Wednesday, June 2, 2010

La Fête Nationale - 20% of Quebeckers Don't Count

The organizing committee of Montreal's  Fête St. Jean celebration held a news conference to announce it's plans for the big show in Maisonneuve Park and proudly and merrily let it be known that in no uncertain terms, English artists will be excluded.

There'll be no repeat of last year's fiasco where English artists were invited, dis-invited and then reinstated to perform at a local Fête Nationale celebration in a Montreal district.

To wild applause, the Comité de la Fête nationale de Montréal through it's spokesman Guy A. Lepage, proudly announced that the celebration in Maisonneuve park will be a French only affair.
"We have a panoply of artists this year, which I think, is very representative of the Quebec we know..."  Guy A. Lepage
Maybe Mr. Lepage doesn't know Quebec as well as he thinks. He ignores the fact that 20% of the population of Quebec is English or ethnic. Most of them live Montreal, pushing the percentage even higher in the city where this "French" only show will be held.

Perhaps if he tries hard enough, Mr. Lepage can pretend that we don't exist, thus allowing him and his coterie of French language supremacists a one day fantasy where they can pretend that Quebec is a nation of White Catholic Francophones and where Anglos and Ethnics exist at the pleasure of the majority.

Mr Lepage is representative of the French language nationalists that have hijacked the annual Quebec 'national holiday' in an attempt to turn it into a jingoistic expression of separatist and French language chauvinism. Each year the government pays the Anglo-bashing St. Jean Baptiste Society to organize festivities across the entire province.
It seems that the government can sell, booze, electricity, organize hospitals and schools, but is incapable of organizing the annual event without calling on this unabashedly anti-English/ anti-Ethnic organization of language thugs.
It is unconscionable that a separatist organization be given the mandate to organize the province-wide celebration in the name of all Quebeckers and is being paid by a federalist government.

The sad part of it all, is that SSJB and the Guy A. Lepages of Quebec are not representative of mainstream Francophone society, who are much more tolerant and open to sharing the annual holiday with Quebeckers of all stripes.
Survey after survey will indicate that Quebeckers want all citizens to participate and that a smattering of English and ethnic music is not only fair, but desirable, making the celebration more inclusive.

Last year's organizers of a Montreal neighbourhood celebration in Rosemont, appropriately called "l'Autre St. Jean' (meaning- alternative) invited two English groups, Lake of Stew and Bloodshot Bill,  to perform amid controversy. They are repeating their principled stand this year, by announcing that their show will include at least one English group, 'United Steel Workers of Montreal'.

An organiser for "L'Autre Saint-Jean" Jules Hébert, defended the festival's position by asking the rhetorical question as to whether Anglos are Quebeckers as well.

Apparently not, according to the likes of  Louis Préfontaine, a member Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste and infamous anti-Anglo blogger who was apoplectic over the decision to allow an English artist to perform;

"It sickens me deeply. The traitors who organize this insulting shit needs to be taught a good lesson"

Other French language supremacists suggest a boycott of the event's sponsors. Link

Me, I stick to my position that I outlined last year- June 24th is a good time to be out of town......

21 comments:

  1. Since the National Day falls on a Thursday and my office gives Summer Fridays, this extra long weekend is a good time to visit Mickey and Donald in Florida.

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  2. "To wild applause, the Comité de la Fête nationale de Montréal through it's spokesman Guy A. Lepage, proudly announced that the celebration in Maisonneuve park will be a French only affair."

    But you know what saddens me more? The hypocrisy and cynicism of these people. Because despite these obvious displays of bias, the most ardent nationalists (Lepage amongst them) still have the gall to say that this celebration is for "everybody". Lepage said THAT specifically last year.

    “where Anglos and Ethnics exist at the pleasure of the majority. “

    For people like Lepage, “ethniques” and Anglos should stick around for one purpose only: to carry him and his buddies in lecticas, while they, draped in a togas, munch on grapes.

    “Mr Lepage is representative of the French language nationalists that have hijacked the annual Quebec 'national holiday' in an attempt to turn it into a jingoistic expression of separatist and French language chauvinism.”

    The SJB holiday itself was hijacked in the 1970s. My girlfriend’s mother is a Francophone born and raised in Saguenay and she told me that prior to 1970s, SJB was a festive holiday with hardly any political connotations. Once Levesque’s gang took over in the 70s, SJB changed – it was turned it into a nationalist happening.

    My gf’s mother stopped attending it since then.

    “The sad part of it all, is that SSJB and the Guy A. Lepages of Quebec are not representative of mainstream Francophone society,”

    How many people did Paul McCartney draw? More than any Quebecois “folk” signer would in a thousand years.

