Updates from August, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:18 on 2017/08/09 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse’s Pierre-André Normandin tells how the shoot for X-Men will limit public access to parking on Mount Royal for most of August. Metro’s account more or less echoes the story. Denis Coderre contradicts most of the points in this extra-long tweet, saying the impact will be far less than claimed.

    Let’s see how it looks in retrospect.

  • Kate 13:02 on 2017/08/09 Permalink | Reply  

    The old Royal Vic is being opened as another shelter for newly arrived asylum seekers, the army is putting up a tent camp at the border and François Legault is getting steamed.

    • ste.ph 13:09 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      The outrage is ridiculous and uneducated. Most people have no idea how many immigrants Canada accepts per year.

      “Since the early 1990s, the number of landed immigrants has remained relatively high, with an average of approximately 235,000 new immigrants per year. ” http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-630-x/11-630-x2016006-eng.htm

      Due to our low birth rate, Quebec needs at least 40,000 new immigrants per year just to maintain our population.

    • Viviane 14:01 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      ste.ph, no one is saying we’re accepting too many immigrants. The outrage is about “refugees” coming in illegally and jumping the line of refugees and skilled immigrants who follow the rules.

    • ste.ph 14:08 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      “no one is saying we’re accepting too many immigrants”, plenty of people are saying exactly that.

    • Viviane 14:11 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      In any case, surely these people will not be getting low-income housing before the 25,000 Montrealers on the waiting list, right?

    • SMD 14:13 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      “The outrage is about ‘refugees’ coming in illegally” — they are not presenting illegally, they are presenting irregularly. I recommend this article signed by 30 immigration lawyers that explains the problems with the Safe Third Party agreement that prevent many refugees from presenting regularly at the border crossings.

    • Viviane 14:56 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      SMD, they’re not coming in illegally if they’re real refugees. But are they?

      “Each case is assessed individually for whether people have legitimate fear of persecution, war or other violence in their country of origin. In a normal year, about half of Haitian refugee claimants are rejected both in Canada and the United States. Most Haitians with legitimate refugee claims who lived in the United States could have made successful requests there. Many of the new arrivals will have a hard time convincing Canada they are refugees. Some of the border crossers are recent arrivals from war-torn countries such as Syria who prefer Canada. They will likely have more success.”

    • Bill Binns 15:21 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      Referring to economic migrants from Haiti as “refugees” is an insult to anyone who has ever dragged themselves out of an actual war zone. Haiti is spectacularly shitty and poor but it’s far from being a war zone.

    • carswell 15:48 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      Some refugees claim to be known members of opposition parties. Others claim to be LGBT. Whether their claims are legit is for the immigration officials to decide. But there’s no doubt that actual members of both groups risk ostracism, intimidation, imprisonment and torture if they return and thus have a strong case for obtaining refugee status.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 20:28 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      Whelp, the Haitian Senate just came out and basically criminalized homosexuality.

      So suck it closet xenophobes. As far as the Indigenous are concerned, you’re all illegal immigrants, queue jumpers and criminals, the worst people of all time. And they’re right.

      So stop being horrible people and learn to be compassionate. Systems are in place to handle this, let the professionals do their jobs, and stop hating people who have fled for their lives. I’m sure at least half of you hypocritical hypochondriacs claim to be Christians, so put your money where your fucking mouths are and do unto others as you would have done unto you.

      The golden fucking rule: try living by it.

      *mic drop*

    • DeWolf 03:12 on 2017/08/10 Permalink

      Asylum seekers who cross the border illegally to make their claim are processed just the same as someone who arrived directly from their country of origin. They aren’t cutting the line, they’re joining it.

    • Jim 07:23 on 2017/08/10 Permalink

      Taylor, you are drawing a lot of conclusions and judgement about people you do not even know, even insulting. It’s fine to speak your mind, no laws against that, but you are judging people for what you are doing yourself.

    • Bill Binns 09:42 on 2017/08/10 Permalink

      @Taylor – Are you saying all or most of the Haitian migrants are gay? I wouldn’t be surprised if it starts to look that way when it gets around that all you have to do is say some magic words “I am gay” and you instantly transform from migrant to refugee.

