Friday, August 12, 2011

Air Canada Deserved its Language Fine

It was with abject indignation that the anglophone community across Canada reacted to the story of an Ottawa couple who clipped Air Canada for $12,000 in court for not providing French language service on several flights that they took a couple of years ago.

The story had all the elements necessary to feed the widespread perception that Francophones are unreasonably imposing bilingualism on a reluctant majority.

Reading the many accounts, it's easy to dislike Michel Thibodeau, the chief protagonist antagonist in this story, who seems to be one of those who keeps a banana peel in his pocket and throws it down in the supermarket in order to slip and fall, in search of a payoff.

He is a serial whiner who has made over 100 language complaints and is about as sympathetic as someone bitching about the free food at a funeral.

There was, to say the least, one helleva  a nasty reaction across the country, even by some of Canada's most respected journalists.
A story in the Globe and Mail garnered over 2,000 comments, almost all were negative and many were downright nasty.

The story that is being peddled in the major newspapers revolves around a stewardess member of the cabin crew serving  Mr. Thibodeau a 'Sprite' instead of a "Seven-Up' and this in English, when queried in French.
As things would have it, Mr. Thibodeau is bilingual and could have easily interacted in English with the unilingual airline employee, thus providing fodder to those who believe that Mr. Thibodeau was just trying to make trouble.

Michel Thibodeau,
Indeed he was.
Mr. Thibodeau is a French language crusader who demands service in French where that service is guaranteed by law or regulation. For that, he is being crushed in the anglo media.

Myself, I applaud him for his effort and his guts. It's not everyone and in fact, there are very few of us who are willing to suffer humiliation and anguish in pursuit of a principle. He has been the subject of a nasty smear campaign that has all the earmarks of a lynching.

In one of the very few articles that is somewhat sympathetic to Mr. Thibodeau, he is quoted as saying; 
“Air Canada must be able to provide services in both languages,” ...My rights are compromised if it doesn’t, and I have two choices. I can let it be, and my rights become non-existent, or I can do something. I decided to do something.” 
For anglophones in Quebec it's a bit hypocritical to demand our English language rights be protected while scoffing at Mr. Thibodeau.

How a story about Air Canada being taken to task in court for not doing what they are required to do by regulation, has morphed into a story that focuses on the complainer, is rather perplexing, as if the fine hand of a public relations firm has shifted attention away from the real issue.

The facts that emerge in this case indicate that Air Canada regularly flies airplanes without French language personnel, when regulations provide that they must. Mr. Thibodeau's lawsuit was crucial to bringing this to light.

Now you may believe, as many Canadians do, that forcing the airline to provide bilingual services almost everywhere in Canada is unreasonable (I'd point out that one of the flights that Mr. Thibodeau complained about originated in Montreal, but that is actually beside the point) but it doesn't relieve Air Canada from the responsibility of fulfilling its obligation.

Just because I believe that 30 kilometre speed limits are unreasonable, it doesn't afford me the right to drive 60kph. If I'm caught by police, I certainly can't expect to get out of a traffic ticket because I find the speed limit unfair or inconvenient.

Air Canada has been guilty of flaunting the French language requirement for years and should be held accountable, PERIOD.

Now this story is of particular interest to we anglophones in Quebec, who see what language rights we have, eroding as well.

A very interesting article in the Montreal Gazette "Accessible health care in English is everyone's right," discusses Quebec's anglophones ability to receive English health services. Regulations provide that English health services be provided everywhere in Quebec, much like French language service on Air Canada.
"Anglophones in Quebec are supposed to be able to get medical treatment in English. Twenty-five years ago, the Quebec government amended existing health-and social services legislation, conferring on the anglophone community across the province a qualified right to receive services in English. (The availability of resources had to be taken into account.) ......
...But when Stephanie Kwong, a Montreal respiratory therapist who is six months pregnant, asked to be treated at her local community health clinic in English, she found herself being addressed slowly and loudly in French, as if she were "deaf and stupid,"
Hmmm. that last description sounds like an Air Canada employee.....

It seems that despite the requirement to provide English services, many Quebec health institutions are skirting the regulation (just like Air Canada)  and as long as nobody complains, they can get away with it. The farther away one travels from Montreal, the more serious the problem. Only 8% of Anglophones visiting community clinics in the Lower North Shore region are treated in English, even though the law requires that the service be provided.
"Unless anglophones insist on their right to English language services, that right will continue to erode. The burden of maintaining this right cannot be placed on anglophones alone, especially elderly, unilingual English-speakers in the regions. If they are shying away from insisting on their rights, it could be because they are made to feel like second-class citizens "

Sound familiar?
The above quote from the Montreal Gazette sounds eerily familiar to what Mr. Thibodeau is saying.

