Updates from March, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:08 on 2023-03-04 Permalink | Reply  

    A La Presse piece points out that the biggest green infrastructure project in town is sewage treatment. A major project of water ozonation and new incinerators is going to cost a lot, but it has to be done.

    • Kate 21:06 on 2023-03-04 Permalink | Reply  

      A homeless camp under the highway near Atwater is about to be evicted or, as TVA says, “le MTQ veut s’en débarrasser.” Radio‑Canada says fifteen people have been living there, La Presse says ten. La Presse goes on to explain that these are not people easily housed, because they do drugs, have animals with them, or want to stay with their partner.

      • Kate 11:23 on 2023-03-04 Permalink | Reply  

        Last summer, two young men were shot in a car in Montreal West. One died on the spot, the other later in hospital. A suspect was arrested this week near Toronto, but can’t be identified because he was under 18 at the time of the shooting.

        (Lexical question: can someone be “rapatrié en sol québécois” from Ontario?)

        • Thomas H 14:13 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

          I often see English-language media use the word “extradition” when referring to transfers between provinces in Canada or between states in the USA. This, despite the fact that most dictionaries seem to define “extradition” as a movement across international boundaries. I wonder if “repatrié” in this context is merely a similar incident of journalists prioritizing colour/sensationalism over precision and exactness in their reporting.

      • Kate 11:15 on 2023-03-04 Permalink | Reply  

        Not strictly a Montreal story, but everyone needs to read this Nora Loreto piece on government outsourcing to profit‑making management firms. Here’s an excerpt:

        The government is supposed to be able to coordinate the programs it determines Canadians need. In coordinating programs, the civil service learns about issues and tries to solve them. Their reason to exist is to provide made-in-Canada services to Canadians, without profit baked into the model.

        When governments outsource core competencies of the civil service, our systems become more vulnerable to failure and there are fewer options for citizens to demand accountability.

        But please, go read the whole thing.

        • H. John 13:43 on 2023-03-04 Permalink

          Mariana Mazzucato, an economics prof. and author, published a number of columns on the same topic this month ahead of the publication of her new book this week:

          The Big Con: How the Consulting Industry Weakens Our Businesses, Infantilizes Our Governments, and Warps Our Economies


        • Spi 14:55 on 2023-03-04 Permalink

          That’s a very naive take away from the whole Accenture story, it’s not reasonable to think the federal (or any) government has at all times the resources/subject matter experts and ability to deploy solutions in the time frame required.

          Loreto goes on a rant about the government outsourcing core competencies and the slippery slope and pointing at some potential foreign actor with sinister motives, all of this based on a contract with a clear end date in response to a never seen before in modern times pandemic? This reads more like someone that just wants to rant and needed a reason to do so.

          People who are shocked at how tightly knit business and government are and can be, frankly haven’t been paying attention and aren’t nearly as informed/smart as they think they are.

          If you’re truly horrified by the role consultants plan play and think it’s bad at the government level, don’t look under the covers at what’s going on at supranational institutions like the UN agencies and NGO’s.

        • H. John 17:15 on 2023-03-04 Permalink

          And for the point of view of Mariana Mazzucato, University College London, Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value, and founder of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) “best known for her work on dynamics of technological change, the role of the public sector in innovation, and the concept of value in economics.”


        • qatzelok 11:40 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

          “The fascist state is the corporate state.”

          “The corporate State considers that private enterprise in the sphere of production is the most effective and useful instrument in the interest of the nation. In view of the fact that private organisation of production is a function of national concern, the organiser of the enterprise is responsible to the State for the direction given to production.”

          Mussolini quotes about mixing government and private enterprise (PPPs)


        • Joey 13:50 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

          Agreed with Spi. There’s no reason why we should expect civil servants to do things they lack the skills/tools to do, especially in an emergency, and no reason why external contractors should not be held accountable for their work. Moreover, the downplaying of Chinese interference in our elections strikes me at best as unacceptably naive. At worst, well, let’s not go down that pathway. The idea that a de rigueur outsourcing of an IT initiative is somehow worse than a foreign government trying to effect a particular electoral outcome is bananas.

        • Kate 15:51 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

          The key reason is in the excerpt. Government employees would not be working for profit. It’s a very neoliberal idea that nothing should get done without someone skimming off a profit. Or to believe that the only motive that really exists for anyone is profit.

          Even if government has to outsource certain services, they need to keep some people on board to assess what’s going on. Back during the Tremblay area at city hall, for example, neoliberal theory encouraged them to outsource all the engineering stuff to private firms. They no longer had people on staff with the expertise to make sense of what was going on. Corruption ran rampant.

