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  • Kate 00:26 on 2014/11/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Former cop Alfredo Munoz, who runs a ticket-fighting business, lists the city’s top ten ticketing traps, although some are pretty large descriptions like “Highways 640 and 440″.

  • Kate 00:14 on 2014/11/21 Permalink | Reply  

    The Divan Orange music venue on the Main is under threat from noise complaints piling up.

    Why would anyone move onto the Main upstairs of a venue and expect blissful silence? (That’s the point most of the comments are making.)

    • Matt G 07:49 on 2014/11/21 Permalink

      Worse, that (stupid?) tenant is not even attempting to work with Divan Orange, promising to keep filing complaints after having agreed to stay there for the next four years. Thanks, not-so-anonymous lady.

  • Kate 12:15 on 2014/11/20 Permalink | Reply  

    A creek in the West Island was discovered to be contaminated with high levels of fecal coliform, a striking phrase.

    “Sir, your rhetoric is contaminated with high levels of fecal coliform!” “En garde!”

    • Thomas H 12:49 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      Posts like theses make me wish your blog had a like button. My 21st century impulses have forgotten how to express appreciation with language.

  • Kate 12:13 on 2014/11/20 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse’s Yves Boisvert has made himself a cheering section for the Coderre era in the Globe and Mail.

    Globe & Mail has a potential paywall, but there’s always this.

    • Robert J 23:31 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      So far the Coderre era has brought a noticeable decline in the quality of transit. For a while there the busses were more frequent, there was the 10 min – network, articulated busses and new reserved lanes. Now it’s back on the downswing. There really is a decline in service since the funding cuts.

  • Kate 11:18 on 2014/11/20 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM succeeded in trimming $20 million from its budget this year but is promising better service next year. I notice the usual new year fare increase hasn’t yet been announced.

    • Bill Binns 11:25 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      “Better Service Next Year” = “Free Beer Tomorrow”

    • carswell 13:15 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      In a Daybreak interview last Friday, the STM’s chief executive apologist, the ever simpering Schnobb, all but stated that a fare increase is going to happen. (Pay more for less!) He also trotted out mostly feeble excuses for why more bus service isn’t needed on many lines (which he calls lanes), why the buses and commuter trains aren’t better coordinated, why buses don’t adhere to the posted schedules and why the home OPUS charger is late and a kludge. With a guy like him in charge, it’s no wonder the STM is unresponsive and hobbled.

      I originally thought appointing someone so clearly unqualified and out of his depth was nothing more than a baldfaced act of political patronage. Now I’m beginning to wonder whether Coderre appointed Schobb precisely because he didn’t want someone effective and dynamic — someone likely to be a real users’ advocate, someone willing to make waves — as the agency’s head. If so, mission accomplished.

    • Beeg 14:00 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      For a laugh, what were some of the feeble excuses? Lemme guess – three buses coming together every thirty minutes is the same as one every ten minutes. Ah, the logic of the bus scheduler who doesn’t take the bus.

    • carswell 11:24 on 2014/11/21 Permalink

      @Beeg Basically it boils down to three things: the STM’s hands are tied; it’s always somebody else’s fault; and technology is really complicated.

      Take the OPUS card loader. Questions and non-answers (I may be paraphrasing the latter a tad):
      1. Why force users to buy a loader? But it will only cost $15 and the STM isn’t making a profit on it!
      2. Why does the loader’s release date keep on being postponed? It’s technology’s fault! And it’s the fault of those dastardly techies who told me it’d be ready by Christmas and then by Valentine’s Day. I’m crossing my fingers for Easter! Did I mention that technology is really, really complicated?
      3. Since every card has an ID number, why do we need a dongle anyway? Just about every other modern transit system uses ID number-based accounts, you know? It’s the technology’s fault! The amount has to be stored on the microchip on each card! And that’s really, really complicated! Not a word on why the system was designed so stupidly. Not a word on whether rejiggering it to an account-based system has ever been considered. Not a word on what the implications of using this already-outmoded-when-installed technology are for the future (e.g. We’re never going to be able to use a universal card or a cellphone-based contactless payment system?).

      Probably the most pitiful reply was to the recorded clip of a guy complaining about the infrequency of service on the West Island. Schnobb said he couldn’t really answer because the guy didn’t specify which bus “lane” he was referring to but that STM stats show there are WI buses that still have capacity. The notion that infrequent service creates that capacity, that you need to increase frequency to attract riders, that if you build it they will come, has apparently never occurred to him.

