Aziz Ansari at the Montreal Comedy Works

Aziz Ansari - not the work of the author
Aziz Ansari – not the work of the author

So I’m on the train heading back home last night scrolling through my Twitter feed. Halfway back to the forgotten Pierrefonds section of the city I see that Aziz Ansari had added a second show for 10pm last night.

Fuck me, I thought, how did I miss that there was a first one?

As I sat there feeling like a jerk I was bothered by the fact that, as of next week, this wouldn’t have been a problem. Pierrefonds is technically but a 25 minute train ride from Gare Centrale, but for all practical purposes is far further away, especially if you depend on public transit to get around. Suffice it to say I felt there’d be no chance of seeing this show; I’d have to turn around immediately once I got to Pierrefonds and had no way of securing the tickets outside of physically going to the Montreal Comedy Works on Bishop, a place I realized I hadn’t been to in about a decade.

Next week things will be different (moving downtown), but I couldn’t just leave it alone. A determination starting brewing inside me – I had to see this show. I was still kicking my ass for missing Charles Bradley at the Virgin Corona a little while back.

A friend texts me and asks what I had planned for the evening. Perfect. We make plans to see the show; I’d get home, eat something quick and turn right back around. Timing is key and fortune favours the bold. We get there with time to spare, seats with our names on them.

Outside the club waiting to go in we come across local comedian Rodney Ramsey (who’s been involved with the hilarious Language Police series) who informed me as to the thinking behind the Ansari show being a kind of crowd-sourcing initiative – a Twitter blast that got about 100 eager fans out to see Ansari try out some new material. Brilliant idea really – friendly crowd with a room small enough you’re guaranteed an appreciative audience. Catch Rodney’s act whenever you can, man’s got some excellent material and fascinating insights. We talked a lot about the Montreal English-language comedy scene, one which is very small yet manages to quite successfully punch well above its weight. It’s an odd situation – the city with the world’s largest bilingual comedy festival has comparatively few dedicated comedy clubs (I can only think of two, the other being the Comedy Nest at the Forum, which if memory serves once was both comedy and jazz club, the latter not working out any better than any of the other cockamamy ‘entertainment services’ once provided by the Pepsi Forum Entertainment Complex™). Apparently open mic nights and travelling comedy shows playing at diverse venues is a little more common. I’m looking forward to getting back into the scene – I’m rarely disappointed by live comedy, especially when it’s godawful – those make for some good anecdotes you can later use to amuse your friends. Rodney made a good point about Sugar Sammy, the current darling of the Montreal comedy scene, in that Sammy quite literally created a market no one thought could be created. Bilingual comedy? T’es fou toé? I wish them both much success; bilingual comedy may not work in every market but may work quite well in Canada as a whole. It’s unique and takes observational, improvisational and absurdist humour to new heights – knowing many languages is a huge asset across the board, and the kind of thing a country as well-educated as ours may appreciate.

In any event, on to the show.

I started watching Ansari’s stand-up after being introduced to him in Parks and Recreation, an excellent anti-sitcom in the style of the American version of The Office which has brought the comedy talents of Amy Poehler, Audry Plaza, Ansari, Chris Pratt, Nick Offerman, Retta and Rashida Jones to a broad audience. Ansari’s character, the vain and materialistic yet smooth-despite-himself Tom Haverford, is one of my favourites because the character is executed so perfectly, with precise consistency. He’s outlandish and the interaction with Jean-Ralphio (Ben Schwartz) has made for some of the most gut-bustingly hilarious TV I’ve seen in a while. As ridiculous the character is, he’s fundamentally sweet and generally well-intentioned, and I’m sure I’ve met someone like him before.

Ansari’s set was well-balanced, ramping up and ramping back down with a middle section of sustained laughter. He also completed a number of conversational ‘loops’ throughout the set, though more predominantly towards the end, bringing his new material full circle. He began more or less the way he finished, closing a multi-faceted set on the perils and objective hilarity of dating and human relations. It was fresh enough, original enough so as not to be clichéd in and of itself, though I’ll grant that the subject is well worn in my personal opinion.

Who cares though; being single nearly always results in some kind of hilarity. There was more than one time during the show I felt he was talking to me, of my experiences. I’m sure there were a lot of people feeling the same way. And that points to one of Ansari’s primary strengths – he’s really personable.

