Updates from September, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:56 on 2017/09/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Uber may be withdrawing from Quebec after Philippe Couillard has refused to accord them concessions. Denis Coderre is of the same mind.

    • rue david 21:14 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      if only they were as committed to protecting the hotel industry as they are the cab industry. then you might see some action on airbnb, which has pushed rents up higher than anything else.

    • Ephraim 22:25 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      One of the reasons that TfL pulled their licence in London is that after a woman was assault, they essentially did nothing, until the same driver committed a second assault. There are websites giving the instructions on how to get around their background checks. They value expediency over the lives of people, over our mothers, daughters and wives safety. If they can’t manage to survive with having their drivers properly vetted and with a whole 35 hours of learning the rules of the road, they are welcome to leave.

      Certainly the fact that this corporation got caught with evading police by using backdoor software and is still in the courts in Quebec for tax evasion speaks volumes of a corporation that values the almighty dollar over the lives of people.

    • ant6n 00:07 on 2017/09/27 Permalink

      Uber is convenient, but it’s probably best to not let them become “too big to fail”.

    • Kevin 11:09 on 2017/09/27 Permalink

      The practical matter is that we don’t need airbnb, uber, or anything else out of Silicon Valley.
      It is a generalization, but not entirely inaccurate to say they don’t create anything new.

      Business model after business model is based around at the same idea: take something that a small Company or small companies is doing well and then centralize it with an online interface.

      It’s essentially taking Ray Kroc’s idea for McDonald’s and updating it to the current era.
      And it has the same effect: local dollars get removed as the public goes for the cheapest option, and distant shareholders skim a sizable cut.

    • Joey 11:34 on 2017/09/27 Permalink

      Kevin – and the sheer size of the new entities (backed by huge VC sums) make it almost impossible to resist…

    • Ephraim 14:11 on 2017/09/27 Permalink

      These are all horrible jobs… no benefits, no vacation pay, no insurance, no stability, hiding taxes that you have to worry about for 7 years, etc. And sometimes worse, like putting you at risk of losing everything (because you aren’t insured.)

      You are in an accident in an Uber vehicle, the SAAQ has a right to recoup from you the cost of the healthcare, you get no physical therapy, you are off work with no income and you have to take Uber to court to get them to pay on their insurance policy, if there isn’t already an out clause all because you didn’t have a chauffeur’s licence and plate. And after all this, you can’t deduct your gasoline because it’s a residential automobile, so you are paying income tax on the money you paid for gas and maintenance. And if you made over $35K, you also have GST, QST and two income taxes to pay.

    • CE 14:25 on 2017/09/27 Permalink

      @Kevin, they like to call it “disruption.” Apparently it’s a good thing.


    • Kevin 15:15 on 2017/09/27 Permalink

      I’m familiar with the term, and with that bodega nonsense.

      Nobody needs a nation-wide vending machine service

    • TC 22:01 on 2017/09/27 Permalink

      Uber came about, in part, because the taxi business is a racket, with a limited amount of licenses issued by local governments, that become the property of whoever owns them. So often this led to lousy customer service, and lack of service to many parts of many cities. Why can’t cities create a system that protects the drivers and serves the riders? Some type of co-op that vets drivers and has an app that everyone can use. And the money goes to the drivers.

    • Ephraim 07:52 on 2017/09/28 Permalink

      The city should offer out more licences that are on annual renewal and when the price of the other licences go down, just buy them back and cancel them. From then on, licences are annual renewal and issue as many as requested.

  • Kate 19:33 on 2017/09/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Physical and verbal violence from passengers is the reason for 30% of the work accidents declared at the STM.

    Drivers would like more realistic schedules on some routes because a major reason for passenger anger is late buses.

    • Chris 22:44 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      hmmm, interesting to group them together, wonder if it’s 50/50?

  • Kate 06:26 on 2017/09/26 Permalink | Reply  

    A new report says the city must hire more diversely.

    CTV says of 2400 firefighters, only a dozen are not white.

