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  • Kate 09:05 on 2014/10/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Twitter news junkies, a story is unfolding this minute of the shooting of a soldier in Ottawa near Parliament.

    Garnotte has a percipient cartoon relevant to this, and to yesterday’s incident in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Lots of analysis today of the conversion of Martin Couture-Rouleau and what it means.

    Updates: I can’t possibly summarize everything I see on Twitter and elsewhere right now (11:18) but here’s video of shots being fired inside the Parliament building – I’ve seen reports suspects have been caught but I think they’re mistaken because as of right now, there are still plenty of reports of lockdowns around Ottawa and that police suspect multiple shooters are on the loose.

    11:23: The Guardian UK has a pretty good live report page.

    La Presse talked to a Calgary woman whose son converted and went and got killed in Syria last year. The list of factors at the end of this article reads exactly like warnings of any other cult involvement.

     
    • Joe 09:23 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Crazies in Canada in the name of crazies in the Middle East. Lost souls.

    • Chris 09:38 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      As this is breaking, I don’t really know what’s going on, but if indeed it’s “crazies in Canada in the name of crazies in the Middle East”, then it’s to be expected of course. We sent our military to war a few week ago. War is not a unidirectional thing. Retaliations are to be expected. Then back and forth, ad nauseam. It’s sick.

    • Michael Black 09:39 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      And not quite yet Nobel peace prize winner Malala is or will be in Ottawa today to receive her honorary Canadian citizenship.

      I’d hoped she might be coming to Montreal too, but I’ve seen no indication of that.

      Michael

    • Blork 09:51 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      This is what some people are afraid of; the small-scale attacks that I mentioned in a comment yesterday. Easy to copy-cat, and they appeal to the somewhat disturbed anointed fanatics of which there is no shortage. Basically the same personality traits that create trolls on the web (of which there is no shortage) shifted to religious zealotry and guns in the real world. The scary thing is that it doesn’t take a big effort on the side of the terrorism “leaders.” It only takes one to start, followed by encouragement to copy-cat, and the more buzz each one creates, the more likely a potential copy-cat will turn real.

      Hopefully the actual numbers of such converted trolls is low and they’ll burn themselves out quickly.

    • Joe 09:58 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Chris, I agree it’s a vicious cycle; power, control and money are usually behind it. Others mask it with fanatical religion. I was against the 2003 war in Iraq, it was obvious what that was all about and fortunately Canada didn’t send any troops. It was also obvious in 2003 that eventually there would be civil strife with a bunch of factions coming out of the wood works in that part of world. But with the fanatics now running around trying to take power I believe something has to be done about it.

    • Kate 10:00 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Yes, but it’s a meme, not an army. If a meme invades someone’s mind, how do we fight that?

    • Dave M 10:04 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      How come some guy running over a couple soldiers is immediately labeled as a “possible terrorist”, but in the stories of someone shooting up Parliament Hill I still haven’t seen them use the T word?

    • Kate 10:20 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Dave M, to be fair the story is still happening, I’m sure the word will be used soon enough.

    • Dave M 10:29 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Well, yes, but in the other story it was thrown around all over the place in the first stories while it still happening with no details. This one, on the other hand, is pretty much the textbook definition of terrorism.

      Using it so liberally in the first case but not the second (even if it is eventually used here or there for this incident) just reinforces that it’s a meaningless word used to sell newspaper.

    • Blork 10:32 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      I doubt anyone went out and bought a paper yesterday on the strength of that word being used.

      More likely it’s used less (so far) today because it’s obvious after having been used so much yesterday.

    • Joe 10:56 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      I agree it’s annoying hearing the T word every day for the past 15 years, but who cares. It is what it is, call it terrorism, mass shootings, murder, etc…at the end of the day the result is the same. These events will be politicized, analysed, discussed regardless of the adjective used.

    • carswell 10:58 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Banning the long gun registry and loosening restrictions on semi-automatic firearms is looking like a real smart move right about now, isn’t it, Stevie?