This point made itself apparent when he began interacting with the audience, including one point in which, in discussing how relationships get going, he read an audience member’s text messages to his girlfriend of but a few weeks. The sophistication, humour and all-around loveliness of the man’s texts delighted Ansari who quite clearly appreciated the sincerity of the messages inasmuch as having the flow of his bit interrupted. He made reference to finding flat-out stupid texts coming from audience participants in other cities.

Maybe it’s a Montreal thing. A variation on this theme later on had Ansari asking a couple how long they had been together and how they met. A similarly unexpected lovely result ensued, but Ansari’s genuine enjoyment transformed part of the bit to having him orchestrate a kind of mass appreciation of successful dating and finding love. It was really quite sweet, and funny as all hell.

In any event, given he’s testing out new material I suppose I won’t comment any further as to the content of the set, but will close by saying this: good job, it was really great and made for an excellent evening. Thanks Aziz!

And also – hat’s off to Comedy Works for pulling this off so expertly, and keep it up. I could definitely use more of this ‘drive-by’ comedy. Short notice, crowd-sourced, small venue – good recipe for success.

Waiting for Superman…

Michael Applebaum, emerging from his ten-hour detention at the Sureté-de-Québec HQ on Fullum. Photo credit to Journal de Montréal.
Michael Applebaum, emerging from his ten-hour detention at the Sureté-de-Québec HQ on Fullum. Photo credit to Journal de Montréal.

If I didn’t know better, I would swear there’s a vast conspiracy on the part of all politicians to become so utterly vile, contemptible, and repugnant to the body politic our society actually turns away from representative democracy altogether, and that such would be desirable for a small group of self-interested elites, be they corporate, fascistic, monarchical or any combination therein. I know it’s a cliched premise – we’ve seen it so many times played out in film it seems impossible, fantastical. And yet, the unbelievable fraud and corruption which has so thoroughly devastated public confidence in Canadian politicians and political parties is severe enough I wonder if it actually is so impossible. It seems these days a lot of our elected officials consider themselves above the law, above accountability and in thorough contempt of the people they’re supposed to represent and the important responsibilities they’ve been given.

I think we’ve had it; polling of late has indicated, somewhat strongly, that Harper and Marois’ days are numbered.

But that’s still a ways off, and until then we’re going to have to slog through a lot of political mud – it’s in our best interest to resist the temptation to be cynical and continue to work towards a return to peace, social responsibility and good government. Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City, Laval, Ottawa – so many poles of attraction for the corruption that grips and extorts our nation, our people. Ottawa is a mess; the Senate is filled with crooks. Harper’s rigid and inconsiderate PR apparatus masquerading as a legitimate government has grown tiresome – the whole party has become a bad joke that has nothing to show for seven years in reluctant power. The Charbonneau Commission continues to reveal the depth and magnitude of corruption in all levels of Quebec’s politics, with the SQ’s on-going Operation Hammer ultimately leading to Montreal’s ‘year of the four mayors’. Laval’s under trusteeship, with new information about Gilles Vaillancourt indicating he and his brother were at the heart of the some really slimy real-estate deals, where they effectively re-zoned land and hiked property taxes to force a farmer to sell his property for far below market value. Applebaum, still proclaiming his innocence mind you, resigned to fight his court case, with former Tory MP and intrepid lawyer Marcel Danis to represent him, and North America’s sixth largest city is once again without a mayor. For a while over the last few months Ontario and Quebec competed for the top-source of political chicanery, corruption charges and mayors-behaving-badly on our nation’s nightly news; our international brand has been taking a sustained beating while we air our dirty laundry, and should be cause for concern. Especially in Quebec. Especially in Toronto. For all we know that video of Rob Ford smoking crack may yet surface (Anonymous thinks they’re closing in on it), or maybe we’ll discover high ranking members of the PQ are themselves involved in real-estate fraud or union influence. Who knows – 2013 is the year of the Canadian political free-for-all; where the rules are ignored and the points don’t matter.


This weekend countless Montrealers (and doubtless tens of millions of other North Americans), will go out to the theatre to see the new Superman flick. I’m not sure which reinvention of the franchise we’re presently dealing with, but apparently our psychotic desire to see cities completely destroyed on film is fairly key to the third act as much of Metropolis is destroyed. Someone has calculated what the damage would come out to had the events depicted in the film happened in real life, and the sum is something like $2 trillion.

As an aside, aren’t you glad we live in a day and age in which we can determine the cost of damage caused to an urban environment by acts of terrorism (or their fictional equivalent, superhero duel), so as to be able to offer such a prompt response to such an odd yet telling question?