      Similarly, when asked about buses not sticking to their schedules, he touted the iBus system as being the solution. Now we’ll know exactly how long we’ll have to wait! It’ll be revolutionary! No mention of fixing the problem, just of applying a band-aid. No mention of what this means for people who don’t have access to a smartphone or other internet-connected device. And pity the people who want to plan their evening around the printed bus schedule.

    • Beeg 11:31 on 2014/11/21 Permalink

      Thanks @carswell. I don’t know the specs on the Opus system but I don’t understand how you can have one set of cards that renew automatically each month (Opus a l’annee) and another that require a USB dongle (!). How about an Opus a l’annee type system where you can suspend service easily, i.e., online, for months when you’re on vacation or use alternate means – kind of a perfect partnership option with Bixi, no?

      Ah, yes, the iBus thing. I suppose it could be useful to know how far ahead or behind certain buses are (if you live close to the stop and know you have to leave once it’s so many stops away and it never arrives at the same time – the 107 fits this description to a T). And I suppose they will install panels in the bus shelters that display the real ETA of the next bus, like in certain metro stations. But knowing the precise location of the bus you are waiting for isn’t going to make it come any faster.

  • Kate 00:23 on 2014/11/20 Permalink | Reply  

    The police brotherhood is denouncing ticket quotas, saying the emphasis on making quota takes police attention away from more serious matters.

    • Jack 06:52 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      Like what, I see a lot more cars flying around then bullets.They maim more and kill more of the citizens they are supposed to protect than ……marijuana.

    • Ephraim 08:15 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      Police actually do serious work? Since when?

    • Tim S. 08:36 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      Because of traffic duty, “officers are told not to respond to any emergency calls unless someone’s life is in danger, so calls regarding events such as thefts will be ignored. On those days, victims of car theft or burglary could wait hours for a police officer to respond, said Francoeur.”

      I personally would argue that going through a red light is more serious than breaking into a parked car, on the purely selfish grounds that only one of these two acts could kill me. The fact that the police brotherhood thinks the opposite is actually a great reason to keep quotas, because otherwise the police seem to regard non-serious/exciting crime as beneath their attention.

    • Noah 09:25 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      @Tim +1

    • Noah 09:26 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      This is a cheap ploy by the police union to curry public favour in the face of massive opposition to its insulting tactics to oppose Bill 3.

    • Dave M 09:55 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      Tim, I can’t remember the last time I saw a cop give a ticket to someone for running a red light. Even accepting that it is more dangerous, red light cameras would be far more effective and consistent than cops at it.

    • dwgs 10:37 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      I know it’s crazy talk but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that maybe, just maybe the police force should be capable of both ticketing motorists and following up on theft etc. I don’t see it as a binary thing.

    • Tim S. 11:05 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      Dave – I agree.

    • Bill Binns 11:17 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      I don’t like quotas anymore than anyone else. My wife and I have both been caught in “trappe de tickets” and issued bullshit jaywalking tickets. However, I don’t see how you can manage a bunch of people who’s job it is to write tickets without counting those tickets and having some sort of minimum number to show that those people are actually working all day. I suspect all police departments have some sort of quota whether official or not.

      If all the cops just went out and did their jobs and *gasp* stepped out of their cars once in a while, these numbers would take care of themselves. Anybody who walks the streets of Montreal on a reguler basis knows there are plenty of legitimate violations to be ticketed. The current system seems to be, sit around and do nothing for 28 days, then get 10 cops to run an all day sting operation ticketing the easiest to catch “criminals”..pedestrians, and write 500 tickets to make quota.

    • Steph 12:30 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      I’m not opposed to traps. The people caught are not only caught doing something they’re not supposed to but they weren’t vigilant enough to pay notice police either. If you want to roll through stop signs but couldn’t notice the cop, you probably wouldn’t notice a child running either.

    • Ephraim 13:12 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      Your car gets broken into… go to the police station. Your credit card stolen… go to the police station. Your house gets broke into… go to the police station. Your bike is stolen… go to the police station. Seems that half of what the cops could do could be replaced with an online form that they shred at the end of the day anyway.

