Updates from January, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:43 on 2013/01/31 Permalink | Reply  

    SPVM officers are to get training in dealing with people having mental health crises from workers in health and social services. Three years from now every cop should have had some training in this area. And not a minute too soon.

    • Bill Binns 02:20 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      Standing at a safe distance and attempting to talk these people down (or get someone there that can talk them down) rather than simply blowing their heads off will be a good start. I get the feeling that many cops are just waiting for the day when they can plausibly say that they believed their life was in danger so they can get away with shooting someone.

    • Bert 08:05 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      Bill, I couldn’t agree with you more. They are trained to control situations from the get go and as soon as orders are not obeyed it becomes a confrontation. This can be because people can’t listen due to mental distress, because they are belligerent or because they are standing up for their rights. (728) When you are trained to be a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

      That said, that applies only to uniformed patrol officers. Any cop that shows a degree of common sense is promoted off of the beat.

    • Clément 09:05 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      @Bill and Bert: That’s a terrible generalization. As if most cops didn’t already know how to peacefully deal with confrontation. Patrol officers are confronted multiple times per day and many times orders are not obeyed. If what you’re saying is true, people would “get their heads blown off” many time per day in this city.
      Using two stories that happened in the last few years and then implying that all cops are trigger happy and want nothing more than shoot people in the head is a terrible shortcut.

    • Tux 09:46 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      Clément, Montreal cops do have an unfortunate history of shooting people that they probably shouldn’t have.

      There’s the 18 year old, unarmed, Fredy Villanueva

      There’s Farshad Mohammadi, a homeless man who didn’t understand the cops orders, and was shot in the back as he ran away.

      There’s Mario Hamel (an agitated knife wielder) fatally shot after he’d been subdued with pepper spray and Patrick Limoges, an innocent bystander the cops killed accidentally in the same attack.

      That’s just in the past couple of years.

    • Kate 09:50 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      The shootings are bad news, but considering the number of calls the SPVM must get to deal with someone behaving weirdly, and the fact that until now they’ve had no formal training in coping with various kinds of mental illness, it’s not too surprising. When someone really goes off the rails it’s not the “men in white coats” who get called first, it’s the cops, and they have to figure out something to do.

      By “not a minute too soon” I wasn’t implying most police are trigger happy. Police are on the front lines in all kinds of sketchy situations and it’s likely they have to deal with unstable people in bad emotional and mental states far more often than actual crooks and criminals. It’s long since past the time they should’ve had some specific training to deal with these situations and I’m glad it’s finally happening.

    • Clément 11:12 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      Tux: That’s 3 stories in the past couple years.
      SVPM has 4600 police officers and many of them go out on patrol 8 hours a day, interacting with citizens dozens of times every day.
      I’m not saying that there aren’t a few bad apples or mistakes made occasionally, but saying things like “many cops are just waiting for the day when they can plausibly say that they believed their life was in danger so they can get away with shooting someone” or implying that cops are a bunch of neanderthals just waiting to club someone is simply wrong.
      And for the record, no, I’m not a cop and I don’t have any family members or friends who are. I just think most of them are doing a really good job.

    • Tux 12:47 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      Clément – You’re right that it’s not fair to demonize all cops, but there are enough questionable incidents occurring every year that there is definitely reason for concern. Just because the job isn’t easy is no excuse for the kinds of things that happen when cops get involved.

    • Bert 19:45 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      Police are out to protect their power and to turn the population in to sheep. The 2-3-4 things that we can remember that happened in the past year or two is nothing. How much do they sweep under the rug, with collaboration from other officers or the judicial system?


      The police should be better then all of us. They are (supposed to be) trained to handle and diffuse stressful situations. They have extra tools and powers to enable them to resolve issues. They abuse their power by wrongly using their tools to impose a situation.

    • emdx 23:28 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      Montréal cops are utter ultra-morons dripping with the most abject stupenduous stupidity.

      Please pass this on, I want this to be widely known.

