Updates from March, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:49 on 2017/03/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Muslim community groups are understandably rattled by Wednesday’s bomb threat at Concordia and cops say they’ll be keeping a closer eye on the area. The Metro item mentions that C4, the group that signed the threat, hasn’t previously been heard from.

    CBC looked into the nature of the group, and the tone in this piece really brings home the world we’re now in. No it’s not them, says the U.S. Council of Conservative Citizens: they’re respectable white supremacists.

     
  • Kate 21:37 on 2017/03/01 Permalink | Reply  

    The slightly mysterious Trainbus 935 is ending service on March 27.

     
    • Joey 10:16 on 2017/03/02 Permalink

      Good riddance. Nothing like standing in the cold on Parc seeing a bunch of buses in the distance only to realize they are 935s, and don’t do pickups (which itself is a silly policy – if a 935 is half-empty, why not let people board and ride down Parc?). It’s interesting that TVA says the STM says it will compensate for the removal of the 935 by adding service on the 80 line. Not sure the logic is sound (again, the 935 ran along the 80 route but didn’t pick up passengers) but the more, the merrier.

    • ant6n 10:56 on 2017/03/02 Permalink

      The Saint-Jerome line schedule only mentions 935 departures for trains that went downtown anyway, but not for departures that terminate at Parc. Odd.

      The funny thing is that the bus isn’t really obsoleted by trains going downtown, because those runs are so slow, but rather by the transfer at de la Concorde, which I hear can save riders 10 minutes when going downtown.

      @Joey if your major complaint is that the 935 didn’t pick up passengers, then turning those departures into 80 departures exactly fixes your concern. So I’d say the logic does seem pretty sound.

    • Joey 11:28 on 2017/03/02 Permalink

      @ant6n – good point. I didn’t realize the route started at Gare Parc. This decision could’ve been made long ago, IMO. I do kinda like the idea of an “express” 80 that doesn’t make every stop between Jean-Talon and Mt.-Royal. Though I wonder if in practice it would run as slow as the “local” 80/435 since there’s only one bus lane.

      Off-topic, any idea why the STM hasn’t soft-launched the iBus GPS system? Every 80/435 I’ve been on for a while has had GPS tech on it (the stops are automatically announced). This morning I noticed a large screen with a map on it indicating the bus’s position in real-time, right next to the driver. Couldn’t hurt to broadcast that info online, no? Or make the data available in real-time to you guys…

    • ant6n 15:29 on 2017/03/02 Permalink

      no news from stm…

    • Faiz Imam 18:23 on 2017/03/02 Permalink

      All the tech seems to be in place, I imagine the launch is imminent.

      At least I would like to have news of the super ultra state of the art nerve centre they’ve built to go along with the GPS tech. Apparently that’s been ready for a while, though I woudn’t be surprised if it’s had issues too. These sorts of systems always seem to.

    • Bus Rider 15:40 on 2017/03/21 Permalink

      The 935 was a great service. I used it daily from Parc to Milton. It could zip right down, getting only green lights, making the commute only about 7-12 minutes (compared to an additional 25 minute train ride to Lucien L’allier).
      I think it’s ridiculous to stop this service. There are 3 full buses in the morning (at every train)… meaning that those people will now have to go crowd the corner Ogilvy/Hutchison waiting for 80/435.
      Although the 935 was no-pickups, some drivers occasionally let people on. The problem is that the 935 doesn’t stop at the exact same stops as 80/435.

  • Kate 17:41 on 2017/03/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Patrick Lejtenyi writes in Vice about a lurid Griffintown story that became folklore and is now fading away.

     
  • Kate 16:36 on 2017/03/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Aaaand it’s back – the Quebec City hospital in the middle of a fierce debate has decided to reinstate the crucifix in the lobby.

     
  • Kate 16:35 on 2017/03/01 Permalink | Reply  

    The oldest traces of life on earth have been found in Quebec. (This is bound to crop up in editorial cartoons, in some form, in the next day or two.) BBC has a detailed report on the findings and what they mean.

    Update: Côté does a cartoon.

     
  • Kate 13:02 on 2017/03/01 Permalink | Reply  

    A bomb threat has caused the evacuation of two of Concordia’s downtown buildings. Everyone’s out and police are sweeping. CBC radio says the university and several media outlets got copies of the threat, specifically a terrorist threat against Muslim students at the school.

    Someone on Reddit got a picture of the threat.

    14:46, TVA says the cops have finished their search of the Concordia buildings and found nothing. Now they have to find the person or people who sent the threat.

     
    • Blork 15:14 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      Seriously? “Artisinal” explosives?

    • dwgs 15:15 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      Hipster Terrorists!!

