Updates from September, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 08:43 on 2017/09/09 Permalink | Reply  

    Denis Coderre has now been turned down twice by Major League Baseball in his offers to host matches displaced by extreme weather in the United States.

    • Uatu 16:04 on 2017/09/09 Permalink

      Duh. Big o vs. Camden Yards/Wrigley? Pretty obvious, really…😜

    • Josh 18:36 on 2017/09/09 Permalink

      Obvious in a way, perhaps, Uatu, but I do wonder if Montreal might have drawn more fans for these games than Baltimore or Chicago will.

    • Douglas 18:44 on 2017/09/09 Permalink

      He’s gonna make a huge bid for Amazon HQ. Arguably an even larger endeavour than a MLB team.

    • Dhomas 22:06 on 2017/09/09 Permalink

      @Douglas: I hope he does make a bid for Amazon’s HQ2. Montreal would be perfect for it. It checks all the boxes in Amazon’s requirements.

    • rue david 02:40 on 2017/09/10 Permalink

      There’s absolutely no chance that Montreal would ever land the Amazon headquarters, and it’s a vainglorious waste of resources even to put together a bid. Not just the fact that Amazon choosing a foreign city would directly embarrass the president and cause months of controversy and ill will in America. But Montreal specifically, there are the facts of the language barrier, the taxes, the poor airport connections, and how hard it would be to recruit your MIT PhD types to Montreal as opposed to Chicago or DC.

      If even an hour is wasted on planning for an Amazon bid, it’s too much.

    • Dhomas 04:14 on 2017/09/10 Permalink

      I don’t know about that, rue david. Amazon’s announcement clearly says they are looking for a city in “North America”, not specifically the US. If Canadian (or Mexican) cities were not in the running, they would have just said it from the outset, I think. The RFP (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/G/01/Anything/test/images/usa/RFP_3._V516043504_.pdf) even has language that suggests specifically that Canadian locations are being considered (“We encourage states, provinces and metro areas…”). Plus, there’s a lot of buzz about Toronto bring in the running, so why not here? Quebec already beat out Ontario as Amazon’s choice for data center location.

    • rue david 04:59 on 2017/09/10 Permalink

      Montreal is a great town, no question, and it could probably serve as a great HQ for Amazon in another reality. And definitely, on merits, Toronto is probably the best choice for them. But the language to which you refer is boilerplate to get flamboyant Canadian bids in so as to drive down the cost of wherever they’ll eventually land in the US. Richard Florida has been tweeting links to studies documenting Amazon’s aggressive corporate welfare strategy to bring down the cost of their distribution centers, and this should be seen in the same light. I have no doubt that Montreal could be everything that the company wants, it also goes without saying that Quebec and Coderre would straight up gift them land.

      But if Amazon were going to take advantage of all the benefits of Canada, they’d have done it quietly, they’d have just built and negotiated deals, and built some more. To have a contest like this which almost every major city in America will bid on, and then to choose a Canadian town? It’s far to political, like, imagine if the Royal Bank decided to announce a new HQ and all these towns applied across Canada, then they chose Florida. No way it’s coming to Canada, and the city government pretending they think it will is either delusion or a scam, but either way it’s a major misallocation of resources, imo.

    • dan 07:10 on 2017/09/10 Permalink

      Good points, rue david.

      Really, I just can’t see why Amazon would subject itself to the additional regulatory/language burden in a market where its growth potential is limited. I mean, if Quebec/French-speaking Canada (or even Canada at large) represented some enormous untapped market, then maybe.

      But why would Amazon put a border and a language between its new headquarters and the market it’s bent on dominating? Given the number of Spanish-speakers in the States, it might make more sense to talk about the possibility of a Mexican headquarters. (There would be problems there, yes, but it would at least align better in some senses.)

      At any rate, governments are going to be falling all over themselves to offer Amazon money, land and tax breaks. So those kinds of things are just table stakes.

    • Kate 07:41 on 2017/09/10 Permalink

      A friend on a private forum posted (warning for crudity):

      Amazon is negging the fuck out of Seattle right now. Imagine every hand-wringing article about “business friendliness” being written by a guy in a fedora who wants to put it in your butt and not call the next day.

      Here’s the Geekwire story on the situation.

    • Ian 11:16 on 2017/09/10 Permalink

      Montreal is not even remotely in the running. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/07/here-are-the-cities-that-match-amazons-wish-list-for-its-second-headquarters.html The only thing we have going for us on the checklist at all is mass transit and even Edmonton outranks us on that.

    • ant6n 12:08 on 2017/09/10 Permalink

      The main advantage of a Canadian city is that it’s much easier to bring in people from abroad.

