Updates from July, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:30 on 2017/07/31 Permalink | Reply  

    CTV says nobody is admitting how many of the spectators at Formula E got in with free tickets.

    • carswell 07:46 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      The organizers’/mayor’s refusal to answer the question does, in fact, answer the question. If, say, 95% of the tickets were purchased, we’d be hearing about it.

      Remember when Coderre promised he’d bring transparency to municipal government? Good times!

  • Kate 21:06 on 2017/07/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Bixi beat two records on the weekend, one for both days together, and one for number of rides recorded in a single day on Sunday.

  • Kate 21:03 on 2017/07/31 Permalink | Reply  

    A teenager exploring the Canada Malting building fell down a hole from the eighth floor and broke several bones. It’s a classic site for urbex, so I hope this doesn’t make them tighten up security.

    • Ian 08:48 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      Well… truth is, kids will get in regardless. You’d be surprised how many people get into abandoned buildings for urbex, even ones on federal property with regular security patrols. There’s always a way in for the determined and discreet explorer. It’s like trying to keep mice out of an abandoned house.

      That said, the Malting Plant is in pretty rough shape nowadays, and given how many kids go in there all the time I’m surprised this hasn’t happened before.

    • ant6n 06:37 on 2017/08/02 Permalink

      Lucky kid.

      The article kinda reads like an ad for tearing down the place and replacing it with some condo buildings, what the owner wants to do.

      I don’t get why they can’t re use the structure of this building, like in the rest of the world. There’s way too much letting buildings rot then tearing them down then building bland condos.

    • Ian 11:22 on 2017/08/02 Permalink

      Given that there was a spur line leading directly to the plant I’m going to guess that there’s a contamination issue as well as the matter of the heritage designation of the tiled silos… but as those tiles fall off, which they do more and more every year, that will become less of an issue. It won’t be the first massive decontamination project in St-Henri for new buildings and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

  • Kate 20:58 on 2017/07/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Some plans for the metro’s old MR-63 cars are shown here, including one that already exists.

  • Kate 20:02 on 2017/07/31 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gazette’s Aaron Derfel finds that the MUHC’s fundraising executives make a bundle, while the funds are less accountable to donors than they could be.

    • Tim F 22:03 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      It even made the Vermont Public Radio edition of “All Things Considered!” #internationalfiasco

  • Kate 19:58 on 2017/07/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Monday afternoon’s cloudburst flooded some roads. The photo here shows an underpass full of water, something the city should be sensitized to after a motorist nearly drowned in one last month.

    The storm also left some folks without electricity.

  • Kate 07:19 on 2017/07/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Some final mop-ups from Formula E: Le Devoir looks at the disappointment of merchants near the course who saw business fall. The Gazette also takes up this theme but "balances" it with statements from people who liked it. Metro ran another piece on people living near the race course who weren't happy about it.

    The Journal found some people who watched the race for free; La Presse admits that the traffic horror envisaged last week from the fireworks and the street closures for the race didn't quite materialize as forecast.

    Update: La Presse says next year we'll have not one, but two race courses set up in town.

    • ProposMontreal 09:48 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      Media offered so much of an apocalyptic view of the race that people where afraid to go in that area. If business fell during the weekend, I blame the media, not the race.

    • SteveQ 10:54 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      Went to the race yesterday and must admit I loved it. I wasn’t actually Inside the paying area but outside the fence on René-Lévesque and the atmosphère was very festive. The one thing that I enjoyed the most was that the entire area beetwen the site and Ste-Catherine street and all the side Streets were free of cars, like Amherst per example. I then walked all the way to Quartier des spectacles, I have never seen so many people from Papineau to Bleury, quite amazing ! it’s great to be able to walk on so many Streets without cars. They should take advantage of the race by calling a no car week end next year.

      It was interesting to see the kids looking at the race trough the fence, or the younger ones on the shoulders of their father.

  • Kate 07:10 on 2017/07/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Alexandre Taillefer says he’s ruled out a bid for the mayoralty in November but may launch himself into Quebec politics, possibly at the head of a new party. But he also thinks Denis Coderre is a great leader – or says he does.

    • Dan 07:50 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      I’m starting to have trouble processing all the people who sing Coderre’s praises as a good mayor, when the evidence says he’s anything but. We’re all living in a reality distortion field.

  • Kate 07:07 on 2017/07/31 Permalink | Reply  

    There were three fires Sunday evening in the west end of the island, all within an hour or so. Raw video on the TVA link.

