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  • Kate 19:55 on 2016/07/28 Permalink | Reply  

    During fireworks shows, extra security is being added to the Jacques-Cartier in the form of parked vehicles to block any attempt at a Nice-style attack on the crowd. The SQ guy hastens to add there hasn’t been any specific threat.

  • Kate 11:03 on 2016/07/28 Permalink | Reply  

    I’m no tennis fan and won’t be following the Rogers Cup except perhaps to note the winner, but I can’t resist this Mathieu Bock-Côté piece accusing Eugénie Bouchard of being assimilated. She’s an international star, but she’s just not Québécoise enough.

    • Blork 11:32 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      Someone should remind Mathieu Bock-Côté that the 1970s ended a long time ago.

    • Bert 11:38 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      Does the “Le” in Le Rocket and Le Pocket-Rocket mean any less assimilation? Then again we have the “de souche” Rusty “Le Grand Orange ” Staub.

    • Kieran 12:04 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      I think “accusing” is a harsh term. I have no in depth knowledge of neither Bouchard nor Bock-Cote, but he has a point. She’s a descendent of francophone parents, and she now chooses to speak English over French. Nothing wrong with that, but had it not been for strong English culture in her environment, she would probably be more francophone.

    • carswell 12:17 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      He’s got a little list,
      He’s got a little list.
      She surely won’t be missed,
      No, I’m sure she won’t be missed.

    • Blork 12:56 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      Seriously. “Assimilation.” As if the rest of humanity is The Borg or something. I think by now we have learned that people can maintain their cultural identities without having to impose the politics of exclusion and self-ghettoization.

    • Jean-Guy 13:00 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      Until the Francos allow their own to go to school in any language they choose, this won’t end.

      Francos hate successful Francos who speak English.

    • Kieran 13:09 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      If you are of the belief that language plays a large role in your culture (as many people do around the world), and your descendants are no longer speaking the language of your culture, how are you maintaining your cultural identity?

    • Blork 13:41 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      For one thing, maybe her cultural identity is “Canadian,” not Quebecer. But the main thing is that the article implies Quebecers should all stay home, build a wall, never speak English, and not participate in the world at large. Otherwise, they’re “assimilating.”

    • Blork 13:47 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      I also find it ironic that when immigrants move here and start living in French (instead of English, or Arabic, or Swahili, or Dutch or whatever) they’re applauded for assimilating. Yet when a Quebecer moves to the English-speaking world and starts living in English, they are denigrated for assimilating.

    • Kieran 14:00 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      I’m not sure we read the same article, because I didn’t read anywhere that is was implying all those things.

    • Bill Binns 14:30 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      Remember, Celine Dion isn’t French enough for the pure laine. Genie Bouchard not only prefers to speak English but does so unapologetically and without Dion’s unpleasant accent. The fact that she’s from Westmount is a delicious bonus almost too good to be true.

      I need to get over to St Josephs and light one of those make-a-wish candles asking that she become a superstar and the international face of Quebec.

    • mdblog 15:06 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      Kieran, what did you think the article was implying?

    • Kieran 15:27 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      mdblog, good question, thanks for asking :)

      Mathieu Bock-Côté is renown for stirring up trouble, especially around language issues. What I believe he is implying is that through English culture in North-America, it is becoming harder to preserve the French language. Case is point, Eugenie Bouchard, a descendant of francophones, now preferring to speak English. It’s a genius move on his part to get attention. What bothers me is how much we all pay attention to something like this in the media. Language only becomes an issue if we choose to make it one.

    • Viviane 15:29 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      You can like ice hockey more than American football, poutine more than hamburgers, be a non-practicing Catholic instead of a born-again Christian, prefer state-sponsored education and healthcare over a private system, etc. and still communicate better in English than French. Language is not culture.

