Updates from May, 2024 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 15:48 on 2024-05-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Judge Dennis Galiatsatos says that the provision of Bill 96, the CAQ’s reform of our language laws, mandating that, when court judgements are given in English, “une version française d’un jugement rendu par écrit en anglais doit être jointe immédiatement et sans délai” risks causing discriminatory delays to the anglo community. He intends to study whether the provision is constitutional.

    Quebec tried to stop Galiatsatos from holding this line against the law, but it didn’t succeed.

    • Nicholas 18:46 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

      It’s funny, this law can only apply to provincially-controlled courts (the Court of Quebec and tribunals), not federally-controlled ones (Superior Court, and appeals and federal courts). The judge investigating the constitutionality is a provincial judge (Court of Quebec), and Quebec went to the federally-controlled Superior Court to strike it down.

    • Kate 18:49 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

      It must be relaxing in some ways to live in a country where there’s a single layer of government above the municipality, so not the endless griping we get here between Canada and Quebec.

    • Ian 20:38 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

      Most countries founded on a unification project have similar issues depending on the rigidity of their colonialism.

    • Nicholas 10:29 on 2024-05-18 Permalink

      Wikipedia helpfully reminds me that 166 of 193 countries are unitary states. In general there may be administrative divisions between the national government and the municipality, but these aren’t usually elected but bureaucracy appointed by the nationals government. Scholars do tend to think of it as superior to a federation, but it’s not like the choice is made at random: countries with ethnic or linguistic divisions were more likely to form into federations.

    • H. John 22:22 on 2024-05-18 Permalink

      @Nicholas and Kate, I think you have a slightly off-kilter understanding of Canadian courts.

      The Superior Court (under various names in each province) has an inherent supervisory jurisdiction. Inherent meaning it was not created by statue, it is a basic part of our common law. The battle for the definition of the courts’ rights of supervision was waged mainly by Chief Justice Holt of the Court of King’s Bench (1642 – 1710). Called before the bar of the House of Lords for a decision that he had written, which the House believed effected their privilege, the Chief Justice refused to answer questions. He stated that decisions of the court could be reviewed only if one of the parties appealed. The House was an appeal body and had no right of direct supervision over the Court of King’s Bench.

      In 1763 Canada received the law of Great Britain.

      Governor Murray established courts.

      In 1774 the Quebec Act re-established French law in civil matters and confirmed English law in criminal matters. But the courts are not divided by types of law.


      The Court of Quebec as it was to become has jurisdiction over any offence under federal or provincial law, whether penal, criminal, or regulatory in nature. The only exception is in trials before a court composed of a jury and a judge of a Superior Court.

      To make it a little bit more difficult the Constitution Act, 1867 provides for the establishment and operation of Canada’s judiciary, including its courts of law. It gives the federal government exclusive lawmaking power over criminal law and criminal procedure; but not over the establishment of criminal courts.

      Quebec’s own Code of Civil Procedure explains why Quebec went to the Superior Court in this case:


      33. The Superior Court is the court of original general jurisdiction. It has jurisdiction in first instance to hear and determine any application not formally and exclusively assigned by law to another court or to an adjudicative body.
      It has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine class actions and applications for an injunction.

      34. The Superior Court is vested with a general power of judicial review over all courts in Québec other than the Court of Appeal, over public bodies, over legal persons established in the public interest or for a private interest, and over partnerships and associations and other groups not endowed with juridical personality.
      This power cannot be exercised in cases excluded by law or declared by law to be under the exclusive purview of those courts, persons, bodies or groups, except where there is lack or excess of jurisdiction.
      A matter is brought before the Court by means of an application for judicial review.

    • Kate 09:37 on 2024-05-19 Permalink

      H. John, I’m not surprised I didn’t quite grasp the structure of court jurisdiction. Thank you.

    • Kate 17:25 on 2024-05-19 Permalink

      One question, H. John. Writing this Sunday, reading about the result in the Jannai Dopwell‑Bailey murder trial today. Do criminal courts not take weekends off?

    • H. John 12:58 on 2024-05-20 Permalink

      @Kate I think your question is don’t juries take the weekend off. And the answer in criminal trials is no.

