Updates from April, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:18 on 2012/04/05 Permalink | Reply  

    Students demonstrated in various places Thursday and the Journal rang up the cost at $104,000/hour. I can see why they’re including policing, but why are salaries for profs and instructors being added to the tab?

    Student groups were apparently unimpressed by Line Beauchamp’s offer to expand the student loans program in various ways.

    Meanwhile, Concordia’s looking for ways to salvage the school term.

    • Clément 22:01 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Concerning the prof’s salaries, my best guest is that right now, they are paid even though they are not teaching. Once the strike is over, semesters will be extended and they will need to be paid beyond the normal semester duration, therefore increasing the cost. Just a guess.

    • ant6n 22:15 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Real profs get fixed salary. This includes having to do teaching, but also things like research. I doubt they’ll get paid ‘overtime’.

    • Kate 22:16 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      I believe so. They will get paid the same regardless. They don’t get extra danger pay because of the strike.

    • JaneyB 23:53 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      ant6n is correct. Real profs do not get ‘overtime’…which leads to the other big elephant in the post-sec ed living room: the use of temp profs who get paid between 3-5K per course per semester and are rarely allowed to teach more than two courses per year so that the universities can avoid giving them benefits. I wonder how many courses like that could be bought with some of Concordia’s generous severance package money….but alas those kinds of calculations never get costed. The opposition to the student strike is not about the money, regardless of the rhetoric.

    • ant6n 23:59 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      I think the Concordia rate to teach courses is actually closer to 6-7K at this point. And one probably wouldn’t be able to teach more than 2 or maybe 3 courses in a semester, anyway.
      I once did a course at McGill once, it’s really not something you do for the money :p

    • JaneyB 00:22 on 2012/04/06 Permalink

      Is it really that much? Well…’much’, I mean. At McMaster and U of Manitoba, about 5 years ago, it was between 6-8K for a 6 credit course (eg: Sept – April, Humanities). I think York has the highest pay at 10K per Sept-April courses, mainly because they have a very powerful temp union. Yeah, the prep work developing a course you only get to teach once is insane. Definitely not a job for the bucks!

    • ant6n 01:16 on 2012/04/06 Permalink

      Well At Concordia It went up two years ago, or so (although this may include the ‘large class bonus’). Beforehand it was closer to 5K for 3credits as well. I think McGill inched up to 6K for 3 credit courses.
      This is all more fun if you consider that the international tuition for a 3 credit course is more than 1500$ (not including fees, or international health insurance).

    • Jack 09:28 on 2012/04/06 Permalink

      I taught last semester at McGill its now up to 7,000 for a 3 credit course.As for the strike I am taking courses at Con U and trust me the strikes impact is based purely on Faculties,I would estimate 90% of the classes are business as usually.Especially in the Business faculty.

    • SN86 16:16 on 2012/04/06 Permalink

      I am a student at Concordia taking courses from a few faculties: Biology, JMSB and ENCS and I can say that none of my class have been affected and everything is business as usual and no changes are expected for the exam week. My peers in these class have also not been affected by any of the strike actions and for the most part not participated so the numbers of students “striking” from Concordia are grossly over estimated.

  • Kate 20:52 on 2012/04/05 Permalink | Reply  

    Wondering about the trend for giant headlines, what do people think? Huffington Post Quebec started it here – right now, the front page shrieks LA SOLUTION: ON S’ENDETTE! with the first phrase in blue and the second bigger, in red, and a giant picture of Line Beauchamp so large that only her eyes are visible “above the fold”.

    Now Metro is doing it with its recent redesign, even more annoyingly because their serif font leaps for your throat in their new giant-sized heavy-weight headlines. This article has so much junk up top that I can’t even see the whole headline.

    • William 21:01 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      They’re all trying to copy the UK’s Daily Mail. Read this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16746785

    • Kate 21:26 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      The Mail’s front page is a huge quilt of lurid photos and snippets of text but nothing quite lunges at you like HuffPostQc’s front page.

