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  • Kate 19:19 on 2017/06/24 Permalink | Reply  

    An American tourist – described by CBC as a Florida man – was badly injured in a hit-and-run on the Main near the metro early Saturday.

    A man was stabbed in broad daylight on Ste-Catherine early Saturday evening. Raw video from TVA, not much further information on either link.

  • Kate 15:18 on 2017/06/24 Permalink | Reply  

    Sorry about the Facebook link, but this video from Saturday’s St-Jean parade is fresh and hasn’t made it off FB yet: questions are bound to be asked about the decisions that led to this float and its presentation.

    • Viviane 16:50 on 2017/06/24 Permalink

      La Presse has it now. It’s odd because I can’t find anything about black slaves being an important part of the foundation of fort Ville-Marie, which is what that float was about.

    • Kate 17:11 on 2017/06/24 Permalink

      I don’t think it has to be historically literal. Nobody stopped to think how it would appear to have a float being pushed, with obvious effort, by four black men while a crowd of oblivious white people in white clothes sing or make twinkly little gestures around them? WT ever-loving F?

    • Bill Binns 18:39 on 2017/06/24 Permalink

      Even if they noticed the symbolism, what were they supposed to do when the four guys they probably hired from a temp agency showed up to push the thing? Send them away because of the color of their skin? Even if you fully realized the unfortunate symbolism, you would be helpless to do anything but cringe and try to live through a real life “Curb Your Enthusiasm” scene.

      This is just 4 guys who showed up to do an honest days work. There is nothing to snicker about here.

    • Kate 19:14 on 2017/06/24 Permalink

      They were high school kids, according to this CBC story.

    • SteveQ 20:10 on 2017/06/24 Permalink

      Oh I like it! The politically correctness of some people will make them do or say anything when desperately trying to find a controversy, especially if it involves races !

      Don’t worry Bill, they will snicker about it because, well, they have nothing else to snicker about !

    • ant6n 21:28 on 2017/06/24 Permalink

      It’s a great display of racial privilege to say stuff like “I don’t see color” or “why do you make this about race” when somebody points out this ridiculous display of insensitivity and obliviousness. This kind of stuff is usually only said by people in privileged positions, and denouncing the ‘political correctness’ (as if that was somehow a bad thing) is desperate attempt to maintain this position of privilege and obliviousness.

      It’s not even that they apparently didn’t notice something was way off once they put it altogether (and maybe make some last-minute changes to tone down the possibly unintended racist undertones); no, even after it was pointed out they still couldn’t admit the issues with their problematic imagery — with an implied accusation that the ones “making this about race” must be the “real racists”.

    • Kate 21:41 on 2017/06/24 Permalink

      ant6n, I was trying to frame a reply, but you’ve done it for me. Thank you.

    • JaneyB 21:48 on 2017/06/24 Permalink

      Also worth considering, I’m guessing it was boomers who were making the decisions. Young Franco-Quebecois from Cegep would have caught this before it was able to happen. That’s one good thing: there will be less of this obliviousness in the future.

    • Mitchell 06:04 on 2017/06/25 Permalink

      @JaneyB Why the nasty comments about age? They are not appreciated. Being 17 doesn’t make one a paragon of virtue — or more sensitive to racism.

    • Kate 08:14 on 2017/06/25 Permalink

      Mitchell, JaneyB was not being nasty. Her point is not susceptible of proof but it was certainly not meant as a mean remark.

    • JaneyB 10:41 on 2017/06/25 Permalink

      @Mitchell It’s not a nasty comment. Franco boomers here grew up in an almost entirely white Quebec, often in enormous families with stable, protected jobs. Their social life was, and likely remains, very, very insular. That’s very different from people who grew up after Quebec opened to non-white Francos from the rest of the world eg: post 1970-80ish. Consider the world of someone who went to the classical colleges vs the world of someone now at any of the Franco cegeps. Worlds apart. I taught at an English cegep here in Mtl and when the hijab issue was raised, both the Anglo and Franco students invariably defended a woman’s right to dress as she pleases and resented strongly all forms of social or legal restriction. Compare that to the behaviour in the NatAss – or, according to some friends, around the dinner table at every family feast on the South Shore and elsewhere. I am very optimistic about the future.

    • ant6n 10:50 on 2017/06/25 Permalink

      I’m seeing a lot of reactions over on reddit and facebook. I think a lot of young people also really don’t see how this imagery is problematic, attacking people pointing it out as the real racist or responding with stuff like “Si ça avait juste des blancs, ils auraient au manque de diversité.”

    • Kate 11:59 on 2017/06/25 Permalink

      Paul Wells simply tweeted “I would say somebody failed to really think this through” and that’s about the size of it. I’m a little boggled that nobody organizing that float considered the implied statement made when four black men physically push a float, with obvious effort, while everyone else around them is white and, as if to underline this, dressed in white.

