Updates from February, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:38 on 2023-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

    The woman who’s the only suspect in the Park Ex stabbing on Sunday has been sent to the Pinel Institute for 30 days to assess her mental state. The woman’s mother was also found dead, although she has not yet been formally accused of homicide.

    Later on Monday, the woman’s death was definitely ruled a homicide, latest information that she was killed a few hours before police were called to the other attack.

    • Kate 21:16 on 2023-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

      Mayor Plante addressed the state of the Village on Monday, saying the Émilie‑Gamelin area is under pressure, and once again saying Quebec and Ottawa need to help. Ottawa in particular is blamed for putting asylum seekers up at Place Dupuis hotel.

      • shawn 21:52 on 2023-02-20 Permalink

        But the problem is claimed to homelessness, criminal behaviour – so I don’t understand how asylum seekers at Place Dupuis hotel factor into that?

      • shawn 21:57 on 2023-02-20 Permalink

        I mean I can see how they’d have less money to spend in the area than the former residents of the hotel…

      • Kate 22:58 on 2023-02-20 Permalink

        Maybe it’s just numbers. There are only so many hotel rooms, and a growing number of people who need them. Once people are pushed into true indigence, desperation can ensue.

      • Ephraim 09:54 on 2023-02-21 Permalink

        Emilie Gamelin was like that LONG before the hotel problem. You couldn’t walk by Place Dupuis without being accosted for money any time in the last 10 years. The drug dealers used to sell their drugs on the side streets where they buildings could be used as cover. And St-Andre was used for streetwalkers. The problem with streetwalkers all over the east end… that’s the cops. They thought it was such a good idea to get injunctions against them to keep them away from St-Lawrence at St-Catherine… law of unintended consequences… they moved east and kept on spreading and moving from street to street to avoid the injunctions.

      • shawn 10:09 on 2023-02-21 Permalink

        Oh yes I was there about 12 years ago or more and it was the only time I’ve seen a bike stolen right in front of my eyes. Guy smiled brazenly at me when I locked my bike up right in front facing Ste-Catherine, then moments later tore a more poorly locked bike off the rack and took off on it. The place is a creepy, scary, you name it.

        People who lived in my place before me bought a lovely greystone condo nearby on St-André about 12 years ago, too, quickly regretted it because of the area. And he’s a criminologist!

        But local merchants say something has changed, worsened, and one has to believe them…

      • DeWolf 12:18 on 2023-02-21 Permalink

        As everyone else has mentioned, Berri-UQAM has always been sketchy, and personally I don’t get the impression that the level of petty criminality or drug use is any worse now than it was before the pandemic. The big difference is that the pandemic was really rough on the area’s businesses, so it’s generally quieter and emptier than it was before 2020. The balance has shifted. Without a buzzing nightlife and as many people shopping, it’s easy to have the perception of being less safe than before.

        There’s also a radical anti-homeless narrative being built online and in the media that seems to feed on news coming out of other cities (like how San Francisco, Vancouver and Portland are supposedly post-apocalyptic wastelands now). I’ve seen comments online from people who claim to avoid the areas around Berri-UQAM and Atwater because they fear for their lives, which seems like a ridiculous overstatement, given that they’re still very busy neighbourhoods. But perception is often untethered from reality, especially when you spend a lot of time on the internet.

      • shawn 12:35 on 2023-02-21 Permalink

        Right, I think that’s it.

      • qatzelok 13:08 on 2023-02-21 Permalink

        I think a lot of people realize that the existence of homeless people in a rich country like ours… is a sign of our failure as a society. Look at Cuba – with one twentieth of the resource-consumption per capita – it manages to give everyone a home.

      • Kate 16:22 on 2023-02-21 Permalink

        The odd thing about the area is that you’ve got a university, you’ve got a successful and popular library, you’ve got the Quartier Latin with its bars and restaurants and shops, all atop a major metro hub, but then you also have Place É‑G and some of Ste‑Catherine’s bleaker blocks, cheek by jowl.

        The dead bus station is also a major detraction, I’d have to say.

      • PO 20:28 on 2023-02-21 Permalink

        I’d bet money it’s the gare d’autocars. Go to any major city, anywhere, and where there’s an intercity bus terminal, you have homelessness, shadiness, drug addicts, drug peddlers, sex workers, etc. I don’t know why, but it’s always like that. Steady flow of out-of-towners that are likelier to part ways with spare change, access to bathroom facilities, near-to 24 hour public access, and at least in my experience, “I need just 3 more dollars to afford the ticket to Drummondville to see my mother in the hospital” ends up feeling possibly truer if they’re near a bus station.

