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Found 8 results

  1. Montreal shopkeepers told to put brooms away Graeme Hamilton, National Post Published: Saturday, July 19, 2008 A labour arbitrator has ruled that sweeping sidewalks in Montreal is the exclusive domain of the city's blue-collar unionized employees. The arbitrator found a bylaw on keeping Montreal tidy violates the city's collective agreement.Dave Sidaway, Canwest News Service File PhotoA labour arbitrator has ruled that sweeping sidewalks in Montreal is the exclusive domain of the city's blue-collar unionized employees. The arbitrator found a bylaw on keeping Montreal tidy violates ... MONTREAL - A bylaw adopted last year obliging shopkeepers and apartment owners in downtown Montreal to sweep in front of their properties has spruced up the city. Fewer cigarette butts and fast-food wrappers litter the sidewalks, and garbage bags are no longer left out for days before the trucks pass. But acting on a complaint from the union representing Montreal's blue-collar employees, a labour arbitrator has ruled that the bylaw violates the city's collective agreement with its workers. Sidewalkcleaning is the exclusive domain of the blue-collars, arbitrator Andre Rousseau concluded, and the city has no business enlisting "volunteers" to do the work. The decision effectively means that city sidewalks and streets are a closed union shop, so anyone taking a broom in hand had better watch out. The blue-collars are notoriously jealous of their turf. In 2003, workers waged a campaign of intimidation against private contractors who had been hired by the city for such jobs as cutting grass and repairing sidewalks. Jean-Yves Hinse, Montreal's director of professional relations, said the city will appeal the ruling to Quebec Superior Court. "If it is interpreted broadly, not a minute goes by that we are not breaking the collective agreement," Mr. Hinse said. "Someone is picking up some paper, someone is sweeping his balcony." Mr. Hinse also worried that the ruling undermines efforts to foster a sense of civic responsibility in Montrealers. "We don't want Montreal to become a dump," he said. "Everyone has their responsibilities. We want citizens to have the responsibility of keeping their surroundings clean and safe. It's an appeal to their civic virtues." The cleanliness bylaw was introduced in 2007 after city officials despaired that Montreal was becoming overrun with garbage. Fines range from $125 to $2,000 for individuals, depending on the seriousness of the offence. Companies can be fined up to $4,000. Benoit Labonte, Mayor of the downtown borough of Ville-Marie, boasted last month that 2,700 tickets had been issued in the first year of the bylaw's application, with fines totalling more than $1-million. "I congratulate all citizens, because during the past year we have seen a clear improvement in the cleanliness of the borough," he said. But the bylaw had been in force less than a month when Michel Parent, president of the blue-collar union, filed a grievance complaining the city was assigning blue-collar work to "volunteers or non-profit groups," which is not permitted under the collective agreement. The city countered that it was simply imposing duties on property owners, who are not volunteers in the sense of the collective agreement. Mr. Rousseau concluded that sweeping the streets and sidewalks customarily falls under the blue-collars' jurisdiction. The bylaw, he said, "patently aims to give citizens responsibilities similar to those that are usually given to blue-collar employees." He ordered the city to ensure cleaning of sidewalks, roads and laneways was done by its employees. Mr. Parent said the city should hire more workers if it wants a tidy city. "If this is work that was done by blue-collar employees, it should continue to be done by blue-collar employees," he told Radio-Canada. "We are fighting to save those jobs." Peter Sergakis, an outspoken property owner who was initially critical of the bylaw, acknowledged that the city is now cleaner. "The blue-collar workers wouldn't bend to pick up a cigarette butt. They're spoiled," he said. "I don't have much faith that they're going to clean the sidewalk. I think we're going to go back to the dirt." The case is unlikely to help the union's image problem. Union members were suspected of vandalizing private contractors' equipment during a labour dispute and dumping pig manure in the apartment building of an elected city official. In the winter of 2006, as potholes cratered Montreal streets, an internal city investigation secretly followed three work crews. The 10 workers enjoyed marathon lunch breaks but only managed to fill nine potholes over three days. [email protected]
  2. http://gehlarchitects.com/blog/hurray-for-smart-montrealers/ HURRAY FOR SMART MONTREALERS! Over the last couple of months I have written about the different aspects of smart cities, the pros and cons, the dos and don’ts. The outcome of these musings suggests that we ought to discard the idea of a smart city for the sake of promoting smart communities, in which smartness is a tool for benefitting and improving the local social sustainability. However, within this approach lies a fundamental challenge: how do we actually make communities engage with and take responsibility for the shaping of the public realm, using tools and methods they have never known before? Enter Montreal. Montreal uses pilot projects to kick-start the regeneration of the urban spaces. A vacant parking lot on the outskirts of Downtown was turned into an urban beach thanks to the local organization l’ADUQ. Public Life in Montreal To understand the social life of Montrealers, one must first understand the basic history of the city’s public spaces. During the era of modernisation, more than 1/3 of the downtown core was demolished to make way for massive super-complexes embodying offices, car pars, underground malls and cafes. In the industrial suburbs, thousands of housing units were torn down to allow vehicular traffic an easy access into the city. These “renovations” were carried out in less than two decades, but they still managed to methodically get in the way of public life. Since then, the city has taken a completely different approach to urban planning, superseding even today’s hype for attractive, green and