Updates from August, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:49 on 2017/08/04 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec has finally accepted the death certificate of Arthur Porter and declared the man dead.

    Some part of me will always wonder if Porter lingered in Panama until an accomplice located a corpse that plausibly resembled him, and that he’s living anonymously on an island somewhere on $22.5M of our money. Has anyone tracked the travels of his “widow” or other relatives? Pamela Porter walked free last December. I don’t think we ever got the millions back.

    Five people co-accused with Porter are supposed still to be tried, but I’m putting a bet here that an appeal to the Jordan ruling sees them walk away scot-free.

    • Uatu 09:47 on 2017/08/05 Permalink

      Meh. Everyone else involved has pretty much got away with it aside from Porter… The people who really have to deal with the fallout are the frontline staff of the MUHC who make it work inspite of moronic mismanagement and they get disparaged by the health Minister and neoliberal gasbags like Tommy Shnurmacher…. But who cares when you can read about some muhc charity ball in the Gazette society column right? U know, where the cash pays for the 350k salary of the head of fundraising? And it just keeps going on… :P

  • Kate 23:38 on 2017/08/04 Permalink | Reply  

    The Bank of Montreal has agreed to remove those two stone plaques on a building on Place d’Armes that mention Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve’s exploit against the Iroquois chief.

    • John B 09:12 on 2017/08/05 Permalink

      This article at least has something about why some people consider the marker offensive:

      “We need to put into context the fact that the Iroquois chief was defending his territory,” Rice said. “Depicting (the Iroquois) as fish waiting to be shot or as bloodthirsty Iroquois doesn’t do justice to history.”

      Although this brings up the question – are there people who really believe the Iroquois were bloodthirsty and/or fish-in-a-barrel? If course the chief was defending his territory! We would expect no less from any people who’s territory was being overrun by outsiders. As for the bloodthirsty bit, even my pro-colonialism, pro-European, western-Canadian high-school education taught us that the Iroquois were peaceful farmers – are there education systems teaching otherwise?

      If we’re really after reconciliation, maybe Michael Rice in the article is right – the stones should be left, and something added to educate people who don’t understand, (like me), about why they could be considered offensive (that’s pretty easy to say as a white dude, though).

    • Michael Black 11:03 on 2017/08/05 Permalink

      History is incredibly one-sided. I can’t remember school history, but all those westerns present indians as blood thirsty savages. Everyone knows about Custer’s Last Stand, but fewer know that the Fort Laramie treaty of 1868 kept the Black Hills for the Lakota, but was ignored as Europeans moved into the area, and gold was found in the Hills. Everyone talks about Thomas Scott, but not the two other casualties of the Red River “Rebellion”. There was a viciousness from Scott’s side, which maybe explains his execution, and it continued after the expeditionary force, with Sam Steele, got out there.

      People were generally welcoming, to the traders and explorers. I’m not even sure the early settlers were seen as trouble, but of course that changed with time. All those fur trade marriages, how could they last if people were so different? How could they have happened if there was animosity from the start? The native women are seen as seeking a better life, but why can’t they just be curious, wanting to know about the new people rather than in awe of them?

      But the traditional telling dismisses the people who were here, as people in the way, rather than people with a legit complaint about the mass of immigrants coming over.

      Even my great, great, great grandfather was incredibly dismissive, one passage I read had someone sounding like the way black people were portrayed, stepin fechit, fearful of the wild and glad a “strong” European was around to protect him. Never mind that my great, great, great grandmother probably kept him alive in the woods, he having no previous experience.

      People can grasp the physical and sexual abuse that took place at the residential schools, but a much worse thing happened. My family never suffered from reserves or residential schools, though the cousins probably did, but we assimilated, no language or culture. The Syilx language has very few fluent speakers, I saw the figure 150. If my two sisters and I spoke the language, and our immediate cousins, that would be six more.

      Truth and Reconciliation means a radical change in how things are seen. At the very least, it is leverage to remove or counter relatively minor things like this plaque. Hopefully the former happens, but perhaps it will just mean minor victories that won’t change much. It means crying great toxic tears, not out of guilt, but in understanding what was done, and getting it all out of our system.


  • Kate 16:01 on 2017/08/04 Permalink | Reply  

    Notes about weekend difficulties driving.

