Updates from April, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:13 on 2017/04/06 Permalink | Reply  

    For the second time this week, a gas leak meant thousands of people without electricity on Thursday, this time in the east end.

  • Kate 20:08 on 2017/04/06 Permalink | Reply  

    A man who’s been behind bars since 2012, accused of murdering his wife, will shortly be freed because he’s been held too long without trial and the Jordan ruling now says you can’t do that.

    This is how La Presse reported the woman’s death in 2012. She had pleaded with the court to let her husband go despite three charges of conjugal violence. Six weeks later she was dead with her throat cut.

    Update: The PQ is suggesting using the notwithstanding clause to withdraw Quebec from the Jordan ruling, as are others in Quebec.

  • Kate 20:02 on 2017/04/06 Permalink | Reply  

    This is the first I’ve heard of ArtsGames and may be the last, since the event planned for next year is said to be bogging down for lack of sponsorship money. Kathleen Lévesque says the city has already paid out $6.5 million for this thing, and although she says it’s “the artistic equivalent of the Olympics” I don’t see any evidence it has any history or has been held anywhere before.

  • Kate 18:25 on 2017/04/06 Permalink | Reply  

    The whole orange line is down – ask me how I know. Twitter says train breakdown. 55 buses north too crowded to board.

    18:40, service is slowly resuming. Platform is jammed with people. No room on trains now.

    • Blork 19:05 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      I got stuck in that just as it went down. Walked from Lucien L’Allier (in the rain!) to Peel. Green line train arrived half empty, at 6:05PM. Whaaaa?

    • Kate 19:52 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Whew. Finally got home. I think I caught the sixth or seventh train out of Place d’Armes, there was such a backlog of people waiting on the platform and the first few trains were sardine tins.

    • ant6n 20:07 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Crazy. I wonder what the exact mechanics of these breakdowns are. Guillaume Lavoie campaigned on putting more cross-overs on the Orange line to make it more reliable by allowing trains to bypass a broken down one, I wonder to what extend that’s actually possible.

    • Blork 21:45 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      What time did the orange line resume service? I bailed at 5:40 when they said it would be back at 6:15…

    • Bert 21:46 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      I don’t think I have ever seen or heard of a train by-passing another that way, at least as a standard operating procedure (vs. one-off / emergency). I have seen them use cross-overs to return trains in the other direction before the terminal station. e.g. running Angrignon – Lionel Groulx or Berri – Beaugrand.

      I think the main reason for this is a question of communication, sort of the same reason they don’t allow a train to leave one station if the leading train has not cleared the immediately next station.

    • Kate 22:01 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Blork, it was 18:40 when they said service was resuming, but it was at least ten minutes before the first train came, and another ten or fifteen before a train with any room for new passengers came.

    • Blork 22:07 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Ouch. I’m glad I bailed.

      I’m curious as to why you waited. From Place d’Armes you could have walked up to Place des Arts — all inside (underground) — in about 10 minutes.

    • Kate 22:16 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Blork, it wouldn’t have helped me to get to the green line. I go north from there, not east or west. What I should have done was walk to Berri, because apparently some buses were put on the orange line route over there, but all I initially saw was that all the 55s were super crowded and I didn’t stop to think why. I’d cut through Chinatown to Place d’Armes before I found out the line was down. Once inside out of the rain I simply decided to wait it out.

    • Blork 23:13 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Oh right. For some reason I was thinking the outage only went as far as Berri/UQAM.

  • Kate 11:46 on 2017/04/06 Permalink | Reply  

    A massive new ferris wheel is coming to the Old Port this summer – not much detail, including whether it will be a temporary or permanent feature.

    • DavidH 12:49 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Says they signed for 5 years so far. They are probably waiting to see how successful it is before signing a longer lease. At 25$ for 15 minutes it’s too pricey for locals to go more than once.

    • Phil C. 12:50 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      The size looks ridiculous from the rendering. For some comparison, the clock tower is only 45 meters. This steel behemoth will dwarf everything in the area :/

    • Blork 13:14 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Things like that are never built for locals.

