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  • Kate 12:56 on 2017/01/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Antoine Robitaille, who’s been writing for Le Devoir for ages, has just moved to the Journal de Montréal. He writes his farewell column in Le Devoir Saturday.

    • Jack 18:13 on 2017/01/14 Permalink

      I wonder if new editor Brian Myles is cleaning house. The J de M stable is constructed ideologically much like Robitaille (Conservative, Populist, Nationalist). If Christian Rioux ( see his last particilularly loathsome piece) moves next, Le Devoir is in shift mode….where to?

    • Kate 01:50 on 2017/01/15 Permalink

      Jack, I take it you mean Rioux’s thing about diversity?

    • ProposMontréal 11:22 on 2017/01/15 Permalink

      As a subscriber of Le Devoir, I’m slightly sadden by the departure of Robitaille. Hopefully he will raise the Journal de Montréal journalistic integrity and not him lowering himself to the lower common denominator. So far, I like what Myles is doing with Le Devoir, if it’s one of his move, I hope it’s well calculated.

    • Jack 12:10 on 2017/01/15 Permalink

      Oh but this take down of Rioux is pure beauty
      The fact that Myles published this the day after in his newspaper, the fact he canned Payette, Robitaille leaves? Anyone in the business see something?

    • Raymond Lutz 09:55 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      De la même façon que l’on doive s’efforcer d’user d’une pluralité des sources pour s’informer (ma fréquentation de mtlweblog m’y aide), un journal ne doit-il pas se composer d’une pluralité de voix, pour contrer le biais journalistique?

      Les faits sociaux bruts et observables portent-ils tant à interprétation que l’on puisse (et doive) construire son équipe de rédaction pour diriger un journal “là où on le désire”?

  • Kate 12:52 on 2017/01/14 Permalink | Reply  

    The Globe’s Everett-Green has a meandering ponder on uniforms and how they change perceptions, specifically applied to police protest pants. Not sure I buy the parallel with the habits of nuns.

  • Kate 12:10 on 2017/01/14 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal de Montréal sits down for a name-dropping talk with Juan Rodriguez, the doyen of popular music critics here.

  • Kate 11:54 on 2017/01/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Road construction continues to plague motorists on the island of Montreal, and the city is preparing its first pothole repair campaign after several temperature fluctuations caused an outbreak.

  • Kate 11:20 on 2017/01/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Police have made an arrest in a fatal stabbing in Lachine in 2014. CBC doesn’t mention the victim’s name but it would be this incident.

  • Kate 00:45 on 2017/01/14 Permalink | Reply  

    A man was shot in Montreal North Friday evening and cops have no leads. He’s in critical condition.

    Update: Saturday morning, the victim has died. Daniel Renaud tells us who he was.

    CTV says this is the year’s second homicide murder, but on the map Kevin does, the only other killing this year is homeless man Jimmy Cloutier, shot down by police – does that count?

    • Chris 14:54 on 2017/01/14 Permalink

      Why wouldn’t it? OED says “homicide: The killing of one person by another”.

    • Kate 16:16 on 2017/01/14 Permalink

      I misquoted, when I looked back. What CTV actually wrote was “the second murder in the city.” They may be mistaken, but to me “murder” implies something about motivation beyond simply killing someone. Murder is personal.

      Don’t think I approve of the cops gunning down a man waving a knife, but presumably they didn’t do it from personal vendetta, but because they’ve been trained to think it’s the safest choice if someone is berserk.

    • Kevin 21:19 on 2017/01/14 Permalink

      It is only the second murder of the year if you follow bizarre police counting methods.
      The CTV article states that police call it the second murder of the year. If I was writing that article my next sentence would have included information that the police think the death of Mr. Arsenault, killed in Sept. 2016, was the first murder of 2017.

      Which is absolutely stupid, and journalists should say so.

      Police can’t count. And that is why I started making annual murder lists.

    • Kate 01:45 on 2017/01/15 Permalink

      Kevin, I noticed you placed the Arsenault killing on the 2016 map, as it should be. Thanks for the clarification.

  • Kate 16:34 on 2017/01/13 Permalink | Reply  

    The city intends to cut 40 firefighting positions, and their union is not happy.