    • Robert J 07:45 on 2012/04/06 Permalink

      I especially like how they aggressively incite you to make noise on Twitter and Facebook. Not only are they trying to convince us it’s a big deal, but they want us to convince everyone else for them that it’s a big deal. A lot of websites are getting us to do their work for them these days…

    • Kate 09:51 on 2012/04/06 Permalink

      I think a problem may be that some page designers work with the big-size iMacs and forget that not everyone has the same amount of screen real estate. They really should look at their work on a few laptops from time to time.

      Robert J: everyone’s afraid not to do that. I’ve been holding off urging readers of this blog to like, tweet and +1 every one of my posts but it might not be doing me any favours.

    • Robert J 18:17 on 2012/04/07 Permalink

      I think the phenomenon of tweeting and “like”ing articles fairly interesting (I’ve started doing it more often). I kind of resent it when companies get users to do their marketing surveys and research for them, and especially when it has no subtlety whatsoever. A small discreet social media button is fine. We are all used to seeing them and they can actually save time when you want to inform a friend of something.

      I have a feeling that marketers will soon realize that they can’t really get away with just facebooking their product. I feel like some of them think they’ve duped us by hiding what is essentially an advertisement in people’s facebook profile. If they were a little more self-aware about it (a little irony wouldn’t hurt) then I probably wouldn’t care.

  • Kate 20:37 on 2012/04/05 Permalink | Reply  

    Open and closed for the Easter weekend; weekend roadworks; why you shouldn’t give a live bunny as an Easter gift.

    • Spock 20:56 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      I wouldn’t give a live rabbit as a pet to a little kid.

      But I just adore these little beasts (the rabbits of course).

    • JaneyB 00:00 on 2012/04/06 Permalink

      An article by a former rabbit owner detailing life with rabbits: http://www.mindspring.com/~tbgray/rabbits.htm
      I admit I almost hurt myself laughing while reading this piece. Oh, the free-form havoc!

    • Kate 23:05 on 2016/12/02 Permalink

      JaneyB: I’m going through a lot of old posts, and wanted to say a very belated thanks for this link, which is still up.

  • Kate 20:22 on 2012/04/05 Permalink | Reply  

    When the original Taz on Berri was demolished for the construction of the Grande bibliothèque, the establishment was moved to Papineau north of the 40, beside the old Miron quarry. Now the city’s stuck with bailing it out, and Richard Bergeron can say “I told you so” because he wrote a statement in 2006 (PDF) predicting that this was a bad, inaccessible location for an installation pitched at kids and teenagers.

    And the new soccer centre is about to be built right next door to it, too. Hoo boy.

  • Kate 20:11 on 2012/04/05 Permalink | Reply  

    The St-Michel rep is categorically rejecting the city’s plan to put a composting facility in the old Miron quarry, and he’s supported by other reps from his borough. The area has been the site of garbage dumps for decades and the distinction between dumping and composting isn’t something they sound keen to appreciate.

  • Kate 12:21 on 2012/04/05 Permalink | Reply  

    A judge has allowed Quebec to ask Ottawa for its part of the gun registry, the effect being to temporarily stop Vic Toews from clicking “delete” (if he knows how to do that). But the argument continues. I can’t find a text link, but CBC news mentioned that police forces in Quebec consult the list often.

    Why are facts about who owns guns so important to keep private, but the idea that our entire online life meant to be open for scrutiny is somehow OK?

    • Raoul 12:26 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Online surveillance enables them to get the dirt on almost anyone.

      Otherwise you’re right their approach to crime doesn’t make sense. If you go looking for nuts on the internet you’ll find plenty, but without a gun registry, how do you know which ones are capable?

    • walkerp 12:27 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Your question encapsulates perfectly the contradictions inherent in the Harper government’s policies and the lies of their propaganda. The gun registry has nothing to do with protecting privacy. It’s all about gaining votes among the suburban and rural set. Their policy on internet privacy (or lack thereof) also caters to the brainwashed fear citizens, but more importantly, appeases their big money lobbyists.

      It’s a joke. You have to be registered to own or drive a car, but doing the same for a gun is somehow a violation of one’s freedom?

