Updates from September, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:57 on 2023-09-11 Permalink | Reply  

    Kids are being sent home from crumbling school buildings after which some kind of temporary class space will be found… somewhere. The buildings will be inspected, dusty debris are mentioned, but nobody even whispers the dread word asbestos.

    • Meezly 09:31 on 2023-09-12 Permalink

      Infra-structurally speaking, how are we any better from, say, an Eastern Bloc city in the 80’s?

    • Tee Owe 13:46 on 2023-09-12 Permalink

      @Meezly – Check out 147 schools in the UK that are ‘crumbling’ due to being built with Reinforced Aerated Autoclaved Concrete (RAAC) – multiple hits – maybe a better comparison

    • DeWolf 16:39 on 2023-09-12 Permalink

      That came to mind too @Tee Owe. And like the UK, we’ve suffered from decades of governments that have underinvested in public infrastructure.

    • Kate 16:52 on 2023-09-12 Permalink

      Worse – that have made it a point of pride to underinvest in public infrastructure.

  • Kate 22:52 on 2023-09-11 Permalink | Reply  

    A large tree fell on Lanaudière Street in the Plateau on Monday, but it only smashed a car. Nobody got hurt.

    • Kate 14:58 on 2023-09-11 Permalink | Reply  

      Christian Dubé held a presser Monday to confirm that Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital will be reconstructed and include 270 more beds than the current version. Dubé said the construction would cost $2 billion.

      • Kate 13:17 on 2023-09-11 Permalink | Reply  

        Mamadi Camara testified as a witness Monday in the trial of Ali Ngarukiye, charged with trying to murder police officer Sanjay Vig in January 2021.

        At the time, it was Camara who was arrested in error, as readers may recall.

        Some details about what Ali Ngarukiye was up to have been revealed by La Presse.

        • walkerp 16:55 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

          More holes than swiss cheese in this story.
          So did Vig give Camara a ticket and then leave the car and then was attacked? That seems to be his story as he initially blamed Camara for the attack because he said he didn’t see who attacked him. Yet Camara says that he saw the attack and made it seem like Vig was still facing him (and thus did not see Vig attack him from behind).

          And this notion that Ngarukiye planned his escape seems very sketchy. He already had chosen the cars that he was going to steal? How did he know they would always be parked in that spot?

          This whole story stinks.

      • Kate 13:12 on 2023-09-11 Permalink | Reply  

        La Presse has discovered that the key to getting hired as a longshoreman at the Port of Montreal is to be a member of a stevedore family. Some of the names on the hiring list are still babies.

        • Kate 10:55 on 2023-09-11 Permalink | Reply  

          Le Devoir reports on a school in the Plateau surrounded by bad drivers who disobey the crossing guard and are generally bad‑tempered. One strange suggestion is that Mont-Royal ought to be reopened to traffic even sooner in the season, to allow drivers to adjust their habits before school starts.

          • jeather 11:49 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

            Perhaps enabling crossing guards to ticket drivers for some specific infractions would help.

          • Spi 11:59 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

            While the crossing guard is handing out tickets, who’s actually doing crossing guard duties?

          • Ian 12:05 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

            Crossing guards are actually part of the SPVM, it’s not that much of a stretch 😀
            In all seriousness though when they are doing that kind of thing there’s usully a squad car or two with a radar gun.

          • jeather 12:32 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

            A second crossing guard who is, one assumes, not paid on cop scales? I have no idea, but if they only do occasional blitzes near schools they could do more.

          • Tim 12:56 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

            If a car makes contact with you and leaves it’s a hit and run. Get the license plate and phone it into 911.

          • Blork 16:34 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

            Enabling crossing guards to hand out tickets is a big ask, as it means all sorts of extra training and certification, blah blah blah. Given that most crossing guards are just retired or semi-retired people, or neighbourhood friendlies, etc., that would be seen by some as the militarization of crossing guards. (Unless they created a special category of “crossing guard constable” or something, and only deployed those at troublesome places.)

            A more direct and quick solution (or at least semi-solution) would be to actually put a cop or two on foot patrol around schools that are experiencing this kind of problem. It wouldn’t be permanent; just for a week or two, to make the point, with occasional random visits afterwards.

          • Meezly 16:41 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

            I was rather shocked to learn earlier this year that our kid’s brigadiere, whose post is Blvd St-Laurent, experiences rudeness and verbal abuse from drivers on a semi-regular basis. You gotta be some level of asshole hurling insults at someone who’s duty is to ensure children won’t get hit by speeding one-ton vehicles.

