Updates from March, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:37 on 2023-03-02 Permalink | Reply  

    A recent court decision is going to place an expensive obligation on the city to make the environs of police stations safer because police feel vulnerable as they come and go in their parking lots.

    Gee, who would the city call on to make an area secure? I can’t imagine.

    • H. John 10:33 on 2023-03-03 Permalink

      Maybe the City should just do its job.

      This is a workplace safety issue with the Union calling for things as simple as better lighting in some parking lots.

      The law seems more than reasonable. As the Tribunal’s decision in Jan. 2022 explained:

      “Il appartiendra à l’employeur d’identifier les facteurs de risques applicables à ses établissements et de déterminer si des mesures humainement logiques et raisonnables peuvent avoir pour résultat de les contrôler et de les éliminer. S’il en existe, il lui appartiendra de les mettre en place.”

      This case has been in front of the Tribunal since 2018.

    • Kate 11:33 on 2023-03-03 Permalink

      The impression given by the article was that fixing this problem would be a very big deal – not something as simple as adding some lighting.

      I agree that police agents are under a heavier kind of risk than most of us, and deserve to be able to get to and from work without putting themselves in danger. But what do other cities do about this problem?

    • H. John 15:40 on 2023-03-03 Permalink

      This hearing process, which started in Nov. 2018 before this Tribunal, is based on findings of the CSST which the City ignored.

      I haven’t read this latest decision. SOQUIJ should have it by next week, and I’ll track it down and add more detail.

      The Jan. 2022 decision was clear that the Union called a number of experts in the field, and tabled a list or table of what other cities do. The Tribunal affirmed the May 2018 report from the CSST, declared that the City did not respect its obligations under art. 51(5) of the Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail.

      But, it gave the City six months to:

      L’employeur doit utiliser les méthodes et techniques visant à identifier, contrôler et éliminer les risques pouvant affecter la santé et la sécurité des travailleurs en relation avec l’aménagement des terrains de stationnement et des voies d’accès des postes de police relevant de son autorité. Un délai de six mois lui est accordé pour procéder à l’analyse de risques et décider des correctifs à apporter s’il y a lieu.

    • steph 16:21 on 2023-03-03 Permalink

      Maybe the cops can take public transit. (I feel like this thread is a deja-vu)

  • Kate 22:33 on 2023-03-02 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gazette claims that a Chinese billionaire promised a $800,000 donation to the Université de Montréal in 2016 but the UdeM says this wasn’t suspect. Apparently they felt that donating to Pierre Trudeau’s alma mater was a way to butter up his son.

    At the same time, the Journal is pointing up a series of donations to Justin Trudeau’s Montreal riding from people in other provinces – “portant tous un nom à consonance chinoise” – which also were legal, although it seems odd (you can’t make a donation to a Montreal political party if you don’t live in the city, so I assumed something similar must apply at other levels of government – but apparently not).

    Also meanwhile, François Legault is categorical that there was no foreign interference in the October 2022 Quebec election.

    China’s a hot potato right now in our media. Or maybe a hot bowl of noodles.

    • Nicholas 22:52 on 2023-03-02 Permalink

      Canadians can donate to Canadian parties (and candidates riding associations); Quebeckers to Quebec paries (and …) and Montrealers to Montreal parties (and…). If they stopped that you could just donate to the party and they could distribute it, or spend in their behalf.

    • Tim S. 09:58 on 2023-03-03 Permalink

      A lot of candidates raise money from friends and family, who don’t necessarily live in your riding.

    • qatzelok 13:10 on 2023-03-03 Permalink

      Racism is often constructed by the state, just before a war. In a multi-cultural environment, this “obligation to hate” is unwelcome.

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

    Here’s a surprisingly good clarification of snow clearing myths from the Suburban.

    • shawn 10:05 on 2023-03-03 Permalink

      I don’t read The Suburban since I stopped being a suburbanite – which was a long time ago – but you’re right this Joel Ceausu chap is a good writer!

    • SMD 10:49 on 2023-03-03 Permalink

      To be enjoyed with this homage to Montreal snow in the background: https://youtu.be/d_myZDQb86Y.