      There was a story going around a few months ago about two dudes from Ghana that walked into Manitoba from the US in the winter. They nearly froze to death. One guy lost all of his fingers and the other lost all except one thumb. Turns out one thumb guy was gay and was granted asylum, the other guy got a big fat no. After which guy #2 began insisting he was gay.

    • Montreal-UK 10:07 on 2017/08/10 Permalink

      Yes Taylor the system does it best to sort out the legitimate asylum seekers. However during the process the claimants are not detained and those who have little or no chance of success, disappear into the underground economy. The smugglers even tell people to claim to be under 18 and a bone density test is required to prove age of someone who looks clearly 30. While waiting for the medical test they abscond. Just because someone claims asylum does not make them a criminal or honest person.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 12:12 on 2017/08/10 Permalink

      There may be no greater myth in our era than that which presumes illegal immigrants are de facto criminals seeking to live off the hard work and chaity of the native-born, abuse the rights and priviledges they are accorded and seek to undermine the society and culture of the adopted nation; it’s racism masquerading as love for the judicial system and law enforcement, as some holier-than-thou patriotism.

      We have to get used to a new normal: we’re stable and safe, and we will therefore attract people fleeing unsafe, unstable countries. This includes the USA, which is presently run by a mad man hell-bent on kickstarting WW3 to satisfy his own massive ego.

      We are a nation of migrants, immigrants and refugees, yet no one ever insisted 17th and 18th century European immigrants to Canada work their way through an established immigration system. It is inherently hypocritical (not to mention unfair and insensitive) to demand the same of people who are actually fleeing for their lives.

      Moreover, legal immigration can be prohibitively expensive, and Canada is a direct contributor to geopolitical instability which is causing mass migration and waves of refugees. We bomb Middle Eastern countries with drones, we support dictatorships, we sell weapons to nations at war and are fully complicit in the climate change currently drowning impoverished nations.

      And we don’t want people crossing our safe and secure border illegally, such that they may lead a normal life?

      Whatever happened to taking responsibility for our actions?

      We cause these problems.

    • Bill Binns 12:56 on 2017/08/10 Permalink

      Canada causes Haiti’s problems?? The other half of that island seems to be doing just fine and has somehow thrived despite Canada’s horrible campaign of global military domination. Part of their success is being diligent about keeping people from the screwed up side of their island off of their half.

      What’s your endgame Taylor? What would our immigration policy be if it were up to you? Open borders? Who ever makes it here gets to setup housekeeping? You think our healthcare system, education system, welfare system could stand up to that? Do we have zillions of jobs available for uneducated folks who don’t speak either of the country’s official languages?

    • Taylor C. Noakes 14:22 on 2017/08/10 Permalink


      I’ll reply to your questions in reverse order:

      1. Immigrants and refugees learn the languages of their adopted nations. It’s nonsense they won’t learn the languages of the nation.

      2. Other countries, including Haiti, have public education systems. Canada is not alone in having education. Most homo sapiens are biologically hardwired to learn new skills and information over the course of their lifetimes. Assuming Haitians won’t is increadibly ignorant.

      3. We have an apparently endless supply of menial jobs available for TFWs. Stop importing TFWs and pay the refugees the minimum wage; they can fill TFW positions for the near future (*the Federal gov’t okayed the underpaying of TFWs)

      4. This might be news to you but did you know people who work pay taxes that in turn pay for healthcare, education and social services? If the refugees are provided with jobs – even menial jobs – they’ll be contributing tax dollars to precisely the services they may make use of, just like everyone else. Astoundingly, only bigoted trolls seem to think they alone pay for all social services.

      5. Same rules that applied to all European immigrants between 1492 and 1867, like your ancestors.

      6. As to your limited knowledge of Haitian-Dominican relations, consider that the latter committed a genocide against the former, was ruled by a fascist dictator and has recently decided over 200,000 Haitian Dominicans are no longer citizens:

      Read this, you may learn something valuable. Until then, try being more compassionate to your fellow human beings.


    • DeWolf 22:15 on 2017/08/10 Permalink

      @Bill – both of the men from Ghana got asylum. Seidu Mohammed is gay and Razak Iyal isn’t, but they were falsely described in Ghanian media as a couple. That created a risk of persecution for Iyal, so he was allowed to stay. It’s hard to describe his outcome as lucky, given his ordeal, but it’s a strange twist of fortune.

