Updates from July, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:32 on 2017/07/04 Permalink | Reply  

    Reported hate crimes are up this year according to police data. I wonder what kind of moron thought it made sense to paint Stars of David on a mosque door along with the word ARAB.

    • Ian 09:59 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      The kind of moron that thinks spraypainting the doors of a mosque is okay?

    • Bill Binns 12:57 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      The kind of moron that thinks spraypainting anything they don’t own is okay?

    • Kate 19:27 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      It made me think of the morons who get confused trying to paint swastikas and have some of the corners going the wrong way.

  • Kate 23:15 on 2017/07/04 Permalink | Reply  

    Bike theft is one form of crime that’s on the rise here, and cyclists find that police are not too interested in reports of thefts or in doing anything about it. Your bike’s taken, you’re on your own.

    • Derek 00:30 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      This is true with pretty much any theft. Police are too busy to deal with break-ins and theft to do more than file a report. The police who show up at your apartment after you’ve reported a break-in don’t do much more than look around and give you papers to fill out.

    • Bill Binns 08:05 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      I am more and more convinced that the reluctance of the police to take action on so called “petty theft” is a systemic effort to control their stats rather than an indication they are too busy. What exactly are they busy doing? Solving our 30 annual homicides (25 of which usually solve themselves)?

      If, starting tomorrow everyone who had their bike ripped off insisted on filing a police report we would have a “bike theft task force” in 3 months.

      Of course, enforcement only works if you are going to be on board for some actual punishment after the rare arrest and conviction for this crime.

    • Ephraim 08:57 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      There is only ONE way to get police to notice anything… ruin their statistics. Basically you need to get MORE people to complain. They hate when the statistics say that crime, even petty crime, is on the rise.

      Yes, Kate, this is me saying this… even though I know those stats aren’t real, manipulation of them… gets noticed. This article will likely have the effect of less people reporting.. and therefore less crime….

  • Kate 23:11 on 2017/07/04 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada reports on the transformation of a disused convent on Fullum Street into a multi‑use facility including apartments for seniors and people at risk of homelessness, and space for community group offices. Now that’s more like it. With a video report that doesn’t autoplay.

  • Kate 22:33 on 2017/07/04 Permalink | Reply  

    Police tackled, handcuffed and slammed the wrong man in a mistaken arrest last February but his complaint to the police ethics commissioner has been dismissed. The bespectacled man in his fifties, who happened to have gone to the dépanneur while black, wasn’t offered any help or apology after the incident.

    • ste.ph 23:39 on 2017/07/04 Permalink


    • SMD 00:25 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      From the Gazette article:

      Burke said he has had many run-ins with the police over the years.
      In 1997, the Quebec police ethics commission ruled that a Châteauguay police officer stopped Burke without just cause to intimidate him. Burke was cycling home just after midnight when the police officer cut him off and refused to tell him why he was being stopped.

      The previous year, Burke was arrested and kept overnight in a police cell after reacting angrily to a bus driver who refused to let him on a bus. Burke was charged with uttering threats, assault, breaking a bus window and resisting arrest.

      In February 1998, he was acquitted of all of the charges except resisting arrest. He admitted to being difficult with the police, but denied the other charges. Burke said he had been harassed so many times by police he has concluded racism is often a factor.

      ”You speak to most people of colour and everyone has a story,” he said on Tuesday.

    • Dhomas 03:06 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      @ste.ph That’s the second time you post that slogan, so I thought I would comment before it becomes a trend.
      I wouldn’t say ALL cops are, but there is a large enough amount that it taints the perception for the rest of them. I’m generally against such sweeping generalizations, though. It’s just as much a generalization as if/when a bad cop might say “all black folks are criminals”.
      I have met some cops that are definitely not bastards.