    • Raoul 12:49 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Tor, i2p, public DNS’, wireless mesh networks, internet cafes, MAC spoofing…. theyre not out of the woods yet lol.

      the battle for the internet is a generational one, bunch of geezers who dont understand technology trying to control it, trying to control the information flow. They’ll never gain the upper hand because they didnt grow up with it like we did.

    • Tux 14:16 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      @Raoul The current crackdowns on socially disruptive technologies will only provoke the development of more socially disruptive technology. (User-maintained worldwide communications networks not subject to corporate/government whims are coming) I, for one, am very excited about the possibilities for self-governance, knowledge sharing, and community building that the internet offers. The boomers are scared of the shape society may take, but thankfully in 20 or 30 years they’ll be dropping like flies! If we’re lucky they won’t infect too many young people with their lunacy and technology and society can be permitted to continue evolving naturally.

    • Tux 14:19 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      On the other hand, the paternalistic, hypocritically moral, greedy, socially backwards boomers have so royally mucked up the world that we all couldn’t help but be shaken awake from the capitalist dream. By leading us into the depths of corruption and assholery, the boomers may have been the inspiration young people needed to start seriously talking about building a better world, and even better than talking, doing. So… we may have the geezers to thank for the hope we have! :)

    • joe 17:01 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      @ Raoul, re: “If you go looking for nuts on the internet you’ll find plenty, but without a gun registry, how do you know which ones are capable?”

      The counter argument is that most nuts or criminals don’t register their guns in the first place, so having a gun registry is useless and wasteful.

    • Raoul 21:50 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      @joe true. but if theyre smart enough to plan shit out, find an unregistered weapon, then they probably thought about covering their online tracks too.

    • Kate 22:19 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      If someone unknown to police is creating a scene, barricading themselves in a building, police can verify on the registry whether firearms are being stored at that address – and apparently that knowledge has sometimes been invaluable to police dealing with somebody’s crisis. Since the data has been collected at considerable expense, it would be idiotic to flush it.

    • Robert J 07:16 on 2012/04/06 Permalink

      What scares me the most about the long gun registry is that it overshadows more important issues. Very few crimes are committed in Canada with hunting weapons. The bigger issues, such as the aggressive crime bill and major military expenditures are passing unnoticed because of the argument around this law.

      Obviously the conservatives have a lot of rural voters and this is an issue that rural voters care about, but it doesn’t concern urban voters that much, whereas the other important questions do very much. So I think the whole process of refusing and granting Quebec the right to keep the data is a diversion that allows the conservatives to work on other more fundamental changes.

  • Kate 08:38 on 2012/04/05 Permalink | Reply  

    The GM Classic bus, launched in 1983 and once ubiquitous on our streets, is on the verge of disappearing. The Journal considers its virtues and defects.

    • Robert J 08:55 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Though I am fond of those busses, I kind of think of them as symbols of a period when bus travel was less attractive in Montreal, the era before the 10 min+ and articulated busses, when I heard a lot of people say they’d take the metro but avoid the bus at all cost.

    • Raoul 09:23 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Say what you will, you had more room on those busses even standing up. And with the steps, people still bothered to fold their strollers and trolleys.

    • Raoul 09:56 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Sidebar, I remember seeing New Looks still in service well into the 2000’s. (at least on the RTL/STRSM network). Howcome the Classics are dieing off sooner?

    • Tux 10:27 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      I like those buses! I also liked the even older ones we had before, with the plushy padded vinyl seats. NovaBuses are okay but I question the layout in some of ’em:
      • Why is the last single seat sideways?
      • Why is the padded bar in the wheelchair area set so far from the window… move it closer so the person sitting in the adjacent seat can lean against it
      • Why on EARTH do the wheel-wells stick up right where people’s feet would go in the back of the bus, forcing people to sit with their knee against their chin?

    • Kate 10:46 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Raoul, the model is 30 years old. I’m pretty sure the STM knows when certain equipment has reached a stage where repairing and maintaining it no longer makes sense.

      Bring these back! I think I’d do a little dance if I saw one of those on a Montreal street now.

