Friday, February 15, 2019

SNC-Lavalin... For Quebec, Payback's a Bitch!

Once again the two solitudes of the Canadian reality has reared its ugly linguistic head with reaction in Quebec diametrically opposed to that of the rest of Canada in the Trudeau/SNC-Lavalin affair.

Quebec journalists have been almost universal in complaining that the unsympathetic reaction in the  rest of Canada lies in the entrenched hatred of Quebec.
They contend that would SNC-Lavalin be based in Toronto, public sentiment would be massively in favour of a deal that would see the company avoid a criminal trial in favour of a negotiated settlement, one that would spare the company from being banned from bidding on government contracts for a period of years.
It should be noted that the company is already subject to a ten-year ban by the World Bank following the company’s misconduct in relation to the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project in Bangladesh, as well as misconduct under another Bank-financed project. Link

The Quebec view;
"Our colleagues in Toronto would be happy to politically block the Trudeau government from saving this Quebec giant," an editorialist wrote this week in the French-language daily Le Devoir, accusing anglophone media of hypocrisy in its indignation at SNC. Link {fr}

"It's all fine and dandy to play politics in an election year, but what would 'Canada' gain if SNC-Lavalin was found guilty?" asked Michel Girard, a business columnist for the tabloid Journal de Montreal.
But I ask you, dear reader, if the street address of SNC-Lavalin’s headquarters were on Bay Street instead of at 455 René-Lévesque Blvd. W. in Montreal, would we be talking about the same scandal today? Lise Ravary
The Rest of Canada view;
Can it be? Can a large, politically sensitive corporation with a history of buying influence avoid prosecution in this country by the mere expedient of a phone call to the prime minister’s office? Can the prime minister’s staff have charges against the corporation dropped by a quick call to the minister of justice? Is that the sort of country we live in? Andrew Coyne
 Here are some comments from readers in the Globe and Mail.
We cannot accept Montreal level corruption on a national scale. .....No net jobs will be lost. Contracts will go to other Canadian companies. 

SNC-Lavalin does not have to do the work. There are plenty of other engineering firms in Canada that can do the job. It is time for companies to suffer the consequences of their actions.

SNC-Lavalin’s record is not good. Why continuously reward them for sleazy behaviour? This needs to be an example case.

At any rate, I'm not sure these Quebecers are wrong, it does seem that Canada has it in for Quebec and while Quebec plays the innocent aggrieved party, Quebec cannot expect any other reaction.

Imagine you have a neighbour who complains to authorities that your lawn is unkempt, your kids are playing on the street and calls the police over perceived noise violations, all the while complaining that the city treats you preferentially.
You see his convertible with the top down in his garage way and its starting to rain.
Do you go over and ring his doorbell or do you laugh and garner an enjoyable measure of schadenfreude ?

I would hope that Canadians, given their reputation for fair-mindedness and consideration would do the right thing and ring the doorbell, but it's clear that those days are over, after forty years of Quebec slagging Canada and pissing in the proverbial Canadian soup pot there's little or no good will left.

While Quebecers chalk up the negative reaction to the inherent meanness of Canadians, it doesn't occur to them at all that they bear any responsibility for the enmity.

Poor Lise Ravery whose lamentations are laughable if not sad for the fact that her opinion is printed in Montreal's daily rag, Le Journal de Montreal, feeding Quebec's persecution complex.

Let me remind Quebecers that they rejected the pipeline from Alberta out of spite and nothing else.
Since there was no tangible benefits to Quebec, other that enriching Alberta and feeding its treasury (which funds the equalization program of which Quebec is the biggest beneficiary,) Quebec saw no benefit other than being a good neighbour, something that means nothing to it.

The blasé and mean-spirited attitude of Quebec does not go un-noticed in the ROC.
While collecting the lion's share of the federal governments largess, Quebec continues to drone on and on with the familiar done-me-wrong refrain.

And so if Madame Ravary et als want Canadians to support an out of court settlement for the criminal activities of its favourite son, they are plumb out of luck.

As it says in the Bible,: "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

Quebec has been a bad and spiteful neighbour for over forty years and so it should not be surprised, at Canadians reciprocity. I haven't got a comparable French saying so I remind the whiners....