    • Jack 07:50 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      “«On s’est rendu compte aussi que le métier de policier ou pompier faisait parfois peur à certaines communautés ou ne faisait pas partie de leurs réflexes naturels. C’est dur d’aller les chercher», a précisé Mme Samson.”
      That is one of the biggest cop outs I’ve ever read, but from Anie Samson I’m not surprised. Blame the communities for the fact that they are not represented and frankly in the case of the fireman can you imagine the level of hazing you’d have to go through to be part of that ” fraternity”. Montreal is now 50% Allo or Anglo where is that reflected in our public service.

    • Ephraim 08:00 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      Dreaming… if the Quebec government doesn’t do it, why should the city.

    • Ian 08:46 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      @Jack “Montreal is now 50% Allo or Anglo where is that reflected in our public service.” Besides garbagemen? Nowhere.

    • Lucas 10:20 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      I actually had a professor in a public admin class once ask why more of my classmates and I hadn’t considered writing the public service exam for the provincial government. Everyone who wasn’t an ethnic Quebecois simply hadn’t even considered it. When we thought about, the class sort of concluded that they had never seen anyone in public service – even in Montreal – who looked like Montreal, the whole thing sort of seemed like transplanted Chicoutimi situation.

  • Kate 06:17 on 2017/09/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Bagel man Robert Morena says he’s getting a better chimney filter as a neighbour threatens to have St-Viateur Bagel shut down for breaking air quality laws.

    • Ian 09:26 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      Worth noting this is still Gilbert, the Fairmount bagel neighbour in the news earlier – so not a saint viareur bagel neighbour.

    • Chris 10:04 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      Strange that he “wouldn’t say what kind of filter he bought”. I read previously that it’s an electrostatic precipitator.

      So Fairmount is refusing to pay fines, while St Viateur is spending money to install this. I think I should probably switch bagel shops!

    • Ephraim 10:45 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      @Chris – In this city, them is fighting words. :)

    • Ian 12:03 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      @Chris it’s kind of uneven reporting, Fairmount Bagel has been working on their ventilation system for years including trying out different varieties of scrubbers. In a previous CBC Montreal story they actually did mention emissions have been drastically reduced although they’re still not within code guidelines. They are refusing to pay fines as they are working with the city to reduce emissions in good faith and are arguing that they shouldn’t be fined while a solution is being worked on. I see workmen up on their chimney pretty much every week.

      Long story short, both bagel stores are trying to get their emissions under control but it’s tricky and while I understand that some nearby residents might be bothered by wood smoke, I find it difficult to believe that it’s as bad as they describe as I have very direct experience of what it’s like to be next to Fairmount Bagel as my children both went to the garderie directly next door.

      Frankly, if smoke bothers them that much, they should have thought twice about moving in – it’s not like Fairmount Bagel wasn’t there 25 years ago. Which begs the point why Gilbert is after Saint-Viateur in any case as it’s not even in the same part of Mile End, it’s six blocks away from where she lives. I live a block from Saint-Viateur and I literally never smell it from my home, and I keep my windows and doors open pretty much all the time, weather permitting.

    • Ian 13:48 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      Okay, CBC has reworked the article… They have changed “Mile End residents” to “some Mile End residents”… and now they are describing Gilbert as being a neighbour of Saint-Viateur bagel, living on Waverly. Waverly is more than 2 blocks away, Saint Viateur Bagel is west of Jeanne-Mance! This Sarah Gilbert character has flipped her wig if she really thinks that smoke is blowing her windows, I live closer to Saint Viateur bagel than she does and I literally never smell a thing.


    • Joey 14:33 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      Is this the same Sarah Gilbert who published the great Mile Endings blog?

    • carswell 14:41 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      Data point: I’ve spent many an evening on the rooftop terrace of friends who live, oh, 200 metres as the crow flies from the St. Viateur shop and have never noticed any smoke or other bagel oven emissions.

    • SMD 16:55 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      @Joey: Yes.

      @Ian: She might live close to the other Saint-Viateur bagel outlet, between Waverly and Esplanade.

    • Ian 17:49 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      Olimpico is at Waverly & Saint-Viateur, I go there often at different times of the day – again, no smoke. That terrasse is always crowded, do you think it would be if there was such strong smoke?

    • Joey 08:34 on 2017/09/27 Permalink

      Purely anecdotal evidence, but my experience is that Fairmount from St.-Urbain to St.-Laurent stinks; St.-Viateur around Jeanne-Mance doesn’t. It also seems like Fairmount has the edge on mass distribution while St. V is cleaning up on bagel cafes in yuppy neighbourhoods.

