Updates from January, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 12:11 on 2013/01/18 Permalink | Reply  

    Our universities have diverted too many funds to real estate deals and the PQ plans to do something to reform the funding process.

     
    • qatzelok 12:42 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      Not to mention… our universities have diverted too many funds hiring armies of associates as high-paid administrators. Education is no place to be skimming funds to buy influence.

    • Kate 13:24 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      I can’t find a report I saw not long ago about how our health system has too many managers and not enough people on the front line. But that’s how we roll: the better paid jobs are away from the mess of the actual teaching or stitching people up, in comfortable offices among other people who have risen to that level, nice lunches, trips to conferences and all that. Of course some people are born to that life, but others rise to it after time spent in the trenches.

      It’s not just a Quebec problem, although we may have a bit more of a francophone bureaucratic style here leading to even more need for cadres to mess around with déontologie and so on. (Cf. Les invasions barbares.) But it’s only going to get worse as we live longer and retirement is deferred. If a typical job involves 20 years of actual effort followed by 30 years of well-paid but essentially nonproductive paper-pushing as a reward, we have a problem.

    • Doobish 09:06 on 2013/01/19 Permalink

      This blog is just overflowing with awesome commentary lately. Way to go, kids.

    • Jack 10:30 on 2013/01/19 Permalink

      It saddens me that the highest “ranking” pedagogues in our education system are so self serving and tone death.At Concordia , a university that absolutely changed my life, scandal after scandal at the executive level have damaged the university immeasurably. I don’t like Duchesne’s ethics but he is on to something here.
      http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/education/368819/universites-les-salaires-de-direction-ont-augmente-de-150-en-10-ans

    • Kate 13:33 on 2013/01/19 Permalink

      Jack, thanks for posting that, I was just coming back to add it.

  • Kate 12:07 on 2013/01/18 Permalink | Reply  

    Luc Ferrandez may be working with old political adversary Marvin Rotrand in a campaign to hike parking meter rates, bringing them more into line with the rates in other Canadian cities, meant not only to collect more funds but to encourage people to shop quickly then move along and free up parking spaces.

     
    • Ephraim 12:41 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      The city gets 30c on the dollar on parking meters. It’s not enough revenue to worry about. Maybe he should start to worry about COSTS instead? Let’s see, there is the billboard lawsuit that he is going to lose, there is the fact that it takes a crew days to fix simple pot holes with workers looking aorund doing nothing. They took 12 hours to clear the snow off of my half block of street one day… and not to mention that we have so many city councillors compared to other places….

    • walkerp 13:33 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      Ephraim, the inefficiency with the pothole repair and snow-clearing is something I’m sure the administration would love to fix, but they have very little power over the Cols bleus.

    • Bill Binns 13:44 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      Back in the 80’s, an investigative news team in Boston decided to follow some of the municipal road maintenance crews to see what they actually did all day. It turned out that the answer was “not much”. Trucks spent hours in Dunkin Donuts parking lots, visited malls etc. Trucks would leave with three workers on board and one of them would be picked up around the corner by their wife and rejoin the crew at the end of the day.

      It turned into a giant scandal. First the maintenance supervisors lost their jobs, then the head of the departent for the entire city and as I remember it nearly cost the mayor his job. This would work so well here. I constantly see city trucks parked on my street, just idling while someone sits in them doing nothing for hours. The little red parking enforcement cars as well.

    • No\Deli 16:11 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      Without any ability to quantify such a claim, I’m guessing that civic apathy in Boston is significantly less of a problem than it is in Montreal. Montrealers even seem to have apathy about their apathy.

    • erydan 16:21 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      I thought Montreal had something like the 2nd highest parking rates in the country. Shouldn’t they be lowering them to bring them in line with other Canadian cities?

      I believe we are 2nd after Calgary which is ranked 2nd in North America after New York.