But unlike the brave denizens of Metropolis, neither Montreal, nor Quebec nor Canada has a superman en route to protect the innocent and defend the just against the rising tide of criminal activity, dishonesty and deception in this city’s halls of power. We don’t just live in a city where the lines between cops and politicians and criminals has blurred almost completely, the province and nation are infested with corruption as well. The problem of corruption is so widespread the people are more likely to give up entirely than try and fix anything. We’re having a hard enough time just understanding all the players and all the lurid details of so many dirty deals, it’s hard to figure out how we’re going to collectively fix this mess, especially since we’re losing faith in all politicians, nearly altogether and simultaneously. Day in and day out we get a clearer and clearer picture of how deep it goes and how bad it gets, and our cynicism rises; reformist politicians are considered suspect, and could very well be in danger – who knows what this criminality might lead to?

On a personal aside, I think part of the problem started more than ten years ago, when in the aftermath of 9/11 Western society casually decided to ignore the true meaning of certain words, and permitted all soldiers to be called heroes, all police officers to be deemed worthy of your undivided respect and admiration, and every politician to crown themselves as leaders, or worse still, visionaries.

What false idols have we created?

The people fell asleep at the switch of democracy, and a sorry bunch of cretins have infected participatory democracy from coast to coast to coast, making it nearly entirely useless. Legislative and executive bodies the nation-over are no longer the driving apparatus of government; it’s the committed yet thoroughly abused civil service that gets the job done (albeit to the best of their restricted abilities – if the people don’t trust government then they vote for the people who say they intend to cut taxes and eliminate services, which in turn has a profoundly negative impact on the quality of subsequent services. In this country, as in the United States, the candidates who vow to cut taxes (particularly for the wealthy) and/or reform government and/or vow to cut government waste, often win relative to the degree of distrust they place in government during their campaign. Imagine that – you could easily win an election by campaigning on a platform of making government (and yourself) less responsible to the people who are electing you. Countless Conservatives and Republicans have already done so.

And in doing so, by lowering our standards, by accepting something second-rate to manage the affairs of the nation, on the macro and micro level, we lose out. Government, nearly across the board in this country, is callously irresponsible and derisive towards the politically motivated citizens critical of their comportment. Those who give a damn are labelled extremists, those who point out what’s wrong are called traitors.

These are bad times for democracy, and so we wait for superheroes to come and make things right, often through an epically violent confrontation.

Cleansing destruction; the people seem to subconsciously desire the escapist fantasy of becoming the uber-mensch to wipe the slate of human corruption clean.


I was hopeful my instincts were off about Applebaum, but now we know he’s as crooked as a dog’s hind leg, just like so many other high-profile Canadian politicians. I suppose there was more than enough documentary evidence to suggest something was amiss at CDN-NDG borough hall (if I’m not mistaken Kristian Gravenor has been keeping a close eye on oddball real estate deals Applebaum may have played a role in), but hey, I was hopeful we had a way out of our ongoing political crisis. I wanted to believe Applebaum was going to run a tight ship and steer us out of this fraud shit storm we’ve become entangled in. I was wrong.

Fourteen counts of fraud, conspiracy, breach of trust etc., this is the tally of criminal charges against Michael Applebaum and two associates, one of whom (Saulie Zajdel) was Harper’s pick for Irwin Cotler’s Liberal stronghold in Mount-Royal riding in the deceit-fest that was the 2011 federal election. Zajdel was the guy responsible for those robocalls that suggested Cotler was actually about the resign.

He’s a piece of work, suffice it to say, and has been long involved in local politics and suspect real estate deals.

Perhaps we deserve this mess. Considering less than 40% of Montrealers actually participated in the election which brought in the unmitigated political clusterfuck that is the Tremblay-Applebaum administration, and that Gerald Tremblay was elected by only 159,000 in a city of nearly 1.8 million people, perhaps we should take a hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we can really afford not to get involved in (at very least) casting a single vote once every four years.

We need a government that will institute Australian-styled mandatory voting at the municipal level; at least that way a new minimum standard of political involvement can be established.

What happened to our city is fairly straightforward. We elect mayors on reformist platforms, and we have high expectations for them in the beginning, and then they gradually let us down. This is the shadow cast by Jean Drapeau, a man who ruled over us for nearly 30 years. Everyone who has followed in his footsteps has been progressively less visionary, less organized, less involved in the administration and design of our city. Drapeau was a visionary (albeit a narrow-minded and dictatorial one), who ended his term in office with very low overall approval. As has every mayor since. Doré turned on the civic-mindedness electoral base that brought him to power, became embroiled in the Overdale Scandal, lost key supporters and spent money foolishly (i.e. a $300,000 window). Bourque went down because of how he poorly managed the fundamentally good idea of ‘One Island, One City’ (a position Drapeau won on in 1960), and well, Tremblay and Applebaum were both knocked out of office for their apparent involvement in the thoroughly corrupt Quebec construction industry and Montreal real-estate development market.

