Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fake Language Demonstration Really About Union Jobs

I've always been a "Doubting Thomas," forever sceptical of what is being presented in front of me, either in the print media or on television news reports.
I find myself often talking back to the television, correcting pronunciation or challenging the facts presented. I usually don't get much reaction, aside from my wife, who tells me to shut up more often than not.

It was with mouth ajar that I screened a YouTube video of a demonstration in front of Immigration Minister Yolande James' office in Montreal.
The media variously reported the crowd between several hundred and two thousand, but the reality was it numbered closer to 200.

The demonstration purported to be about the protection of the French language and the elimination of French classes for immigrants by the Ministry of Education. I'm not aware of the merits of the argument, but I assume that if French classes were cut, there was an excellent reason to do so.

The reality was that the demonstration had nothing to do with language, but rather about the thirty jobs or so, that were to be lost by the union, the Syndicat des professeurs de l'État du Québec.

Watching the video, it became evident that the whole affair was put up by teachers who recruited their students to demonstrate in their stead, under the guise of protecting the French language.

Nobody in the mainstream media pointed out the shameful pimping out of students by the teachers union.

I imagine that this type of extra-curricular activity leads to extra credit....
  • At the 3:00 mark of the video a teacher is asked for a comment by a reporter and tells him she can't comment because she's a public employee, but she pushes a student in front of the microphone to speak for her.
  • At 3:30 of the video, a Spanish accented student tells the camera that he came to the demonstration to speak French. His teacher, standing to one side, tells him to repeat what they practised in class!!
All the students interviewed spoke excellent French and exactly what they are doing in French language school is an open question.

The placards that the students held up were much too sophisticated for people learning French as a second language. Not many immigrants can successfully use the word 'PRECARITÉ,"(precarious) or can make a play on the two different meanings of the word "TOUR." (tower/turn)

I remember way back in Grade 10 in high school, one of my teachers spent half a period beseeching students to attend a demonstration in favour of teacher contract demands.

It was creepy and unethical then, as it is now.


  1. Back in the mid 1980's when I was a young and naive fellow I was working at a very large Sears warehouse. One day the whole plant - over a 1,000 employees - were called-in in groups of fifty or so and we were all given pens and papers. We were all told that we were to write letters to our provincial and federal M.P.'s and the premier too. We were told to say in the letters that we were opposed to Sunday shopping and wanted the stores to stay closed. They had a bunch of extra managers brought in and they walked up and down the aisles watching us as we wrote. I remember one woman - a fair bit older then my 21 years - saying but what if you AGREED WITH IT. At once a bunch of managers got in her face and I seem to remember her being escorted out of the room. At the time most of this all went over my head (like I said I was only 21 and this was all pre-internet days) but I always remembered it and have periodically reconsidered it as I got older. What right did Sears even have to do something like this? It was certainly unethical. Makes you wonder how many people get taken advantage of because they don't know their rights. You should check out Michael Moore's latest film and learn about 'Dead Peasants'.

  2. Language is a job issue as much as anything else. The majority of Quebecers are completely incapable of existing in a bilingual society. 101 has ensured that those who occupy jobs with little or no English will continue to support the legislation as well as any party that claims to be its defendant if only to retain their job security. A nefarious plan from the start.

  3. Remember the manifestations against the war in Iraq in Canada (and especially in Quebec) often organized by Unions and such? Remember the school kids holding boards and chanting slogans when they did not have all the abilities nor the full knowledge of what was going on?

    That way of doing things always reminds me of how Palestinians use kids to try to get their message accross but end up to the end of the civilized world looking like a bunch of fools exploting the naiveté of children for their sick cause.

  4. "All the students interviewed spoke excellent French and exactly what they are doing in French language school is an open question."

    Scamming the system, maybe?