Thursday, November 25, 2010

Stupidity and Greed Cross Language Divide

Financial abuses in Quebec's School board system is so legendary that the public is largely inured to surprises. The disconnect that the administrators have from their students and the public that they serve is nothing less than legendary.

And while student population falls across the province, the number of administrators keeps going up.

How about the cegep director who expensed a guided tour of the Grand Canyon and also claimed reimbursement for a meal in a museum that didn't have a restaurant? (It was actually for money spent on presents in the gift shop.) Did she lose her job?  LINK f

Recently, the Minister of Education had to step in when plans for a spanking new $13 million head office for the Commission scolaire des Patriotes were revealed, plans that included hiring of a company to water the plants. The head of the commission, continues to insist that the board needs more office space, even in light of falling enrollment

Such is the sense of entitlement, that when the minister turned down the proposal summarily, the furious, head honcho of the commission, Normande Lemieux, demanded a meeting to explain her position. Thankfully the minister told her to take a hike. Link fr

Yoga classes, meditation sessions, workshops of all assorted manner are all de riguer for school boards administrators, all on the public dime and all done on company time.

To date, I've read about these abuses, smugly assuming that it is a problem found only on the francophone side of the education system.

How arrogantly stupid I was... Shame on me!

A story in the Journal de Montreal, had me gagging on my morning coffee. I'm a cynic by nature and not much surprises me, but the abusive disregard of the public trust as described in the article had me seeing red.

It seems that a bunch of school directors  from anglophone schools went to a swanky hotel in the Dominican Republic to ostensibly improve their leadership skills, all on the dime of their respective school boards. All of this of course in the dead of winter.

Why the Dominican Republic? To study the fine education system down there and to learn how the schools cope with limited resources.

Sorry, I have to scream...


According to the organizer of this pork barrel vacation, a certain Lynnn Butler-Kisber, the trip to the stunning beach front hotel in the middle of winter is not really a vacation. "They went there to work"
Of course, she admitted that during the free time participants were most certainly free to partake of the hotel's fine facilities and access to the ocean.

By the way, the conference locale is no Motel 6, take a look a the promotional video of the place, it's a palace!


Next time these administrators feel the need to study schools operating in adverse conditions, perhaps they might plan a trip to the Gaza Strip or North Korea. Although the hotel situation may not be as favourable,  it'll certainly be a great learning experience.

In reaction to the story, school board spokespersons are all hiding and with good reason.

Anybody who tells us that this was an 'educational experience' must think we are morons.
Anybody who defends this abuse deserves to be fired.

By the way, each of the participants should be T4ed for the pleasure part of the trip.

How are we anglos going to react to this unforgivable insult to our intelligence and the disgusting abuse of public funds, by our very own people frittering away the school taxes that we pay?

While there appears to be no accountability in the French school boards, is there any in the English ones?

I fear we are one and the same. Losers.


  1. Ok, I'm throwing in the towel. I'm willing to recognize Quebec as a distinctly corrupt society.

  2. Mississauga Guy said...

    I don't imagine too many responses to this. Ontario has put the bite on school board budgets making deficits at the board level illegal. Any board that is in deficit can be taken over by the Minister of Education, and is certainly subject to the Minister's scrutiny.

    That the Quebec government isn't sujecting its school board directors to such scrutiny is the biggest disappointment, but living in Ontario now, I really have enough other problems to not care because Quebec is corrupt from the Premier's office through the mayors down to the construction industry.

    The biggest disappointment I can derive from this article is English schools are much more underfunded compared to their French counterparts. In English schools, original text material is often replaced by cheaper photocopies, and students who are remedial academics should be held back a grade or even two along the way to catch up. I know a case where a child should have been held back but the elementary school she attended had a bad reputation for not holding students back at grade 6 to catch up before going on to high school. Ready or not, they're pencil whipped through the system.

    In the case of this child, the high school finally held her back because the elementary school didn't, but she was so far behind that the strategy at that stage didn't help much.

    My son goes to public school in York Region (covering several cities immediately north of Toronto, including Vaughan, Markham, Richmond Hill and other municipalities). He has learning challenges, but thanks to educational (teaching) assistants and a couple of extra courses to help him cope with social and learning strategies, he's keeping up in his studies. It will take him one extra year to graduate because of those special courses in social and learning strategies, but he now has a fighting chance at post-secondary education. His school is located outside of his regular school zone, so he's bussed there along with others who have like challanges.

    The motto of the York Region Public School Board is "No Child Left Behind". It's times like these I'm thankful my son went to a dedicated elementary school that watched and has helped him every step of the way.

    The Government of Ontario is trying to maintain world class standards. During the 1990s, Ontario was slipping but efforts since the mid-1990s were made to prop up the sagging standards.

    When I compare my son's education path to that poor kid I know that went through the Quebec system, I can now see where Ontario is investing in its students and its future. It's only too bad that as dedicated as Ontario is to investing in its future, Quebec cannot see the future beyond the end of its collective nose.

    Yet another reason for a federal political party that invests in those who take their future human investments seriously and divest in those who worry more about language and lavish junkets than the value of their own students/future.

  3. The entire system is one big expensive disaster from the top down, and the bottom up and has been for decades.

    Its all about greed, greed and more greed, just follow the money. Seriously, think about it for a minute. We now have over 3.5 million people working for government across the country. Just sickening! Average salary in government is about 70 thousand yearly and rising. Average salary in the private sector is around 45 thousand yearly and dropping. Over 10% of government employees now make over 100 thousand yearly. In the private sector the number is under 2%. Look to Greece and Quebec, this is where Canada is headed if we don’t stop equalization and get spending and government growth under control. This tax and spend, union, socialist, big government, social engineering that has been destroying this country has got to stop. Yes, it has left Quebec and has been spreading throughout the rest of the country since the 1960”s, that’s right over 4 decades of massive government growth, massive government hiring, skyrocketing government salaries and more and more debt. Go check the stats for yourself. Thanks Trudeau, Tanks kebec. Liberal, Tory same old story.

