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  • Kate 23:19 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    After 35 years and a last-ditch attempt to restructure, clothing retailer Jacob is going out of business.

  • Kate 23:17 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    A businessman from NDG has been convicted of rapes and other assaults on sex workers ten years after the incidents.

  • Kate 23:15 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    An HEC study shows that Montreal is an expensive city to run. The numbers tend to confirm the notion that the city’s workers are some of the highest paid in Quebec but also that they’ve fought for and achieved very good retirement benefits rather than high salaries in particular. Only cities and towns in Quebec are considered by the study, though.

    Wednesday will see demonstrations at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital by health workers from all over Montreal and Laval protesting austerity measures in general and Gaétan Barrette’s Bill 10 in particular.

    Montreal’s white collar workers have also voted to begin pressure tactics possibly building to strike action.

  • Kate 22:56 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    The UPAC has raided private homes, apparently in connection with an ongoing investigation at the Jewish General.

    The UPAC folks must be drawing a fascinating picture of the various kinds of corruption in our society. It’s a pity we won’t see most of it – only the stuff that might be legally and successfully prosecuted in court.

  • Kate 21:33 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Mathias Marchal gives us a peek at the police museum and images of some of its artifacts. Interesting detail: in 1931, the police handbook says the first thing an officer must ask an accident victim is: “Do you want me to call a priest?”

    Apparently you can only visit the museum by appointment.

  • Kate 21:27 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    There will be a big show to mark the 25th anniversary of the Polytechnique massacre, and there will also be a statement in favour of gun control.

  • Kate 21:14 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    After a tempest in a teapot, Collège Brébeuf says it’s prepared to rehire Jacqueline Laurent-Auger as a theatre teacher.

  • Kate 21:04 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    A UK journalist testified by videolink Tuesday at the Magnotta trial: he had spoken to Magnotta about the kitten-killing videos and later sent the journalist an email about his desire to kill, even after having denied being the killer in the cat videos. The court also heard Magnotta’s voice for the first time as an audio recording of the journalist’s encounter was played for the court.

  • Kate 14:46 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Was just listening to Lucinda Chodan on CBC Radio talking about the Gazette’s new website design, when she mentioned the first website they had 19 years ago. It was almost with a jolt that I remembered that that initial site was put up by me, single-handed, in hand-coded HTML, just before the 1995 referendum.

    I was never a permanent staffer at the paper. I picked up some work for a long defunct department called Gazette Info-Cable, which provided brief text headlines and précis of news for cable channel 9. I talked my way into the job after meeting a friend of a friend at a party: she ran the department, and when she described what they did I said “I could do that!”

    Once there, I got some other odd bits of work at the paper, doing tech support for the newsroom, occasionally helping editors put the front page together. In 1995, only a few people at the paper were interested in the web, so when it came time to do a site, I did it. Referendum night I sat updating the numbers by hand as they came in.

    There isn’t much else to tell. The owner of the Gazette at the time (I think it was Southam) soon decided to try to centralize all the “new media” stuff in Edmonton, and I declined to move there; two other people in the Info-Cable department went, and it turned out to be a fiasco, a dead end, and a wise decision not to go.

    More ambitious people soon moved in on the Gazette’s own web presence and pushed me out; I had no relatives in the paper, where almost everyone under 50 was there because they had an older relative on staff sticking up for them. There were better things to do and places to be.

    • J 15:15 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      oh, no! I loved the old logo! The new one seems cheap. And I hate the new fonts and menu colours…

    • Kate 15:35 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      The new square logo in two tones of blue is poor, very bland, especially the typography. The overall fonts and layout are OK though. Not sure about the extra poppy colours yet.

    • Noah 15:53 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      Lots of good, some bad. I’m blase about the logo because it’s a blase logo, but it’s not terrible. The worst thing is that they’re maintaining the paywall. It’s an antiquated solution that defeats the whole purpose of modernizing.

    • Doobious 17:41 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      Does anyone know how to tweak AdBlock for the new site? It’s showing a lot of ads not coming from the usual hosts.

    • Uatu 17:54 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      They want to tie the app to the physical paper which is why the logo looks like an app. I think it looks like a logo of a cegep newspaper circa 1989… Every time design swings towards futuristic or contemporary, it always returns to the classic … I give it 4 yrs….