    • Blork 11:18 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      I’m in favour of the long gun registry but it wouldn’t have made the faintest difference in this case.

    • Joe 11:24 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Carswell, definitely some irony there and I’m in favor of tighter gun control but at the end of the day a registry wouldn’t have changed today’s events. Even with tighter gun control I bet these guys had no prior criminal records, that’s not to say we shouldn’t have tighter control of course just that it would not have been effective to thwart these attacks in Ottawa.

    • carswell 11:37 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Just knew someone would chime in with that…

      You’re probably right, though the situation is so fluid and unclear I don’t see how anyone can claim anything beyond that it’s organized attack. In the hours following the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, many prominent politicians and media outlets were pointing their fingers at Muslim extremists.

      Anyway, noting the irony of the man who killed the long gun registry — and who is still trying to kill Quebec’s version of it — cowering in his offices as long gun-armed shooters terrorize Parliament and downtown Ottawa was my point.

    • Bill Binns 12:09 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      @carswell – That irony only exists if the shooter has a legally obtained gun AND has a criminal record that would have gotten him flagged. If the guy has no record or the gun is stolen or in someone elses name than the registry would have made no difference whatsoever.

      I hate guns and would like to see them banned but the gun registry was so useless it really wasn’t worth the effort.

    • Kate 12:12 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Bill Binns: except that such a registry was also designed to reduce the number of guns in circulation over all.

    • Kevin 13:25 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      @Dave M
      Harper is never in the House on Mondays, but he was this week in order to get asked a softball question which he was going to answer by pointing out new CPC attack ads.

      When St. Jean happened, the PM was informed, and the question was changed and Harper delivered his vague response about terrorism.

      Presto- T-word everywhere.

    • Noah 14:12 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Blaming this on the cancellation of the registry is cheap. Making politics out of this (especially hiding behind a pseudonym on the Internet) while the soldier’s body is still warm and there are possibly still suspects on the loose is even cheaper. Shameful.

    • Kate 14:20 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Noah, please calm down. Nobody here is hiding behind any pseudonyms. Phrases like “body is still warm” are pitched to work up emotions, and we don’t need that kind of rhetoric at a time like this either.

      It was an attack in Ottawa, on Parliament, and as such it is already political, pretty much as political as a thing can be.

    • Noah 14:25 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      I assure you I’m quite calm. I get why people use pseudonyms (both the good and bad reasons), but I also think as a regular here I’m entitled to share my thinking. If you would prefer not, that’s fine since it’s your site, but I feel that you like to encourage people to think/speak their minds here.

      With that in mind, there’s a time to have the political debate and I would basic decorum should have a place – even on the Internet. A soldier who did nothing wrong was killed something like 3-4 hours ago. He didn’t eliminate the long gun registry. Also, the registry would not have stopped this. And I’m all for gun control, really. I’d ban all guns without hesitation. But the day to attack Harper is tomorrow, not while this is ongoing. That’s my opinion.

    • ant6n 14:35 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      geez

    • jeather 16:12 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      No one is blaming the soldier for anything at all, nor saying that he deserved to die, or even guessing what he thought about the long gun registry. But to say that “Harper is hiding from a long gun after he destroyed the long gun registry” is about as mild a political point as you can make.

      (Yes, I’m using a pseudonym, but I’m not hiding.)

    • Kate 20:54 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      I came here to write more defense, but jeather has it.

  • Kate 08:57 on 2014/10/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Alexis Hamel reports on the completed demolition of a small Ste-Catherine Street building, showing us a Google Streetview of what was there. As he says, it was a building of little value, but nonetheless it was still part of a long-familiar block just west of Peel. And guess what’s going in there, according to the sign on the building in Streetview? Condos!

     
    • Chris 09:11 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      That building with the big sticking-out Second Cup sign?

    • Kate 09:11 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Yes, I think so.

    • Ian 09:32 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      There’s a great view of what’s left of the old Lindsay sign, fwiw. I imagine the new condos will cover it up forever.

