Updates from November, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:54 on 2023-11-14 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s anti-racism commissioner, Bochra Manaï, is facing a demand to resign from a Jewish group that is not happy she hasn’t done more condemnation of antisemitism.

    • AMF 22:38 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      Yikes. Not only has she been conspicuously absent, late, and mealy-mouthed in her condemnation of antisemitism, those posts are inflammatory and irresponsible, and she sounds completely unrepentant. This is a real Corbyn moment for Projet Montreal. I’ve been a member since the beginning but if this doesn’t get addressed decisively and quickly, I’m out.

    • Kate 22:55 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      I would’ve thought that, if you were an anti-racism commissioner, that your position against any form of racism was implied by your role. The mayor has spoken up against antisemitism and other forms of racism recently. How many city officials have to follow suit?

    • jeather 08:33 on 2023-11-15 Permalink

      I feel that specifically the anti-racism commissioner needs to follow suit, and “well my job isn’t to deal with the public” is a poor response. It isn’t entirely clear to me what she actively supported/posted on facebook, but I don’t think going to a demonstration is necessarily a problem.

    • Kate 09:42 on 2023-11-15 Permalink

      Bochra’s an academic and I’m pretty sure her role was mostly meant to be internal, not a PR‑type public‑facing exercise, although I can’t find chapter and verse on what she’s meant to do.

      Granted, even if she didn’t feel it was her part to make a statement, someone could have given her a nudge – but then she would have to make a statement every time a news story involved implications of race, so’s not to show bias. It’s the kind of job that risks causing offense at every turn.

    • Joey 09:54 on 2023-11-15 Permalink

      This molehill is being treated like a mountain. It’s pretty clear the underlying assumption is that she has ‘picked sides’ in this conflict and is, let’s say, unenthusiastic in her condemnation of attacks against the city’s Jewish institutions. One of her alleged facebook posts is a little too close to the “Israeli aggression justifies violence against Montreal’s Jews” – it’s not quite there, but it’s probably not what you would expect your anti-racism commissioner to be arguing: “Islamophobic and antisemitic reactions are strong, exacerbated by daily life in Palestine over the past 30 days. If the violence in Montreal must be condemned without any ambiguity, it is right here and now to call for an end to the offensive on Gaza.”

      A more pertinent question: where is our darling new police chief in all of this? You’d think he would be all over the news, condemning these attacks, etc. Maybe he’s on a junket with the OCPM.

    • Chris 11:13 on 2023-11-15 Permalink

      >…it’s probably not what you would expect your anti-racism commissioner…

      It’s what I’d expect. “anti-racism” these days is often code for the type of person very into identity politics and intersectionality. And in that paradigm Israel is the rich white bad guy and Palestine is the poor brown guy. And therefore you must be on the side of the latter. (I’m not arguing for/against that worldview, I’m saying it exists. And that it’s exactly what I’d expect of an “anti-racism” commissioner.)

    • jeather 12:19 on 2023-11-15 Permalink

      She didn’t need to talk about the war, that’s well out of her remit. However, after Jewish schools here have been shot, she should have made a comment just straight denouncing antisemitism here and not “well it’s pretty terrible in Palestine, too”. (It is! It’s worse there. But her job is not about international relations.)

    • Meezly 14:08 on 2023-11-15 Permalink

      Manaï is Tunisian-Algerian and is also human. She clearly has a bias but is trying to maintain some neutrality, as she is the anti-racism commissioner after all! You can call her out for it, but calling for her resignation seems… not very constructive. Why not start a dialog with her instead of being so inflammatory and reactionary?

    • steph 18:06 on 2023-11-15 Permalink

      If we start allowing groups of enormously diverse geographic origins and physical appearances to be races, next we`ll have the brotherhood knocking for recognition – and we don`t want that.

  • Kate 20:54 on 2023-11-14 Permalink | Reply  

    City hall is now under investigation by the Quebec municipal commission over a dinner the mayor and her cabinet had in Vienna in April. The mayor has agreed to pay for the wine after this outrageous expense was revealed.