      Within Canada, Montreal is a ‘cool’ city, with a good quality of life, young people are kind of drawn to it.

    • Tim 08:33 on 2017/09/11 Permalink

      An Amazon bid is something that the city should totally pursue. Given the political climate in the US, it is in Amazon’s best interest to diversify. Microsoft opened its office in Vancouver a decade ago for the same reason.

      Montreal would be a great location because it is a much more affordable city for workers than Vancouver or Toronto. I woke up to this reality 10 years ago and I believe that more and more 28-35 year olds are starting to realize this too. If you want to live in a big city, where else in Canada would you look?

      Personal anecdote: A former colleague is about to start work at a 20 person office in downtown Montreal in the next 2 weeks. The company is a hedge fund based out of the US, but the office is the entire tech department doing advanced AI research. This is what the city needs.

      The province and the city have a great opportunity to draw highly educated people from all over the world if they can get their act together and welcome them.

    • JaneyB 08:38 on 2017/09/11 Permalink

      They plan to have 50,000 employees (making 100k each). This will not be happening here unless they are excited about translating everything into French… @Tim, recall the language laws for companies larger than 50 people….

    • Tim 08:55 on 2017/09/11 Permalink

      The company for which I work provides French translations for all press releases and company wide statements to employees. We also have French screen savers. It doesn’t seem like that much of a burden. Certainly, a company with the resources of Amazon would be able to handle it.

    • Faiz Imam 17:25 on 2017/09/11 Permalink

      Interestingly one of Amazon’s stated requirements is both reasonably priced housing for it’s employees, as well as good mass transit for them to get to work. It’s a very progressive position that will catch a lot of cities off guard.

      Toronto, for example, despite its advantages really struggles with that condition.

      Montreal on the other hand checks quite a lot of boxes, though a number of American cities do as well.

      I think Montreal is much higher on the list than people think, but I have no idea if that means we have any shot.

    • Douglas 21:10 on 2017/09/11 Permalink

      Montreal can actually tick off many of the 8 requirements Amazon placed:


      The province and city would have to be involved concession wise in 4/8 of those requirements.

      What I don’t think gets it done for Montreal is that the political power behind US politicians to drive Amazon back to the US is too strong. Unless Quebec offers much more than Ubisoft level concessions.

    • Tim S. 08:36 on 2017/09/12 Permalink

      I would have thought that the simple fact that Quebec more or less enforces its Labour Code would have ruled Montreal out.

  • Kate 08:38 on 2017/09/09 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada reports that the city has applied for permission to “undertake work” on Viger Square, i.e. demolish Agora and its other installations. It has to do this because the square is right over the Ville-Marie tunnel. There’s not much more to this report except a summary of the city’s mismanagement of this small part of town.

  • Kate 08:30 on 2017/09/09 Permalink | Reply  

    Le Devoir discovers the charm of back alleys, although is it even still true that they have a bad reputation? That sounds like something from the 20th century.

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

    The ARTM (Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain) approved a suggested blue line extension on Friday although the layout shown doesn’t even name the cross streets of the stations beyond Pie-IX. It’s meant to open in 2025.

    Hefty raises were approved the same day behind closed doors for top managers of the ARTM.

    • ant6n 08:57 on 2017/09/09 Permalink

      It seems the Terminus moved South, is it not at galleries d’anjou?

    • Daniel 09:36 on 2017/09/09 Permalink

      Hmmm… Doesn’t the Blue Line extension magically get approved just before every election? 🤔

    • Kate 12:18 on 2017/09/09 Permalink

      ant6n, last month La Presse reported that the terminus would not be at Galeries d’Anjou because the city didn’t renew the reserve it had put on the land there. According to that piece, the location of the terminus has not yet been confirmed.

    • ant6n 14:34 on 2017/09/09 Permalink

      My gut feeling says the station moved to improve access to the highway and increase parking…

    • ant6n 00:50 on 2017/09/10 Permalink

      One other small note. The AMT website used to say 80,000 users would use the extension (snapshot), but the article says “Selon des études préliminaires, l’achalandage journalier de ce prolongement est estimé à près de 25 600 usagers.”

      Even if they’re counting trips vs users (usually 2x trips per user per day), it still sounds like a 60% reduction.

    • Kate 07:56 on 2017/09/10 Permalink

      ant6n, that’s a huge drop. Is it because of closures in the industrial areas around Anjou, you think? Or is it just fiddling with the projections for political reasons?

      Anyone curious should go over to Anjou some work day and ride the buses. It won’t be long before you conclude the area needs a metro line.

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