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  • Kate 15:24 on 2022-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Thursday sees the achievement of a dubious milestone: more than 16,000 dead from Covid in Quebec. That includes 18 deaths chalked up in the last 24 hours.

    Santé Québec is still making that number available, but they’ve stopped marking the deaths in specific areas, Montreal having ground to a halt at 5533 deaths weeks ago.

    • mare 08:24 on 2022-08-05 Permalink

      I’m surprised no journalist has filled an access to information request to get this data.

    • Kate 20:17 on 2022-08-05 Permalink

      Maybe they have. Getting information that way can be painfully slow.

  • Kate 15:21 on 2022-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    The Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel will be closed on and off till 2025 for repairs after it turned out to be more magané than expected – more magané to the tune of an extra $900 million.

    • Kevin 15:28 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

      Everyone continue working from home and this won’t be a problem.

    • Kate 15:48 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

      I was going to suggest they should put that money into more and better public transit, but expected to be booed down.

      Kevin, is there a reliable percentage figure on how many people can work from home, vs. people who actually have to be present in person to do their jobs – nurses, cooks, construction workers and so on?

    • Joey 16:01 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

      You know, I’ve taken that tunnel maybe five times in my life. And yet it would be bad – for all of us collectively and for me personally – if we let it rot. I get that politics and budgets is often a zero-sum game. But keeping the entry-points do the island, you know, functional, is pretty critical to daily life, just as is comprehensive, reliable and affordable public transit.

    • Kate 16:03 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

      True enough, Joey.

    • dhomas 18:47 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

      I agree we need the tunnel. I live nearby and used to use it every so often to go to Ikea in Boucherville. But what I mostly see in the traffic around the 25 South is tons and tons of 18-wheelers. So, it is very important for transport. That said, I don’t think all these trucks should be transiting through Montreal, but there is no other way until we devise a better way to get to the 30 without taking a massive detour.
      Also, I really think we should install tolls on all entry points, the revenues of which could go toward funding public transit. But that will never happen for two reasons. First, it’s political suicide for any politician that proposes it. Secondly, I doubt want construction companies would agree to do it without taking a cut of the revenue (see the other side of the 25 for an example).

    • Ephraim 19:03 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

      If I remember correctly, the tunnel was the only open connection in/out of the city during the ice storm.

    • Kate 20:54 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

      That’s not surprising, Ephraim. The bridges would’ve been super dangerous.

    • Ephraim 21:50 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

      So maybe keeping this tunnel in good running order is well worth the money 🙂

    • Ian 22:35 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

      There’s a reason we get fresh vegetables and fruit in winter. Trucks.

    • Kevin 22:37 on 2022-08-04 Permalink


      According to Stats Can, 40% in April 2020. And yes, it is tilted to higher education/higher paying jobs, especially in finance.


    • dhomas 06:43 on 2022-08-05 Permalink

      @Ian I’m not saying we should ban all trucks on the island. But the majority of these are just “passing through”. I see them every day. They come from off island on the 40 over the Charles-de-Gaulle bridge and continue South on the 25 back off the island onto the south shore. It would make sense to give them a route to avoid having to do this. Even the truckers themselves find it’s nonsense:

      Also, I’ve been quite intrigued by rooftop greenhouses, like Lufa Farms has. Imagine if every giant grocery store had a rooftop greenhouse? Much less need to truck in fresh vegetables this way, I think.

    • Ephraim 10:43 on 2022-08-05 Permalink

      @dhomas – That’s why an Island toll would solve part of the problem and during rush hour.

      On the South Shore they have the 30 as a bypass. But on the North Shore there really isn’t a full bypass. We need to finish the 640 through to the 40 with a bridge at OKA. Now, do we have the money? I mean, we still haven’t finished the 35… it’s been stuck at Pike River for years.

