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  • Kate 11:01 on 2015/11/24 Permalink | Reply  

    There’s a new Montreal quiz app available from this website. I aced the sample questions in the article, but haven’t tried the app yet.

    • Marco 12:00 on 2015/11/24 Permalink

      I was just about to install until I read that It wants permission to read my phone number and also the phone number of people I call. No explanation given.

    • Kate 12:31 on 2015/11/24 Permalink

      Good warning, Marco. Thanks!

    • Blork 19:26 on 2015/11/24 Permalink

      What’s really sad is that the app developers probably aren’t even slimeballs. More likely they’re naïve dolts who see this as some kind of “value add” that users will get excited about.

      It’s like when I went to sign up at Frank & Oak a couple of years ago, and after registering there was a “rewards” offer where they literally (as in *really did*) wanted me to enter my webmail address (Gmail, Hotmail, whatever) AND THE PASSWORD!


      There was a line below it saying “Your password won’t be saved and no emails will be sent without your consent.” So f*$king what? WTF is up with even asking me? Even if I believed they wouldn’t do that, this kind of thing encourages stupid, high-risk behaviour and shows that the people running the Frank & Oak website are total boneheads when it comes to security and safe online practices.

      I was outraged and never went back to the site.

  • Kate 10:46 on 2015/11/24 Permalink | Reply  

    The big red terrasse erected on St-Denis to counter the effects of roadwork didn’t do very much against the Plateau’s retail decline, at least according to the people spoken to by this JdM journalist. Also, people were confused, not understanding that the terrasse wasn’t intended for service from nearby restaurants, but simply for hanging out for free.

    The terrasse is meant to be back next spring, “sous une nouvelle configuration.”

    That said, it’s the Journal. They ran yet another piece Monday against the Plateau’s parking changes and are keeping up a steady thrum of articles on the supposed decline of storefront businesses in the borough, constantly aiming at Luc Ferrandez and blaming him for all the difficulties of the western world. I wouldn’t be surprised to see something on a different media site saying the red terrasse had been a big help: the Journal is clearly only interested in underlining how badly the Plateau is doing.

    • Dave M 13:26 on 2015/11/24 Permalink

      I can’t place my finger on why, but I found it uninviting. It was a good experiment, but I walk down St. Denis every morning and the only time I used it was when I knew they were taking it down, so I figured I might as well walk along it before it’s too late.

    • Nathan 15:34 on 2015/11/24 Permalink

      @dave first of all, the damn thing was on a busy noisy street, and even felt like it was on the street.

      Second of all, that gross thin metal used to connect the wood terrasse to the sidewalk. Which made really loud thunderous noise when you stepped on it. Reminded me of going to the carnival and many of the haunted houses’ floors were made with it.

  • Kate 10:39 on 2015/11/24 Permalink | Reply  

    As you’ll know if you’ve looked outside, or at least consulted a traffic cam or two, we’ve had our first snow, although the Gazette is still in denial. As usual, drivers have to relearn all over again how to cope with snow.

    The city’s own long-term climate forecast says snow days are in decline and this trend is likely to continue throughout this century, until we have very few days of snow at all by 2100. Water levels are also of concern in the city’s study.

  • Kate 21:37 on 2015/11/23 Permalink | Reply  

    Municipal affairs minister Pierre Moreau met with reps from major towns in Quebec to agree on ways and means for welcoming Syrian refugees.

    QMI notes that some Montreal firefighters and first responders had a session at a mosque to familiarize themselves with the culture in case they were called in to such an address.

    • Jack 21:51 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      Maybe if the Fire Department looked like the city it served they wouldn’t have to go to these workshops. All they’d do is ask their colleague Ramzi or Mohamed, “Whats up? “. Our fire department looks like Jim Crow.

    • Chris 21:57 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      I don’t get it, what about their culture is relevant to fire fighting? Like anyone, they don’t want to burn to death. If a mosque is burning, spray water on it.

    • Viviane 22:21 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      Chris, firefighters are first responders, i.e. they do more than put out fires. Is it okay to touch a veiled woman if she needs help? Can they remove her veil? Etc. Good things to know.

    • Jack 22:55 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      @ Viviane are you kidding?

