Updates from September, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:44 on 2017/09/19 Permalink | Reply  

    Great piece on Jeans Jeans Jeans from the Main blog.

    • Blork 10:13 on 2017/09/20 Permalink

      Badly written headline: “Why Jeans Jeans Jeans Succeed Where Others Fail” should be “Why Jeans Jeans Jeans Succeeds Where Others Fail.” The writer is assuming that “Jeans Jeans Jeans” is a series of plural nouns when in fact it’s a singular proper noun (i.e., a name).

      (Ok I’ll stop now…)

    • Ian 13:02 on 2017/09/20 Permalink

      Haha, good point. Reminds me of the argument that “Toronto Maple Leafs” is correct as it’s a group name, i.e., each player is a “Toronto Maple Leaf”.

      Jeans Jeans Jeans is a great store, though. Very good prices & excellent service. One of the few gems of the old garment district to survive the onslaught of gentrification.

    • DeWolf 23:12 on 2017/09/20 Permalink

      @blork, the headline is actually correct in British English. Group entities are usually referred to in the plural (eg, Radiohead are a band from Bristol, Tesco are having a sale, HSBC are an awful bank). But that’s a bit of an academic point as you don’t see it very often in Canadian English.

    • Blork 10:15 on 2017/09/21 Permalink

      Also, look at a map. ;-)

      Incidentally, this is one of those cases where I strongly disagree with the British English way. Here’s an awkward example in “correct” British English: “Apple are a nice company to work for.” (FAIL)

    • Chris 17:22 on 2017/09/21 Permalink

      How is it a “fail”? Sounds perfectly correct to my ear.

    • Blork 21:02 on 2017/09/21 Permalink

      Apple is a single thing; a company. It is composed of multiple things (people, etc.) but as as a company it is a single entity. So you would say “Bob is a nice person to work for,” not “Bob are a nice person to work for.” Similarly, Apple, as a single thing (company, like a single person) gets treated as singular; Apple is, not Apple are.

      Unless you’re a brit, in which case all bets are off.

      Ok, related example: a committee. A committee is a group of people tasked with something, but it is a singular entity. (Notice I didn’t say “a committee are a single thing…) So you would say “the committee is meeting today” not “the committee are meeting today.”

      You could legitimately say “the members of the committee are meeting today,” because the object then is “the members,” which is plural. But the committee itself is singular, because it is a singular entity.

    • Chris 21:05 on 2017/09/21 Permalink

      hehe, you trying to logically square human language is amusing. :)

    • Blork 21:46 on 2017/09/21 Permalink

      Chris, why didn’t you just say “square is the logical! you amusING haha guagelang?”

      Ya know, a few simple rules adds a bit of coherence.

    • dwgs 12:15 on 2017/09/22 Permalink

      A few simple rules add a bit of coherence, Shirley.

  • Kate 22:25 on 2017/09/19 Permalink | Reply  

    In some parts of town you can use a new app to report potholes.

    • Roman 22:54 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      What’s the point? The whole city is just one giant pothole. Just fix the damn roads.

      Bad roads are due to corruption. Asphalt company adds used engine oil to the mix and that makes roads crumble prematurely.

    • mare 23:04 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      If you actually want the app, here’s a direct link to the page pointing to iOS and Android versions https://beta.montreal.ca/produits/montreal-services-aux-citoyens

      I predict I’m going to use this a lot, it’s like playing Pokemon, there are so many things to signal in my neighbourhood.

    • Kate 23:33 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Thanks for the link, mare.

    • John B 23:40 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Verdun! Time for a download.

      Although, I’m told that the delay for any type of 311 request is getting really long – like 10 days to 2 weeks – which is ok for things like potholes, but if the problem is “my garbage wasn’t picked up” or “don’t dig up the only entryway I can use in my wheelchair” then it’s fairly useless, and making it easier to submit requests won’t help the backlog.

    • JaneyB 09:42 on 2017/09/20 Permalink

      @John B – my neighbour tells me the mayor of Verdun responds to FB messages so maybe that’s better than 311….

    • John B 15:19 on 2017/09/20 Permalink

      He does. If you want anything done in Verdun the fastest way to get it done is to post in on the mayor’s FB page or message him.

