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  • Kate 20:23 on 2015/05/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Prediction: before a week is out some Quebec politician will make reference to the fact that the Netherlands has instituted a partial ban on face veils.

     
  • Kate 18:56 on 2015/05/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Stacey Snider, who was at the wheel in the 2012 crash that caused the death of an STM bus driver and her own mother, walked free Friday after a judge ruled evidence of her drink-impaired driving was improperly gathered by police, who overheard a nurse at the hospital saying Snider had three times the alcohol limit in her blood.

    None of the articles say whether Snider is back on the road. Presumably so, if the single charge of impaired driving has been thrown out.

     
    • H. John 19:16 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      I’m really looking forward to reading this judgment.

      It’s important to note that the crash did indeed cause two deaths, but the police never came to a conclusion about who, or what, caused the crash.

      Snider was not charged with causing a death, but solely with impaired driving.

    • Kate 19:59 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Given the seriousness of the outcome it’s disturbing that police couldn’t determine the progression of events, but this item from the incident says it was at Lindsay and 55th in Dorval, a particularly bleak industrial lndscape where it’s not surprising if few or even no witnesses saw the incident.

      I may have edited in the detail about the single charge Snider had to face while you were adding your clarification, H. John.

  • Kate 16:03 on 2015/05/22 Permalink | Reply  

    News about 24/7 for some things is all very well but I’m irked at the moment to discover that the Grande bibliothèque closes at 18:00 on Fridays (at least it’s open till 22:00 three nights a week), the CCA bookstore also closes at 18:00 Fridays, and the closest really useful city library, the Marc-Favreau, closes at 19:00. Where are you supposed to go for a book fix on a Friday night and why are these hours so skimpy?

     
    • Yossarian 16:15 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Headline: The Grande Bibliotheque is a super success beyond expectations!

      Couillard government: “We will fix that.”

    • Kate 16:35 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Yep. I remember when they closed Mondays – they were originally partly open Mondays, with access to the ground floor periodicals department, but not any more. I don’t remember when they started closing early Fridays. I don’t think they originally did.

    • Daisy 17:16 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      This also irks me, as I normally stop by the BAnQ after work, and I work till 5:30 so it can be hard to get there in time on a Friday when I want to pick up my books so as not to have to make a special trip there on the weekend.

    • Frédéric Latour 17:34 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Ground floor at Grande Bibliothèque actually closes at 10, Tuesday to Sunday.

    • Kate 18:13 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Which is fine, but not if you want to consult some books.

  • Kate 14:59 on 2015/05/22 Permalink | Reply  

    I’ve been updating my montreal.com list of street fairs – Mont-Royal and Masson are having fairs next weekend, but a lot of others sync theirs up with Grand Prix weekend over June 4-7. Notable by its absence this year is the granddaddy of all the city’s commercial street fairs, and that seems to me like a news story: the Mural Festival will be held around the Main this summer but no Main Madness fairs will be held. I wonder whether this has to do with the departure of Glenn Castanheira at the helm of the commercial group, or if there’s some other story.

     
    • Michael Black 15:44 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      If St. Lawrence Blvd is June 4 to 14, then they simply never shut down.

      Traditionally, there was a sale in May or June (it’s shifted over the years, weather has factored in, though the date has long been stabilized). Then the restaurants wanted to have terraces during Grand Prix, so they added that. But that has varied, sometimes the full length, sometimes just to Pine. But they set up, struck, and then set up the next week. This just means don’t open up the street for a few days.

      The name has never mattered, it’s varied over the years, it’s not about “madness” or murals, but the street shut down so the merchants can set up outside. There have been years when there was more music or activity than others, it never was the draw.

      Now if the question isn’t about naming but that there’s nothing in August, I don’t know. I’ve seen no date for August. But that too has varied. In the old days, there was a sale in May or June, one in July and one in August. The July one was dropped when Sunday shopping came along, or as the restaurants rose. I even recall Tuesday through Saturday, then Wednesday through Sunday with Sunday Shopping, but the street reopened at night, and had to reopen promptly at 5pm on Sundays (that was the case on 1997 or 98). Memory says the restaurants became powerful enough at some point to cause a truncated sale, Thursday through Sunday, but the street stays closed throughout.

