Updates from February, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:05 on 2013/02/11 Permalink | Reply  

    Work needs to be done to fix the Charles-De Gaulle bridge that links the eastern tip of the island of Montreal to Repentigny. It was built in 1965 (at least according to Radio-Canada – Wikipedia says 1967) and, like many things of that era, is starting to crumble.

     
    • Marc 21:26 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      Wiki actually says both ’65 and ’67. Hmm..

    • Charles Lanteigne 23:30 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      That’s surprising, as I clearly remember a massive amount of work being done on the bridge in 1998. I guess they redid the top but left the pillars unattended.

  • Kate 20:54 on 2013/02/11 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gazette’s Linda Gyulai has found that the city’s been repaving certain roads and redoing other bits of infrastructure far too often, seemingly in a maneuver to put more cash into certain construction firms’ pockets.

     
    • jeather 21:39 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      I am shocked.

    • dwgs 09:08 on 2013/02/12 Permalink

      I am appalled.

    • Ant6n 09:31 on 2013/02/12 Permalink

      I hope that’s not sarcasm, guys. (And no, I’m not being sarcastic myself … sigh)

    • jeather 10:53 on 2013/02/12 Permalink

      I am non-sarcastically appalled, but anyone who is shocked has been willfully blind.

    • dwgs 11:26 on 2013/02/12 Permalink

      While I am truly appalled, sadly I am not shocked in the least.

    • Kevin 12:21 on 2013/02/12 Permalink

      So, when are we going to ban Quebec construction firms and employees from working in Quebec. Seems the only reasonable solution, no?

    • Ian 18:21 on 2013/02/12 Permalink

      If city work is overcharged 30%, no wonder my property tax needs to go up almost 8%. It just makes sense!

    • Ephraim 21:22 on 2013/02/12 Permalink

      They repaved my street then pulled a large section up to deal with two major cave-ins on the street.

  • Kate 20:48 on 2013/02/11 Permalink | Reply  

    Montreal police have used a highway law seemingly meant to outlaw wildcat roadblocks as a premise to fine protesters, a use whose constitutionality is now being challenged, and a good thing too.

     
    • Ian 18:23 on 2013/02/12 Permalink

      The police will always find something to charge you with; this is unjust but hardly a new methodology.

  • Kate 11:12 on 2013/02/11 Permalink | Reply  

    Archives de Montréal has a completely redesigned website, meant to be officially launched February 25 on the exact centennial of the creation of the city archives.

     
  • Kate 10:52 on 2013/02/11 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM is assuring its workers that new language directives won’t mean everyone has to be bilingual.

     
    • Blork 16:03 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      I don’t think it should be required that every worker be bilingual. It should be required, however, that every worker not be an a-hole.

    • Blork 16:10 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      …after all, Metro station attendants at farther-flung stations like in the east end, Lasalle, etc. needn’t be bilingual. Not a lot of tourists or out-of-town business people/vistors, etc. out there, and if they do go out there they should realize they’re no longer in “Canada” as much as they’re in “Quebec.” But at the same time, those workers could stand to be nice to English-speakers, even if they can’t speak very much with them.

      But downtown Montreal is not just Quebec, and not just Canada, it’s planet Earth. It’s cosmopolitan. It would make sense to poll your attendants and shift the bi/multilingual ones to those stations so they can communicate with the wide variety of people they will encounter there.

      Unfortunately that would require both management and workers to take their heads out of their asses and start using common sense. What are the odds of that?

    • jeather 16:13 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      I would bet that there is some kind of seniority system about who gets which metro stations and bus routes, so it would require renegotiating things to do that. But if we had attendants at touristy metro stations who were bilingual, and if they were all polite even if they were unilingual, it would be fine. Hell, if they were just all polite it would be a nice change.

    • Jack 16:31 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      I would accept sorry I don’t speak english, just don’t give me a beat down.

    • Kate 16:42 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      farther-flung stations like in the east end, Lasalle, etc. needn’t be bilingual.

      You’d want the Pie-IX and Viau stations to be classified bilingual though, because of the soccer stadium, Biodome, the new planetarium and other stuff out that way.

      Maybe we can make local anglos wear a red A so that they’d know we weren’t tourists and they didn’t have to speak English to us…?

    • Blork 17:07 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      Kate, good point about PieX and Viau. On the other hand, how complicated are the transactions likely to be at those stations? Basically, most people (visitors) just want to get there and get out of there. But downtown stations surely see a lot more variety; everything from “how does this work” to long inquiries about rates and options for weekend passes, etc. But I doubt many people will walk out of their hotel/work place/classroom and down into the Viau station as a first-timer on the Metro, needing to have the whole thing explained (as could very well happen at McGill, Peel, Bonaventure, etc.).

      There’s no easy answer to suit everyone. I just wish people could stay calm and try to be reasonable.

    • Ian 19:51 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      PieX is actually pretty complicated to navigate, depending on where you’re headed.. To get to the Biodome you have to walk for about 15 minutes, a good portion of it outside through an unmarked parking lot. If you want to take Viau instead it’s no easier.

    • Ephraim 21:24 on 2013/02/12 Permalink

      Dealing with tourists all the time, Pie IX and Viau should be bilingual, so should most of the Plateau and the Village as well as downtown. We should think of tourists first, well before the local anglophones. Tourism is one of the biggest industries in this city, we need to preserve it.

