Updates from September, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 11:56 on 2012/09/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Catching up with corruption news: the city has signed half a billion dollars’ worth of contracts since 2006 with firms that regularly sent payments to the Consenza bar. Also one of those firms recently won a nice municipal contract after all the other contenders “inexplicably” withdrew from competition.

    Radio-Canada also notes that it’s six years since the fall of the Concorde viaduct in Laval, killing five people, and no one has taken the blame for the flaw that led to the collapse. The close-knit Quebec engineering community, nobody wanting to point the finger at anyone else, is hinted at as a possible reason why.

  • Kate 11:17 on 2012/09/30 Permalink | Reply  

    For once a bit of positive news: volunteers rebuilt a playground in Little Burgundy on Saturday with design advice from the kids who will use it.

    • Ian 08:12 on 2012/10/01 Permalink

      Wow, 150 years. Makes you think about all those little random spaces you see walking around, we’re so used to flux it’s reassuring to know there may be underlying permanence in even transitional-looking spaces.

  • Kate 00:56 on 2012/09/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Here’s an odd item. The Journal head reads: Chantier de construction: empêchés de travailler pour une fête juive and there’s a brief video with no voice-over showing construction guys on a building site, but nothing further beyond the restatement in text below: TVA Nouvelles a appris que des ouvriers ont été forcés de quitter un chantier de construction à Montréal, en raison des festivités juives.

  • Kate 00:52 on 2012/09/30 Permalink | Reply  

    A woman was killed in a hit-and-run Friday night in the Plateau, but the cops managed to catch the perpetrator. (CTV, which updated more recently, says the victim was badly injured but is still alive.)

    Three guys attacked and stabbed another guy outside Place des Arts after closing time early Saturday morning and police are looking for witnesses.

    A young man was lightly injured car surfing in the Westmount streets behind St. Joseph’s Oratory and there’s the hint that the “sport” is becoming more popular among the upper crust.

    A calèche horse got spooked in Old Montreal Saturday afternoon and police had to help the owner restrain her. Kind of sad priority in the telling of this tale: cars were damaged, no people were hurt – but nothing’s said about whether the horse is OK.

    • Ian 10:10 on 2012/09/30 Permalink

      I actually know the woman who got hit (just in front of Prime Time on Park) and others I know said she was dead at the scene. I will know quite a few very happy people if she survived.

    • Kate 10:57 on 2012/09/30 Permalink

      Radio-Canada has updated their story to say she was “gravement blessée” – I am sorry the initial report was so upsetting but there’s no news about the nature of her injuries or where she is now.

    • Chris 11:26 on 2012/09/30 Permalink

      Ian, I hope you and her other friends push the police to charge the driver. Drivers almost always get away with these things. :(

    • Kate 11:31 on 2012/09/30 Permalink

      The Radio-Canada item says the perpetrator was a 76-year-old woman who was under the influence (en état d’ébriété, presumably of alcohol), which taken together would, I hope, mean she loses her license. But as you say, our society puts so much importance on the need for individual mobility that it often seems people are allowed to continue driving despite evidence they’re not safe behind the wheel.

    • kg 12:07 on 2012/09/30 Permalink

      She is expected to die when they pull the plug, unfortunately.

    • Ian 12:28 on 2012/09/30 Permalink

      @kg – where are you getting this info?

    • Kate 13:36 on 2012/09/30 Permalink

      As noted offscreen, kg works in a newsroom and, unfortunately in this case, probably has heard news that hasn’t been spelled out yet.

    • Tantastic Ted 16:38 on 2012/09/30 Permalink

      If you’re so curious about the horse, why didn’t you link to an article that has a photo of the event?

    • Kate 16:58 on 2012/09/30 Permalink

      If you know about the existence of such an article, why didn’t you provide the link instead of snarking about it?

      I read a lot of stuff, but I can’t be expected to read every single news article generated in Montreal at a given moment.

      Here’s a CTV version of the story showing the horse from above, but not close up.

    • Ian 20:27 on 2012/09/30 Permalink

      Insider info – the victim of the hit-and-run has had a brain operation since last night, and is still in a coma. Doesn’t look like the doctors have given up on her yet. She remains in critical condition.

    • Kate 00:40 on 2012/10/01 Permalink

      Thanks for the update, Ian.

  • Kate 00:39 on 2012/09/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gazette is doing a typical look at what it calls “urban villages” in which it focuses singlemindedly on the most bourgeois aspects of various parts of town: Old Montreal – it’s more than ten years since it was rediscovered by Montrealers, despite what the writer says several times – and the Village, in which she also sees hopeful signs of embourgeoisement. Apparently she plans to go on and do what she can to find the most annoying and pretentious features of other neighbourhoods too.

