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  • Kate 23:27 on 2015/03/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Serious work starts on the Turcot next week with the closure of a couple of exits for several months.

  • Kate 23:03 on 2015/03/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Patick Lejtenyi reports on the Pegida non-event in St-Michel on the weekend.

  • Kate 22:39 on 2015/03/30 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse news-commentary piece notes that while the mayor was being fulsomely thanked for giving more cash to the Conseil des arts de Montréal, another group, La Ligne bleue, which worked on linking up and promoting many different cultural entities along the metro’s blue line, was being allowed to fail for lack of funds.

    • carswell 23:16 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      Very sad. La Linge bleue did a lot with a little and largely achieved its goal of bringing the arts closer to the public.

      But that public was predominantly locals in non-centre city and mostly non-wealthy boroughs, not tourists. And that, in the Coderre era, is the kiss of death.

      I’m exaggerating, of course. But not much.

  • Kate 21:46 on 2015/03/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Imam Hamza Chaoui said Monday that he wanted Denis Coderre to retract allegations that he’s an agent of radicalization, but the mayor says go ahead, sue me, and I’ll defend myself.

    • H. John 22:30 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      I think what Mr. Coderre meant was go ahead and sue me since the City will pick up the bill for defending me.

  • Kate 21:30 on 2015/03/30 Permalink | Reply  

    In a time of austerity, $34 million will be spent on spiffing up Place des Arts again. The complex was given $50 million in September 2013 under the PQ government, which followed a major renovation that gave us the pointy entrance not all that long ago (looking up the precise date in blog archives).

    Hmm. I have an old blog entry from 2008 saying Quebec was giving $12 million to redo the space under PdA, presumably the areas that got the video display effects and so on. Radio-Canada had announced this in November 2007.

    (Does anyone know why a public hall is called a salle des pas perdus in French? The Wiktionnaire is not helpful with the etymology, saying it’s “Composé de salle, pas et perdu” – thanks, Wiktionnaire. I can’t even make out if it means “lost steps” or “not lost”.)

  • Kate 21:11 on 2015/03/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Another protest is taking place downtown against austerity and police brutality.

    (I think I need to say this: Yes, I know some of the people who read this blog are dead set against these protests, and very much on the side of the police. But I blog the news, and this is currently the news. So please don’t feel you have to weigh in on this again unless you have something new to contribute.)

    In Metro, commentator Miriam Fahmy points out how student movements have often been right and wonders why so many in our society are against the students. Josée Legault also points out how the protests underline the fractures in Quebec society – the fractures in the whole western world, if you ask me – and Mathieu Bock-Côté weighs in with similar sentiments.

    In Voir, Véronique Robert finds that some police actually believe that protesting is illegal, and she proves that it is not.

    On Media Co-op, a description of participating in Friday night’s demo.

    Other people have made the point with more words, but Côté in Le Soleil sums up the police/protester irony in one perfect editorial cartoon.

  • Kate 09:49 on 2015/03/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro spent a day with the Urgences-santé team that goes out when the patient is morbidly obese, i.e. over 350 lb. They’re not paramedics, but they bring special equipment and muscle to help the paramedics move the patient safely.

    • Alison Cummins 11:51 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      Interesting. Does each ambulance dispatch include a question about the weight of the patient?

      (Also, they are paramedics but on that unit their job is just to help move the patient.)

    • Kate 13:44 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      My guess is they have a shorthand word that cues the dispatch. Also, thanks for the clarification.

    • Bill Binns 14:08 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      At airports, the double wide, heavy duty wheelchair is refferred to as a “Galaxy Chair”.

    • Alison Cummins 15:33 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      Kate, I mean that when I call 911 to say that my beloved is having a heart attack, at what point does the dispatcher ask me how much my beloved weighs?

    • Blork 15:43 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      @Alison, I doubt the dispatcher asks that. The dispatcher might ask something about the person’s mobility (to see if the person is wheelchair-bound, etc), in which it would probably come out. Also, if the person has been taken away by ambulance before then the person calling 9-1-1 might know to offer the information, plus there should be a notation in the database based on the person’s address (but don’t bet on that). Otherwise it’s probably a case of the first responders taking a look and then calling in for the special service while they stabilize the patient.

      Of course that adds a delay to the response. On the other hand, people needing this service should pretty much expect a slower response because even with the specialized team it takes a while to set up all those braces and pulleys, etc. The bigger the person, the longer it will take to set all that up and to get them loaded into the ambulance and unloaded at the hospital.

