Updates from May, 2024 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:53 on 2024-05-01 Permalink | Reply  

    A May Day march was held in St‑Michel Wednesday, emphasizing the stress on working people of the rising cost of living.

    Update: A downtown march was dispersed by police after a couple of windows were broken. (Is that “violence”?) TVA has some video and a few photos.

    • MarcG 08:52 on 2024-05-02 Permalink

      I’m going to go leave some flowers by those poor windows. It’s a day of mourning for all glass everywhere.

    • Meezly 09:42 on 2024-05-02 Permalink

      There’s a Canada-wide consumer boycott of Loblaws during this month as the corporation rakes in record profits as many consumers struggle to put food on the table. It will be tricky to do since Loblaws owns so many supermarket and discount chains, like No Frills, Maxi and ValuMart, and countless others, like pharmacies (even Pharmaprix) and health services. But I think the point is also to show how just a few powerful companies can monopolize our staple industries and drive up the prices.

    • Kate 09:56 on 2024-05-02 Permalink

      I would be doing it, but I rarely shop at a Loblaw property – that I know of. But I’d like to see Galen Weston taken down a peg.

    • jeather 10:10 on 2024-05-02 Permalink

      Yeah, I can’t boycott Loblaws because I go to their stores maybe 3 times a year, I’m an all-Metro person. (Because of convenience, primarily.) I guess I could avoid whichever gas station is associated with, though not owned by, them?

      I will say that the “10% higher profits and 15% higher dividends” announcement on the first day of the boycott is amusing.

      I’d love to think this boycott would get somewhere.

    • Mozai 10:40 on 2024-05-02 Permalink

      TIL: “Metro” is not a Gaelon-Weston enterprise. It ate A&P, Dominion, Loeb, The Barn, Marche Adonis, Food Basics, Marche Ami, among other grocery chains. G-W owns Pharmaprix, while Metro owns Jean-Coutu, Brunet, Drug Basics. It would be unfair to accuse them of the sins of their peer, but I can’t help being suspicious.

    • walkerp 12:55 on 2024-05-02 Permalink

      I am every day deeply grateful for the independent supermarkets and butchers, bakers that we have in our neighbourhood here. It may seem hipster but at least we get quality foods where we can speak directly to the owners. And how weird, their price increases have been quite marginal compared to what I am hearing from Loblaw’s stores. This is what happens when there is a monopoly.

    • Joey 14:03 on 2024-05-02 Permalink

      FYI though Loblaws owns the Pharmaprix banner (Shoppers Drug Mart elsewhere in Canada) and Metro owns Brunet and Jean-Coutu, the pharmacies themselves per Quebec law are all owned and operated by independent pharmacists, who contract with their banner for distribution and other services, e.g., marketing. Of course as the distributor Pharmaprix has tremendous influence on how the pharmacies are run and reaps a huge share of the revenue, but there is still a meaningful difference between “chain” pharmacies in Quebec than the rest of Canada.

    • Blork 16:50 on 2024-05-02 Permalink

      Loblaws also has a share of T&T, the Asian market, which is why Provigo carries T&T private label products. Metro has a similar hand in Adonis. As far as I know PA is still independent, but it’s probably just a matter of time before they get absorbed into something larger.

      It’s tough for me to boycott Provigo because it’s the closest and nicest store to me. (They recently renovated and there’s now an entire aisle that is like a T&T microcosm.) Also, their house-brand products are actually really good.

      But I usually go to 440 for produce, because Provigo’s so soooo expensive and often not very fresh, but when pressed for time…

      There’s an IGA a bit farther away in the other direction, but its produce section is awful.

      There used to be a smaller Provigo just a few minutes walk from chez moi but they closed it over a decade ago. It sat empty for years, during which I literally wrote letters to Adonis and PA telling them about this EXCELLENT LOCATION but obviously they weren’t interested, which makes me really sad. The space is now used for some government offices and a Bingo hall.

    • dhomas 07:03 on 2024-05-03 Permalink

      My household is participating in the Loblaw boycott, but it’s difficult. We have a Maxi within walking distance. Strangely, a new Maxi has just opened up (yesterday!) right across the street from the existing one, in a location that was a nice-ish Provigo up until about a month ago. The Adonis, Metro, and IGA stores close to me are not really walking distance, so I would have to take my car.