    Most people want to hear good music, in any language. Unfortunately, ideologues like Lepage know best.

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  3. “The sad part of it all, is that SSJB and the Guy A. Lepages of Quebec are not representative of mainstream Francophone society”

    I was thinking about this a bit more, and I’d like to have another crack at it...

    What does the mainstream Francophone society think about this and that? What IS representative of mainstream Francophone society?

    I find it’s always hard to tell. In a poll 61% of them may declare that they want choice of the language of education, (i.e. contrary to Bill 101's educational provision), and in another poll a high % will agree with the premise of 101 in general. Today, the support for souverignty may poll at 20%, tomorrow at 40%, and the day after go back down to 30%. In the same vein, Paul McCartney may draw huge crowds, but I’m sure Lepage’s event will too.

    Is it safe to say that the Francophones may be really confused people, caught in the contradictions, ambiguities, and inconsistencies of this society and its politics?

    Because if you’re exposed to a high dose of contradictions from the time you’re 5 years old, you will grow up to be a confused person who will in the end get into a habit of deferring to the authority that knows best.

    Contradictions are endless...

    Bill 101 is a unique measure because Quebec is in a unique situation...but...the measures are really universal because all counties impose linguistic rules...

    Bill 101 was a huge success...but...Bill 101 didn’t meet its objectives…

    We are a majority...but...we are a minority in peril…

    Our language is a language of the majority and there isn’t any alternative, period...but...it needs “protection” because English is all around (i.e. constitutes an alternative) and is threatening...

    Our language is “endangered” and “threatened” by another language...but...our language is the common language, period...

    --------------------

    In the same vein, does living in Montreal with the “others” makes the Francophones more open? Logically, it should, but it seems that it has the opposite effect on many of them. The separatists movement, for example, was started by the “intellectual” elites of Montreal, not Trois-Rivieres, Quebec City, or Chicoutimi.

    Similarly, many people in the regions are considered to be racist hicks because they lack exposure to other cultures, but many seem to be less racist precisely because of this – they do not feel threatened and are therefore less racist.

    This is one complex place, this Quebec. And it seems like the Francophones are really confused people. They don’t know where they’re going and they don’t know what they want.

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  4. I LOVE the Separatist Holiday, because I live in Ontario, and I don't have to listen to French calls coming in from those whiny crybaby customers and business associates. Few French calls come from outside Quebec, mostly in friendlier New Brunswick.

    When I was a little kid, my parents called it St. John the Baptist Day. Once Lévesque and especially his minions got into power, it suddenly changed to «Fête Nationale», and I simply called it the separatist holiday. For me it was a quiet day off work when I started working summers. I never attended public festivities, never felt compelled to do so, esp. not wanting to see loud drunken village idiots wrapped in the blue flag.

    For me and my minions, it was simply a day off, nothing more, nothing less. It was a good day to go to the beach and shopping in Plattsburgh, or play golf at their Bluff Point Club, or some other course like Meadowbrook in "Coat St. Luke".

    As far as I'm concerned, there is no such thing as a "federalist" Quebec government anymore. Both main parties govern much the same way, so for minorities, you either vote for Tweedledumb or Tweedledumber.

    What is really too bad is those idiotic organizers don't seem to remember how the population of their city practically doubled overnight when Paul McCartney rolled into town.

    I'll be in my Ontario working June 24th and I'll take my "Ontario holiday" on Monday, August 2nd, thank you very much. For the rest of the "second class" in Quebec, come to Long Sault for a day at the beach...or Plattsburgh, if you have a passport or Nexus card.

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  5. J'ai hâte de vous lire au sujet de cette nouvelle:

    http://lcn.canoe.ca/lcn/infos/national/archives/2010/06/20100602-183603.html

    Salutations,

    TM

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  6. A festival for all Quebecers they say, ya right, LOL

    I can't think of another place where I would feel more afraid of accidentally say something in English...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orkioiWT-zM&feature=related

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  7. Quebec francophones complained about the lack of French at the opening ceremonies of the winter olympics in Vancouver...they felt they were excluded. But they think it is perfectly acceptable to exclude anglophones and other minorities from the Fete Nationale celebrations. What a bunch of hypocrites.

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  8. When it's Canada day, is band of all the minorities are represented ? If Baie-D'Urfé wants to celebrate with english artists, no problems ! But i think it's normal that the majority (maybe 90%) is in french ! The common language in Québec is french The bunch of hypocrites is people that want to assimilate the immigrants to the 575 560 anglophones that the Québec count. Don't forget the natives, they are part of the Nation !

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  9. "The common language in Québec is french"

    Says who? Bill 101? Parti Quebecois? You?