    • jeather 16:40 on 2017/09/20 Permalink

      The St-Henri city councillor is also very responsive on facebook — he follows the local groups and everything. (Projet Montreal, of course.)

    • Kate 00:02 on 2017/09/21 Permalink

      Would that be Craig Sauvé, jeather?

  • Kate 22:23 on 2017/09/19 Permalink | Reply  

    The suspect in the fatal stabbing in Point St Charles has been named, and police are after him.

  • Kate 12:58 on 2017/09/19 Permalink | Reply  

    UPAC has arrested Frank Zampino, Bernard “Mr 3%” Trépanier and several others in connection with fraud and contract-rigging against the city of Montreal between 2001 and 2009.

    • Zeke 17:38 on 2017/09/19 Permalink


      Does anybody know where or what Benoit Labonte is up to these days?

    • Kate 07:14 on 2017/09/20 Permalink

      Zeke, the most recent news mention was when Labonté testified in the Contrecœur trial at the beginning of May. It’s noted further down the article that he testified by video link because he now lives in Manila.

    • Zeke 10:28 on 2017/09/20 Permalink


      Thanks. That’s a good place to start a new life.

  • Kate 06:56 on 2017/09/19 Permalink | Reply  

    Valérie Plante is promising lower taxes for families but there’s no explanation how this will work or who will take up the slack.

    • Chris 07:19 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Where I guess “family” means “with children”?

    • Ephraim 07:53 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      This is nonsense. So, if you are barren you are now a second class citizen?

      How about lower taxes for all by making the city efficient, transparent and without corruption?

    • Tim S. 08:32 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      I have no idea how this will be carried out, but is it really controversial to point out that people with children need more space, which costs much more, even though parents don’t earn any more income than non-parents – indeed, many take a hit?

    • Chris 08:37 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Or perhaps in an over-populated, resource depleted, overheating planet, we should give tax breaks to those that don’t add more humans to the planet?

    • Ephraim 08:44 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Tim S. – That’s the job of provincial/federal taxes. City taxes are currently based on the house value and the land value, though to be honest it’s done horribly, but that’s a different discussion. Are they going to ask us to now submit our income to decide how we are taxed?

      How about a different view of this. Should you be taxed more because you are barren and can’t have children? Taxed more because you raised children and they have moved on?
      Taxed more because you are LGBTQ and decided not to have children?

      And if we are going to bring this up, since everyone who pays a property tax also gets a school assessment, should be start to exempt those who don’t have children from the school tax, since they don’t have children, if we start charging less to those who have them?

      The great equalizer in our system is supposed to be our income tax, not our property tax.

      Now, if you ask me, I think we should have to actually submit the property tax bills as well as rental income and expenses as part of our income tax forms. There is a LOT of hidden tax money in there. People with houses that aren’t declaring the rental incomes on their property claiming it’s “empty”. We should actually offer a small deduction related to cost of renting, but we need receipts for that.

    • David S 09:46 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Chris: imo, you just won comment of the year. Thanks!

    • ant6n 10:31 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      This “barren” thing is bs. If you can’t have children biologically, you can adopt some and the get the same suppossedly preferential treatment.

      But in reality, children are a huge drain on the family resources, money and time, so effectively child-less families are preferential from a financial point of view. But society needs children to continue to exist; and those childless folks need population to renew as well – they will pay for services, retirement, and generally keep the economy running when you’re retired.

      I’d say without knowing what they actually propose, making a bunch of assumptions and getting all upset based on them isn’t very useful.

    • Ian 11:00 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Like ant6n said. Children will be tomorrow’s citizens and leaders. Our society literally requires that there be children in each generation, and being a parent isn’t easy.

      Unless the point of Chris and like-minded people is simply that there shouldn’t be humans any more, that is, in which case rewarding childlessness is a great idea.

    • dwgs 11:48 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Bringing Chris’s argument to it’s logical conclusion, shouldn’t the most virtuous among us be jumping from bridges?

    • ste.ph 12:09 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      @dwgs, jumping off a bridge will also lower your taxes. “Only two things certain in life: death and taxes”

    • Ian 12:23 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      More to the point of Plante’s proposal, though, what about parents that rent?

    • Mark Côté 15:34 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      This reminds me of when car commuters complained that they were effectively getting a tax increase because of a proposed tax credit for public-transit users, that any tax changes should apply to every person to exactly the same degree.

