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  • Kate 11:25 on 2017/03/24 Permalink | Reply  

    Regular commenter Blork has been putting up a set of photos of Montreal between 1989 and 1992 – not quite long enough ago to be thought of as vintage, but long enough that the cars look different and some scenes have changed a lot.

    • Daniel 12:40 on 2017/03/24 Permalink

      These are great slices of life.

    • Ian 14:12 on 2017/03/24 Permalink

      That’s about when I moved to Montreal, too – very familiar scenery. Great shots, very evocative of the era.

    • dominic 16:21 on 2017/03/24 Permalink

      Gosh! Things sure have changed, I mean, back then they seem to have had crumbling infrastructure, never ending construction, and poor snow clearing. Sad!

    • Max 01:28 on 2017/03/25 Permalink

      You’ve a great eye for the outdoor stuff, Blork. You should consider contributing to the Archives de Montreal. They’re either backed up in the digitizing department or their collection is weak in this era, or both.

    • Blork 17:00 on 2017/03/25 Permalink

      I’ve thought of that, Max, and will look into it.

      One if the interesting things for me with this project is that this is the first time I’m *really seeing” these photos. They’re scanned from slides (Kodachrome, Ektachrome, Fujichrome), which means I’ve only ever seen them with a loup on a light table. I’m amazed at what’s revealed when I can see them enlarged.

      For example, a recurring and unintentional motif seems to be Chevrolet Camaros. What’s with all the Camaros?

    • mare 18:31 on 2017/03/25 Permalink

      I could explain the Camaros but then I’d lose my job at McGill.

    • denpanosekai 21:14 on 2017/03/25 Permalink

      Amazing! Thanks Blork.

  • Kate 10:33 on 2017/03/24 Permalink | Reply  

    The orange line was out for an hour Friday morning between Lionel-Groulx and Berri-UQÀM. Inconvenient.

    • Blork 10:43 on 2017/03/24 Permalink

      It must have been a light day for transit, because I was on the green line at about 8:00 and it was less crowded than I’ve seen it in weeks!

  • Kate 02:40 on 2017/03/24 Permalink | Reply  

    The Chamber of Commerce wants the city to have the power to reduce the number of boroughs and councillors. This came up in studies on bill 121 on city powers.

    • ant6n 03:35 on 2017/03/24 Permalink

      Including the borough levels, Berlin has a total of about 820 elected representatives, for a city of three and a half million people.

      I think Montreal should have more representatives, elected using a more representative system.

      (I think this is a perfect example of the subtle right wing bias in the media, we only ever hear of groups who want to reduce democracy, citing cost and comparing to clearly badly governed places like NYC)

    • Ephraim 07:40 on 2017/03/24 Permalink

      The chamber of commerce should stop ripping off the citizens of this fair city and return Stationnement Montreal and Tourisme Montreal to the city. Now that they have already returned Bixi via bankruptcy.

    • Tim 08:47 on 2017/03/24 Permalink

      @Ephraim, what does the chamber of commerce have to do with Bixi? I did a quick Google search (found and I don’t see anything about the chamber of commerce and Bixi.

    • Ephraim 10:23 on 2017/03/24 Permalink

      Tim. The BoToMM (Chamber of Commerce) actually set up Bixi originally with the city and were the owners of PBSC until the bankruptcy. The city (stupidly) gave them financing loans.

    • Brenda 10:36 on 2017/03/24 Permalink

      The Chamber of Commerce is far too large for our city. It should be scaled back to the size of Madison Wisconsin’s Chamber.

    • Tim 14:17 on 2017/03/24 Permalink

      Thanks Ephraim. I always knew that Bixi was setup with some weird company structure kind of at arms length to the city (which I thought was BS at the time), but I don’t ever remember reading that the BoToMM owned the company. I remember that Bixi went years without disclosing its financials, probably because it was such a money pit.

    • Ephraim 15:18 on 2017/03/24 Permalink

      They also run Tourisme Montreal. Get a 3.5% cut on every hotel room in town but still want businesses to pay extra. Got caught shilling accounts on TripAdvisor. $654K to Charles Lapointe to get him to step down from Tourisme Montreal. The city gets paid 30c on the dollar for the parking meters. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    • Kaj 16:06 on 2017/03/25 Permalink

      @ant6n, I’m always grateful for your social-democratic Euro perspective. This is the type of society Quebec should be consistently taking inspiration from; instead we compare ourselves to the RoC and the US far too much.