    Is it me, or has someone determined to undermine the mayor and her supporters by chipping at alleged excesses?

    • Ian 21:49 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      Do you not find it excessive?

    • Nicholas 22:29 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      The Government of Canada per diem in Vienna is just under $200 a day, with dinner (including incidentals) at $90. The meal, including a tip that is uncommonly high for outside North America, is about $150 per person. The wine, at $9 to $11 a glass before tax, at three glasses per person, seems like comparable to Montreal. Could they have gone to a cheaper place, gotten less food and drink? Sure. But I guarantee if we looks at government spending in Quebec City and Ottawa we’ll see a lot of similar numbers. I’m sure the timing of this with the OCPM is just a coincidence. (Also, I remember the Bev Oda spending scandal, and though there was a huge amount of limo spending, the thing that kept making the news was the $16 orange juice.)

    • Kate 22:34 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      Ian, it might be better if they had lentils and cold water – in some sense. I’m not sure it’s viable in the world we live in.

    • John B 22:42 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      $149.76 per person for dinner, including wine, seems fairly tame for a pre-conference kickoff dinner, actually. There seems to be some question over if people who are not Montreal city employees should have been covered, but if they were part of the group working for/with Montreal it kind of makes sense.

      What’s interesting is that there isn’t simply a per diem for everyone involved, that way people can spend it as they see fit, it’s relatively fair, and the receipts are never submitted.

    • JP 23:13 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      I would have thought this was fairly expensive but once I started travelling for work…I realized how costly meals and decent hotels are. Breakfast, dinner at a decent restaurant, room service meals…. In hindsight, a $16 orange juice seems pretty standard. At one company, I did get reprimanded for having purchased a KitKat bar at an airport…sigh.

    • Orr 12:55 on 2023-11-15 Permalink

      Canadians: a cheap and petty people. I figure it’s got something to do with our protestant roots where anyone having suspected of fun is viewed with suspicion and opprobrium.

  • Kate 18:33 on 2023-11-14 Permalink | Reply  

    Some are not too thrilled that Quebec is planning to spend as much as $7 million to bring the Los Angeles Kings to Quebec City next season for two pre‑season matches. The government argues “it will create revenue” but opposition parties say there are higher priorities.

    Update: Worse, the Canadiens offered to play a couple of matches for free but were turned down.

    • Uatu 18:57 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      That 30% raise the mnas gave themselves has to be spent somewhere, right? 😛

    • carswell 20:35 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      Bread and circuses. Legault’s getting desperate.

    • Kevin 21:59 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      Quebec and Nordiques fans need to mainline some Taylor Swift because the NHL is never. Ever. Getting back together with them.

    • Mark 05:32 on 2023-11-15 Permalink

      Also the Habs have never charged the province a dime for any exhibition games they’ve played there in the past, and offered to do the same again next year. So this whole “economic spin-off” argument is nonsense.

      What bad timing considering the current labour issues.

      I guess Legault figures he’s gotta keep PKP happy somehow and make sure he doesn’t jump ship to the PQ again.

      Also, so obvious to note that Quebecor is running a zillion pieces on city spending ( the post above) but is notoriously silent about this 7M “investment”.

    • MtlWeb 13:44 on 2023-11-15 Permalink

      As well, the Kings’ arena is undergoing renovations during that period thus they wouldn’t have been able to use it anyway – so instead of them paying PKP to use the Videotron arena, the CAQ is using our money to guarantee a daily interview with Bergevin, Philip Danault and PL Dubois. Bigger swindle than when McNall brought Gretzky to LA.

  • Kate 16:44 on 2023-11-14 Permalink | Reply  

    The city gave drivers a break on parking meter schedules downtown, but that’s over as of Wednesday.

    I have a tangentially related question. There’s an electric car charging pole at the corner of my street. People use it. When they plug in, do they have to pay?

    • Joey 17:14 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      Those charging stations (more power than a wall outlet, less power than the ‘fast’ chargers that you find on highways, etc.) cost $1.00/hour and can fill a typical EV battery in something like 6-8 hours, depending on the battery size, etc (fast chargers can bring a battery from 20% to 80% in about half an hour).