    • Ian 11:54 on 2017/09/27 Permalink

      Joey, have you seen the lineups at Fabergé, Kem Coba, and Fairmount bagel? The old butcher kitty corner to Wilensky’s is now a curated boutique mens clothing store, that strip is no less gentrified than St V… Just lacking chain stores like Lululemon and David’s Tea but it’s only a matter of time.

    • Joey 15:14 on 2017/09/27 Permalink

      I meant stinks in the classic sense, as in it smells like a bagel oven (and not like fresh bagels). On a related note, wasn’t it nice of the borough to build a terrace for Kem Coba.

    • Ian 09:46 on 2017/09/28 Permalink

      Well, as I’ve mentioned before, my kids went to garderie right next door to Fairmount Bagel and I’ve never noticed this “stink”. Heavy traffic exhaust on Saint Urbain, yes, but not “bagel oven” whatever that means. And yes, those rainbow benches are quite nice, they have really opened up the area as a place to relax and enjoy whatever products you have purchased. It seems weird to me to fault the borough for supplying street furniture to an area that has lots of foot traffic. Haters gonna hate.

    • Daniel 13:38 on 2017/09/28 Permalink

      Ian, we get it, you’ve never smelled anything and you should know. However, the pollution levels were measured, I am assuming, with reliable scientific instruments, and they greatly surpass acceptable levels. There are harmful particles in the air that probably cannot be detected by the naked nose. I get it, I love bagels, but let’s not let that stop us from making the effort to clean up our air and support the businesses in seeking out solutions.

  • Kate 03:36 on 2017/09/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Valérie Plante is suggesting Denis Coderre should take the metro at rush hour, and this item mentions Plante’s pet pink line idea.

    • Jack 07:53 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      Two SUV’s in Denis’s driveway. Show me your OPUS.

    • Kevin 08:08 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      He quipped Monday that he had done so two weeks ago.

    • Ian 08:45 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      I’d like to see him take the 405 or 211 to Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and back. Yesterday because of roadwork it took us an entire hour just to get through the Dorval terminus, making a one hour bus ride into a 2 hour bus ride. ALL the buses that go through the Dorval terminus were delayed an hour.

      I’d pay good money to see Coderre sitting in a traffic jam of buses in a heatwave on an un-airconditioned bus, soaking up the exhaust fumes for an hour.

    • EmilyG 09:38 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      I also wish Denny would take the metro and see what it’s like.
      Somewhat related: The people on a local afternoon radio show, who usually drive, once had to take the metro for a period of time because of construction near the radio studio, and you should’ve heard how they whined about it.
      I still would much rather take public transit than drive anywhere.

    • ant6n 11:43 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      That’s horrible. I’m still pissed they’re not charging STM farers on the trains at least to Dorval.

    • PO 12:14 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      @Ian Is that corridor between L-G and the Dorval Circle not entirely an MTQ pathway? Even if Coderre added 100 buses to those lines, they’d still all be caught in Turcot traffic.

    • Ian 12:16 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      Yeah, $6.75 to zone 3 is ridiculous.

      I really wish they would reduce fares & put more trains on the Vaudreuil line while the Festival of Highway Reconstruction is going on. It would reduce the amount of traffic on the road far more than adding parking spots.

      @PO you’re absolutely correct, adding more buses would actually make the situation worse in this case. There are no dedicated bus lanes between LG & the Circle.

    • Ian 12:20 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      In regards to Coderre’s mention of taking the metro – Richard Ryan noted on the Book of Faces that our dear Mayor said he had passed by “Berri-de-Montigny” earlier in the week! …so either Coderre’s a time traveller to 1987 or he’s lying.

    • ant6n 14:05 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      To be fair, the “diagonal line” idea has been talked about among transit geeks for a while, and it’s an idea that Plante picked up. You may call it unrealistic, but after three decades of suburban-focussed transit expansion plans, metros in the city is something Montreal should really push for.

      I feel like it’s not exactly a “pet idea” like other politicians cultivate.

    • carswell 14:24 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      In all fairness to Coderre, those of us who grew up calling it Berri-de-Montigny sometimes find ourselves using that name to this day. Younger friends look at me like I’m from another planet when it inadvertently slips out.