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

In Defence of Justin Trudeau

How soon we forget....
You're probably a bit surprised at the title of this blog piece, given my historic hostility towards Justin Trudeau, a politician I loathe on just about every level.

But Trudeau was elected by a majority of Canadians on an ultra-liberal platform much as Trump was elected on a conservative platform. The real problem for both men politically is that recent presidents and prime ministers, regardless of political affiliation governed from the middle, something that seemed to be well tolerated by voters. Not so for these two leaders who quite frankly scare the bejesus out of those who voted against them, generating a river of angst and a firestorm of hate.
Regardless of what opponents think, both men seem safely ensconced, their support perhaps a bit diminished but solid just the same.

I don't dislike Trudeau for his underlying philosophy, one of radical liberalism, after all, he was voted in on that platform, but rather his cynical and dishonest manner in which he plays to and uses the general good will and intentions of Canadians.
Running on a supposedly pro-environment, pro-women, pro-immigrant and natives rights platform, Trudeau has talked a good game but delivered nothing concrete except one whopping budgetary deficit after another, all the while pretending that he is, what clearly he is not and pooh-poohing criticism with a wave of his hand and a toss of his hair like a king on a throne, offering deflections and fairy-tale answers in Parliament, making a mockery of Question Period, all without an ounce of contrition or guilt over his abject dishonesty.

He reminds me of the flim-flam man in that famous movie, the Music Man, whereby a con artist convinces a town of good and naive people that a new pool table installed recently in town will corrupt its youth and render them indigent and troublesome. He then proposes to form a boys marching band to in order to combat the problem,  and of course, sells the band equipment in the bargain.
Justin too is a con, he is not the kind and gentle political progressive he projects. When push comes to shove and political survival is at stake, Justin is as vicious and nasty as they come, dumping his phoney convictions and punishing those who betray him with evil abandon.

Seeing (Wilson-Raybould) being tossed under the bus certainly is a message to First Nations but also to women across Canada.- Chief Bob Chamberlin, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

Justin is as phoney as a three-dollar bill and is as manipulative as the best of con men, but in the current blow-up over the resignation of ex-minister Judy Wilson-Raybould he was and is, in fact, acting not only in his and the Liberal party's best interest but that of the country as well.

Justin must not be a student of history, otherwise, he'd know that often it isn't the crime that is so damaging, but rather the coverup as in the Watergate Affair that destroyed the presidency of Richard Nixon.  It wasn't insider trading that sent Martha Stewart to jail, but rather lying about it to the FBI.

In trying to help SNC-Lavelin, Trudeau was looking for political gain, or rather trying to stem a possible political pitfall. Regardless of motive, in my estimation a worthy undertaking.

He tried to intervene in an ongoing criminal prosecution, something that is verboten under the law but can actually be explained away as a necessary evil political necessity. Had he made his case honestly to the Canadian people, he'd be in the clear by now.
But he lied.
He pretended that he did not ask his justice minister to put pressure on federal prosecutors to seek a fine rather than a conviction in the SNC-Lavelin corruption trial, something that would allow the company to survive.

While the opposition parties are having a field day over Justin's woes, it behooves me to ask if they are also opposed to Justin's intervention on behalf of SNC-Lavelin.

Let us examine the underlying facts, legal,  political and economic.

SNC-Lavelin, a large company with thousands of employees has a history of paying bribes to win contracts at home and abroad, with perhaps the most galling bribe, a twenty million payment to executives of a Montreal hospital to secure a contract for the new building.

SNC-Lavelin was born and bred in the corruption-ridden atmosphere of Quebec politics that dates back past the reign of Maurice Duplessis, where every major government contract was tendered with the necessary political or personal bribe attached.
Contracts for snow removal, paving and road building, as well as major buildings and infrastructure, were all subject to the same game of corruption, with engineering firms, construction companies and politicians and government employees all in on the action.

That entrenched system of corruption was exposed in an explosive government enquiry that blew the lid off the sordid system of payola, much to the shock and dismay of hitherto innocent and uninformed Quebecers, especially taxpayers.