    A couple of commenters here noted recently that they felt there had been a lot of stabbings lately. I hadn’t sensed a trend myself, and would note here the negative news that after a summer weekend with everyone out and about, I see not a single report of any stabbing, shooting or other assault.

    • Bill Binns 10:38 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      Thank you Montreal. All of the problems we have here don’t come close to adding up to as much as this one huge positive. After a lifetime of living in places where every night, I read about car jackings and murders happening at the malls, streets and parks that me and my friends and family frequented, not a day goes by that I am not thankful for Montreal’s remarkable lack of violent crime.

      I have not read much regarding theories of why we enjoy such a low rate of violent crime. I hesitate to give too much credit to the cops. If we were simply the beneficiaries of top notch police talent, we would likely see that success beyond violent crime and into the lesser crimes that cause quality of life issues (theft, vandalism etc). Those issues seem to be as bad or worse here in Montreal as they are in any other big N American city. You could maybe make the case that people that live here are simply less prone to violence but you don’t have to look too far into Montreal’s history to hit the era where the city was having daily bank robberies, shoot outs with cops and armored car guards, car bombs going off in Westmount etc. Not to mention people letting loose in bars with machine guns. What happened in the last 30-40 years to put a stop to almost all of that?

    • Ian 12:01 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      “In 2013, the police-reported crime rate was at its lowest point since 1969. Experts have not reached a consensus on why crime has been declining since the 1990s, but several factors have been cited as possible explanations. These factors include an aging population, changing policing practices and strategies, the rise of technology, shifts in unemployment, variations in alcohol consumption, neighbourhood characteristics, or changing attitudes towards illegal and risky behaviour.

      Despite the inability to identify a single factor which explains the crime rate decline in Canada, similar downward trends in crime rates have also been observed in other countries.”


      Nobody knows.

      Worth noting, this is actually true for most western countries over the last 20 years. There are lots of factors at play from birth control to reduced amounts of lead in drinking water to all the factors listed above. Theories abound.

    • mare 15:24 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      I have a theory about another reason, about Montreal’s crime rate specifically: a huge amount of the population here consists of students. Partly because of that fact the income distribution is very flat. Montreal has a very low average household income (compared to other NAmerican and Canadian bigger cities) and everyone is more or less poor, with only a relatively small wealthy upper class.

      A great city for artists to live on a budget, bad city for artists that wants to sell art since there’s only a small contingent of collectors with money to buy art.

    • DeWolf 05:19 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      It’s a myth that Montreal is poor, mare. Statcan data shows the median household income in Montreal is roughly the same as in Toronto and Vancouver ($77k here vs 78kin TO and 79k in Van).

      Montreal isn’t that much more equal either. Though income is better distributed than in Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver, it’s still much less equal than any other Canadian city.

    • Ian 10:00 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      While median income may be close, that’s not really an accurate measure of how much people make city-to-city – 77k median just means that the top reported income was 154k. So basically the rich people are more or less making the same reported income in all three cities. Average income tells a different story – but even that is useless out of the context of the bell curve as it doesn’t accurately indicate how many high income families there are that might throw off the average, i.e.; the more rich people there are in your city, the higher the average income will be. I am pretty sure there are a lot more families making 154k as a percentage of the total population in the GTA than here.

      Toronto salaries for the same positions in tech (for example) tend to be 10% higher or more. Part of the reason for that is that there is such a high student population in Montreal, and many employers would rather load up on juniors than hire a senior.

      that said…
      “You would need around 5,384.43C$ in Toronto to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with 4,400.00C$ in Montreal (assuming you rent in both cities).”

      Take into consideration that this comparison assumes private daycare.

    • Bill Binns 13:54 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      I have a hard time seeing our students as impoverished. Especially when I am standing behind ten of them who are wearing identical $600 Canada Goose Jackets and browsing on their $700 iPhones while waiting in line to buy a $6.00 coffee.

    • Ian 14:45 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      Right, so all students are rich because the ones who can afford to go to the Starbucks you go to have nice stuff. You missed your calling as a sociologist, Bill.

    • GC 22:28 on 2017/08/06 Permalink

      Ian, that is not what the median means. It means that half the people make more and half make less. The top-reported could be $500K or just $80K–we don’t know without more data.

  • Kate 06:54 on 2017/07/31 Permalink | Reply  

    July has passed here without breaking 30°C, which is unusual but not unheard of.

    • Bill Binns 10:40 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      It’s my fault. I installed AC in my home. Of course we would have a mild summer rather than the grueling sweat-fest that was last summer.