      It wasn’t even meant ironically.

      Racism doesn’t have to be deliberate. It can be harder to defeat when it’s as blind as this.

    • ste.ph 14:16 on 2017/06/25 Permalink

      Seriously. After seeing so many ridiculous comments on facebook and reddit, it’s obvious that no one stopped to look at the optics.

    • Blork 16:40 on 2017/06/25 Permalink

      This story has so many layers to it, but ultimately it’s pure comedy.

      First off, there was no intention to portray any sort of racial thing. The fact that the four kids pushing the float were all black was total coincidence (more on that later).

      Most stories don’t mention that ALL of the floats were being pushed in a similar manner. It was meant to be ecological; human powered instead of gasoline powered. This particular float was heavier than most, so the guys pushing it looked like they were working a bit harder.

      The singers following the float (OMG, they’re all white!) were part of some local choir based in Rosemont. Maybe they don’t have any black members, or if they do, maybe they just weren’t available that day. In other words, coincidence, not planned that way.

      Finally, the four black kids pushing the float were all friends and members of a high school football team. They volunteered to push the float. SO WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO when you see they’re all black? Are you seriously going to turn them down? Is anyone seriously proposing they should have discriminated against these guys so as to not appear racist? How Kafkaesque is that?

      Arguably you could say “lets make sure at least one of the pushers is white.” Fine. But these guys are all friends. Imagine if four kids walk up to you and say “hey, we’d like to mow your lawn for free” are you going to say “Not unless you swap one of your group for a white guy?”

      THINK about that.

      For sure it’s a conundrum, but they’re sort of damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Ultimately it seems like this was just a group of people excited about putting together a float for the parade, but it turns out one part of the configuration HAD THE APPEARANCE of being something it wasn’t, but in the excitement and chaos nobody noticed — or if someone did notice, they didn’t want to do something racist just to avoid appearing racist.

    • Daniel 22:23 on 2017/06/25 Permalink

      @Blork I think you just summed up the exact chain of events and it’s unfortunate, now that this has gone viral, that most people will never know what actually happened. And yes, you need to pitch this episode to Larry David.

    • ant6n 00:07 on 2017/06/26 Permalink

      I think the every individual bit in this story kind of makes sense, but it still comes together with really bad optics. I don’t understand why so many people can’t even acknowledge it — it’s not just intentions that matter, but the result, and how you deal with it.

      It’s a bit like that time that theatre used blackface – Maybe Quebec is kind of living in its own bubble, so they are not really sensitized to racial issues the same way as the rest of North America (in our more and more connected world that’s less and less of an excuse).

      The result is now that a lot of people get super defensive, which really brings out the actual nastiness and yes, privilege. It’s also this simplistic thinking of “I am not a racist .. you are!” Dealing with racism and the history thereof is a complicated process, you can’t just say “we’re post-racial now, now don’t bug me about this problem anymore!” Racial issues aren’t usually black and white, and sometimes people do insensitive things with good intentions.

      I think it’s a complicated problem, and some reflection is always good. And listening to people who’ve had problems with racism, or just generally minorities.

      I agree with the statement that “somebody failed to think this through”. I don’t think shaming is the answer, but acknowledging the problem and moving on, maybe moving forward a bit as society.

      But I’m seeing a lot of extremely strong reactionary shaming (“SJW can just FOAD”). And that’s what is really bugging me about this whole story.

    • Kate 00:34 on 2017/06/26 Permalink

      Blork re “damned if they do and damned if they don’t” – I disagree. In showmanship – and presenting one of the major parades of the year falls into the category – the director has to have control, both of what the show contains and how it appears. They have to think about the impression that will be made, and they have to harden their hearts to the notion that some of their decisions can seem arbitrary to the participants. So what if they suddenly move people around so that some of the float pushers are white or female or whatever. The participants don’t have to see the bigger picture. The director does, or should.

      In any case, I don’t believe it was random. They chose four big black guys and dressed them alike. This was not by random chance of people volunteering, it was an artistic choice made by somebody, and in a way it doesn’t matter whether they knew how it could look but didn’t care, or never gave it a moment’s thought. Neither of these possibilities is admirable.

      Either way, the whole production was tone deaf to the max. Yes, it’s sort of horribly comic, but it doesn’t reflect well when things like this leak out of Quebec into the world.

  • Kate 13:27 on 2017/06/24 Permalink | Reply  

    Police and the city have finally arrived at a deal on pension reform that brings to an end ⌧ the labour standoff they’ve been in for years.

    So, when’s the firesale on camo pants?

