Updates from June, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:36 on 2023-06-15 Permalink | Reply  

    A climate die-in was held Thursday afternoon in the Quartier Latin, near Steven Guilbeault’s office, to underline government climate inaction.

    • Orr 10:53 on 2023-06-18 Permalink

      Trudeau’s Liberal government bought the unfinished “Trans Mountain” oil-export pipeline from Alberta to the west coast, and are completing the construction of it for a cost of $30 billion.
      That’s not inaction. it’s just not the right kind of action (50% cut in fossil fuel use by 2030, 90% by 2050).

  • Kate 15:38 on 2023-06-15 Permalink | Reply  

    Workers at the Casino are on strike as Grand Prix weekend looms.

    Even Quebec can’t figure out a way to make the Casino an essential service.

    • shawn 16:32 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

      Ha. That’s great. Good for them. Get paid.

    • Ephraim 17:45 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

      Is the casino actually profitable? I know they have $657.2M in revenue, but revenue isn’t actual profit, just how much cash went through the place. And that’s less than $2M dollars a day and that’s 4 casinos in the province plus the online casino.

    • shawn 18:30 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

      I found a 2018 Gazette article with a higher figure, stating that Quebec casinos generated almost $910 million in revenue. Did it really go down that much, post-Covid?

    • Bryan 20:44 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

      There really does appear to be a sharp decline in casino revenue if you compare the 2017-2018 and 2021-2022 annual reports of Loto Quebec. However, revenue rebounded to $1.1B in the 2022-2023 fiscal period. Of that, it appears that the physical establishments contributed about $668M and the balance came from the online casino and ancillary hospitality. As a division, the casinos and gaming facilities seem to post a net income of a little less than $500M.

    • shawn 20:55 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

      Still way below 2019, even with the uptick, then. Casinos alone (excluding other “gaming establishments”) had been almost double that, from what I gather: https://societe.lotoquebec.com/en/media-and-partners/press-releases/2019/juin-2019/rapport-annuel-2018-2019-2019-06-13

    • Ephraim 10:49 on 2023-06-16 Permalink

      A small casino in Vegas does better than 4 casinos in Quebec…. very telling, if you ask me

    • Kate 10:52 on 2023-06-16 Permalink

      True, but Vegas is known worldwide as a gambling mecca, which Quebec is not. People go to Vegas specifically to lose their shirts, whereas a casino visit here is a side quest for most visitors.

    • Ephraim 11:48 on 2023-06-16 Permalink

      And from these numbers, not very profitable or well run. If it takes 4 casinos and a monopoly… and I still question if it’s profitable
      I just notice that they have one show that I would like to see… but exactly when I’m out of town. Big names coming… Roch Voisine and Mario Pelchat… am I asleep already?

    • dwgs 12:39 on 2023-06-16 Permalink

      Online gambling has grown exponentially and most of it isn’t gov’t run. Also, the people I know who enjoy a casino go to Kahnawake…

    • Kate 20:11 on 2023-06-16 Permalink

      dwgs, what guarantees that you’d be paid if you won on some random gambling site?

    • dwgs 07:01 on 2023-06-17 Permalink

      They’re not random Kate, they’re big business, some more legit than others but they all pay out or they couldn’t stay in business. It has become difficult to watch a hockey game these days because of the wall to wall sports betting ads, it’s insane.

    • Kate 09:40 on 2023-06-17 Permalink

      I guess. But to me the main thing about government lotteries is that it’s clear, you win, they pay out. My family had a long tradition of participating in dubious gambling exploits – my grandfather helped his Chinese neighbours run a numbers game, everyone was always trying to get Irish Sweepstakes tickets, even my incredibly proper and upright godmother used to sell “hockey tickets” that she got from some source in the office where she worked. But in none of these systems was there any recourse for someone who didn’t get a payout they expected, because they were not legal, and there were a lot of middlemen involved.

  • Kate 15:37 on 2023-06-15 Permalink | Reply  

    Armed violence is down 30% compared to 2022.

    • Kate 14:32 on 2023-06-15 Permalink | Reply  

      A tentative agreement has been reached in the long strike at Notre‑Dame‑des‑Neiges.

      • Kate 09:03 on 2023-06-15 Permalink | Reply  

        Benches and tables will be installed along Duluth Street beside Jeanne‑Mance Park, which is to be eventually linked up with the garden of Hôtel‑Dieu that lies behind that stone wall and gate you can see in the photo. Some installations explaining the history will also be put up.

        • Spi 09:37 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          Hate to be a cynic but what are the odds that the space just gets completely taken over by shelter residents at hotel-dieu? 50-50?

