Updates from January, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:24 on 2013/01/10 Permalink | Reply  

    The floors in metro stations with elevators are to be lifted and graded to make it easier for wheelchair-bound passengers to get around.

    • Clément 10:12 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      I just hope they maintain the original ceramic tile patterns they have in some stations. It would be a shame if it was replaced by generic tiles with plain patterns.

    • SN86 18:48 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      Normally, it’s next to impossible to preserve tiles if you’re regrading the floor since they’re bonded and become one. Unless they stored original tiles somewhere, it may be impossible to have the original floor. Especially hard for Lionel-Groulx!

    • Philip 23:12 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      They routinely replace those orange/yellow/red-orange/orange-yellow tiles at Lionel-Groulx. You see them chipped everywhere, and every once in a while a crew is there putting in new ones. They have plenty of spares, that’s for sure.

      I can’t tell you how tempting it is to brush by that stack of those little round tiles and snatch a few while the guy has his back turned.

  • Kate 22:22 on 2013/01/10 Permalink | Reply  

    A heavy snow followed by a mild week like this one puts extra pressure on roofs.

    • mare 23:19 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Melting snow is not heavier than not melting snow. The mass is exactly the same, the volume is different, and the pressure per square cassault equal. Science!

      The snow does get heavier when it absorbs rain however, and that might become a problem when we get a lot of rain, but that is not what the article says. (Our roofs have seen much bigger loads of snow and ice over the years, they’re generally built for it. Single story, often self-built, houses in the burbs and cottages are more at risk of collapsing.)

    • John B 23:50 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      @mare I thought the same thing. Where does the extra mass come from? I left a comment on the CTV article, but apparently they only approve comments once a day or something.

    • Philip 03:13 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      I think what the guy meant was lost in translation; it gets much more dense, three times as heavy per shovel-full.

      In terms of putting more pressure on rooftops, I think they’re referring to the fact that big snow + quick melt + freeze again turns snow into solid ice without time for runoff/evaporation (the huge surplus of snow that doesn’t melt acts as a sponge for the dripwater, so nothing manages to escape down the eavestroughs like in situations with less snow). That chunk of ice isn’t going to melt any time soon, and in the meantime more snow and ice will build up.

    • Philip 03:16 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      Mind you, nothing can excuse CTV for a line like “The latest warm spell has increased the burden, as snow is heavier after it melts.” That’s the journalist just not thinking hard enough about what he/she is writing.

    • Kevin 09:18 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      On behalf of my science-befuddled colleague who wrote that line, I apologize and have since corrected that ridiculous statement. Looking over his notes I can see exactly why he wrote it — but it’s still wrong.

    • Michel 09:50 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      Overheard at CTV: “Math is hard!”

    • Kevin 10:10 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      More like the entire industry. There’s a reason for the stereotype.
      Doesn’t apply in my case though ;)

    • walkerp 14:15 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      It’s not just the mass, it’s also that you build up an ice shield, which can then trap water underneath it and cause leaks, which a big pile of snow in constantly cold weather doesn’t do.

    • Kate 18:33 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      I’m glad we had some clarification on this point about waterlogged snow and its consequences, but Kevin, perhaps a smidge more tact re your colleagues might be wise.

  • Kate 22:21 on 2013/01/10 Permalink | Reply  

    Parking spaces have returned at the Olympic stadium after the collapse of a concrete slab last March. The repairs cost $3.9 million, some of which may have to be paid by the Saputos because the damage has been blamed on work being done to enlarge the soccer stadium.

    • Faiz Imam 02:09 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      I still hear from people who think the concrete structure of the actual stadium is weak and bring this up as an example, and I have to contain myself or else explode at them in righteous indignation.

      Good thing that lot is open, it’ll make game parking much easier, since the next closest lot(other than a small outdoor one) is on the complete other side of the park

    • Kate 12:42 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      Yep. I don’t think the stadium design can be blamed for a collapse after tons of earth were piled on top of the parking structure. Whoever was in charge of that job site ought to be on the hot seat though.

  • Kate 22:18 on 2013/01/10 Permalink | Reply  

    Lachine borough mayor Claude Dauphin says the plan to change the status of the Lachine hospital was made without consulting him, the local MNA or the local health council. CTV claims the decision is pretty much a language-based decree. Going back to the summer, the Lachine weekly reported on a protest over the use of English and the “deteriorated linguistic environment.”

  • Kate 22:13 on 2013/01/10 Permalink | Reply  

    Various ponderings on how the Canadiens may do in this shortened NHL season, and the parallels between Habs fandom and religion trotted out once again. Will Markov play again? He says he’s still able to walk, at least…

  • Kate 19:54 on 2013/01/10 Permalink | Reply  

    Pothole repairs have begun as the bouncing temperatures carve divots out of our roadbeds.