      But I also remember a year when the August sale was over Labor Day Weekend, so
      if August is missing, maybe it’s in September since Labor Day is “late” this year.

      The street was never closed for murals, it was closed for the street sale, the murals were an add on. Until that came along a few years back “Main Madness” had been the title in June (at least after the title first appeared).

      Michael

    • Doobious 17:47 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      I emailed the SDBSL asking about the reason for the change but got no response.

      Good list, Kate. The city’s tourism web site has a handy summer festival guide too. Time to populate the calendar with the fun stuff!

    • Kate 18:59 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      I’ve got a festivals list but I started making the street fairs list too, because often I simply wanted to know for myself. I sometimes pop over to see what they’re like; last summer I found the Fleury Street one rather sparse, but the Masson one is pretty good. Whoever’s running the Monkland Village site is very ambitious and the street fair is almost an afterthought now to other productions they’re doing. Not sure I’d be thrilled about that if I were a member of that commercial group.

      If anybody knows when the Roumeliotes festival’s on in Park Ex, or when the San Marziale fest is on around St-Viateur, please let me know. I can’t find them online.

    • Doobious 19:58 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Great work. You’ve even got the Organ Fest, one of my faves. Bookmarked x2.

      Don’t forget the Quartier en Mouvement. Last year’s edition was a bit weird with the move to the St. James Church lawn. Hopefully this year will have it back on Pierce Street where it belongs.

    • Emily G. 20:46 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      The festivals list is great! I hadn’t seen it before. It seems to be missing NDG’s Porchfest held earlier this month, but most festivals are on there.

    • Kate 21:23 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Thanks, Emily. I’ve been updating it for a few years. It’s amazing how some festivals don’t put their upcoming dates up till the last minute, or don’t indicate whether the content on their pages is this year’s or last’s, but I manage to get it done.

  • Kate 12:33 on 2015/05/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Sorry to write such a blunt headline (“Alouettes sign gay player”) but this seems to be the import of many of the items about the team signing Michael Sam. Yahoo Sports underlines that Sam couldn’t get an offer from the NFL and there’s been a debate on /r/montreal whether this is because Sam wasn’t up to their standard or whether the American league simply didn’t want an openly gay player on one of their teams.

    First to joke about the Gay Cup has to go get coffee for everybody.

     
    • Bill Binns 16:00 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      I’m not much of a sprts fan but I was under the impression that every single player in Canadian football is playing canadian football because they “couldn’t get an offer from the NFL”. No?

    • Yossarian 16:18 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      I’m not much of a sports fan either but I was under the impression that every single player in football is playing football because they crave some sort of societal-approved means of having direct physical contact with other men. I say this having had several football team members as close friends and roommates in cegep and university. Fine men all of them.

    • Josh 17:03 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Yossarian’s kidding aside, yes Bill, you have it about right.

    • Uatu 18:53 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      He can play. He was an All American defensive end and drafted by St. Louis. Any other player would’ve been playing, but the fact that he was openly gay made players uncomfortable. The Daily Show made great fun of this pointing out that the NFL has problems with gay players but not the ones that are wife beaters, dog killers, murderers, child beaters etc.

    • Noah 19:55 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      No, Bill Binns, that’s not accurate. They are very different leagues, requiring some different skill sets. It’s true in the sense that any CFL player would happily cash in on an NFL contract, but not in the sense that’s it’s a sub-league or farm league to the NFL like the AHL is to the NHL. Lots of NFL and big time NCAA players come to the CFL and fail because it’s a very hard league to play in. Sam is a terrific signing for the Als because he’s a prototypical CFL rush end (for those of you who don’t know football, it’s the dude on defence who is at the end of the defensive line who spends most of the game trying to take down the quarterback.)… The reason he’s so typical CFL is that the Canadian field is bigger and the teams line up a yard apart, so it’s more of a speed game at the line of scrimmage. Smaller guys succeed because they’re generally faster.

