Updates from May, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 10:28 on 2022-05-09 Permalink | Reply  

    Taylor C. Noakes argues that, if Ryerson could change its name to Toronto Metropolitan, McGill University should follow suit, although he doesn’t propose any alternatives.

    • Tim S. 11:41 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      Really, no. I’ve long argued on here against renaming streets because they’re navigational aids and changing the names just creates confusion. Maybe even more so for universities, where name recognition is a very big deal for the hundreds of thousands of people, me included, who have it on their CVs. If we decide not to name things after people any more, cool, but we can please accept that referents have a value beyond the merely symbolic?

    • Taylor C. Noakes 12:08 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      @tim – I’m sorry but that doesn’t add up in the least. Stores change locations all the time, people still figure out how to get there. Waze and google maps and the internet has ensured people will never get lost again. Streets are renamed frequently and everyone adjusts (we renamed Amhearst street a couple years ago, no harm no foul).

      You can update your CV, everyone else does, and companies change their names all the time. HR managers are usually the first people to know about this.

      As to name recognition, I get it that McGill sounds nice and authoritative, but the man enslaved children, two of whom died in his employ, and there is evidence to suggest that one of the people he enslaved may not have been told about his emancipation. McGill made his fortune from a slave-based economic system and further traffickec in enslaved people to settle accounts after a war of empire and colonialism.

      If you want to be a McGill grad that’s fine, but that legacy needs to be out in the open, and quite frankly the more people know about it the more pressure there will be on McGill to change its name simply to be a viable business. McGill will likely be better off changing its name and having an open and transparent discussion of McGill’s legacy. James McGill will always be the founder, and no one is proposing to remove his remains from the grounds, but his connexion to slavery is evidently making the students and staff uncomfortable at this point.

      @kate – that was a deliberate choice, I felt like it would detract from the bigger issue of McGill enslaving people.

      But I do have some ideas to share (in no particular order):

      Hochelaga University
      Bethune University
      Montreal University
      Mount Royal University of Montreal
      Tiohtià:ke University
      Carrie Derick University
      Kondiaronck University
      Abbott University (for Maude Abbott)
      Brooks University (for Harriet Brooks)
      Courage (for Hugh MacLennan) University

      I think we have options

    • Kate 12:21 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      TCN, it will cost the city a fortune to rename McGill. Renaming it will also mean renaming McGill College Avenue and McGill metro station, all of which will cost the city, the STM, and innumerable businesses that have the street or metro station names on their material, all the signage in all the underground city stuff, and that’s beside Tim S.’s point, plus things I may not be thinking about.

      Is it all worth it to make a Mea Culpa gesture?

      What McGill needs to do is divest from fossil fuels and move forward. The past is the past.

    • Ephraim 13:36 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      @Kate – There are more than one McGill. James McGill of the College/University. Peter McGill the mayor (who was not related to James McGill). There is also John McGill, Peter McGill’s father-in-law (Peter McGill changed his name to McGill), though John is more famous in Upper Canada. Couldn’t they simply rename it McGill after Peter?

    • Kate 14:10 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      Right, McGill Street down by Victoria Square is named for Peter McGill, the city’s second mayor, about whom I’ve seen no dirt dug up. It would be casuistry to claim to change the university’s name from McGill to McGill, though.

    • Blork 14:24 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      Unlike Ryerson, which is a technical school that only achieved university status a couple of decades ago, McGill is a huge university and healthcare megastructure system with branches and tentacles that reach around the world and far back in time. Changing that name will cause organizational and administrative chaos for years.

    • Dan 14:40 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      LOL at McGill grads boo-hooing about name recognition and having to add an asterisk to their CVs.
      Anyone who has had to deal with them know that universities are already organizational and administrative nightmares, so I say bring on the name change. Anyone proud of the name McGill should really check their privilege. Make the change – let’s do better in 2022.

    • Kate 15:06 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      Blork, I didn’t even think of the MUHC and its many tentacles.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 15:20 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      @Kate – no, I don’t buy it. The station and street are named for Peter McGill and McGill College could easily be renamed ‘college’, university’, or ‘rue de la place Oscar Peterson’ which I think they were going for anyways. It’ll cost some massive corporations some scratch for new stationary and signage. I don’t feel bad for Bell, BNP Paribas, BMO, Industrial Alliance and whoever else has their offices there.

      Yes, rebranding costs money. But it’s untenable to continue having a prominent institution named for someone who literally enslaved children, trafficked in enslaved people, built a fortune off slave labour, and maybe didn’t tell one of his servants he had gained his freedom.

      The past is not dead, it’s not even past, after all.

      And that’s the whole point – there is a history here that’s been buried for a long time, but it was inevitable it would get out and rub people the wrong way. The students don’t like it, and profs given the James McGill award aren’t keen to receive it.

      But this is all, at the end of the day, about a for-profit, publicly-subsidized institution’s viability as a de facto commercial enterprise in an era in which an increasing number of consumers don’t want to buy services or in any way shape or form be related to something with such a negative history.

      And the consumer is always right.

      Bad press will inevitably force McGill to do this anyways; it’ll be no different from the Bay taking down that stupid daughter’s of the confederacy plaque.

      As a public historian, my only concern is that the renaming effort is done in a way the stimulates rather than stifles public discussion.

      And yes, they should also fully divest from fossil fuels, get out of serving the military industrial complex and leave the SSMU alone when they opt to boycott Israel too. If they want that sweet sweet student cash, they need to play ball with their customers.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 15:25 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      @Blork, @Kate – we all know the MUHC has been planning to rename itself the Arthur Porter Memorial Health Complex for quite some time.

    • SMD 15:44 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      McGill grad here — please change the damn name. I don’t think there would be a need to change any street names, as has been noted there are other McGills out there.

    • Kate 15:58 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      For what it’s worth, the STM says the metro station was named for “avenue McGill College, that leads directly to the university that was established in 1821 according to the wishes of James McGill (1744-1813), a successful merchant trading in furs.” There is an image of Peter McGill in the station, on the stained glass panel, but the station itself is named for James.

      TCN: They were going to name the road into the complex Arthur Porter Way until we found out what his ways actually were. (I half suspect the guy is still alive somewhere.)

    • walkerp 17:09 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      organizational and administrative chaos vs. a near destruction of an entire people.

      Not a difficult choice.

      Also, as someone who administers, if you can’t handle a name change, you suck at your job.

    • Blork 17:11 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      I suppose some people think it’s important to rename the university because we need to stop glorifying James McGill. I’m not buying that because there is no glorifying of James McGill. There are no “James McGill Days” or parades in honour of James McGill. Aside from that one statue and a few short blurbs at the back of some documents that nobody reads, James McGill is irrelevant. The name, as the name of the UNIVERSITY, superseded the name as the name of the PERSON, long ago.

      Given the dire state of the world at the moment, on so many issues, this kind of thing feels like fiddling while Rome burns.

    • Blork 17:15 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      @walkerp, I’d be with you if the name change CHANGED that. Or somehow prevented it. But the name change will make no difference on that issue.

      Here’s the easiest thing to do: declare that the university is no longer named after James McGill. No, it’s named after Peter McGill. Or the Metro station. Or that kid named McGill who delivered the Saturday Gazette back in the 70s.

      There. Job done. Same symbolic effect but without all the cost and chaos.

    • Uatu 17:37 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      I would like the road to the hospital named after Porter just as a permanent reminder of the complete incompetence of the executive committee of the hospital (aka the suckers)

    • Michael 18:04 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      There is a clear tangible value for people that graduate from McGill and have it on their resumes vs other less prestigious universities.

      Same if you had Harvard on your CV vs a random name like Sanders University.

      If McGill was some a bottom the line university that nobody knows or cares about, then a name change is fine.