      Note that only EVs that are plugged in and charging are allowed to park in these spaces, though you will often see non-EVs or EVs that are not actively charging occupying these spaces – which is a major issue for drivers who don’t have a home charging option and rely on this public infrastructure to fill their car batteries. Nobody parks in front of a gas pump, right?

      In busy areas, e.g., downtown, these spaces are metered like any other, so you pay for both parking and time used. In residential areas, there’s no parking fee (and usually resident stickers don’t apply), so you just pay the charging time. In moderately busy areas where parking is metered, often the spaces reserved for EV charging are not metered, so it’s actually cheaper to park and charge than to park somewhere else, plus you get to replenish your battery; there’s no rhyme or reason to this: there are two municipal parking lots with EV spots around Laurier W, within a few meters of each other; one has metered spots, one doesn’t.

      Last, Montreal’s EV infrastructure is great. We were in Toronto with our EV earlier this year and really struggled to find a charger that was accessible and affordable – almost every option consisted of an expensive fast charger in an expensive underground garage.

    • Orr 18:29 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      I understand this is changing from a time-plugged-in pricing model to a energy-transferred pricing model?

    • steph 18:34 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      It shouldn’t be difficult to implement a city meterage for time plugged in post charge (at the higher rate)

    • Joey 10:00 on 2023-11-15 Permalink

      @Orr, yes that’s my understanding. I think there was a green light needed (and issued) by whoever governs measurements in Canada. I’m not sure if they are going to change pricing for the more common medium-speed chargers or just the fast chargers, where the amount of electricity consumed varies considerably from car to car and individual charger to charger (in addition to varying based on temperature, battery status, etc.). The medium speed chargers probably generate a more consistent amount of electricity. An hourly rate for the medium-speed ‘neighbourhood’ chargers makes sense to me, just as much as a kwh charge for fast chargers seems logical (with a penalty built in for staying plugged in once charging has ended or passed a high threshold, like 90%).

  • Kate 16:40 on 2023-11-14 Permalink | Reply  

    CSSDM schools will be closed by a strike as of November 21 for an open‑ended strike, while the Lester B. Pearson board expects to close for three days.

    • mare 18:41 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      Good for them.

      Related: I thought the teacher shortage here was unique, because they are paid so badly and because we needed so many extra teachers for the francisation (sp) courses. But it appears to be also a huge problem in other provinces, the US and many European countries. On top of the low pay and public recognition, so many teachers got Covid or Long Covid and just don’t want to be on the firing line of all those airborne virii (Covid, RSV, flu and colds) anymore. So they quit, are sick at home or have retired early.

    • MarcG 19:36 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      @mare: Same with nurses, and, and, and… https://twitter.com/lisa_iannattone/status/1720810213165445624

    • Ian 20:06 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      The Front Commun is basically all the health, education & social services public workers.

      But yeah, primary school teachers … not many jobs that require a master’s degree and a professional license so you can get shunted around from school to school for 5+ years until you get a permanent post. Take a look at the Lester B. area. It’s frickin’ huge. Unless you have a car, you can expect long and unpredictable commutes for years.

    • Mark Côté 10:27 on 2023-11-15 Permalink

      My daughter’s EMSB school communicated yesterday about striking next week from Tuesday to Thursday as well. She has the entire week off now since they had to move parent–teacher interviews to Monday and so cancelled classes, and then Friday was already a ped day.

    • JaneyB 10:55 on 2023-11-15 Permalink

      How much do teachers make? I’m looking online and seeing an average salary of 69K and starting salary of 44K. They only need a B.Ed. (and sometimes just the brevet if there’s a shortage). I know working conditions are frustrating and parents often aggressively meddlesome but is this really low pay? Feel free to set me straight on the numbers.

    • Joey 11:44 on 2023-11-15 Permalink

      Is it common to have parent-teacher interviews during the day? I think I’ve only participated in them (as a parent and a kid) in after-school hours. Seems nuts that Mark’s kid’s school is going to cancel a day of teaching ahead of a potentially lengthy strike to prioritize parent-teacher meetings…

      Here’s hoping the gov’t comes to its senses and resolves this quickly and fairly (LOL). I wonder, in the event the strike lasts as rumoured until Xmas or beyond, whether the school service centres will cancel the remaining ped days to make up for lost time.