    • Bill Binns 08:56 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      @SMD – Agreed. It’s easy to be down on cops until you actually need one in an emergency. When I was in highschool I was in a car accident in the type of neighborhood where everybody rushes out into the street and gets involved whenever anything at all happens. No cell phones of course. By the time a single cop arrived I was getting pushed around by an actual mob of people in the middle of the street and I had my grandmother in my car. One cop showed up and it was me and him in the middle of this mob. It was probably 5 minutes before he had another 2 cruisers on site but that was a long 5 minutes and I was very very happy to have him there.

      I have had more than my fair share of frustrations with the cops (including being pulled over dozens of times for nothing) but I always remember that one cop that showed up when I needed him and inserted himself into my dangerous situation.

    • Bill Binns 08:58 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      Woops – that should have read “@Dhomas”

    • ant6n 10:57 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      I’m not a police-abolitionist, but I’d like to point out “ACAB” and “All black folks are criminals” are definitely not the same thing. You don’t choose to be black, and there’s no institutional structure involving power and authority surrounding your skin color.

    • Kate 19:35 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      Bill Binns, I am fully in favour of police when they do their job in an honest and decent manner. I know I’ve described watching our neighbourhood cops make peace among two parties of riled-up neighbours who were on the brink of moving from angry words to actions. Cops showed up, separated the parties and talked to them quietly for quite awhile until everyone had their say and the situation was defused. No nightsticks came out, no tickets written, just good community policing. There’s still occasional yelling matches over there on hot evenings but nothing’s ever got that bad again, and that was two summers ago.

      But when things heat up, cops have a seriously hard time admitting they’ve made a mistake. Even if they know they’ve got the wrong man, or have escalated actions against somebody who’s fundamentally done nothing wrong, no cop wants to say in front of the other cops anything that admits to an error. And then bad judgement leads to more bad decisions, in the extreme ending up with people shot dead that cops should have been able to subdue without lethal force.

  • Kate 22:28 on 2017/07/04 Permalink | Reply  

    A cyclist being hassled by a cop decided to film the incident and received threats to break his phone. Officially, however, we can film the police unless by doing so we interfere with their work. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you can spare your phone.

  • Kate 16:34 on 2017/07/04 Permalink | Reply  

    As of September, all full-time students, including those over 25, will benefit from a price cut to their Opus fares, and that will include off-island commissions too.

    • Ian 10:27 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      Good! That was one rule I never understood. I know lots of people that were working on their doctorates well into their 30s.

    • Kate 19:38 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      Time was you lost the right to a student pass at the end of high school, regardless. There was no way to get a pass except to present a form stamped at a high school. I got out of high school at 16. Been paying the adult fare a long time.

  • Kate 16:15 on 2017/07/04 Permalink | Reply  

    In general, road speeds will be reduced all over town by next year, in many cases to 30 km/h, with major arteries down to 40 or 50 km/h. We’ll see if this gets enforced.

    • Chris 18:15 on 2017/07/04 Permalink

      Even if not, average speed should decrease because some will obey and others will disobey less.

    • Dhomas 19:54 on 2017/07/04 Permalink

      I’m quite certain this will be enforced. I don’t really think the difference between 40 and 50 km/h will save that many lives. But imagine the revenue from the extra tickets given!

    • Joey 20:40 on 2017/07/04 Permalink

      At an absolute minimum, the penalty (money and demerit points) for speeding will increase. So someone going 65 in what was a 40 zone but has been reduced to a 30 zone will get a more significant ticket.

    • ant6n 00:08 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      As I understand it, the mortality in an accident is strongly related to speed – the relationship is superlinear.

    • Ian 10:41 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      I am an occasional driver, but since they reduced speeds on Parc & Saint Urbain I have noticed a significant difference in how long it takes me to drive places and more importantly, how much more civil drivers are. When you’re going from 0 to 50 after a stoplight people accelerate hard, and you tend to bunch up a lot more as people are driving at a less even speed, leading to all kinds of stupidity like gridlock, blowing lights, lane weaving, etc. FWIW the limit on Parc was 50 but most people drove at about 60-65! I think most people are pretty cocky about how good a driver they are and tend to go way too fast, and when everyone else is driving fast, you need to match their speed to be driving safely.

