Wednesday, June 8, 2011

PQ Self-Destructs Over Arena Lunacy

Mayor Regis Lebeaume in search of a private law.
As you may or may not have heard already, three key members of the Parti Quebecois bolted the party Monday with another leaving yesterday ostensibly because of Pauline Marois's decision to impose party solidarity and force members to vote in favour of a law shielding the City of Quebec from any legal action in relation to a deal it struck for the management of the proposed arena in Quebec City.

It's a complicated affair and I'm sure most readers (especially those out of province)  haven't wasted the necessary time to be fully apprised of this sordid affair.
Let me try to give you a Twitter version of events. (In my day we used to call a quick summary of a complicated issue, a 'Readers' Digest version, but we must keep up with the times!)

Here goes;
The Mayor of Quebec City, Regis Lebeaume, was convinced by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman that in order to secure an NHL franchise, Quebec needed to build a new arena. Lebeaume quickly put together an arena package, pledged $50 million from his own Quebec City and got a commitment from the provincial government to contribute another $100 million towards the $400 million dollar price tag. He then tried to shakedown the federal government for another $100 million but was unsuccessful. 
In order to keep the project going, the mayor made an un-tendered, under-the-table deal with media scion Pierre-Karl Péladeau to fund the balance by granting Quebecor (Péladeau's company) management of the building and the city's support in his bid to own the potential NHL team.
This didn't sit well with an ex-city official who said that he'd challenge the deal in court because it didn't follow tendering procedures. Lebeaume, fearing that the deal couldn't stand a legal challenge, asked a PQ member of the National Assembly to put forward a private members bill that would shield the city from legal proceedings.
The proposed bill needed unanimous house consent just to be heard, but after some grumbling by the ADQ and Amir Khadir, all members agreed to hear the bill.
As the Bill heads for debate the PQ and the Liberals have indicated that they will vote for it, thus assuring its passage, but many members on both sides of the house have expressed misgivings at the anti-democratic nature of the proposed law.
Monday morning all hell broke loose as three highly placed (and radical) PQ members left the party to sit as independents, with another one joining their ranks yesterday, rather then agree to support Pauline Marois and toe the party line.
Lise Lapointe, Pierre Curzi and Louis Beaudoin
Now the three members who quit on Monday said that they couldn't vote for the bill in good conscience, but failed to mention that Marois offered them a way out. She told them that their vote was not required and they could skip the voting session if they chose to.
But that wasn't good enough and the three walked out on the party via a press conference, without even informing the party beforehand.

Yesterday another PQ member Jean Martin Aussant, also left, but was more direct as to his reasons. He complained that Marois' leadership was the reason for his departure, adding that she wasn't the right person to lead a successful referendum campaign. LINK

All of this was sparked by the unflinching support of Quebeckers to any arena project and the fear by the political parties that opposing  the Lebeaume law would ballot box suicide.

The damage doesn't appear to be over, with Bernard Drainville, one of the few PQ bigwigs remaining advising Marois to make the vote on the arena deal a free vote where members are not forced to vote the party line, or else.....

The split by the four members represents the worst crisis the PQ has ever faced, even worse than after election defeats where at least the party remained united.

A whole new dynamic is created.
Will  the rebels form a new more 'sovereignist' party, one somewhere between the PQ and Quebec solidaire? After all they have almost as many members as the Bloc Quebecois and with further defections likely it's an even bet that a new party could happen?

More likely is that Marois will be shown the door in the true style of the Parti Quebecois, who have a well-earned reputation for eating their leaders.

For federalists it makes for great theatre and my only hope is that the infighting continues for a good long time.

Look for the pages of to fill up quickly, as there's nothing like a good cat-fight to get the pens wagging.

In the meantime, Premier Charest shrewdly put off debate of the Lebaume law until the fall. That way the PQ can have another couple of months to battle it out over an issue that's tearing the party apart.

And so it'll be a summer of Pauline versus the radicals.
Who will win?
I don't care, as long as the fight goes on forever!!!


  1. who will win?



  2. ...first, to Anon @ 12:42 AM: Isn't that what Editor said "...Premier [John James "Goldilocks"] Charest shrewdly put off debate of the Lebaume law until the fall. That way the PQ can have another couple of months...tearing the party apart."

    I almost wish there was some way to set up a TV channel for this drama. With all those s--tty shows on TV and now only reality TV for the summer, it's going to be even worse. In the good ol' days, there were only 3 U.S. networks (Dumont was a fourth that went kaput before I was born), and CTV and CBC carried mostly U.S. shows because most people didn't have cable.