  • Kate 13:29 on 2017/01/13 Permalink | Reply  

    We have socialized medicine here, but even with Gaëtan Barrette changing the rules on user fees, there seem to be some squashy bits whose justification I don’t understand. Maybe someone here has knowledge about this.

    1. Obvious first question: why was dentistry excluded from the beginning? Nobody can be truly healthy with bad teeth, and we know a lot more now about how bad teeth infect and inflame other parts of the body – but we still have to pay for it. (From what I understand, the UK’s NHS has offered basic dentistry. I don’t know whether it still does.)
    2. Eyes. Personal experience, you need to pay for an eye checkup – why? Once again, they’re part of your body, not optional, but they don’t come free in our system. (I believe the NHS offered basic eye care and very basic eyeglasses, so that wearing NHS frames was a social marker. We never had that here; I don’t know whether they still have it in the UK.)
    3. This week I wanted to make a dermatology appointment. Nothing serious – I’m a redhead, my skin is reactive and occasionally I have questions. The first clinic I called wanted $250 to sign me up. It was on a list of suggested clinics from a hospital, so I didn’t expect it to be primarily an aesthetic practice. But dermatology is not only a frill. Somebody could have melanoma and they should not have to pay $250 to find that out.

    Any thoughts?

    • Nick D 15:03 on 2017/01/13 Permalink

      I’m not sure about the history of this but I know people who might know (I’ll ask).

      I believe it is still possible to find an NHS Dentist in the UK. I left in 2004. By then the Tory reforms (to allow dentists to go private) had meant that most of the dentists who used to be NHS had gone private. Patients were invited to stay with them but were increasingly asked to pay for everything. You even had to pay to go to the public ones, but the fee was kept at a relatively low level. It was was getting hard to find any NHS (public) practices, but they did still exist. I am not sure what the situation is now, though, after 12 more years (6 of them under Conservative rule).

      Can I make a different comment: when I was listening to a CBC thing about healthcare in Canada earlier this week, I was struck by the fact that the discussion was all about Toronto. Now, my Canadian historian friends point out that in Canada there is not really a national (federal) system for healthcare at all: all there are are provincial healthcare systems. It seems strange that this doesn’t get into mainstream discussion here or abroad. Canadians are very proud of “Canadian healthcare” but “Canadian” healthcare doesn’t exist (they should only really talk about Ontario healthcare, BC healthcare, and Quebec healthcare, etc).

    • Lorie 15:10 on 2017/01/13 Permalink

      I can’t answer the first 2 questions, but in response to #3: there was a registry started by the Point Saint Charles Community Clinic to track illegal/abusive fees charged by clinics:

      The registry and report on 2015 fees is here:

      I think one can still make submissions to the registry. Sounds like that derm clinic is a candidate.

    • David Tighe 15:33 on 2017/01/13 Permalink

      Re dermatology you could try Clinique Agatha (514 903 2903) on St. Antoine. They didn’t charge me

    • Kate 17:32 on 2017/01/13 Permalink

      Lorie, Nick D: thanks for data.

      David Tighe: I got an appointment at the derm clinic at the Jewish – more than six weeks away, but it’s not an emergency. But thanks for the recommendation.

    • Chris 22:52 on 2017/01/13 Permalink

      Nick: the CBC is notoriously Toronto-centric.

    • mare 00:28 on 2017/01/14 Permalink

      Children get basic dentistry through the RAAMQ. After that they’re supposed to have perfect teeth and not need any dentistry.

      They only pay amalgam fillings, because there’s absolute no research that proves that mercury is bad for you.

      (Incidentally, there are a lot of people with full dentures in Quebec.)

    • jeather 13:03 on 2017/01/14 Permalink

      Kids after age 5 don’t need checkups either anymore.

  • Kate 11:53 on 2017/01/13 Permalink | Reply  

    The idea of putting up a downhill skiing trail for kids on Mount Royal has been held off by the city for analysis.

    • Andre 15:59 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      This would be a great idea to counter the effect of sedentary habits with fun! Let’s hope that this idea becomes a reality.

    • Kate 16:22 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      I think there’s enough room on Mount Royal to have a modest downhill trail for kids, but authorities are so held back now by possible insurance risk.

