Updates from June, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:26 on 2017/06/17 Permalink | Reply  

    The city will soon be facing the consequences of success as millions of tourists come to visit. Fascinating factoid: cigarette butts constitute about a third of all street trash.

    • denpanosekai 21:00 on 2017/06/18 Permalink

      Do smokers think that their cigarette butts are biodegradable or something? I mean you have to be pretty dumb to take up smoking in the first place so it wouldn’t surprise me.

    • Kate 11:03 on 2017/06/19 Permalink

      There’s a specific gesture most smokers make when they toss a butt. You can see they’re kind of disgusted, but there’s also an “out of sight, out of mind” aspect to it. They really do not think about how someone else is going to have to pick it up. They’re throwing it into the memory hole.

  • Kate 11:08 on 2017/06/17 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s not the first time this issue has been raised, but evidently the city keeps ticketing the homeless. An interest group is putting pressure on the city to stop burdening people who already have no resources with hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars in tickets they can never pay.

    • Bill Binns 12:06 on 2017/06/17 Permalink

      Which types of crimes are we suggesting that we grant certain people immunity from? How do we define the term “homeless”? Can homelessness be proven or do the cops get to make a judgement call based on the state of someone’s clothing?

      Replace the tickets with short stays in jail 48-72 hours. It would likely be a much stronger deterrent than tickets that people have no intention of paying.

    • Kate 12:30 on 2017/06/17 Permalink

      It’s not about immunity to crime, Bill Binns. Did you read the article? The “crimes” mentioned are things like shouting or lying on the ground – victimless “crimes” that would be better defined as acts of incivility. Ticketing the destitute for these things wastes police and bureaucratic efforts, if you want to see it that way, besides additionally burdening people whose whole mode of being demonstrates that ordinary life has been too much of a burden already. But explaining this to you (again) is probably pointless.

    • Ephraim 12:33 on 2017/06/17 Permalink

      Deterrent for what? For the fact that our medical system can’t handle them? There is supposed to be a bed for everyone. Here’s the problem, you want to stop them from doing certain things, for example harassment, peeing in public. At the same time, you need some compassion, sometimes it’s people who fall between the cracks that our hospital system can’t help And then you have the addiction problems, some of which, like Heroine that actually have solutions, but we are behind the eight ball with solving. Others that really can’t be solved so easily. But giving them more tickets isn’t solving it and isn’t a deterrent at all. Remember a $77 ticket to someone on minimum wage is 6.85 hours of work, before taxes. For someone earning $45K a year, that’s 3.12 hours of work and for Anie Samson (if my numbers are correct) it’s under even an hour (assuming pay is divided by 52 weeks and 35 hour work weeks.) That’s not really fair.

      Someone earning minimum wage likely spends about over 80% of their salary on basics. People in the higher levels have more disposable income. The ticket just isn’t fair at all.

    • Bill Binns 12:51 on 2017/06/17 Permalink

      If you think those issues are not worth punishing people over why not just get rid of the rules for everyone? Why bestow immunity on a nebulous, uprovable condition of “homelessness”? Any asshole squeegee punk can claim to be homeless.

      These are not victimless crimes. Are you friendly with your local dep owner? Talk to him about the issues he has had with the homeless. Try to run a business or do your job when the same crazy person arrives, causes trouble and drives away customers EVERY DAY. Or simply refuses to leave at all. The cops should just tell these folks “too bad, there is nothing we can do”? If you think this is some kind of crazy rhetorical situation, go spend 30 minutes at the McDonalds on St Cat near St Hubert. I double dare you. It’s the best free show in town.

    • Kate 13:32 on 2017/06/17 Permalink

      La majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues et de voler du pain. – Anatole France

    • Ephraim 16:00 on 2017/06/17 Permalink

      Real deterrents are when you have a very high certainty of being caught and a punishment that is apropos. When a $50 fine is 4.45 hours of work to person A and 10 meals to person B, it’s not a fair solution. Robert Card (ex ceo of SNC-Lavalin) made $13m one year, what’s a $50 fine mean to him? To be fair, based on minimum wage, likely something like $28K would be much more fair, though you could argue that even that isn’t fair, being that someone earning $11.25 spends 100% on base essentials and I doubt that when you earn $7K per hour that much of it is for base essentials.

