Updates from June, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:04 on 2023-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

    A young woman pedestrian was killed in Petit Maghreb on Thursday afternoon when a truck was taking a turn.

    • Kate 19:59 on 2023-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

      Fresh from her win in the NDG byelection, Anna Gainey is walking perilously close to Emmanuella Lambropoulos’s footsteps by refusing to state that French is in decline in Quebec.

      The fête nationale usually inspires items on language, not least Gilles Proulx’s rant against François Legault for not being enough of a nationalist, and not doing enough to combat the gangrène anglicisante of Montreal. I do enjoy having my first language portrayed as a foul disease. Meantime MBC inflates his lungs for a rendition of Gens du pays that will knock our socks off.

      I still can’t quite get it why the English were evil invaders but the French were lovely. I was reminded of this earlier today when mentioning Urbain Tessier dit Lavigne. Here’s what Quebec’s official répertoire du patrimoine says about him:

      Tessier dit Lavigne est vraisemblablement recruté en France par Jérôme Le Royer de La Dauversière pour participer à la colonisation de Ville-Marie (Montréal). En 1648, il reçoit sa première concession de terre sur l’île.

      So the French were giving away plots of land that didn’t belong to them so the area could be colonized. No surprise there. Settler colonialism was well under way.

      Comme la plupart des colons des débuts de Ville-Marie, Tessier dit Lavigne doit prendre les armes plusieurs fois pour repousser les attaques iroquoises.

      Nice going, Urbain! Clear those guys off their ancestral lands, that’s what kindly settlers do.

      Il est inhumé à Ville-Marie le 21 mars 1689.

      Bye-bye, Urbain.

      I still don’t see why the colonization was supposedly OK, even admirable, but the English taking over management of an already colonized place was the real wickedness. I suppose I can’t be helped.

      • DeWolf 20:43 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        By the time American revolutionaries were fighting against British rule, there were several generations of settlers who felt pretty deeply rooted. Same with Canada. Whereas the US gained independence, Canada was colonized by another power that imposed its own rules and culture on the place. That’s the crux of the problem: 150 years may not be that long in the grand sweep of history, but it’s enough time for a sense of identity to develop, and for people to feel quite attached to where they are from.

        The way the British colonized Canada was the same as how they colonized many other places around the world, such as India. They co-opted local elites and created a power structure that protected their commercial interests while keeping the colonized people down. In this case, the colonized people were (French) Canadians as well as Indigenous people. Canadians were settlers but they were also colonized. That’s the issue, and that’s the source of the grievances that still exist today.

      • Kate 20:49 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        The British treated the French-speaking colonizers of Lower Canada a damn sight better than they treated people in Africa and Asia – probably because they were white and Christian. The Quebec Act saw to that.

        In fact, you could say that the French Canadians were the best treated minority in the British Empire.

      • DeWolf 20:57 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        It’s partly because the St. Lawrence river valley was so thorough settled that they didn’t have too much of a choice. Acadia was more thinly populated and so the British deported the Acadians, and 50 percent of them died as a result. It was an outright genocide.

        South Africa has some commonalities with Canada. The Dutch colonized the Cape and some adjacent areas, they became Boers over several hundred years, and when they were conquered by the British, they were marginalized even as the various Indigenous groups were marginalized and persecuted even more brutally.

      • DeWolf 21:00 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        This is not to excuse the colonialism of the French or Dutch or any other European power. It’s just an attempt to explain how people who were colonizers, and whose ancestors were then colonized by another imperial power, can feel a sense of grievance.

      • Meezly 11:34 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

        “I still can’t quite get it why the English were evil invaders but the French were lovely.”

        But isn’t that how history works? Those in power can write (or rewrite) their history to suit their own agenda.

        IMHO I feel that the sense of grievance from the French was not merely about being subjugated by the English, but having lost the fight to be the imperial power in Canada. Considering how the French colonized Algeria, Indochina, etc. their methods would not have been any more lovely than the English!

        That’s why it’s so infuriating when Quebec politicians say that systemic racism can’t happen here because French Canadians were once subjugated by the English. It’s the same argument about how the Irish can’t be racist, but playing the victim card has been used to suppress and deny racism in Ireland.

