Friday, May 6, 2011

French versus English - Volume 26

Quebec Summer Festival continues to offer English acts
Much to the chagrin of French language militants who complain that English artists shouldn't be part of the summer music festival, organizers have once again thumbed their nose at extremists.
Elton John is about to become the next musical superstar to strut his stuff on the Plains of Abraham.
The 64-year-old John will appear at the Quebec City landmark July 9, as part of the city's annual summer festival.
The Rocket Man's show comes three years after Paul McCartney and Céline Dion gave separate shows on the Plains to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City.
Mettalica and John Fogarty will also be performing at the festival.
McCartney's appearance riled some Quebec nationalists, who said a Brit shouldn't be part of the city's festivities.
The weekend of John's show promises to be a huge one for music fans in Quebec. Irish rockers U2 will be playing at the Montreal Hippodrome on both July 8 and 9. LINK

For Anglos from all over Canada and the United States, the Quebec Summer Festival is a marvelous event for tourists. Quebec remains an open and friendly place to visit, with locals hospitable and English-friendly. It may also be the safest big city in North America. Accommodation prices are reasonable and the shows are the best entertainment value on the continent! Here's a LINK to the Festival's English website.

Election brings unilingual MPs's 
Tyrone Benskin
The NDP wave in Monday's election, which saw a slew of unheralded neophytes elected, has resulted in the perverse situation where some of the newly-minted MPS don't speak the language of the majority of the citizens in the riding. The most bizarre case is that of Ruth Ellen Brosseau who was elected in the very French-speaking riding of Berthier-Maskinongé, where you can count the Anglo residents on the fingers of one hand. The Hull native doesn't speak a word of French and has never set foot in the riding, even during the election campaign! She spent her time during the campaign vacationing in Las Vegas and chilling at home in Hull Yikes!
Musician Tyrone Benskin who won the mixed anglo/French riding of Jeanne-Le Ber in Montreal is also francais-challenged, but at least was very well-spoken in the English interviews that he did give after the election, contrary to the situation with the other surprise Ndp winners.
In the Anglo bastion of Notre-Dame-de-Grace-Lachine, Isabelle Morin a unilingual  teacher speaks no English. Ms. Morin told reporters that Parliament would have to wait for her to finish the school year, as she couldn't see herself abandoning her students mid-term!
In all five, young graduates of McGill university are newly-elected in the Ndp wave, all represent French ridings and actually bring up significantly the amount of Quebec Anglos and English-speaking Ethnics in Parliament.

Quebec student org. opposes Bill 101 in cegep
A federation representing more than 60,000 CEGEP students has decided not to support the proposed extension of the educational provisions of Quebec’s language law into the province’s colleges.
After a lengthy debate during a convention in Lac St. Jean on Sunday, no consensus could be reached by the delegates representing the 23 student associations included in the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec.
Instead, said FECQ president Léo Bureau-Blouin, the federation would push for other means to promote the use of French, particularly in Montreal. LINK

French music on radio in trouble
Le Mouvement Montréal français is organizing a demonstration to demand that Québec radio stations play French music during rush hour. Radio stations have been getting around CRTC quotas that force them to play the less popular French music by scheduling the French music in the middle of the night when nobody is listening, thus fulfilling their obligations.
Meanwhile in France, radio broadcasters struggle to fill language quotas as well.
"French radio stations are struggling to fulfill a quota that demands 40% of songs played be French-language titles...Increasingly French singers have switched to singing in English in recent years due to ease of export and the languages perceived better-suitability for pop music – between 2003 and now the number of French-language album releases dropped from 718 to 158. NRJ radio group’s Maryam Salehi asked: “How can you ask radio broadcasters to respect quotas if producers dry up the source?" LINK
Separatists Demand that McGill Professors speak French
A Montreal daily newspaper La Presse, is making a big deal over a job posting for a professorship in the Agriculture department at McGill University because a knowledge of French wasn't listed as a job requirement.
Contacted about the outrage, Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste's president, blowhard Mario Beaulieu was predictably enraged. 
 "It's unacceptable. I believe that French must be mentioned in the job posting. How will these experts do studies in a milieu where they don't speak the language. LINK{FR}

Second Cup the target of language militants- again
Once again the Canadian coffee chain is under attack for committing a horrendous linguistic faux-pas- Posting a sign in its store that uses both English and French text in equal size. Gasp!....
According to the Journal de Montreal, which actually made the story a feature, occupying two-thirds of a page, many customers complained to the Office de la langue Francais who promised to 'investigate' Link

French Test too hard, so future teachers cheat, again.
"Ever since 2009, prospective teachers have been required to pass a written French certification test to obtain their teaching certificate, a measure implemented by the Ministry of Education to improve literacy of French among new teachers.
Considering the exam too difficult, students first began to exchange answers on a Facebook page last year. Now a website  was created by a "support group" where there are several questions from the tests of February and March  posted......
The website which opened in September, receives up to 2,500 visitors a month, and receives hits from all over Quebec."
"This group was created because we believe that our generation has not received the proper tools in the transition to high school and college. Despite the 'reform' and the suggestions of the Parent Commission, we were left to ourselves. Not wanting to blame the previous generation, this group mobilized to improve our culture and our language , "reads the homepage of the site. LINK{FR}

