Friday, November 4, 2011

French versus English Volume 38

Yes readers, I've gone back to the 'French versus English' moniker for the Friday post.
Why? Because "Weekend Update" was pretty much lame.....
Not all the stories will be about language but what the hey.......

Unilingual auditor general  triggers furious language reaction  
One has to wonder if Stephen Harper is deliberately baiting Quebec by continuing to make appointments of unilingual anglophones to senior government and political positions.

When he appointed  Michael Moldaver, a unilingual anglophone to the Supreme Court, voices were raised in Quebec opposing his nomination based on his lack of French.  Even the usually staid Quebec Bar Association waded into the debate condemning the principle of unilingual Supreme Court judges.

After Harper nominated another unilingual, Michael Ferguson, as Auditor General, a disturbing trend became apparent and a cause celebre was triggered in Quebec, which views the tradition of bilingualism at the top levels of the civil service, judiciary and political ranks an acquired right. The fear that this tradition is being reversed by Harper has resulted in a groundswell of opposition.
"To the chagrin of many in Quebec, the Harper Tories have seemingly instituted a policy of putting one's qualifications ahead of their ability to speak French when it comes to government appointments.

On Tuesday, the NDP cried foul after they learned that Michael Ferguson, Stephen Harper's nominee for auditor general was unilingual." read the rest of the story
The decision to put talent before language doesn't sit well in Quebec, and launched a witch hunt to root out other unilinguals in the public service. Joseph L. Rotman, head of the Canada Council of Arts was outed as well by the Mouvement Québec français,

Here's a sample of reactions across Canada, both pro and con;

Unilingual auditor general a mistake - Edmonton Journal
NDP ran unilingual candidates but wants bilingual bureaucrats -National Post
Ferguson wouldn't quit AG job, even with comme ci, comme ca French - Vancouver Sun

Most reactions in English Canada followed this line, offered by a reader in reaction to a story by the CBC, Should the auditor general have to be bilingual?
"We must create a nation where French minority rights are respected but there are still opportunities for Anglophones who represent the majority to get ahead in the Civil Service. As it stands now, bilingualism is put above other more important qualifications. If he is the best choice for AG, then he should get the job."- JimF13

French studying in English
An article in the Paris newspaper, LE MONDE despairs over the fact that of the 7,000 students from France studying in Quebec universities, a quarter of them choose to go to English universities, like McGill and Concordia.

This embarrassing situation flies in the face of a program set up years ago by the government of Quebec whereby francophone students from around the world are allowed to come to Quebec and study in university, paying the same low tuition as native Quebeckers.
The idea of the program is to foster a greater exchange within the francophone world and to increase Quebec's influence on the next generation.

The fact that students use the program to get an ENGLISH education is diametrically opposed to the program's goals,  but it isn't clear what the government can do, short of banning the practice.
Michelle Courchesne, Quebec's education minister promises remedial action.
"We must be fools to blissfully accept to finance the teaching of English in the name of friendship between France and Quebec! If we have to terminate the bilateral agreement dating back to 1970 to eliminate this scam, so be it letter to Le Devoir
Another  letter writer to LE DEVOIR was not untypical of the rage the practice of using the program to scam an English education.
And if you do not send them home out of pity for their cowardice and stupidity, at least have the good sense to triple their fees: a third more as foreign students and a third more as the price of their treachery and bullshit. Link

Spanish signs add insult to injury!
A Montreal francophone hospital is in hot water for posting a sign indicating approximate wait times for a clinic in English and horror of horrors, in Spanish as well!

The hospital claimed that it was just trying to communicate with patients more effectively, but of course in Quebec, this is thoroughly beside the point.

The usual gang of language militants reacted with expected outrage.
According to Yves-François Blanchet, a PQ immigration critic;
"In Quebec, everything is supposed to be French. The solution is not to translate the information into other languages​​, but rather that the speakers of the other languages adopt the language that is common to all. "

"It goes completely against the spirit of Bill 101," protested Mario Beaulieu, president of the Mouvement Québec Francais.
He said the sign sends the wrong signal to the people, in addition to creating complications.

"If there's a fire, does it mean we have to shout, " Feu!, Fire!, Fuego?" 

Separatist Parade a gigantic bust
A news report which obviously had been prepared in advance, had to be edited hastily to reflect the reality that a separatist parade organized by a coalition of 22 sovereigntist organizations and called for last Friday in Montreal, was decidedly under attended.

Too bad the copy editor forgot to make the correction in the caption under the photo which described 'thousands' of attendees while in the body of the story, not twelve words later, described the participants as 'hundreds'

Both the newspaper  Le Devoir and the radio station 98.5 described the crowd as numbering about 200, an utter disappointment to organizers who wanted to demonstrate that separatists can still get out a crowd.

Considering that the night before, over 250 people demonstrated in the tiny town of Saint-Adolphe-d’Howard to protest the fact the town was losing it's only ATM machine, it's a bit of a humiliation.

More racism on!
Democratic Reform Minister Tim Uppal
It amazes me that the separatist website continues to publish racist filth even after being called on the carpet for its overt antisemitism.
Perhaps the the worst offender is the ever-nasty contributor, Jacques Noel, whose evil, racist posts are published on an ongoing basis.

His latest screed is a rather pitiful attempt to prove, using selective and upside down statistics, that Ontario and the other provinces didn't deserve the added seats in Parliament and that in reality, it was Quebec which was shortchanged......I kid you not.

