Updates from June, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:32 on 2017/06/22 Permalink | Reply  

    I’m on an old metro train completely wrapped in Formula E promos and every advertising poster on the train is also promoting Formula E.

  • Kate 21:46 on 2017/06/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Possibly useful list of what’s open and closed this St-Jean weekend.

    Also, notes on highway and bridge closures for the weekend.

  • Kate 12:28 on 2017/06/22 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC looks at some of the things revealed at the Chamberland commission into police surveillance of journalists as the inquiry pauses for a summer break.

    • dominic 12:37 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      Wow, there is so much to unpack from that story, I don’t know where to begin. Shame on Telus and the other big carriers for providing data without warrants! Shame on the cops for not having a process where a lawyer looks over their surveillance requests. Shame on the outrageous sexism, which is unfortunately not at all a surprise.

      Montreal cops are thugs and absolutely need binding citizen-run oversight that has enough teeth to be able to dole out appropriate justice for those that serve and protect.

  • Kate 11:09 on 2017/06/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Projet says the Coderre administration has to stop denigrating Michel Labrecque*, now in charge of the botanical garden. Both Labrecque and onetime mayor Pierre Bourque have expressed strong reservations about how reshuffles in management of the Espace pour la vie are reducing the importance of scientific research at the 86-year-old botanical institution. Espace overboss Charles-Mathieu Brunelle says actually things are tickety-boo but Labrecque isn’t someone whose opinion we should wave away, especially since Brunelle’s only argument is that Labrecque doesn’t understand what’s going on. Patrick Lagacé sees in it a marketing push for the Espace brand at the expense of the identity of the individual elements, and gets in a dig at vacuous marketing-speak as well.

    There’s been a lot of grumbling about this, but the upshot seems to be that the gardens will no longer have their own chief and will be rolled in with the other Espace stuff. The gardens, which have been priced out of reach for a lot of people in the last few years, aren’t just a tourist shtick – the whole point originally was that they’re meant for teaching and research, not just to be pretty gardens. But these new changes position them solely as an aspect of expensive consumable tourist vapidity.

    *See later note on the identity of this Michel Labrecque.

  • Kate 10:06 on 2017/06/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Thursday was National Aboriginal Day and there were events. Valérie Plante took the opportunity to request that every city council meeting begin with a statement of recognition that Montreal exists on non-ceded native territory.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 13:05 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      Typical colonial mentality: PM’s actions are well-intentioned, but they’re going about things a touch backwards.

      If you want to acknowledge that Montreal is on unceeded Mohawk/Indigenous territory, why not go to Kanahwake and Kanehsatake and ask for permission to exist?

      A statement of recognition at a municipal council meeting is like making an in-camera apology. If PM wants to do justice, they should first acknowledge that the system of power they are a part of is inherently flawed.

      There’s no guarantee that either community – that any Indigenous community – would grant such permission, but at the very least PM could say they tried and appealed to the true owners of this land.

      It would be quite surprising if the Mohawk granted this permission, or at least that’s what people would say, further reminding us of our deeply-rooted (and thoroughly inexplicable) distrust of local Indigenous communities.

    • ste.ph 13:22 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      I know the Kanahwake Mohawks land dispute on the south shore is well documented https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kahnawake#Historical_land_claim They’ve been litigating with the federal government for years. Progress has been VERY slow. Last year the tiny sliver of land between Highway 30 and Kanahwake was offered to Kanahwake, but it has already been met with legal contest by St-Constant that doesn’t want to give it up.

    • Bill Binns 13:35 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      I have been meaning to read up on Ms Plante to see how she compares to Coderre. Now I don’t need to. If we are going to have a mayor fond of empty political stunts, I just assume stay with the devil I know.

    • Kate 14:01 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      I have no indigenous ancestry so I hesitate to speak on this at all, but I think I would tend to feel that self-abnegating gestures like this are too little too late. What do we white lefties want, absolution? Permission?

