Updates from January, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:55 on 2013/01/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The Canadiens condo tower going up next to the Bell Centre will be the city’s highest now that two more floors are being added.

  • Kate 23:54 on 2013/01/23 Permalink | Reply  

    There will be a class action suit against the operators of the autoroute 25 bridge, who have been charging commuters two to three times the posted toll. $1.80 plus an unmentioned “administrative fee” of $5 is quite the scam.

    • Blork 09:49 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      I got dinged by that about a year ago when I had a customer in Laval that I had to go see. I decided to drive, as taking public transit from the south shore to Laval would have been expensive and very, very slow. I’d never taken that bridge before so I went for it.

      I don’t mind paying a fee to use the roads or a bridge. The rates of $2.40 (peak hours) and $1.80 are acceptable, but there is hardly any warning that there’s a toll at all. I did notice a couple of signs but they weren’t very clear and they did NOT say how much the administrative fee would be. I assumed it would be 50 cents or something. Imagine my surprise when I got a bill in the mail for $14.80!

      You can save the admin fee by signing up for some kind of “regular user” plan that I think involves putting a transponder in your car or something. The information on the site isn’t very clear. But that’s no help for the occasional user. In my case I made the trip to Laval maybe three times — and the other two times I went via the 15 to avoid the toll.

      But any time an administrative fee is two to three times the actual usage fee, you know it’s a rip-off.

    • Mark 10:56 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      Got dinged by that too, in a friend’s car. Similar story: expected to owe him a couple bucks but ended up having to buy him lunch in return instead.

      From what I recall at the time, there is actually *no* way to only pay the posted fee. I think there is still a smaller extra fee even if you have the transponder. Ridiculous.

    • Mark 11:07 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      Okay correction: doesn’t look like there is an extra per-use fee if you have a transponder. It’s an extra couple bucks a month. But if I am reading it right (which it appears they don’t want you to do), the transponder is free but it’s $50 to open an account per vehicle. And if you cross the bridge with an out-of-province vehicle, it’s $35 *plus* all the other fees! Yoinks! Yay for PPPs…….

    • steph 12:34 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      Another part of the class action suit is for the mistaken double and triple charging & transponders that have malfunctioned resulting in extra fees. There’s obvious ‘double checks’ they could easily put into place to avoid these problems, but it’s been more profitable to just send out the bills and hope folks don’t notice they’re being marked up.
      Can you imagine getting a transponder and at the end of the month you receive a 592$ bill (14.80$ each time X twice a day X 5 days X 4 weeks) because your transponder wouldn’t function car due to the angle of your windshield? how many phone calls and letters do you figure that takes to resolve?

    • jeather 13:03 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      Here’s the fee schedule (pdf, English version).


      I believe you need to deposit 50$ to open an account, but that 50$ is used for your toll fees.

      I just don’t use that bridge on the rare occasions it might have been useful. (Never at rush hour.)

    • Mathieu 14:15 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      And on top of that, rental companies will make you pay an additionnal fee if you rent a car and use the bridge, around $15 on top of the toll and fees (for them to process the bill).

    • jeather 14:39 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      I wonder: the government gets some percentage of the toll amount, but do they get any of the various fees? I assume not, and that this explains why the tolls are low(ish) and the fees very high.

    • William 20:08 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      An EZ-Pass transponder, used everywhere else in North-Eastern North America, including in Ontario, is free (but you do have to pay a $25 refundable deposit). Quebecers can get them and they even have service en français. You have to wonder why the technology is not being used here – once again, we reinvent the wheel at immense expense…

    • Philip 00:08 on 2013/01/26 Permalink

      Industry: “Hey, lets have a public-private toll road.”
      Public: “Sounds great!”
      Industry (behind their backs): “How can we take advantage of this?”

    • Lugalle 10:23 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      I did not pay a pfenning when I crossed it twice last fall.

      The thing is, I was on my bike…

    • lorenzo egido 07:39 on 2014/04/07 Permalink

      this legal mafia wants $1900.00 for 80 passes on bridge with no transponder since september. ya right

    • Bob Ellis 13:59 on 2014/05/29 Permalink

      I just received 4 fines in the mail from autoroute 25, what the hell is that about, i didn’t even realize i was doing something wrong…. if there is a class action lawsuit please let me know so that i can join in.

    • John Chouinard 22:50 on 2015/10/18 Permalink

      I am disgusted because I just bought a new car ….. I am forced to stick the ugly transponder on my car. It ruins the look of my car. They can see the licence plate and apply the cost against that , but they refuse. I want to create a class action to charge them, for advertising for them ….. Bridges like this are for the public, not for the corporation. They should expect a reasonable profit, but, not at the inconvenience of the public…….. This is a public institution, it should be set up, for the people, not the corporation. With the addition of future tolls throughout the city, my wind-shield will be covered with ugly transponders. Then my car will removed from the road, because it is to dangerous to drive. Petty corporate greed, supported by the government. !!!!!!!! Pathetic.! With the software technology available today, this situation can be avoided , if used properly it will provide enough savings for the corporation involved to make more money. (Or at least find a better balance, for the public) Pathetic inefficiency!!!!!!!!

