Updates from February, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:52 on 2023-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

    A record demand for electrical power in Quebec was reached Friday around 5:30 pm. Hydro’s sending out emails telling us to turn down the heat and “postpone using major appliances like the stove, washer and dryer.”

    I can put off doing laundry, but dammit, I want a hot dinner.

    • shawn 21:49 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      I was just on the Environment Canada where you can toggle back and forth between metric and Imperial units: we’re at – 40 windchill which is the same in either.

    • Tux 22:59 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      I went on a 40 minute walk earlier tonight. I wore snow pants for the first time in many years. I stayed pretty toasty! If you have to go out in this, consider snow pants!

    • shawn 06:33 on 2023-02-04 Permalink

      at 5 am it reaches – 29.3, which is a record low for Feb. 4.

      previous low: -28.9°C in 1963

    • shawn 15:39 on 2023-02-04 Permalink

      Really irks me that after getting slightly colder than forecast night, we’re about 3 degrees colder than forecast now, as it all-too-slowly warms…

    • shawn 17:05 on 2023-02-04 Permalink

      Even though it still feels -30 with the windchill, Environment Canada has just ended its extreme cold warning for the Montreal area.

  • Kate 18:20 on 2023-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Since the Amira Elghawaby story isn’t directly a city drama, I haven’t posted about it, but I like this piece by Judith Lussier: Les Québécois ne sont pas racistes, mais la classe politique semble déployer davantage d’énergie à dire que les Québécois ne sont pas racistes qu’à véritablement lutter contre le racisme.

    • Chris 22:03 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      As always in these discussions, beware the conflation of the ideology (ex: Islam) and the practitioners of it (ex: Muslims).

      “Le sondage Léger produit en mai 2019 démontre tout de même un double standard à l’égard des religions, les sondés étant 60% à avoir une opinion positive du catholicisme – religion pourtant éclaboussée par de nombreux scandales de pédophilie, notamment, rappelons-le – contre 28% pour l’islam.”

      It’s not a double standard to have different approval ratings for different ideologies! You’d likewise see different approval ratings of capitalism vs communism. Plainly, different things are different, and are evaluated on their merits. No one expects us to view different economic systems “equally”. No one would make the charge of ‘double standard’ if not. Likewise religions.

      Paedophilia is not sanctioned by Catholicism (the ideology), in fact the opposite. Certainly numerous priests didn’t get the memo! That’s a strike against some Catholics (people), not the ideology.

      She what she did there?

      Every ideology has some good ideas and some bad ideas. But let’s be honest, read the holy texts of Christianity and Islam, and evaluate those ideologies overall. Islam is plainly worse, on balance. We should expect a lesser positive opinion of it.

    • shawn 08:17 on 2023-02-04 Permalink

    • JaneyB 09:00 on 2023-02-04 Permalink

      @Shawn – Hébert is also one of my faves. That’s quite a scathing rebuke of JT’s appointment and will probably get a lot of play in the federal Liberal caucus. I don’t think QC will go PC but climate-friendly Yves-François Blanchet and the Bloc could profit greatly from JT’s tone-deafness.

    • Kevin 09:53 on 2023-02-04 Permalink

      Methinks Quebec’s politicians and commentariat doth protest too much, especially in the wake of the anniversary of the mass slaughter of Muslims.

    • qatzelok 12:51 on 2023-02-04 Permalink

      Kevin, when you write ‘mass slaughter of Muslims,’ which one of the West’s oil wars are you referring to? Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan…? Millions and millions… funded and promoted by us.

    • Kevin 13:21 on 2023-02-04 Permalink

      People use whataboutism to distract when they don’t have an argument.

    • Meezly 17:04 on 2023-02-04 Permalink

      Chantal’s opinion piece was dead-on in terms of politics. JT may be out of touch with Quebec and Eighawaby may be ignorant of French Canadian history, but she still misses the larger issue. If JT got it right in first place, he would’ve appointed someone who’s got a diplomatic handle on Quebec’s fragile nationalism fueled by the likes of MBC while trying to dismantle Islamophobia.

      But really, no matter whom he appointed, it would’ve been either an impossible task if they actually took their job seriously, or a symbolic position. But now, thanks to the outrage and outcries from QC’s political class, it’s now hard to see Elghawaby as an asset in the anti-Islamophobia campaign.

      To quote Lussier: “S’il faut régler la question du racisme, ça ne se fera pas nécessairement en cajolant l’égo des Québécois. Ça se peut que ça écorche. Et il est fort probable que l’on ne s’entende pas sur les faits. Au Québec, plusieurs personnes refusent de reconnaître l’existence d’un racisme systémique, bien que ses diverses manifestations (profilage racial, discrimination à l’embauche et au logement, écart de richesses, surreprésentation carcérale) soient largement documentées. Va-t-on demander la démission d’Amira Elghawaby si elle reconnaît l’existence du racisme systémique dans le cadre de son mandat de lutte contre l’islamophobie alors que ça ne fait pas l’affaire des Québécois? Elle devra avoir cette latitude sans que l’on demande sa tête chaque fois.”

      So let’s not detract from Judith Lussier’s excellent article, as she’s someone who can see the bigger issues at stake.

    • Chris 14:44 on 2023-02-05 Permalink

      Hébert made similar points on CBC At Issue. I think Althia Raj made a good point too: we don’t need such a position anyway.

  • Kate 18:09 on 2023-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Eater Montreal, which has been a good source of information on local restaurants, openings and closures, is going away.

    • carswell 01:10 on 2023-02-04 Permalink

      Huh. Just before dropping by MCW, I visited Eater Montreal for the first time in a couple of weeks and found myself thinking it had completely run out of steam — partly the fault of the pandemic but also of the approach.

      The irony is that Eater played a major role in hollowing out once-worthwhile sites like Chowhound’s Montreal/Quebec board, which provided crowd-sourced and interactive though more random updates on the local dining scene, and which no longer exists, even as an archive.

      For restaurant reviews, Cult is an amateurish non-starter IMO. Their current reviewer is painful to read.

      Now that, aside from sites like Tastet (useful for tracking developments and getting contact info but far too promo-ish and careful not to offend establishment owners), the field is empty, maybe someone or some site will see an opportunity and step in.

    • GC 10:13 on 2023-02-04 Permalink

      I miss Chowhound.

    • Kate 12:11 on 2023-02-04 Permalink

      carswell, how do resto review sites manage? They must have to have a sizable budget to not only pay writers, but foot the bill for meals, or else slyly expect to get comped but then everyone would be able to tell they were doing paid ads, not criticisms.

    • carswell 12:35 on 2023-02-04 Permalink

      Newspapers give their reviewers a set fee based on the restaurant to be reviewed (much higher for a place like Toqué! than for Ma Poule Mouillée, say). IIRC the Gazoo gave a reviewer friend $200 for a fancy Old Montreal resto maybe five years ago (alternate weeklies were stingier), so I and the other “guest” had to chip in a few bucks to help cover the final bill. The business model for some (most?) bloggers and social media “influencers” is basically comped meals.

      @GC I miss Chowhound too and wonder what’s happened to some of the true hounds (cheers, Snackhappy!).

    • carswell 12:47 on 2023-02-04 Permalink

      Should have specified that the fee is intended to cover the cost of the meal, not the review, the latter usually usually being a flat fee unless the reviewer’s on staff. The reviewers I know paid for the meal upfront and submitted the receipt for reimbursement.

  • Kate 15:32 on 2023-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Things to do on the weekend from CultMTL, Sarah’s weekend list, CityCrunch. Also a list of things to do indoors.

    But the cold has closed ski hills and even postponed the opening of the Quebec carnival.

    • Blork 16:22 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      Could be worse. Apparently there were 135MPH winds on Mount Washington (NH) earlier today, along with temperatures of about -42C, resulting in a wind chill effect of approximately -80C.

      Personally, I’m taking advantage of this cold to defrost my freezer, as it’s colder outside right now than it ever was inside the freezer. No worries of spoilage! #onethrillafteranother

    • shawn 16:27 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      The Sunday forecast is +2 with possibly rain. It’s just now and overnight.

    • Blork 17:37 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      Man, what a yo-yo. Rain on top of all that snow is not good. Bad for roofs, bad for sidewalks, bad for walking paths in parks, etc. 🙁

    • Kate 21:16 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      Blork, a friend sent this link to the top of Mount Washington today.

    • Kate 20:31 on 2023-02-05 Permalink

      Contrary to what was forecast, it never got above –9° Sunday.

  • Kate 14:50 on 2023-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Bloomberg has quite a detailed piece on the surplus of office space in downtown Montreal, reminding us that the Banque Nationale started work in 2018 on a massive office tower set to open this year and offer even more square footage that’s no longer needed.

    • shawn 15:48 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      It’s great that the article ends with an example of how the new Google office “with these types of amenities will fare better at attracting people reluctant to leave the comforts of home,” when those comforts are the sort of thing Google and the tech sector have reportedly been cutting back on?

    • Kevin 16:55 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      Office vacancies for a lot of cities in Canada are quite high. The latest official ranking for Toronto has it at 13.6%, but that’s before Shopify backed out of a deal to be the anchor tenant for one of the newest buildings.

      I find it somewhat toxic that companies want to have nap rooms and yoga studios in their offices. The company isn’t your home, co-workers are not friends, and if you’re in the office you’re certainly not doing your part to make sure more francophones are being produced.

  • Kate 13:20 on 2023-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

    October 2020, a man driving at 80 in a residential area (there’s a 30 km speed sign in the photo) drove up onto the sidewalk and killed an 82‑year‑old woman. Tigana Mbidi Kiala was acquitted this week, the judge saying there was no proof Kiala had any intention to act dangerously.

    • Nicholas 13:38 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      So typical of North America. You are per se acting dangerously when speeding. 80 in a 30, that is clearly reckless, much more than just negligent. The driver should be banned from driving for life, and get involuntary manslaughter, but instead he gets off. Remember, if you want to commit murder and get away with it, do it with your car.

    • Blork 13:49 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      How is this even possible? Surely driving while so fatigued you fall asleep at the wheel — in the city no less! — can be considered driving under an impairment, or some other kind of negligence. I think that’s the case in some jurisdictions. Obviously not here. Sheesh!

    • Tim 14:00 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      Choosing to drive well over the speed limit is implicitly dangerous and drivers must be held accountable for their choices. I feel sorry for the family of the deceased. The laws need to change.

      I am shaking my head in disbelief, much as a did a week ago when a Supreme Court decision on mandatory minimums compared firing a real live gun on a house to youths firing a pellet gun on a house because both are apparently considered “firearms”. https://www.scc-csc.ca/case-dossier/cb/2023/39338-eng.aspx

    • Tim S. 14:45 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      Well, I guess the good news is even the Journal is outraged.

    • Blork 15:13 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      @Tim, the case seems to turn on the assertion that he did not CHOOSE to drive 80. His defence was that he was tired after a 12-hour shift and basically fell asleep at the wheel. That doesn’t make it right or OK, but it changes the nature of the charge I guess. But still, as I said in my comment above, choosing to drive while SO FATIGUED should be seen as an irresponsible and potentially reckless act.

    • Tim 14:21 on 2023-02-04 Permalink

      You’re right Blork. Guilty of not fully reading the article before posting.

  • Kate 13:10 on 2023-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Two weeks ago an appeal went out for heathcare workers to volunteer to help out the strained emergency ward at Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital. Only six people – five nurses and an aide – have turned up.

    • MtlWeb 15:50 on 2023-02-04 Permalink

      Surprised that they actually got those 6. Health care (bed management-staffing) is now strained past point of being able to recover even in June when new grads of HC programs are eligible to be hired. The 15k bonus incentive has finished and many of those who took it have left and/or are planning to leave, especially when summer vacation list is posted and their request for July-Aug weeks are denied; asking to use their stats holidays (which they earned by working on the holiday itself) for extending their weekend-off will also be denied – not because of malice but always due to staffing, a vicious cycle. They will leave our public hospitals for clinics/private clinics/ORs or even the private business sector. Quite sad to watch this unfold every day.

  • Kate 11:57 on 2023-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada spoke to Charles Deschamps, who admits creating the Nouveau Duluth restaurant reviews as a prank with some friends.

    • Blork 13:28 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      The grown-up in me shakes my head and frowns at this prank. The teenager in me is having fits of giggles. (The teenager wins.)

      I used to love TripAdvisor, like a decade ago or so. But as Ephraim mentioned recently, it’s gone to shit and is now just an invasive tracking bomb. Also: unreliable. Another example of so-called “user-generated content” sites being totally corrupted and spiralling down into hellholes of shit and nefaria.

  • Kate 11:27 on 2023-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gazette has a history piece Friday about two sibling mayors from Montreal – one, Jean‑Louis Beaudry, a city mayor largely forgotten now (the street and metro station are named after a different, unrelated man), and the other, Prudent Beaudry, who emigrated to the U.S., became mayor of Los Angeles, and is still remembered there with honour.

    • DeWolf 11:58 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      From Wikipedia: “He was the second French Canadian and third French American mayor of Los Angeles.”

      Fascinating bit of history. Thanks Kate!

    • Kate 21:09 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      The first French Canadian mayor of Los Angeles was Damien Marchesseault, from St‑Antoine‑sur‑Richelieu.

  • Kate 11:16 on 2023-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

    A five-alarm fire broke out Friday morning in a strip mall in Longue‑Pointe, 100 firefighters called out. People living upstairs have been forced to leave on a very cold day.

    No indication yet of the cause.

    • dhomas 16:02 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      Looks like no more budget sushi for me. I would order sushi from the restaurant, Ronde 1, in that strip mall from time to time. It was pretty decent and not too expensive. There’s a better place nearby called Ronda, but it’s much pricier.

      It looks like the pawn shop might have survived. My son is into retro gaming and I promised him a game from that shop a couple of weeks ago.

      Everything else looks like toast. Poor folks who had to leave on a day like today. I went outside for a few minutes and I thought I was going to get frostbite!

    • Kate 19:31 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      Sorry to hear it, dhomas.

      This is the second strip mall that’s had a serious fire since the new year, although there’s no indication yet that this one was set.

  • Kate 11:13 on 2023-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

    DDO bans tempos, but a disabled woman says she needs one to be able to use her car in winter, and she’s going to the Human Rights Commission to try to have her fines cancelled. But the story is somewhat undercut by the details about how her garage is so full of junk that she can’t use it.

    Also, the second person mentioned in the item, the one with a tempo in the back yard, uses it to protect a spa. I can’t see how the fact that he’s legally blind bears on the issue at all.

    • GC 12:00 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      I thought it was interesting that the mayor defended the ban on the grounds of “because tempos can interfere with snow clearing and can impede access to a person’s front door in case of an emergency. ” BUT…then the article goes on to talk about the one banned in a man’s backyard. Those reasons don’t really apply to one in a backyard, so that undercuts what the mayor was saying.

    • Kate 12:08 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      Tempos can be picked up and thrown around when there’s a high wind, but that’s an edge case. I’d have more respect for the mayor if they admitted the ban was based 99% on aesthetics.

    • bumper carz 12:25 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      If aesthetics are the main concern, we’re talking about DDO which is full of ugly car infrastructure.

    • shawn 12:48 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      As the scion of a pioneering DDO family (seriously: my late father was pictured in a Montreal Star break-page feature on people moving to the place in like ’62?) this would have saved me a lot of shovelling.

    • Blork 13:53 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      I don’t really get the ban on tempos. Everything looks like shit in the winter anyway, so who cares? (I don’t use one, but my some of my neighbours do, and I do not care.)

    • shawn 14:22 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      Just part of DDO culture, I guess. Remember this is a town that restricts sidewalks too, for aesthetic reasons.

    • jeather 16:20 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      I think the tempo ban is absurd but also: she HAS a garage, she just prefers to use it for two other vehicles. And the “but then I’d have a lot of snow to shovel away” is — look, I’m sorry, that’s not a winning argument.

      The spa-tempo is conceptually neat.

      I want to know who does the clearing of the tempos for these people.

    • Blork 16:28 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      I think the issue is her handicap makes it difficult to shovel snow or even to walk on icy surfaces.

      I dunno, if DDO was some paragon of architectural design or some majestic enclave of finely preserved mid-century modern houses or whatever then I could see the aesthetic argument. But DDO?

      And FFS, let the guy have his tempo in the back. It’s such an overreach to ban that, especially if you ban is based on access to the front door or whatever. Jeez!

    • shawn 16:44 on 2023-02-03 Permalink

      Yes DDO is pretty banal, design-wise. But they also prohibit infill construction, as I recall. They got their rules.

  • Kate 11:09 on 2023-02-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Although a church has stood on the site of the Notre‑Dame‑de‑Bon‑Secours chapel for a long time (in North American terms), it’s clear from this account that the present church is an accretion of incremental changes over time. Now someone’s making a 3D recording of the church as it is now, plus features that can no longer be seen, but are extant behind the 19th‑century finish that’s still in place.

    Adding a later piece on the church from Metro.

    In other ecclesiastical news, a very old church bell (in North American terms) will be returned to Montreal and treated as a valuable heritage object.

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