Now to explain how perspective changes perception, I'm going to paraphrase a paragraph that appears a little higher up this article and just change the optic;
"Now you may believe, as many Quebeckers do, that forcing  hospitals to provide bilingual services almost everywhere in Quebec is unreasonable (I'd point out that one of the hospitals where Stephanie Kwong was refused English service was in Montreal, but that is actually beside the point) but it doesn't relieve the hospitals from the responsibility of fulfilling their obligations."
Hmmm....

And so, I haven't got much sympathy for Air Canada. Like the Quebec health institutions that deny anglos service in English because it is inconvenient, so too, Air Canada acts in a self-serving manner by systematically denying francophones their right to French service.

The airline broke the regulations to save money and continued to do so because nobody complained. The company's actions were disrespectful and motivated by greed. This is the second time within a month that Air Canada has been called out for dubious business practices. The airline has just been fined $50,000 in the U.S for deceptive advertising. LINK
I'm only sorry that Mr. Thibodeau didn't get the $500,000 he was asking for.

I wonder if Barbara Kay or Peter Worthington would come down as hard on a bilingual anglophone who demanded to be treated in English, in a Saguenay Lac St. Jean hospital, where there are proportionally less Anglos in the community than there are Francophones on most Air Canada flights.

And how would they feel about the Francophone press mercilessly hounding and humiliating a bilingual anglo for having the audacity to sue a hospital for its failure to offer treatment in English, as is his or her right?

Now before you say that receiving medical services in the language of choice is not the same as receiving a Seven-up, it's the same principle.  Rights are rights.

If airplane cabin personnel can't serve a soft drink in French, they can't give the safety demonstration in French either. In the case of an emergency, a unilingual Francophone could have his or her safety compromised because of the cabins crew's inability to transmit instructions in  French, The same goes for a medical emergency.

To all those professional journalists who mocked and sneered at Mr. Thibodeau atop their high horses, all I can say is SHAME ON YOU!

We English Quebeckers could use a shit-disturbing hero like Michel Thibodeau!

42 comments:

  1. Very well put.

    That being said $500,000 would have been ridiculous, $12,000 still is...

    BTW, thanks for bringing back the "anglo & the dog" pic to your newly designed blog, it's the old touch that the new look needed...

    ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mr. Sauga, in awe and disbelief,Friday, August 12, 2011 at 1:26:00 AM EDT

    Editor! Editor! Editor!

    You wrote "We English Quebeckers could use a shit-disturbing hero like Michel Thibodeau!"

    DID YOU EVER HEAR OF HOWARD GALGANOV? He was the most bombastic kick-ass shit-disturber Quebec ever had! Paradoxically, the English media treated him with as much disdain as the French, if not more.

    He had a radio show that threw back as much as he got...until the lah-dee-dahs at the CRTC were sicked upon Galganov. Montreal's one-time most listened to radio station, CJAD, was at lager-heads with Galganov, and Galganov would have taken them on. He even CHALLENGED CJAD to a verbal duel, and they backed down.

    Sadly, CJAD is now an inferior shadow if its former self, a shtick dreck station I barely waste my time with when I'm in Montreal (now very rarely). Having Josée Legault, who bolted CJAD when she had a supposedly better opportunity to jump into politics and then run back to CJAD when that didn't work out is not exactly someone with a savory reputation to have in an English radio station's stable.

    Just when I thought CJAD abandoned all its principles (senses, really), they hired Julie Couillard. What was she, besides the girlfriend of biker gang members and a cabinet minister? There have been allegations she ran a brothel or two. She becomes an English radio personality with a pair of sugar tits and a couple of profiled boyfriends? Looks like the qualifications for employment at CJAD have gone way, way down over the years, and being a communications student in college or university means zero at CJAD, unless you have a great pair of knockers or are a political subversive!

    My late mom and aunt flew down to Florida on a charter back in the late 70s, and all the announcements were in French alone, much to their chagrin. They didn't get 12¢ compensation for not being served in English.

    It's bad enough English health services are barely in existence outside Montreal in Quebec, but how about refusing to treat English-speaking people at a French-speaking facility in Cornwall, ON? That's what happened a few years ago. Dare any "English" language hospital not have French-speaking staff in Quebec? As Reed Scowen wrote in his book "Time to Say Goodbye", there aren't English services anymore, but bilingual services that serve English where the numbers warrant.

    Lest we forget Howard Galganov.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Urgences-Sante's website is ONLY, and ENTIRELY in French, and while parts of their invoice for ambulance services are bilingual, the all important descriptions of services are exclusively in French.

    What kind of people persecute the injured, sick and weak?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mr. Thibodeau was absolutely right but in no way did he deserve 1200$. He should have received no more than 100$. If he truly believes in the cause then denouncing Air Canada's disregard for language policy should be rewarding enough.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Editor,

    Right on. A right is a right is a right. Since Air Canada is obligated to provide service in both official languages, it must provide them.

