Updates from November, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:37 on 2022-11-23 Permalink | Reply  

    The Amtrak Adirondack was cancelled early in the pandemic. Despite some demand, there’s still no date for its return.

    • EmilyG 22:18 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

      I hope it comes back. I’ve enjoyed taking that train.

    • Ian 12:45 on 2022-11-24 Permalink

      Same. Plus if that train is cancelled the likelihood of any other line that isn’t a milk run becomes more and more unlikely.

  • Kate 20:52 on 2022-11-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Former PQ MNA Harold LeBel was found guilty on Wednesday of sexual assault. The PQ isn’t making a scintillating impression lately, what with former leader André Boisclair having been turned down for parole last week; he’s doing time for two sexual assaults.

    • Kate 20:47 on 2022-11-23 Permalink | Reply  

      Contradicting recent news, Radio‑Canada has the scoop that Fady Dagher will be the new SPVM chief. Dagher has been chief of Longueuil police since 2017. La Presse has confirmed the story, tipping their hat to Radio‑Canada’s scoop.

      The official announcement is to be made Thursday.

      Update: Patrick Lagacé’s reaction is pretty positive.

      • Ian 21:17 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

        As Ted Rutland notes,

        “After two years of the SPVM winning unprecedented budget increases based on racist fearmongering, they’ve now got the perfect leader for winning even larger increases based on improving community relations (using very old ideas that will be celebrated as something new).

        Since it seems Fady Dagher is going to be the next director of the SPVM, reposting this piece on the Dagher/Longueuil model of policing. In short, the model involves hiring hundreds of cops to be social workers (with guns and without the training).”


      • DeWolf 00:31 on 2022-11-24 Permalink

        This bit from the story in La Presse seems like the SPVM attitude in a nutshell:

        « Ça tire beaucoup à Montréal ces temps-ci, ce n’est pas le temps de faire de la police communautaire. Il faudra être répressif durant un certain temps », a réagi un enquêteur sous le couvert de l’anonymat, car il n’est pas autorisé à parler aux médias.

      • Ian 12:05 on 2022-11-24 Permalink

        At least it’s not clowns dressed like cops like they had “patrolling” the pedestrianized streets this summer

    • Kate 11:52 on 2022-11-23 Permalink | Reply  

      So many homeless people hang around inside the Palais des congrès that people doing business in the concourse are getting angry. Philippe Teisceira‑Lessard talks here to a lot of the merchants, all of whom say similar things about the disturbances caused both to their customers and their employees.

      Interesting how Palais security washes its hands of things that happen inside the businesses, then the SPVM washes its hands of things that happen inside the Palais. Teisceira‑Lessard doesn’t mention it, but I bet there will be one almighty security sweep there before COP15.

      Speaking of which, La Presse also looks at how the CHUM hospital is bracing for COP15, both for possible incidents, and the possibility of protests blocking access to emergency vehicles along Viger.

      • steph 16:12 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

        If the landlord can’t provide adequate security, take your business elsewhere. How is it the police have no jurisdiction inside the Palais? Somthing is beyond fuzzy.

      • Spi 17:02 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

        It’s private property? Just as the police can’t just barge into any dwelling or businesses unless requested or pursuing an active crime.

      • steph 09:04 on 2022-11-24 Permalink

        private property… so the garda cops can unquestionably escort any undesirables out and away. Or call the police to do it. ya know, like they do at the Eaton Centre, or EVERYWHERE else in montreal. This isn’t a unique problem.

    • Kate 11:29 on 2022-11-23 Permalink | Reply  

      A man arrested for assaulting random people in the street in Snowdon was freed but has since been accused of murdering a 75‑year‑old man. A lot is omitted from this account, such as where and when the murder took place, and how police linked him to the victim. I don’t think this was reported at the time as a homicide.

      • Kate 11:21 on 2022-11-23 Permalink | Reply  

        The city is planning to offer free public transit to people 65 and over, as of next July.

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

          This is great. When I was living in Hong Kong, the government began offering a flat HK$2 (about 30 cents) fare for all buses and trains. There’s always a lot of old timers hanging out in parks and in the streets, but suddenly you started seeing a lot more old people leaving their neighbourhoods and going to far-flung places just for the fun of it.

        • Nicholas 21:34 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

          It’ll be interesting to see the details. Will you need an age d’or OPUS (meaning most visitors and very occasional users will need to pay), or RAMQ (out of province will pay) or any random ID? Is it just valid for city residents (budget from city), or agglo residents? Is it valid only on STM, or on Exo and REM? Only within city limits or all of Zone A, or the whole network of the STM including metro off-island? Laval lets Laval residents get an OPUS with free service on STL buses only (not STM or Exo), regardless of which zones the STL passes through, and Laval seniors need to buy a second OPUS to load reduced fare tickets outside of the STL. Lots of ways this could go.

        • Blork 21:43 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

          Here’s how it will work.

