Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Quebec Corruption-Time to Put the Hammer Down!

I read the comments section religiously and while I often disagree with what is said, many times my opinion is shaped or re-shaped by the observations made.

In relation to the Construction industry corruption scandal that is now gripping Quebec I must say I couldn't agree more with these comments offered under the blog piece-Corruption Bombshell To Explode in Quebec

Anonymous said...
The mafia (in conjunction with the labour unions that they control) run the construction industry and they've been doing this for decades. I know I'm going on a tangent here but the folks ultimately responsible for all of the corruption are already known by the police. Everybody knows who the crime bosses are but nobody is willing to do anything about it. Heck, it's almost as if nobody cares that organized crime runs so many rackets in Montreal. 
JohnL said...
@Press 9: We don't need a commission to tell us what we already know: Organized crime owns the construction industry and the unions. Instead of worrying about costly commissions, why aren't we focusing our energies on the real problem, which is the mafia? 
JohnL said...
And let's be honest: Quand on dit que "les Québécois EXIGENT une commission" all this means is that a pollster asked the right question. I guarantee you that if we asked the population whether we should crack down on the mafia and street gangs, that we would also receive a positive response on that issue too. But mysteriously enough, no pollsters are asking that question; and if they are, it's not being reported.
Those who want an inquiry want to prove that Jean Charest and the Liberal party are crooks, nothing more, nothing less.
Given the cash nature of any payments, I can't see an inquiry helping to prove unprovable allegations. The whole inquiry would in all likelihood degenerate into a another unfulfilling and frustrating Bastarache Inquiry fiasco.

Now before readers accuse me of protecting the Premier from calls for a public inquiry over friendship, let me say that as much as I am a friend, I can't see him re-elected under any circumstances, so deep is the enmity and anger directed at him by all but core supporters.

In fact, given that the Premier is unelectable and the Liberals are headed to the same scrapheap as their federal counterparts, it would be nice, to see Premier Charest, take it on the chin and  finally right the ship of state, which has been listing rather badly for decades under the strain of corruption.

It seems to me, that institutional corruption has been a way of life in Quebec as far back (and perhaps longer) as the Duplessis era where in order to get a measly snow-removal contract, a company had to have political contacts (read; bribes)
The only difference between then and now is the media attention and so if it appears that Quebec is more corrupt today than yesterday it is but an illusion.

If as a society we are serious about ending or even reducing corruption, a public inquiry won't help.
If we want to end, or even reduce corruption in the construction industry significantly, the guilty need to go to jail......It's that simple.

Now that Mr. Duchesneau has forwarded a list of twelve or thirteen cases of documented corruption, the last thing we need is an inquiry to gum up the works for a year or two.

What we need are prosecutions and after convictions, jail sentences and lifetime bans from doing business with the government, directly or indirectly.

Over the last year or two, a bunch of companies have been found cheating the government, be it over tax evasion or over-billing on construction projects.  All skated, paid a fine and went back to work, according to the same old, same old rules of corruption.

To these crooked firms, the fine is just a cost of doing business and perhaps the next time they scam the government, they'll steal a little more to make up the loss. It's nothing more than paying off a cop to look the other way or paying a speeding ticket after being caught for the umpteenth time on a joy ride.

The process would be greatly aided if Mr. Charest would name a special prosecutor who would be given independence and ample resources, including the hiring of crackerjack legal talent from outside the sadsack Crown prosecutors office.

As anyone who has watched an episode of Law & Order knows, a little pressure on the weakest link, will have crooks singing for mercy, especially those in the Ministry of Transport, who can't afford $500 an hour lawyers and are trembling at the thought of going to jail.

If in the course of any investigation the trail leads to the Liberal party or the Premier's office and if the independent prosecutor has reason to believe he can obtain a conviction, then so be it.

I much prefer to let the chips fall as they may through proper legal channels rather than the  spectacle of a He/Said sideshow, which is what a public inquiry is.

