Updates from January, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 14:02 on 2013/01/19 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal notices that the public security czar at city hall owns a firm that sells security equipment. Conflict of interest?

     
    • Steve Quilliam 00:08 on 2013/01/20 Permalink

      To many councillors and borough mayors. We should get rid of 75% of them, that way we will avoid corruption and/or confilct of interest. These people are working for themselves and taking advantage of the tax payers.

      C’mon M. Applebaum, do Montreal a huge favor and clean the place up.

    • Kate 11:17 on 2013/01/20 Permalink

      Certainly we should have more transparency about the business interests of people on council. I don’t even know whether they’re meant to put their investments into a blind trust while they’re serving as councillors, but there should be provisions like that, and without easily used loopholes like letting your spouse manage them either.

  • Kate 13:26 on 2013/01/19 Permalink | Reply  

    Stories about language are on the plate today, though I’ve been posting other things first. The Gazette’s Don Macpherson examines how the Lachine Hospital transfer story was based on language, and he annotates his argument with a lot of links, too.

    J-F Lisée says the STM never called up the OQLF to verify their interpretation of Bill 101, which has been that no worker can be required to speak English as part of their job. Lisée also blogs about Notre Home and the varying responses he’s had from anglos and francos – illustrating the piece with caricatures of himself from various editorial cartoonists. But he ends with his credo: French is a minority language on the continent and thus, permanently endangered; francophones must limit the use of English here. That’s how it has to be.

     
    • Ant6n 17:09 on 2013/01/19 Permalink

      does protection by segregation work better than, for example, embracing bilingualism for everybody?

    • Ian 21:22 on 2013/01/19 Permalink

      Well, the theory is that if the French became bilingual, they would stop speaking French. I don’t think Québecois culture is that weak, but apparently JF Lisée does.

    • Robert H 22:00 on 2013/01/19 Permalink

      Cogent question Ant6n, though as far as institutional bilingualism I agree more with Lisée’s view that it should be limited to protect and support French as Quebec’s primary language. Of course he aknowledges that many anglophones find this to be a ridiculous denial of their daily reality. Thus appears the perception gap:

      “Sans doute parce que les Anglo-Québécois, ayant vu leur nombre se réduire depuis 50 ans, et ayant constaté l’impact sur certaines de leurs institutions, saisissent le principe.”

      And: “nous sommes 2% sur le continent, le caractère officiel et commun du français, son statut de langue première et prédominante, sont essentiels à sa vitalité même.”

      Anglophones are seeing themselves within the context of Quebec. Who can blame them? Francophones are seeing themselves within the context of North America, il fallait s’y attendre! The big fear driving much of the anti-bilingual hard line is the belief that given the vastly disproportionate ratio of french to english speakers on the continent, the hegemony of english in technology, business, and pop culture, and the continuing necessity of english for career advancement, official, ubiquitous bilingualism will lead to the gradual erosion of french, especially among the young and immigrants who might think to themselves why bother. No surprise that Lisée’s initiative is being mocked (my favorite is the poster of him frolicking through the alpine meadow like you-know-who), but anything that can get the various camps talking to each other is better than the mutual indifference and echo-chamber invective that dominates otherwise.

    • Steve Quilliam 00:21 on 2013/01/20 Permalink

      I have had it with the protection of the french language. The only thing it does is hurting the city of Montreal. There’s no other places in Canada or Quebec that is being hurt by this constant non sense. Only and always Montreal.

      Stop protecting the french language and start promoting it, M, Lisée. Don’t worry about the anglos, let them do their own business. Take care of the high school drop out kids, the homeless, the newly arrived immigrants. Teach all these people french, for free. But please stop harassing people that are doing their businesses in Montreal. They are here because they like the place.

      If you need some money to pay for the courses for the high school drop out, the homeless and the immigrants, look into the OQLF, you will find plenty of money that is not being spent wisely. I’m sure you’ll find people in there willing to teach french to anybody who needs it !

      C’mon for god sake. Use your head M. Lisée, have some imagination, find ways to promote french language. Make a deal with ”TVA’s Occupation double” in order to find the best french teacher in the province or something.

    • Ant6n 00:55 on 2013/01/20 Permalink

      Residents and immigrants (on work permits and PR) have access to nearly free French classes via the Montreal school board. That also includes Canadian citizens, Anglos can also learn French that way.

      I want a bi-linigual TV channel for Montreal, maybe a cbc off-shoort, like ARTE that exists between France and Germany. If France and Germany can create such a project, why can’t Canada?