    • Joey 10:48 on 2022-08-05 Permalink

      That report als says that only 23% of Canadians spent most of their working hours from home in August 2021. It established 40% as the maximum figure (“… 39% of Canadian workers hold jobs that can plausibly be carried out from home”), which was was what was observed in April 2020. I would wager that the downward trend, which started in June 2020, has continued, though the Omicron spike in cases last winter might have nudged it back up. Similar trends described in the US here: https://jabberwocking.com/raw-data-wfh-turns-out-not-to-be-a-forever-thing-after-all/

    • Kate 14:30 on 2022-08-05 Permalink

      Kevin and Joey, thanks for the stats on working from home. But I’m intrigued by the phrasing “Roughly 40% of Canadian jobs can be done from home” because I’d want to ask “according to whom?” If they asked employers they might get a very different response than if they asked the workers themselves.

      dhomas, I’m a Lufa user. It’s clear there are vegetables, as well as a lot of fruit, you can’t readily cultivate in a rooftop greenhouse. Or maybe it’s that it’s simply not as efficient or profitable to produce potatoes, for example, from a high‑tech greenhouse, as it is to simply plant them in some nice dirt on a farm somewhere?

      Also: do you think the trucks you see are coming down from plane cargo at Mirabel and cutting through Laval and Montreal to reach the south shore? What’s the pattern?

    • Tim S. 16:34 on 2022-08-05 Permalink

      As for working from home, it also depends on the degree of emergency. Teachers can work online, but it’s really not ideal. Other jobs (my wife’s, for example) are pretty much exactly the same whether you’re in a cubicle or a home office.

      For what it’s worth, based on my occasional travels on the 15 and in the Mirabel region, there doesn’t seem to be a significant amount of truck travel coming from Mirabel. I think we also might underestimate just how much of our stuff is coming out of, and maybe even still made, in various warehouses and factories all along the 40.

    • Joey 17:02 on 2022-08-05 Permalink

      The actual work-from-home numbers are likely rooted in survey data (did you work from home). As for the maximum potential WFH data, the source paper has the following footnotes:

      The terms “telework” and “working from home” are used interchangeably in this article, although telework also includes working remotely from other locations when lockdown rules are not in place.
      Return to note referrer
      The approach used follows Dingel and Neiman (2020) and assesses the task content of occupations. Specifically, an occupation cannot be performed at home if it meets at least one of several criteria, such as the need to perform for or work directly with the public; to work outdoors; to operate or repair machinery and equipment; to inspect equipment, structures or materials; to wear common or specialized protective or safety equipment; to handle or move objects; or perform general physical activities. Otherwise, the occupation can be performed from home. The analysis is based on the March and September 2019 waves of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey for workers (employees and self-employed) aged 15 and older.
      Return to note referrer
      By comparison, Dingel and Neiman (2020) estimate that approximately 37% of jobs can be done from home in the United States.
      Return to note referrer
      The approach used in the study assumes that all teaching jobs can be done from home. If one assumes that teaching jobs in elementary and secondary schools cannot be performed at home, the estimate of telework capacity in educational services decreases from 85% to 49%. However, this assumption has a small effect overall, reducing the aggregate telework capacity from 38.9% to 36.3%

    • Kate 00:23 on 2022-08-06 Permalink

      Thank you for the analysis, Joey!

  • Kate 15:07 on 2022-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC has some text and video about the issue of electric scooters on bike paths. One man in the text makes the point that if it has a license plate, you need a helmet and you can’t use a bike path. But is anyone enforcing this?

    • MarcG 16:33 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

      I enforce it with scowls.

    • Ephraim 19:12 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

      Give an inch… let’s be realistic there are so many people pushing the limits… sidewalks, pedestrian streets, crosswalks, bus lanes, handicapped parking… and no one doing enforcement. Of if they do enforcement, it’s one day a year. Without enforcement, there is no law. (The city gave out about a ticket a week for illegal handicapped parking.)

  • Kate 15:05 on 2022-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada looks back 15 years to the closing of the Spectrum on August 5, 2007.

    • Kate 09:15 on 2022-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

      Radio-Canada reports how a recent escalation in gang violence in Haiti is affecting the Haitian community here, as they worry about family and friends in the beleaguered nation.