Now I've long given up trying to rebut his childlike nonsense, but when his racist pronouncements are published, I feel encumbered to call him out.
Mr. Noel was upset that Democratic Reform Minister Tim Uppal, a Sikh delivered the news of the seat change, offending Mr. Noel because er.....he wears a funny hat?
"To add insult to the humiliation, it was a Sikh, proudly wearing his religious symbols in the House, who was the sponsor of the Bill. White Niggers of America. Pierre Vallieres must be turning in his grave!   LINK{FR}
(Pour ajouter à l’insulte, pour ajouter à l’humiliation, c’est un Sigh, arborant fièrement ses symboles religieux en Chambre, qui parraine le projet de Loi. Nègres blancs d’Amérique. Pierre Vallières va se retourner dans sa tombe !)
Thanks to TROY for pointing out the story.

Tiny  dollar store start-up attacked over language
If you're wondering why Quebeckers lack the entrepreneurial spirit demonstrated by Canadians in other provinces, it has a lot to do with the red tape and hoops put up by the government. But aside from that there is a gang of language fools who come sniffing around for language violations, like dogs smelling crotches.

A small start-up 'Dollar' type store in Granby was taken to task for selling junk products with unilingual labelling.
Obviously the merchant didn't have the buying power of Dollarama and had to take what he could get.
That naturally, was no excuse for the language militants who demanded action from the OQLF for the outrageous insult.
 "Asked to comment, the store owner, Daniel Tétreault,  insisted that the problem is not a big deal."It's just a few products. We are a new company, I am a local resident from Granby, not a big multinational. Perhaps a few products went unnoticed, I cannot see everything. I'll make an effort and I will try to resolve the situation. But please give me a chance..."
He denounced the fact that his business is being attacked."I find it really unfortunate that some people are trying to destroy my business like that. I just invested a lot of money, I bought the building and I put  a lot of people to work." LINK{FR}
Readers, please groan with me... .Arrrgggggh!!!!!

Accent plus!

An oddball story of government waste wouldn't have made this column if not for the photo accompanying the story.
The piece recounted how the government was wasting over $50,000 to install a shower in the office of one of its branches of the license bureau.

That in and of itself is newsworthy for the utter overspending, but what caught my eye was the sign on the building which actually has an improperly used diacritical accent.
Both the letters  'E'  in Société are supposed sport accent 'egus' (é) but the first 'E' in sign sports an accent 'grave' (è) instead.


This on a government building.
For we anglos who are bilingual yet still have a problem with diacritical marks and male and female nouns, it is sweet confirmation that French is no easy language to master, even for natives speakers.

I still can't fathom why a female dog is considered a male noun.....

One of our readers, GEN sent in this picture of a manhole cover in the city of Verdun adorned with English-only text.
She wondered sarcastically if the OQLF might force the city to replace it.....  Mebbe! must be really old.
In researching stories for this post, I often type in the words 'langue francaise Quebec' into the standard Google news search engine, but sometimes I forget to add the word  'Quebec' and get results from France discussing the language situation over there.
Here's a story lamenting the deterioration of French in the school yard and unfortunate influence of other languages on everyday French;

"But more than that, today the French language is in danger. In schools and colleges in France the language we hear in the schoolyard or the streets is far from having a relationship with the French that we expect to speak in class." LINK{FR}
The whole story is rather uninteresting until I looked at the name of the website;
Yup, isn't it ironic that a website complaining about foreign influence on the French language is named "COME4NEWS"

Annual Poppy fiasco 
Each year an annual poppy fiasco plays out in some mall in Quebec where legionnaires are told that they cannot sell poppies for a variety of reasons.
I'm not going to come down on the francophone managers of these malls for treating the legion the same way they treat other charities, obviously the education system doesn't stress the sacrifice and contribution of our military. More often than not, they know not what they are getting into and are genuinely shocked at the inevitable shit storm they bring down on themselves.

This year it was the Angrignon Shopping Centre in the Montreal suburb of LaSalle that told legionnaires to take a hike because they hadn't applied for a spot early enough. Yikes.. LINK

After the shit hit the fan via a television news report, it fell to the President of Westcliff management to go before cameras and grovel for forgiveness.
Last year it was the Dorval Gardens Shopping Centre  an English suburb of Montreal, which went through the same fiasco.
Many years ago it was the Champlain mall in Dieppe, New Brunswick which did the same.
I was a bit surprised that anyone in New Brunswick would dare diss the Legion, but it turns out that the manager of the mall who made the decision was a newly transplanted Quebecker.  Link

As Donald Trump is fond of saying "YOU'RE FIRED"

Odds'n Ends
"Liberal MP Justin Trudeau says he is upset and offended by a Tory MP who publicly questioned his adherence to the Catholic faith and his suitability to speak to students at a Catholic school." Read the rest of the story

"Anyone who has ever tried to come up with a zinger for The New Yorker’s caption contest knows how challenging it is to seem effortlessly clever. Quebecers, though, will be further frustrated should they come up with a suitably droll caption for the magazine’s weekly back page cartoon. It turns out they are barred from the exercise, which welcomes “any resident of the U.S. or Canada (except Quebec) age eighteen or over.”  Read the rest of the story