    • Tim S. 14:53 on 2023-11-15 Permalink

      “Here’s hoping the gov’t comes to its senses and resolves this quickly and fairly (LOL)”. Indeed. Every now and then I say this with a straight face, and people just laugh at me. Could still happen – Legault’s nothing if not impulsive.

    • Mark Côté 18:52 on 2023-11-15 Permalink

      @Joey In the past they were Thursday night and Friday during the (ped) day. Admittedly I don’t know why they aren’t being held Monday evening and Friday day though, given there’s still a ped day on the Friday and the strike is Tuesday to Thursday…

      @JaneyB I read that teachers in Quebec are the lowest paid in Canada, at 10-20k lower than the national average.

  • Kate 10:25 on 2023-11-14 Permalink | Reply  

    Jean-Talon market doesn’t allow for composting of the quantities of surplus fruit and vegetables that don’t get sold. Stall holders are not thrilled with management’s inability to make the change.

    • Meezly 11:06 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      I imagine that what limited space there is at the market they’d rather use for stalls, seating and more pleasant things than smelly, rotting organic matter. If only there was a public park nearby with a garden where the compost can be dumped and eventually used… it would be so wonderfully circular!

    • Kate 11:22 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      I suspect the market produces more organic waste than a single park could use up. As the item says, they’re not distributing as much edible food either as they could. There needs to be a daily service where inedible stuff gets moved into the regular city system, and still‑edible food goes to food banks or soup kitchens or whoever can use it. Maybe the city needs to add daily compost pickups at the markets as part of its service. It’s all a matter of logistics.

    • Ian 12:31 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      When I worked at Atwater Market the vendors all let me take all the damaged/ wilted fruits and vegetables I wanated. I ate like a king all year and only had to buy rice & chicken, everything else was free, fresh, and healthy.

    • John B 15:50 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      Perhaps the “farmers” could take inedible waste back to the farm to be composted…. but I guess then the people at the market would actually have to operate a farm, not buy product from the same place as supermarkets do.

    • DeWolf 21:37 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      It’s a public market, not a farmer’s market. There’s a difference.

  • Kate 10:10 on 2023-11-14 Permalink | Reply  

    Fifteen metro stations were vandalized overnight, plastered with posters reading “Génocide en Palestine. Canada complice” – some in French and some in English.

    Update: They’re now saying 16 stations were hit, and it was a well orchestrated action across town. The police hate crime unit was called, but it was not deemed a hate crime as no violence was suggested against any group. The QR code is said to go to notification of another demonstration this Sunday.

    • MarcG 11:52 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      Odd lack of photos to accompany the articles. Also the phrasing “guerre entre Israël et le Hamas” is propaganda.

    • Kate 12:05 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      TVA had photos when I posted the link, but they’ve replaced them with a video.

      Radio-Canada has a view of the posters.

    • qatzelok 13:21 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      Double Standards R Us:

      The White House has condemned the “taking down” of posters for another group:


    • Kate 15:04 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      What the U.S. does is not relevant and their standards are not germane to what happens here.

      Nobody’s meant to poster over metro station entrances, whether for political reasons, publicity purposes or any other reason. That’s why the hate crimes unit turned this over to the metro cops. The posters would be removed no matter what’s written on them. It’s not a political decision.

    • Ephraim 21:11 on 2023-11-14 Permalink

      MarcG – Everything is propaganda. It is defined as information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view. It’s all misleading. You can’t trust a single source. They all lie, all the time. Al Jazeera is in the same basket as Russia Today, Fox News and CGNT.

      In fact, just covering the subject is propaganda, because nothing is being said about so many other wars, Sudan, Eritrea/Ethiopia, Somalia, Mali, Myanmar, etc. Myanmar is at about 180K dead. Ethiopia estimates (including starvation) suggests it’s already over 600K.

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