    • Marc 10:28 on 2013/01/20 Permalink

      Ant6n: Suggest that to the CRTC, which forbids bilingual broadcast outlets. Here, CHOM and CKGM experimented with it in the late 70′s and, after a load of complaints, they were eventually told to pick one or the other. The issue has basically been “closed” since then. But multilingual outlets (e.g. CFMB 1280) are permitted so long as they don’t use any French or English.

    • Jack 11:19 on 2013/01/20 Permalink

      @ Robert H well put.The idea that mutual dialogue and understanding can be built by people of good faith has traction with me. My problem is the sense that fear is the leitmotiv for almost all this discourse. That needs to be addressed. A great deal of the arguments put forth for “protecting” the French language is built on the party line that it is disappearing, will disappear in 10, 20 or 30 years or is under immediate threat.If this is the starting and ending point of rational discussion we have a big problem.

    • Robert H 14:20 on 2013/01/20 Permalink

      Merci Jack, et vous avez raison. C’est la peur qui pousse la politique paranoïaque des purs-et-durs et nuit à la discussion raisonnable. J’apprécie aussi les bons conseils de Steve, Ant6n, et Marc. Steve, je suis certain que vous ne soyez pas le seul d’en a marre de la sauvegarde sacrée du français, mais malheureusement (ou heureusement!), nous partageons la métropole de la seule entité francophone d’envergure en Amérique du Nord et la plaque tournante de l’identité double Canadienne. Montréal, Montréal, encore Montréal…pourquoi? Parce qu’il n’y a pas au Canada un autre endroit, ni Ottawa, ni Acadie, ni Ontario, ni ce qui reste de de la communauté Franco-Manitobaine, ou les deux groupes linguistique principaux se cotoient comme ici. Cette ville sera toujours au diapason des disputes de la langue petites et grandes, c’est la vie icitte, faut s’y habituer.

    • Steve Quilliam 15:02 on 2013/01/20 Permalink

      @Robert H: Mais j’y suis habitué à la vie icitte et j’y ai grandi et j’ai aussi constaté le changement depuis les années 60 jusqu’à aujourd’hui.

      La réalité de Montréal a bien changé depuis ce temps. Le déséquilibre qu’il y avait auparavant a disparu. Le 10 ou 12 % d’anglophone ne ”domine” plus le 80% de francophone comme avant. L’émancipation des francophones, en partie grace à la loi 101, est quelque chose de bien concret dans la vie de tout les jours. Il me semble nous en sommes rendu à un degré ou la protection paranoiaque n’est plus utile mais qu’il faut plutot en faire la promotion parmi les nouveaux arrivants et aussi parmi les jeunes francophones décrocheurs comme parmi parmi les visiteurs.

      Que du négativisme envers autrui ne règle en rien l’appréciation de sa culture et de sa langue. Il est temps de partager davantage et de laisser les ”autres” vivre et s’exprimer à l’intérieur de notre grande province ou à tout le moins de Montréal. Il y a de la place pour tout le monde tout en s’assurant que la langue principale soit le français. Montréal n’a pas besoin de ces petits irritants qui à la longue deviennent une montagne et ne font que du mal à notre ville.

      Plus personne en amérique du nord, voir en occident, ne met en cause la primauté du français au Québec. Montréal est reconnue pour etre la deuxième ville française au monde, la Paris de l’amérique du nord. Les américains viennent ici pour une expérience européene exotique, surtout grace à notre français. Le Canada anglais reconnait le Québec comme entité francophone et la communauté anglophone de Montréal s’est très bien adapté depuis les 40 dernières années.

      Moi je suis partout en ville et je n’ai jamais aucun problème à me faire servir ou respecter en français. Je vois et je vis la réalité montréalaise en tout temps et je ne vois pas ou sont ces conflits entre francophone et autres.

      Je suis né à l’hopital de Lachine, mon frère et ma soeur aussi. Mon père aussi est né là-bas. Ma grand-mère et mon grand-père sont décédé à cet hopital. Je me suis fait opérer là-bas. J’ai habité 12 ans sur la 16ème avenue à Lachine juste en face de l’hopital. Le stationnement de cet hopital était mon terrain de jeux pour jouer au hockey. J’ai des tantes qui travaillent là-bas. Je n’ai jamais eu de problème de langue là-bas. On m’a toujours parlé en français comme on parlait en français à ma grand-mère et ma mère, pendant qu’on parlait en anglais à mon grand-père et à mon père.