  • Kate 12:36 on 2017/08/04 Permalink | Reply  

    A mishap by a dog walker, apparently misunderstood by an observer, may mean the official euthanasia of a woman's three Labrador dogs. The owner is fighting the ruling.

    • DeePs 13:08 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      I really hope this gets dropped. Being an owner of a very similar looking black lab myself, I have been very nervous any time she reacts to a stranger on the street. She has barked and lunged at people before, especially when made nervous by passing trucks or orher loud vehicles. I understand that this is startling and I feel badly about scaring these people but I think these are hardly ‘attacks’. A dog attack can be very serious, as we know all too well, and these should result in grave consquences, but a scratch from an othereise calm dog that reacted in a stressfull situation should not be a reason for such a harsh punishment.

    • Montreal-UK 13:56 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      Three large dogs in the city looks quite selfish. A nip to an adult is not much, but it could easily have been a traumatized kid.

    • Viviane 13:58 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      This is one of the reasons why I cross the street and walk on the other sidewalk whenever I see a leashed dog of any size coming my way.

    • Michael Black 15:44 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      But how much of this is just fear of a large dog? My sister’s Labrador struts down the street, but doesn’t notice many people. I won’t discount his size being an issue, but he won’t do anything. He tolerates people patting him, but unless they are good at it, he’ll soon find a piece of grass or something that is more interesting. He is more interested in smells than people, though if he smells food it can look like he’s interested in someone.

      Once in my life a random dog has bitten me, some hitchhiker’s dog apparently protecting his mistress. I’ve never given it thought, but dogs don’t notice me. But now that I smell of dog, it’s amazing how vulnerable they can be, young Labradors rolling on the ground when I pat them, others pressing against me. Without my sister’s dog, random dogs do notice me, or maybe they notice me noticing them. But they wait for something before they approach. The bulldog two houses over comes running over when he can, I am someone he likes and can be approached. One dog in the past five years, oddly just in July, came over, one if those extendable leashes, sniffing me and being friendly without me doing anything.

      I see people all the time pick up their little dogs or cross the street, I never know if they worry about my sister’s Labrador, or they feel their dogs are not controllable. Just one day last week we saw two dogs excited about coming over, but their owners kept them on a short leash. Were the dogs too enthusiastic, or are they unhappy about not meeting other dogs? Sniffing other dogs is a major component of their lives. I think there are dog owners who don’t grasp that.

      I’ve seen dogs back away if I try to pat them, none have tried to bite me. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, just wondering if people perceive big dogs in a different matter. If I was a small kid, I’m not sure I’d know better, and size would be enough.


    • Kevin 19:13 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      Animal owners have to recognized that no matter what, their animals can be unpredictable.

      People anthropomorphize them, call them furry kids — but they are not humans and will never react like humans.

    • Viviane 19:54 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      What’s not mentioned in the JdeM article is that the dogs underwent a behavioral assessment before being deemed dangerous.

    • Kate 23:36 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      Michael Black, I don’t know why, but I often tend to attract the more hostile attention of dogs. Sometimes dogs only have to catch my eye to start with the aggressive body language. Surely they don’t do this with all cat owners? I would certainly never try to pet them. Like Viviane, I tend to edge away from anyone walking one or more large ones.

      On the other hand, I think it’s incredibly harsh to put down a woman’s three animals because of a fumble by a dog walker, if that’s indeed the full story.

      Montreal-UK: But it wasn’t a kid, and we don’t punish people for things that have not actually happened.

  • Kate 12:28 on 2017/08/04 Permalink | Reply  

    A recent poll shows that Denis Coderre is already well ahead in intentions to vote in November.

    • Tim S. 16:43 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      Well, a 14 point lead in a poll with 38% undecided or none of the above (there’s no link to the original poll), that was taken two months ago, before Formula E and the 55 million dollar sidewalk. Put it this way: it’s Coderre’s election to lose, and he’s done everything possible this summer to help make that happen.

    • Bill Binns 17:04 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      Go ask a hundred people downtown to name anyone running against Coderre. I’ll give you fifty bucks if you get more than 10 correct answers.

      I don’t like Coderre and I was not so late to the party as many of the folks here. I would love an alternative that at least has a chance of being better than him. The only thing I know about Plante so far is that she wants to kick off every city council meeting with an official apology that Montreal exists. If these two end up being my choices I see nothing to gain by going through the trouble to vote. Of course, if the apology thing is just the tip of the Plante nonsense agenda then I may find myself going door to door for the guy I can’t stand. Things are not looking good.

