Updates from May, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:08 on 2017/05/12 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is acting to reclaim $160,000 from Michael Applebaum and $34,000 from Saulie Zajdel in connection with their corruption convictions.

    • dominic 23:47 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      Fantastic, that should pay for about 9 seconds of snow plowing this winter! Justice has definitely been served.

    • Kate 00:30 on 2017/05/13 Permalink

      I’m thinking it may just pay for the lawyers.

    • Ephraim 09:54 on 2017/05/13 Permalink

      I’m assuming from that remark that Kate has never needed a lawyer. The average rate for a civil litigation trial of 7 days is about $75K in Canada. Even getting a notary to form fill a will is about $1K for a couple in Quebec.

    • Kate 10:04 on 2017/05/13 Permalink

      Shall we say “begin to pay for the lawyers” then?

  • Kate 14:11 on 2017/05/12 Permalink | Reply  

    The Canadian Armed Forces were supposed to do some exercises here around the 375th, starting this weekend and stretching over next week – a parade, a concert, air shows – but they’ve pulled the plug on the party so their people can concentrate on continuing their flood relief work.

  • Kate 12:14 on 2017/05/12 Permalink | Reply  

    Flooding is still news Friday. A lot of stories are from elsewhere in Quebec, Rigaud particularly, and they’re not hard to find. I’m just picking up stories here concerning flooding on the island of Montreal.

    Dykes constructed in Pierrefonds-Roxboro by soldiers are doing their job in allowing floodwater to be pumped out. Some Pierrefonds residents are asking why more has not been done in terms of prevention before things get to this stage. The journalist did not ask people why they deliberately moved to an area known for spring flooding.

    Le Devoir has items on how flooding is ascribable to human activities – global warming in the bigger picture, destruction of natural wetlands more locally.

    In general, the weather forecast this weekend is better than had been feared.

    Update: The flood map of Pierrefonds is decades out of date. Roberto Rocha explains the use and importance of such maps, with animations.

    Denis Coderre has floated the possibility of permanent dikes in that part of the island. Shoe drop: if he can dike up the flooded Pierrefonds housing, is he considering diking up the proposed but contentious Anse-à-l’Orme area for development?

    • Taylor C. Noakes 13:38 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      If I may… all of Montreal has ‘spring flooding’ so you may as well be asking why move onto an island. No one moved into Pierrefonds (or any other part of Montreal) specifically because the area/island is prone to flooding. The city has been less than forthright about the threat of flooding (i.e. they’re pushing a major new development in the area worst-hit) and has done bupkiss to prevent further future flooding (i.e. by building dykes, beaches and coastal wetlands).

      Homeowners I spoke with indicated that their homes were beyond the ‘hundred year line’ at least as far as the city was concerned. In the 30 years I lived in Pierrefonds, the worst flooding I ever saw was in 1998, after the ice storm, when the water level rose a few feet.

      This is a different situation, and from the looks of things I’d say the city isn’t particularly interested in stopping the flooding either. The city ordered their workers to cut up sandbags and ordered them off the line to attend a pizza party.

      People will leave, home values will go down, properties will be purchased (cheaply), new condo buildings will go up in their place, old residents will move out, young new residents will move in to take advantage of the REM.

    • Viviane 14:23 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      Agree with Taylor. People move to areas known for spring flooding knowing there will be some spring flooding and willing to deal with that. This is something else. Might as well ask why hundreds of millions of people bother to live in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines, knowing that this area of the world is prone to earthquakes.

    • Bill Binns 15:02 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      I flew in yesterday afternoon and saw some of the flooded neighborhoods from the air. The most shocking thing was that the whole river was chocolate brown like the Mississippi. Never seen that in Montreal.

    • Kevin 16:46 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      I recall when housing was being built north of Gouin Blvd. back in the ’80s and ’90s, and along the water line in Beaconsfield and Baie D’Urfé, because it was a topic of discussion: why were cities suddenly allowing people to build homes where everyone knew they would get flooded?

      As we’ve learned this week, cities don’t care about flooding because they don’t pay for it: the province and the federal government pay for flood management and compensate owners.

      PS: dikes.