    • C_Erb 16:46 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      People calling 911 with special needs often know what to ask for in advance. For example, I had a job where employees occasionally needed to get into large tanks to clean them by hand. We all knew that if someone were to lose consciousness or be hurt in a tank that we had to ask for an enclosed space team to be dispatched, rather than normal paramedics.

    • Chris 22:16 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      Euh, none of them are paramedics at all, in Montreal we only have EMTs, *not* paramedics.

    • Matt G 22:26 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      @Alison Cummins @Kate

      Urgences-santé dispatchers don’t ask the weight of the patient (source: I’m a dispatcher there). Usually, that information is given by the caller or as Blork correctly speculated, we do have some patients whose addresses trigger a message reminding us to send the “unité de soutien technique” out right away.

      The main role of that unit is to reduce workplace injury. Some patient evacuations are tricky: think rickety stairs in poorly maintained buildings (their training also includes some structural assessment techniques) or most often, getting unstable patients out of medevac airplanes. Patients don’t necessarily have to be obese for the unit to proceed.

      @Chris, their title is now “Technicien ambulancier paramédic” and some recent graduates of the 3-year DEC are qualified as “paramedics”, though I’m certain there’s a very specific, Québec-only definition of the term and their qualifications probably lie somewhere between Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support units commonly found across North America. (Though this is informed speculation on my part, as I am not familiar with the qualifications of other cities’ paramedics.)

    • Kate 22:27 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      Matt G: thanks for the information!

  • Kate 09:28 on 2015/03/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The AMT is about to embark on new work to upgrade the Mount Royal tunnel with more ventilation and basic modern safety items like emergency phones and fire extinguishers. The tunnel is very nearly a hundred years old.

    • Robert J 10:53 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      While the articles mentions that the Édouard-Montpetit train connection has been “mis de côté”, tunnel upgrades are the best possible way to make it possible in the future. This is the best investment the AMT can be doing currently. That tunnel should eventually take on the role of a 5th metro line (as was the initial plan).

  • Kate 09:24 on 2015/03/30 Permalink | Reply  

    A collective called Lande has looked at Montreal and found that we have 25 square km of vacant lots, created a website to find them and suggests using them for community gardens or parks. La Presse resorts to a 20th-century media approach, telling us about a website but not linking to the damn thing, so I’ve linked it above.

  • Kate 08:52 on 2015/03/30 Permalink | Reply  

    UQÀM activists are blocking access to some of the school’s buildings in protest of the university’s expulsion of nine students last week, and more generally in continuation of the anti-austerity theme.

  • Kate 08:46 on 2015/03/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada presents a people’s dictionary of Montreal. (No, A is not for Anglos – it’s for Arcade Fire.)

  • Kate 16:14 on 2015/03/29 Permalink | Reply  

    A scrum between secularity supporters and anti-racism protesters was broken up by the police during a demo at Collège Maisonneuve on Sunday. Although the CBC says it became “violent” this consisted of someone being attacked with picket sticks – OK, you wouldn’t want it to happen to you, but can the media get a grip and keep the words “violent” and “violence” in their place? There’s nothing in this report about injuries.

    • Joe Bin 18:55 on 2015/03/29 Permalink

      Swinging at and/or striking someone with a picket sign or the stick used to prop it up fits squarely into the definition of violence.

    • Kate 20:26 on 2015/03/29 Permalink

      I’ve seen more “violence” at the tam-tam games:

    • ant6n 07:36 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      Maybe it’s fair to say “altercation at protest”. Saying “protest turns violent” brings up images of like a hockey riot.

    • Raymond 07:40 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      Bin, vous avez raison, pourtant, je n’ai jamais vu le qualificatif correctement utilisé dans les grands titres des MSM ainsi:

      “L’intervention violente du SPVM laisse une étudiante grièvement blessée”

      Non, j’ai plutôt lu (Le Devoir, IIRC)

      “Manifestations: la police choisit la ligne dure”.

      Kate, j’ai écouté le clip vidéo et on entend crier “Police! Police!” sans trop comprendre qui crie et qu’est-ce que ça signifie:

      “Police! Police! Au secours, on me frappe dessus”
      “Police! Police! Je suis une police, ne me frappe pas dessus!”
      “Police! Police! Je suis une police, je vais te frapper dessus”
      “c’est une police! police! J’ai pogné une police déguisée en manifestant!” (montebello sq)


    • Orolo 08:04 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      Commercial media represents commercial interests, and they all have an interest in maintaining the status quo. This is why media is so quick to point and say “violence” and this is why money often sends in its own violent “protestors” to give the police and general public a scare.

    • Raymond 08:12 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      Orolo: and political media represents political interests? Had there been anywhere in the past, media interested in plain good old FACTS? Décrire est mentir?