    • Kate 15:31 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      Blork, dwgs, that seems to be a common expression in French for homemade bombs. I don’t think it means they’re wrapped in macramé.

      Engin explosif improvisé … les médias mentionnent souvent ce type d’armes, également connues sous le nom de pièges explosifs, de mines ou de bombes artisanales.

    • Blork 16:26 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      I know, but if someone’s going to be a terrorist you’d think they’d at least trouble themselves to get the terminology right. (Because that so does not work in English!)

    • ste.ph 01:44 on 2017/03/02 Permalink

      What a bunch of idiots. Was it mid-terms this week?

    • Kate 10:35 on 2017/03/02 Permalink

      ste.ph, as you’ll see in an update above, it wasn’t a student stunt.

    • ste.ph 10:41 on 2017/03/03 Permalink

  • Kate 12:08 on 2017/03/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Ads that were placed in community papers before Christmas are being slammed because they only show members of Équipe Coderre while purporting to be from the boroughs, using the borough logos. Apparently the borough offices didn’t pay for them – Équipe Coderre did. I love this bit: “Si les élus des autres formations n’apparaissent pas dans ces publicités dites non partisanes, « c’est qu’ils n’ont pas payé. Mais on ne leur a pas demandé s’ils étaient intéressés à le faire », a admis le directeur d’Équipe Coderre, Gilbert Decoste.”

    La Presse’s article clearly says the ads were paid for by Équipe Coderre – the gripe is that they show almost no faces except Coderre’s caucus although they look like borough announcements. I’m seeing allegations elsewhere they were paid for from borough funds, but that’s not what Pierre-André Normandin’s article says.

     
  • Kate 10:51 on 2017/03/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Jeffery Pokora, who claims he was attacked by an off-duty cop in a road rage incident in 2015, is now suing the man for $85,000, after failing to have charges laid against him or to have the police ethics commission take an interest.

     
    • Ephraim 11:58 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      The police ethics committee shouldn’t have been involved, since the officer was off-duty.

      The question of why the crown prosecutor chose not to get involved is more interesting as it leaves the question open to why they refuse to prosecute, but they don’t have to answer that.

      But the man is in fact right to sue the man personally. And assuming that the man has proper car insurance, the insurance company will quickly manage to settle. He should have laid the civil charges immediately. Should have sued for more, though. With an amount this small, the insurance company is likely to just write it off… it’s not big enough to worry about.

      The real question is… what has been done to ensure that this officer is calm and collected while doing his duty. That is a question to ask the police themselves. The question has to be asked in a way that would not violate the man’s privacy, so something like “Were actions taken in order to ensure that this officer’s behavour would not influence the performance of his duties to the public.” (See, we aren’t asking what they were, nor if he did anything, just if the police actually did or recommended anything because of this complaint.)

    • Mark Côté 13:43 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      “The police ethics committee shouldn’t have been involved, since the officer was off-duty.”

      It’s a lot more complicated than that, given the powers and special relationship a police officer has to the government. I found this interesting brief on the website of the Canadian
      Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement: http://www.cacole.ca/resources/publications/OffDutyConduct00-eng.pdf

      A salient quote:

      “The leading Canadian judgment is the decision of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal in Blakeney v. Police Review Board, in which a police officer called a neighbour a ‘senile old bastard’ during an argument over the telephone that occurred off duty. The police officer was convicted of the discipline offence of abuse of authority under s. 5(1)(g) of the Nova Scotia Police Act Regulations … The Police Review … made the following observation in its decision: ‘Cst. Blakeney was in a position of authority. The public expects that a police officer should always conduct himself with respect and courtesy towards members of the
      public. The public expects this when the police officer is on or off duty.'”

      So the ethics committee dismissing this outright seems rather disingenuous, and the path to lawsuit seems pretty clear.

    • Ephraim 18:48 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      @Mark – We don’t have real Civilian oversight in Quebec, it’s not really independent. But if he wasn’t doing his duty and he didn’t pull out the “I’m a cop” card, then the board is correct to not look at it. That being said, I still think that something should have been looked at because it could influence his job with the public. (And I still think we need complete independent civilian oversight in Quebec and until we do, nothing will improve.

    • Bert 19:18 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      I would like to see who pays for the defendant’s lawyer… Will it be the SPVM / union because he is accused of being a bad cop or will it be the SPVM / union because he is a bad cop.

    • Blork 20:28 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      I agree with what Mark Côté said. Generally speaking, when someone is not on the job, you can’t hold them accountable as an on-the-job person. But people in particular authority roles, such as police and soldiers, are different. We give them guns, make them swear oaths of duty, etc., so it is perfectly reasonable to expect a certain level of conduct from them on or off the job.