      But since it’s not, I disagree with changing my alma meter’s name. I graduated from McGill, not Concordia or Laval or UQAM.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 18:43 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      @Kate – I’m of the same mind, though I also thought Andre Arthur was Arthur Porter in disguise

      @Blork 1 – McGill’s highest honour for their scholars is the ‘James McGill professorship/chair’ and yes, plenty of people *do not* want it specifically because of who he is and what he did (I asked)

      @Blork 2 – If the name of the university is detached from the person, all the more reason to rename it, no? I think you just made an excellent point in my favour

      @Blork 3 – We can walk and chew gum; this issue isn’t taking anything away from any other issue out there. Periods of significant societal change often involve many different kinds of change happening simultaneously. No one told the anti-Apartheid movement to stop sucking the air out of the save the whales campaign. Decolonization can happen at the same time as the movement for Palestinian rights, the renewal of organized labour and the effort to end global warming. In for a penny, in for a pound.

      @Michael – if the institution was less prestigious, what, McGill’s enslavement of other human beings could matter more? do you hear yourself? The prestige of the institution doesn’t matter, McGill’s slave driving does – and that’s why it needs to be renamed. Also, Harvard is currently trying to deal with their history of slavery. Paris numbered their universities, and they’re plenty prestigious.

    • Chris 20:01 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      Morals change over the centuries, and will again in centuries to come. We’ll never be able to name anything after anyone. No one will pass the purity test. When speciesism is as abhorrent as racism in future centuries, woketivists will want schools named after Martin Luther King Jr renamed since he was a vile meat eater.

      >We can walk and chew gum

      Only to an extent. Every hour spent lobbying for things like renaming McGill is an hour NOT spent lobbying against actual slave labour that still exists on this planet.

      Renaming McGill solves no real problem, but advocating it sure does prove one’s woke bona fides to other in the clique.

      Taylor, I’m curious based on your positions stated here, what do you think of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the eponymous park in Cote Des Neiges, given that he was clearly a racist?

    • DeWolf 20:15 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      McGill is not a “for-profit, publicly-subsidized institution,” it’s a public university governed by a number of different Quebec laws. In terms of its legal status, it has more in common with the University of California than with Harvard.

    • Phil M 20:16 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      The University Formerly Known as McGill.

      Problem solved on all sides.

    • Blork 21:53 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      I was half kidding when I said above to change it so the “McGill” refers to Peter McGill instead of James McGill, but now I’m saying it for real. Why not?

      (1) It solves the problem of the stink of James McGill.

      (2) It disrupts nothing in terms of changing all those names, logos, titles, etc. (which is not a small consideration).

      (3) It does not disrupt or otherwise affect the prestige associated with the McGill University name.

      Because really, the problem isn’t McGill University; the problem is James McGill. So just pick a different McGill. When it comes right down to it, nobody is sentimental about James McGill, but lots of people care about the McGill name (not because of James; because of the university) and lots of people care about the disruption of re-naming a major institution that has many tentacles.

      Declaring that it is named after the OTHER McGill fixes everything and costs almost nothing.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 21:54 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      @Chris –

      1. I sincerely doubt there’s any future in which slavery becomes okay again (aside, of course, from the slavery that currently exists that was resurrected by the ill-advised NATO bombing of Libya in 2011, which our corporate media refuses to talk about, but I digress).

      2. I would say social mores may change, and in our present day the change is towards openess. Morality is a little more consistent, with some important exceptions. The question you need to ask yourself is: was the institution of slavery considered immoral in the late-18th and early-19th centuries, and the answer is evidently yes given abolitionist groups were well-established at the time and that’s when anti-slavery laws went into effect. The idea that being held in a state of human bondage is bad and that people shouldn’t do it to other people are ideas as old as time. It’s a lot like the idea that murder is bad, or that rape is bad. Some things have been bad forever.

      2a. There’s a remarkable hypocrisy in Canada wherein we scold the Americans for not getting rid of their Confederate statues and for all the things they’ve named after slave-holders, but the same people are then saying ‘hit the brakes’ when it comes to the people on this side of the border who did the same thing. What’s bad is bad is bad. James McGill enslaved children. Whatever good the man did needs to be weighed against the fact that he looked at two children and said to himself, every day for many years, ‘you are my property, you work for me, you will not be educated, you will not have any parents, and when you die, I shall discard of you like the trash.’ Like it or not, that’s exactly what the man did.

      3. Every hour spent lobbying an institution to adhere to a higher set of principles and be wholly transparent about itself is a step in the right direction that will bring about other kinds of change. This isn’t a zero sum game. People successfully protested the Viet Nam War and civil rights and women’s liberation and somehow also managed to have a lot of sex, drop acid and go to the Moon all at the same time. If you can’t keep up, get out of the way.

      4. I have nothing to prove to anyone. Read my articles, that should become very clear quite quickly.

      5. Gandhi was a racist in his 20s, very much a product of his age, background, social status (etc). He also later rejected the racism of his youth, and worked towards a pluralistic, multi-cultural India. It’s the second part that’s pretty important. Nehru told Attenborough not to make a saint out of him, something that unfortunately happened anyways. If Gandhi’s racism was too inexcusable for Montreal’s Black community to bare, and they wanted his statue removed, then by all means. That said, Gandhi inspired MLK, so I doubt there will be too strong a push to remove his statue. But consider this: Gandhi never organized a genocide, he never fought to defend slavery, he never owned other people, so he’s coming out head and shoulders above a lot of other people.

      5a. I’m saying this as a public historian who works with and writes about monuments: most people aren’t worth putting on pedestals, and doing so makes critical evaluation of their lives very difficult. That’s incidentally why it’s done – so that the elites can essentially say to the masses, ‘this is something we value, you may not judge it’. But that only lasts as long as there are institutions to maintain that kind of thinking. When societies change, as they do, it’s inevitable that the people they venrated will be reconsidered.

      6. At the end of the day this will be a business decision made by an institution that cares about its reputation and bottom line, and if students and faculty make it clear they’re not comfortable with this, it’s inevitable the name will be changed. This is no different that a sports team changing its name, and I can’t imagine anyone here was too broken up about the renaming of the Washington football team. The world turns, get used to it.

    • GC 22:19 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      “We’ll never be able to name anything after anyone.” And why is this a bad thing? As others have said, let’s stop doing it.

    • Michael 22:29 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      If McGill was less prestigious, like some random university that nobody cares about in Montreal, I wouldn’t care about a name change. If I graduated from that no name university and they changed the name, I would shrug my shoulders and not care.

      McGill being #2 in Canada and #30 worldwide means something today.

      What McGill did 300 years ago doesn’t.

      It’s like renaming the Washington Monument -> Hochelaga Monument or something foolish because George Washington owned slaves. For things that have prestige and value and recognition, keep the name.

    • Michael 22:41 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      Also, “McGill” is more than just the man that owned a few slaves. Just like George Washington is more than just a slave owner.

      McGill is the premier institution of Canada that has taught hundreds of thousands of students, saved hundreds of lives, raised hundreds of millions of dollars for public research for 200 years.

      We are going to throw McGill into the dustbin of history because he owned some slaves?

      Would be extremely shameful of us to do that.

      Not everything in life is about finding new ways to be outraged.

    • JaneyB 23:07 on 2022-05-09 Permalink

      I don’t see any reason to change it. So he owned a few slaves. Yes, odious. Many good people have been associated with McGill University since and I think that’s worth something. There is no sinless past. I assure you that basically every family and every last name includes rapists, thieves, and slavers if you go back even as recently as 3 or 4 generations. Really, almost half the women I know have been raped; that wasn’t all by the same man. Vile deeds are everywhere. If people want names free of moral awfulness, they’ll have to turn to plants and verbs. Nothing associated with a living person will ever be clean. Might as well keep the name. I’m not sure where the renaming activists live; are they really so certain that their own great-grandfathers were men of unimpeachable honour?

