It’s time to cut the nonsense.
And it’s time for some real honesty from the increasingly imperialistic and disconnected Montreal City Hall.
You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig. The mess from Montreal’s Formula E experience cannot be gussied up by trying to ignore the real problems it created.
From the beginning, this was an operation that came directly from the office of the mayor. You can speculate all you want on why it happened: ego and dreams of reelection in November are probably the two best reasons.
Don’t buy that phony excuse about promoting the electrification of the city – watching electric cars go around downtown for two days is not going to make people line up to buy a Prius.
We need answers.
Why was it so easy for someone to decide to takeover public space for private purposes?
What is the final cost to taxpayers? The $24 million the city cited seems to be a modest estimate. The final bill will be much higher.
Why did someone decide to pay supermodel Kate Upton to come to Montreal to promote the race? That cost at least $150,000 in American dollars. The mayor managed to get some publicity shots. I’m not sure what she brought to the races besides the obvious, but one way or the other you paid for it.
We need answers on how many tickets were actually sold. How many tickets did the City of Montreal buy and then give away?
We need answers on how much money local merchants lost when the whole eastern part of downtown was blocked off.
How did this all affect people who were literally trapped in their neighbourhoods and kept awake at night by all the construction noise? Will future races affect property values?
If the mayor really thinks local residents should have to make sacrifices for his race, he’s out of touch with what matters.
At the end of the day, there is only one payer. Think of that next time you get your City of Montreal property tax bill. Or the next time you try to drive your car down streets that look like they have been hit by cluster bombs or next time you walk through a city park that hasn’t been mowed in weeks.
Think E-race. E is for expensive. E is for ego.
Montreal is a great city to live in, but the spending has gone out of control. The money that should be going to fix problems that matter to people is being spent on circuses.
We don’t need million-dollar stumps on the mountain, or a new $50 million over-budget walkway which is pretty much the same as the old walkway.
We don’t need 40 million reasons to light up a bridge.
We don’t need even more traffic chaos caused by a car race with little interest and we sure as hell don’t need the mayor's next big event, the Montreal Rodeo, to honour our city’s long and historic tradition of cow roping and steer riding.
I used to think Coderre was a shoe-in for another term. He's a populist and, to his credit, he does work hard.
He obviously loves this city but now I'm not so sure about his future electoral fortunes.
He likes to spend and if the mayor really thinks local residents should have to make sacrifices for his race, he doesn’t get the difference between what he wants and what residents need.
Anglo community shows signs of life
There was some good news this week from the census folks – our community is showing some signs of life.
In fact, the number of Quebecers speaking English at home has increased over the last few years.
Despite harsh anti-English language laws, an official disregard for our public school system and institutionalized job discrimination, our community is not yet down for the count. The parrot is not dead.
Another study this week found Anglo Quebecers drink more than Francophones.
Living in Quebec sometimes, it’s not hard to figure out why, but at least this we can celebrate some very good news.
We are here and here to stay.