    The thing that makes me wonder is why Air Canada is obligated to do so. It is not a crown corporation anymore, it is a private company even though the government still has partial ownership. Without knowing any better, I think that obligation puts Air Canada in disadvantage. I know that WestJet does not provide bilingual service. I have been flying in and out of Montreal with it and the only French language service the cabin crew gave was the recorded pre-flight safety instructions.

    To think about it further, what about all the transborder and international airlines? It is such an extra cost for Air Canada to be bilingual, particularly if one compares all the transborder flights with American carriers.

    On a separate note for the Editor, Air Canada does not fly Boeing 747 anymore. Besides, I do not know of any major carrier still flies 747-200.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The great phony expensive bilingual scam. Whats really going on?

    The simple facts are as more francophone’s get hired for all government positions less and less English speakers are working for their own governments across the country. Don’t believe me; Go check the stats for yourself. Francophone’s are over-represented in all levels of government including hospitals, law, policing...etc. No fairness, no representation by population. They call it bilingualism, yet the term is never defined on purpose and believe me it doesn’t mean fluency in 2 languages in Canada, at least to the French it doesn’t. No political party will speak for the English speaking majority in this province and country. Practical bilingualism, where numbers warrant… is never defined on purpose. In Ontario, NB it now means segregation. The French (they are actually metis, a mixed race, not french) are demanding French only facilities all over the province, not bilingual, French only. $ Bilingualism is really nothing more then a hiring quota for francophone’s and that is a fact…just ask yourself, why are francophone’s over-represented in all government jobs and how come more and more positions are being designated bilingual all the time? And just as important, how come they are NOT fluently bilingual? Some can barely speak English!

    Go learn our proud, real BNA and UEL history. These were the builders of our country since 1763, not this phony, revisionist lie, spin, nonsense, this bilingual, multicultural,2 founding nations, linguistic duality lie, spin, propaganda that we’ve been living with since Trudeau and Kebec (original spelling) forced this upon the nation. We’ve been part of the British Empire since 1763 and officially and English speaking country for over 200 years, again just the facts...We were never a bilingual country. This is one big expensive lie/fraud that’s been going on for over 5 decades now.

    So while Quebec bans the English language (bill 22, bill 178, bill 101…), wipes out its real BNA, UEL history, while ethnic language cleansing is going on in Quebec, the rest of the country is forced to fund whatever the French (metis) demand. All in the name of bilingualism (forced French)… This is going on in every province. Go check.

    See what’s really going on? 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. How? First comes the right to communicate with gov't in a minority language (ie French),then comes bilingualism, then comes the right to work in the language of choice(ie French), then comes a bilingual boss,(ie French) then comes a exclusively French department and on it goes until its all French. Its happening all over the country, Ontario, New Brunswick… Go check the stats for yourself.


    Liberal, Tory, NDP same old story. No party, no politician has touched this issue since it was forced upon the nation. The public has complained for decades yet the scum bag politicians remain silent. They are not listening to the people. Liberal, Tory same old story.

    Where do we turn?

    ReplyDelete
  7. "The simple facts are as more francophone’s get hired for all government positions less and less English speakers are working for their own governments across the country"

    I love how through creative phrasing you insinuate that our government isn't for francophones. People like you are the ones that piss the Quebecois off, and then we anglo Quebecois have to put up with the outcry and the prejudice. I AM proud of my BNA history. I'm a descendant of British loyalists that fled Vermont to become one of the first 42 founding families of Danvile in the Eastern Townships. There's even a lake out there named after my family. They settled with anglos and francos and they received nothing but hosptality from their Quebecois neighbours. Just because I'm English Canadian doesn't mean I can't integrate into Quebec society and respect it and it's culture and language. Why not try embracing the French language? It's not a cancer you know, it's a language. I agree that the Quebec elites are scum (but then again who's elites aren't scum?). But don't make it seem like all of Quebec in it's entirety is full of bigots. If you do believe that, then you are judging the masses based on the actions of a few, and that is prejudice.

    ReplyDelete
  8. all the earmarks of a lynching

    Uhhhhh.... except for the missing tree and rope noose....

    Please don't get me wrong, I understand your meaning and I know you're just following a rhetorical device that others have originated -- still, those originators are wrong

    But that mere quibble aside, I agree with you completely that Air Canada should provide bilingual service.

    I do mock Thibodeau, however - though I resent being labelled as "on a high horse". While I'm passionate about bilingualism and the advantages it offers to all of us, I just don't believe it's worth $500K in PERSONAL COMPENSATION TO THIBODEAU FOR 'SUFFERING'. Is it worth $500K that A.C. must invest into bilingual service, for example? Sure!

    Sorry if that puts me on a high horse, but there you go and there we are. You feel differently - that's fine with me btw.

