Thursday, August 12, 2010

Francophones Welcome On This Blog

First of all I'm happy to report that the trolls have vanished. I hope they stick around and participate on some meaningful level. I haven't had to delete any comments and although there are much fewer of them, at least what is said is interesting.

Ironically, on the same day that I introduced my new comments policy, banning trolls,  BLOGGER.COM added a new feature to the Comment Moderation module  that now includes a SPAM filter, much like on an email client. It seems that if you swear, your comment ends up in the SPAM box automatically, where I have to fish it out manually. Everything seems to get more complicated.........

There seems to be a bit of confusion related to my post yesterday announcing an end to trolling on this blog. Some have asked if posting in French is still allowed and if contrary opinions are allowed.

The answer is an empathic YES and YES.

The object of this blog is not just to create a site where Anglos can rant, (although they may.) Without the input of Francophones, the blog is diminished. It's important to hear ALL opinions, for and against, English and French, otherwise it would be a colossal bore.
Respect for others opinions is all that I ask.

I'd like to hear people disagree with me. Let the readers decide for themselves and let them hear all arguments and most importantly, let them participate.

By the way, as regular readers can attest, I have a thick skin and unlike many nationalist blogs, I promise never to sit on a legitimate comment that offers a contrary view.

I shall continue to offer links explaining those English idioms that are sometimes hard to comprehend for a non-native English speakers, as in the example included above.

Now I know that having French posts presents some hardships to those out of province readers who aren't bilingual, but if someone is only comfortable writing in French, it's important that his or her opinion be heard.

Usually Google translate is good enough to get a sense of what is being said. If you still have trouble understanding a certain post and want a clarification, just leave a polite comment asking for a translation. I will endeavour to provide one.

To those francophones who write in English, I applaud the effort. Obviously there will be a number of orthographic errors included, but that's okay. Comments complaining about spelling and sentence construction will not be printed. They add nothing to the debate other than to denigrate.

Many people have wondered why we anglos stay in Quebec and fight for language rights instead of just pulling up roots (as many of us have.)

It's easy to answer.
We stay here because we want to. We don't hate francophones or anyone else for that matter. We complain because we want to make Quebec a better place to live, for everyone.

What makes Montreal (where most of us live) so fascinating is hard to describe.
Perhaps it is because Montreal has an edginess not found anywhere in Canada, where life can best be described as neat. That's not meant to be an insult, we're just different. Some people flock here because of that fact and some people flee.

This morning I read that Montreal indie band ARCADE FIRE  debuted their album "The Suburbs" at number one on the Billboard chart. Interestingly, not one of the band members are native Quebeckers, they all chose those to live here and make Montreal their home. Let's face it, in chaos there is creativity.

Montreal is home to the worst drivers and the most disrespectful pedestrians in Canada, yet it is the birthplace of BIXI and has started a North American revolution in urban cycling.  Our Olympic disaster of 1976 gave birth to the North American lottery system, back them named by, Mayor Jean Drapeau as a 'voluntary tax.' Yes, Montreal is a paradox. For every language incident there are thousands and thousand of stories of people getting along just fine.
Of all of Canada's major cities, Montreal may be the most imperfect, but it's what makes it interesting to live here. If you don't get it, then you shouldn't stay.

One Saturday night, after a Habs/Leafs game at the Bell Centre, I was cut off by a taxi making a right turn, while I was crossing a downtown street on a green light. The cab ground to an immediate halt because of traffic and the passenger in the back seat, wearing a Maple Leafs jersey rolled down his window and offered an apology for the driver's recklessness.    

"Hey" I answered, "This is Montreal. Don't apologize!"


  1. Frency, English, problem for me. Need the practice anyways.

  2. It seems to me that if Anglos in Quebec really wanted to fight for their language 'rights' they would form their own political parties and institutions instead of just Pavlovingly voting Liberal and expecting the rest of Canada to make sacrifices from which they will be the beneficiaries. Just my view. The Toronto guy.

  3. August 12, 2010 5:18 PM The Toronto guy
    anglos “expecting the rest of Canada to make sacrifices from which they will be the beneficiaries. “
    Exactly what sacrifices have the Anglos expected, other than the basic rights of the Canadian Charter of Rights that are to safeguard all Canadian citizens? I think it is the other way around; Canada has sacrificed the rights of Anglophones in Quebec to maintain the linguistic peace. No matter who we vote for, the Charter of Rights covers all provinces and should take precedence over the political party whims of the day.