    Over time, TV got crappier and crappier by the year, and the standing joke is how we have gone from 5 channels of s--t to over a dozen channels of s--t [with the advent and popularity of cable and UHF] and now hundreds of channels of s--t [with satellite and cable boxes].

    My foregoing rant digresses from the story, but there must be a channel in the system that could be adopted for all this. The SRC maybe? I don't know who runs Mario Dumont's show, but now they can bring back that sub-moronic bigot spewing "tête carré" this and "tête carré" that on prime time French language TV that can probably be seen in Toktoyaktuk, Kujuuaq and wherever else federal tax dollars go down a black hole.

    I should be jumping for joy and licking my chops waiting with bated breath for the inevitable cat fight between Beaudoin and Marois, but I guess these inevitable losers will simply go down swinging and drinking bitter water. I am hopeful they'll put on a good show, and living in the Real Canada, I won't get to see much unless Editor posts the good stuff. I have every confidence he won't miss a trick.

    Gee, maybe I'll tune into this blog all summer long! There's nothing else good on TV!!!

  3. "All of this was sparked by the unflinching support of Quebeckers to any arena project and the fear by the political parties that opposing the Lebeaume law would ballot box suicide."

    The people WANT a politician and a plutocrat
    protected from fraud? This place gets sicker
    by the day.

    It will be fun watching the sepperheads tear
    each other a new one!


  4. On a completely unrelated note, one of the Editor's nemeses, Louis Prefontaine, is taking a break from blogging. From the tone in his blog, he seems to be crushed and heart broken by the result of the latest federal election in particular, and the progress (or lack thereof) of the independence movement in general.

    Cheer or jeer?

  5. Incredible how they back stab and eat their own.

    How could Marois less than a few weeks ago have a 93% approval and now this. I think good old Gilles might be involved to some degree in this little joust.

    Lapointe looks like a good looking woman, BTW. Of course pictures can lie. Can't believe she sees anything in that old prune Parasite.

    The whole issue is Hilarious to witness.

    Good on them.

    Louise Beaudoin...well I think this says its all

    Fits like a shoe.


  6. There is one thing that can sink Charest at this late stage. I don't like mentioning the prospect because all homeowners I know dismiss it aggresively. Canada is set to have a real estate correction. Which might be even worst then that of the US. If that occurs before 2012 Provincial election, then it would screw over goldilocks chances. Not to mention the Conservatives. All because of wrong time and wrong place scenario.

  7. Mario B. is taking his fascist movement province-wide.

    Which makes me wonder, is French threatened all over Quebec now, and not just in Montreal anymore? Because someone would use English here or there occasionally? How much more ridiculous can it get?

    It's funny how manipulative the TVA report is. Showing English-only signs (which could be the only 3 or 4 in the entire province, or maybe they're not even filmed in Quebec, and even if they are, so what? who's going to die from it?), showing the same sign twice, escalating the scare, rationalizing the existence of these groups, and supporting them - 0:15: "l'urgence d'agir pour empecher que l'anglais gagne encore du terrain au sein de la population Quebecois comme la langue d'usage."

    Someone asked why the mainstream media would stoop to that level and give these people a voice. Well, that one is easy: because their interests converge. It's in the French media's interest that the switch to English doesn't occur (or is as limited as possible, so better act preemptively and expose 3 or 4 signs before 100 pops up), because then they stand to lose viewership and funding, so they join forces with people oozing with hatred, like the MMF movement. Both MMF and the media are scared of anglicizastion, for different reasons: one for "respect" (read: power trip), one for $$$.

    So different motives, same objective.

  8. I can't help but laugh at the PQ's misfortunes. Seeing them down and out after these high level resignations and the Bloc's collapse truly warms the heart. For the average Quebecois voter, I suspect the PQ has served its purpose. Time to move on and help shoulder the burden of making this country, Canada, the envy of the World.

  9. Mauvais perdant Jean Martin Aussant should understand that nobody can lead a successful referendum campaign. They have failed twice, and their greatest economic institution is controlled by Federalists loyal to Canada - leur pari séditieux ne marche plus, et la majorité n'y crois plus aussi.

  10. It's been a long time coming, but i think you are seing a political alignment in Quebec, the independance question will become secondary, we are going to what has been normal in most western society, we will debate of right and left, the PQ is showing it's age. Independance is not going away, it just is not longer the driving force of the quebec politics. I may be wrong, but we saw it in the last federal election with the elimination of the Bloc, we may be seing the same with the PQ, either the PQ adapts (ergo why the hard core sovereignist left) or die.
    We are in for a few interesting coming month.

