"Panem et Circenses" (Bread and Circuses) extravagant entertainment, offered as an expedient means of pacifying discontent or diverting attention."
raging language furor over the so-called fragile state
of the French language in Quebec dominates the media and is monopolizing political debate conveniently crowding out issues that need to be debated and are fundamental to Quebec's well-being.
Legault and his evil minions continually hammer away at the subject, reminding 'real' Quebecers
at every opportunity that they are in the gravest of danger at the hands
of an evil barbaric horde of Anglos and Allophones who dangerously breached the gates of fortress francophonia.
Like the Russian media that
parrots Putin's mad fantasies about Ukrainian Nazis, so too does Quebec
media parrot the fantasy that Quebecois du souche will soon be
drinking tea and toasting the Governor-General speaking in the very best Queen's English, whilst their beloved French language
and heritage is long-forgotten, consigned to the ash-heap of history, mercilessly drowned in the anglicizing sauce imposed by the overpowering English monolith.
The expression "Panem and Circenses" was coined to denounce the unwillingness of the citizens of Rome to act against their incompetent leaders. The idea was that as long as the distracted population was entertained and had enough
to eat, the powerful could do what they wanted.
And so the language debate is a convenient distraction, one that papers over the deeper and more sinister malaise that shrouds the province in collective dysfunction.
Quebec is a province run by pencil-head politicians and a bloated cadre of bureaucratic idiots who overspend, over-govern, over-regulate, under-perform and under-deliver on just
about every level.
The truly sad state of an under-performing society is ignored by the media obsessed with language and language alone.
Yes, other provinces have their own faults and
problems and managerial messes, but none rise to the level of
dysfunction, laziness, incompetence, mean-spirited and financial
mismanagement that is Quebec.
Today the news cycle is filled with two stories that just about sum up the problems of Quebec.
A married couple, both emergency room doctors have decided to call it quits and move to Ontario to continue being doctors because life in Quebec is just so much harder.
"I love Montreal. It's the city I grew up in, and to leave it again for the second time, it's disappointing," Stasiak said.
They are leaving at a time when the Quebec health-care system has been heavily criticized for being fragile.
Montreal alone is short 18,399 health-care workers, according to the government's July 4 health-care system dashboard.
But after all their agonizing, it became clear to the doctors that
compared to the hospital system they remember in Toronto, Montreal's
working conditions, which they consider to be tough and inflexible, are
incompatible with raising a healthy family. They say those conditions
are a natural consequence of government rules limiting hiring.
And if they still had doubts about the move, Quebec's new language law, commonly known as Bill 96, sealed the deal for them. Link
The second sad story is infuriating because not one politician had the guts to answer questions or apologize for the utter failure of Quebec's incompetent and understaffed paramedic service.
A 91-year-old Montreal woman died over the weekend after waiting seven hours for an ambulance and her family is now blaming ongoing staffing shortages within paramedic services.
On Saturday evening, Therese Pardiac injured her leg after a fall and when she couldn’t stand her family called for an ambulance.
Urgences-Santé said Pardiac’s call was re-evaluated multiple times and was considered low priority on each occasion. But by the time it arrived, seven hours later, Pardiac had passed away
On average, Urgences-Santé is short-staffed by around 30 per cent every night due in part to a lack of new recruits and workers absent due to COVID-19..... Read more
This crisis is not new, La Presse reported on the shortage back in February. On some nights Montreal is served by half the necessary units meaning that response time is absurdly long.
Now the part about a lack of recruits is interesting because La Presse also reports that many qualified candidates are being routinely rejected without explanation.
"We regret to inform you that your application has not been accepted", reads a laconic email received in May by Ahmed, the fictitious first name of an ambulance driver who worked for more than 20 years in the region of Laurentians—Lanaudière. Like all the other rejected paramedics who spoke to La Presse for this article, Ahmed requested anonymity so as not to harm his career.“I did the whole process, then I was refused without giving me any explanation,” he says indignantly. A process that spans several weeks and includes two interviews, psychometric tests, a medical examination and a drug test.
"I have no feedback from human resources after multiple attempts by email, by phone, I have no response from them as to why I was not selected," he continues, discouraged.
“There are no details of the reason,” confirms Urgences-santé spokesperson Benoit Garneau. “They have to work through all the things they have to do with the process,” he says, adding that candidates are welcome to reapply within a year . I don't understand how they can't even give at least one reason for the paramedic to improve, correct their shortcomings...
And Ahmed is not the only one in this situation. La Presse spoke with three experienced paramedics and a new graduate who were refused a position at Urgences-santé without receiving an explanation. However, Urgences-santé regularly lacks personnel to fill all its shifts, and the situation is particularly acute at night and on weekends. During a weekend at the end of May, La Presse reported that more than half of the scheduled ambulances were missing due to a lack of available employees. The fact that it is so understaffed at night may force Urgences-santé to prioritize urgent calls at the expense of those for whom there does not appear to be an imminent danger to life.
And this weekend again, almost all shifts will be marked by absences. During the night from Sunday to Monday, no less than 38 paramedics will be missing out of the 98 who should be on duty, according to Mr. Garneau, a situation representative of the last few weeks."Our goal this year is to hire more than 100 paramedics, but I don't think that will be achievable because there is a shortage of people coming out of school,"
Now I don't want to ascribe motives to the writer of the article but in choosing an Arabic-sounding pseudonym for the rejected paramedic candidate is he in fact trying to pass on a message about hiring discrimination?
And so it's easier to let people die waiting for an ambulance because
in Quebec nobody will put up much of a stink anyways. The public's lack of concern or forgiving nature is staggering to behold or understand.