        It’s really about keeping the status quo and holding onto the old power structures.

      • Ian 18:14 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

        While I enjoyed DeWolf’s retelling of QC colonial history, the one thing that has always perplexed me is how the Acadians are looked down on in the ROQ – and even more so with NB Acadians …

        Overall though I’m more inclined to agree with Meezly, race pride is always about power.

    • Kate 18:47 on 2023-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

      I’ve never used Facebook much for blog hooks, although it has cropped up from time to time. Well, it won’t any more. The feds are about to pass a law mandating that social media have to pay for news in Canada, so Meta has decreed that Facebook and Instagram won’t be delivering news stories any more (I don’t know whether Instagram ever really did, mind you).

      I don’t know whether the law could be deemed to apply to this blog. I think I am too small beans but you never know. Does this blog even count as social media?

      I make enough from the blog’s Patreon to keep the hosting and domain bills paid, and a little toward my internet bill from Videotron, but not remotely enough to pay hefty access bills from a dozen mainstream news platforms. We’ll see, I guess.

      • qatzelok 18:59 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        Wow. I didn’t imagine that your blog might be considered “social media” and thus forced to pay for linking to news sources by the new law. I hope this new law only applies to profit-making enterprises like Facebook.

      • H. John 20:30 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        Sorry Kate, but you’ll have to be worth a few billion dollars more before you’d be captured by this Bill/Act.

        At Committee, Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Heritage, said that at the moment it only applies to two companies.

        From Prof. Michael Geist’s Blog (https://www.michaelgeist.ca/2023/06/tough-talk-empty-answers-how-heritage-minister-pablo-rodriguez-is-propelling-canadas-news-sector-toward-the-bill-c-18-cliff/)

        “The bill involves unprecedented government intervention in the media sector as it sets the rules that deem hundreds of news organizations as “eligible news businesses”, establishes standards that target Google and Facebook (Rodriguez admitted that no other Internet companies would currently qualify), determine the criteria for the increasingly government captured CRTC to judge the agreements, and legislate that the subject of negotiation is payment for linking.”

        Further in the Blog

        “The political calculation behind Bill C-18 was pretty simple. The government thought it could use a legislated shakedown of Google and Facebook to force them to pay for links, envisioning that upwards of 30% of the news costs of every news outlet in country would be covered by the two tech companies. Yet the value proposition for news links flow the opposite way as publishers post the majority of the links themselves in hope of increasing traffic on their sites, leading to greater advertising revenues. The notion of requiring Facebook to pay for links posted by their users never made any sense. It made even less sense when Facebook revealed that news comprised only 3% of its users’ feeds and was highly substitutable by other content.”

      • Kate 20:39 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        Thank you, as always, H. John

      • H. John 20:46 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        Geist argues that the Act (it received Royal Assent earlier today) is arguably already out of date because of AI:

        “The current definition of “digital news intermediary” not only excludes notable internet platforms such as Twitter, Apple and TikTok, but also leading AI providers such as OpenAI (which operates ChatGPT) and Microsoft (which has incorporated AI into its Bing search engine).”


      • dhomas 04:11 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

        Facebook pulled this exact same stunt in Australia when they passed a similar law.

      • H. John 06:34 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

        @dhomas, I don’t see why you’d call it a stunt.

        In Australia, as in Canada, Facebook explained that people posting news links didn’t add significantly to its profits. The smartest choice for it, if it became a designated platform, forced to negotiate with news corporations, would be to block news links.

        The Australian government proceeded to pass its legislation, and Facebook blocked links.

        From my reading, the Australian government then backed down.

        While their legislation originally applied to Google and Facebook, Australia amended its legislation so that Facebook was no longer a designated platform.

        Prof. Alex Bruns, an Australian Professor of Communication and Media Studies, explains on Geist’s podcast what happened in Australia (his explanation of what that it means for Facebook starts around 24 minutes in):


      • shawn 08:44 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

        This is a very interesting thread and I don’t want to dilute it but on a somewhat related media-business note, looks like Terry Mosher is pretty much declaring war on his employer (link to a Mastodon post) https://elk.zone/mstdn.ca/@jd/110593299505044546

      • Kate 10:47 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

        Mosher must be well past conventional retirement age at this point, so he must be feeling fairly invulnerable.