"Remember Mouna Diab? 
 She is the arrogant Muslim agit-prop who led a group of Muselmaniacs to Herouxville  in an intimidation campaign to straighten out the filthy kafirs who misunderstood her peaceful ‘religion’.
Now the Hezbo- bitch from Herouxville pops up in the news again : Quebec woman charged with trying to export assault rifle parts to Lebanon -  Read the rest of the story 

"The federal government has to be careful that its planned budget cuts don't have an undue impact on bilingualism, the commissioner of official languages warned Tuesday.In his annual report, Graham Fraser said official languages shouldn't bear an unfair proportion of the reductions." Read the rest of the story

A political attache for the federal NDP is planning to run as a candidate for a sovereigntist provincial party in an upcoming byelection.
Patricia Chartier, a staffer for Quebec MP Philip Toone, says she will be the Quebec Solidaire candidate in the eastern Quebec riding of Bonaventure." Read the rest of the story

Readers, a gentle reminder....PLEASE BUY A POPPY AND WEAR IT PROUDLY!
Have a good weekend!


  1. Re

    I think another contributor to that site, Yves Claudé, tops your Jacques Noel for the Offensive Whackjob Prize. Check out his use of the most famous iconic photo from the Holocaust:

    His screed, sans photo, was reproduced earlier at Le Devoir's website as a comment upon the essay of yet another philo-semite, Victor-Lévy Beaulieu:

    Per Victor-Lévy(!) Beaulieu, "Rien de moins qu'un camp de concentration, voilà ce qu'Israël a fait de la Palestine".

    On second thought, Le Devoir should be given the Prize.

  2. Thank you, Editor! Thank you for reinforcing my wise decision on this, the 27th anniversary of my emancipation from Quebec--self-imposed, of course.

    This is one case where the grass is definitely greener on the other side of the Ottawa River!

  3. A woman is caught with parts of a high-tech weapon that she allegedly planned to reassemble once in Lebanon. An obvious question comes to mind - why risk getting caught at the airport (with a 100% certainty), if you're going to a country where there are more AK-47's than people, and weapons of all kinds are readily available to anyone who want them.
    This article looks like a concoction made up by the zionist National Post. Or maybe the woman got set up by the Israel-aligned government of Canada.

    As for the news on Quebec, I'm reminded of a book I read once "Jihad vs. McWorld" where the author outlined the spread of American-led globalization (and what goes with it the spread of the English language) and the movements that try to oppose it. The force of globalization is so potent these days that some of these movements become caricatures of themselves, achieving nothing except making a spectacle of themselves. The nationalist movement of Quebec is a good example, as this post clearly illustrates.

  4. Disgusting anglo hospital!

  5. Hoho!

  6. As I read through a few hyperlinks provided in this latest post, a couple of things struck me.

    One is the age of people who attend sovereignty rallies. It made me think of 1997 UK, when Tony Blair's Labour swept John Major's Tories in a landslide victory...the average age of a tory candidate at that point was 65 years old. The 15 years of Thatcher/Major neo-liberal free-market unregulated global capitalism policies so betrayed the true conservative principles and alienated the British public that the only candidates they could find to run were old-time ideologues...who were hardly driven by pragmatism and reality...
    It makes me think what the median age of a pequiste candidate will be in 2012... 87 years old?

    Another thing is that some independentiste activists are proclaimed as "comedians"...e.g. Denis Trudel, who took over the MMF from M.Beaulieu, is allegedly a comedian, so is someone called Catherine Dorion...But then you get to listen to their somber drivel and you ask yourself: what is the definition of comedy in Quebec?

  7. @adski:
    One is the age of people who attend sovereignty rallies.
    I honestly believe that the only young separatists are those who heard their parents tell them about "les méchants anglais", and who have never left their little french town. They've never seen anything else, so they don't know any better.

    Everything and anything negative that happens is because of "les maudits anglais" according to them.
    I guess you can't blame them for their ignorance though. After all, this province doesn't encourage knowledge and education:
    - Laws against choosing where you or your children go to school.
    - A CEGEP system, to make sure that your education doesn't work anywhere else in North America
    - Unionized jobs without a high school diploma which pay more than university graduate jobs.

    What's frustrating is that separatist groups like the PQ know this, and they try to take advantage of the general ignorance as often as possible. The whole "John James" thing is the best example.. Where else would a politician's name be such an issue, because of it's language? "C'est un maudit anglais, regarde son nom!!"

    what is the definition of comedy in Quebec?

    The people in this province definitely like to idolize the worst people possible. You tell racist jokes that would be unacceptable anywhere else, in front of thousands of people? Well you must be a national hero then, Mister Falardeau!
    You take drugs and then commit suicide? Well you should be an example for our children, Mister Dédé Fortin.

    Separatists seem to love losers for some reason...

    - Quebecker of Tree Stump

  8. What are these anti-English language Nazis really up to? Well the proof is all around people, just open your eyes and your mind.

    Lies, lies and more lies. These people have PhDs in lying, spin, propaganda, and BS…You can’t believe a thing coming from there big mouths period. This is the mindset of the metis (they are not French, that is a complete lie, they are a mixed breed, a metis). They are pure scum of the earth.

    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. Yes 5 decades of changing our history, changing the names of towns, bodies of water…, street names… all over the country, not just Kebec any more. They are revising, falsifying our real BNA, UEL history. Wake up people!

    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. 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.

