Updates from May, 2024 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:40 on 2024-05-23 Permalink | Reply  

    The SPVM is to boost hiring this year after a run of homicides.

    • Paul 21:55 on 2024-05-23 Permalink

      MTL has the most police per capita for any large city in Canada, by a lot.
      Yet oddly, the only place I ever see them is collecting overtime while managing our traffic lights. I would suggest the current batch of officers increase their efficiency before hiring more.

    • Ian 06:38 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      Dont worry, plante assured as years ago that we will have a big, big conversation about defunding the police.

    • Chris 09:32 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      The public just don’t support defunding the police. Even black Americans don’t support it. See https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2021/10/26/growing-share-of-americans-say-they-want-more-spending-on-police-in-their-area/

    • Tim S. 11:08 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      There was a cop on traffic duty outside my kid’s school this morning, getting an earful from people who wanted the police to do more traffic duty. Which prevented him from actually watching traffic.

    • Ian 12:51 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      Gee Chris, it’s funny how you complain about things bieng an American import not the Canadian political dialogue yet keep bringing up your “even black Americans” trope.

      THIS is why it was supposed to be a big conversation.

      Nobody is talking about getting rid of the police, we are talking about apropriately funding all the other social and community services that would go into improving urban life instead of simply hiring more cops as the answer to everything. A good way to think of this is, at what point do we make a distinction between a social problem and a policing problem? Either you see crime as a symptom of social breakdown with the police as a last case enforcement function, or you see the cops as a thin blue line. I know which one they see themselves as, which is why they keep asking for more cops.

      To a hammer, everythinglooks like a nail.

    • Kevin 13:22 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      More Andy Griffith, less Training Day.

    • Chris 13:43 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      >Nobody is talking about getting rid of the police

      Yes, people are/were: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/12/opinion/sunday/floyd-abolish-defund-police.html Not everyone, of course, but not no one either. And not a random reddit post, but in the New York Times.

      >THIS is why it was supposed to be a big conversation.

      There was a big conversation. It was all over the media for years. Politicians talked about it a lot. And there has been polling since. And most people don’t want it. Don’t shoot the messenger. (I’m not even stating my own view or advocating a position, I’m saying reputable polling shows most don’t want it.)

      >bringing up your “even black Americans” trope

      How is it a trope? You don’t think that demographic’s views are particularly interesting considering the defund movement really gained steam after the George Floyd killing?

    • Ian 14:20 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      If you want to completely ignore my points and get into a definition debate I don’t really know what to tell you. Let’s also not forget that the NY Times opinion pieces are well known for their biases, you should see what they think about whether trans people are real, for instance.

      Defund does not mean abolish. Defunding the police means reallocation of existing, limited budgets to better uses that will actually improve urban life. It’s been discussed right here many times. That you keep trotting out your “even black people” line is tired – and is precisely the kind of attitude that keeps people from acknowledging systemic racism within our society. Over a third of the prison population in Canada is indigenous, but they are 5% of the total population. Got any NY Times quotes to handwave that?

      Systemic racism & an “us against them” mindset is one of the biggest problems with the police, but the bigger problem is that public funding really is a zero sum game – if we allocate all our budget to the police, there’s nothing left for social services. Simple math.

      “Eighty per cent of 9-1-1 calls have nothing to do with crime. They’re calls for social assistance. And those kinds of calls are best responded to by a civilian response team”


    • Joey 15:13 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      The problem with “defund the police” is the name – critics say, You want to cut police funding! You’re anti-police! And proponents say, That’s not what we mean! It’s more nuanced! Repeat ad infinitum, including here on this blog.

    • Ian 16:16 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      Okay, so pick a new word. It still needs to happen.

    • dhomas 16:23 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      Defund the police is quite possibly the worst misnomer of any movement. It’s not meant as “completely defund the police”, but that’s how it’s interpreted. When in reality, it should be “reallocate funding that is currently going to the police towards more appropriate programs”. But that’s too long to fit on a placard. Maybe the movement needs a brand manager…

    • Ian 16:47 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      You said misnomer, did you mean moniker?