    • Dhomas 17:47 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      I love it when I hear “childless” folks complaining about school tax. Even if I had no children, I would gladly pay for school tax as it is beneficial to society as a whole, not only to me as an individual. For example, I’d rather get treated by a doctor who is properly educated, and I don’t mind some of my taxes going toward that goal. I’d also prefer not being surrounded by uneducated people, day-to-day, and funding schools seems to help with that, too…

    • Jonathan 19:17 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      I think we are taking what she said quite literally. From my perspective she is proposing to lower taxes for all, but which would be proportionally more beneficial for families because they have a higher tax burden (because we can assume a larger portion of their after tax income goes to purchasing food, clothing, shelter, and other essentials). There is a particular need for keeping youth in the city for various reasons: vitality, efficient schooling, social connections, etc.

      I definitely do not see her as offering tax breaks to people who have children. Just recognizing that high taxes are one deterrent to keeping families in the city because they are often trying to minimize how much they pay in taxes due to their increased essential expenses.

      Nobody else sees it this way?

    • Ephraim 21:58 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Jonathan – The city’s taxes are much too high on everyone, too high on businesses which pay almost 5X what individuals pay, too high on individuals, etc. The problem is that we should have had a level of efficiency but instead corruption seemed to have swallowed a lot of money. And it’s not all the corruption that we talk about at the Charboneau commission, some of it are things like the sale of Stationnement Montreal. Transparency is the way to fix this, but the Quebec government has to force it.

      We also need to align the interests. An example of aligning interests is that employees increases in future years are tied to percentage of budget savings and not tax revenue increases. So if the tax burden increases, they still get no increase in salary. But if the city can save 10%, they may get an extra 1% for that year as a bonus. If sustained, they could get that 1% as a salary increase. Therefore the more they save the citizens, the more they can earn. At the same time, you have to set a service standard…. because otherwise they will simply let services deteriorate to save money. Like changing garbage to 1 day a week to save money, when in fact it may actually make the city dirtier and increase health costs as we have more vermin.

    • ant6n 02:38 on 2017/09/20 Permalink

      Your arguments sounds a lot like “Instead of this, what Project Montreal should really be doing is -insert pet peeves-“.

      There’s plenty of time left in this election. I’d say a lot of people think it would be reasonable to help families stay in the city rather than move to the suburbs. Beyond that there’s plenty of time to talk about a lot more policy initiatives.

      (as an aside: you talk about the problem of ‘corruption’ as a financial burden, but it’s hard to know how much money this actually costs. However, the various vanity projects by Coderre, the whole self-monument-building spree he’s been on is relatively easy to tally up, and also very easy to avoid. Why not start with that.)

    • Ephraim 12:36 on 2017/09/20 Permalink

      As per the usual, you misinterpret totally what I’m saying. I never mentioned any political party at all, nor even suggested one. I spoke of corruption, efficiency, transparency, alignment and the need for service standards to ensure that it doesn’t suffer because of changes in efficiency or alignment. I pointed out that cities don’t have access to income tax data. And that the entire regime of property tax would have to be reworked because it is entirely based on the value of the land and the building without regards to who inhabits it.

      I used SM as an example of corruption, because you don’t sell or rent out a monopoly, it’s too open to abuse. And the point of transparency is that you can see what it costs… if we got to see the salaries of those who run SM and the costs of administration versus return for the city and return for the BoToMM, we would know if this was the right thing to do. We only get to see snippets of things like http://w5.montreal.com/mtlweblog/?p=43031 $645K

    • ant6n 13:05 on 2017/09/20 Permalink

      So you’re not actually using this thread to start a completely different discussion about something effectively unrelated? Must be misinterpreting.

    • Ephraim 16:44 on 2017/09/20 Permalink

      I’m pointing out, that the equalizer is income tax, not property tax. The idea of cutting property tax is a good idea, but it shouldn’t be related to your family status. That’s what income tax is for.

      How would you even manage such a system? Especially since the city doesn’t have a right to know such personal information. How could the city know if you have children? How many months of the year someone with children have to be in the house/apartment to qualify. How old would the children need to be? How would the city know if they are dependent. Does that mean that someone living in a mansion would also get a discount? We can continue on this list, but just family status is something the city doesn’t have, nor has a right to have. It would turn the whole property tax system on it’s ear and would need the provincial government to intervene.