I'm not cynical about the chances of this happening..,

Given the right approach, the corruption house of cards can collapse and the message that crooks will go to jail if caught cheating the government, will have a salutary effect.
Truthfully, with a little effort, the whole thing could be wrapped up in a year.

Readers I have a little treat for you in the form of a news story that is no longer available online. (I can only imagine why it was taken offline.)
I clipped it a while back and was saving it for a rainy day, which apparently it is today.

It concerns those big-shot Consulting/Engineering firms that are part and parcel of the construction corruption scandal.
Here's a translation, as well as the original story in French, which I'm sure will provide a chuckle.
Consulting engineers defend their right to give gifts
(CP) - Three days ago

MONTREAL - The association representing consulting/engineering firms are defending their right to
offer reasonable gifts to their clients and to determine for themselves what is reasonable.
While the engineering firm BPR has regularly made the headlines for months over certain practices attributed it, the Association of Consulting Engineers of Quebec (AICQ) believes that these practices may  not all be as equally reprehensible as the media seems to suggest.

When in business, it's a good idea to get close to customers and try to understand their needs, according to its CEO, Johanne Desrochers, who not surprisingly refused to discuss the specific case of BPR.

On the issue of gifts, Ms. Desrochers said  that it is everyone's responsibility to know where the limits are. According to her, these limits vary from one industry to another and from one sector to another.

The head of the association declined to say what gifts might be considered acceptable among those which made ​​headlines, from fishing trips to restaurant meals.

In fact, it would be wrong to try to define the limits of what is acceptable, according to Johanne Desrochers and be better to go on a case by case basis.


Les ingénieurs-conseils défendent leur droit d'offrir des cadeaux
(CP) – Il y a 3 jour
MONTRÉAL — L'association qui représente les firmes de génie-conseil défend leur droit d'offrir des cadeaux raisonnables à leurs clients et de déterminer elles-mêmes lesquels sont raisonnables.
Alors que l'entreprise d'ingénierie BPR fait régulièrement les manchettes depuis des mois en raison des pratiques qu'on lui prête, l'Association des ingénieurs-conseils du Québec (AICQ) est d'avis que ces pratiques ne sont peut-être pas toutes aussi condamnables qu'on semble le laisser croire dans les médias.
C'est une bonne idée, quand on est en affaires, que d'être près de ses clients et de tenter de comprendre leurs besoins, selon sa présidente-directrice générale, Johanne Desrochers, qui a sans surprise refusé de discuter du cas précis de BPR.
Sur la question des cadeaux, Mme Desrochers a dit penser que chacun est responsable de savoir où sont les limites. D'après elle, ces limites varient d'une industrie à l'autre et d'un secteur à l'autre.
La patronne de l'AICQ a refusé de dire quels cadeaux pourraient être considérés comme acceptables parmi ceux qui ont fait les manchettes, allant de voyages de pêche à des soupers arrosés au restaurant.
En fait, on aurait tort d'essayer de définir les limites de ce qui est acceptable, selon Johanne Desrochers. Il faudrait plutôt y aller au cas par cas.
Here's another fun story;
 "When preparing her run for the leadership of the PQ in 2007, Ms. Marois raised the sum of $123,000 from 62 donors. The majority of the money, about $80,000, came from Consulting/Engineering firms, according to calculations that were made ​​by the Quebec solidaire last year and which was reported in La Presse."  Link{FR}
When confronted by reporters about this financing, Madame Marois was unequivocal;
"It's not relevant," she replied. "I was not in the government, I could not award contracts"

HaHaHa!..... 

20 comments:

  1. Editor: As you wrote, this crap has been going on back to the Duplessis Era. Well...the 52nd anniversary of that bastard's death was two weeks ago, and the corruption has been going full tilt for WELL BEYOND the last half century.

    You're absolutely right that it's not as if it has gotten worse. You did mention it's just more on the fingertips of the media now than it was back then, but another certainty in the whole problem has come home to roost, and will probably get worse before it gets better...if ever: The crumbling infrastructure. Every damn bridge around Montreal is in wretched shape.

