Updates from March, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:37 on 2023-03-08 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC and La Presse focus on different aspects of a spat between neighbours in Beaconsfield that ended up in court. La Presse looks at how one family resented seeing children play in the street, while CBC (actually, a CP article) focuses on the judge’s decree that giving people the finger is a God-given right.

    • walkerp 09:29 on 2023-03-09 Permalink

      Thank the Gods for judges like Dennis Galiatsatos. And you have to wonder what else is going on behind the scenes of this conflict. How did the Naccaches get this to court in the first place? And are they that family that everybody on the block hates?

    • jeather 10:31 on 2023-03-09 Permalink

      A secular god, of course, in this most secular province.

      The decision is amusing though.

      “Since I’m hesitant to draft an entire decision in bold and caps-lock characters, I offer the following observations instead.”

      “The little girls simply wanted to talk to their friend. Oh, the horror.”

      “On what basis did he fear that Mr. Epstein was a potential murderer? The fact that he went for quiet walks with his kids? The fact that he socialized with the other young parents on the street? If that is the standard, we should all fear that our neighbours are killers in waiting. Hide your kids, hide your wives. We are all in mortal danger.”

      “This needs to stop. The complainants are free to clutch their pearls in the face of such an insult [having someone flip them the bird]. However, the police department and the 9-1-1 dispatching service have more important priorities to address.”

      Very curious why the crown pushed this at all. Was it in order to get this sort of result? It seems clear there wasn’t a lot there.

    • Blork 10:55 on 2023-03-09 Permalink

      The La Presse story certainly gives a lot more detail and really underlines what a colossal a-hole that person is (not the bird-flipper; the flippee). It’s mind boggling how such people can exist in an otherwise quiet and peaceful community. It’s like in the fairly tales we heard as kids where there was an ogre living in the village harassing and bothering everyone. (Although in the fairy tales the ogre sometimes ends up being a sweetie, just misunderstood. Not in this case!)

      We had a similar thing in my neighbourhood last summer. A nearby street was declared a children’s play zone (I forget the actual term used). There were signs put up saying kids were allowed to play there, and planters put in the street to slow any passing cars.

      This is a small street with about 20 houses on it. Not really a through-street; basically a loop, with another 20 houses on the other side of the loop. The point being, very little car traffic on that street, so it’s no big stretch to let kids play there.

      One person disagreed. He objected to having to slow down for the 100 or so metres of the street that were designated as a play zone. Fists were shaken. Gestures made. Police and media arrived. I don’t know if any charges were ever laid, but everyone knows who the problem guy was because he lives right there on the street. Even I know (it’s not even my street) because I saw him and his truck on the news as he was making rude gestures, and you can see that truck parked in a driveway at the end of the street in Streetview or any time you walk over there at night.

      Why is it so hard for some people just to be reasonable?

    • Joey 11:25 on 2023-03-09 Permalink

      La Presse buries the lede, IMO. The last paragraph of their rerpot:

      “Le juge rappelle qu’en plein procès, après le témoignage « professionnel et objectif » du voisin accusé, la Couronne a choisi de ne pas le contre-interroger et a même invité la Cour à l’acquitter. Ce que le juge a fait de bon cœur.”

      The 34-year-old guy who lives with his parents notwithstanding, the real villain here is the prosecutor who pursued this insane charge – it must be extremely rare that a judge concludes that the crown should have charged the other party involved in a case. I wonder if the acquitted has any chance at damages (e.g., legal fees, time, etc.).

    • jeather 11:32 on 2023-03-09 Permalink

      This is the link to the decision. Fun reading.

    • walkerp 11:43 on 2023-03-09 Permalink

      It always comes back to cars and how they make us behave.

    • Blork 15:47 on 2023-03-09 Permalink

      OMG, go read the decision at the link that Jeather mentioned above. Not what I was expecting. It feels like reading a true crime article in The Atlantic, not the dry legalese I was expecting.


      The complainants have consistently videotaped their neighbours. Yet, they charge Mr. Epstein with criminal harassment. With an irony of unmatched proportions, they complain that he might have recorded them. He did not.


      [5] To the complainants, the presence of young families outside it is a source of scorn and vivid resentment that ultimately spilled over into a criminal complaint against their neighbour. A school teacher. A caring father of two young daughters who committed no crime whatsoever. A man who has somehow been subjected to criminal charges for almost two years.

      [6] This injustice ends today.

    • jeather 15:53 on 2023-03-09 Permalink

      Court decisions here are usually written for the layperson to be able to read, though this one goes very casual, presumably because it’s not actually a very serious case. But honestly it’s well within range of what I’d expect to read in a decision.