    What the country truly needs to understand is that these policies, these bilingual laws were forced upon the country by a man who hated, who despised our proud and real BNA, UEL history, dating back to 1763. This man was an anti-English language bigot. We were never a bilingual country.

    Until someone repeals the charter and everything connected to it, such as the bilingual, multicultural BS…things will only get worse and this country will continue its slide into government corruption, greed, fraud, money laundering…

    Time is ticking.

    See what’s really going in Canada? ALL these lying scum bag politicians are allowing the lies to continue…

    Where do we turn?

  9. "What's frustrating is that separatist groups like the PQ know this, and they try to take advantage of the general ignorance as often as possible"

    I wouldn't single out Quebec here. It's like this everywhere, unfortunately.

    A significant part of every politician's job is to stir up tensions and to make people feel like they need politicians without which life would just be an unmanageable mess (i.e. people wouldn't be able to defend themselves from all the "threats" out there, a few of them real, most of them invented).

    Th ignorance of the population is mainly due to the switch from print-based sources of information information (especially books), to image-based (televised) sources of information. And television has long ago ceased to be a trustworthy bearer of information (let alone a bearer objective truth). Instead, it drowns us in a ton of distractions (American Idol, So you think you can dance, x factor, etc...) and when it does go into the coverage of events, it presents a highly simplified take on them. The view of reality is also skewed by political interests and pressure on the media channels, who are owned by a narrow group of rich people aligned with the ruling elite.

    Quebec's ruling class is no different. Their objective is to maintain the status quo in which they wield political power. A major guarantor of the status quo here in Quebec is the aura of danger posed to the language and culture. It is therefore natural that Quebec politicians tap into cultural fears, and exploit them to the fullest....without, as I suspect, really caring for their culture that much...

  10. Quebec is the most stupidest and ''evil'' province ever in the history of mankind.

  11. "You take drugs and then commit suicide? Well you should be an example for our children, Mister Dédé Fortin."

    It's unfair to dump this one on Quebec only.

    How about Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, or Shannon Hoon from Blind Melon?

    Some artists live fast and die young, and when they die they they become heroes. In Quebec, and elsewhere.

  12. Quebec is the most stupidest and ''evil'' province ever in the history of mankind. (sic)

    Most stupidest, eh? ...
    "Me fail english? That's unpossible!"

    I guess you're right, that probably wasn't a good example.
    But there are very good examples:

    Falardeau, with his constant and obvious racism. It's worse when you consider that his money mostly came from our government, and thus our pockets (as is the case with most "artists" from Quebec who can only sell in this province). A lot of people consider him a national hero.

    Parizeau, with his drunken hate speech after the 1995 referendum. Not only is his racism a terrible example, but so is his alcoholism. And yet you don't have to go far to see how much he's idolized by the separatists.

    Loco Locass, who are considered official spokespeople for separatists and french language nazis. These are people who have no education and have no respect for the french language (read the lyrics to their songs), and yet they are separatist heroes.

    The people who are actually productive in this province are seen as evil exploiters of the poor french people, even if said people are french themselves.
    Péladeau apparently makes too much money and is too powerful:
    Can you imagine what an independant Quebec would be like? No businessmen, just farmers!

  13. "His latest screed is a rather pitiful attempt to prove, using selective and upside down statistics, that Ontario and the other provinces didn't deserve the added seats in Parliament and that in reality, it was Quebec which was shortchanged......I kid you not."

    I dare you to say how he's wrong. He makes the point that, while Ontario and BC have increased populations, their number of voters has not increased as much. According to the numbers he quotes, the average number of voters per riding is lower all thoughout the ROC than in Québec, meaning that the effective weight of a Québec voter is lower than that of voters from any other province.

    What M. Noel claims is that non-voters, many of which are not citizens of Canada, should not influence the number of seats in elections that they do not partake in. He therefore suggests that the number of voters, not total population, should be used to decide the number of seat alloted to each area.

    It's a debatable position, but it certainly doesn't rank as racist or even unreasonable.

  14. "This on a government building.
    For we anglos who are bilingual yet still have a problem with diacritical marks and male and female nouns, it is sweet confirmation that French is no easy language to master, even for natives speakers.

    I still can't fathom why a female dog is considered a male noun....."

    Looking at the picture, it looks like it's neither a accent aigu nor an accent grave. It looks vertical. Perhaps is it just because of the angle the picture was taken from ? I'm just sayin'.

    Now, "chienne" (literaly, a bitch) is feminine. "Chien" (dog) on the other hand, is masculine, regardless of the adjective you use with it, including the expression "chien femelle". Adjectives have to agree with nouns, not the contrary (that just seems obvious to me). That's why you say "un chien femelle" and "des chiens femelles". In addition, chien refers both to the species (i.e. vernacular for Canis lupus familiaris) and the male of the species. And the species' name is masculine. Other species names are feminine, like giraffe for example. And you would say "une giraffe mâle". Does that help ?

    Obviously, assigning a gender to asexual objects and concepts is arbitrary, but most languages operate in this way, not just French. English is more like an exception in this respect, although Old English had genders in a way similar to French.

  15. "One of our readers, GEN sent in this picture of a manhole cover in the city of Verdun adorned with English-only text.
    She wondered sarcastically if the OQLF might force the city to replace it..... Mebbe! must be really old."