    I was last in Montreal the end of June. My woman and I stayed at her parents in Laval. I crossed at the Highway 13 bridge, and the Cartierville bridge. The 13 was the better of the two, and should be considering it's the newer of the two; on the other hand, the southbound span of the Cartierville (fraternal) twin bridges was in wretched shape...at least the pavement was. The much older northbound bridge was in bad shape, too, but it seems the newer one was worse. Why? It was built in the mid-70s, and like the eastbound overpass on du Souvenir Road leading to Centre and Les Galleries Laval Shopping Centres, it collapsed before the older westbound span.

    That old doll, the Victoria Bridge, built late in the 19th Century, is probably in better shape than its younger siblings built much later. It too undergoes a plenitude of repairs, but considering how it handles railway traffic as well, it seems to endure better than the others, probably because it was built while the so-called English empire that captained industry long before organized crime's hostile takeover of Quebec ensured it was built properly. Nationalizing Quebec was the best thing the mafia could hope for, and it has proven to be their biggest cash cow around for them. The bribes and kickbacks are bupkis compared to the seemingly endless money supply the Quebec government has fuelled their fires with.

    Premier John James "Goldilocks" Charest will do sweet f---all about it, at least until the next election. Hell, wasn't he cheerfully pocketing $75,000 per year of the Liberal Party's funds until someone squealed and caught him with both fists in the till? His salary wasn't enough?

    My liver doesn't bleed moldy old cold borscht for your bosom buddy Premier John James "Goldilocks" Charest...not one drop, not one iota! If he loses the next election, so what?

    I'm sure he still has that first dollar of Liberal Party kickbacks...uhhhh...salary supplement still in some offshore bank account. Like you wrote in a piece several weeks ago, he's probably better off losing anyway because he'll get his MP cabinet minister's platinum pension, AND his Premier's MNA pension. He can sit on his ass and make more than working right now, and MUCH more than the average joe scrambling hard for a living...if the average joe can find work! Too, he'd probably get some cushy professorship at virtually any university of his choice in North America or France, and STILL draw on those pensions. THAT S.O.B. IS SET FOR LIFE! He can't lose! He'll NEVER have to choose between food or medicine in HIS old age...NEV-VER!

    I suppose you're right about going after the weakest link...the corrupt civil servants at the bottom of the chain. After all, their employer will be glad to throw them under the bus as the low-end scapegoats rather than go after the really big fish who can EASILY afford the $500-an-hour lawyer fees. Sure...put the guppies in the tiny fish bowls of prison while the biggest whales orchestrating the corruption in the end will frolic and splash freely in the oceans of corruption until their deaths.

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  2. @Mr Sauga:

    You sure paint a bleak picture of Quebec.
    I'm sure there's a good amount of corruption in other provinces too: they go where there's money.

    Our infrastructures are in such a terrible shape because everything was built in the same two decades, and since then nobody's worried about maintenance. Especially the PQ government, who were in power from 1994 to 2003. Since then, we're still trying to fix our transportation, health and education systems. I guess spending money on referendums and language laws and the OLF was more important.

    As for Jean Charest, calling him "John James" kind of makes you seem like one of the petty separatists, who have no other valid arguments. Who cares if his name's french, english, chinese or russian? I'd rather look at his performance as premier.
    And when you compare that (however terrible it might be) to what the PQ would be doing if they were in power right now, I think you'll agree that we got the best of the worst, at least.

    If you want to figure out why this province seems to have more corruption than the rest of Canada, let's start by discussing Unions, the "legal" criminal organizations...

    - Quebeker of Tree Stump.

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  3. Let's fix a maximum of 100$ as a value for GIFT (no matter what/where/who/which) No exception. That's it that all.

    If they peforme well enough all year long, then they should receive a bonus at the end of the year. And they can select the destination of their choice for vacation and really enjoy.

    Who would like to go on trip with Mafia members? No thanks for me.

    Miss_Understood

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  4. The big problem I believed is: Many people use to think that the Gouvernment is there to be abuse as much as possible, because the money is there without any serious regulation.