    • Marc 15:30 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      You can ask yourself, “If Eugenie Bouchard were German/Italian/France-French/etc, would she be giving interviews in English? Or would she proclaim that she’s proud of not having a german/italian/french accent when speaking english during a press conference?”.

      One point of view is to conclude that her attitude reflects that she views her own culture as somehow inferior and she wants to elevate herself on the world stage by distancing herself from it. “Making up” for the fact that she’s Quebecois.

      The other point of view is simply to understand that young Quebecois people, especially the ones living in Montreal and doubly especially the ones living in Westmount end up learning English to the point where they’re perfectly comfortable giving interviews in that language on national television, whereas other cultures might feel a bit self conscious so they choose to speak their mother tongue.

      In the end though, there’s no point in assuming one point of view over the other, someone could just ask her.

    • Blork 15:44 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      Well, it can certainly be a reflection of culture. But as I said in an earlier comment, when immigrants move here and start living in French (instead of English, or Arabic, or Swahili, or Dutch or whatever) they’re applauded for assimilating; yet when a Quebecer moves to the English-speaking world and starts living in English, they are denigrated for assimilating. That’s pretty much a textbook definition of ethnocentrism (essentially that “our” culture is worth assimilating into but other cultures are not.)

      In this particular case, the tactic of singling out successful individuals and accusing them of assimilation to another culture is just baiting. It’s also a throwback to the old pious Catholic tropes of the days when the priest ruled the neighbourhood and made sure everyone was suitably poor and no one stood out from the crowd.

    • Kieran 15:58 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      Just because immigrants take an interest in Quebec culture and language does not mean that other cultures and languages are not important.
      Put yourself in the shoes of a minority. Any minority. If someone takes an interest in your minority, your history, your language, your culture, you will be happy. If they choose to leave it, you will be sad and maybe angry. But just because their interest makes you happy, it does not and it should not mean that any other minority is less important.
      All languages and all cultures are important, and if they are not protected, they will dissolve into the surrounding mass around them.

    • Blork 19:34 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      Mathieu Bock-Côté’s screed might have held some merit if Bouchard had stayed in Quebec, but she didn’t. She and her family moved away a long time ago. This is no different from a person who moved here from (for example) Sri Lanka when they were a kid and fully adopted the Quebecois lifestyle. If such a kid existed he’s be on every poster in town that bragged about successful immigration stories. No one would give a thought about the Tamil (or whatever) culture he left behind.

      And if he did keep his home culture, Mathieu Bock-Côté would be wagging a finger at him for “not assimilating.”

      Stuff like this (and I mean this in particular, not all discussions of culture and assimilation) is not about protecting cultures. It’s pure tribalism wrapped in parochial bullshit.

    • Blork 19:41 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      (Side note: I personally thing Bouchard is a fool to abandon her francophone roots. For someone who wants to make it big in international sports, surely being bilingual or multilingual can do nothing but good for her career and her popularity. But that’s her choice to make.)

    • GC 19:52 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      I should have known better than to start reading the comments on the actual article.

    • Jack 06:12 on 2016/07/29 Permalink

      Look at the volume of comments , unreal.

    • carswell 19:30 on 2016/07/29 Permalink

      I wonder whether Bouchard knew about this article when she headed onto the court yesterday evening. Assuming she did, I wonder whether it had a psychological impact on her playing and thus contributed to her loss. I wonder whether Bock-Côté did a little happy dance when he heard she’d been defeated.

    • Kate 23:03 on 2016/07/29 Permalink

      Horrible thought, carswell. Judith Lussier, a reliably thoughtful writer, defended Bouchard recently, citing a different columnist, this one in Le Devoir, who had slammed Bouchard for not being sufficiently attached to Quebec. But as Lussier says, “Elle voit plus grand. Son terrain de jeu est le monde.”

  • Kate 10:24 on 2016/07/28 Permalink | Reply  

    The reliably right-wing Montreal Economic Institute has produced a paper intoning that gentrification is good for everybody. La Presse keeps a delicate smile while conveying the IEDM’s advice that instead of vandalizing gentrifying businesses, angry residents should patronize them. And I suppose if they don’t have money for bread, they should eat cake?

