% of all Montrealers spend 80% of their income on rent, not 20% of those considered in ‘low income’…

      • EmilyG 14:45 on 2022-11-22 Permalink

        I remember living in an apartment where rent was inexpensive, but I still had to spend most of my money on rent.

      • Kate 15:39 on 2022-11-22 Permalink

        Journalists are having trouble with this story. TVA has a headline saying 71% of low‑income people have unaffordable rent in Montreal without defining “low‑income” or “affordable”.

      • Mark Côté 12:06 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

        The study itself (which is online) defines “faible revenu” as “selon le critère de mesure de faible revenu (MFR) de Statistique Canada lorsque le revenu de son ménage correspond à 50 % ou moins de la médiane des revenus ajustés des ménages de la zone géographique concernée.” 20% of those folks pay more than 80% of their income in rent. If I understand correctly, 71% of low-income people pay more than 30% of their income in rent, which compares to 12% of the overall population.

    • Kate 09:37 on 2022-11-22 Permalink | Reply  

      The dissatisfaction of the union at Notre‑Dame‑des‑Neiges cemetery isn’t a new story, but now the workers have voted for a general strike.

      • Kate 09:34 on 2022-11-22 Permalink | Reply  

        The STM has transformed a rather nice little Victorian house on Towers Street into a ventilation shaft for the metro. Interesting details about how and why it was done.

        Are there any other houses in town that aren’t houses, but are disguised metro or utility properties? There’s this building near Jean‑Talon metro, but it’s not exactly pretending to be a house.

        I recall noticing a structure somewhere on a residential street in Villeray that seemed to be an electrical substation disguised as a house, but can’t think where it is.

        • walkerp 13:15 on 2022-11-22 Permalink

          That is really neat. Crazy that they had to go through 364 layers of paint to find the original door colour! I know this is nothing compared to Europe, but it is still cool that we live in a city with some history and some will to preserve that history. If this were Vancouver, that building would have been gone decades ago.

        • Kate 15:41 on 2022-11-22 Permalink

          I know! But I love how this kind of work preserves the cityscape.

      Compose new post
      Next post/Next comment
      Previous post/Previous comment
      Show/Hide comments
      Go to top
      Go to login
      Show/Hide help
      shift + esc