Updates from January, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:49 on 2013/01/26 Permalink | Reply  

    I guess it’s inevitable that from time to time people will evoke bringing baseball back to Montreal, although we all know there isn’t the popular support to justify the vast public expense that would be involved.

    • Faiz Imam 04:28 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      Montreal really needs baseball back, but popularity aside, MLB simply comes with with too many strings attached. A $200 million+ facility, big budgets, etc will not happen without government support, and it will be a long-term commitment with no guarantees. Look at whats happened in Florida, where ex-expos owner Jeffrey Loria sold every good player he had to cut salaries, and threatened relocation, destroying any hope they had of winning anything in the short term, a year after a near bankrupt government built them a new facility.

      On the other hand what we CAN do is have Triple-A ball.

      Baseball in Montreal needs a Saputo figure. We need someone to come out and build a small facility without public help(not that this was totally the case with the Impact) and setup a AAA team.

      It can be done with $10-$50 million and has a strong chance of being successful. Triple A baseball stadiums have 10,000-20,000 seats and that’s a level of attendance that we can comfortably sustain. They also have a schedule that ends in September, which works better with our climate than the MLB which goes to late October.

      I really hope no one is seriously considering a Major league baseball team here, but I’m ready to get behind a Minor league team.

    • Lugalle 10:08 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      Whoooa! Public money to go in a baseball stadium? Are you nuts? With the crumbling streets we have?

      If baseball is so profitable, let them pay for their own stadium themselves – or use the olympic stadium.

    • Tom 11:35 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      Faiz, you’re talking a lotta sense!!

    • Kate 11:59 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      Do we think the kind of private investment we’d need would show up for anything below major league? Look how fast the Saputos were to push the Impact into major league soccer, even with doubts the team was ready. There’s always the urge to press for a bigger bang for the buck.

    • Steve Quilliam 12:10 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      A minor league team in Baseball wouldn’t work for Montreal. But a MLB team, with a new stadium, mainly paid by private investment, built somewhere beetwen the Bonaventure, Lachine Canal, Wellington and Bridge, with a view of the skyline, served by a tram coming from the new Champlain Bridge heading downtown, with some residential appartments in the immediate surrounding and a direct access to the Peel Basin…….Well, now we would be in business !

      And don’t worry about the late october weather. If we can make it there, the big O can always be useful in case !

    • Robert J 12:20 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      The real question here is how long would it take to pay off a major league stadium in terms of tax revenue raised from the ticket sales, tourism, etc. that an MLB franchise would generate. The smallest stadiums in the league seat between 35000-40000 people, which we can fill. The Alouettes have had a great comeback and often sell out 25000, even though CFL football is a lot less fun to watch than NFL.

      The only thing is I would never want to see an MLB team play in the Stade Olympique. That would be embarrassing. Also the league would probably veto that– it was the laughing stock of baseball for years.

    • Faiz Imam 15:21 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      @Steve Would you at least try to back your blanket statement of “A minor league team in Baseball wouldn’t work for Montreal”?

      I think it would absolutely would.

      As for your suggestions about a new stadium, did you not know, or have you forgotten, about Labatt Park?

      “The facility would have been located on the parcel of land bordered by Peel Street to the east, de la Montagne to the west, Saint-Jacques to the north and Notre-Dame to the south.”

      That “cheap” proposal was $200 million. The value of the whole Griffintown area is an order of magnitude more than in was in 2000. Any new facility will certainly be above $300 million.

      I would rather use that money to redesign the O than on another facility.


    • walkerp 20:29 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      Public funding for stadiums doesn’t fly anymore, but smart pro team owners have learned that paying for it themselves can be just as profitable.

    • Steve Quilliam 23:27 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      @ Faiz. No, of course I can’t back my statement with numbers or scientifically speaking. It’s mainly a question of emotion. I can tell that many people, including me, are very excited at the thought of bringing back the expos in a new stadium built for baseball in a good location close to downtown. But for a minor league team we aren’t even interested in talking about it.

      And I knew about the stadium but the land is not the one I’m talking about, it’s south of the canal. Somewhere in Goose Village, or near by.

    • Kate 00:47 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      You want to resurrect the Autostade?

    • Steve Quilliam 10:31 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Not the stadium itself but the site where it was would be a good location althought what I’m talking about is a bit more to the north, closer to the canal. But no matter what, anywhere in that area beetwen the Canal and the St-Lawrence would be perfect. This entire area needs something serious. It’s now a wasted land and it hurts me everytime I pass nearby. Something has to be done there. My ”dream” is not only a baseball team and a stadium but also to develop all the area beetwen the canal and the river. With social housings, a new park etc.

      All it takes now is private money as I dont wan’t to see goverments footing the entire bill for a stadium. Hopefully the Quebecor, Cirque du Soleil, Saputo and other Quebec major can come up with something. The goverment can oviously care of decontaminating the soil, per example.

