Another moving day has come and gone and we in Montreal, Quebec have survived it. What seemed like an almost impossible task when we started months ago to prepare for this move are now laughable and we begin the daunting new task of finding everything and putting everything just so, trying to make the house or apartment look like the last place, like our home. We are waking up to unpack what we did not get done while eating pizza and drinking beer with those who volunteered to help us move, or unpack, not even worrying about missing the Canada Day celebrations, but thinking perhaps that there might be a chance to check out a bit of the jazz festival.
Did you know that this moving day in Quebec was designed with the English in mind? This day was deliberately picked by the powers that were in Quebec and they wanted it to be on Canada day for no other reason than to make sure that the turn out for Canada celebrations were low. All of the chaos caused by the one day moving was to appease a fear that the Canada Day crowds attending the festivities would out number those of the St. Jean The Baptiste Day festivities. Now just to be politically correct the official reason was to avoid disrupting the schooling of children, because the orignal moving day in Quebec was May 1st, but why Canada Day anyway, hmm?
History lesson out-of-the-way it was a glorious day to move if you had to. The temperature was just right and the rain held off. I moved my youngest daughter today in Verdun and as always there was a lot of movement in the area. Every Ave. and small street was blocked at one point or another in this borough of greater Montreal. Traffic stuck to the main streets and movers like me who knew what to expect travelled by the lane ways and unloaded by back doors where possible.
I used a UHaul truck I found that this season they were the most reasonably priced and with the exception of a shorter day and a little hike in price they were not too bad. All over there were people waiting for moving trucks to arrive, some had chairs with signs saying saved for moving, saving parking spaces for their trucks and some people had their belongings on the street waiting patiently.
Personal vehicles anything that could hold furniture was being used yesterday to move for those who chose not to use a mover or could not afford to use a mover. This was one of the calmest moving days I have ever witnessed in Verdun. People seemed not to be so aggressive and the police seemed to be giving professional movers and amateurs alike breaks with double parking and other minor traffic violations.
Every moving day there are those people who take advantage and block streets completely with their vehicles, causing traffic jams, inviting police action and being selfish. These are the same people who whine when the police intervene. Verdun’s side streets are very narrow and when one person gets selfish with the space tempers flare and people get hurt.
When I picked up my truck I was told by the guy who rented it to me that movers were not going to wait this year for anything and would leave if the client was not ready to move out, or were delayed in the moving in process for any reason, (old tenant not moved out yet). The movers were claiming that this was being done to keep the waiting time for the next client to a minimum. By all of the furniture on the street in neat piles it would seem that they stuck to their guns. There is also a curb to curb moving service that would account for some of the furniture. Curb to curb for some of you who do not understand what that means is that a person hires a truck and a driver to transport their furniture and belongings to their new residence. The client is responsible for having their furniture on the side-walk when their driver and truck arrive. It is then loaded onto the truck and driven to their new residence where it is deposited on the side-walk to be taken into the house by the client after the truck is empty.
The garbage on the street left by old tenants and new will cost the city a bundle to pick up and for at least one day the garbage men will become movers, some boroughs put on extra trucks and manpower just to pick up all of the extra furniture. As I looked at some of the items being thrown out it becomes obvious that it is not all garbage and that it may be getting tossed because there is no room at the new place for it and the person was not willing to pay to have it stored. This is a second-hand furniture store gold mine, but yet it is left to the garbage men every year. None of the charities are willing pay some one to go street to street on moving day and pick up the good things on the street, so year after year the best of these items end up trashed instead of being made available and recycled. I think it is a waste and should be corrected.
For once I did not hear that people were being left unable to find a place that they could afford to move into, or were being housed in the YWCA and YMCA until accommodations could be found for them, but moving day was only yesterday and the reports could just not be out yet. It could also be that moving has become too expensive and people have begun to grin and bear it like they are doing with their jobs. I did go into the plateau area of Montreal just to compare volume of persons moving in the early afternoon and found that the moving day for all intents and purposes was done in the area, confirming my opinion that a lot of people were deciding to stay put and save some money, stress and aggravation.
On my way home I did see a rather funny, but scary dangerous thing and I wish I knew how it ended. On the highway there was a truck driving with his back door open full of either the person who was driving’s furniture, or that of their client, but either way it was not a good scenario. I was on the street and he was on the high way so I could not let him know that he had forgotten to close his doors. I could see the fridge clearly and his hand truck standing not lying down wheels up in the no roll safety position and I hoped for him and those following him that the stuff stayed where it was and that someone would alert him before something bad happened. Nothing on the news about furniture on the highway, or furniture falling out on an uphill street, so I guess he made it.
I would just like to say that the powers that be that thought or think that you can make Canadians renounce or not celebrate Canada day by making it moving day that you were so wrong. Canada day is as it should be more than just a parade, fireworks and events held in a park as it for should Fete National celebrated by Quebecers a week earlier. Being a Canadian is something in your heart and soul and can not be extinguished by merely cancelling an event. What it did do was strengthen our resolve to be proud English Canadians living in Quebec. We have just incorporated this moving day into Canada Day and tell the funny story how one man thought to spoil it for us and failed.
Now some would say that because the day was switched to because of a Jérôme Choquette of the Quebec Liberal Party, that it was not a Separatist plot at all to make the Canada celebrations less, but a way to ease the pressures and stresses on the children attending school. Well I still ask why not August 1st? (Let us not forget that it was Quebec Liberals that gave us Bill
101, no they gave us 22) and we all know what was behind that.
I stand corrected a better informed reader has pointed out that the Liberals did not give us Bill 101, as I stated so here is what Tony Kondaks had to say:
Incorrect: The PQ gave us Bill 101 in 1977. However, the Liberals did start everything by giving us the first round of repressive language legislation with Bill 22 in 1974. I could have changed it, but I wanted Tony to know that I thank him and to give him the credit for helping me. Thanks Tony!