      In any case since the speed limit got reduced on Parc & St-Urbain I have noticed a lot more people getting tickets so clearly this is being enforced. For how long we’ll see, but the point is being made and most drivers seem to be paying attention.

  • Kate 16:13 on 2017/07/04 Permalink | Reply  

    A teenager from Dorval is dead after a Via Rail train struck him on tracks outside Cornwall.

    • Blork 18:26 on 2017/07/04 Permalink

      Tragic. This happens way more than many people think. One of the reasons why it happens so much is so stupid: photographers using train tracks as a setting for photo shoots. Apparently the receding tracks make a nice backdrop or whatever.

      Here’s a story from the Washington Post about such an incident a few years back. Pull quotes:

      – –

      Several factors could have been in play. Trains are quieter than people think; their size makes them look slower; if they’re coming right at you, gauging speed is difficult.

      “There’s very little clicketyclack. They can really sneak up on you,” said Robert Halstead, president of IronWood Technologies, a firm that reconstructs train accidents.

      He likened the deceptive speed of trains to those of planes as they’re landing. Even though planes are going 150 mph, “it kind of looks like they’re just hanging there.”

      – –


      Union Pacific Railway even issued a warning about this specific problem:

      Elsewhere, I read that more than 400 people are killed by trains every year in the US.

    • Blork 20:48 on 2017/07/04 Permalink

      And then there’s this ad from the UK about the dangers of level crossings:

    • Kate 23:01 on 2017/07/04 Permalink

      Blork: yikes.

    • ant6n 00:23 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      This weekend I did some cycling on the p’tit train du nord, which is former CP trackage (passenger train until 1981, freight until 1989). One one of the former stations there was this interesting poster discouraging people from going onto the tracks: https://goo.gl/photos/zuySy5xFYak34jbN8

      Again I have a design issue: the bridge is the only one for a couple of km in both directions. For a bridge like this, there should always be a pedestrian walkway (eg attached on the outside), even if it appears like there isn’t much around. I bet this would be more likely to exist if rail infrastructure was public.

    • CE 09:18 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      Wow, those posters are a blast from the past. I grew up in a town with a rail line cutting right through the middle so those exact same posters were everywhere.

    • Ian 11:02 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      Maybe it’s time to post this again… Dumb Ways to Die

  • Kate 09:33 on 2017/07/04 Permalink | Reply  

    Following the police shooting of Pierre Coriolan last week, Le Devoir says not enough police receive training on dealing with people in crisis, and that the training is not valued by your average cop.

    • Ephraim 13:30 on 2017/07/04 Permalink

      Maybe if they had civilian oversight and had to explain their actions to a civilian board, it might change. The civilian board might question superiors as to why the policeman wasn’t trained and of course, there could be real sanctions for not taking the training seriously enough.

      In other words… RESPONSIBILITY.

  • Kate 08:31 on 2017/07/04 Permalink | Reply  

    A cycling group has suggested that Montreal should ban certain trucks with bad blind spots as London has done, in order to protect cyclists and pedestrians.

    • Blork 10:25 on 2017/07/04 Permalink

      It’s interesting that they’re using 3D modelling to evaluate the blind spots on trucks. The natural extension of that should be safer trucks (as in, to avoid a low rating, truck manufacturers will build better trucks or come up with retrofits that solve some of the problems).

      Unfortunately there’s also a down side. This is purely observational, but it seems to me the more we build “safety” into dangerous things, the more people let their guard down. In other words, a lot of people hand over their safety to the machine instead of using common-sense caution. Examples include people riding their bicycles recklessly because they feel safe wearing a helmet, or people racing their cars because they feel safe with all those air bags.