          You need to have staff who think in terms of providing services, not to find places where more profit can be made. There’s nothing wrong with profit‑making enterprise, in its place. But government should be constituted to keep it in its place.

      • Kate 11:02 on 2023-03-04 Permalink | Reply  

        Housing advocates are not happy with Bill 67, the new law that will make it easier for people to rent their properties short term. This piece makes it clear that while the actual wording of the law supposedly restricts permission to primary residences for 30 days per year, cities don’t have the resources to investigate and verify this.

        And I have to ask: why now? Why, in the depths of a housing crisis, did the CAQ see fit to pass a law making it easier to do short‑term rentals?

        • dhomas 13:20 on 2023-03-04 Permalink

          To be fair, the CAQ introduced this law in March 2021 to be adopted 2 years later (March 2023). So it’s not sudden.
          The way I read it was that it was introduced to make short-term rentals “reasonable”. So, if you go on vacation for a couple of weeks, you can rent your place (primary residence) while you’re away. But you can’t flat out make AirBnB hotels.

        • Ephraim 13:24 on 2023-03-04 Permalink

          They should require AirBnB to ensure the 30 day limit. They do in many other cities. And RQ should require AirBnB and others to issue tax receipts if you aren’t a corporation in which the number of days are reported. So if you go over, you can get the fine on your tax form, too!

      • Kate 10:53 on 2023-03-04 Permalink | Reply  

        A man was stabbed in Montreal North on Friday evening and seriously injured.

        • Kate 10:39 on 2023-03-04 Permalink | Reply  

          Quebecor is likely to buy the Alouettes. If they do, I expect they’ll be leaving Molson Stadium, a venue that implicitly links them with McGill and with old anglo Montreal, although the most that the La Presse writer ventures is that “L’équipe joue présentement au stade Percival-Molson”.

          • shawn 11:03 on 2023-03-04 Permalink

            I haven’t read anyone in the sports media world speculate about them leaving Molson Stadium. I don’t believe that’s in the cards. Québecor is not going to build a new stadium and there’s nowhere else for them to go.

          • Kate 11:26 on 2023-03-04 Permalink

            Péladeau is a zillionaire and he doesn’t like Montreal. I don’t know how far he’d go to thumb his nose at the city.

          • shawn 11:33 on 2023-03-04 Permalink

            He just gave a press conference where he speculated about more cuts because Québecor is not making enough money. He’s got an arena in Québec City with no NHL team. He’s about (maybe) to buy a CFL for a relative pittance, which at best is going to eke out a tiny profit, if that. He’s not going to spend 100 M+ on a football stadium that will lose him vastly more money.

            I wish you were right, though, because I’d love to see the Als in a modern pro venue.

          • dhomas 13:30 on 2023-03-04 Permalink

            Maybe he’ll move the team to Quebec city and convert his currently unused hockey venue? ;P

          • Kate 13:39 on 2023-03-04 Permalink

            If the Quebec City arena could be easily converted, I wouldn’t put it past him.

          • shawn 15:32 on 2023-03-04 Permalink

            The league is selling him this team (maybe) and it’s not so he can move it. Québecor’s branded arena, Centre Vidéotron, is a city-owned hockey arena not an outdoor stadium. I’d be delighted to see a CFL expansion to Quebec City but that’s not what this is.

          • shawn 15:40 on 2023-03-04 Permalink

            But since I’m delighted by this thread on the Als I’ll just add that the speculation is that the CFL could provide much needed content for his struggling sportsnet, TVA Sports, when their deal with RDS/TSN expires in 2026. But who really knows what is motivating the mercurial Péladeau. Here’s a recent paywalled article by Globe and Mail know-it-all Konrad Yakabuski on PKP’s troubles, including TVA Sports, where the focus of course is all on how much he paid for NHL rights and failure to get an NHL team : https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/commentary/article-quebecors-growing-problems-at-home-make-freedom-deal-a-must-for-pierre/

          • Kate 16:19 on 2023-03-04 Permalink

            Here’s an archived version of that Yakabuski piece.

          • SMD 01:53 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

            Le Devoir also has an analysis today of Québecor at several crossroads.

          • shawn 12:41 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

            Thanks SMD. I had no idea that things were so murky at Québecor. It may make an Alouettes deal more logical because he’s got other radio and other platforms. And sports is something that has proven to be a reliable draw. And this team is not going to cost him much.

          • Scott 00:33 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

            Praying he buys team A French language radio station states the deal is done, yes even Herb Zurkowski of Montreal Gazette states probably true. I love the French
            A funny joke… I only have 1 problem with French immersion , they don’t hold them under long enough

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