    Both articles also keep up the well-worn fiction that the Plateau is the be-all and end-all of chic neighbourhoods, whereas anyone who’s lived there can tell you how mundane most of it is, if not actually run down.

    • AH 09:34 on 2012/09/30 Permalink

      ugh. since when do bistros, boutiques and a PA to delivery route constitute a “village”?

    • Ian 10:15 on 2012/09/30 Permalink

      Mile End actually was a village (Saint-Louis) before it got incorporated into Montreal & the main street of the village was renamed “Laurier” – hardly surprising it retains some of that character.

  • Kate 11:12 on 2012/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    The PQ is keen on the extension of the metro’s blue line to Anjou, giving it priority over the off-island extensions wished for by Laval and Longueuil.

    • No\Deli 11:39 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      Wot? You mean to say they don’t favor an extension into NDG/Cote-St-Luc…?

    • Faiz Imam 13:34 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      Good. Political consideration aside, the blue line extension is the most useful and provides greatest value. I hope the Laval extensions never happen, they provide increasingly diminishing returns at a extremely high cost. They are also all “park and ride” stations that dramatically increase suburban development around them.

    • david m 15:55 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      extending to concordia’s ndg campus is such an obviously wise investment that i don’t understand why it’s not being considered or discussed.

    • Robert J 16:28 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      There’re just more transit-users in the east than in the west. The blue line east will be used by Anjou and St-Léonard but also by Montréal-Nord and the southern part of Laval, whose bus rides to the metro will be cut in half.

      The same would be true of the west end, except that the Cote-St-Luc train junction and the airport block off large parts of the population from a bus-metro link via the blue line. I wouldn’t be against eventually extending the blue line to Loyola campus, but the priority for the west end is orange line to Bois-Franc and the train de l’ouest project, which will serve more people.

      The train de l’ouest is super important because it will give west islanders better access to the city and that community will be less culturally isolated from the rest of the city.

    • ant6n 18:08 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      Deli\David m
      Projet Montreal included a blue line etension to Montreal-Ouest in their plans. Snowdon is actually set up with cross platform transfers, just like Lionel Groulx, except that the transfers only make sense if the blue line was extended East (i.e. the transfer between Blue line-NDG and Orange line-downtown would be cross-platform).

    • Singlestar 18:20 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      Originally the Blue Line 5 was to be extended westward. The MUC at the time had a land reserve at various proposed stops: Cavendish/Somerlad, Montreal West Station, and the line was to continue to meet the suburban train at Lachine. But it was deemed o expensive by the end of he 80s and the land reserves were allowed to lapse. Some discussion here:


      Also, see Molson Export’s comments a fair way down this page:

      In http://pages.infinit.net/webzine/st-stcum-archives-1976.html
      there is a timetable for various metro extensions (1976):
      Ligne no 5, vers Snowdon – Jean-Talon juin 1983
      Ligne no 5, vers Provencher mai 1984
      Ligne no 5, vers Amos septembre 1984
      Ligne no 5, vers Lachine décembre 1984
      Ligne no 5, vers Pointe-aux-Trembles décembre 1985

    • Kate 20:52 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      @ant6n, I think you mean “except that the transfers only make sense if the blue line was extended west”?

      Something has to excuse the hideousness and lack of logic at Snowdon station, with its mean cramped stairs and dark cavernousness. Awful place. Maybe you’re right that it was conceived a little differently.

    • ant6n 22:09 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      Yes, sorry for being so lysdexic. Metrodemontreal has a good description with images.

    • Kate 01:03 on 2012/09/30 Permalink

      singlestar, I just kind of took in what you wrote. Pointe-aux-Trembles and Lachine, that’s crazy talk!

    • Faiz Imam 01:28 on 2012/09/30 Permalink

      metrodemontreal.com states “In order to reduce the amount of demolition necessary, this station was planned essentially as three parallel vaulted tunnels”

      Whatever the financial or engineering reason, this setup almost guarantees the current feel of the place. Vaults and small cross tunnels with no larger space to flow into makes it inevitable.

    • Kate 11:05 on 2012/09/30 Permalink

      Up to a point, Faiz Imam. The dark bricks and crappy lighting weren’t inevitable though.

    • ant6n 10:56 on 2012/10/01 Permalink

      The passenger flow in the middle cavern could probably be improved as well. Are there even escalators there?