    • James C. Walker 15:45 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      In 2010, the National Motorists Association and the Police Officers Association of Michigan both supported a bill that became law to ban ticket quotas in Michigan for both work assignments and the evaluation of officers. This is our law now.

      Act 300 of 1949

      257.750 Issuance of citations; number as factor in evaluation of police officer’s performance prohibited; applicability of MCL 257.901; fees prohibited; violation of MCL 257.749 as misconduct in office; removal.
      Sec. 750.
      (1) A police officer shall not be required to issue a predetermined or specified number of citations for violations of this act or of local ordinances substantially corresponding to provisions of this act, including parking or standing violations. A police officer’s performance evaluation system shall not require a predetermined or specified number of citations to be issued. Section 901 does not apply to a violation of this subsection.
      (2) A police officer shall not be entitled to any fees for issuing a citation. A police officer, judge, district court magistrate, or other person employed by the state or by a local governmental unit who violates section 749 or this subsection is guilty of misconduct in office and subject to removal from office.

      I was the NMA spokesperson that testified for the bill in the Michigan legislative committee hearings.

      EVERY command officer instituting or enforcing ticket quotas anywhere in the world should be removed from office. Ticket quotas are wrong 100% of the time.

      James C. Walker, Life Member, National Motorists Association

    • Noah 16:33 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      You know what, Ephraim: I’ve had two important things stolen from me in the last six months and both times not only were the police at the station helpful and considerate, I received follow up calls on both issues. What are you expecting, a house call for your stolen iPod?

    • Tim S. 19:22 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      @ James: Cool. But why is it wrong? And what other measures are more effective in enforcing traffic safety?

      I’m not necessarily in favour of quotas, they seem to be a pretty blunt instrument. I’d be thrilled with a network of red light cameras, for example, but given the general disinterest of the Montreal police in the more mundane aspect of their jobs, there needs to be some mechanism to make sure they pay attention to these issues. As a frequent pedestrian, I find the idea that the police union is suggesting that car break-ins should be prioritized over traffic safety infuriating.

      Oh look, another pedestrian killed crossing on green light.

    • Kate 22:09 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      Tim S., that’s horrible – I always feel somewhat endangered by cars turning on the same green light as I’m walking. Note the tone that it was somewhat the pedestrian’s fault because of his headphones. (No, I don’t think it’s wise to walk in the street with phones on, and I don’t do that myself.)

      However, re quotas, I don’t even drive, so I find it odd that it’s understood everyone drives faster than the posted limits all the time, so whenever cops want to ticket you they can do so, like shooting fish in a barrel. Obviously this situation persists because the authorities like it the way it is, to but it seems very odd to me.

    • Ephraim 22:42 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      @Noah – You were damn lucky. I had my CC cloned at a parking meter right next to Complexe (dropping off paperwork to RQ, incidentally). Gave the cops everything down to the specifics of which meter it was, the phone number of the criminal, the address he supplied, the email address, who he tried to order from and even the phone number of the store, etc. I know of at least two tourists who had their window on their cars broken into (and in one case a GPS stolen). They filled the forms, cops stamped them and that was the end of it. And there were the Aussies who had someone scratch into their rental van the words “Fuck USA”… who were travelling back to the USA the next day.

      Obviously you are at a station that cares. I live in the Plateau, they hardly care, but the Village was worse, they used to try to convince everyone NOT to complain so their statistics didn’t get worse. I had a shooting gallery in an apartment across the street. Drug sellers a few doors down. Not to mention the whores on the street next to mine. The guy who ODed in my stairwell. The guy who tried to break in via my basement window while I watched him (His excuse… he thought the apartment was for rent… yeah!) The guys who jumped over my back fence trying to get in via my back door while I was in the house. (I had steel reinforced the door, but he didn’t know that and I had called the cops but they took too long to come.) My car that was stolen and used in the commission of a crime.

      In fact, not only have I never seen any sympathy, but when the SQ called because they found my car, they purposefully made it sound as if they had found it, intact, before dashing my hopes by telling me that it was burnt.

    • Bill Binns 23:27 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      @Kate – “I find it odd that it’s understood everyone drives faster than the posted limits all the time, so whenever cops want to ticket you they can do so, like shooting fish in a barrel.”