Perhaps Urgences-Santé might consider lowering their standards in the face of a crisis, perhaps taking an example from the Russian army in accepting any and all recruits including those cursed ethnics in the face of staggering manpower shortages.
Considering that Quebec paramedics don't offer much advanced medical care on the scene as in other jurisdictions, (the service is disparagingly categorized as a 'scoop and run') how much training is actually required?
tragic mess is unsurprising in Quebec, where a higher level of failure
and dysfunction is to be expected and endured without complaint or consequence. In
Quebec, like in ancient Rome, the public has become inured to failure and
mediocrity and as long as there is enough to eat and language controversy to distract,
life goes on.
60 years ago I was playing street hockey on La Peltrie street in the Snowdon district of Montreal when an unfortunate miscue caused one of the lads to fall and break his leg. With no cell phones, we knocked on the nearest door and the homeowner called the police who managed the ambulance service in that era.
In less than four minutes a police ambulance screeched onto the scene and scooped the injured boy, padding him off to the hospital with sirens blaring.
The cops came back an hour later and told those of us still sitting around nervously that the boy was being treated and having a cast placed on his leg at this very moment. The two cops then presented us with a giant box of fries to assuage our concern.
Have we really made progress since then?
Like most senior folks, who grew up poor by today's standards, the vast majority of us actually had a family doctor who even made some house calls when necessary.
When my bicycle was stolen back then in the sixties, a detective actually came to my house to take the report.
Progress over the decades in Quebec is not exactly something to brag about as our politicians would lead us to believe and while technology
and modernization have made us all richer as the standard of living has
risen dramatically, the fact is that the government's performance
has deteriorated exponentially.
Hows many hours is the wait today in the emergency room to get stitches or to set a broken bone
compared to pre-Medicare times?
How many weeks or months is the wait for elective or 'non-urgent' surgery compared to the past.
How long a wait is it for an ambulance?
On and on it goes....
The Department of child welfare claims to be too understaffed' to take action when children are abused with sometimes tragic results. Then there is the complaint that 20% of Quebecers cannot find a family doctor. This is in consideration that Quebec has on average more doctors than the national average.
“Though the national average is 230 doctors per 100,000 residents, Quebec boasts 243 for the same number of people
Theoretically, we should have easier access to doctors,” Dr. Charles
Bernard, president and CEO of the Collège des médecins du Québec, told
The Canadian Press. “I think there’s an organization aspect,” Link
Today bureaucracy, wasteful spending, and under-performance underpin everything that the government touches.
I read an article about how Quebec's vaunted immigration department is so dysfunctional that french-speaking immigrants are opting to go to Ontario because of the months and years of delay. One fellow from France was refused a visa because he failed a French test, the only language he spoke.
Absurd? This is Quebec.
As for the political and public service, let me offer but one tiny example of how bloated Quebec has evolved in relation to public spending.
The city of New York with a population of 8.4 million is represented by 51 members of the city council while that of Montreal with a population of 1.5 million is composed of 64 city councillors, which represents six times larger representation.
This bloat and dysfunction are really only half the story, after all the government is just a reflection of the society it represents.
And Quebec society, its people can shoulder much of the blame for what ails Quebec.
QUEBEC'S DISTINCT SOCIETY.
Quebec nationalist elite scoff at Canadian society, from the Premier's wife who disparaged Canadian culture to every nationalist journalist that describes Quebec societal values as kinder and gentler.
This fantasy is utterly false and sadly absurd. Statistics and facts bear out the opposite.
Quebecers work less than the rest of Canadians
The United States averaged 38.7 hours per week, per job, followed by
37.5 hours in Alberta, 36 in Ontario and 35.5 in British Columbia, while Quebec stands last at 35.1 hours.
Defenders will say that working less is a societal choice and it might well be, but Canadians in other provinces who do work longer hours contribute around 10 billion dollars annually to Quebec's budget through the moronically indulgent equalization program.
It's like your layabout brother-in-law telling you that he's making a lifestyle choice of working less while demanding that you augment his income.
As for generosity, Quebecers are notoriously tight-fisted and miserly with charitable hours volunteered, coming in last in both categories compared to other provinces.
|Average annual volunteer hours by Canadians |
|Average charitable donations made by Canadians|
Quebec loves to boast that it is different from the rest of North America and goes to lengths to prove the point.
Its universal junior college system known as CEGEP replaces grade 12 and the first year of university with a burdensome extra layer which seems to fulfill no useful purpose. Like a country with a different train track gauge, trains must stop at the border.
It seems that the only function CEGEP fulfills is to keep Quebec students from attending post-secondary education outside the province because high school graduates are missing a year.
In response to Bill 96 and the proposed reduction in admissibility to English CEGEPs, some private high schools decided to offer a grade 12 in order that their students be equipped to seamlessly pursue an English education outside Quebec.
On hearing the proposal, the Quebec government went apeshit and immediately proposed banning any such program lest students find an easier avenue to leave Quebec.
Even Quebec's vaunted subsidized daycare system is so expensive that the service can only be offered to a portion of the population, creating a two and three-tiered system, something that Quebec is dedicated to fighting in the healthcare industry.
And then there's systemic corruption and discrimination that permeates Quebec society, worthy of an entirely different blog post.
Quebec salaries lag behind the Canadian average while being subject to the highest taxation rate in North America, further diminishing spending power.
Still, nobody complains.
Prisoners of language, Quebecers accept their lot, buying the nonsense that they are different, persecuted because of language and their supposed higher communal values and morals.
It is nonsense that politicians and nationalists pander in order to keep the masses from complaining.
And so Quebec is mired in mediocrity and dysfunction but as long as there's enough to eat and the English to bash, all is well.