    • Chris 12:06 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      Call 311 to report potholes. They are surprisingly fast at fixing them (and I’m a big cynic)!

  • Kate 19:24 on 2013/01/10 Permalink | Reply  

    A fairly major power failure hit Montreal and surrounding areas Thursday afternoon after an incident at a substation in the Laurentians. Power has been restored; the metro wasn’t affected.

    • Robert J 22:40 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      My place lost power for 0.5 seconds. It was intense.

    • Kate 04:21 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      It can be, if you lose a file you’re working on.

  • Kate 10:49 on 2013/01/10 Permalink | Reply  

    The city can award contracts again but under new rules which mean businesses that bid will need to have their books scrutinized by the Autorité des marchés financiers, which used only to oversee businesses offering financial services. But other new rules may be coming as well.

    Can we really confine greedy human nature in these webs of regulation? We’ll see.

    • qatzelok 15:23 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Mafia isn’t just about greed. It’s also about trying to survive in a nation where you are not qualified/willing to do anything useful for other people. So to support yourself, you use your network of associates to extort cash from the less cliquey.

    • Ian 18:24 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      You’re certainly being more subtle in your racism, qatzi – baby steps, right? It’s good ol’ francophones in charge of government, and they were the ones accepting the bribes. Think on that.

    • dwgs 19:21 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Ian, thank you for putting that more eloquently than I would have.

    • Bert 19:54 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      qatzelok, I don’t think it’s fair to stereotype immigrants (especially those of the 1800-1900’s) as exclusively not-qualified or not-willing. There was a lot racial discrimination back then, and there still is some today. Signs reading “Irish need not apply” are not just stories.

      This is why communities did group together, to get strength in numbers. This is a reason why the Irish mafia, the Russian Mafia, Gypsies, Yakuza, etc. These groups decided to prey on other people, in their community, with extortion, loan-sharking, dealing in illegal goods, etc.

      Now, not to solely say it’s a racial thing, other groups have behaved badly. (Churches, scouts, native residential-shcooling, Officer 728 (supported by her colleagues).) Kate said it well, it’s greedy HUMAN nature.

  • Kate 10:39 on 2013/01/10 Permalink | Reply  

    The Lachine hospital – not, you would think, a likely focus for a tempest in a teacup – is at the centre of not one but two fusses this week. The regional health authority wanted to close some beds to save money; the health minister wants them to stay open. Although it won’t help the beds situation or generate any more funds for the hospital, the minister also suddenly decreed the hospital no longer part of the MUHC network even though the people running it don’t welcome the change, said to be needed to preserve its francophone character.

    • Marc 10:53 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      So what’s Réjean Hébert’s priority? Maintenance of health facilities or secondary language minister?

    • Kate 10:55 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Arguably, under a PQ government, all ministers are also language ministers.

    • Marc 12:42 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Right. I forgot. :P

    • Carrie 14:06 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      What the headline should have read was, “More rampant language nonsense from the PQ.” Hebert is quoted as saying, “I accord a particular importance to the fact that this institution must be re-integrated into a local network of the French language and that it pursue its historical vocation.” Which is essentially, poppycock. As if it’s otherwise mutually beneficial affiliation with the MUHC somehow removes any legitimate integration of the French language in that small community hospital.

      When I had surgery there in July (to my surprise given I was expecting it to be at the MGH), there wasn’t one single nurse or support personnel there who spoke English. Although one did speak Spanish quite well.

      I never understood the ongoing insistence by the media (incorrect incidently) that the MUHC is an “English health network.” As if that would be tolerated.
      Nothing could be further from the truth, barring it’s affiliation with McGill, but the media and the government for that matter, wield it like a dirty word which I suppose in the end, its supposed to be.

    • John 14:15 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      I can verify that the Lachine Hospital operates well in French. Even reports from their radiology department issued to doctors at the “main” MUHC hospitals (MGH/RVH) are issued in French.

      This will certainly impact the MUHC’s plan to relocate “non-tertiary care activities” from the Glen (future RVH/MCH) and Mountain (MGH) sites to Lachine (and elsewhere).

  • Kate 10:21 on 2013/01/10 Permalink | Reply  

    A fuss is brewing about public pools offering swimming hours segregated by sex for religious people and, as the Journal puts it, “pour les personnes plus pudiques.” A PQ minister says it has to stop but even the Journal points out (in the first link) that it’s not uncommon here and elsewhere, and so long as men and women get equal numbers of hours it doesn’t seem unfair. Radio-Canada says CDN-NDG has offered the separate hours for 16 years but there has now been a formal complaint.

