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  • Kate 11:30 on 2016/09/28 Permalink | Reply  

    The man police think was at the wheel of the pickup truck when Zélia Araujo was killed will be brought to Montreal soon to face charges. He’s already facing a stolen vehicle charge in Ontario.

  • Kate 11:03 on 2016/09/28 Permalink | Reply  

    A coalition of Quebec’s newspapers is asking for government help to stay afloat, challenged as they are for revenue by social media. Le Devoir’s summary of what’s being asked for.

    The irony here is that social media rely on regular media for most of their content. Remove real media reportage and commentary and Facebook collapses in a meaningless heap of cat memes and unfounded rumour postings. Huffington Post has brazenly been reposting real media content for years. Maybe Mark Zuckerberg needs to be paying a royalty every time a media link is posted to his site?

    On the other hand, if public money props up the papers, then I say the paywalls have to go. Paywalls, blocking eyes from your site, have only ever been a stopgap. Papers need to find a better way.

    • mdblog 11:48 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      I like the idea of a royalty being imposed on platforms like Facebook that facilitate the sharing of journalistic content. They could certainly afford it and it seems to be the fairest solution to the problem.

    • Blork 12:29 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      In principle, yes, but I can’t imagine how such a thing would be managed and kept relatively free of fraud, etc. But then, music is so regulated, although how successful it is can be debated.

      The other problem is that if you start paying the newspapers according to click-throughs, then the newspapers will end up turning to click-bait to increase their revenue.

    • thomas 13:36 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      The irony of publications like Les Affaires asking for public money to solve their financial problems.

    • Kate 13:41 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      Blork, surely something comparable to the funding of Radio-Canada/CBC would be possible?

    • Bill Binns 14:28 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      I wonder why the social media giants have not simply bought up the traditional newspapers that create the content they need so bad? Google could snap up half the newspapers in the country if they wanted to.

    • Blork 15:06 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      Kate, yes, this is a good argument for public funding of media (i.e., so they don’t have to degrade themselves to clickbait to stay alive), but that’s not what I was saying. A scheme that makes social media sites pay newspapers for click-throughs is what would be really hard to pull off.

    • Kate 15:09 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      Bill Binns: they don’t have to. It’s like why Voldemort didn’t want to become Minister for Magic. (He could get results without getting directly involved in managing things.)

    • Bill Binns 16:17 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      @Kate – Well, they are going to have to buy some papers or hire some reporters eventually or they will have nothing left to link to. I feel like I woke up in Bizarro world when I hear things like the Washington Post is worth a quarter of what Instagram is worth.

      +1 for the Potter reference.

  • Kate 11:00 on 2016/09/28 Permalink | Reply  

    The mayor of Laval is not happy with plans for the REM, says it was imposed from above and wants a moratorium so that its impact on existing transit can be assessed.

    For reference, here’s the REM website (which I think I may have to link permanently soon as stories are coming out daily). Clearly Laval is largely left out, with only a couple of stops on its western shore, although that isn’t what Marc Demers is talking about here. He’s actually keeping a cool head about this thing, which Denis Coderre is not.

    • ant6n 13:20 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      It’s funny: the major issue is the impact on the St-Jerome line, but I don’t know whether this was even mentioned.

  • Kate 10:50 on 2016/09/28 Permalink | Reply  

    The SPVM is having a hell of a time replacing Ian Lafrenière as spokesman, and is offering a salary of $163,570 now, given that the $124,937 offer didn’t get any takers.

    • j 16:14 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      Do we know why he was reassigned?

    • Max 19:08 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      @j: He’s too white. The SPVM is tearing a page from the Transports Quebec playbook: Hire one minority-sounding person and put them in their most public-facing position. Much self-congratulary back-patting to follow.

    • Kate 00:31 on 2016/09/29 Permalink

      j: Max is guessing here. I very much doubt Lafrenière was moved aside because of his colour. I’m guessing he stepped on some toes: the story may or may not ever come out. I’m also guessing that for various structural reasons the job is impossible to do, so even a salary that’s way out of proportion to most PR flacks’ salaries doesn’t suffice to attract candidates.

    • Ian 05:45 on 2016/09/29 Permalink

      Wasn’t there some kind of kerfuffle around the media team communicating too freely? There’s also the need to have a civilian in charge of communications as there’s that whole mistrust of police communicating to media one their own behalf with no civilian oversight. Not that it would make much difference but it’s all a perception game.

    • Frederic Cardin 09:42 on 2016/09/29 Permalink

      I remember he was threatened following the Maple spring in 2012. Him being the face and voice of the hated police, some students or sympathisers issued death threats against him. I remember hearing him say afterward that he would move on to something else. Seems to have been hard on his family. A guess.

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

    Two matches between the Blue Jays and Pirates will be held at the Olympic stadium next spring.