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  10. "Don't forget the natives, they are part of the Nation!"

    I don't recall hearing that the indigenous people of Quebec (the natives) were ever included in the Fete Nationale celebrations either. The Vancouver games included them. I would rather see natives perform than some crappy francophone musical groups.

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  11. "Don't forget the natives, they are part of the Nation!"

    This is how Quebec includes natives in celebrations. What is even better is read the comments from people condoning these actions.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKBOTGnxpBo

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  12. ''than some crappy francophone musical groups. ''

    SOUND RACISTS DECLARATIONS !

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  13. " SOUND RACISTS DECLARATIONS ! "

    Since when is language considered a race ?

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  14. Discrimination is not only on race, it can be on a plethora of elements that constitute a person ! Ok, i'll use RHODESIANS ! Beginning by open your mind to other kind of music, you'll see that there's a lot of good music still in French ! Stop to think that english is superior and anglo-saxon culture is ''World culture'' ! Accept that the First (not the only one, the First) face of Québec is French ! Come into contact with your local organization for a individualize celebration of the Québec Day :)

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  15. Dear Adski,

    Maybe you should talk to other people than your close neighborhood ! If I have to tell you that french is the common language, leave the Subburban and the Gazette ! You are like Afrikaners here ! It's not the 10 % anglophones in Québec who will run the place ! You know what mean democracy ?

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  16. And when you are francophones in far west Alberta, is we include french singer on National Day ?

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  17. " Anonymous said...

    And when you are francophone in far west Alberta, is we include French singer on National Day ? "

    This is what I never understand about a francophone, why would you expect to be treated any differently than the way Quebec treats its minorities? . Ok maybe you are right Anonymous, and there is no French music played at Canada day in the " Far West of Alberta". But you know I think you would rather live in Alberta just for the few following reasons.

    - Send your children to a school of your choice.
    - Let you run your business in whatever language you want.
    - Let you put up a sign in any language
    - NO SALES TAX
    - 10 percent personal income tax rate regardless of how much money you earn, as compared to Quebec where it ranges from 16-24 percent.
    -Lowest combined federal/provincial tax rate at 39 percent as compared to Quebec which still has the honour of being the highest taxed province in Canada ( or they are tied with NS ), and I think in North America at 48 percent. I guess the OLF needs extra money.

    So please Anonymous, take a look at the bigger picture here, which should not be forcing me to like or listen to French music or making sure I receive almost no service in English. The main reason no one comes to this province or leaves is because of this ridiculous tax rate that the PQ and Liberal's have put in place, that is what bothers me the most. I would much rather have a few extra dollars in my pocket and maybe buy that Kevin Parent cd.

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  18. "Accept that the First (not the only one, the First) face of Québec is French ! "

    First, learn your own history!

    You are the descendants of immigrants! All Canadians (and Americans) are. The only Quebec natives (first-your word) are:

    Inuit
    Abenakis
    Algonquins
    Attikameks
    Crees
    Wendat
    Malecities
    Micmacs
    Mohawks
    Innu

    My apologies to any of the First Nations missed. If you believe you should be treated differently under the law because
    of an accident of birth - you are a bigot! The only possible exceptions should be the above list. We owe them, and that is
    a Quebec fact!

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  19. Why should it counts for anglos! THe way they celebrate Canada day is awful: the American sheeps! We are treated like pigs in Ontario when francophones.

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  20. I miss my Quebec holiday, nobody gives attention to me. I live in Ontario since 24 years and I hate it. I followed my husband during the recession, and I am not a "second class" citizen, but I am treated like one, because I am from Quebec.The Blacks and the Spanish have a better status, the French here are resenting one other. When you are not properly treated you become to loath the language you have to speak. Ontario is a concentration camp for francophones and nothing is done about it. Elections are elected, immigrants are coming and asking me what country do I come from. This country is awful and I didn't choose to live in it. Could anybody suggest something better ?
    I would propose that Quebec make their vote possible to the Ex=Quebeckers abroad, and that they are allowed to take their festivity as a right of their country.
    They could become stronger,rather than cutting us off, if we have to go away for business. I speak French at home, I read French and I write in French. What kind of a heart do we have ! The English always triumphed by dividing us first, this is a tactic the French never learned not to play with, because it is part of their nature not to work together, unlike the Italians.

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  21. Wow Anonymous (above)...poor you indeed. No one from Ontario has anything against you, or Quebeckers, trust me; so maybe it's time to stand up and get that chip off your shoulder if you really want some respect and enjoyment out of life.

    On another note, and what I really came to write about....this year at Parc Maisonneuve...Rufus and Martha Wainwright...I guess you're considered French if you lived in Montreal at one point in your life?

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