Friday, June 4, 2010

Bill 103- For French Language Militants and Premier Charest, Manna From Heaven!

For French language militants, the Liberal government's presentation of Bill 103 in the National Assembly was the best news that they've had in months and given the immediate reaction, an unexpected gift that they couldn't have hoped for in their wildest dreams.
And so Christmas comes early, the proposed law promising months and months of language controversy, the mother's milk of the sovereignty/language movement.

Mario Beaulieu, president of the Société St-Jean-Baptiste has already waded in, ominously warning Quebeckers, à la croquemitaine, that nothing less than the future of the French language is at stake. Already dozens and dozens of scathing articles are populating the sovereignist web sites as well as the mainstream press. I caught  Mongrain  this morning where Brent Tyler was given quite a rough ride.

For those of you from out of the province, let me bring you up to date;
The Quebec government finally came up with it's response to the ruling by the Supreme Court that Quebec's Bill 104 was illegal.
That law closed a 'loophole' whereby children, ineligible to attend English school by virtue of the infamous Bill 101, could circumvent the measure by attending an unsubsidized English private school for as little as one year. They then could transfer over to the publicly run English system, claiming a 'history' of English education, one of the pathways into public English education.

Bill 104 made that practice illegal, but the law was struck down by the Supreme Court, calling it overly restrictive.The Court did however, delay the judgment for a year, giving the Quebec government time to draft a more acceptable law.

The proposed law that does so, is Bill 103 (only in Quebec, can a Bill 103 replace a Bill 104) and in many respects is even more convoluted then its predecessor, harking back to the early days in the 1970's of language restrictions brought in by Premier Robert Bourassa , where five and six year-olds (mostly Italian) were tested for English proficiency by government inspectors.

I'll give the proposed law a thorough analysis next week, but my first reaction was to ask myself what in the world Premier Charest was thinking about in making such a controversial proposal.

He could have invoked the "Notwithstanding Clause (Canada's version of a "Get out of Jail Free Card") to override the Supreme Court ruling, something that would have engendered a week or two of controversy and then would be over and done with.

But seeing the reaction in Parliament and on the talk-show circuit, his presentation of Bill 103 may just be the most brilliant political manoeuvre that he has ever pulled off.

Listening to Pauline Marois' blistering attack on the proposed bill in the National Assembly and Mr. Charest's spirited defence, it occurs to me that the PQ has fallen for another political trick.

And so the construction industry and corruption debate is shelved. The PQ, who were holding all the aces in that debate, stupidly asked for and received from a willing Charest, a re-shuffle and re-deal of the issues before the public.
The issue of the defence of the French language is so powerfully attractive to the PQ, that the separatist Parliamentarians displayed a reaction akin to that of a drug addict being shown a vial of heroin.

The grin on Mr. Charest's face yesterday morning in the Assembly, as he defended his language position, should have been a signal to the PQ that they should back off and continue to press the fight on corruption, but Madame Marois and her party cannot resist.
Like I said..... heroin language controversy.

The language debate is one where the Liberals can not only hold their own, but can actually win, with over 60% of Quebeckers opting for free choice in education in a recent opinion poll.
If the public debate returns to language and sovereignty, the PQ will find themselves back where they were when they lost the last general election.

The public has indicated that they are over 80% in favour of a public inquiry into corruption. Why the PQ would choose to veer away from an issue where they were absolutely destroying the government is a testament to poor decision-making and inexperienced leadership.
That's the attraction of...heroin language controversy.

Madame Marois is squandering it all. Someone in her political coterie should have slapped her in the face, but the problem for the PQ, that as ideologues, they lack political judgment. Military commanders are trained to ignore a diversionary attack and are disciplined to keep their eye firmly on mission objectives.

With only five more days until the summer recess, you can be sure that Bill 103 will occupy the Assembly for the balance of the term, a dream come true for Charest. It will lead to a summer of language debate and by the Fall who knows where we shall be politically. For Mr. Charest, anywhere else is better than where he was just days ago.

I'll say it again, Marois had Premier Charest down and out and instead of finishing him off by continuing to hammer away at him with punches to his weak side, she opted to go after his strength.

And so Premier Charest has a sneer of confidence on his face for the first time in months. His guilty-dog demeanour is gone and an aggressive and confident Charest has reappeared in the Assembly.