      18 months ago, I was with some friends from Europe, and we played tourist on Ste-Catherine. One of the friends just got himself a new camera for the trip, and since I am a photographer, I went along to show him how to use it effectively, and how to take pictures.

      When we get to place des festivals, after I snapped some pictures of the place (along with the 800-100 people there), some alpha super-duper self-entitled bitch shouted at me “delete the pictures of my children”.

      As it is not prohibited to take pictures in a public place, I ignored her at first, but when the hysteria persisted, I shouted back “if you don’t want people to take pictures of your brats, keep them inside”.

      Then she was on her cellphone calling the cops.

      Meanwhile, I left with my friends, leaving the raving lunatic to her hysterics.

      We keep walking down the street, when we see two cops walking towards us. Within 30 seconds, I was in handcuffs and my camera seized.

      This happenned on Ste-Catherine, in front of hundreds of people passing by. After being copiously insulted by one of the pigs “you’re sick, you are a pervert, there are cures for sick people, etc”, no doubt intended to provoke me to hit back at them (even with my hands cuffed in my back). As I had seen that very good video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc (please take 50 minutes of your life to watch it, it’s both educational and entertaining), I did not say a word at all, and let the morons do their moronity.

      I was not told for what reason I was arrested.

      Eventually, I was put in the police car, and driven to station 23 on Ste-Élizabeth.

      I was left for about 30 minutes on the backseat, with the handcuffs, while other cops came to insult and threaten me if I would ever set foot in the area. (Oh the irony, during the following winter, I would go many times at new friends’ living a few houses from the police station…).

      Such brave people, in a gang, insulting somebody handcuffed in a car, full of cramps, not able to do anything.

      I was eventually brought in the police station (for some reason, I was made to walk in a very narrow space between parked cars and the wall to get in by the front door – If it was to parade me to the public, that was a failure, no one was walking there).

      Then for a good hour, I was kept handcuffed while all the cops paraded one by one to look at me, while one of the cops fidgeted with my camera and took notes.

      Eventually, I was de-cuffed, told that my camera was seized, and given 11 tickets for an offence that hasn’t been in the books since 2007 (article 7 of http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/sel/sypre-consultation/afficherpdf?idDoc=15076&typeDoc=1 ) for a total of $1600. Copy of the tickets: http://emdx.org/RRVMcP1/copieBillets.jpg

      It was at least three hours before I was told why I was arrested, whereas the charter of rights says that I should be told at once.

      I got my camera back two weeks later by a child pornography investigator, who found no cause at all with the pictures I had taken. However, he told me that “if you don’t delete the photos, you will have serious trouble if you take pictures of children again” (I only took pictures of the fountains, and there happenned to be children there). So, in essence, he coerced me to delete the evidence!!!

      As at the time I have had a photography contract, I was not able to work for that time (don’t worry, the book came out last fall).

      That was for the police stupidity. Now, let’s step into the “justice” “system” stupidity, which is even mindboggingly moronic. To think that those people in there supposedly went to University!!! Best proof that education is not intelligence!

      Some 10 months ago, I get a letter from the municipal court, saying that the charges were dropped.

      Then, 4 weeks later, I get another one saying that I was found guilty, and the I should pay $201. I check the file number, and it wasn’t a ticket I was given.

      Turns out that the cops have not given me one ticket, and they had it processed like a parking/speeding ticket (those are handled differently – see Québec Penal Code of Procedure, article 163) where I would have been judged in abstencia (there is a special kangaroo-courtroom for this, it has no room for the public at all as the public is not present there, to be judged without warning). I asked to a judgment retractation, where it took less than a minute for the judge to toss out the judgment and acquit me.

      Then, right before Christmas, I get 9 court summons for 9 of the remaining 10 tickets to appear for the other tickets, on 3 different dates (I would eventually learn that the last one would be on a fourth date). They haven’t figured out that the offence I have been convicted for has not been in the books for years…

      So, this is the situation, and the first court date is in less than 2 weeks.