      The really radical position is that ownership of land is a damaging concept best abandoned but that ain’t gonna happen.

    • Josh 17:27 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      For what it’s worth I live in the Yukon, where we have many, many First Nations people (though not a majority, I believe) and recognitions like this are standard practice at almost every public event these days. Never mind city council meetings, it happens here too at concerts, sporting events, and graduation ceremonies.

      I used to work in the First Nations-specific department at the local college, and I can tell you that the employees there, and many of the clients did not see things like this as an empty gesture.

      When an event opens with, “We would like to acknowledge that this event is taking place on the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dun First Nation” or something like that, you can sometimes even see the pride on some faces in the audience.

      It doesn’t *fix* anything, I suppose, but it’s a small gesture that is appreciated by some.

    • ant6n 05:47 on 2017/06/23 Permalink


    • Kate 11:38 on 2017/06/23 Permalink

      Josh: thanks for your observations here – it changes how I think about this.

      Nonetheless, Bill Binns’ response confirms what I feared: that this kind of gesture by Plante will simply harden attitudes of people who might not be enchanted by Coderre but were uncertain whether she’s a viable alternative. Looked at coldly from a political strategy angle, it plays well to a certain crowd, but that crowd is far too small to get Plante elected, and it alienates a much larger crowd who either won’t vote for her, or won’t vote at all.

    • Daisy 12:20 on 2017/06/23 Permalink

      It’s a thing that happens in some milieux. I attend an annual professional conference that has a similar statement on its website each year (the exact acknowledgement varies depending on the location of the conference — once it was at UBC where apparently a local first nation has a valid claim to the entire university campus) and also announced orally at the beginning of the conference, etc. At first I thought it was a bit over the top, but now that I am used to it I feel it is a good acknowledgement and reminds me to feel regret over what has happened in the past and determination to resist oppressive behaviours in the future.

    • ant6n 13:02 on 2017/06/23 Permalink

      Reducing all of PM to Valerie Plante is kind of silly already, reducing Ms Plante to this request, which is really not so unusual these days, is just absurd.
      Comparing this request to Coderre’s self-gratifying showmanship makes no sense.

    • Kate 13:56 on 2017/06/23 Permalink

      ant6n, I was not reducing all of PM to Valerie Plante, because I was specifically talking about the mayoralty and her prospects in that direction, not about the whole party.

      I don’t mind the intention, which is well meant, but I’ll be blunt, when I read this I clutched my head. This is not important to most Montrealers. It doesn’t solve problems for us, it doesn’t address issues for most of us, and – more than anything – it totally sounds like earnest student politics.

    • jeather 14:22 on 2017/06/23 Permalink

      It addresses issues for some of us — the Native Canadians who appreciate it — and it surely doesn’t HARM the rest of us. I also appreciate hearing it. It’s fairly common in educational and religious meetings cross-Canada.

    • ant6n 15:57 on 2017/06/23 Permalink

      I’m not saying you did, but you indicated we should worry a lot about the opinions of people who do.

    • Kate 16:19 on 2017/06/23 Permalink

      ant6n, maybe we should, because Projet has been put in a false position that will cost us all for years: sustaining the pretence that Valérie Plante has a chance of defeating Denis Coderre in November. I wish she did, but I don’t think she does, and I’m not going to pretend I do just to be a good lefty.

      Am I saying Projet should have sold out its ideals to capture a star candidate and make a less idealistic, more pragmatic attempt at seizing the mayor’s chair? I think I am. I think sometimes the perfect has to be sacrificed to achieve the good, and I think this could have been one of those times, but it isn’t going to happen in 2017.

    • ant6n 16:42 on 2017/06/23 Permalink

      Well, we already discussed the issue of calling elections 5 months before they happen, so it’s not necessary to re-hash this (although one little point: shitting on other lefties is a classic lefty move).

      Overall I just don’t think that being a bit more sensitive about aboriginal issues is such a uber-lefty position; and that they should hush about stuff they believe in in order to not upset the grumpariate.