    "The simple facts are as more francophone’s get hired for all government positions less and less English speakers are working for their own governments across the country"

    Anonymous... the simple fact is that more francophones are bilingual and that more anglophones are too lazy to learn French.
    I'm an anglophone. Learning French wasn't hard... in fact, it was a joy, and I love French. In my opinion and for what my vote is worth, bilinguals deserve the government posts you're complaining about. Want a post like that? Learn French. It's not hard. Don't want to learn French? Congratulations, you've Stupid Fucking Lazied yourself out of an enviable position in employment and in life.

    I'm not proud of my "BNA history"... because I was born quite late and had nothing to do with it. Why would I be proud of something I haven't accomplished? I am however excited to be a part of the global anglosphere and the francophonie. Two worlds are open to us (and more), and that is AWESOMELY COOL!

    Bilingualism is'nt a burden, it's fun and exciting and neat and I love it. You can, too.

    Jason is right imho -- people like you make life for Quebec anglos that much harder!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. "Francophone’s are over-represented in all levels of government including hospitals, law, policing...etc. No fairness, no representation by population. "

    ie. "Im too stupid and lazy and cranky to learn French... boo hoo, boo hoo! Why must I learn a whole other European language that's not in effect THAT much different from English? My brain is too full already!"

    "how come they are NOT fluently bilingual? Some can barely speak English! "
    Now I'm curious... just how much French do you speak?
    I have never met any government agent outside of Quebec who didn't speak English... I think you're paranoid, to be honest, because you sound unhinged.

    "bilingual, multicultural,2 founding nations, linguistic duality lie, spin, propaganda that we’ve been living with"

    It's just your interepretation. Perhaps someone like, oh, I don't know, maybe Papineau or Laurier or St. Laurent or Chrétien might feel differently

    "Kebec (original spelling)"
    So according to you we should all call it Kanata (original spelling)
    (BTW I agree with you and I would totally vote to call it Kanata from now on, but that's just me)

    "This is one big expensive lie/fraud that’s been going on for over 5 decades now."
    It's not that expensive
    I mean, we ARE incredibly rich.
    We drop a billion on security for the G-20

    Besides that, for a few billion dollars we could teach everyone English and French in elementary school and in 20 years be truly bilingual

    “First Quebec, then we take over the rest of the country, one step at a time…through bilingualism…”
    Actually, the problem with separatists is that they believe French is for "Qebec only", when in fact French is part of my heritage and I have a right to study Voltaire along with Shakespeare in high school.
    You have a screw loose and you probably need a doctor. The French language has not "invaded" the federation beyond cereal boxes and directions to the washrooms in airports and bus stations.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Where do we turn?


    Gee.... maybe you should turn to a French class.

    Just an idea, a trifling suggestion.

    You might actually learn something, Anonymous.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Mr. Thibodeau was absolutely right but in no way did he deserve 1200$. He should have received no more than 100$.

    Hm, actually it seems we are in fact in agreement.

    Jason, let me ask you seriously: Do you honestly believe that the Barbara Kays you quote above would have been so outraged in "lynching" Thibodeau if he had not sought such extraordinary personal profit from the matter?

    Had he sought the $100 bucks and recognition of Air Canada's wrong, I find it hard to believe Calgary Herald editorials would be denouncing him so strongly. While I believe Air Canada was in the wrong and deserved to lose, I personally feel you're missing part of the picture here. But your thoughts are your thoughts and I respect that, Jason.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dear crusading editor - you have the right spin on the Air Canada language story this time around.

    I confess that I enjoy your blog because it always brings out the crazy anglo centric ethnic nationalists like "Anonymous" and their repetitive rants on the basic theme of "English good...French bad...!" Reading their stuff keeps me humble whenever I read their francophone counterparts at nationalist websites such as Vigile.net and others where the francophone ethnic nationalists congregate.

    Jason, your comment is bang on. Like you, I have a strong suspicion that folks like "Anonymous" and "Mr.Sauga" don't speak French. They clearly just don't get franco Quebecers and how well anglo and franco Quebeckers function together in the real world. But if they did, this blog would be far less amusing. Keep it up Anonymous!...er..or is it anonymous ?

    ReplyDelete
  13. "Jason, let me ask you seriously: Do you honestly believe that the Barbara Kays you quote above would have been so outraged in "lynching" Thibodeau if he had not sought such extraordinary personal profit from the matter?

    Had he sought the $100 bucks and recognition of Air Canada's wrong, I find it hard to believe Calgary Herald editorials would be denouncing him so strongly. While I believe Air Canada was in the wrong and deserved to lose, I personally feel you're missing part of the picture here"

    Lol I didn't even realized I quoted Kays. But forgive me, and I don't mean to be rude or make it seem like I disagree with you, but I'm not quite sure what you're asking. I might just be reading it wrong but I'm just not sure what you're asking me and I'd love to answer you honnestly so just clarify and I'd be more than happy to oblige.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Jason the Montreal Anglo...

