Updates from July, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:45 on 2017/07/06 Permalink | Reply  

    One of my favourite local crooks is Mark Vandendool, an apparently mild-mannered music teacher who also robs banks. But he’ll be behind bars for awhile after getting an eight-year sentence for twelve robberies.

    His lawyer defended him with the claim he owed money to organized crime figures, which leaves the lede flapping in the wind. How does a music teacher end up in hock to the mob?

    Movie rights are probably being negotiated as we speak.

    Update: The Gazette has more details about Vandendool’s motivation but quotes the judge as saying they have not been checked for truth.

  • Kate 19:40 on 2017/07/06 Permalink | Reply  

    The policeman charged with manslaughter in the death of Bony Jean-Pierre in the course of a 2016 drug raid has pleaded not guilty. Jean-Pierre did have a record, but nothing new since 2010.

    • Bert 20:35 on 2017/07/06 Permalink

      What would a more recent record have to do with anything? If he had a more recent conviction would it justify or otherwise explain being killed?

      Are you saying that police, knowing that someone has a record gives the police a reason / carte blanche to treat them differently, even to the extreme in this case?

    • rue david 20:48 on 2017/07/06 Permalink

      Not a reason to kill him but it’ll come in at trial.

    • Kate 21:06 on 2017/07/06 Permalink

      Bert, I wasn’t “saying” anything. I found that story interesting and somewhat sad, as revealing something of the man’s story – he’d faced charges, but in later years he seemed to be living a less criminal life. And then the cops come along and kill him.

    • Bert 21:29 on 2017/07/06 Permalink

      Kate, interesting in what way, to whom and it what context?

      It can certainly be interesting to you as a personal evaluation. But i you were to be a jury member in one of his cases it may be (legally) irrelevant.

      When it comes to the Police, who can get previous history information before encountering the person, the information could influence their judgment. For all intents, when Police interact with citizens they can become Judge, Jury and Executioner; any of which being prejudiced is not fair to the citizen.

  • Kate 19:36 on 2017/07/06 Permalink | Reply  

    Peter Wheeland laces into Denis Coderre, reminding us that the mayor’s recent sparkly promise on reducing speed limits was already promised last fall – but not acted on. And that the new promise is not meant to come into force until next spring – after the election.

    Oh yes – and the idea is a purely Projet notion to start with.

  • Kate 19:17 on 2017/07/06 Permalink | Reply  

    A building on Clark in Chinatown, long boarded up and seemingly full of feral cats back in the day, was refurbished for uses of the Chinese community in the mid-nineties. It fell out of use again, and was put up for sale, but some members of the community don’t want to see it sold off. I wonder if it even makes sense any more to put Chinese services there, when the community – which, going by this article, isn’t exactly unified – has largely moved to St‑Laurent and Brossard, with few living any more around the old downtown enclave.

    • rue david 20:51 on 2017/07/06 Permalink

      A very good friend of mine is of Chinese origin and when the parents visited from the US, they pretty much camped out in the “shaughnessy village”/Concordia ghetto area. They were unimpressed with Chinatown aside from niukee, which they may have pretended to like because I recommended it.

    • DeWolf 23:49 on 2017/07/06 Permalink

      Chinatown is a hornet’s nest of infighting and politics – Cantonese vs Mandarin, Nationalists vs Communists, mainlanders vs HKers/Taiwanese. So much drama in such a small neighbourhood. No wonder most Chinese Montrealers want nothing to do with it.

    • Bill Binns 09:33 on 2017/07/07 Permalink

      People were referring to Shaughnessy Village as “Chinatown 2” for a while. It was starting to have that flavor with an almost ridiculous number of noodle shops at one point. That all seemed to reset with the opening of the new building on the Seville Theater site. I think of that neighborhood as more Middle Eastern than Asian now.

    • thomas 11:11 on 2017/07/07 Permalink

      Originally, that building was a horse stable/garage for the neighborhood. That is why it has the unusually long narrow windows.

    • Douglas 21:31 on 2017/07/07 Permalink

      A music school wanted to operate there and was prevented from doing so.

      What is the outrage in Chinatown that doesn’t want a music school there?

    • Kate 22:52 on 2017/07/07 Permalink

      Douglas, it isn’t that they don’t want a music school, specifically. Do I need to spell this out for you?

      It took effort by the Chinese community to get public support to refit that building in the mid-nineties. I wasn’t blogging then but I heard about it and I remember being pleased that the building would be rescued from its semi-ruined state. I do remember reading it was meant to be used as a headquarters for various Chinese social and cultural groups. I didn’t follow its fortunes or particularly notice it had once again fallen into disuse.