    Instead people should be proud of their Gouvernment and never forget that the money from him is the money of all of us.

    Wrong ATTITUDE: If I don't spend all my budget It will get cut next year. (Then so what.) So I must spend it all asap no matter what the supplier have in stock, it must delivery before March 31st. ;o-

    There is too many little church philosophy, let's merge public tenders and save more $$$. Let's standardise the procedure ;o)

    Miss_Understood

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  5. @Quebeker of Tree Stump

    I agree with your assessment, particularly in regards to the "John James" comment. Mr. Sauga and I might ultimately share some ideals, but we differ vastly as to how to achieve them (however imprefectly).

    I agree that the system is rotten from within, and it isn't one media cycle (which often has the attention span of a gnat), or even a soap opera-style inquiry that's going to fix any or all of it.

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  6. With strenuous rebuttal, Mr. SaugaThursday, September 22, 2011 at 12:36:00 AM EDT

    ...to Tree Stump:

    1 of 2:

    You wrote: "You sure paint a bleak picture of Quebec". I respond: Is there any other way to paint such a picture?

    You wrote: "I'm sure there's a good amount of corruption in other provinces too." I respond: Pretty sure, are you? Well, where is it? What is it? I suggest you substantiate or exculpate! I'll grant you there likely is, and some has been uncovered, but nowhere near what has been going on in Quebec for over 50 years--LONGER!!!

    Then you write: "Our infrastructures are in such a terrible shape because everything was built in the same two decades, and since then nobody's worried about maintenance. Especially the PQ government, who were in power from 1994 to 2003. Since then, we're still trying to fix our transportation, health and education systems. I guess spending money on referendums and language laws and the OLF was more important."

    Sounds like YOU'RE painting a bleak picture. You're contradicting yourself completely! At least in that paragraph you're expressing my sentiments exactly. Language in Quebec is far more important than infrastructure...or that's the picture THEY paint of their Quebec.

    I make absolutely zero apology for using the moniker "Premier John James "Goldilocks" Charest". You're the ignorant jackass for comparing my use of his name in the way the PQ has. The PQ was trying to discredit him as something less than «pur laine». The truth of the matter is, by his own admission, that it would have been political suicide for him to change a comma of Quebec's Great Charter of Charters, and we all know what "Charter" that Holy Grail is.

    The simple truth of the whole matter is, Premier John James "Goldilocks" Charest values his precious premiership more than the minorities. His behaviour around the Bill 103/104/115 fiasco is living proof. One South Shore family was split up because the Quebec-born Francophone father and his American-born wife had a child, one among five, who could not successfully handle the French curriculum in school. The other four could. The Great Charter makes provisions to consider children with severe learning challenges and on humanitarian grounds, but this premier, born to an Anglophone mother, didn't have the gonads to intervene and help this child who genuinely needed it...or simply damn well didn't feel like it.

    In his book "Time to Say Goodbye", Reed Scowen simply stated the language laws don't change because the FrenI make absolutely zero apology for using the moniker "Premier John James "Goldilocks" Charest". You're the ignorant jackass for comparing my use of his name in the way the PQ has. The PQ was trying to discredit him as something less than «pur laine». The truth of the matter is, by his own admission, that it would have been political suicide for him to change a comma of Quebec's Great Charter of Charters, and we all know what "Charter" that Holy Grail is.

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  7. To continue and conclude, Mr. SaugaThursday, September 22, 2011 at 12:37:00 AM EDT

    2 of 2:

    The simple truth of the whole matter is, Premier John James "Goldilocks" Charest values his precious premiership more than the minorities. His behaviour around the Bill 103/104/115 fiasco is living proof. One South Shore family was split up because the Quebec-born Francophone father and his American-born wife had a child, one among five, who could not successfully handle the French curriculum in school. The other four could. The Great Charter makes provisions to consider children with severe learning challenges and on humanitarian grounds, but this premier, born to an Anglophone mother, didn't have the gonads to intervene and help this child who genuinely needed it. I make absolutely zero apology for using the moniker "Premier John James "Goldilocks" Charest". You're the ignorant jackass for comparing my use of his name in the way the PQ has. The PQ was trying to discredit him as something less than «pur laine». The truth of the matter is, by his own admission, that it would have been political suicide for him to change a comma of Quebec's Great Charter of Charters, and we all know what "Charter" that Holy Grail is.