      Once the jury is sequestered jurors must stay in the jury room until they reach a verdict. If the jury does not reach a verdict by the end of the day, the jury heads to overnight accommodation at a hotel where they will remain sequestered from outside contact.

      The jurors return each day to continue deliberations in the jury room.

      If questions arise during the deliberations, jurors are asked to put them in writing, and provide them to the court officer in a sealed envelope, who will provide it to the judge. The jury will be redirected to the courtroom and the judge will answer the jury’s questions.

      I think you can understand how a juror would feel if she/he were forced to stay and work but the judges were only available on workdays to deal with questions that come up during deliberation.

    • Kate 13:45 on 2024-05-20 Permalink

      Oh good point. I imagine by that stage the jury wants to move things along so they can get back to their lives.

      Thank you.

    • James 21:05 on 2024-05-20 Permalink

      Having served on a jury (English language trial in Montreal) I can confirm everything that H. John said. It was a 5 week trial (but we were not present every day of the trial – I don’t know why).
      I spent 3 days in a jury room and 2 nights in a hotel (with no TV or phones in the rooms – I guess now you aren’t allowed cell phones either).
      Very educational for an ordinary citizen about the legal system – not at all like crime/lawyer dramas on TV.
      At a certain point, yes you do want to move things along but you also want to make sure you come to the “right” answer.

  • Kate 15:35 on 2024-05-17 Permalink | Reply  

    A study finds that anglos in Quebec and francos in the ROC risk getting substandard medical care because of the language barrier.

    • carswell 12:07 on 2024-05-18 Permalink

      Isn’t this the opposite of what many franco Quebecers believe, i.e. that anglos have access to gold-plated medical services while francos are treated like second-class citizens?

      Remember Jésus de Montréal, where the injured Daniel/Jésus is taken to an overrun, decrepit hospital (St-Luc?) and ignored before ending up at the gleaming, high-tech Jewish General, where a team of specialists immediately and heroically attend to him but fail to save him, saying they could have if only he’d have been brought there half an hour earlier?

    • carswell 12:17 on 2024-05-18 Permalink

      In any case, we’re all being treated like second-class citizens these days. I remain without a family physician and have less than a week left on my blood pressure and other drug prescriptions. Have been trying for weeks to get an appointment with someone who can renew them. “Walk-in” clinics are unresponsive. The government portal for appointments forces me to fill out a detailed form, asks me for my postal address, tells me to specify a radius (10, 30 or 50 km — I chose the last) and then lists one clinic. When I click on the link, the same government site says no appointments available period, not even distant ones.

    • Uatu 13:33 on 2024-05-18 Permalink

      @Carswell- have you tried seeing a nurse practitioner or a pharmacist? Maybe they could get you a referral for a new prescription?

    • carswell 13:48 on 2024-05-18 Permalink

      @Uatu Have spoken to pharmacists and been following their guidance to no avail. Have another trip to the drugstore slated for this weekend. Nurse practitioners are a possible next step though I’m not sure how to go about seeing one.

    • Kate 14:01 on 2024-05-18 Permalink

      I looked at this page about nurse practitioners, which sent me to this page, but I suspect you may already have gone down this rabbit hole.

    • Joey 15:56 on 2024-05-18 Permalink

      @carswell, I’ve read that triage nurses at ERs have unique access to same-day or next-day appointments at nearby clinics. You might consider going to a local ER early (8:30?) to see if they can find you something. Pretty sure I’ve seen this discussed on the Montreal subreddit. Good luck!

    • MarcG 16:57 on 2024-05-18 Permalink

      Call 811 and they might be able to get you an appointment at a clinic using their magical powers.

    • nau 21:47 on 2024-05-18 Permalink

      @carswell For our local clinic, there is a specific time at which their appointments come available in the governmental portal. So you have to go to that website at that exact time to get an appointment. Within 5 minutes they’re all gone. I don’t know if that’s true of other clinics or any in your area, but it could be.

    • carswell 08:29 on 2024-05-19 Permalink

      Thanks, all. Very helpful. Am feeling less adrift. Will be checking out these options STAT.

      @MarcG I’d thought about calling 811 but the pharmacist I asked said it’d be futile. Will try finding out for myself.

    • dwgs 08:58 on 2024-05-19 Permalink

      @carswell someone close to me works for the Health ministry, her advice is to call 811 and select option 3 from the phone menu.

