Updates from June, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 17:02 on 2023-06-23 Permalink | Reply  

    When I saw the photo of Hide the Pain Harold standing in front of the Place Ville-Marie ring I assumed it was shopped, but it wasn’t. Harold, a retired Hungarian engineer with a second career posing for stock photography – and whose name isn’t actually Harold – is in town to film a commercial.

    • Kate 14:44 on 2023-06-23 Permalink | Reply  

      François Legault’s Achilles heel may well turn out to be housing. Everyone needs a place to live and Legault has been stubbornly blasé about how he doesn’t want Quebec to lag behind the rest of Canada so that housing can remain affordable.

      In the Journal, Michel Girard crunched some numbers to show that since Legault was elected, house prices have gone up 71% and condo prices 52% while the average salary has only risen 23.7%. He doesn’t even get into rises in rent.

      But hey, Moving Day has always gone off without a hitch and no one has been left in the street, right?

      • carswell 15:19 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

        It’s definitely an issue in Montreal, which doesn’t vote CAQ and which Legault has probably written off (actually, he seems to find it useful as a target for bashing). But what about the regions, where his base is? Do they have “Let them eat cake” projections on the sides of landmark buildings? Organized protests against the banning of lease transfers?

      • Kate 15:51 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

        There have been stories about shortages of housing in other Quebec towns – Quebec City, Trois‑Rivières, Sherbrooke, Saguenay, Gatineau – but I haven’t been blogging them. It’s everywhere across Quebec, but even then sometimes Montreal gets blamed for the rent increases elsewhere because some folks left town during the earlier part of the pandemic and went to work remotely from places with cheaper housing at the time. (Housing shortages and surges in housing cost are also worldwide issues, let’s not forget.)

        I don’t know how long it will take to sink in that Legault’s tendency to deny facts and pretend everything is hunky‑dory is causing real, painful problems for people – and for a viable political alternative to be offered. A Journal writer says the PQ and QS need to team up.

      • Ian 18:02 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

        Even in the Gaspé there’s a shortage. A lot of the more touristique regions saw a huge influx over covid that ate into rental stock.

      • Meezly 11:30 on 2023-06-24 Permalink

        Hope it will be his downfall…

      • Kate 12:39 on 2023-06-25 Permalink

        It’s going to take time. And change doesn’t always make things better.

        In 2012, when general protests brought down the Charest government, the next election brought us back the PQ. While the PQ has a history of being beneficial to cultural ventures, it has also spent years spinning its wheels and wasting our money on the sterile plan to extract Quebec from Canada.

        And the PQ didn’t freeze tuitions either, which is what the initial protests had been about, and which was dangled as a ploy for them to get back into power.

        The PQ wasn’t around long that time. The 2014 election gave us a Liberal majority under Couillard, and the fumbling inefficiency of the Couillard government helped usher in the CAQ.

        That Journal writer may be correct in one sense that if the PQ and QS teamed up, they might begin to build a front that could challenge the CAQ. But the CAQ will almost certainly be back in 2026, so it may be 2030 or 2034 before we see any real evolution, and by then the political landscape will have evolved in ways we can’t foresee now.

        And of course the main raison‑d’être of the PQ is to secede Quebec and always will be. QS is also separatist on paper: although it doesn’t lead with that, it would certainly be forced to do so if it linked up with the PQ. And then we’d be back into the old loop of Quebec’s government threatening to secede, or duplicating the efforts of the federal government to show that it can, and so on.

    • Kate 14:35 on 2023-06-23 Permalink | Reply  

      Fagstein reports that Bell Media is asking the CRTC to eliminate all local news requirements for CTV, CTV2 and Noovo stations. It’s also trying to weasel out of Canadian content rules.

      • carswell 14:58 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

        In somewhat related news, TekSavvy, one of the last independent Internet service providers and a leader in the fight against takeovers by the big players, has put itself up for sale.