      • Kate 09:01 on 2022-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

        Plateau borough has adjusted its ceiling of affordability for a program offering renovation grants to landlords, making a three-bedroom apartment “affordable” at $1700, for example, and causing a reaction among tenant groups, who say the city’s being a little too generous in its views of affordability.

        • Ian 12:04 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

          I wonder how many of the PM landlords have already applied.

        • Tim 13:30 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

          Maybe somebody here can explain the benefits of this program to me. Why is the city subsidizing specific landlords up to $500k? Building owners are running a business and should be 100% responsible for maintaining their buildings as part of that business.

          And why is there a 6 tenant minimum and 5 floor maximum to get this grant? Once again, government is deciding winners and losers.

      • Kate 08:30 on 2022-08-04 Permalink | Reply  

        A young skateboarder shot dead Wednesday night in Laval is said to be a victim of the same killer who murdered two Montreal men the previous evening.

        Now the news comes that the presumed shooter has been shot dead by police in a motel parking lot in St‑Laurent.

        TVA says the man was 26 years old. Nothing’s yet out about his identity or his possible motives.

        • Kate 12:49 on 2022-08-03 Permalink | Reply  

          The city promised new social housing several years ago but has not been able to get started because of feeble provincial support. Now they’ve got some mitigation of the AccèsLogis rules that may unlock some extra funds to face inflation – but there’s still no news of new project starts.

          • Kate 08:59 on 2022-08-03 Permalink | Reply  

            There were two homicides on Tuesday night, one in St‑Laurent, the other in Ahuntsic.

            Update: Radio-Canada says that the SPVM thinks the two killings may be linked.

            TVA says in the article linked above that the first victim, a 64‑year‑old man, is known to police, but QMI contradicts itself with this Journal piece saying the shootings were random.

            Another update says the older man killed in St‑Laurent was the father of boxer David Lemieux.

            • Spi 22:31 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

              Saying someone is known to police is just saying either they’ve been under investigation or they have a judicial record of some sort. You can have the latter, not be involved in any current criminal activity and be randomly involved.

            • Kate 08:35 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

              In this case, it mostly seems to mean the cops knew who he was – that boxer’s father. Nothing in any report says M. Lemieux had any judicial history.

          • Kate 22:00 on 2022-08-02 Permalink | Reply  

            There’s been a rise in cycling accidents during the pandemic. La Presse’s piece says it’s because cycling became more popular due to a lack of other physical activities, but I’d argue that people who took up cycling between April 2020 and April 2021 were more likely trying to avoid public transit.

            Radio-Canada digs more into the growing safety of cycling routes and other statistics.

            • mare 09:25 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

              Grrrr. They’re still comparing cycling to ‘other sports’ like golf. Why? Those comparisons are nonsense. For many people cycling is a mode of transport, not a sport.
              They don’t compare driving to other sports like deep sea diving. There are people who drive cars are a sport, but most just use it as a mode of transport.

              The information hidden in the last paragraph is also strange: in the rest of the country (I assume they mean Canada) the number of cycling accidents went up with 25%, compared to the 20% in Quebec. That seems like a significant difference, and I would like to know why. Is it because outside Quebec more cyclists are hit by drivers who are on their way to the golf course?

              Also: using the word accident suggests these injuries are inevitable, that there is no blame. A lot of traffic collisions do have blame, like the way roads are designed, the difference in the size of vehicles or the bad actions of drivers.

            • blork 10:19 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

              Mare, I totally get your frustration with journalists always equating cycling with “sports” but in this case it’s somewhat legit. The La Presse article talks about a 10-fold increase in cycling during that time, and it posits that this is partly because sports-oriented people (in particular, people who play team sports) had fewer options, so they turned to cycling. I think it’s a legit hypothesis. Certainly the number of lycra-clad Tour-de-France-wannabees on the south shore bike paths has gone way up in the past couple of years.

              But that’s not the only explanation. (As Kate points out, a lot of people just wanted to avoid public transit.)

              However, in this particular case, I think the sports angle is legit, although it’s not the full story. That doesn’t mean all cyclists do it for sport, but a case can be made that many sporty people turned to cycling.

