Updates from March, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:11 on 2023-03-12 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada is excited about the Monday byelection in Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne, much more than you might expect for a contest between two non-governing parties.

    Anglo CBC discusses how housing is the biggest issue there.

    Meantime, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon has been resoundingly approved as chief of a party even more marginal now than QS or the PLQ. Most chiefs who’ve led a party to a record defeat don’t get rewarded like this.

    …Monday morning CTV covers the story with a possibly misleading lede: “A byelection is being held today in a Montreal riding to choose a new member of the provincial legislature to replace the former Quebec Liberal leader.” It’s explained in better detail in the text, but the lede sounds like they’re electing a new leader for the party, which is not the case.

    La Presse casts an eye over the candidates, acknowledging that this is a contest between the PLQ and Québec solidaire. Reading between all these lines, I suspect the election is seen as a turning point for these parties: if the PLQ goes down it will be evidence that the decline in the party’s relevance continues and that QS is on the rise, even though its showing last October was weaker than many had hoped. If the PLQ wins it will be seen as the beginning of a comeback.

    Polls are open Monday till 8 pm.

    • Kate 15:54 on 2023-03-12 Permalink | Reply  

      Josh Freed makes a typically cringey plea for the Gazette, sneering at “basement bloggers who don’t cover city hall — just which friends they’re meeting for a Strawberry Oat Matcha Chai Latte.”

      • Ian 21:08 on 2023-03-12 Permalink

        Did he really just claim that Mount Royal’s scenic (driving) road is an Anglo institution, or is he just a bad writer?

        Going back to my poodle goths.

      • DisgruntledGoat 01:06 on 2023-03-13 Permalink

        Josh Freed is cringe as fuck, to be blunt. At some point in time The Gazette and the suburban were different papers with the latter being the joke, now it’s the same entity. 90s West Island Anglo rage sent 30 years into the future.

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

        There are at least two components to a paper like The Gazette: there’s the editorial component (which includes the choice of articles, tone, and the actual writing) and there’s the presentation side, which is essentially what the reader experiences when they are reading the article.

        I have no interest in printed papers anymore, so I’ll confine this to the online experience, primarily as I experience The Gazette when reading it on my iPad (and occasionally my computer): It sucks. Bad.

        The screen is alive with what seems like 1000 dynamic ads. Unwanted videos for unrelated stories play and follow along as you scroll, distracting your reading, The page jumps every ten seconds when dynamic ads reload and change the page’s layout.

        It’s awful, and I’ll only read a Gazette article if it’s the only source of information for something I really really want to know about.

        It’s the paper equivalent of printing on coarse wood fibre that gives you splinters and sends pulp shards into your eyes. No thanks,

      • Kate 10:30 on 2023-03-13 Permalink

        Part of the irony is that the Gazette never stood up for the anglo minority, but just went passive‑aggressive and sniped limply from the sidelines.

      • Uatu 10:45 on 2023-03-13 Permalink

        I’m here because I actively sought other local news sources than the crappy gazoo and It’s lame content. Thanks for bringing me here Josh!

      • walkerp 11:41 on 2023-03-13 Permalink

        So bad.
        What’s sad is that the badness is the fault of the money people who want to suck it dry by getting as much ad revenue as they can before killing it. I doubt anybody on the editorial or design side wants all that mess.
        But still as you point out, Blork, the Gazette online is astoundingly bad even relative to other newspapers.

      • Kevin 11:55 on 2023-03-13 Permalink

        There are good people working for The Gazette and who want it to succeed.

        The management of Postmedia is based in a foreign country, has no interest in news, and is gradually but actively closing down English-language newspapers across the country.

      • Kate 13:37 on 2023-03-13 Permalink

        I worked in a couple of oddball roles at the Gazette in the mid-1990s. Among other things, I built their first website entirely by hand to cover the 1995 referendum. I was never offered a permanent position, but I sometimes laid out the front page working beside a page editor.

        I learned then that the people who really created the paper were the page editors, whose names you seldom see on the page. They were all smart, hard‑working folks – men and women – for whom I had a lot of respect. I don’t know whether that role even exists any more.