There's no forgiving SNC-Lavelin for its dishonesty and corruption which occurred at the highest levels, but the question remains as to whether the Canadian law which imposes sanctions upon conviction including banning the offending company from bidding for government contracts for a period of up to ten years is a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Should the thousands of well-paid and productive employees be sacrificed for the errors and criminality of their bosses?
Should SNC-Lavelin be destroyed through a criminal process that would see the company reduced to rubble?

Let us examine the cases of Wells-Fargo in the United States, a company that openly and systematically defrauded its own customers. The United States Justice Department issued a fine of one billion dollars, but did not, in the interest of financial benefit to the country and the company's employees make any attempt to restrict the company's ability to continue.
The same goes for Volkswagen which negotiated a $2.8 billion fine for its scheme to fool regulators over its car emissions.

Just like SNC- Lavelin, plenty of individuals in the company faced the legal music for their malfeasance, but the companies both went on to live. I would remind readers that it was a stunning fall from grace for former SNC-Lavalin CEO Pierre Duhaime who plead guilty to breach of trust in a Montreal courthouse, so it's not like the company bosses got off scott-free.

So Trudeau tried to get his justice minister to put pressure on crown prosecutors to come to some sort of similar arrangement with SNC-Lavelin, one that would allow the company to survive after a massive fine.
He wasn't supposed to do it, but I applaud him for the effort. That is what Prime Ministers are supposed to do, that is to fight for the survival of an important Canadian employer, for the benefit of employees and the economic well-being of the country.

As for Judy Wilson Raybould, her refusal to do Trudeau's dirty work is understandable but ultimately counter-productive to the well-being of the country.
When at first Trudeau demoted her, I assumed it was out of retribution but have come to realize that it was rather to install another minister more attuned to doing what Trudeau (and myself) rightly deemed necessary.

It is perhaps ironic that for all Trudeau's ridiculous and downright stupid policy gaffes and wasteful spending, he is being skewered for something that actually makes sense.

Sometimes politicians do some pretty under-handed manoeuvres to secure a good outcome. I invite readers to take in the film "Lincoln" starring Daniel-Day Lewis, chronicling his back-room deals, many underhanded and illegal, in an effort to pass the 13th amendment which freed the Black slaves.
The same goes for the film "All the Way" starring Brian Cranston as LBJ who also used some pretty under-handed methods to pass his greatest achievement, the Civil Right's Act.

I won't put Justin in the same room with these guys, but I hope readers will understand that behind closed cabinet doors some pretty dirty machinations are undertaken, hopefully for the greater good.

In the case of Justin and SNC-Lavelin, he is in the right, fighting for its survival. He is paying the political price for having those machinations undertaken by himself on its behalf spill out from the cabinet cone of silence.

I can't say I feel bad for him but remain amused that his undoing may be over what I characterize as good and necessary intervention, instead of over his many idiotic policy failures.

Now many of you, especially those in the rest of Canada have a sore spot for Quebec companies that receive preferential treatment, but I would beg you to consider this.

Even without corruption, SNC-Lavelin is a profitable tax-paying giant that employs thousands of hard-working men and women who honestly work at a high level, providing for their families and paying their fair share of taxes.
SNC-Lavelin cheated and should be punished, but killing it off because of ill-conceived laws that are out of step with our competitive allies is wrong. It is a disservice to its employees and the taxpayers of Canada.

Regardless of the motives or methods, I applaud Justin Trudeau for his effort to save the company.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Quebec Calls Hijab and Kippah Signs of Oppression

Minister "Kippahs and hijabs are incompatible in Quebec"
The newly elected CAQ government is ramming ahead with its attack on religion Islam like a bull in a china shop, with contradictory and incoherent pronouncements and policy objectives making little sense other than to satisfy the bloodlust of voters who want to bloody the nose of Muslim women who dare wear the infamous hijab in Quebec, contrary to current Quebec feminist dogma that brands it evil.

