Updates from June, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 12:38 on 2023-06-12 Permalink | Reply  

    The police and the STM have begun a campaign against street harassment, encouraging witnesses of such activity to act.

    • Kate 12:35 on 2023-06-12 Permalink | Reply  

      Will police tolerate a magic mushroom boutique? Their policy is not yet known.

      In other drug news, the SQDC honcho maintains that Quebec needn’t loosen its cannabis laws to increase its clientele. This reads like PR, not reality. Do people really enjoy the dried cauliflower?

      • Joey 13:34 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        The SQDC is right – sure, consumers would probably prefer chocolates and gummies to, you know, beets, but the reason the illegal market for edibles continues to thrive is likely due to the restrictions on strength/potency…

      • carswell 13:37 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        In all likelihood, the CEO is parroting the Health and Social Services Department line. All policy decisions emanate from the ministère and the CAQistes still view cannabis sales as an evil federal imposition and a source of danger for society, which is why they have passed regulations more restrictive than the fed’s regarding edibles (which under Quebec law cannot be offered for sale if they hold any appeal for young people) and certain other product categories, like topicals, shatter and vape oils.

        My impression is that, unofficially, the company would like to sell products popular and available in the rest of Canada — among other things, it would be a big boost to their efforts to migrate users away from the underground market, the key plank of the SQDC’s mission — but that the people ultimately in charge won’t let them.

        Dunno about the dried cauliflower but the dried beet isn’t bad from a flavour standpoint. The real issue with the legal edibles and oils IMO is their relatively low cannabinoid content, which is set by law.

      • jeather 14:42 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        My bet is that when the CAQ get out of power the rules will be very quietly loosened and can’t put the genie back in the bottle after that. Other than your opinion of the dried beet (haven’t tried it, once tried a candy edible and hated it), I think you’ve got it right.

      • carswell 14:48 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        It will depend on who takes over from the CAQ. The PLQ, which was in power when the feds passed the Cannabis Act (though not on the date when sales became legal and the first SQDC stores opened), was only slightly less opposed than the CAQ is.

      • Mark Côté 16:20 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        Indeed, support for legalization was markedly lower in Quebec than the Canadian average

      • Kate 17:14 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        Odd. Chantal Hébert tosses a few ideas around in that piece, Mark Côté, but she can’t quite explain the anomaly.

        At this point I’m absolutely unable to picture which party will succeed the CAQ. I’m quite resigned to living in a CAQ Quebec for the rest of my life.

      • JaneyB 17:44 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        Indeed, I’ve noticed that even the mostly liberal-minded Quebecois I know are consistently coolish toward cannabis – since before the CAQ and before JTrudeau. My theory is that in Quebec culture, intoxication is supposed to be a social thing eg: end in singing and dancing. Being stoned is thought of as a precursor to napping or a quiet evening with Doritos and so seems anti-social and more of a vice.

        I like the brazen contrariness of QC’s beet, fig, and cauliflower edibles. It’s the FU I’ve come to expect lol.

        @Kate – I also marvel at how adroitly Legault’s CAQ hits the complex and sometimes contradictory political positions of Quebecois – the only way the CAQ could lose is from turmoil caused by Legault’s departure/death. Or…if their positions migrate to another party. Bourassa’s Liberal Party was not unlike the CAQ.

      • carswell 18:13 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        As implied in my first post, I agree with Hébert’s ascribing a big part of the reason to Quebec’s suspicion of federally imposed mandates. But I suspect there’s something deeper at work: pot has never been as present in Quebec culture as it is in anglo North America, at least in the 50 years (this September!) that I’ve called this city home.

        In 1973, I transferred from a U.S. university to McGill. In the States, pot was everywhere on campuses and was very present in culture, especially popular music. The situation was very different here in Montreal. I can’t recall ever seeing or smelling a joint being smoked on campus. Few of my friends or fellow students talked about cannabis, had a stash, suggested trying to score some. Yes, you’d occasionally get a whiff at a concert but nothing like in the States. And most of the people who did toke up were anglos, many of them fellow expats.

        This isn’t to imply that there was no cannabis culture in the province (after all, Quebec has its “own” strain, Jean Guy, which has been around for quite a while), just that its profile was much lower. And I’m talking about cosmopolitan, 1/3-anglo Montreal here, not the navel-gazing, homogenous regions with next to no experience of the bud except associating it with dirty, do-nothing hippies. Also, the church did’t and still doesn’t approve. And while the church’s influence over Quebec culture may have waned, rural Quebec’s has if anything increased, especially with the ascension of the CAQ.