    • JaneyB 23:21 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      Well, sounds like one of those weird tiptoe-y cultural training things that Quebec city bureaucrats think will be instructional…for the multicultural metropolis. Still, about half of the Francos in Mtl are from small towns in QC, so probably that’s true of the fire dept too. Hey, people meeting other people…and discovering they’re also people, it’s a good thing. Like @Jack says, this needs to be fixed in the more obvious way. There are tons of Muslim-ish people in their 30s who grew up here….

    • Robert J 23:38 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      I think Jack meant there are very very few police and firefighters that aren’t white francophones. A quick trip to Vancouver and you will see many more visible minorities in uniform. Montreal is just worse in that regard.

    • Kate 23:43 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      Viviane simply restated one of the bits from the story, that some of the firefighters weren’t sure they had the right to remove a Muslim woman’s scarf to give her medical care. Yes, some of us may have had Muslim friends, but a lot of people won’t have done, and it won’t help at this point to make people feel embarrassed if they happen not to know much about another culture’s norms – especially not Islam’s, given the current climate. It’s not a far stretch from shame at one’s ignorance to anger, under stress.

      Also, would you know where best to place a smoke detector in a mosque? Or whether there were areas in a mosque (or temple, or synagogue, or gurdwara) you shouldn’t enter? I wouldn’t. I don’t see how it hurts to educate people about things like this.

    • Jack 09:25 on 2015/11/24 Permalink

      I disagree, you are separating people from their first allegiance, humanity. If someone needs immediate medical help you provide it, that is it.
      The idea that our fire department trainee’s ( you know the next generation of employee’s) requires this course is what galls me, because lets be frank they require a cultural sensitivity course for every single ethnic minority in the city. Our fire department looks exactly like Grande Mere’s, and looking at this story it will continue to be so for the next thirty years. That’s wrong.

    • Kate 10:36 on 2015/11/24 Permalink

      Jack, in the long run the fire service ought to diversify, but that’s a different issue. Right now the city has residents from many other places with a range of different religions, practices and cultural norms. You can’t wait till you push through a diversity-in-hiring law (which hasn’t even been discussed yet), hire some guys from other cultures, and hope that having them around will percolate understanding through the entire service.

    • Blork 10:52 on 2015/11/24 Permalink

      And bear in mind that firefighters don’t just show up at the last dire minute when people are seconds from death. (Yes, it’s OK to remove a head scarf if you’re actually saving the person’s life.) It’s more about those other times, such as when a false alarm is called in, or when they’re doing a walk-though because somebody smelled smoke or whatever. There might be rooms that you don’t just barge into with your boots on while talking loudly, or whatever. There are many scenarios where it would be useful to have an understanding of the culture.

    • Michael Black 13:29 on 2015/11/24 Permalink

      Some mosques have had open houses, precisely to break down the barriers. This just seems an extension of that. You can’t expect large change without much smaller change happening first. This is some of the beginning.


    • Alison Cummins 13:36 on 2015/11/24 Permalink

      There have been incidents where men have been beaten to death for attempting to initiate CPR on a woman. Now, these incidents were in faraway countries where most people didn’t know what CPR was and the beaters-to-death saw “stranger sexually assaulting a helpless, unconscious woman,” but if you don’t actually know anyone from a faraway country you could hear about these incidents and wonder if it was halal to give CPR to a covered woman.

      Knowing people from faraway countries helps, as does being given the opportunity to ask stupid questions about things you saw on Facebook, as does discovering that there’s nothing spooky about a mosque and there aren’t any secret rooms protected by the wrath of Allah.

    • Joe Bin 20:56 on 2015/11/24 Permalink

      How many Syrian refugees will be lodged in Westmount, upper or lower?

    • Kate 21:39 on 2015/11/24 Permalink

      Joe Bin, I don’t think anyone can answer your question, which has a whiff of the troll about it, but I can tell you a Westmount synagogue has raised money to sponsor a Syrian family. Whether it will be a matter of public record if a Westmount landlord offers living space, temporarily or permanently, to a refugee family, I do not know.

    • Ian 11:40 on 2015/11/25 Permalink

      I don’t know about Westmount, but the Armenian community in Outremont took in 300 refugees already through their Hay Doun Family Support Services. Fun fact: Paul Anka and René Angelil have Syrian fathers. Another fun fact: there has been a Syrian community in Montreal since the 1800s.

    • Ian 11:41 on 2015/11/25 Permalink

  • Kate 21:22 on 2015/11/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The city presented plans Monday to cope with climate change and the floods, droughts and heat waves we’ll probably see this century as things get worse. Among the promises is to drop greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. I haven’t time to dig up numbers now, but how many more people live here now than 25 years ago, and driving how many more motor vehicles?