              Also: “accident” doesn’t necessarily suggest inevitability or lack of responsibility. It primarily suggests lack of INTENTION. In some contexts it might suggest inevitability (like in the phrase “happy accidents”) but in the context of traffic collisions and whatnot, the suggestion is only towards lack of intent, in order to separate the thing from something that was intentionally done. (E.g., a speeding driver who loses control and mows down a pedestrian did not INTEND to do that, and they are most certainly held responsible, vs. that incel guy in Toronto to INTENTIONALLY mowed down pedestrians a few years ago.)

              You’re not the only one who makes that argument, and I WILL FIGHT YOU ALL OVER IT!

            • Ephraim 10:23 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

              Is the difference between 20% and 25% statistically significant? I doubt it. It’s likely within the margin of error.

              They use the word accident to mean “non-intentional” or “happenchance”.

            • mare 13:24 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

              @blork You can fight me any time. I’ve learned the hard way I should run. (Actually Kate used the word accidents, not the article; I should have pointed that out.)

              You’re right the sports angle might be a bit more apt in this case, because a lot of people had no reason to use the bike for transport when everything was closed. I’m curious how much the number of ‘car-only accidents’ went down.

              @ephraim, You can’t say if the difference is statistically significant, because they are two different datasets. Quebec did their own research.

            • Kate 14:51 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

              I don’t want to be the cause of a fight between you two! Yes, I rather rashly used the word “accident” because the original article is in French and I was interpreting on the fly.

            • blork 15:38 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

              Thing is, I think “accident” is the right word, because we’re talking about unintentional collisions and other crashes (not all crashes are collisions).

              Any fight between mare and I would be along the lines of a pie-throwing fight or “who can stare at a turd the longest.”

              But this interpretation of unintentional collisions as not being “accidents” because there’s some other factor (drunk driving, bad signage, the mere presence of a human being behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, etc.) is popping up more and more these days, and it is spurious, especially when linked to the idea that because it’s an “accident” that no one is held responsible.

              That’s just false. A drunk driver can cause an “accident” and be held fully responsible. It’s an accident because it was unintentional; it’s not “not an accident” just because it was preventable or occurred because of some kind of neglect or irresponsibility (note “irresponsibility” not “un-responsibility”).

            • Tim S. 16:31 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

              Yeah, I don’t think that’s how the word is commonly used. Otherwise, why would every kid ever claim “it’s just an accident?”

            • Kevin 21:11 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

              I lean on mare’s side because I’ve never seen the SAAQ or other agencies distinguishing between deliberate actions and unintentional actions in their data charts.
              There’s no measurement in crash data indicating XX% are suicides, or caused by drivers with homicidal intent. Age, severity of injury, vehicle type (both in the hitter and hittee), region, sobriety… but nothing about intent.


            • blork 11:16 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

              I don’t rely on the SAAQ for the semantic and lexical meaning of words in the English language.

            • Kevin 15:35 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

              The other reason I side with mare is because the term “accident” is imprecise. Instead of describing what happened, the word accident is a euphemism that ascribes motive, or lack thereof.

              An accident covers everything from spilt milk to pregnancy to killing a person with a vehicle, which offends my sensibilities.

              Call it a crash or a collision, but don’t call it an accident.

          • Kate 21:53 on 2022-08-02 Permalink | Reply  

            A Montreal man who imported fentanyl into the U.S. from his jail cell in Canada is facing life in prison in the U.S., where his drugs are alleged to have killed four people by overdose.

            • Kate 10:27 on 2022-08-02 Permalink | Reply  

              It’s useless if the city bans dangerous pesticides but never acts when people go on using them.

              • Ephraim 12:36 on 2022-08-02 Permalink

                We do not have a law that forces a city to enforce regulations. Heck, we do not have a law that forces a government to enforce regulations…. if we did, do you think we would have all these illegal AirBnBs not paying their share of taxes while Revenue Quebec does almost nothing about it?

                The correlation between crime isn’t punishment, it’s enforcement/apprehension. Most murders are solved because of their link to the victim… anonymous/serial murders are rarely caught.