    • Jack 12:42 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      I demand the right to swim with the pregnant women and Senior citizens. I am a tax payer and can not believe that these citizens have special privileges. I hope Quebecor and their minions back me!

    • david m 13:34 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      actually, i sort of support this, so long as the hours are fairly limited. i like the idea that mothers could bring their young daughters to swim together, or that very fat women could go swimming without suffering the extremes of self-consciousness that may arise as a result of interaction with the opposite gender. and why not let these fanatical muslim broads swim around? if they’re so religious that they won’t reveal themselves partially disrobed, then barring gender segregation means barring them from the pools. it seems a reasonable accommodation.

    • Daisy 13:39 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      I’m sure it’s not just religious fundamentalists that appreciate single-sex swimming. I’m ok with mixed pools now, but there was definitely a period of my life (starting in my early teens) when I was very very uncomfortable being in a swimsuit in the presence of the opposite sex. If we want to encourage people to be physically active then we have to meet them where they’re at.

    • Bert 14:00 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      David, fathers can then no longer swim with their daughters? (mothers/sons) What about fat men? if they are too self conscious to go swimming, will they be too self conscious to do other activities? Running? Cycling?

      Daisy, assuming that you were not agoraphobic, perhaps you should have found a swimsuit in which you felt comfortable. Could you have been in a mixed-sex group doing some other activity? Gymnastics? Volleyball? Skiing? Hockey? The issue with you feeling very very uncomfortable, is it someone else’s doing (fault) or your own?

      If someone has objections, religious or otherwise about swimming or doing other activities, then let them build their own infrastructure to use. If you are taking away some services (pool time) from one group to give to another, I don’t see that as fair.

      I know it’s done elsewhere, but will we then need to have female only buses, libraries, grocery shopping, etc.?

    • jeather 14:05 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      How many hours a week are we talking about? I don’t object to this happening a few hours a week — after all, pools do other sorts of segregation (elderly only, kids only, adults only, etc) which we don’t object to.

      Bert, to go from “pools have a few hours a week which are gender segregated” to “separate grocerie stores for men and women” is unrealistic.

    • Mark 14:06 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      I didn’t read anything in the article that the pool *only* has segregated swimming. I’m sure there are mixed times as well.

      And as if sexism runs equally both ways… sorry Bert, women have it a lot harder when it comes to being ogled and made to feel uncomfortable in these kinds of situations. If you can’t see the difference between a swimming pool and a library, I don’t know what to say.

    • Jack 16:24 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      @ Bert last leap very weak, especially the spectre of segregated grocery shopping,WTF.

    • Daisy 16:26 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Bert, I can’t imagine a swimsuit I would have felt comfortable in, especially because part of the issue was my overly developed chest, and anyway if I had a “modest” swimsuit I would not have wanted to stand out by being the only one in the weird swimsuit. I did try to wear a t-shirt to the pool but it turned out it was against the rules. (And of course t-shirts do not hide your chest once they’re wet anyway.) Many girls and women are taught this sense of shame surrounding their bodies, shame that it attracts male attention, shame that it does not meet the male standard for female beauty, etc. Giving girls and women a healthy body image so they aren’t self-conscious about their bodies is a worthy goal but it is a very long term project, and in the meantime a few hours a week of single sex swimming does not seem unreasonable.

    • Bert 19:19 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Jeather, one could argue that children and elderly do have different physical abilities, and that sharing a pool, even if lanes are segregated, can impose a difficulty to them. I can certainly see some sort of water-therapy (in-pool jogging, weight-lifting, etc.) also being incompatible. But I don’t see a reason for segregation based exclusively on gender.

      Mark, to what other “kinds of situations” do you propose women have a hard time being ogled? Spandex while bike riding? Getting up-skirted on the escalator? There should not be a difference between the pool and anything. Having separate sessions only reinforces the stereotype that the only reason that men (and lesbians?) go to the pool is to ogle women.

      qatzelok, absolutely. Once we start down this, there will be the English only, the Jewish only, the left-hand-lead only, the peanut-alergy only (before which they empty and refill the pool) .

      Jack, yes indeed, WTF. Let’s not go down the slippery slope. This may be the way it’s done elsewhere. I don’t live elsewhere.

      Daisy, exactly my point. YOU could not have felt comfortable in any swimsuit. And because of that all men have to give up their privileges to swim in favour of your right to swim? All that this hiding does is reinforce to women that men are perverts and that they should hide themselves, as opposed to telling them to just get over it, you’ve got boobs.