        Am currently on a DSL connection with VMedia, recently acquired by Videotron, which quickly announced it would be dropping all but cable service on July 15. Not having a cable connection or wanting one (the DSL outlet is in the only good location in my WiFi and cell signal-hostile cement, brick and plaster-walled flat; cable can’t be installed there; also PKP), I was about to switch to TekSavvy. Don’t want to go back to the detested, blood-sucking Bell, which recently acquired one of my few other options, EBox. Not sure what to do.

        The feds have really dropped the ball on competition among Internet and cellular service providers.

      • Mark 15:20 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

        I hear you carswell. I’ve been with Ebox since 2017 and the cable internet service was always great. Since they’ve been bought by Bell, the service has remained fine, but I’ve been emailed, phoned and sent mail literally 40-45 times asking me to switch to fiber optic, since Bell obviously doesn’t want to pay fees to Videotron. I’ve asked them if this is required, and they say no. I ask them to stop contacting me, they say fine, then a few weeks later, the barrage comes back. Fiber optic is higher speed and less expensive, but I’ve heard horror stories from Ebox customers who migrated, saying Bell technicians didn’t show up, it doesn’t work, etc…leaving them without internet for days/weeks. And I don’t think there is a company that I despise more than Bell, so I’m just considering switching.

        I’ve heard good things about Oxio Internet, they are cable reseller like TekSavvy and Ebox….but how long will they just be bought out by either Vid or Bell?

      • jeleventybillionandone 17:44 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

        Cogeco acquired Oxio but it seems that they are operating at arms length: https://corpo.cogeco.com/cca/en/press-room/press-releases/cogeco-connexion-announces-acquisition-oxio/

        Sad news about Teksavvy. Wondering who will acquire them.

      • Ian 18:04 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

        I know fizz is just a videotron reseller but their speeds and prices totally saved my butt when I was teaching over Teams throughout covid.

    • Kate 13:09 on 2023-06-23 Permalink | Reply  

      A motorcyclist is in critical condition after a hit‑and‑run by an SUV driver in St‑Laurent on Friday morning. Police are trying to find the perpetrator.

      • Kate 13:08 on 2023-06-23 Permalink | Reply  

        The new law dictating that construction cones can appear a maximum 24 hours before roadwork starts, and must be removed within 24 hours of its completion, has come into effect, a spokesman saying here that sometimes it’s bound to take longer, especially when concrete barriers are also needed.

        • Joey 14:08 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

          A lot will hinge on definitions of “start” and “end” – this might actually incentivize contractors to leave a little work undone (for a few days/weeks) if it’s more convenient than picking up the cones on the city’s timetable, even if it means foregoing payment by a few days.

        • Kate 14:47 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

          I’m sure they’ll find ways to get around this law, which the city passed to look as if it was doing something about the prevalence of cones.

        • MarcG 16:03 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

          Hydro Quebec replaced some poteaus on my street 7 days ago and the cones and signs are still littering the sidewalks.

        • Kate 17:33 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

          The law won’t be applied if the cones only inconvenience pedestrians.

        • Ian 18:08 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

          For all the fuss about signs and cones getting stolen by residents, there are still tons of them to be seen in informal depots all over town, just kind of left there for whatever reason. The empty lot up the block that was used as a snow dump had about 20 of them lying around once the snow melted, too.
          There’s a sinkhole at the corner of van horne and hutchison that has had a cone in it for months.

      • Kate 10:14 on 2023-06-23 Permalink | Reply  

        An excavation downtown near the Hydro‑Quebec building turned up evidence that the land had previously had a house on it, and the photos show some bottles and broken plates. Now the site is being archaeologized on.

        It always makes me smile a little to see how excited people get about fragments of domestic habitation no more than a couple of hundred years old. There are drawers full of this stuff in the museum storehouse down Peel Street. But it’s not as if we don’t already know who was living here or how they were living in the 18th or 19th centuries. That’s yesterday! Bring me a 3000‑year‑old sword and then we can talk.

        • Kate 09:25 on 2023-06-23 Permalink | Reply  

          Weekend notes from Metro, CityCrunch, CultMTL, Sarah’s Weekend List.

          City swimming pools open this weekend as does Jean‑Doré beach.