  11. adski,

    That is pretty silly, is it not? A piece about Mouvement Quebec Francais, yet they took the examples from signs in Montreal. However, I would really like to challenge Beaulieu.

    Two biggest employers in Quebec City are the provincial government and the tourism industry. I dare him, go to those working in the tourism industry and tell them to stop speaking English. Whenever a tourist comes to their business and start talking English, just point to the "Ici, on commerce en francais" decal. See how it goes!

  12. First, to adski: I thought you were the one griping about English taking over French. I responded to you once more the other day under the title The Queen Versus Amir Khadir. Did you respond? I didn't see anything. In any case, if there is enough pride in a society to want to keep the language even as it goes extinct, it will go on for a long time unless somehow the raison d'être is forgotten.

    I wonder if René Rancourt [pron. "Renny RAN-KORT"], the fellow who sings the national anthems in Boston, speaks French. About 25 miles outside of Boston is a restaurant called Morin's [pron. "Mor-INNS"], and they make this ridiculously thick "French Canadian meat pie" (not called a «tortière») and their own version of créton [pron. "creh-TOHN"]. They serve it on white bread and squirt mustard on it.

    BTW, I'm not implying a negative connotation re the pie being "ridiculously thick", it's just much thicker than any tortière I've ever seen. Morin's, I think is either pure ground beef or beef + veal--no pork. It's probably yummy because I hate ground pork. It was Mr. Morin's grandfather, Jean-Baptiste Morin, who came to Mass., like many migrants who came from Quebec for work. The late baritone, Robert Goulet, was also a child of these migrant workers.

    So there you have it. There are descendants of these migrants who settled in New England. How many of them still speak French? Some pass it down a generation or two, then the meaning is lost or forgotten. Do they die? Do they not have an identity? NO! They live in English, an easier language to communicate in than French, and they carve out lives for themselves in other ways.

    BTW, I'm NOT implying that English is a "better" language than French, or any other language, but because it's easier to learn to speak and/or write very badly (and still be SOMEWHAT understood) better than most other languages, this is probably why it has international appeal. Too, it is widely spoken throughout the world, so that adds to the influence.

    More people on the planet speak Chinese, but how many dialects, how easy is it to learn (esp the written language?) and how far does it reach? Until the last few decades, Chinese was pretty much confined to China. Same goes for India, but being under British influence, English became its official and universal language again because of the diversity of different languages and dialects.

    In Canada, French is protected by the Constitution of 1982, a product of the British North America Act of 1867, so Canada is unlikely to obliterate French. Now, if people in Quebec do choose to adopt English, and many parents WANT their children knowing English for commercial purposes, why stop them and take away their competitive edge?

    As I wrote previously and recently, because of texting, I.M., e-mail, etc., what is to say some new language will evolve because of this ever evolving technology? It may end up being a form of hieroglyphics, but not like that of the ancient Egyptians. I use it myself and I pride myself on good diction; nevertheless, it's faster to write "Do U C what I C?" OMG, BTW, ASAP, I use them all now. It saves time and fewer key strokes. Hey! Shorthand is practically dead! Does anybody under age 30 still know Gregg shortannd? I doubt it!

    Qué sera sera!

    Hugo, quite right.

  13. "I wonder if René Rancourt [pron. "Renny RAN-KORT"], the fellow who sings the national anthems in Boston, speaks French."

    He seems to be quite popular, but I think he sings terribly.

  14. I remember in Park extension even back in the 1980s and 90s all the allophone owned buildings would put english only "For Rent", "NO PARKING" other signs. Never really was an issue back then. Most of those signs are still there

  15. Mississauga,

    You hate ground pork? That can not be acceptable with kashrut, can it? :-)

  16. @ Troy

    "Whenever a tourist comes to their business and start talking English, just point to the "Ici, on commerce en francais" decal. See how it goes!"

    That reminds me---when I visited the Bell Centre on election day I asked th guy at the ticket booth about the "Ici" sign on the door of the sports bar next door. They told me not to worry because they speak English. (Moot point since it was closed.)

    Another thing about that bar. I saw kegs of Molson beer displayed in the front window and I immediately discovered where the famous barrel of the Stanley Cup trophy comes from! :-)

  17. So much money wasted for an useless project. Instead of building a mini-hick town, Quebec should start building schools and giving Quebeckers more education (and Jesus, Buddha, JHW and all the ancient Greek and Latin divinities know how much Quebeckers need an education, especially a linguistic one!). But of course this urgent need is constantly swept under the carpet by an artificial one: the need to have an arena. Money for education no, money for a pepsi arena yes. We already have a pepsi-monster-building in Montreal: the Stade, more similar to a brush stuck in a toilette than to a stadium.
    About the language, it's very simple: no English = no future, no job, no money, no travelling.