  • Kate 23:44 on 2013/01/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The new Planetarium is to open on April 6.

    More reports: Radio-Canada posted a video report with a look inside the new building, and Le Devoir and Metro enumerate the features of the new building.

    • DCMontreal 07:30 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      As a kid part of the fun of the old “Dow” Planetarium was watching that big projector moving around in the semi-dark. I understand the new one is much smaller.

      Speaking of memory lane, I thought you might find this post of interest


    • david m 15:50 on 2013/01/26 Permalink

      as an extreme aside, in that link you’ve inadvertently neologized a neat concept, “l’angloire.” a highly specific form of nostalgia comprising an anglophone anguish at how montreal has evolved away from us, a wallowing in or pathetic (in the greek sense of the word) attachment to a faded glory, in conjunction with a stubborn but lugubrious refusal to alter one’s course in the face of the modern cultural narrative in which one has no prominent place. so that an “angloirish” pub might be a space that calls to mind a time in which we belonged, a place where we stubbornly salute the rituals of old, with the full and doleful knowledge that they’re little more than lonely gestures at a moment long past. i imagine that dominant societies in terminal decline elsewhere know such sentiments, though perhaps without such elegant words to describe them – british in zimbabwe and kenya, afrikaners in south africa (behorsverlies?), french in algeria, british in hong kong, serbians in kosovo, greeks in pontic turkey, russians in all the central asian republics, and so on.

    • Kate 16:38 on 2013/01/26 Permalink

      david m, sorry to call you out here, but you really are a fascinating case of self-hating anglo. It’s a funny phenomenon. You’re here, writing in English, berating other people – also writing in English – who refuse to deny their own history or their own stake in this place and accept the Quebec nationalist myth that Montreal is French, has only ever been and only ever will be French.

      It’s a myth that’s demonstrably not true and, with the constant immigration from non-francophone places, less true all the time.

      Stick to it if you will, but accept that you’re not “right” – you’re simply choosing a myth that suits your own psychological background, and calling it a better myth than Jack’s or Ian’s or DCMontreal’s or mine.

    • david m 18:47 on 2013/01/26 Permalink

      you have me all wrong, i’m totally in earnest. i love the old anglophone montreal, almost pathologically. i’d do anything to stroll through the montreal of the 1940s. and i certainly don’t “berate” others who refuse to buy into the ‘montreal was always french’ myth. what i dislike is how, in the face of francophone majority rule, the anglophone community has shrunken into an embittered, sometimes fanatical rump of its former self. and the canadian turn depresses me, where the gazette is basically a continuing screed against francophone quebec. if that’s the dyad, i’m on the progressive side, rather than the conservative/nostalgic side, and i utterly reject retrenchment.

      you’re right that i spend too much time on this blog though responding to language issues that, actually, don’t really interest me very much. the contentious side of my personality, i fear.

    • Kate 20:34 on 2013/01/26 Permalink

      See, you’re buying an assumption that Quebec nationalism is “progressive” while anyone who opposes it is “conservative” – whereas I tend to feel that all nationalism is inherently suspect and there’s got to be a wider, more internationalist view, which I don’t feel to be conservative at all. Step outside the red/blue world of the Canadian/Québécois split and the whole thing looks pretty sad, pointless and wasteful.

      I can see the romantic appeal Quebec separatism had at one time, the downtrodden destiny thing attractive in everything from Catalunya to East Timor to Bajor. But that was part of a myth too – the myth of the evil English colonialists and the exploited francophone peasant, which situates the French colonizers as the rightful heirs to this part of the world, casually deleting everyone else who happened to be living here before 1534. But that era is past. As I wrote recently here on the blog, if Quebec did not separate in the rush of passionate nationalism between the Quiet Revolution and the 1980 referendum, it isn’t going to now.

      I don’t defend the Gazette – you can see through this whole blog that I’m critical of it. I think it missed the boat years ago when it could’ve been more tough-minded about constitutional issues. I think it should always have held itself to a higher standard of thought and expression, but it will never do that now.

      Step back a little. Right now Canada is unattractive, I don’t deny it. Harper is turning Canada into a country I feel alienated from now more than at any other time. But that too will turn around, although we may have to be patient and determined about it.

      Quebec has been asking for too long what Canada can do for it. But to borrow the sentiments of another man at another time, the moment may come when Quebec realizes it has to ask what it can do for Canada. That could be a hell of a thing.

    • david m 21:59 on 2013/01/26 Permalink

      hm, so i’m a ‘self-hating anglophone’ because i don’t really care much for or feel much attachment to canada qua concept/imagined community, but i do feel affective attachment to a montreal identity that has evolved since the fall of anglophonia? i’m rejecting internationalism because i take issue – in english, on blog dominated by anglophones living in montreal – with reflexive, eye-rolling criticism of foundational elements of said identity? the quebec/canada split is sad, deleterious and wasteful because the status quo is a peace enough?

      we have a very fundamental difference of opinion on the substance of the national project here in quebec. i’ve come to see it as something very much incorporating the montreal that i know – bilingual, very well-educated, highly cosmopolitan, exclusively urban – and rejecting the competing strain that the canadians have built over the past 15-20 years – solipsistic, semi-urban, loud, anti-american,.anti-quebec

      i mean, travel outside of quebec- you have to avoid mentioning the belle province to canadians because when it comes up, we go to instant prejudice and negativity, and entire discussions about what quebec should do for canada instead of what canada does for us. it’s nuts. and then, if you want ‘self hating,’ the quebec anglophones take on that canadian posture viz francophone governance in their province, and it’s very difficult not to call to account those putting voice to such views when one just disagrees so basically.

      as for the notion of a post-nationalist moment, i don’t really disagree, even as movements in europe suggest that in highly developed countries, increased internationalism provides a better, rather than worse forum for national self-determination.

