Updates from December, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:51 on 2022-12-03 Permalink | Reply  

    The decision of the Supreme Court in favour of Mike Ward last June meant the Quebec human rights commission had to close nearly 200 cases, establishing that charter protection against discrimination does not guarantee a right not to be offended. TVA explains it a little differently: that an insult isn’t actionable in and of itself, but its effects have to be demonstrated beyond personal offence.

    The commission chair says that three quarters of the closed cases involved racial slurs.

    • H. John 19:37 on 2022-12-03 Permalink

      I was disturbed, if not surprised, when I read Commission Chair Philippe-André Tessier’s comments in the article:

      “such comments remain totally unacceptable, even though we can no longer legally investigate many of these cases…” and “These cases, previously, could be investigated by the Commission and ultimately by the Tribunal..”

      He suggests that the Ward case ended a “recourse” that Quebecer’s used to have. That is genuinely dishonest. What the Ward case ended was the Human Rights Commission acting outside the law. The National assembly never created such a recourse. The Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms was never created to judge racial slurs, or any other speech unless the effects are discriminatory.

      As the Supreme Court wrote in the Ward case:

      “[4] It is important to begin by noting that this question draws attention to a trend by the Commission and the Tribunal, in their decisions, to interpret their home statute, the Quebec Charter, as giving them jurisdiction over cases involving allegedly “discriminatory” comments made by individuals, either in private or in public. With respect, we are of the view that this trend deviates from this Court’s jurisprudence and reflects a misinterpretation of the provisions at issue in this case…

      [5] It must be recognized at the outset that the Quebec Charter, which elevates freedom of expression to a fundamental freedom, was not enacted to encourage censorship. It follows that expression in the nature of rude remarks made by individuals does not in itself constitute discrimination under that statute. But this does not mean that the Quebec Charter can never apply to expression of this kind in very specific circumstances.”

      The Commission never had the right to accept or decide this type of case. They unilaterally ignored the legislation, and gave themselves the right to judge what was or was not acceptable speech.

    • Kate 20:42 on 2022-12-03 Permalink

      Thank you, H. John. I thought that was what was happening but you’ve made it very clear.

  • Kate 18:43 on 2022-12-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Gruesome details here: a policewoman involved in an intervention Friday evening caught her leg in an automatic garage door and was suspended upside down for some time before being taken down by firemen and brought to hospital with serious injuries.

    • Kate 14:51 on 2022-12-03 Permalink | Reply  

      Following from recent discussions here about transit: Friday I had to be downtown in the afternoon. I went by bus. The STM schedule wasn’t respected; I waited almost 45 minutes for the 80 south, in the middle of the day, and again more than half an hour for the 55 northbound, toward the end of rush hour. Of course both buses were uncomfortably crowded when they finally did show up.

      The 80 is especially important, being too far from the orange line for a hop and a skip over there if you’re in a hurry. The STM really needs to make sure that route isn’t neglected. But I have a fondness for the 55 too, since it’s the one that drops me closest to home.

      • Thomas 15:42 on 2022-12-03 Permalink

        Perhaps Ensemble Montréal is on to something after all with that story they had planted everywhere last week about our worsening bus service 😉 The good news is that Gérald Tremblay has promised to build a tramway to run on Park Avenue and Côte-des-Neiges so the problem is basically already solved…

      • Meezly 12:51 on 2022-12-04 Permalink

        That happened to me too in early September. I leave near Parc Ave, and had to be downtown and wasn’t quite dressed for biking, so waited for the southbound 80 for at least 30 minutes. The bus app screwed me, making me think that a bus was going to show. I gave up and walked a bit to find a BIXI. I was late, but the BIXI got me there.
        If I need to take a bus this winter, I’ll have to plan for contingencies!

    • Kate 11:34 on 2022-12-03 Permalink | Reply  

      Arcade Fire play the Bell Centre Saturday, their first performance in town since allegations of sexual misconduct were made against Win Butler. CBC asked last week why fans couldn’t get refunds for tickets bought before the allegations were publicized.

      There was a time when the idea of ostracizing the frontman of a popular band for trying to get with women would’ve raised questions whether we were headed straight back into a Puritan Victorian time. I’m not making any judgment here either way, but rock music, a style spawned in a more liberal time, sits uneasily with today’s mores in some ways.

      • DeWolf 13:22 on 2022-12-03 Permalink

        The allegations were for stalking, harassment and straight up sexual assault, which goes a bit beyond bad-boy rock and roll star behaviour.

      • EG 13:31 on 2022-12-03 Permalink

        I was disgusted when a friend of mine happily posted some photos of an Arcade Fire concert he’s just gone to.
        I’m very into music, but I just couldn’t continue to support a band where someone has done things so reprehensible. I’m not just trying to moralize here.