    • Blork 16:38 on 2023-03-09 Permalink

      While the decision is an entertaining and amusing read, it’s also disturbing when you realize how the complainant family’s self delusions are not unique to this story. The recent history of the USA and to a lesser extent Canada (and indeed the UK and other European countries, and elsewhere) has been shaped dramatically by that kind of thinking. Any Trump rally from 2015 onward, all those preppers and militia people we find out west, pro-Brexit demonstrators, the people involved in those truck protests from last year… they all suffer that same kind of self delusion en-masse. They believe what they have come to believe with no questions asked. Driven by an insane feedback loop involving others running with the same self-delusion. It’s scary!

      Put another way: that family in Beaconsfield (the one that made the complaint) is a microcosm of the insanity that has spread around the world by so-called populists and their ilk. (And for sure, it’s not just populists who fall into this miasma of self delusion, but that’s another conversation for another day.)

    • jeather 17:54 on 2023-03-09 Permalink

      I don’t want to diagnose people based on a court decision, but it does sound possible that the complainant has a level of paranoia that should get clinical treatment.

  • Kate 20:27 on 2023-03-08 Permalink | Reply  

    If the item posted earlier Wednesday about a male teacher pleading guilty to various sexual crimes involving young female students was shocking, this one may be weirder: a woman special ed teacher groomed a girl of 13, convincing her they were a couple, taking her on trips, and apparently people around them knew about it, including the girl’s own family, yet no one spoke up. Finally, in 2019, the girl reported the abuses that had started eight years previously. The accused has pleaded guilty.

    • Ian 21:30 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

      Even weirder, both pedos worked for Pointe-de-l’Île

      Sounds like an amazing school board. /s

  • Kate 15:41 on 2023-03-08 Permalink | Reply  

    Presumably because it’s International Women’s Day, La Presse interviews Dominique Ollivier, chairman of the city’s executive committee, where 13 of the 18 roles are now occupied by women. Ollivier talks about why women approach things differently.

    • Blork 17:39 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

      IWD is such an odd thing. Not so long ago it was all about sending flowers to your secretary and taking your wife to dinner or whatever, and now it’s all about empowerment and equity (an improvement, if you ask me).

      At work we’re running a sort of internal social media fundraiser where everyone is posting about the women who inspire them (it’s mostly people’s mothers, wives, and daughters, but there are a number of mentions of various women scientists, discoverers, politicians, etc.)

      It’s interesting to see the various dynamics. For example, one person presented her daughter and said something along the lines of raising her to see that equity is normal and hopefully we won’t always need a special day to put half the population on a pedestal point to their inequity. Another person mentioned that the chief of the UN said today that in the past two decades we’ve actually gone backwards in many places and that they estimate we won’t see true equity for another 300 years.

      So um. Happy IWD?

  • Kate 15:38 on 2023-03-08 Permalink | Reply  

    Québec solidaire wants to make it illegal to evict tenants to create Airbnb‑type tourist lodgings.

    They’ve also spoken out recently in favour of banning no‑pet clauses in residential leases.

    • Ephraim 16:06 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

      I wish we could get to a détente on pets and allow a reasonable damage deposit if you want a pet in an apartment.

      Ah, the difference between B&Bs and AirBnB… B&Bs are legally residential. AirBnBs aren’t. If there is no tenant for the year, minus the 30 day limit, then let the city charge commercial property rates. That’s 5X the rate. Plus of course, couldn’t the city charge a fee for rezoning application?

    • DeWolf 12:27 on 2023-03-09 Permalink

      @Ephraim isn’t that already the case for the places where Airbnbs are allowed? For instance on major streets like St-Laurent or in Old Montreal. Legal Airbnbs in those areas have the tourist lodging licence with the little placard outside the main entrance – I can think of a number of specific examples, like the building on Park Avenue with District Bagels in it. I assume they’re treated as commercial properties for tax purposes, but I don’t know for sure.

      The problem is that so many Airbnbs are unlicensed and totally illegal, and Bill 67 with its unenforceable 30-day rule will only make things worse.

    • Ephraim 18:59 on 2023-03-09 Permalink

      @DeWolf – Which is why we need RC and RQ to require companies paying individuals (not companies) to issue T4A/Releve 1/2 documents. And since RQ is the licencing authority, they will have a list of ALL the AirBnB owners. We should add that they should be required to list the number of days rented. The fine is supposed to be $2500 per day. From my understanding they have only given out $2500 per incident rather than per day. But they throw in a tax audit, to ensure you have been paying.

      I don’t know if the city is forcing a commercial permit. B&Bs pay an extra percentage, even if they are legally residential (the law stipulates that they have to be residentially occupied). But since AirBnB’s that go beyond 30 days are commercial… tax them, tax them to hell. If everyone in the neighbourhood has to suffer, then let them at least lower the tax burden.