  4. I have actually never felt unwelcome on this blog and neither have I ever have encountered any linguistic tension in real life.

    As for what's written on this blog to be honest, your posts don't offend me at all but I'll admit that I'm offended by certain bashful comments...though, well, what some francophones write against anglos on nationalist blogs can't be any different when you are on the so-called other side.

  5. derteilzeitberliner said...August 13, 2010 1:28 AM

    "I have actually never felt unwelcome on this blog"

    As it should be, its the separtists who want to
    separate us (all Canadians).

    "neither have I ever have encountered any linguistic tension in real life"

    Walk around speaking English, it'll happen.

  6. Well now. I unfortunately have to agree with Anonymous @ 8:32 am.

    ""Neither have I ever have encountered any linguistic tension in real life"

    Walk around speaking English, it'll happen. "

    I live up on the North Shore, or whatever they call Rosemere,Lorraine,Ste-Therese now a days. My 14-year-old son plays soccer, now as much as I do not take " Ostie D'Anglais" lying down when some separatist has called me that. I have always told my kids to turn the other cheek and walk away if possible, and to never make fun of any type of language or accent.

    Well as the soccer game went on, there was this one little "rene-charles angelil haircut SOB" that, for the entire was calling my son "Ostie D'Anglais" which was well heard over the entire field. Near the end of the game my son finally lost it and looked at me, to which I gave him the look " Do what you think you should do ". So, he lets out this " F YOU!" bomb, just a plain F YOU with nothing else attached to it. Well here comes the justice, the ref comes over and gives my son a red card, yet rene-charles gets a pat on the back by the ref making sure he was okay. I am sure he will be scarred for life after hearing that f-bomb.

    This happens to him and others almost at each game, yet I hear no one except for my self who has made complaints about this, stand up. We all know this is wrong, but now its just something that has become a normal way of life in Quebec. If you are not French you are nothing and being French means you can do anything you want in this province and even try to pass laws to force people to look and act like you.

    So now, this whole turn the other cheek has been thrown out the window, and maybe next time my son gets a red card, he thinks he should make it worth his while.

    This is the way separatist want it, so be it. And if you think this is ok, turn the “ Ostie D’Anglais “ to “ F ‘ing Frog “ and see how that would have played out.

  7. 1 of 2:

    Mississauga Guy here! To my alleged neighbour, the Toronto Guy, I was neither interested nor willing to allow myself to be a sacrificial lamb, whipping boy, whatever for the sake of linguistic peace. Same goes for over 300,000 of my former neighbours.

    Like (former Equality Party leader) Keith Henderson stated on that 60 Minutes piece back in February 1998: "Society is much more mobile today...people are mixed [i.e., different ethnic groups live more openly than in the past], we have lives to lead, businesses to run, families to raise...we don't have time for language laws...and they [i.e., fed-up Anglophones] leave!"

    With today's technology, it's not so bad to live away from family. The cost of long distance calls dropped dramatically late last millennium (I know because I had a long-distance relationship for a long time), there is e-mailing, IMing and skyping, all instantaneous ways to communicate at low cost anywhere in the world.

    My late mother and aunts had it worse because long distance calls used to be formidably expensive (quiet was a requirement during a long distance call due to the costs), so snail mail was the order of the day for most people. The last time I got a personal letter was from my aunt in Montreal, and I was just in town late last month for her funeral. I don't anticipate another personal letter in the mail for the rest of my life! Maybe wedding invitations or the like at best! My son will probably never see a personal letter in his lifetime.

    I work in a phone centre and have established relationships over the phone (including in French). Most people, esp. in Quebec, recognize my voice (and accent too, I imagine!) before I state my name.

    The vast majority of the time those calls go well even though I'm not fluent in French. I'm willing to speak French, and I'm much more comfortable doing so in Ontario. If I was in Quebec, the standard would probably be much higher and so would the expectations.

    There may have been times Francophones got the short end of the deal, but they have overcome. Now all they want is revenge for the last 200 years. They got 50, they got virtual amnesty from the feds by letting Anglophones take the hit, and they get more than their fair share of representation in the federal civil service and money from the rest of Canada. Enough is enough!

  8. 2 of 2:

    -[Mississauga Guy (continued)]-

    If the aggression doesn't stop, a federal political party that caters to the English speaking element will be warranted, and hopefully welcome. Quebec gets far too much in Equalization payments and other goodies from Ottawa, and they just demand more...endlessly!