    • John B 09:56 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      If there’s commercial space on the street level, this might actually be a good use of vertical space that wasn’t otherwise being used, (except to look at the old sign Ian mentions above, which is sad to lose).

    • Kate 10:15 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      It shouldn’t be permitted to put a building there without commercial space at street level.

    • John B 10:29 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      @Kate: So true.

      I took a look at the Mondev site, (the condo company with the banner up in Street view), and if they’re building condos there, they’re not mentioned on the website yet.

      According to the valuation role the owner is “Investissements 1120 Ste-Catherine Ouest Limitée” and it looks like they’ve owned the building since at least 2011. The info is up-to-date as of October 16, so it’s not likely the building changed hands and someone got a demolition permit in that time. Maybe the owner is just re-building a more profitable building.

    • Doobious 11:19 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Isn’t that the building that used to house the old Tramway Tavern?

    • Bill Binns 12:02 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      I wonder how many residential units are tucked away out of site on St Catherine between Atwater and University. When I was younger I always wanted to find one of those semi-secret downtown apartments above a coffee shop or bookstore. Not sure I could deal with the noise now.

    • Doobious 12:42 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      So it was. The chicken place with the speakers squawking onto the street may have been on the same block. My memory’s a little muddy.

    • Kate 08:18 on 2014/10/23 Permalink

      I remember the Tramway sign well, but not the chickens squawking.

  • Kate 23:19 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    After 35 years and a last-ditch attempt to restructure, clothing retailer Jacob is going out of business. That means the closure of 92 stores.

     
    • carswell 11:20 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      PQ MNA and former minister of industrial policy Élaine Zakaïb stepped down less than a month ago to “recuse” or “save” Jacob (quotation marks because those were words commonly used in media reports at the time). Was she duped? Could this mean there plans for the brand to continue in another form? Was it just a convenient excuse for her to leave politics so soon after a disastrous election? Did she decide that, with the PQ in free fall and a union basher likely to be its leader, there was no room left in it for a lifelong syndicaliste like her?

    • Kate 19:20 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      It’s odd how fast that happened, yes.

  • Kate 23:17 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    A businessman from NDG has been convicted of rapes and other assaults on sex workers ten years after the incidents.

    Update: La Presse gives some grim details on D’Amico’s attacks but notes that he’s been set free again – because he’s well turned out? It’s implied.

     
    • Noah 08:05 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      The sentence “a business man from NDG…” reminds me of the discussion we had here about “cardiologist Guy Turcotte”… I think the NDG part is relevant, but why do the general we always find the need to qualify people by their profession? Especially something as vague as “business man”. Anyway, not a criticism of you, Kate, just something I can’t wrap my head around.

    • Blork 08:48 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Why not give a sense of who the person was or what they did? I find it interesting and instructive to know that this kind of crime is done by people who are otherwise considered upstanding citizens, that it’s not just the “welfare bums” and construction workers committing physical crimes.

      Maybe we need less disillusionment in our world, or maybe we need more.

    • Dave M 08:49 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      “A man in need of an adjective from NDG”

    • Kate 08:51 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      This is from the Global version of the story, for what it’s worth:

      At the time of his arrest, D’Amico was described by police as a local businessman, but he also claimed to be a social worker of sorts – an expert in the field of prostitution.

      Around the same time that he is accused of committing these brutal crimes, he appeared on a television talk show on the Men TV Network, introducing himself as someone who “studied” street workers.

      D’Amico told a panel of guests that he interviewed up to a hundred prostitutes, noting that this was an area in the marketplace where women can have control over her career and make an incredible amount of money.

      A self-promoter, and on the make. Viz, a businessman.

    • Michael Black 09:13 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      When he was arrested, the Gazette called him a “webmaster”, then the text said he ran a web-hosting company.

      It’s been so long, I can’t remember if I remembered or someone pointed it out, the company was ecohosting. I don’t know whether he’ still connected to the company.