      The problem with getting into these kinds of definitional debates to overcome the intentional misinterpretation of bad-faith critics is that they will simply minsinterpret whatever word you choose next, interpret the change as a signal of inconsitency, ad infinitum.

      Let’s not forget that these same “critics” are of the ilk claiming that diversity, equity, and inclusion are synptoms of the “woke mind virus”, not entirely unlike the critics chez nous that insist multiculturalism is a WRT conspiracy to destroy “real” Quebec culture.

    • dhomas 17:31 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      I thought I meant misnomer, but now I’m doubting myself. 🙂
      Misnomer: “a wrong or inaccurate name or designation.”
      I’ll stick by it. I think the name is inaccurate in that defunding is not exactly what is wanted.
      Anyway, I think @Ian is right. No matter what names is chosen, there will be folks who criticize it. But as it stands, it can be confusing to people who might agree with the principles of partially reallocating resources away from police towards other programs but think that “defund the police” means “abolishing” it.

    • Ian 17:48 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      Yeah, we tried that.

      ‘A big, big conversation’: Valérie Plante says she’s open to redistributing funds that go to police
      CBC News · Posted: Jun 08, 2020

      “In 2019, Montreal’s police force had an operating budget of over $662 million. That’s compared to $115 million for social housing and nearly double what is budgeted for the fire department. ”

      Worth noting, since that time, the police budget increased, and not just by a little bit –

      The SPVM is receiving a 2023 budget of $787 million, $63 million more than what was budgeted in 2022, or a record 8.7% hike.

    • Kevin 18:56 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      Defund the police is a slogan so bad I assume it was coined by the people selling surplus military equipment to police forces.

      Train the police–or retrain if you insist on two syllables–is what they should have been shouting.

    • Ian 22:19 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      The police have enough training, and funding. Reallocation is a better approach.

      If you don’t like “defund”, pick a new word. It still needs to happen.

    • Kevin 23:43 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      The money and training is for the wrong task, and attracts people with the wrong mindset.

      We need officers who are part of the community and treat it accordingly. Instead we have people who see themselves as a thin blue line patrolling a hood they are too afraid to live in.

    • Ian 01:36 on 2024-05-25 Permalink

      We are in agreement in all regards, well put.

    • Ephraim 12:12 on 2024-05-25 Permalink

      All police should wear bodycams, for their own protection and for the protection of citizens. BUT maybe we should start with this being a requirement of all new hires as part of the training process. To protect them from being harassed on the job and as a way to use the footage to look at what they did and how it can be used better to deescalate situations

  • Kate 17:36 on 2024-05-23 Permalink | Reply  

    TVA asks what police can do against the recent spate of violence, although making much of 16 homicides so far this year is unnecessary drama.

    Looking at the list of North American cities by population, and considering cities of comparable numbers: Houston had 61 homicides in the first quarter of the year and are pleased that the number has dropped. Toronto had 16 homicides by March 18. As for Philadelphia, there were 87 reported homicides by April 30 and they too are pleased that the numbers are down.

    Interestingly, the retired cop interviewed by TVA says cops couldn’t do a thing, as “ce sont des situations absolument exceptionnelles, imprévisibles ou peu prévisibles.”

    Patrick Lagacé also enumerates the recent homicides and analyzes them.

    And of course, talk about more police.

    • CE 22:06 on 2024-05-23 Permalink

      Philadelphia is a good US city to compare to Montreal. it’s similar in size and density. They’ve had over 5 times the homicides we’ve had this year. Once I was visiting Baltimore (which is about a third the size of Montreal in population) and was reading the local alt weekly which had a rundown of the week’s murders. They had had more murders that week than Montreal had the entire year before!

