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After a concrete slab fell off a Peel St. building and killed a woman last July, Mayor Gerald Tremblay said the city would toughen the inspections of high-rise facades.

 

The first anniversary of that tragic event passed last week, yet, city hall won't start studying building norms until this winter. When actual building-code changes will come into effect is anyone's guess.

 

What's striking about this delay is not only that it reflects insouciance toward a matter of public safety but that is so typical of the way things are done in this city.

 

Slowly. We have a culture of lateness.

 

I've recently written about delays affecting a slew of transportation projects. These include the trams, the shuttle train to the airport, the remake of the Turcot Interchange, the extension of metro, the modernization of Notre Dame St., the redesign of the Bonaventure expressway, the commuter train from Brossard, and the contract for new metro cars.

 

But Montreal's culture of lateness extends far beyond the field of transport. It infects all levels of government, not just city hall. (Indeed, the Tremblay administration might be able to move faster on stopping buildings from disintegrating on people's heads if the province's Régie du batiment could last finish its report on the Peel St. accident.)

 

Dilly-dallying has become a way of life. Here's a list of items that have been in the news in recent weeks. You can probably think of others.

 

1. The "2-22" highrise at the corner of Ste. Catherine St. and St. Laurent Blvd. is supposed to be the proud showpiece building of Quartier des spectacles. Construction began on May 3 but came to a stop two weeks later and has yet to resume. The reason: City hall had failed to finish all the paperwork for a federal subsidy. Resolution is in sight, and the Quartier is already years behind schedule.

 

2. Quebec's Education Department, responding to years of complaints about its fuzzy system of grading students, announced in June a more conventional report card for fall term. This month, however, the English school boards and Montreal's largest French board said they won't have time adjust to the reform until the new year. It's hard to tell which is the worst ditherer - the ministry for delaying its announcement or the boards for foot-dragging.

 

3. Instead of ordering a public inquiry into corruption in the construction industry, the Quebec government last October formed Operation Marteau (Hammer) to probe the industry. This team of more than 60 police officers and prosecutors has yet to nail anyone of much consequence.

 

4. The Olympic Installations Board in 2005 called for tenders for the construction of a permanentroof fortheBigO. But the board later decided on new financing rules, so we're still at Square One: This summer the board is calling for bids all over again.

 

5. The Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal's plan to curt sprawl is 41/2 years overdue and counting.

 

6. The CHUM and the MUHC hospitals were to ... I hear your exasperated sigh. Let's skip the rehash.

 

7. The coroner's inquiry into the death of Fredy Villanueva began (falteringly) a full nine months after police shot the young man in August 2008. Some of the subsequent delays, such as the one caused by the coroner's health, have been unavoidable, but others are unnecessary. City lawyers, for example, are spending many days trying to paint Villanueva's companions as associates of street gangs, but this has little to do with the real subject of the inquiry, which is how Villanueva died. At this rate, the inquiry expects cross-examinations to wind up only in December.

 

Why is Montreal seeing such a broad pattern of taking it easy?

 

Note that each example involves officialdom. The public service is well paid regardless of its results.

 

This public-sector behaviour also reflects the Quebec workforce in general. Its productivity per hour worked is the lowest in Canada.

 

Montreal has little sense of direction today. If it's not going anywhere, some people might ask, why hurry?

 

(Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette)

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How about commenting on the article, which is relevant. This city moves too slowly. We need more articles and mainstream commenting about this problem !

 

Sometimes it is bad, very very bad (Turcot)

 

Sometimes it doesn't seem so bad (Bonaventure)

 

And may even save us from making an expensive mistake (Notre-Dame St. foney phreeway)

 

Or is just a dumb and useless hole in which to put money (tramway)...

 

But the taxpayer dollar counter is turning and turning quick, and the infrastructure is not working for its users and costing us millions in productivity and waste energy (notably Notre-Dame St.)...

 

PS on a off-topic tangent am I the only one that finds it weird the reference to "St. Laurent Blvd"? I've even had "outsider Anglo" going to university here correct me on my "old-stock" street names...

Edited by Cyrus
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On peut peut-être parfois regarder ce qui se fait de bien. Je suis d'accord avec le fait que les journalistes sont aussi des chiens de garde dans nos sociétés mais il serait également importants que certains d'entre eux notent ce qui se fait de bien.

 

Le projet de la rue Sainte-Catherine avance bien.

Le projet de la salle de l'OSM avance bien.

La Place de l'Adresse Symphonique est terminée -ainsi que celle du QDS à l'autre extrémité qui est déjà utilisé depuis un an.

Le chantier de la Maison du Développement Durable avance bien.

Le chantier de la SAT avance bien également.

Le projet de la reconstruction de la Place d'Armes après quelques semaines d'hésitation est un chantier très fébrile. Allez voir : c'est assez impressionnant de voir l'activité sur ce chantier -en plein milieu des vacances de la construction.

D'autre part, on y a détérré des rails de tramways -comme ce fût le cas au Square Victoria il y a de cela quelques années lors de la construction du QIMTL.

 

Sommes-nous capables de voir le verre à moitié plein ?

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The "2-22" highrise at the corner of Ste. Catherine St. and St. Laurent Blvd

 

:(:(:( je suis sans mot. Mais qu'est-ce qui se passe dans la tête des gens de cette ville ?

 

On est encore un peuple de colonisés, de fermiers et de bucherons. On a encore une mentalité de 1800 alors que les grattes-ciels avaient 5 étages.

 

Le 2-22 est plus petit que bien des espèces d'arbres. Cela veut dire qu'un arbre peut-être un gratte-ciel !?

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Remember kids,

6 storeys is a highrise

8 storeys is a skyscraper

10 storeys is a supertall

 

Wow! On va battre tous les records mondiaux avec l'Altitude (33)!!!!!!!!!!!:goodvibes:

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À mon avis, les journalistes ne connaissent même pas le nombre d'étage du 2-22. On dit "tour" ou "highrise" par habitude, en citant les groupes d'opposition ou en ne faisant pas la distinction avec (l'ancien?) projet du Quadrilatère. Ils ne connaissent rien à l'architecture ou l'urbanisme et ne peuvent pas juger de ce qui est vraiment "haut" ou pas. En tout cas c'est ma théorie.

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