Monthly Archives: August 2009

Last chance for fireworks tonight

Australian fireworks on July 4

Australian fireworks presentation on July 4

The annual fireworks festival has its closing ceremony tonight at 10 p.m., which will be your last chance to see these amazing shows until next summer.

As usual, the best (free) spot to view them is in the parking lot where René Lévesque and Notre Dame meet (Papineau metro). Be sure to bring a radio (105.7FM) to listen to the music that goes with the display.

You can see detailed reports and photos of the previous presentations at the fan site

La Presse minces its paper

It came with little fanfare (so little that even I missed it at first), but La Presse on Tuesday became the latest newspaper to cut its width by an inch in order to save on newsprint costs.

This previously-announced decision is part of that $26 million in budget cuts that also resulted in the cancellation of the Sunday edition.

Before: Aug. 10

Before: Aug. 10

After: Aug. 11

After: Aug. 11

It comes about six months after The Gazette also reduced its width by an inch in a bid to save money. Like The Gazette, La Presse has redesigned certain page elements to accommodate the smaller size (but isn’t altering the size of its body type).

Philippe Cantin explained the decision in a brief note to readers on Page A4:

From La Presse, Aug. 11, Page A4

From La Presse, Aug. 11, Page A4

Various other media reporting on La Presse’s change note that it’s now the same width (though obviously not the same height) as the Journal de Montréal.

More coverage:

Glencrest Ave. is a death trap

Residents of Glencrest Ave. in Côte Saint Luc are outraged at the impending death of all their children.

You might think Côte Saint Luc is a relatively safe, quiet place, being an urban peninsula that isn’t on the way to anywhere. And a where-is-that-again street like Glencrest would be a pretty quiet, low-traffic place in that quiet, low-traffic town.

But you naive baby-killing street-racing maniacs either don’t care about children or you don’t understand the nature of the problem here.

Glencrest is immersed in traffic. People can’t cross the street safely anymore. And yet while the city says it is looking into the issue, the death trap continues to threaten the lives of innocents and residents are prisoners in their own homes, too afraid to step outside.

The evidence is irrefutable: according to a count by a city engineer, Glencrest sees 150 cars … a day.

That’s one car passing through this five-block street every 9.6 minutes.

We must rise up and hold these heartless politicians to account until this street is once again safe for our children.

Are cyclists pedestrians or traffic? Turns out it’s both

A couple of weeks ago, Max Harrold, who writes the Squeaky Wheels column in The Gazette, put out a piece that paraphrased the SPVM saying that cyclists should respect pedestrian walk signals.

The column was later corrected, though it was after it caused some ruckus online from those who knew that the statement was wrong. The column the next week included a clarification to set the record straight.

So cyclists are vehicles and should respect traffic rules. Case closed, right?

Not quite.

In fact, if you actually look at the traffic signals along Montreal’s most-used cycling routes, you see that the truth is far from that simple.

To demonstrate, I’ll take parts of La Route Verte #1, the island’s main north-south cycling axis and one of its most frequented routes.

Gouin at Christophe-Colomb

Gouin at Christophe-Colomb

We start from the top, at Gouin Blvd. and Christophe-Colomb Ave. Here, looking east, we see that cyclists are to make a right turn to get onto the Christophe-Colomb bike path. But is the light above red (indicating traffic on Gouin can’t proceed into the intersection) or green (indicating that pedestrians can cross the street)?

If you argue that cyclists are traffic, then logically you must conclude that they have to make a right turn from the left side of the road, and violate signs on the other side of the intersection that say the only direction you can go is straight.

Christophe Colomb at Gouin

Christophe Colomb at Gouin

In the other direction, the same issue. The lights and signs indicate only a right turn is allowed, while the Route Verte turns left from here.

Verdict: Here, cyclists are expected to act like pedestrians.

Continue reading

Pete Marier replaces Rob Kemp on CHOM morning show

They’re billing it as “Something BAD is coming to CHOM”, and rumours are spreading about major changes at Montreal’s classic rock station.

The truth, however, is far less interesting. CHOM is simply shuffling their talent around.

The big news is that “Bad” Pete Marier and Rob Kemp will be switching slots on the schedule. Marier will join Kim Rossi and Ted Bird on the morning show, while Kemp will DJ in the afternoons.

The schedule tightens up the shows during weekdays, enough to add a new one: “Jo’s Garage” with Musique Plus VJ and CBC radio host Joanne Vrakas, in the late evenings.

The old schedule


  • Ted, Kim and Kemp in the Morning: 5:30 am to 10:00 am
  • Sharon Hyland Show: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • Pete Marier Show: 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm
  • Evenings with Bilal: 7:00 pm to 12:00 am
  • Overnight Rock w/ Brandon: 12:00 am to 5:30 am


  • Best of Ted, Kim & Kemp: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Tootall Weekend Show: 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
  • Randy Renaud Show: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
  • CHOM’s That 80’s Show: 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm
  • Randy Renaud Show: 11:00 pm to 12:00 am
  • Jimmy Spencer Show: 12:00 am to 6:00 am


  • CHOM Rocks Your Weekend Mornings: 6:00 am to 9:00 am
  • The Deep End with Nick Michaels: 9:00 am to 11:00 am
  • Electric Brunch with Tootall: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • Tootall Weekend Show: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
  • Randy Renaud Show: 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
  • CHOM’s Black Cat Alley Show: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
  • Little Steven’s Underground Garage: 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm
  • Off The Record: 11:00 pm to 12:00 am
  • Overnight Rock w/ Brandon: 12:00 am to 5:30 am

The new schedule


  • Ted, Kim and Bad Pete in the Morning: 5:30 am to 9:00 am
  • Sharon Hyland Show: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • The Electric Lunch Hour: 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
  • Rob Kemp Show: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Butt Show (Bilal): 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
  • Jo’s Garage with Joanne Vrakas: 8:00 pm to 12:00 am
  • Overnight Rock w/ Brandon: 12:00 am to 5:30 am

Saturdays and Sundays are unchanged. Tootall and Randy Renaud aren’t going anywhere.

This Week in Me: The New New Democratic Party

Democratic Party / Parti démocratique

Democratic Party / Parti démocratique

Page A2 of today’s Gazette was all me again this week (it’s going to be the case for the next few Mondays as well). Below the usual Monday Calendar is a Bluffer’s Guide to the NDP’s proposed name change (they want to remove the word “New” and become just the “Democratic Party of Canada”), wherein you learn that the previous name for the NDP was, in fact, the New Party.

The NDP is meeting in Halifax this weekend and will debate the name change there.