    There are may of these scattered around, including in parts of Québec where the English have always been a rare sight. However, historical records remind us that, since at least the late XVIIIth century in Québec, English has been found in public signs and other public writings all around, regardless of the language of the local population. That's the kind of privileges you win for your language when you win a war.

    Unlike the once-was-a-ciy borough of Verdun, which has had a sizeable anglophone population for more than a century - in fact I think it was majority English at a point in its history.

  16. Anon @ 11:15AM (on the 4th): Right on! Now some sour grapes Québécois has quit his job in the Auditor General's Office over the new appointment. Big cry baby. A long time ago, when CJAD was a good radio station, Neil McKenty, host of an open phone-in show called Exchange used to have lemon and laurel shows. To the cry baby protester who cut his nose to spite his face, I award him a rotting lemon. To our prime minister, I award a laurel for putting qualifications ahead of language.

    How dare that self-righteous committee grilling the new Supreme Court appointee make him apologize for not speaking fluent French. The whole goddamn west, where French is barely spoken, should have to learn it for the sake of the minority when the minority within the Quebec minority is being berated, and the use of English is not only discouraged, but in certain cases, illegal.

    All Harper is doing is righting a wrong that went on for decades, partially because, except for a short time in 1979, we went from Trudeau in 1968 until finally we have a prime minister from outside Quebec with a majority mandate in 2011? That's 43 years less a 7 month interruption with prime ministers all from Quebec or 38 years (to 2006) plus Harper's minority governments until now.

    Now you know why I stand by my credo that one Prime Minister Trudeau in Canada is enough! Justin may have sidestepped the mantle of leadership for now for family reasons, but his children will grow up and I'm sure he won't be out of the limelight forever. He'll still be young enough to go for it even when his kids reach their 20s.

    Isn't this why most government hearings have simultaneous translators? Let them do the talking for those who don't understand the two official languages.

    Don't get me wrong. I think everyone contemplating a high profile career in the public sector should make an effort to prepare to be bilingual, but it should not be the be-all and end-all to being an appointee or simply hired through a job competition. Besides, too many appointees are friends of the governing party already. This is where the Americans have it right. Judges, auditors general and other publicly held positions are obtained by election, not by the will of one politician. The same goes for their senate.

    Quebec had the balance of power over the rest of us for far too long. After 1/3 of a century of the tail wagging the dog, Quebec finally shot itself in the foot by not voting for the governing party. Too, Harper learned a valuable lesson: Appeasing Ontario with 39% of the population is far more rewarding than appeasing Quebec with 23% of the population! The orange tide coming into Quebec in 2011 will go out with the tide in 2015. Mark my words!

  17. Interesting how much of a shit storm has been created in Quebec media circles over the appointment of a gentleman who has difficulty speaking French (who has vowed to learn it within a year) to the Auditor General's post while practically every single politician in Quebec City can barely string a sentence together in English. Truly laughable. As for the NDP, a party with no vision that will say anything to anyone just to scam their vote, they are decrying his appointment too, can anyone recall a display of such political hypocrisy??? The NDP ran unqualified unilingual Anglos in Quebec hinterland ridings!

  18. Haven't got much time, but let's see...

    > "Weekend Update" was pretty much lame.....
    Meh, but I see your point.

    Regarding Harper appointing unilingual anglos, meh as well. Especially if those anglos end up learning French. Competence before bilingualism DEFINITELY, but once you've got the spot, learn both.

    > French studying in English
    I don't see what the problem is here, nor why we need to pontificate to French people on how to study in our province. Either we drop the program altogether (our tax dollars funding foreign students' education?!) or we shut up and let them study what they want, where they want, and how they want. Besides, they already speak French...

    > Separatist Parade a gigantic bust

    Let's see... 22 separatist organizations, 200 protesters. If only there were a clue.
    As Elmer Fudd used to say, "be vewwy vewwy quiet."

    > More racism on!

    Surprised much?

    On a slightly-related note: one small item that might be lost on some of our non-Quebec readers. "White Niggers of America" is a term Vallières used to refer to French-Canadians in the context of their socioeconomic position (of exploitation by English-Canadians), and not the turban-wearing, brown-skinned MP.

  19. Many commentators of this blog state that the fact our new Auditor General has promised to learn French is an appropriate answer to criticism about his unilingualism. Moreover, Mr. Ferguson promised he would do so within a year !

    Gosh, this nonsense reveals how many English-Canadians from the ROC are clueless about the act of learning languages. Of course, they share that characteristic with the majority of anglophones on this planet, who are understandably among the less likely to learn a second or third language. Indeed, those commentators greatly underestimate the difficulty to learn a new for an unilingual *adult*. Within a year ? Not even in your dreams. Clueless about language learning I tell you.

  20. @ Anonymous

    You state:

    "But there are very good examples:

    Falardeau, with his constant and obvious racism. It's worse when you consider that his money mostly came from our government, and thus our pockets (as is the case with most "artists" from Quebec who can only sell in this province). A lot of people consider him a national hero.

    Parizeau, with his drunken hate speech after the 1995 referendum. Not only is his racism a terrible example, but so is his alcoholism. And yet you don't have to go far to see how much he's idolized by the separatists.

    Loco Locass, who are considered official spokespeople for separatists and french language nazis. These are people who have no education and have no respect for the french language (read the lyrics to their songs), and yet they are separatist heroes."