    • MarcG 10:00 on 2022-05-10 Permalink

      The reason McGill University has so much prestige and value today is because James McGill was wealthy and left land and money to build the school. He was wealthy because he was a good business person, which at the time meant enslaving people. You cannot disconnect the prestige from the slavery. Changing the name today sends a signal to present day ‘good business people’ that the horrible things they are doing to advance themselves are not acceptable and can’t be bought-off by doing good deeds with their filthy lucre when they’re dead.

    • Meezly 10:23 on 2022-05-10 Permalink

      “Really, almost half the women I know have been raped; that wasn’t all by the same man. Vile deeds are everywhere.”

      Rape is a systemic problem, shrug, so might as well live with it — is this you’re line of reasoning for dealing with a university named after James McGill?

      It makes me think of descendants of Nazis, like Rainer Höß, whose grandpa was a top exterminator at Auschwitz. If he took your line of reasoning, he’d be going, hey, those were my grandfather’s sins, they have nothing to do with me. I’m a good person, that should be good enough. And besides, what can I do anyway?

      What’s remarkable is that Höß chose to actively make amends and right the wrongs of his family’s past. He connected with Auschwitz survivors and their families, spoke at many high schools, participated in documentaries. He didn’t have to, but he chose to because it’s the right thing to do. He even became persona non grata with his own family for this because they still think of his grandfather as a war hero.

      Based on your curious and rather dispassionate line of reasoning, anyone who has ever fought for social justice was supposed to have a family history free of vile deeds, we’d still be in the dark ages.

    • Tee Owe 15:05 on 2022-05-10 Permalink

      Montreal College Giving Inspiration Literature & Learning

    • Chris 22:27 on 2022-05-10 Permalink

      >The question you need to ask yourself is: was the institution of slavery considered immoral in the late-18th and early-19th centuries, and the answer is evidently yes given abolitionist groups were well-established at the time and that’s when anti-slavery laws went into effect

      The question you need to ask yourself is: was speciesism considered immoral in the late-20th and early 21st century, and the answer is evidently yes given vegan and animal rights groups were well-established at the time and that’s when anti-animal cruelty laws went into effect. i.e. you seem to be confusing what the avant-garde consider immoral vs what the average person does. All this really establishes is that McGill was not at the avant-garde, it does not mean his morals were outside the norms of the time.

      >Gandhi was a racist in his 20s, very much a product of his age, background, social status (etc).

      And McGill wasn’t a product of his age, background, social status? Also, 20s seems plenty old enough to know better, no?

      >Gandhi never organized a genocide, he never fought to defend slavery, he never owned other people…

      Well, yeah, by then those things were outside the moral norms of *his* time.

      >If Gandhi’s racism was too inexcusable for Montreal’s Black community to bare…

      Why only “Montreal’s Black community”? Non-blacks can’t be offended by Gandhi’s racism and lobby for his cancelling? As you’re no doubt aware, his statue has been toppled at several African universities. Maybe Montreal will be next!

  • Kate 10:15 on 2021-12-09 Permalink | Reply  

    Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois has successfully needled François Legault over the baseball stadium. Go go Gabriel!

    • MarcG 10:31 on 2021-12-09 Permalink

      Nothing quite as depressing as watching government in action. That big baby needs to go. Can’t even answer a simple question.

    • jeather 12:02 on 2021-12-09 Permalink

      Can someone explain the hot dog part? Is there some story about hot dogs I don’t know about? Is it some weird “all dressed” being an anglicism?

    • Kate 12:12 on 2021-12-09 Permalink

      I don’t think it’s subtle: “Moi, mon steamé, au baseball, je l’aime all dressed ketchup, mais pas d’argent public.”

      Nadeau-Dubois was born in 1990, so he would’ve been 14 when the Expos left. Was he buying himself hot dogs at a baseball game before that? Maybe.

      The only political reference about hot dogs that comes to mind was when Pierre Trudeau called Robert Bourassa a mangeux de hot dogs but I don’t think it’s involved here.

    • dhomas 13:44 on 2021-12-09 Permalink

      Nothing like an ad hominem to deflect, right M Legault? Wow! Didn’t even answer the damn question. I wonder why…

    • PatrickC 14:35 on 2021-12-09 Permalink

      All of this talk is irrelevant unless Major League Baseball is in fact open to expansion. Is it? The question of TV revenues, for example, is not just one for Montreal itself but for MLB. I have no idea how they compute these things, but it’s amazing how little attention is paid to the organization that actually decides which cities will get a team, not to mention their expectation that governments will subsidize private ownership without getting any stake in return.
      Also, there was comment a few days back about tourists filling the seats. But don’t professional teams rely on season ticket holders, not to mention corporations renting luxury skyboxes, as a more stable source of money?

    • Joey 14:58 on 2021-12-09 Permalink

      @PatrickC MLB has stated it won’t address expansion until it has a new collective agreement (MLB locked out its players a few days ago) and its problem child franchises (Tampa Bay, Oakland) resolve their problems, chiefly by shaking down municipal governments for new stadiusm. That said, the Mtl baseball plan is to build two (!) new parks in Tampa and Montreal, with the team playing in TB during the spring and late fall and Montreal hosting the summertime games. So it would be neither an expansion nor a relocation, but a newfangled “sister city” type of deal. I assume the game plan for Bronfman et al all along has been to use this model to eventually have the team move permanently to Montreal but the level of commitment to this idea seems pretty strong. Hard to imagine the politicians in Tampa paying for all or part of a new facility – I’ve been to the TB stadium and it’s as dreadful as the Big O – and then letting the Rays up and walk away, though stranger things have happened. Anyway, MLB seems open enough to the idea, and I suppose it makes sense – you get all the revenue of operating in two markets, you get two new stadiums built, and you don’t have to split the new $$ with a separate new owner nor do you increase the number of players. If the calculation is that Mtl and TB are both viable as part-time MLB cities but not full-time ones, this model actually makes a lot of sense…

      @kate have we forgotten Luc Ferrandez’s “anglos who like to eat hot dogs”???

    • Kevin 17:41 on 2021-12-09 Permalink

      The idea of moving a baseball team to Montreal came up years ago when the Rays were unsuccessful is shaking down Tampa Bay to build a new stadium.

      This year the Rays finished on top of the American League, and Tampa has a new mayor who in the past week had talks with the team about funding a new stadium, and is going to send them a proposal by the end of the month.

    • Uatu 18:28 on 2021-12-09 Permalink

      Nobody cares about baseball. I remember in the 70s and 80s when the world series was all over TV and radio. Now I don’t even know who won this year. Might as well just setup a cricket stadium as that would probably get more interest

    • Joey 08:23 on 2021-12-10 Permalink

      @kevin the Tampa mayor’s office is working on a “scaled back” stadium plan specifically for a split-season club, meaning no roof, implicitly endorsing the sharing agreement with Montreal

  • Kate 21:41 on 2021-11-24 Permalink | Reply  

    Various media are looking at the deepest station of the REM, shown to journalists Wednesday morning. The Gazette says it fulfills Jean Drapeau’s dream and says that Édouard-Montpetit station on the blue line has a “hidden chamber” meant to link the metro to a possible rail line below in the Mount Royal tunnel. Engineers talk about the difficulties of working around the hundred-year-old tunnel, equally old water mains and the infrastructure of the UdeM while constructing this thing.

    Also video from CTV and photos in Le Devoir.

    • ant6n 11:10 on 2021-11-25 Permalink

      I always think it’s funny that they keep insisting that the elevator ride only takes 20s, but they forget to mention the design isn’t exactly efficient. It includes long walk ways and stairs between the elevator and both platforms. I think it’s like that because they chose a design that would be cheapest to build – using a single giant shaft at a convenient location.