      I remember when that company was launched, it got press, and I couldn’t decide whether it was about doing good, or really opportunistic. Some deal good for non-profits, but something about it made it sound like a pyramid. Bring in customers, and get a rebate or something. But that was the selling point, not whether the service was good.

      This was a reasonably big story way back when. I seem to recall stories warning about some guy doing this, then later they were looking for other victims. It seemed at the time like more women were victims. I think even the Native Women’s Shelter put out a warning or a notice looking for more victims, suggesting the victims might be specific.

      Michael

    • dwgs 10:00 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      He lived on my block, we would chat a bit. He may have owned or worked at a businessman but he’s not what one would picture as a typical “businessman”

    • John B 10:04 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Defining people by their profession is pretty engrained in society, and law. When you start a company the part of the document where you identify yourself reads something like “{name}, {profession}, of {address, city, etc}” When I first saw one of those a few years ago it struck me as archaic, and a waste of paper.

    • Kate 10:39 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Even looking at the UK birth certificates of my ancestors, it will list the mother, but the father along with his occupation. And I’ve read that in Iceland, where people don’t have family names and there’s a small pool of common given names, they list the person’s occupation in the phone directory so you can distinguish between Sveinar Sveinarsson the boat repair guy and Sveinar Sveinarsson the web designer.

    • dwgs 10:50 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      He has also been released on bail until his sentencing. Seems a bit strange to me for someone convicted of violent crimes.

    • Noah 11:12 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Hmm, I guess I should just get over it.

    • John B 11:23 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      @Noah: I’m not convinced you should get over it. It’s common practice, but also pretty archaic. This isn’t Iceland, where there are only a few names. There are lots of different names here and the number is increasing. We don’t need to know somebody is a “businessman” or “cardiologist,” at least not in the headline.

    • Bill Binns 11:55 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      I am convinced that the practice of naming a victim’s or criminal’s occupation as part of crime reporting is there to telegraph how much you should care about the incident. “Dead prostitute found in canal” is a much different story than “Dead school teacher found in canal”.

      I find myself responding to this as well. I doubt I would bother to read the story under the first headline but I almost certainly would read the second as well as look for follow ups in subsequent days.

    • Blork 12:47 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Why bother reporting it at all if you’re not going to give details?

      What’s the point of “carcass of carbon-based unit found in water somewhere on Earth”?

    • John B 13:33 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      I’m referring to the way people are nearly always referred to by their professions, (and I think Noah is too). For example, it’s always “cardiologist Guy Turcotte” in the first paragraph of any article about him. At this point his profession could be put at the end of the article in the background information paragraph most news stories have.

    • Blork 14:12 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      I for one have trouble remembering names, so that helps me remember which case they’re talking about. I remember “the cardiologist who stabbed his kids” before I remember “Guy Turcotte who stabbed his kids.”

      In this case there was only one major “person who stabbed his kids” story going on at the time, but the point holds. It’s a quick way to remind people what case is being discussed.

    • Noah 14:41 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      I’m inclined to agree with Bill Binns that the use of profession being a reporter/editorialist’s way of leading the reader towards an expected level of shock/disbelief or understanding.

    • Kate 19:21 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Mentioning occupations situates people in society. I think it’s up to the reader to calibrate their response. But remember, this man is being prosecuted for attacks on sex workers, a category of people often neglected or despised, but in this case being treated equally before the law, for which, bravo.

  • Kate 23:15 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    An HEC study shows that Montreal is an expensive city to run. The numbers tend to confirm the notion that the city’s workers are some of the highest paid in Quebec but also that they’ve fought for and achieved very good retirement benefits rather than high salaries in particular. Only cities and towns in Quebec are considered by the study, though.

    Wednesday will see demonstrations at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital by health workers from all over Montreal and Laval protesting austerity measures in general and Gaétan Barrette’s Bill 10 in particular.

    Montreal’s white collar workers have also voted to begin pressure tactics possibly building to strike action.