    • carswell 14:29 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      For me, the telling line in the article is this: “Denis Coderre a répondu par un long rire quand les journalistes l’ont questionné sur le projet de ligne rose. «Excusez-moi, mais à un moment, il faut arrêter la pensée magique», a-t-il dit.

      Though he makes pie-in-the-sky talk about the blue line extension (which extension would, as Plante points out, do nothing to improve — and likely exacerbate — overcrowding on the orange line), Mayor 2SUVs scoffs at the best idea to date for dealing with the metro’s undercapacity, dismissing it as unrealistic, offering no alternative solution and implying that the city can focus on only one potential major public transit project at a time.

      Meanwhile, the mayor who wouldn’t dream of using public transit has scads of time and money for baseball boondoggles pushed by high-rollers who wouldn’t dream of using public transit: a wannabe member of the elite at the service of the elite. That voters — even voters in the suburbs — can’t see this boggles the mind.

    • ant6n 14:51 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      …meanwhile he’s pushing for the REM, a suburban focussed transit privatization+debt scheme that actively hurts Parc-Ex, Ahuntsic, Montreal-Nord, Anjou, St-Lenoard, RDP-PAT (the last four being his base of support).

    • Jack 18:30 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      Did anyone take a pic of Coderre in the metro when he was riding two weeks ago?

    • gerard 19:19 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      @carswell and @ant6n – y’all hit it right on the head. Further, when is the last time Mayor 2SUVs took a BIXI or – gasp – his own bike (??) to work? Nit just one-way as a test, not to meander down to the start line of the Tour de L’ile that one time, but to experience a commute as a non-recreational rider. It would probably be the best way for him to understand: why “paint on the road” does not equal infrastructure; how Montreal drivers use the roads (thinking of the 1-1.5m bypass law, turn signals, road sharing, etc.); where the gaps exist within the bike network & between bikes/public transit.

    • Chris 20:47 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      gerard: not sure why you think he doesn’t understand. Perhaps he understands perfectly, but has a different view and doesn’t *want* to improve bike infrastructure, public transit, etc. After all, it’s the opinion of a non-negligible portion of the public. :(

    • ant6n 12:04 on 2017/09/27 Permalink

      Plante got Coderre to take the metro and took a photo that looks she knows this was quite a troll.

  • Kate 03:16 on 2017/09/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec’s Bill 122 has weakened or removed the power citizens had to invoke a local referendum on development plans in one’s neighbourhood. Now Martin Coiteux’s study group is unwilling to propose any other method giving power to individuals to intervene in city planning or development proposals. This may sound like dull politics but it’s the kind of thing that could shape Montreal and other towns for a generation, and not for the better if it turns out badly.

    • Ephraim 08:02 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      This is a city that doesn’t even know it’s own rules. We’ve come up against them many times and often we have had to get to higher levels and ask for proofs from them, only to find out that much of the rules are actually fictitious. They can’t back them up at all.

    • Suz 08:07 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      Now that MTL. has been granted more powers over it’s own affairs, surely it will be possible for our Mayor to legislate favoring a democratic approach to development project apprpval in our city.

    • rue david 17:13 on 2017/09/26 Permalink

      taking power away from anti-development NIMBYs is the right way to go. their “activism” drives up rents and increases congestion. but blocking the NIMBYs factions from jamming up development also requires that the city has progressive zoning and sensible government.

    • Kate 06:56 on 2017/09/27 Permalink

      taking power away from anti-development NIMBYs is the right way to go

      It isn’t always, because can you honestly say we have sensible government or the prospect of getting it, ever? Giving developers carte blanche is no better. The Liberals have a bad track record of being purely on the side of the buck.

    • Dhomas 07:08 on 2017/09/27 Permalink

      They’re not just taking power away from “anti-development NIMBYs”. They’re taking power away from everyone. Even if we had a government that had the best interest of the population in place (which I don’t think we do), there would be no guarantee that the next government would be as responsible.

    • rue david 14:13 on 2017/09/27 Permalink

      this referendum thing was never used to do anything but block adding density to neighborhoods. i don’t love city hall but, to me, educated urban planners planning and developers spending is a better system than neighbors blocking.

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