I can only imagine the words going through his mind......

"Language? Sovereignty? ----Bring it on, bitch!"


  1. The shame of it all is that for anglos in Quebec, there seems to be no other political choice than between voting for a liberal or another liberal just like a store that would only sell one product. If you don't like it, tough luck, it's the only thing we have for you in store.

    However, anglos in Quebec are not dumb enough to vote PQ but on the other hand, if you happen to be an anglo sick and tired of Charest, the only viable option for you beside not voting is to hold your breath tight and still vote for Charest.

    Could any other party such as the ADQ ever be of interest to the English community in Quebec?



  2. Tym_Machine, I solved the problem. I was born, raised and educated in Quebec, and moved to Ontario the day after my university convocation--literally. In fact, my mom came with me to set up my apartment, and in doing so, I drove to the Ontario border, got out, had my mom drive the car over the border, and to fulfill a dream that took 8 years to implement, I walked out of Quebec. Boy, was that satisfying beyond words!

    In Ontario, we can vote for the Red Party, the Blue Party, the Orange Party or the Green Party. Compared to Quebec, politics in Ontario is about as interesting as watching paint dry on a wall, and I'm very grateful for that!

  3. @ Tym-Machine: As you point out, Quebec Anglos are caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place :(

  4. Tym: "the only viable option for you beside not voting is to hold your breath tight and still vote for Charest. "

    These are exactly the ONLY 2 choices. I can't speak for others, but I couldn't vote for the ADQ. Just the fact that Dumont was up on that stage with Parizeau and Bouchard in 1995 is a deterrent enough for me.

    Between the 2 available options, I tend to stick to not voting, and secretly hoping that the Liberals win it. But only because they are the "lesser evil". Similarly, in the last municipal election I did not vote, but I can't deny that I was happy that the corrupt guy beat the possessed ideologue. Because I'd rather be ruled by a guy who may one day reach into my pocket and swipe my wallet, than by a woman that would devote lots of energy into turning me into a neo-Quebecois 1.0 prototype.

    Anonymous: "to fulfill a dream that took 8 years to implement, I walked out of Quebec"

    This is the BEST solution. I dreamed of it for 20 years. It took me about a week after "getting off the boat" to realize that my main objective in life is to move somewhere else. - immigrating to Quebec was only the first step in the immigration process.

    As I found out later, it might not be so easy to move. A job, a gf, a house, family, friends...but to make a long story short - the relocation out of Quebec is still one of my priorities for the future. Because if I don't feel at ease in this society after 20 years, despite being able to function here, I won't feel at ease here in 30, 40, 50 years. The only rational thing to do is to get tf out of here.

  5. Reply to Tym-Machine;

    Can not the Anglo community in Quebec form its own political parties and institutions? Why give your votes away to a Liberal party that clearly does not care for or respect you and your cultural group? A party that just takes you for granted, knowing your only 'default' option is the P.Q. The German-speaking minority in Italy for example, is represented at all levels of government by its own political parties. Likewise in the United Kingdom, Irish people have their own parties to represent them too. They don't have to choose between the Labour and Tories. Peter Brimelow talks about this in some length in his excellent book THE PATRIOT GAME. Among other things, he notes no majority is going to take any minority seriously, if that minority doesn't take itself seriously enough to develop a political expression represented by ist own political party. The Toronto guy..

  6. Editor,

    I looked over the opinions posed by Don McPherson in The Gazette:

    Bill 103 or 104.1 or whateverthehell semantics you want to use, it's an inert placebo. It's as phony as taking a sugar pill for a migrane headache, and it will never work because the taker KNOWS it's just a sugar pill.

    Giving language police, »ahem«, I mean civil servants the power to play God failed in the mid-1970s, so there is nothing to prevent history from repeating itself. This time it's worse because it will force more affluent people to put their kids through 3 years of private school at an exhorbitant cost for some narcisistic civil servant to say "no" at the end of the three years. You can bet your boots the "no's" will far exceed the "yes's", esp. if the PQ is back in power then. Then again, there were enough fascists doing the job under Bou-Bou Pinocchio's tutelage in 1974.

    It's almost as cruel as South American countries that took big bucks from persecuted Jews in Nazi Germany for visas seeking refuge only to be refused entry when they reached port. The refugees were sent back to Europe to face the same extermination as those who could not afford the phony visas in the first place. In short, it will be a very expensive exercise in futility, and I won't be a bit surprised if NO applications get through (unless perhaps the decider has to be bought off as well).