And so, by next week Montreal City Council will approve a new interim mayor. And then on November 3rd we’ll go to polls (who am I kidding, most of us will stay home, get stoned and listen to YYZ at half tempo…) and elect one of several ‘vedettes’ candidates we’ll likely judge with all the sincerity and seriousness of a televised serial singing or dancing competition.

2013 – Year of Star Search, Montreal Mayor edition.

We have all the stereotypes lined up: attractive young lawyer, fatso baby boomer, grumpy old man, unpopular old woman, nerd – shit we should sell tickets!

Because we clearly aren’t taking things seriously in this city.

A simple question for you to consider as I close: of the named candidates, can you tell me what sets them apart, what their over-riding vision for the city is?

Can they save us from ourselves?

Consider our Water System

Ralph Steiner – H2O (1929)

You won’t look at water the same way again (don’t watch if you need to pee); on that note, everyone’s favourite evil multi-national corporation, British Petroleum (BP) has been given the green-light to dump large quantities of mercury directly into Lake Michigan, about 20 times over federal limits for the Great Lakes.

Now here’s where things get interesting (to me at least).

The Great Lakes empty into the Atlantic Ocean principally via the Saint Lawrence River.

To say we get our drinking water from the Saint Lawrence is to say the very least; it further sustains the massive agricultural plain that Montreal happens to find itself in the middle of. In layman terms, it’s fucking important we don’t contaminate it anymore than it currently is.

I’d like to know the state of our water treatment plants. The recent city-wide boil water advisory lasted about a day and affected 1.3 of 1.8 million residents was caused by routine maintenance. Sediment was stirred up from the bottom of the Atwater Treatment Plant when water levels unexpectedly dropped by a considerable degree. It took officials a day to figure out what happened, though in the end it was realized that there was no danger of contamination.

That was a month ago – I still have too much bottled water.

Generally speaking we don’t have much in the way of water problems – occasional boil water advisories and seasonal watering bans happen and it’s impossible to completely get away from this. But we also know that most of our water and sewerage pipes are old, very old in fact, have been known to burst, rather dramatically, in wintertime. Not to mention the fact that we have to use large amounts of chlorine to treat our water, all the while dumping raw sewerage back into the river.

With all this mind, it seems that we have managed to figure out a solution to a problem we’re contributing to, but with an infrastructure that might not be handle any new problems.

Like contamination by mercury, or worse, heavy crude from Western Canada.

Mercury contamination led to birth defects amongst the James Bay Cree (not to mention the highest mercury rates amongst a First Nations community) as a consequence of the flooding of 11,000 square kilometers of the taiga.

And consider the kind of damage that could occur with a burst pipeline anywhere in the Greater Montreal region: it’s not just the contaminated soil, but the potential for contamination of our aquifer, and all the numerous waterways all around us – we’re on an island after all.

It’s a difficult situation; we would doubtless benefit from Western Canadian oil flowing to our city. It could result in the redevelopment of the East End refineries, not to mention likely result in improvements and the potential aggrandizement of our port facilities. And all of this means more jobs and money.

But private interests simply can’t be trusted to develop fail-safe pipelines, and all to often bend and break environmental rules to cut overhead costs.

And any new potential industrial development throughout the Great Lakes region bears with it the potential for new environmental dangers. Some of these problems are completely out of our control, such as the State of Indiana authorizing massive dumps of mercury into Lake Michigan.

But there are local measures that could be taken to dramatically improve the quality and durability of our water treatment and water distribution systems, not to mention the natural aquifer.

There’s an interesting intersection between natural water treatment and the maintenance and development of green spaces. Consider, as an example, Riparian buffers, which use ‘forested waterways’ to provide naturally treated water into agricultural lands (the presence of so much green also shades the water to reduce natural water evaporation. Natural beaches and swamps can further assist in natural water treatment.