    • Kate 11:06 on 2012/10/01 Permalink

      There are stairs and escalators, but in different spots, and both are very narrow.

  • Kate 10:47 on 2012/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s closing off Carré Saint-Louis for several months for réaménagement – whatever that involves.

    • Ephraim 16:53 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      And still the hole at duBullion hasn’t been fixed.

    • J 18:00 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      Does Carré Saint-Louis need refection? Looks fine to me. But whatever they’re doing to it for $600 000, it had better be impressive.

    • Kate 01:04 on 2012/09/30 Permalink

      That’s what I was thinking. It was redone nicely in the 1980s and the last time I walked through (within the last year) it didn’t seem in particular need of the kind of work that takes half a year and half a million bucks.

  • Kate 10:35 on 2012/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Oh dear. The Toronto papers are allowing a kind of hysteria about Quebec, the National Post’s Barbara Kay saying the sound of English is now an offence and the Globe and Mail running Montrealer Stephen Jarislowsky’s dictum that Quebec is becoming a hermit state. The Gazette also mixes in with the tech sector’s worries about francization.

    • walkerp 11:00 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      It’s like the rich, pimply loser stalking the hot girl and coming up with all these theories about what’s wrong with her on the inside.

    • Steve Quilliam 11:17 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      And no wonder why the young generations are not reading these papers anymore but turning towards what they call alternative media. When you can not report accurately the everyday life but rather fantazise about a situation that you would prefer for machiavelic reasons then you start loosing people that are not into your fantasy !

    • C_Erb 13:15 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      It’s interesting that Kay relegates a large and well-organized political movement with a small but determined militia that enjoyed fairly high public support (until the kidnappings) as “a complete aberration from ordinary, peace-loving Québécois society, a kind of political virus that would pass” but holds up two episodes of minor violence towards a couple anglophones is examples of how the entire city/province is turning, en masse, against the English.

    • Robert J 16:34 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      +1 walkerp. I’ve been wanting to say that for years.

  • Kate 10:00 on 2012/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Journalists are eagerly monitoring the release of Vito Rizzuto, who has lost father, son and brother-in-law since his extradition to the U.S. – but it sounds like he may not be free to return immediately to Montreal.

    And of course if he does come back here, he arrives while everyone’s looking at tapes of what went down in the back room of the Consenza – which has also closed down since he went away. Vito will be getting a harsh lesson in how you can’t go home again.

  • Kate 00:35 on 2012/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    CTV is in a slight fuss about how tickets for Monday’s charity concert have attracted scalpers. But it’s not as if the initial ticket price hasn’t been paid into the fund – no one stole any tickets.

    I’ve never seen the problem with scalping. It’s the free market in a pure form, people profiting from limited supply and high demand.

    • Ephraim 06:34 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      Except of course, when the public doesn’t get a chance to purchase the tickets and instead scalpers purchase large amounts of ticket to resell. Often purchased before the public has a chance to buy any, since they bribe people at the ticket booth to sell them directly.

      Take a look this year at Louis CK who sold his tickets directly. See http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2012/06/louis-ck-wins-again-direct-ticketing-defeats-scalpers.html

    • Adam Hooper 07:26 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      The free market isn’t always best. For instance, Habs tickets are artificially cheap, and scalping negates that. When there are too many scalpers, less-wealthy people lose their chance to watch a game.

    • Marc 07:33 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      There’s much less scalping of Habs tickets now than in the past with the new way they’re sold. By internet only, maximum of four tickets, for one game, one transaction per name, per address, per credit card. But no, I have no issues with scalping. If I had show tickets and suddenly I couldn’t go, and nor could any family or friends, am I supposed to just toss them out?

    • David Tighe 09:20 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      The solution would be to sell them back to the issuer. if they refuse I agree that the black market is the only solution. Otherwise I dislike intensely the scalping system. It embodies the faults of unregulated capitalism in microcosm.

    • steph 09:59 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      with a 100% markup from the issuers for handling fees don’t expect a full refund. That aside I doubt the recipient of this charity event cares about the scalping issue, and neither do I. When was the last time Celine played a small venue like that!?

    • dwgs 13:12 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      Wait, what? Habs tickets are cheap until the scalpers get them? When did you last attend a game? The nosebleeds are $50 with anything in the lower bowl closer to 250. And if you want to go to see one of the better teams play (or a ‘rival’ like the leafs) then you pay what they charmingly call ‘optimum’ pricing. The $50 ticket becomes 70 and the 250 ticket goes up around $425!
      And from what I understand a lot of the scalpers get their stock from season ticket holders so the tightened restrictions don’t hurt them as much as you might think.
      On topic, although it sounds to be in poor taste, at least those tickets are sold and that money is going to the right place.