    • Kate 17:17 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      Kevin: Wikipedia says: a levee (/ˈlɛvi/), dike, dyke, embankment, floodbank or stopbank is an elongated naturally occurring ridge or artificially constructed fill or wall, which regulates water levels.

      TCN: I don’t think central Montreal is at imminent risk of floods, not till some tipping point is reached and world sea levels rise sharply.

    • Fab Pine 18:08 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      Then there’s the fact that we built bungalows on top of what used to be wetlands as the city sprawled in the 60s and 70s, destroying 85% of the natural sponges. This land should be public parks with natural wetlands recreated. Building houses on waterfronts is a crime against both nature and urbanism.

    • Uatu 00:55 on 2017/05/13 Permalink

      Insurance companies should offer flood insurance that way those who really want that riverbank view can pay for it.

  • Kate 11:37 on 2017/05/12 Permalink | Reply  

    Two quite different traffic stories, but both with the view of improving the city scene: the city’s own transport commission suggests speed reduction throughout the entire island and other new rules designed to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists to share the road with motorized vehicles.

    The city’s chamber of commerce has launched a pilot project to vary travel times for workers or have them work at home, I suppose with the view that enough change in this area will reduce highway demand at peak times. I don’t hold out much hope for this, because there’s very little need for anyone to be in an office job outside the conventional 9 to 5, and while most paper pushing is simply make-work for a certain class, all forms of work like construction, cooking, looking after children or sick people, has to be done in person and on site. Some people can work at home but let’s be honest here: most bosses want you under their eye, and that hasn’t changed significantly now most people are hooked up to high-speed internet.

    • Blork 11:55 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      Regarding the varying times, it helps to blur the “9” and “5” times. It doesn’t have to be completely flip-flopped, but encouraging more 8-4, 7-3, 10-6, etc., means people are on-site for “core hours” (generally 10-4, but it could be 11-3) but they also have more undisturbed time if they come in early or leave late.

      But the thing is, there’s already tons of this, at least in the private sector (or at least anywhere I’ve worked). Where I work now is a good example; lots of 7-3 people, lots of 10-6 people.

      And given that traffic starts to bog down before 7AM on many mornings, you can be pretty sure those people are not doing 9-5.

      But I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to encourage more of that, because the surge at 8:30AM and 5:00PM is very noticeable (on the roads and on public transit).

      Side note: I work with a guy who drives in from Hemmingford every day. But he’s usually at the office before 7:00 and leaves before 3:00. He claims it takes him less than an hour, which means he’s not spending any more time on his commute than I’m spending on mine (public transit from Longueuil to downtown).

    • mare 13:55 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      There are traffic jams all day in Montreal, especially on Decarie, between the two 15s and the bridges. A lot of people are already starting at 6 or 7am, and leaving at 3pm.

      Reducing speed only makes sense if it’s enforced. I’ve been driving a lot the last couple of weeks (a project on the other end of town) and if you keep the reduced speed (70) in the Ville Marie tunnel, in the Decarie trench and on the 40, you’re whizzed by on both sides by cars that sometimes drive 100 or 120 km, changing lanes like they’re playing a video game, crossing continuous lines all without signalling. That makes driving at the speed limit dangerous. And higher speeds mean more distance between cars (it should at least) so more flow.

      The police doesn’t think stopping people for parking fines is very exiting, and they’re right, it isn’t.

      Having speed cameras everywhere there’s reduced speed would make a lot of money for the city, and would reduce the speed. Also, have mobile speed cameras from unmarked cop cars. If you overtake them they take photos (adding their own speed to your relative speed) and you get the infraction by mail. Two cops can hand out 100s of fines per hour that way. People won’t like it, complain it’s a police state, but after a while it will be effective to weed out repeat offenders, and reducing the speed and making all lanes more or less uniform in speed so drivers aren’t constantly changing lanes, which cause traffic jams just by itself.

      Anyway, I hope to be cycling again soon.

    • Ephraim 14:56 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      Having worked in tech all I can say is… There’s 9 to 5 people? We couldn’t have a meeting before 10:30AM ever!

    • Tim S. 20:10 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      Agree with everything mare said.