    • ant6n 20:33 on 2017/03/25 Permalink


  • Kate 02:32 on 2017/03/24 Permalink | Reply  

    At long last, Côte-des-Neiges–NDG borough is proposing to do urgent repairs in decrepit apartments and bill the landlords for the work. It should be a city-wide policy.

  • Kate 14:22 on 2017/03/23 Permalink | Reply  

    Thirty metro stations are now plugged into the wireless network.

    • ant6n 15:53 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      I’m New York for a while, where every station has free wifi. It’s great because it means people who don’t have cell service (tourists, poor people) are still connected a lot of the time, because subway stations are everywhere. You sometimes see homeless hanging out in the mezzanines on their devices.

      It also means people don’t usually make calls in the subway system, because the service is only at stations, and people generally don’t call over wifi.

    • Blork 16:18 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      The trouble with wifi is that it can often take a minute or two to even get it to work, especially if it’s a commercial wifi network that requires a login or whatever. They drive me nuts. With cellular it’s seamless. It’s just there, all the time, whether you’re on the platform or in a train in the middle of a tunnel.

      I use it quite a lot, but never for calls. And happily, I rarely ever see other people making calls.

    • ant6n 17:23 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      In the New York subway you have to login it, but it’s just go to the website and click ‘connect’. Then it stays connected anywhere in the network. I have downloaded tv episodes on netflix while the train was waiting at the stop, which requires maybe two to three stops.

  • Kate 11:18 on 2017/03/23 Permalink | Reply  

    Naturopath Mitra Javanmardi was acquitted of manslaughter two years ago in the death of her patient Roger Matern. Now an appeal is seeking to show that the judge made an error and that the verdict can be reversed without a new trial. Naturopaths are not even supposed to give injections in Quebec, but Matern died after Javanmardi administered a shot that proved to be contaminated.

  • Kate 10:48 on 2017/03/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The Contrecœur trial is suspended again with requests from Frank Zampino to have the case thrown out over wiretapping issues.

  • Kate 10:34 on 2017/03/23 Permalink | Reply  

    Andrew Potter, who had only just begun a stint as head of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, has stepped down after his article on Quebec in Maclean’s caused an almighty outrage in the regular and social media.

    • Blork 10:44 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      In this age of easy and instant publication, this should be a case study in the importance of a bit of sober second thought and the value of a good editor.

    • Frederic Cardin 10:59 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      Blork : amen to that.

    • Lucas 11:32 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      A stain on McGill’s reputation – to have an academic shouted down and chased out by a howling mob is a disgrace.

    • Kate 11:41 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      I don’t see it, Lucas. It’s not as if Potter had taken a well-defined but unpopular position on some issue and was shouted down. He was just shooting the shit about Quebec. If it had been a comment on Facebook people would’ve just gone “tsh, another angry guy” and clicked away, but having the item run in Maclean’s gave it importance.

    • Blork 12:03 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      Recontextualizing my first comment: this is what happens when writers and publishers treat their online publications as if they were Facebook posts.

    • dwgs 12:49 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      Sorry, Lucas but what Blork said. This was hardly a well composed thoughtful argument that was put forward.

    • Jack 13:11 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      Look we all make mistakes, I’ve made three. But when you head an organization whose mandate is to “study” Canada ( including Quebec ,sorry Quebecor) you cant get it this wrong.

    • rue david 13:22 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      Yeah, Jack is right, to think that the head of the MISC, ostensibly a philosophy professor, is publishing stuff like this, it reflects terribly on McGill. Also, the article notes that the guy will stay on as an associate professor, so it’s not like they’re putting him into the streets, he’ll have time to find another job. The fact is that the article proved that he’s just not a very good employee.

    • rue david 13:44 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      And just to underline, it’s not the stridently anti-Quebec tone, it’s the sloppiness, the polemical nature of the thing, the exaggerations and poor reasoning. The media attention may cause some Quebecois to think of McGll as harboring an anti-Quebec type, but the real harm to McGill’s reputation is that the head of the MISC is publishing articles that show him to be a poor scholar.

    • Kate 14:19 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      Peter Wheeland says much the same as you, rue david.

    • jeather 15:10 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      Academics, as a rule, look down on non-academic publications — it’s very hard to be respected both in academia and the rest of the world. It doesn’t surprise me at all that some philosopher thought he was so smart he could just throw together an article for a generalist magazine and have it be brilliant.

