Interesting Day in the News

The video is completely unrelated to this article, just something I found recently that I’ve been enjoying quite a bit.

As to what’s happening this lovely spring day, well, quite a bit.

On the political front, Denis Coderre (who’s starting to remind me of those god awful reality shows that waste twenty minutes building the suspense and then cut to commercial without revealing anything with his ‘will he/won’t he’ pre-campaigning) has once again left us desperately wanting more with his announcement he’ll make an announcement on the 16th of May regarding his political future.

I’m on the edge of my seat, really.

The CAQ has sent Bill 14 to its second reading, though with a laundry list of generally sensible amendments the PQ won’t like. If an election were held today there’s a 97% chance the Québec Liberals under Philipe Couillard would win.

The foiled terrorism plot has taken yet another interesting turn in that the accused refuse counsel and at least one, the well-respected doctoral biotechnology researcher, has indicated he doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the criminal code of Canada because it’s not a holy book, but rather the fallible creation of mere mortals.

Where have I heard that argument before…

Is it possible this guy’s plain old insane? Is this an Islamofascist Kaczynski?

Back on track – there’s a movement afoot that proposes Meadowbrook Golf Club in Cote-St-Luc get turned into a rather large park (roughly twice the size of Parc Lafontaine). The West End could use a park of such size, the problem as I see it is that Meadowbrook finds itself somewhat wedged in between rail yards and industrial parks, chopped up by rail lines and positioned at the back end of Cote-St-Luc.

I’m always in favour of more parks, but this one’s a bit tricky. For one the proprietor, Groupe Pacific, would rather build, what else, a condo development, something the City already rejected part of the plan that spilled over the Cote-St-Luc border.

And while this particular area, from a bird’s eye perspective, sits in a desert of open, accessible green space, it’s completely inaccessible to Lachine. Incidentally, the City of Montreal rejected condo development on infrastructure grounds. Meadowbrook could be a great park, but it’s location is too severely detached from the people who live around it.

On the list of potential could-bes, a plan to revitalize the Marché St-Jacques as, well, a public market, something we could use far more of, but that’s a subject for another day. Apparently the Qataris have made a compelling case to move ICAO from Montreal to Doha, part of a broad plan by the kingdom to recast itself as a major centre of world affairs. Reaction from the Fed and PQ were surprisingly swift and unanimous, both are obviously committed to keeping things as they area.

And finally, though there’s still a lot of talk about possibly building tram lines in Montreal, still no action, just calls for more studies, themselves costing tens of millions of dollars. Today’s transit news started with open discussions about what could be and closed with a reminder billion-dollar projects such as these will take forever to complete and will require provincial and federal financing (and neither are terribly interested, the province having already stated no way until 2018, five years from now). Somehow, despite requiring more study, initial cost estimates are $1 billion.

Just for context, the first 20 stations of the original Métro system were completed in four and half years at an adjusted cost of $1.5 billion.

Installing a surface tram – no tunnels, no stations – is supposed to cost just as much?

Are these figures pre-Charbonneau or post-Charbonneau estimates?

That’s what I’d like to know.

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