        Not saying it would clear up all of the problems in that area… but remove the bus station, and I bet the neighborhood changes in a significant way.

    • Kate 20:58 on 2023-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

      The city will be holding a summit on construction sites next month, but CTV summons up Alan DeSousa to kvetch that it’s too late. Too late for what? The city will always be at grips with road repairs and construction sites. It’s never too late to act to get a handle on them. What does DeSousa want? For the city administration to shrug and give up because it’s “too late”?

      The item quotes longtime traffic analyst Rick Leckner: “The real trouble is the independence of the boroughs who do what they want when they want.”

      In recent days, two participants have made similar observations.

      dhomas: “I live on the border of 2 boroughs. There is a barrier blocking my street from one borough to the next. The snow removal people from one borough just push the snow all the way up to the barrier, therefore blocking the sewer drain.”

      mare on an underpass bike path: “…the lowest point, where the potholes spring up, is exactly on the border between two boroughs. So the patches are of bad quality and fail very soon after being fixed. […] Years ago I saw a sidewalk snowplough stop halfway the underpass and turn around, leaving a pile of snow in the middle of the sidewalk. “Not my snow.”

      Arguably, the borough system is a kludge that should never have happened, although what are the odds of fixing it now? But the city should exert its power to dominate over the kind of nonsense described here.

      • shawn 09:32 on 2023-02-21 Permalink

        I have a tendency to blame the authorities for the state of our roads but today’s article points out that it’s also a question of freeze/thaw cycles and how many we have https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/freeze-thaw-montreal-infrastructure-1.6754337

      • DeWolf 12:07 on 2023-02-21 Permalink

        We’ve had this discussion about boroughs here before and I think it’s easy to blame them for whatever without recognizing the benefits of having more local representation.

        After its municipal mergers, Toronto went down the opposite path of Montreal: big, centralized municipal government with a relatively small city council. And if you talk to people living in the urban parts of Toronto, they’ll tell you the city has been in steady decline for years in terms of municipal services and the ability to make any sort of positive change for its residents. Parks are falling apart, roads are falling apart, municipal services are underfunded, and it takes a massive multi-year fight to get things like the Bloor bike path or King Street transit corridor implemented because city council and the municipal administration is dominated by suburbanites who want to keep property taxes low at all costs.

        We like to complain a lot here but I think that, on the whole, Montreal is doing a lot better than it was 20 years ago. The parks are nicer, there are more (and better) libraries, there have been public space improvements like all the curb extensions or transformation of Laurier Street around the metro. And a lot of those changes have been led by the boroughs.

      • Orr 14:06 on 2023-02-21 Permalink

        Making all the Plateau pedestrian safety/quality of life/livable streets has been a big improvement. But this means pushing more traffic to artery roads. Boul St-Joseph ouest is now the primary east-west car artery on the Plateau and at the west end it ends with two blocks in Outremont and clearly Outremont doesn’t give a hoot about inter-borough cooperation. Snow cleaning, pedestrian safety, controlling excessive speeding, just pretends it’s a leafy suburb and maintains a blithe “artery, what artery” attitude. Surprising as it has a Denis-Coderre-party mayor and cars-cars-cars was their motto.

      • Ian 10:18 on 2023-02-22 Permalink

        What are you even talking about? Saint Joe is Plateau from Iberville to Hutchison and it’s Outremont’s fault somehow?

        St Joe east of Hutchison was redone to slow traffic at the same time as the big barricades were put up at Hutchison. Outremont was under PM control at the time (a political groundswell that they squandered by being perceived as authoritarian) and the de l’Epée “shortcut” from Côte saint Kitty to Laurier got blocked off to calm traffic. The current municipal government has not removed any of the traffic slowing measures. Most of Fairmount and Saint Viateur on the Outremont side are 30 km/h with a stop sign at nearly every corner. Further north, Lajoie is 20km – slower than the east-west streets in Mile End.

        Blaming the Plateau’s Saint Joe problems on Outremont sounds like pretty typical buck-passing, brought to the natural reductio ad absurdum conclusion.

    • Kate 19:49 on 2023-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

      Kamel Chebbout has been found guilty in the stabbing death of the owner of an escort service in the Decarie Square parking lot in 2019. Chebbout had worked as an escort driver, and the brief account here says the two men were at odds over a woman.

      • Kate 19:45 on 2023-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

        François Legault has told Justin Trudeau to send all asylum seekers to other provinces, as we know.

        Even if Legault is correct for the moment, and Quebec’s social services are currently somewhat bogged down, isn’t he stuck in short‑term thinking? Quebec needs workers, and potential workers are knocking at the door. He only thinks of these newcomers as taking from us, but creative thinking would see this situation as an opportunity.