lively metropolises. “My colleagues and I, we based our entire careers around reconstructing the city from where it was left after the 1970’s and 1980’s demolitions (…) we want Montreal to be a network of public spaces.” – Wade Eide, Montreal Urban Planning Department, private interview July 15, 2014 Throughout the year, Montreal hosts hundreds of events that all contribute to a lively and active public life. Today, the effects of Wade Eide and his colleagues’ efforts are absolutely visible in the streets and squares of Montreal, which have indeed been transformed into a coherent experience of activities and life. The most remarkable part of this transformation is the effect that it has had in the mentality of the citizens (or maybe it was the other way around?): in Montreal, the city truly is for its people, and people care for and participate in public matters to a degree that I have rarely seen. I believe, because of this mentality, Montreal has a serious chance of actually fulfilling the vision of a smart city built for and by communities. The steps of Place des Arts serve as a public space, popular with everyone on a sunny day. The Montreal Model Montreal’s outstanding mentality for public participation has – luckily – also been recognized by the current smart Montreal’s front-runners, mayor Denis Coderre and Vice-President of the Smart and Digital Office, Harout Chitilian. In their campaigns for a smarter Montreal, they enthusiastically encourage the citizens to voice their opinions and share their ideas: “This ambitious project of making a smart and digital city will take advantage of new technologies, but above all it will draw on the collective intelligence to create a specific Montreal model. I count on you, Montrealers to give your opinions on the various forums that are available to you. I invite you to participate today. The floor is yours!” – (translated from French) Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal, 2014 Focus on citizens is visible in the public space. In this project residents of Montreal share their unique stories in a virtual exhibition. As part of the public participation process, the city has developed a web portal, “Faire MTL” (Make Montreal), where Montrealers are offered the chance to contribute to, comment on, collaborate with and follow 180 tangible projects that are to be implemented over the next couple of years. The ambitious plans also include the creation of physical spaces for innovation and co-creation, along with the use of public spaces as living laboratories for the growing smart communities. The fusion of a genuinely open and inclusive government and the natural participatory spirit of the Montrealers, makes Montreal a key player to follow in the game of defining how future (smart) cities could be shaped and function at the hands of the citizens. Every summer Sainte-Catherine Street (the city’s commercial high street) transforms into a pedestrian street, allowing citizens to walk, shop, eat and enjoy the city life. Find more about Montreal’s projects here. August 25, 2015 __ Camilla Siggaard Andersen sent via Tapatalk
  3. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Montreal+police+Chargers/7123905/story.html#ixzz24F9CEr36 I saw one a few weeks back. I thought it was the SQ until I caught up with it at a light.
  4. Walk this way Michelle Kay, Yahoo! Canada News - Fri May 28, 4:01 PM The top-five cities -- Vancouver, Victoria, Montreal, Toronto and Halifax -- have high population densities, which affect how people interact with space and urban planning, he said. The magazine gathered its information through a number of sources, including StatsCan and individual city statistics and then developed a 12-point questionnaire on topics such as the percentage of people who walk to work, park areas, vehicle use, etc. The information was presented to a panel of judges -- author, broadcaster and director of Jane's Walks, Jane Farrow, Guillermo Penalosa, consultant, planner and executive director of the non-profit 8 ? 80 Cities, and sustainability professional Amanda Mitchell. Up! discovered a city with a higher population density embraced a visitor-centric approach when it came to urban planning. The more walkable a city, the more livable it was for its citizens (and easier for tourists to navigate). It comes as no surprise that Vancouver came out on top (see below for the complete list). The city has a number of factors in its favour, from its population density (about 5,000 people per square kilometre), pleasant climate to expansive parkland. Nearly 40 per cent of downtown residents walk to work and it's easy to see why. Vancouver is packed with attractive streetscapes and a progressive street pattern with many maps that help pedestrians find their bearings, Gierasimczuk said. The city provides ample opportunities for its inhabitants and tourists to be active. "It's got this mystique. It has built a reputation as this walkable, active, car-free paradise," he said. A walkable place means a city respects its inhabitants enough to want to provide a manageable and livable space. "All these factors that make a city walkable means that a city celebrates its citizens," Gierasimczuk said. Walking is also one of the simplest, cheapest and healthiest ways to get around. Not only is walking a great way to shed the pounds, it doesn't cost anything to use our own two feet. More often than not, when you go for a walk you discover something new. You notice things you normally wouldn't see from the vantage point of a car or even a bicycle, since walking is an activity that forces you to slow down, breathe, look around and take things in. Now, who wants to go for a stroll? Canada's Most Walkable Cities 2010 1. Vancouver 2. Victoria 3. Montreal 4. Toronto 5. Halifax 6. Quebec City 7. Ottawa 8. Calgary 9. St. John's 10. Winnipeg http://ca.travel.yahoo.com/guides/Other/891/walk-this-way
  5. The dream I am speaking about is, Canada becoming a country with about 100 million people. There is an article from the Globe and Mail, saying how we could reach 100 million people by 2100. I honestly don't know how I would feel about having 100 million people. Economically it would probably help us, but who really knows. More and more foreigners moving here, but will not change their customs. Anyway, that is my two-cents on the matter.