    The Gazette goes one step beyond, giving the writers of the paper a soapbox on their op-ed page. I’ll be outside, waiting for something to trickle down.

    • mdblog 11:17 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      So what’s the counterpoint to gentrification being good? It’s certainly not that urban decay is a more noble aspiration.

    • Bill Binns 11:25 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      “Trickle down” has nothing to do with this. The grocery store in St Henri that was attacked nearly 2 months ago (still no arrests) is surrounded by boarded up, dilapidated buildings. There is plenty of room for some enterprising “angry resident” to open up a food bank, discount grocery store, communist book club or another beloved armored dep with bars on the windows selling beer, cigarettes and lottery tickets. That would involve work though and would be nowhere near as fun as putting on masks and terrorizing a young woman doing her job or creeping around in the middle of the night with a can of spray paint.

      The real problem “angry residents” have with gentrification is that it burns them up to be sitting on their stoop drinking beer and smoking weed at 2pm on a Tuesday and have to look at those shiny new cars, condos and other symbols of gainful employment.

      I have crossed the city every weekend since the robbery to shop at 3734. Their chorizo mac and cheese is mind blowing.

    • Kate 11:25 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      mdblog, I think the city has to be looked at as a whole. One reason businesses move into poorer areas on the turn is that they’re priced out of wealthier, trendier areas. Some degree of commercial rent control has been proposed here many times, but it would be one approach, and it would be interesting for e.g. the Plateau, where in some spots landlords have priced storefronts out of reach. There’s no future in having empty storefronts along St‑Denis and the Main, although it doesn’t hurt landlords who are sitting on their investments. Make it hurt to keep storefronts empty: fine them, tax them hard.

      Controls on condo conversion should also be taken seriously, and so should lip-service promises of social housing. Social services shouldn’t be pushed out because the wealthier residents don’t need them.

    • Ephraim 11:42 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      @Kate – The city has for years fought condo conversion, but it isn’t necessarily bad that housing moves from multi-dwelling to condo. You can still rent out the condo. Large multi-dwellings are harder and harder for families to buy. If it isn’t owner occupied it may need a bigger down payment and the rent may only count against 50% of the mortgage payment. Take a triplex now in the range of $1M dollars, that’s 3 dwellings for $333,333.00 which maybe be affordable for a small family to invest in as a rental property, when trying to get the down payment on a $1 million dollar home is entirely out of reach.

      Though, they could of course simply go REIT and buy something like CAPREIT with a 3.88% yield (today) and not have to worry about tenants. Or they could go ETF with something like XRE with a yield of 4.93% (minus .55% for management fees). Put that into a TFSA and buy in with VirtualBrokers and you have no real outside costs and no tenants to deal with.

      The point being that what really happens is that the building may go coproperty, which is extremely problematic in that it limits who will write a mortgage on the building (generally Desjardins or National Bank) and everything is more difficult to get (insurance) and to sell (who wants to own 33.3% of a property and not be able to do their own thing with their own apartment because they need agreement from the other owners, even to rent it out for a month.)

    • Bill Binns 14:41 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      @Ephraim – I was kind of intrigued by the coproperty setup when we were shopping. It’s true that the other owners have power over you but you have the same power over them. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to annoy anyone or Airbnb my condo out but the idea that I could stop my neighbors from doing the same was appealing. Our realtor strongly discouraged the idea though. She said the city was cracking down hard on coproperty buildings and she was a aware of some lawsuits and other troubles between co-owners.

    • Ephraim 07:42 on 2016/07/29 Permalink

      From my understanding of the law, you cannot sublet or short term rent a coproperty, at all. Only yearly leases.