    • Faiz Imam 13:46 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      @dwgs: Sure, but scalpers can often sell them for even more than that. The market price is high enough that even the high face value is actually “cheaper”.

      For a product like the habs with 20,000 seats and 41 games, scalping is not that bad. But for small events with high interest it can kill the event. Many concerts and comedy tours are sabotaged when tickets are bought en masse by scaplers who sell them for many times face value.

      I forget the details, but there was a recent event in San Fransisco where $50 tickets at a small 400-ish seat facility were all bought by scalpers and all put up for sale for $300-$500. People were PISSED.

      That’s why the Louie CK solution is so brilliant. It poses almost no problem to normal fans, nor prohibits selling of tickets at face value, but really makes like harder for scalpers.

    • Kate 14:09 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      If it’s such an issue (I’ve seen it moaned over for years in the media) why don’t they just institute a rule than nobody can buy more than 2 or at most 4 tickets?

    • jeather 14:22 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      Well, the people who own the venue don’t care — they sell the tickets to the scalpers or to anyone else, whatever. If they sell to scalpers, they’re guaranteed to sell the tickets. Few artists both have the power to enforce these things and also care enough (this is probably where changes will take place). And despite people bitching about it, they don’t mind scalpers enough to choose not to buy when it’s the choice between a scalper and not going. It’s like complaining about the weather.

    • Ephraim 17:00 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      Kate, there are plenty of rules, but bribes speak louder than rules.

      (Ice is a term used for tickets give to the artists or the theatre, producers, etc. generally gratis and meant for family members or journalists that they then scalp themselves and the cash pocketed.)

  • Kate 00:07 on 2012/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    A site that watches fascist groups says the Greek far-right outfit Golden Dawn has established a group in Montreal.

    • erydan 00:35 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      Greek immigrants joining an anti immigrant party. Go figure.

    • walkerp 06:25 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      The history behind the original Golden Dawn group is fascinating and quite wacky. The modern-day incarnation has kept the fascistic symbolism, but it does take the piss out of them a bit when you remember that they based their group on a bunch of upper class Brits practicing parlour-room occultism.

    • Ian 09:04 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      I refuse to take them seriously until they come out with their own Tarot deck.

    • steph 10:03 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      Isn’t the act of reporting on this hate group advertising their existence and doing more harm then the group’s initial ability to spread their message?

    • Kate 10:05 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      walkerp, I can’t find any evidence the Greek group named itself after the British occultists’ group of a hundred years ago. Did I miss something?

      Ian: : )

      steph, it’s news. I don’t think any of my readers will see this post and go running off to join up.

    • Ian 16:21 on 2012/09/29 Permalink

      The two groups are in fact completely unrelated. FWIW the British group was officially the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and while they were loosely based on the Masons, in many ways they invented what we now call New Age – for instance, modern Wicca is very strongly based in Golden Dawn revivalism. Before the Golden Dawn, tarot divination was pretty much dead in the water, and the “standard” Rider-Waite deck was designed and executed by members of the order. However skeptically you may regard new age mysticism, the Golden Dawn were EXTREMELY influential.

  • Kate 23:03 on 2012/09/28 Permalink | Reply  

    The municipal byelection campaign in Rivière-des-Prairies has begun, following from the resignation of Union Montreal’s Maria Calderone. Vision Montreal holds four of the borough’s six seats, Union holds a fifth. Projet and Vision have both nominated female candidates and Union’s is yet to be named. The vote’s on November 11.

  • Kate 21:30 on 2012/09/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Sad to report that OpenFile has suspended publication. I very much enjoyed working with them and hope they find a way to un-suspend themselves soon. Thoughts from Fagstein.

  • Kate 11:46 on 2012/09/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Friday is the first of three days of Journées de la culture. CultMTL picks; La Presse picks; Journal picks; tour the CBC/Radio-Canada studios at an open house; events at Berri-UQÀM; Récoltes urbaines beside the SAT; city hall will be open.

    • Doobish 15:41 on 2012/09/28 Permalink

      Here’s the PDF of the Montreal programme (french). I’ve no idea why the organizers don’t post these things on their web site.

  • Kate 09:55 on 2012/09/28 Permalink | Reply  

    The winter installation for the Quartier des Spectacles has been sketched out and is supposed to evoke icebergs.

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