    • Lugalle 10:24 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      It’s funny how anglos lament the nationalism of others, while they happily assume that they should rule everything as a matter of course.

      You should look at yourself in the mirror sometimes.

  • Kate 23:42 on 2013/01/23 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s always a bit puzzling for me when governments say one day that they have no money and yet the next day there’s millions for parks and sustainable developments of various kinds – today’s sum seems to include the parks money mentioned Tuesday plus bike paths and development around metro stations. Lisée is quoted briefly here saying that spending this money on Montreal during a lean year proves the government cares about the metropolis.

  • Kate 20:12 on 2013/01/23 Permalink | Reply  

    CTV enumerates the problems caused by the cold temperatures while the Gazette takes the line that it’s no big deal and we’re all being a bit whiny. Quebec hit a record for power consumption through Wednesday, as had been expected.

    And Toronto goes on having Bixi when we do not.

  • Kate 19:42 on 2013/01/23 Permalink | Reply  

    Maria Rizzuto wanted the court to declare her husband Paolo Renda dead but a judge turned her down Wednesday. Renda has been missing, presumed kidnapped, since mid-2010. Usually the court wants a clear seven years before someone can be declared dead.

  • Kate 19:18 on 2013/01/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The car belonging to a missing man from Lachute was found Wednesday near Atwater Market, but his fate is unknown. Gary Forster has been missing since January 13. More from CTV and from CJAD where it’s stressed that it’s very atypical for this man to go AWOL.

  • Kate 19:14 on 2013/01/23 Permalink | Reply  

    A consulting engineer testified at the Charbonneau Commission Wednesday that his firm inflated contract estimates but that the surplus was handed back to municipal parties.

    Martin Dumont is expected at the commission Thursday to straighten out the many questions about what he said in his earlier testimony.

  • Kate 08:01 on 2013/01/23 Permalink | Reply  

    I’ve been seeing various pieces announcing discussions on Old Montreal and this morning La Presse has a piece about how the area is seeking an identity. There’s something here I’m not getting. The Vieux has to be one of the best defined areas in the whole city. People come from far away to appreciate it, its nightlife has revived in recent years and its residential population only keeps growing. What’s to “identify”?

    Maybe if this is really a covert effort to get support for re-branding (ugh) the area, they can finally order a redesign on those scarlet street signs that mar the Vieux, but aside from that, I don’t see what else they need to do.

    • Stefan 08:23 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      identity is about defining its difference in respect to what then becomes the other. cordon off cars from its area and quickly it’ll become a neighborhood.

    • Martin 17:17 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      I think it’s the Office de Consultation publique who’s looking for an identity. They have to justify their existence, even when not really needed. In the last 2/3 years, very few projects sere submitted to the OCP, so they have to come up with something. Anything. I read their dossier on Old Montreal. Nothing original in that document which only states the obvious: Old Montreal needs more parking, it needs more residents, it needs more trees, etc.

    • Kate 19:38 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      The OCPM has a valuable role in consulting the public on new projects and how they fit into the fabric of the city, but this business about Old Montreal has a manufactured sound to it, like they want to slip in some weird new idea sideways and see how much we kick.

    • Singlestar 21:37 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      http://ocpm.qc.ca/vieux-montreal for all the info. The hearings are being web-broadcast en directe.

    • Bill Binns 11:22 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      It would be nice to have more of a balance between tourism and local interests in Old Montreal. I come down occasionally to go to Le Gros Jambon or Holder but pretty much view the area as full of dusty tchotchke shops. Quebec has done a much better job with Old Quebec City.

    • Lugalle 10:26 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      Old Montréal seriously needs a consequent grocery store.

      It’s always a pain whenever you go to party to people who live there, you have to think to get the stuff as you leave and carry it about.

  • Kate 07:56 on 2013/01/23 Permalink | Reply  

    Andrei Markov scored twice Tuesday evening as the Canadiens beat the Panthers 4-1. The other goals were picked up by Plekanec and Galchenyuk, the latter getting his first NHL goal.

  • Kate 07:53 on 2013/01/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The English Montreal school board is preparing to auction off artworks which have come into its possession over the years, mostly while it was still the PSBGM. Interesting that the sale will take place in Vancouver rather than here.

  • Kate 07:39 on 2013/01/23 Permalink | Reply  

    A sudden warming in the stratosphere over the Arctic is blamed for the wave of cold weather we’re experiencing now, and according to this article will probably be living with till mid-February. Shelters are scrambling to make sure everyone can sleep inside, even people normally very resistant to the idea.