  • Kate 19:56 on 2023-03-02 Permalink | Reply  

    It feels like a step towards making the urban area into a bigger city, conceptually: the ARTM is suggesting a certain unification of transit services – not quite a merger, but bringing the STM, RTL, STL and Exo closer together to better orchestrate their services, and in doing so save money.

    It wouldn’t be painless – a lot of people must have their own fiefs in those organizations and won’t give them up without a fight. But it’s probably a sensible direction to take, given the big change in transit use since the pandemic, and the need to readjust services around the REM.

    Meantime, the Caisse de dépôt’s idea of making money by exporting the REM concept elsewhere – I’d forgotten this was even a thing – has received no response at all. Despite some smoke and mirrors here, I suspect there’s nothing so revolutionary about the REM that other cities would be incapable of coming up with to suit themselves.

    • DeWolf 20:28 on 2023-03-02 Permalink

      That’s a great idea from the ARTM. Just for example, transit service for residents of Cartierville would improve dramatically if they could use STL buses for local service from Côte-Vertu metro. And there’s no reason STL buses couldn’t serve the Pie-IX SRB, which would add frequency while also making life easier for Laval commuters heading into Montreal.

    • Nicholas 23:50 on 2023-03-02 Permalink

      Now with integrated fares, they are on a pathway to doing this. You do have to work out who gets money for an STL trip solely on the island, but there’s no reason trips can’t be seamless regardless of the operating company. You could merge everyone, but you could also keep systems separate, but with just more coordination and integrated fares, which is not uncommon in many places outside North America.

    • Anton 14:49 on 2023-03-04 Permalink

      The rem kind of worked because the government used all possible ways to shovel advantages towards it. I doubt governments elsewhere would be interested in such a very expensive, rent-seeking and technically strange middle man.

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

    The influx of temporary workers is helping fill up English schools, since these families can get a legal pass to do so. Ironically, kids from France are among their number.

    • Mark Côté 10:37 on 2023-03-03 Permalink

      This has been the case for a while. I’ve been on a couple boards of governors for EMSB schools, one of which was almost shut down about 20 years ago because of lack of enrolment, only to now be almost over capacity. And yeah, people moving from Francophone countries get the best of both worlds: they can, for the most part, live and work in French, while giving their kids a foundation in English, for a few years at least.

    • Andre W 00:10 on 2023-03-04 Permalink

      The EMSB has had to close 21 schools since 1998, which is the main reason existing English schools are full to capacity.
      How I read it, the headline of that La Presse piece, “L’immigration temporaire profite aux écoles anglaises,” seems designed to seed controversy, connecting English education with foreign arrivals who don’t do their part to fit in. The loophole exists so as to not repel PhD candidates and other specially-talented workers.

  • Kate 12:32 on 2023-03-02 Permalink | Reply  

    On two occasions in February the city considered overcrowded homeless refuges an emergency, a new option that treats sheltering people as urgent, requiring an immediate response. It was a matter of saving lives during the deep freezes we saw last month.

    • Kate 12:24 on 2023-03-02 Permalink | Reply  

      Three frozen pig carcasses were found hanging from overpasses overnight. CTV places them on the map. There were no messages attached.

      • Blork 13:42 on 2023-03-02 Permalink


        A bunch of idiot pranksters want us to fear we are about to be hit with a series of murders committed by a psychotic death cult.


        We are about to be hit with a series of murders committed by a psychotic death cult.

      • MarcG 14:18 on 2023-03-02 Permalink

        I was thinking Jewish/Muslim hate vs ACAB.

      • azrhey 14:23 on 2023-03-02 Permalink

        My vote is on psychotic vegan cult
        ( not painting all vegans here, just the rabid evangelical ones)

      • carswell 14:34 on 2023-03-02 Permalink

        @MarcG That was my first thought too but, if so, wouldn’t they target Jewish/Muslim communities? All the hangings are in mostly Québécois neighbourhoods. That’s pushing me toward extremist vegans and/or PETA types. Disgruntled hog farmers are another possibility.

      • Blork 15:01 on 2023-03-02 Permalink

        Unlikely that vegans or PETA would kill and (for lack of a better word) desecrate actual animals for their protests.

      • carswell 15:38 on 2023-03-02 Permalink

        As a Google search shows, there are at least a few carcass-starring precedents around the globe. Here’s one:

        And “pork facilities” (quoting Global) have been a particular target of animal rights activists in Quebec and Canada in recent years.

