Updates from April, 2024 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:10 on 2024-04-28 Permalink | Reply  

    A transit fare hike of an average 3% is coming on July 1.

    • Kate 12:03 on 2024-04-28 Permalink | Reply  

      Jean-François Roberge has announced a $603M budget to slow the decline of French, including helping more francophones to immigrate. Maintaining the higher tuition fees for Canadians from other provinces is praised as “strong action.”

      Not everyone is agreed that French is in decline here, but it will play well in the regions.

      CTV mentions how Quebec hopes to make major streaming companies carry more French‑language content.

      • azrhey 15:33 on 2024-04-28 Permalink

        …”helping more francophones [of the right skin complexion and/or religion] to immigrate”….

        There fixed it for them….

      • Uatu 17:36 on 2024-04-28 Permalink

        Yeah sure. Just distract everyone from the recent announcement about how much more the big owe upgrade will cost and from the recent “let them eat cake” announcement from Genevieve Guilbeaut regarding public transit.

      • jeather 19:11 on 2024-04-28 Permalink

        Well half of that appears to go to French language courses which, whether or not there is a decline, is a good place to put money.

      • qatzelok 11:27 on 2024-04-29 Permalink

        Here’s a really interesting documentary from 1969 which depicts the decline of French in Acadia. Listen to how limited the vocabulary and syntax are at that point among “francophone” New Brunswickers.


      • jeather 12:36 on 2024-04-29 Permalink

        And “Another $64.9 million will be dedicated to improving students’ mastery of French through programs including those that promote reading, Education Minister Bernard Drainville said” which, given the state of literacy in this province, is also a good place to put money. So we’re at almost 400 million on various kinds of language courses, and another 190 on cultural events which is fine. I’m not convinced that 13 million on “French-language scientific publications and communications campaigns” or 18 on a dashboard about language stats is necessary, but the vast majority of this money seems perfectly reasonably spent (in theory, obviously we don’t know how things will work out in practice), even if you don’t accept the argument that French is in decline.

      • Blork 14:32 on 2024-04-29 Permalink

        I tend to agree with jeather. Spending money on language and literacy is good news. What remains to be seen is the tone of the programs that are developed and/or enhanced. Will it be French lessons with kindness, enthusiasm, and encouragement, or French lessons under the hell of a boot?

        Possibly related true anecdote: when I first arrived here I took French lessons in night classes at the FACE school on University. The first round was lead by a Tunisian man with odd orange hair. He was kind, friendly, encouraging, and didn’t dwell on people’s mistakes. Everyone flourished. The next level was taught by a woman right out of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” She had her hair in a tight bun and was strict and dictatorial and sometimes downright mean. She treated us like children (we were all adults) and only stopped short of rapping our knuckles with a ruler. I quit half way through and never went back.

        Now that was two separate teachers within the same program. So yes, it can be difficult to set an across-the-board tone from the higher bureaucratic levels. Or is it? Surely there can be some kind of mission statement or whatever that specifies the type of pedagogy to be used, and careful wording of the mission and goals as they roll out the program.

        But I think that’s wishful thinking when it comes to this government, who will most likely just polish their boot heels and try to pound that French into us unwelcome immigrants and anglos.

      • Kate 14:38 on 2024-04-29 Permalink

        The French teachers we had in high school were a mixed bag, but the overall tone was that our not knowing French perfectly was a moral failure on our part. We should already know it, so we were clearly wicked children who had wilfully avoided becoming francisé.

      • Ian 14:53 on 2024-04-29 Permalink

        In the Continuing Education programs at the CEGEP I work at we have been informed that any program funded by the government (like retraining programs through EI) now require a French proficiency component, too. So even a 60 hour course now also requires French lessons. That 603 million is going to go fast.

        @Blork FACE regular school isn’t much better, then main primary school French teacher on the English side not only wasn’t a native French speaker, but used to confuse avoir and être. This is the same school where children were punished for not speaking French at recess.

      • Kate 17:51 on 2024-04-29 Permalink

        One of my high school French teachers was a man from Hungary. He was one of the nicest teachers in the school but he knew French as he might know Latin – an academic subject, not a language being spoken all around us outside.

      • jeather 07:43 on 2024-04-30 Permalink

        They’re giving a whole 7.8 million for help with housing, which does show a lot about priorities.

      • Ian 09:27 on 2024-04-30 Permalink

        We need to start a whisper campaign that a lack of affordable housing is really what’s causing the decline of French in Quebec.

    • Kate 10:28 on 2024-04-28 Permalink | Reply  

      Independent councillor Craig Sauvé from the Sud‑Ouest borough will be running for the NDP in the next general federal election. LaSalle‑Émard‑Verdun is the riding left vacant by David Lametti in January.

      In fact – see comments below – CTV got it wrong in the lede. Sauvé’s running in the byelection sparked by Lametti’s resignation, and which must be held before the end of July.

      • AMF 13:03 on 2024-04-28 Permalink

        Craig Sauvé is terrific! It would be a loss for city politics, but a real gain for the NDP.

      • Kate 13:40 on 2024-04-28 Permalink

        Whether his popularity in Sud-Ouest can overcome the general lack of enthusiasm for the NDP is uncertain. Does anyone know what the rules say? Can someone run for federal office while remaining a councillor, but hang onto their councillor role if they don’t win the federal seat?

      • bob 14:31 on 2024-04-28 Permalink

        Kind a moot question, as the NDP will come in third.

      • Ian 15:05 on 2024-04-28 Permalink

        I’m glad I don’t live in the Sud-Ouest because I always vote NDP… but this would be a real crisis of conscience.