    I'm not saying the purpose of a party catering to the English speaking majority is to specifically punish Quebec, but to recognize that English is still the majority and Quebec should get maybe a LITTLE more than 22% of the funding since they're 22% of the population. Forbidding the unconditional use of English in Quebec, or French outside Quebec is unacceptable; furthermore, that commentary be L. Ian McDonald (link recently placed in this blog) proves Quebec gets to do much more with its equalization payments than anyone else, like subsidized $7-a-day daycare.

    My life partner used to work in a community center in Chomedey Laval that had a low-cost daycare, and she mentioned one woman who collects welfare, farts around all day and sends her kid to daycare. THAT'S GROSSLY UNFAIR! The spots should be STRICTLY for those who go out to earn a paycheque and MUST leave the care of their kids in someone else's hands to do it. It SHOULD NOT BE A NANNY SERVICE FOR WELFARE BUMS!

    University education for Quebecers is way cheaper than any other part of Canada. Why should the rest of us pay for that? Hydro rates are over 66% higher in Ontario than Quebec, yet Quebec keeps running deficits while subsidizing hydro. Why shoud the rest of us pay for that?

    What I'm getting at here is there ARE ways Quebec can and should do what it can to reduce equalization payments, but won't at the detriment of losing votes. Too damn bad! This MUST be pointed out, ALL CANADIANS should be given an education to understand how equalization works and what the have-not recipient provinces to get themselves a little (or a lot) less have-not!

  9. @Toronto guy:

    You've made it perfectly clear over and over again that you find the Anglophone community in Quebec wimpy, overly complacent, and too resigned. I won't disagree with you, but I must ask - do you have anything else to say other than that? You begin to sound like a broken record a bit.

  10. Let's not forget that "out of the mouths of fools sometimes cometh wisdom."

  11. Mississauga Guy here again. Yo, adski, why shouldn't Toronto Guy reiterate what is true? Hopefully if people outside Quebec hear it over and over and over, some of the problem will sink in. As for Anglophones in Quebec, they've made their bed and now must lie in it.

    I have mentioned it in the past because there are those who still to this day gripe about second class treatment, but when Galganov, Nuttik and others organized, where were the gripers?

    I think you missed my point, adski! The problem is that outside Quebec, the further removed you are from Quebec, chances are the less knowledgeable you are about Quebec affairs, and how they're affecting the rest of us. Of course, this is the way the feds want it to keep the bickering at bay, but it's costing the "have" provinces a fortune in funding and time and energy spent sucking up to a Quebec that is NEVER satisfied. I really don't think this could be emphasized enough, so if new readers are joining in, there may be those among them that are less learned of Quebec affairs. Your patience is sought with the greatest of thanks.

  12. Anonymous said...@August 13, 2010 11:48 PM

    "As for Anglophones in Quebec, they've made their
    bed and now must lie in it."

    "there are those who still to this day gripe
    about second class treatment, but when
    Galganov, Nuttik and others organized, where
    were the gripers?"

    Many of us were involved. Brought my sons
    to Fareview (Howard), and offered security
    or Allen Nutvik. Understand what it is like
    to start a federalist party in Quebec.

    First, if the leader is English speaking,
    it gets branded an "English" party. Secondly
    if the party subscribes to the whole "equal
    rights" concept (ie. bill 101 is an vile
    little law) you are an English radical.

    Third (and most insidious), when you try to
    hold meetings Quebec's brown shirts show up to
    verbally and physically intimidate ANYONE who
    shows. They reason I refer to these thugs as
    "Quebec's" is Pauline Marois and many of her
    ilk financially support them.

    The final insult is when the police arrive...
    the FEDERALISTS get escorted away "for their
    own safety. The thugs, nothing.

  13. I suppose I may come across as repetitive. My views are pretty far from the official orthodoxy on many issues so I often feel I have to make an extra effort to drive them home. In the 1970's when I first said Canada would be better off without Quebec I was just about considered a heretic. Now my view is much more widely accepted (at least I think so). Maybe its national-unity "burnout", or the huge equalization payments, or just the belief that Quebec will never be satisifed, whatever. I also appreciate that the Quebec Anglo community is not going to be endeared to me, since I pretty much hold them in contempt. I still think I offer a viewpoint worth being considered and have helped possibly widen the traffic on this blog. In any case the author is always able to decline to show my commentary. The Toronto guy.

  14. The Toronto guy said...@August 14, 2010 5:25 PM

    "the Quebec Anglo community...I pretty much hold
    them in contempt."

    Contempt for others, congrats, you're halfway
    to thinking like a separtist.