    Falardeau a racist ? Not only are you not giving an example but you just accusing the guy of having been a racist (BTW, he's dead, guys). Not an example, just an accusation. Besides, the guy was anti-racist. He ridiculed racism in his movies (Elvis Wong anyone ? and made several clearly anti-racist declarations. He used to say often: "Moé le monde, j'veux pas savoir d'où y viennent, j'veux savoir où y vont. Qu'y soient blancs, jaunes, noirs, mauves avec des pitons jaunes-oranges, j'm'en câlice. S'y veulent v'nir se battrent avec moé, c'est mes frères." (translate: "Me, people, I don't wanna know where they're from, I wanna know where they're goin'. They can be white, yellow, black, purple with yellow-orange dots, I don't give a sh*t. If they wanna come and fight with me, they're my brothers.")

    Parizeau is yet another non-example. He's not racist, he's not even anti-English. Remember he studied at LSE, and married a Polish, with whom he had all his kids ? I guess he must hate his half-breed bastards, uh ?

    Besides, his declaration after the 1995 referendum wasn't racist. It was politically clumsy and certainly tactless (I remember my immigrant mother was highly insulted on that night, she threw her PQ membership card down the drain), but it was mathematically and sociologically accurate, like it or not.

    Now your last example, the Loco Locass, is the worst. First of all, they are university graduates, so I don't think they can be called uneducated. Second, I don't know where you got that they have no respect for the french language. These guys love their language and defend it in so many songs (see songs "Malamalangue" and "Langage-toi" for blatant examples). Besides, these guys are fricking wordsmiths. They play with the language like no one else in the french-speaking world does. Nobody rhymes like they do, they have a very good mastery of their language, which is otherwise unheard of among rappers, including rappers that rhyme in English.

    Oh, and I guess you're going to call Loco Locass racist as well ? Listen to their song "La Paix des Braves" featuring Samian, an algonquin rapper. Or see how they praise Sans Pression, a black rapper. Or how Chafiik, one of the group members is not a "pure-laine".

    Really, this separatism=racism joke is getting auld folks, move on.

  21. Here are the songs I was talking about. You won't get them if you can't understand French, obviously:

    La Paix des Braves (The Peace of the Brave):

    Malamalangue (meaning My Tongue Hurts):

    Lyrics from Langage-toi (Language/Engage yourself):,toi,721972.html

    Oh, and Falardeau and racism, for the namecallers out there:

  22. > Falardeau a racist ? [...] He used to say often: "Moé le monde, j'veux pas savoir d'où y viennent [...] S'y veulent v'nir se battrent avec moé, c'est mes frères."

    Damien, you should translate the rest of that passage:

    Il faut arrêter de toujours s’excuser
    Le problème est ben simple
    Le Québec, c’est un pays conquis et annexé par la force
    T’es conquis par la force des armes en 1760
    Pis annexé par la force avec l’Acte d’Union en 1840
    La Confédération, c’est juste la suite de l’Acte d’Union
    Donc, le peuple québécois est un peuple soumis, un peuple vassalisé, un peuple inféodé à un autre…

    (Translation: We need to stop apologizing/The problem is pretty simple/Quebec is a conquered country and has been annexed by force/You've been conquered by the force of arms in 1760/Then annexed by force with the Act of Union in 1840/Confederation is just a follow-up to the Act of Union/Thus, the Québécois people is a subjected/oppressed people, a vassalized people, a people enslaved to another).

    Damien, if you lose a (colonial) war, you play by the rules of the winner. France wasn't the only colonizing power that lost in North America. Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, Mexico, and even Great Britain were kicked out of various parts of this continent and in all cases left with their tails between their legs. Falardeau's acerbic tongue and attempt to stoke nationalist passions in all his productions did little more than fuel the resentment that French-descended Canadians had about their forefathers being left to fend for themselves by a mother country more interested in spices, sugar, and slaves.

    Parizeau was actually the poster-boy for the pro-Anglo-British way of just about everything... until he came up against a few bigoted English-Canadians who arrogantly decided there was no way an upwardly mobile "Frenchy" to break the ethnolinguistic glass ceiling of early-1960's Canada. If the upper-crust of Canadian society told me all the efforts I make to be bilingual were pointless because I'm part allophone, I'd be pretty damn pissed too. The only difference is that I'd stand my ground rather than embark upon a spirited crusade to turn my large estate an ethnic enclave.

    Even then, I look at the civil rights struggles of African-Americans and compare them with those of French-Canadians (my own ancestors, at least in part!) during the same timeframe. While both situations were both far from ideal, I'd say Jim Crow was more extreme than John Bull, at least in a relative context. Despite the presence certain violent black supremacists, few African-Americans today wish to make a separate country out of Mississippi. If U.S. blacks don't need a separate country with a lot of sun to ensure their tan/survival, Canadians of French origin don't need one with a lot of franco-shade to ensure theirs either.

    > [Parizeau's] declaration after the 1995 referendum wasn't racist. It was politically clumsy and certainly tactless [...] but it was mathematically and sociologically accurate, like it or not.

    True. Remember, though, that Parizeau's point in making those comments wasn't to engage an electrified and partisan audience in a statistical analysis of the results we had just obtained. Rather, in the mold of French-Canadian polemicists before and after him, he wanted to rattle the cage and stoke the passions, frustrations, inadequacies, and old hatreds that have been the separatist movement's mainstay since its inception. Why else do you think your immigrant mother flushed her PQ membership card? She knew right then that the guardians of the movement she attempted (I assume very hard) to belong to would never truly see and treat her as an equal. (It turns out beggars CAN be choosers!)