                Though, the price of the ticket can have a certain effect. The fine for parking in a handicapped parking space in Montreal is just $317. The police handed out just 59 tickets last year… basically that’s just over 1 per week. I see people parked in handicapped space all the time. Now 1% of blue book value of the car may get some more attention… That’s $2150 to $10000 for a Ferrari in a handicapped spot.

              • Chris 09:07 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

                Classic! You found a way to make this about AirBnB, Revenue Quebec, and handicap parking! 🙂

              • Kate 11:22 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

                Chris, you of all people are accusing another participant of having idées fixes?

              • Chris 23:48 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

                According to wiki, “an idée fixe is a preoccupation of mind believed to be firmly resistant to any attempt to modify it, a fixation.” So, if that’s what you mean: no, I am not making any such “accusation”, especially not about the ‘resistance to change’ part. I see it more as his pet peeve. Sure, I have my own pet peeves too, like us all.

            • Kate 09:18 on 2022-08-02 Permalink | Reply  

              Planned, cancelled, then back on the schedule: drag queen Barbada will be reading to children at the St‑Laurent library this fall. That this is the top story on several news sites tells you what kind of news morning this is.

              • David S 13:21 on 2022-08-02 Permalink

                Given the homophobia that fuelled this story, and because it is Pride, I believe this deserves to be a top story.

              • Kate 15:37 on 2022-08-02 Permalink

                It won’t be for long, but it was this morning.

            • Kate 15:25 on 2022-08-01 Permalink | Reply  

              I’ve seen rumbles about this for weeks on social media, but finally CBC is covering the problem of trash piling up in Park Ex. The problem seems to have started after garbage pickup went down to once a week, but the borough is leaning more on fines than on promises to return to twice‑weekly pickups.

              • Em 16:06 on 2022-08-01 Permalink

                I thought trash pickup had gone down to once a week pretty much everywhere in the city. Not sure why that would be a bigger problem in Park Ex than elsewhere.

              • dhomas 16:20 on 2022-08-01 Permalink

                So, I just checked Info-Collectes for one of the places mentioned in the article, around de Liège and Wiseman. Buildings with 9 or more apartments get garbage pickup bi-weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays. Smaller building get it only weekly on Fridays only. Recycling is on Wednesdays. Compost is on Tuesdays. That’s 3 to 4 pickups per week.

                As much as I like to complain when things don’t get done properly by the city, I kinda think people never adjusted to the change in schedule in 2018. They added compost pickup, so they removed one garbage pickup. Makes sense to me!

                However, according to the article “trash bags tend to overflow in the neighbourhood because recycling and composting aren’t very popular”. This here is the problem. My garbage has been nearly odorless since they started compost pickup in my neighbourhood. The people who don’t yet separate their compost around me still have very stinky garbage, especially in the summer. This tends to attract raccoons and even cats (the same people tend to not use bins, and leave black garbage bags on the curb).

                Also, one of the photos are obviously from a business which should have a container to put their recycling/garbage in. Another photo seems to be the result of an eviction or abandoned apartment being emptied after moving day. There is NO WAY a duplex generates that kind of garbage in only one week. The address is 8188 Wiseman, and it looks like it’s always been pretty messy around there: https://goo.gl/maps/Yn7Nr1WSPjkq8YDb8

                If the folks in Park Ex don’t properly utilise their city services by separating their refuse properly, maybe fines are the only way to get them to start putting stuff out on the appropriate days. Language is sometimes an issue, but the fines/warnings will usually go to the landlords. The landlords should then communicate to the tenants when and how to put out the trash, or risk getting fined. (I know from experience as my tenant tends to do the same thing, until I tell him to shape up every couple of months).

              • MtlWeb 10:30 on 2022-08-02 Permalink

                Em – trash is picked up every 2 weeks in St. Laurent; compost/recycling weekly.

            • Kate 15:21 on 2022-08-01 Permalink | Reply  

              Osheaga is said to have been a success this year but it leaves a big mess to be cleaned up.

              Update: Capsule reviews of 28 of the sets on CultMTL.

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