    • Ian 13:02 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      It’s difficult to directly compare American cities to Canadian cities with comparable population for violent crime rates for a number of reasons. Most American cities have more racial segregation, more class stratification & more gun crime in general.

      Philadelphia has been high crime for many decades, but Baltimore? You can’t even begin to compare Montreal to Baltimore. I mean, did you even see “The Wire”? I’ve been there, it really looks like that. Give me a holler when there are police helicopters hovering over specific neighbourhoods with searchlights every night of the week. People here think the Village is bad, and yeah, it is, but it’s nothing like what crack did to Baltimore.

    • qatzelok 18:05 on 2024-05-24 Permalink

      Of the 20 most dangerous cities on Earth for murder, 10 of them are in the USA, Latin America or the Caribbean. Turtle Island is deadly.


    • Ephraim 12:16 on 2024-05-25 Permalink

      Honestly, murder as a jurisdiction should be moved from the SPVM to the SQ. It’s too specialized a domain to have to duplicate it on each and every city. You have people who may not be sufficiently trained to do this kind of work in smaller police forces and a balance of specialization and budgets. Moving detectives to a central authority for the province means that they can be moved from jurisdiction to jurisdiction as needed. Because let’s be realistic, the beat cop who pushes the traffic light button and the cop who’s looking for the BMW turning left with no turn signal, isn’t going to help a detective dealing with murders. And what happens if the murder happens in Chateauguay or even St-Hubert, what experience do they have in dealing with murders?

  • Kate 09:32 on 2024-05-23 Permalink  

    McGill may have to wait a lot longer to get an injunction against the pro‑Palestinian camp on its front lawn.

    A major conference scheduled at McGill in mid‑June by the Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences is turning away from the university and moving some events to UQAM because of the pro‑Palestinian protest as well as the ongoing strike by its law professors.

    Update: UQAM has requested an injunction to have the encampment removed from their campus.

    CBC has a video in which they talk to a couple of academics about the history of campus protests, although the historical examples given are all American ones.

    • Kate 09:07 on 2024-05-23 Permalink | Reply  

      Another hefty report from the OQLF says French use is on the decline in Quebec and this wouldn’t be a job security maneuver from the OQLF employees, now would it.

      The CAQ also wants to stop young people using English on social media.

      • Ian 09:16 on 2024-05-23 Permalink

        Well. I guess if they really want to be sure to seem hopelessly out of touch to 18-35 year olds, that’s one good way to do it.

      • PatrickC 09:24 on 2024-05-23 Permalink

        I notice one of the slogans at the UQAM encampment is “Love la résistance.” A case in point?

      • Paul 09:26 on 2024-05-23 Permalink

        Once again, I wish the media would not take these statements at face value, and ask the bias of the report writers. The news story states:

        “According to the report, only 58 per cent of Quebecers in 2023 between 18 and 34 used French almost exclusively at work, compared with 64 per cent in 2010.

        The findings also reveal that 25 per cent of students who graduated from French high schools in 2021 enrolled in English CEGEPS — in 2011 it was only 18 per cent.”

        This could be framed as French is in decline by some. Others may frame this as Francophones are increasingly bilingual. One induces fear, the other implies progression.

      • Blork 09:46 on 2024-05-23 Permalink

        What Paul said. Is “using French exclusively at work” the benchmark? If so that’s very parochial. The world is shrinking and companies regularly deal with customers, suppliers, partners, employees, etc. that are based in the ROC, US, and elsewhere in the world. Personally, I have never worked at a company in Quebec that did NOT have employees and partners elsewhere.

        If the OQLF wants Quebec businesses to only be inward-looking, that’s a whole other discussion.

      • Kate 09:59 on 2024-05-23 Permalink

        With one hand the government tries to get foreign investment in Quebec and create links with industry elsewhere, and with the other it tries to squelch any language but French.

      • Daniel 10:24 on 2024-05-23 Permalink

        Agreed. It was hard to ignore that with the giant Boeing announcement this week.