Calgary Board of Education to  dump French
"A national group says it's appalled by the decision from the Calgary Board of Education to slash the mandatory core French program.
Earlier this week, the CBE voted to nix the program in grades 4 through 9 as of the 2011-2012 school year.
The executive director of the Alberta Branch of Canadian Parents for French calls the CBE's decision a "giant step backwards" for French second language education in our province." LINK

English cegeps overflow again
It looks like there won't be enough place in Montreal's English cegeps again this year, as demand is outstripping capacity once more. Last year many qualified students were turned away.
Subsequently entrance requirements have been raised to the point that some students with 85% averages are are being refused entry into certain popular programs, like science.

Greeks urged boycott of Liberal party in election
"The Quebec Hellenic Congress was on the defensive this weekend after counselling Greek voters in a Montreal-area riding not to vote for the Liberal party because its candidate is not of Greek origin. In a letter sent out to its members last weekend, the Congress stated that voters in Laval-les Îles should reconsider their support for Michael Ignatieff 's party because of "the arbitrary decision to nominate a candidate of non-Greek origin, this despite the fact that in this riding there are 30,000 voters of Greek origin who regularly vote for the Liberal party." LINK
Liberal Candidate -  Karine Joizi
 Reacting to this news, a Liberal party organizer,  Fabrice Rivault, offered this jewel;"Why not send these fascists back to Greece? Eeeks!
What's more disturbing is that the outgoing MP, who chose not to run, wasn't Greek either. Is the Hellenique Congress' objection perhaps based on the fact that the new Liberal candidate is a Black francophone Haitian? 
Just asking....
By the way, the outrage in the French press over the audacity of the Greek lobby group to push for a Greek candidate is a bit hypocritical. Regularly, we hear that the Montreal Canadiens need to hire more Francophones and you'll recall that Premier Charest was berated quite openly for hiring an Anglo to run the Caisse du Depot. So really, what is the difference?
Incidentally,  the Bloc candidate, Mohamedali Jetha, probably didn't endear himself to the Greek or the many other Anglo voters in the riding by making  this statement;
"The defence of the French language remains a priority, " said the multi-lingual, recalling that Laval has become "strongly anglicized" between 1996 and 2006.
Did the boycott work?
Most likely it did, with the Ndp candidate winning with a crushing 48% of the vote!

Sun news bashes Quebec
In an article that reeked of schadenfreude, Toronto sun columnist Andrew McIntosh, reveled in the fact that leaked cables obtained through Wikileaks painted Montreal and Quebec in a less than favourable light.  See Leaked cables paint unflattering portrait of Montreal
Another example
In his zeal to pan Montreal,  Mr. McIntosh tells us that;
"Montreal has literally become a "Bangkok of the West,"  
Hmmm...Perhaps Daniel R., a regular reader who drops me a line every now and then about my typos and improper use of English, can advise Mr. McIntosh on the proper use of the term 'literal', or otherwise read this for an explanation
I'm not defending Montreal, but the writer's assertion that Montreal is home to
"Massive telemarketing fraud." should in fairness have included this paragraph, ALSO found in those leaked cable.

 "Montreal's relatively cheap labor and energy costs combined with strict privacy laws and lax telemarketing regulations have made it an attractive location for contact centers of all kinds, and the city now finds itself second only to Toronto for the dubious  title of "telemarketing scam capital of North America."  Link
Toronto, Heal Hyself!! 

Further reading ; French versus English -Volume 25


  1. NDP, BLOC heads,Liberals... one and the same.

    I love the fact that you can have a majority without Quebec. You do not need to pander to Quebec any longer. Enough is enough. This province can not be satisfied period. They are a drain on the country, socially and fiscally and how do the say thanks in french? Well try 5 decades of anti-English language laws such as bills 22, 178, 101…

    1)-French is the only official language in Quebec violating Canada's constitution. Violating Canada's Language laws.

    2)-In 1993, the United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled that Quebec's sign laws broke an international covenant on civil and political rights. "A State may choose one or more official languages," the committee wrote, "but it may not exclude outside the spheres of public life, the freedom to express oneself in a certain language." Quebec is violating the agreements and policies of the U.N. by creating racist language laws that make English essentially illegal.

    The NDP replaced the Bloc heads and they are NO different. They are filled with anti-English language bigots that support bill 101, just like Layton and Mulcair. They are a tax and spend big government party just like the BLOC heads.

    The great thing is no-one has to listen to any of these clowns any longer. The cons have a majority. The NDP has no power at all. Quebec, you have voted for a bunch of clowns who know nothing about debt reduction, taxation, how government functions period. You should all be ashamed of yourselves in Quebec. Are you all that brain dead?

    The worst thing is we have to pay all of you clowns (58 from Kebec) over $150,000 yearly, just sick. All this for a bad comedy show daily on Parliament hill. This should be fun to watch. NOT!!!