      Pourquoi toujours s’en prendre à des sujets qui divisent les montréalais. Il me semble qu’il y a assez de dossier qui doivent etre régler et ou le PQ devrait s’occuper. Comme les attentes dans les hopitaux, comme le prolongement du métro, comme le rond-point Dorval et l’accès à l’aéroport/train de l’ouest, comme le décrochage chez les jeunes, comme l’intégration des immigrants sur le marché du travail, comme terminer l’ilot voyageur, comme l’étalement urbain, comme le manque de logement sociaux, comme le nombre grandissant de sans-abri etc…

      Pourquoi créer des problèmes ou il n’y en a pas au lieu de s’occuper des vrais problèmes ?

    • dwgs 11:31 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      Steve Q, you’ve got my vote. And a campaign contribution.

  • Kate 13:19 on 2013/01/19 Permalink | Reply  

    I haven’t been following every step of the Richard Henry Bain case as the confusing issue of whether he’s fit to stand trial sputters through the courts. Basically it remains unclear whether he’s wilfully stonewalling or at the mercy of some mental illness.

     
  • Kate 13:14 on 2013/01/19 Permalink | Reply  

    Community groups continue to pressure CDN-NDG for social housing promises for the new Projet Hippodrome development on the old Blue Bonnets site.

     
    • harish patel 18:39 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      anyone rajister name for housing project in blue bonnets montreal?

  • Kate 13:13 on 2013/01/19 Permalink | Reply  

    We’re having snow again; appropriately, the Fête des Neiges begins today.

     
  • Kate 12:05 on 2013/01/19 Permalink | Reply  

    A list of restaurant food safety violations has been making the rounds, taken from Protégez-vous magazine. You can also find this information on Resto-Net, an open data site that displays the information usefully on a map.

    But you know, I don’t worry about these much, because a lot of them have been shown to be technicalities about food temperatures, which the city has certain guidelines on but many restos know they can break without causing harm. Anyway, I haven’t been made sick yet by a restaurant.

     
    • Ian 13:05 on 2013/01/19 Permalink

      While that’s generally true, when you do get sick, it’s usually pretty bad. I was laid out with salmonella over a New Year’s weekend from a Thai restaurant in Ottawa, and had to cancel my planned trip to New York. Over a lousy 10 dollar bowl of green curry. Given that experience, I would rather err on the side of caution.

    • Bill Binns 18:37 on 2013/01/19 Permalink

      You probably have been made sick from a restaurant at one time or another. Not all foodborn illnesses manifest themselves with your stomach turning inside out. I have to sit through a lot of food safety seminars as part of my job. A few years ago, I was suprised to learn that one of the restaurant items most likely to make you sick is bar garnish. Those innocent looking lemon wedges, maraschino cherries and olives are touched by way too many fingers, not kept at the proper temperature and are prepared by bar staff rather than trained kitchen employees.

    • Ian 21:28 on 2013/01/19 Permalink

      It’s also worth noting that if you order a mixed drink in a restaurant there’s a greater risk of cross-contamination as the garnish is stored with all the other food in the kitchen then used by the bar in the conditions Bill describes. I don’t really think bar staff vs kitchen staff plays a big factor since we’re talking cutting wedges, not preparing meat & there’s not a lot of training required, but if the garnish is improperly refrigerated, the ice isn’t clean, or the cherries sit around a long time it’s the fault of the management & owners cheaping out, not the bartender. Food safety violations are almost never the fault of the staff.

      FWIW I worked in restaurants a lot when I was younger and one thing I can say with certainty is that you should never, ever ask to see the kitchen. It is way too gross, even really nice places, and you will probably never want to eat there again.

    • Kevin 08:36 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      @Kate
      So you have never in your life been sick — vomiting or diarrhea — within 3 days of going to a restaurant? Because that’s how long it can take for bacteria to breed in your gut to the point of making you ill.

  • Kate 10:21 on 2013/01/19 Permalink | Reply  

    Le Devoir has a good piece on how every generation sees a corruption inquiry in Montreal, followed by reforms, a period of peace in which things gradually fall back into their old patterns and ways are found around the new laws, until abuses happen that are so egregious that the public demands a new inquiry.

    The Charbonneau commission resumes hearings Monday with a second grilling of former Union Montreal organizer Martin Dumont, the man who testified that Gérald Tremblay knew his party was keeping two sets of books, and whose testimony is widely felt to have given Tremblay the final push – although La Presse says that Tremblay left because he felt he had no support from the new PQ government.

     
  • Kate 10:13 on 2013/01/19 Permalink | Reply  

    RDS notes that it’s been unusual for the Canadiens to open the season at home and that it hasn’t done so for eleven years. It also notes that the team has traditionally done well when opening at home, although forgive me if I doubt the relevance of this kind of statistic when the team has changed ownership, roster, home ice and management completely in the meantime.

    The Canadiens open their short season Saturday night against the Leafs, with a five-game audition for Alex Galchenyuk to pique the interest of fans.

     
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