    • Kate 18:53 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      I’m finding Bill Binns’ and No\Deli’s negativity both depressing and unfair. Our blue collar guys worked bloody hard to get the December 27 snowfall cleared up. And I haven’t seen too much apathy here over the last year or so – if anything, there have been complaints about people being too politically active.

    • Marc 19:42 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      @ erydan: Vancouver: $5/hour; Calgary and Ottawa: $4/hour; Toronto: $3.50/hour (and making noise about going up to $4); Montreal: $3/hour.

    • MB 21:36 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      30c on the dollar is a huge amount of revenue to worry about, actually. And sorry, I’m kinda glad that potholes aren’t the city’s number one priority when doling out revenue, considering THEY APPEAR EVERYWHERE INDISCRIMINATELY EVERY YEAR AND THERE’S NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT, JUST LIKE SNOW.

    • Ephraim 22:30 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      @Kate – That is the time they spent nearly half the day on my street to clear one side. No one could go anywhere because the snow was piled in the middle of the street from 7:30 AM until about 4:30 PM. They also came by to put up and take down the no parking signs at least three times without actually removing the snow.

      @WalkerP – Is the problem the actual blue collar workers or the people who are supposed to administrate them? Good administration would help a heck of a lot… so where do we find some?

    • Faiz Imam 23:10 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      More important that raising rates is having variable rates, which we can now do with the new electronic system.

      instead of $X/hr or free, its better to have a sliding scale. Basically the research states that the ideal situation is to have 85% of spots occupied at all times. price things whatever you have to to reach that.

      It can mean $6+/hr during peak times but lower the average elsewhere, and it’ll vastly improve the circulation and usefulness of our downtown roads.

    • No\Deli 02:58 on 2013/01/19 Permalink

      Kate – it can only be depressing if there’s an element of truth to it. In which case it can’t be completely unfair.

      2012’s promising level of civic concern didn’t really have much to do with boring, daily municipal logistics. And, alas, Montrealers are still statistically more likely to riot after a hockey game or rock concert than they are to agitate for good governance.

    • Kate 10:26 on 2013/01/19 Permalink

      Faiz Imam, thanks for mentioning that. I’ve seen mention of using technology to offer variable rates according to demand, and it makes all kinds of sense.

    • Bill Binns 10:28 on 2013/01/19 Permalink

      I hear a lot of “Meh, whaddaya gonna do?” at the dog park about just about any subject in the city. The one big exception is snow clearance. All Montrealers seem unified in their demand for maximum performance from their elected officials on this one subject only. The clock starts ticking while the snow is still falling. “Where are the trucks?”, “My streets done, is your street done?”, “When are the sidewalks getting done?” etc. If we could generate as much public interest in corruption as we have in timing how fast the weather gets picked up and carried away we would likely have a much better goverment.

  • Kate 12:02 on 2013/01/18 Permalink | Reply  

    J-F Lisée went to Westmount Thursday to woo the local anglophones – charming the crowd as the Gazette puts it. But as someone tweeted, by and large it’s not Westmount anglos who face job discrimination.

     
    • William 14:15 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      Going to Westmount to woo anglophones is like going to Outremont to woo francophones.

    • Jack 10:33 on 2013/01/19 Permalink

      Westmount works beautifully for J-F.

    • Chris 11:38 on 2013/01/19 Permalink

      A shame the media has focused on the language issue, but not surprising. There were also lots of questions about transportation, sustainability, Vendome access, etc.

    • Paul 18:13 on 2013/01/29 Permalink

      Here’s a link to the audio transcripts of the meeting, which covered much more than just language: http://www.wma-amw.org/blog/?p=835

  • Kate 11:03 on 2013/01/18 Permalink | Reply  

    There was a mild panic early Friday when someone said they saw a guy with a gun near Saint-Laurent and Pine, and police closed the Main for a few hours while a search was made, but nothing was found and the street was reopened.