      Something went wrong with the management, going by the current story, but that doesn’t mean nobody cares. There are elements of the community that are attached to the building. Chinatown is small. It doesn’t have many buildings of that size and age (and several have been lost to fire in recent years).

      As I said, I’m not sure it’s the right place for Chinese groups to have their offices now, but my opinion is neither here nor there. That area is historically the home of the older Chinese community here. It isn’t that they hate music schools as such, it’s that they feel a reasonable proprietary claim on the place.

  • Kate 19:11 on 2017/07/06 Permalink | Reply  

    All Bixi stations will accept Opus cards soon, but you have to link your Opus to a credit card first on their website.

  • Kate 19:09 on 2017/07/06 Permalink | Reply  

    Bit of an oddball story: the relevant provincial ministry has seized a bunch of illegal Asian carp from various establishments around town. These fish, not native here, risk becoming very invasive in the Mighty St. Lawrence if we’re not careful.

  • Kate 12:54 on 2017/07/06 Permalink | Reply  

    Contradicting earlier statements, Luc Ferrandez has thrown his hat in for a third term as borough mayor in the Plateau.

    • Nicolas Kruchten 13:59 on 2017/07/06 Permalink

      (Luc Ferrandez, not Lux Fernandez!)

    • Viviane 14:11 on 2017/07/06 Permalink

      Obviously a typo that will be fixed at the same time as the non-functioning link.

      Explanation here as to why he’s sticking around: “En 2011, Luc Ferrandez avait pourtant fait la promesse de ne pas solliciter plus de deux mandats. Une erreur de débutant, a-t-il assuré. «J’étais un jeune politicien et je pensais qu’on pouvait changer une ville en huit ans. Mais ça prend 20 ans», a-t-il précisé.”

    • Martin 14:46 on 2017/07/06 Permalink

      It’s good news. Le Plateau is like an urban laboratory for some radical (in a North American context) experiments in pedestrian-friendly urbanism and “mise en valeur” of the heritage built-up. Rosemont is next. Sometimes they fail (like the reno of Prince-Arthur, which is not very promising), but often they score (Parc Laurier, Parc Lahaie).

    • Ian 16:40 on 2017/07/06 Permalink

      As a resident I’m a fan just for all the traffic slowing. Really though the main reason I vote Projet is because they’re the only party that isn’t obviously on the take. I am glad Coderre forced through naming the library after Mordecai Richler, though. Ferrandez was very vocally opposed to that idea originally.

    • Ephraim 18:08 on 2017/07/06 Permalink

      @Ian – He lost me one day while giving a speech in Square St-Louis when I heard him blame the Anglos for something. I thought we were well beyond those politics.

    • Ian 18:56 on 2017/07/06 Permalink

      Sadly, no. Nadeau-Dubois looks like he’s taking QS in the same direction. It’s always disappointing when the progressive left gets dominated by ethnonationalists. Still, I’ll taking an anglo-blamer over an envelope accepter any day.

    • Kate 19:07 on 2017/07/06 Permalink

      My apologies. I keep forgetting somehow Radio-Canada’s links always break when I use them from my phone, even if I test them out first in a text editor. Likewise to Luc Interior, mayor of the Plateau.

    • paul 09:34 on 2017/07/07 Permalink

      Big fan of Projet and Luc; I think they have done an amazing job to reinforce the community’s strengths and address its difficulties. The Plateau is better with them leading.

      That being said, my two main criticisms are their inability to fight the annual property tax increases which hit the Plateau harder than all other boroughs and is clearly politically motivated. Canada’s densest ‘hood should theoretically require much less to service!

      The second criticism follows the points above; I don’t appreciate when they play language or ethno-nationalist politics.

    • Bill Binns 14:41 on 2017/07/07 Permalink

      @Martin – “Pedestrian friendly”? You may be thinking “cyclist friendly” which the Plateau certainly is but the two are far from the same thing and often work at cross-purposes. As a dedicated pedestrian myself, I would have to say the explosion in bike infrastructure here over the last 10-15 years has been a negative across the board for pedestrians. Cyclist actively resist or ignore any effort whatsoever to control how or where they operate.

  • Kate 12:51 on 2017/07/06 Permalink | Reply  

    Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingham has left Canada for Sri Lanka and escaped the remote possibility the Crown would revive the murder charge against him.

    Update: Maybe not so remote. The Gazette says the DPCP is persisting in its appeal of the stay of charges in this case, wanting to at least get a clarification of how the Jordan ruling should apply to very serious charges like the ones that Thanabalasingham was facing. I suspect they would have a job getting the man back here for trial, but that doesn’t seem to be the main purpose of the appeal.

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