  • Kate 12:46 on 2017/08/09 Permalink | Reply  

    The name of Alexis Carrel, Nazi sympathizer, has been removed from the city map. Carrel was a Nobel prize winner and renowned medical researcher, but his latter views on eugenics and collaboration with the Vichy regime have left his name in disrepute.

    • Blork 13:12 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      In case you’re wondering (as I was):

      Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexis_Carrel

      His life can be seen as a textbook case of a brilliant and motivated scientist who unfortunately fell under the influence of ideological thinking that was at odds with the Hippocratic Oath, and who dealt with the inevitable cognitive dissonance of that conflict by digging deeper into the ideology. (The ideology being eugenics, which at the time seemed like a good idea to a lot of people; clean up the species, advance humankind by orchestrating evolutionary changes, etc.)

    • John B 14:12 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      We’re going to run out of names if we erase everyone who had a slightly-shady past.

      I was going to ask if we’re eliminating something named after Nellie McClung next, but Google Maps doesn’t show anything named “McClung” in town, so maybe it has already been done.

    • Bill Binns 15:28 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      Maybe we should start looking into the backgrounds of all those “saints” that 90% of everything is named after in Quebec.

    • Ian 09:04 on 2017/08/10 Permalink

      In the Plateau at least a lot of them aren’t even saints, just the names of people related to the landowners.

    • Kate 13:06 on 2017/08/10 Permalink

      My curiosity about the city’s toponymy began when I wondered who Rachel and Marie-Anne could’ve been.

  • Kate 08:14 on 2017/08/09 Permalink | Reply  

    Salvatore Cazzetta wants to be freed from jail, saying he has already served more time waiting for trial than his co-accused have received as sentences.

  • Kate 06:57 on 2017/08/09 Permalink | Reply  

    Although the initial report had been a 16% salary increase over seven years for the 4600 members of the police brotherhood, the actual contract offer revealed is twenty percent. The union’s vote will be revealed Thursday.

    • Ian 09:24 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      The article lists:
      2,25 % pour 2015;
      2,25 % pour 2016;
      5,25 % pour 2017

      The thing the article doesn’t explain is that those annual increases apply the same way compound interest works. That actually means:

      2.25% for 2015;
      2.25% for 2016 + the 2.25% 2015 increase +2.25% of the 2.25% 2015 increase (0.05%) = 4.55%
      5.25% for 2017+ the 4.55% from 2016 + 5.25% of the 4.45% 2016 increase (0.23%) = 10.3%

      Even after the tax bite that’s a pretty sweet back-pay package.

    • Bill Binns 09:34 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      @Ian – The whole idea of retroactive pay raises is a maddening creation of the unions. Out here in the real world people don’t get raises that start two years ago.

      This was a lot of money to pay to get some employees to wear the pants they are contractually obligated to wear.

    • Tim 09:40 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      The city is basically compensating them for reducing the city’s pension contributions. Previously the city was paying in 3 dollars for every dollar put in by the employee. Now they are only going to do matching on a 1 for 1 basis. It’s still very generous, as the employee can put in up to 13% of their salary.

    • Ian 09:41 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      That’s not entirely true – in my last corp job they would announce raises after the first quarter, so we would get that quarter’s increase as back pay to the beginning of the year. Granted it was usually just an inflation raise, but whatever. They did that on purpose so that anyone that quit before first quarter would get paid at the previous year’s rates, it saved them a ton on opex before the first quarter board of investors review.

      Anyhow you may see back pay as “maddening” but given that unionized workers work to a contract, if that contract isn’t renewed and the workers still do their work, when that contract is renogotiated it’s backdated to the last valid contract which isn’t maddening, it’s just fair. If an employer reuses to bargain in good faith, they deal with the bite when the contract is renewed. It’s one of the few carrots organized labour has to make employers bargain without going on strike. Or wearing clown pants.

      But yeah, like Tim said – the city renegged on their agreed pension contributions. They have to make up for that somehow or risk mass quitting like they saw with senior fire services staff.

    • Tim 10:11 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      @Ian: Renegged is not really accurate. They didn’t renege on anything. They changed the terms in the new contract and were quite up front and clear about that change. They didn’t promise something and go back on it.

    • Ian 10:36 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      Renegged n the sense that previous contractual agreements had been made with the understanding that the pensions wouldn’t get messed with. The police had accepted lower raises for years with the understanding that the pension would remain as is.