The CAQ government is bound and determined to make good on election promises to come down hard on Muslim women wearing a hijab, something that irks Quebec feminists to no end.
"Quebec's new minister responsible for the status of women says the Muslim hijab is a symbol of oppression.
Speaking to reporters after being named to the portfolio Tuesday, Isabelle Charest said the Muslim head scarf does not correspond to her values and is not a way for women to flourish in society.
She said women should not wear the garment. She objects to it because it represents a command for women to cover themselves, she said."
The next day the minister walked back the statement slightly, saying she respected the right of women to wear what they want but went even further insisting that all overt religious symbols, including the kippah, were symbols of oppression.
"She also expanded her criticism formulated the day before. According to her, any clothing imposed by a religious belief is a form of oppression, including the Jewish kippah." Link{fr}
Now, this is a profound change from the Quebec feminist position that Muslim women are oppressed because of the hijab, niqab, or whatever head-covering which supposedly is imposed upon them by men and therefore incompatible with Quebec values of equality.
She is now saying that men who don a kippah or turban because of their religious beliefs have values that are incompatible with modern Quebec society as well.

It was probably a weak attempt to throw other religions under the bus so that Muslim women wouldn't seem to be the only ones targeted, but the implications are staggering.

She is, in fact, saying that anyone who is religiously orthodox and wears symbols of that orthodoxy hold values that are incompatible with Quebec values!

Now  Premier Legault came to her defence telling reporters that her opinion was personal and that he wasn't going to censure ministers from offering personal opinions.
The French media fawned over the Premier's response as well as the minister's original pronouncement telling viewers and listeners that it was a good thing for ministers to tell the public what they really believe.

This, of course, is utter bullshit and runs contrary to Parliamentary tradition where party members, especially ministers must toe the party line in public. The truth is that Legault and the CAQ absolutely hold that same belief in private.

As for the media, especially TV host Mario Dumont who was pleased as punch over the pronouncement and fully supported the policy that ministers could offer personal opinions that may or may not differ from the official party line without consequence.

I wonder how Mr. Dumont would react if the then Heritage minister Mélanie Joly told a group of reporters that Radio-Canada, the French division of the CBC was over-funded as compared to the English side (which it is is.)

If Prime Minister Trudeau defended her saying that she was just expressing a personal opinion, would Mr. Dumont applaud her candour or would he be demanding her resignation in abject fury along with the rest of the French media cabal?

What say you, readers?

At any rate the Premier is talking a big game in the anti-Muslim push, but is, in reality, treading carefully lest he land on the third rail, that is attacking Jews who have powerful allies in the rest of the country and especially the USA and who are not averse to using their massive financial and political clout to punish those who tread on them.

Removing religious symbols from public schools affects the head-covered Muslim women only, you won't find many male Jewish teachers in the public system, especially those few who wear a kippah.

But not so in the private Jewish day schools which are in part funded by the government where women and men do wear religiously prescribed clothing, especially kippahs. Over half of  Quebec's school-age Jews attend these schools, so it isn't insignificant. In ultra-orthodox religious Jewish schools run by the Lubavitch sect of Judaism, male teachers and administrators wear kippahs. But what the general public readily doesn't know is that married women teachers wear wigs for exactly the same reason Muslim women wear hijabs.

All these situations have been strategically left off the table by the CAQ. As I said there is the third rail there and so Legault has tactically decided to omit these schools from any law prohibiting religious dress, a coward's way out of a difficult situation where the law will apply unequally to all.

At any rate, like the tax on Netflix which made huge waves in Quebec, it is a story which is, in Shakespeare's inimitable words...Much ado about nothing.

The Quebec government doesn't even know how many teachers in the public system wear hijabs and were roundly attacked by the Liberal opposition for asking school boards for numbers. Many school boards refused to offer numbers, the idea repugnant.
But it turns out that the Liberals were two-faced in their opposition because it turns out that when in government they asked school administrators directly how many women wore the hijab, which incidentally turns out to be precious few.
As for the police, the Surete du Quebec reported zero of its police officers wear hijabs and there are currently no hijab-clad judges sitting in court.

As I said before the only effect of the law will be to legitimize harassment of hijab-clad Muslim women in public, open season for yahoos with grade school education to verbally attack women going about their daily routine.