      If convicted, I will face $2000 in fines, for taking tourist pictures. Since I definitely cannot afford that, I wonder how long I will be jailed…

      This would not have been surprising in the Soviet Union, but here?

      (Oh, I had a lawyer, but he was surpridingly of no help at all, despite how expensive the bill was – I handled all the courtroom hassles by myself alone).

    • Kate 11:25 on 2013/02/02 Permalink

      emdx, thank you for telling your story. I hope the judge has the good sense to recognize the charges against you are bogus. Please let us know how it pans out.

    • Bert 17:44 on 2013/02/02 Permalink

      It should not even take a judge to figure out that what happened (according to) EDMX. The prosecutor should be able to see this (as described) as groundless. The police and (at least) the prosecution are working to try to scare or otherwise pressure someone in to admitting guilt.

    • emdx 01:59 on 2013/02/03 Permalink

      Well, a month ago, I formally asked for the evidence against me.

      I have not received anything at all…

      I think that the prosecutor is going to look very stupid in front of the judge.

  • Kate 22:38 on 2013/01/31 Permalink | Reply  

    The onetime boss of major projects for the city of Montreal, Robert Marcil, was part of a committee that gave a contract to Michel Lalonde’s Génius Conseil in 2009. Lalonde testified last week at the Charbonneau commission that he gave Marcil a cash bribe to get the contract; the story was recounted Thursday by a lawyer. Lalonde also offered Marcil a job after he left his city post.

    Lalonde completed his testimony Thursday with a tearful statement of regret.

  • Kate 22:29 on 2013/01/31 Permalink | Reply  

    A man was shot in Saint-Léonard Thursday evening, and the Gazette says he’s dead. No name is given. Sixth homicide of the year (Gazette notes we’d only had two this time last year).

    La Presse now says he was Vincenzo Scuderi, a man without a criminal record but who appears to have had some interesting friends.

    • Ant6n 00:43 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      Yeah, noticed this before as well. At this pace, we’ll have double the murder rate of the last couple of years (72 vs 35)

    • Michel 09:52 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      In other words, without a criminal record = never got convicted of anything.

  • Kate 22:27 on 2013/01/31 Permalink | Reply  

    The director-general of Vision Montreal quit the post in mid-January, which the party is casting as part of a reorganization.

  • Kate 17:08 on 2013/01/31 Permalink | Reply  

    People who commute along Côte de Liesse have lost a landmark. A photo’s been posted to Reddit showing the vintage HOCKEY sign knocked over by the wind. Image above excerpted from Google Streetview.

    High winds have been causing various kinds of havoc in and around town.

    • Doobish 18:12 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      Oh noes! My trips on the 460 will never be the same again!

      Damned interesting area around there, if you’re into industrial architecture and plane watching like me. Can’t wait for the spring when I’ll be able to check things out properly from atop my bicycle seat.

    • Ian 23:18 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      Awwwww…. I loved that sign! It was iconic.

    • Michel 09:52 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      Is that the skating rink with “serveuses sexy” at the bar?

    • Doobish 20:51 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      It’s Montreal, dude. Tous les serveuses sont sexy.

    • Jason67 12:02 on 2013/02/02 Permalink

      Heritage FAIL… :-(

  • Kate 16:06 on 2013/01/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Several Best Buy and Future Shop locations were found papered over and locked up this morning, a sudden move not expected by the stores’ workers. As Bill Binns observed to me in email, this could be a death blow to the Pepsi Forum, whose Future Shop store was among those axed.

    • Blork 16:38 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      That’s bad news for the Pepsi Forum, especially following the news that the SAQ on the ground floor is closing (that was announced last year, but I don’t think it has closed yet).

      You’d think there’d be a bit more optimism now that some of the Seville condos have people in them. It’s just a matter of months before the construction is finished and all units occupied.

      I hope they don’t close the cinema. :-(

    • Ant6n 16:52 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      Wasn’t the cinema just purchased by cineplex? They now have movie-tuesdays, just like the Paramount. Plus, they tend to play different movies, so there are many more movies now for cheaper in downtown.