    The simple truth of the whole matter is, Premier John James "Goldilocks" Charest values his precious premiership more than the minorities. His behaviour around the Bill 103/104/115 fiasco is living proof. One South Shore family was split up because the Quebec-born Francophone father and his American-born wife had a child, one among five, who could not successfully handle the French curriculum in school. The other four could. The Great Charter makes provisions to consider children with severe learning challenges and on humanitarian grounds, but this premier, born to an Anglophone mother, didn't have the gonads to intervene and help this child who genuinely needed it.

    In his book "Time to Say Goodbye" Reed Scowen, a former senior federal and Quebec civil servant and nine years a Quebec MNA, simply and succinctly stated the language legislation hasn't, and won't change because the majority wants it that way, yet during his last federal campaign as leader of the failing Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 1997, your precious John James "Goldilocks" Charest was calling Reform leader Preston Manning a bigot. Boy! Talk about calling the kettle black!

    You call this putzwinger a federalist? I stand behind every comma of what I write! Frankly, maybe I am a separatist because for all Quebec's moaning, whining, corruption, bigotry and overll incompetence, they're just not worth it! If Quebec goes, their economy will be in total disarray as the sixth most indebted jurisdiction in the world. The disarray, displacement and incompetence will cause them to drop like a stone...simply put, they won't know how to correct it! The way I see it, Canada would do better without Quebec--MUCH BETTER!

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  8. To Mr. Sauga.

    Do you realyse why Montréal is so messed up? Why the heart of our economie is bleeding for all of us.

    Parochial interests = DEMERGER = More Expenses = Higher Prices = No public Tender merge = COLLUSION = CORRUPTION.

    Very well done *Johny Clodiclock, dit le frissé* you must know where you are going .......................................... You are going to DONNACONA (Maximal Security) for been guilty of your very dirty messy administration.

    Mrs. Dennis

    Wait how much money the PLQ have in his bank account? Cause I need some too......as much as all of us. TABERNAK

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  9. If I had a million dollars
    (If I had a million dollars)
    I'd buy you a house
    (I would buy you a house)
    If I had a million dollars
    (If I had a million dollars)
    I'd buy you furniture for your house
    (Maybe a nice chesterfield or an ottoman)
    And if I had a million dollars
    (If I had a million dollars)
    Well, I'd buy you a ELECTRIC-CAR
    (A nice Reliant automobile)
    If I had a million dollars I'd buy your love

    If I had a million dollars
    I'd build a tree fort in our yard
    If I had million dollars
    You could help, it wouldn't be that hard
    If I had million dollars
    Maybe we could put like a little tiny fridge in there somewhere
    You know, we could just go up there and hang out
    Like open the fridge and stuff
    There would already be laid out foods for us
    Like little pre-wrapped sausages and things

    They have pre-wrapped sausages but they don't have pre-wrapped bacon
    Well, can you blame 'em
    Uh, yeah

    If I had a million dollars
    (If I had a million dollars)
    Well, I'd buy you a fur coat
    (But not a real fur coat that's cruel)
    And if I had a million dollars
    (If I had a million dollars)
    Well, I'd buy you an exotic pet
    (Yep, like a llama or an emu)
    And if I had a million dollars
    (If I had a a million dollars)
    Well, I'd buy you John Merrick's remains
    (Ooh, all them crazy elephant bones)
    And If I had a million dollars I'd buy your love

    If I had a million dollars
    We wouldn't have to walk to the store
    If I had a million dollars
    Now, we'd take a limousine 'cause it costs more
    If I had a million dollars
    We wouldn't have to eat Kraft Dinner
    But we would eat Kraft Dinner
    Of course we would, we’d just eat more
    And buy really expensive ketchups with it
    That’s right, all the fanciest ke... dijon ketchups!
    Mmmmmm, Mmmm-Hmmm