When the shit hits the fan and the stories of attacks on Muslim women make the news, no hand-wringing by politicians should be tolerated, with the blame for what will be squarely upon those who made political hay out of abuse.

And by the way, it remains to be seen if the proposed law will pass the "Oakes" test whereby the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Charter Rights can only be curtailed if those limitations are sufficiently important.

  • First, the measures adopted must be carefully designed to achieve the objective in question. They must not be arbitrary, unfair or based on irrational considerations. In short, they must be rationally connected to the objective;
  • Second, the means, even if rationally connected to the objective in this first sense, should impair "as little as possible" the right or freedom in question;
  • Third, there must be a proportionality between the effects of the measures which are responsible for limiting the Charter right or freedom, and the objective which has been identified as of "sufficient importance".

Not sure it can pass the sniff test.

Friday, January 25, 2019

50 years later Nastiness Remains the Hallmark of Nationalist Quebec

Fifty years ago my then girlfriend (today my wife) was taking the train from downtown Montreal after work to meet me in St. Eustache for dinner and a Friday night date.
She got off the train and told me of the rather unpleasant experience of being chastised by the Via Rail ticket vendor for having the audacity of requesting a ticket for the Two Mountains stop.
The enraged defender of the faith told her rather impolitely that there was no such station and that if she wanted to go to Deux-Montagnes, that she'd have to ask for the ticket as such.

Selling train and metro tickets is honest work, but not brain surgery, it doesn't even require a high school diploma, with rudimentary literacy and sums the only job real requirement.  It would seem that lecturing passengers isn't part of the job description, but somehow the apparent frustration and animosity towards 'Les Autres' wins out occasionally.

The ignoramus Montreal metro ticket booth operator who last year put up a sign in his booth warning passengers that life in  Quebec happens in French, failed to understand that those offenders he was targeting wouldn't really get the message insult conveyed in the unilingual French sign.
As for the ticket seller opposed to the description of 'Two Mountains,' I'd ask him to name that big country south of Canada and if he answered the 'Etats-Unis,'  I'd smirk rather self-satisfyingly at his double-standard ignorance.

Such is the pettiness that hasn't changed over the decades where even today uneducated shlubs selling tickets in a dreary Metro or train ticket cage deem themselves arbiters of public policy and self-proclaimed saviours of the French language, empowered by the political atmosphere served up by nasty politicians and journalists.

Sadly this petty and hateful attitude permeates the political and journalistic class, where a failed independence movement has spawned gratuitous and mean-spirited attacks at anglos and ethnics.
And sadly the attitude pervades the CAQ and especially the Premier's office.

Make no mistake, the recent demand that the Lachute hospital remove its English signs is not based on the protection of the French language, but rather the persecution of the Anglo minority, a vicious and cruel reminder to them as to who is the boss of this province.
The idiotic rule that in order for a town to be accepted as officially bilingual, fifty percent of the population must be English, makes a mockery of the definition of 'minority.'

At any rate, as the CAQ is pushing full-steam ahead on religious restrictions, the public reaction is what is most frightening and worrisome.
Like the idiot ticket-sellers and assorted low-brows who feel empowered to chastise Anglos over perceived language slights, the Ethnics in Quebec are in for a rocky ride.

Any law that prohibits religious garb will herald open season for idiots with grade-school education to confront mostly Muslim women who choose to wear hijabs in public, EVEN IF THE LAW DOES NOT EXPRESSLY DISALLOW IT.

The unintended consequence of any anti-religious garb legislation is that it will signal to the public that such attire is unacceptable in any manner and in any place.

And it won't be pretty when the inevitable incidents of hate will manifest. Politicians and the French media will quickly disavow any responsibility for the climate of hate that the legislation will surely engender. The hand-wringing and sanctimonious reminders that Quebecers are open and welcoming won't cut it as incidents start to pile up, as they inevitably will.

For those in the media and in the radical French language and culture cabals who can't wait to lower the boom on Muslims, I wonder if they realize the cost to benefit ratio.
Quebec nationalists firmly believe that they can legislate the faith out of Muslim immigrants and somehow force them to embrace pork, poutine and maple syrup while abandoning Allah and the hijab.
Here's news for them, it ain't gonna happen, regardless of the law, regardless of the public shaming.

