Updates from May, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:46 on 2023-05-22 Permalink | Reply  

    The victim of early Sunday’s pedestrian fatality has been named and two charges of impaired driving have been made in the high‑speed ricochet that took the woman’s life.

    • bumper carz 11:27 on 2023-05-23 Permalink

      One long weekend in Quebec = 11 dead car victims in Quebec

      Is this really acceptable to most drivers?

    • Kate 12:01 on 2023-05-23 Permalink

      Evidently yes. And ongoing.

  • Kate 14:30 on 2023-05-22 Permalink | Reply  

    A storefront in St-Laurent was firebombed a second time this month, early Monday.

    • Kate 14:26 on 2023-05-22 Permalink | Reply  

      TVA says that reports of dog aggressions are up over the last year. But this was already reported last month by Radio‑Canada, with some owners theorizing that many dogs adopted during the pandemic had never been properly socialized.

      • Blork 15:55 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

        The obvious solution is to LET THEM GO ON THE METRO.

      • Orr 22:57 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

        I’ll vote for any politician who promises dog-free parks, most especially Parc Mont Royal.

      • Daniel 09:38 on 2023-05-23 Permalink

        Have there been any reports of problems with dogs on the metro yet? I haven’t heard of any nor have I seen very many on there.
        There are many dog-free parks, at least in Point St-Charles.

      • walkerp 09:51 on 2023-05-23 Permalink

        I suspect the issue is not so much not been properly socialized but that there are just so many more dogs owned now. It’s crazy how many people got dogs during the pandemic.

      • Kate 12:03 on 2023-05-23 Permalink

        I can’t tell whether my impression that I see more dog walkers now is confirmation bias. Nobody I know personally has mentioned getting a dog recently.

      • Mark Côté 13:37 on 2023-05-23 Permalink

        The first article says “Depuis la pandémie, 110 000 ménages ont décidé d’adopter un chat ou un chien, ce qui a fait augmenter la population canine de 37%.” So yeah, there must be many more dogs out there, even now (after many decided they didn’t want a pet after all, sigh).

    • Kate 13:42 on 2023-05-22 Permalink | Reply  

      People living in the Point have had it with the deplorable condition of the Wellington Street train underpass. But their demands have been heard, and CN is promising to make repairs.

      • Kate 11:23 on 2023-05-22 Permalink | Reply  

        La Presse’s Marc Cassivi tells us about the influence of Yannick Nézet-Séguin in classical music, and links us to a 60 Minutes interview with some scenes in Montreal.

        • Kate 09:50 on 2023-05-22 Permalink | Reply  

          Electric scooters will be back this summer in a second attempt, but only over in Parc Jean‑Drapeau. Laval is also going to give them a try. Another La Presse writer recounts how Paris just voted to banish them.

          • Ephraim 10:58 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

          • MarcG 12:03 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            I was hoping that would be the pic of the huge pile of e-scooters set for the garbage. Can’t seem to find it now… anyone?

          • marco 12:10 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

          • MarcG 12:13 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            Thanks marco, that’s the one I was thinking of.

          • Chris 12:44 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            That pile of junk scooters is nothing compared to the number of cars we junk. The energy and materials of one vs the other is orders of magnitude more. It’s a shame so many have such a hate-on for these scooters. The main problem with them is one of space allocation. We don’t want them on sidewalks of course. The solution is easy: take space away from cars and reallocate it to scooters. But of course that’s impossible. Pity.

          • Uatu 15:47 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            Last time we had scooters they did use some street parking spots as pick up and drop off points but riders just left them all over the place anyway. Including in the middle of sidewalks

          • Kate 17:33 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            Chris, most cars get driven a number of years before they’re scrapped. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but I think the shock value of those Jump bikes being scrapped was that they were relatively new and could have seen a lot more use, even if they had to be shipped somewhere else.

          • Tim S. 19:15 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            The scooters weren’t replacing cars. They were replacing walking, and possibly bike/public transit/taxis.

          • Mr.Chinaski 09:39 on 2023-05-23 Permalink

            With the new pricing method that have geolocalisation and will make you pay extra $$$$ if you don’t put it back in a designated spot, I can give them a second chance.

            They are essential in a city for the first&last mile.

        • Kate 09:06 on 2023-05-22 Permalink | Reply  

          Nobody’s talked about these issues for awhile as we’ve focused on efforts to make the REM fit for passengers, but Michel C. Auger has an excellent piece this weekend on the future of the REM, reminding us that if it isn’t profitable after five years, the Caisse can sell it, or make its debts public ones.