    There’s a rather vague report also about other baseball events coming to town, using baseball diamonds Denis Coderre has ordained to be created in various parks.

  • Kate 09:58 on 2016/09/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Philippe Couillard has no luck in picking transport ministers. Since getting the portfolio a scant two months ago, Laurent Lessard has already been quizzed about a grant to one of his staffers. Now he’s on the hot seat with revelations that the business his wife works for got some very nice grants while he was municipal affairs minister between 2009 and 2012.

    Lessard maintains he consulted the ethics commissioner on this and was given the green light; the ethics commissioner is being criticized for his lack of judgement.

    Couillard needs to take a lesson from this debacle: stop giving jobs to people prominent in the Charest era.

  • Kate 09:32 on 2016/09/28 Permalink | Reply  

    The schedule of the Festival du nouveau cinéma is out; Odile Tremblay in Le Devoir thinks it looks promising.

  • Kate 23:40 on 2016/09/27 Permalink | Reply  

    CTV says the city is preparing for massive urban growth and handwaves in the lede “Part of the idea is to convert former hospitals into living spaces and gaining” (sic on that unfinished sentence). Does CTV know something we don’t about the fates of the Hôtel-Dieu and the Vic?

    • Kevin 01:39 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      Strike ” gaining” replace with
      And making them the centres of new communities

      And it refers to the former Childrens becoming housing of some sort in Bergeron’s master plan

    • Kate 09:43 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      Thanks, Kevin. Only the Children’s, then?

    • Kevin 17:42 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      Gaetan Barrette has said he wants the Hotel Dieu to become a superclinic, but there is also discussion by the city of Montreal to put senior’s housing on that large lot as well, so we’ll see where the tug of war ends up.

      No idea about the Royal Vic.

    • LJ 18:49 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      My guess based on discussions I hear at various McGill meetings is that the Royal Vic will become part of McGill, but that it will take ten or more years to happen. At least that is what McGill wants to happen, and they are starting to plan and raise funds towards that eventuality.

    • Dave M 19:46 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      “a superclinic”? Is that sort of like.. a hospital?

    • Kevin 21:28 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      More like a souped-up doctor’s office, or what laypeople *think* a CLSC should actually be.

  • Kate 18:53 on 2016/09/27 Permalink | Reply  

    While merchants along St-Denis are celebrating the completion of roadwork before the deadline, one urbanist is warning that the city is already evoking those favourite verbs revitaliser and réaménager which may mean more work to come. I feel the authorities should back off awhile and see how life and business return to the street now that things are back to normal.

    In the short term, parking meters won’t be back on the street till the weekend or so, which may be a boost. TVA link, plays video.

    • rue david 19:59 on 2016/09/27 Permalink

      is that ‘tapis rouge’ thing still out there? semi-permanently it could be a neat addition.

    • Kate 20:23 on 2016/09/27 Permalink

      I think I saw something about them taking it down to use somewhere else. I’ll post if I can find that reference.

      Update: No, according to La Presse they’ll just take it down and recycle the materials: “La terrasse rouge aménagée durant les travaux sera démantelée et le bois qui la composait sera recyclé.”

      (Shoe drop: Can you recycle wood, exactly?)

    • dwgs 12:14 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      Re-using the wood is a more accurate description of what will likely become of the wood.

  • Kate 18:47 on 2016/09/27 Permalink | Reply  

    CTV talks to the son of hit-and-run victim Zelia Ponte Araujo. CBC talks to her daughter.

  • Kate 16:27 on 2016/09/27 Permalink  

    City council voted Tuesday to ban pitbulls, 37-23.

    City sub-site on pet laws.

  • Kate 13:53 on 2016/09/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec Superior Court has rejected another attempt by the taxi industry to restrain Uber legally.

    Wondering why CBC always refers to Uber as “the ride-hailing service” – surely the one thing you can’t do with Uber is hail one. TVA link plays video, as usual.

    • jeather 14:09 on 2016/09/27 Permalink

      I suppose that depends on whether hail is “call for a cab” or more specifically “call for a cab driving past you on the street”. But it’s less inaccurate than ride-sharing.

    • Blork 16:03 on 2016/09/27 Permalink

      You do hail the ride, but you do it through the app. I think they use this to be more precise that the commonly used “ride sharing,” which is NOT what Uber does yet people insist on using that term (because of the whole “sharing economy” schtick).

    • Viviane 17:39 on 2016/09/27 Permalink

      I’ve seen a few people use the term “ride calling service”. I’d go with “ride ordering service”.

    • CE 09:22 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      Couldn’t it be called a “dispatch app”?

  • Kate 12:36 on 2016/09/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Jocelyn Bourbonnais has lots of images and description of the plans for Viger Square.