  • Kate 07:33 on 2013/01/23 Permalink | Reply  

    Pauline Marois is launching a big offensive for sovereignty. I’m glad she doesn’t lose touch with her priorities at a time when our universities are underfunded and our hospitals are cutting back. She’s going to talk to Scottish separatists soon (although you’ll notice she won’t talk to people wanting to separate Corsica or the Basque country from France).

    • walkerp 08:16 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      Gotta keep that old guard happy.

    • John B 11:15 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      I thought there was no higher priority than freeing your people from oppression.

    • Churchy McGee 13:33 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      Do we really need to worry?

      Why assume Montréal gets ‘separated’ as well.

      Considering its importance to both Canada and Québec, it stands to reason that Montréal would remain a part of both.

      Like Berlin, but without the wall.

      Why not?

      It’s the only way this will go down and leave most people happy. Canada and Québec would have to share this immense city, if not the entirety of the region it controls.

    • david m 14:17 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      ^ haha, montreal would never “separate” from quebec, that’s a ludicrous fantasy that has no currency among anyone even remotely serious.

      anyway, i really don’t the problem with this sort of thing, it’s not as if maintaining contact with nationalists in other places and pushing forward on independence somehow means that the roads won’t get repaired in quebec and that children won’t have access to clean air and water. these government types are remarkably dynamic. reflexive anti-nationalism, this “tut-tut, she’s so obviously idiotic that it’s enough simply to describe her behavior’ attitude that many/most anglophones take on these issues is almost as annoying to me as the ‘captain canada’ fanaticism you find out in the western or its quebec corollary in the ring suburbs.

    • Kevin 14:37 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      @david m
      Your historical revisionism is mindboggling.

      The push for independence in the ’90s is directly responsible for funding cuts for healthcare (thousands of doctor and nursing jobs eliminated) and the reduction of Transport Quebec’s budget (leaving the provincial agency unable to even *evaluate* if roads were safe, resulting in not one but TWO deadly overpass collapses).

      So yes, it’s time to bury the issue that’s been rejected twice by voters, that 2/3 of the province doesn’t care about, and that even its supporters realize will never happen if a clear question is asked.

    • Churchy McGee 15:17 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      @David M

      I don’t think you understand my meaning – perhaps I was typing too quickly?

      If you read what I wrote you’ll notice at no point did I mention Montréal separating from Québec.

      Why would it – that would be very silly. Montréal is very much a part of Québec. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, perhaps you were not born here, but Montréal is a community vital to Québec’s interests.

      But of course, were Québec to separate from Canada, it would cause some problems given that A) Montréal is for all intents and purposes the city from which the entire country was born and B) Montréal happens to have a rather large number of national corporate head offices, federal government offices, the HQ of the entire Canadian Army etc. Losing this would be detrimental for the Québec economy, given that there’d be nothing to replace it (at least for a while).

      Ergo, it is vital to both the interest of Canada and Québec.

      So why not share it.

      Like I said, Berlin without the Wall.

      Montréal doesn’t separate from either – as I wrote, ideally it would be shared.

      And why not?

      That’s an innovative and progressive solution.

      The kind that made Canada and Québec rather famous.

    • Philippe 15:47 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      @Kevin: this post of yours suggests you don’t quite grasp the meaning of the word directly, or the concept of causality for that matter. Is separatism also to blame for those falling paralumes a while back? Is Obamacare to blame for the FAA’s failure to detect the flaw in the B787’s lithium-ion batteries?

      @Churchy: What you propose is still a form of partioning. Why would Quebec accept these terms after a successful referendum?

    • Ian 17:28 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      Yeah, why would Quebec accept partition? After all, you can’t just break up a country because one or more of its regions wants independence, right? Oh wait.

      Of course this doesn’t even touch on the issue of Natives invoking the right to self-determination under international law since so much of Quebec’s territory is treaty land.

      see below from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/indian-treaties#SEC951667 :
      One of the key participants in the re-emergence of this old debate in a new context was Mathew Coon Come, Grand Chief of the Crees (of Québec). In a Cree referendum during the Québec sovereignty referendum, 95% of Chief Coon Come’s people voted to maintain their alliance with Canada even in the eventuality that the government of Québec declares independence. A referendum of the Québec Inuit on a similar question produced similar results. Commenting on the outcome of this Aboriginal poll, Chief Coon Come asserted that if Canada is divisible, then so is Québec.
      The Cree leader based his position largely on his interpretation of his people’s treaty relations with the Crown as established by the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement of 1975. He explained, “Canada was forced to make the James Bay Agreement. Québec, as a province, did not have the capacity to enter into a Treaty with the Crees. Only sovereigns have the Treaty making power, and Québec as a province and not a State, does not have this power. The Treaty making power rests exclusively with Canada and the Aboriginal peoples.”