      Honestly, though, all grocery chains are pretty much guilty of the same sin of Greed as Loblaws, but you can’t boycott them all. If I had to pick one, it would be Loblaws, since Galen Weston is insufferable and Weston foods was the face of bread price-fixing. Add in the pharmacy exclusivity deal with Pharmaprix/Shoppers Drug Mart earlier this year (see here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/manulife-loblaw-deal-impact-audience-explainer-1.7100440) and it makes for a pretty despicable company. I hope it hits them where it hurts (their stock price) and we see some prices coming down as a result.

    • Ian 07:23 on 2024-05-03 Permalink

      @Blork that’s interesting about T&T being carried at some Provigo stores. I hadn’t seen it but Provigo stores do seem to have a lot of leeway in what they stock, at least compared to the more discount Maxi stores. Similarly I noticed that the IGA on Van Horne & Victoria carries the Kim Phat house brand. I wonder what the relationships are, like is it just a distribution agreement or do Provigo and IGA have actual partial ownership.

      IGA does have pretty lousy produce but there’s always Lufa and corner grocers – which in my experience at least are the same price or less than Provigo.

    • Chris 07:30 on 2024-05-03 Permalink

      >…after a couple of windows were broken. (Is that “violence”?)

      Well, we are told words are violence, speech is violence, and silence is violence. So sure, why not!

    • GC 07:56 on 2024-05-03 Permalink

      I thought Loblaws owned T&T outright, not so much that it “has a share” in it. (Purchased in 2009, according to CBC.)

    • Ian 09:33 on 2024-05-03 Permalink

      Oh wow, I had no idea. Looks like I’ll be going to Kim Phat then, too bad – I like T&T. Kim Phat is owned by Sobeys, who is owned by Metro.

    • Blork 16:45 on 2024-05-03 Permalink

      Out in the far reaches of Beyondo there’s an Asian market called Marché C&T, which is very Kim Phatesque. As far as I know they are independent, and there’s a branch just a few steps from the Fruiterie 440 that I go to every week or so. https://marchect.ca/

      There’s also Marché Newon, which AFAIK is independent and gigantic like Kim Phat and T&T. Two branches I know of are right downtown at the Foubourg Ste-Catherine and another up on Jean-Talon not far from the Namur Metro.

    • nau 10:04 on 2024-05-04 Permalink

      Sobeys is associated with IGA not Metro. They’re both banners of a group with the ever so subtle name of Empire.

    • Ian 11:24 on 2024-05-04 Permalink

      Ah, thanks for the correction.

      @Blork i do like Newon, I regularly go to the one on JT. Not as big as T&T but still very good for produce.

      G&D in Chinatown is pretty decent too since we are mentioning downtown Asian groceries.

    • Uatu 16:12 on 2024-05-04 Permalink

      The c and t in Brossard is also good but crowded AF in the weekend. I liked shopping at Thai Foo but that was demolished because the land was bought by the REM next to the Panama station and is now a vacant lot. Thanks REM.

  • Kate 19:39 on 2024-05-01 Permalink | Reply  

    The REM lost nearly an hour Wednesday morning; the system for recharging Opus by app was down part of the day; the green line was down between Atwater and Honoré‑Beaugrand for an hour at the evening rush.

    • Kate 15:41 on 2024-05-01 Permalink | Reply  

      An encampment has been set up at Victoria Square by advocates for the homeless. More Thursday on the aims of the protest.

      • Kate 12:51 on 2024-05-01 Permalink | Reply  

        The family of Candida Macarine, who was found dead on the floor of the Lakeshore General ER in 2021, is suing the West Island CIUSSS. They want a million dollars.

        • Kate 12:42 on 2024-05-01 Permalink  

          A Superior Court judge has refused to issue an injunction requested by two students to shut down the Gaza protest encampment.

          CTV focuses more on the students who asked for the injunction.

          This was separate from any plans McGill itself may have about the encampment.

          • Kate 10:33 on 2024-05-01 Permalink | Reply  

            This item waved me down when I was reading X just now: the Alberta government has just told Calgary that public transit is a municipal responsibility. Sound familiar? These right‑leaning governments are always copying each other’s playbooks, even if Quebec would never admit to it.

            • Josh 11:49 on 2024-05-01 Permalink

              Mike Harris cut all Ontario gov support for public transit in that province when I was a teenager. I remember prior to the cuts, every bus in Ottawa had two stickers at the front acknowledging the contributions of the provincial and municipal levels of government. When the cuts occurred, OCTranspo removed all of the Ontario stickers from the buses.