    • William 11:12 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      I nickname those old garbage cans “Mr. Gobachev” because they date from his era and they evoke soviet misery. Good riddance to dirty old rubbish.

    • Raoul 12:17 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      I know theyre 30 years old. But the new looks were over 40 when we were still riding on them. I guess a more appropriate question would be what’s the lifespan of the nova?

    • William 13:03 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      All I know is that if we want to get people out of their 2009 Honda Civics, we have to give them something that at least looks modern, comfortable, clean and efficient.

    • Marc 13:18 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Those were good buses. But IMO, the best ones were the GM New Look or “fishbowl” bus. I LOVED those buses. The current Nova buses are garbage. There are other bus makers in this country. Why the STM only buys from Nova I’m sure is a political decision.

  • Kate 08:34 on 2012/04/05 Permalink | Reply  

    Houses are getting steadily more expensive in the city; just as well employment figures were up in March.

  • Kate 08:33 on 2012/04/05 Permalink | Reply  

    Reports Thursday morning that students are demonstrating in the east end. (Our era has a lot of problems but I have to say I’m glad to have lived to a time when a newspaper paragraph can begin “Police tweeted…”) Worth following #manifencours if you want to know what’s up with the wearers of the red square.

  • Kate 08:31 on 2012/04/05 Permalink | Reply  

    Guillaume Saint-Jean, whose then-and-now photos of Montreal have often been linked here, is about to launch an app for iPhone and Android called Montréal Avant, part of a city series. OpenFile talks about the app, which will be available April 12. Brief Youtube promo.

    The McCord Museum has an app with a similar mission (iTunes link), wonder how they will compare.

    • Guillaume St-Jean 09:12 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Les 2 applications seront complémentaires puisqu’elles sont totalement différentes. Au contraire de l’application du Musée McCord MontréalAvant permet :

      La visualisation d’un nombre beaucoup plus vaste de photos (l’application se veut évolutive donc de nouveaux lieux seront ajoutés fréquemment).
      Le territoire couvert est également plus vaste et permet plusieurs parcours urbains
      L’espace-temps couvert (1880-1965) permet de mieux comprendre les changements récents.
      L’application permet la superposition des photographies grâce à la réalité augmentée.
      Une courte description avec renseignements historiques accompagne chaque photographie.

    • Antonio 18:44 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Salut Guillaume, ce serait gentil à toi de faire une version BlackBerry pour la PlayBook puisque cette dernière possède un runtime Android. Merci!

  • Kate 08:19 on 2012/04/05 Permalink | Reply  

    It would be consternation if the Habs were preparing a playoff run, but the news that Carey Price is out with a concussion is not exactly burning up Twitter.

  • Kate 00:10 on 2012/04/05 Permalink | Reply  

    Outremont borough is putting a temporary ban on all religious parades and processions, breaking a long tradition at the Russian Orthodox Church on Saint-Joseph, although I’m missing why this is a response to a bad scene between a borough councillor and some Hasidic revelers at Purim, about a month ago. Are we to assume Outremont residents can’t distinguish between different kinds of religious guys with beards?

    • William 06:49 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      At the time, Outremont Borough Councillor Céline Forget told the media that she went out to video document people driving drunk, but if that was happening, her responsibility was to call 911. And even then, where is this so-called documentation? I think she was being provocative. I am so sad about this ban. I think the only person who should be temporarily banned from parading around Outremont is the borough councillor.

    • jeather 06:49 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Presumably “No Jewish parades” has no chance of being upheld, but “no parades” is okay. I figure there’s some upcoming Hasidic parade that was not mentioned in the article.

    • Jack 07:22 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Outremont’s mayor is a bastion of strength,“We want an Outremont where people want to live and respect each other, not aggravate, not yelling. This has to stop. We have to step back.” So Councillor Forget goes to film a community, on the one holy day they can get hammered, a community she has demonstrated a non-stop hostility towards and gets yelled at. Result that community and all others can no longer have parades.That is leadership.
      Councillor Forget should attempt the same strategy with the Irish community around the drunken noisy horror of St.Patrick’s Day, maybe head down to the Point and harass whats left of the Irish community there.See how that works.
      By the way my all time favorite line of Forget’s was when she made an official complaint about Sukkot wires around some houses,” I am against it because it infringes on my right to fly kites.”