      This is certainly the case on my street. A cop could write speeding tickets until his hand cramped up on Doc Penfield. Big tickets for double or even triple the speed limit. A cop who staioned himself at Guy and De Maisonneuve would be able to write unlimited tickets to his choice of cars, bikes or pedestrians. Any cop who chose to write tickets to drivers for driving in occupied crosswalks could fill his ticket book and likely put the city’s taxi fleet out of business in a few hours.

    • Beeg 09:38 on 2014/11/21 Permalink

      Kate, it’s not just the tone of the story that blames the deceased: “‘The truck driver was going on his green light, made a normal turn, and the pedestrian was hidden in a place where it was impossible for the driver to see the pedestrian,’ said Montreal police spokesman Simon Delorme.”

      Ah yes, hidden between the two sidewalks. WTF.

      What’s frustrating about the ticket quotas is the arbitrariness of it. Twenty-nine days a month everybody j-walks on a certain corner. On the 30th, everybody gets a ticket. Next month, back to normal. Either the rules need to be adapted to reflect the norms or they need to be enforced more consistently.

      A city-wide system of red light cameras could fund every transit fan’s bucket list for a decade.

    • John B 17:30 on 2014/11/21 Permalink

      From Kate: “I don’t even drive, so I find it odd that it’s understood everyone drives faster than the posted limits all the time, so whenever cops want to ticket you they can do so, like shooting fish in a barrel.”

      As a transplant from the west, I think it’s an Ontario/Quebec thing. In BC/Alberta if you go more than 10-ish over on the highway you’re going to get nailed. In Ontario/Quebec you seem to have 30-40 km/hr of leeway. I’m not sure about enforcement in the middle two provinces, although Saskatchewan is the only place I’ve ever been pulled over, it wasn’t for speeding.

      Ontario even has a menu posted when you cross the border so you can budget for tickets if you choose to, and decide how much speeding you can afford.

      I would prefer the western model: higher speed limits, but the speed limit is actually the speed limit that’s enforced.

  • Kate 00:18 on 2014/11/20 Permalink | Reply  

    Wednesday in the Magnotta trial saw the continued questioning of forensic psychiatrist Dr. Joel Watts as the prosecution hammered away at questions concerning Magnotta’s intentions and what he remembers. Magnotta’s “promotion” online of his intentions in advance of the murder of Jun Lin was also queried. The Blatchford take. That Canoë link plays video.

  • Kate 17:29 on 2014/11/19 Permalink | Reply  

    Nice La Presse piece talks to three owners of shoebox houses in Rosemont. I like the detail that the houses were often built by hand by their original owners with materials “borrowed long term” from the Angus yards.

  • Kate 16:18 on 2014/11/19 Permalink | Reply  

    Lysiane Gagnon writes a screed against pedestrianizing Ste-Catherine Street: she compares it to the temporary pedestrianization of Crescent Street, which is silly, although more sensibly she also considers the possible damage to retail from the loss of parking spaces.

    I think, though, her reflex is the same as mine. “Moi qui y circule à pied depuis que j’ai l’âge de marcher…” – like Gagnon, some of my earliest memories of being out and about are from Ste-Catherine Street, scenes from being taken Christmas shopping or watching parades, hearing my parents talk about what the street was like with streetcars on it. (Better. Of course.) I don’t want it to change radically either – it evolves gradually over the years – but I recognize some of that reflex is just my own nostalgia, like my parents missing the streetcars, and not necessarily a template for the future.

    • C_Erb 16:23 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      I would miss biking on Ste-Catherine. The traffic is always backed up and slow so it’s easy to weave in and out of the cars quickly before shooting up McGill College or University to go north (before the drop into Place-des-arts and the summer festivals). I find it much safer and faster than the de Maisonneuve bike path and less stressful than Sherbrooke (R-L is obviously not even a consideration). Even if bikes were still allowed on a pedestrianized Ste-Catherine, it would be slow going with pedestrians scattered everywhere.

    • thomas 20:11 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      If Ste-Catherine is to be pedestrianized, then perhaps one could cover parts of it with a glass canopy — at least for the winter months. I have seen this done very successfully in a number of European cities.

    • Kate 21:33 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      Now that would be cool, so long as it isn’t like the St-Hubert canopies, which drop slabs of snow and ice at random moments on passersby.

    • Faiz Imam 22:19 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      I would imagine any true pedestrianization might have a legit bike lane as a part of it. many european boulevards i’ve been to have facilities to do so. What makes you think a pedestrian only road would ban bikes?