  • Kate 21:14 on 2015/11/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The man in the cheezy Joker mask who threatened “Arabs” in the city is free on bail. Jesse Pelletier will be back in court in January.

  • Kate 21:13 on 2015/11/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The BIG, Denis Gallant, reports that there’s collusion in awarding of snow removal contracts, there has been for years and there still is.

    • Matt G 00:28 on 2015/11/24 Permalink

      So, the city will eventually recoup the extra millions it dished out, right?

  • Kate 21:03 on 2015/11/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The report from the Charbonneau commission is to be released Tuesday morning with a speech by France Charbonneau at 11 a.m.

    Two different governments have given the commission extensions on writing the report, which was initially expected in October 2013 then in April of this year. But testimonies were still being heard until November 2014.

    CBC has a feature looking at standout moments in the long inquiry.

  • Kate 11:16 on 2015/11/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The future of the original Royal Vic buildings is still undecided, the committee having decided to wait on McGill coming up with a feasibility study on repurposing the complex. Simply keeping the empty buildings from falling into decrepitude costs $5 million a year.

    Interesting that the Neuro is meant to move to the Glen by 2020. It wasn’t that long ago that it was building itself a new wing on upper University.

    • Dave M 20:36 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      I’m fairly certain it’s only the hospital portion of the Neuro that’s going to the Glen, not the research (which incidentally means that Penfield’s vision of a combined hospital/research institute will be dead.)

      The wing that was recently constructed (in fact, is still under construction.. only one floor out of three is finished) is for researchers, so it’s not likely to be going anywhere.

    • denpanosekai 21:18 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      confirming that construction is ongoing and taking foreeeeeeeeeeeeeeever

    • Uatu 23:24 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      If they plan on moving to the Glen in 5yrs. then they would have to break ground soon on building the new pavilion on the space they’ve set aside on the site. I don’t see any indication of anything yet. But I wonder if they will move as it would mean giving up their autonomy for the landlords from hell, snc Lavalin…

    • JohnS 08:12 on 2015/11/24 Permalink

      They’ll have to move – it’s not as if the MNH (hospital, not the research institute) cannot survive for long as isolated as it is. Patients admitted there might need access to resources (e.g, labs) and personnel (think other specialist doctors for example) that simply can’t be posted at the neuro (not an efficient use of resources). They’ll have to have at least some research space at any new facility built at the Glen site given that some MDs also do research but those who do purely basic science research might be able to stay up on University.

  • Kate 10:58 on 2015/11/23 Permalink | Reply  

    Journalists continue to rub their hands with anticipation over the impending Charbonneau report. Kathleen Lévesque says the presentation of the report is going to hurt: this piece also looks at a list of related inquiries, changes in law, and name and ownership changes in Quebec’s large engineering firms that followed from the Charbonneau hearings even before they were completed.

  • Kate 10:37 on 2015/11/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s anti-radicalization centre, formally the Centre de prévention de la radicalisation menant à la violence, was formally opened Sunday, although reports say it’s already been busy for some months.

  • Kate 10:32 on 2015/11/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal’s history piece looks back at a seamstresses’ strike in 1937.

  • Kate 10:13 on 2015/11/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The MUHC used $5.3 million in operating funds to plug up a debt hole from an improperly organized real estate arrangement. Takes several paragraphs before we find the buried lede: the deal was made on orders from Arthur Porter.

    • Uatu 23:31 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      Funds specifically for patient care used on real estate. More proof austerity is just another name for the rest of us paying for idiotic expenditures by higher ups…

  • Kate 22:44 on 2015/11/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Régis Labeaume gets his wish: only women, children and families will be admitted in the wave of refugees imminently expected in Canada.

    • Chris 00:20 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      Leaving single lonely men with no dating opportunities with free time to wage war!

    • Matt G 00:47 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      “Le petit peuple.”

    • Kate 11:00 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      Not sure of your implication, Matt G. This is all of Canada, not Quebec.

    • John B 11:06 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      Leaving energetic single men to come to Montreal, find jobs & start businesses, work hard, volunteer in the community, and help make our city great.

