Updates from May, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:37 on 2017/05/16 Permalink | Reply  

    A man has turned himself in to police in connection with the weekend’s fatal stabbing, and he will appear in court Wednesday.

    The wounded man found near Lionel-Groulx metro early Tuesday has died of his injuries. The Gazette makes him homicide #8.

    • Kevin 15:07 on 2017/05/17 Permalink

      For the record, that mystery murder you were wondering about a few days ago was a deadly fire earlier this month.

    • Kate 01:10 on 2017/05/18 Permalink

      In Lachine? Yep. Thanks, Kevin.

  • Kate 11:49 on 2017/05/16 Permalink | Reply  

    Wednesday morning at 08:45 the city’s remaining churches will ring their bells to mark the city’s 375th. Here are some other details about the official events on the day.

    • Viviane 00:31 on 2017/05/17 Permalink

      More events mentioned here.

    • EmilyG 08:52 on 2017/05/17 Permalink

      The local church’s bells are ringing now in my area.

    • Kate 09:44 on 2017/05/17 Permalink

      EmilyG, I thought we were nearly neighbours, but I didn’t hear even the distant echo of any bells an hour ago.

      Thanks for the list, Viviane. Here’s another.

    • EmilyG 11:59 on 2017/05/17 Permalink

      Kate, the churches near me are Sainte-Cécile, corner of Gaspé and Castelnau, and Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, Castelnau/Casgrain. It was probably one of those churches whose bells I heard.

    • Kate 14:17 on 2017/05/17 Permalink

      EmilyG, I would’ve expected to hear a faint echo of Ste-Cécile but I didn’t. St-Vincent-Ferrier, the closest big old church to my place, was apparently not playing along.

      Anyone Hungarian here? The Hungarian church on Guizot has an amazing pair of deep-toned bells, but for some reason they don’t ring them any more, which is too bad.

  • Kate 11:17 on 2017/05/16 Permalink | Reply  

    L’actualité has a feature on Expo 67 and how it changed Quebec’s self-image.

  • Kate 10:59 on 2017/05/16 Permalink | Reply  

    There was a rooming house fire downtown overnight from which some people made dramatic escapes. Text and raw video from TVA.

    An industrial fire in Pointe-Claire was soon put out and has been described as arson.

    A man was found stabbed near Lionel-Groulx metro early Tuesday, well after the metro had closed. TVA has text and raw video.

  • Kate 10:10 on 2017/05/16 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada calculates the full bill of Montreal’s birthday party at a cool billion.

    • dwgs 14:35 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      *banging head on desk*

    • ant6n 20:17 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      And who paid how much?
      Montréal : 41%
      Québec : 32%
      Canada : 5%
      Autres : 22%

    • steph 21:46 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      Did Montreal get any “Canada 150” money? Quebec likes to replace federal events with Quebec nationalistic events.

  • Kate 09:52 on 2017/05/16 Permalink | Reply  

    Benoit Roberge, convicted for selling SPVM information to the mob, has done time in prison and a halfway house and now wants full parole.

    Update: And he got it. I wonder how safe he’ll be.

  • Kate 09:49 on 2017/05/16 Permalink | Reply  

    A Metro writer finds that many other cities’ transit services allow harassment on bus or subway to be reported quickly online, but the STM does not.

  • Kate 01:22 on 2017/05/16 Permalink | Reply  

    Wilensky’s Light Lunch is marking 85 years on the same corner in the same part of the Mile End, run by the same family.

    • Zeke 07:58 on 2017/05/16 Permalink


      Not on the same corner. 85 years in business. 65 in the same location. They were originally at 101 Fairmount O.

    • Ian 08:15 on 2017/05/17 Permalink

      So where the good German restaurant used to be? Fairmount “West” back in the day, surely ;)

  • Kate 01:07 on 2017/05/16 Permalink | Reply  

    On Wednesday, Pointe-à-Callière museum is launching its feature showing the vestiges of the original fort of Ville-Marie, evidently timed to coincide with the city’s actual birthday.

    Radio-Canada looks at a rather later period via the gray stone of Montreal.

    The Gazette looks at the deep history of Montreal island from its formation after the last ice age through its long history as home to native settlements.

    • SMD 13:28 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      Meanwhile, construction bulldozers destroyed the last vestiges of the Petit Séminaire last week. The school, built in 1807, was just outside of the Old Montreal heritage zone, and despite the Minister of Cultural Affairs announcing in 1975 that it would be added to a protected heritage list, that never happened. The site is turning into a (what else) condo project.