          • Tim S. 17:24 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

            I don’t see how a crossing guard could give out tickets and be a crossing guard at the same time, but I think there could be an intermediate step where they can given police comms (though see yesterday’s story) to report dangerous drivers immediately and have their reports taken more seriously than ordinary citizens. Considering how often we hear that we can’t have police at every corner, crossing guards do seem like an under-used resource.

          • Joey 18:07 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

            Cameras + people who monitor them = recommendations for the police to give tickets. It would pay for itself and then some.

          • Nicholas 20:54 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

            Here’s a fun idea: every time a driver is rude to a crossing guard, we close/dead-end that intersection to cars for a day. Also put up big signs blaming driver rudeness for the closure. Crossing guard still gets paid to be cheerful to the kids. Collective inconvenience.

          • Blork 19:57 on 2023-09-12 Permalink

            Nicolas: cute, but that would be hacked from day 1, when people who WANT the street closed to traffic start going there and deliberately yelling at the guards with the specific purpose of closing the street.

        • Kate 10:16 on 2023-09-11 Permalink | Reply  

          The city has plans for a reorganization of Henri-Bourassa Boulevard, bringing together a bus lane and a cycle lane that will cross three boroughs between autoroute 13 and Lacordaire.

          As usual, some are not happy about the loss of parking spots and the reduction of the importance of the car.

          • DeWolf 12:19 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

            Who is driving from Mont-Laurier to visit a locksmith in Ahuntsic? And if that’s actually true, surely someone making a 440km round trip (!!) is not going to stop coming because there is no longer parking right out front.

            Best quote in the story is from an Ahuntsic resident who looks like he’s in his 60s: “Ahuntsic, avant, c’était pratiquement une ville-banlieue, mais là, ce n’est plus du tout ça. On ne peut pas faire autrement que de multiplier les options en transport collectif et actif.”

        • Kate 09:53 on 2023-09-11 Permalink | Reply  

          Pieces of ceiling have now fallen in seven grade schools in Montreal.

          Maybe we should see this as an opportunity to teach the kids how to do household repairs?

          • Blork 10:10 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

            I once had a ceiling collapse on me in a restaurant!

          • Ephraim 10:25 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

            Maybe we need to look at WHY the schools aren’t doing the maintenance required to their buildings and if need be, set up a crown corporation to own the buildings and charge them “rent” for the usage that includes maintenance. It’s been clear for quite a while that the school boards mismanage building maintenance. It’s like trusting a drunk to guard your bottle of vodka. At some point, you have to accept that maybe you shouldn’t be trusting them. How many buildings need to fall into disrepair before we stop trusting them?

          • Kevin 11:00 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

            Eliminating the CSDM on paper can’t make up for decades of that board’s no-maintenance culture.

          • Kate 11:21 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

            As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, the grade school in this neighbourhood got into such bad shape they demolished and rebuilt it, as they’ve done with several older school buildings in town.

            Admittedly, there are some good reasons to have a new building. We have different ideas now about universal accessibility, for example. Providing better air filtering (this school is a little too close to the Met), cabling for internet use, genderless bathrooms and other modern needs has to be easier in a new building than retrofitted into an old one.

            Still, I wonder how well these new buildings are being maintained now they’re up. Is everyone kind of thinking “Well, that’s done for another couple of generations!” and putting the need for maintenance down the memory hole?

          • dhomas 12:17 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

            Without naming any school/school boards, I can see many inefficiencies from the school board my wife works for. The two most glaring ones:
            1) they pay for redundant services. They have both Google services as well as Microsoft services. For example, they have access to near unlimited Microsoft OneDrive storage AND Google Drive storage. Do they need both? This is pure duplication of services (and costs!).
            2) They installed costly air quality systems but not anything to change the air quality. In this example, they installed a LoRaWAN air quality sensor in every classroom. It monitors temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels. This is great and all, but it works on a very specified type of network (LoRaWAN) which needs to be installed and managed (presumably, by an external contractor with a monthly cost). It’s not just simple wifi. The sensors themselves cost about 400$. This does not include the backend network and management costs. During the latest heatwave, the school board refused to buy fans or AC units, on the basis of cost and this despite calls to the CNESST. They actually said to some teachers “you didn’t have air conditioning when you were in school”, as if climate change wasn’t a thing and we didn’t just break heat records.

            So much waste. And it’s not even like they’re doing it as part of a corruption scheme (as far as I can tell). It’s just mismanagement.

          • Ephraim 18:40 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

            Which is sort of why I was thinking that having the building as a service might be more effective. I mean, they networked the rooms in the schools… but do you really think they used Plenum cabling?

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