      As I said, AirBnB counts the days for people in LA. No reason we can’t require they have a permit for the 30 days so we can track them, or have AirBnB track them… just like they are tracked in LA. At some point, AirBnB needs to take some responsibility for the mess they made.

  • Kate 15:33 on 2023-03-08 Permalink | Reply  

    Marc Garneau, MP for NDG‑Westmount, has decided to resign his seat, word being that he’s at odds with his party on the federal languages bill, C‑13, although he hasn’t confirmed this.

    • Kate 15:24 on 2023-03-08 Permalink | Reply  

      Mayor Plante has submitted a pre-budget plea to Quebec for financial support to face the housing and transit crises. The provincial budget is expected on March 21.

      • Kate 10:19 on 2023-03-08 Permalink | Reply  

        Another building firebomb overnight, this one in Kirkland, the same one as was hit two days ago.

        • walkerp 12:43 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

          The incident map is getting cluttered!

        • Kate 12:47 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

          It seriously is. Bars, businesses, vehicles, office buildings.

        • walkerp 13:06 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

          Whoops looks like you have today’s firebombing in the homicide section (modern day “you get your chocolate in my peanut butter!”)

        • Kate 14:05 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

          Thanks. No matter what I do, the map wants to create new incidents in the first category. It’s fixed now.

      • Kate 10:04 on 2023-03-08 Permalink | Reply  

        A man who taught in two Montreal North grade schools pleaded guilty Tuesday to sex charges involving five of his female students, as young as 10 and 11 years old.

        • walkerp 12:47 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

          Why the fuck do girls in grades 5 and 6 have cellphones?!

          Might as well give your daughters cigarettes, probably be healthier.

        • Kate 12:49 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

          Because their friends do.

        • jeather 12:56 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

          That’s when kids start middle school (in other areas) and I think it’s not uncommon for kids to get cell phones then in those locations, so if you have friends or family elsewhere it’s a pull. It’s also about the age I started having phone conversations with friends, and I imagine kids these days also want to contact their friends outside of school without direct mediation from their parents. So either a family has landlines — not a bad idea, but rare — or they let their kids wander off with their cell phones or get their kids their own phones (or tablets or whatever it is that kids use to contact each other) or they just say sorry kids, you don’t get to speak to your friends. If this isn’t something coming up at 10-11, it’s coming up by 13.

          Notice this was found when the mother was, appropriately, checking up on the usage of her daughter’s phone/tablet.

        • walkerp 12:58 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

          That pressure does not become really acute until secondaire. Even 13 years is too young, but developmentally it’s a massive leap from 10 or 11. Parents need to stand firm.

          And imagine, having a teacher of the opposite sex texting your kid in any grade?! Just so not appropriate. Good thing that one mom was vigilant and lucky for the teacher she went to the cops.

        • shawn 13:18 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

          Walkerp this is about SM rather than cellphones specifically but here’s a great recent article https://jonathanhaidt.substack.com/p/social-media-mental-illness-epidemic

        • walkerp 13:23 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

          Thank you, Shawn. I am building up some articles to share with the parents committee of my daughter’s school to help other parents manage this issue, so this is helpful.

        • Joey 14:27 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

          The first phone often coincides with the year in which the kid starts going to and from school without any parents (esp. if via public transit). I’d guess that most of those first phones are hand-me-down smartphones that the parents have replaced, rather than a basic dumbphone…

        • jeather 15:46 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

          On the other hand, it isn’t like teachers (coaches, priests, etc) didn’t abuse children pre-smartphone, they just did it without leaving easily available proof. I’m not saying that you should or should not give your child a phone/tablet at any specific age and what restrictions there should be on it, but “why did the kids even have phones” seems like not the actual issue here.

        • walkerp 16:06 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

          Yes, agree. It’s a side issue, just one for which I believe the alarm should be ringing. But yes, you are right, predators going to creep in every age, sadly.

        • Tee Owe 16:06 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

          Agree with Jeather – !

        • Ian 19:50 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

          My daughters got cell phones at that age because they started taking the bus to school themselves. My older daughter first got hit on by an adult man when she was 10. Predators aren’t just gym teachers.

          I stand by my decision, young girls (especially) should never be in a situation they can’t call for help, and there’s hardly any pay phones left.

        • Chris 21:02 on 2023-03-08 Permalink

          walkerp, you might be interested in reading some of Dr. Jonathan Haidt’s writings on the effects of smartphones on the young.

        • Meezly 10:55 on 2023-03-09 Permalink

          @shawn, thanks for sharing that study. I will also share it with other parents as I feel it’s something we all need to get on board with.

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