    • carswell 16:56 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      The SAQ outlet in the Forum isn’t closing. The monopoly reversed its decision to shut it down, ostensibly in response to the public outcry (which I suspect included pressure from well-connected Greene Ave./Westmount Square types, since the outcry around the closing of the Pointe St-Charles outlet had zero impact) and after realizing that the Seville development and other planned projects were likely to increase the outlet’s sales.

    • jeather 16:57 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      The movie theatre always seems fairly busy, though it’s a really expensive theatre.

    • Ephraim 17:05 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      It’s not that surprising, especially considering how many stores are closing in the US as well as the company really doesn’t know who to sell to, what to sell and who’s interested in buying when the same goods are available elsewhere for less.

      Who’s buying DVD, when there is streaming? Who buys boxed software, when you download from the Internet? Everyone and their grandmother is selling cellphones. And do they even make music CDs anymore? I could walk through a Best Buy with $1000 in my hand and not find a thing to buy.

    • Kate 17:34 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      It’s not surprising looked at in a wider economic setting, but I’m sure it was still a shock to the people who showed up for their shifts.

    • Bill Binns 17:42 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      The AMC Forum cinema has not appeared healthy to me for some time. We saw a few movies there in December and sat in nearly empty theaters on weekend nights. They don’t seem to open the second snack bar any more either. I hope this one doesn’t close as I find the crowd at the Paramount more than annoying and there are no other options without a car.

    • Faiz Imam 18:11 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      Depends on the movie I guess. I watched a 10:00-ish showing of Django 2 weeks ago on a tuesday (more than 3 weeks after release) and it looked to be a sold out show.

      It draws well for foreign films, so I doubt it’ll shut down anytime soon, but its not the most active cinema in the city for sure.

    • Ant6n 18:42 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      Well it seems that the Paramount gets the block busters, and the Forum gets the more independent/smaller movies, foreign movies and kids movies. This kinda makes sense because the Paramount is more central and seems to have fewer but larger movie theatres compared to the forum.

    • Doobish 20:08 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      I watched Das Boot, The Director’s Cut at the AMC Cinema there. Suck as the whole development does, that one single film-watching / listening experience renders that particular theatre into my A-OK column, for the rest of my entire life.

    • jeather 21:03 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      Does anyone know how the laws about collective dismissal would work for this? Or if the employees who showed up would get their required half day’s pay? I’m curious.

    • SN86 21:35 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      Some rumours suggest the reason why the Forum location closed is because it was unionized and that it was coming up for renewal soon.
      As for the Forum itself, the AMC theater was renamed to Cineplex Odeon after all the AMC in Canada were bought by Cineplex last summer.

    • NDGer 21:38 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      What’s surprising to me is that they didn’t close the future shop on Ste-Catherine near de Bleury. I went in there before Christmas and nothing I wanted to buy was in stock and the staff didn’t seem to care.

    • emdx 23:31 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      The SAQ probably had pressure from Westmount people who are not too keen to see the native “robineux” hanging around Cabot square going to buy their booze in Westmount Square…

    • carswell 13:36 on 2013/02/02 Permalink

      « The SAQ probably had pressure from Westmount people who are not too keen to see the native “robineux” hanging around Cabot square going to buy their booze in Westmount Square…»

      Unlikely, as the now-closed Westmount Square outlet was on the chopping block at the same time as the Forum outlet.

  • Kate 13:07 on 2013/01/31 Permalink | Reply  

    J-F Lisée is in hot water with some language hawks for having suggested that the STM might consider hiring bilingual workers for public-facing jobs.

    Meanwhile, a poll showed Quebec’s anglos do not give a damn who gets to lead the provincial Liberal party next, with Bachand, Couillard and Moreau being three pip cards from the pack. But I don’t see any evidence that anyone in the francophone media is exactly riveted by the competition either.

    • steph 14:05 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      So being bilingual disqualifies you from working for the STM? Maybe they should just fire ALL employees and let pictograms and computer terminals serve everyone.