        (Am not going to link to other pictures or stories because that’ll send this post to MCW purgatory.)

        Also, protesters may not have killed or desecrated but stolen the carcasses from a slaughterhouse or butcher’s. For extremists, the end often justifies the means. And in this case, it also means the carcasses won’t end up being, gasp, eaten.

      • Ian 18:35 on 2023-03-02 Permalink

        Are we talking small suckling pigs or whole hogs for spit roast?
        Whole pig will run you about 8 bucks a pound dressed weight, 3 whole hogs would be about 600 pounds total … that’s 200 bucks shy of grand larceny right there before tax – a 10 year sentence.

      • Chris 23:02 on 2023-03-02 Permalink

        The pigs could be metaphors for cops. I’d bet on cop-haters before extremist vegans.

    • Kate 11:41 on 2023-03-02 Permalink | Reply  

      La Presse reports that Montreal East has an ambitious plan for a big logistics centre on a massive lot once occupied by chemical and petroleum companies. Remains to be seen if they succeed.

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

        This Gazette piece about the death of a McGill student in the West Island 48 years ago tries to hint at a mysterious cold case, but the reporting is really poor, only mentioning some anomalies about the discovery of the body as unresolved.

        The details about Jeff Mills’s popularity and athletic kudos are extraneous, but add to the wordage.

        Reading it cold: a young man walking along a dark road with no sidewalk in the winter was deemed a hit‑and‑run fatality by police at the time. The writer presumably didn’t talk to today’s police because the only “unsolved” aspect is that the driver was never identified.

        • Blork 13:31 on 2023-03-02 Permalink

          Chat GPT: write a story about an unsolved hit-and-run from 48 years ago but make it sound like the setup for a true crime podcast.

      • Kate 10:44 on 2023-03-02 Permalink | Reply  

        A McGill study finds that 40% of seniors would use transit more often if the promise to make it free for people 65 and older is kept this July.

        • EmilyG 13:00 on 2023-03-02 Permalink

          I was at a grocery store in Pierrefonds near Ile-Bizard. Two ladies in the line were talking about how one of them, who lives in Ile-Bizard, took her car instead of the (207) bus because the bus was too crowded with students at that time of day.
          I think that if the STM wants more people to use public transit, a good idea would be to run buses/metros more often so they’re not as crowded.

        • Kate 17:27 on 2023-03-02 Permalink

          Meantime, they could do usage studies of specific bus routes so that people who have free choice when to travel can pick a time when neither workers nor students are crowding the bus.

          For example, I know to avoid the 193 on Jarry around 3-4 pm because there are two big high schools along this part of the route and the buses get socked. No problem during the summer, though.

        • Ian 18:37 on 2023-03-02 Permalink

          News flash: Seniors would use more stuff in general if it was free

      • Kate 10:32 on 2023-03-02 Permalink | Reply  

        Novavax, hailed in 2021 when they spawned a Montreal location where vaccines could be produced, looks like going out of business this year. No specific amounts of federal or provincial investment are mentioned here, but there’s some discussion of government involvement in new vaccine makers generally.

        In other pandemic news, many Covid tests are going to expire this year but Ottawa has no plans to replace them.

        • steph 13:10 on 2023-03-02 Permalink

          I picked up a pack yesterday, dated 2011-11, good until 2024. Does this test check for new variants?
          The sest says negative, but I’m going on a 6th day of headaches & flu symptoms…

        • MarcG 14:17 on 2023-03-02 Permalink

          Make sure to follow the most up to date instructions and swab your cheek and throat as well as the nose. Also, the tests are very sensitive but not very specific, meaning that a positive result almost certainly means you have Covid but a negative result doesn’t reliably mean you don’t. This should have been explained to be people clearly when they rolled out.

        • MarcG 17:10 on 2023-03-02 Permalink

          Also if you’ve had Covid before, it could be a cold and you’re experiencing this delightful thing nobody wants to talk about.

      • Kate 10:26 on 2023-03-02 Permalink | Reply  

        The ARTM is to review public transit in the whole urban area, with a view to optimizing services to how people are working now – and getting more money out of Quebec to keep things running.

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