Updates from January, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:45 on 2013/01/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Marvin Rotrand is leading a movement of rogue Union Montreal councillors to start a new party before the November election. It’s pretty vague so far except CBC says Michael Applebaum isn’t joining up.

  • Kate 20:01 on 2013/01/28 Permalink | Reply  

    P.K. Subban has signed a two-year deal with the Canadiens.

  • Kate 19:51 on 2013/01/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Quel Avenir’s guest blogger, architect Daniel Pearl, waxes poetic about the need to revitalize the city, and the value that a city’s terrains vagues and neglected areas can have at a time like this, when we have to find affordable, sustainable ways to renew our infrastructure. It’s a little short on ways and means but it’s an interesting read.

    • William 20:43 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      This isn’t about terrains vagues at all, it’s about contaminated and post industrial spaces. Your résumé makes it sound like he’s talking about building on green fields, which isn’t the case at all.

    • Kate 08:11 on 2013/01/31 Permalink

      Thank you for phrasing it better than I did.

  • Kate 19:31 on 2013/01/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Richard Henry Bain has been declared fit to stand trial on charges connected with the attack on the PQ election victory party at the Metropolis on September 4.

    Point of legal curiosity: Bain is being charged with premeditated murder in the death of stagehand Denis Blanchette. I always assumed premeditated murder meant that you planned the killing of a specific person and then carried it out. But I must be mistaken.

    • John 08:33 on 2013/01/29 Permalink

      Kate, the added culpability relates to planning and deliberation with regard to the taking of a human life and not with regard to the identity of the victim.

      Murder is in the first degree when “it” is planned and deliberate.
      Under s. 212(b) of the Canadian Criminal Code, an intent to murder one person is sufficient mens rea (i.e., a person’s awareness of the fact that his or her conduct is criminal) even if, by accident or mistake, the accused kills another. Planning and deliberating the murder of the intended victim and killing by accident or mistake another person is sufficient to make the killing of the unintended victim planned and deliberate.

      In Droste v. R., [1984] the Supreme Court of Canada said,

      “Any other conclusion would, in my opinion, be logically ludicrous and absurd in its consequences. Parliament could hardly have intended to punish premeditated murder less severely where an accused kills a perfect stranger than it would otherwise punish an accused for the same premeditation if he had managed to kill his intended victim.”

    • Kate 09:57 on 2013/01/29 Permalink

      Thank you!

  • Kate 18:42 on 2013/01/28 Permalink | Reply  

    A water main break near the McTavish reservoir has flooded a chunk of central downtown. Roads are closed, buses are rerouted and McGill has cancelled all classes after many of its buildings were flooded.

    CTV’s report has videos, and here’s a brief video on Facebook, but open to anyone I think, showing masses of water going down McTavish. It’s noisy. A view of McTavish from a different angle shows water cascading down to Sherbrooke Street.

    Here’s another in which a student gets swept away while attempting to cross McTavish.

    • jeather 18:54 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      We’re lucky it’s supposed to be warm tomorrow and Wednesday so we don’t have a few inches of pure ice to clean up (it looks dirty and salty enough that it will have a low enough freezing point), though tonight will be a disaster. Before the classes were all cancelled, my cousin had one cancelled because her prof was on the wrong side of the river from the classroom.

    • Doobish 19:33 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Way to fail, Montreal infrastructure!

      PVM got hit good once again. I was having coffee in the Starbucks during that big rainfall a few months back when the mall got flooded, and I had to head over immediately to see how she’s holding up this time.

      Not so good it turns out. The water was just gushing down the parking entrance and the access road to the Queen E. One of the PVM parking levels has slush scattered throughout the north section, and the Two Mountains trains aren’t running tonight because of water infiltration onto the power lines. The St. Hilare line is working fine supposedly because those trains leave from the east side of the ditch.

      In hindsight, this event was totally predictable. After the big rainstorm I got to thinking about the topography around PVM, and it turns out Cathcart forms a natural gulley right in front of the parking entrance at the bottom of McGill College. Both Metcalfe and University Streets rise a bit heading towards Rene-Levesque before resuming their downward trajectories. Until Montreal upgrades the drains there, I can see Cambridge Ivanhoe’s flood insurance premiums going right through the roof.

    • Kate 19:35 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Doobish, I hadn’t realized the flood had got that far south. Reports I saw were mostly talking about damage around Sherbrooke Street. Yowza.

    • Chris 20:20 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      There’s no money to fix any infrastructure apparently, unless of course it’s automobile infrastructure, then we get new Turcot, new Champlain bridge, and billions to go around! Yay!