      I can also make it rain by washing my car or attempting to paint something outside.

    • Ian 11:57 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      I don’t have AC at home, so thanks, I appreciated it. That said, do me a favour and carry an umbrella the next few days at least ;)

    • Bill Binns 13:55 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      As always with Montreal weather, we should realize that it ain’t over till it’s over (the season that is). Still plenty of time to have an oppressive August or even September.

    • JaneyB 14:01 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      I eagerly await such misery! I need to bank some serious heat for the winter ahead…

  • Kate 18:55 on 2017/07/30 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC looks into anti-gentrification actions in St-Henri. I wish they would not characterize these as violence. Nobody is getting hurt. I’m not speaking one way or the other on the actions, but I don’t think they’re fairly called violence.

    Writer Stephen Smith claims there are ideological differences between groups in the area, which he delineates in the piece.

    Note that police are not investigating the arson of four cars in the area two weeks ago as part of that pattern. I’ve spoken to people in the area, and some feel that it could have been a more personal attack masquerading behind the expectation people would blame it on anti-gentrifiers. Possibly the police suspect this as well.

    • ste.ph 20:49 on 2017/07/30 Permalink

      We had a string of violent muggins last year last summer until they arrested 9 suspects in February. At least one man ended up in the hospital with broken ribs. I thought it was good and done but just recently on facebook I saw pictures of a two people beaten and bruised, claiming they were attacked by a mob near the metro.

    • Kate 21:22 on 2017/07/30 Permalink

      ste.ph, is there any evidence of a political motivation for those attacks, or did the perpetrators just want money?

    • SMD 22:38 on 2017/07/30 Permalink

      I found this account of the LA gentrification resistance in the Guardian quite interesting: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/28/california-anti-gentrification-hipster-yuppie. Perhaps some of those tactics will make their way up here.

    • Blork 10:31 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      I don’t understand how smashing windows (especially when there are people sitting on the other side of the glass), burning cars, and robbing stores isn’t “violent.” Even if no one was hurt, the threat of violence is still violence.

      Switch it up a bit. Imagine a domestic situation where the husband throws plates, smashes things, and threatens to beat his spouse but hasn’t as yet actually hit her. Would you characterize him as a violent man? Would you say she doesn’t need protection because she hasn’t been physically hurt?

    • Ian 11:53 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      The Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR) conducted by StatsCan includes the following types of offences as violent crime: homicide, attempted murder, sexual assault, assault, robbery, criminal harassment, uttering threats, and other violent violations.

      “264.1 (1) Every one commits an offence who, in any manner, knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat
      (a) to cause death or bodily harm to any person;
      (b) to burn, destroy or damage real or personal property; or
      (c) to kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that is the property of any person.”

      So yeah, just threatening destruction of property alone is considered violent crime. It’s hard to take these anti-gentrification actions as anything other than a thinly veiled threat of escalating violence.

    • Mark Côté 10:51 on 2017/08/02 Permalink

      Yeah, while I think sometimes these things are blown out of proportion in the media (even more so when it comes to protests and demonstrations), smashing stuff does meet the dictionary definition of “violence”.

  • Kate 18:48 on 2017/07/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Why am I not surprised to learn that Evenko has a part in the Formula E race here? Evenko seems to be pulling Denis Coderre’s strings elsewhere, why not here too? One of its top honchos defends the event here while Denis Coderre sings that il ne regrette rien.

    Oh, and the winners of the race and the Formula E season were announced.

    CBC notes that traffic around the race course won’t be back to normal till Friday.

  • Kate 08:26 on 2017/07/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal continues QMI’s anti-Formula E line with reports on how restaurants near the course have been nearly empty and doing a story about visible anti-Coderre protests in the area. It’ll be interesting if they keep up this critical line leading into the election.

    Radio-Canada somewhat penitently re-examines the idea that the race will encourage the trend to electrified transport and looks into how Paris’s first Formula E also experienced troubles, and CBC talks to enthusiastic fans.

    La Presse reports that the DGE won’t be investigating the distribution of race tickets by Richard Bergeron in his electoral district. Bergeron was criticized last week for unfairly using the tickets as a campaign ploy.

    The Gazette notes sparse attendance Saturday despite the perfect weather.

  • Kate 20:40 on 2017/07/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Taxis serving the airport now have to be repainted in two tones with the word “Bonjour” on them.

    I honestly still don’t get what it means when someone like Alexandre Taillefer says “The taxi industry needs to be modernized.” You get in a car and pay somebody to drive you somewhere. It’s not a drone, you’re not being put through a transporter, you’re getting in a car and being driven somewhere. We did it in ancient Rome with chariots and we’ll still be doing it when all the cars are electric.

