Updates from April, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:57 on 2012/04/04 Permalink | Reply  

    Two stowaways from Sierra Leone were found on a ship in the Port of Montreal on Wednesday.

    Never realized we have something called a Centre de prévention de l’immigration – it’s in Laval.

    • Faiz Imam 01:40 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Yup, Its a Federal facility, part of the federal prison complex that looks like it belongs on the set of Game of Thrones.


    • Robert J 06:27 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      ugg. I hate when Her Majesty’s Royal Canadian government builds castle-like structure. This is america people.

    • William 06:52 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      @RobertJ – You obviously have a very shallow understanding of the cultural influence of what is now known as the Commonwealth.

    • Kevin 07:05 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      @William got wooshed.

    • Robert J 08:47 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      @William Really?

      Man, my family comes from Kingston, Ontario and I grew up in Ottawa. I have a right to be fed up with tacky colonial architecture. Why do we continually caricature ourselves?

      I’d also like to point out that just a week and a half ago I was thoroughly interrogated at the airport in London, England before entering that country. It was actually worse than entering the States (which in all fairness is a completely separate entity from Canada). As Her Majesty’s subject, I would like the right to move freely in her Empire.

      Anything short of that and let’s just have done with it and make a republic. Balls to the Commonwealth.

    • Kate 09:01 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Robert J, how do you feel about Montreal’s castles?

    • William 11:21 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      @Kate – I love them! Indeed, we can haz moar? Give me a chateau over an Apple cube any day.
      @Robert – Sure, there are unfortunately many barriers to free travel between sovereign countries. That’s currently a fact of life. But I enjoy travelling around the world and seeing hints of a commonality, I think that’s interesting even if you think it’s pure kitsch. I would say that glimmers of Victoriana are probably least relevant in terms of what we share with other English-speaking democracies, but they’re still interesting symbols. I hope we can use what remains of our common culture and values to overcome nationalism and navel gazing.

    • Robert J 07:31 on 2012/04/06 Permalink

      Ultimately these faux castles speak more to how we think (or thought) of ourselves than anything to do with our colonial origins. That is to say, when we were building these cardboard Hogwarts-esque monstrosities Canada had a problem with voluntarily seeing itself as culturally inferior to Britain. I think some of the art deco architecture in Montreal and later modern stuff is more liberated. There is much more originality in our classic triplexes than in a lot of these institutional buildings.

      Of course you can revel in the kitsch. I just grew up in places where there were few alternatives architecturally, and so I just hate it. Every time someone from Quebec city talks about the Chateau Frontenac in a positive light I just cringe.

  • Kate 23:55 on 2012/04/04 Permalink | Reply  

    Eighty students were arrested Wednesday after various protests in a hotel and some malls. Also Wednesday, UQÀM got a temporary injunction ordering the strikers to allow people in and out of its buildings.

    As the date approaches for the cancellation of the academic term, the education minister is asking to sit down with the student groups, the possibility of changes to the loans and grants system being brought to the table.

    And a young woman was forced to remove her red square for her driver’s license photo, but the demand was later rescinded by the SAAQ.

  • Kate 16:33 on 2012/04/04 Permalink | Reply  

    Federal budget cuts mean the CBC and Radio Canada will cut jobs and programs, more than 650 jobs vanishing from both the English and French sides.

    Please guys: if you save anything, save the investigative journalism and analysis, OK? That’s what this country needs now, more than ever.

    73 more local cultural jobs are being cut at the National Film Board, which will close the CinéRobothèque on Saint-Denis as a result.

    OpenFile has a few details on what the cuts will mean.

    • Raoul 16:39 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      The CBC should stream more. In a few years most new TV will also be computers anyways.

    • Clément 18:41 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      I fear that investigative journalism might be most threatened. It is rumoured that current president Hubert Lacroix is somewhat friendly with the conservatives, or at least, trying not to displease them too much.

    • Marc 20:09 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      They can stop buying the rights to air Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and Coronation Street. That ought to save quite a bundle.