  23. The old guard separatists like Parizeau, Laurin, Falardeau, Villeneuve, Larose and their ilk DID articulate Quebec nationalism as one rooted in conservative ethnic French-Canadianism (oops, I should say, Québecitude). Lionel Groulx in his wildest imaginings could have never imagined the Kirpan controversy, much less his contemporaries imagine that Haitians might populate their hypothetical Laurentie. As these old fossils die and the movement comes to its necessary conclusion, it'll be up to the younger generations who just want a job to articulate what values a multi-ethnic, pluralist society will have.

    For one thing, many of us who are francophone have managed to escape the poverty and misery that characterized the realities of our ancestors. Those of us that "get it" realize the role and importance of bilingualism - and multilingualism in general - in achieving this goal. And for those of us looking to improve our lot in life, repackaging the same old death howls by setting them to trendy music won't really cut it anymore.


  25. @ Damien,

    "Falardeau a racist ? Not only are you not giving an example but you just accusing the guy of having been a racist (BTW, he's dead, guys). Not an example, just an accusation. Besides, the guy was anti-racist. He ridiculed racism in his movies..."

    Here's an example: Falardeau called David Suzuki "a bearded Jap." Not racist? Hardly.

  26. In the debate "Was Falardeau racist or not", those who claim he wasn't a racist have a burden of explaining why he referred to Dr.Suzuki as a "Jap" (japonouille)...and of all, he did it on "national" (provincial) television...After all, Falardeau could have said "this Japanese guy is not going to tell us how to vote", and even that would have had racist overtones, but he went further and used a racial slur...If he said "a guy from BC", or "a guy from the ROC", there would have been no problem. But he did delve into Dr.Suzuki's ethnic background, and employed a racist insult in relation to that background...

    But even if we assume, for the sake of argument, that Falardeau was not a racist, we still have a strong case against him in showing that he was an intolerant, repugnant, contemptuous, unapproachable, fanatical, uncompromising extremist...He wasn't the kind of guy that you could approach and have a casual conversation with. First you'd be vetted as to what political positions you hold in reference to Quebec, then if your positions were unaccaptbale to him, he'd spit on you, if your positions were acceptable, he'd embrace you and call you his "frere"...There was no middle ground with this could have been either his enemy or his friend...But what if you wanted to be neither? He wouldn't have it...


    They say at 0:30 that language zealots want the Future Shop to become La Boutique du Futur, and La Lunetterie New Look to become La Lunetterie Nouveux Regard.

    1. Future Shop is not in violation of the law. Future Shop is a trademark name.

    2. A few months ago New Look decided to compromise with the militants and added the word "Lunetterie" to its name. At the time it happened, I wrote on this very blog that it was a bad move on the part of New Look, because 1. the trademark name is like your personal name - you don't change it because some bully wants you to change it, and 2. it will not close the case BUT LEAD TO MORE DEMANDS...The time proved me right on that one...Lunetterie New Look is not enough, as it turns out. I hope New Look learned their lesson: never compromise with bullies. They always come back for more.


    LCN's coverage of the march:

    LCN's interviewer talking to Denis Trudel spins the story in favor of the MMF. She doesn't challenge Trudel as to the legality of the affichage that his people were protesting against. Roots, Payless Shoe Source, Future Shop, Best Buy, American Eagle, etc... are all in compliance with 101...Too bad the "reporter" failed to mention it...

  28. Yadda yadda yadda, less than 50% on the island, less than 80% in Quebec, need to FORCE the immigrants "toward" French, we're losing slowly, national affirmation as a people, showcase a French society, Montreal isn't a bilingual city, respect for our common language...

    It's all getting so very tiring even on those of us who DO want to see French promoted.

    I'm starting to think it'd be easier if we reprogrammed/assimilated only these clowns. I'm sure we'd still be left with a society that organically functioned largely in French because it genuinely wanted to and not because it was so compelled by language vigilantes.

    "Denis Trudel, comédien et porte-parole... "

    Yeah he's a comedian alright.

    Adski, I think you need to write to TVA on this. We've seen way too many one-sided stories with half-facts on this that are causing the people of Quebec to be woefully misinformed.

  29. Apparatchik, I might write them a letter. But I do realize that getting objective coverage on tv these days is impossible. In Quebec, and outside Quebec.

    Media are now spokesmen for the ruling elite as well as enterprises/businesses that need to protect their interests and mind the bottom line. What's the connection with language fanatics? Well, stations like TVA, Radio Canada, etc... are French-speaking channels, and thus depend on a French speaking audience. If the pool of french speakers diminishes (or in the language of the SSJB - le francais recule), so goes the francophone media's raison-d'etre. So they found a common ground with the militants, but the reasons are different. For the media, it's all about ratings that generate revenue, thus their involvement here is purely cynical.

  30. Apparatchik: "showcase a French society, Montreal isn't a bilingual city,"

    Trudel said that Montreal isn't a bilingual city in the beginning of the clip, and shortly beforehand, he went on about Montreal being less than half French and becoming less and less French. So he contradicted himself in the first 1:30 minutes of the interview. I cannot believe that the interviewer didn't pounce at the contradiction and told him to make up his mind - either Montreal is bilingual and becoming more and more so, or it is not bilingual.