            • DeWolf 15:00 on 2024-05-01 Permalink

              I never thought I’d be singing the praises of Doug Ford but, compared to any other province, Ontario is investing a lot in public transit. The Ontario Line and GO RER projects will be transformative, and there are light rail projects in Mississauga and suburban Toronto that will do a lot of good too.

              Of course, the devil is in the details and Ontario is also the province that produced the disastrous O-Train and the Eglinton line in Toronto, which has been under construction for 14 years with still no fixed opening date… But at least the money is flowing. Ontario is spending $70 billion on transit projects over the next decade.

            • Ramsay 16:00 on 2024-05-01 Permalink

              On a related transit note, this article lists several ways the STM has been kneecapped by politics over the years Commençons par libérer la STM de l’ingérence politique: https://lp.ca/vHwxRJ?sharing=true

            • Kate 16:20 on 2024-05-01 Permalink

              Good piece, Ramsay – thank you.

            • Ian 19:55 on 2024-05-02 Permalink

              @DeWolf it’s a different situation in that the intercity train basically delivers commuters to Toronto – pretty much all of southern Ontario is urbanized now, with people commuting to work in Toronto from as far away as Kitchener- and suburbs all the way up to Barrie. Remember Ford is in the pocket of developers so improving suburban sprawl opportunities is right in his wheelhouse. The population of southern Ontario is about 14 million … that’s more than a third of the population of all of Canada right there.

          • Kate 09:38 on 2024-05-01 Permalink | Reply  

            Public health has brought out its first ever report on cyclists getting doored – when it happens and why. Not surprisingly, it turns out that a separated bike path like the REV gives cyclists the most protection.

            • DeWolf 10:15 on 2024-05-01 Permalink

              This is one reason I avoid St-Urbain above Pine, because the entire bike lane is in the dooring zone, with cars speeding by at 50 km/h right next to you.

              Another issue is that, if you avoid the dooring zone on narrow streets like Beaubien and St-Zotique in Little Italy, you risk the wrath of drivers behind you who want to pass but don’t have enough space. Luckily most drivers realize passing is useless when there’s a stop sign every 100 metres, but it’s not the rational ones who get road rage.

            • Blork 10:31 on 2024-05-01 Permalink

              No surprises there. For a glimpse of what cycling in Montreal was like in the 90s, before cycling infrastructure, check this video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Sv4KsRoI66E?si=VOmxYNjWZARci9bG

            • Meezly 11:35 on 2024-05-01 Permalink

              The two times I’ve been doored I had dented the car, but the person was more concerned whether I was ok. I can’t imagine how shitty it must be to get doored and quite injured as a result, and then to have the driver yell at and blame you for damaging their property (from an interviewee in the article).

              The government should spend money on PSAs to drill into people the Dutch Reach. Both my dooring incidents were the result of a driver and passenger flinging open their door without bothering to look out the window.

              Also the punishment for dooring a cyclist in QC is quite minimal – only $200. In ON, the fine is almost double that amount plus 3 demerit points.

            • CE 13:55 on 2024-05-01 Permalink

              I’ve thankfully never been doored but have had a few close calls over the years. As the cycling infrastructure improves, my dangerous interactions with cars has gone down to the point where it now almost never happens (as opposed to at least weekly back when cycling in the city looked like the video posted above).

              What DeWolf said regarding Beaubien is a.good example of how critics of Projet Montreal’s interventions miss the mark. Big flashy changes don’t always make as big a difference as something as simple as putting stop signs where they were thought of as being unnecessary before. Walking and cycling in the city is just so much more pleasant now because drivers are forced to slow down and stop for other users instead of having free reign over the streets.

            • DeWolf 15:04 on 2024-05-01 Permalink

              @Meezly The SAAQ now includes the Dutch reach in its driver education material, so hopefully things improve in the future, but you’re absolutely right it needs to be publicized for everyone who learned to drive in the bad old days.

              @CE That’s a good point. Although there are still a lot of frustrations, my experience in the central/east/north part of the city is so much better than even five years ago. There has been a lot of positive changes in a relatively short period of time.

          • Kate 09:25 on 2024-05-01 Permalink | Reply  

            A woman was murdered Tuesday in Pointe‑aux‑Trembles, her body found when firefighters came to put out a fire in the house.

            Update: A woman has been arrested. TVA tells us something about the victim and the suspect.

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