      Oh well.

    • Joey 11:19 on 2021-11-25 Permalink

      Would the alternative have been multiple elevators with shorter walks? I guess the trade-off depends on how you feel about standing and waiting vs. walking.

      There’s a blitz to promote this aspect of the project, probably to distract from the nonsense happening with the REM de l’Est, but the construction is indeed impressive. I pass through that intersection a few times a day on weekdays and the impact on traffic/pedestrian circulation/bike lanes hasn’t been too bad (the bike lane on Edouard-Montpetit just kinda dies, but that’s par for the course I suppose). No major gridlock, etc. The work being done on the high-end condo project further east on is a considerably bigger PITA.

    • Kate 11:27 on 2021-11-25 Permalink

      Joey, high-end condo project further east on where? (I can edit it in.)

    • carswell 12:01 on 2021-11-25 Permalink

      @Kate Joey’s referring to Le 1420, the former convent scandalously sold by the UdeM to a mafia-related developer. https://www.le1420.ca

      @Joey The Édouard-Montpetit bike path has been detoured to Willowdale between Stirling and Vincent-d’Indy.

    • carswell 12:04 on 2021-11-25 Permalink

      Hasten to add that, due to those relations, the original developer was forced to abandon the project. AFAIK the current developer has no connections with organized crime.

    • walkerp 12:44 on 2021-11-25 Permalink

      carswell, do you have a link to any story about the mafia-related developer purchase? I ask because I once literally saw a very high-end luxury sedan and a cop car parked driver’s side window to window on the construction site there very early in the morning. The image looked straight out of a mafia movie. So suspicious.

    • carswell 12:49 on 2021-11-25 Permalink

    • carswell 12:53 on 2021-11-25 Permalink

      @Ian Super glad to be rid of Perez but it’s almost a given that one of the main reasons Projet parachuted in an unknown (to locals), non-resident, novice politician with no connection to the borough other than as a place she occasionally travelled to to work as a nurse was precisely because she would do what she was told to and not create friction with the borough’s functionaries, who rank among the most uncaring, unhelpful government employees I’ve encountered, or “head office.”

      In the last days of her campaign and much to her credit, Montgomery said something I never expected to hear coming out of the mouth of any CDN-NDG elected official: that the borough should be split in two. We can probably kiss that enlightened idea good-bye too.

    • carswell 12:56 on 2021-11-25 Permalink

      Please delete above post, now reposted in the right thread.

      And an idea for a future upgrade since this kind of misposting is a semi-regular occurrence: a reply button on every post in the thread, not just the top post.

    • Joey 14:12 on 2021-11-25 Permalink

      @kate the infamous 1420 Mont Royal, I believe. Also I think the city/borough did some curb extensions in the last few weeks that royally screwed up rush hour (and the construction on Remembrance/CDN means that if you’re going east/west you’re taking a bit of a gamble, meaning Cote Ste Catherine was seriously overwhelmed while Mont-Royal just east of Vincent d’indy was closed).

      @carswell and yet many cyclists, especially those going up Vincent d’Indy to UdeM, opt to stay on Edouard-Montpetit.

    • carswell 15:03 on 2021-11-25 Permalink

      @Joey Old habits die hard. Also, the detour is great if you want to get to and from the Côte-Ste-Catherine bike path. But not if you’re heading to upper Outremont and points southeast, in which case you’re best to stay on ÉMP to the end and jog up Vincent-d’Indy to Mont-Royal. That’s the route that a lot of fitness cyclists take.

    • Kate 15:56 on 2021-11-25 Permalink

      carswell, I’ll look into the reply thing, but from bitter experience I know how difficult it can be to add features to a WordPress theme after the fact.

    • ant6n 19:01 on 2021-11-25 Permalink

      A more effieicnt layout with less walking doesn’t mean more waiting for elevators. I think older plans for the Edouard/Montpetit station envisioned building a deviation tunnel on the deep level, then building centre platforms, with all elevators connecting to the platform. so one could connect all elevators to a mezzanine below/above the existing metro stations. Or even better, have two sets of elevators, one for each blue line platform.

      That would be very expensive, but there’s a spectrum between expensive/optimal paths and cheap/long paths.

  • Kate 14:05 on 2021-10-12 Permalink | Reply  

    Public transit ridership is gradually recovering but is not yet at the officially aspired 75% of the pre-pandemic level. Numbers hover around 50% of their levels before March 2020.

    This story contains a separate report about a hammer attack on the ticket booth in Côte-Vertu station on Friday night. Workers inside weren’t hurt, but the photo shows extensive damage to the booth glass.

    • Blork 14:20 on 2021-10-12 Permalink

      I don’t even know how to take public transit anymore. My OPUS card has been suspended since April 2020, as I’m on the annual plan plus subsidized from my job. Since nobody was going into the office, they set up a “suspended” status. But what if I just want to do a quick jaunt somewhere? Can I buy a one-shot ticket from a bus driver? (I’m not going to un-suspend my OPUS until I’m ready to start using it daily or almost daily, and that might never happen.)

    • Kate 14:28 on 2021-10-12 Permalink

      Is there any reason you can’t keep a few tickets on the same Opus, or even a different one?

      I’ve used tickets for occasional trips since March 2020. Had a couple of weekly passes in the summer when my census work was at its peak and I was covering territory every day.

    • Kevin 15:29 on 2021-10-12 Permalink

      I realized six weeks ago that my Opus card expired in mid-2020…

    • james lawlor 15:45 on 2021-10-12 Permalink

      Kate: The STM has a problem with this issue. Your OPUS à l’année can actually be used with no problem even if it is currently suspended. You can even load a 10-pass onto it. Both these things cause problems for the STM.
      If you load a 10-pass onto your OPUS à l’année, the passes will not be deducted when you scan it. Instead the system will think you want to use your monthly pass.
      If you use your OPUS à l’année you will get an email from Telematik saying you violated their terms of service since you travelled using a non-valid pass.

      You actually need to purchase a seperate OPUS card to load your 10-pass tickets. You can get the tickets transfered from your OPUS à l’année card to a newly purchased card if you go to a service centre.

      Source: Personal experience and 1 hour of wasted time to get it sorted out.

    • Kate 16:05 on 2021-10-12 Permalink

      james lawlor, I thought something like that might happen, which is why I wrote “or even a different one” above. Blork knows more than most people about the stern requirements of the Opus card. He has written about them.

    • Kevin 16:58 on 2021-10-12 Permalink

      A couple days ago I read a piece by TVO arguing that Toronto should rethink its transit expansion because of the pandemic. I believe Montreal should do the same.

    • Blork 17:08 on 2021-10-12 Permalink

      Yes, I guess the solution is a separate OPUS card. I’m less COVID-nervous about using the Metro now, so maybe I’ll do that soon. It will make the occasional 5 à 7 more enjoyable, as I won’t have to worry about D&Ding.

    • Kate 19:09 on 2021-10-12 Permalink

      You know, it would be nice if they had Opus cards in different colours. Then you could remember which card had which fares on it. But that would involve an explicit admission that the fare system has been so complicated that people might need to do this.

    • JP 19:11 on 2021-10-12 Permalink

      So true. I currently have 2 valid Opus cards and a couple of expired ones laying around. It’s so annoying.not knowing what’s what and having to grab everything.

    • j2 19:18 on 2021-10-12 Permalink

      Woah! No need to slander the RPGs! You can still game high or drunk – just as long as you don’t get behind the wheel.

    • jeather 20:21 on 2021-10-12 Permalink

      I usually write the expiration date on mine If I had two for one of those reasons I would mark them with nail polish or something to distinguish them.

    • Blork 22:02 on 2021-10-12 Permalink

      Or just use a Sharpie and put a piece of scotch tape over it so it doesn’t rub off.