    • Bert 14:18 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      So, the guy is actually trying to do his job (which is a surprise to many), improving Franco-Anglo relations and he gets stabbed in the back by his own people or entourage. Oh, wait, we are talking about the P.Q.

      Keep Calm, Quebec as Usual.

    • Ant6n 14:42 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      Maybe they’re playing good-cop-bad-cop?

    • Bert 19:30 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      I am thinking more Wayne and Shuster, or Ding et Dong.

    • Clément 08:04 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      @Bert: It’s not like he’s been getting a lot of love for doing his job on this blog either.

    • Kate 10:13 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      Clément, I don’t think that’s exactly true, but then he’s doing a new job that didn’t exist before this PQ government invented the position. It’s a job whose mandate is likely to change with the political winds, and anglos know that: if it’s a politically canny time to make nice with the anglos he’ll do that, if it’s a good time to go Louise Beaudoin on our asses he will do that too.

      Lisée is a wily, clever guy. He’s gone from being quite the hardliner as a writer to being strangely conciliatory in government, which is interesting but not calculated to make an anglo cosy up to him right away. There’s an iron hand somewhere in that velvet glove.

    • Clément 11:03 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      Kate, I agree with you. He’s a clever politician and he has an agenda.
      However, he has been making some gestures which should have deserved praise. I think disagreeing with Dubuc about the strange (is it even official?) language policy of the STM is the right thing to do, but at the same time, probably pissing off the SSJB and other weirdos. For a péquiste, that’s never a good idea.

    • Bert 11:25 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      Clément, je suis d’accord. Tout le monde voyait un dur-a-cuir arriver and we expected the worse, me included. Perhaps he is just getting ready for when Pauline gets the knife in the back.

      Yes, he deserves praise, not for “standing up for Agnlo rights” mais plustôt pour avoir un peu de gros bon sense. Most would agree that front-tline public transit workers can arguably be required to speak English. And it’s not like he said something like “The OQLF will let STM have bilingual people” he just pointed out that the STM didn’t even ask the OQLF, relying only on internal legal advice.

  • Kate 12:41 on 2013/01/31 Permalink | Reply  

    No surprise here: the city has found that a nearby road construction site was what caused the ground to shift and precipitated the water main break that led to the flood from the McTavish reservoir on Monday. Metro shows a photo of part of the city excavations intended to replace several hundred-year-old water mains under roads in the area of the reservoir.

    • Bill Binns 12:49 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      Has anyone seen a monetary damage estimate for this event yet? The whole project for replacing the water main was supposed to cost 15 million or so as I remember. The damage from the flooding will almost certainly be far more than that. I wonder who is on the hook for the damage? I also wonder if this kind of man made flood is treated the same as a natural flood for insurance purposes.

    • Kate 13:39 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      I suspect the incident may trail through the courts for some time. I don’t think I’d want to be the lawyer trying to convince a judge that the McTavish flood was an act of God.

    • Kevin 13:45 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      Greed Of Desk jockies, maybe…

    • thomas 13:54 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      As part of the specification for work the construction companies involved are obligated to take out insurance to cover any damage that results from their work. This can get complicated if multiple companies are involved and fingers are pointed. It is not uncommon for construction companies to go bankrupt as a result due to eventual rise in insurance premiums.

    • Ant6n 13:54 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      Only floods, hurricanes, earth quakes, plane delays and car accidents are acts of god…

  • Kate 08:19 on 2013/01/31 Permalink | Reply  

    The CCA’s alphabetic exhibit on Montreal continues till the end of March.

    • Doobish 15:22 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      And don’t forget this one over at the McCord that ends March 10th. Haven’t been yet, but it promises to be, well, sublime.

    • denpanosekai 20:59 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      Bill Binns, neighbor, you’ll enjoy some of their Dr. Penfield/Cote-des-neiges/Guy shots. I sure did.