  18. Troy: If you have to get personal, I don't observe the dietary strictures of kashrut. My parents did, at least at home. My girlfriend once bought ground pork in error (she intended to buy beef), and I did not like the taste of it.

    Many years ago, however, I was invited to a former colleague's home for a lovely dinner, and his wife made an absolutely wonderful home-made tortière. I complimented her because my one and only foray into tortière prior to hers was when I was living on my own for a while in Ottawa, and the enticement of tortière finally piqued my curiosity. I was at the grocery store, took the plunge and picked up a "famous" La Belle Fermière version. A relatively underwhelming experience! I never bought another.

    Being within the confines of my parents' kosher home, I enjoyed the emancipation so much I was probably the one responsible for the spike in the price of pork bellies that year. In three months, I probably downed three YEARS rations of bacon! I didn't know bacon could taste so good, even at $3.99 per half kilo during the early 80s recession. There are times you can buy 500g today for less than that! YU-U-UM!

    I've cut way down on bacon because it's far too much fat and cholesterol. Too, Maple Lodge Farms and Butterball make good chicken and turkey bacon respectively. Still far too much salt, but the fat is cut in half and it doesn't shrink as much as pork bacon. It's a nice treat once in a while.

    Satisfied, Troy?

    Oh, and on the topic of the tourism industry in Quebec City, it practically destroyed itself in the 70s and 80s when people who visited Quebec, got snubbed and ridiculed, went back home and shared their punk experience. I remember once on a network talk show actor/comedian Jimmy Walker (of Good Times fame) made a low-blow crack about the French situation in Montreal. I don't remember exactly what he said, but it was scathing.

    Incidentally, the bulldog ugly woman appointed head of the OQLF several months ago ENCOURAGED merchants to only respond in French when they are asked questions in English. The ultimate imbecile! It was this attitude that caused a big drop in the tourist industry back then. Talking English brought the tourists back!!! She doesn't have half the sense of a bulldog.

  19. "it's very simple: no English = no future, no job, no money, no travelling."

    Encore plus simple.Au Québec: Unilingue anglo = Pas de travail = Pas d'argent = Pas de voyage.

    Nous sommes tellement bien chez-nous,pas besoins d'aller ailleurs :-)

  20. "The ultimate imbecile"

    Encore des insultes Mr.Suga?TssTss!

    Vous êtes un polissons,vous ne respectez pas les nouvelles consignes de ce blogue.

    J'aimerais bien comparer les retombées économiques de l'industrie touristique de Québec avec celles de messy suga.Hmmmm...XD!

  21. Anon @ 1:05AM: Look who's calling the «polissons» black!

    First of all, at least Editor is not a hypocrite because he insulted that cretin in a similar manner. What's good for the goose...

    Secondly, I neither know nor care if tourists come to Mississauga or not. This is a residential and commercial city, Toronto is for the tourists. On the other hand, Mississauga does have far more hotels and motels than Quebec City. I have found accommodations for people coming to visit, and they were thrilled with the accommodations I recommended--better than the Hôtel Plaza Universel in Ste-Foy where I stayed. It wasn't a bad place, but the rooms were very small like in Europe. My guests had king-sized beds and very modern facilities. Gee...maybe tourists DO come to Mississauga.

  22. "Nous sommes tellement bien chez-nous,pas besoins d'aller ailleurs :-)"

    Wow... double wow... I am speechless. You really sound like one of the communist propaganda slogans from an East European country - unfortunately, I am serious.

  23. "Wow... double wow... I am speechless. You really sound like one of the communist propaganda slogans from an East European country - unfortunately, I am serious."

    J'aurais apprécié un "triple wow" mais merci tout de même,vous êtes gentil :D

  24. Haïti chérie dit: Au moins au Parti Québécois, il y a des divergences d'opinions et de tendances. On ne peut pas en dire autant du PLQ qui semble rassemblé des gens du même acabit...

  25. Anon 12:56am "Nous sommes tellement bien chez-nous,pas besoins d'aller ailleurs"

    This is part of the problem in Quebec. Les Quebecois (most, not all) lack any connections to the outside world. Why is it that Quebec City, a city with roughly the same population as Edmonton, doesn't have any regularly scheduled international flights? A city cut off from the rest of the world. Seems like les Habitants have beat down the Voyageur spirit in Quebec sometimes.

  26. "international flights"

    Est-ce que quelqu'un peut m'expliquer ce que cette expression veut dire?Et c'est quoi le "outside world"?Comment on fait pour avoir un passeport?