    • Ephraim 07:36 on 2017/07/30 Permalink

      He means that the level of service needs to improve and become more service oriented. There is a difference between wanting to get into a taxi and having to get into a taxi. I can call any taxi company… I prefer to get into a Teo. They are clean, the drivers are polite, they help with luggage if need be, etc.

    • JaneyB 08:13 on 2017/07/30 Permalink

      I’ve always found cabbies pleasant and helpful. Apparently I live in a parallel universe ;) I’ve had many interesting conversations over the years eg The math guy from Israel who pulled out a binder with his theory of the the universe, me trying to convince the guy thinking about taking his family of two young daughters to Saudi Arabia that there are better options…. I get the online payment thing; that’s useful but the rest of the dislike I don’t really get. To my eye, the Uber obsession etc just looks like people in their 20s are just uncomfortable around recent male immigrants from the Third World.

    • vasi 10:13 on 2017/07/30 Permalink

      Almost all the Uber and Téo drivers I’ve ridden with are also recent immigrants!

      One reason I’m hoping Lyft comes to town is that I’ve seen many more women driving them. I’ve never seen a single woman cab/Uber/Téo driver in Montréal—it feels medieval.

    • Blork 13:18 on 2017/07/30 Permalink

      Also modernized in being able to hail the taxi and pay for it via a phone app. (While still being able to do it the old fashioned way.)

    • Ephraim 21:21 on 2017/07/30 Permalink

      I deal mostly with Taxis going to and from the airport. I usually have no trouble with those going to the airport, though the drivers don’t really help with the luggage (the Teo drivers do). But my dealings with those from the airport are AWFUL. I’ve caught them telling people that it was $50 or $60 when the sign says $40. And with ripping them off on the currency exchange too. And then there is the one that blackmailed a client because they left their passport in the taxi by mistake….

    • Blork 10:36 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      No surprise here. (Although the one time I left my wallet in a taxi the driver brought it to me the next morning and would not even take a reward, so that’s a nice counterpoint.)

      As I mentioned above, being able to hail a cab and pay for it through your phone is a huge game changer. It reduces or eliminates the problem of standing around waiting for a taxi to pass, or of phoning one — which means you need to figure out the phone number of a taxi company, put up with the grumpy dispatcher, try to explain where you are, wait an uncertain amount of time, and there’s a chance the taxi will never show up — and it eliminates the uncertainty of how much the ride will cost and how you’ll be able to pay.

      Personally, I’ve probably take five taxis in Montreal in the past 20 years for exactly those reasons. The whole process seems primitive, like paying for something by writing a cheque.

    • Ian 11:56 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      Call me nuts, but wouldn’t it make more sense to emblazon cabs with “TAXI” instead of “BONJOUR”?

      taxi FR • taxicab EN
      industrie automobile
      Voiture automobile de place, munie d’un compteur qui indique le prix de la course.

      via http://www.granddictionnaire.com

    • Kate 15:50 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      Shoe drops: Téo taxis are already painted this way. I thought it was their branding.

  • Kate 19:52 on 2017/07/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Gilles Proulx says the mere fact of military conquest didn’t make Montreal bilingual, and the city is not now and never has been a bilingual city.

    • ste.ph 00:03 on 2017/07/30 Permalink

      OMG, I’m so sick of all these weak attempts to #KeepPoutineInQuebec. Get over it.

    • Jack 05:02 on 2017/07/30 Permalink

      Google Gilles Proulx and ask yourself where else could a man like that be employed as a journalist in a nations largest circulation newspaper. He is a phenomenon.

    • jeather 09:12 on 2017/07/30 Permalink

      So which language is Montreal’s unilingual language? An Algoquian, Huron, or Iroquois one?

    • Lucas 09:17 on 2017/07/30 Permalink

      What a ridiculous and provincial carnival barker.

    • Ian 12:05 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      “Bientôt, une immigration massive en provenance de Grande-Bretagne, souvent irlandaise ou écossaise, va s’installer à Montréal et va se faire une gloire de ne pas parler le français.”

      Hahaha then why is the Point is full of people with Irish last names who haven’t spoken English in generations?

    • Jack 15:04 on 2017/07/31 Permalink

      Yeah the worst were those unilingual English speaking Quebec premiers Ross, Flynn, Johnson, Johnson ,Johnson. All shared in the glory of not speaking french.

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