     
  • Kate 10:47 on 2013/01/18 Permalink | Reply  

    This is a brief but stunning little story: an SQ officer has been temporarily suspended for pushing an 85-year-old man to the ground and dragging him out of a restaurant. The man died of a heart attack a few days later.

     
    • Ephraim 10:50 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      With or without pay? What other punishment does he stand to get, or is this norm for the SQ… paid vacation as punishment?

    • Philippe 12:34 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      Small correction: he had a heart attack a few days later but died 4 months later. The policeman should of course lose his job, he’s clearly unfit to hold a position of authority.

    • Tux 15:35 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      I feel like we’re missing some of the story here. Was M. Trudel senile or something? He couldn’t just slip out of the home and go have lunch? Officer Langlais oughta be fired. Police who freak out and shove 85 year old men should not be given guns by the state. What is it with police in this town and using way, WAY too much force?

    • Philippe 15:51 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      The French version of the story has more details, as well as the text of the committee’s decision. The suspension is without pay.

    • No\Deli 16:04 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      Understand that this is all through the comité de déontologie policière – the same one that handles SPVM complaints. Only the most extreme circumstances can push a judgement though that machine. Then can a case proceed to a proper court, where police might face actual consequences for their misdeeds.

      This happens rarely.

    • Kate 18:54 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      Thanks for posting the Radio-Canada version, Phiippe.

    • Ephraim 22:32 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      Wow… suspension without pay. That’s tough. I wonder what the prosecutor would do if a citizen has pushed down an 85 year old man? I’m sure a few days off without pay wouldn’t be the top of the list of punishments.

    • Kate 10:33 on 2013/01/19 Permalink

      I think our problem is that a cop can cut another cop slack because they understand. A cop would grasp how another cop can go on automatic when he receives orders. Even cops must recognize, within their ranks, some who are intelligent enough to vary their methods according to the situation, and some who simply hang on like bulldogs even if the actual situation means the orders no longer make good sense.

      A cop is not going to fire another cop for not being the brightest of the bunch, so they soft-pedal the punishment. Until we have that elusive non-cop committee to oversee police operations – what happened to that? – it will always turn out this way. Even with the committee, it needs to have the power to fire someone who turns out to be bad at being a cop, because you can’t force people to acquire common sense by punishing them.

  • Kate 00:39 on 2013/01/18 Permalink | Reply  

    Our emergency wards have been booming away at 150% capacity – some around 200% – but the social service czar says it isn’t a crisis.

     
    • Susana Machado 03:41 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      there is a Health system issue, yes, but there is also an employment issue problem. I’ve known people who would have stayed home and nursed their flu, sprained ankle, otitis for a couple of days, but had to get a drs note for their bosses not to get in trouble and so to the ER they go to get checked and get a Drs note to justify a couple of days absence.
      Fortunately I’ve always had jobs where I could call in sick and the boss would trust me not to abuse it without having to drag my fevered self to an already contaminated ER… but that is not the case for everybody…

    • Kate 11:22 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      Yes, you’ve mentioned that before and I think you’re right, but that’s not even a health care issue – it’s a social contract kind of thing. Maybe there should be a campaign to convince employers to cut workers a few days’ slack in wintertime so they don’t have to drag their flu-ridden or, worse, norovirus-spewing selves out to clog up the ER.

    • jeather 11:46 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      Not just clog up the ER — they’re also spreading their infections. But what options do they have?

    • Ant6n 11:48 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      Maybe we should allow employees to take a small number of sick days without requiring a doctor’s note.

    • Matt 12:01 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      You know, if your employer needs proof of illness, maybe he or she should pay for a doctor to come check you out at home. Just sayin’.

    • TC 12:05 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      It seems odd that you would have to go to an emergency room to get a note stating you are sick.

    • jeather 12:08 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      Yeah, the “they” was “people who work for employers that require a doctor’s note”, not the employers who require them. (I have never worked for an employer who required a doctor’s note for a short illness — <5 days or so.)

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