    • dhomas 05:51 on 2021-10-13 Permalink

      I use this app to see which Opus is which:
      It also tells me how many tickets I have left.

    • denpanosekai 08:51 on 2021-10-13 Permalink

      WOW thanks Dhomas!!!

    • Kate 09:17 on 2021-10-13 Permalink

      dhomas, that doesn’t need any special hardware?

    • Azrhey 09:31 on 2021-10-13 Permalink

      I use that app too. @kate it uses the NFC thingamie used to for paying with your phone so if your phone is apple/google pay capable your good to go.

    • mare 09:43 on 2021-10-13 Permalink

      @AZpzrhey I think it works with any Android phone that can read NFC cards.
      A version for iOS is probably possible, depending on what NFC tags are used in the OPUS card software. “Core NFC doesn’t support payment-related Application IDs.” I stopped doing programming and don’t have current enough hardware (neither Mac nor an NFC capable iPhone) nor a Developer account anymore to make one. Apple will probably also not let it on their store if it’s not sanctioned by OPUS.

    • mare 09:52 on 2021-10-13 Permalink

      There are several iOS apps that read raw NFC data, but the OPUS info is probably encoded, so that won’t help.

    • dhomas 10:08 on 2021-10-13 Permalink

      Any Android phone that has NFC can use the app. If you’re unsure if your phone has that, basically any phone that mentions payment capabilities like Google Pay or Samsung Pay is able to use this app. They all is the same underlying technology.

    • Kate 10:25 on 2021-10-13 Permalink

      mare was right, it isn’t on the Apple app store.

    • dhomas 11:47 on 2021-10-13 Permalink

      It’s not all too surprising. Apple was quite slow to adopt NFC, and their M.O. is to mostly lock stuff down so you can mostly only use their ecosystem. That said, I have no iDevices, so I could not confirm if there was any such app for iPhone.

    • thomas 16:31 on 2021-10-13 Permalink

      The iOS app Recharge OPUS, is currently under beta testing allowing one to refill a new version of OPUS cards. Note that the app can still read the expiry of current non-refillable OPUS cards.

    • dhomas 08:24 on 2021-10-14 Permalink

      @thomas do you know where you can sign up for the beta testing for Recharge Opus? I know some people who might be interested.

  • Kate 17:26 on 2021-06-02 Permalink | Reply  

    Mayor Plante is concerned about the atmosphere in Old Montreal these days, after a couple of mass gatherings and shootings.

    I can just remember a time when Old Montreal was louche. There was at least one Fête Nationale thing that went over the top, down around St-Paul Street, as referenced in Les Blues de la métropole, but after that the area became stolidly respectable, a showplace for tourists and a residential area for people who can afford expensively converted condos in handsome old stone buildings.

    It seems that without tourists it’s taking back its old vibe of a waterfront saloon quarter.

    Update: the Old Port will be closed from midnight till 6 from now on.

    • Meezly 18:23 on 2021-06-02 Permalink

      Nice analogy. Makes me picture our waterfront populated by desperate locals in lieu of rough n’ tumble dockworkers and salty sailor types, like a Last Exit to Old Port.

    • denpanosekai 23:56 on 2021-06-02 Permalink

      I saw a ton of punk shows in Old Montreal! But I don’t necessarily want to go back to those days.

    • steph 05:31 on 2021-06-03 Permalink

      FUCK normalizing cerfews. This is rediculous.

    • Kate 09:27 on 2021-06-03 Permalink

      steph? Are you all right?

      denpanosekai, I know. It’s still weird for me to think of tourists brunching at the Hotel Nelson where once we moshed.

    • steph 09:39 on 2021-06-03 Permalink

      A cerfew for ‘sanitary crisis’ reasons that wasn’t based on science was a hard pill to swallow. Now they’re usimg it to avoid overflows. That’s not acceptable. It’s like the police forgot how to do their jobs and it’s easier to call impose a cerfew instead.

    • Chris 10:01 on 2021-06-03 Permalink

      Hopefully someone will challenge this curfew thing. We’re supposed to have freedom of movement and assembly in this country. Temporary covid emergency was one thing, but we shouldn’t be reaching for this every time there’s a bump in crime.

    • Joey 10:32 on 2021-06-03 Permalink

      Agreed 100% with Chris. Seems especially egregious that the federal government is acting without at least working with the municipal (and, I suppose, provincial) governments as well.

    • Kate 10:52 on 2021-06-03 Permalink

      Parks have always had a closure time of midnight till 6. It’s posted in most of them, and understood generally to mean the police have a premise to move you along if you’re causing a disturbance in the wee hours.

      The Old Port is simply invoking a similar measure for the area south of de la Commune.

      I don’t find it unreasonable and it isn’t a curfew, it’s just a limit.

    • Blork 12:18 on 2021-06-03 Permalink

      As Kate says, many (most? all?) parks are already closed between midnight and 6AM, so this is not something new. And it only applies to the area “south” (which is actually east) of de la Commune, which is the park/tourist trap area along the water. (I.e., the “old port” which is not the same as “Old Montreal” … yes, some people still don’t know the difference).

      I’m not crazy about such closures either, but file this under “this is why we can’t have nice things” while holding up pictures of street gang and mafia thugs waving their guns around.

    • Kate 15:00 on 2021-06-03 Permalink

      Right, Blork. A lot of folks have taken to referring to the whole Old Montreal area breezily as “the old port” in recent years. This new rule only applies to the area between de la Commune and the river, which is mostly federal land. The feds can’t shut down the rest of Old Montreal after midnight.

      p.s. Blork, we both know that’s south, don’t confuse us with facts.

    • steph 15:07 on 2021-06-03 Permalink

      okokok, i’ll calm my nerves – I imagined it was the whole Old Montreal.

    • Ant6n 16:39 on 2021-06-03 Permalink

      Closing public parks at night is kind of ridiculous. What’s next, asking a fee to be allowed the commons (i.e. our natural heritage)?

    • fvr.mtl 16:57 on 2021-06-03 Permalink

    • Kate 18:29 on 2021-06-03 Permalink

      Nice collection, fvr.mtl!

      Ant6n, maybe there’s an argument, but the midnight-till-6 thing isn’t new.

    • Nicole 18:35 on 2021-06-03 Permalink

      I don’t love the imposition of a curfew either. But some of the people complaining are talking like the pandemic is over. It’s not.

    • MarcG 19:22 on 2021-06-03 Permalink

      @kvr.mtl: La Brique! That’s wild stuff, thanks.

    • Uatu 00:20 on 2021-06-04 Permalink

      @fvr.mtl- thanks for the memories… Station 10, Genetic Control…sigh. I’m old

  • Kate 11:19 on 2021-01-09 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM will not be reducing its services because of the curfew. I can already hear kvetching from Ensemble, but this is the right decision: anyone who’s out is working, and working people have to get to and from work.

    • Bill Binns 11:40 on 2021-01-09 Permalink

      Agreed. Turning public transit on and off to control behavior would be a huge mistake. People don’t forget that stuff.

      I would be in favor of credentialing essential workers and allowing cops to stop anybody after curfew to check for those credentials. The problem is that there are so many gigantic loopholes in this so called curfew that the credentialing would be almost as much work as the vaccine roll-out.

    • Uatu 11:53 on 2021-01-09 Permalink

      I’m glad I’m not working evenings anymore. Every night heading home on the metro would probably be like a WW2 movie where I have to show my papers to the polizei

    • Kate 12:00 on 2021-01-09 Permalink

      Bill Binns, you can download and print out a document from this page which your employer fills out, and which you carry to prove that you’re outside because of work.

    • Bill Binns 12:20 on 2021-01-09 Permalink

      @kate I read that too. Not much of a credential though. More like the honor system. Are cops going to be making calls from the side of the road to confirm you work for a hospital or an essential florist? I haven’t seen anything saying people are even required to carry ID to match their home made essential worker form.