    • ant6n 18:32 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      Wow way to keep an open mind. Let’s hope the whole population doesn’t consider of bigots.

    • ant6n 19:55 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      Here’s a pdf of the Leger poll.

      Seems that Plante was known by 33% of the 2013 Montreal residents they asked. I think you owe me fifty bucks.

    • Viviane 20:31 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      Saying you’ve heard of candidate X before and actually saying the name of candidate X without being given a list are two different things.

    • Douglas 20:57 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      Is the Formula E race actually that unpopular?

      I think its a big waste of money, but does it poll badly among average Montrealers?

    • Kate 23:31 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      Douglas, I don’t know about polling, but the inconveniences caused by holding the race in eastern downtown were not popular. Whether this has meant anything to the quasi-suburban voters in more far-flung boroughs I do not know.

      It depends how you pose the question. If you asked people “was the race fun?” some might say yes. But if you asked them if they felt it was the best use of upwards of $20M of the public’s money, the answer you get might tend more toward a no.

  • Kate 08:09 on 2017/08/04 Permalink | Reply  

    Two fairly bad fires happened overnight. One firefighter had heat stroke but no one else was injured.

  • Kate 07:16 on 2017/08/04 Permalink | Reply  

    The SPVM tentative contract involves a 16% salary increase over seven years – not bad, but less than the SQ got.

  • Kate 07:15 on 2017/08/04 Permalink | Reply  

    With Osheaga and several other events happening this weekend, public transit is being recommended. St Lambert is said to be bracing for the noise.

  • Kate 07:13 on 2017/08/04 Permalink | Reply  

    Le Devoir says there used to be a lake where Viger Square is today.

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

    A lot of houses here were built with lead pipes leading from the water mains into the building. The city has warned about this in the past, but has been slow to get them replaced, partly because the homeowner has had to agree to foot part or all of the bill. That will change soon, with the city undertaking most of the expense.

    • JaneyB 08:51 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      I’ve always been under the impression that if you flush the water for a couple of minutes and only use cold for food prep, that’s a decent fix.

    • Bill Binns 08:58 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      Good news. We got a little knocked off the price of our house because of this but had pretty much decided that we were not going to do it.

    • CE 09:00 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      You should always use cold water for food prep or drinking. Have you seen the inside of hot water tanks and the pipes that run from them? They’re often disgusting.

    • Ephraim 10:31 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      CE – You are talking about standard water tanks, with heating elements. Some of us have stainless steel “indirect fired” water tanks, which are spotless and don’t need to be changed ever 10 years. Basically, a stainless steel tank with no moving parts with a coil of pipe around it that heats the water using the household boiler.

    • Blork 12:22 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      Keep the water heater temperature at 60C (140F) to prevent the growth of Legionnaire’s Disease bacteria:

      There can also be problems with rust, heavy metals, and just plain staleness because water in the water heater can sit around for a while, whereas cold water is always coming in fresh.

  • Kate 06:59 on 2017/08/04 Permalink | Reply  

    Everett-Green has been busy this week. He’s also got a piece about the travails of the Montreal Biennale, in debt and facing an uncertain future. It’s not even the first time an event of that name has collapsed here.

  • Kate 06:36 on 2017/08/04 Permalink | Reply  

    The error-riddled exhibit about Expo 67 has been cancelled.

    • Bill Binns 08:52 on 2017/08/04 Permalink

      It must be somewhat of a challenge to put together an exhibit about an event that happened in many people’s living memory. Makes me wonder how many other exhibits about events of hundreds or thousands of years ago are if they can’t get something from 1967 right.

    • Kate 08:26 on 2017/08/05 Permalink

      Details about important events are studied and checked over by more scholars over longer periods of time. Whoever mounted this Expo 67 thing only had to ask the folks who run the Expo 67 group on Facebook (for example) or get a qualified researcher to look over the proposed photos and texts, and they would’ve easily found the errors that made it a laughingstock. It was arrogance, not ignorance, that caused the problem.

  • Kate 06:35 on 2017/08/04 Permalink | Reply  

    As migrants continue to pour across the border, Denis Coderre reminds us of his sanctuary city idea.

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