     
  • Kate 22:56 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    The UPAC has raided private homes, apparently in connection with an ongoing investigation at the Jewish General.

    The UPAC folks must be drawing a fascinating picture of the various kinds of corruption in our society. It’s a pity we won’t see most of it – only the stuff that might be legally and successfully prosecuted in court.

     
  • Kate 21:33 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Mathias Marchal gives us a peek at the police museum and images of some of its artifacts. Interesting detail: in 1931, the police handbook says the first thing an officer must ask an accident victim is: “Do you want me to call a priest?”

    Apparently you can only visit the museum by appointment.

     
  • Kate 21:27 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    There will be a big show to mark the 25th anniversary of the Polytechnique massacre, and there will also be a statement in favour of gun control.

     
  • Kate 21:14 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    After a tempest in a teapot, Collège Brébeuf says it’s prepared to rehire Jacqueline Laurent-Auger in some capacity although perhaps not back to the same job.

     
    • jeather 07:59 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      The school’s statement appears to be something like “Well, we don’t want to rehire her, but since she went to the media she made us look really stupid so we’re sort of forced to.”

  • Kate 21:04 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    A UK journalist testified by videolink Tuesday at the Magnotta trial: he had spoken to Magnotta about the kitten-killing videos and later sent the journalist an email about his desire to kill, even after having denied being the killer in the cat videos. The court also heard Magnotta’s voice for the first time as an audio recording of the journalist’s encounter was played for the court.

     
  • Kate 14:46 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Was just listening to Lucinda Chodan on CBC Radio talking about the Gazette’s new website design, when she mentioned the first website they had 19 years ago. It was almost with a jolt that I remembered that that initial site was put up by me, single-handed, in hand-coded HTML, just before the 1995 referendum.

    I was never a permanent staffer at the paper. I picked up some work for a long defunct department called Gazette Info-Cable, which provided brief text headlines and précis of news for cable channel 9. I talked my way into the job after meeting a friend of a friend at a party: she ran the department, and when she described what they did I said “I could do that!”

    Once there, I got some other odd bits of work at the paper, doing tech support for the newsroom, occasionally helping editors put the front page together. In 1995, only a few people at the paper were interested in the web, so when it came time to do a site, I did it. Referendum night I sat updating the numbers by hand as they came in.

    There isn’t much else to tell. The owner of the Gazette at the time (I think it was Southam) soon decided to try to centralize all the “new media” stuff in Edmonton, and I declined to move there; two other people in the Info-Cable department went, and it turned out to be a fiasco, a dead end, and a wise decision not to go.

    More ambitious people soon moved in on the Gazette’s own web presence and pushed me out; I had no relatives in the paper, where almost everyone under 50 was there because they had an older relative on staff sticking up for them. There were better things to do and places to be.

     
    • J 15:15 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      oh, no! I loved the old logo! The new one seems cheap. And I hate the new fonts and menu colours…

    • Kate 15:35 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      The new square logo in two tones of blue is poor, very bland, especially the typography. The overall fonts and layout are OK though. Not sure about the extra poppy colours yet.

    • Noah 15:53 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      Lots of good, some bad. I’m blase about the logo because it’s a blase logo, but it’s not terrible. The worst thing is that they’re maintaining the paywall. It’s an antiquated solution that defeats the whole purpose of modernizing.

    • Doobious 17:41 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      Does anyone know how to tweak AdBlock for the new site? It’s showing a lot of ads not coming from the usual hosts.

    • Uatu 17:54 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      They want to tie the app to the physical paper which is why the logo looks like an app. I think it looks like a logo of a cegep newspaper circa 1989… Every time design swings towards futuristic or contemporary, it always returns to the classic … I give it 4 yrs….

    • Axwell 10:23 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Is this the site you built in ’95? https://web.archive.org/web/19961220001336/http://www.montrealgazette.com/
      Looks a bit like Montreal.com.