  • Kate 10:09 on 2016/07/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Patrick Lejtenyi writes in Vice about Bifteck. Daily Vice also has a video chat with him, where although he describes the bohemian vibe and the famous and infamous people who passed through, no names get mentioned.

    • Dwgs 09:11 on 2016/07/29 Permalink

      Meh, I liked the Bif well enough but it’s never been a favourite. Nice to see a bit of John Grove’s art survives somewhere though. (last photo)

    • Kate 13:22 on 2016/07/29 Permalink

      I was never a regular, although I have fond memories of once meeting a friend for a drink there, and he and I ended up presiding up over a gathering for an entire evening. I’m still not sure how that came about.

    • Ian 14:39 on 2016/07/29 Permalink

      I used to live a couple of doors down and went frequently… but haven’t been there much over the last 20-odd years.

  • Kate 09:50 on 2016/07/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Bones were discovered in a wooded area by the train tracks in the east end, and are being analyzed.

    Which reminds me: there was no followup to the story two months ago about bones found at the Turcot site.

    • Ephraim 09:55 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      I guess Kathy Reichs has more work to do. :)

  • Kate 09:46 on 2016/07/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Striking workers at the Old Port have been encouraging motorists to boycott the port’s paid parking lots. They’re handing out a list of alternative parking in the area.

  • Kate 09:44 on 2016/07/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Pleasant piece on the city’s markets doesn’t offer any actual news, but has a nice photo of raspberries.

  • Kate 00:57 on 2016/07/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Very nice piece on about’s new maps, for which kudos must be given to ant6n. I don’t know how he’s found time to comment here, given the amount of work that must have gone into this.

    • ant6n 01:44 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      Simple, I’m always at the computer ;-)
      But seriously, this took a long to build; after a year and a half the development, time just adds up.

    • Kevin 20:57 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      Transit is very functional and as someone into carsharing and public transit I love it. The estimates for bus times are always bang-on.

      If it had driving directions I wouldn’t even need to open any other map app. (But not Google Maps. Their directions are frequently wrong…)

  • Kate 22:36 on 2016/07/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada, in its ongoing series on cultural communities, looks at the history of the Jews of Montreal. Interesting to realize that before 1760 it was simply not allowed for non-Catholics to live here.

    • Ephraim 07:51 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      One exception… but she was deported back to France when discovered and she refused to convert.

      Also one of the Jewish soldiers that came into Quebec (and thus bringing the first non-Catholics into New France) was Aaron Hart. Founding member of the Spanish & Portuguese synagogue (Sephardic or Middle-Eastern Jewish), even though he was Ashkenazi (or Western-European Jewish). His second son, Ezekiel was the first Jewish man elected to the Assemble National (the Hart Affair).

    • Kate 09:33 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      Thanks, Ephraim.

    • Ephraim 09:54 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      Did you also know that Jews weren’t allowed to be buried in Montreal and instead had to be buried in Three Rivers? The Spanish & Portuguese had the first Jewish cemetery in Montreal in 1854, I think. The cemetery in Three Rivers was re-interned here in Montreal in 1909, I think. Anyway, the entry to that cemetary is 1250 Chemin de la Foret.

    • Kate 08:43 on 2016/07/29 Permalink

      I didn’t know that, but it doesn’t surprise me. If people can’t live in a place, it follows that they can’t be buried there, especially as Catholics had a hangup about burying “sinners” in hallowed ground. I know the Jewish cemetery you mention: one of the entrances to Mount Royal cemetery is on Chemin de la Foret also. There’s a notice on the gate of the Jewish one that they don’t want people wandering through it casually. I’ve only walked through it once, to have a look around.

    • Brenda 09:27 on 2016/07/29 Permalink

      Ville-Marie/Montreal was half Iroquian until conquered by racial purist Britain.
      Not even Abrahamic.

    • Kate 13:23 on 2016/07/29 Permalink

      racial purist Britain

      Brenda, you can fuck off now.