      That he’s openly gay is a different story, and a great one at that. By getting drafted after coming out, he set a great example for for future gay athletes that they can get a shot based on their talent and not have to hide their sexuality. He didn’t make the NFL because he doesn’t have the right body type and skill set for his position, not because of his sexual orientation.

    • Kate 20:03 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Noah, I only partly follow what you’re on about. If Sam “doesn’t have the right body type and skill set for his position” why are the Alouettes hiring him?

      I think it’s possible that it wasn’t so much the NFL flat-out didn’t want a gay player on the basis of individual discomfort from other players, as that they didn’t welcome the extra attention this piece of information tends to get from the media.

    • Ephraim 20:14 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Welcome to the Montreal and the Montreal Alouettes, Michael Sam and . And welcome to Vito Cammisano as well. I don’t think anyone around here really cares about anything except success and that they should be happy and enjoy their lives.

    • jeather 23:10 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      He doesn’t have the right body type for his position in the NFL, but the CFL game is different and has different requirements.

  • Kate 11:58 on 2015/05/22 Permalink | Reply  

    FRAPRU, evicted from its initial downtown campsite, has resettled its tent city to the grounds of the old health and social services building – the big old gray stone edifice on St-Denis between Cherrier and Roy. FRAPRU claims this is provincial land so the SPVM can’t act against them.

     
    • Uatu 12:18 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Well played FRAPRU, but does that mean that the city will just call in the SQ to eject them?

    • SMD 13:48 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      It means Coderre and the SPVM put pressure on Couillard to kick them out. The tents are now gone.

    • Kate 15:00 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      From the second encampment, SMD?

    • Kevin 15:06 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      The tents that went up Friday were promptly taken down.

    • Yossarian 16:19 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      I noticed some tent removal activity going on at Cegep St-Laurent on my way home from work today.

  • Kate 11:55 on 2015/05/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec just decreed that stores in tourist areas can stay open 24/7 if they want to, starting Monday. It’s defined as a tourist zone and is in effect for five years, encompassing the Quartier Latin, Quartier des spectacles, gay village, Old Montreal, Chinatown and the “secteur du Casino” (the latter is odd, because it’s always been open 24/7 and there’s nothing else in the area). Bars are not included in this new change nor, I notice, is the Plateau.

     
    • Lucas 14:24 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      I am curious about a discrepancy between the CTV and Radio-Canada reports. CTV includes downtown (which presumably means the main Saint Catherine Street retail corridor from Guy to Phillips Square) along with the other areas as part of the 24/7 zone while it is not included in the Radio-Canada list.

      CTV:

      Stores in the downtown area as well as Ile Notre Dame, Old Montreal, Chinatown, the Quartier Latin, the Village and Quartier des spectacles will be able to take advantage of Montreal’s designation as a “tourist zone.”

      Radio- Canada:

      La zone touristique comprend les quartiers suivants :

      Le secteur du Casino de Montréal
      Le Quartier chinois
      Le Quartier Latin
      Le Quartier des spectacles
      Le Vieux-Montréal
      Le Village

    • Kate 15:01 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Lucas, you’re right about the discrepancy.

    • JohnS 15:33 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      There is a map in the Montreal Gazette’s article that shows the zone affected as running as far west as Atwater and as far east as Amherst with a section of St. Catherine running to Papineau thrown inn. Its pretty much all of downtown plus the zones listed above. There’s even a bit running north up to the border of Cote des neiges.

    • C_Erb 16:31 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      This is good news IMO. I’ve often seen lots of people (many of them tourists presumably), walking along the central part of Ste-Catherine with a kind of “why is nothing happening here” look on their faces. It’s a bit eery seeing lots of people on a street where there’s nothing open, especially after dark.

      It’s too bad this won’t apply to bars. It would add a lot of life to the city if they were open later (think Berlin or NYC New Orleans at night). I was walking near Place-des-arts at 2h45 one morning and a group of young French tourists approached me and asked for me to suggest a good bar they could go to. I told them of a few in the immediate area but told them they had better hurry because all the bars were going to close in 15 minutes. They looked like they were about to cry. I just shrugged and said “bienvenue en Amérique du Nord.”