        • Spi 20:27 on 2023-02-20 Permalink

          He would probably prefer TFW because their visa’s are tied to an employer while asylum seekers (when the bureaucracy gets around to it) get open ended ones.

          Best to not give them too much freedom and rights.

        • steph 21:09 on 2023-02-20 Permalink

          Legault believe only Quebec’s social services aren’t bogged down?. ROC would like a word with him…

        • SMD 21:47 on 2023-02-20 Permalink

          Quebec’s social services are bogged down… because they aren’t funded appropriately.

          « Si ça ne fonctionne pas en ce moment, c’est beaucoup parce que le gouvernement du Québec ne fait rien, qu’il laisse les groupes communautaires s’arranger tout seul, qu’il s’en lave les mains, tout en accusant le fédéral. »

          – Eva Gracia-Turgeon, Le Devoir

      • Kate 19:41 on 2023-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

        Geneviève Guilbault still dreams of bringing the REM de l’Est downtown but “dans un deuxième temps” – can we read that as “not in our lifetimes”?

        • Kate 19:24 on 2023-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

          The port of Montreal will be spiffed up to the tune of $335 million over five years, with talk about improved logistics, decarbonization and trees. I looked through the piece and couldn’t see anything about where the money is coming from – just that it’s an “injection”.

          • Ian 10:51 on 2023-02-22 Permalink

            The APM is federal … and reading carefully, as far as I can see only 10 million is coming from the “interface ville-port” and that’s a separate line item from the 335 million. So I’m guessing from the feds because it’s part of the Port Authority.

        • Kate 10:46 on 2023-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

          The Gazette is really rubbing it in that this Monday in February is a day off in the rest of Canada but not in Quebec.

          • azrhey 10:55 on 2023-02-20 Permalink

            RDI did a whole thing this morning. Repeatedly. Word must have gone around because “Quebec workers are jealous of the rest of the country for the extra day off, but the RoC employeurs are jealous of WC employeurs for the one less day off they have to pay their workers”
            I did NOT like ” those two things are equal to each other” take

          • Josh 11:35 on 2023-02-20 Permalink

            Not *quite* the rest of Canada. Here in the Yukon we get this Friday, not today.

          • shawn 11:53 on 2023-02-20 Permalink

            Here’s that RDI story that azrhey mentions. Found it amusing, these dire reports of economic damage if we had as many days off as Ontario and Alberta: https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1957570/ferie-conge-family-day-quebec

          • shawn 12:02 on 2023-02-20 Permalink

            Sorry, this was obviously the RDI story from yesterday (I need to wake up) but still amused me. I think the Liberals should promise to make today a holiday!

          • Orr 14:08 on 2023-02-21 Permalink

            When I began my career in Montreal, Victoria day (or whatever it’s called now) wasn’t a day off.

          • Ian 11:11 on 2023-02-22 Permalink

            The ROC doesn’t get Fête St-Jean or the Construction Holiday so I guess it works out?
            Officially we have 10 holidays in QC, no other province has more. Some are optional holidays though, so while we have 10 holidays employers are only obligated to give you 8 days off. Unless you’re a federal employee, of course, in which case you get some extras like Remembrance Day and Truth & Reconciliation Day.

            I used to work for a big corporate place that had offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and here – since there was a lot of back ad forth between the offices they just gave us all everyone’s holidays. It was a pretty sweet deal.

          • Tim 11:18 on 2023-02-22 Permalink

            There are only 8 official statutory holidays in Quebec, not 10 (https://www.cnesst.gouv.qc.ca/en/working-conditions/leave/statutory-holidays/list-paid-statutory-holidays).

            While Quebec gets Fete St-Jean, it is quickly evened out because we miss out on a long weekend in August which all provinces have. We also miss out on Family Day and Remembrance Day which is an observed holiday in all of Canada with the exception of Quebec and Ontario.

          • Tim 11:25 on 2023-02-22 Permalink

            The construction holiday is an example of vacation time for an entire industry. While this type of vacation across an entire industry does not exist in the ROC, individual employers must provide vacation time and pay to their employees on top of statutory holidays.

            I would hope in this day and age that all employees are entitled to at least 10 paid vacation days.

        • Kate 08:00 on 2023-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

          East-end Place Versailles uses a gas‑powered snow melter to clear its 4000‑space parking lot.

          • dhomas 09:48 on 2023-02-20 Permalink

            Now I know what that thing is! I’ve lived near Place Versailles for close to 9 years now, and I thought the smoke/vapour coming from the corner of the parking lot were related to the nearby a Radisson metro.
            I kinda get it that transporting the snow also has an environmental impact because the trucks are all gas powered, but still. Couldn’t they find a way to use electric heating instead of gas? I know lots of residential heating systems that were converted in such a way. It’s a different machine, but the principle is similar, I would think.