    • Ant6n 13:49 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Wow this thing came out of nowhere, had there been any mention of this before?

    • Ian 14:02 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Wow, $25 for 15 minutes? And here I thought the Biodome was a ripoff!

    • Ian 14:20 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      …also worth noting, that’s only 15 metres taller than the ferris wheel at La Ronde, where for about $70 (adult fare) you can go on all the rides as many times as you want all day.

      Go on the ferris wheel at la Ronde twice and it’s like you only had to pay an extra 20 bucks for all the other rides!

    • Blork 17:12 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      But this one will probably have $23 cocktails.

    • Kevin 23:56 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Bring a flask to La Ronde. Or go to Fete des neiges where a family pass is $50 for 4 weekends and they have mulled wine

    • Ian 15:59 on 2017/04/07 Permalink

      Good luck getting a flask into La Ronde unless you suitcase it. They do a bag search and frisk.

  • Kate 10:17 on 2017/04/06 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is launching an institute for developing electric transport and cars, down near the ÉTS somewhere, and a small experimental driverless car will soon be plying the streets of downtown.

    • Bill Binns 10:29 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Someday soon you are going to call a taxi and it’s going to show up empty. That first ride is going to be really weird. I look forward to being able to drive into the Plateau for dinner and just tell my car to return to my house and wait for me to call. I have an empty garage just waiting for this technology.

    • Joey 10:33 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Montreal seems to have an abundant amount of all the things that driverless tech has trouble with – poorly painted lane markers, constant precipitation, endless detours, drivers (and cyclists and pedestrians) who don’t give a whiff about the rules, etc.

      @Bill isn’t the point that you won’t *have* a car, just access to a car when you need it? If the car can drive itself, won’t you be sharing it with a network of other passengers when you’re not using it?

    • Jim 11:39 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Yes Joey, maybe the ÉTS can reach world fame with the first pothole scanner. I am sure self-driving technology gets a lot more attention when a third-world-road ability becomes functional.

    • Blork 12:00 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      There’s a lot of buzz about AI (artificial intelligence) development in Montreal. Perhaps an early application can be to build decision-making into self-driving cars in which the car understands the risks of dodging potholes based on the proximity of other cars, pedestrians, cyclists, etc., so it can decide when it’s safe to dodge the pothole, and when it must sacrifice itself for the safety of surrounding objects. That would already put it way, way ahead of most human drivers.

    • Kevin 13:10 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      I think self-driving cars would lead to an ownership explosion and a dramatic increase in sprawl.

      There will certainly be an app for individuals to rent out their own vehicles while they’re not using them — perfect for those who work in the city and live out of town.

      The price of gas has not stopped anyone from moving an hour outside of town. Throw in electric cars that drive themselves and people will live in Ontario and work in Montreal. They’ll be watching movies in bed, drinking booze while they commute home.

    • Tim S 16:21 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Blork: I hate to break it to you, but self-driving cars may not end up sacrificing themselves for the safety of surrounding objects:

    • Bill Binns 12:29 on 2017/04/07 Permalink

      @Joey – I don’t think I would be interested in sharing my driverless car with others or vise-versa. People do horrible horrible things when they are alone unobserved (see every public restroom). God only knows what’s going to be happening in some of these driverless taxis while the car is underway.

    • Blork 12:31 on 2017/04/07 Permalink

      I strongly suspect driverless taxis will have interior cameras in them.

  • Kate 10:11 on 2017/04/06 Permalink | Reply  

    National Post has a piece today on the battle of Vimy Ridge, which took place a century ago. I try not to kvetch too much about edits and mistakes, but franchement:

    very few Canadians know the precise of what happened just outside Arras, France in April, 1917.

    That day the bloodiest in Canadian history.

    In the pivotal Battle of the Plains of Abraham, less than 200 soldiers were killed on both sides.

    “Their generals believed in common sense applied to war, and not in high mysteries and secret rites,” is the British war correspondent Philip Gibbs described the Canadians.