    • C_Erb 16:34 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      NYC should be New Orleans. NYC bars close at 4am, which is ok. I don’t think bars in New Orleans ever close.

  • Kate 11:49 on 2015/05/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Sunday is Museums Day – special circuit buses, dozens of museums offering free access. Official site.

     
    • Yossarian 19:42 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      The winter/snow exhibition at Pointe aux Callieres is small but excellent. It is not an idle boast to say that we in Montreal and Quebec are the people who conquered winter.

  • Kate 09:49 on 2015/05/22 Permalink | Reply  

    A decade ago we somehow thought selling heritage buildings to universities would preserve them in the public realm. UdeM snapped up the convent at 1420 Mont-Royal then decided to flip it, and now it will be condos. UQÀM bought the St-Sulpice library building on St-Denis for a mere $2.5M, but now it’s up for sale again, after several notions to repurpose it for public use fell through. That’s a Le Devoir link – beware usage limits. Here’s the Radio-Canada report.

     
    • Blork 10:16 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      That’s what happens when you underfund the institutions that are supposed to be guardians of the public trust.

    • Doobious 10:37 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      In UQaM’s case I think it’s more an issue of key administrative positions being filled with incompetent flunkies.

    • thomas 10:39 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Underfunding is hardly the problem when UQAM spent $400M on a unfinished Îlot Voyageur and goes over budget by $100M on the science building. Why they didn’t use some of that money to renovate existing assets is beyond my comprehension.

    • Ephraim 12:49 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Maybe the city itself should purchase back the lands, change the zoning and write the rules of acquisition. This way they not only get the increase in value of the land in the public pocket but they can dictate how they want the future to be.

    • Yossarian 16:22 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Does anyone recall when Vehicule Press had their annual christmas party and awesome buffet at the St-Sulpice library building in years long gone by? I so miss that event.

  • Kate 09:39 on 2015/05/22 Permalink | Reply  

    CTV notes a Statistics Canada report suggesting Quebecers have fewer friends and are less trusting than other Canadians, and I’ve found a general summary of the report’s findings in Ottawa’s Metro, but I’ve been unable to find mention of this in francophone media. (I picture editorialists racking their brains to find the positive spin.) Here’s the StatsCan page.

     
    • Slava 11:20 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Not sure, but I wonder if there’s a cultural/linguistic difference. I can’t help but notice that the word “friend” is used much more liberally in (North American) English than in many other languages. For (North) Americans, one can totally have (and usually does have) “work friends,” “gym friends,” “school friends,” and the like – all people classified as acquaintances, colleagues, contacts, or buddies in other linguistic cultures. Perhaps French speakers answering these questions understand the word “friend” differently from other Canadians?

    • Kevin 15:11 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Un chum c’t un chum.

  • Kate 22:02 on 2015/05/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Having a two solitudes moment here. Radio-Canada reports on an event called Chasse-Balcon with musicians playing from their balconies or porches in various neighbourhoods. No mention of NDG’s Porchfest, which took place a couple of weeks ago, nor did the Porchfest items I saw make mention of Chasse-Balcon.

     
    • EmilyG 06:45 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Yeah, I hadn’t heard of Chasse-Balcon either.

    • Noah 08:10 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      I don’t know if this is a traditional English/French Two Solitudes situation or an East/West solitudes kind of deal… Porchfest was very bilingual – everything was done in French as well as English, even if most of the music seemed to have been in English, and I believe there was pretty good coverage in the French media. Maybe Chasse-Balcon is lower-key because it’s genre-specific?

    • Kate 09:34 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Well, it’s definitely a linguistic line, since one festival was reported only on the anglo side and the other only on the franco. I’m not making any judgments here, but this is one of the reasons I started this blog originally: a sense that there were events, phenomena, ideas being reported in one language and not the other, not from malice but just because of the nature of having two major cultures here which sometimes forget to leave each other the memo.

  • Kate 21:52 on 2015/05/21 Permalink | Reply  

    This handsome feller-me-lad is suspected of mugging someone in a bank machine on Mont‑Royal in January. The main reason I’m commenting is that I find it hard to believe that face is only 29 years old.