    • Orolo 08:27 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      The only media that is unbiased is word-of-mouth, but to be useful, you need social capital – a wide variety of social experiences growing up. This has been degraded over the last few genratiions because the controloling class learned to fear polical association once religious superstition faded from popular culture.

      Social capital is dangerous to oligarchs. That’s why it has been slowly eliminated by recent technologies (cars, suburbia, entertainment media, his-and-hers office dronehood, etc.)

    • C_Erb 08:39 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      @Orolo: That made no sense whatsoever.

    • Bill Binns 08:46 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      Try whacking the cashier at the IGA with a small stick sometime. Good luck with your “that’s not violence” argument while chatting with the police.

    • Kate 08:54 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      Bill Binns, that could be called assault, but nobody in their right mind would call it violence.

      Orolo, C_Erb is correct, that made no sense. We all recognize you as qatzelok, so I’m going to add your new identity to the ban list. This is because your participation has always had a tendency to derail discussions in ways that are not useful.

    • JohnS 08:55 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      That there were no injuries is irrelevant. That someone was attacked with sticks indicates that this was indeed violence.

      Kate – you replied as I was writing this. Assault = violence. I fail to see how anyone could interpret it any other way.

    • Kate 08:58 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      If I see “violence” mentioned in a media headline connected with a protest I think of actions leading to injury or damage, not a couple of guys squaring off with sticks for about twenty seconds. It’s purely a matter of choosing words. “Protesters come to blows over racism” – yes. Violence is knives and guns, or knocking people down with cars, or even rocks maybe, but not a couple of angry hits and then the fight’s broken up right away. Most of the people in that video were not fighting.

    • Kevin 11:23 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      Hitting someone with a stick is an assault, but not violence?

      I understand the people who think attacks on property are not violent — I understand but I disagree with them completely.

      If attacking someone with a stick is not violent, dictionaries need to be rewritten.

    • Alison Cummins 11:29 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      “Violence” covers a whole range of behaviours. Using a word that encompasses torturing someone to death to describe an everyday scuffle when more precise vocabulary is easily available is misleading. It’s disingenuous to pretend that because the use of the word isn’t technically *incorrect* that it’s therefore the most appropriate, neutral and informative choice. Clearly other, more precise words would have been more accurate, more informative and less open to misinterpretation. Choosing “violence” when “altercation” is more appropriate is a deliberate, value-laden inflammatory choice.

      What’s Newspeak for “violence”? “Ungood”?

    • Bill Binns 12:30 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      Newspeak for violent protests in Montreal is “mostly peaceful”.

    • Adam Hooper 15:18 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      Newspeak for violence depends on who’s being violent. In most cases it is “terrorism” but from the state it is “unterrorism”.

    • John B 15:59 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      Yeah, we’ll just file this away for next time the SPVM get out their billy clubs, because that’s not violence ;)

    • Bill Binns 16:21 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      @John B – Somehow, the cops wearing riot gear which is 100% defensive is seen as either violent or the cause of violence. The cops never benefited from the “few bad apples” or “mostly peaceful” statements that were used to describe nearly every student protest.

    • No\Deli 17:08 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      I don’t know how things work there in Billbinnsistan, but “few bad apples” is, in fact, the exact phrase that’s trotted out every time police are found guilty of systemic violence and persecution.

    • Bill Binns 17:53 on 2015/03/30 Permalink

      @No\Deli – “every time police are found guilty of systemic violence and persecution.”

      When has that ever happened?

  • Kate 16:01 on 2015/03/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Le Devoir has a sheaf of cultural pieces this weekend connected with the city arts council prize (le Grand prix du Conseil des Arts) the 30th edition of which was just awarded to Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon of Lemieux Pilon 4D Art, creators of interactive environment art.

    They talk to other finalists incluing Louis Rastelli, archivist of Montreal’s underground press and czar of all the Expozines, and to Jérémy Verain, who runs the documentary film festival.

    There’s also a brief piece on the success of the 2014 Biennale and several other pieces on arts groups.

  • Kate 10:40 on 2015/03/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada looks at the 80th anniversary of Frère Marie-Victorin’s Flore laurentienne, a landmark work by the man who also founded Montreal’s botanical garden. There are editions of the book still in print but you can get an 84.7MB PDF of the whole book from the Grande Bibliothèque for free.

  • Kate 21:41 on 2015/03/28 Permalink | Reply  

    With an overtime goal by Max Pacioretty against the Florida Panthers on Saturday night, the Canadiens clinched themselves a playoff spot.

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