      And if you owned property in this city you would already know how stupid the system is. The city sends inspectors who really can be easily influenced. Is the ceiling 8 feet, 10 feet or 12 feet high? Wood floor, tile, marble, laminate? They all influence property tax. The size of your balcony in front influences it, even if it’s falling down. The last real reform of the system was over 100 years ago, when the city wanted people to have gardens in front of their house… and the stairs were partly tax evasion, because they didn’t count as part of the square footage of the house.

  • Kate 06:50 on 2017/09/19 Permalink | Reply  

    The daughter of deceased billionaire David Azrieli has given $25 million to the Jewish General. Various of Azrieli’s achievements are mentioned here, but not the notorious midnight demolition of the Van Horne mansion in 1973.

    In other hospital news, ten new members were named to the MUHC board this week to replace the ones who slammed the door in July.

    • Ephraim 07:55 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Naomi Azrieli does a heck of a lot of great charity work. She’s not responsible for her father’s decisions and that money will go a long way to helping a lot of people. Personally, I don’t think it’s fair to judge her by her father at all.

    • Kate 08:20 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      I said nothing against Naomi Azrieli, Ephraim. But her father’s demolition of that house is written in stone.

    • Ephraim 08:34 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Yes, what her father did is written in stone. But instead of talking of her good work, you brought up her father’s. She runs a philanthropic charity that does a lot of good work. Scholarships, fellowships, funding for departments at universities, holocaust memorials, even help for holocaust survivors, etc.

    • dwgs 09:25 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      And she does those unarguably good things with the money that her father made by doing things like demolishing the Van Horne mansion for the sake of a greasy buck.
      Just playing devil’s advocate here, you can’t deny that there is no link whatsoever

    • Jack 10:11 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Man those ten new board members seem to know a lot about……real estate?

    • John B 10:30 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      From the MUHC article: “No CEO has been named to the hospital yet. The new board will make two suggestions before Barrette makes the final decision.”

      That’s not how a board is supposed to work.

    • rue david 08:49 on 2017/09/20 Permalink

      John B- think of barrette as shareholder approval.

    • Ali Bear 10:19 on 2017/09/20 Permalink

      It doesn’t matter where she got the money she is spending. She could have blown it all at Holt Renfrew’s instead of investing it in high-profile charities.

    • Ian 13:10 on 2017/09/20 Permalink

      It’s worth noting that working for and giving to charity has been a staple of the ultra rich forever. Did nobody ever wonder why there are people’s names on the wings of every museum? Where Carnegie Libraries came from? Why there are so many places called Carnegie Hall?

      I agree, property management and developers have done some terrible things to Montreal and have become very rich in so doing – but don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

      In a just world there would be no great divide between the haves and have nots but if the wives and children of the ultra-rich property developers of Montreal decide to play out their largesse by donating to hospitals or museums or whatever, like Ali Bear said – they could have spent it on yachts or whatever. I mean really, they didn’t ask to be born rich any more than I asked to be born poor – you can’t resent them for what they were born into or the sins of their fathers. If they do good with their money, show some graciousness.

  • Kate 06:42 on 2017/09/19 Permalink | Reply  

    The Dairy Queen on Jarry, which has been there for sixty years, may have to close after road work and a dismal summer led to poor business all season.

    • Zeke 09:35 on 2017/09/19 Permalink


      I absolutely adore the fact that this is front page news here. Textbook definition of a “slow news day.”

    • Daniel 12:00 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      An iconic and well-loved business that is likely closing after 60 years because of poorly executed roadwork and no support from local government should most definitely make front page news, as it is a troubling sign of a much greater issue. It’s not closing because people don’t like Blizzards anymore.

    • Bert 12:42 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      You could say that it is because of roadwork. Others could say that it is the failure for the owner to save up over time and not being able to handle a slump. Other could say that a previous owner might have gotten out just in time and found a greedy buyer who may not have known what the city was planning.

    • Kate 13:00 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Bert, the article says the business belongs to the guy whose family opened it 60 years ago. This is not about greed, it’s a story because it’s a microcosm of what happens when the city spaces its roadwork out over the better part of a year.

      Zeke, that’s why it’s not “slow news day” material. It’s part of an ongoing pattern here.

