Many years ago a senior civil servant in the Ontario government told me the story of how a government minister whilst on a whistle stop speaking tour through several towns in northern Ontario, reached into the wrong pocket and gave the wrong speech in the wrong town, much to the consternation of his political minders, who cringed in abject horror at the gaffe.Making matters worse, the minister's speech included a promise of several million dollars for the construction of a library or some such affair, an undertaking meant for the next town over.
When shocked handlers insisted that the minister correct his mistake, he was having no part of it.
"We'll just have to build two!"
"In 1983 Marc Lalonde, the then finance minister, accidentally allowed a cameraman to film parts of his budget that indicated a deficit. It's a Parliamentary tradition that the budget is to remain top secret until tabled in Parliament and any leak is automatic grounds for the Minister's resignation.
"To deflect charges that his deficit forecast has been leaked, Lalonde decides to boost spending in the final budget document, which allows him to claim that the correct deficit figure hadn't really been leaked.."LinkThe reaction to these gaffes highlights the problem of foolish politicians unleashed.
The lengths certain politicians will go to save their own skin or salvage their image can only be categorized as criminal when it means the abject waste of taxpayer resources.
Even worse than these idiots, are the politicians who advance flawed or capricious policies based only on a 'gut' feeling and an overclocked sense of importance.
These are the politicians that cause even more damage than the above-mentioned idiots.
Major Jean Drapeau of Montreal was one such self-important fool, who knew better than all the advisers around him. There was no stopping his unbending and ill-conceived vision of a self financing Olympic games, which saddled the city of Montreal with a billion dollar deficit and a monstrously ugly and dysfunctional Olympic stadium, a monument to self-aggrandizement and uncontrollable ego.
Such is the character of Quebec's most dangerous politician, Pierre Curzi, the under-educated, unilingual, Peeqiss Anglophobe who passes himself off as some sort of language and cultural expert.
Mr. Curzi, although born in bilingual Montreal, never bothered to learn a lick of English and just like many French language militants, his frustrating unilingualism is the basis of his loathing for everything English.
Back in 2007, Curzi intimated in a radio interview that anglos could be stripped of their voting rights in a sovereign Quebec.
Of course, he later backtracked, once informed of the racist implication of his pronouncement, but the incident highlights the grave concern minorities must share with the very real possibility that this type of fanatic can get his hands on the levers of power."We can't take away their right to vote because that is a right we cannot control because we are still a province within the federation. Obviously, the day when the country is there, we will control citizenship, which will have more teeth, if I can dare to say so."
Mr. Curzi is famous for quoting self-serving studies and reports that he himself (or his militant friends) prepare to advance his special brand of language eugenics.
It's about as honest as asking a group of priests (or alternately, agnostics) to prepare a report as to whether religion is a positive benefit to society.
It is the very definition of a foregone conclusion.
These so-called 'scholarly' works should be roundly denounced by a skeptical press, but they are generally accepted as gospel by a compliant and complacent media as anxious as Mr Curzi, to prove that the sky is falling in relation to the protection of the French language.
Mr. Curzi, through a complete lack of understanding or alternately through cynical design, ignores the fundamental difference between 'causation' and 'correlation' to reach the most asinine conclusions, such as this beauty;
"Since Francophone students who attend English cegep are more likely to accept an English job in the future, English cegeps are responsible for their anglicization."
It is these types of pearls of wisdom that should frighten us all.
|Hear no English, See no English, Speak no English!|
Mocked by the public and after being reproached by Pauline Marois, he once again was forced to excuse himself.
“Last fall, he suggested the lack of French players on the Canadiens hockey team was a deliberate move on the part of federalists to starve Quebecers of a powerful “symbol of identity.” Link
"He has also called for policies to stop francophones from moving from Montreal to off-island suburbs, in order to preserve a majority of the population whose mother tongue is French. The fewer francophones on the island, he warned, the greater the chance recent immigrants would form families with anglophones." LINKOf course none of this passes for racism in Quebec, where bashing fellow anglo or ethnic citizens is par for the course to 'defenders of the faith' like Mr. Curzi, who continue to characterize anglophones and English as a disease with nary a compunction.
Here's an old clip of the ill-prepared and clearly over-matched Curzi making a fool of himself in front of a parliamentary committee charged with discussing access to to English schools.
Mr. Curzi is trying to demonize the French private school for having such a large English component to its curriculum.
First, he complains that the school can't provide figures as to how many of its grade school graduates abandon their French roots and go on to English high school, to which the surprised school official points out that the school has indeed provided the information to the committee and that furthermore, 132 of the 136 graduates, went on to French high school. Ouch!
Then after much stuttering, hemming and hawing, Curzi warns the representative indignantly, that nothing is stopping those graduates from going on to English high school, if they so choose.
The school representative delivers a priceless and deadpan put down by telling Mr. Curzi that everyone in Quebec has that same right! PRICELESS!!
And this idiot is the man who might one day create linguistic policy.
Today, Mr. Curzi wants to apply Bill 101 to small and micro businesses, a law never intended to regulate small business.
One of the requirements of Bill 101 is that employees communicate to each other in French.
Imagine an anglophone family running a small home-based business being obliged to talk to each other in French during the work day!
Imagine them having to purchase and install on their computer hard drive, a French version of QuickBooks Accounting Software or Microsoft WORD, even if they use the English versions!
Imagine them being forced to leave notes to each other in French!
That is what's required in Bill 101, which was intended to regulate larger businesses.
Even the infamous Doctor Camille Laurin, father of Bill 101 couldn't conceive of something so stupid.
“There is no question of preventing [non-French-speaking] employees from working together in their own language, provided it is understood that they must serve their French customers in French.”Obviously Mr. Curzi doesn't agree, he suggests that Montreal's 46,000 small business be inspected regularly to insure language compliance.
Mr Curzi may seem like a colourful buffoon, but he represents a real danger should the PQ ever achieve power.
His ideas about the promotion of the French language and culture are mutually exclusive to the preservation and respect of English in Quebec.
He is an ideologue imbued with the same sense of misplaced righteousness as a Spanish inquisitor and like most ultra-nationalists, he believes that in order for French to survive, English must die.
Be afraid. . . Be very afraid!