        • shawn 09:43 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          Is there a shelter there? I had no idea.

        • Kate 10:11 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          Here’s a piece from almost a year ago about neighbourhood troubles with shelter denizens.

        • shawn 10:57 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          Right. In fact, I just cycled by and did notice that, for the first time. Thanks.

        • DeWolf 11:52 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          Shelter residents haven’t taken over Jeanne-Mance, so what would make this patch of asphalt more attractive than the green lawns right next to it?

        • Joey 12:05 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          That drawing, of the “best case scenario” type common to these things, is meant to inspire people to sit there? Eesh.

        • walkerp 12:19 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          This is just temporary before they turn that street basically into part of Jeanne-Mance park, no?

          Spi, I would say the odds are about zero.

        • Joey 13:26 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          @walkerp ok fine, but why not just leave it as is until the bigger project is ready to go (also, that wall poses a significant obstacle to the borough’s vision, IMO)? Time and money are not infinite, surely there are more pressing things that could be done in the meantime. It kinda feels like they just wanted to justify shutting down the street to traffic more than anything.

        • Joey 13:26 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          For example, they could have instead delivered on the apparent commitment to create a temporary fenced dog park…

        • Ian 13:52 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          Let’s be honest here, shutting down streets is very low-hanging fruit as far as urban projects go – inexpensive, completely within the urban planning vision, quick to enact, and extending a popular park isn’t going to get much pushback. At least it’s not a project that will only benefit well-heeled yuppies with friends on council like shutting down Remembrance. Besides, as Luc Rabouin gleefully points out, they don’t waste time and money on studies so shutting down a street to traffic is right in his wheelhouse.

        • Kate 14:54 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          Ian, the closest thing to this project in recent history was also in the Plateau, under Projet, when they decided to unite the two halves of Baldwin Park by greening over two blocks of Marie‑Anne. It caused a lot of ruckus at the time because some folks in the area resisted losing the parking spaces. But they did it anyway.

        • Joey 15:06 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          @Ian just to be clear, I’m not opposed to the long-term plan to make that stretch of Duluth part of the park – it’s the interim ‘plan’ to do architectural renderings of where some picnic tables will go that, I suspect, took a lot more time and money than it should have that seems nutso…

        • shawn 15:26 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          I’m not convinced closing off that section to Duluth to vehicles – taking pressure of Pine and Mont-Royal – is even necessary. It’s not like that area wants for greenspace.

        • shawn 15:36 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          I’m not convinced shutting the one vehicular street between Pine and always-congested Mount Royal Avenues is necessary. There’s an abundance of greenspace in that area and it seems wise to maintain give drivers a 3rd option.

        • DeWolf 16:20 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          So let me get this straight. Based on this comment thread and some of the quotes in the Metro article, the concerns about closing this stretch of Duluth and eventually converting it into green space are the following:

          There is already too much green space in the area
          Homeless people will use the space previously occupied by cars
          The space will not be fenced off and dedicated exclusively to dogs
          The park is too popular and lively, and this will only increase its popularity and liveliness
          Drivers will no longer have easy, high-speed access to the congested heart of the Plateau
          The city employs people to make renderings of their officially gazetted plans

          Any other complaints?

        • Blork 16:47 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          The illustration is pretty uninspiring, but the article says that the transformation will take place in phases, and this looks like a picture of just the first phase.

          That said, I hope they keep a bike path, although that isn’t necessarily pedestrian-friendly as it means a strip of down-hill bike path (read: fast-moving bikes) cutting through an area where everyone is sniffing the flowers and being green and all that. Guaranteed hazard for pedestrians.

          I don’t think that strip of Duluth gets much car traffic, but for those evil subhumans who dare to drive in that area it will mean a much longer route for them to get from Parc to lower Duluth and environs. Expect to hear about it. More cars on St-Laurent, St-Urbain, etc. and higher taxi and Uber fares for people who live on or around that part of Esplanade.

        • DeWolf 17:16 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          Yes, according to Alex Norris, there will be a bike path (which will also provide access for emergency vehicles).

          And the dog park is coming, it’s part of the city’s plans to revamp Jeanne-Mance that were announced a few months ago.

        • mb 17:24 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          It’s kind of an obvious thing to do on Duluth, but I’m dreaming of seeing it on Parc between Mont-Royal and Pine! That would be ambitious!

        • j 17:36 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          Don’t think that the new fenced dog park is scheduled to come online for another 5-10 years if I remember the presentation correctly. I have not had a dog in a while, but I did notice that the sign designating the unfenced, time-limited dog park area opposite the football field is no longer there. So is there still a dog park in that park?