    • Bert 13:09 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      So, in 60 years of operation, they could not put a few bucks asside to weather a slow year.

    • Blork 15:09 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Bert, tiny shops like that operate on a shoestring budget. The owners likely make no more profit than if they just had regular jobs somewhere.

      Do you have a regular job somewhere? If that job demanded you pay back $100,000 this year, then buy a $30,000 car, and maybe you’ll have to pay another $100,000 next year, would you just shrug and pay up from all the “bucks you set aside” over the years, or would you pack it in and get a different job?

    • Michael Black 15:17 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      And is it seasonal? The Dairy Queen that was in NDG for along time, then closed, was seasonal. So is the one on Park Ave, and the one in Westmount. The one that was long in Place Bonaventure seemed an exception.

      If you close for four months or more, you don’t have to pay employees and probably some other things, but no income. If you stay open during the winter, expect fairly slow business.

      So with ice cream, you have to make best use of the warm weather. Any problems eat into that.

      In the US the Dairy Queens have a line of fast foods, something that might keep them going in the colder months, but that doesn’t seem to have made inroads here. If they do sell burgers, I don’t think they get many customer.


    • Douglas 16:29 on 2017/09/19 Permalink


      Leave Kate alone. Montreal is just a slow news city!

    • Ephraim 16:48 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      The ones that are open year round generally either have a Brazier (ie food) or are twinned with Orange Julius.

    • Zeke 18:41 on 2017/09/19 Permalink


      Douglas, I wasn’t picking on Kate. I wasn’t picking on anybody. I was not being sarcastic. I was being 100% honest and truthful.

      When the NYTimes lead story is about Russian interference in the US election and they have a feature about a guy who has been jailed in solitary for 10 years while waiting for his trial. When Le Devoir has a picture of Justin Trudeau and Theresa May, on their front page.

      I truly like the fact that 24h decided to go with the Dairy Queen story. It goes a long way to showing that despite a lot of hand-wringing, things aren’t all that bad.

    • Kate 23:00 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Hey wait. Nobody needs to either pick on me or defend me.

  • Kate 06:33 on 2017/09/19 Permalink | Reply  

    The city says numbers on Formula E’s costs and ticket sales can’t be revealed till after the election. Marvin Rotrand thinks this claim is bogus.

    • jeather 12:03 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      It can’t be revealed because if it were, people wouldn’t vote for Coderre.

    • Kate 13:02 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      jeather, I wish that were true. I wish facts had more weight during elections.

  • Kate 04:01 on 2017/09/19 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro’s Romain Schué asks a pertinent question: is it profitable for councillors to join Équipe Coderre? Several people elected under other banners have joined the mayor’s party since their election, and while their base pay is always the same, belonging to the party in power offers extra cash for participating in commissions or other roles unlikely to be offered to opposition members. Quite a detailed list, including the interesting fact that while the Coderre team was elected with 27 candidates in 2013, it now counts 36 in council.

  • Kate 02:32 on 2017/09/19 Permalink | Reply  

    Le Devoir asks why CP is so dead set against allowing level crossings where people cross safely if illegally every day. CP repeats its mantra about safety, even where only a few slow trains pass chiefly at night.

    • Chris 07:27 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Those in favour of such crossings (like me) should not be shy to make the following retort about safety: we are willing to accept the occasional injury/death. Just as we (society) allow roads/cars/trains/planes to exist despite the occasional death. Perhaps CP would be more willing if reduced liability was codified in the deal.

    • SMD 10:09 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Chris: Feel free to let them know directly; the consultation of the Railway Safety Act Review currently underway! Online comments can be left at http://www.letstalktransportation.ca/RSA-2017-2018, and you have another week to submit a mémoire to tc.rsareview-examenlsf.tc@tc.gc.ca.

    • Nicolas Kruchten 15:26 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      So many people *already* cross the tracks that level crossings would *increase* safety not decrease it.

    • Chris 17:38 on 2017/09/19 Permalink

      Nicolas: for those already crossing, yeah, quite possibly. OTOH, a legal crossing may increase the total number of crossers, as such even if the percentage of crossers hurt goes down, the total number could still increase.

    • rue david 08:54 on 2017/09/20 Permalink

      I’m pretty sure it’s that they don’t want to create an easement.

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