Updates from April, 2024 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:46 on 2024-04-01 Permalink | Reply  

    Although the main forecast on the Environment Canada site predicts a high of 7° and rain for Wednesday, there’s a special weather statement predicting 10 to 20 cm of snow.

    Unless that’s an April fool?

    • Joey 09:08 on 2024-04-02 Permalink

      Sounds like a mess of snow and rain from Wednesday to Friday, with all of it melting/evaporating by the end of what should be a glorious weekend. I’m guessing that there’s a lot of variability in the model – the difference between a tone of precipitation at +2 vs. -2 is the difference between a rainy day, a snow day and an ice storm…

    • Mark Côté 09:40 on 2024-04-02 Permalink

      Looking at Google where they do hourly forecasts several days in advance, seems it will start off as rain Wednesday afternoon, but then change to snow in the late evening. Only calling for a high of 2 degrees on Thursday so the snow will continue (in some form or another, as Joey says) all that day and into Friday.

    • Kate 09:45 on 2024-04-02 Permalink

      I knew I shouldn’t have put my shovel away.

    • JaneyB 09:49 on 2024-04-02 Permalink

      @Kate – Same with my car scraper and shovel. I’ll put them back forthwith!

    • dhomas 10:05 on 2024-04-02 Permalink

      I just took down my “Tempo” yesterday. 😀

    • Blork 10:39 on 2024-04-02 Permalink

      It’s looking promising for the eclipse on Monday. Sunny and warm both Sunday and Monday.

    • jeather 12:05 on 2024-04-02 Permalink

      Knock on fucking wood, Blork.

  • Kate 21:41 on 2024-04-01 Permalink | Reply  

    Dan Philip, who headed the Black Coalition of Quebec for more than 40 years, has died. Some interesting points about his life on French Wikipedia, which says he was 88; La Presse says he was 85.

    • Kate 20:46 on 2024-04-01 Permalink | Reply  

      The father of Mehdi Moussaoui, one of the teenage pair who died when they crashed a (probably stolen) car into a tree on Thursday, speaks to La Presse about his son’s drift into bad company.

      • Kate 10:50 on 2024-04-01 Permalink | Reply  

        Le Devoir asks why people drive huge SUVs and other oversize vehicles in the city, with additional pieces on “autobesity” and the size creep of cars.

        • MarcG 10:55 on 2024-04-01 Permalink

          I rented a Communauto at the last minute yesterday and all that was available nearby was a Kia Sorrento. It felt like I was driving a tank, seriously dangerous, especially if you’re unaccustomed.

        • mare 11:33 on 2024-04-01 Permalink

          I think it’s great that Communauto had added some larger cars to their fleet. I don’t have a car but sometimes I have to transport things that don’t fit on my cargo bike or in a ‘normal’ Communauto.
          Friends in the Netherlands are members of a similar car sharing outfit and they have cars in all kinds of sizes: small hatchbacks, station wagons annd even some small vans (smaller than a SUV).

          This is the similar issue with many people buying enormous cars because they size them for the few days per year that they actually need them (or think they do). The same with electric cars, people want 500km range, so buy the bigger and heavier models, but rarely actually drive those distances. (I’m sure that’s in the a Devoir article but haven’t read it yet.)

        • Blork 11:40 on 2024-04-01 Permalink

          …and a Kia Sorrento is considered a “compact SUV.” Try a Toyota Sequoia or a Cadillac Escalade sometime. (Or don’t actually.)

        • su 11:41 on 2024-04-01 Permalink

          “Avec son programme Roulez vert, Québec accordait depuis des années une subvention de 7000 $ à l’achat d’un véhicule électrique (et 5000 $ pour une version hybride), quelle que soit sa taille”. They should be offering these subsidies toward the purchase of electric bikes many of which have a throttle function and can be used on our excellent bike path network. $5000 would cover the full price of a quality ebike capable of 32 k/hr speed.

        • Blork 11:45 on 2024-04-01 Permalink

          To Mare’s point, I have a Subaru Crosstrek, which is not large by any stretch, but is larger than I need. Except when I need it, which is basically anytime I want to throw a couple of bicycles on a rack and go somewhere. (It’s absurd that the vast majority of small/compact cars cannot handle a Class II trailer hitch, which is the minimum class for attaching a bike rack for two electric bikes.)