    The way I see it, Brent Tyler will be back in the Kangaroo Court Next to Parliament Hill in about 5-6 years time once the lower court rulings on all those cases are appealed. As sure as a total solar eclipse will arc through Montreal on April 8, 2024 is as sure as someone will be arguing Bill 103 in the High Kangaroo Court. I was earlier assuming Brent Tyler will still be alive and will still be practising this type of law. If not Brent Tyler, then someone else.

    ...of course, some trajectory can knock either the moon or Earth off its orbit in the next 14 years, but I doubt it...

    In conclusion, it's just another dirty game being played by THE Quebec government (and they ALL play their cruel games against the minorities).

  7. How fitting that my last entry came through at 1:01pm! Here's an English public school board's reaction, also in The Gazette:

    Now to respond to the Toronto Guy whose entry came five minutes before mine:

    Did you ever LIVE in Quebec, T.G.? Where have you been? There WAS an "Anglophone" Party in the September 25, 1989 Quebec election: The Equality Party! They ran candidates, mostly in the West Island, Chomedey in Laval, and other constituencies where there was a significant English population. They won four (4) seats! Those were the seats with the highest concentration of English speakers in Quebec: D'Arcy McGee covering Côte St-Luc, Hampstead and parts of NDG; Westmount, home of the "Rhodesians"; Jacques-Cartier, a geographically large constituency in Southwest Montreal and I think Nelligan, the riding on the extreme western tip of the Island of Montreal. After that election, they never saw the light of day again, but they have tried. If there were over 30% Francophones in other signficantly English ridings, the vote split in favour of the Liberals. Even by 1989, the numbers were too low, but I still don't think the Liberals deserve one single English vote.

    Reading the above article, you learn what a spineless jellyfish Jonathan Goldbloom is, cut from the same cloth his daddy, Dr. Victor Goldbloom, is. Daddy was a former Quisling cabinet minister in Bou-Bou Pinocchio's first iteration as leader of the closet nationalists, and also held posts the supposedly anti-discrimination CCCJ (Canadian Council of Christians and Jews), then was a Commissioner of Official Languages, a plum, well-paying federal government position. I guess pediatrics wasn't good enough for Dr. Victor. It certainly was for HIS father, Dr. Alton Goldbloom. I don't consider Dr. Alton's son and grandson together to be half the man he was!

    As for Premier Goldilocks, he's NOT a man! After being the great defender of federalism, Captain Canada, prior to the 1995 Referendum, he has completely swallowed that persona whole, transforming himself into Capitaine Québec! He's as much a snake in the grass as Bou-Bou Pinocchio, infuriating both sides of the debate, a serpent who slithers to and fro' on both sides of the line!

  8. Reply to Anon:

    I'm fully aware there was an Equality party in Quebec. Basically it floundered which means it didn't get the support it needed from the community. I still think my point stands. Anglophones could and should have been better organized and active politically had they wanted to maintain themselves and their communal institutions in Quebec. Evidently they do not seem to want to do so. To a large extent they have chosen FLIGHT over FIGHT - moving to Ontario and elsewhere (taken the coward's way out?). The German community in Italy is much smaller in proportional terms then the Anglophone group in Quebec is. But that didn't stop them. There are many other groups I could mention also, like the Scots in the U.K. or the Swedes in Finland. As Brimelow notes Anglos in Quebec didn't appreciate they were minorities for a long time. They also expected the rest of Anglo-Canadians outside Quebec to support policies like Trudeau's Official bilingualism from which they would be among the primary beneficiaries.

  9. This new bill only gives the ILLUSION of access to English education. It's like they had closed a side gate to the castle and that you formerly could get in. Now they're holding the gate open about a foot (enough to slide under) but there's a small catch: you have to cross a moat filled with live piranha fish, plus about 10 feet of molten lava, jump a pit with poison tipped spears and run past rabid dogs and killer bees. Oh, and did I mention once you slide under the gate, there will be four guards who will determine if you can come in the castle based on their own personal judgment? And did I mention their job is to attempt to reject and turn around anyone who makes it this far? So yes, jump all the hoops, but chances are you'll never make it across. Most people won't even want to risk trying!