          • Kate 09:17 on 2023-06-23 Permalink | Reply  

            An artist has made a massive art piece on the block of Mont‑Royal outside the metro.

            • GC 10:27 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

              Wow. Looks great. Will check it out later today.

            • Joey 12:05 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

              This is great, though one more of these and we’ll officially have a “Projet Mtl is only interested in art to be consumed via drone” trend 😉

            • shawn 12:07 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

              That whole space in front of the station looks swell now that the construction is done. I have to go down and see.

            • Kate 12:09 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

              The street’s closed to traffic all summer, and it’s a great place for a saunter.

            • MarcG 12:44 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

              I’ll take this chance to promote the petition to make Wellington a pedestrian street year-round: https://lawellpietonne.com/en/

            • walkerp 12:54 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

              I have to say that the new Mont-Royal metro is a huge improvement from the outside. Very light and open. They just need to plant more trees in the square outside.

            • shawn 13:02 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

              Right when the weather is like this I find myself running from tree to tree to find shade. Hopefully that’ll happen.

            • DeWolf 23:47 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

              @walkerp, the square you see now is temporary, and there’s a design process underway to create something permanent. It’s actually quite ambitious and will also include the parking lot behind the metro station.

            • Jonathan 09:43 on 2023-06-24 Permalink

              @dewolf, what parking lot are you referring to? There doesn’t seem to be such a parking lot…

            • Kate 10:27 on 2023-06-24 Permalink

              I think he may mean the parking lot behind the Sanctuaire du St‑Sacrement just east of the station.

          • Kate 09:08 on 2023-06-23 Permalink | Reply  

            Several establishments in the Village closed their terrasses earlier this week but they reopened after the mayor revealed the city’s plan to calm things down in the area.

            La Presse says not everyone is thrilled with the plan, but it’s not clear what they want besides shipping all the homeless somewhere else – not something the city can or would do. There will be more cops and more social workers on the ground for the moment, at least.

            It wasn’t good news for the area that a teenager was stabbed in a Village park overnight.

            • Kate 08:54 on 2023-06-23 Permalink | Reply  

              A homeless camp in Basile-Routhier park in Ahuntsic was evicted on Thursday.

              La Presse asks why there’s so much homelessness in Quebec. The answers we already know: a housing shortage, soaring rents, and the failure to provide social housing, it’s not rocket science to understand the equation.

              People demonstrated Thursday in Park Ex against the law banning lease transfers.

              Real estate agents have been getting in trouble by breaching the ethics of their “profession”.

              • Thomas 09:21 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

                I was pretty shocked when I heard that on the radio — I go through that park on my runs several times a week, and there was never even the slightest hint of any trouble. The article mentions les plaintes du voisinage, which I assume are the rich people houses on the adjacent Stanley Park riverfront (a.k.a. Maurice Richard Park).

                Obviously people living in tents isn’t a solution to the housing crisis, but I don’t see what we’re accomplishing by evicting people.

              • Kate 10:37 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

                I would have to ask: where were the campers going to the bathroom? That’s an important question that isn’t often mentioned in journalism about homeless camps, but if you’ve ever camped you’ll know that it’s one of the first things you need to think about.

                I know of a homeless camp in an obscure part of Villeray, at some distance from fast food restaurants and public buildings, so there’s definitely no accessible plumbing nearby. I recently noticed the camp is back again this summer – it’s very low‑profile – and I still wonder how they manage.

                If campers are making unsanitary messes that people nearby come to notice, you can see why there would be concerns.

              • Thomas 11:35 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

                @Kate that park is where the relatively new Pavillon d’accueil for the entire Parcours Gouin cycling path (from the West Island to Rivière-des-Prairies) is located — a futuristic, carbon-neutral building right at the mid-point of the path next to the Pont Viau. And the people camping there were often inside charging their devices and whatnot, so there are bathroom facilities on site (although not overnight I guess).

              • Kate 12:47 on 2023-06-23 Permalink

                I’m glad to know they had some services nearby, at least.

                I remember posting about that building a few years ago when it was first decided on, but I’ve never seen it.

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