      • shawn 13:11 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

        Maybe something’s afoot? Their “executive chair” just abruptly quit https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/executive-chair-jamie-irving-resigns-from-postmedia-board-1.6453119

      • dhomas 04:22 on 2023-06-24 Permalink

        @H. John: I called it a “stunt” because, by my reading of the story at the time, I understood the news blocking action to be a way for Facebook to force the government to reconsider. Facebook unblocked news in Australia very quickly and got very little concessions from the Australian government. Again, this was my understanding of the situation from afar and it may be somewhat oversimplified.

      • H. John 18:01 on 2023-06-24 Permalink

        @dhomas When you say Facebook “got very little concessions from the Australian government” you are clearly wrong. As I pointed out Australia amended its legislation so that Facebook was no longer a designated platform. They are no longer forced to negotiate with media businesses, unlike Google.

    • Kate 17:19 on 2023-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

      Fady Dagher, playing good cop/bad cop all by himself, now says he wants his force to go on stopping people when they want to even when there’s no immediate suspicion of crime.

      • Ian 17:40 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        He also claims to understand the concerns of the indigenous … because, get this, he spoke with them when he spent the night in a homeless shelter
        So add paternalistic and racist to the list on top of clueless.

      • EmilyG 19:08 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        I was listening to the host of a national CBC radio show interview him, and discuss his visiting homeless shelters. He was telling the story of a homeless guy who said he (Dagher) wasn’t welcome at the shelter. But Dagher just kept persisting with him. It seemed a bit forceful and not so kind.

    • Kate 11:19 on 2023-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

      Faced with violent incidents on the rise in the metro, the STM is pondering equipping metro cops with pepper gel. I’ve never heard of the stuff, but apparently it can be deployed without causing discomfort to everyone else in a train or station, as pepper spray does.

      The CNESST also notes that, when metro cops want SPVM reinforcements, the request has to bounce through five different people before cops are dispatched, and that this could be streamlined somewhat.

      Ah, here we go: “La CNESST note aussi dans son rapport que certains comportements des constables eux-mêmes peuvent créer des risques pour leur sécurité.” Yeah. Don’t hire goons, that should be rule #1.

      • Hugo B. 12:18 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        …without causing discomfort? Sorry, I get very discomforted when any weapon is deployed on anybody. Not just because of the fumes, but the mere act of inflicting violence on an individual.

      • mare 13:18 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        Without discomfort = without having to stop the metro for half an hour.

        The timing feels suspicious. Maybe those ‘pepper spray in the metro’ incidents a few months ago weren’t caused by passengers, but were actually caused by STM cops keeping ‘the peace’. Who knows… (This is just conjecture, I have no inside information.)

    • Kate 11:06 on 2023-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

      Most media are considering the housing crisis as Moving Day approaches. Quebec is in an historic jam, says Global. CBC has a video explainer about the causes. The Journal tells about a Park Ex apartment building where the owner wants to evict 20 tenants so the units can be spiffed up and rented out for two or three times the existing price.

    • Kate 10:20 on 2023-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

      It would be nice to see even a fraction of the rescue efforts being made to save a handful of billionaires also deployed when migrant boats are in trouble.

      Wondering too who’s paying for the Canadian part of the search. A Canadian military plane is scanning for the missing craft and some of the efforts are being staged from St John’s, as it’s relatively close to the Titanic site.

      • carswell 10:23 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        Meanwhile, German sea captain faces 20 years in jail for migrant rescue efforts.

      • Mark 11:07 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        On one hand, apparently this is a rare opportunity for search and rescue teams to try out a bunch of technology in a real world (as opposed to simulated) operation. I think a lot of military tech is being tested out here, as deep sea radar and sonar is very strategically important. The fact that the French are sending this device that will only arrive in 2 days (long after they will be presumed dead) means that other factors are at play here, not just saving lives. Also, the additional costs are not as high as one would think, as the staff are already being paid, so it’s mostly additional fuel and so on.