    • thomas 22:20 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      No, that would be lame and ugly. The ones I have seen cover the whole street — like a glass umbrella. You are correct that ensuring proper drainage and the challenges of winter weather (see the Olympic Stadium) would be a concern.

    • Matt G 00:23 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      “Les êtres humains, en effet, ont cette mauvaise habitude de refuser de se réformer sous les diktats de l’idéologie.”

    • C_Erb 01:26 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      Bikes are banned from the pedestrianized part of Prince-Arthur (despite a well-used bike lane terminating on the non-pedestrianized section at St-Laurent), de la Gauchetière, St-Paul in the summer, and around the QdS during festival season (even when no events are going on). It would be disappointing but not surprising if the city opted to ban bikes from a pedestrianized Ste-Catherine.

    • Ephraim 08:16 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      @C_Erb So what? They bike on pedestrian space all the time.

    • No\Deli 12:32 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      Yeah! Speak truth to (pedal) power, Ephraim! Down with the all-powerful bike lobby!

      Right on.

    • C_Erb 16:24 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      Often cyclists have to bike on pedestrian space because the places cyclists are supposed to ride are too dangerous, or nonexistent. Why can’t there be a bit of space set aside on Prince-Arthur for cyclists so they can be connected to other bike paths or for there to be a safe, dedicated bike path through underpasses so cyclists aren’t forced to choose between riding on the sidewalk and trying to share the street with angry, impatient drivers?

    • yossarian 17:05 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      Prince Arthur’s pedestrian street is a no-bikes zone right between two busy bike paths and is one of the biggest missing links in the Montreal bike path network. So of course bikes sort of naturally use this strip of pedestrianized street. Equally naturally, cops use it to get their ticket quota. It is like the planned it this way. (They did.)

  • Kate 12:25 on 2014/11/19 Permalink | Reply  

    Municipal court, already bogged down with cases, is losing 10% of its staff as five temporary prosecutors are to be let go at the end of the year.

  • Kate 12:04 on 2014/11/19 Permalink | Reply  

    Luc Ferrandez has warned Richard Bergeron he’s watching and that Bergeron had better not start defending Denis Coderre’s plan to rejig borough funding.

    • Noah 13:11 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      I was never sold on Bergeron’s Projet Montreal for a few reasons, but it always seemed like he had his heart in the right place. Ferrandez comes across as a bully, not a leader. I voted for my local PM candidate in the last election because he’s quality – as of now, however, I can’t see myself supporting a party led by a guy like Ferrandez. At least what I’ve seen of him so far.

    • Kate 13:13 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      Ferrandez is only interim leader. He has said he doesn’t want the top job permanently. Of course he may change his mind on that but it isn’t a given.

    • Noah 14:15 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      Well, I have no party allegiance in municipal politics, so I’m certainly open minded. I guess time will tell, but I’m super impressed with Coderre so far.

    • Robert J 15:22 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      I won’t comment on Projet Montreal’s broad party orientation or Ferrandez’s leadership qualities but I agree with 90% of what he’s done in the Plateau. I’ve been living in the neighbourhood ever since he’s been mayor here (both terms) and I feel my quality of life has simply improved. His biggest achievements have all been related to improving the conditions for pedestrians and cyclists and these have been successful. Now I would like to see city/province investments in bus lanes on thoroughfares like Papineau to increase bus frequency and speed, as well as continued work on cyclist access to the underpasses at the edge’s of the borough.

      These major arteries are unpleasant to walk on and downright unsafe to cycle. There create psychological barriers that cut up the neighbourhood into isolated parcels for the benefit of car owners, many of whom don’t even live in the city.

    • Ephraim 15:29 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      Ferrandez lost my vote on the day that I heard him blame everything wrong with Montreal on the Anglos while giving a speech for votes in the local park. That’s when I realized it wasn’t new politics at all.

    • Kate 15:35 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      Ephraim, that’s just a reflex in many Quebec pols his age. It doesn’t taint what he’s achieved on the municipal level.

