Updates from March, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:20 on 2023-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

    The fabled restaurant on the ninth floor of the Eaton’s building is to reopen by the end of the year. An audio report from Radio‑Canada.

    • Tux 21:13 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

      Great news! I never managed to get into the restaurant proper when I trespassed up there a bunch of times many years ago

  • Kate 17:24 on 2023-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Photographer Camille Maheux died in the Place Youville fire, and now her friends are trying to bring together what remains of her work, because most of her prints and negatives perished with her.

    • Kate 17:21 on 2023-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

      Twenty of the STM’s Azur trains have been withdrawn from service because their bogies have worn out prematurely, a problem being blamed on stray electric currents passing through them.

      • Kate 12:14 on 2023-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

        The city has hired a new commissioner for relations with indigenous communities. Lauréanne Fontaine replaces Marie-Ève Bordeleau, who had held the role since 2019. Previous to Bordeleau, the city had an advisor whose claim to be Mi’kmaq was not well supported.

        Interestingly, it seems the new commissioner, Lauréanne Fontaine, described as Innu, is a redhead.

        • Blork 13:35 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          I suppose the never-to-be-asked question is “how Innu do you need to be?” If one of your grandparents is Innu, is that Innu enough to call yourself Innu?

        • EmilyG 14:28 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          It says she’s from an Innu community, and I’ve heard that a lot of Indigenous people don’t impose blood-quantum rules on everyone, so for now I don’t have a reason to doubt her indigeneity.

        • Kate 16:56 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          I’m not sure what to think. A lot of North Americans hold onto a vague family tradition of having Indigenous ancestry which can’t be tested by genealogical methods. We’ve seen numerous cases of people occupying positions that implicitly or even explicitly required a person of Indigenous background, then being dismissed once the claim is shown to be unsubstantiated.

          I’m not convinced all these people were consciously lying. Some may have been carrying forward a family myth they had no reason to doubt – but how do you tell? DNA testing seems crass, but it comes closer to establishing the facts than a vaguely remembered famiiy tree does. The problem is that nobody wants to say “Only those with minimum 50% Indigenous ancestry need apply.”

        • jeather 17:06 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          It’s surely up to the community itself to decide who they claim and who they don’t. Especially with residential schools, which broke a lot of “brought up as part of the community” chains.

          This article, about Indigenous vs Pretendian professors at universities, also includes some suggestions.

        • EmilyG 19:49 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          Yes, a community claiming someone is important.

          Yes, I’m familiar with the phenomenon of “pretendians.” I don’t know if this is the case here or not. It does say she’s from an Innu community.

          I’m not an expert on the subject, but I’ve learned a bit about Indigenous history. I think that some of the confusion over who is Indigenous might stem from the way the Indian Act and Indian status used to be. Like how non-Indigenous people could sometimes gain status, or Indigenous people could lose status, based on who they married. And I think at one point the Indian Act called anyone of mixed Native and non-Native parents “Metis” (even though this is actually the name of a specific Indigenous group.)
          So these things might lead to someone thinking they’re considered Indigenous, when it’ s not the case.

          Also, DNA tests, when used to try to to tell what ethnicity someone is, are notoriously unreliable. I’ve heard of the same person getting different results at different times, identical twins getting really different results from each other, and someone sending in a sample from their dog where the testers didn’t realize it wasn’t a human.

        • Chris 09:14 on 2023-03-24 Permalink

          >It’s surely up to the community itself

          That’s circular. Who’s a member of the community? Who decides who’s a member of the community?

          >Yes, I’m familiar with the phenomenon of “pretendians.”

          I can’t help but think a Martian observer would find it odd that we heap scorn on transracialism but heap praise on transgenerism.

        • EmilyG 10:29 on 2023-03-24 Permalink

          Chris, your snark and bigoted sarcasm adds nothing to the discussion.

        • Kate 10:44 on 2023-03-24 Permalink

          Emily, I don’t think Chris is actually out of bounds here, but he should know that the second question has been declared an untenable one in current civilized discourse.

        • qatzelok 10:50 on 2023-03-24 Permalink

          Chris has added another angle to the discussion and a new perspective.

          If that “adds nothing” to a discussion, what is everyone supposed to do, agree all the time on everything? Is that what ‘discussing’ means? Read and regurgitate?

        • jeather 11:27 on 2023-03-24 Permalink

          I have no idea what Fontaine’s background is and did not mean to suggest anything about her, I was responding to “how do you know”.

          The community decides who is a member. Yes, it’s circular. How do friend groups decide who are friends, how do families define families, etc. Not all groups are defined this way, there are multiple ways to define a group. But this is not inherently worse (or better) than the other ways.