        Now that I’ve said the devil’s advocacy piece, it’s shockingly disturbing to see how many efforts are being deployed for this mission. A bunch of billionaires paid 250k to some lunatic with a blatant disregard for safety procedures, just to check something off their mega wealthy fantasy bucket list, and millions of dollars are going into saving them, as if they are banks that are too big to fail.

        There isn’t even a good argument that his submarine is helping research and development of other important technology that could help us with real world challenges. A lot of the tech needed to study climate change has its origins in military development. This on the other hand is just a badly designed machine. It’s not the well publicized Logitech game controller that’s the issue, those are used in lots of military applications. It’s the lack of testing, lack of safety redundancy, the fact that one of their staff was fired for asking for more safety protocols, etc. This Stockton Rush character wanted to make bank on billionaire sea tourism.

        From a human compassion perspective, I hope they died quickly and didn’t suffer too much. But the families should be paying the governments backs for some of the S&R costs. You know that won’t happen. When they talk about the 1%, what they really mean is the 0.0001%, the 15,000 billionaires, politicians and people in power that live in a completely different world than ours.

      • Kate 11:15 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        I hope that they have not suffered, certainly. But I wonder whether wealthy people doing these stunts shouldn’t have to sign advance provisions and guarantees about rescue.

        People wanting to climb Everest have to pay thousands to Nepal for a permit, and that makes sense, since it’s up to Nepal to rescue them, clean up the messes they leave, and so forth. Like that.

      • Chris 11:29 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        >…it’s shockingly disturbing to see how many efforts are being deployed for this mission…

        Even worse is how much attention the media is giving it. It’s wall to wall coverage on almost every news site.

      • Kate 11:32 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        Individuals in a jam are drama and it’s inevitable that people will take an interest. Even the mythic presence of the sunk Titanic adds to the mystique.

        I was thinking back to the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners in 2010. The last couple of days were pretty gripping. Of course, those men were not oligarchs on a junket, they were doing a hard and grinding job, which put a different spin on the story.

      • Chris 11:40 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        >Individuals in a jam are drama and it’s inevitable that people will take an interest. Even the mythic presence of the sunk Titanic adds to the mystique.

        Yes exactly. It bring eyeballs and sells ads. It’s not doing what the media style themselves as: speaking truth to power, saving democracy, and all that rhetoric.

      • Blork 11:53 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        There’s definitely a lot going on here. The rescue efforts aren’t just a costly expense, they’re valuable real-world field training and research for the various rescue teams. This time it’s wealthy people in an unregulated submersible. Next time it could be scientists doing undersea research.

        And as Kate says, this kind of story captures the world’s attention because it’s real-life drama of a sort we rarely see. People write novels and make movies about things like this, and here it is happening in real life. You can’t blame the media for eating it up.

        If nothing else, this story is a good example of how “maverick” entrepreneurs who eschew regulations because they “stifle innovation” can have it come back to bite them (and others). This idea of tempting fate for the sake of rapid and inspired but unregulated innovation, without concern for possible consequences, needs a poster case, and this might be it. Did somebody say “AI?”

        I can’t help but think this is a precursor for the day when an Artemis or similar space mission goes awry and we all sit here on Earth as a space capsule zooms off into oblivion, off course and with no hope of rescue or recovery, and yet the people on the craft are still alive… for now. That day will almost certainly come, whether it’s this decade or 50 years from now.

      • Kate 12:07 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        Blork, that’s more or less the premise of Avenue 5.

        Chris, I don’t remember media promising to speak truth to power or save democracy.

      • shawn 13:05 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

      • Kate 15:26 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        Debris consistent with catastrophic implosion – US Coast Guard (BBC)

    • Kate 09:48 on 2023-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

      When the name of Dorchester Boulevard was changed to René‑Lévesque in 1987, two towns refused to change it – Westmount, and Montreal East. The latter town reconfirmed its refusal this week, despite demands from some of its residents to rethink its position.

      • GC 10:39 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        “La très anglophone Ville de Westmount” made me laugh.

      • Ephraim 11:16 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        Dorchester was so important in Quebec history and the Quebec Act in particular. Without him, the French language and laws wouldn’t have remained in Quebec. There should be some shame associated with changing the name. There are so many fake Saint-Name streets in Montreal that they could have chosen to rename instead, like St-Antoine

      • Kate 11:25 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        Ephraim, you persist in calling these names “fake” when they were not. Back in the day, when you wanted to honour somebody, you named something after their name saint.