    • DavidH 21:06 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      The «Loi sur la police» in Quebec states that ‘agents de la paix’ – police officers- are considered on duty at all times. So, yeah, there is ground for the ethics committee to get involved as they so often do. It would not be the first or the last time, that’s the legal framework in place here.

    • Ephraim 21:32 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      The documents from the commission said that they refused to consider it because he wasn’t on duty.

  • Kate 10:45 on 2017/03/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Michael Gero will likely serve a single symbolic day in prison for firearms charges, given that he has already been jailed for 39 months waiting for his murder trial. The murder charge was stayed Tuesday. The judge will give her decision Wednesday afternoon.

    Update: And that’s how it panned out. Gero faces a day in jail, three years on probation and a lifetime ban on owning certain weapons. As they say in British detective fiction, he had form.

     
  • Kate 10:42 on 2017/03/01 Permalink | Reply  

    The Free Press, an independent paper that came out twice a month in NDG, Hampstead and Côte-St-Luc, has been shut down for lack of revenue. The Westmount Independent, under the same ownership, will continue.

     
  • Kate 10:06 on 2017/03/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Normand Guérin, one of the men convicted in the notorious 1979 bridge killings, is being allowed escorted leaves from prison. TVA’s video has the mother of one of the victims giving her reaction.

     
  • Kate 00:52 on 2017/03/01 Permalink | Reply  

    On the brink of the NHL trade deadline, the Canadiens have dealt David Desharnais to Edmonton, getting a defenceman in return for a forward, and they also traded one defenceman for another.

    In other sports news, an enormous medical student from McGill has signed an enormous deal with an NFL team.

     
  • Kate 00:44 on 2017/03/01 Permalink | Reply  

    The Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement in Quebec City has received threats after removing the crucifix in the lobby, and Bernard Drainville, Mr. Laïcité himself, is encouraging people to sign a petition to put it back up; François Blais, minister for Quebec City, also wants to see it restored, as does a CAQ spokesman, so we’ve got party unanimity on the issue. The hospital says the charter of rights means it can’t be seen to favour any specific religion (despite its clearly sectarian name!).

    Update: There’s been an arrest in the threats.

     
    • JaneyB 08:59 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      Very frustrating and basically kind of weird. Does this province have only one symbol of its heritage? And does it have to be the one responsible for decades of grinding poverty and backwardness? Why can’t all those ‘secular’ crosses be replaced by the fleur-de-lys or our official bird, the snowy owl…

    • Ephraim 09:40 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      I assume that by “serious threat” we are talking a threat that could be classified as terrorist. In this case, I think the last thing should be allowed to do is to put the cross up until this person is caught, because we can’t give in to terrorists.

    • Jack 10:05 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      Drainville is an ethno supremacist supreme. Our religious symbols are part of our heritage, yours are foreign and frighten us. Put ours up take yours down, that is his logic.

    • Kate 10:13 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      Ephraim, sounds like Quebec City cops are being cagey about the nature of the threat.

    • Ephraim 10:20 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      There is one important rule to terrorism, never give in to it. So essentially, they should announce that a discussion on this matter is closed until after this person is caught. People need to know that terrorist threats are unacceptable… and once they are on the table, the matter is closed until the threat is removed. And if they want this cross back on the wall, we need an arrest.

    • Chris 10:55 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      Is there a counter petition?

      These politicians sit under a crucifix in the AssNat all the time, I suppose they think it only natural that hospitals should have them too. The AssNat one must go. Until then, a hospital could not unreasonably argue: “If the AssNat can have a crucifix, why can’t we?”

    • Jack 13:07 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      The Muslim student association at Concordia gets a bomb threat as the crucifix goes back up at the Hospital. I’ve taught for years at schools where the crucifix was removed. I often wonder if they ll go back up in my lifetime.

    • Kate 15:05 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      Jack, I’d be surprised if we saw any widespread resurgence in Christian religious feelings here, but there’s a deep stubbornness about its outward manifestations that I’d’ve expected would’ve melted away by now, and hasn’t.

    • Chris 18:28 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      Ephraim: they now have an arrest.

    • Ephraim 18:49 on 2017/03/01 Permalink

      @Chris – Good, now we can have a discussion on this cross… and on the name of the hospital…. wouldn’t it be fun to have a hospital named after Robert Bourassa… the Boubou hospital :)

  • Kate 00:37 on 2017/03/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Might be worth skimming this list of the best food deals in the Lumière fest.

     
  • Kate 00:37 on 2017/03/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Moment Factory is going to light up the interior of Notre-Dame in a new three-act show. I’ve seen the existing one with visitors to town, who couldn’t figure out why I was leaning against a pillar and laughing (helplessly but soundlessly) throughout, so it’s probably time for a new one.

     
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