        • Chris 18:38 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          >It kinda feels like they just wanted to justify shutting down the street to traffic more than anything.

          Yes, great!

          >I’m not convinced closing off that section to Duluth to vehicles – taking pressure of Pine and Mont-Royal – is even necessary.

          It prevents right hooks for cyclists going north on the Parc bike path, which is a big win.

          >That said, I hope they keep a bike path, although that isn’t necessarily pedestrian-friendly as it means a strip of down-hill bike path (read: fast-moving bikes)

          It’s more pedestrian-friendly than the cars that currently drive fast there.

          Pedestrians have sidewalks on both sides of almost every street. Cyclists have very little space allocated to them comparatively.

        • carswell 19:09 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          I’m with you, mb. Joining Mount Royal and Jeanne-Mance parks would be such an improvement, aesthetically and environmentally. If it were up to me, a Park Avenue tunnel running from just north of Pine to just south of Mont-Royal would have been built years ago.

        • walkerp 20:39 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          With you, Dewolf. Seems like a cheap and fast approach to use the space in the interim.
          carswell, I love the tunnel idea. The CAQ should take the Quebec City tunnel money and use it for the new Park Ave. tunnel.

        • DeWolf 21:04 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          I’ve definitely thought about a tunnel before, but I wonder if there isn’t a better, cheaper and less environmentally destructive way to do it, since tunnels use an enormous amount of concrete and require tons of maintenance. How about two lanes of vehicular traffic on each side, with a tramway or BRT in the middle, separated by generous medians with trees and lots of other greenery? Certainly eliminate the spur that leads to Côte-Sainte-Catherine and find a better configuration for the intersection at Mont-Royal. Maybe a Dutch-style roundabout?

        • Blork 21:34 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          >>That said, I hope they keep a bike path, although that isn’t necessarily pedestrian-friendly as it means a strip of down-hill bike path (read: fast-moving bikes)

          >It’s more pedestrian-friendly than the cars that currently drive fast there.

          Not necessarily. As a street, it does not have pedestrians wandering all over it, obliviously. Make it a green space with a bike path right down the middle and you now have a place that’s full of people wandering around, at least half of whom will be oblivious to the bike path.

          This isn’t me arguing in favour of cars. This is me reporting directly on the extent to which pedestrians are oblivious to moving bicycles. I say this as a cyclist who has many times had to dodge pedestrians who step right onto bike paths without even looking. Grown adults are as oblivious as children when there is only a bike path.

        • Chris 19:35 on 2023-06-16 Permalink

          Good points Blork. Not sure it could be quantified numerically, but I’d still rather have 5 pedestrians hit by a bike than 1 pedestrian hit by a car, that is to say: the injury of a bike collision will generally be lesser than the injury of a car collision, so even with more bike collision, it’s probably still a net win for society.

      • Kate 08:45 on 2023-06-15 Permalink | Reply  

        Ghost kitchens, where cooks prepare delivery food but there’s no table service, and thus no need for waiters or dishwashers, may have started up during the pandemic lockdown period but continue to flourish now because they’re profitable. Whether they’re subject to official inspection is not mentioned.

        • Ephraim 11:52 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          There are also “Ghost chains” like Obvious! Burger owned by Atomic Kitchens. They have a bunch of brands, set up the menus, set up the look of the food, the pictures and existing restaurants or ghost restaurants can run a full business this way. Look at 1800 de l’Église and you will see three of the franchises are there… with no real restaurant there. And ironically, where Diablos is, on Prince Arthur is also another restaurant… Obscène Végan, which I think they finally put in their old location, but was serving food out of the same place during COVID

        • MarcG 19:30 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          You need a permit from MAPAQ to sell food and they can come inspect you.

        • GC 21:59 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          I had never heard of Obvious! Burger before, so I thought Ephraim was making some sort of joke. After a Google…I now know it actually exists. Hmm.

        • MarcG 08:40 on 2023-06-16 Permalink

          My wife and I drive by Obvious Burger on a regular basis (they used to have a little sign in the window) and have made a game of coming up with alternative terrible names starting with the letter O – Oblivious Burger, Oblique Burger, Oof Burger, etc.

      • Kate 08:32 on 2023-06-15 Permalink | Reply  

        Rents in Park Extension have soared but where do you go when you can’t afford it there any longer?

        A Gazette op-ed writer encapsulates my situation too: “It’s stressful even for me as a lucky tenant to see the current state of housing in Montreal.” She discusses the impact of the bill dropped on the last day of the session that makes lease transfers illegal.