      • Kate 15:07 on 2022-12-03 Permalink

        I tend to suspect that the bad-boy behaviour of the past was no prettier, it just wasn’t seen the same way.

      • Meezly 12:38 on 2022-12-04 Permalink

        Man, whatever happened to the heady days of rock n’ roll, when nubile groupies would willingly offer themselves to rock stars?

        I mean, isn’t it supposed to be considered progress that men of power and influence can’t get away with bad boy behaviour like they did in the recent past?

        Maybe young women today have a little more self-respect and self-awareness? This is merely an opinion, but I think a female Arcade Fire fan might be a little more educated than say, a fan of Drake, and knows where issues of consent and boundaries lie.

        These women/persons weren’t exactly throwing themselves at Win. It seemed like Win had to utilize whatever status, privilege and means he had to bully and harass them so that they can get with him. Pretty pathetic.

      • EG 14:27 on 2022-12-04 Permalink

        Agreed, Meezly.

        I’m glad that things are shifting towards abusers being held more accountable, though there’s still a long way to go.

      • JP 16:19 on 2022-12-04 Permalink

        @ Meezly Re “This is merely an opinion, but I think a female Arcade Fire fan might be a little more educated than say, a fan of Drake, and knows where issues of consent and boundaries lie.”

        THAT is a very presumptuous opinion and I’m interested in why you think that. You’re making ALOT of assumptions there. I usually find your thoughts here reasonable but I find that opinion a little offensive and I’m not a fan of Drake. But I do wonder what biases of yours are at play here.

      • Meezly 19:17 on 2022-12-04 Permalink

        Well, no one is ever perfectly free of any biases, least of all me. Unlike Arcade Fire, Drake is actually known for his misogyny and contempt for women. So yes, I’m making an assumption that if someone is a fan of Drake, they’ve likely bought into his worldview that it’s ok for men to be like that. Sorry if I’ve disappointed you.

      • dwgs 07:56 on 2022-12-05 Permalink

        In light of recent events couldn’t one say that Arcade Fire, as represented by Win Butler, have become know for misogyny and contempt for women?

      • Kate 10:12 on 2022-12-05 Permalink

        Not via their lyrics or history as a band, dwgs. Because personal allegations suggest Win Butler is an adulterous creep I don’t think it means Arcade Fire stands for the sort of attitude Drake does (google “drake on women” if you want a run‑down of his history in this area).

    • Kate 10:55 on 2022-12-03 Permalink | Reply  

      La Presse is following a theme lately about housing, social and otherwise. André Dubuc has a piece Saturday saying that while the city says it wants more housing, it has blocked many housing projects. Examples are given, although not the specific reason the city had problems with each one. Dubuc ends with a flourish, interviewing Benoit Dorais, reminding us that it’s the city, not developers, that’s responsible for overseeing its evolution.

      Le Devoir consoles us with the knowledge that it’s still more difficult to find an affordable apartment in Toronto than in Montreal.

      • DeWolf 15:47 on 2022-12-03 Permalink

        Dorais has a point that there is still a ton of housing getting built in Montreal. We’re far from the situation of some big American cities where there’s very little new construction except for the occasional small-scale luxury project.

        But there are certainly some egregious examples here. The worst one is definitely Pointe-Claire, which would rather have a huge parking lot than housing next to a rapid transit station. It also boggles my mind as to why the Plateau would rather have a vacant lot on Park Avenue than student housing. Some misguided attempt to keep the McGill Ghetto from being even more studenty?

        Don’t forget there are also cases where the city has worked hand-in-hand with developers to come up with projects that would add a lot more housing, only to have them quashed by neighbourhood opposition. The project next to the canal and on Eleanor come to mind.

    • Kate 10:49 on 2022-12-03 Permalink | Reply  

      An 80-year-old woman pedestrian was killed in traffic on Angrignon Boulevard on Friday night.

      Saturday morning, a young man was critically injured in the Viger tunnel. CTV says a driver pulled over to check an issue with the car, and his passenger also got out and was hit. TVA says it was the driver that was hit, not the passenger. The driver of the other car was charged with impaired driving.

      • Kevin 13:26 on 2022-12-03 Permalink

        People need to rehearse staying in their cars when they break down on the highway.

        The only time I get nervous riding my motorcycle is when I am at the tail end of a line of vehicles that is stopped on the highway, and I’ve altered my commutes to avoid places where that happens frequently.

      • steph 18:16 on 2022-12-03 Permalink

        @Kevin, I’m nervous in those situations sitting in my car.

        If you’re at the tail of a stopped line on the highway – please turn on your 4 way flashers. Most people seem to know what this means.

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