    • Kate 11:18 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      Quoting Toula Drimonis off Facebook: “Refusing to admit single Syrian men is a decision I am very uneasy with, because it re-victimizes and stigmatizes a single group, simply on the presumption of increased risk. What about the ones who have been left without families or loved ones through no fault of their own? What about older men? Gay men? And what about the young single Syrian men left behind – frustrated, hopeless, demoralized, terrified – who now run the risk of being the easiest group to recruit by ISIS?”

    • Alison Cummins 12:48 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      I hope we’re not refusing to admit single Syrian men; I think we’re just not including them in the 25k to be admitted by December 31. It’s a practical decision in a situation of rapid, bulk processing.

      And then there’s the element of refugees being sponsored by groups here. Are privately-sponsored individuals being restricted as well, or is it just that the canadian government won’t be sponsoring them in 2015? Are sponsored single men being asked to wait six weeks? Or are we not planning to admit any refugees at all in 2016, so that if you miss the December 31 deadline you are SoL?

      Eagerly awaiting tomorrow’s clarifications.

    • Mathieu 23:25 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      It’s not like these 25k people just applied for status. Most of the people coming here have already been approved or are at an advanced stage in their application; they were just waiting either for a plane or a final OK from CIC. The security thing is just an excuse, really. The real problematic is making people here accept the refugees.

    • Matt G 00:38 on 2015/11/24 Permalink

      Sorry, I just feel that Régis exposes this unfortunate facet of Québecois culture every time he speaks. That’s not to say that Denis is any better…

    • JaneyB 11:51 on 2015/11/24 Permalink

      @Alison. I think you’re right, the single guys will probably come in the next, less rushed wave. It’s true, young guys are more likely to be the troublemakers but they are also really in the most danger. Every side wants them in their army or considers them enemies. I imagine every Syrian parent must be out of their minds with worry, telling their 17-25yo sons to ‘just leave, just get out while you can’. It’s tricky for other countries though, understandably. What a world…

  • Kate 22:35 on 2015/11/22 Permalink | Reply  

    I can’t tell if this is scaremongering: the Journal points out that the two South Korean warships that visited town last week entered the river and sailed upstream without being challenged and no contact was made to ask for a local pilot to bring the ships in. Obviously these ships posed no threat, but the implication is there that they could have done.

    • John B 11:19 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      They entered the river without being challenged because we were expecting them. You don’t invite your friends over then ask what they’re doing at your place when they arrive.

      As for the lack of a pilot, the article says that foreign military vessels are required to inform the Corporation maritime du Bas-Saint-Laurent 24h before they arrive, then they take a pilot at Les Escoumins, but it’s not clear if the pilot is a legal obligation. I’m not even sure if it’s a legal obligation to inform la Corporation, and if I was a foreign military commander unfamiliar with the laws of the land, but with an incredibly modern ship & navigation systems, I would be inclined to simply sail to where I told my friends I would meet them, (Montreal).

      Do other navies really take on pilots? The USS Milwaukee was just commissioned this weekend and will be transiting the seaway in the other direction, will it have a pilot?

    • Michael Black 14:11 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      That’s a good question. A pilot is there because it can be dangerous coming into a port, especially because it can be crowded. The pilot is very familiar with the port, and perhaps has insider information about other ships (the same way air traffic controllers keep track of all aircrafts in the vicinity.

      When we took a ship to and from Europe in 64-65, there were certainly pilots in Europe and New York City.

      I always thought they were mandatory, for safety reasons, yet I can’t say I’ve seen mention in reference to naval ships.

      Once the HMCS Okanagan was t the Old Port. It was a submarine, I’m not sure how pilots fit in there, since they can’t have much experience with subs.


    • Taylor C. Noakes 18:30 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      The bigger issue is that there are very, very few navies with a blue water capability and who wish to wage war against Canada. Russia is pretty much the only nation in the whole world we should really be concerned about (in this respect), and technically speaking I think we’re allied with them.

      But, that being said, if we wish to counter any and all possible incursions into our territorial waters, we could bring our navy back up to Cold War levels and consider ‘deputizing’ the Coast Guard and giving them a paramilitary capability.

      We could also buy/build hundreds of maritime patrol aircraft and increase the number of coastal radars too.

      And then the Journal can write about how militaristic Canada has become and how much of Quebec’s tax dollars are going to military spending!

    • Kate 22:51 on 2015/11/23 Permalink

      John B., I think you’re right. But one of the remaining Quebec Tories is making hay over this as if Canada had had no idea of this visit (and as if the Conservatives hadn’t gutted the Coast Guard and the Canadian navy).

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