    I assume you're the Editor who posted the "Air Canada Deserved its Language Fine" post? Perhaps I'm confused.
    The post doesn't quote Kay, it just links to her article and then references her (ie. "I wonder if Barbara Kay or Peter Worthington").

    Assuming you're the Original Poster...

    -You're critical over the reaction against Thibodeau because Air Canada was in the wrong
    -I agree Air Canada was wrong and should pay
    -You later comment that Thibodeau deserved no more than $100 and the judgement that Air Canada was wrong

    I believe if Thibodeau had settled for $100 and a judgment, Barbara Kay and Peter Worthington and Brian Purdy would not have "lynched" him.

    I suggest their reaction is based on offence that Thibodeau is seeking (outrageous) monetary gain. Had his pursuit of cash been more reasonable, the editorials you reference would have also been more reasonable.

    If you are not the O.P. then I am mistaking you for the blog's author; my apologies in that case.

    ReplyDelete
  15. "I believe if Thibodeau had settled for $100 and a judgment, Barbara Kay and Peter Worthington and Brian Purdy would not have "lynched" him.

    I suggest their reaction is based on offence that Thibodeau is seeking (outrageous) monetary gain. Had his pursuit of cash been more reasonable, the editorials you reference would have also been more reasonable"

    Lol no I'm not the editor.

    However you do make an excellent point that is definitely food for thought. Based on that, I would say Thibodeau was right in his accusation but went about it all wrong with the "greedy individual that sues for ridiculous amounts of money for a disproportionate crime" strategy.
    So I guess both sides (Air Canada and Thibodeau) are wrong, as they so often are and which they are so often oblivious to as well. Air Canada was humiliated for not respecting policy, and Thibodeau was humliated for being greedy. Unfortunately this will probably (or already has) breed a "both sides think the other is being ridiculous" atmosphere which can potentially hold us back from progressing on this issue as a society. But if I HAD to pick a favourite I would have to take Thibodeau's side, because to me, he is the only one who's rights were violated. He may have reacted like a little child but he was still wronged. What do you think? Make sense?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Lol no I'm not the editor.


    I'm quite embarrassed right now

    I've ALWAYS assumed you were the blogger here

    My apologies for the error Jason.

    As I've said, I totally side with Thibodeau -- AC should provide bilingual service

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sandy,

    I confess I love the blog for the EXACT same reason...

    the crazy anglo centric ethnic nationalists
    and their repetitive rants on the basic theme of "English good...French bad...!"


    ...reading dumb unilingual coots like Anonymous and Mr. Sauga is fun and always a reminder of why so many francophones feel threatened

    ReplyDelete
  18. @ Sandy McTire & Jack BV:

    "Jason, your comment is bang on. Like you, I have a strong suspicion that folks like "Anonymous" and "Mr.Sauga" don't speak French."

    "...reading dumb unilingual coots like Anonymous and Mr. Sauga is fun and always a reminder of why so many francophones feel threatened"

    You're both quite incorrect about Mr. Sauga (and other things). He has written repeatedly here that he works at a call centre or customer service centre and deals frequently in French with Francophone clients from Quebec.

    Just because someone isn't bilingual, it doesn't mean they are "dumb." You really need to get off your high horse, or donkey, Jackass BV.

    ReplyDelete
  19. “unilingual coots like Anonymous and Mr. Sauga is fun and always a reminder of why so many francophones feel threatened”

    Even with Bill 101 of 34 years? Why keep this law then, if it’s totally useless in making you feel secure. A law that doesn’t even stand up to a couple of guys blogging online.

    -----

    “English good...French bad...!"

    English good? French bad?
    No, Quebec as a political construct - bad.
    Canada, as a political construct that nurtures Quebec - bad.

    Also, indifference to French (as in language/culture) does not mean "French bad". Indifference is not dislike. If you think that, then you are either hypersensitive, or your ego is the size of the moon.

    -----

    As for Thibodeau, I would reiterate what I said before. Absurd regulations inevitably lead people to exploit them. An absurd system is a system that gets milked. The problem is therefore not so much Thibodeau (who is a self serving douchebag, let’s not kid ourselves), but the OLA. Get rid of the OLA, and you get rid of Thibodeau and creeps like him.

    ReplyDelete
  20. "Indifference is not dislike"

    Étiez vous au Québec lors du référendum de 1995?
    De quelle indifférence parlez-vous donc?

    Nous avons plutôt assisté a une interférence de la part des canadians.Je dis tant mieux si les canadians sont maintenant devenus si indifférents.Les chances d'un vote gagnant pour l'auto-détermination des Québecois ne seront qu'augmentés.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Just because someone isn't bilingual, it doesn't mean they are "dumb."

    Ah, but I never said it meant that.

    I just happen to think Mr. Sauga and Anonymous's anglo-nationalistic hatred of francophones is, well, kinda dumb!