          Seniors 65+ will have to go in person Berri/UQAM where they will need to purchase a special OPUS card. They will need to pay the regular rates for a monthly pass or individual tickets. Once a month they will need to log into the STM website, where they must be registered, and download the official trip log that was generated by the system. However, the site will almost always be down, but no worries, there’s a backup plan: they can go to an administrative office in Rivière-des-Prairies where they can obtain a printed copy. They must then submit their trip log to their local borough administrative office BEFORE the 5th of the next month. At the end of the year, they must submit a request to City Hall, along with supporting documents from the STM and their borough office. This will result in a tax credit against their property tax for the coming year.

          Renters will instead receive a report from City Hall that must be submitted to the Regie des Logements, who will authorize their landlord to rebate the amount from the tenant’s rent, after which the landlord can submit a request to City Hall for an equivalent tax credit.

          See? Free transit!

        • Tim 22:24 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

          Another gift for the least poor demographic in our society. They could have easily made it means based for seniors that need it. Disgusting.

        • Blork 22:33 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

          Tim, that’s a shitty way to look at it. It’s only a gift to those who take it. The wealthy seniors will not use it so for them it’s moot and costs no one anything. But there are loads of seniors on fixed incomes, and with no prospects for gaining any additional wealth (too old to get a new job, never going to inherit anything, etc.). This is for them.

          It’s completely wrong to assume that all seniors or even most seniors are wealthy just because they’re wealthy as a demographic.

        • Tim 08:49 on 2022-11-24 Permalink

          Blork, I do not assume that all seniors are wealthy. I even suggested that the program should be means based, making it free for those that are truly in need.

          I don’t agree that a wealthy senior would not take advantage of this either. I believe that they will and that they should be paying something (it was already a reduced fare)

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

          I suspect the number of wealthy seniors you’ll see riding free public transit will be negligible, and given that the only cost is opportunity cost, then I don’t see why anyone would find this “disgusting.” It’s not like they’re handing out bundles of cash or scarce resources that could be used elsewhere.

        • Tim 14:40 on 2022-11-24 Permalink

          Easily identifiable risks for this policy include the fact that this could increase the load on the system and could change usage patterns (maybe more seniors will take transit during rush hour if it’s free).

          We have an aging society where the proportion above 65 continues to increase. This suggests a shrinking base of paying users for the foreseeable future. What impact will this have in 5, 10 or 20 years?

          Not to mention that once this change is made next year, it will become intractable and pretty much impossible to change from a political point of view. When Harper tried to raise the target CPP age from 65 to 67 with a 20 year horizon it was a political landmine.

          I do hope that there is some type of special OPUS card so at least management will be able to measure the impact directly. Maybe a couple of years from now we can revisit the topic with some real data.

          Maybe “disgusting” was harsh, but I just don’t like the arbitrary nature of this change. What is so special about 65? Why didn’t they choose 60 or 70? Why not have a policy based entirely on need that does not bring age into the equation? If you are poor, no matter what your age, transit is free for you.

        • Blork 15:11 on 2022-11-24 Permalink

          Tim, you’re tilting at windmills. There is virtually no risk of an increased load on the system, especially at commuting times. Most people over 65 are retired, so they don’t have a commute. And if they have any sense at all, they’d do their chores or social visits or whatever in off-hours. The odds of this changing transit usage patterns in any significant way are extremely low.

          What’s so special about 65? It’s when most people retire. It’s the upper limit of the age at which various “senior discounts” set in. It’s generally considered the point at which we transition from middle age to old age.

          The idea of giving discounts and other special treatment to seniors is well established in our society and generally well regarded. It’s a thing we do as a sign of respect for our elders, many of whom are on a fixed income and have declining health and mobility, and all sorts of other issues to worry about.

          Making it a blanket age-based “gift” is far easier and more cost effective than implementing some Byzantine system of needs checking that would cost actual money and effort (see my first comment in this thread). Again, it’s not like they’re handing out something tangible, where the wealthy 65-year-old gets a bag of money and the poor 64-year-old gets nothing. All this does is offer free entry into an existing service for people who probably won’t even use it very often.

          When I think of the seniors I know, I can tell you this: very few of the ones “with money” will use the free transit with any regularity, and especially not on commuting times. They’ll continue to use their own cars, or taxis, or whatever. If on occasion they take the Metro to some event or other, big deal! I’ll be the first to hold the door for them.

          I disagree that this is “arbitrary.” Sure, it would be nice if transit and other things were priced according to people’s ability to pay, but this is the real world. Such a thing will never happen, and if it ever did it would be rife with confusion and corruption and would be expensive and wasteful to run. Free transit starting at 65 — a non-arbitrary age (see above) — makes perfect sense, costs nothing, helps some people, and is a visible sign of respect for elders.

        • Tim 17:16 on 2022-11-24 Permalink

          Looking forward to analyzing the data with you in a couple of years Blork. 🙂

          We’ll see if it’s only a $40 million dollar hit (number taken from https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/public-transit-to-be-free-for-seniors-on-island-of-montreal-as-of-july-source-says) or otherwise.