    The Liberals and Conservatives have spent the last few decades destroying Ontario and Canada’s economy, its English speaking history and culture, not to mention the racism, bigotry, ethnic language cleansing and human rights violations going on in Quebec, a la bills 22, 178, 101…What are they really up to? “First Quebec, then we take over the rest of the country, one step at a time…through bilingualism…” PT, “How to take over a country through bilingualism…” SD. That’s what’s really going on. Wake up, people! High taxes, green fees, user fees, HST, high government salaries, social engineering – the expensive discriminatory forced bilingual and multicultural policies (only outside Quebec of course), greedy unions controlling just about everything, new programs and more government departments yearly, more government empire building, the size and growth of government is out of control!!!

    Any solution? Well there is only one. A new party and a new leader. One that will detail before an election what they stand for. We need a party with specific, fiscally conservative policies. One that defines essential and non-essential (expensive waste) services in a platform before elections.One that will shrink the size of goverenement... No more lies, propaganda, and spin, what we now get on a daily basis. Canada needs a party that stands for integrity, honesty, transparency and common sense. One that is proud of our real BNA history.

  4. @MGuy

    Regarding Quebec taking over the RoC with bilingualism, I don’t think that’s possible, but you won’t get too much argument from me as to whether it’s the intention or not. Because despite being really far fetched, there is some evidence to suggest that many Quebeckers would love to see Canada “francised” coast to coast.

    Consider this book, for example:

    It’s a collection of essays by Quebec federalists like Andre Pratte, Marc Garneau, and some others. Notice the title: “Reconquering Canada”. The gist of every essay in this book is that we (the Francophones) should try to make Canada hospitable and receptive towards Francophones coast to coast. What that implies, amongst other things, is that a French-only speaker should be “accommodated” in every part of Canada - ideally through acceptance and absorption of French by English Canadians - i.e. French becoming part of the landscape on a par with English.

    And this is coming from people regarded as most staunch federalists in Quebec...which proves the observation I made a while ago – there are really not that many true Canadians in Quebec. The so-called "federalists", for the most part, are just nationalists like all others. The difference between the two is that the "federalists" see some benefit (economic, most likely) for Quebec to stay in the confederation, while separatists are willing to forgo these benefits. But besides that, there is really nothing else that separates “federalists-nationalists” from separatists. They all think in terms of "what's best for Quebec, and f**k the rest".

  5. @adski

    Trudeau also wanted wanted to make Canada French from coast to coast. Are we then to assume Trudeau did not feel he was a Canadian? While we can agree that Trudeau's legacy is that of giving Quebec more powers than any other province and giving the West the finger, I hardly doubt he was a closet separatist (during his premiership anyway). These people are nothing more than Trudeau federalists, who dream of a French speaking Canada.

    Anglo Montreal

  6. Bang on. "Why take just Quebec when i can give you the whole country..." P. Trudeau

    What a mess.

    Wake up people, wake up.

  7. You are generally brighter than the Journal, which aims at the lowest common denominator.Your threatening to "fire everyone who supports this" shows as much desire to understand what goes on as the Journal.
    Every school administrator in the province has a professional development budget.
    You assume that because the locale is warm, there must be something illegitimate about it. What we used to call a dirty mind.

    How much would it cost, in freezing January, if a school administrator from the Gaspé spent a week in frozen Montreal, at a mid-range hotel and attended professional development sessions? A penny more than this trip?

    Did the Journal (or you) wonder about the content of what was done?

    I don't have the answers to these questions, but I am not yelling in my blog. I would do a bit of homework before accusing others.
    Would you prepare a list of what locations are kosher for administrators to sleep? And what schools to visit?
    When the Dominicans come to Montreal in exchange to visit our school system, will you be on the picket lines?

  8. To Anonymous @ November 25, 2010 8:20 PM

    "Every school administrator in the province has a professional development budget.
    You assume that because the locale is warm, there must be something illegitimate about it."

    Not only illegitimate, but obscene.
    You must be a teacher or school administrator, devoid of a sense of accountability.

    Here's an idea...How about all you teachers going to the Break Room and set a tele-conference for your precious professional development, just like the rest of the modern world. Don't leave the Gaspe and don't leave Montreal and don't leave Saint Spitoon.
    If you can't join the 21th century, at least use 20th century communication and educational tools.

    Save wasted travel days and hotel expenses.
    Then cut your precious development budget by whatever amount and spend it on the students.

    I suppose next time you'll go to Vegas and study how children of dealers count better then our kids.

    You make me sick. You are the problem.

    Don't blow your bullshit here.

    A trip to the Dominican Republic is a vacation.

    I knew you people would come out.

    Enjoy your yoga class.

  9. Mississauga Guy to Editor...

    Take no prisoners! Good comeback! I really like the idea of adding these junkets to their T4s! The Dominican Republic for professional development, indeed!

  10. Mr. Editor,
    Lots of people who are in the education system are not fit to be there !We all know that. THey repeat the same things, they don't care and they can't improve themselves. La plupart de ces gens-là n'aiment pas causer dans d'autres langues, ou ne pas apprendre autre chose dans la vie, nous les appelons des cancres.