    If I had a million dollars
    (If I had a million dollars)
    Well, I'd buy you a green dress
    (But not a real green dress, that's cruel)
    And if I had a million dollars
    (If I had a million dollars)
    Well, I'd buy you some art
    (A Picasso or a Garfunkel)
    If I had a million dollars
    (If I had a million dollars)
    Well, I'd buy you a monkey
    (Haven't you always wanted a monkey)

    If I had a million dollars
    I’d buy your love

    If I had a million dollars, If I had a million dollars
    If I had a million dollars, If I had a million dollars
    If I had a million dollars
    I'd be rich

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  10. Anglophones like Black and his wife Amiel have always contended that since Quebec is not anglosaxon, it cannot be fully democratic.. so why do you even expect transparency out of us frenchies? we are filthy lazy unionized nazies with 7 dollar a day daycare. Right?

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  11. To Ferdinand:

    Are you saying Black is an honest man and his wife have a stong character?

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  12. I think the "Mrs. Dennis" post on this topic represents a Quebec mentality quite well.

    Uninformed, and yet completely decided.

    This is how the separatists are so successful, they prey upon the fact that a lot of frenchies seem to be easy to convince.
    Is it a lack of education, is it that we don't care, or is is because we were trained to accept what we hear without questioning? I don't know...

    To Mrs Denis, do you have *any* evidence that Jean Charest himself has done anything wrong? I mean aside from what you've read in the excellent Journal de Montréal, of course..
    And yet you've got him in a maximum security prison.

    Of course, with the strength of your arguments, you had to pull the name card.. Calling him John James is such a great argument, I demand an immediate impeachment for not having a Québécois de souche name! And then you're going to claim you're not racist? Yet you discriminate based on his name, and apparently his looks too (goldilocks).

    Before you get confused (too much english for you, I know, and I'm sorry), I'm NOT defending Jean Charest at all. I'm saying that YOU obviously have no valid arguments aside from what you've heard from others, and without even actually looking into it for yourself, you've made a decision.

    This is how the Yes side gets votes.
    "On va les avoir les méchants anglais qui nous volent nos jobs et notre culture!!"

    - Quebeckers Of Tree Stump

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  13. @Mr Sauga:

    Speaking of the original bridge linking Cartierville to Chomedey, you should have seen what it looked like just a few months ago. As a matter of fact, using the magic of Google Maps street-view, you can!

    Follow this link and virtually cross over the bridge (move and look around), especially taking note of the metal guard rails on the right side. Not only are they heavily rusted through, but actually collapsed leaving sections with holes. Makes you wonder what the state of the rest of the bridge is like. You could've filmed the next Mad Max film here, great back drop, including the road itself!

    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=h7w1h5&hl=en&ll=45.532154,-73.726995&spn=0.005231,0.009645&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=48.106236,79.013672&vpsrc=6&t=h&z=17&layer=c&cbll=45.532089,-73.726918&panoid=t_bRTf10ywjn_gZ_AlkS3w&cbp=12,348.71,,0,18.72

    To digress, I still remember when this was the only bridge, and Belmont Park with its massive rollercoaster tracks could be seen on the other side. And the old Dragon House Chinese restaurant just down the street where we all eat every Sunday. When you mentioned this bridge, it just brought a flashback to mind. :)

    As for your comments, well put, couldn't have said it better myself. There is so much wrong with this province, and THIS province alone. I sometimes want to scream, I cannot even express my feelings without going into a rant about Quebec. Just last week another story broke about a puppy mill with 500+ dogs abused and neglected to near death with little or no fines being issued (any other part of the world, including Canada--which Quebec seems to believe its not a part of, there would have been jail time!). This just goes on and on, endlessly, no one wants to change a damn thing here. Especially not Premier Goldilocks (actually that's far too kind a name for that bastard, consider the things he's stood by and let happen).