    • Ian 15:47 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      They’ve done a lot of good work, but I find Norris & Ferrandez very divisive and openly rude to constituents. I was threatened by Norris when I called him out on fudging numbers on his facebook feed then deleting my posts – and when I dissed him here later for acting like a jerk on an unrelated matter, he blocked me from his Facebook account altogether. Way to win hearts & minds – I was a dues-paying member of the party for years but quit over that. As far as specifics go, I was pretty peeved about the refusal to honour Mordecai Richler (which I suspect is mostly Ferrandez’s blinkered nationalism), how Piper Huggins got hustled out, & the party’s refusal to support Parc Oxygène. I will still vote for Projet as they are the only party that is not tainted by the corruption scandals and I do support a lot of their initiatives, but Ferrandez is not particularly likeable or accommodating and that will come back to haunt Projet if they try to run him for mayor of Montreal. The only other candidate senior enough in Projet that has good visibility and is actually good with the public would be Ryan, but he doesn’t seem particularly interested in the role so far. I hope I’m wrong, because I’d be more than happy to vote for him.

    • C_Erb 16:18 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      I would put François Croteau in the running as a good possible leader. Not sure if he’s interested though.

    • Dave M 16:38 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      What makes you think François Croteau would be a good PM leader, C_Erb? (I’m genuinely curious. I like Ferrandez because I think he’s done a good job in the Plateau, but I don’t know much about what Croteau’s done in Rosemont.)

    • Ephraim 16:40 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      @Kate – For me, it does. I never liked that kind of discriminatory politics. The worst part is that it’s a complete fallacy… it had nothing to do with their language… because there were plenty of poor anglophones. It had to do with their money, their backgrounds, their religious upbringing, the industrial revolution, etc etc. It’s not like the poor Anglophone labourers from Verdun were running the city of Montreal.

      We need a new kind of politics that simply looks forward without passing on blame based on the language your parents decided you would speak. It’s not like we had a choice. We were born into Anglophone households.

    • C_Erb 17:21 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      I can’t say I know a lot about him [Croteau] but have read some interviews and he always comes across as well-spoken, passionate, and knowledgable. He seems to have a lot of the same goals and positions as the Ferrandez administration (taking public space from cars to give to people, increasing cycling infrastructure and safety, building better public spaces, greater transparancy in government, etc) without the bullying and condescending attitude that is sometimes found in the Plateau administration (it would do them a lot of good to work on their PR side IMO). He seems like a good guy and much of the good things that are being done by PM in the Plateau are also being done in Rosemont-Petite-Patrie, just at a scale that seems a little more low-key. (I also like that his family just got rid of their car and now rely entirely on transit and bicycles.)

    • Alex L 17:47 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      It’s funny Ian, for my part Norris actually reconciled me with municipal politics; he was really helpful and supportive when I contacted him about a ticket I got from the CP police, even if I was quite angry and negative in my messages.

      As for Ferrandez I can’t agree more with the changes his administration made in the Plateau. I’m not living there anymore and i’m actually quite jealous of everything positive that’s going on there… it should happen all over Montreal, not only in a few boroughs. But I agree he has an abrasive personality, one that may not work with everyone. He’s an idea guy lacking charisma: the exact opposite of Coderre, in my opinion.

    • Kate 18:07 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      On the record, Alex Norris has always been helpful to me, both when I was working for OpenFile and in participating occasionally on this blog. He used to be a journalist himself so he knows exactly how marginal these things have been in media terms, but he’s still been informative and responsive when asked.

    • Ian 22:09 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      Mileage may vary; I actually have some close friends that think Norris is the bee’s knees. Thanks to social media, I know I’m not alone in my opinion, though. My point is not to smear Norris personally, but to point out that he often doesn’t play well with others when discussing political matters, which is important for a politician. I’m sure he’s a great guy socially and he definitely has his chops as a journalist and politician, but he often comes off as abrasive, defensive, and dismissive online if the conversation isn’t going in the direction he might prefer, and he is not beyond fudging details to win an argument or banning argumentative voices from his feed in the effort to create an on-brand echo chamber. I don’t think he understands social media’s power very well in terms of how it shapes public opinion; those dissenting voices are wildflowers that will continue to spread throughout the field of Montreal political discourse outside of his carefully tended Facebook garden.