Up until now I feel we’ve benefitted from these natural methods without doing much, if anything, to stimulate them. We’d be wise to consider the biological, as well as mechanical means to treat and distribute water systems throughout the metropolitan region. But despite the universal necessity of water, our North American ways have made it that few politicians could successfully campaign on a ‘clean water’ platform without being uselessly labelled a environmentalist fringe candidate. We think water pollution is something that either happens in a developing country, or else happened here many moons ago.

Besides, you can buy bottled water anywhere, right?

First Flat – Édifice de l’Alliance Nationale

Édifice de l'Alliance Nationale ca. 1920

My first flat in Montréal, all the way back in the early spring of 2006, was in this building. It still stands across the street from the National Archives building (formerly Dawson’s Viger campus, formerly HEC) at the intersection of Labelle and Viger) though as you can see below, the western portion was demolished some time ago.

Screen Shot 2013-06-16 at 5.36.42 PM

My room was on the west side, second floor – the room with the open window in the photo above.

I lived there with an oddball mix, which included a circuit-bending slacker-musician and a militantly progressive photographer-libertarian with a quintessential mid-Californian accent. Various others came and went making use of the larger surface area and cubby-hole design of the apartment. There was a back staircase that opened into one of the rooms (which was piled high with assorted garbage), a crawlspace large enough for one of our itinerant guests to propose sleeping in, and a closet similarly fashioned into a room. The common spaces were so exceptionally large it became the de facto party house of Concordia’s Liberal Arts College, which we all attended. Viger House, as it was known, saw some pretty epic parties over a solid stretch nearly a decade ago.

The flat was oddly designed and seemed a bit thrown together – as if it was actually an assembly of of other discarded buildings. Rent, as you might imagine, was exceptionally cheap. I discovered later on the building had once been the siege sociale of an insurance firm that would eventually get folded into Industrielle Alliance.

Odd part of town that – on the edge of everything yet seemingly distinct, the area around Viger Square could use a redesign and reconceptualization. That said, I wonder what the land value will be like once the new CHUM superhospital is completed? Though I’m sure it will increase, and that the new hospital will assist in the gentrification of the eastern fringe of the city centre, the area is so much of a ghost town it makes me wonder if the design of Viger Square (which tends to limit lines-of-sight and attract a lot of unsavoury activities) doesn’t pose the greater problem.

The Shame of Montreal – SPVM Brutality Over a Noise Complaint

What the fuck SPVM? You guys we’re the no.5 top local twitter feed on Cult #Mtl’s BOM list; frankly I expected better.

Le Devoir is reporting that the man wrestled to the ground in the video above is the proprietor of a business on The Main, part of which was closed to traffic Thursday for the MURAL festival. It was a typical street fair, in which the businesses habitually extend their services out onto the street and we’ve seen on The Main countless times. It’s crowded and loud, not my cup of tea, but something I think we’re all quite accustomed to.

Apparently another business owner thought the man (owner of or somehow involved with La Vieille Europe) was playing his music too loud and called 911.

Why that individual didn’t first contact a representative of la Société de développement du boulevard Saint-Laurent or the festival organizers is beyond me, and frankly I think its a bit much to call 911 for a noise complaint during a street festival. Perhaps it was a dirty trick to tank La Vieille Europe’s business, like when competing nightclubs send their stooges to set-off pepper spray canisters in the air ducts of their competitors.

In any event, according to police spokesperson Ian Lafrenière five constables were dispatched to deal with the ‘large and well-built’ individual – this is standard practice, apparently, and after about eight minutes of negotiation, the proprietor refused to turn down the music and was ordered to place his hands behind his back, an order the mena refused.

It’s at this point that a smaller, more cowardly constable decided to use a choke-hold to bring down the man. Again, according to Lafrenière, this is standard operating procedure for the SPVM.

He then relates that this incident will be reviewed (internally) and that Montreal police aren’t infallible.

Well isn’t that dandy.

Let’s step back – a noise complaint necessitated an arrest?

How would you react?

Handcuffing someone (without their consent) is a major violation of individual liberty. In the case of a dangerous criminal it’s thoroughly justified, but for a noise complaint?

Noise complaints typically result in a fine that’s all too often contested in court.

But five constables wrestling a man to the ground with a choke-hold? That’s excessive.

The crowd was, as you might imagine, passive and resorted to filming this act of police brutality rather than intervene to help. I can understand why. Just last year we got a chance to witness a mass of police brutality incidents, and it hasn’t been too long since the SPVM just up and shot somebody under questionable circumstances. A hospital worker, a teenager, a homeless man – the SPVM has a bad history when it comes to needlessly killing Montrealers.