The truth is that if Quebec doesn't like what Muslims are, they shouldn't encourage their immigration. It is a painful truth which they don't want to face.
To those language and culture zealots, I would sound a warning that they should be mindful of the old Chinese saying.
"Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it" 

Yesterday an Angus-Reid poll indicated that 53% of Canadians believe that Quebec gets extra advantages out of confederation.
Removing the Quebec element from the poll with some simple math deduces that the number of Canadians residing outside Quebec who believed that Quebec is advantaged is actually 62.7%.

I firmly believe that support for Quebec sovereignty is much higher in the rest of Canada than in Quebec and that put to a national referendum, Quebec would certainly be shown the door.
How's that for a kick in the butt!

In light of the poll, Aaron Rand of Montreal radio station CJAD polled his listeners as to what it is about Quebec that Canadians dislike and received a variety of answers, most of which were patently true.

The answer is in fact quite simple,  Quebec's shameful and petty nastiness towards Canada, Anglos and Ethnics is what is so off-putting for Canadians.

Quebec politicians and the French media make it a point to shit all over Canada through oblique and overt slights and insults, typified by the pettiness of ignoring Canada Day and turning it into Quebec's 'moving day.'

 I wonder how the Quebec media would react if Anglo towns would create 'Garage Sale Day' on Quebec's Fete Nationale.

Quebec nationalists are a petty and nasty group of frustrated losers who spend their time slagging Canada in general and Quebec's ethnics and Anglos in particular.
They are practiced in biting the hand that feeds them and remain ungrateful fantasists who believe the utter nonsense that an independent Quebec would be more successful.

And so we are treated and will continue to be treated to a certain brand of anti-Canadian, anti Anglo/Ethnic nastiness that is what modern Quebec has evolved into.
What remains is a frustrated and sad society, too afraid to strike out on its own and thus relegated to sniping, griping and insulting in order to wallpaper its humiliation over its own cowardice over sovereignty.

Like a spouse who stays in a loveless relationship because the money is good and the option to leave inconvenient, bitterness, humiliation and frustration are is the price to be paid for cowardice.

Such is nationalist Quebec, nasty and frustrated ,where Anglos, Ethnics and Canada are the targets of its frustration, blamed as the object of its unhappiness when in fact the problem lies deep within.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Quebecois Don't Deserve French Language Protection

A recent outburst by Quebec Cabinet Minister Nathalie Roy bitching and moaning about the rampant disregard for Bill 101 in signage in downtown Montreal had me seeing red.
With fighting words, she promised to teach those Anglo bastards a thing or two in the new year by re-doubling efforts to root out transgressions by issuing more strident marching orders to the petty language Nazis of the OQLF.
The done-me-wrong theme of victimization plays well in the boonies and in the radical nationalist circle where English isn't just resented but outright loathed as an existential threat.
"I fear there will be a decline in the French language in Montreal, said the minister in conversation with Le Devoir on Tuesday . When I walk around and see businesses in different neighbourhoods that only display in a language other than French, there is a serious problem. There is a lack of enforcement Bill 101.
What a crock of poop!!!
The Office québécois de la langue française published a study earlier this year on the language of public signage that contradicted the Minister completely.

"Montreal, March 29, 2018. - The results of the study published today by the Office québécois de la langue française show a significant improvement in the rate of compliance with the Charter of the French Language of Public Signage by businesses located in a commercial centres and on the street on the island of Montreal between 2010 and 2017."

Since 2010, mall-based businesses achieved the highest rate of compliance with respect to both the general signage (from 64% to 78%) and the brand name  (from 79% to 88%) Messages displayed (excluding the name) in the window or on an external sign improved from 78% to 86%. Link{fr}
If there's a recurring theme amongst French language nationalists it is that French is under attack by the dastardly English and Allophone communities and especially by those infernal immigrants that choose to speak English and embrace 'Canadian' culture over 'Quebec' culture.

The theme is played ad nauseam by cheap politicians, journalists and language militants who want 'Les autres' to assimilate into the great francophone culture by attending concerts by Marie-Mai, whilst they the francophones, embrace Drake and Shawn Mendes.