        • Blork 20:10 on 2022-11-24 Permalink

          It’s a date!

      • Kate 11:20 on 2022-11-23 Permalink | Reply  

        The city launched a project for winter entertainment on Tuesday, promising illuminations, shows, art exhibits and festivals. Seems to mostly be about bringing more people downtown. Ah, there it is: the Chamber of Commerce’s part in the fuss is called “J’aime travailler au centre‑ville”!

        • Kevin 18:54 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

          The crazy part is that in terms of foot traffic, Montreal is by far doing the best of any big city in Canada.
          Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto — all are seeing half of the numbers they were seeing pre-pandemic.

        • JaneyB 09:08 on 2022-11-24 Permalink

          @Kevin – that’s interesting. Still, feet are good but they should be dancing! Also, we need more acrobat time. Maybe some feux-de-joie along Ste-Cat too.

        • Ian 12:04 on 2022-11-24 Permalink

          Ah good, solving the problem with clowns.

      • Kate 09:47 on 2022-11-23 Permalink | Reply  

        A man is in critical condition after a stabbing in a bar in an area TVA calls “le quartier Saint‑Paul” but I would’ve described as St‑Henri (corner of St‑Jacques and St‑Philippe, all these saints!), early Wednesday.

        • Ephraim 10:37 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

          Fake saints… Philippe Turcot (who was married to Marguerite Arcouet and guess what street is named after her!) and Jean-Jacques Olier de Verneuil or Jacques Archambault. The church St Henri was named after Fr. Henri-Auguste Roux and likely the neighbourhood after the church. Nope, no saints at all

        • Kate 11:04 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

          You’ve said that before, Ephraim, but it’s not fake. There was a tradition that you couldn’t name a place after a person, but you could name it after their patron saint. Classic example, Saint Helen’s Island was named after Samuel de Champlain’s child bride Hélène Boullé. She wasn’t a saint but there was a Saint Helen she was named for.

          Had this tradition continued, we wouldn’t have a Boulevard Robert‑Bourassa, for instance, but a Boulevard Saint‑Robert. And so on.

          Curious footnote, nobody knows for sure who the Catherine was for whom Ste‑Catherine Street is named.

        • MarcG 11:52 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

          If that corner’s not in St-Henri nothing is.

        • carswell 11:54 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

          Have heard — though only once, so it’s probably not true — that the street was named Ste-Catherine because it was to encircle the island or part of it. Per Catholic tradition, St. Catherine of Alexandria was to be martyred on a spiked wheel that shattered at her touch (she was beheaded instead). She’s often depicted with a wheel, and the association survives in modern English in “Catherine wheel,” a pinwheel firework.

        • Ephraim 15:30 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

          It is fake in that it’s not named after the saint. They just added the St or Ste even if it wasn’t the name of a saint at all. And it’s not just Ste-Catherine, there are others, including St-Dominique. And the only other street really named after a Saint in Old Montreal, St-Francois-Xavier is because François Dollier de Casson wasn’t allowed to name a street after himself/his patron saint, St-Francois.

        • Ian 12:46 on 2022-11-24 Permalink

          I was under the impression that Côte-St-Paul only began west of Courcelles?

      • Kate 09:44 on 2022-11-23 Permalink | Reply  

        Video showing a vehicle striking a baby stroller then speeding away has led to an investigation by police. The incident happened last week in Outremont and neither the baby nor the woman pushing the stroller were hurt.

        The Journal has the brief video clip, but you have to watch a commercial.

        I’m wondering whether the woman was visibly Hasidic, and whether there was any hate crime aspect to the act.

        Update: Le Devoir’s headline writer called the incident a collision between a vehicle and a stroller which is so wrong.

        • walkerp 10:21 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

          It really looks like it was done on purpose in the video, which seems insane even to me who is rabidly anti-car. I want to believe that it was a reflexive error, like accidently pressing on the gas instead of the brake and then the person panicked and took off. Even the latter is unexcusable but for someone to actively try and run over a baby carriage seems crazy even for Montreal driver standards (and the innate sociopathy of car driving).

        • bumper carz 12:00 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

          As a tall cyclist on a sit-up bike, I see lots of drivers “staring at their laps” at red lights.

          If one wants to stare at one’s cell while driving, just keep it on your lap. No one will ever know!

          The perfect crime.

        • Joey 12:22 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

          The leading hypothesis has got to be that this was a hate crime.

        • Mark Côté 12:42 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

          I actually saw a cop driving slowly beside the turning lane from St-Jacques to Cavendish clearly looking for drivers on their phones. I also know someone who got a ticket, with demerit points, for exactly that.

        • Ian 21:23 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

          This is my neighbourhood. Safe to say that a lady with a stroller and a big black SUV are both likely Hassidic … the underlying drama may never become public.

        • CE 22:38 on 2022-11-23 Permalink

          Where is this hypothesis coming from @Joey?

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