    English schools are the life blood of the English community in Quebec, and the government wants to strangle it to death. All part of the purification the "Quebecois Nation" of Quebec, to rid it of its impure English-speakers.

    I have had that same dream of leaving Quebec. I've had it for at least the past 20 years. I'm an English speaker who was born here (with English family roots in Quebec probably going back hundreds of years), raised here and lived here my entire life. I've tried to accept how things are here, hoping one day it might get better, but it gets worse and worse each year. Despite my family roots going back at least a century or two, I feel like a foreigner and living in some strange country where I'm NOT welcome or accepted. I'm sorry to say it, but I despise *every* aspect of life in Quebec and the province itself, it's literally become a third world country. At the very core is the government, and whether it's the PQ or Liberals, their raison d'etre is to make life for persons like myself miserable and uncomfortable. Quite frankly I've had it, Quebec is making my life miserable and as soon as I can, I plan to leave Quebec--for forever.

    I've recently visited cities like New York, Burlington and Toronto, and I can't get over how modern, advanced and clean (and with FRIENDLY PEOPLE!) compared to the hole-in-the-ground Montreal has become. Quite sad, my father and mother used to tell me stories about how beautiful Montreal was, and how it was THE center of the world. That's long gone and forgotten, and it's no mystery why the city and province have done a complete 180 turn. Laws like go against human rights are just the tip of the iceberg.

    I really like idea of walking over the Ontario border. You know what, the day I leave this province for good, I'm going to do the very same thing! Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  10. @adski:

    ''Tym: "the only viable option for you beside not voting is to hold your breath tight and still vote for Charest. "

    For me??? Hey I am never going to vote for Charest in my whole life are you crazy, this is the most corrupted government we ever had.

    I'd rather vote PQ before voting Charest and I am not péquiste nor nationalist, I am 100% federalist but at the same time those who still believe sovereignty is still possible must suffer from deep paranoia and it's treatable with medication by the way.



  11. @Mitch,

    Bet you that besides all that sh*t you had because of the PQ AND the PLQ, you are still going to vote for Charest eh?

    Well, tough luck ;)!!

  12. @adski,

    ''Just the fact that Dumont was up on that stage with Parizeau and Bouchard in 1995 is a deterrent enough for me.''

    Get over it, this debate is over now, however Canada has missed a real good chance at removing a thorn from it's feet namely Quebec (sorry for all the anglos up there but it's my perception of reality) now they are stuck with us forever and they better give us checks cauz our socialist appetite whether it has a liberal or a pequiste taste is NEVER ending.

    Dumont is not even chief of the ADQ anymore, bet you did not know it.

    Oh that's right, still stuck in your 1976 debate, sovereignty VS federalism, PQ-PLQ dichotomy. Hard choice eh, PQ-PLQ...a slap in the face or a punch in the nuts. Typical Montreal anglo-franco never ending debate.

    By the way, fortunate enough that there was a third guy in the race namely Richard Bergeron otherwise you might have been stuck with a péquiste ideologue for the next four years...

    A proof that sometimes, a third option could be a good thing to do a little cards shuffling once and a while and maybe give a REAL option for people to vote for because so far anglos must have had it being forced to vote liberal just for the sake of exercising your right to 'vote' without a choice (sense the irony here).

  13. @anonymous,

    'As for Premier Goldilocks, he's NOT a man! After being the great defender of federalism, Captain Canada, prior to the 1995 Referendum, he has completely swallowed that persona whole, transforming himself into Capitaine Québec! He's as much a snake in the grass as Bou-Bou Pinocchio, infuriating both sides of the debate, a serpent who slithers to and fro' on both sides of the line!'

    Jean Charest knows that he cannot win the elections without the French vote so what happens? He takes your vote, put it in his pocket and takes you for granted while slaping you in the face.

    You probably don't know that fact but did you know this 'captain Canada' voted Yes in the 1980 referendum? Talk about some captain Canada. Probably a 'mistake' due to his turbulent youth.

    You well point out that the real defenders of the anglos were Alliance Quebec but nonetheless, the party crashed and went bankrupt a couple years ago.

    Any idea when the rehearsal will come before it's too late?

  14. @anonymous,

    'Compared to Quebec, politics in Ontario is about as interesting as watching paint dry on a wall, and I'm very grateful for that!'

    Come on, come back politics in Quebec is exciting isn't it?

    Je suis prêt, l'équipe libérale est prête, nous sommes prêt

    - Captain Canada himself Jean Charest in 2003.

  15. The English community in Quebec has to set up another political party that should include like minded allophones and francophones. Even if this party manages to get elected in 5 seats out of the 125 seats, it would have more power for Anglos than the present situation within the Liberal Party.

    A new party with a Fiscal Conservative stance, but a Libertarian stance in individual rights and freedoms could just be the breath of fresh air Quebec Politics needs. And there are certainly more issues in Quebec that can be dealt with other than just a protest vote for Anglos.

    Quebec has problems with...

    1 - Language laws that oppress minority groups.
    2 - Quebec Budgets run out of control
    3 - Over taxation
    4 - Political Seats need to be revised due to movement of population.
    5 - Healthcare Services falling apart
    6 - Constant fights with Ottawa, and hostile moves against other provinces
    7 - Quebec government too big
    8 - Too much government interference in peoples lives

    If all of that isn't enough for another party to be formed, then what is?

  16. Tym, I wasn't saying this to you: "the only viable option for you beside not voting is to hold your breath tight and still vote for Charest. "

    I was just quoting you - from your first post on this article - and then elaborating on it.

  17. 4:19am: We had the Equality Party. It failed after one mandate. We had activism with Howard Galganov. He wasn't supported. NEEEEXT! SUIVAAAAAAANNTE! Impotent West Island imbeciles!

  18. 2 of 2:
    So there it was, the summer of 1974. Then in August, the cruel language tests started with Bou-Bou Pinocchio's army of fascist tongue troopers assuming their positions. By the time my last year of high school started, my goal became to complete my cheap post-secondary education and walk out of Quebec. That took place 8 years later on a warm, sunny Thursday June morning, the day after my Concordia U. convocation. Mission accomplished, and I've never looked back. T_M, I knew THEN it was worth moving out vs. staying to fight. Over ¼ million other Anglophones saw it my way, and THAT is Quebec's loss. I and many others will happily pay our (lower) taxes in Ontario, thank you.

    Too, I don't fear separation anymore. Quebec has 22% of the population, but 33% representation in the Kangaroo court, the lion's share of Equalization payments, 70% of the funds allocated to street festivals, 35% of the funds for immigration (but takes in only 12% of the immigrants, while Ontario takes in 50% but only gets 36% of the funds), and more. Worse, too many federal governments have given into Quebec, but now seeing how the BQ gets too many seats time after time, the feds are catching on.

    I'm OK with Quebec staying on, but if, AND ONLY IF, Quebec gets no more, or a little more than 22% in certain places, of ANY funding, and its representation in the Supreme Kangaroo Court is reduced to two from three. 2/9ths of the chairs is 22.22% of the population, perfect proportional representation. That would take a constitutional amendment, but I'm sure the other nine provinces would only be too happy to pick Quebec's pocket for a change.

    If those arrogant nationalists think this is going to go on forever, they're off their rockers! Harper has finally awoken and seen it's absolutely NOT work bending over backwards for these ingrates. Quebec's own finance department analyzed their fiscal situation and found, on a per-capita basis, they are the 6th most indebted jurisdiction in the world.

    Based on that, I'm OK with Quebec separation, because their economy will collapse like Zimbabwe and Greece. I'm OK if their heavy debt load, endless social programs (that will have to be butchered, like recently in Greece) crushes them. Franco Quebecers are conditioned to believe they are a distinct society with endless entitlements off the fat of the land--CANADA'S land! I'm done, Harper has to listen to his western constituents first because they're his bread and butter--Quebec is not.

    I believe the pendulum, with the axe at the end of it, is finally swinging right towards Quebec's throat, and I don't care one iota!

  19. Tym_Machine (1 of 2):

    I hope you enjoyed your little tirade! I didn't know Charest voted "yes" in the 1980 Referendum, but his behaviour since taking the mantle of leadership of the PLQ near the end of the millennium suggests this was possible. If he has principles, I don't know what they are because they change depending which way the wind is blowing. All he's interested in is career survival.

    Sadly, most politicians put their career survival ahead of their true principles. They swallow themselves whole for the sake of holding onto power by their fingernails clinging on a ceiling or cliff if they have to. Survival over principles.