  • Kate 08:00 on 2013/01/31 Permalink | Reply  

    The old refrigerated warehouse at the eastern end of the Old Port, now converted to posh condos, is a fortress of security for a certain number of crooks and gangsters, says La Presse, a story also picked up in the Toronto Star by mob specialist Julian Sher. La Presse has sidebars listing some residents past and present and examining controversy connected to the building itself.

    • erydan 22:46 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      I remember Celin Dion had bought a penthouse there during pre-sales. 1999?2000?

  • Kate 23:46 on 2013/01/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Real estate promoter Tony Magi is under suspicion in the shooting of Nick Rizzuto Jr., three years ago.

  • Kate 20:51 on 2013/01/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Rosepatrie is offering to rescue 142 horse chestnut trees Saint-Léonard doesn’t want any more because they’re a bit messy. I wonder if it’s possible to transplant such big trees effectively.

  • Kate 20:00 on 2013/01/30 Permalink | Reply  

    A man jailed on charges of sexual assault stemming from an alleged attack on a young woman in a downtown church was found dead in his cell Wednesday morning.

    • Ian 21:40 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      While it’s sad to hear of a suicide, in the wilds of the world there be monsters, and while I feel for his family, it is perhaps a small mercy that he took care of the problem of his own existence.

    • Michel 11:26 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      He wasn’t yet found guilty, was he?
      Had there been a psych evaluation?

    • Kate 11:34 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      As far as I know he was being held waiting for trial. CTV’s report notes that he was a convicted sex offender so authorities may have relied on an existing file rather than re-evaluating him. I’m lucky enough not to know the exact details of how it works.

    • Bill Binns 11:58 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      A convicted sex offender who dragged a woman off the street into a church basement to assualt her. A good example of how effective “long term supervision” is at protecting the public vs keeping criminals in jail.

    • Kate 12:02 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      The CTV item says Jost was “part of a rehabilitation program at the church” which makes me wonder how that bit works. Are churches really allowed or expected to “reform” sex offenders?

    • Ian 14:52 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      @michel, @kate – I was referring to this: “Corrections authorities said Jost was under a long-term supervision order that started on May 8, 2008 following a third federal sentence of six years and six months for sexual assault, forcible confinement and disguise with intent.” Whether he was in fact “guilty” is secondary to that, but in any case it’s hard to imagine how he wouldn’t be guilty as the young lady he forcibly abducted and sexually assaulted is pretty damning evidence, wouldn’t you say?

    • Kate 15:58 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      That’s the whole point of a trial and to the care taken to write “alleged” and so forth in reports. But the man had form, so that adds to a presumption of guilt.

  • Kate 09:34 on 2013/01/30 Permalink | Reply  

    QMI caught city councillors playing solitaire and reading Facebook on tablets and laptops during council meetings.

    • Mathieu 09:38 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      I read the paper when my clients speak to me on the phone. It doesn’t mean that I don’t pay attention. It only means that I understood what they meant on their second word but they seem to need 10 minutes to feel satisfied with their explanation. From my experience, these are the people who go to council meetings.

    • Steve Quilliam 10:33 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      Let’s abolish most borough mayors and many city councillors position therefor we will have less of these people doing nothing while being paid by the citizens.

    • Kate 10:48 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      On the one hand, I sort of agree with Mathieu – a lot of what goes on at council meetings can probably be listened to perfectly well while playing solitaire or doing some other mentally non-demanding thing. On the other hand, councillors ought to be aware media are present and be smart enough not to be caught doing it.

    • Jack 10:49 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      Playing poker is of course egregious, but Facebook is how many councillors communicate with constituents. Plus its a Quebecor piece so they do have to nail as many Projet councillors as possible. Keep up the good work PKP minions.

    • Steve Quilliam 12:24 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      Let’s not shoot the messenger here. Thank god we have medias like Quebecor for all kinds of things and, among them, keeping a close eye on our elected people who have proven to have been a lot more of a burden than helpful in the past several years.

    • Ant6n 12:28 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      The same happens in any parliament. Isn’t it possible that with a city and population that’s the size of a small country, that councillors specialize and those don’t really listen when stuff goes on that doesn’t pertain to them?