      Assuming this whole pragmatic/left/right dichotomy makes any sense for this election, I’d argue that rushing to the center is not a winning move. A young, female, optimistic candidate is more useful than some sort of Coderre-copy. Rushing to the centre didn’t help the NDP during the last elections – getting out-leftied by Trudeau, who turned out to be a neo-liberal, was a bad strategy.

    • Kate 17:34 on 2017/06/23 Permalink

      ant6n, I feel it’s unfair to call me out for “shitting” (and I hate that metaphor) – I’m not trying to get any advantage here and I’m only speaking as I see it, not from some kind of superior position on a cosmic toilet.

      I’d put myself in a false position if I were to pretend for the next six months that I thought Valérie Plante was a contender. Because I really wish Projet had a contender.

      That said, Projet has made some stupid moves in the last little while. The party needs to pare its message down to very straightforward principles that are understandable, legitimate and popular. Like the need for better transit. Like the need to turn away from grandstanding expensive projects pitched at tourists and focus on the day-to-day quality of life issues that they’ve always been strongest on.

      I bet if you did a quantitative study on the topic most Projet people have spoken up on in the last year it would turn out to be pitbulls. Fucking pitbulls! They got caught up in some bogus idea that canine equality is equivalent to human equality and wasted a hell of a lot of effort and time on this unresolvable, pointless issue.

      Somebody in the party needs to crack a whip over the meandering idealisms of the various members and get them on message, but under Plante, nobody will. And now, after we’ve seen the end of opening prayers at city hall, we want every session to begin with a statement that the city is really sorry it exists on occupied soil? That’s what we need to spend time on, six months before the election?

    • ant6n 18:16 on 2017/06/23 Permalink

      Fair enough on the ‘shitting’ metaphor.

      But do I do think transit is kind of the main issue of PM already (45-10 plan, ‘pink line’). And I don’t think that Plante requesting that we acknowledge we’re on native soil is something that a whole lot of effort is being spent on, it’s more of an ‘oh btw’.

      Has anybody even talked about Pitbulls in .. months? I think the issue was about good governance more than dog equality, but they did use the issue to get a bunch of very passionate members.

    • Kate 18:25 on 2017/06/23 Permalink

      Has anybody even talked about Pitbulls in .. months?

      I did say this was over the last year.

    • JMJ 15:06 on 2017/07/04 Permalink

      (without prejudice)
      My dear Kate, yes that is true, Valérie Plante was there along with other Projet MTL members including myself and quite frankly I’m tired of everyone’s BS. To read that some people say it doesn’t matter whether or not we should acknowledge the land we are standing, living and working on, Sacred Indigenous Territory. I am a First Nation Mik’maq woman, living, working on this land just like you Kate. No different, and what is the big deal? Please explain to me why some people are bent over this TRUTH and perhaps yourself as well… Why would you say that Projet are wasting their time talking about the little things such as the acknowledgment of Mohawk Territory? Because it doesn’t affect you directly, well it should! As a matter of fact, we are all visitors here including myself because I do not originally come from Montreal, I have my own territory. Even I along with many others understand that, do you understand your Canadian history? Did you wear proudly your Red & White this past weekend? So from what I read so far, it seems that you’re mature enough to comprehend our Indigenous culture in Montreal, yes we have one in Montreal!

      Coderre made some promises to Montreal’s indigenous population, so that we can move forward towards Reconciliation. Sadly, like other politicians these were not all met during the 4 years of service as Mayor of Mtl.

