Fagstein’s 2009 suggestions

The fine folks at Hour asked me to provide some “suggestions” for The Man various powers-that-be for 2009, which would then be used as free holiday filler quoted in an article to come out on Christmas Day.

The piece, which puts me the bottom with the rif-raff and interest group leaders, includes pretty well verbatim what I sent them.

Specifically, that:

  • Gérald Tremblay and Benoît Labonté think for a few more seconds before their next project to blatantly pander to voters before next December’s election
  • STM provide real-time updates online about metro service disruptions
  • Montreal police and other emergency services post their breaking news about car accidents, fires and murders online so that curious Montrealers can check for themselves what’s going on instead of having to wait for one of the media outlets to take dictation from the PR guy
  • more Montrealers start up niche blogs about their communities and their areas of expertise
  • TQS and Global TV, who are third in the franco and anglo TV ratings for their local newscasts, realize that slashing budgets isn’t the only answer and start experimenting by covering the news in some unique way
  • 940 Hits die a slow, painful death for having replaced 940 News with crap
  • Montreal music radio stations stop desperately clinging to the lowest common denominator and take a chance by allowing their DJs some freedom in choosing what goes on the air
  • Montreal newspapers, radio and TV stations stop giving lip service to the Internet and put some real focus online – the Journal [de Montréal] could start by dealing with its union issues that are preventing it from launching a real website
  • local TV stations start creating local programming that goes beyond the evening newscast that gives us the weather, fatal car accidents and fluff every day
  • Montrealers stop complaining about the snow and take public transit if they’re so annoyed at having to shovel out and move their cars all the time
  • Amir Khadir brings hard work and new ideas to the National Assembly instead of spending his time as an MNA whining about how the government isn’t helping poor people enough
  • the next major public transit expansion project take fewer than 20 years to plan and execute.

Any you’d like to add?

9 thoughts on “Fagstein’s 2009 suggestions

  1. Jean Naimard

    Kick Tremblay out and let in someone (hint – hint) who really will put public transit on the forefront (but that doesn’t mean putting up 30392 streetcar lines!).

    Oh, and invent some contraption that could allow the little (snow-clearing) tanks* to break the ice on sidewalks.

    * When I was a kid, they used to look like tanks, so I still call them “tanks”.

  2. DAVE ID

    But how can Montrealers validate their existence if they are bitching about the poor snow removal?

    TPTB in MTL need to:

    * OUTDO Quebec city and make a multi-billiion dollar project to remodel the infrastructure, this city is held together with duct-tape.
    * Have a better police presence that actually acts on the whole Protect and Serve model instead of the Quota model or the beat the poor model.
    * Reshuffle the unions and blue-collars. Because seriously when you run your budget out for trash collection it’s not just because of gas prices.
    * This is vague but transform MTL in a city we can be greatly proud of. Old Quebec is extremely clean and maintained and having traveled a lot in historical cities in the US, they know the value of these sites, historical value and also it’s tourist value. KACHING. Time to cleanup.
    * And I maintain that we should put toll bridges all around the island or some other way to have the 450 give back for their abuse of our resources.

  3. Anonymous

    Mine are mostly transit related…
    This city needs Wi-fi in the metro!
    Also, the STM should either extend the hours on its complaints line, or install a $10 answering machine so we can bitch even if it’s after 4:30pm. Seriously – do they think problems only happen during business hours?
    It would be nice if they streamlined the STM Info-Line phone menu so we can get the info more quickly.
    The ability to get the next bus time via SMS would be great!
    A payment option in-between the nearly $70 monthly pass and packs of 6, to provide a better value for those who don’t take the metro every day or have less predictable schedules.

    For city stuff, I have one request: make the trash collection timing less stringent so people can put it out the night before (no can do in Outremont, apparently). And if, by chance, someone puts their trash out at the wrong time, how bout starting with a warning before slapping a $140 on them? (got burned by that one this year…and no, not a typo: $140!)

    I also wish Tremblay wasn’t such a friggin’ cronyist, but thought I’d keep my 2009 wishes within the realm of feasibility… ;-)

  4. Marc

    For transit:

    – Extend the blue line to Anjou
    – Extend the green line to the airport
    – Extend the yellow line through the south shore
    – Extend the western leg of the orange line through northern St. Laurent

    Think of how many diesel-spewing buses they could scrap. You could run smaller community circulator buses around the new stations. And these could be electric. Much better than King Tremblay’s stupid tramway plan or Labonté’s insane idea of another Expo. Contributing to financing this would be bridge tolls and a cut of the city’s over-over-over bloated bureaucracy.

  5. Kate M.

    – City should stop talking about composting and just do it.
    – I don’t know how, but more transparency. It’s appalling that a major chunk of the city’s wealth like the SHDM could be transferred to private control on the sly.
    – I want to see churches repurposed for something worthwhile. Maybe not in 2009, but soon.
    – Every time a major new building’s put up downtown we get more blocks lost to large segments of blank wall. Let’s have a zoning law against that. Now.
    – Free apartments, food and drink for bloggers, considering how much we enrich the urban scene.

  6. Jean Naimard

    Anonymous: that $140 you plunked-down for a fine would have paid for a nice cross-slice shredder. Good luck for the garbage detective to find out your address. Now this is **THE** reason to get a shredder!!! Bonus: get extra protection for identity thieves.

    Marc: The Métro is far too expensive to be extended to those low-density areas. In fact, outside of the downtown core, the Métro is quite useless and the job would have been done much better by rebuilding the old streetcar lines.

    Kate: Free appartment, yes, but only if you give me your souls.

  7. Neath

    I’m with Kate! It’s astonishing how productive
    thousands of people in the city would become if they only had free rent! Instead all that talent is wasted working boring jobs that have zero cultural value in order to raise rent money. It s an evil catch 22 if there ever was one.
    “Subsidized” housing is one of the most poorly conceived and applied concepts in cities. The money is there, as it actually is for many things, but the hogs at the trough won’t let anyone else in.

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