      • jeather 16:32 on 2024-04-28 Permalink

        He’s a very effective and present councillor and I would not be surprised if people voted for the NDP because he is well liked at the municipal level. And let’s be real, is there sufficient interest in the Liberals now? The ridings that turned into that voted heavily NDP in 2011, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Liberal votes transferred to NDP, the question is how good a showing the BQ can make.

      • Tim S. 16:37 on 2024-04-28 Permalink

        It’s funny, the NDP is the most ideologically driven of the major parties, but also the one which is most reliant on strong personalities to break through. I think he has as good a shot as anyone.

        (Full-disclosure: I was at the nomination meeting, I think he’ll run a fun, upbeat campaign).

      • H. John 18:09 on 2024-04-28 Permalink

        @Kate, he may well be a candidate in the next general election, but the article is about him being the NDP candidate for the expected by-election.


        That’s usually very important because of the difference in turnout. IIRC, when Anna Gainey ran in NDG-Westmount in a 2023 by-election the turnout was just under 30%.

      • Kate 19:02 on 2024-04-28 Permalink

        H. John, that’s what I would’ve expected, but this is the lede in the CTV item: “City councillor Craig Sauvé will run for the New Democratic Party (NDP) in Montreal’s LaSalle-Émard-Verdun riding in the next general election.”

      • H. John 19:21 on 2024-04-28 Permalink

        It’s a Canadian Press article, CTV got the headline wrong, La Presse got it right on the same article:


      • Tim S. 19:21 on 2024-04-28 Permalink

        CTV is wrong. He’s nominated for the by-election that must be held by September.

        Assuming the budget passes, etc etc.

      • Kate 21:15 on 2024-04-28 Permalink

        Thank you both for clearing that up.

      • Em 09:43 on 2024-04-29 Permalink

        As for the councillor question, a city councillor (Sophie Thiébault) ran for the NDP in my riding last federal election, and as far as I know she returned to that role after losing. I think a leave of absence is tolerated.

        That being said, Craig Sauvé is still answering all the citizens’ questions on Facebook, so I don’t know that he’s actually stepped back. There’s no byelection date yet, and no other candidates, so he’s out early.

        He also announced he was running weeks ago, so not sure why this made the news this weekend.

      • Kate 11:58 on 2024-04-29 Permalink

        Maybe this announcement is about Sauvé planning to run in the next federal general election, whereas the announcement a few weeks ago was about the byelection?

      • H. John 14:18 on 2024-04-29 Permalink

        @ Kate, he announced March 28th in a video on his X feed that he was running for the NDP nomination in the by-election:


        That was followed by a month of postings of support.

        And finally his investiture as NDP candidate this past weekend:


      • Kate 14:42 on 2024-04-29 Permalink

        Thank you, H. John.

    • Kate 08:58 on 2024-04-28 Permalink | Reply  

      Jean-Pierre Ferland has died at 89. Radio‑Canada has a biographical note and Le Devoir lists the accolades from political figures. Wikipedia.

      (Typically, I’m not finding anything about this story in anglo media…)

      Ah here we go.

      Update: François Legault is offering the family a national funeral and they have accepted.

      • Kate 08:42 on 2024-04-28 Permalink | Reply  

        A white memorial bicycle will be placed Sunday on Papineau near de Maisonneuve for Eric Roy, who was killed there last summer. Here’s the report of the incident.

        • Ian 15:15 on 2024-04-28 Permalink

          Another heavy truck. When will the city address this problem?

        • bumper carz 12:41 on 2024-04-29 Permalink

          Trucks putting lives in danger… is a problem all over North America (and elsewhere), so this problem needs to be resolved on a much larger scale than “the city.”

          It’s amazing how the last five generations of parents were totally fine (pacified by mass media?) with the takeover of public spaces by the operators of dangerous vehicles.

        • Kate 14:44 on 2024-04-29 Permalink

          qatzelok, you’d probably enjoy this Vox piece on how cars got so big:


          But the problem for cyclists and pedestrians here is not usually pickup trucks and SUVs but the effect of really big vehicles knocking people down, usually at corners. (The federal policy referred to in the article and its URL is U.S. policy, not Canadian, but we mostly use their cars so it’s relevant here too.)

        • Ian 14:48 on 2024-04-29 Permalink

          That doesn’t mean that the city couldn’t enact rules, qatzi, or even better, enforce existing rules more strictly.

          Commercial vehicles seem to operate with a certain level of impunity, like parking in green alleys or in resident-only parking areas, idling on corners, double parking, whatever. Hanging a safety vest out the window of your truck is like a universal no-tickets-for-me magic item.

        • DeWolf 19:06 on 2024-04-29 Permalink

          I live on what is technically a ruelle verte and it’s a joke. For years there has been so much construction (basically vanity renovations by people who want to turn their duplexes into McMansions) that the constant coming and going of heavy vehicles during the day makes it a dangerous place to play for kids. Luckily the amount of construction has calmed down a bit this year and, like magic, suddenly at 5pm there are dozens of kids out playing in the alley.

          The thing is, rules are already on the books. Heavy trucks are prohibited on most streets. Trucks are certainly prohibited in alleyways. It’s just that there are so many exceptions — and such little enforcement — that the rules don’t matter. I think in this case qatzelok is right, the only way we see real change is through some more fundamental change beyond Montreal.

        • Ian 22:25 on 2024-04-29 Permalink

          Sounds more like “we tried nothing and we’re all out of ideas”.
          Laws and regulations mean nothing if they aren’t enforced.

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