  • Kate 01:01 on 2017/05/16 Permalink | Reply  

    Montreal is getting into taxing religious establishments, and before you hardline atheist types cheer, remember this means that a lot of voluntary and community groups are going to be out on their ear because they won’t be able to pay the higher rents churches will have to charge.

    We pay some of the highest taxes already in the western world, and yet in recent years benevolent community organizations have had the squeeze put on them as if the government is desperate for pennies. What kind of petty-minded bean counters look for extra revenue in counting square footage in church halls to decide how much of the building should pay tax? Affordable rental space in schools and churches is being axed left and right, impoverishing our society from the bottom up, yet hardly any politician raises a cry.

    • rue david 02:00 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      i agree, kate, that the government should have taken all the church properties off these folks hands back when the church was offering them for $1 and a promise to maintain them. it kills me when they’re demolished or converted into office use – whatever ignorance they spread, the religious types have produced some pretty remarkable buildings that anchor some pretty remarkable neighborhoods.

    • EmilyG 09:05 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      I wonder if this’ll affect musicians/music groups who give concerts in churches.

    • Ephraim 09:06 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      Why aren’t we, the citizens, asking the city to innovate and become more efficient? That was the point of technology, to do more and cost less.

      Maybe the city should have some community centres?

    • Chris 09:34 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      Frankly, the news is a bit disappointing. Churches still have their exemption, it’s just being interpreted a bit less favourably to them. :(

      I doubt many ‘hardline atheist types’ want to see old church buildings torn down, and preventing that is easy, if there’s the will. Just designate them as historic, expropriate them, etc.

    • ant6n 09:49 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      “We pay some of the highest taxes already in the western world”

      People, especially the neo-liberal types, keep repeating this. I don’t believe it. Is there an unbiased source for this?

      (Mind you our taxes include health care and some retirement benefits that you don’t get for example south of the border, and you also have to consider the progression)

    • JaneyB 10:11 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      I remember reading that we have the highest rate of salary reductions in N. Am. Self-employed tax rates are the best in N.Am though. Pretty sure some European countries have higher taxes.

      @Ephraim. We’re always asking the city to innovate and become more efficient. I would actually settle for competence! They are just unable to do this. Technology might even worsen things because it’s all about standardizing and approving procedures where people used to improvise on the spot. Also, they want to keep their golden jobs so what’s the incentive? Just finding another job is harder than actually doing the job in a lot of cases.

    • ant6n 10:25 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      Example: I put it 100K in two tax culcalators, for Quebec and New York City. In Quebec the mean income tax rate is 31%, in New York City it’s 34%.


    • Ephraim 11:31 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      Too simplistic and WRONG.

      For one thing, the Dr. Tax number is wrong. 33.3% is the right rate on 100K (see WinRas or Payment Evolution) but that’s just income tax

      The system you use to calculate NY tax is adding in property tax. Try http://taxformcalculator.com/state_tax/new_york.html and you will see the marginal rate for NY on CAD100K is 28.6%

      Or if you want to see it another way… $100K in Quebec leaves you with $66,581.09 and in NYS that U$73494.29 leaves you with U$52,441.47 or $71,354.48. In other words, $4773.39 a year more.

      But those don’t include property tax, sales taxes, etc. The highest sales tax rate in NYS is 8.875% with tax only being on goods, and an exemption on clothing under $110, not to mention that mortgage payments are tax deductible in the US. Quebec’s sales tax rate is 14.975% with services being taxed.

      And I checked, property tax is cheaper in NYC than in Montreal.

      Incidentally the city tax on commercial property is 475% above residential.. in case you are wondering why you can hardly find a bank branch in the city…. why offices are moving to the south shore and why the mom&pop shops can’t stay.

      PS: $1M in salary gets a marginal rate in Quebec of 50.85% and 43.0% in NYS, so if you are wondering why the super rich leave….

    • ant6n 13:38 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      That was a lot of yelling and “correcting” for a bunch of stuff while still ignoring the services we receive – if you want to do it fair, you have to include medical and at least some pensions, and you have to adjust the income for purchasing power parities – you can’t just pretend 100K in Montreal are equivalent to 73K USD or whatever.

      I stand by my point – the “we’re the highest taxed people” line is a bunch of neoliberal drivel invented to move the Overton window.

