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  • Kate 10:37 on 2016/08/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Shotgun Ménard has died. Story has crazy anecdotes about one of the more memorable characters to have worked for the SPVM.

  • Kate 02:10 on 2016/08/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Some interesting notes in a Ricochet article on the new history curriculum in our schools.

    • Jack 07:24 on 2016/08/31 Permalink

      This is a very comprehensive piece on a how a regressive, pedagogically unsound history curriculum was conceived and delivered to our students. It’s a course that no longer sees Quebec as a society but as a nation. A nation which is incarnated exclusively in those who assimilate into its French majority population. First Nations, Allophones and Anglophones either are not present or are seen exclusively in opposition to that nation. It is a Conservative Nationalist vision of Quebec’s past promoted by PQ stalwarts Jacques Beauchemin, Robert Comeau, Mathieu Bock-Côte et al. It’s trail of tears narrative reinforces tropes of victimization and woe amongst French speaking majority students, with redemption coming in as the last section puts it ,” A Time for Choices “.
      The first School Boards to accept the course, all 9 English Boards. That acceptance oddly happened a week after Bill 86, the bill that would have legislated them out of existence was withdrawn. Gee I wonder what happened ?

  • Kate 00:45 on 2016/08/31 Permalink | Reply  

    The city intends to expropriate part of a building, 400 Atlantic, one of the last crufty old buildings where small studios could afford to set up shop. (The word “revitaliser” is always a warning.) The city means to run a new street right through there, connecting the new UdeM campus with Park Avenue, I believe. Other buildings in the area may be revitalized out of existence, too.

    • SMD 07:20 on 2016/08/31 Permalink

      The photo is misleading, it is actually the post office door (formerly a bowling alley) that has been acquired. 400 Atlantic won’t be touched.

    • Blork 09:36 on 2016/08/31 Permalink

      OMG, I remember bowling there about 1000 years ago!

    • Kate 10:20 on 2016/08/31 Permalink

      SMD, that’s good news. I’ve never worked in 400 Atlantic but I’d miss it if it went away.

  • Kate 00:40 on 2016/08/31 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s been simmering in the regular and social media all summer that environmentalists are opposed to development in the Technoparc, a marshy zone near the airport that’s home to 86 species of birds and animals.

  • Kate 19:49 on 2016/08/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Young monolingual anglos are endangering linguistic peace in Canada, according to the head of the city’s chamber of commerce, this on the eve of federal discussions about official languages.

    In an ironic twist, some people are annoyed at the EMSB’s ad campaign headlined Être bilingue, c’est gagnant! in French only…

    • Kevin 11:50 on 2016/08/31 Permalink

      Asking Harold Staviss to get angry about a non-bilingual sign is like asking the sun to shine.

  • Kate 19:36 on 2016/08/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Canada Post workers have reached a tentative agreement with their employer, likely avoiding a work stoppage.

  • Kate 19:34 on 2016/08/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The National Energy Board has cancelled the whole week of Energy East hearings in Montreal. Some consquences of this cancellation are listed by the CBC.

  • Kate 19:31 on 2016/08/30 Permalink | Reply  

    A four-foot python has escaped its owner’s cage in Verdun and cops are trying to locate the beast, described as harmless to humans.

    • Blork 09:37 on 2016/08/31 Permalink

      This morning it was reported that they found it under a house, but they haven’t recovered it yet. (Apparently it’s napping, most likely after having eaten something.)

    • Robert J 10:51 on 2016/08/31 Permalink

      … or someone! :P

  • Kate 11:27 on 2016/08/30 Permalink | Reply  

    James Mennie has a piece in the Gazette about the dangers of cycling, but proposes no solutions. In the Journal, a bike courier tells about a recent dooring downtown.

    • Marco 12:46 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      I’ve noticed that Police have been cracking down over the past couple of days. They were giving out tickets to red light burners on Hutchison and Prince Arthur; on Milton and University and on de Maisonneuve yesterday. They were also stopping several cyclists at Parc and Duluth for riding on the west side sidewalk today. If you ride your bike everyday like me you may want to show off your knowledge of traffic rules for the next little while.

    • Clément 12:53 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      Somewhat related, this letter in le Devoir. The author was following the guy who was cut off by a truck driver entering the Grande Bibliothèque. One the first thing the police asked her: « Oui, mais le cycliste roulait très vite, non ? »

    • Kieran 13:18 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      What a sad, yet beautiful article. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jack 13:48 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      Police are socialised to blame the cyclist. I mean how many Montreal policeman ride their bikes from Blainville, Terrebonne, Mascouche etc., into town. Here’s Toronto’s spokesperson…

    • Ephraim 15:22 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      The line in the Gazette says it all… “the conclusion reached by all of that research is that everyone on the road should be more aware, because after all, we all have to share the road…. Problem is, whether we’re walking, cycling or driving, we most of us think that sharing is up to the other guy.”

    • Alex L 17:30 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      My problem with the “share the road” concept is that the road in itself, the way its made, isn’t shared, isn’t fair for all users. In this ciy, it is often used to justify a statu quo in favor of motorized road users.