It seems that everybody must nurture and protect the French language, everyone that is, except Francophone Quebecers who generally show benign indifference at best or complete apathy towards their own vaunted Quebec culture.
French-language nationalists and separatists cast blame and nasty aspersions upon us as if it is our lone responsibility to protect their language and culture. The misguided attacks are sad deflections that serve to wallpaper Francophone laziness and apathy towards their language, conveniently shifting the blame and the conversation away from their own failings.

The famous Mathieu Bock Cote, Josée Legault, Gilles Proulx, Mario Beaulieu, Mario Dumont and every PQ leader have never demanded nor even asked or hinted that francophones take an ounce of responsibility for protecting their own language. Instead, they harp on us to save their skins.
I'm not interested in the doing their bidding...

There's an old saying that tells us that "God helps those who help themselves."
Too bad francophones and their leaders believe that the responsibility to save their culture and language lies outside their community.

 It's simple, if Francophones want to save their language and culture they need to;
  • Produce an average of two and a half children per family. That means that not one hated immigrant would be required to fill the ranks.
  • They need to avoid English culture, stop attending English movies, watching English TV and paying to see English artists instead of supporting local Quebec francophone talent. 
  • They need to send their children to French schools, including cegep and university.
  • If they don't like seeing stores with English or Jewish non-French names and are offended by seeing Birks Reitmans, Levis or Apple on the masthead, don't shop there.
  • And if all that fails, hold a referendum and have just 60% of francophones vote for sovereignty.
Of the 27 concerts held and to be held at Montreal's Bell Centre between last September and next August, there is but one francophone Quebec artist (Marie Mai),... yup just one.
There are four English Canadian artists (Michale Bublé, Shawn Mendes, Drake, Bryan Adams) acts and two English Quebec acts Leonard Cohen Tribute and Corey Hart), with the rest being American or foreigners
Who goes to these shows?
Certainly not the newly-arrived immigrants, ticket prices are out of reach.
Is it the Anglo and Allophone communities that fill the seats of the Bell Centre to the rafters or is it mostly francophone Quebecers who prefer Anglo artists to their own?

Each July, Quebec City holds a highly successful music festival that attracts over 135,000 fans over its course. Last July the concert featured;
Foo Fighters, The Weeknd, Neil Young, Shawn Mendes, Beck, Lorde, Future, Dave Matthews Band, The Chainsmokers, Jethro Tull, Sum 41.
The year before it featured;
Muse, The Who, Metallica, P!nk, Gorillaz, Kendrick Lamar, The Backstreet Boys, Lady Antebellum, Flume, Melissa Etheridge, Migos, DNCE.

Of course, there are some local French acts, mostly offered as window dressing, the real appeal is the big name Anglo artists.
What is the reaction of language nationalists to this boycott of francophone artists by francophone Quebecers?
They ignore the reality of francophone indifference and instead complain that the Montreal Canadiens and the shopping malls play too much English music.
It's somebody else's fault....always.

Over the course of this blog, the comments section has been full of defenders of the faith scoffing at Canadian culture and vaunting the vibrant and culturally exciting francophone arts.
What a crock!
The Quebec movie scene is a desert wasteland, where but one or two decent films are presented each year.
The only saving grace is television where Radio-Canada, the French CBC functions well, but which is largely over-funded by taxes from English Canada.
The rest of the independent networks are chock full of banal talk and cheap game shows, with a solid base of English dubbed movies and TV shows from Hollywood and American networks.

Even here francophone Quebecers are displaying a stunning lack of loyalty by embracing Netflix by the millions, forsaking traditional Quebecois TV to the financial detriment of the local francophone TV industry.
Who's fault is that?  Netflix of course!
Language fanatics up to now have been making the faux-argument that Netflix has an unfair advantage because it doesn't charge Quebec sales tax on its product. In reaction to the uproar, Quebec imposed the tax on Netflix which did not exactly calm the storm of dissent, where demands are now being made that Netflix provide original  Quebec French content.
When Netflix did create a fund to produce Canadian content, Quebec militants howled that French content is not getting their fair share, that being 40% of the money that they expect, despite having 23% of the Canadian population.
By the way, if Quebec can demand that Netflix produce Quebec based content, why not the American networks of CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox?