    • cheese 10:28 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      +1 for hand coded html! Fun stuff and thanks for the cool information on the first iteration of their web presence Kate.

    • Kate 10:28 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      No, Axwell – that was after someone else got hold of it. I would’ve made better graphics.

  • Kate 12:59 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Local news is being swamped by the incident in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu in which police shot dead a man who struck two soldiers with his car; one of the soldiers has subsequently also died. Intense discussions have followed about what being “radicalized” means, what such an attack means, and what attraction radical Islam would have for a young man from Quebec with no Middle Eastern ties. Lots of scare talk about terrorism. Little discussion of why police shot the man sur-le-champ.

    This is all rather outside my remit on this blog, but the story is taking up almost all the news bandwidth today.

     
    • Noah 13:39 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      I’m not saying this is or isn’t an “act of terrorism” – we don’t know yet either way. But it’s driving me crazy how many people are going right to “he’s a ‘radicalized’ Muslim so this is terrorism.” What if he was just a generally unstable person who happened to embrace a Muslim extremism as an excuse to justify what he was doing… or any of a million other scenarios. Bad people aren’t terrorists simply because they’re Muslim. I’m not going to accept living a world in which someone is automatically one thing or another just because of their religious beliefs. No way.

    • Blork 16:02 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      Noah, “What if he was just a generally unstable person who happened to embrace a Muslim extremism as an excuse to justify what he was doing…” Doesn’t that describe an awful lot of people that we refer to as terrorists?

      I admit I rolled my eyes the first 100 times I heard the term in reference to this case. On the other hand, what is the definition of “terrorism” and a “terrorist?”

      In the case of Al-Queda and similar groups, there is no “joining.” If you say you’re doing AQ’s work, then you’re a member of AQ. There’s no form to fill out, or ID to obtain, no uniform, etc. You become a member by saying you’re a member.

      So this guy appeared to be a bit bent out of shape and he went and “radicalized” himself. He posted a bunch of ISIS videos and made it clear that he supported them (and therefore was one of them). AFAIK, ISIS has also stated that its “members” in the west should “terrorize” westerners by doing one-on-one attacks in public places, like stabbing people on buses or shooting people in shopping centres. Not big mass-scale things but “death by a thousand cuts” small scale attacks.

      So this guy probably picked up on that, and yesterday’s attack was him doing his bit. In that respect, then he was a “terrorist.”

      But that doesn’t mean he had intricate connections with a terrorist network, or that he had money sent to him by uber-terrorists in Afghanistan or whatever. It just means that he’s an early adopter of what the higher-level terrorists want the next wave of terrorism to be; small-scale, short-lived startup operations that appear to be random.

      Or maybe he was just a whacko. But the two are not mutually exclusive. (In fact, you’d have to be a bit whacko to engage in this stuff in the first place…)

    • Kate 19:28 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      It does raise some interesting questions about the political and legal definition of terror, though. It’s all about the motivation of the perpetrator, apparently.

    • Kevin 20:01 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      The new terrorism looks a lot like terrible driving.

      In all seriousness I think we are dealing with a person whose motivations are closer to those of a mentally deranged random gunman than anything involving planning or covert operations

    • Kate 08:47 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      Happened on this Guardian piece by a British man whose stepbrother has become a jihadi although apparently also with no personal ties to the Middle East. Guy talks about the attraction that culture has for certain kinds of rootless and aimless young people. He’s made a documentary about it.

    • Blork 08:50 on 2014/10/22 Permalink

      It’s the rootless and aimless (and the mentally unstable) who make up the majority of so-called western jihadists.

  • Kate 08:51 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Police have released surveillance video from the firebombing of Peel Street’s Cavalli restaurant in the summer, hoping for leads on identifying the two men who chucked a Molotov cocktail through the front window.

     
  • Kate 08:47 on 2014/10/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Sud-Ouest borough is struggling with whether to demolish two 19th-century worker houses, one of which was the setting for the film Bonheur d’occasion (The Tin Flute), to build a new condo project. Audio file as well as text.

