Updates from November, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:58 on 2011/11/24 Permalink | Reply  

    A young woman was found in terrible condition at midday Thursday in an alley near Beaubien and St-Hubert. She had been stabbed in various parts of the body and is in critical condition. Nothing’s yet known about her attacker.

    • Shawn 10:58 on 2011/11/25 Permalink

      Terrible. If it’s where I’m thinking, it’s a fairly busy alley, with back entrances to stores Rona and Bovet’s, to the south. I’ve walked that alley a lot. It’s more like a street.

    • Kate 18:16 on 2011/11/25 Permalink

      Yes, me too. I heard a radio report earlier, but can’t find a link, saying that it was a domestic dispute – which doesn’t make it OK, but at least means it’s not a random attacker of people in the area.

  • Kate 19:54 on 2011/11/24 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has presented a memo on the future of the Olympic park which includes – wait for it! – a retractable roof for the stadium.

  • Kate 17:40 on 2011/11/24 Permalink | Reply  

    Today’s must-read is a statement from ATSA’s Annie Roy about whether Place Émilie-Gamelin will remain a public square. ATSA has provided thousands of meals and other services to the hard-up in its late-November occupations of that square over the last 12 years.

    • Michel 17:45 on 2011/11/24 Permalink

      Didn’t the change the original “Place” name to “Parc,” which would then allow the authorities to kick folks out between 12 & 6am?

    • Kate 17:46 on 2011/11/24 Permalink

      I don’t know, because at Victoria Square they just invoked the midnight to 6 a.m. rule on the indignés, and I thought originally they had the right to be there because it wasn’t formally defined as a park.

  • Kate 17:33 on 2011/11/24 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada is saying the occupation of Victoria Square is coming to an end; notices were served on the protesters on Wednesday night. CBC radio is saying right now that the site is being taken down as I post this. OpenFile has a brief interviews with four indignés with photos.

  • Kate 17:31 on 2011/11/24 Permalink | Reply  

    Concrete from the CHUM construction site damaged cars near the site on Thursday morning.

  • Kate 16:23 on 2011/11/24 Permalink | Reply  

    Another bit of video – Mutsumi Takahashi interviews the author of new books on D’Arcy McGee, assassinated in Montreal Ottawa in 1868 because of views on Irish issues he’d tried to leave behind him. He’s buried in Notre-Dame-des-Neiges and remains “the only Canadian victim of political assassination at the federal level.”

    • John 19:02 on 2011/11/24 Permalink

      He was assassinated on Sparks St. in Ottawa.

    • Kate 20:06 on 2011/11/24 Permalink

      Yes, you are right. I should’ve read the whole Wikipedia piece. But he’s definitely buried here.

  • Kate 16:11 on 2011/11/24 Permalink | Reply  

    Salvatore Montagna, aka Sal the Ironworker, was found dead in the Assomption River in Charlemagne Thursday morning. He had been shot. He is said to have been a potential leader for the Montreal Mafia (Canoe TV video link showing SQ guys with the dead man).

  • Kate 15:59 on 2011/11/24 Permalink | Reply  

    St-Henri will have a woonerf next summer. C’est quoi un woonerf?

  • Kate 10:40 on 2011/11/24 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse continues the pressure on the AMT over its plans for the Mount Royal tunnel, which include adding a station inside the tunnel, 70m below the Université de Montréal.

    • Shawn 12:53 on 2011/11/24 Permalink

      There’s a lot of knowledgable transit types here: does it make sense in terms of traffic and cost to have a heavy rail station for one university? AMT Canora is adjacent to Outremont, after all.

    • Faiz Imam 13:11 on 2011/11/24 Permalink

      Given the legitimate safety concerns of the tunnel the possible traffic, or lack therof, is kind of a moot point.

      If the AMT wants the train to the east to go ahead, they will have to assuage the safety concerns surrounding the tunnel, and a station at UofM will go far in doing so. Even if it requires going down twice as deep as lucien-Lallier metro.(surprisingly deep that one)

    • Shawn 13:23 on 2011/11/24 Permalink

      I get it. So if nothing else, it’s a glorified fire exit. Okay with me, considering the worst case scenarios of a fire in the hole.

    • David Tighe 14:23 on 2011/11/24 Permalink

      If they have to provide a fire escape, building it under a station is probably not a bad idea from an access standpoint, for passengers and emergency response people. I very much doubt it will attract much traffic to such a peripheral location as the U of M. Also the idea of descending such a distance could be a deterrent to what little traffic there may be.

    • carswell 14:51 on 2011/11/24 Permalink

      “I very much doubt it will attract much traffic to such a peripheral location as the U of M.”