      1 meter between vehicles and pedestrians is a start. I would also like a rule banning vehicles from entering an intersection when pedestrians are present, especially at 4-way stops. I’m really tried of cars (and bikes) driving straight at me thinking that I’ll clear the path just in time. When it’s icy or slippery (a good chuck of the year) or I’m with a child, a slip or stumble and they’ll plow right into me. All to save themselves, literally, a fraction of a second.

  • Kate 10:45 on 2017/05/12 Permalink | Reply  

    Sixteen nurses will be overseeing three safe injection sites and a mobile site called Anonyme.

    Update: Two of the sites have finally received federal approval.

  • Kate 10:31 on 2017/05/12 Permalink | Reply  

    A company in the Mile End offers clients the experience of destroying things with a baseball bat to help with stress.

    Radio-Canada says Anie Samson works hers out in the boxing ring.

    I was invited to try axe throwing awhile back by these people on Amherst, who presumably hoped I’d blog about it. So now I’m mentioning them because it fits the theme of a post. (I didn’t go throw any axes.)

    • Blork 10:59 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      Ha ha ha! As soon as I read the first line I thought of the axe throwing place. I haven’t been, but it does look like fun.

    • Derek 11:39 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      The JDM article goes to the trouble of providing detailed pricing info but doesn’t tell you where it is.

    • mare 13:38 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      Do the people who are strapped to a wheel and act like a avoidable target get in for a reduced rate?

    • Bill Binns 14:43 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      My wife is fascinated by the place on Amherst and wanted to have her birthday party there. I’m not sure it would be wise to have a spouse who is an experienced ax thrower. I can be pretty annoying.

    • ant6n 23:49 on 2017/05/13 Permalink

      I’ve been. It’s fun. It feels like a fad.

    • Tim 19:32 on 2017/05/19 Permalink

      The company in Mile End that offers customers to destroy things is called Sports de Combats, it’s located at 5335 Ave Casgrain.

    • Kate 20:45 on 2017/05/19 Permalink

      Thank you, Tim.

  • Kate 00:25 on 2017/05/12 Permalink | Reply  

    Blue collar workers working on flood management in Pierrefonds-Roxboro say they were called away from useful work Wednesday for a pizza lunch with Denis Coderre.

    • EmilyG 10:21 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      I saw a tweet from Coderre on Twitter saying it was “completely false,” though I’m now having a bit of trouble finding the tweet – not sure if it was deleted or if I’m just not the best with finding stuff on twitter.

      Though this doesn’t mean I’m doubting the article or anything.

    • EmilyG 10:58 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      I found it. Here’s a screenshot of Denny’s denial tweet: http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j175/muzition/denny_zpskswirot9.jpg

      Though he offers no explanation as to why this is false, or what actually happened in his view.

    • Kate 11:02 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      Why am I not surprised that Coderre would do a “fake news” rebut?

      Thanks for finding that, EmilyG! I went looking and am giggling now at Coderre’s bright orange coat, obviously meant to make him stand out in any crowd in the flood zones, e.g. in these photos. He looks like the mayoral tangerine.

  • Kate 00:12 on 2017/05/12 Permalink | Reply  

    Property owners won’t even be permitted to challenge expropriations ordered for the construction of the REM.

    • Jim 07:02 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      How does “The possibility to dispute is withdrawn,” match with “Home and business owners will be able to negotiate with the province for what Coiteux calls fair value for their properties.”?

    • Mathieu 10:24 on 2017/05/12 Permalink

      Normally, property owners can contest on two points: first the right to eviction and then the fair compensation. Without this law, some people could have managed to not get evicted by arguing, for instance, that their land isn’t required for the project (they’d have to prove it). Had they failed, they would have been evicted and offered a price for their home, which they could have contested on a second round of lawsuits. This law makes it all go to the second round directly.

    • ant6n 23:52 on 2017/05/13 Permalink

      Does that mean the Caisse will be able to expropriate people for basically any reason, if nobody can challenge them in court except for the value?

      I feel like I remember I read somewhere that whatever land they have leftover after building the REM they can develop.

  • Kate 00:11 on 2017/05/12 Permalink | Reply  

    Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingham, freed briefly because of the Jordan ruling, is no longer resisting deportation. CBC’s Steve Rukavina thinks Thanabalasingham wants to take his chances in Sri Lanka rather than possibly face a murder charge here if the Jordan dismissal is overturned.

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