    You're perfectly right, and I've come to the same conclusion. Quebec is rotten to the core, and the why? Simple, the ONLY thing on the minds of politicians is language. A mean spirited and hateful obsession to make French the only visible and viable language in Quebec, and to forceably remove all traces of English. Nothing else is of concern...to hell with animal welfare, education, infrastructure, roads, health care, jobs, keeping up with the first-world (flirting with being third world is just fine here, thank you). Talk about being one track minded.

    I've long since given up hope that the problems here can ever be corrected, and my biggest ambition for the future is now getting OUT of Quebec, forever! I hope I can encourage the rest of my family to leave too. I lived here far too long, hoping things would change...instead they just get worse every year. The time to leave is now.

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  14. To Mr Sauga:

    It's very sad to read that you want to leave now. And I don't believe you.

    With or Without you................

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  15. ...to Anon @ 6:15PM: I don't think I completely understand what you're stating. I LEFT Quebec almost 27 years ago: Sunday, November 4, 1984. Yes, I remember that date very vividly...the trip...the weather...what I ate along the way that day...everything! I had no job, and to start, I lived in a friend's place (sat on a lawn chair and slept on a cot with boxes for tables after he vacated) for a few months, then took a furnished apartment (sticks of furniture!). I found a job after 6 months, and then I moved to an unfurnished place 14 months after moving to T.O. THAT SIR (or MADAM), was how much I wanted out of Quebec.

    I tried looking for work in T.O. in the spring and summer of 1983, found two temp jobs, but lots of establishments I frequented for jobs used the two words "hiring freeze". It was worse in Montreal. Early in Fall 1984, the bro of a university buddy of mine went to T.O. and found work. The market just 15 months later was much better. "Hiring freeze" was still the moniker in Montreal, so I figured I'd take another chance. During that 15 months in Montreal, I had a temp job preparing tax returns, and a CA firm gave me a job because the Unemployment Office had a program to subsidize wages for up to six months for apprenticeships. In this case, as the subsidy ran out, so did my job, and two months later I was back in T.O. trying my luck again. The rest is history, and I haven't looked back.

    I have my missives in Montreal, but there are reasonable substitutes now in T.O. if I'm feeling desperate. The price of filling the car means fewer trips to Montreal now than in the past, but I'm now part of the furniture here.

    You can take my word for the fact I don't like how I feel about Quebec, the part of North America where I was born, but to be treated as something less than other people born in Quebec after what my ascendants (grandfathers) who settled in Quebec did to employ themselves and others, feed their families and contribute to the greater good of Quebec society, I cannot sit idly by let it all go unanswered. Instead of being thanked, or having the good they did to fit in as good citizens and members of the community at least acknowledged, they were scorned by rabid racism and nationalism, and I can't keep quiet and not admonish their wrongs.

    I DID leave Quebec! Belive it and belive me!

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  16. ...that word should be believe, not belive. I read so much poorly expressed English (not just in Quebec, but the Gazette is a starting point), that I think it's starting to rub off on me. Yech!

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  17. To: Mr. Sauga

    Heh, I think he mixed the two of us up. Rather likely he/she carelessly skimmed through and saw the "@Mr. Sauga:" at the top of my post, along with mentions of my having lived in Chomedey in the past.

    I'm the one planning to leave Quebec. It's come to the point this province is now affecting my day to day life, all I see and experience here are negatives, and that's no way to live one's life. Traveling elsewhere recently was an eye opening experience...

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  18. ...to Apple IIGS: Now you're talking! Any particular place in mind?

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  19. Short term, Toronto most likely. Already have some family living there (my sister left Montreal shortly after the 1995 referendum).

    Not sure if Toronto would be a stepping stone or a place to settle down, but I tell you in all honesty, nothing could be worse than Quebec.

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  20. ...to Apple IIGS: Good choice. If it happens in Canada, it happens in Toronto. The only suffering is too much Maple Leafs news and games. Habs games are occasionally available, esp. on TSN. Much more English TV in T.O.

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