    Finally, finally, finally Harper saw the light and did something. After bending over backwards for Quebec, all in the name of what proved to be winning one more Quebec seat in parliament, Harper withheld allocating $2.3 billion in admin costs to Quebec for collecting the GST.

    Serves them right! During Charest's last election campaign, he duped Harper by taking a $700 million allocation and dishing it out as a tax break on the Quebec tax returns. Charest is now getting payback, and I hope the other federal parties see there are no gains to be had bending over backwards for Quebec.

    Quebecers are bellyachers, French and English. French with gimme gimme gimme or we'll split; English for bitching about the PLQ, but endlessly voting for the PLQ with little exception back in 1989. Yes, T_M, Reed Scowen in his book "Time to Say Goodbye" wrote about how the PLQ has no incentive to help minorites as they get the vote no matter what.

    Howard Galganov offered an alternative. He spearheaded protests that quickly fizzled out. He held the banner higher than anyone else, to the point of conducting a radio show, but English Montreal chose not to fight. It is THEIR fault for all this. I left because I saw NO fight in my own parents. My late mother, MSRIP, originally said we should stay and fight, but when I discussed it with them, they figured they were "too old", their jobs/careers were established, and figured no matter what, they were sitting ducks.

    I was still in school when all the language nonsense manifested, and figured sitting ducks eventually become dead ducks. I had just returned from a family celebration in Toronto five weeks before Bill 22 became law. I don't know if I fell in love with Toronto at that moment, but I did fall in love with everything English outside Quebec. This was confirmed when we returned home, and I saw the two white-on-green border signs showing QUÉBEC (where the 401 converts to the 20), and I was not happy to return. I was only a teenager in high school, didn't at that time know language legislation was being formulated, legislated and assented into law, but the bad odour was in the air, and I sensed it.

    Days before Bill 22 became law, I got my first summer job and I had to take public transit to work. I found the Montreal bus drivers rude, barking b.s. to me in French (at least I didn't understand it--too, a wildcat Metro operators' strike took place about a week after I started that job). Some people in the streets made it beknownst to me they didn't like when I responded to conversation in English.

  20. Some interesting comments. I still think my basic point about the Anglo community in Quebec not fighting enough is right (unless you go the other way and argue in favour of Swiss-style territorial unilingualism, which I support but so few other posters here do). I also have no problem at all with Quebec leaving Canada and think it would even be a good thing for the rest of the country. This position was considered heresy when I first held it back in 1976 (didn't Trudeau get away with saying an independent Quebec would be a crime against the history of mankind) but is much more acceptable now. Believe me there are plenty of people outside Quebec who would be only to happy to see Quebec kiss-off. Then this whole issue of bilingualism would dissapear because Canada is not remotely a bilingual, let alone a bicultural, country. The Toronto guy.

  21. I think Charest said on the radio that he didn't vote on the referendum.

  22. Anonymous 3:23PM : “If those arrogant nationalists think this is going to go on forever, they're off their rockers!”

    If Canada does not do anything and leaves it up to Quebec, this thing might (and will) go on forever. And the separatists are not necessarily the ones to blame (they want to leave anyways). The so-called federalists-nationalists are to blame.

    In Quebec, about 1/3 of the population is staunchly federalist and about 1/3 is staunchly separatist. In between the two, there is the federalist-nationalist group that uses separatists like patsies in the game of milking of Ottawa. These federalist-nationalists play a cynical game - they support, nurture, defend, justify, and encourage the separatists, but at the moment when it matters most, in the voting booth, they backstab them and cast a Non vote. So in essence, they don’t let the separatists win, but they also ensure that they don’t die. They are cynical, manipulative, and exploitive.

    There is a guy in blogosphere that comments on many forums related to Quebec or language in general. He calls himself Acajack and is a frequent poster on

    I got to spar with him a few times, often accusing him of cynicism and hypocrisy - the guy NEVER supports anything federalist, ALWAYS vociferously sides with separatists, AND at the same time claims to be a federalist who will CERTAINLY vote Non if there were to be another referendum. When called out on this apparent contradiction, he serves clichés and platitudes about life not being “so simple”, life not being “black and white”, life not being about “good cowboys and bad Indians”. However, when asked for specific examples of what concession towards Quebec would turn him into a *dedicated* federalist, he provides nothing substantial - nothing beyond ambiguous stuff about the recognition of the “French fact” and “respect for French”. It is not hard to tell that his only objective is to keep it as ambiguous as possible so it goes on forever. The ONLY objective is to use the separatist patsy to scare Ottawa into giving Quebec more money and privileges. And his talk about a “third way” is nonsense, because he doesn’t offer any concrete solutions. There are only two ways – federalist and separatist - and he plays one against the other, knowing well that HIS "third way" amounts to milking the federation and mooching off the "distinct society" status. And that can hardly be considered as a solution.

