Montreal Mayoralty Candidate With a Twist

It’s municipal election campaign time in Montreal. Along with countless radio interviews and television appearances featuring candidates from all parties, the city is awash with posters. Most streets are festooned with posters attached to posts, poles, and walls.

Not surprisingly these posters, with lovely full-colour photographs of candidates, are often vandalized. Sometimes it is harmless doodles such as eyeglasses or a mustache, sometimes a criticism or the candidate and unfortunately the occasional racist comment.

One candidate, Tyler Lemco, who is seeking the mayor’s chair – well, sort of – has solved the problem by posting signs and encouraging people to deface them. As reported in the Montreal Gazette: It’s his first election campaign, but not his first election-sign campaign. In the 2015 federal election, he put up several posters featuring his name, his face, a city of Montreal logo and his slogan: “Not running for anything, I just wanted a sign.”

I happened to pass one of his signs yesterday and although I did not succumb to the temptation I was amused by one comment in particular about not wanting to be told what to do. A great representation of how you can please some of the people some of the time …….

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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More Montreal Uber Reaction

Taxi

A few days ago I wrote a witty post about the Uber ride-sharing opting to leave Quebec unless certain regulations were dropped. It seems the government is going to stick to its guns and consider all those taxi drivers who paid a fortune for a license.

imageI have often heard the term entitled used to refer to millennials. I never really understood what was meant until today. In today’s Montreal Gazette there is a letter to the editor that makes it more evident to me. The writer, while not divulging their age, says that the government is more interested in protecting the ‘outdated’ taxi lobby than in welcoming a new entity that young folks like.

Could it be that the government is interested in protecting those citizens who drive taxis and have paid for that right over a group of scofflaws who want to jump the line? Could it be that the letter writer feels entitled to buck the system because he does not like it?

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Good Riddance to Uber

No_Uber

Yesterday the ride-sharing company Uber announced it will cease operations in Quebec next month unless the government lifts the 35-hour training requirement. For the last year, the company has been operating on a trial basis that expires in October. Obviously, it is no coincidence that the service will call it quits at that time.

When the company first arrived here there was significant backlash from taxi companies and drivers. Quebec is a highly regulated province: from government-controlled liquor sales to restrictions on residential rental units. It has been like this for as long as I can remember.

Taxi licenses here are very expensive. There is a finite number of them and, much like a house, they are sold for whatever the market says is the going price. Like teachers and other professionals, taxi drivers must pass a police background check as well as strict periodic inspections. Uber tried to bypass all this. They tried to jump the line.

Their ‘business model’ does not fit with Quebec‘s regulated taxi system. Having never used Uber I won’t miss them,

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Montreal’s Glorious Late Summer

 

Summer took its time arriving in Montreal this year but has evidently decided to make up for that by staying late. Again this week, the last of the official summer season, temperatures are expected to rise to the 28º Celsius point (82º Fahrenheit) with the humidity making it feel more like 35º (95ºF).

The light is particularly glorious early in the morning as these photos show. Also, after an absence of sometime the city is now inundated with thousands of Monarch butterflies.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Montreal’s Traffic – A Thorny Issue at Best

Bishop
The one lane Bishop Street from GOOGLE EARTH

With the city in the midst of a major multi-year project to redo a large highway exchange, it is an understatement to say traffic, which can be a thorny issue at the best of times, in Montreal is bad. It is horrendous with gusts to devastating. Some recent traffic induced situations have shone a light on human nature.

… it is an understatement to say traffic in Montreal is bad. It is horrendous with gusts to devastating.

Many streets in Montreal’s downtown sector are old and narrow. In many cases, these secondary streets are reduced to one lane of traffic when there is parking on both sides. Twice this summer I have witnessed how this can bring out the worst in drivers.

One day a month or so ago I was on MacKay Street watching a large tractor-trailer as the driver attempted to back it into a lane. This involved blocking the street, almost putting the cab of the rig on the opposite sidewalk and I suspect a few prayers that the whole thing would not jack-knife.

… until a cop strolled by and told him to get out of the way, go around the block. Even then the driver started to argue with the cop about having to make his delivery.

The driver of the truck was not having any luck after several shaky tries. In addition, traffic was backing up for some distance and starting to block an intersection.  However, people were being patient. Until a fire truck, sirens blaring lights flashing started down the street. Horns began to hoot as drivers wanted to get out of the way. I figured the driver would pull out, go around the block letting traffic flow, and try again. But no; just when it looked like he was going to do so this guy opted instead to give it another shot. With traffic building, sirens getting louder he tried to get that trailer into that lane until a cop strolled by and told him to get out of the way, go around the block. Even then the driver started to argue with the cop about having to make his delivery.

Who in their right mind would a) do recycling or garbage pick up at rush hour and, b) have only one person to drive and collect?

Yesterday was recycling day. On the next street over, Bishop, at 5:15 pm the contractor started to collect the recycling put out by the many restaurants, bars, and condos on the street. Yep, at rush hour. To make things worse, the truck had but one person to drive it and pick up the loads of cardboard and other recyclables. He would move up a few feet, get out of the truck, run from one side of the street to the other collecting, toss things into the truck, get back inside and move up a few more feet. All while a line of cars is growing behind him, down the street and causing a tie up on another street as drivers wait to turn. Who in their right mind would a) do recycling or garbage pick up at rush hour and, b) have only one person to drive and collect? It defies logic but probably puts a bit more cash in the contractor’s pocket.

But it wasn’t all bad. Last weekend I was driving west on a main street that intersects a highway exit. While waiting at the red light with my left turn indicator on several cars exiting the highway got stuck in the intersection blocking me from making my turn once the light changed. One fellow was so close to me that I could see he was going to do everything possible not to make eye contact, knowing he was in the wrong by “blocking the box”. But human nature being what it is he eventually looked at me no doubt expecting some rude gesture or comment. But all I did as our gaze met was shrug. A sort of “don’t worry we’ve all been there” shrug. He smiled and shrugged back and it was over.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

State-Of-The-Art Construction Elevator

Recently while out for a stroll taking in some of Montreal’s 375th Anniversary festivities we came across a state-of-the-art construction elevator. Much like those pneumatic tubes once used in department stores to send cash to a main cashier, and still used in hospitals, this device gets workers from street level to upper parts of the project.

The elevator is not yet in common use, but as part of a display it had been erected to demonstrate the efficiency of modern technology. Being curious, and always looking to spice things up, I volunteered to give the lift a whirl. In no time at all I was being sucked up the red tube on my way to the top level, then as the pressure was eased back down I gently came.

What will they think of next?

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Orange Traffic Cones Have Been True Pests For Centuries

As this image of Montreal indicates, orange traffic cones have been pests to one and all for many centuries!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+