      We want a society that accepts public breast feeding? We want a society where sex-trade workers have greater liberties to ply their trade (to make it safer)? We want a society with equal pay-for-equal-work? Then, awaye, tout le monde dans la piscine! Or maybe I am a perv looking to see breasts and scantily dressed women everywhere.

      I have no problem with private segregation. You want to rent the pool, and have your own swim-time, with your own rules, go right ahead. Don’t do it on my dime.

    • Kate 20:08 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Seems to be obvious that if parent-child swimming is an issue, then you either confine the sex-segregated swim hours to adults only, or you exempt younger kids from the segregation. There, that’s fixed now.

      Bert, you’re raving. Women do get ogled. It is a fact. I can totally understand Daisy’s point about preferring to swim in a situation where men are excluded. If I swam I would prefer the same thing. Because sex segregation benefits people of various religious groups doesn’t mean it should be ruled out.

      You say “all men have to give up their privileges to swim in favour of your right to swim”? Nobody said that. Some hours can be mixed adult swim, some for men, some for women, some for kids. It’s normal for any indoor public pool to divide up public access in this way. And if doing this means more people are able to use the pool facilities and keep fit, it benefits everybody.

      It wasn’t very long ago in Quebec that sex segregation for things like this was 100% normal, by the way.

    • jeather 20:31 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      One could argue anything at all. But it’s not like all elderly have the same needs or abilities — like the difference between 64 and 66 is huge? — or children. You’re not actually segregating by ability (which might make sense) at all.

      No one is suggesting all hours be sex-segregated at a public pool. People think that having an hour every day or two — at different times of the day so that if you want to swim at lunch, it’s not half the time restricted to men/women, possibly excluding children under 10 or whatever — as an option for people who are, for whatever reasons, body conscious isn’t a bad thing. Do you rail against sex segregation in locker rooms or bathrooms, too?

    • Bert 21:50 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Kate, I have no issue with segregated swimming, in and of itself. I have issue if my swimming times are reduced strictly for sexist reasons. If you want to rent the pool, outside of public hours, then go ahead. If my, and your, total swimming time is not impacted, there is not issue and I am making a mountain out of a mole hill. I have issue with having something taken (and depriving me thereof) from me (a male), because (and only because) I am male and giving it to a female.

      Exclusive of urinals, I do have issues against segregated washrooms. I do understand segregation in locker rooms (nudity), and I can understand people wanting privacy in locker rooms, men and women. To anyone who has gone out to a bar in the past 30 years, why is the door to the men’s washroom typically propped open and the women’s not?

      Women get ogled and you could understand a segregated. No problem, let’s institute a tax for women and pay for women’s services out of that account.

      jeather, my point about the young and the old is that while swimming or water-exercising the waves caused by swimming might cause problems. i.e. a shared pool with some lanes for swimming and some for toddlers-in-training. Now, if everyone is doing water jumping-jacks, then there is little reason for segregation, except for safety.

    • Mark 23:44 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      And thus the argument is reduced to “I’m being discriminated against by being a man”. I wonder if there’s a word for this type of Internet argument pattern.

    • cheese 06:57 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      @Bert: a tax for women? Wow, that is the most riduculous thing I have heard in a loooooonnnngggggg time. Yeah I guess women just have it too easy in this male dominated world. Soon women might even expect equal rights and treatment compared to men! That sure would suck, better step up the oppression.

      In an ideal world not having to segregate things might be a decent idea but the current world is far from ideal, or fair.

    • Kevin 09:23 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      Failure to recognize that one is going through the game of life on the ‘default-easiest’ setting, when others are stuck on Challenging, Hard, or Brutal and cannot alter that fact.

  • Kate 10:16 on 2013/01/10 Permalink | Reply  

    An engineer’s report says it would not make good sense to construct a new Champlain bridge using parts of the existing structure, and it might even be more expensive than building from scratch.

    • steph 13:50 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      We needed an engineer’s report to tell us that? Up Next: We should not build the bridge out of LEGO.

    • dwgs 14:57 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Hey, don’t be knocking LEGO, it would be a step up from some of the structures we’ve been known to build in this town.

  • Kate 10:12 on 2013/01/10 Permalink | Reply  

    Kim Nguyen’s Rebelle is in the running for a foreign-language Oscar. Two live-action shorts are also on the list.

    • david m 13:35 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      weird, in english they’re calling it “war witch.”

    • Kate 20:10 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Well, that’s the official English title, and going by the one comment on the imdb, it’s relevant to the plot.

    • Jack 20:21 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      An Oscar nomination for foreign language film three years running, it is something truly to be proud of. Quebec’s film industry is an awesome cultural window on this society, that not even our pitiful political class can diminish. Congrats to all who work in the industry.

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