    • Dhomas 14:18 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      How many of you are reading (and sometimes commenting on) this from work? Nobody can be 100% productive 100% of the time.

    • Jack 15:35 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      @Steve can you name one constructive piece of investigative journalism that Quebecor-Sun News has done. Taking pictures from a press gallery doesn`t count.

    • Jonathan 19:30 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      I find it more shocking that these councillors are playing solitaire! It really shows how old school they are, and these are the people running our city? Get with the times! They should be playing farmville or Mafia Wars (whatever it’s called)

    • denpanosekai 19:42 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      @Dhomas: not me! Montreal City Weblog is on the pornography/hate blacklist!

      (so says sonicwall)

    • Marc 20:29 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      Farmville is so 2010. :P

    • qatzelok 20:31 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      I’m really glad we have megalomaniac media spies to report back to us slaves about the inappropriately non-slave-like behavior of non-corporate persons who they would like to have removed. Was anyone daydreaming at that meeting? Did someone have a personal conversation while on the taxpayer’s dime? As a side note: Imagine how much media Quebecor could own if it wasn’t for all those meddling government types…

    • Ian 21:43 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      I’m with qatzi on this. It’s not like they were texting while driving, and were it not for the occasional opportunity to daydream my workaday life would devolve into nightmare realms. Even city councillors may distract themselves for the sake of their own mental health.

    • Kate 23:34 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      denpanosekai: I was once freeloading off the McDonalds wifi in Old Montreal and was shocked to find my blog blacklisted. Where did you find it to be so?

      Anyone have any idea how to get a non-offensive site off a list like that?

    • Kevin 09:58 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      You can usually contact the admins of the wall and ask them why they’ve classified it as out of reach.

    • Steve Quilliam 10:35 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      @Jack. On an almost daily basis they release or uncover stories on how our money is being spent. On how it is being badly spent, that is. On how it is being mismanaged by our elected officials and/or our heavy bureaucratic civil servants. Just for that it is worth to have such news agency even though it makes me cringe everytime I read such stories. Kudos for them for being the watchdog.

    • Kate 12:46 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      Steve, Quebecor’s media outlets have for years sold papers by constructing scandals but they’ve never done the solid work we’ve seen in recent years by the Gazette (Linda Gyulai in particular) and La Presse as they’ve dug into all the evidence of corruption and brought it to light.

      Most of the “shockers” the Journal digs up are on the order of some elected official playing solitaire while somebody speechifies on a topic of no relevance to his borough or political activities – small things that will make a barber or cabbie go “Tabarnak!” but which make no real difference in the bigger picture.

    • Bert 14:07 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      Sometimes I wonder if they learn urban planning by playing farmville.

      But i agree that this is a non-story, just muck-raking.

    • Jack 14:09 on 2013/02/01 Permalink

      @ Steve Quebecor-Sun News is not a news organizations.They reflect the very specific world view of their proprietor and essentially propagate his commercial and personal agenda.Just your selection of concerns reflect that, i.e. Public sector bad,Private sector good.
      However when PKP gets the public sector (Caisse Depot de Placement) to buy him Videotron and loses 1.5 billion dollars of our pension money, that loss is an “investment”.When he gets the province of Quebec and our entire political class (except Khadir) to build him a rink($400 million),gives him 25 years exclusivity and changes the law to protect him from lawsuits. More importantly he can intimidate politicians too shut the f_ck up, thats responsible public governance.
      PS Can we refer to this organization as Quebecor-Sun News, just so our sovreignist friends can see the internal contradiction of PKP’s nationalist credentials.

    • emdx 23:35 on 2013/02/01 Permalink


      25 years ago, a friend of mine who was a MCM councillor brought the first laptop ever into city council.

      He was told soon after that he could not use such a thing in there…

  • Kate 08:54 on 2013/01/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM is officially opposed to the creeping bilingualism that continues to threaten the primacy of French in Montreal.