    Parfois j'aimerais parler anglais pour pouvoir voyager.

    Un habitant Québécois.

  27. "Les Quebecois (most, not all) lack any connections to the outside world"

    Could this be generalized to all Quebeckers? Certainly not to the younger generation living in and around Montreal.

    Yes, many young Quebeckers remain stuck in small provincial towns, but this also applies to English Canada and the US, although in the US a small towner with little education or skill has a better chance of getting out because he can join the US Army which would then send him oversees. Quebec has neither an army, nor international "engagements" (read: fucking people over for $$$ under false pretenses of helping them out)

    There is however a strong support for "French-first" Quebec amongst even the educated bilingual Francophone generation X (like the people who work for TVA and join forces with people like Mario B., even though they probably consider him a dinosaur from the past they can't relate to)...but that stems from protectionism. In today's ultracompetitive world, why not retain the language-based discrimination of the past for the reasons of today - to secure the market share for the Francophones? This is exactly why young people today may support language legislation. Not for the same reasons as the older generation, who still remembers the days of the English elite, the old lady at Easton's, the days of "speak white" and the days of having their butts whipped with rulers by nuns who supervised them when they were little kids.

  28. "Not for the same reasons as the older generation..."

    Que serait devenu notre langue (pas la vôtre) si nos parents n'avaient pas lutté comme ils l'ont fait adski?

    Vous croyez que notre combat est terminé?

  29. "Vous croyez que notre combat est terminé? "

    Assuming that you're from the older generation, patriotic and nationalistically-driven, then yes, the movement as you know it is over. It has lost its battle with globalization.

    The younger generation is using your movement opportunistically. It just suits their needs and gives them an artificially-generated competitive advantage. In the globalized job market that Montreal is part of, French language is becoming as arbitrary a criterion as hair color. So for these people (who consume the American culture daily, and pay no mind to Quebec culture) the fight is not to preserve their culture, but to retain that arbitrary criterion that gives them an upper hand on the job market. The idealistically-driven movement of the 1960's that challenged the status quo is a thing of the past. (And was it ever really so idealistic? Or was it always about power?)

    Check out this video:

    And ask yourself: is this girl really attached to the Quebecois culture (she's not even a Quebecoise, as far as I can tell), or is it the fact that she's majoring in French rédaction so she feels her market niche is getting smaller and smaller.

    Is she a patriot, or an opportunist?

  30. "who consume the American culture daily, and pay no mind to Quebec culture"

    Difficile adski de voir des jeunes avec des noms a consonnances étrangères défendrent leur nouvelle Nation?Que voulez-vous,certains ont de la dignité,d'autres pas.

    Ceci-dit adski,vous êtes tout a fait libre de vivre votre rêve américain en sol Québécois.Je vous rappel tout de même que vous n'êtes qu'a quelques kilomètres des É-U.

    Vous n'avez pas les moyens financiers de vivre en sol étasunien et le système Québécois est fort avantageux?OK!

    Vous vivez malgré vous dans un pays dont vous détestez la culture et avez la tête dans un pays dont l'admiration est sans borne mais que vous n'avez pas les moyens de vous offrir.

    C'est vous le pathétique opportuniste adski!

    Ayez donc le courage de vos convictions et allez donc vivre aux states.Vous ne seriez pas le premier et certainement pas le dernier.

  31. "patriotic and nationalistically-driven, then yes, the movement as you know it is over"

    Le mouvement nationaliste Québécois est en constante mutation depuis des siècles.
    Comme celui des fédéralistes dailleurs.

    Votre érudition ne cessera jamais de m'étonner adski!

    Nous pouvons donc écrire n'importe quoi sur ce blogue.

  32. "who consume the American culture daily, and pay no mind to Quebec culture"

    Pourquoi ne pas avoir écrit "canadiens" tout simplement ? :D:D!!

  33. C'est vous le pathétique opportuniste adski!”

    I think Quebec gets out of me more than I get out of Quebec, especially if you consider the taxation WITHOUT representation aspect - on the provincial and municipal level for sure, and on the federal level too until recently when the bloquiste resident parasite got knocked out by a dipper.

  34. “Vous vivez malgré vous dans un pays dont vous détestez la culture”

    Indifference is not hate. You're mixing up two different things.

  35. "Indifference is not hate.'

    Alors c'est réciproque car les Québécois semblent totalement indifférents a la cause de votre minorité que vous semblez assez bien représenter dailleurs.

    "taxation WITHOUT representation aspect"

    Voila le prix de l'indifférence.

  36. That's right, so don't use words like "detestez" when we're dealing with indifference.

  37. And don't use "meprise" either. Indifference is not contempt.