  • Kate 12:59 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Local news is being swamped by the incident in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu in which police shot dead a man who struck two soldiers with his car; one of the soldiers has subsequently also died. Intense discussions have followed about what being “radicalized” means, what such an attack means, and what attraction radical Islam would have for a young man from Quebec with no Middle Eastern ties. Lots of scare talk about terrorism. Little discussion of why police shot the man sur-le-champ.

    This is all rather outside my remit on this blog, but the story is taking up almost all the news bandwidth today.

    • Noah 13:39 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      I’m not saying this is or isn’t an “act of terrorism” – we don’t know yet either way. But it’s driving me crazy how many people are going right to “he’s a ‘radicalized’ Muslim so this is terrorism.” What if he was just a generally unstable person who happened to embrace a Muslim extremism as an excuse to justify what he was doing… or any of a million other scenarios. Bad people aren’t terrorists simply because they’re Muslim. I’m not going to accept living a world in which someone is automatically one thing or another just because of their religious beliefs. No way.

    • Blork 16:02 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      Noah, “What if he was just a generally unstable person who happened to embrace a Muslim extremism as an excuse to justify what he was doing…” Doesn’t that describe an awful lot of people that we refer to as terrorists?

      I admit I rolled my eyes the first 100 times I heard the term in reference to this case. On the other hand, what is the definition of “terrorism” and a “terrorist?”

      In the case of Al-Queda and similar groups, there is no “joining.” If you say you’re doing AQ’s work, then you’re a member of AQ. There’s no form to fill out, or ID to obtain, no uniform, etc. You become a member by saying you’re a member.

      So this guy appeared to be a bit bent out of shape and he went and “radicalized” himself. He posted a bunch of ISIS videos and made it clear that he supported them (and therefore was one of them). AFAIK, ISIS has also stated that its “members” in the west should “terrorize” westerners by doing one-on-one attacks in public places, like stabbing people on buses or shooting people in shopping centres. Not big mass-scale things but “death by a thousand cuts” small scale attacks.

      So this guy probably picked up on that, and yesterday’s attack was him doing his bit. In that respect, then he was a “terrorist.”

      But that doesn’t mean he had intricate connections with a terrorist network, or that he had money sent to him by uber-terrorists in Afghanistan or whatever. It just means that he’s an early adopter of what the higher-level terrorists want the next wave of terrorism to be; small-scale, short-lived startup operations that appear to be random.

      Or maybe he was just a whacko. But the two are not mutually exclusive. (In fact, you’d have to be a bit whacko to engage in this stuff in the first place…)

    • Kate 19:28 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      It does raise some interesting questions about the political and legal definition of terror, though. It’s all about the motivation of the perpetrator, apparently.

    • Kevin 20:01 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      The new terrorism looks a lot like terrible driving.

      In all seriousness I think we are dealing with a person whose motivations are closer to those of a mentally deranged random gunman than anything involving planning or covert operations

  • Kate 08:51 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Police have released surveillance video from the firebombing of Peel Street’s Cavalli restaurant in the summer, hoping for leads on identifying the two men who chucked a Molotov cocktail through the front window.

  • Kate 08:47 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Sud-Ouest borough is struggling with whether to demolish two 19th-century worker houses, one of which was the setting for the film Bonheur d’occasion (The Tin Flute), to build a new condo project. Audio file as well as text.

    • Ian 09:09 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      That would be a shame. The book version of “Bonheur d’occasion”, Mordecai Richler’s “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz” and Leonard Cohen’s “the Favourite Game” were pretty much the only things I knew about Montreal culture before I moved here. Condos are everywhere and contribute nothing to patrimoine.

    • Robert J 11:42 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      I can’t believe they’re even considering demolition. Those houses are so different from anything else in the city.

    • John B 11:43 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      From the outside that looks like a nice house. Maybe one of the nicest in the Sud-Ouest.

      Also, that’s right beside the tracks. Prepare for groaning about noise from the new owners if it does happen.