    Look, I know newspapers are running on fumes, but any decent writer can reread their own stuff to catch and fix errors. I do it all the time on this blog, and I’m not even paid for it. If you’re paid, don’t let stuff like this get printed or posted.

    • Bill Binns 10:22 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      I can proof read something written by somebody else and find typos like a seasoned copy editor but for some reason it doesn’t work on my own stuff. That is, it doesn’t work until after I press “send” or “publish” or whatever and then all of my mistakes practically turn red and vibrate off the page. I get the feeling that the lonely survivors at newspapers are typing their work directly into a content management system with no fresh eyes looking at their work before it’s published.

    • Bill Binns 10:24 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Ugh – “Their work” repeated twice in the same sentence. See? Red and vibrating.

    • Blork 10:54 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      That is painful. It just kills me that language quality is considered optional for a major newspaper. Editors are possibly the most under-valued professionals in the publishing business.

      I also suffer from the inability to self-edit phenomenon that Bill Binns describes (as do many, perhaps even most, writers). And FWIW, it just kills me how often I make mistakes in comments right here on this blog. I try to get into the habit of re-reading before posting, but sometimes I’m pressed for time or whatever. That’s when the lack of an “Edit” button is like some awful taunt from a bully.

      Related: my blog has something like 1800 posts, many quite long, and I cannot read an old post without finding a mistake that has to be fixed. Mercifully, there *is* an “Edit” button for my own blog. Otherwise I would have torn it down long ago.

    • Kate 11:24 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Blork, there’s no edit button for comments on default WordPress blogs. There may be a plugin for that, but to me the benefits of letting people fix their mistakes is outweighed by the downside of having people return to delete their comments or change what they said in contentious threads. I don’t think this is bullying.

      Metafilter, which does a lot of things right, eventually allowed a post-send five-minute edit window for people to fix typos, because they know people will often only see their mistakes after they press send – but after that the comment is locked, for the reasons I mention. But I have no way to offer that option.

      Often I’ll fix obvious typos in comments but clearly I can’t edit people’s thoughts beyond that.

      Bill Binns, that’s at least a stylistic bobble but not an actual grammatical or lexical mistake.

    • Blork 11:35 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Kate, I understand that. This wasn’t a plea for an edit button; it was just a comment on how painful it can be to make an unfixable mistake.

    • Kieran Rankin 11:45 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      I feel like our entire society has forgotten the word “fewer”. Everything is just “less” these days.

    • TC 17:54 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Printing something out for review before before I post or send it helps me quite a bit. But I admit, I rarely do it. Generally it’s just for things that I really want to get right.

    • CE 01:12 on 2017/04/07 Permalink

      I currently work full time in copywriting (sales) and part time in copy editing (at a newspaper). When copywriting, I can spend hours writing an email, look it over 15 times and then give it to someone (who isn’t even a native English speaker) who will find it riddled with errors. Doing copyediting at a newspaper has made it very difficult to read anything that isn’t properly edited without going crazy (which is a lot of content these days. I even saw a typo in an online version of a New Yorker story!)

  • Kate 01:47 on 2017/04/06 Permalink | Reply  

    There’s been a lot of social media noise about the case at McGill in which a male student has pleaded guilty to assaulting a female one, yet has been allowed to delay his sentencing hearing until he graduates. The Gazette’s Catherine Solyom summarizes the story here (although I’m not clear why she diverges into mentioning the Andrew Potter fiasco in the middle, as well as a few other minor McGill dramas unrelated to the main story) and examines why McGill may have to take a stronger line against student malfeasance, whether or not it takes place within campus bounds.

    Update: A reporter on CBC radio just said the man pleaded not guilty, but the McGill Tribune version this story says he initially pleaded not guilty but later admitted his guilt.

    • ste.ph 20:30 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      Is the delay in sentencing intentional to let this creep finish his degree, or just the usual Quebec court delays?

    • Kate 20:50 on 2017/04/06 Permalink

      It seems to be specific to him, according to what I’ve seen. I’ve seen many reports of delays in getting to trial, not so much for sentencing once the verdict or plea is known.

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