  6. I came across this lovely video of a young YouTuber from France who visited Montreal for the first time, and how our city brought her a new perspective on life. At one point, recalling the experience of Montreal and Montrealers and what it did for her brings her to tears. A definite watch for us living here; it's a little long but take a moment and check it out. Too many of us take for granted how special a place this is. Skip to 2:35 if you want to get right to it. Interestingly, many of the video's comments are made by other French citizens saying they experienced the same feeling while visiting Montreal.
  7. Westmount needs you! With this mailing, we are appealing to your civic duty. We need your input on the most important project the City of Westmount has put forward in its long history: the rebuilding of the Westmount arena and pool. Council would like to proceed with this project, but only if a majority of taxpayers is behind it. It is your money, after all, that will help pay for it. I shall not pretend that the history of this rebuilding project so far has been a smooth one. Mind you, nor was the struggle to restore and expand the Westmount Library in the 1990s, but it was a project most citizens became very proud of. Your Council feels this same success can be repeated with the arena/pool project. But only if it is a rallying point and not a focus of division and rancour. There were two separate designs suggested for the arena/pool project by the previous Council during 2009. A great deal of work went into these proposals, but they received mixed reviews in a series of public meetings. The whole of Westmount, however, was never canvassed. The new Council, since its election in November 2009, has been working on ways to address the objections raised by citizens to the prior proposals. Objectors fell into two broad camps: people in the neighbourhood saw the new arena as a massive intrusion, a wall 30 feet high by 500 feet long from St Catherine Street to de Maisonneuve, jutting into Westmount Park; meanwhile, the pool itself ate up precious green space. For the rest of Westmount, concerns had more to do with the cost: do we really need to go from one-and-one-half to two rinks? Why can’t we just fix up the existing arena? Others felt we needed an indoor pool more than a replication of our current sports mix. The cost concerns were substantially mitigated by the crowning achievement of my predecessor Mayor Karin Marks: she managed, by dint of incredible perseverance - and the help of Jacques Chagnon, our local MNA - to get $20 million of infrastructure grants for the project. It is Canada’s and Quebec’s contribution that allows us to build a $37 million arena/pool complex that will cost Westmounters $17 million. In fact, the cost to taxpayers will probably be closer to $12 million, thanks to contributions from Westmount schools, foundations, and private donors. This cost translates into an additional $200 a year in taxes for the average single-family dwelling. What about the neighbours and the sheer bulk of the arena? Well, if we had to describe the essence of our city, we would surely be torn between invoking Westmount’s unique architectural heritage and Westmount’s prized greenspace. This Council wants a project that respects both. We want the park to win the battle between it and the arena. We do not wish to plunk a massive piece of architecture down in an established greenspace. So we have gone underground. Council’s plan is to bury the ice rinks, putting tennis courts and grass on top of them - creating the ultimate green roof. Skylights will bring in natural light. Only the entrance pavilion and Teen Centre will be above-ground. more pics and full desc. http://www.westmount.org/pdf_files/ArenaPool_Proposal.pdf
  8. Can anyone think of any other great terms like this? BANANA: Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything (or Anyone) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BANANA CAVE People: Citizens Against Virtually Everything http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAVE_People Drawbridge mentality http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drawbridge_mentality Neo-Luddites http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Luddism NAMBI: Not Against My Business or Industry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NIMBY#NAMBI'>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NIMBY#NAMBI NIABY: Not in Anyone's Backyard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NIMBY#NIABY'>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NIMBY#NIABY NIMBY: Not In My Back Yard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NIMBY YIMBY: Yes In My Back Yard (or in rare occasions WHY In My Backyard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YIMBY
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