    • Faiz Imam 22:55 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      Actually those are some of their most profitable timeslots, unfortunately.

    • Anto 10:16 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Those 650 job cuts will save each Canadian approximately 3.55$ each year. I suggest we all celebrate by buying a Jos Louis box.

    • Josh 12:28 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Well, Anto, any single cut to the budget will save each Canadian a relatively miniscule amount. If you look at it from that perspective, why cut anything at all, ever? Why try to balance the budget?

    • Anto 14:02 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      @Josh: You’re right, it all depends on your priorities. The whole CBC/Radio-Canada cut gets us just enough money to buy half of a F-35 plane. Some might think half a plane is worth more than 10% of CBC/Radio-Canada, but I don’t agree.

    • ant6n 18:43 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      well, why?

    • Robert J 07:37 on 2012/04/06 Permalink

      Culture is just such a small part of the budget that I don’t see why we need to make these cuts at all. A little money goes a long way in the cultural department.

      I wouldn’t mind the government asking the CBC to cut off analog broadcasts and even do a little advertising, which many public networks do around the world, but the job cuts really hurt. I know people who have been affected by these cuts before. If you’re nursing a career in media or communications, low-level public media jobs are a big deal.

  • Kate 16:29 on 2012/04/04 Permalink | Reply  

    The mayor announced ten major new projects this week, including the demolition of the Hôtel de la Montagne and the creation of a massive new building encompassing the Ogilvy’s store, and another on Overdale that is supposed to include rehabilitating the Lafontaine house.

    • Doobious 19:06 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      Oh noes! Not the Hotel! Where else can we watch girls in bathing suits downtown this summer?

    • Robert J 19:44 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      I will miss the térasse magnetic. I got to say it was nice swimming on the roof in the middle of downtown. One of the only bars worth going to west of St-Laurent…

    • William 21:56 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      Oh, I hope that means Ogilvy’s is expanding…

    • Kate 21:59 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      I don’t think Ogilvy’s has been a single entity for years. I recall when it really was a single shop – a glorious anglophile emporium with the most amazing selection of European and English candy, a book department with lots of titles found nowhere else in town, plus classic afternoon tea in the basement. It’s just sort of boutique counters now, albeit upscale ones.

    • William 11:42 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Oooer, well maybe they’ll bring a tea service back. It’s becoming trend again, didn’t you know? Did you see this video? – http://bit.ly/HQusGw

    • Kate 19:48 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Yes, it’s been back for awhile now. I’ve heard that the Birks Café tea was the one to go for, but it’s not in the video.

    • Doobious 20:04 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Anyone here remember the Marks and Spencer outlet that used to be in Place Montreal Trust? Late ’80s, I’m guessing, two floors, a smallish one at ground level, a larger one one floor down, with the street entrance at the south-east corner? Holy crap, could you score some great cookies in there.

    • Robert J 07:39 on 2012/04/06 Permalink

      I’d also like to point out that the hotel de la montagne distinctly reminds me of concrete architecture in Monaco. For better or for worse…

  • Kate 16:25 on 2012/04/04 Permalink | Reply  

    Andy Riga has put up a sample of the photos being distributed by Transport Québec to mark its 100th anniversary. Lots of interesting historical scenes.

    • ant6n 22:41 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      Given the size of the area dried for to build the lafontaine tunnel, it seems strange that they didn’t include a rail tunnel just in case for later. Could’ve become handy by now.

  • Kate 10:31 on 2012/04/04 Permalink | Reply  

    A relatively small tuition demonstration was broken up Wednesday morning by police after it reached Saint-Laurent metro.

    Michèle Ouimet launches into Richard Martineau and others who portray students as spoiled kiddies today, summoning the numbers to show how many students barely manage to get by.

    • Raoul 16:14 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      As much as i disagree with the students, ill never understand how some demonstrations are deemed legal while others are deemed illegal.

    • Kate 16:16 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      In the case of legal demos, the main thing is they give the police some notice and indicate where they will be, and if it’s a march, what the route will be. The big March 22 demo was legal and, you’ll notice, remained completely peaceful.