  • Kate 23:44 on 2013/01/26 Permalink | Reply  

    This piece from AFP via the South China Morning Post shows how our mob news can look from a distance.

  • Kate 10:43 on 2013/01/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Andy Riga lists the upcoming construction on and around the Turcot.

    • Philip 09:19 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      No more onramp to 720 AND no more St-Jacques over the Decarie?

      “Die, St-Raymond, die already!”

    • Chris 19:04 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      Right, because a neighbourhood is nothing without car access… not.

    • Kevin 00:16 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      A neighborhood with sucky bus service, no car access, that has the natural access to nearby hit spots eliminated is going to become a dead neighborhood.

  • Kate 10:24 on 2013/01/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Globe and Mail looks at further revelations in the investigation of Arthur Porter and his business dealings while he was running the MUHC. It’s a dense tale involving a Swiss bank, Bahamian corporate law, and, as seems almost obligatory this week, SNC-Lavalin.

  • Kate 10:20 on 2013/01/26 Permalink | Reply  

    A writer who teaches at Concordia has been in the news after his latest volume turned up on the Man Booker International list. The UK Telegraph admits the short list contains some obscure writers this year.

    • Blork 21:32 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      It’s interesting that the first article to come out of The Gazette about this (online) said only that it was a “Canadian” writer, and even that bit was buried half way down the article. That’s what happens when your local city paper is given over to news feeds from the “home office.”

  • Kate 10:06 on 2013/01/26 Permalink | Reply  

    The Redpath Museum has three Egyptian mummies in its collection, and now they’ve been reconstructed in 3D via CT scans and forensic software.

    • No\Deli 17:29 on 2013/01/26 Permalink

      The mummies at McGill University’s Redpath museum have been on display for more than 100 years… A team of scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute used CT scans…

      Little-known fact: The mummies were still living people when they first signed up for the scans – this delay simply reflects how long it takes to get diagnostic imaging done at The Neuro.

    • Kate 17:35 on 2013/01/26 Permalink


  • Kate 01:05 on 2013/01/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Union Montreal will be out $413,100 this year in research and secretarial grants, based on how many party members are elected to council. Union, which started 2012 with 66 members in council, now counts 39.

    • Lugalle 10:09 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      Bah! It’s okay! They are awash with corruption money anyway.

  • Kate 00:59 on 2013/01/26 Permalink | Reply  

    The RCMP says SNC-Lavalin paid big bribes to Gadhafi family members to get remunerative contracts in Libya, then got involved in trying to help Saadi Gadhafi flee when the regime started to collapse. This comes at the same time Charbonneau commission testimony says the firm was among those which colluded to inflate the cost of public contracts in Quebec.

    The head of the Quebec order of engineers says the profession’s reputation has been tarnished in Quebec. Yeah, maybe those iron rings need a little polishing.

    Le Devoir says more than 30 disciplinary inquiries are taking place against engineers after revelations at the commission.

  • Kate 00:46 on 2013/01/26 Permalink | Reply  

    The 12-year-old charged with manslaughter in his brother’s death wants to attend the funeral. The family background is sad and shady with his father owning a lot of expensive guns while not paying child support.

  • Kate 00:41 on 2013/01/26 Permalink | Reply  

    View Larger Map
    École Saint-Gérard, a classic Villeray grade school building which isn’t being used currently because of mould problems, is going to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch. That’s some serious mould.

    I wonder if the new school will get a new, nonreligious name too.

    The Gazette clarifies the story as gut, rebuild and expand rather than razing and rebuilding.

    Much later update, fall 2015: The Google Streetview image for this post doesn’t make sense. When I first posted it, you could still see the school building. Now it shows only boarding around the empty lot. But you can scootch back in Streetview and see earlier views, and there it is.

    • Jack 07:48 on 2013/01/26 Permalink

      Kate here are my guesses for the name of the new school.If Parc Ex is any example, here they are
      1.Ecole Rene Levesque
      2.Ecole Pauline Marois
      3.Ecole Pierre Peladeau
      4.Ecole Loco Locass
      5.Ecole Gaston Miron
      6.Ecole Gerard Godin
      7.Ecole Maurice Seguin
      8.Ecole Solidarite Catalan
      9.Ecole Victor Levy Beaulieu
      10.Ecole Pierre Falardeau
      As tongue and cheek as this is the political party that controls MEMO and the CSDM could create a fine rational for all of these names.

    • Pierre 11:32 on 2013/01/26 Permalink

      J’ai du mal à saisir la nécessité de débaptiser les noms à consonance religieuse au Québec.
      Je ne suis pas particulièrement religieux mais je tiens à ces mots qui font partie de notre patrimoine immatériel.

    • Robert J 12:23 on 2013/01/26 Permalink

      Tearing a building down because of mould is like throwing your fridge out because it’s messy. People are so lazy.