        Also the CAQ may find more success with its goal by telling the youngs NOT to use French on social media. Voilà, forbidden fruit! Problem (?) solved.

      • carswell 10:42 on 2024-05-23 Permalink

        “This could be framed as French is in decline by some. Others may frame this as Francophones are increasingly bilingual. One induces fear, the other implies progression.”

        Back in the ’80s, toward the end of my fresh-outta-uni career as a teacher of ESL to adults, one of my students, a VP at Hydro-Québec and a PQ official, who was finishing an MBA at a conservative US university, wanted me to revise/translate/write his thesis as his written English wasn’t up to the task. In an effort to convince me, he invited me downtown for dinner and a tour of the offices, including the luxe board room but, of course, not the premier’s suite beyond the entrance to it.

        During the tour he confessed he was frustrated by his struggles with English. He wanted to speak it better but found it so hard. In my naiveness, I mused that it was strange that in this franco but bilingual city, where English was mandatory to interact with the rest of the continent, ESL in primary and secondary schools was such an afterthought, whereas in places like Sweden, where I’d lived a year, it was considered an essential skill, with the result that just about everyone with a mind and education could speak it brilliantly.

        He was horrified. Teaching ESL to franco children was immoral, he said. In fact, he was sending his pre-teens to private school partly because they wouldn’t be exposed to it, would be like him when they were adults. The disconnect was breathtaking.

      • Ian 12:06 on 2024-05-23 Permalink

        Well c’mon, everyone knows that bilingualism is a conspiracy to destroy Quebec.
        What are you, some kind of Westmount Rhodesian? /s

      • jeather 13:57 on 2024-05-23 Permalink

        I’m curious which of the private schools that are of the caliber a HQ VP would send their kids there teach minimal English. I grant I mostly knew people who went to them in the 90s, but they had older siblings, and part of the draw was always that they taught more English than public schools.

      • carswell 15:08 on 2024-05-23 Permalink

        @jeather No idea. If he said so — and I doubt he did — I’ve forgotten.

        I’ve also wondered whether an unspoken reason was to keep his kids away from non-Québécois kids. Mutatis mutandis, it’s the part of the line of thinking that’s driving the US rightwing’s attempt to kill the public school system by giving parents taxpayer-funded mandates to send their kids to private, often religious schools where conservatives control the curriculum and blacks are effectively excluded — segregation by the back door. The South is rising again!

    • Kate 09:03 on 2024-05-23 Permalink | Reply  

      Housing minister France-Élaine Duranceau has tabled a bill ordering a three‑year moratorium on many categories of eviction.

      Radio news also talked about expanding the Françoise David law which protects seniors with modest incomes from being turfed out of their rentals.

      • Kate 08:11 on 2024-05-23 Permalink | Reply  

        The strikes at Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery ended last year but the cemetery is taking its time catching up with the backlog of burials.

        Radio-Canada says families are exasperated. Do journalists habitually manufacture certain responses to juice up their headlines?

        • Kate 08:02 on 2024-05-23 Permalink | Reply  

          Sophie Durocher is calling the recent spate of homicides a living nightmare, certain journalists always keen to exploit a statistical anomaly for a headline.

          Police say the brawl that ended with three young men dead wasn’t gang‑related and may have begun with a fight over a broken romance. So –

          May 12 – Homeless man beaten, probably by another homeless man, Mile End
          May 14 – Probable gang shooting, Ahuntsic
          May 18 – Stabbing in what’s been described as a dispute between neighbours in St‑Henri
          May 18 – Stabbing, woman apparently attacked by ex, St‑Michel
          May 21 – Stabbings when two parties of young men engaged in a brawl, mid‑Plateau

          There are parts of bigger patterns here – gang and domestic violence incidents – but the seven deaths over the last few days are unrelated to each other and don’t constitute a cohesive threat to civil order.

          • MarcG 08:29 on 2024-05-23 Permalink

            Thank you for the detailed reality check.

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