  • Kate 10:14 on 2013/02/11 Permalink | Reply  

    Fascinating read, a French visitor’s thoughts on the methods of the Charbonneau commission.

     
  • Kate 06:56 on 2013/02/11 Permalink | Reply  

    The Pope has resigned for health reasons. Do we even have a cross colour for that?

    Later thought: Quebec City’s Marc Ouellet has been listed among the most papabile this outing. It would be a dark day for Quebec if he were picked. That crucifix in the National Assembly wouldn’t come down for another generation.

     
    • Ian 06:57 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      I wasn’t even aware a pope was allowed to resign. I at least expect spontaneous combustion or bodily ascension to heaven.

    • DCMontreal 09:36 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

    • Michel 09:37 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      The last time a pope resigned was 600 years ago. Interesting times.

    • Ian 13:10 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      Popein’ ain’t easy.

    • Steph 14:44 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      I know the guy is +100years old but citing ‘health reasons’ is often just a story to save face. I don’t follow the gossip, but is there a speculated real reason floating around.

    • Kate 14:47 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      He’s 85. I’ve seen speculations on everything from him being physically ill, to suffering from dementia, to being brought low by issues around pedophilia or that business about his butler.

    • MB 15:06 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      Maybe he got a better offer from the Church of England.

    • jeather 15:26 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      He’s resigned effective Feb 28, so I guess we have normal coloured cross until then?

    • Kate 16:03 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      Yes, I think so. If anything the purple cross indicates there is no pope, so we could have one between February 28 and whenever a new one is chosen.

    • Susana Machado 16:35 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      Purple is for mourning. I’d be surprised if they changed the cross to purple, nobody died after all…

    • Jack 16:44 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      I gotta say that Pope looked good in purple shoes and a Gucci bag,I won’t miss him. Remember the furor over Sinead O’Conner and that SNL moment, I wonder what would happen now?

    • Kate 19:48 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      Sinéad got flack for tearing up a picture of John Paul II. I don’t think people felt anything like the same about Benedict. I read a comment somewhere today from someone who was in Rome last year and noticed the majority of papal-themed souvenirs being sold around the Vatican still showed J-P II.

    • Ian 19:52 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      All the child-raping, covering up the child raping, child-kidnapping-and-selling (in Spain), and the slavery of unwed mother in Irish workhouses was going on under JP II’s watch, too. Sinead was right.

    • Ian 20:12 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      FWIW:
      100s of unwed mothers enslaved by the Church: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/republic-of-ireland/magdalene-survivors-expect-apology-29059772.html
      1000s of babies stolen and sold by the Church: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2049647/BBC-documentary-exposes-50-year-scandal-baby-trafficking-Catholic-church-Spain.html#axzz2K2Mkfl00

      Of course the child rape and coverups are so well documented I needn’t add any links here.

      If any other organization in the world were responsible for the kinds of atrocities the Catholic Church has committed over the last 50 years, the Pope would be facing trial in the Hague. Since it’s a religion, though, when the Pope steps down our PM sends a personal message, we have a cross in the national Assembly as “notre patrimoine”, and the good people of Montreal worry about what colour the cross is going to turn.

    • Kate 21:25 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      Ian, I know. The evils the church has done are uncountable. I don’t even like it that CTV is cosying up to Marc Ouellet as a “hockey-playing Canuck.” This is the man who says the Catholic church is persecuted in Quebec – what kind of brainwashing would make a man see things that way round?

      I think this joshing around about the cross is just a Montreal thing, it’s sort of this big piece of religious bling we’ve inherited and the only thing to do about it is have a laugh. Anyway, a city spokesperson says the cross stays white.

    • ant6n 22:36 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      If the cross is there for historical reasons, then the cross should just stay whatever color it has. Changing it now would imply it’s ‘active’ or ‘in service’, and not just some document of previous times when religion played a larger role in people’s lives here.

    • Ian 06:47 on 2013/02/12 Permalink

      That article about Ouellet gave me a good laugh, especially the bit about democracy coming from christianity. I guess he never heard of Greece.

    • Janet 10:53 on 2013/02/12 Permalink

      I rather equate the cross on the Mountain to the Five Roses sign. Doesn’t matter if God is dead or if ADM sold its brand to Smuckers; The vestigial monument is part of our skyline and we love it.

    • Kevin 12:25 on 2013/02/12 Permalink

      I’m just waiting to see how Marois’s anti-religion charter will be subverted if Ouellet is elected Pope.

    • Kate 12:58 on 2013/02/12 Permalink

      Marois’ anti-religion charter will allow Catholic memorabilia as patrimonial, it seems clear.

      Ironically, hardly anyone in Quebec actually lets the church dictate how they live, but you still can’t take away their crucifixes.

    • qatzelok 14:29 on 2013/02/12 Permalink

      Could we stop blaming the Pope for the abuses of Christians? Many versions of the Christian religion lend themselves to mass doormat behavior which empowers all tyrants whether wearing a Pope hat, a priest frock, or a three-piece suit. The problem is that this “religion” was created as a way to enslave, and it worked really well.

    • jeather 15:43 on 2013/02/12 Permalink

      We can just blame the Pope for the abuses done in the name of the Catholic Church, or hidden by the Catholic Church, etc. There are more than enough of those to go around.

    • Kevin 09:41 on 2013/02/13 Permalink

      @Kate
      Is there any other society where religion has gone from 90% attendance to 6% in a generation? Anywhere?

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