      I think the net result is that we’re better off with these safety measures, but it irks me that it creates an illusion that the world is safer than it really is, and some people are suckers for that illusion.

      (But yes to 3D modelling of blind spots.)

    • Kate 10:51 on 2017/07/04 Permalink

      Blork, I take your point about complacency, but if improved design means truck drivers can see better, I don’t think there’s a downside. It’s not as if something crucial is being automated. They just don’t have their field of view so impeded by their own vehicle.

    • Blork 11:01 on 2017/07/04 Permalink

      Oh, I know. That’s why I ended my comment with a “yes.” This is just one of my personal aggravations coming through; this idea that the machines will fix everything.

    • Ephraim 13:39 on 2017/07/04 Permalink

      Kate – To everything there are unintended consequences and downsides. For example, we have medicare, so people often try stupid things because they know the system will put them back together again. People ask to see a specialist before the general practitioner has had a chance to treat… for example on acne, there are a number of creams a GP can use before it has to go to the dermatologist, but all you have to do is ask for the reference and the dermatologists are inundated with mundane cases that may have been taken care of with 3 visits to a GP. Or worse, people who want a certain medication, even if it isn’t the right one for them, and they will get 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th opinions until they get what they want, even though it costs us all. Just because we don’t know what the consequence is yet, doesn’t mean that there won’t be one.

      Yes, we should make it safer, yes, we should look into how to make this safer and maybe increase insurance for those vehicles that aren’t as safe… which will make the manufacters fix the problems.

    • Kate 16:30 on 2017/07/04 Permalink

      Ephraim: wouldn’t the smart GP treat your condition and refuse you a slip to see a specialist? Isn’t it part of their job to do a kind of medical triage to decide whether you have a tricky diagnosis or whatever, and need more expertise?

      You write as if it’s easy to get care out of our system. I’m lucky to have been well enough not to have required extensive care, but even my experience has shown that, for example, getting some dermatological advice, without paying several hundred dollars in fees to sign up for a semiprivate clinic, is nearly impossible, let alone consulting more than one specialist for the asking.

      Are people in Canada, or other places with socialized health care, notably more reckless than those in the U.S.? Your theory would seem to suggest they should be, but I don’t see the evidence.

    • Ephraim 10:20 on 2017/07/05 Permalink

      A GP is a gate keeper. They could try to treat, but most people don’t want to hear it, they would say they want to see the specialist. And they will simply let the system do the triage. Which is why it can take a year to see a dermatologist if it is not a priority. I needed to see one and was put on the triage list quickly. In fact, I saw the head of the department and eventually the ENTIRE department at the Royal Vic. (And I’ll be honest, there was only one doctor that I liked from the whole team and asked to see him from that point on, because he was the only one that asked about how it affected my life.) But we had tried a few creams first. And I didn’t spend anything other than on the creams. And the last cream, the only one not covered by insurance, was the one that worked.

      I did pay for an MRI, much of which was covered by my insurance, to get to see a neurosurgeon quicker (because you can’t have the appointment until you have the MRI done and your GP check the MRI.) But I honestly have not spent money to get around the system. I did pay for my mom to get the better lens for her cataract surgery, but that’s because the government pays for the cheaper lens, you can just pay for the upgrade. Honestly, you really don’t need to pay to get around the system… but you do have to be your own advocate and push. In fact, I no longer have a GP, mine didn’t do his job and I had to fill in the forms to withdraw and no longer have a family doctor. But I’m back on the list to get one. There are good GPs and bad GPs.

  • Kate 08:26 on 2017/07/04 Permalink | Reply  

    In May some commuters tested a water taxi service between Pointe-aux-Trembles and the Old Port, and almost all of them liked it. But the mayor of RDP-PAT is waffling. One of her doubts is that it might not work all year – but does that matter? Everything’s easier and less cumbersome here in summertime. Fact of life in this climate. If water taxis could only run in the summer, that would be fine.

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