    Meanwhile, Montreal continues to have more poverty than the rest of Quebec.

    • Stephane Daury (@stephdau) 09:21 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      La loi actuelle prévoit qu’on doit démontrer «la nécessité» du bilinguisme pour un poste.
      They work with tourists all year long, and:

      The City of Montréal accommodation tax represents its main source of revenue.
      Isn’t that enough? Isn’t hotel staff that works with the public expected to know English?

    • Stephane Daury (@stephdau) 09:23 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      Actually, the latter statement might not be accurate. It’s unclear if the tax is Montreal’s main revenue (sonds dubious) or Tourisme Montreal’s (more likely). The spirit remains the same. :)

    • Jack 11:04 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      What a world we live in Odile Paradis, the spokesperson for the STM gets her talking points from the Societe St.Jean Baptiste and its off shoot Mouvement Quebec Francais. ( By the way their are at least 8 of these groups with the same membership but different names, these two even have the same President.Its called astroturfing and is enabled by incredibly lazy journalists. The journalists who take these press releases add an intro and conclusion and go to happy hour.)
      In contrast Lisee tells the STM to be decent to their customers and do the right thing.Pigs are flying!

    • William 11:42 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      Language issues only arise in Montreal when two nutcases of different languages accidentally happen to cross paths. I wish the 1% wouldn’t ruin life for the rest of us.

    • William 11:42 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      Make that the 0.01%

    • ant6n 15:18 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      Doesn’t the STM operate in cities that have bilingual status? Wouldn’t that imply that it would be useful for bus drivers operating in those cities to have some knowledge of the language?

    • No\Deli 16:29 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      Oddly, the STM seems to take its political (and/or “legal”) cues from the provincial level of government, not the municipal. Despite the fact that its funds come mostly from Montreal – not QC City. [Recall this previous discussion, where I also link to the STM’s 2012 budget.]

      It’s an interesting thought, but I’ll bet the assorted city-specific language policies would matter little in this. For the STM it seems to be all about ideology and the PQ distortion field, not facts on the ground. Or customer service.

    • Kate 00:25 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      The official stance is beside the point. Some STM folks are fine with speaking English. (I would never speak English to an STM worker but I’ve seen it happen often enough to know it does.) I wonder whether they’re under pressure from coworkers not to do it, and whether if more noise is made about this issue the net effect will be to institute stricter policy (or heighten feeling and peer pressure, at least) against any use of English at all.

    • Kate 08:10 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      Here’s a brief letter in La Presse that’s interesting: I like the concluding idea “there’s a limit to being nice.” When you find yourself making that argument, how can you not see the flaw?

    • Jack 09:35 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      This wasn’t even an issue until 1. A Colombian playing for the Impact was treated rudely by an agent. 2 A ticket agent posted a sign that said he would not under any circumstances serve a customer in english at Villa Maria ( you know in NDG-Snowdon).3. A ticket agent left her booth to pound a customer that was giving her attitude in english.4. It was found out that one ticket taker had been suspended three times for being offensive in his dealings with english speakers.
      Is that being nice to the customers? Look I am happy to live in a city where French is the predominant language, it makes living here interesting and in many ways compelling. This is however a question of rudeness and the empowerment of the weak minded. This attitude provides the employees a platform to dump on people that they are supposed to be serving. No one said a word about this until zealots used this platform as an opportunity to do harm.

    • Kevin 10:08 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      How do you say ‘tyranny of the majority’ in French? Or ‘We like having second-class citizens’?

      Logic rarely defeats emotional arguments. So sayeth Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Fox News.

    • No\Deli 22:36 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      Jack, you forgot about this bizarre case in 2009 – sufficiently long ago that it’s already buried under a heap of more recent offenses.

      Honestly though, can’t at least this one thing be free of this poisonous, fruitless language bickering? The STM should be concentrating on one thing: increasing ridership. How is this political bullshit conducive to that goal? Why is a transit authority taking political stances at all? NOWHERE ELSE.

      *takes a Prozac*

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