        Our housing minister/real estate agent, France-Élaine Duranceau, is proposing another change in Quebec’s approach: buying, rather than building, new social housing. This is what the Plante administration has been doing, so it isn’t a new idea, but it’s sure to put more public money into private hands.

        Duranceau has really hit the jackpot, as a real estate agent who can now tweak the laws to extract as much public money as possible into the hands of her predatory profession.

        • Kevin 11:45 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          The powers that be need to understand that Canada has been underbuilding housing for 30 years, been building the wrong kind of housing at that, and that we have unknowingly adopted municipal and zoning regulations that make it prohibitively expensive to build the housing that we need.

          Cities have to bite the bullet and build housing – directly.

        • Joey 13:30 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          It’s amazing that someone could take a look at the housing situation in this province/city and determine that the most critically important problem to solve is tenants using lease transfers to prevent landlords from illegally jacking up rents.

        • EmilyG 17:07 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          Without lease transfers, I don’t know how I’ll get housing, if I decide to move out in a few months. I wanted to look for a place and move out in a few months, as opposed to July 1st, because moving is already stressful enough and I wanted to avoid the huge moving day. Now I don’t know what I’ll do.

        • shawn 17:09 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          On their instagram, “fucknomtl” has noticed a clever guerrilla poster campaign in Montreal about the impact of Bill 31 on rents: https://www.instagram.com/p/CtgwvjHrQpa/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link&igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==

        • Ian 18:42 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          Someone stuck that up on the side of a renovicted building owned by the notorious Cuccurul family on Bernard 😀

        • shawn 19:05 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          I see that the fliers were created by Jay Lesoleil, who I assume some people here know (of).

        • Kate 19:25 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          Oh, nice work, that’s made to look quite convincing!

        • DeWolf 21:08 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          I got a real kick out of the poster when I saw it for the first time earlier this week.

          There are so many outrageous things the CAQ government has done, but Bill 31 impacts so many people in such a drastic way, it has to take the cake. As usual, there are certain reasonable and even good things in the bill (eg it makes it harder to evict people), but ending lease transfers is basically a fuck you to every single tenant in Quebec.

      • Kate 08:28 on 2023-06-15 Permalink | Reply  

        The OQLF says only 53% of young Québécois work exclusively in French but that this falls to a third in Montreal. Bracing for a wave of demands to further extirpate English.

        • Daniel 08:44 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          “Sans surprise, ceux qui œuvrent dans le milieu touristique utilisent davantage l’anglais pour se faire comprendre. Même constat pour les 18-34 ans qui correspondent avec des clients étrangers.”

          I look forward to the bill that seeks to outlaw this: All communication with tourist or clients abroad must be in French! Gotta get those numbers up! /s

        • Dominic 09:08 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          My company is a Quebec company, but fully half the employees are American, and a very good portion is Western Canadian. How am I supposed to write emails that could be forwarded to people outside of Quebec in French? How can I work with American coworkers and customers if the government wants me working in French. Ça’a pas d’allure!

        • Uatu 10:36 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          Even if it were 100% that still wouldn’t be enough. Everyone has to write and speak perfect French at home amongst themselves and read and watch Quebecor media for approval by these guys. And even then they’ll probably make it mandatory to eventually become a francophone white dude 😛

        • Kate 10:48 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          I have to admit I wonder how much the OQLF massages its results to make French look as endangered as possible. Job security, you know. And now, “Six ministres forment le groupe de travail sur l’avenir du français. Le gouvernement n’exclut pas de modifier d’autres lois, de créer de nouvelles politiques ou d’augmenter les budgets pour mobiliser les Québécois autour du problème du déclin du français.” More management‑level salaries for people finding justification for more language laws.

          Uatu, thanks for the laugh. I needed it.

        • Tim S. 11:23 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          I, and other anglos I know, have found ourselves leaning more heavily on francophone colleagues to read over and edit texts, and now these colleagues are getting caught up in the blowback when people freak out over errors in the final text. I wonder if this push will end up being counterproductive, as francophones are pitted against each over in the drive to be more prefect users of French.

          I’m coming to realize that one of the reasons English is so attractive is there’s no culture of obsessing over small mistakes.

        • jeather 14:15 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          Yeah, what does it mean to not work exclusively in French? How much of your time is spent in English, what kinds of jobs, etc? If we exclude retail and service jobs in downtown Montreal, what does the number change to?

        • Ian 18:44 on 2023-06-15 Permalink

          So now it threatens the French language to have a business that deals with anyone outside of Québec, including other countries like, say, the US. How provincial.

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