    • Bill Binns 13:46 on 2017/06/24 Permalink

      Aren’t the red baseball hats with the union logo part of the protest as well? The hats have been around longer than the pants so maybe a different issue. The hats have been in place so long that I honestly don’t know if the official Montreal police uniform includes a hat or not.

    • steph 14:20 on 2017/06/24 Permalink

      No details on what compromises were made in the end…

    • Kate 14:58 on 2017/06/24 Permalink

      Not yet, but the news is fresh and it’s a holiday weekend, so details may be revealed later.

    • JD 23:05 on 2017/06/25 Permalink

      It great how you put in parenthesis “(TVA link plays video)”, but it would be even better if you could put in parenthesis when it’s a Le Devoir link. I like Le Devoir a lot, but they only allow 10 free articles / month. I try to mouse over the link first to see where it’s going before clicking, but sometimes I click by accident, and on a mobile device it’s not possible to see where the link goes at all before clicking. I try to ration my 10 Le Devoir clicks / month, but I accidentally just clicked on the one in this blog post and used one up when the CBC link would have been sufficient. Thanks for considering this suggestion.

    • Kate 00:47 on 2017/06/26 Permalink

      JD, for a long time I wouldn’t link to sites that imposed limits, but when I’ve raised the point in the past, people have pointed out that such links can always be opened in what Chrome calls an incognito window, Safari a private window, and so on. I use those windows myself to open these links, although I miss doing it occasionally, especially with links from Twitter or Facebook.

      Maybe I need some kind of symbol to indicate video autoplay or blocked material. Hmm.

      How about: Blocked material: ⌧ and video 🎥 ?

    • ant6n 18:14 on 2017/06/26 Permalink

      The video camera is pretty obvious, but the ‘blocked’ (paywall?) Maybe some other emoji work better, maybe $ symbol, or maybe the lock: 🔒/🔐/🔏
      One could also try putting a legend somewhere, or at least a hover-hint.

    • JD 00:13 on 2017/06/28 Permalink

      Some kind of symbol for the Le Devoir pages would be great! It’s not even so much that it’s a paywall as the fact that if you click on it by accident without knowing that it’s a Le Devoir link then you’ve already used up one of your 10 monthly clicks, sometimes on an article that you don’t even mean to read. On a phone there’s no way to hover over the link to see where it goes, but some kind of symbol will to show up even when reading your blog through Feedly on a phone.

  • Kate 11:18 on 2017/06/24 Permalink | Reply  

    Extended roadwork along Jarry is threatening the survival of a classic Dairy Queen at the corner of Boyer. TVA link, plays video. Photo from earlier in the season where you can see a few traffic cones already starting to sneak up.

    • Ephraim 15:36 on 2017/06/24 Permalink

      Will Warren Buffett’s Dairy Queen survive?

    • Kate 17:13 on 2017/06/24 Permalink

      The item suggests it’s a franchise owned by local folks.

    • Ephraim 17:49 on 2017/06/24 Permalink

      All Dairy Queen locations are franchises. Corporate is still supposed to be able to help in this kind of situations, especially good corporations. Royalty is about 4% to 5% and a marketing fee of 5% to 5%. The franchise deals are usually 20 year contracts. They have an interest in a location surviving long term, especially if it’s a short term problem.

  • Kate 11:12 on 2017/06/24 Permalink | Reply  

    Vincent Marissal, who’s been writing for La Presse for twenty years, has left the paper, which halted his column late last year for unstated reasons.

  • Kate 11:10 on 2017/06/24 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada asks and answers the question why the Jacques-Cartier bridge zigs and zags rather than drawing a needle-straight line between the shores of the river.

  • Kate 10:34 on 2017/06/24 Permalink | Reply  

    Saturday afternoon will see the traditional St-Jean parade go along St-Denis all north of Sherbrooke Street from Boucher to Rigaud (strangely obscure little streets to fix on, but that’s roughly between Laurier and Sherbrooke metro stations) starting around 13:00. This year it will also include elements relating to the 375th anniversary of Montreal.

    Gazette reporter Christopher Curtis did some video about how Muslims celebrate Ramadan in Montreal as the month comes to an end Saturday as well. For some reason it’s only up on Facebook. Don’t read the comments unless you want your estimation of the human race to slip another notch.

  • Kate 10:27 on 2017/06/24 Permalink | Reply  

    A man staying at a shelter has died of streptococcus A during an outbreak of the disease among the homeless here. Item notes that untreated conditions among the homeless can make them more vulnerable to this infection, which can manifest in a litany of unpleasant forms.

  • Kate 10:16 on 2017/06/24 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro has a nice visual quiz on locations in Quebec, some rather more obvious than others.

  • Kate 00:10 on 2017/06/24 Permalink | Reply  

    Police had vowed to put away the camo pants till Friday but they’re extending this promise for awhile longer. TVA link, so it plays video.

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