    • Ephraim 13:25 on 2016/09/27 Permalink

      Very nice. The one thing I don’t like about the plan is the “central boulevard” sort of thing. The meandering walk with curves is more human and pedestrian… so you can have fresh views as you walk through.

    • thomas 14:24 on 2016/09/27 Permalink

      The park as it is now, is not a pleasant place to be during summer days. All the concrete acts to absorb the heat and there is little canopy. This plan does little to alleviate this. I find the overhead renderings misleading — I doubt the trees will get that large even if mature.

    • Bill Binns 15:18 on 2016/09/27 Permalink

      This does nothing to solve the issues that make the park unworkable now. It’s still full of hidy holes. Aside from Kate’s theory that the people from the CHUM are going to flood into the area and gentrify into respectability, there is no reason to think this slightly different park will be any better, safer or cleaner than the existing one.

      Most of the trees need to go. All of the structures need to go. The land needs to be flat as a board and graded down to sidewalk level to provide sight lines all the way through the park at all times. Benches need to be replaced with heavy iron chairs like they use in Paris (possibly bolted down). Most importantly, every inch of the place has to be lit up like a football stadium from dusk to dawn.

      Would also help if we could get some of Montreal’s finest out of their cars to walk through the park 50-60 times a day.

    • Kate 16:29 on 2016/09/27 Permalink

      Bill Binns, why bother with the chairs? You might as well turn it into a parking lot.

    • Alex L 20:04 on 2016/09/27 Permalink

      The renderings look nice, but I wonder how it will be in reality. For me as it is, the square is a no man’s land between lanes of highways and from what I read in this article (réduction optimale, mais fonctionnelle des voies est-ouest), it’s not about to change. That area really needs to be less car centric if we want it to work.

    • Kate 20:30 on 2016/09/27 Permalink

      Alex L, I had a scrap with someone on Facebook about exactly that. I maintain that without the right treatment, the square (which is really three very small squares in a row) turns into a couple of big traffic islands, but my interlocutor seemed convinced it could be returned to the state it was in a hundred years ago – ignoring how Viger is all but a service road to the highway now, and St-Denis, Berri and St-Hubert are all very busy streets too.

    • Alex L 21:23 on 2016/09/27 Permalink

      @Kate, exactly. It’s funny because on the renderings everyone is pedestrian, even the cyclist walks alongside his bike. And only two cars can be seen on Saint-Denis. Really?

      This place is (logically) meant for pedestrians. But pedestrians, bike-walkers, running children and the likes won’t magically pop there; sidestreets need to be adapted for them.

      Personally, I would close Saint-Denis/Bonsecours from Viger down to Saint Paul. Make it a linear park, that would make people coming from Old Montreal and the CHUM naturally flock to the square. Berri could be made much smaller, two lanes instead of the actual six. The Saint-Hubert stretch between Viger and Saint-Antoine could be raised to the level of the park.

      Viger and Saint-Antoine in my view shouldn’t be wider than 2 lanes: René-Lévesque (8 lanes!) is still only two blocks away. Convert one lane on each street into physically segregated bike lanes. Create public spaces in front of the national archives building and the old viger station. Enlarge sidewalks.

      But I know, I’m asking too much.

    • js 07:45 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      I like it the way it is – brutalist, dystopian, Ballardian.

    • CE 09:30 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      @Bill: do you have a pair of high tech glasses that turns every park in Montreal into something like this?

    • Bill Binns 09:41 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      @CE – You only need to spend 30 minutes in Westmount Park to make just about any park in Montreal look like your photo by comparison. Westmount will not tolerate people laying around drunk in their park, camping in their park or using their park as a toilet. The result is that people from all over the island walk past their neighborhood parks to take their kids to fussy old Westmount’s park because it is clean and safe.

    • dwgs 10:48 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      Oh Bill listen to yourself, do you believe that for even a moment? Maybe you went out of your way to bring your kids to Westmount Park but I’d be willing to bet that a)most of us never considered it and b) if the great unwashed started bringing their sprogs in great numbers Westmount Public Security would start demanding to see citizenship papers.

    • Bill Binns 14:25 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      @dwgs – Don’t take my word for it. Go have a look at Westmount park on a weekend day with nice weather. It will be packed with young kids. Now, continue down Sherbrooke for a few minutes and have a look at NDG park. Guys drinking from paper bags and off leash Pit Bulls?

      And yes, I’m sure Westmount would be thrilled to throw non-residents out of their park if they could figure out a way to do it. I believe they have done just that with their swimming pool.

    • dwgs 09:30 on 2016/09/29 Permalink

      Well Bill I actually live quite near NDG park and have two kids. I can tell you that the park is full of families on pretty much every weekend day. Yes, there is usually a small crowd of young people hanging around the little patio thing near the chalet through the late afternoon and early evening and yes, there is often a slight herbaceous smell and a few cans of beer around but they generally keep to themselves and are just kids being kids. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t up to the same thing at their age and I turned out all right.