    • Raoul 16:52 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      Police cooperating with protesters is a relatively new thing, in historical terms. You can’t blame people for not trusting them.

  • Kate 09:29 on 2012/04/04 Permalink | Reply  

    Chris DeWolf has the cover story on Roadsworth in the current Spacing magazine, and he republishes the article here on Urbanphoto.

    • qatzelok 17:58 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      Our roads are hideous and dangerous, but Roadsworth makes us accept them in their present state. He’s like 11th hour spin for car culture.

    • Stefan 03:12 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      why not paint a corpse everywhere a mortal accident happened (as people tend to put up crosses here in austria, on rural roads, or white ghost bicycles elsewhere) and draw some red smears where someone was hurt in traffic. that’d paint a more realistic picture of the state of traffic as it is.

      it’d be not as entertaining as roadsworth’s work. but the key question is: what can we contribute that will make us as society reflect, and change.

  • Kate 08:34 on 2012/04/04 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal sent an expert to take samples in various public places, and he discovered bacteria everywhere although less than he expected in the metro. With a sidebar emphasizing hand-washing as the best single defense for health.

    There’s a thing I wonder about. If it’s important to wash our hands, why is public bathroom soap usually so foul? Wouldn’t more people use it, if it wasn’t that saccharine-smelling pink goop?

    • Raoul 08:40 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      I for one welcome our new bacterial overlords

    • Mathieu 08:43 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      Most people don’t know how humans and bacteria interact. What this biologist is advocating for is washing our hands every hour all day long. On the otherside, numerous study point to that fact that our obsession with sanitization is responsible for autoimmune diseases like asthma and Crohn’s. Surely we need to wash ourselves from time to time, but this is just making it sound too dramatic for what it really is. There is no epidemy.

    • Clément 08:47 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      Doesn’t sound like a very credible microbiologist when one of his statement is :
      « C’est tout simplement dégoûtant. Je ne m’attendais pas à cette quantité de bactéries. Il y en a beaucoup ! », lance le microbiologiste.
      So the guy claims to be an experienced microbiologist of 25 years of experience, yet he’s all surprised to discover fecal bacteries on toilet door knobs!

    • Marc 08:49 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      @Mathieu: Which studies? Where? Conducted by who?

    • Raoul 08:52 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      I find all these health fads and health panics tedious. And its all about selling products. Sanitizers, vitamins, supplements, vaccines. (*cough* H1N1)

    • Clément 08:55 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      @Marc: I believe Mathieu is referring to what is known as the “Hygiene Hypothesis”. The wikipedia article has links to many studies.

    • Jack 08:55 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      I am just happy he was not taking samples of that other Quebecor virus….an-gli-zi-sation. Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

    • Carrie 09:00 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      There is a clear association with handwashing and reducing the spread of infectious disease. Associating washing your hands multiple times a day with being a cause to autoimmune diseases and asthma etc, doesn’t apply to adults. Your immune system is already intact; presuming you aren’t already afflicted with some other disease that would put you at greater risk of health consequences via the lack of other’s hygiene. And its true that lots of people can’t be bothered but it reminds me of a cartoon I saw recently where shaking hands becomes putting your hands down each other’s pants when you neglect the 2 minute task of washing your hands after using the washroom. Its not rocket science but clearly, the public needs constant reminders.

    • Stefan 09:12 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      Many of us would be surprised by the amount of bacteria inhabiting the average keyboard, compared with toilet seats (which are usually cleaned on a regular basis). Like the graphic example Carrie mentions, there are probably innumerable ways of how we can become scared of what are just naturally occuring processes that our bodies are used to.
      And btw, washing your hands too often may cause the skin to dry out and become cracked, which permits bacteria to enter your bloodstream directly.
      Also i remember reading a study saying that the mechanical action of rubbing your hands together while rinsing actually eliminates as many bacteria as using soap.