  • Kate 11:50 on 2017/01/13 Permalink | Reply  

    Bixi will be offering more payment options soon, including the STM Opus card.

    • Faiz Imam 05:18 on 2017/01/14 Permalink

      I think I mentioned this months ago, but this development really excites me for what it means for OPUS. The fact that Bixi can use NFC to scan OPUS(as could communauto in some cars) and link it to an online profile means that technologically speaking the same could be done with transit in general.

      As some people know, OPUS cards are very primitive and are limited in what info they can store, it’s a very out of date system in the context of modern fare paying.

      But while both the above systems use totally different technology than transit providers, they are able to link with OPUS cards and scan a unique serial number. This means that in the future they could revamp their system in the background and add many desirable features while keeping the same cards we are already used to(using a smartphone, paying fares online, having a digital purse rather than the virtual “tickets” we currently have).

      Given their track record it probably won’t happen for years. But at least those cards are not as much a dead end as they were feared to be.

    • Chris 14:56 on 2017/01/14 Permalink

      Yay, another way for the authorities to track our every move. :(

    • Faiz Imam 17:08 on 2017/01/14 Permalink

      Not nessessarlity. you can still obtain and provision a OPUS card with cash, and there is no need to add ID to it unless you get a reduced cost fare.

  • Kate 10:33 on 2017/01/13 Permalink | Reply  

    TVA has some notes on roads to avoid on the weekend, with a pretty impressive view of the Turcot from above. Similar from La Presse and the Gazette.

    It would be nice if, when noting these closures, media could also check and see if they affect any public transit routes.

    The city’s MTL Circulation Twitter feed has details on other traffic stuff.

  • Kate 10:31 on 2017/01/13 Permalink | Reply  

    Another stabbing overnight, this one in Old Montreal at bar-closing time. Raw video from TVA.

  • Kate 10:30 on 2017/01/13 Permalink | Reply  

    A large chunk of brick wall fell from a house in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and crashed onto the sidewalk. Luckily no one was passing there at 2:20 a.m. CBC blames the drop on strong wind, which they say also detached a window from a downtown office building.

    • dwgs 12:09 on 2017/01/13 Permalink

      Neither brickwork nor windows should be detached by any wind short of a hurricane or tornado. What they meant to say is that the buildings were ill maintained and the wind was the final straw that broke the camel’s back.

  • Kate 10:26 on 2017/01/13 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM is not considering putting sliding barriers on metro platforms.

  • Kate 01:19 on 2017/01/13 Permalink | Reply  

    Embattled Chantal Racette got a 66% confidence vote from her union after a rather contentious meeting Thursday afternoon.

    Friday morning, Radio-Canada says the union is still not happy and some are calling the confidence vote bogus. Racette is accused of putting tracking devices on the cars of two other union leaders but I haven’t seen much else about why she’s got the union so riled up.

    • Jack 07:55 on 2017/01/13 Permalink

      “Parmi les 6 500 membres du syndicat qui étaient appelés à voter, 914 se sont prononcés hier à l’Église St-Arsène, sur la rue Bélanger, à Montréal. D’entre eux, 601 ont donné leur appui à Mme Racette, 303 ont voté contre, et 10 personnes ont annulé leur vote.” Those numbers indicate the state of the union movement in Quebec, the membership faced with a President who has bugged opponents, just cost the $100,000 in fines…don’t care.

    • Jack 09:16 on 2017/01/13 Permalink

      Kate that’s a 9% confidence vote and I would gather its shop stewards, union delegates and reps. Each union has its own mini patronage system that rewards with conferences, meetings, liberation syndical etc. In all the collective agreements I’ve worked under its always at the front of the contract ie its super important. This critique doesn’t mean I am anti- union its just the way the movement has devolved. Its now viewed by most members as a corporate entity with its own perks and self interest.

    • Ephraim 09:42 on 2017/01/13 Permalink

      And of course, Jack, you forgot to mention the dues that the union members feel are exorbitant but have no choice but to pay. The only way to get at the union is to basically nitpick on things like their expenses and ask questions about how they are spent and why they needed them. Like long distance bills, when almost 100% of their business is in Quebec. Laptops, when they should be working at the office, etc.

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