          • Spi 09:46 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            Honestly even though Michel C. Auger is a respected and respectable political analyst he is not someone that should be listened to or in the least bit considered objective when it comes to anything REM related. He’s had a bone to pick with the project/governance model since day one.

            Frankly it’s shocking, I’ve never seen a political journalist/commentator be so biased on a specific PPP (or anything really), he almost never writes on topics outside of politics except to bash the REM. He wilfully omits parts of the “contract” that he liberally criticizes in his pieces. For example not once has he ever brought up the profit sharing structure of the contract when mentioning the “generous/guaranteed” profits from the what he characterizes as generous. In this piece he speculates that CDPQi can sell the REM to anyone, including evil Americans or Chinese, without once stating that the provincial government has a right first of refusal.

            It’s sad that the quality of an article is based on how much it aligns with ones belief rather than how thoughtful, factual or accurate it is.

          • Kate 10:19 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            If the Quebec government buys it, is it not going to become liable for a huge debt?

          • Spi 10:57 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            What debt? In the case of a sale Projetco would be the entity up for sale and with no insight into how it’s structured I can’t say whether it has debt on its balance sheet. The Caisse has access to a mountain of some of the cheapest/lowest cost money in the form of the retirement deposit of Quebecers.

            For these types of funds, accessing capital generally isn’t a problem it’s generating sufficient return and risk management, so I don’t see what debt component would be at play here. Unless you’re talking about the recurring operating expense associated with an unprofitable transit system, how is that any different than all the other public transit offerings in this province?

          • anton 11:22 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            If the government of Quebec purchases the REM, _the government of Quebec_ will be liable for a huge debt. Since the REM is ownership structure was set up explicitly set up to avoid debt “on the books”, even if the rent the government pays is much larger than the debt service would’ve been, there is at least a concern that the government may not use its right of first refusal. I think the concern is perhaps exaggerated, and I agree Mr Auger should mention the right of first refusal, but it cannot be completely dismissed.

            As for the profit sharing, that’s really political marketing bullshit. Yes theres a profit sharing agreement between CDPQInfra and the governments. But CDPQInfra will receive a much bigger share of the profits, because they claim they have more risks somehow. Basically CDPQInfra gets most if not all of the profits up to some amount, then there’s a sliding scale and when the REM makes more money than would rasonably be expected, the marginal dividends are more equally divided.

            But even then, the question is where does this profit come from? Back in the day when I analysed the project a lot (for all good that it did…), I found the fares would cover about 20c per passenger-km, but the total income per passenger-km will be about 80-90c per km. Most of the difference is direct subsidies to the REM from the Quebec government, indirect subsidies via ARTM payments, and those special taxes the CDPQ somehow gets to charge. One the cost side, The operating cost of the REM should also be around 20c per km (so the REM could be nominally operationally profitable as far as fares are concerned). The other 60-70c will go towards debt service (non-existent because the CDPQ has its own pile of cash) and dividends (profits).

            So basically its money flowing from the government as transit subsidies through the REM project towards the pension fund, most of it goes to the CDPQ, and then most of that goes towards private pensions of public sector employees (60%?), some amount to the public pension plan (25%?)… I had once set up an infographic to show the flow of money through the REM, but I don´t think anybody cares about such kind of transparency in Quebec.

          • qatzelok 11:28 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            ” He’s had a bone to pick with the project/governance model since day one. ”

            This may be because of the times in which we are living. Our current late-stage era of capitalism has many financial predators buying off public infrastructure at fire-sale prices, and this has lead to many national bankruptcies of which Greece is the most obvious.

            Also, our current governing parties – both provincial and federal – are dominated by yes-men for oligarchs.So caution and critical analysis are advisable.

          • shawn 12:00 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            Even with my lack of knowledge on the area, and my respect for the journalist in general, yes, the assertion that this could be sold to an American (or Chinese!) hedge fund or something without the Quebec government being able to stop it seemed far-fetched.

          • Ephraim 13:56 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            The only good thing is that had this been built under the Quebec government, the costs would have been even higher, with the build Quebec clause. It’s the silver lining on the fleecing

          • Orr 23:01 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            I thought I read when REM was announced that Quebec government was guaranteeing a specified profit rate for the Caisse operating the REM. That fact stuck with me, but I wonder if it is a fact.
            In any case, there is never in the history of PPPs that the private-business partner didn’t come out on top.