        For example, St‑Urbain Street was named after Pope Urban I, who was canonized a saint, but also for Urbain Tessier dit Lavigne, who claimed some land in the area.

        Likewise, St Helen’s Island was named to honour Hélène Boullé, the wife of Samuel de Champlain.

        Everyone understood that this was how it worked – it was a tradition, not a lie.

      • shawn 11:38 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        Oh that’s why. I never knew that.

      • EmilyG 13:05 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        The east end has this odd reduplication of streets from further west. You get Ste-Catherine, Gauchetiere, and Dorchester/Rene-Levesque, which, it could be argued, are continuations of their better-known streets from the west after an interruption. But also, there’s a Prince Arthur street out there, and a Cherrier, and maybe a few others, positioned somewhat like they were further west. I’ve never been able to figure out why this is.

      • EmilyG 13:06 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        As for “saint” in street names, it’s also the French word for “holy,” so that might explain names like “Ste-Famille” (holy family, not a saint named Family.)

      • Ephraim 14:09 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        They were meant to sound religious. Some of which we don’t even know the origin, including Ste-Catherine which has a whole bunch of guesses, including a convent and Viger’s daughter. If it is named after his daughter, it was a nice gesture, but she’s not significant. Not that I’m suggesting renaming it, but just that it’s part of the ensemble of streets we don’t even really know the origin and history.

        Saint-Dominque… even the city doesn’t have a clue why it’s named that way. Coloniale is named after someone’s family member. St-Vincent… named after a family’s patron saint. That’s nice but do we need to keep the name? St-Antoine, well they know why they changed it, but they aren’t sure where the name came from, other than it was one side of a neighbourhood faubourg St-Antoine, which they don’t know why it was named that way either. Esplanade is a lovely descriptive name, but it can be moved to the TYPE of street, like Esplanade Richler. We also have two different streets/avenues named Nelson in Montreal, both named after Horatio Nelson and we have his statue as well. Maplewood… again unknown. Waverly is named after someone who lived on the street…. So, where’s Kate Street? And you can toss is Grand Allee… another descriptive name like Esplanade that could easily be Grand Allee Guy Lafleur in the future 🙂

        I mean there are names of streets in Ahuntsic that have better histories than the names in the centre of town. At least we know why we have a street named after Charles Gill and Suzor Cote

      • Kate 15:23 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        Pretty names like Maplewood and Fairmount were usually assigned by property developers who wanted to make the street sound appealing. The city toponymy site is offline, though, and my edition of Les rues de Montréal dates from before the city mergers, so doesn’t include Maplewood, which is now a small street in Outremont (it used to be the name of the street now called Édouard‑Montpetit).

        Les rues de Montréal says Grande Allée was conceived to be rather grand. I imagine they were thinking of something like Morgan Boulevard in Maisonneuve, or St‑Joseph when it used to have a green median. There’s also a rather more significant street called Grande Allée in Quebec City, which may or may not have figured in the naming.

        Just find out for me why Groll Street was called that, and we’re quits.

      • Ephraim 16:34 on 2023-06-22 Permalink


        It is difficult to determine the opening dates and naming of this street. However, it is interesting to note that in 1897, Arthur Groll, who ran a butcher’s shop on Saint-Lawrence, lived on Saint-Urbain Street; rue Groll, with the dimensions of an alley, begins precisely at this street and leads to rue Jeanne-Mance.

      • Kate 17:16 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        Well done!

      • Ian 19:26 on 2023-06-22 Permalink

        Fun fact : Groll means bitterness, resentfulness, and wrath in German … and the English name actually derives from this.

        In Yiddish it just means “growl”.

    • Kate 08:16 on 2023-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

      CTV has an open and closed for the holiday weekend without mentioning that the 24th is a Saturday, and whether the notes apply to Friday or Monday. Some notes from the Gazette and La Presse.

      There won’t be any fireworks this year, although the ban on open fires and fireworks really only applies north of the river at the moment.

      An international triathlon will be held here this weekend.

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