Don’t drink the milk today, bro

A lot of shit happened this week, and then there was a milk recall.

You probably shouldn’t drink this today.

Truth be told, Peter Trent, the mayor of Westmount, might be onto something: Why, in the midst of an election, are we not talking about municipal pension reform? As a story in today’s Gazette notes, something like $510.3-million (yeah, that number seems pretty specific) of the 2013 budget will go toward pensions — more than will go to culture and transit and whatever else. So what to do? And, as Trent says, most Montrealers — the taxpayers who are subsidizing said plans — don’t have plans of their own.

Speaking of transit of the public variety — something all the candidates seem to give a shit about200 km of reserved bus lanes, along with a system called iBus (they couldn’t have come up with a vaguely original name?), are on the way. The latter — which will equip all buses with GPS systems and let transit riders track said buses by way of smart phones — will cost the STM $200-million. According to the STM,  “The computer could even call you in the morning, and say, ‘Your bus will be at your stop in 10 minutes and you’ll be at work at exactly 9:30.’” Because that’s a call we all want to get.

The Charter of Quebec Values has spurred a lot of election talk but, at least according to Jean-François Lisée, the party’s ministers need to calm the fuck down and “live a little,” which apparently translates to getting things, like Bernard Drainville’s bill and so on, done. Still, speculation about an election abounds, though no one — not even Pauline herself — sounds too desperate to hit the campaign trail.

Quebec is also having at it with the federal government. For one thing, our venerable Court of Appeal declared Bill C-7, which gave the feds the right to create Senate elections and set term limits without seeking provincial approval, unconstitutional. And for another, there was the fight over Bill 99, our own bit of legislation that lets us secede from Canada provided a clear majority of us (itself an unclear notion) think we should. What this means for any sort of future referendum is a lot of arguing, presumably.

If you’re like some of us, and you plan to eat breakfast after you finish writing your column this morning, you might want to make sure you’re not fucking with milk bearing the name Québon that happens to have a best-before date of Nov. 1, 2 or 3 and the code AGRT 2889 on the box or bag or whatever. It’s apparently a “quality standard” thing, so make of that what you will. ■


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