      I think the cops have been set up to fail by the province on this. The rules are ridiculously broad and open to interpretation. They are the ones who will be publicly crucified if it turns out that one demographic received 8% more fines than another.

    • Kate 12:29 on 2021-01-09 Permalink

      Bill Binns, I think we can assume that the people the cops will be dealing with most are not the kind who will think ahead about downloading a Word file, faking up a business name and so on. Yes, cops will have a lot of leeway on this, but they already do on many things.

    • Ephraim 13:15 on 2021-01-09 Permalink

      How many people are we talking taking mass transit after curfew? Could it be cheaper to subsidize taxis and let the institutions print out special forms for those out after 9PM?

    • Kate 14:37 on 2021-01-09 Permalink

      Ephraim, I don’t think anyone knows the answer to your first question yet. If after a month the Covid numbers are still bad and the curfew continues, I would hope the STM can assess whether there are any routes that are virtually unused after 8 pm, and maybe trim them back. They must already know where routes stay busy because of round-the-clock industrial installations.

  • Kate 22:20 on 2020-03-15 Permalink | Reply  

    Fed up with federal inaction at the airport, Montreal plans to deploy public health workers to question and inform arrivals.

    • JaneyB 00:13 on 2020-03-16 Permalink

      Good. I wish they’d actually just test arrivals too, not just at YUL but also traffic over the bridges to Gatineau now that there are community cases loose in Ottawa. I know it will only slow not stop the virus but who doesn’t love slow?

    • dmdiem 02:44 on 2020-03-16 Permalink

      no. it’s counter intuitive, but the last thing you need to do is create a bureaucratic bottleneck. all it takes is one person in the line to infect everyone else.


    • Kate 07:20 on 2020-03-16 Permalink

      dmdiem, with modern devices it doesn’t take long to take a person’s temperature, and ask anyone to step out of line if they’re feverish.

    • walkerp 07:45 on 2020-03-16 Permalink

      But to what end? We don’t have quarantine centers set up. We don’t have a system to force self-isolation. Seems to me we should just let them through as quickly as possible with really strong communications that they all need to go home and self-quarantine for 14 days.

    • Kate 07:51 on 2020-03-16 Permalink

      I suppose the public health agents can hand out a sheet (French and English, I suppose, but what about other languages?) explaining everyone needs to isolate for 14 days after arrival. Maybe if you have a fever the information would be more urgent, but we don’t really have a means of enforcing anyone’s behaviour once they leave the airport.

    • Joey 08:33 on 2020-03-16 Permalink

      This seems more like “city is annoyed with Ottawa” than anything. Some of our friends came back from a week in Cancun the other day. They are in self-isolation for 14 days. It’s hard to believe that they are much more likely to have COVID-19 after being at a resort and on an airplane than we are after spending the same time period living our lives normally. In other words, we should all be self-isolating/quarantining – the idea that we ought to be making all kinds of distinctions based on age, recent travel, etc., seems a little too clever. My suspicion is that we will be locked down within days.

    • Francesco 09:23 on 2020-03-16 Permalink

      Agree with Joey and dmdiem, but you already know that. Every airport I’ve transited in Asia has had infrared temperature screening on arrival since the original SARS-CoV in 2002. It didn’t do anything for SARS-CoV-2. Once the virus is in a community and active measures aren’t taken to prevent its spread within that community, it’s too late. As Joey said, we should *all* be taking active measures now.

      Legault’s posturing is just once again to appease his base: a small minority of Quebeckers that just simply hate people who don’t look, sound, dress or worship like they do.

    • Francesco 09:25 on 2020-03-16 Permalink

      Ugh just re-read that. Please excuse the syntax and poor grammar.

    • Kate 09:38 on 2020-03-16 Permalink

      For once, Francesco, I don’t feel xenophobia in Legault’s measures. Closing schools, getting bars and gyms and all those other nonessential businesses to close, are not targeted at any ethnic or religious group.

      Maybe people are right and temperature-taking is only pandemic theatre.

    • Alison Cummins 13:58 on 2020-03-16 Permalink

      A friend of mine was pulled aside during routine airport check-in a few years back. « You aren’t feeling very well, are you? » asked a concerned airport officer. Well no she wasn’t, but how did they know? An infra-red monitor that discreetly screens everyone passing it.

      I don’t know that the Chinese monitoring was useless. After Wuhan they were able to keep the rest of China under pretty good control. Maybe being able to identify people with fevers and track down their contacts was part of that?

      I can see how it could be worth identifying people who might have it before they continue on their journey. Are they about to get on another crowded plane or transport vehicle? Are they going home to a large family? Does this seem to be a person who will respect quarantine measures?

      A month ago (and possibly still) African countries decided that it made most sense for their nationals to stay put in Wuhan quarantine and not come home. Africa didn’t have any cases yet and China seemed to have a handle on the situation. Stranded Africans were bored and miserable but it was better than trying to contain COVID-19 in, say, Rwanda.

      We’re taking the opposite approach. We’re being proactive about shutdowns which helps us track contacts. And we’re bringing home our nationals from countries that are making a mess of things. If someone is coming from a country that is encouraging young people to get sick (Britain) or that doesn’t have a functioning national public program (US) we can expect that they are at higher risk than people who have been self-quarantining in a country where everyone else is self-quarantining.

      IF we can identify them easily without creating lineups and crowds, and IF we’re in a position to follow up with them, I’m all for infra-red monitors and asking people if they’ve been coughing lately.

      (I’m also all for making screening available to other risk groups — teachers, cashiers, anyone who spends time with old people — not travellers specifically.)

    • Kate 15:54 on 2020-03-16 Permalink

      I wonder if that temperature scanning device was put in for SARS, and whether it’s still operating.

    • Alison Cummins 16:55 on 2020-03-16 Permalink

      Kate, possibly, or MERS. Apparently Istanbul airport is the only one to have it permanently installed, but it was broken when we went through a couple of weeks ago.

      Also RE what we do with returning snowbirds:

    • Francesco 22:10 on 2020-03-16 Permalink

      Hi @kate I was specifically referencing Legault’s rhetoric about foreigners and his posturing about the feds not doing enough to stem the flow of foreigners through YUL. His comments are anything but science-based.

  • Kate 18:24 on 2019-05-14 Permalink | Reply  

    Luc Ferrandez announced Tuesday that he’s quitting politics.

    Ferrandez says his main issue with Projet is its inability to act firmly enough on environmental issues.

    Update: There will have to be a byelection to choose a new Plateau mayor within 120 days of Ferrandez’ official resignation.

    • Ian 19:45 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

      I’m glad for him that he got to go out on a noble note. The cynic in me says “fuck you” was a last straw in a series of bad optics. The even more cynical part of me thinks he was finally too much of a doctrinaire moron and Plante needed to cut him loose since she now needs to woo the CAQ and has to be seen as a team player. Welcome to politics, folks.

    • Douglas 20:47 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

      “100% tax on on-street and off-street parking, taxing cars entering the downtown area, reinventing trucking plans within the city, taxing foreign investments, taxing waste, lobbying to prevent the expansion of the airport, limiting the development of the oil activities in the port and taxing meat.”

      Good riddance. Good thing Plante was practical about running this city and didn’t give this guy more power.

    • Kate 21:22 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

      Douglas, that’s exactly the kind of commonsense realpolitik that will doom us as a species. Ferrandez is right. You are wrong.

    • Tim S. 21:31 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

      It’s a pretty good list Douglas quotes. Whenever Project calls me ask to me to renew my membership or donate or whatnot, my answer is always that I’m disappointed they haven’t done more (anything) to improve traffic safety and discourage the SUV takeover of my neighbourhood.