    • david m 17:54 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      the very notion of a montreal partition is ridiculous for a lot of reasons, the basic one being that montreal qua city exists as an act of provincial legislation. there’s no essential montreal out there in the aether, the provincial government could change the name and boundaries of the city by an act of legislation next month and there’s nothing anyone outside of the legislature could do. and as for “claims,” there’s no real debate about the “status” of montreal – it’ll never be partitioned, never, it’s a part of quebec in every possible legal way, you’d never find a serious person who’d argue otherwise.

      the status of federal territories is obviously different, but the legality of those arrangements would be as a successor state negotiations, where the national entity quebec assumes the responsibilities and role of the crown in matters related to aboriginal folks. much in the same way that canada assumed them as a successor state to the u.k. colony.

    • Kate 18:26 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      My problem with it is simple. I’ve seen so much time, so many resources, so much effort wasted servicing the concept of separation over my lifetime, and I know it’s a dead end. If Quebec had been going to separate it would have done so in the flush of passionate feeling between the Quiet Revolution and the 1980 referendum. It’s not going to work now but the frittering away of badly needed time, funds and effort continues. It’s frustrating to watch.

    • Churchy McGee 18:26 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      Sweet zombie Jesus –

      Are you all thick?

      I’m not proposing partition. I’m just stating the plain truth – Montréal is as much a part of Canada as it is Québec, so it stands to reason it should remain a part of both should a majority of Québec citizens decide to vote Yes in a referendum.

      Of course, what the question is is an entirely different matter.

      A referendum to have another round of constitutional discussions?
      A referendum on sovereignty-association (which is basically asymmetric federalism)
      A referendum to decide if we want to press ahead with negotiations for our separation?

      Québec isn’t going to go full-Rhodesian and issue a UDI. Such a move would not be viewed favourably by the int’l community. So what are we left with?

      A more nuanced distinction of our inherent distinctions?

      Give me a break – there’s no reason Montreal cannot be shared and remain part of both. It’s logical, innovative, unique and would actually be a kind of win-win situation.

      We need to stop thinking in 19th century terms; it’s indicative of a colonial mentality.

    • Churchy McGee 20:59 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      @Philippe @David M

      Frankly, if Ms. Marois wishes to beat this drum, go for it. She has everything to lose and federalists have everything to gain.

      Assume the PQ holds a referendum and the question is this: ‘if you vote Yes, you’re voting for a UDI’, and the majority favours this, what happens the next day?

      Canada doesn’t send in the army, none of the federal offices leave, all the national corporations stay put as well. The SQ and SPVM work together to try and maintain public order (because, let’s face it, the only thing a Yes vote would accomplish is a series of parties and curbside drunken debauchery) and everyone realizes nothing of consequence has changed.

      Then comes the inevitable negotiations, as a considerable percentage of the Québec population has no interest in losing their jobs – be it for the federal government or any of the following: Air Canada, Via Rail, CN, CP, BMO, RBC, BNC, CAE, CSL, Power Corp, Bell Canada, Astral Media, Sun Life, Desjardins Group (notice they fly the maple leaf now), BDC, SRC, ICAO, IATA, Rio Tinto Alcan, Bombardier, Domtar, Resolute (etc.) – the PQ can’t guarantee any of these massive employers will remain if they push for 100% independence.

      So guess what, total independence is off the table, because if the PQ is responsible for everyone losing their job (simultaneously) they won’t have much political support.

      Ergo, if they want to continue using this idiotic and anachronistic political tool to help them squeak by in provincial elections, go for it.

      But let’s not cause unnecessary alarm.

      The best possible solution to avoid a total catastrophe would be to share Montreal, as a city belonging to two countries.

      Everything else is political suicide.

    • Jack 21:32 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      @ david m what I find problematic about your analysis is this. You don’t have a clue what would happen after a vote for sovereignty, either do I.The reason why I am reflexively anti-nationalist is because it brings out the basest most parochial instincts in all of us. When I see Harper trotting out the War of 1812 I get that same sick feeling as when I see fleur de lys flag day here.Patriotism and pride in nation mean one thing to me……violence.

    • david m 22:30 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      ^ for me, it means an independent quebec, which i mostly support. more and more over the past years, it has become clear to me that for quebec to develop in the way i would like to see us go, we have to leave canada. the two countries are on different courses, it’s that simple. people aren’t so enthusiastic about independence right now because of an unsure economy and a general absence of grievances, but it’s a post-material value with a permanent role in quebec political discourse, and there’ll always be a constituency for it. especially as canada becomes west of the ottawa river becomes increasingly dominated by asian immigrants and their offspring and french recedes to third language status.

      as for churchy mcgee, you have all the enthusiasm of a recent canadian transplant newly-settled in concordia. my advice to you is to keep the maple leaf stuff to yourself, learn french, and inform yourself as much as possible about the issues.

    • Philippe 22:47 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      @Churchy: Let me get this straight. You’re assuming a winning referendum for unilateral separation of all things and then talk of “[not having] much political support” and “political suicide”. See the flaw in that line of argument? That winning referendum is all the support that’s needed, anybody who votes in favour should understand what the consequences might be.