          I’m sure you’re capable of googling the differences between being transgender and transracialism.

      • Kate 09:17 on 2023-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

        We’re back in the Far West with illegal taxis at the airport.

        • Ephraim 10:01 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          They approached us, last time we were there. I wondered how ghost taxis collect when you want to pay with CC. Not like they can call the cops for help…

        • Joey 10:24 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          In January we flew in around 9 PM or so. A bunch of people were trying to get Ubers but none of the drivers (who were all parked at the pickup line) were accepting the rides because they wanted to wait for demand to really spike for surge pricing to kick in. A legit cabbie pulled up and offered to take us – he had a meter, took credit cards, etc., but it was a little bit more grey area than I’ve ever seen at Dorval. The airport could easily sort this out – lots of US airports (I think Baltimore comes to mind) have staffed ticket booths at the front of the taxi line where travellers can pay upfront for their ride if they’re heading to a fixed-fee zone, usually downtown.

        • Ephraim 10:47 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          The fixed price zone charge has changed. $48.40 from 5AM to 11PM and $55.65 from 11PM to 5AM. We tried Uber, pricing changes each time you look it up. If the drivers won’t take it when it’s not rush, we just take the taxi. They play the same game in town… so taxi it is. It’s gone up so much that it’s making airport parking almost worth it

        • shawn 11:11 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          I haven’t flown in years but they used to have a staff person at the end of the legit taxi line who issued a little ticket to the (legit) cabbie and it was all organized. Is that not happening anymore.

        • John B 11:40 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          There was a staff person at the legit taxi line when I flew into Trudeau in December, things worked like what we were used to.

          Reading the article, it says that the Bureau de Taxi de Montreal was dissolved in December, I think as a side effect of a provincial law passed in 2019, and that means there’s effectively no surveillance or enforcement of taxi rules, (maybe there aren’t even taxi rules anymore), so it’s not longer clear that it is illegal for taxi drivers to pick up fares at the airport without an airport permit – and everyone’s trying to do it.

        • EmilyG 11:56 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          I was in Vancouver recently, and I think there were either signs in the airport, or info on their website, about how to make sure the taxi you’re getting is legit.

        • Kevin 12:47 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          And now members of the CAQ government are once again “very concerned” that their own legislation and decrees have broken something that used to work.

        • Blork 13:46 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          For a moment there I had a twang of nostalgia for the “Disruption era” of a decade ago, when it was all the rage to “disrupt” systems that were tired and had failed to adapt. (You know; Airbnb, Uber, WeWork, etc.) I was, and to some extent still am, in favour of disrupting things that need disrupting.

          …and it sounds like the taxi situation at the airport needs disrupting.

          Ironically, it’s Uber — the great disruptor — that needs disrupting the most. The idea of Uber drivers sitting around waiting for surge rates to kick in before they pick up passengers makes Uber worse than the decrepit taxi system ever was.

          So burn airport Ubers to the ground, as far as I’m concerned. If some unlicensed yokel is willing to drive me away from the airport when I want them to, at a price we agree on, then I’m all for it until the airport re-invents a usable system.

          (“Until such time…” because all disruptions are by definition temporary, and once they become the norm then they are often in need of being disrupted themselves. Illegal airport taxis should hit that milestone very quickly, but until Uber and the legit taxis get their shit together… )

        • Kevin 13:57 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          Those are three great examples of things that were only disruptive because they had billions of funding with the same business model: use deep pockets to flood the market with a cheaper alternative, drive out established players who didn’t have venture capitalist backing, and then once you have near monopoly status increase the price and provide a shittier service.

          Growth is all that matters and tech bros despise people who work for a living

        • walkerp 14:15 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          I’ve taken the taxi back from the airport multiple times in the last 6 months and there is still the legitimate taxi stand with an actual person directing traffic and sending you to your taxi.
          The last time there were some gypsy drivers soliciting rides but they were inside.
          Just go the taxi line. There is no need for any disruption. And fuck uber.

        • EmilyG 14:30 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          Yes, I used the taxi lines in Vancouver and Montreal on my recent trip. The lines were pretty long, but the service was pretty well-organized.

        • Blork 15:42 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          @Kevin: not doubting that at all. But when a system is tired and broken and not serving the people it’s supposed to serve, then the users of the system will jump at anything that works for them, regardless of the motivation behind it.

        • Blork 15:55 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          (Unsolicited follow-up to the “disruption” subthread.)

          Potential life cycles of disruptive technologies/services, from most desired to least desired:


          The existing system adapts to changing times and realities, resulting in no disruption.