          • mare 10:21 on 2023-02-20 Permalink

            No way that shopping mall needs that many spots, it’s quite small. (There’s a small courthouse in the mall and I’ve been there a couple of times to contest a traffic/parking ticket.)

            I guess/hope the lot is used by a lot of people to Park & Ride. (Is that term used here? Anyway park their car here and take the metro to go downtown.) In that case less car exhaust gasses are produced and might (partially) offset the melter.

            I don’t think melters like these can be (easily) converted to electric, because they’re basically giant furnaces with burners. To produce that amount of continues BTU, you’d need a gigantic electric installation, maybe with its own transformer and connection to the high voltage grid. Which makes them much less, or not at all, transportable.

          • Joey 11:04 on 2023-02-20 Permalink

            @mare did you ever win?

          • Mark 12:28 on 2023-02-20 Permalink

            I did a quick google street view scan of the parking lot to unscientifically measure its level of occupation over the years. Other than 1-2 pictures, that lot never seems to be more than 50% full. There is lot’s of room in that corner to pile the snow up. But as the article says, the owner likes it “clean”, whatever that means in winter. Do we know of any malls that haul their snow away?

          • mare 15:07 on 2023-02-20 Permalink

            @Joey Won twice, lost once.

            The ones I won were parking tickets and we’re easily dismissed when I showed photos of the traffic sign situation.

            TMI, long:
            That last one was in the fall and I had to do my defence from memory and in French (this was just after the ‘no service in french’ law was enacted, but my incident was from a year earlier). After objections (didn’t use the famous phrase, dammit!) the French requirement was dropped but had to do it without my notes. Of course the cops report, all three lines, was on paper and written directly after the incident, but I was so thrown off I didn’t remark about that.
            My defence didn’t matter anyway, it was the cop’s word against mine, so I lost. In retrospect not worth the hassle, but I *really* didn’t use my phone while driving, and the injustice was just too big to let this pass.

            Someone called while I was driving and left a voicemail (ding). I presumed it had been my doctor, a call I had been waiting for all afternoon, Got phone out my pocked and gave it to my wife to check the message. She was still holding my phone when my doctor called again, so she picked up, put it on speaker and held it up so I could hear it over the noise (hot day, all windows were down). And I basically told him to wait until I had parked somewhere. During that time the cops drove by in the other direction, 3 lanes away. The only thing they could have seen was a lit up phone screen. They made a dangerous U-turn, honked behind me and forced me to stop on the bus lane during rush hour. I gave them the phone so they could confirm the story with my doctor but they refused. ‘Tell that to the judge. I hadn’t even had time to turn to a side street. According to the call logs, the whole call had been under a minute, including them stopping me, walking to my window and the short conversation. The judge didn’t even want to look at it. Meanwhile the cop report, with the wrong colour of my phone, and claiming I held it in my left hand, was taken for gospel.

            I still get worked up about the injustice, hence this way too long comment.

            It was also a large fine ($480) with bonus points and I had no work (pandemic and high risk) so I had time to bike to Place Versailles on a Tuesday afternoon at 14h. Despite the outcome it was worth the effort. (On topic: It was amazing that the traffic jam towards the tunnel is already in full swing. Even without a snow melter the air quality there is very bad.)

            People who know me know I’m very law-abiding, I even stop for traffic lights on my bike at night. I also hardly ever drive, only 500km in 2021 and 229 km last year.
            I since got rid of my car. Now I can be anti-car without any problems.

            Sorry for the long comment, I got carried away.

          • Joey 16:10 on 2023-02-20 Permalink

            @mare 2/3 ain’t bad, but I would have hoped a judge would dismiss a police report that has obviously incorrect information (not because it’s a technicality, but because it really undermines the whole ‘the cops always win when it’s your word against theirs’). I have to go there in a few weeks to contest a parking ticket I got for parking in fron of a closed alley – the alley has been officially closed at this one end for years with a concrete planter and everything. People, as my photo evidence shows, park in that space constantly, which is sensible since it’s not providing access to anything, but I have a feeling I’m headed for defeat…

          • Faiz imam 23:24 on 2023-02-20 Permalink

            This is the sort of nonsense only a carbon tax can resolve. No choice but to make the cost of that gas prohibitive.

            But also, if electricity, especially during off peak hours, is cheap enough, this is certainly something a heat pump based system could be used for in the future.

          • Orr 14:12 on 2023-02-21 Permalink

            Truly we live in the high-carbon lifestyle best of all possible worlds era.
            (Pangloss reference, in case you you didn’t catch it)

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