    • ant6n 13:44 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      Oh and btw, with your hyperventilating you got the part about property taxes wrong – those aren’t included. The “local taxes” are new York city income taxes, not property taxes.

    • rue david 13:53 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      property taxes are super high in all canadian cities because canadian cities have only three levers for obtaining funds: property tax, fees/fines, and higher levels of government. american cities have lower property taxes because they can issue bonds, levee sales and income taxes, and generally access all sorts of different revenue raising options (tax increment financing, development district differential rates, and more).

    • SMD 14:44 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      (@ant6n, I think you’re looking for this study from IRIS back in 2013.)

    • Ephraim 15:01 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      @RueDavid Property taxes in the US can be high as well, some are exorbitant because the state has no sales tax or income tax and relies on property tax instead. NJ and IL are both over 2%. NYC is rather low because of the density.

      There is no real way to fully compare. Especially considering that the tax deductions are entirely different. We have RRSPs and they have 401K, we have TFSA and they have Roth IRA. They can deduct medical expenses as well as the insurance cost. Mortgages are deductible, etc. They also have limits that we don’t have, for example, the average American can’t invest in Prada, BMW or Burberry (as examples) because there is no ADR. Capital gains are different, etc. But in general, rates are comparable when it comes to total cost including insurance in the lower middle class incomes. The disparity comes at the much higher levels… which is why in Canada we often find many of the super rich don’t pay their fair share… they move to avoid paying their fair share. In the US they use loopholes to avoid taxes or move states to states like NH where there is no state income tax.

      The cost of Medical care in the US is significantly higher than Canada, mostly because a third of it is entirely wasted on administration and lawsuits.

    • TC 16:03 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      It can be hard to compare rates, especially on real estate. How property is classified, the methods to assess value vary, what reductions might be available for certain people, e.g. elderly. Very few US municipalities have taxing authority other than on property. On either side of the border, the heavy reliance on real estate taxes pushes local governments to try to squeeze every last penny from tax-exempt organizations. Which may be short sighted, as Kate pointed out.

      Curious, do other tax-exempt organizations like universities and hospitals make any payments to Montreal? They use city services like any other person or entity.

    • Kevin 16:04 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      Calculating how much you pay in income taxes in different jurisdictions is a Sisyphean task. I know, I’ve done it for Quebec, BC, and NYC.

      But the idea that “we pay the highest taxes” has been cemented in much of the North American consciousness for decades, no matter what the reality is.

      I used to chuckle when, while I lived in the U.S., my American colleagues said they paid higher taxes than anywhere else. I showed them a chart of Quebec+Canadian tax rates at their income levels and they shut up very quickly.

    • ant6n 19:12 on 2017/05/16 Permalink

      More progressive taxes are a good thing. Most people are not in the highest bracket.
      If we start comparing various benefits and tax programs, we should also include the lifetime capital gains exemption and the principal residence exemption, both allow you to accumulate significant gains without taxation.

    • Ian 08:18 on 2017/05/17 Permalink

      Well if they’re making revenue in the form of rent, they should be paying taxes. If it really is to benefit the community, they should be letting the space be used for free. If they can’t afford to keep up the buildings because people don’t tithe anymore, they should sell them. Times change – there’s no reason for these huge properties and an entire caste of people should be allowed to have everything they touch be tax free. There is a very specific reason churches aren’t taxed, and it’s not so they can charge rent on property they have basically had for free to begin with, with upkeep paid for by their parishioners. If they don’t have enough parishioners take it up with the diocese. It’s not up to the public to prop up a failing institution that belongs in the dustbin of history.

      If the government actually recouped taxes on all the organizations that skip their fair share, churches included, they would be able to do a lot more funding of social programs. I’m neither rich nor scared of religion, I’m a secular humanist with great faith in our ability as a society to take care of the unfortunate amongst us without relying on outmoded institutions that think they should get a free ride like pre 1967. That was 50 years ago.

  • Kate 00:56 on 2017/05/16 Permalink | Reply  

    It came out Monday at the Chamberland commission that in 2012, Denis Coderre told a police patrolwoman who was writing him a ticket that he was her future boss. The opposition says Coderre is treating the SPVM like his own private security force.

    The commission also heard from SPVM investigator Normand Borduas who defended the warrant to track Patrick Lagacé’s phone calls “to determine which officers were trying to hurt Mayor Denis Coderre’s reputation.”

    And as a side story, Philippe Pichet suspended another commander Monday, although details are scarce.

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