    • John B 11:46 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      Also, IIRC Heritage Montreal has been concerned about that whole row of houses for years. They were listed as “Under Observation” on their 2013 list of threatened locations:

    • denpanosekai 15:30 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

  • Kate 21:53 on 2014/10/20 Permalink | Reply  

    A coalition of groups including Vélo-Québec wants the new Ste-Catherine to be totally pedestrianized from Bleury to Mansfield and say they want a more daring approach to rethinking the street. With some photos from cities with shopping streets redone in various formats.

    • Charles 23:08 on 2014/10/20 Permalink

      The section east of Phillips Square is part of the Quartier des spectacles and shouldn’t look the same as the other parts of Ste-Cath in my opinion. I’d see a pedestrian section between Carré Phillips and Peel. By the way, the building on the corner of Bleury and Sainte-Catherine (south-west corner) is having its entire ground floor demolished and they are digging the basement, does anyone know why?

    • Kate 23:22 on 2014/10/20 Permalink

      The Belgo building? I don’t know. I saw something recently about there having been a bowling alley in there that’s being ripped out, but I doubt that was the reason. I’ll ask around.

    • MathP 23:30 on 2014/10/20 Permalink

    • Michael Black 23:54 on 2014/10/20 Permalink

      I thought the bowling alley was long gone. Some of the flooring was in Studio 303, but that was at least 15 years ago. I never saw the alley, just some of the floor.

      It’s an odd building, except where new floors have been put in, you can still find needles in the cracks left over from when sewing was done there.


    • Bill Binns 07:16 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      Odd. I would not have thought the phrase “totally pedestrianized” would include bicycles.

    • Ian 09:11 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      The main lobby of the Belgo is still there, it’s the street-level frontage to the east of the main entrance that is being gutted.

    • Kate 10:39 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      Bill Binns: Possibly I misused the phrase instead of expressing that they would like to see motorized traffic withdrawn from the street.

    • Noah 12:56 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      Why don’t we dig a canal from one end to the other of Ste. Catherine and just let people canoe from store to store? Just as realistic, but less likely to have pedestrians getting run over by bicycles. Although drownings on Ste. Catherine St. may increase by a few percentage points…

    • Bill Binns 15:01 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      I think bicycles mix with cars a lot better than they do with pedestrians. There is no sense in kicking out the cars if the bikes are still going to be there. Unless the bikes are physically contained into a lane and even then it’s not ideal. Let’s not turn St Catherine into a larger version of Prince Arthur.

    • j2 16:22 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      @Bill Binns !?!?! Care to back that up with statistics? You can’t. It’s completely impossible. Nobody mixes well with cars, not bikes, not pedestrians. Which is why cities like Amsterdam make cars yield way to everyone.

    • C-Erb 17:07 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      Most of the pedestrianized city centres in Europe allow bicycles in their car-free zones, although few cyclists actually opt to ride in them because there are so many pedestrians that it’s slow riding. I think pedestrians and bicyclists can mix. At least I think they can mix with pedestrians better than they can with cars, as they are currently forced to do (anyone know how many pedestrians have been killed or injured by cars on Ste-Catherine lately?)

  • Kate 20:56 on 2014/10/20 Permalink | Reply  

    Even though the city of Boucherville has held it off, saying it will spoil the islands, Quebec is going ahead with putting in two campgrounds on the Îles-de-Boucherville and we’re not talking rough low-impact camping either, but spaces for RVs and trailers. Lots of lovely asphalt.

    • Ephraim 21:42 on 2014/10/20 Permalink

      Isn’t that what WalMart parking lots are for? RVs?

    • John B 22:12 on 2014/10/20 Permalink

      FWIW, most campgrounds I’ve seen, even the ones with RV sites and pump-out facilities and everything, don’t have much asphalt. The individual sites are gravel or grass, and the roads to get to the sites are gravel or maybe asphalt, depending on traffic.

      Let’s not pretend that campsites like that are anything close to a natural state, though.

    • Bert 19:32 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      John, ….or a an actual working farm!

  • Kate 20:29 on 2014/10/20 Permalink | Reply  

    In the Magnotta trial Monday, a Harper staffer told of opening a package sent by mail to the PM’s office, noticing a bad smell, then calling police, who discovered a severed foot inside. Another package addressed to the federal Liberals was intercepted at the post office and found to contain a human hand.

    The trial also heard from a police expert who retrieved images of the crime scene from a camera found in the trash outside Magnotta’s apartment building.

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