    • Carrie 09:25 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      Washing your hands too often may cause the skin to dry out and become cracked, which permits bacteria to enter your bloodstream directly? Stop reading studies on the internet and wash your freaking hands. If they get “dry and cracked” use moisturizer. If you’re an otherwise healthy adult, “bacteria entering your bloodstream” is not going to kill you. On the other hand, if you can help prevent some at risk human being the trouble of picking up an infectious bacteria you may inadvertently leave behind which could kill them, then that would be a good thing. Problem solved.

    • Mathieu 09:54 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      You’re overreacting. People dying or severely sick from common infectious diseases caught in public spaces represent a minimal minority. The fact that people who already wash their hands frequently start doing it more often will not prevent that.

      It’s not about washing your hands after using the toilet I’m whining about, it’s about telling people to wash their hands every hour and carry Purel at all time. Washing your hands at the bathroom, before eating, when coming in the house, not touching you face, etc. is a good thing to get in our routine. Becoming paranoiac about bacteria is not.

    • Carrie 10:43 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      Its less about being paranoid about bacteria than being aware of the potential implications non-handwashing can cause; can being the key word here. If you can prevent a possible health problem, why wouldn’t you?
      Public health has been trying to educate the masses for a long time now which is why you continue to read about bacteria rates in public spaces. It’s hit and miss.
      At the risk of belabouring the point, public health, the hospitals and the CLSC’s would disagree with your point of view. It’s that lackadaisical thinking that continues to ensure the message needs to keep coming out.
      Your comment that the “minimal minority” aren’t that much of a concern, because they’re aren’t enough of them to count makes me uncomfortable. Are we talking about the death of a few seniors, old enough anyway, to succumb to the flu, or C difficule? The cancer patients whose immune system have been compromised already by virtue of their treatment? Cancer patients aren’t the “minority” anymore in our aging population, neither are the very young. Again, the healthcare providers would tell you differently and for good reason. The trouble with the line of thinking that its not such a big deal however, is that in times of rapidly spreading infection (influenza being the most troublesome in this day and age), those attitudes could prove disastrous to the population at large. This is widely known. You educate the masses in advance and hope for the best in event of.
      And by virtue of the encyclopedic amount of scientific proof and knowledge on how simple hygiene has completely changed the world, need I say more?

    • Mathieu 12:06 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      I don’t think you read me. I didn’t advocate for not washing your hands ever. I’m telling you it’s not a good article as it promotes paranoia. My first post might have seemed to tell people not to wash, but it only was a call for common sense.

      This text simply tells people there is bacteria without discussing the implications, it doesn’t talk with anybody from public health but with a biologist instead, and because this biologist tells us directly that washing your hands protects you against bacteria (which is more complicated than that). The goal to educate doesn’t negate the necessity to give accurate information.

      Besides, the second article says that Poly and STM have decided not to install Purell stations as it’s overkill. Most of these around the city have disappeared. It somehow demonstrates how public institutions don’t consider this such a big problem right now. Maybe it just isn’t and we should continue with our normal hygiene as it’s already effective.

    • walkerp 22:41 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      Hygiene and strategies for bacteria are important in health care institutions and certainly our incredibly long lives are due to advances in cleanliness, but we are now moving into the realm of hysteria. Purel and other bacterial-killing hand creams are bad for you and bad for us at the paranoid rate they are being used. Like these losers who turn the faucets at public bathrooms with a paper towel or worse the scumbags who don’t flush the toilet at Concordia. It’s pathetic. We should take all the money consumers spend on Purell and use it to cure that head-nodding disease going on in West Africa right now. First world problems, indeed.

  • Kate 08:28 on 2012/04/04 Permalink | Reply  

    Patrick Lagacé has today’s must-read: a visit to Moisson Montréal which feeds thousands of Montrealers on a skimpy budget of $3.4 million a year.

    • tommy 08:30 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      Speaking of must(y)-reads, why didn’t you link to that strange back-and-forth between Josh Freed and Alex Norris? I think it was freed from the paywall.

    • Kate 08:34 on 2012/04/04 Permalink

      Because I didn’t see it. Do you have a link?

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