      In any case, you list a bunch of corporate or political entities and talk as if all or even many of them would choose to leave. In the event of separation, each of those would make the decision to stay or go based on their own interests. In practice, that means the service companies and the banks can move their HQ to Toronto freely, but they’ve got to retain the local branches or lose the customers who’re hiring their services. The high tech companies can’t move unless a significant portion of their engineers move with them and that is far from likely. I work for one of the companies you listed in an engineering position, and I can’t imagine what they’d have to pay in bonuses to get even half of the engineers in my department to uproot their families and start over elsewhere (’cause yeah, know what, this is the 21st century, our significant others also have careers). ICAO is not at liberty to relocate without approval from the UN, IATA will stay wherever ICAO is. The multinationals would have little reason to relocate their activities assuming their headquarters are already elsewhere and their local branch is profitable.

      Regarding the Montreal as a shared-sovereignty oblast, the issues of income taxes, border control and international travel alone would make this arrangement a bureaucratic nightmare.

    • Churchy McGee 23:40 on 2013/01/23 Permalink


      I mentioned UDI because it’s what most péquistes think is going to happen, but no one in the party would be so foolish to ever propose it.

      Thus a referendum could only lead to more constitutional talks, more debate, and more stasis.

      I don’t think CN, Bell Canada, Air Canada, VIA, Power Corp, RBC, BMO or the BDC would maintain their HQs here anymore. How many tens of thousands of high-paying jobs would disappear?

      But you’re right, it’s unlikely to happen because Québec independence is a pipe dream spoon fed to naive, overly idealistic people who have nearly no understanding of how our economy works. The PQ is manipulating many citizens into thinking everything will be just fine.

      If the PQ got ballsy and declared UDI, well, good luck with that. It didn’t do much good for the Rhodesians.

      If not, and they instead pursue the more likely option of another referendum to decide on maybe whether we should have another go at constitutional talks, they’ll likely loose and another $100 million in tax-payer dollars will be squandered by a political party trying to ‘undo a historic injustice from 1759.’

      Yawn. Good luck with that.

      I’ve lived here my whole life, as has my family going all the way back to the 17th century. We’re as Québecois as they get, and we’re federalists (for the most part).

      I’d rather keep my job than chase a pipe dream whose only discernable goal is to further empower a cabal of local elites.

      As to your other points, we have an excellent model in Berlin ca. 1945-1989, just without the Wall or the armies. Pay taxes to two gov’ts or give Montreal full sovereignty in terms of education, healthcare etc.

      Border control? Give me a break. Will Québec build an army too? And a navy to patrol the Seaway? C’mon at least try to be serious.

      @David M – your ignorance and latent racism is appalling to say the very least. I’m glad you support the PQ, may as well lump all the losers onto the same sinking ship.

    • Jack 05:54 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      @ david m , wow that only took three posts. Yes the future of the Quebec nation is menaced “.. as canada becomes west of the ottawa river becomes increasingly dominated by asian immigrants and their offspring.” I thought that yellow peril thing died in the thirties.

    • Philippe 09:28 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      @Churchy: Slovenia has a military, Malta, Cyprus, Ireland as well, Iceland has no standing army but a navy of sorts, just off the top of my head. All countries much smaller in population than Quebec. Not sure why the notion strikes you as not serious.

      Your argument that independence is impossible because some people would lose their jobs is not convincing, I don’t see why you saw fit to repeat it. The CN and Via Rail have large sums invested in infrastructure here, do you really think they’d risk losing them by ceasing all activities in Quebec? BMO is a bank (see above for why banks won’t just close up shop) and in any case they list their “legal” HQ in Montreal but their “operational” HQ in Toronto, I believe the one in Toronto is the one where activities are concentrated. Air Canada would need to negotiate landing rights in Quebec, not something they’d want to do right after firing everybody here (I also seem to recall they only have a few hundred employees left in Montreal but couldn’t find a breakdown of their work force on their website). Power Corp… that’s a good question, I don’t know what the Desmarais family would do. BDC is (quasi?) governmental, they would leave. RBC, bank. Bell Canada, HQ might move, activities would continue if profitable (I believe they are).

      “empower a cabal of local elites”… as opposed to a cabal of Canadian elites? I don’t think any of the regular posters on this blog voted Harper.

    • Kevin 10:57 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      In the ’90s, immediately after losing the referendum, separatists diverted funds from necessary (and basic) infrastructure measures such as healthcare and road maintenance and put it into daycare and meaningless studies, analyses and other pro-sovereignty measures, in hopes of getting yet another kick at the can, ergo…

      Parizeau was ready for a UDI, and others within the party are ready to do so at the drop of a hat.

      Separatism was a baby boomer pipe dream — the diehards just won’t admit it.

    • Churchy McGee 11:28 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      All I’m saying is this – the PQ dangles an expensive carrot in front of the eyes of some obviously romantic and naive people and time and again an almost majority of Québecois fall for it, elect them to power and then get screwed.

      How much of our tax dollars will they spend this time?

      If it wasn’t already clear they can’t keep their finances in order – there’s a $150 million education budget shortfall and an equivalent amount to be spent building parks and campgrounds. Hospital budgets getting slashed but money to spend on pabulum music videos.

      Now they’re going to spend more public money trying to convince the kids who took to the streets last year to try another shot at sovereignty?

      We’re already sovereign – as individuals inasmuch as a province.

      So we’re going to have a referendum on what exactly?