      Blue line riders heading to McGill or Peel currently have to make two transfers and, if one of the transfers is at Jean-Talon, they usually have to stand sardine-like on the orange line to Berri-UQAM. Assuming the train line includes a connection with the green line, they’d only have to transfer once and might even score a seat. The same’s true for green line-riding UdM students and staff going to and from the campus.

      An Édouard-Montpetit train station would also be a huge convenience for students and staff who live near the Deux Montaignes and eventual Train de l’Est lines — AMT Canora station is a good 30 minute walk from the campus (and the walk up and especially down the Wilderton slope is often dangerous in winter) from the campus and no bus/metro lines provide direct service.

    • Mathieu 15:01 on 2011/11/24 Permalink

      A study on the possibility to build it has been done for AMT:

      Not only would it be beneficial for all users of the Blue line, but also for people who come from the South shore and go to UdeM. They would save at least 25 minutes by going straight through the mountain and not transferring at Snowdon. For most, it would mean that transit would be an option (Brossard to UdeM takes an hour by bus/metro and 35 minutes by car. It would take 35 min by transit then).

      It also connects the train with the metro and buses more easily. People could go to Pierrefonds from Jean-Talon metro in less than 30 minutes. Or stop there, take bus 51 to the Plateau. Montreal-Nord to Snowdon in 30 minutes. Etc.

    • David Tighe 09:41 on 2011/11/25 Permalink

      I admit I had thought very little about diverted traffic. Nevertheless, there are limits on the volume of traffic generated by the U of M. I would assume also that time savings to students will not generate much switching from cars to public transport. Incidentally, what proportion of students actually use cars to go to university? Vaguely apropos, I remember, when I was a schoolboy in Ireland we were constantly tantalised by the American media about the enormous numbers of secondary students who came to school in their own cars. Does this still happen there or did it die with James Dean?

    • ant6n 10:16 on 2011/11/25 Permalink

      There are
      ~65K people studying/working at UdeM
      ~20K people living within 1km of Edouard Montpetit (walking distance)
      ~30K daily passengers on the three buses that would connect to the station, 51, 129, 119 (even back in 2003)

      For most people along the blue line a tunnel station would mean both less crowding and less time; the relief of the Orange line South of Jean-Talon is badly needed.

      There will be more passengers both on the blue line and the Mont-Royal tunnel, because:

      The Blue line extension to Anjou is very likely to happen, connecting to very busy corridors like Pie-IX
      There’s a short term plan to build an overpass over the junction de l’est, a level track crossing between the Deux-Montagnes line and a freight line, which is currently the main constraint in brining more trains on the Deux-Montagnes line. Once the overpass is there, the AMT could operate that line like a metro (i.e. every 10..15 minutes), and get many West-Islanders to switch
      The Blainville line is going to get rerouted into the Tunnel, and it is currently receiving more double-tracking – more trains, more capacity, more commuters
      The Train de l’est is going to be routed through the tunnel
      With the dual mode locos, non-electrified lines can get routed/extended through the tunnel. For example the Mt St Hilaire line. The locos also mean the AMT can run more trains overall.
      The Southshore train (if it gets built) will get connected to gare centrale; it could also be built as an extension of the Deux-Montagnes line. This would bring people directly from the South Shore to Udem, and would mean a much quicker rider to anywhere ‘behind’ the mountain.

      Basically, the Mont-Royal tunnel can become a North-South trunk line, branching in the North and South. The Edouard Montpetit station would be a very important node within that network.

    • ant6n 11:52 on 2011/11/25 Permalink

      Done right, this station may have the biggest impact on travel patterns around the Montreal Island that any single station could have; and it’s probably also one of the most expensive.

    • Doobious 12:52 on 2011/11/26 Permalink

      Imagine the inevitable escalator/elevator breakdowns in such a station… Oy veh!

    • Robert H 14:51 on 2011/11/27 Permalink

      David, unfortunately, no.

  • Kate 10:28 on 2011/11/24 Permalink | Reply  

    OpenFile has part two of the piece on tuition trouble in Quebec. The impression made on me by both pieces is that this is another Quebec story where it is very difficult for the disinterested observer to have any faith whatsoever in any of the numbers being presented.

    • IB 11:00 on 2011/11/24 Permalink

      The analysis of the tuition fee increase really misunderstands the impact of the province’s extremely generous financial aid program. While the middle- and upper-income students will wind up paying more (well below the national average; BTW equitable access to university is actually better in other parts of Canada, despite the fear-mongering about the impact of tuition fees on enrolment), a significant amount of the new revenue (35%) will go towards financial aid, to keep the very low student debt cap in place, at $2,440. In practice, this means that low-income students will have the entirety of their tuition increase offset by an increase in their bursary funding, which is non-repayable. In other words, the rich and middle class pay modestly more, the poor pay the same and the university system overall is better funded. This is good policy.