        • jeather 12:25 on 2024-04-01 Permalink

          I’ve got a Kia Rio and let me tell you, driving in it is difficult — not that I’m worried about a crash, but that the fucking LED lights are exactly at my eye level and blind me. This is dangerous but generally avoidable if I change lanes — only imagine kids who aren’t visible because you are sitting up so high in your small-penis-mobile. (I know that many women drive these cars too.) But among the many failures in crash testing (and, honestly, the biggest such failure) is the failures for pedestrian safety testing. (As you may know, they do not test for women in the driver’s seat.)

        • Ian 12:54 on 2024-04-01 Permalink

          My last car was a 2-door compact but it died over the summer. I wanted to buy a compact or at most a sedan to replace it but there was literally nothign in my price range except SUVs… there were a ton of Nissan Rogues on the used market specifically because most people really hate CVT transmissions. There are still very few hybrids on the used market that are under 12 years old (when they usually start to develop serious problems) and those few are priced like luxury cars. I could buy a 12 year old Audi for less than a 6 year old Prius hybrid.

          I put the blame for this lack of choice squarely on the manufacturers – hopefully the rise in gas prices will elad them toward compacts again like in the 70s. Maybe we’ll even get some of those 10k Chinese electrics – though with the auto industry’s protectionism, I doubt it.

        • Blork 16:36 on 2024-04-01 Permalink

          Speaking of the “size creep” of cars, check out this side-by-side of the new Mini Cooper (made by BMW) and the original Mini Cooper (made by BMC then British Leyland then Rover): https://www.blork.org/pix/New-Old-Mini-cooper.jpg

        • Kate 16:37 on 2024-04-01 Permalink

          There have been photos circulating of old vs. new pickup trucks too.

        • Michael 17:54 on 2024-04-01 Permalink


        • Al 21:04 on 2024-04-01 Permalink

          Emotional Support Vehicles

        • Bryan 22:17 on 2024-04-01 Permalink

          I think gas has to get much more expensive before people will seriously reconsider their vehicle purchases, at least in the kind of population-wide change we need.

        • Kate 22:42 on 2024-04-01 Permalink

          That’s happened before. The energy crisis in the 1970s persuaded many people into compact cars for a generation.

        • mare 23:19 on 2024-04-01 Permalink

          I remember we had a few car-less Sundays in the 70s in the Netherlands on which all vehicular traffic was forbidden except essential services. (Which was a much smaller list than the ones deemed essential during the Covid lockdown).
          Highways became giant bicycle paths and it was glorious. Afterwards the Dutch citizens realized they needed to construct more and bigger and wider bike paths and then the Netherlands became a nation where everyone cycles and no one uses a car.

          Okay, that last thing didn’t happen, but the oil crisis did start the pro-cycling movement in the Netherlands. And the anti-car movement, spearheaded by a group named ‘stop the murdering of children’. Because of pressure by the public the government start building more and more cycling infrastructure, and the adagium ‘When you build it they will come’ proved to be true.

        • Meezly 09:54 on 2024-04-02 Permalink

          Are people driving more electric SUVs? I imagine gas was factor holding some potential owners back in the past.

        • Jim Strankinga 09:55 on 2024-04-02 Permalink

          It’s worth noting that conditions in the Netherlands are not the same as in Montreal. The landscape is flat, cities are close, and winters are milder. Cycling has been popular for its accessibility and cost-efficiency, but with challenges like bike theft and parking. Having lived in the Netherlands most of my life and now 15 years in Montreal, I see the differences clearly. While cycling is viable in some Montreal neighborhoods, comparing it directly to the Dutch experience is tricky. Still, I’m a big fan of cycling, and a happy Bixi user!

      • Kate 09:48 on 2024-04-01 Permalink | Reply  

        Parking rules change April 1st on many streets as the city switches to summer mode.

        The city is doing its spring cleaning now. A couple of nights ago I heard a ferocious noise right outside my place: it was a massive, noisy vacuum vehicle cleaning the sidewalk, sucking up all the gravel left behind by winter.