    • CharlesQ 22:39 on 2019-05-14 Permalink

      @kate thanks! It’s exactly what I wanted to say. I’m still baffled by the narrow mindedness and short sightedness of so many fellow citizens. Cars are just a symptoms and they don’t make sense on so many levels (all the space taken up by roads and parkings, heat island effect, air pollution effects on health, greenhouse gases, etc), especially in central neighbourhoods. I don’t understand drivers who think they should be able to drive anywhere anytime when there are thousands of other drivers who also want the same thing… it doesn’t add up.

    • Douglas 00:07 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Fellow citizens like me are just not falling over their heads believing that if Montreal was to eliminate all cars on the road the world will magically turn into a paradise utopia.

      I’m glad Plante runs into the reality that in order to govern responsibly you don’t let the extremes of the spectrum run the asylum.

    • Jack 04:28 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Douglas you are now the extreme, your shortsightedness is a danger to my children.

    • walkerp 06:59 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      I second what Jack said. We are in a global crisis. If anything is extreme its the fact that people think owning a gigantic box of plastic and metal that is killing them and the planet is normal.
      Especially when the alternatives are viable and make for a much more pleasant life for everybody. Car owners are going to become very similar to gun owners in the U.S.

    • walkerp 07:12 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      On a side note (and perhaps somewhat petty at this point), I wonder if the truth will come out about the North Field now.

    • Tim S. 08:15 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Well, perhaps there’s some sort of middle ground between “all cars are evil” and “I need a range rover to get to my yoga class 8 blocks away”

    • John S 08:30 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      As a local I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see him go. And its not the “anti car” stance as much as his “my way or the highway” approach to local politics (irony intended). He really seemed like he wanted all aspects of life in the Plateau to conform to his vision of how people should live in general and F-you if you don’t like it. I’m thinking of his reactions to noise complaints re: bars on St Laurent and St Denis, the killing of the baseball field, and while I generally support a lot of his traffic calming measures there were a lot of ways he could have sold them better to outsiders – its not as if the Plateau has become THAT hard to visit. He just rubbed me the wrong way and I think in his later career he’s done that to a lot of people.

    • Kevin 08:54 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Ferrandez’s list, as noted by @Douglas, is something I frequently vent about when it comes to life in Quebec.

      The instinctive reaction in Quebec’s Francophone political class is to use the stick. I don’t know if it’s because they all had their knuckles rapped by their teachers, if they were terrorized by nuns, or have a big Catholic fear of hell, but the first reaction is always the threat.

      And it fails. A lot. Which Ferrandez found out in spectacular fashion when the people looked at his pet project and firmly rejected it.

      Seduction works a lot better, but Quebec’s elites don’t understand that concept. They could take a lesson from A&W.

    • Myles 10:35 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Even making a dent in the problem of climate change and giving ourselves a decent chance at maintaining a functioning civilization is going to require collective mobilization and sacrifice on the level of World War II. Ferrandez’s proposals were the barest beginning of what we need to accomplish in the next 10 years, and even that was too much for people. It’s honestly getting terrifying to be stuck in a society that just doesn’t get the seriousness of this.

    • YUL514 11:20 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Thanks Douglas, what we need to be focussing on is more electric/hybrid cars, much better fuel efficiency on current combustion engines. Cars will not disappear, especially with the cost of housing on the island. Families will continue moving to off island areas, for better or for worse. Cars aren’t going anywhere which means EVs are the solution.

    • Jack 11:42 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      YUL514 that ship has sailed. When you talk about housing are you talking two car garage, thermo pump , extremely low density, huge cost per citizen for sewage, water, roads, plowing etc.etc.
      Because we all subsidize this “cheap” housing so developers can make a killing and destroy more.

    • Douglas 11:47 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Jack, car drivers pay the vast majority of municipal taxes collected in this city, not only am I not a danger, you should be thanking me for my contributions. You are welcome. Your kid too.

      USA and China combined add 2-3 Montreals every year to their economy population wise and consumption wise. Us putting a rock in our shoe will do absolutely nothing to slow down pollution globally.

    • Jack 11:56 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Rock solid logic , so essentially just stand around and play the fiddle.

    • Ian 12:52 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Kevin is right when he says “The instinctive reaction in Quebec’s Francophone political class is to use the stick.” This is why Ferrandez was unpopular, he was seen as an authoritarian disciplinarian. His solution to too many cars on the road is to increase the cost of parking and hike taxes – Plante’s is to improve transit. Plante’s approach is more humane, forward-thinking, and ultimately effective – and will result in a more liveable city where Ferrandez’s plan is just to punish everyone for not immediately doing what he thinks is best. Honestly I think half his reason for quitting is the Camilien-Houde debacle, which is pretty much a slap in the face for him.

      In truth though, you know what will solve the climate crisis? If about half the world’s population dies and the rest is forced to return to a pre-industrial largely agrarian lifestyle. Everything else is wishful thinking, there is no way the world can support human population on this scale. Even if everyone in Montreal stopped using plastic, driving, and eating meat now and forever, billions of people are going to die of flooding and famine. The real problem is large scale globalized industry, and even Ferrandez knows all our efforts as citizens of Montreal are a misdirection, like making people give up their wrought iron fences in WW2 to support the war effort. All this green citizen brigade stuff is to keep us docile and feeling good about doing “something”. The heads of a few fortune 500 CEOs on pikes would do immeasurably more for the environment than any amount of citizen eco-consciousness, but nobody wants to address THAT harsh reality. We don’t need the three R’s, we need revolution – or catastrophe.

      Either way, as George Carlin says, the planet is fine – it’s humans that are fucked.

    • Chris 14:04 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Douglas, “car drivers pay the vast majority of municipal taxes collected in this city” in the same way that right-handed people do: only because they are the majority. In fact, society subsidizes car use and ownership in so many ways: free roads, free parking, etc. etc. My coworker was telling me how he can get thousands in government subsides buying a new electric car, whereas my bike is 1000x “greener” but it’s not even exempt from GST/PST. 🙁

      I for one like Ferrandez, sad to see him go. Plante has been disappointing so far (though not as much as previous mayors, but that’s a low bar).

      The best thing one can do for the environment is not have children. Every human wants to maintain or better their standard of living, and our population continues to grow and grow. Those two things just can’t continue. Government should provide free contraception to everyone that wants it, that would help way more than crap like “turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth”.

    • Joey 14:50 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Sounds like Plante was increasingly fed up with having to clean up after his tantrums. Recall that after his fuck-you Saturday, it was Plante who had to face the media and tell them that he had apologized (to whom? For what? We’ll never know, though I suspect one day he’ll let it be known that he made no such apology):

      Luc Ferrandez a affirmé, en entrevue dans divers médias, qu’il avait été muselé par la mairesse, une critique que Mme Plante rejette. « Au comité exécutif, c’est lui qui avait la plus importante tribune. Je lui laissais beaucoup de latitude, parce que j’adhère à plusieurs de ses projets et à sa vision. De là ma tristesse devant son départ », a-t-elle dit.


      The idea that Ferrandez has been muzzled doesn’t pass the LOL test, though I would be shocked if he didn’t feel it to be true. There is a limit to what a municipal politician, even one at the seat of city power, can accomplish – I think the frustration that did Ferrandez in is the same frustration many Plante supporters feel: decisions about the way the city runs are largely at the discretion of a provincial government that will never really give a shit.

      Anyway, it’s time for some new leadership in the Plateau, which will be PM forever. Perhaps the environmental objectives that Ferrandez is now touting will be more attainable when the borough mayor pushing for revolutionary change isn’t a huge asshole.

    • Ian 15:58 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      Well they just named Norris interim mayor, so so much for that.