    Why keep this law then, if it’s totally useless in making you feel secure.
    Ah, but I'm against Bill 101... I think it's foolish.
    I didn't say "threatened with assimilation", I just said "threatened" -- and Anonymous and Mr. Sauga are pretty hostile and vituperative.

    Indifference to French is one thing, adski. My mom is totally indifferent!

    But Mr. Sauga's not "indifferent", which you can see very clearly in any of his posts.

    Indifference and hostility are not the same thing.

    An absurd system is a system that gets milked
    Hmmmm this is very interesting and I like it; I hope you won't mind if I steal it in the future

    Yes, he's a self-serving douchebag - I disagree with the Calgary Herald op-ed that paints Québec as the same as Thibodeau, but I totally accept personal criticism of Thibodeau. I think he's an opportunistic thief.

    ReplyDelete
  22. ...to Sandy McTire: Your suspicions are INCORRECT! I live far from Quebec and I speak French each and everyday at work. I was born, raised and educated in Montreal and lived there half my life.

    I'm probably older than you are and I remember the "old" Montreal. You were probably born during or after the sociopolitical metamorphosis took place in Quebec during the 70s and 80s.

    My ascendants who came to Quebec early last century, especially on my mother's side, arrived dirt poor yet built up enterprises that employed locals in the Eastern Townships where they settled. They made very positive contributions for Quebec's greater good, yet we were lumped into the "maudit anglais" moniker. My grandparents spoke neither English nor French when they arrived, but they learned.

    It is on that basis where I have serious beefs with Quebec. My paternal grandfather became self-employed after WWII, where he and my grandmother worked in armament factories to contribute to the war effort. Except during the war years, my grandparents didn't take a job away from anyone!

    Is it the fault of the minorities they were the captains of industry while the Roman Catholic church professed unlimited procreation and that being the "small bread" (i.e., proletariat) of society was acceptable? Their Church legitimized proletarianism, not the Protestants or other minorities.

    With the advent of the Quiet Revolution, the false doctrine of their Church was being abandoned with the common herd finally realizing they were indoctrinated fruitlessly.

    To Sandy McTire and other readers who choose to berate my opinions, I suggest you substantiate what you write about me, or exculpate me from ANYTHING and EVERYTHING false you write about me.

    ReplyDelete
  23. ...to Press 9: Go for it!

    ...to Anglo Bashers: Thanks for reading and paying attention.

    ...to Jack the BVer: Because I have a severe disdain for the language laws doesn't make me a hatemonger, but sadly, far too many people easily jump to that conclusion, and you're just another pair of buttocks in the crowd.

    The same thing happened to Howard Galganov. He is not a hater of Francophones, but is against systematic discrimination of Quebec minorities. He often appeared on the French media until one French TV station started playing manipulative dubbing and editing tricks to intentionally make it as if he misquoted his own words. From then on he no longer communicates with the French media.

    Interestingly, the French media also has rather vexatious means of labelling individuals. In the case of Howard Galganov, he was referred to as the "anglo juif". How do you think things would have played out if Galganov referred to any Franco Québécois as the "Franco Catholic"?

    Rabid, impudent racists like Gilles Proulx can go on the SRC, on Mario Dumont's show spewing vitriol like «tête carré» this and «tête carré» that without any retribution, but let Don Cherry on the English counterpart, the CBC, mentioning protective eye visors are used by "French guys" and there are calls for his head.

    Leave it to B-Ver, Press9 and Gilles Proulx to call the kettle black!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have just returned home from a trip to the U.S. While there, I visited a Cabela's store in East Hartford, Connecticut. Cabela's is based in Nebraska and has retail outlets across the U.S. It is the world’s largest retailer of fishing, hunting and outdoor gear, has several hundred thousand items for sale on its website, and mails out millions of catalogues around the world every year. Its stores are immense, have museum quality taxidermy mounts of many species of fish and wildlife, and are tourist destinations in their own right.

    Cabela’s was planning to build its first Canadian store in Mirabel, Quebec, but it cancelled these plans when it found out about the overly restrictive French language laws. It would have cost a great deal of money to translate its catalogues and its webpage into French. The Office de la langue francais no doubt would have pressured the company to drop the apostrophe and the ‘s’ from its trademark name. Cabela’s opened its first Canadian store in Winnipeg instead, has just opened another store in Edmonton, and is building a third store in Saskatoon.

    Who knows how many other companies have bypassed Quebec because of its language laws?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Air Canada spends millions on bilingualism every year (as mandated by law which is strange for a private company?). All my trips on Air Canada over the past 30 years have offered a bilingual service, even on flights originating on the West Coast to other Western destinations. The fact of the matter is Air Canada makes more money flying unilingual Asians than it does by serving unilingual Francophones who by in large don't really travel much at all. If Air Canada were able to function as a free market enterprise as they should, unburdened by Government bilingualism requirements they would be hiring mostly Asian speaking bilingual flight crew rather than Quebec based Francophones.