          The existing system fails to adapt and is disrupted by a startup with a better usage model. The existing system quickly accepts the slap in the face and adapts, replacing the startup disrupter with an improved system that has both familiarity and good usability. Tech bros cry into their yachts.

          NOT GOOD

          The existing system fails to adapt and is disrupted by a startup with a better usage model. The existing system complains and makes a lot of noise and pisses everyone off — including their core users — but does not change, and eventually shrivels and dies. The disrupter gains dominance and then fucks everyone over with higher prices and service pivots that nobody wants. Tech bros buy more yachts.

        • Kevin 16:17 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          Valid up to a point. For many people something being cheaper is all that counts — and so we’ve ended up with services that are now demonstrably worse that what we had before disruption.

          I know I said it before but I’ll say it again: safety regulations are written in blood, and eliminating regulations without understanding why they were created is foolish.

        • Ephraim 10:09 on 2023-03-24 Permalink

          The chasing of the “cheap” is how we now have all our ground meat contaminated by e.coli…. Processing in Canada was slower because of the unions… sign a free trade deal and they ship all our beef to the US for processing, where they won’t slow the line and it all comes back with e.coli.

          And now, ghost taxis, deadly apartments, contaminated romaine lettuce…

        • Kevin 15:43 on 2023-03-24 Permalink

          The contaminated lettuce is because of water runoff, not the processing of beef.
          There is a cheap and easy way to eliminate e. coli O157:H7 from our food supply: vaccinate the cows against that particular strain of the bacteria. It was developed by researchers at UBC and put on the market 15 years ago.

        • Ephraim 16:30 on 2023-03-24 Permalink

          @Kevin – The runoff is caused by lack of food and farm inspection. The e. coli is because they run the lines so fast and don’t have sharp knives and the (looking for a nice word… ) fecal matter hits the floor and bounces back on to the carcasses. The problem doesn’t exist where you have inspections to ensure that the line is running at a speed that allows them to do this carefully with sharp knives. Food and farm inspection in the US is very lax. So are their quality standards. Food dyes that are illegal in Canada, Europe, etc… still legal in the US. Microbeads. PCBs caused by triclosan. It’s all a race to the bottom at the cost of humanity

      • Kate 09:15 on 2023-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

        If anything could have made me dislike the CAQ government more, it’s this report of the minister for social solidarity (what a joke) Chantal Rouleau mocking Mayor Plante because Montreal needs more money from Quebec for social housing.

        • DeWolf 11:30 on 2023-03-23 Permalink

          That was infuriating. Note that Catherine Fournier and Bruno Marchand have said exactly the same thing as Plante, but they haven’t (yet) been turned in villains by the Québecor machine, so the CAQ can’t score as many political points by mocking them.

      • Kate 09:01 on 2023-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

        The 24 heures paper, which has been in existence for more than 20 years – created by Quebecor to compete with Metro – is now going online only.

        There used to be occasional reports about how the STM had to cope with newspapers getting blown into metro tunnels and blocking up drains. There will always be some trash, but newspapers have mostly stopped being a problem.

        • Kate 08:50 on 2023-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

          The people camped out under the Ville‑Marie have won a small victory as a court agreement says the Quebec government has to find them housing and assistance.

          • Kate 08:47 on 2023-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

            TVA looks at how the Le Boulevard mall at Jean‑Talon and Pie‑IX has to be be partly demolished and the rest reorganized as construction for the blue line begins.

            • James 10:14 on 2023-03-24 Permalink

              The parking lot at the NW corner will soon be replaced with a giant hole in the ground. The tunnel boring machine will start from this point and travel eastwards. Traditional tunneling will also start from here and travel westwards to St. Michel station. The overall footprint of the workspace at ground level will be much larger than what you can see at the REM Marie-Curie station. This is why part of the mall will be demolished. Since STM is now the owner of the mall, they can make their tenants move out.

            • shawn 10:29 on 2023-03-24 Permalink

              James when you say “traditional tunneling” westward that’ll also be the boring machine?

            • James 11:03 on 2023-03-24 Permalink

              Traditional tunnelling: drill and blast or roadheaders. I suppose the technique used will be decided by the contractor selected by the STM.
              Since the distance to travel westwards to the St-Michel tail tracks is only about 500m it doesn’t make sense to use a TBM. If you wanted a TBM for the entire distance of the blue line extension you would have to make a giant hole in a residential neighborhood (intersection of Jean-Talon & 17th av.) and then start going eastwards.

            • Joey 14:38 on 2023-03-24 Permalink

              “Revitalize” LOL

          • Kate 08:39 on 2023-03-23 Permalink | Reply  

            A mechanical breakdown at the Lachine recycling plant means that tons of glass that could and should be recycled is being sent to landfill.

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