      Back to Ferrandez, I find it telling that he got rid of his social media presences – Norris claims it’s because Ferrandez is more concerned with the business of his job and just doesn’t have the time – but many others (including not only Coderre but many other Projet politicians) understand and take advantage of the popular presence social media affords. Personally, I think Ferrandez got out of social media because he was getting into too many arguments – he could definitely take a page from Coderre’s playbook in that regard. I personally find Coderre to be a “man of action” who is in effect pretty ham-fisted and does whatever he wants – but people on the street seem to respond well to that, especially how he positions it. If Projet had anybody that understood how to be a populist as well as they understand how to shape policy they would be large & in charge to the benefit of the city. As it is? Not so much, or at least that’s how it seems with who they’re fielding as first draft picks.

      Like I said before, Projet does great work, and I will be voting for them for a variety of reasons – but they need to work on their image as I don’t think they will win the mayor’s seat any time in the near future with the way they are going now.

      Croteau does seem like a good presence as some others have mentioned, and Ryan as I mentioned before is quite decent too. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see who gets to head up the party. If it’s Norris or Ferrandez, though, forget it.

    • Johnny 23:40 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      @ Noah. He’s worse than A bully , he’s a MEGALOMANIAC . But that doesn’t seem to bother his supporters !

      @ Ian . Yes, he’s done a lot of good work, BUT at the expensive of many. I don’t see how closing one street and rerouting double the amount of cars onto another is good work.

  • Kate 11:35 on 2014/11/19 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s white collar workers are waiting to find out whether they’ll participate in the grand dérangement strike day planned for a week Wednesday. Update: They’re not.

  • Kate 11:21 on 2014/11/19 Permalink | Reply  

    Ahuntsic MP Maria Mourani, once of the Bloc but independent since busting up with her party over the charter of values in September 2013, has joined the NDP. In the 2011 election the riding split almost equally for the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc.

    • Robert J 15:22 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      Good news. She’s a smart lady.

    • Jack 06:55 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      She is super smart , guess what the Bloc vote in Ahuntsic will be next election. I know this is a fools game, but does anyone who follows politics closely see the Bloc winning ….a seat next time out.

    • Noah 09:30 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      I’m not an NDP supporter, but I respect both Mourani and Mulcair for her choice and his support of her choice to remain independent until the next election. Both have gained credibility because of that – although I recognize that crossing the floor is a reality of the parliamentary system (and has benefited the my own party provincially).

  • Kate 11:16 on 2014/11/19 Permalink | Reply  

    Sean Michaels, fresh from the Giller win, scoops the Quebec Writers Federation fiction award too.

    And Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois took a Governor-General’s prize for Tenir tête and says he’s going to give the prize money away.

  • Kate 11:00 on 2014/11/19 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec appeals court has rejected the plea from Sud-Ouest borough to save the old Negro Community Centre building, which is basically falling down.

    In a better economy, a new community centre would rise on that spot, incorporating some of the stone masonry from the old building, originally constructed as a church. But it isn’t going to happen now.

    • Michael Black 22:29 on 2014/11/19 Permalink

      Yes, and no.

      It’s been so long, I have no idea why it closed down. But once it was no longer being used, the decline would have started. The money wasn’t there, but probably incentive was gone too. So it got worse and worse. The group in charge couldn’t deal with it after the wall collapsed, the money wasn’t there, so the land/building was sold off to pay creditors.

      Had it been sold years ago, the group would have gotten money to run programs, though no location. But with the building intact, it would have been harder to destroy it, and surely the money from the sale would be higher. The building is now just a liability. If nothing else, the money would have gone to the group, not creditors.

      The Fraser-Hickson Library closed because they no longer had the funds to keep the library running. They sold the building, then had money. But not enough. The minute they buy, the money would no longer be there for running a library.

      Is history more important than the purpose of the centre?

      That said, the Union United Church will be back in operation in a month or so, having raised money somehow to do the needed renovations. So they can keep tradition, and still do good.

      Santrapol Roulant was somehow able raise money to buy their new building, which seems to be bigger than just meals on wheels.

      The NDG Food Depot is talking about having their own building, after having to scramble last year when their landlord ended the lease. They are on their second church, a better location and facilities. Buying depends on finding a suitable location, but they seemed optimistic about being able to raise the funds.

      So somewhere along the way, the will seems to have been lost. Maybe that’s because it’s not the dense area it was, maybe it was just indifference. Maybe once it was no longer in operation, it was too hard to get people interested. If it’s supposed to be viable still, something went wrong.


    • Doobious 09:54 on 2014/11/20 Permalink

      And it begins.

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