    I consider the federalist-separatist block as the biggest danger for Canada and Quebec. It is because of them that this thing will never be resolved and will go on forever, unless Ottawa puts its foot down and forces these federalist-nationalist types to finally PICK A SIDE. Ottawa must crack down on these cynics by taking the milking of the federal system out of the equation. Only then, that 1/3 that is responsible for the status quo will disappear. And my personal feeling is that they will still vote Non – their fear of deterioration of the standard of living will take precedence over their nationalistic inclinations.

  23. "I consider the federalist-separatist block as the biggest danger for Canada and Quebec. "

    Sorry, the federalist-nationalist block.

  24. Tym_Machine: Vote Charest? Only did that ONE time (back in April 2003) in order to boot the PQ out of power. I had no idea what a traitorous, lying, slithering snake, piece of scum, closet separatist Charest was then.

    Every subsequent election I've not once voted for him! Yes, i've throw away my vote on a third party (e.g. Green party) but at least it didn't go to him or the PQ. I will never, ever--not in your wildest dreams, vote for that piece of human garbage. Yeah, I hate him that much, especially after hearing his comments tonight that the English rights have always been respected in Quebec!

    You know who I might vote for next time around: the PQ. I want to see this province self-destruct and what better way to do it than vote them in and then run far, far away.

    Incidentally, during all this debate about language, notice the giant sink hole that opened on downtown St. Catherine St tonight and swallowed a car? or the balcony collapse in St.Laurent? Or the chunks of the Turrcot Exchange about to fall that caused its partial closure? Or the 36 hour waiting times in ER's? The government is so preoccupied with this nonsensical debate and banning of English that nothing else is a concern in this province anymore, hasn't been for decades, and it's gone quite literally to shit.

    It's rather cynical yes, but I want to see Quebec get what it deserves and go down in flames. It's too late to save it.

  25. Ah, à vous lire, Mesdames et Messieurs, il est à se demander ce que vous faite encore au Québec, là où il existerait des lois oppressives à votre endroit!

  26. 2 of 2:

    Sadly, as long as the minorities in Quebec don't come up with their own party to at least not hand Premier Goldilocks all those nice freebie votes, the misfortune faced by the minorities will go in in perpetuity. I know it now, I knew it on that warm, sunny day I walked over the border into Ontario, I knew it before that day, and I know it going into the future. It's NOT my problem anymore, it's the problem of those who decided and still decide to remain. Then again, it IS somewhat my problem and the problem for everybody outside Quebec because Quebec takes in more federal funding than it pays in taxes.

    One think I WOULD like to see is a federal party that caters to the values of "English Canada" (ye gad, I DESPISE that moniker, but it seems Lucien Bouchard managed to make it an acceptable generic term to describe the rest of Canada excluding Quebec) as opposed to Quebec and its totally different values.

    Before he died, Claude Ryan wrote a manifesto that summarized the values of the PLQ, in 2004. Based on what Ryan wrote, it is obvious Quebec society (i.e., the majority «pur laine» race) is a believer in the tyranny of the majority, and that goes against the values of "English Canada" (gag me!) where individualism still has merit.

    This is just one of many, many incompatible socio-political and economic philosophies dividing Quebec from the rest of Canada. Quebec heavily favors and believes in left leaning social programs while Albertans tend to be right leaning rugged individualists. The rest of us fall between those two extremes. The different fiscal policies indicate how each province adopts its philosophy.

    It is therefore impossible to please everybody within the confines of the Canada we now have, and so something has to give. For the last 40 years, Quebec has taken advantage of this and has the lion's share of the concessions. Having 25% of the federal vote when this all started is why, but that's now waning as population growth outside Quebec is at a faster rate; furthermore, we have had time to digest and think through the ramifications of Quebec's possible separation.