        (The department where I was initially hired, Info-Cable, was moved to Edmonton, and I declined to go with it, because I could already see it wasn’t going to thrive, and it didn’t. I was never fired or laid off, my work was simply discontinued.)

      • EmilyG 13:56 on 2023-03-13 Permalink

        I was thinking, I wish the Gazette would let that guy go, but he says in this piece: “Disclosure: I’m not a Gazette staffer. I’ve been a freelance columnist for more than 30 years, so I’m not automatically executed during official staff cutbacks.”
        Darn. And it’s columns like his that have led me to read the Gazette less.

      • Blork 14:12 on 2023-03-13 Permalink

        Kate, oh the glory days of page editors. Long gone.

        Everything is non-linear now, and the presentation of the paper (and the pages) online is largely driven by ad tech people and their KPIs and click-through charts. The people actually building the pages likely have zero training or interest in things like “usability” or “user experience” and are far more interested in just getting their highly complicated ad programming to work and getting the numbers to crunch optimally.

      • Blork 14:13 on 2023-03-13 Permalink

        …and zero training or interest in journalism and storytelling.

      • walkerp 15:27 on 2023-03-13 Permalink

        Not to be a sycophant, but shoutout to you Kate, for this site which is clean and content-full. Please don’t sell out to a hedge fund.

      • carswell 17:54 on 2023-03-13 Permalink

        Funny how Freed thinks a plea to keep him employed is an inducement to support the paper.

        First of his columns I’ve read in decades. Don’t plan on reading another.

      • Chris 22:52 on 2023-03-13 Permalink

        One news page that’s not horribly filled with moving ads, etc. is https://www.cbc.ca/lite

      • JaneyB 17:33 on 2023-03-14 Permalink

        @Chris – cbc.ca lite…I had no idea this existed. What a breath of fresh air compared to the normal site. Thanks.

      • Chris 20:32 on 2023-03-14 Permalink

        JaneyB, yeah, it’s especially nice on phones, and especially when on, say, a rural 3G network. You might also like http://text.npr.org and http://lite.cnn.io though the latter has been down for about a week, I fear it’s toast.

    • Kate 12:33 on 2023-03-12 Permalink | Reply  

      The Village SDC is sending a petition to social services minister Lionel Carmant, sponsored by Manon Massé, to ask for help facing the problems being experienced in the Village after three years of pandemic, and growing crime and homelessness.

      • Kate 12:08 on 2023-03-12 Permalink | Reply  

        Xylazine, a dangerous new drug, is circulating in the city. It’s an animal tranquilizer.

        • Tee Owe 17:11 on 2023-03-12 Permalink

          That’s 2 (+ ketamine) animal tranks that people take for fun – what are we doing to the animals?

        • JohnS 21:04 on 2023-03-12 Permalink

          Ketamine is also used in human anaesthesia and may also have a role in treating depression resistant to other treatments It’s not just a veterinary drug.

        • Ian 21:10 on 2023-03-12 Permalink

          Ketamine is regularly administered to children because it has fewer complications than general anaesthetic.
          I have seen my 6 year old daughter fall down the k-hole … getting a mole removed/ biopsied, not at a rave.

        • SMD 09:29 on 2023-03-13 Permalink

          Note that nobody is choosing to take this drug for fun, it is being added to street drugs in the same way that fentanyl and carfentanil are (and in fact, in every sample that public health found xylazine they found fentanyl as well: https://santemontreal.qc.ca/fileadmin/fichiers/professionnels/DRSP/appel-vigilance/2023/AAV_Surdoses_2023-03-09.pdf). But it doesn’t respond to naloxone administration, unlike those opioids, meaning an overdose is much more likely to be lethal. Yet more reason to have a safe, controlled and legal supply available, much like we have injection sites now.

        • Kate 22:36 on 2023-03-13 Permalink

          Thanks, SMD. People need to know that naloxone is useless with this drug.

          But what do you mean about “a safe, controlled and legal supply”? Of clean opioids?

        • SMD 08:34 on 2023-03-14 Permalink

          Yes. Montreal doesn’t yet have a Safer Supply site, and it would be a first step towards easing the harm of contaminated street drugs. Lots of information on the federal program here: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/opioids/responding-canada-opioid-crisis/safer-supply.html.

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