      I could spend all day dreaming up convincing reasons Montréal should have its own space program – it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still an insane proposal with no obvious merit.
      They keep saying everything will be better than before, all our troubles will go away.
      It’s like an old-time country doctor selling ‘patent medications’ to ‘revitalize your nerves’ – all you’re getting is a Pepsi and a placebo effect. This idiotic proposal is designed to give people hope their lives will be different – by drastically changing things far beyond most people’s day-to-day contact and comprehension. When it fails, as it has twice in the past, the result is prolonged malaise, economic decline etc. And it costs a fucking fortune. For the moment, we don’t have any money to waste, yet we’re prepared to let the PQ to push this radical agenda?

      It’s a shame we’re currently lacking a real leader in Ottawa, but Harper’s days are numbered anyways. No Canadian politician has ever survived this much scandal. Are we really going to destroy Canada because of Harper? No, of course not.
      Québec is not a country – it is not equal with Canada, and the more people like JF Lisée say it is doesn’t make it any truer either. This is a dangerous delusion, because it will be quite a shock when Québec realizes the PQ has no plan for actual independence other than a marketing campaign.

      You can’t build a country with a marketing campaign.

      Hopefully there are enough savvy, critical people in this province who don’t believe every lie the government tells them, and who will think seriously about what the building blocks of a provincial or state economy actually are. The idea that a variety of Canada-dependent corporations will stay in Québec simply because that’s where they find themselves today is a farce. Corporations can boycott too. People will leave and property values will decrease.
      The Cree and Inuit will declare their intention to stay with Canada, meaning Québec’s hydro-power resources won’t even be in Québec. Montréal has no reason to leave Canada and every reason to be the link in the chain that keeps both entities united – in a manner similar to Cold War era Berlin.

      Imagining that Québec manages to get a UDI of sorts through a referendum, then we’re still talking about 2+ years of negotiations, wealth transfers, emigration, territorial disputes not to mention internal political agitation by the anti-separation side. Québec will have no choice but to immediately and drastically raise taxes, cut back on services and/or begin the immediate and full exploitation of all available mineral and natural gas resources (i.e. resurrect the Plan Nord but with an overt focus on fracking and other quick-cash solutions).

      What can I say? Québecois like me, who learned both languages, paid for their own education, and got a decent job for a major player in the local economy, we see how our economy is structured, and we recognize this is the dream of those who feel they’re owed a living, they’re owed success, and that all it takes is a Yes win and all their troubles go away.

      The PQ quite literally is a party of self-interested intellectuals using the working classes of Québec as pawns to achieve their own myopic goals. It’s abusive and repugnant.

    • Philippe 12:35 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      @Kevin: The once and future pipe dream! ;-)

      @Churchy: Long-winded rants don’t compensate for paucity (or indeed absence) of arguments. “Québec is not a country – it is not equal with Canada”? Ireland was not a country, not equal to the UK. Poland was not a country, not equal to Austria, Russia and Prussia. And yet somewhere along the line they found it in themselves to gain independence and not starve to death.

      Every doomsday scenario thrown up by substance-free fear mongers (such as yourself, I’m sorry to say) too often betrays the same flaw: their framer are uninterested in actually contemplating whether Quebec independence is feasible or not, all they do is reel off grievances and allege hidden agendas. That’s how you end up spouting idiocies like “oh what? a Quebec military? how ridiculous!” when a couple minutes researching the matter would quell any doubts that Quebec is capable of such.

      About the local economy bit, haven’t you heard? Not a week goes by on this blog without somebody helpfully pointing out how harmful bill 101 is in a integrated knowledge-based world economy and that so many local firms do all their business internationally that the law needs to be modernized to avoid penalizing them. There is definitely some truth to that, (God knows I’ve spent far more time working with international customers than with Canadian ones) but if that’s so you have to recognize another fact: in this global economy of free trade agreements and telepresence, national boundaries are far more porous to economic activity than they used to be.

      Not saying that independence would not cause upheaval, it would, but then again this morning we see that Apple shares lost 10% of their value because quarterly profits where not astronomical enough, a few days ago Obama’s speech on climate change left a bunch of Canadian-based oil companies weak in the knees thinking of their imperiled Keystone XL pipeline project, that is to say, yes, upheaval would occur, but it’s always occurring anyway, and in the end, vacuums would be filled, structures would be restored and stability would in all likelihood reemerge.

      You love Canada? You’re proud of your country? Say that. But shut up about the Ten Plagues of separation, mkay? They’re not credible.

    • Ant6n 14:37 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      Is there no hidden agenda in separation when it comes to the treatment of people, cultures and languages that are not considered Quebecois by the separatists?

    • Philippe 15:40 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      Such as? The ravings of those who say they want to drive the English back to the sea or to Ontario are not to be taken seriously. A newly independent Quebec would have to strive for international recognition, not opprobrium.

    • No\Deli 15:41 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      Ant6n: It ain’t exactly hidden.