  • Kate 10:23 on 2024-05-17 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse has five stories Friday examining aspects and experiences of the housing crisis.

    • Kate 10:03 on 2024-05-17 Permalink | Reply  

      A woman was murdered this week in Ormstown, and her father has been arrested. The reason I’m posting this story is secondary. In this La Presse piece, a neighbour is quoted as saying how quiet and peaceful the town usually is, then “Ça arrive à Montréal d’habitude, ce genre d’affaires là !”

      I keep track of incidents on a Google map, and have been struck this year by a pattern. If you activate two layers – island homicides and off-island homicides – you’ll notice that men have been getting killed in the city, while women get killed in the suburbs. I don’t know whether this is a persistent pattern – a lot of the city homicides are seemingly gang‑related – or just a matter of chance this year. But Mme Ormstown was making an unfair generalization.

      • Chris 11:27 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

        >“Ça arrive à Montréal d’habitude, ce genre d’affaires là !”

        Well she’s not wrong, is she? But the reason is likely simply due to there being way more people in Montreal. Per capita, it’s probably similar everywhere.

      • Nicholas 11:32 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

        Also of note is there are as many murders on-island as off-island (11). The idea that cities are dangerous is pervasive, and based on faulty statistics (though it depends on the city). So far this year Ormstown has had 50x the murder rate of Montreal Island, but that’s just an artifact of murders being rare events that must be whole numbers and Ormstown having 1/500th the population. If the rates were the same, Ormstown would go 15 more years without a murder, and people would feel safe there even though the rate is the same. But all the other small towns would, on average, get their share of murders until it looped around.

        Humans are just bad at statistics, news doesn’t help, and this person probably rarely goes into the city and believes everything in the JdM.

        Kate, as to your point, maybe it’s a trend, I’d believe it though would love a study. But it’s also long been true that if you’re not in a gang the most likely way you’ll get murdered is by your family or someone you know. (To be fair, I guess gangs are also family, in a way.)

    • Kate 09:32 on 2024-05-17 Permalink | Reply  

      A good sequence of photos on Le Devoir shows the reconstruction of caserne 26, the heritage fire station that went up in flames in 1999 when firefighters rushed out on a call, forgetting they’d left a pot of oil heating on the stove. (I doubt they ever lived it down.)

      The new building incorporates materials from the original one, shown here.

      • carswell 09:41 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

        FYI the photo collage in the Devoir article is small but the image embiggens nicely if opened in a new tab or window.

      • Kate 09:47 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

        Yes! So it does.

        The original building had blank windows on the top floor. I can’t tell from the new photos whether they’ve been recreated in that form, or actually revived as windows. Might go have a look at it soon.

      • Joey 13:31 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

        Do I follow? It took 25 years and more than $20 million to rebuild a fire station?

      • Kate 15:13 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

        They could’ve had a fire station for less, but that was a detailed building, and had to be put back together with a modern interior faced by a vintage exterior. So different types of construction specialty must have been called on. If anything, I think the side facing des Érables, with the mixed brick and stone, may have been trickier to re-create than the all‑stone front face.

        Also, the building used to also be the city hall of the town of de Lorimier, which makes it more historically significant than a simple fire hall. Some info about that town here: it was annexed to Montreal in 1909.

      • DeWolf 17:57 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

        The actual project in question only took a few years. There were a lot of ups and downs in terms of funding in the years prior to that. And $20 million sounds about right for a project that, as Kate notes, essentially involved creating a new building to the exact scale of the old one, then painstakingly putting its façade back together stone by stone and brick by brick.

      • Kate 19:55 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

        Yes, that building stood boarded up for years after the fire, with no work being done.

      • Joey 15:58 on 2024-05-18 Permalink

        I guess the point is it would be pretty depressing to learn that, even if the work itself only takes a few years, a building as significant as a fire station required 25 years to rebuild, especially given that money seemed to have been no object. I wonder what the fire fighters would’ve thought if you had told them how long it would take back in 1999.

    • Kate 09:24 on 2024-05-17 Permalink | Reply  

      This Friday is the 382nd anniversary of the founding of Montreal and this is a long weekend, with Monday standing in for Victoria Day.

      Weekend notes from La Presse, CultMTL, CityCrunch. And it’s going to be hot.