    • Kate 19:45 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      Nice find, Clément, thank you.

  • Kate 11:23 on 2016/08/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Workers at one branch of Frite Alors are turning to the Wobblies for labour help.

    • Ian 13:27 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      I only hope that unionization improves service, last time I went it took over 45 minutes for them to prepare a hotdog and medium fries – on top of excruciatingly slow service even though the place was half empty. That was about 5 years ago, I never went back. The one on Parc is much faster.

    • Bill Binns 14:08 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      I kind of like this story. The demands were reasonable and management seemed to realize that giving a little would be easier than replacing everyone. I am always on the side of anyone fighting for air conditioning.

      There has been something new going around the US for the last year or so. The entire crew at a fast food place or a convenience store quits on the same day. This can put a location out of business for anywhere from a day to a week. I have encountered fast food places that were closed because of this and had the same happen to a couple of my clients stores. I like it. I bet those owners or managers treat the replacement crew a little better.

    • CE 14:42 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      When I was in high school, I had friends who worked at the only McDonald’s in town. Morale was so low amongst the overworked and underpaid high school staff that they eventually realized that they could get away with almost everything because of that. After my friend almost got written up for something stupid, he told the manager “if you write me up, I’ll quit and take 10 people with me.” She knew he wasn’t bluffing and didn’t write him up. I kind of wish he had have.

  • Kate 10:43 on 2016/08/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The president of Communauto is criticizing the city’s new policies which undermine the twenty years of work his organization has put into car-sharing. Typically, the Gazette natters on about Benoît Robert’s open letter but doesn’t link to it.

  • Kate 09:51 on 2016/08/30 Permalink | Reply  

    A man was bludgeoned in a parking lot early Tuesday and is in serious condition although not likely to die. No arrest has been made.

  • Kate 09:48 on 2016/08/30 Permalink | Reply  

    An article in Condé Nast Traveller is on eating and drinking for one day in Montreal. This kind of thing tends to be interesting for the nonsensical sweeping statements the writers like to make: “Olive et Gourmando opened its doors 18 years ago, as one of the first gourmet restaurants in the city.” What were the gratin eating before 1998? Oreilles de crisse?

    • jeather 09:56 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      O&G is good, but it’s a sandwich place, not what I would call a gourmet restaurant.

    • Bill Binns 10:28 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      Ugh, my wife loves that place but it checks the boxes on almost all of my restaurant negatives. It’s always packed, it’s hot inside year round, it’s incredibly loud, a decent portion of the seating is at communal tables and it’s overly expensive for what you get.

      Their jalapeno corn bread is really good though.

  • Kate 09:39 on 2016/08/30 Permalink | Reply  

    NDG-CDN borough passed a law in March to limit new fast food restaurants except in three narrowly defined areas. The law’s being challenged by a fast food association that fears other towns and cities could follow suit.

    • rue david 11:30 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      Finally a law restricting formula retail. The Plateau should take note!

    • Ian 13:30 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      I’d be happy to celebrate a moratorium on sushi restos in Mile-End…

    • Bill Binns 15:40 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      I visited a Burger King somewhere in California and was surprised to see they had waiters and waitresses providing table service. The food was served on actual dishes (still wrapped in paper but plunked down on a plastic dish). I asked my waitress if it was some kind of a test and she said the town had passed a zoning restriction preventing new fast food restaurants. They defined fast food as any restaurant that did not have table service and/or served food in disposable containers.

      I can’t recall ever hearing of these bans having the intended effect but we will see.

  • Kate 09:34 on 2016/08/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Hearings have begun about the proposed light rail transit system. People are pointing out that proposed stations seem weirdly located and that the project seems rushed and could be better conceived. La Presse says simply there were few answers to questions from the public.

    Here is the piece mentioned below showing the difficulty of making connections between different transit methods.

    • ant6n 09:50 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      (your links are slightly screwed up)

      I was there. The first question was by a retired person, who asked what the Caisse expects as a return for this project, 6%, 9%? He then goes on to say that if that’s the case, then why shouldn’t the government just borrow money, at 3%, and pay for the damn project itself!?

      If transportation projects are actually profitable like the Caisse claims (and not just profitable after all the real estate considerations that skews this project towards odd station locations), then maybe we should have some sort of public infrastructure fond/bank that can pay for projects that are properly publicly planned and that will maximize societal cost/benefit, rather than cost/profit.

    • Kate 10:19 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      Thanks ant6n.

      Sorry about screwed-up links. I blame new cat, who likes to stretch out between my keyboard and monitor and drape her paws and tail all over the keys.

    • Jack 11:42 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      Radio Canada had a piece where a reporter got out at the proposed stop at the Gare Central and then began a 15 minute labyrinth to get to the Bonaventure Metro Station, try doing that at rush hour. When I was watching the report the overwhelming feeling I got was this was engineered by people who take their cars to work. Keep up the good fight ant6n!

    • Kate 12:06 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      Jack, on the weekend I went to visit a friend in the West Island. By far the pleasantest way to do this is take the single train AMT offers on the Vaudreuil-Hudson line at 13:30. I got to Lucien-L’Allier and after rising up from the platform – 3 long escalators – I found that the passerelle over to the station was closed and blocked off because of construction in the area. Sign suggested going back to Bonaventure.