    • Blork 15:26 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      But Potter is a former editor-in-chief at the Ottawa Citizen, so he’s more journalist than academic, which is why it’s doubly mind-boggling that it was so editorially sloppy.

    • jeather 15:39 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      Oh, I did not know that. Extra weird then. Had he been an academic philosopher the story would have made much more sense. I guess he just overestimates his intelligence.

    • Jack 17:23 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      I have to say the thing that got me the most about Potters piece was his foray into the sparse family life of French Canadians. Like apparently 33% of blokes my partner is of French origin and I have spent 25 years heading to révélions, birthday party’s and sundry events marvelling at how tight my partners extended family is….especially when compared to mine. Anyone else have this experience?

    • rue david 19:13 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      some families are close, some aren’t. it’s usually much easier for quebec families to spend time together because quebecois aren’t as mobile as canadians. you leave quebec, you’re in another country, for all intents and purposes – different language, culture, habits, the works – so people tend to stay close to home.

      i just did a perusal of the canadian media coverage of the potter issue and, no surprise, apparently mcgill is bowing to an oversensitive, politically correct effort to chill free speech. if you want to feed your inner quebec nationalist, you can click any of these articles and scroll down to the comments section.

    • Kate 02:22 on 2017/03/24 Permalink

      Some level-headed thinking from Patrick Lagacé.

      Also from Trevor Hanna on Ricochet. I agree with almost everything he says here except for the Jan Wong thing, but this is maybe not the place to get into that.

  • Kate 10:32 on 2017/03/23 Permalink | Reply  

    Merchants along St-Denis where all that roadwork was done last year are hoping for a recovery this year. I wish them well, but the decline in the street’s fortunes was not only due to the roadwork, although obviously it didn’t help. A lot of the more charming older independent businesses had already closed or left because of rising commercial rents, a trend I already noticed as I was moving out of the Plateau in 2005.

    The city has donated the big red terrasse to the street, although it won’t be back in the same form because it took up a lane of traffic, and we can’t have that.

  • Kate 02:12 on 2017/03/23 Permalink | Reply  

    Anthony Calvillo has been named to the CFL Hall of Fame.

  • Kate 02:08 on 2017/03/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The city says it got 110% of its intended road, sewer and water main work done in 2016.

  • Kate 02:00 on 2017/03/23 Permalink | Reply  

    Regular reader Taylor Noakes has an item in Canadian Art about Art souterrain, which ends March 26. Sorry about that annoying popup on the art site: I try to avoid pointing to sites that do that, but made an exception this time.

  • Kate 01:51 on 2017/03/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The trial has begun of Jonathan Mahautière for the killing of Gabrielle Dufresne-Élie in 2014. Dufresne-Élie had just graduated from high school when she was killed in a motel room in the east end. This is how Global, CBC and Presse canadienne (in Metro) reported it at the time.

    The story now says that although Mahautière and Dufresne-Élie had dated in high school, they had been exes for some time when they got together for that tryst at the motel. There’s a sad echo this week in St-Hilaire, where another young woman has been murdered, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend.

  • Kate 16:25 on 2017/03/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Police chief Philippe Pichet has just tweeted his suspension of two unnamed officers. It seems to be the consequence of incidents described here.

    Update: More details and names came out later in the day.

  • Kate 10:48 on 2017/03/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Anie Samson says the city successfully hit most deadlines for clearing the streets after last week’s blizzard.

    The snow will have melted away before we hear the end of the finger-pointing over autoroute 13 and the outrage over Andrew Potter’s little sally against Quebec in Maclean’s. Even the Gazette’s columnist disagrees with it.

    TVA says Wednesday may break the low temperature record (video).

    • Ephraim 17:04 on 2017/03/22 Permalink

      More or less? So. I packed your parachute for you perfectly, more or less. Still want to sky dive without checking it?

    • Kate 01:35 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      I’m no fan of Samson, but there’s no way city hall can monitor the status of every street in the city. At some point enough completion reports must come in from city workers and contractors to say, Yes, this job is pretty much done. And for the level of certainty needed for this purpose, that’s good enough.

    • Ephraim 07:09 on 2017/03/23 Permalink

      Considering that this city has been doing this for decades, there should have been a point of time of where we had a system in place.

      But my point here is that you don’t get to call it victory when you add conditional words. This is a pass/fail, not a sorta pass/fail. Either you passed or you failed, you don’t get to call it a “sort of pass” and take credit for it. You get credit for it when you categorically passed. Until then, keep on working until we have it down pat.

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