    • Spock 08:41 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      What happened to multiculturalism and tolerance??

      Oh, sorry, forgot; this is Quebec… :(

    • Robert J 08:50 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      @Spock: Oh come on it’s no better elsewhere in Canada. I know more Ontarians who are afraid of black people in Toronto than Quebecois. The media loves this shit and exaggerates it greatly.

    • mdblog 09:27 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      @Robert J The difference in Quebec is that promotion of one culture (which immediately makes it antithetical to multiculturalism) above all others is seen as a virtue not just by the average joe, but by our elites in government, industry, and the media.

    • Raoul 09:45 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Multiculturalism was trudeau’s answer to the separatist movement. Thats why english people love it and the french hate it. In the ROC you can come as you are, but in Quebec they still expect assimilation. I thought that was made clear with the “reasonable accommodation” media circus a few years back.

    • Jack 10:24 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      @Spock- come on, these are universal issues.
      @Raoul- I agree that Trudeau’s name makes multiculturalism as a word untenable in French Quebec, but in creating new language like pluricultarilte, it almost defeats the purpose.

    • Jack 10:57 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      One final thought, if the Mayor of Outremont really believes that,”“We want an Outremont where people want to live and respect each other, not aggravate, not yelling. This has to stop.” Shouldn’t she ask Richard Martineau,Sophie Durocher and J.F. Lisee to pack up and move?

    • Kevin 11:15 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      @Robert J
      Any of those fools elected officials?

    • Clément 11:36 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      @Spock: So, you’re saying Québécois are not tolerant, and you’re making your point by using a broad and simplistic generalization?

    • Spock 20:52 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Well, people here refer to nous autres & les autres more than other places. I lived in Toronto, New York and been all over from LA to Jackson Mississippi to Marseilles to Copenhagen to Mumbai. Here racism is strong.

      Not all Quebecers mind you but many if them.

      Bill 101 is a shining beacon of intolerant legislation.

    • Chris 22:42 on 2012/04/05 Permalink

      Jack, “the Irish community” is a small minority of the participants of the St Patrick’s parade, was that the case for the Hasidic party?

    • Robert H 08:07 on 2012/04/06 Permalink

      Spock, I agree with Clément that your villification of Québec as an exceptionally odious redoubt of bigotry and xenophobia is exaggerated and absurd. I would be the first to ridicule the nativist elements of the nationalist movement, but terms like “les autres” also reflect the francophone awareness of the fragility of their position on the North American continent. If you feel beleaguered for some aspect of your identity be it race, religion, sexuality or language, that increases your sense of being part of a group; ask any anglo-Quebecer. As a member of a visible minority group, I can tell you that I have encountered racist attitudes in other places in Canada and the United states, and one such incident here in Montreal. I do not believe, however, that Québec is an extraordinary case, and aside from the kind of ignorance one could find anywhere, most people I meet are quite friendly. Your critique has less to do with the daily interactions of thousands of people of all kinds in this province than it does your own expriences and possibly justifiable annoyance. I’m in no position to discredit that, but please don’t confuse the two.

    • Jack 09:31 on 2012/04/06 Permalink

      @ Chris I don’t get it?

    • Chris 10:29 on 2012/04/06 Permalink

      Jack, you made a flawed analogy to the drunks at the St Patrick’s parade… 95% of the people there are *not* Irish, whereas (I think) at Purim 99% of the people were Hasidic. That makes your analogy flawed.

    • Jack 13:58 on 2012/04/06 Permalink


  • Kate 00:06 on 2012/04/05 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is planning two composting centres and two biomethanization centres, but not everyone is thrilled with the plans. Aéroports de Montréal has already rejected the composting centre intended for Dorval, and Saint-Michel is far from thrilled at a plan to use some or all of the old Miron Quarry for composting.

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