     
  • Kate 21:00 on 2015/05/21 Permalink | Reply  

    The Main blog talks to Tamey Lau, owner of the flower and birdcage shop on Bernard.

    Do I misremember, or didn’t Lau originally have a bigger store across Bernard, which was open late hours and had even more things out on the sidewalk? That would be five years or more ago.

     
    • SMD 23:20 on 2015/05/21 Permalink

      Yup, but she kept getting fined for putting her wares out on the sidewalk so had to retreat to her current small shop.

    • Robert J 07:10 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      That’s a shame SMD. The sidewalk needs more wares!

    • Jake 10:09 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Didn’t her old store catch fire?

    • Kate 11:10 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      No, the new one did, two years ago, but a community gofundme helped her clean it up and reopen.

    • JS 15:43 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      There were always stone-faced children working there, seemingly alone, even late at night. One time I was passing by late at night and she and a child were curled up under blankets in one of her doorways. Weird scene.

  • Kate 20:10 on 2015/05/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Police have forced FRAPRU to dismantle their protest camp.

    The photo from La Presse here shows a bunch of cops but I don’t see any camo pants anywhere. Curious. I suppose the little red hats are the giveaway.

     
    • Chris 20:10 on 2015/05/21 Permalink

      Surprise!

  • Kate 11:00 on 2015/05/21 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has ordained that jacket and tie are still mandatory for city council sessions. No details on requirements for women councillors.

     
    • Blork 11:12 on 2015/05/21 Permalink

      If they pull a Cannes and insist on heels, I’m moving.

    • Tux 11:42 on 2015/05/21 Permalink

      City council focusing on meaningless matters of protocol instead of tacking real issues… film @ 11. -_-

    • Noah 13:14 on 2015/05/21 Permalink

      I’ll never cease to be amazed at how absurd the comment of “how can a government focus on one given task that I think is stupid when there are other things that I don’t think are stupid” is.

    • Tux 13:29 on 2015/05/21 Permalink

      Uniforms are objectively stupid. What one wears does not effect one’s ability to participate in municipal governance. It is therefore not an issue worth wasting time or tax money on.

    • Dave M 14:57 on 2015/05/21 Permalink

      I’ll never cease to be amazed that an elected official can be barred from office for what they wear in Montreal. It’s not stupid, it’s the basis of democracy.

    • Jack 16:30 on 2015/05/21 Permalink

      These are the fools that felt that a shirt and tie reflect good governance. When Applebaum,Zampino et al. begin their prison terms maybe they can reflect again.
      http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=6877,85299603&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

    • Noah 08:14 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      I think we’ve had this debate here before… I maintain that a basic standard of dress is normal and appropriate for City Hall. It’s just a simple matter of respect and I agree with the policy.

    • Tux 09:02 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Why are “Jacket and Tie” the “basic standard” why not “dress shirt and jeans” – see how we can debate the details of this until the cows come home without actually getting anything useful done? The fact that “what one wears” is even an issue at city hall reflects a deep lack of appreciation for what public service is supposed to be about. How good you look while serving the public interest is irrelevant. It’s how well you do the job that matters. Not how you do it, not how you look while doing it, the only question that matters is “What did you get done?” and when you’re debating jackets and ties the answer to that question is “Sweet fuck-all”

    • Kate 09:29 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      I can see both sides clearly but fundamentally it’s all about class. We accept that important decisions in our society are made by middle class men. Middle class men wear suit and tie so you must be prepared to disguise yourself as a middle class man if you want to be taken seriously (or admitted at all). But there’s also the aspect that suit and tie mean gravitas: you don’t wear jeans to weddings or funerals, and suit and tie almost always accompany deals around making serious money.

      This also may be why they’re not touching the women’s dress code with a ten foot pole. Till the mid Jean Drapeau era it was obligatory for women to wear skirts to council, until Thérèse Daviau attended council in trousers and the world did not end. I don’t know what would happen now if a woman councillor showed up in jeans and sneakers.

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