      • shawn 19:18 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        Not disputing anything you say, but I would also add that in the 70s Montreal was a hash town, in my experience. Not weed.

      • jeather 19:33 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        Gotta say at a generation younger, I feel like it was the reverse. I smelled pot everywhere in Montreal, but only in very limited locations in places in the US, including on school campuses. From say, late 90s to mid 2000s.

      • DeWolf 21:57 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        Yeah, when I moved here in 2002, it didn’t feel any different with regards to pot than anywhere else in Canada. You smelled it everywhere, people brought it to parties, etc.

        I think JaneyB’s analysis of the CAQ is interesting because I’ve been thinking along the same lines. It’s a truly amorphous political party, generally conservative but not always. It’s a particularly Quebec kind of party that embodies all of the contradictions of this place.

        The closest parallel I can think of would be the Alberta PCs under Ralph Klein.

      • Anon 22:50 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        When I first started coming to Montreal in the mid 80s, I was very impressed by how liberal people were about drugs. Walking down Ste Kitty on a weekend evening, I would hear the “ash coke ash coke” chant from passing dealers everywhere. Nobody that I met in clubs or at parties ever had a problem with smoking up, pretty openly, and every bar had a dealer – or two – if you “could be trusted”.

        Toronto by comparison was utter deadsville; uptight, lame club scene, impossible to hook up casually, cops all over …

        I’m not sure where this impression of QC as a more conservative place comes from, Montreal was always way more easy going as far as drugs were concerned, especially dope. The bikers were shitbags to be sure but opium laced hashish was a lot of fun – or PCP laced hash if you wanted to stay up all weekend.

        Nowadays most people I know order their marijuana online, especially since the (very legit) fentanyl scares. The street dealers are long gone and bar drugs are an easy ticket to an OD.

        Not that have ever done or would ever suggest such a thing but you can buy mushrooms by the pound from BC should you wish, or more reasonable doses by species, in a known dose. Same goes for gummies – THC or CBD, indica or sativa. Or hashish, even. Through Canada Post, no less.

        Legault and his paternalisitc ding dongs can’t put the genie that was never in the bottle back in some other bottle even if claiming to do so plays well in the sticks.

      • Mark Côté 11:48 on 2023-06-13 Permalink

        I wish there was a breakdown of the support for legalization in Quebec by region. I assumed that the relatively low support here was, as usual, part of the Montreal–ROQ cultural split. Montreal, since I moved here in 2001, has always seemed very pro-pot (anyone been to Tam-Tams?). Given that Montreal has long been seen as the dark side of Quebec, it wouldn’t surprise me for the ROQ to swing over to conservatism when it comes to drug use (and many other things, of course).

      • Mark Côté 12:29 on 2023-06-13 Permalink

        Also, as for picturing life without the CAQ, who could have pictured them leading the province 10 years ago? Sometimes things change real fast.

      • Kate 15:37 on 2023-06-13 Permalink

        True, but the CAQ has found a winning formula: make noises like nationalists, but don’t rock the federalist boat too much so that they can still extract money from Canada, call on Canada’s armed forces when needed, and so on. Few of us really want to reopen the Constitution, so Legault simply dekes around it when he likes, and Canada lets him. He gets to have his cake and eat it too.

        Maurice Duplessis was premier for 15 years. Legault’s only done five.

    • Kate 09:21 on 2023-06-12 Permalink | Reply  

      Anjou mayor Luis Miranda was recorded sounding off against borough workers at a council meeting. Some were reminded of the incident last fall when he tore a strip off a teenager for asking a polite question in a council session.

      • walkerp 10:22 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        Okay, this is a good opportunity for one of you elite bilinguilists to try and explain to me how the hell “or” works in French.

        The third paragraph/sentence in the TVA article says:
        “Or, ces déclarations ne passent pas aux yeux de la présidente du Syndicat des fonctionnaires municipaux de Montréal, Guylaine Dionne.”

        What is “Or” doing in that sentence and more importantly, what are the criteria that tell the writer that they should add an “or” in a sentence?

      • Kate 10:39 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        It’s used the way “Now…” or “However…” or “Moreover…” can be used in narratives in English. I think.

      • walkerp 11:28 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        Yes, but it’s ambiguous. “Now” would work in the paragraph above grammatically and meaning wise but seems odd in English and maybe but “moreover” doesn’t work and “however” is just wrong.