      Weekend driving crises including a segment of the 40 between the 15 and Cavendish closed all weekend for repaving.

      • PatrickC 09:43 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

        You mean the Journée des Patriotes, of course.

      • Kate 10:22 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

        Of course!

      • dwgs 10:34 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

        When is the Fete du Dollard this year?

      • Kate 11:12 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

        I don’t remember how many years it was called the Fête du Dollard.

      • carswell 11:20 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

        Semi-O/T but in the last 24 hours, I’ve received two requests for work to be delivered on Monday, both from an entity of the Quebec government. When I pointed out that Monday was a holiday, this is the reply I got: “…plusieurs ne prennent pas ou n’ont pas ce lundi comme férié.”

      • Kate 16:36 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

        Tell them you’re shocked they’re not celebrating the Patriotes?

    • Kate 08:49 on 2024-05-17 Permalink | Reply  

      Artists held a demonstration Thursday at the office of the ministry of Culture to demand more support of their world, repeating the same demands made in a demonstration in April. Does it make a profit for our cronies? No? Then the CAQ isn’t listening.

      • Kate 08:21 on 2024-05-17 Permalink | Reply  

        The falcon eggs are hatching in the UdeM tower nest box. The live cam isn’t up – that’s a recording from earlier this week. Notes from CTV.

        CBC had a video report this week about different falcon eggs being moved to a nest box on the Mercier Bridge.

        • MarcG 09:03 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

          Really sucks that the live cam went down right before the big event.

        • Kate 16:10 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

          The live Youtube feed is back up as I type.

          It’s so noisy. Is the nest right beside a big ventilation unit?

        • carswell 16:39 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

          There are ventilation units of some sort on the ledges on which the UdeM nests are built but I don’t recall them being particularly noisy in previous years. However, there’s lots of construction work being doing on the campus. About a third of the pavillon principal is currently sheathed in scaffolding and plastic sheeting and the work is sometimes noisy — if the wind’s blowing in the right direction, I can hear it on my deck, which I’m guessing must be at least 600 m from the tower as the falcon flies. (It’s 250 m from the front door of my building to the metro-adjacent entrance to the escalators up to the chemin de la Tour.) Also, don’t discount wind noise, especially at that elevation.

        • Kate 17:12 on 2024-05-17 Permalink

          Oh wow, the parents are both away, and only the hungry chicks are there, huddled together.

          Are there any predators that would take the chance of snatching a falcon chick?

          …A minute later, a parent came back with a bloody lump of something and is feeding the kids. The one on the far left looks kind of weak.

        • MarcG 09:43 on 2024-05-18 Permalink

          @Kate: I just took a look at the cam and saw that you were chastised for a comment – I gotta know what you could have said to get wrist-slapped by falcon lovers!

        • Kate 10:19 on 2024-05-18 Permalink

          I said, in French, that I wished I could send them a steak by drone.

        • MarcG 11:09 on 2024-05-18 Permalink

          Haha. I guess it’s not a place for humour or they’re genuinely concerned people will send drones up there.

        • carswell 11:46 on 2024-05-18 Permalink


          Not sure how they pull it off without disturbing the parents, but the people looking after the nest boxes can and do access them regularly, so they could leave your steak right there. However, I’ve read that peregrines won’t touch meat they haven’t killed themselves. If so, releasing a few doves might be the compromise solution!

          Seriously though, with its proximity to the cemetery, the Outremont summit, the campus woods and urban pigeons, food isn’t really in short supply.

          I’ve seen them flying far overhead from my fifth-floor flat but only rarely. The only raptors I’ve seen at eye level here are kestrels. But they — along with lots of other fauna, including grosbeaks, finches and, once, a snowy owl — haven’t returned since the HEC2 destroyed the very wild woods that used to occupy its current site. The “urban forest” Abe Limonchick glibly promised would mitigate the loss is a farce — one species of tree planted in straight rows with nothing allowed to grow on the ground except grass, much of which has been obliterated by foot traffic and the resulting soil compaction. Have never seen a bird in it. Even squirrels mostly shun it.

          Funny how the two latest HEC buildings have insouciantly destroyed green space, especially downtown, which has so little of it. Kind of puts the lie to their occasional musings about sustainability and climate change.

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