    • qatzelok 20:17 on 2019-05-15 Permalink

      The reasons for Ferrandez’s resignation can be found in the comments of this article on this page: he can’t handle how backwards his own citizens are, and realizes they probably can’t be reformed. Only collapse will change our ways.

      I hope he’s wrong about this, but he’s been front and center fighting our car-addicted dragons for a long time, and there are a lot of them. So I wish him a happy and relaxed retirement with lots of car-free moments.

    • YUL514 10:53 on 2019-05-16 Permalink

      Qatzelok, why not push for more EVs and Hybrids instead of the far fetched notion of getting rid of all cars?

  • Kate 08:06 on 2019-04-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Hasidic groups in Brooklyn have been the site of a recent measles outbreak, so with Passover visitors expected here, the local communities are bracing for trouble.

    The item doesn’t explain where anti-vaxx ideas intersect with Orthodox Judaism.

    Passover this year coincides closely with Easter i.e. this upcoming weekend.

    • Ephraim 08:37 on 2019-04-17 Permalink

      This is a second case. There was a case earlier, but the measles never transferred to Montreal because they vaccinate here. The reason is simple… it’s free. A lot of the Haredi community doesn’t have full healthcare in the US… where you have to pay for it. And in Israel, fully socialized medicine is only from 1995, so those older generally didn’t have coverage. Of course, since you have to buy it, not everyone follows the law…

    • Kate 08:51 on 2019-04-17 Permalink

      How much can an MMR shot cost? (I’m prepared to believe it’s hundreds of bucks, in the United States.)

    • Brett 09:39 on 2019-04-17 Permalink

    • Ephraim 10:20 on 2019-04-17 Permalink

      @kate – See https://www.walgreens.com/topic/healthcare-clinic/price-menu.jsp it’s $99.99 for MMR per dose (and this is given at the pharmacy… it’s even more at the hospital, doctor or clinic in the US) and you need 2 doses. Incidentally, if you wonder what the maximum the RAMQ pays for a medication is, it’s all published online at http://www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca/en/publications/citizens/legal-publications/Pages/list-medications.aspx but standard vaccines aren’t there, because you don’t buy them with the pharmacare program, they government buys them in bulk. But it’s much cheaper to vaccinate than to deal with the medical costs of not vaccinating… never mind the coffins for the 1 in 1000 that dies of measles.

    • Ian 11:15 on 2019-04-17 Permalink

      “When asked why people are opting out of vaccines, the New York city health department said anti-vaccine propagandists are distributing misinformation in the community.

      The fearmongerers include a group called PEACH — or Parents Educating and Advocating for Children’s Health — which appears to be targeting the Jewish community with misinformation about vaccine safety, citing rabbis as authorities, through a hotline and magazines. Brooklyn Orthodox Rabbi William Handler has also been proclaiming the well-debunked link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. Parents who “placate the gods of vaccination” are engaging in “child sacrifice,” he told Vox.”


      Each community follows the advice of its own rabbis, presumably the Montreal Hasidim aren’t on board with this particular line of thought.

    • Ian 11:16 on 2019-04-17 Permalink

      But important to note, that is a small group –

      “Some Jewish community leaders are not wild about New York City’s new, shall we say, vaccination edict, but they, their organizations, and the overwhelming majority of local doctors are resolutely pro-vaccination.

      Ezras Nashim, the women’s ambulance corps that serves observant Jewish women in Borough Park and the surrounding area, issued the strongest of statements encouraging vaccination, citing, among other things, the Talmud’s declaration that “all of Israel are responsible for each other.”

      Rabbi David Niederman, director of United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn (UJO), a Satmar community-service group, was equally emphatic about the Halachic demand to vaccinate children. He stressed that those who opposed it are part of a fringe group, much like the anti-vaxxers in the United States as a whole.”


    • Chris 14:24 on 2019-04-17 Permalink

      Kate, there’s this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccination_and_religion

      I could imagine a correlation between religiosity and vaccination hesitancy. Both groups are prone to believing in things without evidence. (i.e. if virgins can bear children, then vaccines can cause autism.) Not sure if anyone has studied that…

    • Kate 15:14 on 2019-04-17 Permalink

      Ian, Ephraim, thanks for the research.

      Chris, you don’t see it. Because a person or group of people is religious it does not necessarily open them to new irrational ideas. I was curious where anti-vaxxers had found an opening into Orthodox Jewish culture, which is in most ways pretty realistic about medical care.

    • Mark Côté 15:50 on 2019-04-17 Permalink

      The anti-vax stuff I’ve seen has had very little, if any, religious content, unless you count “new age” viewpoints.

    • thomas 16:45 on 2019-04-17 Permalink

      @Mark It seems anti-vax proponents will make up any argument if they think it will stick to a target audience. There was a nytimes article over the weekend where an evangelical family objected to vaccinations because they are made from human abortion DNA.

    • Chris 22:56 on 2019-04-17 Permalink

      Kate, of course. I did not say it _necessarily_ does, I said I suspect a correlation/overlap between groups. Religion is the ultimate fake news, if one can fall for it, one could be more likely to fall for another kind. A quick search reveals there is at least some data supporting my suspicion: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3906279/#R147

    • jeather 13:59 on 2019-04-18 Permalink

      Wealth correlates negatively with religion but positively with anti-vaccine, so I wouldn’t think “those crazy people who believe in god probably don’t believe in vaccination” follows. (Historically vaccination and earlier variolation were invented and taken up by religious people as well-.)

    • Raymond Lutz 20:12 on 2019-04-18 Permalink

      Wealth correlates negatively with vaccination? That’s not what Gapminder shows for vaccination rate VS GDP/capita

    • jeather 21:24 on 2019-04-18 Permalink

      Wealth correlates positively with anti-vaccine in North America, the context of vaccinations is very different in other cultures and also not particularly relevant to the question of how it correlates with religion.

    • Chris 10:41 on 2019-04-19 Permalink

      Correlation is not causation. I don’t think there’s a causal relationship like: religiosity -> anti-vax. I suspect it’s more like: predisposition to ignoring evidence -> anti-vax, predisposition to ignoring evidence -> climate change denial, predisposition to ignoring evidence -> religiosity.

    • jeather 17:17 on 2019-04-19 Permalink

      Correlation is not causation, no. But your argument doesn’t even have the grace of actually fitting the evidence.

    • Chris 14:10 on 2019-04-20 Permalink

      jeather, please reread my posts. I’m not even making an argument, I’m stating some suspicions that I indeed do not know are true, but merely suspect. I repeatedly used words like “suspect”, “could imagine”, etc. I shared two links showing that religion is indeed one (of many) reasons given by some for vaccination hesitancy. You’ve just asserted, showing nothing. Raymond already contradicted one of your assertions with data. How about you show something instead of just asserting? Show me a study showing no correlation, I’d genuinely like to know if there is or isn’t.

    • jeather 12:42 on 2019-04-21 Permalink

      Low vaccination rates in Sudan are due to entirely different factors than North American or European rates and not relevant, as I mentioned.

      Here are two links that show a correlation between wealth and lower vaccination rates in the US:

      Here is one link that shows an inverse correlation between wealth and religious belief:

      Feel free to imagine all sorts of new ways to dislike religious people. I’m not going to change your mind.

  • Kate 08:17 on 2018-08-18 Permalink | Reply  

    City hall is pondering truly universal suffrage – giving all residents the right to vote in municipal elections, regardless of their citizenship status. Given the pathetic response of voters at this level – fewer than half of eligible voters can be arsed to get out and vote – and the number of people who live here who are permanent residents but not citizens, it would be a smart move to get more people involved in civic politics.

    Footnote: recently an acquaintance told me he had received his Canadian residency papers. I responded “Congratulations!” and he laughed. This is a man who has lived in various places and already has citizenship in two other countries. “It’s only Canadians who offer congratulations about this kind of thing, and you all do,” he told me.

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