    Towards the end of the clip, Trudel said something to the effect: "look, it's not like English is going to disappear" in reference to the fact that Quebec is surrounded by the "sea of English". But this must be the worst argument ever. It's equivalent to when polluting corporations say: look, it's not as if trees or rivers are going to disappear if we pollute or destroy this one. What if I said to Trudel: look, it doesn't matter if French disappears from Quebec because there is a country in Europe called France with tens of millions of French speakers, so it's not like French is going to cease to exist...I wonder how he'd reply to that.

    The point which he doesn't get is that it's irrelevant whether French or English exist somewhere else. The fact that they exist in place A do is not a green light to cleanse them from place B.

    And what about Algonquian or Cree? These languages don't even have a European country or an African colony to fall back upon...Why isn't Trudel defending these languages then?

  31. I find it amazing how these french nazis never seem to target things they enjoy, like their precious "Loft Story" ("Histoire De Loft" anyone?) Have you EVER heard them say anything against that name?

    Either way, you can clearly see on the pictures how many people were there, and how brilliant (not to mention young and dynamic) these people are.

    I don't understand why TVA gives these crazies so much attention.. I mean, there's groups of people who will protest for any cause you could come up with.. TVA's coverage seems to make it worse, as they make it seem like it's bigger than it actually is.
    Just because 20 people show up, it doesn't mean it's a news-worthy event.

    But I guess TVA's target audience is any separatist on BS, so they didn't have much choice but to cover it.

  32. Here's the coverage from Radio Canada:

    At 0:37, they demand Les Cafes Second Cup changed to Les Cafes Deuxieme Tasse...("Les Cafes" was added to Second Cup a while ago as a compromise with the very same militants)

    There is a valuable lesson in this for all other companies.

  33. 1:17 : the report finally admits that 101 allows non-french trademark names, but then they add that the business name has to have "quelques indications en francais"

    Whaaaaaat? Is there anything like this in the law? I don't think so. You can have Burger Kind, Roots, Best Buy, Future Shop, Banana Republic, etc...without any additional "indications"...

    What are these people on? How can Radio Canada sink so low and straight out lie about the law?

  34. There is a valuable lesson in this for all other companies.


    Stay the hell out of Quebec!

    This gets brought up often when dealing with this topic, but I'm still confused.. Do these people not know about how business works? Perhaps someone should give them a quick lesson on the law of supply and demand.
    If they aren't happy (or the name "Future Shop" is too confusing), they don't have to shop there.

    But I guess the damn dirty english people (not to mention ethnic people and those with money) force the Jean-Guys to buy stuff at Future Shop instead of at "La Shoppe à TV à Ti-Guy".

    I can tell you that if a shop opens up with signs written entirely in spanish, I probably won't shop there. I won't be outside protesting either, I have better things to do with my time.

  35. "If they aren't happy (or the name "Future Shop" is too confusing), they don't have to shop there."

    Or they can start their own chain and name it the way the hell they want.

    But how dare they attack a business that is a product of creativity and investment of OTHER people? There is just something very arrogant about it.

    I guess fighting for a "cause" ("defense of language and culture" in this case) and being arrogant, excessive, and moronic in the process are not mutually exclusive concepts. Both can occur at the same time.

    And it begs a question - what's the cause and effect here? Is the futility of the fight for the "cause" that makes these people arrogant, or is it their congenial arrogance that made them find a cause?

  36. Congenital, not "congenial" arrogance. Of course.

  37. Or they can start their own chain and name it the way the hell they want.

    That brings up an interesting point though.

    The french people have never been the "we'll do it ourselves" type. They'd much rather wait until someone else gives it to them or does it for them.

    Business names are a great example. If Jean-Guy and Ti-Guy had started more successful businesses themselves, they could set up their "Magasins Du Future" right beside the Future Shops. And since so many french people want french stores, they'd have no problems getting plenty of business, which would drive the dirty english businesses out of town, right?

    You can also look at the unions in this province. We have the highest percentage of unionized workers in North America. And I'm not talking about real jobs, the unions are trying to get convenience stores cashiers now (Couche Tard), simply because the owner of the chain is making money. (how unfair!)
    It's a BS mentality that's stuck with the french people in this province, where they do as little as possible, and then expect hand outs and for everyone to share everything they have.

    And when it doesn't happen, they bitch and moan about it.

    What do the french Québécois think of successful Québécois businessmen?
    Just look at Péladeau's popularity among the french people...

    It's no wonder this province is going downhill.

  38. Fisk's take on poppy lapels is spot on.

  39. You are so ignorant... Does anybody ever came in Québec? I think you just don't know anything about our history and our culture. We do have successful businessmen. And WTF about the Québécois being "metis" Anonymous? I mean there is no sense about it, we are not real french, but you are not real english people too. You are a mix of english, irish, and every nation that emigrated in Canada over its history...Descendants as we are because we developped a different culture than the first colonisators.

    And we are not all separatists. Even if you're not happy with it, quebecers have been part of the foundation of this country, even more we were there before you. We have rights like you have. Would you live in Quebec? I don't think so, as we wouldn't live in a place where everything is done under anglo-canadian rules and manners.

    I've been in english Canada, very beautiful country and nice people. It's sad that people like you, racists, ruin it.