        My landlords just came by to take up the winter coco matting stuff from the front steps, and one of them asked me if I knew what the city does with all the gravel that gets left behind by winter. It’s dirty stuff but it’s still gravel and would still function in that way if reused, but wouldn’t it clog the machines that spread it around in the first place?

        • carswell 23:51 on 2024-04-01 Permalink

          Vague, half-awake memories of an early-morning interview — probably on Daybreak — with a city official who claimed the abrasive was so contaminated with street pollution that it couldn’t be reused without extensive cleaning, the high financial and environmental cost and complicated logistics of which ruled out any practical reuse scenario.

        • Joey 09:06 on 2024-04-02 Permalink

          While in the past the city has been tolerant of people forgetting to move their cars soon after April 1, I noticed an entire block’s worth of cars tickets yesterday – no-parking was in effect from 8-9 am, despite it being a holiday. Guess money is tight at city hall…

        • Kate 11:35 on 2024-04-02 Permalink

          carswell, nice to know someone else was wondering the same thing. The city must remove tons of that pointy little gravel mixed with all kinds of other crap, every spring, but I wonder where they put it.

        • carswell 11:49 on 2024-04-02 Permalink

          The city official — it may have been Philippe Sabourin — mentioned how the gravel was handled (disposed of IIRC) and noted that a lot of it ends up in the sewer system but I can’t recall the details, assuming I was still conscious when he got around to them. I’ll check later today to see if the interview has been archived or was turned into an website article.

        • carswell 12:14 on 2024-04-02 Permalink

          Didn’t find the CBC interview but Sabourin has apparently been doing the rounds.

          “About one-third of the city’s gravel, which is purchased at a cost of $30 a tonne from local suppliers, ends up in the city’s sewage system, where it travels to Montreal’s massive wastewater treatment system in the far east end of the city. It settles to the bottom of swimming-pool sized containment reservoirs, where it is collected, then dumped into landfills.

          “The other two-thirds is picked up during street cleaning operations and dumped into landfills as well. Since it is contaminated with salt residue, chemicals, contaminants like motor oil and numerous cigarette butts, the gravel cannot be reused, Sabourin said.”


        • Kate 13:11 on 2024-04-02 Permalink

          Thank you, carswell!

        • MarcG 16:43 on 2024-04-02 Permalink

          The unimaginable volumes of waste produced by this society…

        • carswell 16:49 on 2024-04-02 Permalink

          @MarcG Indeed. What gets me is this stuff is too contaminated to reuse on the sidewalks and streets next winter but not too contaminated to put in a landfill site, where many of the contaminants can leach into the ground and ground water for decades to come.

      • Kate 09:42 on 2024-04-01 Permalink | Reply  

        Hydro-Quebec rates are rising 3%, and that’s no April Fool.

        • Ian 12:58 on 2024-04-01 Permalink

          Lovely that all these government-owned enterprises are sympathetic to the burden of inflation on the people.

          You would think nationalized companies would be profit-neutral but apparently 1.5 billion for the SAQ isn’t enough and neither is 2.5 billion for 2023 from Hydro.

          “In 2023, Hydro-Québec supplied 200.3 TWh to Québec and neighboring markets. Thanks to our net income of $3.3 billion, compared to $4.6 billion in 2022, a dividend of $2.5 billion will be paid to its sole shareholder, the Québec government.” (my bold)

          pdf link

        • JaneyB 20:46 on 2024-04-01 Permalink

          Legault wants to sell our hydro to the Northeast states where it will fetch a higher price. He’ll keep pushing increases until there is a real outcry here. That may be a while though since restaurants continue to be full and the food delivery apps that double the cost of dinner are doing well.

      • Kate 08:53 on 2024-04-01 Permalink | Reply  

        A demonstration was held Sunday by trans people and their supporters against the CAQ’s “comité de sages” formed to advise them on policies around gender.

        • Ian 13:03 on 2024-04-01 Permalink

          It’s like les Janettes acting as spokespeople for women’s rights within catholaïcite.

          And yet, there is no systemic bias within Quebec society, and to suggest that is somehow Quebec-bashing.

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