In any event, a damned shame I’m glad was caught on video. The SPVM has been moving away from acting in the public’s benefit for a while now, and the secretive ‘Police Brotherhood’ has proven itself unwilling to cooperate with civilian authorities to review practices and allegations (all too often with widely disseminated video evidence) of police brutality.

Which makes me wonder – with the powerful organized crime syndicates, street gangs and all manner of criminal problems we have in this city, why isn’t the SPVM making more of its resources available to combat the real criminal problems in our city? Dispatching five constables to take a man down over a noise complaint is simply a blatant waste of resources and abuse of the people.

And while some are saying it would have been so simple (and a non issue) if the man had simply complied and but his arms behind his back, I can only say this – how much individual freedom are the people willing to lose? What are we willing to compromise for the benefit of the police?

With the NSA spying scandal unravelling it’s becoming increasingly clear that Western governments (the supposed guarantors of liberty and personal freedom) have in fact been spying on their own populations and people all over the globe through electronic means for quite some time, all without any oversight or public knowledge. Well haven’t things changed now – the United States has been working out of a Stasi handbook with more sophisticated tools. And though they, much like our own government, military and ‘law-enforcement’ officials have said this is to keep us safe and secure from terrorism, they only seem to be capable of taking down the dumbest, most inept terrorists. At the local level, it seems as though police – who are supposed to serve and protect the public – are instead being used to oppress and monitor them.

This isn’t what I signed up for.

Montreal needs a transparent police force that brutalizes less and thinks a bit more before they act.


Public may panic if provided with basic statistical information…

Montreal's Finest

So apparently the Montreal Police think the public would panic if we knew the Métro’s actual crime statistics, as they apparently have been feeding us bullshit for years.

The Gazette filed an access-to-information request a few years back to get the following basic data from the SPVM: what kinds of crimes happen in the Métro? How often are crimes committed and how do the stations rank in terms of occurrence? Pretty basic stuff I’m actually a bit astonished the Gazette specifically had to request (i.e. you’d figure this would be public knowledge, available on a city website).

The SPVM said no, that divulging such information could compromise their crime-fighting efforts to such a degree they’d be starting from scratch. After a bit of a back and forth the issue has wound up in front of the Access to Information Commission which has so far balked at even reviewing the case at all (which makes me wonder why they wouldn’t – what do these commissions do otherwise?)

During discussions the police lawyer argued that making this information public may cause a panic, as though she knew the SPVM’s argument stats published in the English-language daily might ‘tip-off’ common criminals and derail their efforts was a bit short on substance.

The Gazette, by contrast, argues such information would pretty much reinforce what seasoned Métro riders already know – some stations require a bit more vigilance and situational awareness than others. The Gaz goes as far to suggest the information “could warn métro users about potential dangers and allow them to take preventive measures”.

I don’t think there’s much more that can be done aside from being vigilant, and I’d like to know how many Gazette readers take the Métro come to think of it, but I digress.

The Gazette has a point – this information should be public (and I’d argue far more accessible as well).

The point isn’t so much to warn riders of where they ought to keep their guard up (hint – always be aware of your surroundings, free life pro-tip for ya), but rather to feed a knowledge-hungry citizenry the vital statistical data it needs to study and assess the actions of its elected officials and civil servants.

I want to know where crime is happening to see if the cops are doing their jobs, to see what might be facilitating the crime at those specific stations. Is it the poverty of a nearby neighbourhood? Or is it bad station design?

As I mentioned earlier, the cops made an effort and provided what they call data, though it didn’t quite measure up. For one, they only provided limited information about each of the lines on average, grouping the interchange stations (like Lionel-Groulx, Snowdon, Berri-UQAM etc.) together with the Yellow Line to create some kind of an equilibrium, this despite having highly detailed information for every station at all hours of the day and night.

To put it bluntly, submitting official SPVM data concerning crime in the Montréal Métro wouldn’t pass a CEGEP-level research methods class. Not only is this statistical garbage, it’s purposely deceptive.

And if the Rob Ford scandal is any indicator, the SPVM should be concerned. They run risk of creating a panic by inferring the data would cause a panic. Despite the data’s still secret, unseen status, it may be able to damage police efforts anyways; nothing quite gets under the skin of a young journalist like denied information, and this city is swimming in reporters.

Dumb move gumshoes.

Now I wanna know too. And why doesn’t the STM have this kind of information? Wouldn’t they have some kind of an idea about the crimes that are taking place in the Métro system too?

In any event, the real crime in my eyes is that I can’t get platform gyros: