Updates from February, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 15:37 on 2023-02-08 Permalink | Reply  

    Mayor Plante and her new police chief, Fady Dagher, have been called to testify in a class action suit over racial profiling by SPVM police. The head of the police brotherhood, recent police chief Sylvain Caron and other honchos are also expected to be grilled over why, after 40 years of complaints and promises, profiling continues.

    • jeather 15:59 on 2023-02-08 Permalink

      At least we know it can’t be due to systemic racism, which doesn’t exist here in Quebec.

    • carswell 17:56 on 2023-02-08 Permalink

      The denial of systemic racism and the refusal to even discuss it are perfect examples of systemic racism.

    • steph 23:05 on 2023-02-08 Permalink

      what are you two talking about? is this some woke make-em-up word.

    • Chris 10:24 on 2023-02-09 Permalink

      steph are you new here? The woke is strong with many regular commentators here. It is what it is.

    • Mark Côté 10:57 on 2023-02-09 Permalink

      ChatGPT: Write me a story about several people talking past each other.

    • Chris 11:13 on 2023-02-09 Permalink

      Mark, indeed! Wokeism is like a religion, and trying to convince anyone that either a) you should switch to my religion or 2) your religion is wrong; takes more time and space than is appropriate for the little comment boxes here. 🙂

    • Kevin 11:15 on 2023-02-09 Permalink

      It’s sad that some people think the idea of treating others with respect is a disease.

    • Chris 11:17 on 2023-02-09 Permalink

      Kevin, that would be sad. Happily, no one here has said that.

    • Mark Côté 11:23 on 2023-02-09 Permalink

      Haha don’t interpret my comment as an attack on whatever “wokeism” is (the history of the right co-opting terms from the left is fascinating if also infuriating). My point was that there seems to be a lot of sarcasm and facetiousness that is getting missed in the first few comments.

    • Kate 11:39 on 2023-02-09 Permalink

      Chris, you were the one reprimanding me a few days ago:

      BTW it’s “Türkiye” now, not “Turkey”.

      How woke is that?

    • Meezly 18:17 on 2023-02-09 Permalink

      He’ll likely miss the irony in that as well.

    • MarcG 10:52 on 2023-02-10 Permalink

      And I assumed he was taking the piss with that comment. Sarcasm has a real hard time on the internet!

    • Meezly 11:24 on 2023-02-11 Permalink

      It’s hard to tell, but there’s certainly been a pattern of high-handed digs at purported wokeism that’s rather tiresome.

  • Kate 11:40 on 2023-02-08 Permalink | Reply  

    A Laval city bus crashed into a daycare Wednesday morning, with at least five injured. Two Quebec ministers and the MNA from the area are rushing to the scene. Radio‑Canada says the driver has been arrested and witnesses allege it was a deliberate act.

    Update: CBC radio news says two children have died.

    The identity of the driver has been revealed. TVA talked to a witness of the crash. La Presse reports that bus services in Laval may be in disarray for a few days, expecting that drivers may need mental health breaks.

    Some thoughts from Isabelle Hachey and more detail on the incident: three parents dropping off their kids had to subdue the driver with the help of a man living near the daycare.

    Another update: The driver faces nine charges including two of murder in the first degree. Nothing said yet about a psych assessment but it’s bound to be ordered, based on the known facts so far.

    Photos from the scene. As recounted in the Guardian.

    • Blork 12:19 on 2023-02-08 Permalink

      That sounds awful. What would make a bus driver want to crash into a daycare? My first thought was that maybe it was a daycare catering to immigrants or some marginal group, because sometimes that’s enough to make some idiots do stupid things like this, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. What madness!

      And what’s with ministers rushing to the scene? What can they do besides get in the way? (If this was some kind of racist or political act then I can understand there would be a need to be on-site to denounce it for political reasons. Otherwise it just seems like hay-making to me.)

    • shawn 12:40 on 2023-02-08 Permalink

      Two children confirmed dead now.

    • Kate 12:41 on 2023-02-08 Permalink

      So far the intent is only an allegation, but the driver was immediately arrested, which suggests they had some basis for doing so. When I’d initially seen only that, I assumed possible intoxication, but this is far worse.

    • shawn 12:45 on 2023-02-08 Permalink

      Someone on Twitter stated they were familiar with the area and thought it was impossible to drive into the place accidentally… fwiw.

    • shawn 12:57 on 2023-02-08 Permalink

      Oh there we go. Gazette reports: “He said after the crash, the bus driver, screaming, opened the bus door and started taking all off his clothes.” Very sad.

    • Blork 13:04 on 2023-02-08 Permalink

      Sounds like a mental breakdown. How sad and terrible, especially now that there are fatalities.

  • Kate 11:29 on 2023-02-08 Permalink | Reply  

    A lot of people are taking the bus without paying, according to some STM drivers, who can’t enforce payment but are aware of funding shortfalls for public transit.

    In an ideal world public transit would be free, but users can’t make that decision unilaterally if there isn’t enough funding to keep the system running.

    • CE 12:24 on 2023-02-08 Permalink

      I was waiting for a friend at Mont-Royal station a few weeks ago and stood near the turnstiles for about 15 minutes. I was surprised to see how many people pulled the turnstile back and slipped through without paying. I probably saw it about 10 times.

      When boarding a bus, if you want to pay cash (which would be the most profitable form of payment for the STM), you often can’t because the machine is broken so often. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people with cards with fares on them pretend to have been planning to pay cash upon seeing the broken machine to get a free ride.

    • Kate 12:39 on 2023-02-08 Permalink

      It was also reported less than a month ago that a lot of the fare machines are not working, something I’ve noticed even though I take the bus a couple of times a week at most now.

      If I have tickets on my Opus and intend to use it, but the reader’s down, am I ethically obliged to pay cash – even supposing I’ve got $3.50 in my pocket, which isn’t a given?

    • TC 16:05 on 2023-02-08 Permalink

      I wonder how much it costs to purchase and service the equipment on the buses, plus the staff to remove the money, count it, and so on. Free buses might not cost as much once that is figured in.

    • carswell 18:06 on 2023-02-08 Permalink

      At the end of last year, Washington DC announced it will soon be moving to free public transit. Kansas City (MO) is already there and Albuquerque has extended its free-transit experiment. A number of smaller US cities like Olympia (WA) also don’t charge. Odd to see the US leaving “progressive” us in the dust.

      I wonder what free transit here would mean for the revival of downtown.

    • JaneyB 13:05 on 2023-02-09 Permalink

      I hate to be the grinch but many homeless folks will be sleeping on those free metro cars and buses. Why wouldn’t they? At some point there will be too many and other riders will have had enough of mental health outburts, sexual issues, people sleeping etc and they will quietly buy cars /carpool etc. Pretending this won’t be an issue is not living in reality.

    • dhomas 06:35 on 2023-02-10 Permalink

      The homeless can jump the turnstiles like anybody else if they want to sleep in the metro (as CE mentioned above). They can do this today already. More than likely, they are removed by transit cops (and hopefully given the help they need at a shelter). Why would this change if the metro were free?

    • Nicholas 11:21 on 2023-02-10 Permalink

      Fare collection expenses tend to cost between 3 and 10 percent of fare revenues, with cash being the most expensive. Handling, counting and sorting, security and transport makes cash more expensive in most industries, and it also increases boarding time, which costs money. There’s also the concern of employee theft and higher salaries for people who handle cash, which is why booth attendants no longer do. Harkens back to the 70s(?) when toll booth attendants on the Champlain went on strike and toll revenues went up because the booth attendants were no longer skimming cash, but people paid for fear they’d be caught not paying by cops or cameras.

    • Anton 16:49 on 2023-02-10 Permalink

      Fare collection is 10%, but fare recovery ratio is closer to 50%. So free transit would be fairly expensive. Alternative suggestion: make monthly passes very affordable so that everybody gets those.

    • Anton 16:50 on 2023-02-10 Permalink

      (Oh, first time commenting worked for me, it’s been a while…)

    • Nicholas 19:34 on 2023-02-10 Permalink

      Agree, Anton, with the larger point that free transit would cost a lot of money that could be spent on other things, such as restoring 10 minutes max. It’s the very small systems where the cost of collection could make it not worth it to charge fares. I actually learned of the St Jerome to Mont Tremblant bus recently, a good deal with a ton of included taxi collectifs to get to villages and lakes; I bet it’s barely worth collecting fares there. Too bad it’s only sometimes timed to connect with the Exo rail line.

    • Kate 20:22 on 2023-02-10 Permalink

      Welcome back, Anton! Glad it’s now working.

  • Kate 10:53 on 2023-02-08 Permalink | Reply  

    A bar in Montreal North was firebombed early Wednesday, upstairs tenants being given a rough awakening as they were evacuated.

    • Kate 09:19 on 2023-02-08 Permalink | Reply  

      Not surprisingly, after all the talk, traffic is down 30% in the Lafontaine tunnel, “loin de l’apocalypse tant redoutée” as it says here.

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