    Perhaps we'd all lose something upon separation, but Quebec would have considerably more to lose; furthermore, with Quebec on its own, the remaining minorities would have no choice but to either stay and fight for the survival of their way of life, leave in droves, or accept (albeit grudgingly) the tyranny of the majority like a collective of sitting ducks.

  27. 1 of 2:

    Excellent observation, and very well described. I was once in a car with a fellow who barely has the I.Q. of his shoe size, but he had a shining moment and pretty much summed up what you wrote about that 1/3 of the population that plays both sides of the ledger. On the one hand, they really do not want to separate from Canada, but at the same time, they'll play the separatist card in the name of milking money from Ottawa for what it's worth.

    Right you are, adski, that the serpentine third forms an elite is the most dangerous and the most devious. I put Stéphane Dion's father smack dab in the middle of that snake pit! It was he who proposed the best way to milk Canada for all it's worth is to hold a knife to its collective throat (i.e., pay up or we say goodbye).

    Considering how many malcontents there are who no matter what vote for the BQ in federal elections, I'm more than ready, willing and happy to take the plunge and DARE them to vote for separation. If Quebec separates, so be it. In order to become a NAFTA partner, as a new and sovereign nation, I would NOT, as a through and through true Canadian, allow them to enter NAFTA unless and until they absorb every red cent of their share of the federal addition to the debt they carelessly incurred over the decades of their irresponsible spending.

    As sure as that aforementioned solar eclipse in 2024 will take place, Quebec will be a fiscal wreck, esp. without Equalization payments and other overly generous allocations to rely on from Ottawa and the rest of us taxpayers outside Quebec.

  28. Personally I think Canada would be a lot better off without Quebec. The Quebecois themselves may or may not be better off, but that is their situation, not mine. Economically Quebec is a loss to Canada. The transfer payments show this clearly although there are a million other unacknowledged factors too, like official bilingualism, the true costs of which are much higher then Canadians appreciate, when they even care to think about it. When I first voiced these views in 1976 I pretty much became a pariah at the time (I was even threatened with physical violence). But the reality that Quebec will never be satisfied and is an albatross around Canada's neck is gradually dawning on many more people. I personally thought it was sickening that all those people went to Quebec during the 1995 referendum to show their "love" for Quebec. Why do so many Canadians grovel to Quebec? Why do so many Anglophone politicians twist themselves into knots in a fruitless pursuit of the Quebec vote? Why do we beg it to remain in Canada? More and more people are seeing things my way. Who knows I may be vindicated someday. The Toronto guy.

  29. I lived through two referendums, and each time I voted NO. But now looking back, I think I made a mistake. I wanted to save the country, but all I seemed to have done is allow a slow grinding destruction of Canada. Quebec has no intent in respecting the referendum results. This place continues to grab more, and suppress minorities even more. This place is a disgrace.

  30. Y'a encore des anglais au Québec qui ne veulent pas apprendre le Français ? Mais que font-ils encore ici? Va falloir finir le travail qu'on a commencé en 1977 avec l'adoption de la loi 101.Je crois même que l'idée de l'appliquer aux cégeps serait exellente.Pauvres malheureux!!!

    Je sais pertinemment que ce commentaire ne sera pas publié comme les précédents dans ce pays de liberté d'expression.

  31. Il y a des gens qui sont bêtes. Heureusement ce n'est pas chez nous. Partout en Europe les gens apprennent la langue du pays voisin. Le Québec est une nation voisine: avec son système légal,ses universités et écoles, ses hôpitaux, sa culture et sa langue. L'économie pourra se régler un jour sans la péréquation à cause de puits de gaz qui sont encore vierges. Entre-temps Québec accepte sa part, se fait critiquer et dépense plus (à cause de la péréquation) ailleurs. Nous ne pouvons pas appartenir à un système fédéral et en même temps devenir des anglophones, voyons, qu'est-ce que ces gens là nous racontent ? Il y a un manque de respect et de liberté total. Nos droits en temps qu'à la liberté de l'homme n'est plus avec ces xénophobes et ces tyrans. Le français est une langue qui s'érode aux contacts de celles des autres, laissons lui sa place. Nous sommes loin de parler encore de culture, nous en sommes encore au point de départ de 1774. Quelle honte que ce pays !