  2. First commentor, it goes to show that even Jack Layton couldn't attract worthwhile candidates in Quebec, or he didn't anticipate his success.

    Students won who want to continue their schooling, so I guess this means they will be as absentee as Ignatieff was. I'm sure the 30-odd Liberals in the house will be scrutinizing the attendance of these student bodies who will be representing their constituents. Sounds like a lot of his team will be just that--bodies!

    I'm sure the constituents who elected that Brosseau child in Chambly will regret their decision. The Bloc tide has gone out. In four years, what will come in to replace her?

    As for that Toronto Sun article, what's your beef, Editor? All they're doing is reporting the observations of American diplomats. MacLean's took it on the chin for daring to report what Quebec is, then a lot of the French media did the exact same unadmonished, and now you're admonishing the Toronto Sun on this déjà vu subject?

    If all these people are bashing Quebec, it must be for a reason. I don't think the Americans are mixed up in the emotional aspects of political strife that Quebec causes the rest of Canada.

    It just broils my back side that the French media can get away with the racial innuendoes they spew while Don Cherry makes a crack about eye visers being worn by "French guys" and he's on the cusp of dismissal from the CBC.

    MacLean's retracted NOTHING, and I say damn good for them! Inevitably there is some underworld activity in Toronto, but Ontario has NOTHING near what Quebec has, including thoses sleazy boiler room telemarketing scams.

  3. Dear Editor:''Much to the chagrin of French language militants who complain that English artists shouldn't be part of the summer music festival, organizers have once again thumbed their nose at extremists'' Si vous croyez réellement que ceux qui militent pour une plus grande représentation des artistes francophones sont extrémistes, vous n'avez rien compris. Ils demandent plus de talents francophones c'est tout des noms comme Karkwa, Malajube, Indochine, Richard Séguin, Serge Lama etc. Il est seulement question d'avoir un peu plus de différenciation que les festivals aux États-Unis et au Canada.

  4. The scum seppies are watching Scotland today (this is assuming they know where Scotland is and here's a hint; it's not beside Cuba 'sti) now that the Scots have a majority party that will have a referendum in the near future. It does not bode well for ethnic/anglos in la belle province.

  5. Excellent article on Scotland and on the parallels between the SNP and the PQ.

  6. Regarding the whole thing about Bill 101, the Charter of Charters, being extended to CEGEPs wouldn't be a bad idea. That's not because I support the government doing it per se, but because English school students now have to compete with French school kids for those precious spots.

    On the other hand, I think, and hope, that kids from the English schools are getting preference and only the leftovers should go to French kids, if any.

    In the meantime, the kids from French schools, from what I learned on this blog, can apply to CEGEP without graduating from high school and get in since the French CEGEPs have plenty of extra spaces.

    The English kids, therefore SHOULD get preference, and the English CEGEPs should make this a policy, even if it's an unwritten one, otherwise there are kids from English schools with decent grades who can't get into CEGEP.

    I myself worried and wondered one summer back in the 1970s if I was going to get into CEGEP, period, and I knew a whole bunch of others in my position. Most did get in, but I didn't know I was accepted until a week before the semester was to start. I could have had a better summer had I known sooner, but then again too, it was conditional on my obtaining my Secondary V certificate, and I didn't know until mid-August when I finally got it. Getting into university, compared to CEGEP, was much, much easier. Go figure!

  7. My old constituency many, many years ago was what is now Laval-des-Iles. I don't know if I accept that argument about the member having to be a Greek. I don't EVER recall a Greek representing that constituency. The last one, Raymonde Folco, was Jewish (a lot of people didn't know this!). Admittedly, I don't know who was before Folco, but I remember Guy Ricard during the Mulroney years, before that it was Marcel Roy (many years), and it certainly wasn't someone Greek before that because this was when the Greek invasion came to Chomedey...right behind the Jewish invasion. MNAs I remember going way back were Jean-Noël Lavoie, the former first mayor of Laval, Lise Bacon and then PLQ Thomas Mulcair, the two-faced NDP candidate for Outremont, and Layton's fully-crowned Quebec Lieutenant.

    BTW, I'll betcha a buncha blintzes Mulcair files Ontario tax returns (since he can claim his Ottawa area residence, unless he lived in Outaouais). I would be interested as to where Duceppe filed, too!

  8. Hey Mississauga,

    I think it is/was rather a standard practice that the Bloc MPs stay in the Gatineau part of the NCC when the Parliament is in session. Now that there are only four of them, maybe they will just commute from Montreal.

  9. Troy: For Da Bloc MP in Ahuntsic, that wouldn't be a bad commute. Just hop on the Met, then the 40 where it forks off with the 520 (or is it the 540?) that becomes the 417 at the Ontario border, and there in two hours.

    For the ones in the Quebec City area and the one in Gaspésie, that's a heck of a commute! What are those orphaned MPs to do? Collect their pensions, I guess. Duceppe's payday starts now, at $141,000 and indexed every year to the cost of living. Not bad for a parliamentary s--t disturber that added zero value to Canada for 20 years. A good $2 million in salary paid to him in that time. Talk about something for nothing!

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