    • Kate 12:55 on 2013/01/26 Permalink

      Robert J, if you read the Radio-Canada story you’ll see there are also plans to add a gym and more classrooms because the neighbourhood is densifying and there’s more demand for places. I imagine they would’ve preferred to fix up the old building – it’s quite nice from the outside – but this does give them the opportunity to build something bigger and presumably better designed not to accumulate dust and mould. (The building is a block from the Met so gritty dust must be a chronic issue.)

      Pierre, nous devrons convenir d’un désaccord sur l’endroit où se situe la frontière entre la culture et la religion. Je ne crois pas que les symboles chrétiens sont culturellement neutre ou qu’il est juste de demander aux gens d’abandonner leur hijab ou leur kippa pour enseigner dans une école «strictement laïque» … avec un nom comme Saint-Nom-de-Jésus ou Saint-Gérard.

    • RaoulDuke 00:20 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      I agree with Pierre. The name “Saint-Gérard” echos the heritage of the Province and, more specifically, the neighbourhood in which the school is situated. The school’s namesake is presumably the same as nearby rue Saint-Gérard, of which the Commission de toponymie says the following: Cette voie de communication tire son origine du culte que vouent à Saint-Gérard-Majella (1726-1755) les Pères rédemptoristes qui administrent la paroisse Saint-Alphonse-D’Youville, où est située cette voie. Admis dans la congrégation du Très-Saint-Rédempteur, peu après sa fondation par Saint-Alphonse de Liguori, Majella fut béatifié en 1893 et canonisé en 1904. We’ve got to stop the knee-jerk tendency to apologize for and deny our heritage out of fear of offending more recent Quebeckers who may not feel they share it fully. That’s revisionism and political correctness run amok.

    • Jack 08:20 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      @RaoulDuke you are so right the name St.Gerard does echo the heritage of this provinces french origin majority.The fact that the most important institution in this province could impose the toponomy of a working class district with an italian fellow dead for 150 years, someone who had absolutely nothing to do with the district. It says a lot about the submission of an entire people to an institution that worked against the best interests of the people they purpoted to serve.I do feel you do need to apoligize for thinking that crosses, crucifixes and Saints nomenclature somehow reinforces the french origins ownership of the public sphere all it is is a brutal reminder of submission.

    • Ian 08:37 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      I’m with Jack, a big part of the Quiet Revolution was throwing off the shackles of the church.

    • Lugalle 10:12 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      We are as much catholic as middle-easterners are coptic.

      The catholic religion was forced upon us by the kings and queens we are subject of, in order to quiet us while a handful of people grabbed all the riches.

      The fact that we dumped it en masse 50 years ago when we decided that it was enough to have our kids raped by pedophiles clearly attest that it was not a “natural” part of ours.

      We have never looked back!

      It’s not for nothing that our swear words are all religious: we hate, despise and loathe religion.

    • Kate 18:20 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      Ian, Jack, Lugalle: If you accept that the shackles of the church have been well and truly shaken loose here, does it therefore follow that school names like Christ-Roi, Cœur-Immaculé-de-Marie, L’Assomption, Notre-Dame-de-ci-et-de-ça and a whole parade of saints (you can find the list under “préscolaire et primaire” on the CSDM site) are now neutral, nonreligious names with no referents?

    • Jack 19:44 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      @ Kate, in no way do I think that shackles of the Roman Catholic Church have been shaken off here.When Pauline Marois announced her “Laicite” program, she did it at Christian Brother school in Trois Rivieres ;done to reinforce the cultural position of the Church. That position is now used to enforce the dominance and exclusivity of the French origin community’s place in the public sphere. In the Quebec history community many nationalist historians are reinforcing the Church’s cultural and political position as bulwark against “les autres” an old school interpretation that is rising again see Bock-Cote, Bedard, Courtois, Comeau et al. A really interesting book that lays this thesis out is ” Les Nouveaux Visages du Nationalisme Conservateur au Quebec”.

    • Ian 20:39 on 2013/01/27 Permalink

      @Kate, you misunderstand – while I do think one of the main goals of the Quiet Revolution was liberation from the Catholic Church, all you have to do is look at the cross in the national assembly and the arguments about “patrimoine” whenever anyone tries to bring up true secularism. The Church’s stranglehold on Quebec was essentially a theocracy, and leaves a legacy of sexism, racism, illiteracy, and xenophobia that you don’t have to dig very deep to see traces of in our society even today. If that’s “notre patrimoine” well, you can have it.

  • Kate 00:29 on 2013/01/26 Permalink | Reply  

    You may remember a big story a year ago about a onetime policeman who tried to sell a list of informers to the mob, then not long after was found dead in a motel. At the time some felt the death looked suspicious, but the coroner’s report has finally come in on Ian Davidson, saying it really was suicide after all.

    I wrote on Openfile at the time a quick summary of the issues around how the story was leaked to the media but I’m not sure those questions have been answered yet.

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