    • Churchy McGee 17:57 on 2013/01/24 Permalink


      How silly of me, I forgot that Canada invaded the independent republic of Québec in 1759 and forcibly assimilated its population, forbidding the locals to speak their own language, own their land, practice their religion, involve themselves in politics, use their law system and/or otherwise maintain any element of their culture. All Québecois were used as beasts of burden by the mighty and imperial Canadians and treated as poorly as all the slaves who have ever lived on the planet. All elements of local Québecois culture were eliminated in a single instance, the Québec army was butchered mercilessly on the Plains of Abraham and the democratically elected and socially-progressive Québec government of the era was executed by Lord Durham in Westmount. No one was ever allowed to speak French again in Québec, and the peasant population was forced to work as subsistence agriculturalists until the potato crop failed (which was actually an act of sabotage by Canada so as to force a mass emigration, which is why there’s such a massive Québecois Diaspora).

      And of course ever since that time not a single dollar has been spent on Québec by Canada. Canada has not invested a cent in Québec’s economy, infrastructure, education or healthcare systems. Canada allowed the Germans to invade Québec during both world wars and never placed any strategic defense weapons to protect Québec from a Soviet missile or bomber attack during the Cold War. Québecois use clam shells and wampum belts for commerce because they are forbidden from using the Canadian dollar. In addition, Québecois must ride in the back of the bus, must use separate washrooms and cannot bathe at public beaches if within eyesight of a Canadian. While Canadians reluctantly allow Québecois to breathe the same air, they’re not happy about it.

      No Québecois has ever been Prime Minister of Canada, no Québecois has ever been re-elected multiple times to be Prime Minister of Canada. There are no special provisions in the Canadian Charter or Constitution protecting Québecois language or culture and no french speaking people in Canada outside of Québec. There have never been multiple francophone Québecois governors general, no Québecois has ever been to space or hired by the Canadian Space Agency (which is certainly not located in Québec) and no there were no representatives from Québec in the House of Commons. In addition, Québec was not consulted prior to Confederation.

      Today Montréal is not in the top ten of world’s most desirable cities, Québec does not have an enviably high quality of life, and in no way shape or form has Québec or Montréal ever had any direct involvement in the creation of Canada, nor the financing of its largest and most complex projects (i.e. Canada’s aviation industry is not based in Québec, the Canadarm was not designed and built in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, the transcontinental railway was not financed by Montréal businessmen etc.)


      Yes, Québec’s situation is 100% comparable to Ireland and Poland. In fact, I’d say that’s an understatement. Québec’s situation is definitely worse than every other abused and downtrodden group of people who have ever lived on this planet.

      After reviewing my in no-way-biased Sec. IV history textbook (published ca. 1981) I am now convinced Québec has nothing to gain and everything to lose by remaining in Confederation.

      Why the people of Québec haven’t risen up in a violent confrontation with Canada given the rampant abuse the latter has exposed the former to is a testament to just how saintly every single Québecois actually is, and quite frankly, beyond me.

    • Philippe 20:36 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      Stop it, you’re only embarrassing yourself. Although your straw men armies do lead entertaining charges. You’re Québécois you say? Apologies to the Federalist side.

    • david m 20:38 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      wow, been a long time since i’ve seen such flamboyant trolling on the part of a purple-faced sputterer. very weird.

    • Churchy McGee 21:36 on 2013/01/24 Permalink

      @Philippe @David

      No no, you misunderstand me completely.

      I just spent all afternoon watching the unbiased and factually accurate films of Pierre Falardeau and listening to the inspiring speeches of Lucien Bouchard and Pierre-Marc Johnson (and then when I discovered neither support the cause anymore, unlistened). I’m totally convinced now by your rational, concise, clear-headed, logical and well-researched arguments. I’m no longer going to be a traitor to my race; my PQ membership card is arriving by ‘Canaduh Post’ (; ) thought you’d like that!) so that I can vote in all manner of party functions. Heck, I might even get elected to my riding association too!

      Oh boy!

      I cannot wait for Pauline Marois to gracefully and without any conflict whatsoever assume power as our new president, as that way – and only that way – we’ll finally get what we deserve:

      Unicorns shitting rainbows for all.

      I’m with you guys à 100%!

    • Lugalle 10:29 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      How can it be more wrong than the federal propaganda?

      Do you anglos really think that we, the french, cannot rule ourselves and are not tired of being told what to do?

      Can we stop the condesdending and acknowledge that big multinational countries are obsolete and that the sovereignty of Québec goes staight in the direction of History?

  • Kate 07:27 on 2013/01/23 Permalink | Reply  

    A pedestrian was killed by a snow truck Tuesday evening in Saint-Léonard.

  • Kate 07:25 on 2013/01/23 Permalink | Reply  

    An older man was shot dead Tuesday evening in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. The unnamed victim is said to be known to police.

    Fifth homicide of the year.

    Update: The victim has been identified as Gaétan Gosselin, a sidekick of noted gangster Raynald Desjardins. Further update Thursday about another of Desjardins’ henchmen losing his gun permits because of his links to organized crime. La Presse’s Daniel Renaud puts these things in the picture of further attacks on Vito Rizzuto’s position as local godfather, if he still is.

    A further update notes that two people arrested after the Gosselin shooting have been let go.

compose new post
next post/next comment
previous post/previous comment
show/hide comments
go to top
go to login
show/hide help
shift + esc