      I am talking as a First Nation Montreal community member, as well as a member of Projet Mtl. Let me share a little something with you, I wasn’t born in the city. I was born on the land back home, and because of fear, my mother moved me along with my sibblings to the city thinking we would be safe. Sure we were safe for a while, that’s only because my mother was so scared to honor who she really was, I lost my mother tongue and we never spoke of our family and where we came from. But I knew, when I was 11 years old, I knew very well I was different. I was bullied growing up because I would tell other kids my age where I came from and that I was an ”Indian”. I was told to go back to my country! I was bullied! Put down and it affected me greatly as a young girl. As time passed, I grew older, had children of my own and reconnected with my family, my roots and my heritage that I owed to myself and my children to know more of. By the time I was 30 years old I knew why my mother was the way she way back when I was little, when we moved here. My mother was humiliated by white folks, spit on, beaten on and worse. I understood that my mother had gone through some serious trauma, and that I am unfortunately affected by this trauma. So reconciliation means way more than getting over it, genocide happened in Canada with its First Peoples, this is no lie. Canada has so much to do, yet all they do is write up about it, talk about it and do NOTHING. I am very sad, it hurts me to know that Racism is still very much alive here and I am still affected by it despite the way that I look. My white priviledge look has gotten me through some very difficult times, I am sure that if I was a brown eye, brown hair and brown skin… I wouldn’t be here sitting and writing you this right now. I’m just one person, and I’m getting old, if I don’t say something for my children who will, you? Obviously not.

      I believe that Valérie Plante will make some bold moves, positive decisions and amazing changes. This is what we need, for ALL MONTREALERS! Plante has an incredible amount of supporters, she will be MTL’s next Mayor and it takes a woman with a vision such as hers to make change, and I tell you and everyone else reading this, change is coming.

      Please feel free to talk about this educational video. Enjoy your day!


    • Kate 15:25 on 2017/07/04 Permalink

      Thank you for your post. No, I did not wear red and white this weekend. Why would I do that? Canada is no more than a feeble fiction based on lies and cruelty, as we’ve been repeatedly reminded over the last week or two. Nothing to celebrate.

  • Kate 09:44 on 2017/06/22 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse says foreign purchases of Montreal real estate have surged this year.

    • ste.ph 11:10 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      The rate of growth of foreign purchases is in decline, from 44% growth to only 38% growth.

    • ant6n 11:19 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      That’s still exponential growth, doubling every two years. Also, given the small sample sizes and different time periods (full year vs January-April), the decline is not statistically relevant.

    • ste.ph 11:40 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      >doubling every two years
      at that rate it’ll be 100% of the sales in 14 years. How long before they own all our houses?! /s.

      I find the article useless alarmist.

    • ant6n 11:58 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      Well, this turned out to be a problem in Toronto and Vancouver that affected the ability for locals to buy properties. They enacted rules to contain the problem.

      In Montreal the foreign buyer is on the rise. The absolute rate is small right now, but yes it’s currently doubling approx. every 2 years.

      There’s nothing ‘uselessly alarmist’ so far; you sarcastically inferred that this would mean foreign buyers will represnt 100% of all sales, another simplification, and then attacked your own simplification.

    • thomas 12:41 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      Focus on the percentage change you end up with the La Presse article. Normalize it by total real estate transactions and you end up with the opposite conclusion like this article in the Globe and Mail

    • Phil C. 14:39 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      It’s true that the numbers are small. For now. But you can already see early signs of a heating market (regardless of whether it’s all local or influenced by foreign buyers). We blew past the projected 1% price growth to 6% already. Carlos Leitão stated that the foreign buyers tax will be implemented if it’s ever needed, but why do we need to wait for the situation to get out of control? The only people that I can imagine being against this tax are real estate developers and rich people who want to park money in an empty condo.

      Once the prices are up there, they aren’t coming down. Tax or not. Toronto is still waiting on that bubble to pop (if it ever does). They might stagnate, but they will be forever out of reach for the non millionaire. Why take the risk of not implementing the tax??? We have enough examples to know better than to wait on this.