    ReplyDelete
  26. "Air Canada spends millions on bilingualism every year..."

    Et ils sont incapables de servir une boisson a un client en français?Hmmmm...Je crois que cet argent va en publicité et non dans la formation de ses agents.

    12,000 $ ? Bravo Michel!J'ai l'impression que plusieurs Québécois vont faire du cash avec AC.

    "as mandated by law which is strange for a private company?"

    AC a été privatisée un an après l'application de nos lois.Fioooou!,juste a temps :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have just returned home from a trip to the U.S. I visited a Cabela's store in East Hartford, Connecticut while I was there. This company is based in Nebraska and has retail outlets across the U.S. It is the world’s largest retailer of fishing, hunting and outdoor gear, has several hundred thousand items for sale on its website, and mails out millions of catalogues around the world every year. Its stores are immense, have museum quality taxidermy mounts of many species of fish and wildlife, and are tourist attractions in their own right.

    Cabela’s was planning to build its first Canadian store in Mirabel, Quebec, but it cancelled these plans when it found out about the overly restrictive language laws. It would have cost a great deal of money to translate its catalogues and its website into French. The Office de la langue francais no doubt would have pressured the company to drop the apostrophe and the ‘s’ from its trademark name. Cabela’s opened its first Canadian store in Winnipeg instead, has just opened another store in Edmonton, and is building a third store in Saskatoon.

    Who knows how many other companies have bypassed Quebec because of its language laws.

    ReplyDelete
  28. French is in decline in Canada. Canada is not a bilingual country as numbers clearly indicate. Service in French on an AC flight from a US destination to a Canadian english city likely does not warrant enought significant numbers to reqire bilingual flight crews. The West Jet french recordings between Calgary and Vancouver are for the most part annoying and a waste of time, money and effort.

    Thibideau is nothing mor than an opportunist who has repeatedly utilized language lawsuits for his own advangage. No different that the truck driver in Alberta who was using language as a defence for a speeding violation and other such frivalous actions by certain individuals using language for personnel gain.

    Once again, all, Canada is NOT a bilingual country and never will be one. Lets quit kidding ourselves.

    ReplyDelete
  29. "Once again, all, Canada is NOT a bilingual country and never will be one. Lets quit kidding ourselves..."

    Pas un pays bilingue mais bien avec deux langues officielles...Malheureusement pour vous,nous sommes un des 2 peuples fondateurs de ce pays que vous le vouliez ou non.C'est la vie :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. I never travel with Air Canada for a very simple reason: I don't want to have anything to do with kébékuo' and their attitude on board (=applause upon taking off AND landing, screaming to the crew, lounging around like zombies, inappropriately dressed in a plane, especially women, tarted up like prostitutes).

    Yes, anonymous 8:03, there is not such a bilingual country and will never be, never ever. It shouldn't be either since Canada is an English-speaking country.

    WESTALLOPHONE++

    ReplyDelete
  31. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  32. En tant que Québécois,je suis fier de mon frère Franco-ontarien.Un exemple a suivre pour tous les francophones du canada...Ce pays nous appartient!

    ReplyDelete
  33. "...especially women, tarted up like prostitutes"

    Vous devriez en profiter Westy...Quoi qu'a votre age la seule façon de vous envoyez en l'air est sûrement l'avion XD!!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I have just returned home from a trip to the U.S. I visited a Cabelas store in East Hartford, Connecticut while I was there. This company is based in Nebraska and has retail outlets across the U.S. It is the world’s largest retailer of fishing, hunting and outdoor gear, has several hundred thousand items for sale on its website, and mails out millions of catalogues around the world every year. Its stores are immense, have museum quality taxidermy mounts of many species of fish and wildlife, and are tourist attractions in their own right.

    Cabelas was planning to build its first Canadian store in Mirabel, Quebec, but it cancelled these plans when it found out about the overly restrictive French language laws. It would have cost a great deal of money to translate its catalogues and its website into French. The Office de la langue francais no doubt would have pressured the company to drop the apostrophe and the ‘s’ from its trademark name. Cabelas opened its first Canadian store in Winnipeg instead, has just opened another store in Edmonton, and is building a third store in Saskatoon.

    Who knows how many other companies have bypassed Quebec because of its language laws.

    ReplyDelete
  35. "Pas un pays bilingue mais bien avec deux langues officielles...Malheureusement pour vous,nous sommes un des 2 peuples fondateurs de ce pays que vous le vouliez ou non.C'est la vie :)"

    Quite with your joual ou cessez votre joual s'il vous plait. No problem..On the founding nation, NOT, you had your asses kicked on the Plains. You are not a founding nation as you would like to beleive but rather a conquered nation who was allowed to keep their folk language and convulated culture (mistake which should have been avoided). Bottom line everyone, The Franco-Quebecois just can't get over the fact that they were beaten and forever more will dislike Anglos whom whipped "leur petit derrieres." Simple as that.