    • Philip 20:26 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      @qatzelok you never cease to amaze me.

      @Chris, I think projects like the Turcot and Champlain get money because they are either a public hazard, or because of their incredible economic impact. The Champlain Bridge is the busiest in Canada and one of the busiest in North America. If it falls, the economy gets a hell of a hit and there’s a chance for hundreds of people to die. In contrast, a soggy basement isn’t the most horrible of disasters, just a major inconvenience (an expensive one, admittedly).

      Consider also that they’re in the process of changing/upgrading the pipes in the McTavish Reservoir, if I recall correctly. Something is paying for that.

    • Ian 20:38 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      I guess I missed the qatzelok post, how sad. I was walking up university around 5:15, having been warned by a drenched businessman not to take the University exit from McGill station as it was flooding. I walked the long way around and a few feet up from Sherbrooke there was about 5 inches of standing water but nothing compared to the torrent coming down University which was about a foot deep and really rushing, but nearly as bad as that McTavish video. It was also flooded out at Milton and as I was picking up my kid from Face and there’s no exit except onto University I thought we might be stranded, but fortunately some students buzzed us into the residences so we cut through the back way to Aylmer. My video http://youtu.be/Icc0I1OLJoQ isn’t nearly as spectacular, but I was pretty impressed by the sheer amount of water. I also saw one silly student fording the deluge but I saw her make it across OK :)

    • Kate 22:35 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      I didn’t delete any qatzelok comment in this thread, not sure what Philip can be referring to.

      Good footage, Ian. Glad you got in and away safely.

    • Philip 23:14 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      That’s embarrassing; I was scrolling through this stuff so fast I must have merged two threads in my mind. I was referencing the “worker ants” comment from the stuff about free education.

      Needless to say, I’m glad we have powerful trade-school worker ants to shut off a burst 48″ water main.

    • William 23:34 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Kate is the fairest moderator in the land. If anything she is too liberal.

    • anon 00:19 on 2013/01/29 Permalink

      Chris: seems a bit premature to label it an infrastructure issue when the source of the flooding was a construction site. Seems very likely the construction workers made a mistake, either breaking it or else not factoring in the sensitivity of the pipes adequately when taking action. One is not at all an infrastructure issue and the other is only partially an infrastructure issue.

    • Doobish 19:56 on 2013/01/29 Permalink

      Speaking of Cathcart, if any of you pedestrian types cross it at University, between the Tim Ho and the NE entrance to PVM, do be careful around there.

      The great bulk of the traffic on Cathcart is eastbound then heading south on University, which might lead you to think that it’s a one-way street. But it is in fact two-way. It’s happened to me more than once that an impatient douche not bent on making the right turn decided that it was a good idea to cut the queue and head straight east in the westbound lane, taking me by total surprise.

      Watch out around there, is all I’m saying.

  • Kate 10:42 on 2013/01/28 Permalink | Reply  

    The PQ drew a line in the sand this weekend in advance of the conference on higher education coming at the end of February: university won’t be free. ASSÉ is already threatening to boycott the conference (La Presse’s photo illustration for that item is a mite inflammatory).

    At the same time, Pauline Marois is hoping to emulate her Scottish analogue and lower the voting age to 16. It seems clear she believes the kids will be more radical than their elders, presumably supporting the PQ in future elections and referenda – but she may be mistaken on that point, especially if her government makes it harder for them to get an education. (She may also be kidding herself in assuming they’ll vote much at all.)

    • Stefan 10:58 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      also in austria the voting age has been lowered to 16, in 2007. it favors parties which are already popular with young people even more. not sure how the affinity of the quebecois parties is there. also they definitely vote less.
      note that for elections occurring every four years this still means average entry of voters at 18, and some would still only vote when being 20.

    • Tux 12:21 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      “Education will never be free” *sigh* No fucking imagination or ambition. In other words, “If you can’t afford university, enjoy a life of low wages, poor benefits, and decreased social status. We ain’t got NO CANDY for you.”

    • Matthew 12:27 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Tux, you’re thinking one-dimensionally. Free education is not the only way to make university accessible to people on low wages. I would argue it’s not so much about the cost, but about how it gets paid back. That I think is where the solution to this whole thing lies.

    • Josh 12:48 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      And the other point is that a bachelor’s degree is no longer the same ticket to prosperity it once was. I don’t know about all this focus on university as opposed to technical school/trades. I don’t see why it should be one or the other.

    • Bill Binns 13:14 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      I could really get onboard with free university if slots were given out based entirely on highschool grades and the results of an entrance exam with no loopholes. It works this way in France both to enter university and to progress into each successive year. The result is a population of nice quiet serious students who are too busy to break windows and light fires.

    • Ephraim 14:17 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      How about university based on grades, with a reduction based on average class grade, so the easier the marking the class, the less it counts. Might get the students to actually WORK hard instead of simply choosing the easiest classes to pass.

      Of course free doesn’t usually work. When you don’t value anything you are willing to waste it, abuse it, not care. CEGEP is a good example, what percentage graduate on time?

    • jeather 14:25 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      It’s a good idea: a straight focus on grades and test results would show a pure meritocracy, as neither of those are at all affected by class. That’s why NCLB has been a rousing success.

    • No\Deli 14:57 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Bootstraps, jeather!

    • qatzelok 15:11 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      I’m strongly in favor of a free education – not because it would increase everyone’s income – but because it would improve the comments I read on this blog. Trade school, on the other hand, doesn’t help in creating better people with more insight into the world around them. It just creates more powerful worker ants.

    • Tux 15:14 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Matthew, I’m not saying that not getting a degree is a one-way ticket to mediocrity in Quebec (I’m only high school educated and I still make a decent salary having taught myself programming and network administration) I’m just saying that there’s a certain unnecessary hard-headedness about saying education will never be free. Someone who says ‘never’ is not creative, intelligent, or optimistic. Just the kind of people we love to have running shit here. It’s depressing. Education and accreditation open all kinds of doors, and to say that we could never possibly make it affordable to say, someone working minimum wage, is just all kinds of fucked up. I suppose we’ll never be able to feed, clothe and house everyone either, even though the technological means to do so already exist.

    • Ant6n 15:43 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      To be fair, even free education costs money, because you need to pay for housing, food, study materials, etc. The trick is to make education cheap enough such that the impact of the cost of tuition is small relative to the other costs, and such that the overall costs can be covered by the student working half time, without going to debt too much. The previously proposed tuition increases would have stepped over that threshold.

      Regarding the meritocracy when applying to university – aren’t the R-scores helping to reduce unfairness?

    • jeather 15:59 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      I tend to support cheap — but not quite free — education that is essentially paid for by taxes. A problem is that this encourages people to leave afterwards, because then they get cheap tuition and lower taxes.

      On the other hand, I’ve long wanted our medical schools to charge market rates where the government would forgive loans as you worked in the province, and I could see something similar (but not with anywhere near the tuition I think should be charged for medical school, just to make this clear) working for undergraduate, especially if we could include non-tuition related expenses. I’m not sure entirely how that would work out. But there are a lot of ways one could imagine trying to ensure that schooling is accessible to everyone and people pretend none of them exist.

      The r-score just set up a different way of trying to game the system. I agree it’s somewhat better, but it’s still nowhere close to straight meritocratic.

    • Ant6n 16:13 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Medical education and tuition should probably be considered completely separate from the rest of the post-secondary education system. Charging people the full rate, and giving them loans, which would be forgiven as they work in Quebec over a period of, say, 10 years, would probably reduce the flight of trained medical professionals and the associated costs.

    • Josh 16:34 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Not classist at all there, qatz.

    • Ephraim 18:54 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Somehow, I still think we should do what some countries do. You pay actual costs and over a period of x years you get your tuition rebated via the tax system. You don’t stay, you don’t get the tuition rebated… and we stop paying for those who leave the province.

    • Robert J 19:18 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      @BillBinns in France you pay your whole life for mistakes you made at 18 years old. If you don’t pass your BAC you have one chance to retake it, and the first fail appears on your transcripts for the rest of your life. After that, you are funnelled into universities with little accreditation or technical schools with very few options to change course later on. I’ve heard of 45-year olds getting turned down for jobs because of this.

      Also, the French “grandes écoles” are elitist and only accept graduates from prestigious prep schools, regardless of students’ marks. Many people are born into areas with what are perceived as poor quality schools– they’re screwed regardless how hard they try and how well they do. It is not a meritocracy by any stretch of the imagination.

      As a result, there are way more disenfranchised young people who have been punished their whole lives, and believe me they are out breaking windows.

    • qatzelok 07:11 on 2013/01/29 Permalink

      @ Josh: “Not classist at all there, qatz.”
      My comment was anti-classist. I don’t believe that the only people to get a real education should be the work-allergic offspring of the upper classes. The poor and working classes need to learn just as much about the workings of the natural and manmade world around us, and this can only be obtained through a liberal-arts general education.

    • dwgs 09:19 on 2013/01/29 Permalink

      @qatzelok Not classist except for your belief that anyone who works in the trades is apparently a mindless drone. Oh, and the implication that the folks who comment here are by and large a bunch of barely literate mouth breathers. Good thing you’re around to illuminate us.

    • Kate 09:35 on 2013/01/29 Permalink

      Robert J, that’s exactly what the CAQ would like to institute in Quebec.

    • David Tighe 09:36 on 2013/01/29 Permalink

      I think it is a self-evident fact that free or almost free university education must be accompanied by admission requirements based on level of excellence at secondary/CEGEP levels. Modulated of course depending on the faculty. Ireland had up to recently a free system (recently abolished I think) but entrance requirements, depending on the faculty, based on secondary leaving results and extremely stringent. You have to have worked quite hard to get into university

    • jeather 11:20 on 2013/01/29 Permalink

      David, I think you could do an “easy to get accepted, hard to stay in, possible to be readmitted” plan that would work for cheap education.

    • Kevin 13:39 on 2013/01/29 Permalink

      A creative, intelligent person might realize that bursaries and scholarships exist precisely for the people you describe. ;)

      I don’t see anything at all in what you linked to what @Robert J was talking about.

    • qatzelok 14:07 on 2013/01/29 Permalink

      @ dwgs: ” Not classist except for your belief that anyone who works in the trades is apparently a mindless drone.”
      I never said that. I said that all “training” does is create more efficient and voracious consumers. I have two trade degrees myself, along with a lot of liberal arts education, and I don’t see how trades-alone can do anything to improve our sorry lack of wisdom towards the earth or each other.

    • Kevin 23:59 on 2013/01/29 Permalink

      I’ve never seen much evidence that *any* education stream can impart wisdom to those unwilling to accept it.
      Character, now find me someone with character and it doesn’t matter whether they are a tradesman or a scholar, they will have respect and deep thoughts.

    • qatzelok 07:08 on 2013/01/30 Permalink

      Kevin, “character” is exactly what a good education can help develop. Whereas trades just give people with bad characters more skills so they can buy nicer stuff. I have nothing against skills – we all need them to compete with one another in the marketplace. But without character – we are collectively doomed.

  • Kate 10:36 on 2013/01/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Antoine Robitaille summarizes the arguments for and against moving the Calder “Man” in from its original setting, but doesn’t take a side, instead simply saying the city has to get more serious about public art.

    • carswell 13:17 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Among the points Robitaille doesn’t address, one stands out. As mentioned on this blog a week or two ago, the city wants to make Parc Jean-Drapeau a bigger tourist draw. How can removing a major work of art from the park contribute to that goal?

    • Kate 19:43 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Maybe some people don’t regard Man as “fun” enough?

  • Kate 00:53 on 2013/01/28 Permalink | Reply  

    A general-alarm fire did serious damage to the Ciot store and warehouse on Saint-Laurent near Chabanel.

    • Michel 09:43 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Looks like someone was late with the money in the envelope.

    • Feld Spar 12:15 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      DO you mean Brown Envelope .
      If so , well what a shame!
      Feld Spar

    • SAN 12:31 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Actually… they had just finished massive renovations and new constructions.. something went wrong with the wiring… its sad that people assume otherwise

    • qatzelok 15:12 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      @ SAN “something went wrong with the wiring”

      Yes, because wiring is so complex that it can explode at any time.

    • Kate 15:26 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      The business deals in stone slabs and ceramics – not the most flammable of products.

    • Michel 17:47 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      @Kate, which is probably why the fire started in the office, according to the news report. :)

    • jeather 18:31 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Too bad it isn’t downtown, where the flood going down McTavish would have put it right out.

    • Kate 19:45 on 2013/01/28 Permalink

      Michel, hmm. OK. I was just thinking that when I used to see them loading stone slabs into Ciot (I worked on Chabanel for awhile and the 55 bus stopped near the Ciot warehouse at the time) they also ended up with a lot of wooden pallets, which would make for a dandy bonfire if they were piled up somewhere. But the office, who knows.

    • Leslie 12:05 on 2013/03/09 Permalink

      Update, the fire happened in the warehouse, which is attached to the office which it spread to along with the brand new show room that was just built, the warehouse is OLD therefore OLD wiring and Kate is right! There is right, wooden pallets are everywhere and they just had a huge shipment come in on Friday.. So for people that assume the worst.. This was clearly an accident

    • Kate 12:26 on 2013/03/09 Permalink

      Thanks for the update. I’m afraid any accident to an Italian-owned business is likely to raise eyebrows in this town.

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