Updates from June, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:55 on 2017/06/07 Permalink | Reply  

    Antonino Catania has admitted in court how, and how much, he bribed a city official.

  • Kate 20:43 on 2017/06/07 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has taken possession of the convent at the foot of Mount Royal. It’s promising to create a vast archive of material about the religious history of Montreal – which is basically the history of Montreal up till about 1962 – in the vacated building by 2019.

  • Kate 20:28 on 2017/06/07 Permalink | Reply  

    The Welcome Hall Mission celebrates 125 years, while the Old Brewery, three years older, is starting to focus on social rehabilitation of the homeless.

  • Kate 19:50 on 2017/06/07 Permalink | Reply  

    Law professor Alain Roy has agreed to abandon his court challenge to the rodeo, after several concessions were made short of cancelling it.

    Anyone find a bizarre inconsistency in Coderre tightening up caleche laws to spare the horses with one hand while putting on his rodeo hat with the other?

    • jeather 20:45 on 2017/06/07 Permalink

      Bizarre for Coderre? Not really.

    • Mathieu 09:56 on 2017/06/08 Permalink

      While Coderre might want the horses to be cared well, I doubt that it’s what’s guided him into tightening the calèche regulations. The main problem with the calèches is that they’re operated by people that give a bad name to the city by being awful tour guides with no knowledge about the city and by giving no importance to what they or their horses look like. I don’t think that we would even be talking about this issue if they were well dressed competent tour guides that look like they cared about horses.

      Just go sit at Place d’Armes, their resting spot for horses, and you’ll see why Coderre wants them out. Some of them seem to be be coming straight out of working 12 hours on a farm, catcalling women and yelling at their horse.

    • Kate 10:37 on 2017/06/08 Permalink

      Mathieu, I’m trying to see the calèche drivers like that, and not getting it into focus as a problem. Part of the thing about calèche drivers is they’re slightly rough people, you know? Not actors pretending to be horse people, but actual horse people, who don’t speak great English, and when they speak French it’s a bit countrified.

    • Bill Binns 11:30 on 2017/06/08 Permalink

      I am convinced that Coderre’s entire motivation to move against the Caleche trade was that at the time, New York was doing the same thing. Just like he made his big stand against devices meant to make private windows uncomfortable to sit on days after the mayor of London had done the same thing. He’s an actor playing the part of a big shot mayor.

    • Mathieu 11:35 on 2017/06/08 Permalink

      I don’t think people are looking for the same experience as when they go to the sugar shack (where we all expect the driver to be the man working on the farm as well). I would assume the clients who are interested in a calèche ride see it much more like the gondolas in Venice: a romantic and timeless moment. It’s a luxury tourist attraction just like the gondolas after all, at $150 per ride or more.

      I’m not saying they should go full Nouvelle-France in terms of look and attitude, just that they would have enough support to continue doing their business if they were perceived more like the gondolas in Venice.

    • Kate 11:41 on 2017/06/08 Permalink

      Bill Binns, you may be onto something there. The one time I saw Coderre speak he was really jazzed on the unique power of the mayor. I bet he does a web search every day to look at what mayors of bigger and better known cities are up to.

      Mathieu, do people really expect gondoliers to be sort of slick Disney character actors? Or isn’t there some expectation they’ll be colourful locals?

      Our calèche drivers are colourful locals. They offer one of the few places, possibly the only place, anyone visiting Montreal will encounter someone from somewhere in Quebec that isn’t the city. I think that has a value.

    • Mathieu 14:04 on 2017/06/08 Permalink

      People expect Disney when they go to Paris or Venice and that’s why so many people come back deceived. But that’s not my point. I regularly see calèche drivers that are wearing old Good Humor t-shirts with holes and have the look of someone that didn’t shower for a long time. Without looking like a Disney Prince, they could at least be presentable. They could look presentable and have a colorful personality.

      Thereare a very few and limited permits and it seems like some of them don’t appreciate the privilege they have to be one of the 25-30 people that can do this. And these 5-6 individuals reflect badly on most that do an exceptional job. And there’s nothing that can be done if there are no rules to govern the industry.

    • Kevin 21:16 on 2017/06/08 Permalink

      WHAT? $150?!
      Last time I took one — 4 years ago — it was $40.

    • Kate 21:36 on 2017/06/08 Permalink

      I’ve only been on one calèche ride, when an American friend was visiting. Maybe 2002? It was $60 but that might’ve included a generous tip.

  • Kate 12:26 on 2017/06/07 Permalink | Reply  

    Collège de Maisonneuve is giving house room to a gathering of ethnonationalists on June 17. As Anarchopanda observes on Facebook, it’s a catch-22 for the school: if they allow this to take place it’s ugly, but if they cancel, they’ll be accused of censorship. A counter-demo will almost certainly be held against groups supporting what the Panda calls “un Québec cathobeige imaginé par des hommes.”

    • Mark Côté 22:19 on 2017/06/07 Permalink

      It’s another opportunity to fight the notion that censorship is “we don’t want to host and thus validate this kind of event”.

    • Bill Binns 09:05 on 2017/06/08 Permalink

      I had to look up “ethnonationalist” and the description I found sounds like a pretty factual description of the core of the PQ. These are the “pure laine” people no?

      Anyway, no matter how terrible the group, I feel like it’s always better to let them meet, listen and make note of what is said and notice who attends.

  • Kate 11:04 on 2017/06/07 Permalink | Reply  

    Forty jobs have been cut at the Grande bibliothèque and national archives. Is Quebec really so poor that it has to starve health care and education and, now, one of its major cultural success stories?

    • Roman 15:42 on 2017/06/07 Permalink

      Perhaps they were just automated away?

    • Kate 09:57 on 2017/06/20 Permalink

      They’ve cancelled all the digitization projects going on and abolished jobs to save an amount of salary money that’s simply pitiful in government terms. A small amount of library activity can be automated, but most of that has already been done. You need people to keep a knowledge factory humming.

      I’d write to my MNA about this, but he’s a nobody now.

  • Kate 11:00 on 2017/06/07 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s bill for snow clearance so far in 2017 is a little on the high side. And since winter ended, it’s had to pay out $4.6 million for flood control.

    • Blork 12:51 on 2017/06/07 Permalink

      Imagine if the winter had been as snowy as the spring has been rainy.

  • Kate 10:49 on 2017/06/07 Permalink | Reply  

    Bixi has posted a budget surplus for 2016 and membership continues to grow.

    • Alex L 16:56 on 2017/06/07 Permalink

      I bought my membership for the first time at the beginning of this season, so far I enjoy it a lot. The addition of 7 speeds bikes that can finally be adjusted for tall people was the call I needed to start using it.

    • DeWolf 10:25 on 2017/06/08 Permalink

      The 7-speed bikes are a real game changer. They make longer and hillier journeys much more comfortable.

  • Kate 00:47 on 2017/06/07 Permalink | Reply  

    TVA has the whole Obama speech, CBC notes five highlights, and social media is abuzz with his post-speech dinner at Liverpool House with Justin Trudeau.

  • Kate 00:38 on 2017/06/07 Permalink | Reply  

    Archaeologists are digging around the Maison Radio-Canada. Text and audio report.

  • Kate 00:37 on 2017/06/07 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is preparing to propose a new law to govern the caleche trade.

    Among other details: horses will have to stop working at 28°C and there are rules about working time and breaks for the horses.

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