    Now, could you please crawl back under the Rock you came from and take all your family with you, thereby allowing the balance of us to get on with our lives without the constant dribble and demands from your Parasitic "nation state"

    As I said, your folklore language is in demise both in Canada and worldwide. Sucks to be you, I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Une encore chose, a anom de 10:00 am.

    C'EST LA VIE comme vous disant, mon pauvre petit homme du Quebec. :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. "...comme vous disant, mon pauvre petit homme du Quebec..."

    Vous devriez prendre quelques cours de français intensifs...Quoiqu'a votre age,cest déja trop tard.Êtes-vous un ami de westy le clown?Dans le même centre pour personnes agées?Je crois que vous devriez demander de l'aide pour changer votre couche...Après un si gros caca XDXD!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. "I'm quite embarrassed right now

    I've ALWAYS assumed you were the blogger here

    My apologies for the error Jason"

    Lol It's all good. Why would you think I was the editor?

    As for the rest of everyone, I'm begining to realize that the animosity will never disapear and both side don't seem to be lucid enough to come to an agreement. I honnestly think the best thing to do would be to partition Quebec, separating the pro-Canadas from the pro-Quebecs. There aren't quite enough seperatists to be able to separate but just enough to make things miserable for the rest of Canada (not to say Canada doesn't deserve it sometimes) and both sides don't seem to want to budge on their stance so why not stop delusioning ourselves and just call it quits and make things easier for everybody. Both sides would disagree with my solution I'm sure, but you know what? Often times the solution that both sides disagree with is often the best solution for everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Vous devriez prendre quelques cours de français intensifs

    Why, your folk language is on life support much as grandma with the IV stuck in her arm. Even the OLA with the idiot Grahame Fraser and former commissioners cannot save your sacred folk language. All that money wasted on a losing proposition. No wonder this country is in trouble.

    ReplyDelete
  40. "Why, your folk language is on life support..."

    Wow!Quelle nouvelle...Même situation depuis 400 ans.Merci Nostradamus!

    ReplyDelete
  41. About Michel Thibodeau, there is a solution: don't fly with Air Canada. You know you're gonna be served in english!

    Since when does a federal enterprise have anything but contempt for french language or for quebekers? And since when does Canada (this England franchise) have anything but disrespect about us?

    I am francophone, and really proud of it. I also speak english and I'm also very proud!! But when I see so many anglophones (not all of them, of course) spitting on our culture, our language and our history, I always wonder why they insist so much about federalism and the importance for Québec to stay in this parody of a confederation!

    If you hate us that much, just throw us out! I promess I won't complaint about it! I dream that we will, someday, have our own country. That way, we won't bother you anymore, and we will be able to save what remains of us.

    "Just watch us!"

    Xavier

    ReplyDelete
  42. While people are debating French versus English the following are true.

    1: No money for doctors yet we spend for BI Bills.

    2: No money to fix roads, yet we need money to change roads sign to BI.

    3: Bridges, overpasses, collapsing on our citizens, yet we spend money making it more difficult to communicate among government and its citizens by forcing BI.

    4: Whole world in economic uncertainty including our biggest ally (US) who is in fear of economic disaster ( from US currency to Euro ) and hear we are spending money, man power, and delaying our own children's education by forcing them to learn 2 languages and French being predominant which in-turn cannot be used globally.

    This is exactly why countries like china may end up owning north America. So while the people do nothing about a bunch of psychopathic narcissistic egotistical maniacs whom are bent on getting there way on the French Language debate for there own personal gain we are leaving the door wide open to get taken over by one of the oldest and most powerful communist regimes to have ever roamed the earth. with over "1,331,460,000" billion people.

    If Canada does not put its foot down soon by abolishing economic funding for BI in Canada.
    and stick to a Language that can be used Globally we will soon be forced to learn Chinese.

    Ps. I have nothing against learning extra Languages as long as its not hindering progress where most needed. right now Quebec is bleeding perhaps I would go as far as to say hemorrhaging financially. I say this because there is a lot of issue that the Quebec government is not telling its people.

    Did it ever occur to anyone how much it costs to properly fix out roads? or construct a new bridge? How about fixing all the corroded water pipes lying underneath our miles and miles of city?

    How about our water filtration plan that may need to be upgraded to be able to filter out hormones and drugs that are now seeping into our water? How about miles miles of support wall on overpasses and highways that there cement life span has long passed?

    And of coarse the Hospitals that we have no doctors for yet we are building a Super Hospital that cost how many Billon now? Geeze!!! What was the name of construction firm
    that got the gig again?!!!! wonder why a new police division had to be created to fight construction crime.

    We are being financially raped by people whom are using the French and English debate and controversy as a camouflage and misdirecting the mass majority from the real issues that affect us all both English and French Canadians.

    Veger 2001

    ReplyDelete