      More detail here: http://higheredstrategy.com/the-robin-des-bois-of-canadian-higher-education/

    • David Tighe 14:33 on 2011/11/24 Permalink

      I quite agree. The whole debate seems terribly badly structured. Surely, given the world-wide interest in the subject and the vast amount of studies, it would be possible to provide an evidence-based and reasoned analysis instead of simply beating the adversary with rhetorical clubs. The UK, for example, is pushing fees from more or less zero not long ago to about 8000$ with not that much soul-searching. I do not agree with them but I am confident that they have at least examined the equity issues arising among generations, income groups, and contributors, to higher education financing

    • James 08:50 on 2011/11/25 Permalink

      Tell me again why university can’t be free? We can’t afford it because of not enough (ahem corporate) taxes or something?

    • IB 09:18 on 2011/11/25 Permalink

      James, regardless of whether we can afford it, maybe a better question is whether making university free would change people’s behaviour? Would it make the composition of the student population more equitable or diverse? And virtually all the research on access to education and tuition policies around the world says it wouldn’t, that it would simply be a windfall gain for wealthy families. So, if we could make university free but it would mean a transfer of wealth from the general population disproportionately to wealthy families, why would we want to do that?

    • David Tighe 09:50 on 2011/11/25 Permalink

      Agree fully with IB. Also a university place is a scarce resource. If it is not rationed to some extent through fees there would have to be draconian competence filters at CEGEP and perhaps even secondary level. Would students prefer that? Ireland for example, requires very high marks (depending on faculty) for aspiring students in the final national secondary exams. I think they charge fees now also after abolishing them for some time

    • James 12:26 on 2011/11/25 Permalink

      I guess I have a hard time believing that increasing fees has no influence on people’s decisions. Or that free education wouldn’t encourage more people to do it. I’ve seen the studies where we say that Quebecers have cheaper education but less of them go to university, but that doesn’t really prove a whole lot (to me at least). I feel like the whole “yes but the grants” thing a bit confusing and distracting from my perhaps overly simple question. If grants aren’t really going up for low income people, and the rest of us are paying more, how could this be better?

    • Alex L 13:06 on 2011/11/25 Permalink

      You guys seem to forget the grey zones; things are not so easy or magical in real life. What happens with a case where parents of a student are considered rich or middle class but won’t give their kids the money they’re supposed to. The kid then doesn’t receive any money from the government, from its parents and has a bill that doubles or triples in size. Those kids won’t be able to cope with universities fees anymore if they get raised too much. And they won’t bring their parents in court to get the money.

      I was in that situation and happily, had many jobs and was able to pay for part of it while still getting a fair amount of debts. Can’t imagine what it would have been having to pay twice that amount. I don’t think I would be writing this post from my desk at university.

    • Kevin 13:51 on 2011/11/25 Permalink

      Quebec has the lowest tuition fees and one of the lowest per capita attendance rates in the country.
      Simply put, it’s so inexpensive, it’s seen as having no value.

      There’s another angle too: cheap tuition acts as a subsidy for the rich. As long as loans, grants, bursaries and scholarships are adequate, those who want to go to university will go.

      @Alex L
      Were you living at home? Then you got more money from your folks than I did since I moved out at age 19.

    • Alex L 16:32 on 2011/11/25 Permalink

      I wasn’t. Moved out at age 17, Cégep was too far away and it was too expensive to use transit or car.
      Thing is, there’s a bunch of us in this situation.

      You can’t compare Quebec with other provinces: it would be like comparing Ontario to the U.S. or Alberta with Sweden. Each educational system reflects the society in which it is established, each has its own purposes and goals. There’s a reason why we have Cégeps and cheaper university tuition in Québec, and you just stated it in the first sentence of your last comment.

      If you really want to tackle the subsidy for the rich problem, then there’s something that has been used for quite some time now that is called income taxes.

      If you really think education is essential in a society, you wouldn’t put that high of a price on it. Just enough to encourage people not to spend 15 years at university (sic), but not too much to restrict some of accessing higher education.

  • Kate 10:19 on 2011/11/24 Permalink | Reply  

    Quel Avenir looks at Laval’s castles-in-the-sky talk about aerial tramways and concludes if that city can’t afford to put in trolleybuses, they certainly cannot afford such a frou-frou form of transportation.

    • DB 12:18 on 2011/11/24 Permalink

      While all of the other examples of urban gondolas involve severe natural barriers (steep slopes in Portland and Latin America and water in New York), it would seem that Laval needs this sort of thing simply because the area around Montmorency is just so ugly that it hurts to travel at ground level…

    • Shawn 13:31 on 2011/11/24 Permalink

      @DB LOL

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