     
    • Ian 09:09 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      That would be a shame. The book version of “Bonheur d’occasion”, Mordecai Richler’s “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz” and Leonard Cohen’s “the Favourite Game” were pretty much the only things I knew about Montreal culture before I moved here. Condos are everywhere and contribute nothing to patrimoine.

    • Robert J 11:42 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      I can’t believe they’re even considering demolition. Those houses are so different from anything else in the city.

    • John B 11:43 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      From the outside that looks like a nice house. Maybe one of the nicest in the Sud-Ouest.

      Also, that’s right beside the tracks. Prepare for groaning about noise from the new owners if it does happen.

    • John B 11:46 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      Also, IIRC Heritage Montreal has been concerned about that whole row of houses for years. They were listed as “Under Observation” on their 2013 list of threatened locations: http://www.heritagemontreal.org/en/under-observation-bonheur-doccasion-workers-houses/

    • denpanosekai 15:30 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

  • Kate 21:53 on 2014/10/20 Permalink | Reply  

    A coalition of groups including Vélo-Québec wants the new Ste-Catherine to be totally pedestrianized from Bleury to Mansfield and say they want a more daring approach to rethinking the street. With some photos from cities with shopping streets redone in various formats.

     
    • Charles 23:08 on 2014/10/20 Permalink

      The section east of Phillips Square is part of the Quartier des spectacles and shouldn’t look the same as the other parts of Ste-Cath in my opinion. I’d see a pedestrian section between Carré Phillips and Peel. By the way, the building on the corner of Bleury and Sainte-Catherine (south-west corner) is having its entire ground floor demolished and they are digging the basement, does anyone know why?

    • Kate 23:22 on 2014/10/20 Permalink

      The Belgo building? I don’t know. I saw something recently about there having been a bowling alley in there that’s being ripped out, but I doubt that was the reason. I’ll ask around.

    • MathP 23:30 on 2014/10/20 Permalink

    • Michael Black 23:54 on 2014/10/20 Permalink

      I thought the bowling alley was long gone. Some of the flooring was in Studio 303, but that was at least 15 years ago. I never saw the alley, just some of the floor.

      It’s an odd building, except where new floors have been put in, you can still find needles in the cracks left over from when sewing was done there.

      Michael

    • Bill Binns 07:16 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      Odd. I would not have thought the phrase “totally pedestrianized” would include bicycles.

    • Ian 09:11 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      The main lobby of the Belgo is still there, it’s the street-level frontage to the east of the main entrance that is being gutted.

    • Kate 10:39 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      Bill Binns: Possibly I misused the phrase instead of expressing that they would like to see motorized traffic withdrawn from the street.

    • Noah 12:56 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      Why don’t we dig a canal from one end to the other of Ste. Catherine and just let people canoe from store to store? Just as realistic, but less likely to have pedestrians getting run over by bicycles. Although drownings on Ste. Catherine St. may increase by a few percentage points…

    • Bill Binns 15:01 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      I think bicycles mix with cars a lot better than they do with pedestrians. There is no sense in kicking out the cars if the bikes are still going to be there. Unless the bikes are physically contained into a lane and even then it’s not ideal. Let’s not turn St Catherine into a larger version of Prince Arthur.

    • j2 16:22 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      @Bill Binns !?!?! Care to back that up with statistics? You can’t. It’s completely impossible. Nobody mixes well with cars, not bikes, not pedestrians. Which is why cities like Amsterdam make cars yield way to everyone.

    • C-Erb 17:07 on 2014/10/21 Permalink

      Most of the pedestrianized city centres in Europe allow bicycles in their car-free zones, although few cyclists actually opt to ride in them because there are so many pedestrians that it’s slow riding. I think pedestrians and bicyclists can mix. At least I think they can mix with pedestrians better than they can with cars, as they are currently forced to do (anyone know how many pedestrians have been killed or injured by cars on Ste-Catherine lately?)

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