      It’s like a 10 year old, sending them to their room full of toys isn’t a punishment, sitting them down in an empty room… is a punishment. What could you use as a deterrent to get them to not pee in public? Oh… how about a damn public urinal, so they don’t have to pee into recycling bins.

    • Kate 18:00 on 2017/06/17 Permalink

      I’m not sure anybody in this thread is getting that punishment is meaningless to most of the people we would be talking about.

    • Fab Pine 23:13 on 2017/06/17 Permalink

      The idea that we can “improve” other people through pain is very strong in Western culture. It doesn’t really work, of course, but it seems like we like to watch other people suffer.

    • Ephraim 10:04 on 2017/06/18 Permalink

      As I said, we need compassion and to think how we can make this better. Public bathrooms and urinals, a medical system that cares and a real understanding of the problem. The ticket is utterly useless and doesn’t actually solve anything, except create a bureaucratic nightmare on the justice system on something that is uncollectable. The policeman should realize it. But our police aren’t really taught any compassion or sympathy. Heck, we still have people stopped for driving while black. What was it, 6 cops to stop a man for dancing while black?

    • Dhomas 11:22 on 2017/06/18 Permalink

      Everyone is asking what the cops should do. This in itself is part of the problem. Most of the time, it is not a problem of criminality, but rather one that should be handled by healthcare professionals. Homelessness is usually a symptom and not a root cause. These people are homeless often because they have mental health issues or addiction problems. Cops are not equipped to deal with these problems, nor should they be asked to. So, to answer the question, what should the cops do? My answer is: almost nothing. They should identify the individual and get a qualified healthcare professional to help them.

    • Ephraim 14:44 on 2017/06/18 Permalink

      Dhomas – I disagree. The police are often the first line in dealing with these problems. They should be taught how to handle them, who to call and how to act. To ignore training them is what makes things even worse. It’s what leads to things like http://globalnews.ca/video/3172379/security-footage-of-homeless-man-montreal-police-altercation

    • Kate 10:29 on 2017/06/19 Permalink

      Bill Binns wrote: “Are you friendly with your local dep owner? Talk to him about the issues he has had with the homeless.”

      Villeray doesn’t have a visibly homeless population, except for a few folks I’ve noticed where it borders Rosemont at Jean-Talon. I think the main issue my dep owners face is shoplifting but that’s probably true everywhere.

      I agree with Ephraim: police need more training in dealing with marginal people, and indeed it’s been announced from time to time that some will be given instruction in dealing with the mentally ill. I don’t know how many have had this training, or whether they take it seriously when they do. Obviously police are the people you call when a disturbed person is acting in ways that endanger others or themselves. But police also need to have some tested strategies for coping with someone out of control, short of shooting them dead, and have accessible resources that will take the disturbed person and do what they can for them.

      A lot of people, naming no names, are simply keen to have the homeless pushed out of the area where they live or do business, and don’t really care how it’s done or what becomes of them afterwards. But it costs money to have clinics, experts and physical places where the homeless can go.

  • Kate 11:03 on 2017/06/17 Permalink | Reply  

    The ferris wheel is coming into shape in the Old Port. It’s going to be $25 for a ride.

    • ant6n 11:45 on 2017/06/18 Permalink

      Huh. Expected it to be more expensive.

    • Kate 12:22 on 2017/06/18 Permalink

      It would add up if it was for a family or other small group.

    • ant6n 17:37 on 2017/06/18 Permalink

      Oh it’s still expensive. Just less than I expected.

  • Kate 10:55 on 2017/06/17 Permalink | Reply  

    The Biodome is celebrating 25 years of existence, and some of its denizens are even older than that, having been at the Alcan aquarium that closed in 1991.

    Another theme came out this week about the Espace pour la vie: the city organization that runs the Biodome as well as three other institutions in the area is being reorganized, and both Michel Labrecque, who now runs the botanical garden, and Pierre Bourque, a previous mayor who began his career in horticulture, are concerned that the change will mean a loss of knowledge and research at the garden.

  • Kate 01:25 on 2017/06/17 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s firefighters have voted strongly to accept the agreement in principle arrived at last month.

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