      Nothing on the metro had warned travellers that it was pointless to get off at LLA to take the train. Nothing at platform level at LLA warned not to make the effort of going up to get the train there for the moment.

      So I went back to Bonaventure, and there my troubles began. You start out following what looks like straightforward wayfinding, through several styles of tunnel, and then you find yourself nowhere. A guy at a counter told me “go up there and go around the brick wall” and I went up there to find no brick wall. So I came out of the side of the Bell Centre and set out around the building to find an access to the trains. Nothing, nothing, nothing. Went around and around and found one door, right at the corner of St-Antoine and Mountain, with a train sign on it.

      You open this door and you look right up at about three storeys of concrete stairs, going straight up. Fortunately for me I am able-bodied but I don’t know what anyone does who is not. These stairs do take you to the little quasi-stationette that now exists because Windsor Station can’t be used for trains ever again, but it was, shall I say, hardly straightforward.

    • ant6n 15:40 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      To be fair, the Radio Canada piece exaggerated the walk. But we have to understand the current transfer designs we have sprinkled around Montreal are often terrible (except Lionel-Groulx), and shouldn’t be continued – if there’s a better way to do it, we should!

      The transfer is shown on this map:

      The main access would be via the Bonaventure building, I’d guess the transfer distance is around 300m, with 2 short (up, down) stairs and 1 long stair (down). That’s the distance between Peel and McGill metro, and would probably take 7 minutes. That’s a long walk. Consider that people really hate transfer-walks, every minute is considered to be equivalent to two minutes of in-vehicle time.

      With some heavy earth works on the Metro station (direct access on the West End of the station) and Gare Centrale (construction of tunnel _under_ the tracks), that distance could be reduced to 140m, with 2 short stairs (down, down). The transfer would then be 3 or 4 minutes.

      Saving 3 minutes, for 20,000 trips per week day, for 100 years, at 10$/hour, would represent 2.5 million$ per year. Or 100M$ over 40 years. So if the calculations where done by an agency looking at the societal cost/benefit, then we would easily invest in that better transfer.

      The caisse looks at cost/profit, and they want to minimize the overall costs to make sure it gets build at all, so they’ll happily sacrifice reasonable transfer all throughout their network.

    • thomas 18:10 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      Is it actually itemized how the CDPQ anticipates revenue from this project? Besides the obvious sources, are they planning to develop properties in station neighbourhoods or lease substantial portions of stations to business? Might explain some of the odd station locations.

    • Ant6n 18:44 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      They say the line itself will be profitable presumably via fares. But they will have other revenue streams, selling land they bought to build the line, selling development rights, diverting municipal taxes. Also they will make money indirectly because they own Ivanhoe Cambridge, which in turn owns a shut load of property near future stations (Fairview, Eaton, mtl trust, pvm, I believe the Fairmont Elizabeth).

      They won’t divulge how this will work, what their exact revenue streams are, what their expected returns are.

      It’s all a bit Faustian and there are plenty of chances for conflicts of interest…

    • thomas 19:07 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      Thanks @Ant6n

      Now we find out that the REM project is incompatible with VIA’s plans for a faster train through the city. Why isn’t someone taking the lead in coordinating these plans? Isn’t this the job of a mayor?

    • ant6n 19:28 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      Well, maybe that would be the job of the AMT? But that organization is basically gone, and in two years we’ll have the new organization; after all the important transit assets have been privatized. VIA is also a federal organization, and transit is a provincial issue. It’s a bit of a mess, they should really coordinate each other.

      The lack of compatibility with AMT and VIA is the REMs largest failing, and also unnecessary. The project could be altered to use compatible technology; technically it’s also possible to mix unattended REM trains and driver-operated VIA/AMT trains, as long as all trains use the same signalling system.

    • Mr.Chinaski 22:43 on 2016/08/30 Permalink

      Kate I’m always dazzled, you say you know nothing much of east side of MTL and it’s french culture (ex : not knowing who Stéphane Gendron is!!!), yet you don’t even know how to go to Lucien-L’Allier (like all West Island people know how to)… so where you are from, how do you know this city??¿

    • Kate 00:28 on 2016/08/31 Permalink

      Mr.Chinaski, Stéphane Gendron was the mayor of Huntingdon. You will have to forgive me that I have not followed his career into shock radio. I realize humbly that this is a failure on my part.

      Normally I go to Lucien-l’Allier by taking the metro to the station of that name, and going up from the platform to the trains. However, that route is currently blocked. The sign did not say how long it would be inaccessible. The geography around the Bell Centre is very disturbed by construction. Forgive me, I had never reached the trains directly from the street before, because I don’t work downtown and don’t go to the West Island all that often.

      I realize every day that my ignorance makes me unsuited for the role I have chosen as a blogger about Montreal. Thank you for reminding me of my shortcomings.

      (I don’t think I ever did say I know nothing much of east side of MTL and it’s french culture, but humbly I accept that I do not.)

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