    • Raymond Lutz 15:24 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      Soupir… Les mythes (xénophobes) ont la vie dure… (Islam = terrorisme; Chinois = y vont tout acheter)

      “Canadian Speculators, Not Foreign Money, Are Driving up Home Prices” https://thetyee.ca/News/2017/05/20/Canadian-Speculators-Not-Foreign-Money/

    • Kate 11:38 on 2017/06/23 Permalink

      Raymond Lutz, as always, you remain a voice of sanity on this blog. Thank you.

    • Tim 12:16 on 2017/06/23 Permalink

      If it truly is Canadian speculators that are driving up prices across the country it will be critical that no form of aid be doled out by any level of government to them when the wind changes.

  • Kate 01:01 on 2017/06/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Part of the deal struck between firefighters and the city involves having firefighters pay for the damage caused at city hall during a ruckus there on August 18, 2014. Charges against 53 firefighters have been stayed.

    • Jack 09:24 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      Importantly the 6 fired fire fighters who assaulted elected city councillors, forced the mayor to be barricaded in his offices and overall left us looking like a banana republic…have been rehired. Because they didn’t mean it.

    • Mathieu 10:35 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      Without condoning what they did, we don’t need to exaggerate either. It was not an armed invasion or a terrorist attack and it was pretty clear that none of these union members would harm any elected official.

    • Ephraim 11:51 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      Mathieu – If you are barricading yourself in, you are pretty much feeling terror. It is NOT acceptable behaviour. Policemen and firemen are people we need for children NOT to fear, people they run to, in distress, people to trust. Losing their job should have been only the start of it.

      No one has a right to put anyone else in a situation where they feel terror. I absolutely draw the line there. I don’t care if it’s a bomb hoax in the metro, or firemen in city hall, you don’t have a right to affect other people’s lives in that way. And if you think I’m wrong, please, bring the example of where that is acceptable in Canada. Because I can’t think of one instance.

    • Kate 12:14 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      Ephraim, when Denis Coderre made a show of barricading himself in, I had two reactions: that he should’ve stood his ground and faced them – he wasn’t alone, there would’ve been city hall workers including security at hand – and that the barricading was done purely for showboating purposes to make the incident seem more scary in the media.

      It wasn’t terror. It was dramatics, on both sides.

    • Ephraim 12:19 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      Kate – Not so sure. I remember the videos and many people were certainly running in terror. The point is, entirely inappropriate for someone who we need children to trust.

    • dominic 12:25 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      I wonder what would happen to my job if I ran screaming through my office, knocking over furniture, breaking things, causing 70 grand of damage.

    • Bill Binns 12:38 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      @dominic – Possibly nothing at all. Are you a union member?

    • dominic 12:40 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      @Bill Binns: Nope! That’s why I was wondering :P

    • PO 18:39 on 2017/06/22 Permalink

      I’ll still never forget the images of the police standing by, arms crossed, doing nothing outside the town hall as it was being overrun. Same as how I’ll never forget being shot at with flash grenades by the same police for peacefully walking in a crowd during the backlash against Charest’s anti-protest law.

    • Jack 01:02 on 2017/06/23 Permalink

      @PO thanks

    • Daisy 07:28 on 2017/06/23 Permalink

      Apparently it is acceptable to cause terror by flying military jets over a city for no real reason. I have been terrified by the sound before, I can only wonder what it must be like for Montrealers who are refugees from a war zone.

  • Kate 00:49 on 2017/06/22 Permalink | Reply  

    The iconic Steve’s Music is being turfed out of its 50-year home on St-Antoine by the impending enlargement of the Palais de congrès in that direction, and plans to reopen on Ste-Catherine East.

    I’m no musician, but even I’ve been inside Steve’s a few times, watching friends try or buy instruments.

    The row where Steve’s is located may very well be the oldest buildings in town still in commercial use. I don’t suppose anyone is stopping to ask whether they have heritage value.

    • Tee Owe 01:39 on 2017/06/23 Permalink

      That store is part of the Montreal that I remember. I still play the guitar I bought there in 1994. Their slogan is one of the best ‘If we don’t have it, you don’t need it’. Hope the new store succeeds.

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