      • azrhey 11:51 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        I usual use “that said” or “yet” when translating “or” depending on context.
        J’ai mangé du chili hier soir, or je sais que c’est une mauvaise idée = I ate chili last night. That said. I know it’s a bad idea.
        J’ai toujours voulu etre archeologue, or je ne me suis jamais inscrite à aucun cours = I’ve always wanted to be an archeologist, yet I never registered to a single class.

      • DeWolf 11:52 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        “The mayor apologized for the work of municipal employees to a citizen concerned about the processing time of a file. However, those statements are unacceptable to the president of the Syndicat des fonctionnaires municipaux de Montréal, Guylaine Dionne.”

        That’s how I would translate the above paragraphs.

      • walkerp 13:27 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        Thank you, those are helpful. And I see that a “however” does work in the linked article.
        This may be one of the rare instances where English is actually more grammatically precise than French. This “or” is quite flexible it seems. More like a bridging device for stylistic reasons than actually playing a strong grammatical role.

      • DeWolf 14:23 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        It was certainly something I struggled with back in high school when I was writing essays in French class!

      • Kate 14:31 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        walkerp, I know what you mean. I think “Or…” has a slightly less precise job to do than “however” – the latter usually introduces some element that specifically contrasts with what was said before, but “Or…” can also link more loosely connected ideas.

        Which is odd, because written French is usually more formal than written English, but in this case, not so much.

        Speaking of French, I was recently chasing down the rules for when you can write “maint” or “moult” instead of “beaucoup” and found them oddly imprecise, too. Azrhey?

      • azrhey 17:28 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        so there are two expressions figées for maint … “maintes et maintes façons” and maintes reprises”. outside of that, maint is considered langage soutenu ( which is a rung above formel ) so unless you are writting a philosophical dissertation for the Royal Academy, I wouldn’t use it.
        Moult is disused these days, so unless you’re writing period pieces, you wouldn’t use it either ( moult is cognate with mucho in spanish and muito in portuguese )

      • Kate 19:17 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        azrhey, I looked up “moult” because it turned up in a La Presse piece last week, can’t recall which, but it gets used by them from time to time.

        Maintes reprises is a little more familiar. Thank you.

        Here’s a nice little story in Le Devoir about a purgatory of French tests for a man born here and qualified here, who’s passed the OQLF test but now has to pass another test, this one from France.

        I wonder how many Québécois de souche could pass these exams.

      • Ian 22:53 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        molto bene 😉

      • GC 09:16 on 2023-06-14 Permalink

        Thanks for the clarification on “or”. I’m not fully fluent in French and I’ve always found use around that word confusing!

    • Kate 09:06 on 2023-06-12 Permalink | Reply  

      La Presse’s Katia Gagnon followed police chief Fady Dagher as he slept in homeless shelters and visited people in the city’s poorer neighbourhoods, in an effort to reach people but also to try out a system he means to use on young cops to make them understand the city.

      It’s an interesting piece. Dagher evidently leverages his own background – Lebanese family, but born in Côte d’Ivoire – to bring home to people that he isn’t some random authoritarian white guy. And if this piece is to be believed, it works. Whether his charm also works within the force is not gone into.

      • walkerp 09:39 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        Actually sounds promising. I suspect there will be a lot of resistance from the police union but a good start.

      • PatrickC 10:20 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        I had not realized the SPVM was having trouble recruiting new officers. And why is the Sûreté du Québec so appealing?

      • Kate 12:02 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        It’s a lot easier to cruise around the countryside in a car, looking after the occasional car crash, than to deal with the complicated issues of drug addiction, domestic violence, gang strife and homelessness found in the city. As noted in the item, even most SPVM cops don’t live in the city they work for.

        But they haven’t read Sherlock Holmes:

        “Do you know, Watson,” said he, “that it is one of the curses of a mind with a turn like mine that I must look at everything with reference to my own special subject. You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of their isolation and of the impunity with which crime may be committed there.”

        “Good heavens!” I cried. “Who would associate crime with these dear old homesteads?”

        “They always fill me with a certain horror. It is my belief, Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.”

        “You horrify me!”

        From The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

      • walkerp 13:26 on 2023-06-12 Permalink

        Wow, Kate, one of my all-time favourite quotes! So true. That should have been required reading for all the hipsters who moved out to the regions during the pandemic.

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