  • Kate 12:05 on 2016/09/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Ontario provincial police have nabbed a man driving the stolen pickup truck involved in the fatal hit-and-run in the Plateau on the weekend. Whether this man was also at the wheel when the incident happened remains to be established.

  • Kate 11:26 on 2016/09/27 Permalink | Reply  

    More notes on the REM, specifically examining how it could or should be connected to the metro.

    Global tells about Monday’s news conference by a group of environmental activists, saying (as others are saying) that the project was simply handed down as is, and never subjected to discussion or criticism. La Presse has a roundup of the concerns aired at the BAPE hearing Monday. A terse but informative account on CJAD outlines other questions being asked.

    • rue david 14:28 on 2016/09/27 Permalink

      very thankful to read that they’ve been taking edouard montpetit seriously. the story is suggesting that the connection to the green line at mcgill will be by way of a long corridor to bonaventure station, which i’m not so hot on, but i guess is a reasonable compromise, given funding realities. many cities have long walks between lines and montreal is sort of spoiled by having only one terribly long transfer on the entire system (jean talon). that said, the system has only four connection points.

      the edouard montpetit station will be so deep that they’ll do high speed elevators in and out of the station. happy, this will reduce construction cost.

      overall, i think the public is really underestimating how much as 4 minute ride under the mountain will change the psycho-spatial reality of the city. edouard montpetit isn’t really a super accessible station near loads of things like, say, CDN station is. but it puts the blue line in play in a way that it can’t be now with the orange line connections and all the stops along the way. traffic onto the orange line at jean talon and snowdon will decrease (a good thing) as traffic on the blue line increases.

      the article also mentions the 1.2 km bois franc extension, but that should be a lower priority than extending east. and it should happen in conjunction with a wholesale rezoning around the station.

      finally, the commitment to build the peel basin station so it can be accessed from griffintown and (ex)goose village is a smart one. that whole victoria square/mcgill street multimedia city area is a significant and rising employment center. getting there right now from the blue line is long, and transferring at edouard montpetit to zip under the mountain will cut 25-30 minutes off the trip, a huge time savings.

      very pleasing to see that they’re taking all of this very serious. i was worried.

    • ant6n 20:05 on 2016/09/27 Permalink

      @Rue David
      Where did you see a mention of connecting McGill to Bonaventure? That would make zero sense, and that tunnel connection exists anyway. Even if the station was placed right under McGill College centered under the metro tunnel (like in the 2007 AMT study), the connection would be way long (120m just for the tunnel).

      As for Edouard-Montpetit, it was always planned as a station using high-speed elevators. Even when they built the Edouard-Montpetit station, which was located right above the tunnel.

      The Peel Bassin mostly follows from them not using the existing rail viaduct to reach Pointe-St-Charles — it would allow them to have two stations, one at ottawa and one at Bridge/Wellington, which would overall reach much more population than a station whose catchment area mostly consists of water, highways, and semi-indstrial/commercial areas.

    • rue david 02:48 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      the presse+ article had some language that seemed to indicate that the $400 million plan was the extra to build the station under the basin with entrances on both sides, the costs of doing a majority of passenger volume on elevators, and then a connection to mcgill station from central. i’m not sure it would be 120 meters, we don’t yet know the shell buildouts they did back in the day, but it would for sure be long. that said, the transfer at jean talon is probably about 120m.

      as for peel basin station’s positioning, i agree that it’s not a great positioning, but at least it’s not a terrible one.

      my point is that i was thinking that these wouldn’t actually get built, that this was potentially a giant suburban-focused idiocy, but with stations at tmr, udem, mcgill (maybe or sort of), bonaventure and sort of griffintown, it’s basically the lost metro red line. and it’s pleasing that the city has been pressing, and that the feds/province are considering, and that it could really happen.

      i know you have your critiques, but we all know this is a go no matter what we say and i’m just glad that it could actually really work out for montreal, you know, and not just the suburbs.

    • ant6n 09:13 on 2016/09/28 Permalink

      I mean the 120m is the distance from McGill station to McGill college, where the Mont-Royal tunnel is located. This is the minimum transfer for this station no matter what. Connecting to Gare Centrale would at least be 450m long — too long.

      In a way your relief plays well into their marketing strategy. They always knew that they had to build the city stations, but by creating doubt around them, they focus opposition from the city around the existence of the stations, rather than the highway-centric planning or the bad integration of the regional network; especially the St-Jerome and Mascouche lines.

      As long as these lines are not integrated, I think it doesn’t actually “work out” for Montreal. We’re leaving behind 240K people who live in Montreal North, within 2km of the Mascouche line — that’s more than the whole West Island.

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