          • DisgruntledGoat 01:04 on 2023-05-23 Permalink

            Giving a performance incentive is a part of all contracts`

          • Spi 09:11 on 2023-05-23 Permalink

            @Orr this is why opinion pieces like this are irresponsible they spread half-truths if not straight up lies when authors don’t fully grasps the topic at hand. There is no guaranteed profit component. There is a high payment per passenger km traveled and there is a tiered profit structure, I think CDPQi keeps all the profits up to 8% and then the profit sharing structure with the governments kicks in (there’s also a third tier I forget the details). Someone who doesn’t grasp the concept decided the latter meant guaranteed profits and it’s been repeated erroneously for years because no one bothers to check.

        • Kate 09:04 on 2023-05-22 Permalink | Reply  

          When Quebecor reports on urban issues like graffiti and homelessness I read them and think: yes, these are actually a problem, but is Quebecor more interested in simply telling the story, or is its motive to emphasize Montreal’s grimmer and sleazier aspects because that’s a standing editorial policy?

          • Chris 11:20 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            Indeed. And you should have the same thoughts for everything you read in media generally.

          • Kate 11:32 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            Why how kind of you to school me, Chris.

          • shawn 12:04 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            I agree that graffiti is a scourge and more needs to be done to stop it but when the article cited $500 k a year as the “fortune” being spent on removal, it didn’t seem that high a figure given what the city must spend in other areas.

          • shawn 12:09 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            … and c’mon Kate, it’s the only way you’re going to learn.

          • Chris 12:51 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            Kate, I’m not trying to ‘school you’, I was agreeing with you! The comment wasn’t even addressed to you specifically, just a general conversation piece that it’s typical of media to all have their agendas to watch out for. They are easy to see when we disagree with their agenda, harder to see when we agree.

          • Chris 13:25 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            >$500 k a year as the “fortune” being spent …

            Why do you put “fortune” in quotes? The article does not use that word. In fact their sentence is a pretty bland to-the-point statement of fact: “Dans l’arrondissement de Ville-Marie seulement, ce sont 500 000 dollars qui sont investis chaque année pour effacer les graffitis.” That wording doesn’t strike me as them trying to make it seem huge; does it?

            >…didn’t seem that high a figure given what the city must spend in other areas

            It’s also not what “the city” spends, that figure is for one borough. If we multiply by 19 (for a rough approximation) it’s almost $10 million. For comparison, the City budget is spending only $1.5 million per year to expand bixi. So you’re right it’s not the City’s biggest spending item, but it’s significant I think.

          • shawn 14:54 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            “Fortune” is in the headline.

        • Kate 08:43 on 2023-05-22 Permalink | Reply  

          The SPCA holds an open adoption day Monday, standard fees not being charged. Unusually, the item says they’re not overwhelmed with cats, but they have a lot of smaller pets to adopt out.

          On the animal theme, Global looks at the Ecomuseum Zoo and its recovery after the ice storm. I’ve never been out there, any opinions? I find it odd we have a privately owned zoo here.

          • dwgs 10:28 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            The Ecomuseum is a great place. It’s a nonprofit, they have excellent educational programming and all the animals are native to Quebec and afaik orphaned or rehabilitated from injury etc (i.e. not viable to live in the wild).

          • Kate 11:30 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            That’s nice to know, dwgs. Thanks.

          • jeather 11:47 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            Give it until July 2 for the cats, sadly.

          • EmilyG 12:15 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            I’ve lived near the Ecomuseum for most of my life, and have been going there for most of my life. It’s wonderful. I love it! It’s great seeing the animals, local Quebec animals that are so well cared for.
            It’s always been a part of my life, and somewhere I’ve enjoyed going to.

          • Kate 14:13 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            jeather, I’m afraid you may be right on that.

            My cat told me to go over and adopt a few mice for her, but I said no.

          • Orr 23:22 on 2023-05-22 Permalink

            Ecomuseum is great. I really enjoy visiting it.
            I especially appreciate that they only have species that are native to Quebec. They have lynxes!
            Additionally, the Morgan Arboretum is nearby.

          • Margaret 08:05 on 2023-05-23 Permalink

            I used to take my kids there and the true test is that I still like to go now that they have flown the coop. The staff are incredible and the habitats for the animals so well considered.

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