      Just because somebody is up front and tells you that they are screwing you doesn’t mean you’re not getting screwed.

    • CE 10:44 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      People who work in unionized jobs also live in the “real world.” If you’re envious of that world, you should push for unionization in your workplace as well.

    • Ian 12:11 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      Agreed! I started working at a unionized job earlier this year, first I’ve had for many, many years. It’s amazing to work at a job where the point of HR isn’t to screw you out of a raise or promotion, where your pay, seniority, and experience are measured against a standardized scale, and management isn’t able to offshore, outsource, or arbitrarily get rid of your job in a reorg.

      And hey, for those of you not working a union job, at least you get to enjoy weekends, safety standards, unemployment insurance, and all those other things that only exist because organized labour fought long and hard for them. My grandmother worked at a factory when she was 5. Let’s not pretend that the workforce has any of its benefits because companies generously decided to be fair. Everything organized labour won is slowly getting rolled back (unpaid overtime, anyone?) and it’s historically obvious that they would be happy to repeal all of those wins given the chance.

    • Blork 12:59 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      Well put Ian. That said, there are definitely cases where some unions have gotten so big and powerful that they’re like the mafia and they use their power for nefarious ends. But it is totally mistaken to measure all unions and union activity against those exceptions.

    • Tim 13:46 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      @Blork: I tend to categorize unions by public sector vs. private sector. I’m not sure if that lines up with your description of mafia-like unions vs. non-mafia-like unions.

      @Ian: glad to hear that you found a better employer.

    • Kevin 15:44 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      >management isn’t able to offshore, outsource, or arbitrarily get rid of your job in a reorg.

      We’ve all seen each of these items happen to unionized employees in the past decade.

    • Bill Binns 15:58 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      @CE -I am not envious. I am pissed off that I am paying these ridiculous salaries that are completely disconnected from reality. We have people getting paid $68.00 to stand (or sit in an air conditioned car) next to a hole in the ground. Of course, that $68.00 an hour was based on the old unacceptable deal. Maybe it’s $100 an hour now, which would mean it was $100 an hour in 2015 as well. It’s going to be a fantastic year to own a snowmobile dealership in Candiac or Brossard, that’s for sure. Also, I will never forgive the Police or Firefighters of this city for the events at city hall last year. Their union is a criminal organization as far as I’m concerned.

      @Ian – Detroit is full of ex-workers who thought their union would protect their jobs forever and that their employers had infinite resources to provide whatever was demanded. I’m sure it was awesome for a while but it’s over now and Detroit is a smoldering wreck that has been abandoned by anyone with enough energy to get up and move.

      This kind of extortion works for cops because the jobs can’t be offshored. Our Police force will feel the effects though. Watch their numbers drop as they are used in fewer and fewer places (like standing next to holes in the ground) in favor of much cheaper private security companies (or you know, a flag on a stick).

    • Jack 22:12 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      Another bonus for our men in blue. They can now hypothetically be filmed beating your ass or better yet shooting you and they will be “suspended” with full salary and benefits. Where I am from that is called a vacation.

    • Ian 08:56 on 2017/08/10 Permalink

      @Kevin, @Bill yes, lots of union jobs have disappeared, especially in manufacturing – but not without a fight. My family is from Hamilton, Ontario – I know what it looks like when a steel plant shuts down a functioning operation to move the jobs to less expensive places. If it weren’t for the agitation of the unions influencing government action, Bedrock wouldn’t be looking to take over US Steel with the caveat that pensions and benefits for former Stelco employees need to be preserved in the restructuring. In the corporate, non-unionized world you get a notification that you’ve been shuffled out, with no recourse. If you’re lucky you get 2 week’s notice & severance.

      @Jack yeah, that’s pretty disgraceful. They expect to be treated the same as any citizen when it comes to internal investigation, but with the privileges of being officers of the law… that sounds awfully like expecting “ordinary” rights with “extraordinary” privileges. Without a balance between rights & obligations the social contract falls apart.

  • Kate 06:47 on 2017/08/09 Permalink | Reply  

    Journalists are writing about the unusual archaeology tour into the depths of a reserve seldom opened to the public, but the Journal version says it’s already sold out. It’s not a new thing: I did that exact same tour a couple of summers ago.

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