In the Journal du Montreal the usually level-headed columnist Lise Ravary wrote an out-of-character and nasty screed about English-named stores, where she reaches back into history to carp about days of yore, intimating that the situation of French then is where we are headed now.
When I look at pre-1977 photos of Montreal, I'm flabbergasted by the almost exclusive English face, with names like Pink Poodle, Dunn's Famous smoked meat and Montreal Light and Power. Link{fr}
MLH&P Montreal head office. Where's the offending sign?
So it is the English names that bother Madame Ravary. The fact that today the signs in the stores are French, the service offered by French-speaking employees is in French, the product manuals and packaging is in French is of no consequence, it is the bastard English store name that is so offensive.

I wonder if Ms. Ravary is flabbergasted by an office co-worker's desk name-plate that is clearly English. Is it an affront to her and all francophones co-workers?

Ms Ravary seems to be engulfed in a rabid case of hyperbole, complaining about the bygone blight of signage by the Montreal Light and Power, a company that disappeared when it was nationalized in 1942, morphing into Hydro-Quebec. I've hunted high and low on the internet for a glimpse at the offending sign without much luck. I challenge Madame Ravary to put up or apologize. Even the company's power station in old Montreal had no offending signage. By the way, had Ms. Ravary actually seen a picture, she'd know that the company wasn't actually called Montreal Light and Power but rather Montreal Light Heat and Power.

The only other picture I could find is this photo of a service truck;

If this the sign that flabbergasted Mme Ravary, she's got an exceedingly thin skin. Perhaps it is the sign on the side of the truck urging the purchase of war bonds in English, which is actually quite apropos because it was only the English that bought war bonds anyways.

Lets us examine what Ravary is all hot and bothered about the Apple store in downtown Montreal. She couldn't be upset about the actual service offered in the Apple store because French is the default language of employees. The signage in the store is completely French and the computers, tablets and phones themselves offer French keyboards or interfaces and a French operating system.
What Ravary actually dislikes is the English name, which she whines is sadly protected by international law.
What would she think of an Ontario Anglo boss who during a performance review told a Franco-Ontarian employee that his work is excellent, his English skills both oral and written exemplary and his value to the company immeasurable. That being said the boss complains that the one employee deficiency that he can identify is that the employee's name is not English and therefore offensive to him and the rest of the company.
Perhaps he hints, the employee might consider changing his name from Jean LeBrun to John Brown in order not to offend the majority.
Gentle reader, this is the real complaint about the English face of Montreal.... the hated English names.
When it comes to complaints about service offered exclusively in English it should be noted that it is so rare that every instance is newsworthy. A poor Chinese immigrant running a depanneur by working 100 hours a week is pilloried mercilessly by the French media for his lack of French skill as if he committed a heinous crime.
Off with his head!!!!
Haters like Benoit Dutrizac will run a whole radio talk show on the outrage fanning the flames of intolerance.
This isn't about the defence of the French language, it is intolerance and hate, pure and simple.

As for the referendum loss in 1995, nationalists, led by the ghost of anglo and ethnic blamer Jacques Parizeau continue to bitterly blame the 18% non-French element of Quebec society at the time for voting No, conveniently forgetting that 45% of the francophone voting population did not vote for sovereignty.
As I said, it's always somebody else's fault.

As for Madame Ravary, what would be her reaction be to the Cirque du Soleil being criticized for operating in Las Vegas under its French name? What would she say about a journalist or politician demanding that the word "Circus" be added to 'Cirque du Soleil' out of respect for the English majority?
Mais voyons donc!..... It's not the same because we are a special case, I imagine she would say.
For once I agree, Quebec francophones are certainly a very special case.

And so the nationalist and separatist leaders, whining journalists and cheap politicians peddle the done-me-wrong fantasy, all while average francophones do little or nothing to protect their language. The francophone public doesn't care or they don't care enough to make any effort.

If francophone Quebecers are not willing to lift a finger, why on Earth should we?