  • Kate 21:48 on 2016/07/27 Permalink | Reply  

    A Metafilter poster has grouped together links to many of the 1976 Olympic look-back articles from the Gazette and other English-language sources.

  • Kate 21:43 on 2016/07/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Our household output of greenhouse gases is among the lowest in Canada, thanks to our hydroelectricity. Here’s the study in PDF format.

    • ant6n 23:35 on 2016/07/27 Permalink

      So according to this study, nearly all our CO2 emissions are due to gasoline.

    • Max 23:53 on 2016/07/27 Permalink

      I read once that cow farts are one of the major sources of GHGs.

    • ant6n 23:57 on 2016/07/27 Permalink

      Probably not so major for household carbon emissions inside metropolitan areas.

    • Max 00:41 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      That would depend on how many hamburgers and steaks one consumes, no?

  • Kate 10:33 on 2016/07/27 Permalink | Reply  

    It wasn’t hard for the CBC to find landlords willing to kvetch about the cost of replacing lead pipes and to complain they can’t jack their rents enough, but I predict a different leverage will come into play. There was a time the city subsidized the demolition of back alley sheds as fire hazards, for example, and it would not be unreasonable for landlords to ask for a similar subsidy, or maybe a tax break, to help them remove lead from their property.

    • JaneyB 11:23 on 2016/07/27 Permalink

      Will it really be an improvement to replace them with the new plastic piping and its unknown chemical leaching? I’m happy to just run my taps for a bit in the morning before I use the water. Besides, compared to whatever chemical soup is in the St-Lawrence, I suspect the lead in the pipes is nothing.

    • Blork 12:48 on 2016/07/27 Permalink

      I doubt the new piping is anywhere near as hazardous as lead. As for running the water, if you do it in the morning, you also need to do it in the evening (unless someone has been home all day periodically running water). And that might be OK if you live in a small place, but if you’re in a larger building like a triplex you might have to run the water for a long time before it’s flushed — unless you know for sure that your neighbours have already run it.

      Plus that’s a big waste of water.

    • Joey 13:43 on 2016/07/27 Permalink

      Can’t you install filters?

    • Alison Cummins 13:54 on 2016/07/27 Permalink

      There are some filters that can reduce lead but they tend not to be the ones we buy at the grocery store. Anyone with little kids should have one if they have any doubt about the lead in their water.

      Lead is really nasty stuff. Search for IQ in this WHO document:

    • Alison Cummins 14:08 on 2016/07/27 Permalink

      These filters reduce lead in drinking water:

      Of those, this filter is the only one manufactured in Canada that is itself lead-free, meeting standards for a lead-free plumbing system:

    • Ephraim 07:56 on 2016/07/28 Permalink

      In most cases, assuming the pipes have been changed by the city and the plumbing in the house has been changed, we are talking about a lead pipe that is maybe 5 metres long the sits between the city supply and the first shut off valve in the house.

      Now if the whole house is lead, that’s one thing. But for many house that 5 metres is it.

  • Kate 10:24 on 2016/07/27 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is producing a weekly economic bulletin in PDF format. It tracks various indicators, although how they get feedback on things like job creation every week beats me, and includes a section of news bits as well.

    • mdblog 14:50 on 2016/07/27 Permalink

      I’m curious about who the intended audience is. Would local business find this kind of data useful?

    • Kate 21:30 on 2016/07/27 Permalink

      Journalists, economics students, even bloggers maybe.

  • Kate 10:18 on 2016/07/27 Permalink | Reply  

    A man reported missing in May was found dead in a ventilation shaft on Tuesday in the building where he worked on Queen Mary. Cops think it was suicide rather than an accident.

  • Kate 10:03 on 2016/07/27 Permalink | Reply  

    A 24H writer talks about the many ways of getting around Montreal and how some people are often not aware of the options. Louis-Philippe Messier mentions in passing that he uses to figure it out.

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